Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
Only a small number of people knew what Leticia’s ability was, but word spread that good things happened when around her, so the cookies she made began to sell quickly.
She was happy when a lot of unexpected money arrived in a short time, but she also wondered if she deserved it. After some consideration, Leticia donated all of the money, except for a reasonable amount for her living expenses, and some money to give to the people around her. Most of the donations went to the residents of the Achilles territory, who had suffered from the drought.
‘Come to think of it, it’s been quiet lately.’
Leticia was on her way back to the Achilles’ mansion after organizing her schedule with the owner of Pegasus. Her days had been so hectic that she hadn’t even noticed that her ex-family had stopped visiting.
It was comfortable because they didn’t show up to beg her to return, but she was also feeling nervous because they didn’t come.
At that moment, she felt a strange chill run down her back. As she was about to turn around, a white hand landed on Leticia’s shoulder.
“What confidence is it that lets you walk around alone?”
While it sounded like a question asked out of curiosity, it came out more like a criticism. Leticia immediately knew who it was, and couldn’t hide her surprise as she looked up.
“You’re walking around fearlessly without knowing how dangerous the world is.”
Keena shook her head, and lightly poked Leticia’s cheek. At the annoying poke, Leticia pushed her hand away.
“Didn’t you say you wouldn’t appear again?”
“You looked like you were in danger. Should I have just watched?”
“It looked dangerous?”
When she blinked in confusion, a frustrated Keena said.
“You didn’t even realize that someone was following you?”
“I really didn’t know.”
“Your family is trying to take you back home. What were you thinking about going around alone?”
“Strictly speaking, I’m not alone. I have escorts with me too.”
Just a few days ago, Enoch posted a few guards to Leticia just in case.
Keena jerked her chin back without a word. In the direction she was pointing, Leticia’s escorts were lying on the ground.
“What happened?! It’s because the people who tried to kidnap you knocked out your guards.”
“Who are those people?”
Leticia asked as belatedly found some different men lying down near her escorts.
Keena shrugged her shoulders and calmly replied.
“I knocked out the men who tried to kidnap you.”
“You helped me?”
“If it wasn’t me, who was going to help?”
Keena clicked her tongue, and acted as if it was a matter of course.
Perhaps because of her past behaviour, Leticia didn’t feel there were any good intentions on her part and had a hard time feeling gratitude.
“If you were following me because you were worried I would go back to my family, you don’t have to. I told you last time, I don’t want to go back and I’ve stated clearly to them that I won’t.”
“You’re saying that to someone who was genuinely worried about you and helped you?”
Keena frowned in displeasure and glared at Leticia. It was obvious that she was upset, so Leticia stayed quiet for a while, then sighed.
“I thought it was because you always saw me as a means to an end.”
“Not anymore… It’s not like that anymore.”
Her loud voice suddenly lost it’s strength and sagged. Leticia, who was watching Keena silently, smiled slightly.
“Thank you for protecting me, and not ignoring what was happening.”
Keena turned her head, and touched the back of her neck in embarrassment.
“Who wants to hear thank you?”
“But I have to say it.”
As expected, she suddenly thought that she couldn’t be a completely bad person. Without looking at Leticia properly, a sheepish Keena said.
“Anyways, don’t make me worry about you. I don’t want to care, but it bothered me.”
It sounded strangely warm, even though it sounded like she was blaming Leticia.
“Will you help me next time?”
The words might have sounded brazen, but Keena answered firmly, without any sign of displeasure.
“No, I’m not going to protect you. I won’t visit you either.”
“Then why did you help this time?”
She was obviously embarrassed by Leticia’s curiosity, but Keena replied with a sigh.
“I just happened to be there. Don’t put too much meaning onto it.”
“You know nothing good comes from getting close to me.”
As soon as she tried to turn away, Leticia’s voice grabbed her attention.
“Still… Thank you.”
Keena, who paused at her heartfelt appreciation, turned away without answering and moved away.
After that day, Leticia didn’t see Keena for a long time.
Rumors began to circulate that the Leroy family might be on the verge of ruin because of the harmful substances in the Rose Velvet that caused the nobles to collapse. On the other hand, the Achilles family had another chance at revival.
“Did you see the report from the mine manager?”
Elle, who’d been reading the letter seriously, rushed to Enoch and handed it over to him. The report said that the pink diamonds were flowing out, and inquiries were flooding in.
Upon hearing the news that pink diamonds had a detoxifying effect, the nobles were eagerly trying to get their hands on some. Thanks to this, they were able to pay off the rest of their remaining debts. It felt even more meaningful because it was a long standing desire.
During such happy days, Count Aster and his wife made a suggestion to Leticia.
“We should have a party where we officially introduce you as our daughter. What do you think, Leticia?”
The Emperor had already recognized Leticia as the daughter of Count and Countess Aster, and not Marquis Leroy’s. However, there were still some people that called her ‘Miss Leroy’. It seemed that the Count and Countess wanted to remind people that she was a daughter of the Aster family.
“I think it’s a good idea.”
Regardless of their intentions, she was nervous and excited to think about a party being held just for her.
The party was scheduled to be hosted by Count Aster at his mansion. Enoch, who’d heard the news from the Aster couple, suggested that they attend together, and Leticia excitedly waited for the day.
As time passed, the day of the party arrived. Leticia carefully changed into the clothing in front of her. It was the dress that Count and Countess Aster had sent to her the day before, along with a letter asking her to wear it if she wanted.
“No matter how hard I think about it…”
Leticia looked at it with an expression that wondered if it was really okay. It was a translucent and white dress that wouldn’t look out of place at a wedding.
Leticia agonized over it for a while, and decided to attend the party in the dress prepared for her by the Aster’s without saying anything. As she exited her room after dressing up, she made eye contact with Enoch, who was waiting outside her door. As soon as she saw Enoch, she smiled brightly for a while, but then she stopped without realizing it.
He was dressed more neatly than usual, but it looked like Enoch was wearing formal wear that would be worn at a wedding, and her head dropped down.
‘It really feels like I’m going to get married.’
Enoch reached out to Leticia with his usual friendly smile, and she was unsure whether he realized it, or not. Leticia also smiled and held Enoch’s hand in response.
“It looks like you’re going to get married.”
Enoch had the same idea, and spoke as if it wasn’t a big deal. However, the way he gently turned his head seemed to show that he was embarrassed.
“Are you feeling shy?”
“It’s not that.”
“Hmm? I think you’re really feeling shy.”
Now he couldn’t even look her in the eyes, and Leticia burst into laughter. Even if Enoch told her to stop laughing, she couldn’t.
“Are you ready?”
As they entered the Aster mansion, Leticia was amazed. All the decorations in the banquet hall shone luxuriously and brilliantly. Among them, the most noticeable was the jewels embedded in the chandelier. The nobles who were enjoying the banquet couldn’t help, but looked up at it.
Leticia pointed at the chandelier.
“Are they all pink diamonds?”
“I guess so.”
Enoch lightly shrugged his shoulders. Leticia, who had been glancing at Enoch in a languid manner, asked.
“I’m curious. Did my mother send you that outfit?”
She looked up at him, hoping for an immediate answer, but there was no reply. The way he gently looked down at her, Leticia was sure that it was a gift sent by Count and Countess Aster.
Contrary to her overall white dress, Enoch’s banquet suit was a neat black, so anyone could mistake them as a wedding couple.
The moment Leticia was about to say something, Count Aster and his wife appeared.
“Thank you so much to everyone for coming to the party.”
Count Aster spoke to the nobles with a more tender look than ever.
“The reason I invited you like this is to officially introduce my daughter.”
As soon as he finished speaking, the Count had Leticia come stand with him and the Countess with a soft smile.
This was being done because the original introduction of Leticia as his adopted daughter had been interrupted by the nobles collapsing at the party hosted by the Achilles family. He was taking this opportunity to introduce Leticia, and properly established her position.
In addition, they’d matched her outfits with Enoch’s to remind people once again that they were engaged.
That’s how much they thought about her.
For some reason, Leticia’s eyes began to redden as she felt a surge of emotion. Something came over her, she couldn’t hold back, and grabbed Enoch’s hand.
It was the first time she had ever felt so happy that she was on the verge of tears.
“How long are you going to keep Diana in her room?”
She didn’t know how many days it’s already been, but the Marquess looked disapprovingly at Marquis, and had asked him when it would be over.
At least it would be nice if she could leave her room, or take walks outside, but Marquis Leroy wasn’t even interested in allowing it. It was as if he didn’t care what happened to Diana.
“I should’ve kicked Diana out.”
Marquis Leroy muttered quietly without answering his wife. However, the Marquess was sitting right next to him, and she heard enough.
“What did you say?”
Even as she looked at him in amazement, Marquis Leroy crossed his arms as if he hadn’t said anything wrong.
“Diana prayed that her younger brothers’ abilities would disappear, which led to this incident. We’ve received divine punishment.”
“Don’t say nonsense!”
“You should be glad that she wasn’t kicked out of the house! She’s the most useless one, always has been!”
With a look that said she wanted to refute everything he said if she could, Marquess Leroy finally revealed the question she’d been holding in.
“Then what about you?”
“You told me your ability was to succeed in business, but you’ve ruined your business so badly!”
Even after they were married, Marquis Leroy never properly told her what he was capable of, and only vaguely told her that it was the ability to succeed in business. When their ruined family began to slowly recover one by one, and then made it big in business, she had to believe what the Marquis had told her. She had no basis to disbelief him, because all the businesses he’d worked on had prospered.
However, she doubted if it was really his ability, now that his business was crumbling instead of prospering.
“Be careful what you say, wife!”
“Did I say something wrong?”
Emil and Xavier sighed in frustration at the atmosphere where it felt like they’d bite into each other at any moment. That was when they heard the sound of the door of the mansion creaking open behind them.
When they looked over in surprise, there was an unexpected person standing there.
Marquis and Marquess, who were just slandering each other, stopped fighting and looked at Irene. She’d walked into the mansion with her luggage and a calm look, even though everyone was focused on her.
“Oh, my daughter. How have you been?”
The Marquess ran over with tears in her eyes, and hugged Irene. However, Irene pushed her away and picked up her bag again.
“I’ve been staying with Uncle on the family land.”
“I heard, but you didn’t send a single letter!”
Despite her mother’s resentful voice, Irene apologized matter-of-factly without her expression changing. While the Marquess was confused by the sudden change in her personality, Marquis Leroy anxiously stepped forward and asked Irene a question.
“What about your ability? Did you lose it?”
Irene stared up at his hopeful expression, and answered.
“Yes, I don’t have one anymore.”
Her dry reply caused a small amount of despair in the Marquis, and made him want to sit down.
 I think it’s supposed to look something like this https://imgur.com/a/7zJrOny