About Your Pride and My Prejudice - Chapter 21
Chapter 21: Declaration Ceremony
Somehow I was even telling Toby about my novel.
Partly because he’s a good listener and partly because I want to get closer to him, but anyway, it’s because of the news that Tobias gave me which made me write a novel in earnest.
“…… Actually, my dream is to be a writer. I’m embarrassed to say.”
“What do you mean embarrassed!”
Toby refuted my words with his dark black eyes glowing passionately. Slightly shy, he added with a quite serious face.
“It’s so… It’s so great, Miss Melissa.”
“Thank you. It’s a precious dream for me, so it’s the first time I’m talking about this to someone other than my best friend.”
“It’s…. such an honour,”
Toby replied with a shy, but happy face.
I explained how much his news of the Royal Academy’s writing contest inspired me. When I told him how it spurred me to start writing my novel, his eyes changed.
“Then, can you tell me what novel you’re writing about?”
“What’s it…. about?”
“Yes. I’m not a literature savvy person, but….”
As I spoke as if hesitating, Toby added, turning the coffee cup around for no reason.
“A person tends to bring materials from their daily life……. I’m just asking because I want to know more about Miss Melissa.”
I have not yet told anyone in detail about the contents of this novel. Even Viola doesn’t know the details.
Come to think of it, we rarely see each other’s faces for a while.
Anyway, writing a novel takes time, and if I continue to hang out with Toby, in the end, I’ll be so engrossed in the novel that I won’t be able to hide it from him.
And in fact, when I write, there are often moments when I want to talk about my novel endlessly. And it would be more comfortable to talk to a favourable person about my writings than a critic.
So Tobias was the perfect person indeed.
“It’s about a crush.”
Toby looked at me with a slightly complicated expression and looked at me again. His eyes were trembling lightly.
“Then the experience…… Miss Melissa’s real life…….”
“…..Yes, that’s right. It’s been quite a while.”
Toby took a sip of coffee with a blank face. His reaction was natural. Because my answer was so forward, honest and brazen even I couldn’t believe what I had bravely said even after saying it.
But anyway, is this really something to say to Tobias Miller, who clearly has a crush on me? If I admit that this unrequited love story is my experience, then Toby will of course……
“Can I hear who that person is? If you don’t mind…….”
He’s trying to know the other person.
I never knew that I, Melissa Collins, could be so bold.
“It’s Sir Alan Leopold.”
Tobias briefly murmured. It sounded like a sigh.
Suddenly, I wanted to ask myself. Did I want to see his reaction? Did I even want to see someone who likes me— struggle because of me?
……No matter how impulsive it was, isn’t this too cheeky?
I should clarify. I rebuked myself and hurriedly tried to make up for what I said before.
When I heard that, I raised my head. Tobias had a very serious face.
“As I said, I also respect Sir Alan. I can’t fathom how deep Melissa’s heart is, but…….”
“I think my longing is similar to that.”
Toby tried to solve the situation by weaving my crush into his longing. He went beyond appreciating and I felt sorry because of his graceful response to my rash remarks.
“I, I’m not serious. The other person is too out of reach for anything to transpire.….”
The word serious can be interpreted in many ways, even so, I clearly know that this clumsy feeling cannot be realized. So I never lied to you.
“In fact, it wasn’t as ideal as I thought it would be. Oh, of course… his personality.”
“You mean his personality?”
“Yes. I was guessing he was a cold person…….”
I hesitated for a moment about how to best describe Alan Leopold’s personality. Because what I’ve seen may only be part of it. Of course, his personality will be different for his lover or family member.
But the feeling that I received from him consistently is definitely…….
“He had an air of….”
Yes, it was this. The reason why his gaze made me feel strange and creepy.
“He didn’t feel the slightest bit of compassion or sympathy for those weaker than him.”
Toby looked complicated. Does it feel like I’m undermining the object that he respects?
Tobias calmly opened his mouth.
“He began to stand out as Leopold’s successor from a young age. It’s remarkable to recall that he started so early.”
“At that young age, he contributed to royal public works projects and was even awarded with the title of knight by the royal family. But he’s an adult now, so he’s going to take charge of a new business from next year.”
I asked Toby, who had an overwhelming voice as if he were saying something great, with an unfamiliar face.
“Won’t all Leopold’s businesses end up in his hands anyway?”
“Leopold’s next owner position will be succeeded by the most reliable aide. There’s no guarantee it will be by the son. In fact, Sir Alan has only served as an assistant to his father.”
“Oh, then next year’s business…….”
“Yes, it’s kind of a declaration ceremony.”
Tobias smiled a little.
“The Leopold family is now recruiting young people to join Sir Alan’s first business. He’s going to do a great job, and it’s going to be a daunting task to help him get started.”
So to sum up, Leopold’s scholarship students seemed to be helping Alan with his first business. He said he respects Alan and Tobias wants to share his beginning.
“As an observer of the kingdom’s top business family, he must have lived a life without respite. Wouldn’t his environment and the pressure he lives under not foster emotions such as consideration and sympathy?”
“What do you mean…”
Listening to Toby, I clearly realized that I had only loved one aspect of Alan.
I may not deny it, but I have no intention of denying it. I don’t have time to worry about other people’s circumstances or conditions. Moreover, in the case of Alan Leopold, who is close to perfection.
Unlike me, I just fell irresistibly in love with the beautiful man without flaws. What I loved was his brilliance that I would never have in my life, not being pitiful about him.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just meant the advertisement was tempting, beautiful and dazzling.
Then Toby continued to talk.
“Those feelings are not essential to businessmen, so I can’t say they’re Sir Alan’s flaws…….”
“But as a lover, I guess.”
As if embarrassed, he smiled as he smoothed his thick back hair.
“I’m the son of an ordinary pastor, and I’m a country boy who just came to the capital. But I would cherish and protect you,”
His voice, which started shyly, grew more and more confident. His black eyes contained only my face.
“I’m better than Sir Allan, Miss Melissa.”
* * *
On the way back, he accompanied me and we walked hand in hand.
It was not specifically intended. Also it wasn’t because the weather was cold….
It was just that I stumbled a bit, taking care not to get muddy on my new dress as I passed the shallow puddle, and Tobias reflexively grabbed me. Can I say that I somehow missed the timing to retrieve my hand?
“If, Toby. Really, just in case.”
“Yes, Miss Melissa.”
“If my novel is selected…… I will end up studying abroad.”
It was somehow embarrassing for it to come out of my mouth. There was no choice but to say it and climb into a hole.
He remained silent, but not as cold as Alan’s. Rather, it was like an unspoken encouragement, as if listening to and telling me to continue.
“No matter how many years I have to be abroad, you…….”
The words ‘Will you be okay?’ didn’t come out so I kept my lips shut. If I ask like that, we…..look like lovers.
We are not lovers, nor have we promised to get married. He’s twenty-six, so it won’t be easy to just wait for me.
My being indecisive was probably a tortuous hope. Even after knowing that I still couldn’t bring myself to accept him. Because, no matter how caring Tobias is, one day he will see me for who I am.
So, once he knows what kind of person I am, he will eventually……
At that moment, I felt strength entering in his gloved hands.
“It’s okay, Miss Melissa.”
“Yes. If you are elected, you will go to the Lunoa Principality. I’m going to sincerely cheer for you.”
He gave me an additional explanation as I looked up with surprised eyes.
“Lunoa is where Sir Alan starts his new business next year.”
“I’ll do my best, too. So that I will be selected as Leopold’s scholarship student and be by your side in the Lunoa Principality.”
Melissa. He is the one.
I think this person will be willing to embrace me even though he knows my long-standing inferiority complex and the emptiness deep in my heart.
Love is not always instantaneously hot, burning your insides. The warmth of a small candle is enough to melt your frozen hands.
Looking at him with such a thought, his face had a gentle smile. Even though it was still December, it was a smile that felt like spring was not far away.
It was that time.
Suddenly, a strange man approached me from the roadside. Surprised, I hurriedly took a couple of steps back, covering my mouth. It was natural to release Toby’s hand.
“My master told me to deliver this to you.”
He suddenly held out a letter. When I trembled, Tobias blocked me and asked:
“Who’s the owner of that letter?”
“…is the person named Malcolm Longerhan?”
When I added, the man frowned silently. It didn’t seem to be the answer. Seriously, the people of the Longhorns didn’t have this rough impression nor this shabby outfit.
As soon as I accepted the letter with a shivering face, the man quickly left.
“Who could it be?”
I answered blankly and flipped the envelope with a strange face.
“Miss Melissa, what’s wrong?”
This strange handwriting is definitely that man.
It belonged to the stalker.
Comments from Korean readers:
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stalker? Did you fall in love with the letter? But I got goosebumps because he looks like a real stalker. I like Toby the best so far.
What’s with male Lead’s personality?
I can’t understand his psychology.
Ah Toby… I really like it after watching this episode. ㅠㅠㅠㅜㅜ I feel like I’m going to fall in love…..
Hey Alan… What’s wrong with you ㅠㅠㅜㅜㅜㅜ