Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
“I knew my brother’s ability wasn’t anything to be ashamed of, but I didn’t expect him to make it this far.”
It was already the day of the semi-finals for the Imperial Knights tournament.
Elle chose the seats with the best view in the competition hall, she shrugged her shoulders with a proud expression. Leticia did not look well at all, as if something was bothering her.
Ian noticed immediately and carefully asked Leticia.
“Sister, are you all right?”
“Huh? Oh, sure. I’m fine.”
He could see her pale hands shaking a little. Unlike her words, she seemed quite nervous.
“Don’t worry too much, because everything will be fine.”
Elle said and held tightly onto Leticia’s hand. Ian, who was sitting on the other side of her, took hold of her other hand, and the tremors subsided little by little.
“I hope he doesn’t overdue it.”
Leticia was fine with Enoch losing his match, as long as he wasn’t hurt.
As she took deep breaths and tried to calm herself, a cheer spread through the crowd.
Her mouth dried up as the match began.
‘It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.’
Enoch was very skilled. Leticia knew this quite well and he’d promised her that he wouldn’t get hurt, so she didn’t have to be so nervous.
Why am I so worried?
Leticia gasped as soon as she looked at Enoch, and tried to pull herself together by saying that it will be okay.
A sword grazed Enoch’s forearm as he tried to avoid the weapon. Leticia’s heart sank as soon as she saw this and she frowned slightly.
“Sister, he’ll be fine.”
Elle tried to reassure Leticia as soon as she saw her face pale, but Leticia’s gaze never turned away from Enoch’s form.
Fortunately the fight ended with neither combatant being injured again, and Enoch was able to move on to the finals. Elle and Ian both clapped and rejoiced, but Leticia quickly ran to see Enoch in the infirmary.
As soon as she entered, she saw Enoch sitting on a chair having his wound dressed. As soon as she saw the red blood on his white shirt, she felt emotional.
“How is your injury? Does it hurt?”
“It’s okay, it’s just a minor cut.”
He showed his forearm like it was nothing, but Enoch soon closed his mouth. It was because his heart sank at how coldly she was looking at him.
“I’ll be careful from now on, I won’t get hurt.”
As soon as he said that excuse, her white hands wrapped around his cheeks.
Surprised by the sudden touch, Enoch’s mouth dried up as her blue eyes quietly looked down at him. Then Leticia pinched Enoch’s cheeks.
When he looked up in surprise, he met Leticia’s frowning face, her eyes full of disapproval.
“You promised you wouldn’t get hurt.”
“Ah shorry, Ah wont.”
I’m sorry, I won’t.
His pinched cheeks may hurt a lot, but Enoch looked sincerely sorry.
The corners of his mouth slightly raised, as if it felt good that Leticia was worried about him.
‘You’re really mean.’
Thanks to his smile, she couldn’t hate him to her heart’s content. So she pulled harder on his cheeks.
“Ow! My cheeks ache now.”
“I’m pinching you because you got hurt. If you get injured again…”
Leticia leaned down and put her lips close to Enoch’s ear. His shoulders trembled as he felt her breath on his cheek.
However his face stiffened at the words she whispered to him.
“Oh, that’s a bit of a problem.”
“Just don’t get hurt.”
“That’s a bit…”
As soon as he thought about the consequences of being hurt again, he frowned.
Leticia smiled slightly as she watched Enoch worry with a serious look on his face.
“Then what do I get if I don’t get injured?”
Once again, Enoch’s body tensed when he felt her breath against his ear, but there was no way he could let her realize how she affected him. Leticia smiled brightly, but this time she straightened without grabbing his cheeks again.
Enoch stared blankly as she walked away, then breathed out slowly.
‘It still tickles.’
The feeling of her soft breath on his red ear, Enoch recalled what Leticia had whispered to him.
[If you get hurt, I won’t let you get away with it, but I’ll adore you even more if you don’t get hurt.]
He almost asked how much more she’d adore him, but he didn’t dare ask. He was worried he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the match if he heard.
“Saying you’ll hold or release a person’s heart while wearing such an innocent face…”
She was really impertinent, but still adorable. Leticia lingered in his head for a long time after she left.
‘Why did I say that I’d adore him more?’
Leticia was on her way back to the stands where Elle and Ian were. She stopped walking for a while, and covered her face with her hands.
She didn’t care at the time, but she felt incredibly shy after the fact.
‘If you get hurt, I won’t let you get away with it.’
Leticia stopped walking again.
The finalists for the tournament were Enoch and Levion.
But she hadn’t expected to bump into Levion in front of the infirmary, so Leticia tried to pass by him as if she hadn’t seen him.
“Are you serious?”
Leticia slowly turned around at the sound of the voice she heard from a few paces away.
“Are you serious about him?”
She could tell without asking who Levion was talking about.
“Yes, I’m serious.”
At first, she thought he was a friendly person, unlike his cold impression. When they became closer, she found him to be sincere and responsible.
Now she had a great and unshakeable desire to move forward.
By his side.
“Does he feel the same way as you?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
She didn’t want to tell him that she knew Enoch’s sincerity better than anyone else.
Levion frowned at what she said, then changed the subject.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.”
Levion knew Leticia well, and she never wore accessories. He was suspicious of the ring she was currently wearing.
It wasn’t that Leticia didn’t like jewelry, but she just didn’t care to wear it. It wasn’t that she was particularly disinterested, it was just that it was a bit inconvenient.
‘It was definitely for that reason.’
There was a ring on Leticia’s slender finger that he’d never seen before.
It was a ring that could be sold from any street vendor. The only thing unusual about it was the blue tint, otherwise it was a common ring.
“Even if you’re excommunicated, you should still try to keep up appearances.”
Levion said this angrily, as he ran his hand through his hair in irritation. It seemed she’d fallen in his estimation because she was wearing a cheap ring.
Displeased by his remark, Leticia’s lips crept up.
“Please take care of your appearance. You shouldn’t be so mean to your ex-fiancée.”
Levion gasped at words that came out of Leticia’s mouth.
“I’m being mean to you?”
“I’m done talking about my ring. I’m afraid I’ll look like I’m acting like you.”
After she’d said her piece, Leticia turned around, as she didn’t want to deal with him anymore.
Levion wanted to grab her right away and ask what she meant, but he didn’t want to look any more pathetic. Levion decided to be patient and went to the waiting room.
The last final match had begun. The predicted competitors had moved up to the finals, and people were making bets on who would win. Everyone was saying that Levion would win because of his fame in sword fighting, but there were also many who said that Enoch was likely to win.
The trumpet sounded out the beginning of the match, and the crowd turned to the arena in anticipation.
‘Please, please, please.’
Leticia looked nervously at Enoch, her eyes kept returning to his injured forearm.
‘I hope you don’t push yourself too hard.’
She was afraid that the wound would open up again. Fortunately, Enoch showed no signs of pain and was calmly dealing with Levion.
She was nervously watching as the sharp sounds of swords clashing against swords and the menacing attacks on each other.
Enoch faltered for a moment when his bandaged arm throbbed. Without missing his chance, Levion thrust his sword at Enoch’s neck. Leticia almost rushed down to the arena floor before she stopped herself.
Fortunately, he was not stabbed in a vital area, but blood trickled down from Enoch’s hand as he grabbed Levion’s blade to prevent it.
While she was relieved that he wasn’t seriously hurt, Leticia was still upset he was hurt and felt a pang of worry.
So far, the match was one win for Enoch, and one win for Levion.
Somehow, thanks to his opponent’s inattention, Enoch became the final winner with two wins. People wondered what had distracted Levion, but cheered happily for the new champion.
Amidst the powerful cheers, Leticia went to find Enoch at the infirmary.
‘You said you weren’t going to get hurt.’
Even though she knew it was too much to ask, she still felt resentful. At the same time, she was worried about his hand, that he’d injured when he’d grabbed the blade.
She was moving quickly to check on Enoch.
“Me, too. I’m hurt, Leticia.”
“I’m hurt, too.”
So please look at me.
The moment she encountered the deep purple eyes, they seemed to be begging her.
Leticia had turned around unintentionally. Behind her stood Levion, who looked at her like a child longing for affection. He had his hand wrapped around his injured shoulder.
‘When did he get hurt?’
Leticia was very sensitive and perceptive to people’s wounds, but she was so distracted by Enoch’s injured hand that she hadn’t notice when Levion was hurt.
She could see a lot of blood on his hand, it must be quite a deep cut.
He didn’t look good. There must be a lot of people here that could support and take care of him. She didn’t know what his intention was by coming all the way here and showing her his injury, but she didn’t think it was good.
The fact that he knew she was going to Enoch and called out to her. It seemed as if he was trying to use her to relieve his frustration at losing to Enoch.
“I don’t know about anyone else, but aren’t you worried about me?”
“Or were you always like this and I didn’t know?”
She stared silently at him, while he poured sharp words out towards her as if he’d been waiting for that moment.
It seems that he was taking out his anger on her.
“Complain to others, it’ll look less pathetic.”
There was no more worry about giving to people who only thought of wounding her.
As soon as Leticia turned away calmly, Levion’s face crumpled.
The doctor was just leaving the infirmary after applying medicine and a white bandage to the sword wound on Enoch’s hand.
Leticia had waited until the two were alone to say this. Enoch was frowning slightly at his hand that was tingly at the slightest movement, but quickly raised his head.
Leticia had been watching, so there was no way she didn’t know.
“But I still won.”
“It doesn’t count.”
“I worked hard and won.”
“It was on the condition that you wouldn’t get hurt, so no.”
Enoch slumped his shoulders weakly, gently grasped Leticia’s hand with his uninjured hand and looked up at her.
“Can’t you please forgive me?”
He said this anxiously, hoping that his earnestness would reach Leticia. He was curious about how much Leticia liked him and wanted to be adored by her.
He purposely looked up at her with puppy dog eyes, and saw a smile on Leticia’s lips.
“I don’t think so.”
Leticia pushed Enoch’s hand away with a bright smile.
It was no use for Enoch to pretend as if he was hurt by the unexpected rejection.
As soon as they arrived at the Achilles mansion after the Knights tournament, they held a celebration in honor of his victory, but Enoch’s face looked strangely dark for someone who’d won.
“People are going to think you lost. Can you at least smile?”
Elle was scolding him, but Enoch only looked at Leticia sadly. Even though she felt his gaze, she pretended she didn’t know and congratulated him on his win.
The next day, Seios stopped by as promised.
“Do you have something important to tell me about my ability?”
Leticia led him to the drawing room, he looked both nervous and excited.
Seios had been quiet until the tea came out, then he slowly started to speak.
“I think your ability is luck.”
*No kofi accepted for this novel