Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
The letter that Leticia received asked her to come to the academy in connection with the cheating incident, but she guessed that there was a hidden agenda behind the invitation. However, Leticia did not hesitate to go to the academy.
When the professor asked her to wait in the lounge, she went ahead and sat down quietly to wait.
Soon the door opened and an unexpected person entered the room.
“Long time no see.”
Marquis Leroy sat across from Leticia with a slight disapproving frown on his face.
He rested his elbow on his knee and put his chin on his hands. She didn’t expect a friendly conversation to ensue.
Leticia spoke briefly and clenched her teacup.
‘Did they do this on purpose?’
She wasn’t far off the mark with her guess.
Looking at the fact that he was invited to the Academy, she could guess what would happen.
Swallowing the sigh that was threatening to come out, Leticia faced the Marquis squarely. It was the first time she’d seen his face since she was excommunicated.
She knew in her head that she’d eventually have to see him again.
Leticia felt more anxious meeting one of her parents, then when she met her younger siblings. Her hands trembled at the thought of it because she was always treated as a useless person.
Leticia had wondered for a long time what she would do if the day came when she saw him again
She still hadn’t found the answer, then or now.
One thing is for sure.
She didn’t want to put up with being hurt or being taken for granted.
[No one deserves to be hurt.]
A determined look and a friendly voice.
That’s what Enoch said to her before.
Recalling those encouraging words, Leticia slowly began to speak.
“Why did you come to see me?”
It was not natural for a family to hurt each other, but she was also confident that she would never hurt her family.
She will always choose the right path no matter what.
Leticia stared straight into Marquis’ Leroy’s eyes without trembling. The Marquis exhaled loudly, perhaps because he didn’t like the look she was giving him.
“You ruined your sister’s life, and you’re still acting so self-assured.”
That was expected.
Leticia clenched her teacup hard without realizing it.
They must have called her here because she didn’t hide Irene’s cheating.
“She ruined herself, don’t put the blame on me.”
Leticia had never regretted the day when she revealed the truth instead of Irene, who neither admitted nor reflected on her mistake.
On the contrary, she thought it was a relief that she knew so quickly.
Marquis Leroy frowned grimly, he had different ideas on the whole event.
Face to face with him, Leticia calmly arranged her feelings.
‘You can put those feelings down.’
Even if she couldn’t put all the feelings for her family down at once, she was confident that she would put them down one by one.
The moment she met Marquis Leroy’s sharp eyes, Leticia hardened at once.
“I thought you’d wake up a little bit if you were kicked out, but I was a long way off. You still don’t seem to be aware of your reality.”
She felt that every word was meant to weigh down on her with a steely gaze that was meant to intimidate her.
Her fingertips trembled, but Leticia managed to keep looking calm.
“I don’t think so. On the contrary, I came to my senses when I was kicked out.”
There was no more shaking or hesitation.
“I knew it wasn’t natural to be discriminated against or ignored.”
Her sincerity towards her family was not wrong.
Leticia realized that they didn’t deserve her sincerity after living with Enoch.
“It was Marquis Leroy who ruined Irene.”
Despite the fact that Marquis Leroy treated her as a pathetic and terrible person, he placed the burden and responsibility for her younger, more capable, siblings on Leticia. If they didn’t live up to his expectations, he ignored them. If they did live up to his expectations, he took their achievements for granted.
If this was not enough, he also secretly pitted her younger siblings against each other to keep them in check.
It may have been intended to encourage competition, but it resulted in jealousy and envy towards each other instead.
Recognizing this fact, Leticia always told her siblings.
‘Your life is precious to you.’
‘You don’t have to meet other people’s standards.’
‘If you don’t like it, you can say no.’
‘Your value is what you make of it.’
It was all the things she had wanted to hear. She conveyed these words to her younger siblings and hoped that they would value themselves.
However, they had all been raised by a coercive father for a long time. They thought that if they made a mistake that it would make them a loser. They had all been living their lives based on their father’s will, all of them trying their hardest not to disappoint him.
In the end, they didn’t even know what they liked, and they were slowly losing themselves.
“I’m just helping them take the most comfortable path according to their abilities and aptitudes.”
The person who ruined everything raised the corners of his mouth in a smirk, as if he was dumbfounded.
“You’re the one who ruined their planned path.”
It had only been two days, but the fact that Irene had cheated had quickly spread through the Academy. She may avoid being expelled from school because of her past efforts in her classes and the Marquis’ influence.
Leticia wondered what he meant by his words.
“Speak truthfully. You didn’t help them, you blocked them.”
“Parents should not decide their children’s goals for them, but help and support them when their children are struggling.”
Marquis Leroy tried to say something, but Leticia was one step faster.
“Have you ever thought about why Irene cheated? No, at least do you ever wonder why?”
Leticia burst into laughter as he seemed to have never thought about it.
“I thought so.”
You couldn’t even think about it.
Leticia rose from her seat with a bitter smile.
The Marquis’ next words stopped Leticia in her tracks.
“My only fault was that I should have kicked you out sooner.”
Leticia stared blankly at Marquis Leroy, wondering if she’d heard him correctly.
His next words didn’t change anything.
“I did the right thing, even if I was late in doing it.”
“A useless daughter like you who doesn’t understand the world is nothing but a disgrace to her family.”
Leticia clenched her teeth at Marquis Leroy’s relentless stare.
To Marquis Leroy, she was a thorn in his eye.
She was often compared to her younger siblings wherever she went because she didn’t have an ability.
A family who was ashamed of her.
“You know what?”
Leticia faced Marquis Leroy, who was staring at her fiercely.
“I’m glad I was kicked out.”
She didn’t feel the need to continue this conversation anymore, so she left the lounge. She heard a fierce voice calling to her, but she ignored it and kept walking.
A small shadow was hovering near the door and quickly hid when she left the room.
Leticia left the Academy with mixed emotions and returned to the Achilles Mansion.
‘I didn’t want this.’
On the way home in the carriage, Leticia leaned her head against the interior of the carriage and recalled what had happened recently.
Irene had insisted Leticia cover up her mistake and allow Ronan to be falsely accused of cheating. Her father also blamed her for ruining Irene’s life.
Why was her life happier when she was poor?
At that time, her father and mother cherished their children and everything seemed like it would be fine.
‘Why are they like this now?’
She didn’t know when it all changed.
As soon as she arrived at the Achilles Mansion, Leticia exited the carriage with a troubled look on her face.
She was about to enter the mansion when she saw someone standing outside waiting. As she approached slowly, the person turned towards her.
“Are you alright?”
He looked at her with concern, and she felt a surge of emotion.
Leticia hugged Enoch’s chest. She wrapped her arms around his waist to get closer. Enoch was startled, but he didn’t let go.
“I’m back. I went there…”
As she was speaking, she felt overwhelmed and buried her face in his chest.
“I met my father.”
“I think they used the cheating incident as an excuse to call me.”
Leticia slowly confided what happened that day.
From her father’s rebuke for not covering up Irene’s cheating, to saying he was thankful she was kicked out.
Enoch’s eyes grew cold while listening without saying a word. He gently patted Leticia on her back.
“I could have covered it up because we’re family, but it didn’t feel right.”
Leticia bit her lip and hugged Enoch harder.
Enoch consoled her as if he knew exactly what she needed to hear the most.
Like it was the most natural thing.
She was feeling more relaxed after she told Enoch.
“I couldn’t ignore it. No matter how much I thought about it, it was a path that would ruin both of us.”
Even though she knew that her choice was not wrong, her pent up feelings wouldn’t settle easily.
How long had they been standing out here?
As the cold wind began to blow, Enoch moved back and asked cautiously.
“Are you okay now?”
She could tell he was worried about her while he was talking, it made her heart feel warm.
The wind was getting stronger, but strangely, she didn’t feel the cold at all.
“I think I’ll be okay if I hug you a little more…”
Leticia looked up at Enoch, securing her arms around him as he leaned away.
When he didn’t answer right away, she started getting nervous.
She thought she was being burdensome, so she was caught off guard when a big hand stopped her from pulling away. As she raised her head in surprise, Enoch was smiling softly down at her.
“It’s cold outside, so can we go inside and hug?”
Leticia nodded her head without hesitation as she politely begged for forgiveness.
“If you cheat, don’t get caught! What a mess!”
Upon arriving at the Leroy mansion, the Marquis turned on Irene with a fiery anger.
He thought he could overwhelm Leticia and force her to beg for forgiveness. He’d excommunicated her because of how pathetic and embarrassing of a human being she was. He called Leticia to fix the situation, but couldn’t get to that point because she walked out boldly, and he was furious.
In front of him, Irene couldn’t say anything but droop her shoulders.
“You’re also a source of disgrace for this family.”
“Keep out of my sight for a while.”
There was nothing Irene could do, even as he turned away coldly.
Standing there blankly for a moment, she felt eyes on her. She turned around and made eye contact with Diana, who was looking at her like she was pathetic.
“You lost your test paper last time, and you cheated this time?”
“How can you go to the Academy if you’re not confident in your skills?”
Diana clicked her tongue when Irene didn’t answer, and went back to her room.
Under normal circumstances, she would have demanded why Diana said that, but she didn’t have the energy to do so. Right now, all she could think about was something else
[Parents should not decide their children’s goals for them, but help and support them when their children are struggling.]
It was what she heard Leticia say when she was eavesdropping outside the lounge.
Come to think of it, she never wanted to be an Imperial wizard from the beginning.
She just entered the Academy of Magic when her father told her she had the talent for it and she had best become an Imperial Wizard.
Irene went back to her room with a shallow sigh. She ran into Emil and Xavier on the way.
Both of them just looked at her with pity and turned around. From that look, Irene remembered why she did it.
She was afraid to let them down.
She was afraid of being abandoned.
No one was curious, let alone aware of her feelings.
[Have you ever thought about why Irene cheated? No, at least do you ever wonder why?]
Leticia was the only one.
As soon as she arrived in her room, Irene lay weakly in bed and buried her face in her pillow.
As soon as she realized that Leticia, who she resented for not covering for her, was actually the family that cared for her the most. She burst into tears.
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