Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
The Rose Velvet ore flourished day after day among the nobles, allowing Marquis Leroy to return to the mansion only today.
After entering the office, he frowned for a moment at the letter beautifully placed on his desk. Judging from the seal, it was clear that it was from the Achilles family.
After generously looking at the letter, Marquis Leroy threw it on the floor. He was displeased that a duke in name only had the audacity to invite him.
Who would go to such a shabby party, why were they even sending out invitations?
He was about to click his tongue when he heard a knock on his door. Emil opened the door and approached him.
“It’s good that you arrived, I was about to call you.”
Marquis Leroy greeted Emil with a friendly smile. He thought he’d shown up to tell him that he’d passed his exam.
However, Emil’s expression was unusual. Marquis Leroy had a bad feeling about something, because he didn’t answer readily.
He thought he was about to say that he’d had a hard time passing the exam.
“I’m sorry, father.”
Emil said something different than expected.
The Marquis looked at him firmly, thinking that he’d misheard. However, Emil just dropped his head in shame.
He could feel his hands and feet freezing, and his lips were stiffening.
“There’s nothing to be sorry about. You would have done as well as you usually do.”
Unbelievably, Marquis Leroy denied it, and turned a blind eye to the truth. Emil’s continued silence returned him to reality.
‘What the heck.’
He thought only good things would happen if he kicked out that useless first child. It was rather upsetting to see the bad things kept coming at him, as if they were laying in wait.
Didn’t the youngest tarnish his reputation by cheating; the fourth lost to a random woman off the street, placing second in a Swordsmanship tournament; and the second was all over the place, without being able to do anything.
Marquis Leroy had the highest expectations for his third child, the most skilled of them all. He felt a sense of betrayal at the news.
“Were you lacking in something and that’s why you failed the exam?”
No matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t understand. It was hard to believe that he’d failed the Imperial Civil Service exam, even though he’d never missed placing first in his academy classes. It was also painful to hear that he failed the final, most important test.
Emil sighed with an awkward look on his face.
“Father, that’s not the problem right now.”
“What’s more important than this?”
Marquis Leroy raised his voice at the sight of Emil, who showed no sign of reflection.
However, his following words shocked him greatly.
“Irene left the house.”
“What? Who’s leaving the house?”
While listening, he couldn’t believe it, and Marquis Leroy stammered without realizing it. When he accepted the words as truth, Emil nodded silently.
“Why did she leave the house?”
The Marquis tensed up at Emil’s news that his quiet and calm youngest daughter had left the house.
“She left the academy and went somewhere?”
“It seems like she dropped out of the academy too.”
He couldn’t believe that she’d dropped out and ran away from home.
Marquis Leroy collapsed into a chair with a blue face. His mind had emptied from this unacceptable reality.
“The child… Where did she go…?”
Irene, who only knew this house or the academy. His youngest daughter, who listened better than anyone else, had left the house.
There was no time to be sitting blankly in shock. Just then, his wife walked into the room. As soon as he made eye contact with Marquess Leroy, he jumped up from his seat and raised his voice.
“Wife, what were you doing?!”
He didn’t understand why this happened while he was away. He was angry that the house became like this just because he wasn’t there.
“What were you doing when Irene left the house?”
“Are you blaming me?”
Marquess Leroy yelled at him without backing down to the Marquis’ anger. Emil was about to stop the two because it was likely to turn into a bigger fight.
“Father, mother, my uncle is here.”
Xavier said this as he entered the room, and looked at the three people with a strange expression.
The Marquis and Marquess, who were staring at each other fiercely, were forced to go walk to the drawing room. Someone was already sitting there, leisurely sipping tea.
It was Marquess Leroy’s older brother, Count Keron Mitchell, who was the uncle to the children of the Leroy family.
“What brought you here?”
Unlike Marquess Leroy, who was happy to see his face after such a long time, Keron’s expression wasn’t very good.
“I thought it was best for us to talk face to face.”
Keron lightly greeted the Marquis and his wife, then brought up the main topic that brought him there that day.
“I have Irene, so you don’t have to worry too much.”
“What? Irene… Why…?”
Marquis Leroy murmured with a blank look at Keron’s words. There was no way they would have guessed that she went all the way to the Mitchell’s territory.
Marquis Leroy let out an annoyed sigh and said.
“I’ll go pick her up.”
He was glad to know where Irene had gone, but he was disappointed that she had run away from home. It’s a good idea to use this opportunity to scold her firmly. Keron, who was watching the Marquis closely, shook his head resolutely.
“No, count. I think it’s better if I keep her.”
“Irene wants to have time away from her family, so please understand.”
His words froze everyone in place.
Irene was a child who was extremely anxious being away from her family. They still couldn’t believe that the youngest child had run away from home just because she’d dropped out.
Looking at the Leroy couple, who couldn’t shake off their shock, Keron said he’d take care of Irene and to not worry as he left the mansion.
Eventually, Marquis Leroy was forced to return to his office, he cursed as he closed the door in annoyance.
He didn’t know what the hell this was all about. When he’d returned, he had planned to take a closer look at how the children were spending their time, but everything was a mess now.
No sooner had he sat down in his chair while cursing loudly, than he heard a knock on his office door.
“That… that… that… It’s urgent, so you’d better check it out now.”
When he allowed him to come in with a surprised voice, the butler entered the room and handed over the letters.
Marquis Leroy, who’d stood up when the butler knocked, sat down again and nervously received the letters from the butler. One was from his mine’s manager, and the other was from an unknown sender.
‘This must mean the ore keeps coming out, whether we look for it or not.’
He wondered if he’d need to write a reply to the letters, then frowned as he read them. The contents of the letter were completely different from what the Marquis of Leroy had expected.
‘The miners suddenly collapsed?’
If they’re being paid properly, they should work properly. It’s appalling that they were collapsing.
“There’s no one useful!”
He was thinking that he’d need to replace the miners with new ones.
Annoyed, he pushed the letter to the side and looked at the other letter. He hoped it was good news this time. The moment he unfolded the letter, his expression hardened for another reason.
It said that the child of the Erebos family, who he thought was dead, had appeared at the Swordsmanship tournament.
It was evening, Enoch should have already returned, but still hadn’t arrived. Sitting in the drawing room, Leticia kept waiting with an anxious look. Elle and Ian, who were sitting next to each other, took turns soothing Leticia.
“Sister, everything will be fine.”
“That’s right, sister. Don’t worry too much.”
Even as it darkened into night, Enoch didn’t arrive. She felt bad for the twins, who were nodding in their seats, so Leticia pushed them to go to bed.
She pretended to go to bed as well, then returned to the drawing room to wait for Enoch.
How long has it been? As the sun began to rise and lighten the sky, a tired looking Enoch returned.
“Did you wait until I returned?”
“I just came out to grab a glass of water.”
She claimed that she didn’t wait long, but Enoch realized really quickly that she’d been waiting a long time.
“You should have gone to rest in your room. When did you think I’d arrive?”
“I wasn’t waiting for you.”
While being tired, Leticia felt choked up by the gentle kindness he showed when he stroked her hair.
“Did your work go well?”
“I think it’ll be hard to escape responsibility, since it happened at our party. But you don’t have to worry, because it’ll be resolved quickly.”
Enoch said it would be okay, but Leticia knew that it wasn’t something that could easily be overlooked.
“You look very tired.”
Perhaps because of all the problems he’d been dealing with, his eyes, which are normally full of energy, were as cloudy as a foggy night. Seeing how pale his face had become in a day, Leticia cupped both of Enoch’s cheeks.
“It’s nice seeing you like this.”
Despite his exhaustion, Enoch’s smile rose smoothly as he pressed his lips to Leticia’s hand.
“But next time, don’t wait up so long. Go to your room and rest.”
“Okay. Get some rest too, Enoch.”
She still had more to ask, but Leticia went back to her room like Enoch.
It was not until she saw Enoch enter the mansion that she felt a little relieved, but she couldn’t sleep even while lying in bed.
It was concluded that the sudden collapse of the young ladies at the party was not due to the Achilles family. However, because it happened at a party hosted by the Duke of Achilles, everyone was reluctant to be around them. The fact that this all happened at their party caused them to lose reputation and avoid them.
‘Rumors are spreading as well.’
Leticia went to the square to cool her head. She sighed with a conflicted look.
She thought the rumors would calm down swiftly, but contrary to her expectations it showed no sign of slowing down. Rather, there were conspiracy theories that it was a scheme to harm certain nobles.
She couldn’t stop sighing when she thought of Enoch, who continued to be troubled by this incident even though it was supposed to be resolved. News spread among the commoners, and the good reputation they’d built up had begun to collapse again.
‘What should I do?’
She sat at the fountain for a long time, and kept thinking about it over and over again. She became more and more depressed because she couldn’t think of a way to help.
The moment she looked down at her toes, a shadow fell over her head. As she slowly raised her head, she made eye contact with Diana, who was looking down at her with her arms folded.
“You’ve become more brazen after worming your way into that family.”
“If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to show my face.”
Leticia stared coldly, as Diana’s sharp tone was getting on her nerves more than usual today.
“I don’t have the energy to deal with you right now, so go back while I’m still asking nicely.”
“It seems like you haven’t heard yet.”
“You really didn’t hear?”
Even before she could ask what she meant, Diana flashed a malicious smile.
“They’re saying everyone got sick from the wishing bracelets that unlucky Achilles girl made.”