Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
A letter from the Imperial family arrived asking for another audience, more than likely it was because of the rumor that the nobles had collapsed at the banquet because of the pink diamonds.
Leticia gave Enoch a worried look, but he stroked her hair as if it would be fine.
“It’ll be okay.”
“It’s better this way. We can take this opportunity to set the record straight.”
At first, everyone thought it was because of the pink diamonds. However, the situation wasn’t as disadvantageous as expected due to the emergence of aristocrats who’d suffered from fevers because of the Rose Velvet.
“What do you mean?”
“This is happening because of my ex-family. You’re going through something that you shouldn’t have to.”
Leticia turned her head as if it was her fault. There was no evidence, but it was probably because of them that the banquet was ruined and rumors were spread.
She didn’t think of them as family anymore, but she still couldn’t look at Enoch.
Enoch, who was staring at Leticia, said with an exaggerated look of disbelief.
“Did you order the banquet to be ruined?”
“Did you ask them to spread false rumors?”
“Then it’s not a problem.”
Enoch sat down in the chair and immediately tugged on Leticia’s hand. She was startled by his sudden pulling on hand and was taken by surprise.
“Why are you apologizing? It was someone else who did something wrong.”
When Leticia finally came to her senses, she was already sitting in Enoch’s lap. As soon as she realized it, she tried to stand up, but his solid arm was already around her waist.
“Now I want to hear something other than sorry.”
Enoch blinked, then smiled in a way that could melt her away. Leticia clung to Enoch’s arm in embarrassment, because it looked as if he wanted to be even nicer to her.
“Relax your arm first.”
“If you promise not to say sorry from now on.”
Leticia pouted her lips as if she was being falsely accused, with an adamant expression that said was strongly against it.
“No, I didn’t mean to say that I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m sorry that it happened.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“If you keep saying sorry…”
Enoch nodded, his eyes dropped down as he raised Leticia’s hand.
“I’m upset, Leticia.”
“Did you mean to upset me?”
He’s a kind man.
Enoch smiled satisfactorily as he shook his head firmly and grabbed Leticia’s hand. Then, his expression quickly sank.
“You have to apologize for this though.”
Not knowing what he meant, Leticia blinked her blue eyes several times. Eventually, Enoch raised her hand as if he couldn’t help it, and he bit Leticia’s ring finger lightly.
It didn’t hurt, but it was an unfamiliar touch that startled her. As soon as Leticia pulled her hand away, her gaze intertwined with Enoch’s, who was staring at her quietly.
“I don’t see it.”
Only then did Leticia notice what he was saying, and she bit her lip with an awkward expression. She’d forgotten that she’d taken it off this morning when she was doing the washing in the morning.
“You scolded me for not having my ring.”
“I was even wearing it on a necklace.”
Without giving him time to talk, Leticia excused herself with a pitiful look.
“I had to take it off for a bit, because it’s important to me.”
“Since it’s so important, do you want me to take mine off as well?”
“No! Absolutely not! I just needed to take mine off for a bit!”
He was about to take off the ring, when she suddenly clasped his hand. Enoch tried to gently remove his hand, but her grip tightened to keep him from pulling away.
Her blue eyes stared at him desperately, so he had the urge to play it off as a joke.
“Are you still going to take it off?”
“Can I not?”
“I don’t want to take off my ring.”
Leticia grabbed onto Enoch’s arm, as she dropped her gaze. Her eyelashes fluttered as if to ask him to let her go, but he was looking down at her with something much more frightening and hard.
When she gently touched the back of his hand, Enoch rubbed her lips and finally responded.
“Why is it that only you do this to me?”
“I have to.”
I won’t let you go.
A rough voice came from between his clenched teeth. Then a large hand covered her white cheek and pulled her closer.
His lips that collided with hers felt both itchy and gentle, as if flower petals had landed on them. Then there was a light bite on her lower lip and the warmth that penetrated deep into her mouth. Unable to bear it, Leticia wrapped her arms around Enoch’s neck.
He wanted to touch her more. He wanted more.
When he was with Leticia, who seemed to casually reach out to him, Enoch felt a burst of unfamiliar feelings that he didn’t even know he had.
The desire to keep her close to him, the possessiveness to hold her in his hands, and the obsession.
Unlike her, who was filled with a mass of emotions, it always felt like Enoch could do anything for her if she looked up at him with those eyes
He called her name as he slowly pulled his lips away, and he pushed her hair back.
“Instead of saying sorry, please say ‘I like you’ and ‘I love you’.”
“Because I want to hear that more.”
Whenever Leticia apologized like she was a sinner even though she wasn’t at fault, Enoch felt mixed up. So, he asked her to use a word that seemed to satisfy his desires.
Fortunately, the words got through, and Leticia put them into practice.
“I love you.”
“Good, that’s how you do it.”
“No, that’s not it.”
As he tilted his head slightly, Leticia kissed Enoch’s cheek lightly. She was feeling slightly frustrated and said.
“What I just said wasn’t because I was sorry, but because I love you.”
He was so happy at this moment that he kept smiling.
‘No more, no less. Just this.’
He couldn’t have hoped for happiness like this.
One afternoon, a few days later, the day of the audience with the Emperor had arrived. Unlike Leticia, who was very nervous, Enoch seemed to be unconcerned.
“Are you okay?”
“Is there a reason why I shouldn’t be okay?”
She looked up at Enoch with concern, but he just smiled as if nothing was wrong. Only then did she feel a little relieved, but as soon as she entered the audience room, she began to feel anxious again.
The reason was that she could see Marquis Leroy, who had arrived earlier, standing there with an uncomfortable expression on his face.
The Marquis then tried to approach her with a smile on his face, as he tried to make himself look as gentle as possible. However, he had to stop walking because the Emperor had entered the audience room and sat down on his throne.
“I’m sorry to see you again over something so unsavory, but the rumors have spread too much.”
As soon as he sat down, the Emperor immediately brought up the subject of the summons.
“People are saying that the pink diamonds caused the nobles to faint at the banquet. Marquis Leroy, what do you think?”
“It may be a false rumor, but…”
Marquis Leroy, who frowned slightly with an awkward expression when he replied, then he snuck a look at Enoch.
“I don’t think a rumor like that would spread without a reason.”
The Marquis’ conclusion was that the pink diamonds were the problem.
“What do you think about it, Duke Achilles?”
This time, the Emperor turned his gaze towards Enoch, who calmly stated his thoughts without embarrassment.
“If the rumors are true, I will take responsibility.”
“Does that mean that you admit that it happened because of the duke’s ore?”
“I think it should be confirmed accurately before coming to that conclusion.”
“What do you mean by confirming?”
Enoch looked at Marquis Leroy for a moment, then answered the Emperor’s question.
“Recently, I’ve heard that the Rose Velvet has caused people to suffer from high fevers.”
Marquis Leroy tried to intervene quickly at his words, but when the Emperor raised one hand, he was forced to step back.
“Duke Achilles has a point. What do you want to do?”
“What about investigating whether the pink diamonds or the Rose Velvets have harmful substances?”
Marquis Leroy’s face, who’d been watching resentfully, began to turn blue. He was afraid of Enoch’s confident appearance, which showed no sign of hesitation.
“Your Majesty, isn’t it too sudden to consider an investigation?”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. It won’t take long, I have someone to help me.”
As soon as the Emperor finished speaking, someone appeared as if they had just been waiting. Marquis Leroy was shocked to find out who it was, so he almost cried out.
Like Marquis Leroy, Leticia immediately recognized Seios. She opened her eyes wide in shock, then she looked back at Enoch.
Enoch was calm, without any sign of surprise, as if he already knew this would happen.
“Let’s check them right now.”
When the Emperor nodded, an expressionless Seios walked up to the table. Pink diamonds and Rose Velvets were placed side by side on the prepared table.
Marquis Leroy swallowed dry saliva, and eagerly looked at Seios. However, Seios didn’t spare him a single glance, and only looked closely at the two gems alternately.
For some reason she was nervous, so Leticia pursed her lips and grasped Enoch’s little finger. Enoch squeezed Leticia’s hand lightly as if to reassure her.
On the other hand, Marquis Leroy only watched Seios with an anxious look. He was hoping he’d see the desperate look in his eyes.
In the breathtakingly heavy silence, Seios slowly opened his mouth.
“On the Rose Velvet gem…”
Please, please, please.
Marquis Leroy repeated in his mind the prayer that he hadn’t made in a few years.
“It is true that there are harmful substances, Your Majesty.”
His prayer was not heard.
Shocked, Marquis Leroy almost lost strength in his legs. Seios, who was watching the scene, continued to talk while staring at him with criticizing eyes.
“Because of the strong harmful substance, I think there will be symptoms of fainting and high fever.”
“I see. What about the pink diamonds?”
Marquis Leroy still had a little bit of hope at the Emperor’s words.
Perhaps there were still harmful substances in the pink diamond. He was going to push the blame on the pink diamonds somehow, even if it turned out that they were fine.
However, this also didn’t work out as Marquis Leroy wanted.
“I can feel the effect of detoxification of harmful substances.”
Leticia was quietly listening to the unexpected words and gasped in surprise. It was the first time Enoch had heard of it, and looked puzzled.
“So we’ve reached a conclusion.”
The Emperor looked down at Marquis Leroy, and stroked his chin with a relaxed expression.
The marquis had an ominous feeling, and clenched his fists.
“What? It’s the same.”
Her prayer was answered. For a while, Diana frowned when the petals fell from the air. Emil and Xavier just didn’t work hard enough, so their abilities didn’t seem to have been properly exercised.
Then a loud noise came from outside. When she opened the door and went downstairs, she saw Marquis Leroy. He’d entered the mansion with such heavy steps, as if he was trying to break the floor, and then slammed his office door with a loud thud. Soon after, the sound of vile screaming reached her ears.
Anger burned through the Marquis’ entire body, as he threw all the objects he could get his hands on and cursed.
In the end, the Emperor concluded that all of the fevers and fainting were due to the harmful substance in the Rose Velvet. The Marquis was penalized, and had to pay compensation to all of the victims. It ended up costing a lot more money than he expected because he had to take responsibility for the people who’d worked in his mine as well.
“I don’t have enough money for that right now!”
All the money he’d managed to scrape together was poured into the mining business, and what money he’d earned had been used to pay the miners’ wages. He felt strangled when he was asked to pay compensation for the damages.
In the meantime, the butler had carefully entered the room, and handed over two letters. The Marquis fiercely opened the letters, then burst into laughter because he was speechless.
The first letter came from the academy where Emil attended. Unlike usual, his performance had dropped significantly, and they were worried. This alone upset his stomach, but the second letter said that Xavier’s sword skills were not the same as before.
‘I have to bring her back.’
Marquis Leroy crumbled the letters in his hands and ground his teeth.
It was clear that everything would be solved with Leticia’s return. His business would work out like before, and it would make everything easier.
He had to bring Leticia back, no matter what.