Chapter 18: Arrival in a Private Room
The wedding is two days away.
Olivia, who had finally finished her last job in the morning, was holding a large suitcase near the entrance of the railroad carriage station in the capital’s center.
Olivia looks at the slightly overcast sky and exhales thinly, trying to calm herself down.
“Olivia, be careful.
Take out your dress and straighten your wrinkles as soon as you arrive at the hotel.”
“Be careful what you say.
Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.”
Sally and Nikka, who had come to say goodbye, appeared concerned.
“By the way, where’s Elliot?” Nikka inquires.
“I received a letter instructing me to meet him in the waiting room.
He stated that he is extremely busy and that everything would be done at the last minute.”
“Is the ticket okay?”
“Yes—As an apology, he said he’d book it for me.”
Olivia then walks through the station’s barriers, is waved off, and asks one of the porters standing nearby to carry her luggage into the waiting room.
She looks around as she walks behind the porters carrying her luggage.
(This has not changed.)
The high ceilings and thick columns are the same as they were two years ago.
She recalls the day she first arrived here.
Olivia’s mouth relaxes as she recalls how overwhelmed she was, unsure of what was right or wrong.
(I really did look like a goofball, didn’t I?)
A porter leads her to the platform’s waiting room, where she sits in a chair.
As she looked at the platform and the people walking by, she remembered her father’s store back home.
(I’m curious if it’s changed since I left.
Perhaps it has become a store for the aristocracy only…)
And then she remembered the night before she came to the Royal Capital, the incident of the broken engagement and banishment.
The lord’s son ended their engagement, and she was thrown out of the house and store for stealing her own designs.
She tried not to think about it, but she’s sure there have been some bad rumors.
(It’s downright depressing…)
She sighed involuntarily.
(It’s pointless to think about something that happened two years ago.) She tells herself this, but her emotions are becoming more intense.
“Sorry I’m late.”
A calm male voice speaks from above.
Relieved, she looks up at the familiar sound and sees Elliot standing there with a suitcase.
“Thank you for your patience.”
“It’s okay, I didn’t wait that long.
Thank you for coming.”
Elliot’s eyes narrowed in concern as he saw Olivia.
“…You don’t look well.
Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m perfectly fine.
Perhaps I’m just dizzy from the crowd.”
“Then maybe it’s a good idea to get into the carriage first.”
“All right, let’s go.” Elliot takes Olivia’s luggage and begins to walk slowly.
She sighs with relief as she walks behind his broad back.
(I’m glad Elliot promised to come.
I would have been very nervous if I had been alone.)
Olivia gives Elliot a grateful look.
She tilted her head as she studied his profile.
(It feels different than usual.)
You’re in a different mood today.”
“Yes—It’s probably because of the color of my clothes.”
As this is said, she looks at Elliot’s clothes.
He didn’t wear his usual brown suit today.
He’s dressed in a dark blue jacket of the highest quality she’s ever seen.
“You’re not dressed normally today.”
“Yes—After all, I’m attending a wedding.”
They were having a conversation while weaving their way through the crowd.
They finally arrive at their destination platform.
Olivia couldn’t help but shout when she saw the railroad carriage parked there.
“Eh! Is that a special class?”
A typical railroad carriage is made up of two train cars.
Each car can seat 12 people, with a total capacity of 24.
However, the carriage ahead is part of a three-car train.
Each carriage is a private compartment, a type of train car that only aristocrats and wealthy people can ride.
(I think they cost more than twice the normal price.
I’m not sure if I can afford it…)
Elliot says lightly, perhaps sensing Olivia’s concern.
Well, don’t worry about it.
I booked it myself, so I’ll pay for it.”
“N-No, I can’t do that! You already took time off from work to accompany me.
I’ll cover the cost.”
This is not a negotiable point.
Olivia was unwavering.
Elliot nodded as if to say.
“Please pay for the standard car now.
I’ll cover the rest.
“I’m a man too.
Let me put something on.
Besides, I’ll have something to say.”
Olivia gave a nod.
(I also have a few questions.
However, continuing to take advantage of favors is not a good idea.
When I return, I should properly thank him.)
Elliot is the first to get into the car and places their luggage on the roof rack.
The car is a spacious four-seater with front-facing leather seats that appear to be of higher quality than those found in a standard car.
Olivia sits on the opposite side of Elliot from where she thanked him for helping her load her bags.
She took a deep breath and turned to face the window.
(It’s time to leave.)
The image that comes to mind is of her in-laws with their mean grins and her stupid ex-fiancé Henry.
Her stomach tightens just thinking about them bothering her, and she can’t help but frown.
Elliot softly called her name.
“May I sit next to you, Olivia?”
“Huh? Yes, sure.”
Olivia shifts slightly to the side, her eyes wide open at the unexpected remark.
Elliot sits down next to her and gently takes her hand.
Olivia stiffens slightly in response to his unexpected action.
Elliot takes her small hand in both of his and says calmly, “It’s okay.
Olivia feels her shoulders relax and her heavy heart lighten with those words and the warmth of his large hands.
She leans against Elliot’s toned shoulder, looks out the window, and murmurs.
“Thank you so much, Elliot; I’m glad you came with me.
I might have cried if I had been alone.”
Elliot shakes Olivia’s hand without saying anything, but he lets feelings wash over her.
Jingling, jingling, jingling.
The sound of a bell ringing
The carriage begins to move with the neigh of a horse.
People and traffic lights outside the window move slowly at first, then faster and faster.
Olivia leans against Elliot and watches without saying anything.
Eliot snuggles his head against hers.
And after some time,
The railroad carriages that had previously traversed the royal city began to travel through the countryside.
Then, she suddenly came to her senses.
(Now that I think about it, am I not doing something extremely embarrassing?!)
They lean against each other and hold hands like two lovers.
(Oh my goodness!)
Olivia stands up and covers her face with her hands, her cheeks hot as if she has a fever.
She sighed and sat back down as casually as she could, diagonally across from Elliot.
“C-Come to think of it, Elliott, you mentioned earlier that you had something to tell me, but I’m not sure what it is.”
Olivia tries to act as if nothing happened, while Elliot turns away from her and shakes his shoulders.
“Please accept my apologies.” He then apologized to Olivia, who glared at him with resentment and opened his mouth.
“You get to go first.
You also mentioned earlier that you wanted to ask me a question.”
Olivia coughed lightly as she remembered.
“What I wanted to know was about Elliot.
We don’t talk much about each other, so we barely know each other.
It seems strange not to know the bridesmaid you are partnering with.”
“I suppose so,” I say.
“All right, let us reintroduce ourselves.”
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