Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“Now I feel fortunate that Leticia has been excommunicated.”
Count Aster said bitterly as he sat alone with Enoch. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Leticia and Countess Aster sitting in the distance.
They were drinking tea with cheerful faces. To anyone who looked at them, they looked like a mother and daughter.
‘I wish she could only have days like this.’
For Leticia, who was quickly engulfed in a bad rumor, times like this were a luxury.
When you’re around her, you’ll be unlucky, you’ll lose all your luck, you’ll become unhappy.
This malicious rumor was aimed at Leticia, as if trying to create an indelible brand on her.
She was so distressed that Count Aster wanted to do whatever he could to help her.
“I think so, too.”
Enoch nodded heavily with a sigh because he felt the same way as the Count.
He felt badly for Leticia, but she looked much happier now that she was living with his family. Enoch was greatly relieved to see her believing in herself more, even though she still lacked a lot of confidence in herself.
Leticia was depressed again by the vindictive spread of the bad rumor.
Seeing her pale face smiling as if everything was alright, Enoch felt like his heart was breaking. At the same time, he even felt the urge to find the culprit and step on their neck so that they couldn’t breathe properly.
“Let me put the rumor to rest first.”
“Then I’ll be counting on you.”
Enoch looked at Leticia, then nodded to ask for his kind cooperation.
He felt a little relieved because her complexion was looking better than when they first arrived at the Aster’s mansion. However, her listless voice lingered in his ears.
[I don’t know who spread the rumor, but I think it was someone from my family.]
What was Leticia thinking as she told that story?
He didn’t dare to guess, Enoch rubbed his face with a troubled expression.
Even if Leticia had given up on her family, it must still have hurt.
‘It’s bad enough to abandon your family, and now you’re spreading bad rumors…’
Thinking about it made Enoch’s anger rise, but he managed to calm down again and said.
“I’ll try to find out who spread this rumor.”
The number of suspects was already limited, so it won’t be that difficult to find them.
After having a good time at Count Aster’s home, she was on her way back to the Achilles’ mansion.
Leticia glanced at Enoch, who seemed to be in a bad mood. He was looking out the window with an unfathomable expression on his face.
Leticia gently held Enoch’s little finger with a sad look on her face, and said.
“Are you angry?”
She seemed anxious when she asked him.
Enoch looked down at her nervous and teary eyes, then sighed.
“Yes, I’m angry. It’s just…”
The target of his anger was not Leticia.
“I’m mad at myself.”
Leticia opened her eyes wide as she didn’t expect that answer.
Enoch slowly turned his head away, as if he didn’t want to say anymore. Leticia clasped his hand even tighter.
“Is it because of me?”
“Lord Achilles didn’t do anything wrong. I’m just…”
It’s just become a habit to hold back.
It would be a lie if she said she didn’t want someone to help her.
Nevertheless, the reason for not being able to tell the truth about all of this was simple. Before she met Enoch, there was no one to ask for help. Whenever she’d asked her family for help, they would simply refuse.
In the end, Leticia had no choice but to overcome it alone or swallow down her feelings. Even though she knew that it was eating her up inside.
“Please don’t blame yourself, Lord Achilles.”
Leticia knew he was upset that she hadn’t asked for his help.
Enoch quietly stared at Leticia, then slowly spoke.
“I’m not like the people who hurt you.”
“I always want to help and do whatever I can for you.”
He sincerely hoped that his feelings would reach Leticia this time.
Leticia briefly closed her mouth at his words. Then slowly leaned her head on Enoch’s shoulder, as if she’d wanted to lean on him from the beginning.
“Really, thank you.”
While speaking, Leticia held Enoch’s hand tightly with both hands.
“Next time, ask for help if it’s hard.”
However, Enoch was still feeling slightly hurt and tried to let go of her hand.
Leticia was making him feel helpless from one heart-rending look. It was a little mean if he was the only one who felt this way. He wanted to hear a definite answer from her now. He didn’t want it to become a habit for Leticia to hide things from him, and he has to hear about it from strangers.
With Leticia leaning against him and holding his hand tightly, Enoch felt like he might give in to her at any moment.
Surprised, Leticia raised her head and looked up at Enoch, who was doing his best to look indifferent.
“Are you still mad?”
“You’re not going to hide it again, are you?”
“It will never happen again.”
Leticia nodded solemnly, but Enoch still looked suspicious.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, but maybe I’ll just be a bother to Lord Achilles.”
“That will never happen.”
“I think so, too.”
As Enoch said, he’s different from her family.
Leticia leaned closer to Enoch, and gently closed her eyes.
She was happy that there was someone who cared about her so much.
The rumors surrounding Leticia were oversized, and there was no sign of it subsiding. Wherever she walked outside, she could hear people whispering and pointing their fingers at her. There were people who ignored Leticia and showed little sign of caring. That was mainly because she was excommunicated from her family and had no home to return to.
Leticia, however, was no longer distressed or suffering.
It was because Count Aster said he would somehow put the rumor to rest. Even if the rumor didn’t go away, there were people who believed in her. So she no longer needed to endure everything alone like before.
“There’s someone who believes that rumor? I don’t think I want to talk about how stupid they are.”
Elle said this with a look of bewilderment. She was accompanying Leticia to the square to sell cookies.
If she caught someone whispering, they would catch an earful from Elle.
“I’m fine now.”
“I’m not fine, I want to kick the whole thing.”
“Thank you, Elle.”
The warm sincerity in her rough tone made Leticia smile.
At that moment, Enoch’s words from a few days ago echoed in her ears.
[I’m not like the people who hurt you.]
Enoch was not like her family, the same was true for EIle and Ian.
It gave Leticia the confidence to not give up on her idea, and she managed to push through the rumor.
It was then.
Leticia was nervously calling out to passerbys. Everyone just glanced as they passed, so she decided to try saying something out loud this time.
Despite her nervousness, something unexpected happened.
“I’d like one of these, please.”
“Give me one of these.”
She thought she heard wrong, but the woman pointed her finger at the cookies. Surprised, Leticia couldn’t hide her awkwardness as she handed over a cookie with a trembling hand.
It was only when the woman moved away that the tension in her body relaxed.
“Someone finally bought one…”
“I know! Finally, someone who knows what they’re worth.”
Elle shook Leticia’s hand with a squeal of delight, she was happy to know that she wasn’t the only one doing well in business.
The next day she had two customers, the day after that she had five, then she had ten, and so on. It increased everyday, as if by magic.
Just a few days ago.
“Long time no see, Count Aster. Here’s everything that you were looking for right here.”
“I know. I can’t tell you how surprised I was to find out that something serious had happened.”
“Do you like it when you’re called like this?”
The nobles who came to the mansion at the Count’s request all spoke caustically. However, from his expression it was obvious he liked it.
“I called you because I missed you, but you’re embarrassing me. Let’s not stand like this, let’s just go inside.”
Count Aster had come out to meet his guests. He smiled nicely and led them to the drawing room.
As soon as they sat down, one of the Count’s guests had a question for him.
“What are you wearing?”
“The ring, the ring.”
“Oh, you mean this?”
Only then did Count Aster, who knew what he was referring to, raise his hand. As soon as the ring hits the light, the already shiny gemstone shines even brighter.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before, is it new?”
At first glance, it was a simple design. Once they looked closer, they could see the elaborate workmanship.
A Marquis, who was quietly listening to the conversation between the two, asked with a slight frown.
“The color of the jewel is unique, is it from Marquis Leroy’s mine?”
His discomfort could clearly be felt while he was asking.
The moment he saw the ring, he thought of Marquis Leroy’s secret boasting about starting a business with an ore that could replace pink diamonds.
“Oh, it’s not the ore from Marquis Leroy’s mine.”
“Then what kind of gemstone is it made of?”
“Do you mean there’s another jewel that has this particular color?”
Count Aster pretended to be unsure, while urging on their curiosity to find an answer.
“There’s only one jewel that is that color.”
The Marquis immediately realized what he meant and asked with a look of incredulity.
“You mean it’s a pink diamond?”
“Hey, that mine hasn’t produced gemstones in ten years.”
“You have to say something that makes sense.”
Everyone bit their tongue, and waited for the Count’s words.
Count Aster casually nodded.
“It’s a pink diamond.”
“Is that true?”
“Are you saying this came from the mine that hasn’t produced anything in ten years?”
The noblemen kept asking over and over again. They were doubtful, even though the answer was right in front of them.
In spite of the distrust directed at him, Count Aster replied with a friendly smile that he’d maintained from the beginning.
“Yes, that’s right. I recently started investing in that mine.”
“Oh my God. What made you trust in that investment?”
“Can’t you lose a lot of money if something goes wrong?”
When asked why he was doing business with that mine, Count Aster shrugged his shoulders.
“Have you ever seen me fail in business?”
Everyone clammed up at the words that he said without changing his expression. It sounded conceited, but Count Aster wasn’t wrong.
“So you made a ring out of that jewel?”
“It was a ring given to me by the Duke of Achilles, who is taking care of the child who I care for like my own daughter.”
It was the moment when the purpose of calling them was finally revealed.
Holding his breath, Count Aster secretly waited for someone to take the bait he’d thrown out.
“This is the first time I’ve heard that the Count has a child he cares for so deeply.”
Fortunately, the Viscount was listening intently, and curiously asked for clarification. Count Aster spoke calmly, trying to not be impatient.
“Leticia Leroy, she’s the child I’ve long regarded as a daughter.”
“The daughter who was excommunicated by Marquis Leroy?”
“If you get close to her, the rumors say something bad will happen…”
The reaction he expected happened, everyone seemed reluctant to even mention Leticia.
Count Aster acted surprised, as if he’d never heard the rumor, then laughed aloud.
“If the rumor was true, there was no way a pink diamond would have come out of that mine.”
“That’s true, but…”
“Come to think of it, every time I was with her, only good things happened.”
Count Aster spoke as if he had realized anew, this time what he said wasn’t intentional.
A long time ago, when young Leticia visited the mansion, the countess was sickly.
One day, after meeting Leticia by chance and receiving a wishing bracelet from her, her body became remarkably healthy. To the point where no one would believe that she had been life-threateningly ill in the past.
“Come to think of it, it’s a miracle. My wife is well now and a jewel that hasn’t been seen in ten years came out of the mine…”
“Is that true?”
“Oh, what I just said is a secret, so please pretend you didn’t hear it.”
Count Aster acted like he’d been mumbling to himself and smiled awkwardly.
They assured the Count that they would keep his secret and not to worry.
However, secrets originally existed to be revealed.
Baset casts SPOILER on Curufin.
It’s Super-Effective! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ
Thank you for the Kofi Curufin ( ´ ▽ ` ).｡ｏ♡