The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 27
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Scarlet
“You’re right.” Ruth answered, listening intently to Eva’s words.
Ruth was such a strange person. He tried to understand her circumstances while also offering help without saying much. He was someone who dropped to his knee to raise her, despite his status being higher than hers. He was attentive when it came to asking for Eva’s opinion and didn’t persuade or condemn her when her answer wasn’t what he expected. He was someone who was kind but also couldn’t be taken lightly. Someone who could ooze dignity with just words.
“One more thing…”
Someone who could make her heart skip a beat because of his excessive words.
‘I wish I had met him a long time ago when we were still betrothed, at least just once,’ she thought.
“I hope Sir Ruth will be happy too. It hasn’t been long since we met, but I think you’re very straightforward and strong. Wherever you are or whatever you do, may God bless you.”
She knew what kind of situation he was in. He might have endured tough times as much as her, perhaps more than her. He had lost his mother when he was young and had a hard time living under the control of the new Empress and the influential nobles. Even now, he was being evicted to the border and receiving death threats.
That was why she was moved, seeing him in a similar situation. Even in such a situation, he offered her a hand, a gesture she was truly grateful for. Eva hoped, from the bottom of her heart, that Ruth would return to the Imperial Palace and be welcomed as the rightful Crown Prince, then become the Emperor to the Empire he cherished, as well as make a name for himself.
For the first time, Ruth’s calm facade cracked. He looked as if he had been beaten by someone unexpected. His eyes, which had been composed all along, now shook as if perturbed by something.
‘Did I say something wrong?’
Eva’s body shuddered, perhaps because of the wind caressing her skin. But unlike before, it didn’t feel frightening, it was an exhilarating feeling that was enveloped by care.
She quickly shifted her gaze away because she couldn’t identify the feeling.
“I-I should send a gratitude to Lord Holland.”
“Why?” Ruth reacted calmly with his eyes fixed on her. His response bore little interest, a court response, unlike the times before.
“Because he took good care of the castle. I think he’s such a wonderful person.”
Even when Eva brought up the excuses, Ruth didn’t say anything.
“The light of the moon is stunning.”
Again, no answer from him. Eva had run out of topics to talk about. As words were no use anymore, Eva put it aside and spun her body from him. She wanted to see the moonlight garden so badly, but here she was only looking at him after coming all the way here. A place where she never knew when she could come back.
Eva controlled her breathing to calm her mind and began to circle around the fountain. Footsteps reached her ears, quietly following behind as if not wanting to disturb her nostalgia.
The autumn air and the sound of dripping water soothed her heart. The smell of trees coming from the forest and the scent of autumn flowers wafted in the garden faintly. Eva broke into a smile over the breathtaking scenery. As she sauntered in glee while looking around, her pace slowed down suddenly.
Ruth was staring at Eva across the fountain reservoir. He walked with the same tempo as her while his eyes were glued on her. When she took a step, he took a step, when she took two steps, he reflected the motion and he was always on the opposite side of her. Like the magnetic needle in the compass.
Eva could see his face clearly when her back faced the moon. Once she faced the moon, her shadow covered his face. The blaze in her heart seemed to burn and extinguish every time his face was visible in light or consumed by darkness.
She abruptly avoided eye contact, in fear of this unfamiliar situation. Eva hastened her steps while keeping her eyes on the ground. She didn’t give much thought because she believed he would keep the distance no matter what speed she walked.
However, it seemed like he stood still in Eva’s way. Thud. As her peripheral darkened, her forehead bumped roughly against Ruth’s chest.
As she was still in a dazed state, Eva staggered. Ruth quickly reached out and pulled Eva’s arm, making her fall into him. Ruth instinctively cradled her waist at the unexpected event. Even though they didn’t mean it, the two were embracing each other while gawking at each other.
Not much different from Eva, who stiffened in surprise, a flustered expression adorned Ruth’s face.
“S-Sir Ruth.” Eva stuttered while staring up at his eyes. She was trying to tell him to let her go, but instead, her hands fisted his collar, something she couldn’t fathom.
“It’s not Lord Holland.”
“Yes?” Her eyes widened at his sudden remark while asking him back.
“The wonderful owner of the castle is not Lord Holland.”
“What do you mean…?”
Eva blinked her eyes. A conversation she randomly started a while ago crossed her mind, about thanking Lord Holland and how wonderful he is. It’s probably related to that conversation, however it didn’t make sense. Lord Holland was the Lord of the castle, so why did his words tell another story?
“It feels weird.” Ruth confessed to Eva in a calm tone, smoothly altering away from her question.
“It’s been a long time since someone genuinely said something about worrying for me and blessing me. If only we were in the past…”