Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
The biggest concern of the three-day Hunting festival was the one thing that mattered the most.
“I wonder who’s going to win this year’s Hunting festival.”
“Won’t it be Sir El?”
“That’s right. Who else is there?”
The young nobles glanced at Levion while they were speaking. The contrast between his silver hair and black uniform, it looked very good on him. Even the way he walked was elegant, so there were many young ladies with Levion on their minds.
Diana was displeased with the way they were whispering and blushing, she sipped her tea and smiled.
‘He’s going to be my fiancé soon, so I’ll be more generous than usual.’
That feeling did not last long though.
“But isn’t Lord Achilles a strong contender, too?”
“Hey, I heard that he was also compared to Lord El in the article about the Knight Entry test.”
Their eyes naturally turned to Enoch at those words.
WIth his black as night hair, his skin as pale as the moon. Slightly turned down eyes that had a seductive quality that would make you blush. Underneath the uniform was wide shoulders and a sleek waistline. He has distinctive features and a solid looking body.
The strong and sharp impression that even if a hard winter wind blew, it wouldn’t ruffle a single hair on his head.
“I heard that his business is doing well these days.”
“Actually, they’re still in debt. His family did contribute to the founding of the Empire though.”
Before they knew it, the topic of conversation began to flow around Enoch, not Levion. Words that would have been pitying and derisory changed to quiet admiration, as if the previous ridicule had never happened.
“But you never know when the tide will turn again.”
Diana put down her teacup as if the conversation was uncomfortable to hear. As soon as they noticed, they exchanged looks and quickly tried to change the subject.
“Do you know what happened after I wore the wishing bracelet made by Miss Achilles?”
“That’s right. I’m dating someone that I was in love with for a long time.”
“Oh, is that true?”
“Of course. We exchanged a white rose and a ribbon.”
“Miss Elle, do you have any plans to make more bracelets?”
The young ladies who were chatting among themselves at the tea table a little far away tittered as they saw Elle. By the way they were talking, they were willing to pay millions for a new bracelet.
‘What’s the point of such a thing?’
Saying that something good happened since wearing the bracelet was just a coincidence. It seemed foolish to argue with them, so Diana just clicked her tongue.
In the distance, she could see Leticia handing something to Enoch. Diana figured she was giving him a ribbon.
‘The unlucky ones are playing well together.’
Diana shook her head at how pitiful Leticia is. Then she saw someone approaching Leticia after Enoch returned to the hunting grounds. Diana jumped out of her seat without realizing it.
It was Levion who was approaching Leticia with a scary look on his face.
‘What did he mean by meaningful?’
Leticia was trying to return to Elle’s side, and looked back at Enoch again. Although his face wasn’t visible, the blue ribbon tied to his wrist could clearly be seen. Whenever the wind blew, she would smile at the way the ribbon swayed in the breeze.
‘I’m glad you accepted.’
Even though Enoch didn’t give her a white rose, she was still satisfied.
As she was trying to get back to Elle, Leticia looked up reflexively as a shadow fell over her. As soon as their eyes met, Leticia took a step back with a quiet sigh.
“You don’t even say hello anymore?”
“How have you been?”
Leticia turned her head in response to his sharp remark. She felt uncomfortable because she still felt that eyes were on her. Soon she could see Levion sniffing something in his hands.
“Here, take it.”
It was none other than a white rose that Levion was trying to hand her.
Leticia slowly blinked her blue eyes and touched her fingertips, which were hidden between her sleeves. She wondered if she was really seeing this.
Others might see this scene as romantic, but Leticia was very embarrassed.
“You don’t have to do this.”
She looked down at the white rose in his hand and slowly shook her head.
She knew that beautiful rose meant nothing. Leticia knew better than anyone else that this was given out of sympathy and pity. No, she didn’t want it.
“Do you mean it’s okay for people to laugh at you?”
“Yes, it doesn’t matter.”
People secretly ignore men who did not receive ribbons or women who didn’t receive a white rose.
Leticia hadn’t received one, but she didn’t want one from someone she didn’t like.
“Just take it, I don’t want you to be ignored.”
Levion sighed in frustration. He tried to force Leticia to take his rose.
“Aren’t you ashamed?”
“Who was the one who ignored me the most?”
Leticia wanted to turn her head so she didn’t have to look at Levion, but she forced herself to look straight at him. Her blue eyes didn’t show any sign of condemnation, they just felt colder and sharper than usual.
Levion subconsciously clenched his jaw at the sight and slowly spoke out.
“I didn’t mean to ignore you. I was just worried…”
“It wasn’t out of worry, it was out of disregard. Did you think I didn’t know that you felt sorry for me and sometimes even pitied me?”
She just pretended not to know.
The moment she accepted it, she thought the wound would be too much to bear.
Now she can handle that wound.
The pain of that day when she was abandoned by the people she trusted and loved was too much for her to handle.
Then she realized.
‘I wasn’t the kind of person to be ignored or pitied.’
She believed they could go back to the good times if she didn’t change, if she could just endure it.
Thinking about it again, she felt unfulfilled and foolish.
What can she protect if everyone around her changes and only she remains the same?
“I want you to stop paying attention to me.”
“What you are doing right now is making me uncomfortable. You know our engagement was broken off.”
When Leticia was expelled from her family, her relationship with Levion became estranged. It created a complication in a relationship that had been closer than any other. Now they were so distant, but she didn’t feel disappointed. She thought it was because they had already talked about breaking off their engagement before she was excommunicated.
However, Levion sighed in exasperation at what he heard.
“Is that why you two were stuck together like that without noticing people?”
“What do you mean?”
“I saw you giving him a ribbon.”
The first thing Levion did upon arriving at the Hunting grounds was to go look for Leticia. No matter how hard he looked, he couldn’t find a glimmer of her. Leticia was already with Enoch when he finally found her.
The two looked friendly from a distance, and it made his jaw drop. As soon as he saw Leticia giving Enoch a blue ribbon with a shy smile, he felt his stomach flop and his blood boil.
When Levion recalled the scene, he tried to rebuke her again.
“So what are you going to say this time?”
“That I shouldn’t flirt with another man? Or you want me to correct my behaviour? You want me to do that right?”
“Oh, I can’t do that this time.”
Leticia lightly clapped her hands together as if something suddenly came to her mind, smiled brightly and said.
“Because the engagement is broken.”
“You’re not going to tell me not to get angry at you because you’re upset I’m spending time with another man, are you?”
She said it as a question, but the answer was obvious.
Despite the bright smile and cheerful voice, the lack of emotion in her gaze made Levion feel as if his heart was sinking.
It was the first time he had seen such a cold look in her eyes, or the sharp way she was speaking.
Levion clenched his teeth as she glared at him and said.
“You knew all along, didn’t you? That’s why you’re acting this way, isn’t it?”
“Don’t pretend you don’t know. It’s because you knew everything.”
It was clear that there was no effort to maintain the engagement because she already knew that Diana and he would be engaged. So it seemed like she was trying to provoke jealousy from him and try to gain his attention by being with another man in front of him.
Levion was resentful at being forced to say this out loud, so he let out an annoyed sigh.
“That I’m getting engaged to Diana.”
But contrary to what he expected, Leticia’s eyes opened wide in shock.
That’s when he realized
“Don’t tell me…”
Leticia didn’t know.
Unlike Levion, who couldn’t say anything because of embarrassment, Leticia blinked slowly at hearing the news for the first time. Then she laughed while smiling gently.
Once again, Levion felt his heart drop.
He couldn’t understand why she was laughing.
Contrary to his expectations that she would be hurt, Leticia’s expression seemed calm and unruffled, as if she’d predicted this.
At that moment, Levion felt uneasy for some reason. He tried to quickly say something, but Leticia was one step faster.
“I can’t bear to congratulate you, but it suits you.”
Her clear and tranquil blue eyes looked straight without shaking. Her voice flowed with the casual indifference of a stranger. Levion’s heartbeat accelerated in fear.
How can you be so indifferent?
He didn’t speak any words out loud, instead he spoke with his eyes as he stared at Leticia.
Leticia looked frighteningly calm, whether she was pretending not to know or didn’t want to care even though she must have understood.
“You can give that rose to your fiancée, too.”
“I don’t think I have anything else to say, so I’ll go ahead.”
At the end of that remark, Leticia turned around firmly as if it was not worth being here anymore. He got goosebumps because it was unfamiliar. He didn’t know why he felt this way all of a sudden, but he had an uneasy feeling that this was the end.
Levion’s face turned pale.
He couldn’t bring himself to turn it around, so he called out to Leticia from behind.
“If you go like this, we’re already done.”
So don’t go.
We can get along like before. If she accepts it like before, they can go back to the way it was.
Levion caught up to Leticia, and swallowed the frog in his throat.
Leticia had paused momentarily, then began to move again. His voice tore out of him sadly.
“Is that it?!”
Why don’t you turn around?
We were so close before, why is she trying to move away now?
He wanted to clasp her thin shoulders and demand.
Why did you change so suddenly? Why did you change so much?
Before he could even ask, Leticia looked back and smiled at Levion.
The moment he met that smile, he knew intuitively that it wasn’t a good sign.
As always, a bad premonition never misses.
“It’s already over.”
Her smiling face was as warm as the first spring sun after a harsh winter.
“After all this.”
The soft voice sounded more ruthless than the harsh wind.
When Leticia turned around again, Levion stiffened.
There was a white rose in the middle of Leticia’s hair ribbon.
Once again, a part of his heart crumbled horribly. Leticia, who turned firmly, only grew farther and farther away.