Ever since the morning Julius had asked her to go on a long ride with him, Emilinne had felt restless as she spent time at her estate.
She spent many sleepless nights worried about him while he was on the battlefield.
Thus, she was filled with joy and relief when she had heard about the Aullène Kingdom’s victory and Julius’s own achievements.
She felt irritated, however, because she could only watch Julius from a distance when he made his triumphant return. There were too many people surrounding him, and then she couldn’t see him for several days.
Her emotions were in a chaos and then a letter of invitation from Julius arrived. She confirmed it would be ok to go and made the decision to visit the Rosenberg estate.
Emilinne, of course, accepted the invitation without hesitation and the date for their appointed ride was decided.
On the appointed day, Emilinne waited for him at the entrance of her estate, since he said that he would be picking her up.
Noble ladies wouldn’t normally wait for someone in such a manner, but she could hardly wait, and there probably wasn’t anyone who could blame her for doing so.
And because she had waited, Emilinne was able to see a wonderful scene.
“Lady Emilinne! It’s been a while. Did you come out to meet me?” Julius had ridden to her estate, and called out to her when noticed her over to the side.
However, she couldn’t answer him. All she could do was stare at him in amazement.
A beautiful lady was riding on a gorgeous white horse.
Her wavy blonde hair swayed in the wind, and she wore a tailored shirt as a sword hung at her waist.
Many people thought Julius looked like a painting when she returned triumphantly riding upon her horse.
However, if those people saw how she looked now then the previous image would leave their minds. That was how perfect she looked right now.
Young girls like Emilinne yearned for men who rode on white horses.
The existence of white horses, which were rare and hard to breed in the Aullène Kingdom, were often depicted in fairy tales.
Their existence was close to legendary. Better yet, Julius the person that she longed for, was riding such a horse. Nothing could be better.
The bodyguard squad would pay any amount to see him right now, minstrels would sing songs about him and artist would use him as a model for portraits or sculptures. If there were any portraits or sculptures of him for sale then people would probably pay any amount to get their hands on it.
“Lady Emilinne?” Julius got off his white horse and stood before Emilinne. Her face was red as she stared blankly at him so he asked her a question.
“?! Ah, sorry Julius-sama. I was captivated because you look so handsome.” She came back to her senses and replied. Although her mind was a mess and she unintentionally blurted out what she was thinking.
“Ah, I received the white horse from His Majesty for my achievements on the battlefield. I also thought it was a bit much, but since he’d already given it to me, I thought I should ride it.” Emilinne had pointed out that he looked incredibly handsome when he rode the white horse, but Julius replied humbly and said that it was because of the horse.
“It’s not too much! This white horse is just right for Julius-sama!”
“Is that so? Then, I’m happy.”
For argument’s sake, if there were any other young ladies here right now, then they would be thinking the same thing as Emilinne. Indeed, no one else could manage to ride a white horse so beautifully.
“It’s a bit late for me to say this but congratulations on your victory and achievements on the battlefield, Julius-sama.”
“Thank you, Lady Emilinne,” Julius answered with a smile when Emmeline congratulated him.
“I’m so relieved that you returned safely.”
“I wanted to see you again. It’s thanks to you that I was able to do what I did and return safely.” He lightly spoke such loving words and Emilinne turned bright red.
“Oh my, Julius-sama.”
“While it makes me thrilled to talk to you like this, let’s go to a quieter place to talk. There’s a beautiful lake to the south of the Royal Capital, I was planning to take you there today.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” Emilinne agreed to wrap up their conversation so that they could go for their ride.
Julius lightly straddled the horse, bent his body down and stuck his hand out for Emilinne.
As she extended her hand on reflex, Julius reached and pulled her up to ride with him.
“Woah!?” Emilinne was surprised that Julius had such strength in him when he was so slender and unintentionally shrieked.
Furthermore, Julius, who held the reins, had helped her onto the horse so she was sitting to the side in his arms.
Emilinne could sit like this because she was small, although she stiffened because she thought he was going to help her get onto the back of the horse.
It was understandable that Emilinne was nervous with Julius holding her so close.
“Mhm, Julius-sama? Don’t tell me we’re going to ride like this……”
“Yes, it’s very bumpy at the back. Don’t worry, I can keep holding you close for as long as I want, like this.”
Emilinne wasn’t worried about Julius’s arms, and he didn’t notice that her face was bright red; she wanted to confirm that there wasn’t some sort of misunderstanding.
“Well, let’s head off now, shall we?” Julius said then pulled the horse’s reins, bringing it to a walk.
Still, if Emilinne had been calm while Julius was holding her tightly like this then she might have noticed that Julius wasn’t female, but she was nervous and bashful so she didn’t notice this fact.
“Wow,” was the first thing Emilinne said when they arrived at their destination.
The clear lake was shining under the sun’s rays and the bird’s chirps completed the bright atmosphere.
The flowers swayed in the cool wind.
Julius helped Emilinne off the horse; the young lady was so fascinated with the scene in front of her that she ran to the waterfront.
Julius smiled as he watched her run off while tying the white horse to a nearby tree, and followed after her when he was done.
“Look at this, Julius-sama! The water is so beautiful!” Emilinne squatted by the waterside and put her hands in as she called out to Julius.
“Is it not cold?”
“No, it’s warm. Ah, there are fishes are over!” She shouted in joy as she watched the fishes flash in the sunlight.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, very much so!” She looked back at him and smiled in satisfaction.
Julius felt his heart throb loudly in his chest because of Emilinne; her carefree smile was that charming.
She was usually nervous because she had to be a lady suitable enough to stand by Julius side, but she was so moved right now that her normal personality shined.
“I’m glad. I wanted to make today memorable.”
She listened to Julius’s meaningful words and was reminded of what he had told her behind her house, the night before he had left for war.
『Instead, I will give you a ring when I come to return the ribbon.』
Oddly enough, Emilinne was wearing the pendant and earrings that Julius had gifted her in the past. In addition to that was the promise of a ring when he returned from the battlefield.
After hearing all of that, the answer she had arrived at, was that Julius was going to propose to her right now.
“Eh, ah, mhm……”
Emilinne’s head was already full because she hadn’t seen Julius in a long time and although she had heard about this beforehand, she’d never imagined that he would propose today.
However, she also wished for it, so she had no thought of refusing. Emilinne had always dreamt of being with Julius, even if she thought that he was a woman.
Emilinne looked as if she was trembling and Julius put his hand to his chest pocket while exhaling deeply to calm his emotions.
A man and woman faced each other next to the clear lake.
They stared at each other in silence for a while before Julius took Emilinne’s hand into his and spoke, “Let me give you this ring together with the ribbon I received at that time, and I hope that you would stand by my side as my better half.”
Julius tried to take the ribbon that Emilinne had given him, along with the ring, from his pocket.
However, in the end, he never did.