T/N: Pronouns are going to be VERY confusing here. I’m just going to try and use whatever the text is calling Chris at the moment and change as necessary.
Also, the author is fond of very long, chunky paragraphs. You have been warned.
Soltielie was a territory governed by the von Vahly family for generations.
It was characterized by a mild climate and abundant greenery, and the crops grown in its vast farmland were famous for being some of the best in the country. What’s more, Valetta, its major city, was a vibrant metropolis where trade thrived and countless merchants staked their claims there because of the many goods constantly coming and going in exchange for their agricultural products.
However, it was only recently that it had earned such a solid reputation. Before then, most of Soltielie’s reputation was that its lands were bountiful but you couldn’t shake off the feeling of desolation for its future. The cause for this change, commonly known even to young children, was Soltielie’s current Lord.
A few years ago, the previous Lord Vahly died suddenly, and when his teenage son took over, the people shivered in fear. In this era, it was not uncommon for ruthless lords to impose heavy taxes or exhaust their people in attempts to carry out unreasonable reforms. His late father and predecessor did not have any notable achievements, but he did not take any risks and had a steady rule, and he did not have a bad reputation with the other nobles, so the people hoped that their peaceful daily lives would go interrupted. It was, however, with their wish was broken in the best possible way.
The new Lord Vahly’s policies were not so much innovative, but progressive. He had taken reasonable steps to revitalize the farmlands back to their original fertility. It didn’t take long for him to establish a reputation as the people’s lives became more and more prosperous.
But, it wasn’t just the young Lord’s skills that made him so special.
When he first visited the city of Valetta, everyone’s eyes were glued to the nobleman riding on horseback. What the people desired from their lord was only his ability to govern, it doesn’t really matter what the man himself was like. Whether he was a cruel man or an ugly man, if their daily lives weren’t threatened, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
However, the Lord’s appearance was so beautiful that he completely overturned their expectations. He had the face of a famous theater troupe’s top star. When they saw him leisurely riding his horse and instructing his subordinates with his back high and straight, a feeling of pride swelled up in the people, that they could say he was their lord. It seemed that the impression wasn’t limited to his people, as they often heard compliments from visitors who came from elsewhere.
It wasn’t long before the common folk of Soltielie came to recognize Chris von Vahly as their Lord.
And it seemed that good fortune had come to their beloved ruler. This is why it seemed the atmosphere of Valetta was so merry these days.
Lord Chris seemed to be getting married! His bride-to-be was the daughter of a Barony, and after a passionate secret love affair, he was finally taking her as his own!
The daughter of Baron Cuedan, Eva, was confused when she learned the news of her marriage and that it was so ridiculously misunderstood by the other nobles. Normally, she would be delighted at the quality of the magnificent carriage that the von Vahly family had provided her, but she didn’t feel like she could now.
“Why and how did this happen…?” Eva asked.
“Oh, you look so poorly, Miss…” said her maid, the only childhood servant who’d come with Eva.
As Eva’s eyebrows were lowered, her maid looked sad as she dabbed her crying eyes with a handkerchief. Only the two of them know the truth behind Eva’s situation. Even her father continues to misunderstand.
The view from the small window was filled with the vast farmlands and mountains, it convinced Eva that the rumors of Soltielie’s bounty were as they said. It was incomparable to the tiny and desolate territory of her parent’s House. At the same time, as she was being healed by all the greenery, a bit of homesickness fell over her heart.
From now on, this land was going to be her home. This must be the last time she felt homesick. It was sudden, but she didn’t consider this marriage misfortune. She wanted the people of this land and her husband to accept her as much as possible. She’s prepared to work for that.
House Vahly’s messenger arrived at Eva’s parent’s mansion 2 months ago. The Vahlys were a well-known noble house and were often the subject of the latest news. On top of that, Eva remembered her father turning blue-faced because House Vahly was much higher status than them, on top of his already weak heart. However, after they declared their visit was to propose an engagement to be married, his mood vastly improved. He couldn’t show Eva what was written, but apparently, the letter said that Eva and Lord Chris, the head of his house, have been in love for a long time and he was finally asking for permission to marry Eva. Of course, Eva did not know a thing about that and desperately denied it, but her father took it as a sign of embarrassment, and no matter what she said, he just smiled warmly as if playing along. Since his daughter was chosen as the wife of House Vahly, an extremely coveted position with numerous candidates vying for it, it was not unreasonable to think that he had gotten tunnel vision from joy. Only Eva’s long-time maid was unhappy with her father’s decision, however. So before she knew it, the now 17-year old Eva was in a bridal carriage headed for the land of Soltielie, where her fiance was waiting for her.
It wasn’t uncommon for noble ladies to marry someone they haven’t even met. Even though she was the daughter of a Baron, Eva was prepared for it. She was a little worried about the circumstances and her future partner, but she thought of what she could do to build a happy family.
Eva knew of Lord Chris von Vahly, who she’d only seen once during a social event. He was a very handsome man and she remembered the swarms of people always surrounding him. What kind of person was he? Would he hate her for being a country bumpkin? Aside from her maid still crying for her, Eva was wondering about these things.
Now taken into the drawing-room of Manor Vahly, Eva asked the beautiful young man before her:
“What did you say just now?”
“I just said, I am actually a woman,” he replied.
The young head of House Vahly, an intense look in his amethyst-like eyes—Chris had said something so crazy out of the blue.
Eva doesn’t know how to react, she forgets her manners as a noble lady and her lips flap uselessly. She thought he was joking, but Chris just stared Eva in the eyes, a stern look on his beautiful face.
“We-Well, I suppose this is farewell, then…” Eva choked out, her voice may have been trembling.
Eva thought she was being fooled. His glossy, obsidian black hair and the contours of his face were certainly androgynous, but it doesn’t make sense to say that he’s a beautiful woman. But Eva wasn’t simple enough to believe that, no matter how seriously he said it.
In brief, Chris didn’t want to be husband and wife, but House Vahly had their own interests for getting married, so Eva shouldn’t get the wrong idea. Eva thought there may have been something behind the proposal, but given the circumstances, she became sad and had to desperately hold back tears. It would have been better to have been told directly that he wouldn’t marry her. It doesn’t seem like she’s dealing with a liar, which makes it more painful than if she was simply disliked.
“Wait, you’re probably misunderstanding something,” Chris said.
Just when Eva was about to hang her head in sorrow, Chris spoke like he was in a panic after seeming so emotionless before.
“I’m not trying to get rid of you by lying,” Chris said. “I am truly a woman. I can take off my clothes and show it to you, but listen to me first.”
Then, Chris told Eva about his life in an indifferent tone.
Apparently, the now-deceased former ruling couple of Vahly had not been blessed with sons for a long time. Since Chris had 6 sisters, the former lord’s worries must have run quite deep. It’s only a noble woman’s shame, to be unable to birth sons. It was rumored that the previous Lady of the House took much of the blame from her surroundings. The former Lord loved his wife, so he suffered a great deal as talk of taking in a concubine began to gain popularity. It was clear that if the new concubine gave birth to a son, his wife would be in a terrible situation. So he decided: even if his next child should be born a girl, they would try to raise her as a man. Then, the slander aimed at his wife would settle down temporarily. Later, when a son was actually born, that child should be turned into a servant and return to living as a woman at some point. And that daughter turned out to be Chris.
However, the former Lord’s plans did not go too well: Chris was just too conspicuous. A clever child, she showed excellence since her early years and her good looks had also attracted the attention of her family. On top of that, all the children born after Chris were female and there was no hope that a true son would be born. One day, the former lord fell ill when he went to visit the city, perhaps because of his long-standing worries. It was soon decided that someone was to take over his place but the meeting never got heated. The Houses subordinates didn’t know the truth of the situation and had all accepted that Chris, though still a young teenager, could have taken over his father’s role with peace of mind. Then, the story went on and on from there until Chris became the new Lord Vahly while pretending to be a man.
“The problem here is about my marriage status,” Chris said. “I’m constantly receiving engagement offers from other families, but I can’t accept them because of my circumstances, so from my perspective? I decided to choose my own partner. I’m sorry to have made up such strange rumors about you. It was necessary to convince the people around me and welcome you as my wife.”
After hearing the explanation, Eva was convinced that this was why her parent’s House had been chosen.
It was clear that if Chris’s true gender were to be discovered after marrying someone of the same or higher rank than his House, it would be a disaster. It would be perceived as an insult, and not only would the relationship between the two families be damaged, but in the worst case, House Vahly could be tried in court. In that respect, since Eva’s family were minor aristocrats with little sway in noble society, if the Vahly family wanted to use them for this plan, it would have worked.
“As you might have realized, I will not allow you to tell anyone about this,” Chris said with a stern look. “But in exchange, I’ll give you as much freedom as you would like. So long as you don’t make the relationship stand out too much, you can fall in love as you please.”
The expression and the words seemed to tell Eva to just drop the matter. In short, Eva seemed to be a trophy wife who happened to be chosen due to some unusual circumstances. After understanding the situation, Eva found her chest felt lighter.
“So I’ll be free?” Eva asked.
“Yes, I won’t tie you up,” Chris replied.
Reassured, Eva was finally able to genuinely smile. Ever since she came into this drawing-room, she was dominated by the anxiety that the person before her might reject her. But that wasn’t the case.
“Then, my Husband, I’ll do my best to create a home where you can feel at ease,” Eva said, smiling.
Chris was so surprised his eyes went wide.
“What is with that woman…?!”
In the Lord’s personal office, a beautiful, black-haired young man pulled his hair in frustration, his emotions leaking in his voice. The source of all this anger was, of course, Chris, the room’s owner. The doors were tightly shut so no sound would leak out. Thanks to that, it was only his sister Fren who could witness the normally cold and rational Chris all in a rage.
“What happened that you called me all of a sudden?” Fren asked.
“… I’m sorry, Fren,” Chris said. “I’ve shown you something so unsightly.”
“It’s alright, but you just got married, Sister, so I thought you’d be happy… was there a problem?” Fren asked.
Yes. This older sister had just welcomed her lovely wife about a month ago. The bride, Eva, was just a sister-in-law from Fren’s point of view, but since she lived in the mansion with them, they’ve naturally become acquaintances. Eva was so friendly that Fren couldn’t think of her as a noblewoman and she seemed to have a good heart from all the times they’d interacted.
“Eva is the problem,” Chris said with a bitter expression, perhaps even having her on her mind. “You know that I’ve told her about my situation.”
“Your… oh, of course,” Fren said.
Because it was a family secret of the House Vahly that her elder sister was hiding her true gender, Fren reluctantly nods. Did Eva reveal the secret? If so, that would be a huge problem. With all the power of House Vahly, she would move to silence her.
“But she seems to want to be my real wife all the time,” Chris said.
“Huh?” Fren asked.
Fren couldn’t help but let out an inappropriate noise to the older sister she respected so much. Eva sounds like a decent wife, but what exactly was Chris going on about?
“Specifically, how…?” Fren asked.
“For example, she always asks if I’m tired at the end of my workday and sets out some fragrant herbal tea,” Chris replied.
“… She’s being a good wife, isn’t she?” Fren asked.
“Not only that,” Chris said. “She said that cooking was her past time back at her parent’s home and she serves me home cooking once a week.”
“Does it not fit your tastes?” Fren asked.
“No… it’s surprisingly delicious,” Chris replied.
“She’s being a good wife, isn’t she?” Fren said.
Fren decided to throw out the nervousness she had just until now. These were just lovey-dovey couple’s moments. Chris did not seem to notice that Fren’s gaze had turned warm while Chris was still talking about it so seriously.
“What’s her goal?” Chris asked. “Is she trying to butter me up?”
From an outside perspective, the muttering and the suspicions of ill intent made Chris look very suspect herself. It was quite rare for Fren to see this because her serious and talented older sister only portrayed perfection, likely because of her need to hide her gender. Given the circumstances, it was natural. Chris had been keeping this secret since she was born, making a mistake and spilling it would shake Vahly’s territories to its foundations. Chris didn’t complain even though her parents’ careless planning is the cause, and she has done her duty perfectly with her talent and hard work.
As Fren was always so close to Chris, she felt guilty about Chris being pushed so hard. There was little Fren could do, but she was always thinking about doing something to make Chris happy.
Hence, Fren was worried when she heard that her older sister was getting married, but Fren now thought it would be nice if that sunny girl could change Chris.
“So what else happened?” Fren asked.
“… Fren, what are you grinning for?” Chris asked. “This is not a laughing matter.”
“Isn’t it~?” Fren chirped.
With a dissatisfied look, Chris raised her well-shaped eyebrows and said, “Anyway, I told her she could be free, but it seems she did not completely understand.”
“Haa…” Fren sighed.
She believes this is exactly the result of Eva’s being given freedom, but Fren decided to be quiet for now.
“I’m a woman, so I can’t be her true husband. Even if she doesn’t feel it now, Eva will soon find that I can’t live up to her expectations. I don’t want her to look at me in disappointment,” Chris muttered, pained.
Fren now understood her feelings. The emotional scars that had been carved deep into Chris had yet to heal. Fren carefully chose her next words and spoke them:
“Do you think Lady Eva will be like that?”
“… There’s the rub. I don’t know yet, but it’s too late to get this intimate,” Chris said, turning to the window to hide her expression before she closed her mouth and fell silent.
Fren knew from their long relationship that Chris wouldn’t reveal her true intentions, not anymore. For someone who had a habit of killing her emotions, Chris had revealed a lot of them just now. Fren took a quick breath and changed the topic.
“Moving on, it’s almost time for your birthday, isn’t it, Sister?” Fren said.
“… That’s right,” Chris said. “But, I’m not going to do anything special, as usual.”
For some reason, Chris doesn’t even want to celebrate her birthday. Even on the day itself, the rest of the family quietly congratulated her and tried to spend time with her as if nothing was going on. Fren didn’t like this and always proposed bigger celebrations but Chris always shook her head at the idea.
“Are you going to keep quiet about this to Lady Eva?” Fren asked.
“… I don’t know,” Chris replied.
At that, Fren sighed as if she’d given up completely.
“Why do I have to wear something like this…?” Chris grumbled, looking disgusted.
She was under a clear sky.
As far as the eye could see, the area was full of green, white clover flowers bloomed here and there as if they were accent colors. If you looked to the distance, tall trees were growing, and above them, you could see the magnificent ridgeline of a mountain range.
It was exquisite weather that day, neither too hot nor cold, and Chris had a picnic for the first time in her life.
“Well, you look adorable in it,” said Eva, the Lord’s supposed wife, as she gazed at her husband with a smile and a hand over her mouth.
Eva’s gaze became uncomfortable to Chris, she frowned and turned away to hide the emotions bubbling to the surface.
“Adorable, don’t call me that,” Chris snapped. “The word doesn’t suit me.”
“It’s more difficult for me to see you like this and not compliment you,” Eva countered.
The words made Chris realize she was losing her cool. Usually, she wore slacks and collared shirts but today’s outfit was completely different. It was a light purple dress made of fine fabric, not flashy but elegant. It was the first women’s dress that Chris had ever worn. She was still unfamiliar with walking in women’s shoes and she also felt uncomfortable hiding her long-concealed feminine figure under a sunny sky. Of course, this forest was under the direct control of House Vahly, so it’s unlikely that anyone will see them, but Chris can’t help but fidget nervously.
This was also because Eva had asked for something so awkward.
“I never thought you’d do something this selfish,” Chris said.
“Hehe, I’m sorry,” Eva said. “But, you’re always working so hard, Lord Chris, I thought you might need some time to forget everything and just be yourself.”
As Chris was just about to keep her distance from Eva, Eva suddenly requested to go outside with Chris dressed as a woman, and naturally, Chris refused. But, when Chris saw Eva’s shoulders tremble at the response, Chris didn’t know what to do to placate her. So, they ended up having a picnic in the forest.
“For me, men’s clothes are just the way it is,” Chris said. “I’ve never even worn a dress like this before.”
“Well, is that right?” Eva asked. “It suits you very well.”
“It’s not a matter of looking good,” Chris said. “You know my situation. I have to abandon my femininity.”
“But right now there’s no one here except me and you, Lord Chris,” Eva said.
Then, she suddenly took off her shoes and said would be doing something. Eva rushed out to the meadow, Chris was surprised at the unladylike behavior.
“Hey!” Chris cried. “That’s dangerous…!”
“It’s alright,” Eva said. “I used to play like this in my parent’s forest.”
So many worries come to Chris’s mind, like a maiden not wanting to expose her bare feet or being injured if she stepped on a stone. Regardless of Chris’s worries, however, Eva beckoned her over with a smile.
“You should try it too, Lord Chris,” Eva said. “The soles of my feet feel so nice and cool.”
Chris felt she looked ridiculous because of her innocent appearance but decided to take off her shoes as if she’d given up. After she arranged her shoes neatly, she stepped out onto the meadow, the soft grass is like a cushion for the soles of her feet, and certainly felt comfortable.
“Yes, yes,” Eva said, “you’re doing great. Come over here.”
“Don’t beckon me,” Chris said. “I’m not a child.”
“Right, I’m sorry,” Eva said. “You look so lovely, so unused to playing around like this.”
Chris doesn’t know how to react to the unfamiliar compliment and can only look away. She tried to return as many compliments as she could in her social circles but before Eva, she was upset by such a petty thing.
“So, what are you going to do now?” Chris asked.
“Well, I used to talk walks around my parents’ home,” Eva said.
“Just walking?” Chris asked.
“Yes,” Eva replied. “I liked to run around the fields and the mountains.”
“You’re like a rabbit in the field,” Chris said. “Not at all like an aristocrat.”
“… You don’t like me very much, do you?” Eva asked quietly.
“I don’t…” Chris replied reflexively.
Then, when she thought about it again, she realized she didn’t dislike it at all. Chris realized she was tired of aristocrats putting up a noble facade. She’s interacted with such people in her social circles so often that she got sick of it and that Chris herself had dared to act like them. It may be taken as hatred for her family, but she was tired of people putting up an act that didn’t go farther than skin deep.
“… I don’t hate you,” Chris said.
“Good to hear,” Eva said. “You told me I was free, Lord Chris, so you’ve allowed me to do what I always wanted in the mansion. You’re always so kind and lenient with me but I was afraid that you might hate me.”
“You think I’m kind?” Chris asked. “I think I’m cold-hearted.”
“You’re very kind. I’m glad I got married to you, Lord Chris,” Eva said, smiling.
Chris stiffened in response. As she looked at Eva’s expression, it seemed she wasn’t lying nor flattering her. Besides, she wasn’t the kind of person who could do something so abominable.
“… I see,” Chris said.
She couldn’t ask if Eva wanted to marry a decent man. And Eva herself had stated outright she was happy to have married Chris, and now Chris was forced to admit her feelings, in turn.
“Oh, look, Lord Chris,” Eva said. “So many white clovers are in bloom.”
As Chris looked at the back of the young girl running up to those white flowers, she felt the incredible tension that she had maintained for so many years gradually fade away.
“When I was little, I used to make crowns from flowers and play around with them,” Eva said. “Why don’t we make them together, Lord Chris?”
“You’re completely unlike how aristocrats should be…” Chris said.
“Hehe, every member of a poor barony is like this,” Eva said.
At that, Chris could no longer resist Eva, she was trying so hard to teach Chris how to make flower crowns. If she couldn’t stop herself from feeling these emotions, she decided to accept them. Even if there was no hope of reciprocation.
Eva squealed at Chris’s flower crown, a successful first try. “Lord Chris, you’re so dexterous,” Eva said. “You can do this better than I do.”
“I see, here,” Chris said.
Chris put the small flower crown on Eva’s head, Eva stared at Chris, stunned.
“It looks good on you,” Chris said. “I’ll give it to you.”
Eva was usually smiling, but she looked strangely dazed, her cheeks were flushed as well. Chris smiled, feeling like she was finally able to get one back after being pushed around so much.
Chris couldn’t live up to Eva’s expectations as a man, but she wanted to be like this with Eva as long as she could. Chris supposed she could at least think that.
Chris ignored the aching in her chest as she tried to come to terms with her feelings.
The incident did not significantly change the relationship between Chris and Eva. It was true that Chris’s attitude had softened a little, but Chris was still a workaholic, and she never did any couple things for Eva. And what had changed was that Eva was coming in and out of the kitchens more than ever before, and she’s often seen with the young cook.
“There have been some rumors lately that you’re not on good terms with Lady Eva,” Fren said.
She had come into Chris’s office and looked at Chris like she were angry. Chris awkwardly meets her gaze.
“Nothing has changed between myself and Eva,” Chris said.
“Is that so…?” Fren said. “Then in that case, why Lady Eva has stopped eating with me and why she looks so sad these days have nothing to do with you, huh, Sister?”
Faced with such overwhelming evidence, Chris had no choice but to shut up. Recently, she’d become quite conscious of Eva and tried to avoid her but the news from a third party greatly upsets Chris’s heart.
“… How has Eva been doing lately?” Chris asked.
Fren sighed, and at those words she finally managed to squeeze out of her sister, she said:
“She’s very depressed. She even comes to talk to me, asking if she’s done something to make you hate her. Now I see Lady Eva who’s usually so sunny, so depressed. I don’t care what she is to you, Sister, but you have to tell me: what on earth happened?”
At her little sister’s serious gaze, Chris realized that Eva had become so important for Fren. Although Fren was a serious person, Chris often saw Fren loosening up around Eva. Little wonder Fren was so mad. Feeling guilty, Chris spoke as if she’d given up:
“I’m a woman.”
“Yes, we know that,” Fren said.
“So, even if I could be a good friend of Eva’s, I can’t be her husband,” Chris said. “I thought it would be happier for Eva if she had a man in her life that could give her a child than to be with me.”
Chris remembered Eva talking to the kitchen’s young cook. She thought that they looked like a good couple. When the cook wasn’t busy with his duties, Chris asked him what he was doing, and he just smiled and said it was a secret. The smile was so happy that Chris covered her pain, no matter how intense.
“Hence, I told Eva that I didn’t care who she fell in love with and if she had a baby, she wouldn’t have done anything wrong,”
“Are you an idiot?” Fren snapped.
“And then she started crying,” Chris said.
“Of course she did,” Fren said, sighing with dismayed eyes.
As she was a younger sister who admired her elder sister so much, it was rare for Fren to take this kind of attitude to her, but Chris didn’t even look like it had all sunk in. Fren’s eyes smoldered with anger, but at her elder sister’s attitude, her expression suddenly softened.
“Sister,” Fren said, “do you believe that after all this time, Lady Eva will be like your former fiancees?”
Chris looks down, Fren can’t read her expression.
“Your previous fiancees didn’t work out because they thought you were a man,” Fren continued. “But Lady Eva has known everything from the beginning. That’s why she treats you the way she does. I don’t think there’s anyone better suited to be your partner, Sister.”
From Fren’s perspective, at first, it had seemed that Eva didn’t have any love for Chris. It was only expected as it wasn’t a marriage for love. And there was the matter of Chris’s gender. However, although Fren may have been reaching as Eva had treated Fren so differently from Chris, Fren believed that something had changed in Eva after all the time they spent together. If Eva was still the same, Chris’s words wouldn’t have hurt her to the point of tears.
“I know that,” Chris said. “Eva isn’t the kind of person who would deny my feelings.”
“Then…” Fren started.
“–It’s just,” Chris continued, choked. “I’m scared. There’s a difference between not denying something and accepting it. At this point, think it might still be unacceptable because there’s nothing we can do about the physiological factors. If I am rejected, we can’t go back to the comfortable relationship we have. I might have to end this marriage. I don’t want to lose Eva…”
The heartfelt words echoed in the office. Because Chris had been killing her emotions for her circumstances, losing control of them is what frightened her most.
“Last night,” Chris said, “I asked Eva if I should have been a man.”
As Fren thought Chris had been avoiding Eva constantly, she was shocked. She couldn’t guess what the question implied for Eva.
“… What did Lady Eva say?” Fren asked.
“She was surprised at first because this was the first time I’ve spoken to her in so long, but she immediately smiled and said it didn’t matter. Now that she’d known me as both a man and as a woman, in the end, whichever was alright so long as it was me.”
It was a perfectly Eva-like answer. Even if Chris was a man, Eva’s behavior would probably be the same as it was now.
“It’s the first time anyone has ever said that to me,” Chris said, staring at the window like she was looking somewhere else. “I want Eva to know more about me, and I want to know more about her in turn. Even if end up hurting each other, I would like to accept the pain if it meant being with Eva.”
At some point, Chris’s words regained her usual stalwart intention. Chris stood up, Fren gently stepped out of the way from the door.
“It seems like I’ve gone too far, haven’t I?” Chris said, gently patting Fren’s head on the way out, she smiled a little as she opened the door with no hesitation.
From that day on, the rumors that Lord Chris and Lady Eva were avoiding each other disappeared. On the contrary, the frequent appearance of the ruling couple in the city of Valetta made the citizens smile.
The changes in Chris had spread to their social circle. Before he knew it, it was common knowledge that Chris loved his wife. As Chris didn’t remember ever stating such a thing, he tilts his head in confusion, but in response to that, the other aristocrats give knowing looks and smile as if they’re in on the joke. They couldn’t explain that Chris lost his stoicism each time they complimented his wife Eva.
And then, there was a special day after their routine had become normal.
“Happy birthday, Lord Chris,” Eva said as she handed Chris candy handcrafted into the shape of an adorable rabbit.
“This is…?” Chris asked.
She’d completely forgotten it was her birthday, she found she couldn’t speak. She hadn’t remembered telling Eva about her birthday so Fren probably told her.
“I was told you don’t like celebrating your birthday, Lord Chris, so I kept it secret until just now,” Eva said. “I made this for you. I’ve been practicing in the kitchen for a long time so it was hard to keep it under wraps.”
Stunned to hear the words, then she understood how stupid she was being and gradually started to laugh. While Chris was holding it back, Eva seemed to have misunderstood, lowered her eyebrows, and coyly asked him,
“Umm, do you not like celebrating your birthday after all?”
“No—I just fell in love again right now,” Chris said.
Chris hugged Eva with all the love flooding in her chest, Eva laughed happily in her wife’s arms.
“It’s adorable,” Chris said, looking down at Eva, “but why a rabbit?”
“That… is a secret,” Eva said, smiling and blushing.
And when Eva buried her face in Chris’s chest as if to hide from him, Chris’s doubts were blown away, she sincerely felt they were very happy as they were right now.