The next morning, I felt a sharp pain in my head when I tried to get up.
I was convinced that this was the hangover I had heard so much about, but at the same time, I was acutely aware that yesterday's events were not a dream.
Apparently, I was taken home by a man named Ilvis yesterday.
I had drunk too much and had apparently passed out, as I had no memory of the events after that.
However, I still remembered Ilvis's proposal very clearly, and I was very impressed with myself for having such a convenient mind.
“Let's take advantage of today's events,” he said.
Yes, he definitely said that.
“First, I'll take you, in your drunken state, to the Count's house.
Your parents will be worried about you and will surely come to check on you.”
“I think they will be more concerned about whether their unmarried daughter has done something wrong than about my well-being,” I replied.
In this country, basically, only the eldest child can inherit the family estate.
Therefore, my parents don't care much about what my sister does, but they are careful to ensure that I don't make any mistakes.
If I were to return home with a man just before my wedding, they would undoubtedly go into a frenzy and investigate our relationship.
“That's why I'm doing this.
When your parents ask me, I'll act as if I'm interested in you.
Of course, I won't say it outright, since you have a fiancé.”
“Ha-ha, I see.”
“Then your parents will definitely ask you about it, so please act as if you're not completely uninterested.
Do you have enough time until the wedding?”
Given the recent turmoil, it should be about three months away.”
Since noble marriages usually took a long time, there would probably be more time to spare.
Let's go out frequently for the first month.”
“In the second month, when the time is right, tell your parents that you're considering marrying me.
Oh, and don't forget to say that your fiancé and your sister are in love, and to please let them get married instead.”
“No, you see…”
“Noble marriages are contracts.
The invitations have probably already been sent out, so if the marriage is suddenly canceled, you will probably be in trouble.
But there won't be any problem if your sister marries in your place.”
“There will be nothing but problems.
Can you hear me?”
“I wonder what's wrong?”
Ilvis, who had been talking as if reading from a script, looked at me curiously when I spoke up.
“I'm sure you're making it sound easy, but he's still the third son of a Marquis family.
He has a status.”
“Yes, I know.
I can handle that much.”
He spoke with the confidence of someone talking about the hardness of a diamond.
He was so calm and composed that I was the one who felt bewildered when I spoke up.
But I don't think my sister would agree.
She prioritizes herself above all else, and besides, our parents wouldn't approve of it.”
“Judging from what you've told me, your parents are typical nobles who choose honor over love.
I won't dismiss this idea so easily.
In that case, your sister, who is just a noble daughter, cannot oppose them, can she?”
“That's true, but…”
The situation was not that simple, and why were we discussing this on the assumption that my parents would agree?
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This plan was based on the premise that my parents respected Ilvis.
I wanted to point out that there was no reason for my parents to respect him, but I felt the pressure from Ilvis to not delve too deeply into this.
I ended up biting my tongue, but he seemed to be able to handle it somehow.
“Well, in any case, I can only trust you.
But is that okay with you?”
“…What do you mean by 'okay'?”
It was infuriating how he just tilts his head like that.
“Do you have someone you like? Even if you haven't declared it publicly, there will be rumors, you know?”
…That's just what I need to cover my tracks.”
The expression on Ilvis's face, which had been filled with wonder, suddenly changed.
He looked like a hunter considering how to capture his prey, and muttered something under his breath.
His eyes, which I saw for the first time, were ice blue and slightly narrowed.
A chill ran down my spine and I couldn't help but speak up, but he immediately put on a soft smile.
“I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the noise in the hall.
Could you repeat what you said?”
“You said that I'm already rumored to be a playboy, right?”
“Are you perhaps bothered by it?”
…Was it just my imagination?
Well, if you're still bothered by it, please give me some advice on how to become close to a girlfriend.
I've never been close to a woman before.”
“You seem quite bothered by it.”
“More importantly, what do you think? It's not a bad deal, right?”
“More importantly than that…”
But it was indeed not a bad idea.
“You can escape from marriage.
I can become closer to her.
There's nothing to prevent you, the one who can inherit the earldom, from getting married.”
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To be honest, it was almost too good to be true.
I couldn't see him clearly in the darkness, but I could tell that the man in front of me had a handsome appearance.
It was frustrating, but it was probably true that Ilvis was popular with women.
That was why it remained a mystery to me why he was going so far for a stranger like me.
Maybe he was trying to trick me, thinking that a woman who lost her fiancé to her younger sister was an easy target.
“As I said earlier, if you don't trust me, you don't have to agree.
Well, I think it's a strange hobby to deliberately cause yourself suffering.
I couldn't possibly do it myself.”
“By all means, I would appreciate your cooperation.”
In the first place, I don't have the option to refuse.
I'll think about this man after I break off my engagement.
There's no way I can become any more unhappy than this.
At my sudden change of attitude, Ilvis smiled heartily and said, “I'll see you tomorrow.”
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