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Chapter 23, part 1
After getting into the carriage, Clarisse sat there absentmindedly for a while. Jean, who sat beside her, remained silent, letting her immerse in her thoughts.
'There's just so much that I didn't know before... so many things to think about...'
Clarisse shook her head lightly.
All Jean had told her beforehand was that the Viscount Farenheit family's financial situation was not so good and that Matilda's engagement was probably in exchange for financial support, so to be honest, what she heard from her mother was too shocking, something she had never even imagined, including the part about her past...
"You are injured; try not to move your head as much as possible."
She couldn't help but laugh a bit when Jean warned her in such a calm manner, it was very much like him.
Frankly, the cut didn't hurt that much anymore, and she had forgotten all about the incident with Matilda because of the shocking story she had just heard.
"Jean-sama... are you sure you'll be okay with someone like me? You saw how my family is... doesn't it worry you to have a bride from a house like that?"
He gently patted Clarisse's head.
"You see, I saw you for the first time over a year ago when I came to the royal capital to report upon the successful end of the war."
"It was at a royal banquet. I wanted to go back to my territory as soon as possible, but I was forced to attend at the king's request. There, I saw you and your sister from a distance."
Last year's banquet at the royal palace...
Indeed, she could easily remember, as she had attended only one evening party at the royal palace. It was a large-scale banquet, and most of the prominent nobles must have been there. At that time, Matilda wanted to leave Clarisse at home, like always, but their father insisted on taking her that time and wouldn't listen to Matilda's pleas.
Looking back, her father must have wanted to show her off to Marquis Günter.
"Even from a distance, your beauty was evident; your sister was completely out of the picture. Your violet eyes left a great impression on me... then I worried over how lonely you looked."
When Jean unconsciously asked the nobleman next to him about Clarisse's identity, the man casually replied.
"Oh, she's the young lady of the Farenheit family."
"Later, I don't know if you recall, but a certain young lady suddenly collapsed, and while none of the people around her did anything, you were the only one who looked worried and quickly lent a hand to the servants. I was too far away to help her, but I would have done the same thing if I had been closer, so I was even more impressed."
Matilda later scolded her a lot for acting like a servant and bringing shame to the Farenheit family. Still, Clarisse couldn't just leave someone who collapsed right in front of her eyes without doing anything, especially since the person in front of her was still a young lady.
"You really...were there?"
He really was at the same banquet from what he said, but she had no recollection of him. It would have been hard to forget such an overwhelmingly beautiful man once she saw him. But, when she attended the banquet, Matilda kept telling her to not attempt seducing men with her vulgar gaze, so she didn't even try to look around.
"Yeah. I left shortly after that, though."
He gently stroked Clarisse's hair again.
"I couldn't take my eyes off you until I left the banquet... and when the king asked me what I wanted, I couldn't help but say I wanted the violet-eyed daughter of the House of Farenheit. I've never had these feelings for anyone before, that it came as a surprise, even to me."
“And when I saw you up close for the first time back at the residence, I was struck by how lovely you are. You are truly beautiful, Clarisse, but your magnificence is not limited to your appearance. You know that, right?"
She nodded unintentionally in embarrassment and heard him let out a soft chuckle. The sincere smile that she rarely saw from him was so sweet that it almost made her heart melt and want to scream aloud.
"And after I told you not to move your head carelessly... In any case, you are wonderful because of your inner beauty and intelligence. Even with a house like that, you grew up upright and never decayed. You have a heart willing to help others. You have the strength to grasp the better things in your given environment. You even learned about plants. Mary told me how many times the servants who couldn't easily afford to go to the doctor were saved by the medicines you made."
Jean gently caressed her cheek and softly took Clarisse's left hand in his.
"I'm afraid you're the one who's going to deal with a rugged man like me.. nevertheless, I want you by my side and always will."
Jean fumbled through his jacket's breast pocket with his free hand and pulled something out.
"Clarisse, a romantic man would not offer you something like this in a carriage, but you know me, I am such a man, so please forgive me."
With that, he began slowly slipping a ring through the ring finger of her left hand and then nodded his head in satisfaction.
"I had it resized at the jeweler's the other day...it fits perfectly."
Looking at the simple silver ring that slipped through her promised ring finger, Clarisse was mesmerized as she stared at it with her big violet eyes.
"I don't want the "Jewel of Farenheit" or any grand name; I want you and only you, Clarisse Farenheit, as my bride if you would have me. My dear Clarisse, will you marry me?"
Tears began to well up in Clarisse's beautiful violet eyes, and Jean was secretly impatient, wondering if his actions had made her sad.
'Did I say something wrong? Did I speak in the wrong order? Did I carelessly presume Clarisse's feelings...? Was it a bad idea to mention 'The Jewel of Fahrenheit' here...'
"Clarisse, I'm sorry, I didn't even consider your feelings.. again..."
She smiled as she cried.
"No, no, Jean-sama... I am just so happy."
Clarisse looked down at the ring, almost as if she were looking at a treasure.
"It's a lovely ring..."
"Don't worry about it. You can buy a proper ring later. Unfortunately, this is not a very expensive item as my father gave it to my mother when they got married... As I told you before, my father was just a small local aristocrat-..."
Tears rolled from her eyes more and more, and Jean didn't know what to do anymore.
"I don't need any other ring...I will treasure this ring forever and ever."
In his eyes, she was so dazzling that Jean reached out with both hands, pulled her close, and hugged her tightly and firmly, trying not to brush against the injury on her forehead.
sorry for the late release (～￣▽￣)～ I was busy dealing with a bad infection 😐↘
also this is just a request but can we leave reviews on NU page if you're enjoying this novel? pretty please?
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