Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“So the person who started the rumor is…”
While listening, Leticia bit her lip in disbelief.
“You mean Emil?”
The story that followed was quite shocking.
You’ll lose luck, you will become unlucky, you’ll become unhappy. Leticia felt an indescribably dismay at the fact that Emil was the one responsible for the malicious rumor.
Enoch was sitting beside Leticia and was gently holding her hand when he said.
“There’s no clear evidence that he did it, but the circumstances are pretty d*mning.”
Leticia was trying to act like she was okay, but her hands were shaking.
The reality was, that she had vaguely realized.
Diana was the type to stomp others into the ground directly, and she often avoided mercy as if it was filthy. Irene never did anything unless she was directly affected.
Emil, on the other hand, always guided other people in the direction he wanted without getting his hands dirty and there was always a reason for what he did.
That didn’t mean that what he did was justified.
“This may hurt to hear, but I still want you to be careful.”
“I know you’re saying this because you’re thinking of me.”
How could she not see how worried he was while he was speaking?
It was hard to hide her complicated feelings, so she tried to shake her head weakly.
As Leticia looked up in curiosity, Count Aster slowly began to broach the subject.
“Why don’t you let my wife and I adopt you?”
Count Aster smiled, as surprise crossed Leticia’s face.
He didn’t say this lightly. Since he’d heard of Leticia’s excommunication he’d been troubled and agonized over what to do.
He couldn’t bring himself to ask her, and swallowed the words, because he was afraid that his proposal might be a burden to her.
However, after learning that the person behind the rumor was Leticia’s younger brother Emil, he could no longer sit still. He didn’t know how they might try to harm her in the future.
Although he didn’t share blood with her, he was at least confident that he would be able to protect Leticia with his status and title.
“I didn’t mean for you to answer right away. You’ll need to think, too.”
Leticia smiled softly as she realized this was something that they’d been thinking about for a while.
“Thank you. I’m going to think about it, too.”
She couldn’t get rid of her muddy feelings yet, but she was able to cheer up a little bit because their worry touched a corner of her injured heart.
“Are you all right?”
They were on their way back to the Achilles’ mansion after talking to the Count and Countess.
Sitting side by side, Enoch looked worried. Leticia smiled unconsciously at the sight.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset, but I’m much better since I’m with you.”
“What do you want to do?”
Leticia knew what he wanted to do without having to ask.
If she wanted him to, he would pay back Emil a hundred times for the false rumor he spread.
“I’m angry and upset. But…”
People who cared about Leticia surrounded her, so she could stand firm.
“I don’t want to push my hurt onto that child. I’m fine with how things are right now.”
Looking at Enoch, Leticia entwined her fingers with his large ones.
“It’s a waste of time, I’d rather hold your hand.”
She didn’t want to waste time on her family who’d given up on her a long time ago. She just wanted to make good memories with the people she liked.
Even if it was slow, she wanted to keep moving forward without hesitating.
Enoch gently covered both of Leticia’s cheeks with his hands as Leticia smiled broadly.
“I’m worried about how you’ll live in this harsh world while being so kind.”
Leticia laced her hands through Enoch’s, his eyes showed the sincerity he felt towards her.
“Then Lord Achilles will protect me.”
When asked with sparkling eyes, Enoch grinned and said reproachfully.
“You’re not very cunning.”
“It’s because I like it.”
Leticia could only look up at Enoch with a shy expression as he opened his eyes wide in surprise.
As soon as she belatedly realized what she had said, Leticia sucked in a breath.
“My, I just, uh, just…”
She was so ashamed that she wanted to disappear into thin air.
Just then, the carriage stopped and a voice told them that they had arrived at the Achilles’ mansion. As if she had been waiting for this, Letisha sprang up quickly.
She could hear Enoch calling to her, but Leticia quickly took the coachman’s hand and alighted from the carriage. She practically jumped down.
She fled to her room and flopped onto her bed. She buried her face in her pillow, and screamed.
“Crazy, crazy, crazy!”
Why did she use the word like in that situation?
In the meantime, Leticia remembered a face that seemed to smile happily at what he said, and her chest felt suffocated because her heart was beating fast.
‘Did it show too much?’
Leticia had managed to calm her excitement to some extent and stood in front of her mirror with gloomy thoughts. As soon as she saw her cheeks were still flushed, she felt unbearably embarrassed again.
She leaned her forehead against the mirror and murmured.
“It’s so obvious…”
Elle, you liar.
After that, Leticia wasn’t sure she could face Enoch, so she only went out at times when he wasn’t around, and only on roads he didn’t frequent. She avoided him so much that she didn’t even notice when Enoch’s gaze on her became unusual.
Apparently he had noticed that she was running away.
She went to the square this time because she knew that she couldn’t keep avoiding him.
She couldn’t do this forever.
Leticia sighed to herself and wondered what she should do.
‘Is it better to just confess? How do you confess first?’
There’s nothing she can’t do, but shouldn’t the person she loves approach her first.
Mad at the thought, Letisha took a long, deep breath and walked down the street. First, she had to figure out how to confess.
Suddenly she realized that it was crowded today.
‘Right, the tournament.’
She forgot for a moment about the Swordsmanship Tournament and the festivities around it.
‘How do I confess?’
It was very embarrassing, but she’d never confessed or been confessed to.
As she touched her fingertips with a troubled expression, she heard a nervous voice right next to her.
“I’ve liked only you for a long time!”
Even those who passed by were surprised and looked back. A man held out a bouquet of flowers that were too big to hold in one hand towards the woman in front of him.
“Will you accept them?”
She could see his hands shaking.
Leticia paused and imagined a picture of her confessing to Enoch, while giving him a bouquet of flowers.
No matter how hard she thought about it, something about it was weird. As she walked away again, Leticia glanced back to watch the confession.
‘Do I have to be in public like that?’
That’s a bit uncomfortable.
The more Leticia thought about what to do, the more she couldn’t come up with an answer, and all she could do was sigh.
“I want someone to teach me how to confess…”
As she mumbled to herself, an excessively flashy store caught her eye. Enchanted, Leticia approached it and the shopkeeper said with a broad smile on her face.
“If you share the same ring, your love will come true. Miss, come and see what I have.”
It was a plain-looking silver ring on the outside, but it had an unusual blue sheen to it.
Leticia picked up one of the silver rings, and looked at it closely. The owner said with a proud look.
“If there is a shape or letter you want, I can engrave it very beautifully for you.”
“Does it take a long time?”
“Not long at all. I’ll do it super quick.”
As she tapped her chest with confidence. Leticia frowned in thought, but her worry didn’t last long.
‘I’ll face this head-on.’
Having come to a decision with a grim determination, she quickly fell into another dilemma.
“Come to think of it… What shape or letter should I use?”
She couldn’t think of anything in particular, so Leticia stood in front of the store for a while, trying to come up with something.
Then she suddenly remembered that Enoch had cherished the handkerchief she’d given him.
“Ah! a four-clover.”
“Do you want a four-leaf clover on both of them?
Leticia hadn’t yet thought that far ahead, and clammed up again.
The owner, who was quietly watching her, carefully suggested.
“How about a three-leaf clover?”
“A three-leaf clover?”
“Yes, it has the meaning of ‘happiness’. The person who just visited had one engraved on his ring.”
“Yes, yes. I’m going to scold him this time if he doesn’t confess! Haha!”
The shopkeeper laughed aloud, as if it was funny to remember that figure.
“Then what size would you like?”
“I think this ring size will do for me.”
Come to think of it.
‘I don’t know Enoch’s ring size.’
Leticia looked down at her hand with a troubled look. She’d held his hand many times, so maybe it was possible to guess to some extent.
“Umm… I think this is close.”
She had no choice but to choose a moderately larger size than her own.
The owner asked her to wait a little while, since the engraving wouldn’t take long.
Leticia was left alone and sighed melancholically.
“I didn’t know buying a ring would be this hard.”
The next time they held hands, she would check the size of his fingers.
‘Huh? I think this would look good on Elle.’
Leticia had been waiting for the store owner when a ribbon caught her eye. She reached out to see how it would feel when she touched it.
A hand overlapped over her own.
As soon as she raised her head to see who it was, Leticia’s face turned cold.
She didn’t hold back her sigh, as she took two steps back. Levion frowned at her behaviour, wondering what he’d done that she didn’t like.
“Why can’t you control your expression better? It puts me in a bad mood.”
“Do I have to take care of your feelings?”
Being face to face with him made her feel exhausted. She just wanted the owner of the store to come out quickly.
Leticia turned away with a loud huff, as if she no longer had anything to say. Levion stared down at the ribbon that Leticia had tried to pick up.
“Do you want me to buy this for you?”
“You were upset last time when your other ribbon broke.”
“What do you mean… Don’t tell me…”
It reminded him of the broken ribbon she’d lost before she was expelled from the Leroy family.
The ribbon was still meaningful to her, she could only guess that Levion couldn’t understand why she’d been so angry.
It would hurt her if she had to explain it to him.
Levion was not done talking though.
“I want you to come to the Knight’s Swordsmanship tournament.”
He seems to have become used to Leticia ignoring him, so he kept talking to himself without any sign of discomfort.
“I won’t make you feel frustrated or upset anymore, I promise.”
“Yes, I suppose.”
She replied insincerely, as she was waiting for the shop owner to come out. Finally, the shopkeeper returned with a happy smile and handed Leticia the rings with the engraved pattern she had requested.
“I’ve made it especially pretty for you.”
“Thank you for your help.”
Leticia immediately turned away after thanking the shopkeeper, but it wasn’t long before Levion caught up to her.
The voice calling out to her sounded aggrieved, but the sound of his voice infuriated Leticia.
Leticia suddenly stopped walking and firmly shook off Levion’s touch. She looked straight at him and said.
“You said you’d buy me as many ribbons as I wanted last time, right?”
Leticia continued on, not expecting an answer.
“Can you buy what I like, what would you buy for me, what would suit me?”
“What I wanted wasn’t a new ribbon.”
She was annoyed that she had to explain to him what she’d been thinking so long ago.
“You still don’t understand? I wanted you to think of my feelings.”
“You’re the one who treated my heart as insignificant.”
The more she spoke, the more she couldn’t stand her twisted emotions. Leticia turned her head away.
“I didn’t expect you to understand.”
“I’ll just take it, I don’t know if I’ll give it away.”
Leticia said this in a dry, emotionless voice and brushed past Livion. Fortunately, Levion was no longer following her.
However, her depressed thoughts did not calm down so easily.
As she was walking endlessly through the city, someone reached out their hand from an alleyway.
Caught by surprise before she could avoid it, Leticia looked up with a pale expression.
“I think I said it last time, I’m narrow-minded and I hold a grudge.”
As she was about to greet him, she saw a ring on Enoch’s finger that had never seen before. She knew that he didn’t usually wear trinkets, or accessories, very often.
Leticia’s expression hardened as soon as she noticed that the ring Enoch was wearing was silver with a bluish tint, like the rings she had seen in the store.
‘You’ve already received one from someone else.’
That was the moment that her excited heart sank to the pit of her stomach.
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