Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“Diana, how did you spend your time today?”
At the dinner table. Marquis Leroy asked, setting a finely chopped steak down in front of Diana. Diana glanced at Leticia and smiled broadly.
“I had a chat with brother Levion over tea.”
Leticia, who was silently eating, paused. Even though she was in the mansion, she didn’t know Levion came. It meant that Levion came to see only Diana, and not her.
Pretending not to see Leticia, who was frozen and still, Marquis Leroy continued asking Diana.
“Young Master Elle?”
“Yes. He even gave me a present saying he was sorry he couldn’t come to my birthday party.”
The Leroy and the Elle family were close since childhood and were comfortable calling each other informally.
Diana held out her wrist, bragging about how Levion had given her a ruby bracelet.
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
“It looks good on you, dear. Do you like it?”
“Yes! I’ve been wearing this bracelet for a while now.”
She even waved it deliberately to show it to Leticia as if Leticia couldn’t already see it.
Leticia, however, just ate quietly. It was then when Diana lost interest and turned away with a sour face.
Somehow, Leticia felt her throat burning, she took a sip of water and sighed.
‘He came to give Diana a present.’
She tried to pretend to be fine, but she couldn’t help but have mixed feelings inside.
The reason Levion came to the mansion was not because of her, but because of Diana.
There was something else she was upset about.
‘You didn’t celebrate my birthday. You said it’s a joke.’
They didn’t get engaged because they loved each other, but they still spent some time together, so she thought there was at least a hint of affection and minimal interest.
But now, almost three years after they got engaged, Leticia was not so sure.
As Leticia continued to nibble, the Marquis asked Emil.
“Emil, how is life at the Academy these days? Are your preparations for the Imperial Civil Service going well?”
“Yes, I’m working hard, so trust me.”
Emil, the third son of the Leroy family, was smart to enter the academy, where only one in a hundred could get in, and the professors had high hopes for him.
Later, the Marquis asked his fourth son, Xavier, if he should become a member of the Imperial Knights, and gave his fifth daughter, Irene, a worried look, wondering if it would be too hard for her to study at the Academy of Magic.
Watching the scene, Leticia tried to swallow a bitter smile.
The Marquis expressed his concerns for his children in a gentle voice, but he did not give Leticia even a single glance. It was as if he didn’t need her.
She felt like she was alone again. No, it was the moment when she realized once again that she was alone all along.
“I’m sorry, but may I be excused? I’m a little tired.”
Leticia asked cautiously, after all, she just couldn’t get the food down her throat. The Marquis nodded insincerely and continued to whisper to the other children.
As soon as Leticia was out of the way, the Marquis called Diana as if he had been waiting for this moment.
“What do you think of Young Master Elle?”
Diana didn’t know what the Marquis intended to ask, and instead of replying, she tilted her head. Soon the Marquis said a bit more precisely.
“As a marriage partner.”
The family, who had been eating quietly, looked up at the Marquis in surprise.
“I’m going to talk to Marquis Elle about canceling the engagement between Leticia and Young Master Elle, and suggest an engagement with you.”
Seeing Diana touching her lips, unable to answer immediately, the Marquis asked again.
“What do you think?”
It had been a few days since then. Somehow, today was the only day Leticia felt strange.
‘What is this uneasy feeling…’
She couldn’t figure out what caused it, so with the thought ‘it’s probably nothing’ in her mind, and left the room.
Today was the day she had promised to have tea time at Elle’s mansion with Levion.
Not wanting to ruin the pleasant mood, Leticia was determined to let go of the strange feelings. However, a short time later, she ran into Diana in the hallway. As soon as Diana saw Leticia, she frowned and asked,
“Where are you going?”
“I have an appointment with brother Levion.”
Diana quickly covered her mouth, but the laughter had already flown out. Then she nervously waved her hand as Leticia stared at her suspiciously.
“No, it’s nothing.”
“What is it? Why are you laughing?”
“Nothing at all?”
Contrary to Diana’s words, something felt strange.
The moment Leticia turned away, Diana walked up to her. Then she whispered quietly.
“I feel sorry for you.”
Before she could ask what the hell that meant, Diana’s mouth twitched up in a grin.
“Please have a good time.”
More than ever, Leticia was hardened at Diana’s bright smile.
‘What did she mean…?’
On the way to Elle’s mansion, Diana’s words lingered over and over in Leticia’s ears.
It was as if that moment would be their last.
Leticia wondered for a long time what Diana’s intention was in saying such a thing. But before she had time to think deeply about it, the horseman announced their arrival at Elle’s mansion.
Cautiously getting off the carriage, Leticia was led by the butler of the Elle mansion to the reception room.
Levion was already there waiting.
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“Yes. How are you?”
“I’m always the same.”
Levion answered indifferently and took a sip of tea.
In fact, the moment she saw Levion, the words she was holding back came up to her throat.
‘Why did you only go to see Diana that day? Didn’t you want to see me?’
She was disappointed, but she didn’t want to ruin this moment that they were sharing together after a long time, so she deliberately kept her composure.
“Brother, is the training hard?”
Leticia asked with a worried look on her face, but Levion was still looking at Leticia with the same miserable look he had when they met in the training hall.
“You’re still carefree, aren’t you?”
“Do you know what is being said at home?”
Leticia’s expression hardened as Levion stared at her coldly.
She didn’t know exactly what they said, but she could easily guess that it was not good.
“There’s some talk going around……….?”
Leticia asked, squeezing the hem of her dress in a somewhat anxious manner. A deep sigh came out of Levion’s mouth as he looked at Leticia indifferently.
“They are talking about canceling our engagement.”
“What?” Leticia asked.
In disbelief, Leticia looked at Levion blankly. However, Levion laughed briefly and raised the corners of his mouth.
“You really don’t know anything, do you?”
Letisha’s mouth closed spontaneously at the sound of his voice, which was devoid of any emotion.
Levion was the only person who was able to help and comfort her among her family members who ignored her when her ability was never awakened.
At some point, she knew very well that Levion was not happy with her, but his indifferent attitude that he wouldn’t care if the engagement was canceled made her eyes burn.
All she could do was to try her best to keep it from falling apart.
However, Levion’s eyes as he watched Leticia grew colder by the minute. Soon he sighed in frustration and got up. Then he walked past Leticia. No, he tried to walk past her.
“How about brother?”
Her low voice stopped both of them in their tracks.
He turned around and his eyes met Leticia’s, who was looking up at him with moist blue eyes.
“What do you want to do brother? Do you want to break up with me?”
Unlike her cautious appearance, her intention to ask was direct. Still, she was nervous and her lips quivered.
“It’s up to you.”
“What do you mean?”
At the pitying look that prompted him, Levion fell silent instead of replying.
At first he felt sorry for her looking like this and wanted to protect her. For a time, neither of them had awakened their abilities, and they were able to help each other.
But now, it was different. He was sick and tired of it.
“Please don’t say, ‘I’m not making any efforts’.”
Leticia cried out and tears seemed to fall at any moment.
Nevertheless, Levion retaliated again.
“Maybe it’s better to break up.”
Even though he was facing Leticia, who was crumbling miserably in front of him, he did not falter. In fact, he turned away, as if he did not want to see her any longer.
‘I….did I do something wrong?’
The unreachable words came incessantly to her mouth. She thought that nothing would change if her ability was not awakened. Not the relationship with her family, not the relationship with her fiancé.
However, she was foolish to realize just now that everything was wrong from the beginning. What she believed to be solid could easily become flimsy at any time.
The engagement was called off and she was the only one who didn’t know.
Laughing bitterly and helplessly, Leticia slowly got up from her seat. It was obvious that the warm sun was shining down, but her body shivered like her mood.
Barely able to stand up and leave the parlor, Leticia climbed into the carriage that was already waiting at the main gate.
‘Break the engagement……break the engagement….’
On the way back to the Leroy residence, Leticia mumbled as she looked out the window.
It never occurred to her that her engagement would be canceled. She never expected that Levion would want to break up.
Leticia gripped her hands tightly on her lap. She couldn’t understand why there was such a sudden break-up.
However, she had some ideas. Because she didn’t have the ability?
She was so frustrated by this fact that it made her eyes burn.
In order not to embarrass her family and her fiancé, Levion, Leticia looked for a way to awaken her ability. She went looking for rare books on abilities, and she tried in every direction, including looking for records of the Leroy family’s abilities that were written down for generations.
But her efforts collapsed in vain like sandcastles on the waves.
‘I’m like this, not because I want to.’
Eventually, Leticia buried her face in her lap to hold back her tears.
She felt more hurt thinking about her family than Levion, who wanted to break off the engagement.
At first, they were a close-knit family that had a difficult time with the economic situation, but they still took care of each other. She never doubted that they were happier later when the Marquis’s business was picked up.
But that was just her illusion, and as her siblings’ abilities awakened, they began to change more and more. Her parents’ discrimination and the neglect of her siblings.
It was heartbreaking when they stared at her coldly, but the sad part was that she was the one who got used to their eyes.
“Lady, we’ve arrived.”
At the sound of the horseman’s voice, Leticia lifted her head from her knees. She tried to get off, but for some reason, her feet wouldn’t move.
‘My whole family knew?’
The thought drove her crazy, and she wasn’t confident to face her family.
Eventually, Leticia gave a shallow sigh and said to the horseman,
“Excuse me, but can we go to the square? There are some things I need to buy.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
The carriage drove towards the square again.
There was nothing much to do in the square, but now she needed time to calm down those feelings that were raging inside her. Her mind, however, was filled with Levion’s words.
‘If it’s true that you’re trying to break up a marriage………….’
Her breath caught in her throat at the thought.
Leticia managed to compose herself and get her head around it again.
‘Let’s just pretend I don’t know first.’
She exhaled, clasping her hands together. But the anxiety wouldn’t go away.
‘But what if my parents tell me they broke off the engagement first? What should I do then?’
The more she thought about it, the more she seemed to be trapped in a corner.
And yet, at this moment, there was nothing she could do.
“My Lady, we’ve reached the square.”
“Oh, yes. Thank you.”
Leticia, who heard the horseman’s voice a little later, came to her senses and got out of the carriage.
“I’ll be back in an hour.”
“You don’t have a maid. Will you be okay?”
“I’ll be okay.”
It was a place she had wandered many times before, alone.
Leticia went to the square after handing a single gold coin to the horseman as a sign that he should go somewhere to rest.
Many people were passing through the square. Children walking side by side taking their parents’ hands, friends joking and laughing happily, and lovers gazing adorably at each other…
Walking alone in the midst of all these people, Leticia felt lonely. Whether she was in the mansion or elsewhere, there was still no one by her side.
‘It’s the same after all these years…’
Leticia smiled bitterly as she walked around the square. But instead of her spirits sinking, they seemed to be calming down.
It was then.
Leticia, who was looking at things sold on the street, stopped walking. In front of the store, people were playing a game where they had to throw a coin in a small target hole and get a prize if they won.
“Come on, come on. If you put it in that target, you get a bag of flour!”
Passersby were interested in the game and threw coins into the target, but they all missed. It seemed that the target was too far away and the hole was too small to succeed.
“That’s a game I played before.”
Leticia, who was hovering in front of the target, stared at it and thought. It brought back memories of when she was with her brothers and sisters when she was little.
At that moment, a girl and a boy whispered to the tall man towering in front of Leticia.
“Did you hear that, brother? He says it’s a bag of flour. Do you have a single penny?”
“No. Let’s go home.”
The man pulled his sister’s arm but the girl didn’t want to leave.
Leticia, who was watching them from behind, cautiously called out to them.
“You can use this….”
The moment their eyes met, Leticia stopped speaking in surprise. Perhaps it was the same for the other person, his dark gray eyes opened wide. It was Enoch. The man Leticia met once before.
But his sister, who knew nothing about it, looked at the small coin in Leticia’s hand and asked,
“Are you sure we can use it?”
As soon as his sister tried to get the coin, Enoch stopped her. But his sister pushed Enoch away and got a coin from Leticia.
“Thank you! Let’s go, Ian.”
“I’ll give you half a bag of flour if I succeed.”
Leticia waved her hand lightly, but the girl and the boy went ahead, saying they would do it.
Enoch, who was watching his siblings disappear quickly before he could catch them, let out a long sigh.
“I’m sorry, my brother and sister are still immature.”
“No, they’re very active and good looking.”
Leticia smiled at Enoch as she looked at Enoch’s siblings.
“They look alike.”
“Yes. They are twins.”
“You all seem very close.”
“Thank you for tolerating us.”
Enoch, who was smiling awkwardly at Leticia’s words, slowly held out his hand.
“I’m sorry I’m late in greeting you. My name is Enoch Achilles.”
“My name is Letisha Leroy.”
“Yes. Yes, I remember you.”
Leticia was about to take Enoch’s hand but looked up at him with her eyes wide open. She wondered how he remembered her when they only encountered each other once briefly.