It was the day before the inauguration of the Imperial Northern Expeditionary War Forces.

The news that Lockherd and Nezar had been appointed as commanders of the advance squads had already been delivered seven days ago.

It was shocking news, but it was not upsetting to the point of me quitting eating and drinking or something.
So a day, two, or three days passed without a hitch.
Lockherd didn’t come home for seven days because he was too busy.
Every early morning I knocked on Lockherd’s door to see his face, since it could be the last time before I had to part with him for a really long time.
Yet, the room was always empty.

The day that Lockherd returned to Ezellot was the day before the inauguration, which was today.

Looking in the direction of our gate, I saw someone with a similar silhouette as him approaching from afar ….


Upon returning home, Lockherd was not alone, but Nezar was with him.

“What is with that face? Did you miss me that much? If I touch you, won’t your tears burst out like streams?”

Lockherd grabbed me by the waist and lifted me up, kissing me briefly on my forehead.
I could not even bring myself to fistfight him for where he had put his lips.
With no delay, Lockherd then went to our mother.
Leaving Nezar and me behind.

I felt a strange fear as I faced Nezar, whom I hadn’t seen for the past two weeks.
When I first realised that the man was leaving for the battlefield I had only imagined it vaguely.
But right that moment, with him standing in front of me.
a terrible sense of reality came rushing over me like a tidal wave.

A battlefield was a place where people die.
If Nezar were to die, I…

While I portrayed the worst scenario dozens of times in my head, Nezar, the person involved, looked far more relaxed than I had ever seen before.

Before Lockherd arrived, I was sitting at the ivory fountain reading Caron’s correspondence, so I dragged Nezar to settle down at a spot near the fountain.

Why isn’t he saying anything?

I folded the letter in my hand and handed it to him.
The eyes that were staring at me softly turned to the piece of paper.

“Look, Nezar.
This is the letter I got from Caron last night.”

His long, firm fingers unfolded Caron’s letter.
Unlike me, who had to read every word to understand each sentence, he skimmed through the text at once.

“Unlike others, the sentences are clearly written.
Her handwriting is also soft.”

Just as he said, Caron’s writing was becoming more and more elegant as the day went by.
Seeing that it often contained words that were not often used, it seemed to be corrected by her literature teacher.

“Now it’s normal for the two of us to exchange letters.
Thanks to her, I think it’s good to go back to studying what I’ve been putting off for a while.
Although Rick could be a bit of a pain sometimes, he is a good teacher.”


“Lockherd was so busy that I haven’t seen his face lately, and Eden is stuck in his office and doesn’t come out.
Rick is the only one hanging out with me these days.”

Precisely, he was busy scrutinising me with his sharp eyes to fix my spelling and my way of expression when writing.

Caron’s letter only came once or twice a week, so I was bored to death every day.
No, half of the day was boring with just breathing, and the other half was me feeling melancholy about Nezar and Lockherd.

“Nezar, tomorrow is the ceremony.
Can you stay here like this?”

His gaze was still on the letter, face as indifferent as usual.
Then he folded the letter again and returned it to me.

“If you can’t even devote this little amount of time to your fiancée, you would get karma.”

As soon as I was handed the letter, Nezar flicked my nose with his finger.

To be honest, it was a bit painful, but I couldn’t get annoyed with him.
On the contrary, I was willing to be hit ten more times.

“Honestly, I feel like I am facing someone who is about to die right now.”

“It’s very rude of you to curse me like that, Kate.
Even showing a smiling face is not going to be enough to make up for this.”

Are you sure?

At his words, I used all my fine facial muscles to create a wide smile.

As if my appearance was quite funny, Nezar could finally be seen bursting into laughter after about a fortnight.
It was rather a small chuckle, but still.

“Right, Kate.
When I come back…”

Nezar, who suddenly stopped talking, frowned.
As if he didn’t like something, he slightly bit his lip and continued.

“It seems that the day I return is too far away.
Saying it now won’t make any sense.”

I didn’t ask what he was going to say.
I got lost in my own thought as he turned around and traced the goldfish in the fountain with his eyes.

If we were to part ways today, all I would have left of Nezar were only his scent, demeanor, gestures, and touch that remained in my memory for years to come.

“Can’t you send letters at all?”

“Because our situation could be leaked out.
It is difficult in many ways.”

It was so firm that I didn’t think he was sad at all.

“I’m not even twenty yet, you are not going to make me a widow, are you?”

“If you look at the engagement pledge, there is a term that says the pledge itself can be invalidated in case of death before marriage.
So don’t worry.
If there’s something you don’t know, you can ask Ron.”

I widened my eyes at the stuff that came out of his mouth one after another, as if he was already prepared for it.

“Those words just make me more concerned.
If you want me to be less worried, you should tell me that you will come back safely.
Don’t you think so, Prince Nezar?”

“I feel like I’m being nitpicked no matter what I say these days.
Am I that terrible?”

Who in the world could dare say bad things about the imperial prince? I shook my head without answering.
He was not terrible.
It was simply an increase in my complaining frequency.

Nezar stared deep into my eyes, then slipped his hand into the inner pocket of his suit.
After wriggling his wrists vigorously for while, he took something out and put it in the palm of my hand.

It was a hair tie embroidered with daffodils in silver threads on a thin, red cloth.

“This is what a man usually gives to the one who remains… ”

Did it really take him that long to get this out? Or was it that he was embarrassed to show it to me?

“No matter where I am in this world, you will always be my one and only fiancée.
Don’t you feel the same way?”

In an instant, I got emotional and the tip of my nose started burning.
I lowered my head and stroked the daffodils on the hair tie that rested on my palms.
I strained my vocal cords as I spoke up since I did not want my cracked-up voice to be heard.

“Tha-, thank you, Nezar.
I will keep it well.
I will wash it clean once a week, dry it in the sun, repair it if it’s ruined, and I’ll wear it all the time.”

At my words, Nezar turned his head and chuckled.
His body was visibly shaking to the point where his shoulders trembled.
He then gently stroked my back as if I was praiseworthy.
As I casually tidied up my hair, trying on the hair tie, Nezar’s eyes crinkled, smiling at me.

“Yes, yes.
You spoke well.”

Back on the day right after the inauguration date was decided and announced.
I locked myself in my room under the excuse of having an upset stomach, lying in bed all day.

It was because I didn’t know when we might meet again and I did not want one of my last images left within him to be an ugly face from crying.

T/n: a few chapters after this will be a spin-off before we get back to the main storyline

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