t time,”  Elliot referred to the day Rose went to meet him at the Proud Manor after she returned from her past.

Rose, too, remembered the day clearly.
Unwilling to answer, she grumbled softly. 

“Can you stand? Or would you like to hold my hand?”

Elliot once again offered his hand, but Rose ignored it and turned away. 

“I don't need it.

“And what if you fall again?”

Elliot's teasing tone made Rose aware that he was in a good mood.

People are ashamed when they fall, but there are others who are happy to see it happen.
Rose pretended not to hear him.

“Aren't you busy?”

“If I said no, I would be lying.
But it's not like there isn't even time to see off my fiancée.”

Rose's face stiffened at the word “fiancée” coming from his lips.

Elliot moved on, with Rose quietly following him.

She guessed that since her plans went up in flames, the quickest way to leave Elliot behind was to follow him and get on a carriage.

Walking behind him gave her the opportune moment to catch sight of his shining hair as it shimmered in the sunlight. 

The blue hair bathed in light gently fluttered with every step he took.
It looked like waves crashing on the sea.

Rose had never seen the sea in real life and had based her assumptions on illustrations she'd seen in books.
It felt like she was facing the wide sea whenever she saw Elliot's hair color.

A young boy's voice echoed in Rose's ears.

“You've never seen the sea? Then I will definitely take you there someday and show you around.”

Rose pursed her lips.

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Why am I the only one troubled by these memories?

Shaking her head and clearing her thoughts, Rose spotted a waiting carriage over Elliot's shoulder.
Her face brightened.

It was finally possible to separate from Elliot.

Rose moved faster as she got closer and closer to the carriage.

She passed by Elliot as she reached the carriage first and then reached out for the door.

However, a hand extended from behind her and blocked Rose's hand from touching the handle.

“We have a woman open the carriage door herself.”


Because I was rushing, I made a mistake that I wouldn't have made.

What kind of aristocratic woman opened the carriage door and climbed up herself?

Rose's face turned red.
Elliot opened the carriage door as he offered the blushing Rose a hand.

She climbed into the carriage as if throwing herself in and looked at Elliot, who was still standing outside.

“Thank you for seeing me off here.
I'll go now.”

Rose bid farewell to Elliot, faking a reluctant tone, hoping that he would finally back away so she could escape.

Against her expectations, Elliot didn't budge.


Rose's shoulders trembled.

If it had been before, Rose would have been thrilled, but now, when he called her name like that, all she felt was anxiety.

When he calls me by name like that, I feel more anxious than anything.

“Rose, no matter what you do, I have no intention of breaking the engagement.
Our engagement will go according to plan, and I will never let you go.”

After lightly threatening Rose, Elliot carefully closed the carriage door and backed away.

The sound of a coachman urging the horses forward sounded, and the wheels began to roll slowly.

The sounds of the smooth ride, the rattling when the carriage crossed the drawbridge leaving the Imperial Palace—through it all, Rose had no reaction. 

It was only when the sounds outside the carriage became too loud that Rose finally snapped out of her stump. 

She sagged in her seat, mockingly laughing to herself.

“You're not going to let me go? Why would such a man spit out such words at me?”

Rose, muttering to herself, remembered Elliot's face when he spoke those words.

He was arrogant.
It was as if he expected the engagement ceremony would proceed as he had foretold and eventually lead to her becoming his fiancée, and even his wife.

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Rose's face hardened coldly at his arrogance and confidence.

“Yes, you keep believing that, Elliot.
In the end, the two of us will somehow separate.”

It's been a while since the carriage with Rose left, yet Elliot did not move from his spot but rather stared after the carriage.

He couldn't understand why his last moment with Rose had left an afterimage in his mind.
He wanted to tightly grasp onto it so that he could find out why, but by then, it had begun to fade away. 

Returning to reality, he got back to the task at hand. 

It was nearing the end of the year, and everyone who worked at the Imperial Palace was busy, Elliot included. 

He didn't have time to spare for anything else besides his need to go back to his office. 

However, before he turned his head back, he took a last glance forward, hoping to catch a glimpse of that faded memory. 

Could her lingering feelings have changed so suddenly? 

Elliot calmly recalled Rose as she sat in the carriage. 

Rich blonde hair, as bright as light reflecting off waves.
White jade-like skin with red eyes that shine brighter than any ruby.

The same eyes that looked at him with a cool heart after the fiery embers of love ran out.

[TL/N: Eyes that no longer hold love for the other person.]

“I don't love you.”

Her lips held a clear mockery aimed at him, but it was stiff.

It was the smile of a person who experienced new, negative feelings towards someone when, all their life, they felt nothing but happiness. 

Elliot covered the smile rising on his lips. 

The memory of Rose unfolded in his mind. 

“Elliot Proud.
If I get involved with you, I will go crazy.”

At that, the smile on Elliot's lips disappeared instantly.
So did the memory.

He rubbed his chin. 

It doesn't sound like a lie.”

Elliot knew long ago that Rose was serious about breaking their engagement.

Rose tended to show her emotions even when she tried to hide them, so Elliot noticed it right away the second Rose came to the Proud Manor that day.

Slowly, he walked in the direction of the private office.

With each step he took, the corners of his mouth curled up.

“Even if you sincerely want to break up with me, it's still not possible.”

His soft muttering was the only sound in the cold hallway.

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