“I couldn’t find anything we had played ten years ago, but I managed to remember the tune and asked the music box craftsman to make it. It has been planned from the day I returned back to the Imperial Family as the Crown Prince.”
“It took quite a while for the master craftsman to make it. I’d be heartbroken if you threw it away.”
Joseph looked at me while fiddling with the music box. He picked up my hand carefully and placed the music box on top of it.
The metal body of the cold music box stole away the warmth of my hand.
He patted my head with a hurtful face. He said while merely making eye contact with me.
“I somehow wanted to apologize for what happened back in the afternoon. I… I shouldn’t have said that. I couldn’t control my emotion when I somehow tried to win over the argument so I was just really keen on stating my own opinion.”
“What I said was right at that time, but why can’t you understand that? I might’ve gotten angry at you for nothing. And about mother… Moreover because I had watched around how much she’s been trying to get along with you again, I have no choice but to say it from her perspective.”
He brought my hand to be wrapped around the music box.
He had bloodshot eyes for me to see as if it was not a lie when he said that he had waited in the living room without going to bed all this time.
The Crown Prince was indeed a busy man. That was the reason why I understood how desperate he wanted to apologize to me.
That’s what he could only do all this time.
“I understand your position well.”
He squeezed my hand tightly.
“Perhaps I was too used to coercing you for a conciliation. That’s why I had no choice and naturally decided to say those to you today.”
“But there’s still some time left, so why don’t you give me another chance?”
He spoke to me gently.
“Didn’t you always ask me to be your partner for the debutante?”
My childhood dream was to hold Joseph’s hand during the debutante as we walked under the light of the extravagant ballroom.
Because my brother was similar to the prince in a fairy tale who was busy every day.
He didn’t even have much time to spare for himself. So I used to talk to him carefully. Couldn’t my brother at least become my partner on the day of my debutante?
Joseph gave me a stroke on the head to let me think about it. Joseph’s room comes to mind at the time. I thought it was a warm place because it felt like him. There were also so many amazing things.
My favorite among those was the music box. I laughed brightly when Joseph turned the handle of the music box to let the beautiful music come out of it.
Like having the whole world to myself.
“I’ll have the best dress and shoes ready for you. Maybe they can also customize it according to your demand with the design you used to scribble on the paper as a kid, okay?”
He spoke to me like a father did to his daughter. I squeezed the music box tightly. I looked him at the eye while returning his smile.
“Thank you for your kindness.”
“Then tomorrow I will immediately…”
I said, looking at his puzzled face.
“I already have someone I want to go with for the debutante. Not with you, but someone else.”
“When things change, people change as well. Same happened to me, I guess I’ve changed a lot.”
Joseph had an unexplainable look on his face.
“Since it’s getting late, I would like you to go now.”
I took out my hand that was wrapped in his hand and proceeded to put the music box on the tea table.
“I understand your sincerity, but because now it’s quite late for me as well, I want to rest.”
“…sure, I didn’t even think about that part.”
“Then, enough for today.”
I said goodbye to him with a drawn-like smile. Joseph had a look that wanted to say something, but then he simply answered, “Yeah.” and headed out of the room.
After he left, I looked quietly at the music box placed on the table.
I was astounded.
I can’t believe I was so unimpressed with this.
‘I’m going crazy…’
Clyde thought while walking out of the bathroom.
He thought taking a hot bath would clear his head, but it was the opposite.
The memories of when he was bidding farewell to Stella filled his mind at all times. It was the moment when he only gazed blankly on her face because he couldn’t bid farewell to her as he wanted to be with her for one more hour.
“Thank you very much for today. Speaking to Daisy on my behalf …was really thoughtful of you.”
She smiled. Clyde felt his heart stop beating when he saw a pretty smile appear on her lips.
His mind was in a state of shock.
She tried to lift her heel up to see whether things would go her way and she asked him to lower his head for a moment.
Did something smear his face?
He bowed his head for her obediently.
Then, she pressed her lips lightly on his cheek for a moment.
Clyde couldn’t come to his right mind as she smiled sweetly at him and her swaying gaze looked at him.
He hasn’t been in his right mind since then.
While watching Stella disappear behind the palace’s gate, he just stood there blankly for a moment before he came back to his senses and finally got on the horse.
He felt so weird.
This good feeling which couldn’t be explained and his heart pounded like crazy because he kept on repeating the event that happened earlier in his head?
It felt affectionate and warm, fresh and sweet.
Perhaps that was why he stayed up that night with eyes wide-awake.
“No, what kind of idiot would reject my good son?”
Slammed by the Princess in the evening, and then his father the next morning. Jason Evanders thought while looking at the door of his poor office. There wouldn’t be any more doors left to replace it.
He stood up and bowed respectfully to his father.
“Are you going to remain quiet about this, you ugly fool? Are you saying that you would let the newspaper publishing company under your control know that the Princess had just dumped you!”
“If your mother gave birth to you so well, then what is it that was lacking until you got rejected! That’s how a woman is anyway. You’ve done very well. Very well.”
Claude Evanders nodded with a pleased look.
Jason Evanders was always a good son to him, even if he didn’t ask him to do so.
The man had a younger sense, more classy and commendable than him, and had been managing the company for a long time.
He was a reliable son who he was comfortable to be with and trustworthy.
But one thing that bothered him was that it was difficult to find the human personality in his son.
It’s because he raised his child that way. Sometimes Claude Evanders wondered if Jason would’ve grown up that way without having a huge legacy to inherit.
Therefore as a father, he felt sorry inside at one part of his heart.
However, it was a woman!
Upon hearing the news, he immediately rushed from his villa to the Evanders’ mansion.
‘He’ was called Claude Evanders back in his vigorous youth who had neither blood nor tears, but the world looked different when he got this old.
Nowadays, judging from how the families of the servants seemed to be getting along genially when they were attending the wedding ceremony of their son, he was willing to have a reliable daughter-in-law who would manage the family along with their son.
He didn’t think Jason would like it if he found a woman for him when his only son was at his busiest peak.
However, good news happened to arrive at his villa just in time.
His wife, Lizzia, would also smile faintly when she heard the news as she was currently living far away in the South.
This was tremendous enough that she would smile even though she was more realistic and rational than anyone else.
There was a woman who he gained interest in even though her son was retreating from them at first.
How much he was so into her that he even devoted his family’s mine to her and published it on the front page of the newspaper even without hiding the article which stated she was refusing his gift.
It’s something to see in his long life.
He thought his son was good at everything, however he was not as experienced in this area since he was still a young man.
But it was fine.
“When is the day of the ceremony?”
“You fell in love at first sight and thought about getting married, so I gave you the family properties so easily just like that. If both of you get married, the money of the Second Princess will become our family’s property again. I already wanted to see my daughter-in-law’s face. About the grandchildren…”
“I was defeated.”
The air froze coldly as Jason Evanders admitted his loss humiliatingly.
The smile on Claude Evanders’ face disappeared.
Jason felt helpless with his head hung down as he clenched his fist really hard that his hands turned white.
“I’m defeated, the Princess won.”
Jason believed his father would be disappointed in him.
But right after that, a burst of laughter filled his office.
Claude Evanders drew near and patted Jason’s back.
“It’s great that you know how to admit defeat. Even more so when you are standing on that side.”
“Yeah, that could have happened. I should be grateful that even my son has a precious person who taught him that there are times when you fail in your life.”
Claude Evanders bursted into a roar of laughter.
Considering the fact that the entire family’s mine was snatched away, it was quite a great laugh for him.
“You weren’t defeated, you just lost.”
Claude Evanders nodded his head and said, as if he kept thinking about what his son had said.
“But it doesn’t mean that you would not care about her at all. Since you’ve never lost in your life, you’d be interested. To the woman who had beaten you.”
Jason Evanders didn’t deny it.
Because after all, it was true that he had taken an interest in Stella.
Then Claude Evanders pushed her son’s back.
“Then what are you doing here! Don’t just dawdle here and go meet her.”
“I’ve got work to do…”
“Oho, what do you think after you see there is literally your father here, I’ll take care of this, so you go and get the woman.”
“You heard it, isn’t there a debutante for the Princess? If you keep yourself rigid like this for the rest of your life, you are likely to die of old age while still being single. It’s good to take the role of the family’s successor, but there is always a chance to enjoy some fun for your age, right? Now go out of this degraded office.”
It was a fairly large office to be called ‘degraded’, but Claude Evanders was adamant.
“…you need to meet some girls! When your youth and gorgeousness are at its peak. Now that I think about it, I was as earnest as your mother was. The speed of the running carriage would not have been comparable to my straight-forwardness.”
With that being said, Jason was pushed out of the mansion.
Perhaps it was only his father who could make him like that in his own mansion.
Taking one step forward, Jason’s aide came to give Jason a small gift that he might have prepared any time.
“I wish you good luck, sir.”
Moreover he also handed Jason’s jacket to his superior.
The door slammed shut and Jason stared blankly at his jacket in one hand and the present in his other hand. The weather was damn good.