Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“I’m disappointed, Irene.”
Marquess Leroy said as she snapped down the report card.
This one piece of paper caused her to feel sick on the day she’d wanted to relax.
The Marquess looked like she would say more, when Irene spoke up to express her frustration.
“Mother, I can’t help it because the test paper disappeared last time.”
“Are you proud of losing your test paper?”
Irene couldn’t say anything more after her Mother’s dry, emotionless response. When she just lowered her head, the Marquess was looking at her in disappointment and sighed to herself.
“I don’t know what your father will say about this report card.”
“At this rate, will you even be able to qualify for the Imperial Wizard’s exam?”
Contrary to what her Mother was worried about, Irene was trembling from head to toe.
“I can do it next time. If I get good grades in all my subjects, I’m sure I will qualify.”
“Are you confident you won’t lose your test papers again?”
Irene looked at Marquess Leroy with a puzzled look on her face. However, the Marquess’ expression did not change as she lightly clicked her tongue.
“I’ll keep this report card to myself. The next time you make a stupid mistake I’ll tell your father the truth. So pull yourself together.”
When she nodded helplessly, Marquess Leroy picked up Irene’s report card roughly, crumbled it up, and left the drawing room.
Irene was left alone, she swallowed her tears while she clenched her skirt tightly in her hands. What Marquess Leroy said lingered in her ears.
[The next time you make a stupid mistake I’ll tell your father the truth. So pull yourself together.]
She ended up hearing something she didn’t want to hear the most today.
If I make a mistake again.
‘Will I be abandoned like my eldest sister?’
She wanted to believe it wasn’t true, but when she looked at the atmosphere of the house, she wasn’t so sure. Marqui Leroy’s business was going well, so it was currently going smoothly, but she didn’t know when or how it might change.
Irene jumped up and ran to her room with a pale face. All she could do right now was read books and study.
‘I’m not going to be kicked out like I’m nobody.’
Like she’s useless, like she wasn’t needed.
She will show her worth without fail, and regain the trust and love of her parents.
Then she remembered.
[I don’t want you to let the gaze of others destroy you.]
[You’re precious to me.]
It was a voice she heard every time she studied.
A warm voice that sincerely cared about her.
As soon as she entered her room and sat down at her desk she belatedly realized who the voice belonged to.
Those were the words Leticia had said when she saw Irene mentally crumbling.
[I’m proud of you.]
[It’s okay to make a mistake.]
She knew her worth was being evaluated, and she couldn’t pretend not to care about the gaze of other people on her.
Somehow she felt like crying today.
Irene held it in and opened her books once again.
As soon as they arrived at the Achilles mansion after the Hunting festival, they ran into Ian. He came to meet them at the door and smiled when he brought tea into the parlor for everyone.
“Good job at the festival.”
“It wasn’t a big deal. Nothing else happened?”
“Oh, someone came to visit.”
Enoch had inquired if Ian was bored protecting the mansion alone, but Ian gave an unexpected answer. Ian handed Leticia a cup of tea before going into more detail.
“Seois was here. He really wanted to meet Leticia.”
Leticia pointed to herself in surprise, and Ian nodded.
“Yes, he asked you to come to the Academy of Magic if you don’t mind.”
“Thank you for passing on the message Ian.”
Leticia smiled and took a sip of tea.
‘Did you find out what my ability is?’
Somehow she was nervous and looking forward to it as well. Leticia wanted to hurry up and go meet him.
During this time, Elle was quietly looking at Ian while pouting her lips in frustration.
“Next time, you’re coming with us to the Hunting festival. You can’t stay bored and alone in the mansion again.”
“You’re right, it would have been better if we went together. It’s a shame.”
Leticia and Elle spoke as if they were upset, and Ian tried to smooth it over with an awkward apology.
“Okay, let’s go together next time. I’m busy right now, so I’ll go back to my room first.”
Ian left before hearing their answer, they were surprised to see he was already leaving to study. Enoch had been quietly watching the scene, he slowly rose from his seat as well.
“I’d better go to the Imperial Family now. I have to go straight into training.”
The Hunting festival had only just ended, Leticia was surprised that Enoch said he would be entering the palace. Enoch smiled and stroked Leticia’s head to help soothe her despondency.
“I’ll return quickly.”
“Yes, have a safe trip…
Enoch looked down at Leticia, he could clearly see her holding back her disappointment. He leaned down slightly and with a determined look, said to Leticia.
“If I get back safely…”
Leticia nodded, she felt nervous because she understood what he meant.
“That’s too obvious.”
“It’s not that…!”
She tried to cover Enoch’s mouth in a hurry, but the words had already popped out. The moment Leticia raised her voice without realizing it, she made eye contact with Elle, who had a curious expression.
“Elle, this is…”
“Hmm! I suddenly remembered I have some urgent business.”
Elle left the parlor quickly, while clearing her throat. Enoch smiled like he had all the time in the world, despite the fact that anyone could tell he was preparing to leave straight away.
“There’s only the two of us, so let’s talk comfortably.”
Leticia said while she glared at him for his brazen attitude.
“I was saying it was natural for you to get back safely.”
“Oh, did you?”
“You know that, don’t you?”
“No, I had no idea.”
She looked at him with exasperation, but Enoch calmly ignored her and quickly made his escape
It was not until he reached the door to the mansion that Enoch looked back and laughed.
“Then I’ll look forward to it.”
“What are you expecting? No, you can’t. No way.”
“Are you sure I can’t?”
As she shook her head firmly with a serious look, Enoch looked down as if he was upset. Seeing that the corners of his mouth were slowly rising, it was clear that he was in a good mood and not really upset.
‘I hate you.’
She was sure he was being mean.
He wanted to hold her because he enjoyed that moment with her.
‘He’s really an amazing guy.’
Perhaps it was because he seemed to emit a cold winter chill that even a slight smile made a distinct impression on her.
She felt intimidated and overwhelmed at the same time as he looked down at her intensely. She couldn’t look away from the eyes that were only soft when they looked at her.
If he kept looking at her as lovingly as he is now.
Leticia murmured softly, holding Enoch’s sleeve tightly to hide the trembling in her hands.
She felt her heart beating so fast that Leticia’s chest squeezed painfully.
A big hand suddenly wraps around Leticia’s hand.
“Then I’ll be back.”
Enoch’s sleeve is slightly wrinkled from her holding on too tightly. Enoch lightly stroked the back of Leticia’s hand before slowly leaving the mansion.
Every once in a while, he would turn around and smile at Leticia, but somehow he could see the sadness in her eyes. Whenever their eyes met, Leticia waved her hand in response.
Soon Enoch was out of sight, and a shallow sigh escaped her lips.
Enoch’s whispered words in her ear before he left made her heart feel itchy.
[Can’t you hug me like last time? This time as a prize.]
‘I’m telling you.’
He’s starting to get more brazen by the day.
No, he’s starting to be sly.
But it was more of a problem for her, because she didn’t really hate it.
Leticia shook her head with a smile and slowly went to the kitchen.
Today, she was going to bake some cookies to help calm down her confused and excited heart.
She baked a lot of cookies in the kitchen, but there was no one to give them to.
She thought of last time when Elle enjoyed the tarts she made. She went to Elle’s room, but she could see that she’d left a while ago.
The next place she visited was Ian’s room.
Standing at the door, Leticia hesisted before knocking.
“Come on in.”
As soon as she got permission, she opened the door and went in. Her eyes met Ian’s, who was standing with a surprised look on his face.
“I’m sorry, I thought it was Elle.”
“It’s okay. I baked some cookies. Would you like some?”
Leticia smiled softly and showed the plate of cookies in her hand.
The expression on his face as he stared at the cookies was indifferent, but there seemed to be a small gleam in his eyes.
“Have you been studying this whole time?”
Leticia put the plate of cookies down on the table and sat down. Ian sat with her, he nodded and took a bite of a cookie. Leticia couldn’t help but smile as she liked the way he kept eating the cookies with a blank face.
Every time she saw Ian, Leticia thought of Emil. The lack of facial expressions, the monotonous voice with no highs and lows, and the behavior that seemed somehow stiff.
But his attitude was clearly different.
The time that Leticia had spent with Ian was enough for her to know that his behavior was stiff while she was trying not to bother him. She could see in his eyes that he always wanted to be closer to Leticia, and for some reason she found that endearing.
She suddenly remembered a question she wanted to ask him
“Can I ask you why you’re working so hard?”
Ian, like Emil, was preparing for the Imperial Civil Service exam.
She wanted to know what stimulated Ian, who had always been indifferent, and why he devoted himself to his studies to the point of skipping the Hunting festival.
“I just want to protect it.”
What? Ian continued before she could ask for clarification.
“The pride in myself and my family.”
“I’ve realized that being ignored is an unpleasant thing to deal with.”
At first Ian thought he was the only one who had to worry about it.
But the way people looked down on Enoch and Elle, as well as Leticia. It made his mind go blank in shock, like he’d tripped over his own feet. No, it made him feel hot from head to toe.
“So I made up my mind to become stronger.”
He wanted to be strong so that others wouldn’t ignore him.
Ian laughed, putting the last cookie in his mouth.
Leticia stared at the scene, then said with a soft smile.
“Ian is strong enough now.”
Leticia stopped talking for a moment, then slowly started to speak again.
“It’s great to see you trying to be stronger for the people precious to you.”
He forgot for a moment that he enjoyed spending time with the people who care about him.
He also decided to never be ashamed of these people.
Leticia returned to her room after leaving words of encouragement with Ian.
The next day, she went to the Academy of Magic to meet Seios. There she ran into someone who was so familiar to her that it was funny that she didn’t expect this.
It was Irene Leroy.
Note from Baset – I want to say a big THANK YOU to Jengamon for the kofi! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°