Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
Is this what it feels like to be so embarrassed that you want to disappear?
Unable to bear this awkward atmosphere of being alone with him, Leticia leaned her forehead against the wall and screamed soundlessly.
‘I’m crazy, crazy!’
What was she thinking when she answered confidently that they’re a couple?
She had no choice, but to say it. Her face burned, as she thought about it again. She wanted to hide somewhere, but there was nowhere in such a small room that only contained a bed, a dressing table and a chest of drawers.
It was then that Enoch sighed as he sat down in a creaky old chair.
“Oh, yes… That’s right, it’s a big deal. The drought was worse than I thought.”
“No, not that.”
She didn’t understand what he meant. Forgetting her embarrassment, Leticia turned to look back at him. Enoch was wearing a relaxed expression and was smiling with his chin slightly raised.
“We have to act like a couple, don’t we?”
Anyone could tell her was having fun, as he wore a bright smile. Leticia covered her cheek with the back of her hand.
“How about we decide on what we’ll call each other first?”
“What we call each other?”
“I want to call you ‘wife’.”
“Huh, what do you mean wife?”
Leticia subconsciously raised her voice. She was dizzy from his unexpectedly sweet words.
However, when he looked at her as if she was cute, Leticia turned her head with a look of dissatisfaction.
“Don’t make fun of me.”
“I’m not teasing you.”
Enoch approached Leticia and poked her cheek. As soon as Leticia tried to push him away, his low voice reached her ears.
“Let’s wash up first.”
“Yes, I understand…”
Leticia closed her mouth after answering. Somehow, it felt like the first night of their honeymoon, and she could feel her face heating up again.
As soon as she noticed, Leticia immediately ran into the bathroom. She was worried about one thing while she was washing up.
‘How can I face Enoch?’
It was clear her face would turn red again as soon as their eyes met. When she thought of Enoch, who would laugh at her, a sigh escaped automatically.
Even after lightly washing up, she encountered a problem she hadn’t thought about in a while.
‘Now that I think about it, there’s only one bed…’
Leticia sneakily checked the bed. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was large enough for two people to sleep together if they held each other.
‘We’re going to get married someday.’
As soon as she sat on the bed, she covered her face with both hands. They normally held hands and even hugged, but it still made her nervous. When she thought they’d be sleeping alone in the bed together, she could hear her heart pounding.
Just then, her eyes met Enoch’s as he came out of the bathroom, while toweling off his wet hair.
They could have said anything, but they both seemed to have made a pact, and they just fell silent.
‘What should I do?’
Leticia was feeling nervous and bit her lip. She couldn’t believe she was going to sleep side by side with Enoch in the same bed tonight. No matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t sleep.
“Aren’t you going to sleep?”
It was Enoch who first spoke in the uncomfortable silence. Surprised, Leticia smiled awkwardly and ran her hand down the blanket.
“What? Oh, I’m going to sleep. Yes, sleep.”
For some reason, the way he looked at her seemed to be telling her to go to bed quickly, so Leticia laid down slowly as if she couldn’t win.
‘Can I lie down beside him and sleep?’
Despite her nervousness, Enoch laid a blanket on the floor and tried to lay down.
“Why are you lying on the floor?
“The floor is more comfortable.”
He said it with such a calm voice, that at first, she really thought he found the floor more comfortable.
But Leticia was not fooled by his words.
“Come up here, Enoch.”
“The floor is hard, it must be uncomfortable.”
Even if his family had been through difficult times, he would have slept in a bed. It bothered her that he was laying on the floor and acting like sleeping there wasn’t a big deal.
“I’m comfortable, so hurry up and sleep.”
Leticia peeked her head over the bed and tapped the spot beside her.
It became obvious to him that Leticia wouldn’t back down until he climbed up, so Enoch stopped pretending and gave in to her.
“I won’t do anything, so don’t worry and get some sleep.”
Enoch smiled sadly at Leticia telling him to relax and get some rest.
“I think that’s what I wanted to say.”
While he acted fearless, his mouth was dry and he didn’t know how he felt. Enoch pretended to be calm and placed a blanket on Leticia.
“It’s late, you need to get some sleep…”
Before he could finish his sentence, Enoch was frozen in place by a soft touch on his cheek.
“Just now… What did you do?”
He said this while trying to pull himself together. Fortunately, he didn’t stutter, but his voice cracked at the end.
It was her first time seeing Enoch half-destroyed, so she smiled gently for a while. Leticia covered herself with the blanket so only her eyes peered out.
She was no longer confident in facing him, so she quickly turned around. In the meantime, she could clearly feel his gaze on her, so Leticia closed her eyes tightly.
As soon as he heard her sleeping quietly beside him, he carefully sat up from the bed. He let out a long sigh, careful to not wake her up.
A goodnight kiss between adults.
“Are you telling me to sleep, or not…”
Enoch rubbed his eyes and clenched his teeth. It was clear that she did such a vicious thing on purpose to keep him awake.
‘You don’t know how I feel.’
Enoch poked Leticia’s cheek because she was adorable, even in her sleep.
“I won’t let you do something like that again, Leticia.”
He won’t let her sleep.
Even though he knew that she couldn’t hear him while she was so deeply asleep, he still whispered to her quietly and gently pushed Leticia’s hair back.
Thanks to her, he wouldn’t be able to rest at all.
“Your eyes look red, are you okay?”
The next morning, Leticia asked this as soon as they left the inn after eating a simple breakfast. Enoch looked particularly tired today and his eyes were red, so it was obvious he hadn’t slept.
Leticia was forced to nod at his assertion that she didn’t need to worry.
Enoch patted Leticia’s head lightly, and went to see the village’s fields. As soon as he saw it with his own eyes, Leticia clasped Enoch’s sleeve without realizing it.
The sight in the daylight was much more horrible than at night. The land had cracked, and the crops had dried up without a single drop of rain. As soon as she touched it, Leticia turned white as she saw the dead grass crunching and scattering like dust.
“I didn’t know it was this bad.”
The tragedy brought on by the drought felt like it was a terrible living hell.
“The relief supplies should arrive tomorrow.”
Enoch spoke in a calm voice because he’d already expected it to some extent. However, the look in his eyes as he gazed at the cruelly cracked ground looked pained.
At the sight, Leticia held Enoch’s hand tightly and whispered.
“I hope it rains soon.”
So that people don’t suffer anymore.
Seeing people starving day by day due to the withering of their crops from the drought, she felt a pang in her heart.
‘It would be nice if it rains tomorrow. No, I want it tonight.’
Before it became too late in the day, Leticia and Enoch left for the next village, eagerly hoping it would rain.
It was not until three days later that they finally heard the news that it had rained in the first village that night.
‘I shouldn’t have let my heart go out to you.’
Thanks to that, she was eventually grabbed by the tail.
As she hid herself in an alleyway where she couldn’t be seen, Keena grabbed her injured arm and swallowed a sigh. The cut seemed to be quite deep, and she could feel the hot blood flowing all over her palm.
Keena tore a strip off of the clothes she was wearing and wrapped it around her wound in place of a bandage. She tied it tightly to stop the bleeding, and a pained sound tried to escape her throat. Keena clenched her teeth to endure it, as the strength slipped out of her body and she sat down.
‘I acted too nosy.’
The source of her trouble was that she’d impulsively participated in the Swordsmanship tournament, even though she knew she shouldn’t reveal her existence.
She felt pathetic and let out a fierce huff. What made her more angry was that even if she went back in time, she would do the same thing again.
‘It looks like you’re a lot like me, of all people…’
She leaned against the wall while she was sitting on the ground, and thought of Leticia. She didn’t want to admit it, but they had a lot in common.
Fathers, who judge your value solely on your ability; and siblings, who often ignore and blame each other because they were busy keeping one another in check.
“Have you looked on this side?”
“Look for her carefully over there too.”
As soon as she heard the voices close by, Keena hurriedly got up from where she was sitting and moved.
Perhaps she’d lost too much blood, but her pace was gradually slowing and her vision began to blur. There was only one place that came to mind right now.
‘You wouldn’t like it if I went to you on my own.’
It hadn’t been that long since she’d apologized.
Keena couldn’t stop thinking about how stupid she was for worrying about Leticia not liking her. But for once, she had no choice but to be hated.
Keena went to Achilles’ mansion, pale and looking like she was about to collapse. She didn’t lose her way, because she’d already been sneaking in.
Her eyes were growing heavy, but Keena held on tight to the thread of her consciousness as she climbed the wall.
She struggled to knock on the closed window, but there was no answer back. When she knocked again, she belatedly realized that there was no one there to begin with.
“Sorry… I know you won’t like it, but I’m going in.”
As soon as she took a step inside without the owner’s permission, her eyes began to flutter. The sound of falling down rang out in the room.
‘If I was going to do this, there was no point in sneaking in.’
It was clear that someone would come to investigate the loud noise. Even though she knew she needed to leave now, her eyelids had become heavy and her body wouldn’t move, so she lay there helplessly.
She heard the door open and saw a man standing there, surprised to see her. For a moment, Keena mistakenly thought it was the Duke of Achilles.
However, he seemed much younger and meeker than Enoch.
‘That’s right, he went on a tour of the family territory.’
People, who could not possibly know about the circumstances that prevented him from entering the palace due to the paid leave he was forced to receive, sarcastically called him ‘lucky’ instead of ‘Duke Achilles’.
‘Did Leticia follow you?’
Before she even had a chance to sleep, she’d decided to go on tour with Enoch. It was so like Leticia that she started to laugh, which wasn’t appropriate considering the current situation.
“Who are you?”
Ian quietly asked this while watching her silently with a wary gaze. At first, he thought it was a thief or robber, but the person in front of him couldn’t move an inch.
‘What should I say?’
Before she could think of anything, her vision darkened. Keena had fainted without answering.