Thank you raw provider: Laylie
Akkard had been ill for the past few days and had finally woken up.
Disease, or fever, either way, it was as painful as a stinging heat simmering and then a fire kindling in his chest.
It was very rare for the robust, strong man to be so sick. Perhaps it was because it was a disease with psychological factors added, so it was especially excruciating.
And Damia Primula… … Except for that one day, she never came to visit him.
‘Not even once.’
Akkard woke up from the bed and looked up at the ceiling with a miserable heart.
She was right upstairs. Within arms reach, as close as it gets, but there was no way he could reach her. He boiled with trepidation.
He had been confident in his ample experience with women but found himself utterly lost now and ignorant about what to do. Because it was the first time he was sincere.
Then in the midst of his anguish— The hallway, not far from his room, became noisy.
‘What’s going on?’
Akkard listened. He had trained in martial arts and so honed and developed sharper senses than others.
Along with the sound of the heavy mansion door opening, the employees’ bid farewell politely:
“Have a safe trip to the palace, my lady!”
… … It looked like Damia was going out. Also, to the royal palace. Akkard took note of this and realized:
‘If I go after her now, I might be able to talk to her.’
At least it’s better than this place where Primula’s employees keep a watch over him. Regardless, for Akkard, the Knight Commander of the Royal Palace, the palace was like his own backyard.
As soon as it occurred to him, his body started moving with a mind of its own. Quickly, he jumped out of bed, washed his face, and put on his clothes.
“Uh, you need to lie down a little longer! You still need to be calm to reclaim stability…..”
The dismay of the doctor, who had just come in, was already out of his earshot. After ignoring the doctor and his advice, he rode his horse, rushing straight to the palace.
However, a person stood in the way of Akkard Valerian. Magda, the Chief Palace Minister.
“Miss Damia is having an audience with the Crown Prince right now. Please wait outside.”
Only chilly towards Akkard, Magda promptly dismissed him. She had a sharp wariness about her, fearing that he might flirt while hanging around the Crown Prince’s palace, seducing maids and noble ladies alike.
‘I can’t do that anymore.’
How can he blame them for the trust he lost?
Akkard came out of the prince’s palace with a bitter smile. Rumors of his return had already spread, and many women started to linger about and glance at him.
Even though it was quite chilly right after the rain, they were smiling brightly in thin clothes.
Normally, he would have chatted with them even if he didn’t intend to seduce them. Instead, he enjoyed the attention: cute, sweet flirting and the stinging battle of nerves between women striving to look good in front of him.
But now he couldn’t do it anymore.
He was now like a traveler in the desert, desperately digging and searching for water. He was burning up as if he was going to die of thirst right now, so he couldn’t pay any mind to the mirages flirting next to him.
‘Damia… … .’
How could he change her mind even a little bit? As he wandered in front of the Crown Prince’s palace in thought, he saw hydrangeas in full bloom just in time.
The moment he saw this, Akkard stretched out his hand unconsciously. Even if he knew he couldn’t calm Damia’s heart with just a few things… … Still, he was so desperate that he clung to hope embodied by this fragile flower.
He picked and plucked the most beautiful blossoms without blemishes. The hydrangeas, which he intended to be a couple, became a huge bouquet in the blink of an eye.
Enough for everyone in the garden to see.
“Oh, look at Sir Akkard.”
“Who is he going to give those flowers to? Perhaps… … Is it that lady he brought from the North?”
“Oh my gods! Then that rumor was true. I heard that Lord Akkard walks in and out of that lady’s mansion these days so much so the threshold is worn out.”
All the women in the royal palace were chatting about it, including other noble maidens visiting, like Teresa and Leah.
Damia didn’t know, but that’s why they were so harsh towards her and poisoned with envy.
‘That Akkard Valerian— is picking flowers— himself? For a woman?!’
It was famously known that Akkard hated handmade gifts. And so naturally, nothing he gave to women was handmade either. At best, it would be a luxury commodity.
However, Akkard, that very same man with a difficult disposition, picked flowers himself without ordering or buying them. Each and every one of them was carefully picked with all his heart.
Moreover, although Akkard did not even realize it himself, his face as he picked the flowers showed signs of excitement, anxiety, and dreams. Enough for even the most obtuse to notice that the other person he was picking flowers for was very special to him.
“This will do.”
He muttered proudly, so focused that he did not even realize the eyes were pouring on him. The size of the bouquet was large enough to cover the upper body of any woman and was delightfully gorgeous.
The hydrangea, which had not yet dried up the raindrops, was full of vitality and had a fresh scent. For some reason, his chest swelled up. A fleeting hope that today would go well and in his favor filled his heart.
He returned to the Crown Prince’s Palace but seemed to have missed her. Magda glanced at the bouquet he was holding with a countenance of disbelief and said back with disapproving eyes:
“Ms. Damia has already finished her audience with his Highness and went out to the gardens.”