I couldn’t let go of his hand for a long time because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to return if I let go of it.
As if waiting for me, Luca called me once and stood still without saying a word.
It wasn’t until quite a long time that he slowly opened his mouth.
“Do what your heart wants you to do.”
“…What my heart wants…”
What did I want?
To be honest, I had a big wound, too.
I hated the Duke and thought I never wanted to see him again, but Rebecca was on my mind.
I missed my child.
Such thoughts filled my head… What if the child was sick because I was gone? It was funny because Rebecca, who had no blood ties with me, swayed my freedom.
I had a lot of affection for that child.
Even if she said mean things, the child who called me mom, and the child who pretended to be a rabbit to confess her feelings, captivated my eyes.
The way her eyes shone brightly when she called me ‘mom’.
‘Mom is stupid!’
Her voice kept ringing in my ears.
Tears filled my eyes for a moment.
Now I was convinced that the child was the one who held me back.
I couldn’t leave as long as I had the child.
His tender hand patted my cheek.
“…I..Like a fool…I..”
“You’re not a fool.
Let’s go back now.
To where you want to be.”
“I need you…”
He patted me on the shoulder and it strangely cheered me up.
Unknown courage rose in me.
“I want you, Leona.
Even if you hate him, can you go back for me and for Rebecca?”
“Is that what you wanted?”
“Yes, I want to see you all the time.
I really like you.”
Luca’s big hand pressed my eyes.
I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“…I didn’t cry.
‘Please don’t give me that sweet laugh.’
I looked at him for a moment and held Luca’s hand tightly.
Let me go back there.
To the duke’s mansion where I belong.”
Like before, Luca stroked my head and held me in his arms again.
Somehow, the arms that embraced me were so sweet that my heart pounded.
‘No, my heart is racing because I’m excited to see Rere again.’
I closed my eyes quietly thinking like that.
However, even though I was held in his arms, I couldn’t feel his heart beating.
Just like a person without a heart.
Or maybe he didn’t feel any sensation when he held me…..
However, I couldn’t really feel any sound or vibration in his chest.
Not long after I closed my eyes, Luca’s voice came back.
Then, I opened my eyes quietly.
There was no salty smell of the sea from a while ago.
Instead, I can only hear the Duke’s voice hitting my ears.
He was throwing a fit in front of Leona’s house.
“Are you sure I can go back?”
At least, please do it for me.
Because I want to keep seeing you.”
He turned my body around as if he were trying to give me confidence.
Thanks to him, I faced the Duke who was across the street.
“Okay, see you later.”
Having gained confidence from Luca, I trudged across the street towards the Duke.
“Find her now! How can you say that you’re her family?!
“I don’t think you should say that.”
As soon as he heard my voice, Duke Ian Petri, who was threatening my family, turned around and looked at me.
As if what Luca said was true, the Duke rushed to me with a haggard face.
“…Don’t look at me like that.
People will misunderstand if they see it.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Someone would think you came because you missed me or something.
You’re the one who kicked me out, though.”
“…That’s! You got me wrong…”
“I got you wrong, huh? I’m here because it’s so noisy.
What makes you come all the way here and threaten people?”
He came so close that I could feel his breath for a moment as he bowed his head silently.
“…I’m not threatening people…”
“Yes, you are.”
“’…Yeah, that’s right.
I’m threatening them.
I had no other way to find you.
So I just visited for a while to see if you were here.”
“By visiting, do you mean breaking someone else’s door?”
At the words, Leona’s father nodded vigorously and looked at the door.
Funny enough, Leona’s family hadn’t seen me for so long, but there was no longing on their faces.
Rather, the father gave me a strange look.
‘Ask him compensation for the broken door.
Money, ask him for money.’
I felt like I could hear that word coming out of him.
That alone irritated me enough.
When I saw Leona’s past with the information ingrained in my head, terrible anger that I didn’t feel before soared.
For his father, it seemed that he regarded Leona and the Duke himself as his source of money.
So I avoided his gaze and stared at the Duke.
“You see, I…”
He was mumbling as if he had been stabbed by something, but he couldn’t finish his speech and avoided my eyes.
“What do you want to say?”
“…Let’s get onto the carriage first.
I have a lot to say.
Get the carriage right now.”
“Pardon? Bu-but there’s no carriage?”
One of the knights said as he tried to look at the Duke’s face in fear.
‘Then how are we going to give a ride to Leona?!”
“… Carriage? I was running down the mountain all night thanks to someone.
How absurd is it for you to bring up carriage only now?”
“Don’t be ridiculous and walk.
If there’s anything you want to say, say it while we walk.”
Only then did he nod his head with a stupid look on his face.
But as if he had waited, as soon as we turned around, ‘Leona’s father’ grabbed my hand.
“Leona, you can’t just leave like this.”
“Why? Do you want me to greet you?’
“Huh? That’s not it… You’ve been in the duchy for a while, and we…suffered a lot.
How about you address this matter to the Duke?”
The father’s eyes continued to look at the broken door.
“….You’re not asking about how I’ve been, rather if I can calculate the price of the broken door?”
The same was true of the gazes of people behind him.
Leona’s mother and her sister looked no different from her father that it gave away how Leona had lived and how she had been treated by her family.
As if they had suffered a lot of damage.
When he saw me clearly expressing discomfort, the man who claimed to be my ‘father’ hurriedly grabbed my hands.
Long time no see.
I couldn’t ask you because you were so busy.”
You wouldn’t have asked me if I hadn’t made such a cold response.
” …Yes, long time no see.
Now I just remembered that I have a family.
What kind of family did not send a single letter?”
I’ll write you a letter.
I’m a little busy these days.”
My eyes turned to their appearance.
Anyone could tell they wore brand new clothes.
“Yes, whatever suits you best.
Rather, isn’t the compensation for getting my head injured last time enough to cover the broken door’s expenses?”
“We already spent that money…”
“Oh, I didn’t know you spent it all.
My family must have spent the compensation on my head injury for dressing up and luxuries.”
“Leona! Why are you saying that? I just used it because I needed something.
Isn’t this all for our own good?”
“It’s for ‘your’ own good.
Don’t beat around the bush, I’m not included in the word ‘our’, right?”
Numerous curse words were about to erupt from my mouth, but I tried to hold them in and look at them.
Perhaps because I was with Rere, my personality itself seems to have changed.
A personality that won’t hold back saying anything.
Of course, Leona and I were bad at delivering what we didn’t like.
Maybe it’s because we grew up with little support, little love, and less self-esteem.
Since I was similar to Leona, her family angered me so much.
Just how could you tell such a lie to me?
So I glared at those who tried to extort money from Leona at every chance.
“From now on, there will never be any more money going into this house.
Don’t expect anything.”
Someone walked slowly in front of Leona’s father as if she couldn’t stand my words.
“It’s funny how you eat well and live well all by yourself, huh?”
She was, of course, the most flamboyant sister of all time.
Pevita, someone who was always fussy about the smallest things and never done anything.
Using the excuse of being weak or powerless.
‘But she’s so powerful when she hits Leona.’
Thanks to her, Leona had a terrible fear of her sister.
She had been beaten to death more than once.
So what Pevita said had fueled my anger more.
“Eat well and live well? That’s rich coming from you.
People will misunderstand when they hear it.
You’re the one who eats well and lives well, while I live like a beggar.
So cut the crap.
Don’t think about getting money from me anymore and make your own money.
I can’t see that you’re having a hard time at all.”
“Leona! Why did you change so much!”
“’I have to change.
You’re my so-called family that even used up the money from my injury for luxuries, so why would I still give my life to support you? Wake up and live a good life.
Starting today, I will become a person without a family.”
“A-Are you crazy?”
Each of them yelled at me, but I got away from them and pulled the Duke’s arm.
Behind me, I heard the voices of my family screaming at me, but when we got out of there, they were stopped by the knights.
“Hey! Hey! Oii! Stop there! Hey! Leona!”
They were so damn loud.
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