Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“It’s a nice day, do you want to hang out with the four of us?”
It was a sunny day with a cool breeze that was perfect for a picnic. Elle said she wanted to spend time outside on days like this, but Leticia smiled as if she was feeling troubled.
“I’m sorry. I don’t think I can today because I have somewhere to go.”
Enoch asked, his eyes widening at the unexpected reply.
“I’m going to see Mr. Seios. There are things I want to talk about.”
“I’ll come with you.”
Leticia waved her hands in a hurry as Enoch leapt up from his seat, ready to go with her.
“No, I can go by myself.”
“I’ll be right back, so you don’t have to worry too much.”
Leticia nodded for him to trust her, and Enoch was forced to sigh.
“Don’t come back too late.”
“Sure, I’ll be back soon.”
She was going to get ready and go there early.
Leticia quickly rose from her seat and went back to her room to get ready to leave.
She didn’t know that the three of them were looking at each other with sad faces.
As soon as she got off the carriage, she could see the academy spread out like a huge castle. It was a moment to take a step forward, or a moment to falter under the pressure.
‘Come to think of it…’
Unfortunately, she didn’t know until she arrived.
This is the Academy of Magic Irene attends.
‘Why did it have to be here?’
A breathless sigh escaped her. In contrast to Leticia’s desire to get there immediately, her feet wouldn’t move as if they were rooted to the ground.
With a resolute exhale, Leticia swept her hair back. At the thought of Irene, she didn’t want to go in.
What were the chances of her running into Irene in such a big academy? Leticia forced herself to enter the Academy building.
When she knocked on the door, Seios opened the door immediately and welcomed her as if he had been waiting for her.
“We finally meet again, Leticia. How have you been?”
Last night, Leticia was alone thinking about a lot of things. She was thinking seriously about the future and what she could do.
The two answers she came up with after thinking about it: “Find out about her ability” and “What she wants to do with her life”. The first thing she could do was meet Seios and talk about her ability.
“Yes, I’m doing fine. Has Seios been well?”
“I’m always the same.”
Seios said with a complicated expression, although he was relieved to see that she looked better than expected.
“I heard you were staying at the Achilles’ mansion.”
“Yes. They’re all good people, to the point where I feel too lucky.”
She felt like the only luck in her life was meeting Elle, Ian and….
‘Duke Enoch Achilles.”
The more she thought about it, the more interesting he was.
She couldn’t believe he’s a person who could make her feel comforted just by thinking about him.
She couldn’t have asked for greater luck and happiness.
“I’m so glad that you’re doing well.”
At Leticia’s words Seios looked genuinely relieved. Leticia, seeing his relief, tilted her head slightly.
‘Did he call me here because he was worried about me?’
When he asked her to come here, she thought it would be about something important.
Seios asked about her wellbeing first before anything else.
“I want to do an experiment at the Tower to find out what your ability is. What do you think?”
She was correct about the important discussion they would be having today.
Instead of being pleased with Seios’ suggestion, she was more worried.
“Do I have to go to the Tower, too?”
Leticia felt anxious at being away from Enoch.
She thought she was lucky to live with the Achilles family every day. That was probably why Seois’ proposal came as a shock.
She realized that she was happy now and that she always wanted to be with Enoch.
“You don’t have to go. I’m just taking a little bit of your energy and experimenting with it at the Tower.”
Seios was stunned by her noticeably pale complexion and comforted her so she didn’t have to worry.
Only then did the relieved Leticia cautiously ask.
“How do you do that?”
“The book with the explanation should be somewhere…”
To explain it easily, Seios went to the bookshelf. Dust was piled up on the bookshelf, since he hadn’t been in the office for months.
He tried to take out the book carefully so that it wouldn’t scatter everywhere. When he took a wrong step, the dust spread everywhere.
“May I help you?”
Leticia reached out to help, but Seios shook his head.
“I’m fine, so could you wait outside for a moment?”
“Call me if you need any help.”
Leticia nodded her head and walked out.
As soon as the door closed, Leticia let out a long sigh.
It was such a relief.
What if I’d had to go to the Tower? She was so nervous.
She felt relief once again. That’s when she noticed someone slowly approaching from the end of the hallway.
As soon as her gaze collided with Irene’s, Leticia clenched her hands.
Should I say hello?
What should I say after saying hello?
‘Do I really need to talk to her?’
Fortunately, Leticia didn’t need to worry for long.
Nothing had changed.
As soon we were close enough that we could see the wrinkles in each other’s clothes, Irene casually walked past Leticia as if she were a stranger.
She was feeling complicated, but at the same time she felt unfamiliar. It didn’t hit her as hard as before.
It was then.
“If you don’t have money, just quit.”
“Don’t you think you’re the only reason the Academy is losing status?”
“If I were you, I would have quit from embarrassment.”
“I don’t know if you’re shameless because you’re a commoner, or if you just don’t know better.”
“It’s like that because they’re both true.”
As the noise spread down the hallway, all the eyes of the students turned to it. But they immediately took off again to do what they had to do with a look of disinterest.
Irene acted similarly.
Leticia looked at Irene with a look of disbelief as she turned her face away as if it was normal. Even as she stared at the students, Irene turned away without a second thought.
That was when she remembered what Ian said yesterday.
[I just want to protect it, the pride in myself and my family.]
[I’ve realized that being ignored is an unpleasant thing to deal with.]
[So I made up my mind to become stronger.]
Ian was absolutely right.
She also needed to be strong so she could protect her friends and family. So Ian decided that he would be strong and protect his family and move forward.
Reflecting on those words, Leticia clenched her fists.
‘Then I will.’
She seriously thought about who she wanted to be. Fortunately, it didn’t take long, thanks to the long time she had spent thinking about it yesterday.
‘I want to be someone who’s not ashamed.’
To those who care about me, to myself.
Leticia approached them without hesitation and a serious face. Her gaze landed on a hand that was pushing one of the students’ shoulders.
“Stop pushing his shoulder.”
“Why are you interfering?”
“What is going on over there?”
Seios came out of the office late, and noticed that the atmosphere around the students was unusual and quickly approached the group. Only then did the students laugh as if nothing was going on.
“We were just joking around.”
“That’s right, we were just hanging out.”
Leticia’s mouth fell open in shock at their excuses.
“No, Mr Seios. They weren’t joking, I’m sure.”
“We’ll be leaving because we have a lecture starting soon.”
“See you at the next lecture.”
The students smoothly cut Leticia off and quickly left.
Seios raised an eyebrow as it was obvious to everyone that they were running away from the situation.
“What happened here?”
Leticia was hesitant about how to answer Seios’ question. She reached out carefully to the student who was being bullied.
“Are you alright?”
She might be uselessly nosy.
But she didn’t want to hesitate to help where she could.
The student looked at the hand that was being held out to him. He quietly raised his head and looked at Leticia.
Ruffled dark almond-colored hair and shivering green eyes. The student got up from the ground and fixed his glasses. His name tag said ‘Ronan Hillary’.
“I’m going to go listen to the lecture, too…”
She tried to stop him, but he was already leaving.
He looked so uncomfortable that she could hardly justify following him.
‘I thought he needed some help’
No, he was looking for someone to help.
“Oh, were you calling me?”
“Yeah, let’s go back in now.”
Seios gestured to come back quickly. He was looking at Leticia, who only responded after he called her three times.
Leticia did not enter the office until she completely lost sight of the helpless boy’s back.
“I’ll explain in detail how the experiment will be run. I’ll take your energy first.”
Seios was putting books on the table to explain everything to Leticia. But she couldn’t concentrate on anything but the boy she’d seen in the hallway.
It’s because he seems to be in a similar situation as she is.
No, to be more precise, the child’s appearance overlapped with who she used to be.
She shrunk into herself from her family ignoring and mistreating her.
He looked like he wanted someone to help him, but didn’t know who to ask for help.
So he ran away because he didn’t have the courage to take the hand held out to him.
She knew how he felt.
“Can I sponsor a student from this Academy?”
“All of a sudden?”
Seios’s voice grew louder at Leticia’s sudden request to sponsor someone while he was explaining how he would find out her ability.
Leticia nodded as if it were natural.
“Yes, I have a student I really want to sponsor.”
“Who do you want to sponsor?”
He didn’t know if this was a new inclination or if this was something she’d thought of beforehand.
When Seios asked with a curious expression, Leticia answered at once without hesitation.
“Ronan, Ronan Hillary.”
“It’s good to see that the useless ore is being put to good use now.”
The pink mine caretaker muttered in satisfaction to himself while he did his daily rounds. The lower grade pink diamond, which is worth less than the higher grade stones, began to be used up quickly after it was used for the wishing bracelets.
“It would be great if pink diamonds came out.”
As the highest-quality pink diamond hadn’t come out for nearly a decade. The caretaker was so ashamed that he sent a letter to Enoch instead of talking to him face to face. Enoch was always grateful to him for taking care of the mine, and made sure that he was always paid on time.
“Isn’t it time for you to come out?”
The janitor wailed half-heartedly.
Anytime is fine, he really wanted to find a little pink diamond so he would make Enoch happy.
As he began his tenth half-hearted round.
He could clearly see something glinting, though it was faint. Immediately, the janitor put his lantern down and picked up the ore to examine it.
No matter what anyone said, it was obvious. It was so small that you could barely see it sticking up in front of your nose. Still, a pink diamond was a pink diamond.
The caretaker smiled brightly and rushed to his quarters.
He was able to deliver good news after 10 years.
Note from Baset – I want to say a big THANK YOU to Jengamon for the kofi! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°