“Cousin!” The girl that entered the carriage hugged me with a reserved expression.
I smiled helplessly and hugged her back. “Andrea, long no see you…”
The girl curved her lips shyly and sat beside me. “It’s because cousin did not visit us often. I missed you.”
I could only shake my head and raise my hands in defeat. Daisy took advantage of it to greet Andrea and Andrea replied with a smile.
For some reason, though, Daisy looked a bit grumpy though. She probably wanted to spend a bit of time alone with me.
Andrea was one of my cousins. She was the daughter of my eldest aunt, Sera, and was a beauty with fiery red hair and clear blue eyes. Like me, she would start attending the academy one week later, so with a bit of luck, we would be classmates.
My maternal family is just a small noble family of the empire, so normally Andrea should not be qualified to attend the imperial institute. However, Andrea is a famous genius and beauty in the empire. The number of suitors she has could be counted in the tens.
Moreover, my mother was an empress, even if it was during a short period of time. So, my mother’s family has a bit more power than other small nobles.
Actually, Andrea was completely a sheltered young lady, so she rarely leaves home. If she was here, the only reason I could think was that she was going to formalize her registration too.
“… Are you going to the imperial institute?” I asked curiously.
“Yes.” She shook her head elegantly. “I was using one of my father’s carriages, but I then saw your carriage coming and decided to go with you for the rest of the way.”
“How willful.” I teased her with a joking tone.
Andrea blushed deeply. “I-I just wanted to chat with you for a bit.”
“Hahaha. Don’t worry, I understand.” I laughed happily and Andrea pouted in mock displeasure. But after a while, she put on a concerned expression. “By the way, cousin. Is the rumor I heard on the way true?”
“T-That is…” Andrea stuttered visibly and looked at me with a trace of hesitation on her eyes.
I sighed tiredly. It looks like it’s not something good. “Tell me about it.”
Andrea bit her lips and lowered her head. “I-It’s about your fiancée. It s-says that she wants to cancel the engagement.”
My expression turned cloudy instantly.
Beside me, Daisy opened her eyes wide.
Canceling the engagement. To think that it would be something so serious.
When Andrea saw our expressions, she panicked. “I-I’m not sure if it’s true! A-After all, Clara is not that kind of person! B-Besides, you two have always been close to each other, she will not cancel the engagement without a reason!”
I fell silent for a moment before shaking my head. “No, it’s probably true.”
Andrea paled immediately.
My fiancée, Clara, is also our childhood friend. She, Andrea, Dina, Lena, and I, often played together when we were younger. To be honest, she was an honest girl with a shy personality.
As Andrea said before, we were close as kids, but it changed when we got engaged. Once our engagement was announced, Clara and I drifted apart.
We did not meet very much from then. Clara always refused to go near me and cited that she was sick when it was an important event. The last time I saw her was almost one year ago.
Honestly, I don’t know the reason why she refused to marry me so vehemently, and I never paid it attention before this. For me, she is just another woman more.
Furthermore, from what I know, Clara is not close to any other man; so it’s unlikely that she is in love with someone else and she did not want to marry me due to it.
But even if I don’t care about her, it doesn’t mean that I will allow her to cancel the engagement at will.
While we were talking, the carriage reached the imperial institute.
Andrea looked at me with a worried expression. “Cousin, don’t think much about it. I’m sure that many girls would be happy if they marry you.”
“Oh? Are you one of these girls, cousin?”
Andrea’s face turned completely red. She opened and closed her mouth repeatedly unable to answer.
Seeing her like that, I could not help but feel a bit mischievous. I suddenly leaned close to her and kissed her lips.
Instantly, Andrea froze.
She looked at me with a startled expression and turned even redder. Then, she opened the door of the carriage and escaped flustered.
“Hmm.” I licked my lips and smiled pervertedly while remembering the taste of her lips, but then, someone pinched me on the waist.
Turning around, I saw Daisy looking at me with a perfect smiling expression.
Dammit, I got carried away and forgot that she was here.