Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
‘Shall I ask him to come with me?’
It was the first day of the Swordsmanship tournament and Leticia was standing in front of Enoch’s door. She kept raising and dropping her hand.
Leticia was just going to make a casual request, but she was strangely nervous and let out a long sigh. The door suddenly burst open just as she was going to try reaching out to knock again.
Leticia was so startled that she couldn’t even scream and almost fell backwards. Enoch quickly grabbed her before she could fall.
“Are you all right?”
Perhaps from the surprise, Enoch looked stiffer than usual. His eyes were busy checking to see if she was injured anywhere.
Being in Enoch’s arms unexpectedly, Leticia was so shy that she covered her face with her hands.
“I’m all right.”
Why did she keep falling like a child who hadn’t taken a proper step yet? She wished she could disappear.
Enoch only released Leticia from his arms when he was sure that she was fine.
“What brings you here?”
“Oh, well… Uh…”
As soon as she was faced with his soft gaze, Leticia hesitated and started to smooth her dress with her fingers. It wasn’t anything important, she didn’t know why she was so nervous.
Time with Enoch always gave her a sense of security. She could feel her mouth going dry, because she had never suggested they do something together first.
“I heard today’s the first day of the tournament, would you like to go with me?”
She finally said it!
Leticia looked up at him while clenching her hands on her sleeves.
Enoch rubbed the nape of his neck, as if he was uncomfortable. Leticia immediately noticed his awkward expression. She couldn’t hide her disappointment and her shoulders drooped.
“It looks like you have other things to do…”
She wanted to go with him.
As he lowered his head weakly, he quickly told her.
“It’s not because I don’t want to go with you.”
“It’s okay, you must be busy.”
She understood, but that didn’t make her feel any better right now.
Leticia stood there with a sullen face, and Enoch spoke to her in a soothing tone.
“It’s because I have training.”
Today wasn’t the day he went to the palace for training. She knew Enoch trained every morning on his own, but she was confused because it was too late in the day for that.
‘Come to think of it…’
Leticia kept her mouth shut for a moment and looked at Enoch.
He was wearing the same clothes she had seen him wearing during his sword training.
As the thought passed through her head, Leticia looked surprised and asked.
“Are you participating in the tournament?”
There was no answer when she asked if she was correct.
Leticia frowned at Enoch’s furtive glance, then he tried to explain himself.
“The Knights have a separate competition.”
It was kind of like an initiation.
Since it was unfair for them to participate in a tournament with ordinary people, the members of the Imperial Knights had a separate competition.
‘I don’t want him to get hurt.’
Leticia knew it was inevitable as long as he held a sword.
Even though she understood, her mind could not deal with the situation, and in the end she turned her head away from Enoch.
As she turned her head away, Enoch’s heart dropped. As soon as he realized what she was worried about, he firmly said.
“I won’t get hurt, I won’t.”
It didn’t sound very reliable, because he couldn’t help if he got hurt.
She felt a small arm hug her drooping shoulders. Before she could turn around in surprise, Elle piped up.
“If he gets hurt, it’s his loss. Leave my brother behind and let’s go.”
Feeling nervous for some reason, Enoch quickly reached out to Leticia. However, Leticia gently avoided his hand.
Without time to be puzzled by the way she rejected him for the first time, Elle stuck her tongue out at Enoch tauntingly.
“We’re busy now.”
She quickly took Leticia away with her.
Behind them, Enoch called out to Leticia anxiously, but she was only dragged further away by the victorious Elle.
It was the first day of the tournament, and there were already a lot of people around. Leticia and Elle walked around while holding hands tightly, because they were worried they would lose each other if they even looked away for a moment.
“Why didn’t Ian come with you?”
The thought suddenly came to Leticia, so she carefully asked. Elle just shrugged nonchalantly.
“He didn’t want to come because he’s busy studying for the second exam that’s coming up.”
It’s like that.
Leticia walked slowly, unable to hide her regret.
“I wish he’d come with us.”
“I know, but you can’t force someone to come when they want to study.”
They didn’t want to interfere with Ian, who had always lived apathetically with a look of disinterest in everything he did. He was finally making an effort with enthusiasm for the first time in a long time.
“I’m glad I got my sister all to myself.”
At that, Elle pouted her lips with a discontent look on her face.
“Lies, you were sad you couldn’t go with my brother.”
“Oh, that’s not it.”
“It’s because you like my brother.”
As if shocked by Elle’s words, Leticia suddenly stopped and gasped.
Elle looked at her curiously.
“Don’t you like my brother?”
“How did you know that?”
“How could I not know?”
Why did she say it like that?
Elle managed to swallow the laughter that was bubbling up. She pointed to Leticia’s face and said.
“It’s written all over your face.”
Her face was already red, which informed anyone watching of the answer.
Leticia covered her face in embarrassment, and tearfully said.
“Is it really that obvious…?”
It was an unspeakable shock to Leticia, who thought she had hidden her thoughts well in her own way.
Elle didn’t give Leticia time to calm down.
“How can you not tell when your face turns red just by asking if you like my brother?”
“Then did Lord Achilles notice?”
Her blue eyes teared up in anxiety. Elle quietly watched her and sighed instead of answering.
Her brother was quick-witted, not a slow man. He was actually a frighteningly clever man, and it was clear that he was looking for a clear opportunity to strike.
“He probably doesn’t know.”
Elle gave a ‘trust me’ nod.
She didn’t want to mess up Enoch’s chance by telling Leticia the truth.
Leticia was going to be her future sister-in-law.
“Really? Phew… That’s a relief.”
Fortunately, Leticia did not know the insidious truth of the matter, and let out several long breaths of relief.
Elle quietly watched Leticia calm down and suddenly asked something she was curious about.
“Why do you hate the idea of someone being injured so much?”
“I don’t think anyone likes to see someone get hurt, but you care a lot more than most.”
Leticia touched her cheek like she was feeling troubled. Elle immediately tried to take back what she said.
“If it’s hard to say, you don’t have to.”
“It’s not like that, it’s not hard.”
Leticia shook her head in denial and slowly spoke up.
“There was a time when my brother was seriously injured.”
Xavier was exceptionally talented in swordsmanship as a child. He realized his ability before he was even ten years-old. To see how good his sword skills were, he fought with wooden swords at first, but later began to use real swords in matches.
Leticia strongly opposed it, but Xavier insisted that he was confident. So the match began as a match with real swords. His opponent’s sword came at him faster than he expected, and Xavier couldn’t avoid it. Despite his delayed reaction, he ended up with only a minor stab to his forearm, but it still almost ended in a real disaster.
“I guess that’s why I’m a little sensitive about things that could end up with someone hurt.”
She couldn’t stand the helplessness she felt when someone was hurt right in front of her. It was upsetting to see his bandaged arm. Every time she saw his wound, she was reminded that he could have died and it sent a chill down her spine.
All she could do was pray that Xavier would not get hurt, so Leticia stood by until the end of the day the next time fought with the real sword.
Fortunately, or by chance, there was no injury on the days Leticia went to see Xavier’s duels.
Elle had come to understand Leticia better. They entered the hall together, and she squeezed Leticia’s hand to make sure she was okay.
“Come to think of it, she’s here.”
Leticia belatedly noticed who Elle was talking about and nodded.
“Is she really going to fight for you in the tournament?”
She paused temporarily and let out a long sigh.
“I’d rather she not participate.”
“Because it’s uncomfortable.”
It didn’t feel good to be favored by someone who she still didn’t know if they’re a good or a bad person yet.
Elle nodded in understanding, then pointed to a place in surprise.
“Huh? Isn’t that her?”
When she followed the direction of where Elle was pointing, it was a slender woman with a smaller stature than the man standing opposite her.
‘Was it her match today?’
She hadn’t realized and her eyes opened wide in surprise. Suddenly Keena turned her head and looked precisely to where Leticia was.
They made eye contact even though she was far away.
Leticia was about to motion to Keena to look ahead and concentrate on her match, when her opponent lunged forward with his sharp sword aimed towards her face.
Startled, Leticia paled and covered her mouth with her hands.
Fortunately, Keena dodged lightly and easily subdued her opponent with a flick of her sword. The difference in ability was overwhelming to anyone watching, as if she was being considerate of her opponent, or had been playing with him until now.
The referee pointed to Keena, giving her the victory. She smiled brightly and jumped into the stands where Leticia was.
When they were close enough to hear each other’s voices, Leticia clapped her hands lightly.
“Congratulations on winning.”
“I told you, I’m confident in my body.”
“What if you get hurt from being overconfident?”
Despite the reprimanding tone, Keena shrugged her shoulders lightly.
“Come on, I won’t get hurt.”
“You’re already hurt.”
Leticia’s eyes turned to Keena’s cheek, only then did she notice the throbbing there.
As soon as she tried to touch her cheek, Leticia fiercely grabbed her hand.
“If you touch the wound with dirty hands, it will get worse.”
“I was just so happy to see you.”
“You should have been careful, though.”
Leticia had been staring at her with narrowed eyes without any sign of relaxing, she then gave a short sigh.
Leticia carefully began wiping the blood off of Keena’s cheek with her handkerchief.
“Are you worried about me?”
Leticia frowned while she carefully thought about it.
“If I didn’t, would I be doing this?”
“I thought you didn’t like me.”
“There’s a difference between worrying and hating.”
Leticia looked up after her comment. She was going to rebuke her again, but Keena’s expression was strange.
The confused look in her eyes that seemed both happy and uncomfortable.
She whispered so quietly that when Leticia was about to ask what she was talking about, Keena just shook her head. For now, cleaning the blood up was her first priority.
Leticia smiled at the sight of Keena, who calmly offered up her cheek to her.
She’s a weirdo.
Leticia smiled at Keena’s enthusiasm, and carefully cleaned her cut so that it wouldn’t hurt.
It was the second day of the Swordsmanship tournament.
‘There are two letters for me?’
One was a letter from Seios, and the other was from Count Aster. Leticia read the letter from Seios first and nodded.
His letter said he wanted to visit the Achilles’ mansion soon, because he had a long story to tell.
‘Is it about my ability?’
Leticia read the letters with a curious expression, then opened Count Aster’s letter. The Count had something important that he wanted to talk to Leticia about. He asked her to come to the mansion, and to bring Enoch with her.
‘What’s going on?’
Leticia was looking at the correspondence from Seios and Count Aster with a worried expression, finally she let out a long breath.
First of all, she didn’t know when Seios would visit, so she had to tell Enoch in advance. She immediately went to look for enough and was fortunate enough to run into him in the hallway.
They greeted each other and Leticia cautiously broached the subject to him.
“My father’s godfather said that he’ll be visiting the mansion soon. Will that be all right?”
Enoch smiled and gave a quick nod.
“Yes, that’s fine.”
“Oh, and Count Aster asked us to come visit.”
“Okay, I’ll go with you.”
Enoch nodded casually, as if he had already heard about it from Count Aster.
Feeling fortunate in her heart, Leticia finished her preparations quickly and went with Enoch to the Aster residence.
Count and Countess Aster welcomed Leticia and Enoch happily. Leticia’s voice rose at the unexpected proposal that came up while they were sharing warm tea and sweets.
“You want to adopt me?”
Baset casts SPOILER on Curufin.
It’s Super-Effective! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ
Thank you for the Kofi Curufin ( ´ ▽ ` ).｡ｏ♡