Is the Friend of a Friend a Stranger? - Chapter 2.1
She remembered it was a cold evening.
Hearing that Heston had come to the mansion and was waiting for her, Sylvia hurriedly went out to the garden in a thin dress.
‘He must be here to explain the rumors that have been going around these days.’
Hastily trampling on the grass that was like a carpet in the glow of the setting sun, Sylvia was eager for Heston to quickly resolve this impatience. However, rather than explaining, Heston had merely confirmed the rumors in a calm manner.
“I’ve become engaged to Her Highness, the Princess.”
Those unshakeable green eyes.
The eyes Sylvia was confronting directly were so unfamiliar that she couldn’t help but take a step back.
Of course, it was rumored that Princess Catherine and Heston had a close relationship. She had been hearing about it steadily for three months. But Sylvia didn’t believe that at all.
He was her unrequited love of ten years.
Heston Rockwood was the most outstanding knight, and even though he had given up on inheriting the title of duke, he was still the eldest son of the Rockwood family. Moreover, because of his handsome appearance and unique serious attitude, the line of women did not stop.
Thanks to this, Sylvia had watched many women fail and give up while trying to enter the door of Heston’s ironclad heart.
Each time, they would spread rumors that weren’t even true to protect their pride, or they would persistently slander Heston.
Sometimes the rumors seemed so real that even Sylvia, who had been watching him for a long time, had doubts. But Heston always came back.
As he always was, without a single flaw.
So, naturally, she thought it would be the case this time too. Rosaline even chuckled, saying that her brother might really get married this time. Even when stories about Heston and Princess Catherine kept appearing in the newspapers every day.
“Are you really going to marry Princess Catherine?”
She couldn’t even bring herself to clear her trembling voice. She was dizzy because she couldn’t understand how Heston, who never liked anyone, suddenly loved Princess Catherine so much that they were even going to get married in just three months.
As people were saying, did it start during ‘that banquet’?
The banquet left a pretty impressive memory in Sylvia as well. Sylvia also tried to confess her feelings to Heston that day.
It was three months ago.
At that time, the First Knights, including Heston and Sylvia, had retrieved intact relics that had not been destroyed in a long dispatch.
For the empire, the retrieval of the relics meant more than anything else. Moreover, as it was the first success in 28 years, the emperor was greatly pleased and gave a grand banquet, honoring Heston, who was the leading person in that job, with a medal and imperial treasure.
Sylvia was restless looking at Heston, who was surrounded by many people, including the delegation of the Holy Empire.
After the dispatch was over, Sylvia’s mind was filled with thoughts about confessing. Though, of course, just imagining talking to Heston about her feelings made her feel like she was going to throw up halfway.
‘But I won’t hide like a coward anymore.’
Ten years was enough.
Even if it wasn’t because of her father, who was preparing to actively sell his daughter, Sylvia had already been thinking of confessing her feelings at this point.
She was surely different now than she was ten years ago, when she was unimportant. She became Heston’s partner and began to gain the recognition of others. What’s more, didn’t she even retrieve the relics? The relics, which contained the power of God, could be considered a signal of some kind.
She finally had the chance to stand beside him.
Heston looked down and raised an eyebrow at her earnest call, as if wondering what was wrong.
His handsome forehead was crumpled as if he was dissatisfied with this splendid banquet. He didn’t do it alone in the first place, so he didn’t seem to be proud to be excessively treated as a hero.
Whenever people praised Heston for that testimony, Heston tirelessly added that his partner, Sylvia, had worked even harder, and that he had simply done as he was told.
The only time Heston laughed was when she begged him not to bother himself with such a thing.
‘But still, I’m already having a hard time. Can’t you please endure people’s attention alone?’
Seeing her grumbling, he let out a distinctive laugh and flicked her forehead lightly, without letting others see it.
‘You have to get used to it. You’re going to be an even greater person.’
Recalling that moment, Sylvia rubbed her forehead, which he had touched.
The warmth she had so subtly felt seemed to instill courage in her.
She looked up and saw that Heston was still waiting for her. His eyes were kind, and his attitude was full of patience. If he had time, he would have stood still until she finished speaking, no matter how long it took. Because Heston was that kind of person.
But today wasn’t a good day. Everyone wanted to see Heston, the main character of the banquet, at least once. Again, the emperor’s attendant came and told him that he was looking for Heston, so he had no choice but to turn around.
“Sorry. I think I need to go. Is it something important?”
Rather, hearing his sweet voice, Sylvia could not answer anything.