Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
5 Advanced Chapters
He had predicted that someday Keena’s true identity would be revealed.
He couldn’t keep her close, but it was awkward not knowing where she was, so Enoch put a person on Keena.
He informed her in advance that she would be followed because he knew that she could beat up anyone she wanted. Contrary to his expectations that she would be offended when he told her, Keena readily accepted him doing so.
A few days later, just when Keena showed herself for a bit, she was almost kidnapped by her tail.
Thanks to his prediction, and being a few moves ahead, he was able to get to her before she was dragged away.
“Then where is Keena right now?”
“She’s in a separate building. I haven’t prepared a safe house yet.”
The attempted kidnapping was relatively recent, so it was inevitable that he wasn’t prepared. Enoch explained that he planned to move her as soon as possible once he found a proper shelter.
The Marquis’ threats made it very difficult to think about the fact that Keena, who’d almost been kidnapped because of her, was nearby. Her confusion was further compounded by the letter Mary had handed her.
[I’m sending you this letter because father’s movements have been unusual lately. I have a bad feeling about how often he’s been meeting with Marquis El recently. I hope my intervention isn’t uncomfortable for you. By the way, I’m enclosing the letter that Marquis El sent to father.]
Irene’s letter contained another letter with unfamiliar handwriting. The writing said ‘I know her movements, and I’ll be able to catch her soon.’
“Can I meet Keena right now?”
Enoch agonized for a while, and was forced to nod because he knew that Leticia wouldn’t back down.
Perhaps it was because she’d sent a message through Mary before going to the annex, but Keena looked at Leticia without a hint of surprise.
“I thought I’d never see you again, but here we are, seeing each other like this.”
They were sitting facing each other, and the situation felt somehow uncomfortable, so Leticia dropped her gaze automatically.
“I know, it’s embarrassing to see my face.”
“Why are you doing that? Didn’t you come because you had something to say?”
Even with Keena’s urging, Leticia remained still, and her mouth shut.
The reality was, there were so many things that she wanted to say that her mind was full, but she couldn’t figure out what to say first. The more she tried to organize what was in her head, the more chaotic it became.
Eventually, Leticia managed to pull herself together, and slowly began to speak.
“Is it true that the Marquis framed the Erebos family?”
“You don’t want to believe it, do you?”
Keena smirked with her arms crossed. Her attitude said that she’d already guessed what Leticia would say.
“I just want to know the truth.”
Leticia tried to speak confidently, but her hands trembled faintly as they clasped her sleeves. Keena smiled bitterly as she watched her, stood up from her seat, and took something out of a drawer.
Then she placed it in front of Leticia without saying a word. Leticia looked up at Keena with a confused look. The moment their eyes met, Keena smiled crookedly, and asked.
“Do you know what false accusation was made against my family?”
Keena answered before she could ask what it was.
“Amassing an army.”
“All of them were executed for trying to train rebel troops while avoiding the Emperor’s eyes.”
At that time, among the three main families, the Erebos family had the highest status and power. Which was probably why the previous Emperor felt threatened, and decided to suppress them, while the other families waited quietly for an opening to arise.
“Of course it was a lie, and this is the proof.”
What Keena put down was an Imperial decree, and a letter written on regular paper. Oddly enough, the content was the same, but the handwriting was very different. Additionally, the handwriting on the paper somehow seemed familiar to her.
“I was told that one was written by your father, and the other is a copy in the Emperor’s handwriting, and was given to my father.”
It meant that someone had sent a forged edict from the Emperor. The contents of the degree asked Duke Erebos to train troops and develop military power.
In the end, Duke Anders Erebos had trained an army under a false order. Then the Emperor’s predecessor accused him of treason, and destroyed the Erebos family.
‘It’s good that she didn’t throw it away.’
Keena looked down at the forged imperial document, and lowered her eyes. It was something that her father held onto like his life depended on it until the day he died.
Later on, he discovered that the shape of the seal was slightly different from the Emperor’s. After he’d confirmed that it was a forgery, he’d visited each person who was famous for imitating handwriting, and threatened them one by one before finally confronting the culprit.
Unable to endure the threats, the culprit presented the paper that Marquis Leroy had given him, and told him to use it as he wished. Just in case, he made a copy of the original, and burned the copy in front of Marquis Leroy.
“The forger was deaf, so the Marquis had to write it down for him. He was so good at imitating handwriting, Marquis Leroy wouldn’t have thought to ask anyone else to do it.”
“What do you think? Isn’t it a boring story?”
Unlike Keena, who raised her shoulders jokingly, Leticia felt like her world was quietly collapsing.
‘How far can I be disappointed?’
A confused smile spread across her face. She wasn’t surprised, but felt even more unfamiliar with herself now.
“What do you want?”
“I want to pay back the sins that your father has committed.”
“There’s nothing else that I want.”
Keena slowly approached Leticia and smiled.
“Then I’ll ask you this time. What do you want?”
Leticia closed her mouth instead of answering. She didn’t dare to think about what kind of repercussions would occur if this truth was revealed.
What was certain is that it would have some effect on her too.
Holding her trembling hands tightly, Leticia slowly raised her head.
“It’s the same for me too.”
As soon as their gazes collided, Keena’s eyes opened wide, as if she hadn’t expected that response. Without taking her eyes off of her face, Leticia continued.
“I hope you pay him back for what he did.”
If possible, for everything.
Marquis Leroy had finally started to feel like he was alive again. It was only a matter of time before Leticia, who was unnecessarily weak-minded, had no choice but to return. It was also a matter of time before he could capture that child of the Erebos’ family.
‘Everything will be solved soon.’
Just thinking about it made him smile.
When Leticia arrives, the abilities of his children that had suddenly disappeared would return. In addition, the businesses that had fallen to ruin will gradually be resolved, and the collapse will be buried without anyone knowing.
All that was left was for everything to go back into its place.
“Oh! I shouldn’t be doing this.”
At the sudden thought, the Marquis hastily checked his plans. He was going to prepare the projects he had in mind in advance.
‘I’m going to grab them before anyone else can take them away.’
It was times like these that he liked to hum. The butler knocked from outside the room, the Marquis opened the door with a suspicious look, and heard that there was a guest waiting for him.
“You acted like you wouldn’t see me again. What are you doing here?”
As soon as he saw his face, he spoke bluntly, but Marquis Leroy was actually relieved. On the other hand, the expression of the visitor was darker and gloomier than ever.
The moment he sat down, Seios quietly said the Marquis’ name with a deep frown on his face.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I stood by you, and watched over you more than anyone else in my own way.”
“There were times when you went the wrong way, but eventually you took the right path. I learned a lesson from you because of that.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He arrived suddenly, and started the conversation with a heavy topic, which caused Marquis Leroy to frown as if he was uncomfortable. Without taking his eyes off of his face, Seios said.
“The Erebos family.”
The Marquis felt so shocked, like a large rock fell on his head, at the unexpectedly strong words.
However, Seios continued talking without taking a break.
“Can you say it’s not related to you?”
“Then you can swear on it right here and now.”
Marquis Leroy bit his lip as Seios waited for the oath.
‘Does he know something?’
Marquis Leroy swallowed hard, looked at Seios, and tried to get a sense of what he knew. From his expression alone, it was hard to tell what he did, or didn’t know.
‘It won’t matter soon, since Marquis El will contact him after he’s caught her.’
Marquis El had never disappointed him before with a public transaction, or request. Therefore, he was full of confidence that he would not betray his expectations this time either.
“I really have nothing to do with it.”
“I don’t know why you’re saying that, but trust me, godfather.”
Marquis Leroy averted his gaze with an expression of innocence. He looked unassuming to anyone who saw him, and Seios sincerely hoped that he was telling the truth.
“Yes, you can believe me.”
He deliberately forced a smile on his face while he took a sip of tea, but he couldn’t manage to swallow it.
‘Marquis Leroy will go crazy if he finds out.’
Marquis El sighed in annoyance as he recalled the past.
He’d almost caught her, but unfortunately she’d disappeared right in front of his eyes. It was because an unexpected crowd protected the girl. If that wasn’t enough, there was even a wizard who appeared, and he had no choice but to flee in panic.
‘This doesn’t feel good.’
But it was the perfect opportunity to get Leticia, and his son engaged again.
‘It’s a worry.’
Whether he should step back now, or wait and see.
He was thinking deeply about what to do when the butler arrived, and said someone unexpected had come to visit.
“Leticia is here?”
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and subconsciously jumped up from his seat.
She often visited when she was engaged to Levion, or when Marquis Leroy came to visit. After Leticia was excommunicated, she naturally broke off contact, making it difficult for them to be as close as they were before.
‘Why did she come to see me?’
If she’d decided to return to her family, she would have gone to see Marquis Leroy, not him.
He suddenly wondered, but he had to take this opportunity to restore his relationship with Leticia first.
“It’s been a while, Leticia. How have you been?”
Marquis El quickly escorted her to the drawing room, and smiled as soon as he made eye contact with her. However, Leticia only showed common courtesy she’d use in a public setting.
“What’s the reason for your visit?”
In a gentle voice, Leticia confessed the main reason that she’d suddenly shown up.
Marquis El was quietly listening to Leticia, and tried to keep his expressions in control as much as possible.
‘Marquis Leroy, you crazy punk!’
He had trouble breathing when he realized he was caught up in something more unusual than he’d thought. Fortunately, Leticia’s proposal wasn’t as difficult as he thought.
“I fully understand what you’re talking about, so I’ll think about it.”
“Then I look forward to hearing an answer from you in the future.”
Leticia got up from her seat, and left the drawing room with an obscure look on her face from start to finish. On her way out, she accidentally ran into Levion, who went to look for Marquis El.
“Why are you here…”
He was so surprised that he couldn’t even speak properly. However, Leticia looked at him impassively, and walked past him.
When he reached out to catch her, she avoided him as if she were uncomfortable, so he gave up on trying to hold onto her.
Levion, who watched Leticia leave, belatedly woke up and entered the drawing room.
“I’m sorry, but I want to be alone right now.”
Marquis El motioned for him to leave as if his head hurt too much to even talk, but Levion sat across from him instead.
“Why was Leticia here?”
Marquis El reluctantly confessed his situation because he knew Levion wouldn’t leave until he answered him.
“It seems that Marquis Leroy is making a big move against the Achilles family to try, and bring that child back.”
Somehow, he’d become complicit in something, and now had to choose what was best for them. Levion listened quietly to the Marquis El, then slowly spoke up.
“I’m sure Leticia won’t go back to her family.”
It was a fact that wouldn’t change whether the Achilles family died, or not.
“Then we’ll take Leticia in when she has nowhere to go, father.”
Marquis El also felt the same way.
The effect of Leticia’s ability was truly enormous. Every little thing brought only good things, so he couldn’t help but be greedy.
However, he needed to be careful about being blinded by his greed.
“It’s better to think about it for at least one more day.”
Levion agreed with him as he slowly stood up.
‘All he had to do was stay still.’
He felt like unexpected luck had rolled in. He thought he might start grinning, so Levion covered his mouth,
‘Things can go back to the way they were.’
He will protect Leticia, who wouldn’t go back to the family that abandoned her, or the Achilles family that communicated with a traitor.
At first, she’d push him away and reject him, but as they spent more time together, Levion was confident that Leticia’s heart would turn to him.
However, as soon as he left the drawing room, he felt a cool gaze upon him. When he turned around in fear, his eyes collided head-on with Leticia, who was leaning against the door.
“You look happy.”
He wanted to ask if she’d heard anything.
However, as soon as he saw her cold smile, he could tell without having to ask.