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Published at 24th of November 2019 01:47:35 PM

Chapter 166

“Well, let’s clean up now.”


He stood up, left the room to clean the water bowl and towels, and soon returned with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

“The caretaker asked me to bring this to you.”

He held out the mug, and Louise stared at it suspiciously.

“Did you wash your hands?”

“The Lady Caretaker puts a death penalty on those who don’t wash their hands.”

Ian handed her the hot mug, and she accepted it gratefully. She took a sip of the chocolate, and warmth spread from her fingertips to her toes.

“It’s so good…”

“Right? When you finish drinking it, you can come with me.”

“Where are you going in this weather?”

“I applied for asylum at the Duchy of the Kitchen from the Lady Caretaker.”

That meant he had been given permission to go to the kitchens.

“Why?”

Louise mumbled through two marshmallows in her mouth.

“It’s snowing.”

Louise stared thoughtfully at the white flakes drifting outside the window. She suddenly remembered a conversation with Ian.

“I taught myself some recipes for courtship. A thick chocolate cake, or autumn apple pie. In winter…”

“Cinnamon rolls?”


“Yes, something that warms you up like that. It’s a must-have on a snowy day.”

Warm chewy cinnamon rolls on a wintry day were the best. With a cup of black tea, it would be perfect.

“Let’s do it.”

“Great. I’ll meet you on the first floor of the dorm building in an hour.”

“No, not that.”

Louise looked around for a moment and placed her mug on a nearby chair.

“I’ll face the misfortune with you. For the rest of my life.”

Louise repeated Ian’s words with a soft smile.

“As long as you make cinnamon rolls for the winter.”

“And chocolate cake for your birthday?”

“You also have to make apple pie for fall.”

“Good. But it comes with a condition.”

“Condition?”

“You need to call me by my proper name after a year.”

“Oh.”

“And don’t complain if I ask for a dance while patting your head.”

“You’re going to do that again?”


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“Your reaction was funny.”

“Alright, fine. And?”

“And have a good rest of your Academic life.”

“…I.”

“I know. You’re worried about the rest of your time.”

Everyone Louise had gotten close to was going to leave the Academy.

“There will be new joys out there for you.”

“You think so?”

“Yes.”

It wasn’t until he answered confidently that Louise smiled.

*

*

*

An hour later, the pair met again at the entrance of the dormitory building. Although it was daytime, the campus was so quiet that one could hear the snow falling. Everyone seemed to be spending their afternoon relaxing in the warm indoors. Louise and Ian strolled down the snowed-in path, and Louise turned her head to look at him.

“I’ve been thinking. Do you mind if I add additional conditions?”

“If that is what my fiancée wants.”

Ian seemed to be in a good mood, and Louise held out her scarf.

“Could you please wear a scarf? You look cold to anyone who sees you!”

Ian had been willing to listen to any request, but now he looked like he was reconsidering.


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“…Except that.”

He stopped to carefully wrap the scarf around Louise again.

“How come?”

“Well.”

Perhaps it was because it against his aesthetics. Or more importantly, he found it satisfying that Louise stumbled around worrying about him.

“Anything else?”

Louise fidgeted with the scarf that he wrapped around her neck.

“I hope you’ll be fine in the year without me.”

“…”

“Simon’s going away, so you might feel lonely.”

That was true. If Ian had something good happen to him, he didn’t have anyone to share it with. If he was depressed, he didn’t have a friend to stroke his head. 

For no reason at all, Ian pulled Louise into his arms. Every time, he was surprised that being so close to her was enough to allay the anxieties that gripped him.

“I’ve been thinking…I did my proposal wrong.”

“I told you. Don’t do it while holding my foot.”

“No, that part was good.”

He pulled back to look at Louise and raised a smile.

“When I spoke about facing misfortune together.”


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“Yes?”

“It doesn’t make sense to say I’ll be unhappy with you.”

“Well, reality is not a fairy tale.”

Of course that was what Ian always claimed.

“But when a good-looking crown prince appears, it’s okay to call it a fairy tale.”

He changed his opinion is easily as turning over his hand.

“Isn’t that a bit irresponsible?”

“It’s fine. There’s a sweet and cute villainess here. The ensemble is complete.”

“The story is a mess all over again.”

“No matter how terrible the genre is, if it’s a fairy tale, there will be a happy ending.”

“A happy ending?”

“It’s a famous sentence.”

Louise thought of the famous sentence that described all fairy tales. Those words were not one that told of misery.

“That’s us?”

“Yes.”

Ian leaned a little forward, their lips barely brushing against each other’s.

“Forever.”

And the rest of the sentence was dissolved by kisses.

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