Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
If you’re worried about them going back together, don’t. They won’t.
I woke up from that dream in a haze. The room was dark, and the sun hadn’t yet risen. Still wobbly and drowsy, I recalled what the dream was about… One month after what happened at that party, I received a proposal for engagement. The other party, of course, was Lulu Camell.
My parents said they’d agree to it as long as I was happy. At the time, I had a lot of things going on, so I couldn’t give an immediate response. In the end, after much deliberation, I decided to accept.
At first, I thought we wouldn’t be a good fit for each other. Unlike Lyla, who took everything around her seriously, Lulu and selfish and did as she liked. Despite me being the older one, I was still swayed by her vanity.
…So, now what? I mulled, tossing and turning in bed.
Let’s stop. Just thinking about it makes me feel empty… It’s not even time to wake up yet, so I better get back to sleep—despite wanting to do so, the thoughts just wouldn’t stop whirring and spinning around my mind.
—Then, I saw the image of Lulu dancing with another man in my mind’s eye.
For the sake of our past relationship, I wished to resolve this as amicably as possible, not destroy it as I did. When did things turn out like this? Well, it was true that, more often than not, women who have their engagement or relationship “broken off” are treated as damaged foods and kept away from any man’s side.
If I had dissolved our engagement, it would only garner a bit of attention proportional to the family’s renown, and not tarnish their name. There’s also the matter of my two beloved friends, just about to get married…
Still, Lulu was only 18 and had just graduated from school. Before I made the decision to “break off” our marriage, I thought about her future… But yet, why?
—Another image. Lulu was talking to someone, their shadows overlapping behind the curtains.
Ah, enough! You already know why you had to do this, Ruben! You do!
The source of all this strife was none other than Lulu herself. Her bad reputation wasn’t only due to what happened at that party. Despite having just graduated, she already had the worst rep in the social world, ever since her debut as nobility.
It was said, a beautiful woman like her could only be a sl*t.
It was said, she was a selfish woman who wanted everything.
It was said, she was a lecherous woman that clings to various men despite being engaged.
It started out as mere rumors, but Lulu’s unguarded behavior made them known. Moreover, there were many other assessments that are fatal to a daughter of a noble family. Thus, if I only “dissolved” our engagement, people would assume something was wrong with the Berner family—my family. Haha… How funny is it that my fiancé’s reputation was so bad, I couldn’t even consider doing it amicably?
Still, I knew that, as long as I had face as nobility, I had no choice but to break off our engagement. I understood it in my head, and agreed with its logic… However, my heart still wasn’t convinced. Regardless, it was I, of all people, who asked to give her one more chance, and also decided the night gala would be the last opportunity she would have.
—I hope my feelings can reach her… if only a little.
That was something I told myself many times over, yet I couldn’t do anything about it. I had warned her many times, and countless others had I asked her to understand, explaining our whole situation.
But what came of it was last night’s party…
The children of the royalist marquises, dukes, and other high-ranking nobles were also present at the gala; perhaps even the royal family attended in secret. I wonder how she appeared to everyone around her, dancing as she pleased with the sons of other aristocrats, leaving her fiancé from the neutralist faction behind.
In our country, the royalist faction has the ideal of having one royal family at the center, while the aristocratic faction believed in the ideal of high-ranking nobles leading it instead. My faction, however, believed that both parties should work together to make this a better place. While these three factions weren’t hostile to one another, it was common for them to badmouth or drag each other down as part of struggling for authority.
The royalists sought connections with the neutrals in order to corner the aristocrats, which were currently gaining momentum, especially among the emerging young nobles. In that case, Lulu, who’s being played and used by the aristocrats, would only leave the worst impression…
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