Episode 84: The Distance Between (V)
With a sigh, Eristella glared at Heinricion.
‘Why does he keep interfering? He looks like he wants to argue.’
Heinricion made a complex expression. This was even more incomprehensible. Suddenly, he was frustrated, unable to figure out why Eristella was doing this.
Getting nervous, Eristella muttered weakly as if talking to herself.
“I don’t want to be hated by people anymore.”
This was Eristella’s real feelings.
She never liked being hated. She simply gave up, thinking she couldn’t help it.
But she had come to realize that might not be the case. Hence, she couldn’t just stay still.
“I felt that way this time. I wonder if I gave up too early…”
That’s why she was trying to change. From now on.
“Wouldn’t it be possible to change if I tried?”
In order to do that, she shouldn’t do what people don’t like. She became self-conscious.
Clearly, there was nothing wrong with what she said. But why? Why was he so annoyed?
Heinricion’s face contorted.
“You just need to be yourself.”
His words were firm.
Yes. That’s Eristella.
Eristella, who was sometimes selfish. That’s why it’s Eristella.
An Eristella who cares about other people? Heinricion merely imagined it, and somehow there was a surge of anger.
“But people don’t like me like that?”
“I like it.”
Instantly, Heinricion answered, without even breathing.
After spitting out the words without thinking much, Heinricion froze. So did Eristella, who registered the sudden reply.
Silence passed between the two.
‘What did I just hear?’
‘What did I just say?’
‘Wait. Those words… what!?’
Both of their eyes grew unbelievably wide.
Heinricion’s face flushed red, and he shouted with such force that it appeared as if his breath would stop at any moment.
“T-That’s not what I mean.”
Heinricion was speechless.
After hesitating for a moment, he continued speaking, though his head was not organized at all; he just thought that he had to say something.
“Just, it’s just that… I’m just saying I like you as a friend.”
“Don’t ever misunderstand.”
‘Did I say it right? No… I think it’s more messed up.’
As expected, Eristella’s reaction was tenuous.
This was the first time Heinricion knew his heart could beat this fast.
Eristella tilted her head and part her lips.
“Can’t I think of it in a special way?”
Mumbling, she turned her head away.
Heinricion’s mouth twitched at the sudden words of Eristella.
It was mesmerizing, and he felt like he had lost his breath. Having himself so agitated was strange and awkward.
Green pupils faltered, losing its focus.
“No, not that…”
“Okay. I won’t do this anymore. In fact, I felt weird and uncomfortable.”
Eristella cut Heinricion off.
It was as if she had returned to normal. However, Heinricion’s heart was not at ease.
As when he thought about it himself, his own attitude was ambiguous.
Thus, he had the thought that Eristella misunderstood his words and was hurt.
He couldn’t offer any explanation as she made a face that expressed she wouldn’t listen if he said even one more word.
“Don’t get me wrong either. I never expected anything or was disappointed.”
Eristella drew a line, slicing it with a single strike.
—I’ve never had the illusion that you like me, and my heart never pounded.
‘Am I saying this correctly?’
In fact, both the grand duke and princess were in a state where they did not know what they themselves were talking about.
In the end, there was silence and embarrassment between the two.
“W-What I meant to say is…”
Managing to calm his blushing face, Heinricion gazed straight at Eristella. Then he spoke in a low, steady voice.
“It just means that being yourself is enough.”
What he really wanted to say was this. He calmly conveyed his sincerity.
Eristella washed up for a long while to cool off the rising heat.
She was able to leave the bathroom only after splashing her face with cold water several times.
Sonia began speaking cautiously as she dried and straightened Eristella’s wet silver hair.
“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.”
Eristella was about to let out a groan
Her last conversation with Heinricion… At the end, there was a peculiar atmosphere.
When she vaguely got away from the room, she ran into Sonia.
Moreover, she realized that Sonia, who had come looking for her, had overheard the conversation between the two.
From then on, Eristella’s awkwardness and embarrassment increased.
As Sonia noticed Eristella’s attitude towards her, she said what she wanted to say.
“I’m rooting for you. From now on, I hope Your Highness is not alone.”
“It seemed like Your Highness was deliberately trying to be alone. But I don’t want to do that anymore.”
Eristella listened to Sonia’s sincerity and looked at her.
She seemed to know now.
In fact, even when Eristella thought she was alone, she knew that Sonia was by her side.
It was the time when she vowed that she would not bend her heart no matter what.
“By the way. I have a question for you.”
Sonia looked to the side, as if there was something that bothered her the whole time.
Sonia discreetly lowered her voice and spoke. Like whispering a secret.
“Then, how about the Grand Duke?”
Eristella blinked twice. Why was Heinricion suddenly brought up?
“You’ve gotten better with His Majesty. But I wonder if anything has changed with His Excellency the Grand Duke.”
Eristella just smiled.
‘I hadn’t thought about it that far, but is that so…?’
“These days, the two of you seem to be on good terms.”
The words flowed out of Sonia with an expectant smile.
Rolling her pupils back and forth, Eristella turned her head away.
Come to think of it, Heinricion was also one of the people Eristella gave up on as she accepted her fate.
She planned to end her betrothal to Heinricion after returning to her original form.
Since she had the following thought: Heinricion doesn’t like me anyway. Because I can’t be loved by anyone.
She didn’t want to forcibly continue such a relationship with him.
This was before she decided to break the fate of Eristella and her inability to be loved.
‘What do I want to do now?’
She vowed to never give up on the people she cares about anymore. And among the people she cares about…
‘There’s also Cion.’
Once again, Eristella realized her true feelings, which she had been pushing aside without realizing it.
Even though it was covered with white, fluffy fur, the fox’s eyes were puffy.
It was the result of having trouble sleeping at night because of what Sonia had said the previous day.
In addition, the worry continued even when the day was bright.
Once she became conscious of her relationship with Heinricion, it bothered her every time she saw him.
‘What do I want to do? Heinricion and…’
She decided not to give up any more.
Therefore, from now on, she was going to do her best in the relationship between Sonia and Charlotte, and spend time with my brother like when she was young.
However, she hadn’t thought deeply about her relationship with Heinricion.
She just vaguely thought it was good to remain as they were now. So… she seemed to have accepted it because she thought it would be okay to stay like this.
‘But this is a relationship with a set time limit, it works as long as I exist as a fox. It can’t go on forever.’
‘Then, what kind of relationship do I want to keep in the future?’
While Eristella was flustered, Sonia voiced out her suspicions.
“Didn’t you think about the grand duke?”
Why did it sound like she had taken it for granted?
Eristella felt her thinking was strange, but Sonia said it was too obvious.
“He’s the one who has been by Your Highness’s side the longest. Besides, he’s also your fiancé.”
Eristella’s face slowly contorted.
This is a placeholder of the upcoming The Grand Duke’s Fox Princess New Chapter 85, it will be posted soon so make sure to bookmark us !