Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
*Just a quick note from Baset. Chapter 99 and 100 talks a lot about proposals, and proposing. I’m not sure why, since I know that Leticia has an engagement ring already. The only thing I can think of is that the original proposal at the Achilles party was interrupted by people fainting, and they are talking about a proper proposal party/event. I’m sorry for any confusion, mostly because I’m a bit confused too…*
Leticia was on her way to the Aster’s mansion. It was a beautiful day, and she’d been looking out the carriage window for a while when she noticed a couple having an outdoor wedding. As their gazes overflowed with affection, they looked like they were the happiest people in the whole world. Leticia couldn’t keep her eyes off of their smiling faces.
It was from then on.
“How did you feel when you got married?”
She suddenly became curious about marriage.
Even after arriving at the Aster’s mansion, she couldn’t forget the couple who was getting married, so she asked the Count and Countess about it. When asked such an unexpected question, the Count and his wife looked at each other with a puzzled look.
“Yes, does your life change a lot when you get married?”
Leticia’s eyes glinted, as if urging them on. At first glance, it was obvious to the couple that Leticia wanted to get married. Suddenly a gentle smile spread across the Countess’ lips.
“Of course. There are many things that change.”
“What changes the most?”
“First of all, we moved in together, so that we wouldn’t have to be apart.”
Leticia nodded and murmured in understanding, but she suddenly closed her mouth.
‘Come to think of it…’
She was already living with Enoch. At that time, it was purely with the intention of helping her because she was forced out by her family.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized that she’d been living like a couple with Enoch before they even got married. They lived in the same house, and they’d even slept in the same bed.
‘Although, all I did was hold his hand while I slept. Still…’
Somehow, she started to feel shy, and Leticia pressed her fingertips together. They were close enough now, but the desire to get closer had suddenly soared inside her.
Leticia suddenly felt someone’s gaze, she looked up, and found Count and Countess smiling at her. They looked at her with the kindest of smiles.
They were so full of love for their daughter that Leticia couldn’t help but smile.
She was abandoned by her family, but she knew they would never do that. She never thought there would be people who would cherish her like she was their real family.
But there was.
‘I thought the world had thrown me away, and now I have the whole world by my side.’
Now there were people beside her that were more like her family than her biological family. They were people who cared for her and loved her, to the point where she thought she couldn’t be any happier than this.
But she’d forgotten about the greed that was buried deep in her heart.
‘I want to get married too.’
Leticia unconsciously touched her engagement ring. At this moment, she missed Enoch more than she usually did.
So, she asked.
“When are you the happiest?”
“I’m happiest when I fall asleep holding my wife tightly.”
Count Aster faithfully answered Leticia’s question. The Countess, who was listening from beside him, looked at the Count like he was being silly.
“What are you saying in front of our child?”
“What’s wrong with saying that’s when I’m the happiest?”
The more the Countess criticized him, the more proudly the Count puffed out his chest. Leticia burst into laughter at the sight of the two arguing happily.
Even though there was a time when the Countess was very ill, they were still a loving couple.
‘I want to live like that too.’
As a couple that cherishes and loves each other endlessly.
As she stared as her ideal couple, the Countess felt her gaze, and asked.
“What are you thinking about?”
“No, I just…”
Leticia, who was wondering if she could say it, carefully replied.
“I thought that a child born to Mother and Father would be loved, and would grow up well.”
“You’ll definitely be good parents to your child.”
Just thinking about a child who would grow up healthy, who resembled only the good qualities of the Aster couple, was enough to fill her heart. Suddenly, she felt very grateful to the Count and Countess.
“Thank you for always loving me, even when I’m lacking.”
“How can you say that Leticia?”
“I feel like I’ve received so much.”
They’d given her the love, affection, and the trust that she never received from her family. They watched over her silently, without letting her go until the very end. Then they helped her to understand how to take care of herself.
However, Count Aster and his wife shook their heads, and held Leticia’s hand.
“You always think you get a lot, but you never do.”
“Thanks to your presence, I was able to endure the hard times with ease.”
If she was talking about a difficult time, it was clear that she was talking about the time when the Countess was so sick that she couldn’t even leave her room. Leticia felt a sense of melancholy, she smiled sadly, and held the Count and Countess’ hands.
“It’s a relief that I gave you strength.”
Their heavy hearts became lighter little by little.
‘I hope you two have children.’
Deep down in her heart she wished for the Count and Countess to be blessed.
She was on her way back to the Achilles mansion after having a good time with the Aster couple. She arrived at just the right time, and ran into Mary at the door as she returned as well.
“Did you have a good trip, my lady?”
“I did, Mary. Did the visit with your brother go well?”
“It did, thanks to my lady’s consideration.”
Leticia felt bad for Mary, who couldn’t meet her younger brother Ronan often. So, she pushed her to go visit him today. Even though she pretended to be reluctant, Mary’s expression brightened up as she’d been missing him a lot recently.
“How is Ronan doing?”
“He’s doing well. He’s been working very hard lately because he’s become healthy.”
Mary, who was happy to see her brother after such a long time, smiled brightly and spoke about the conversation they’d had today.
“Well, I don’t know. They had to make a potion that blooms, but they made a potion that grows leaves.”
“They say that potions made by mistake can be sold after being tested by the professor to make sure they aren’t dangerous, but who would buy such useless potions?”
She wanted to say that there would be at least one person, but she couldn’t think of anyone would buy such a potion no matter how hard she thought about it.
“There will be someone who needs it someday.”
“I really hope so.”
Leticia and Mary both entered the mansion while thinking it would be difficult for such a person to appear. As soon as they entered, Leticia was hugged by a waiting Elle.
“Elle, you’re here.”
“Yes… I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.”
Leticia wondered if the recent surge of pink diamonds was too much to manage, and that was why Elle looked gaunt and tearful. It was really sad when Elle looked at her so sadly.
“You must have worked hard.”
“Yes… It’s all thanks to someone…”
“Hmm? Is the owner of Pegasus giving you a hard time?”
Feeling worried, Leticia stroked Elle’s head while she held her in her arms. However, Elle replied helplessly.
“The truth is that it’s one person’s fault. I’ve never seen such a thing in my life.”
“Who was it?”
“It’s hard to say right now.”
Elle, who pouted her lips like she was in a dilemma, hugged Leticia harder and said.
“Anyways, I’ll tell you later, so please give them a good scolding.”
She was curious about who Elle was talking about, but Leticia didn’t ask more. Seeing her speak, she thought it was someone she knew for some reason.
It wasn’t until a few days later that she would find out the true identity of the person.
“Did the meeting with my uncle go well?”
“Yes, thanks to you, we were able to have a good talk.”
Leticia, who was attending an evening party, smiled as soon as she ran into Melony.
After saying a brief thank you, the surrounding area suddenly became noisy. As she looked around, she saw Enoch had just entered the banquet hall. Leticia, who was about to approach him and greet him, stopped walking without realizing it. That was because of the nobles who were approaching Enoch.
Perhaps because of Enoch’s unique cold atmosphere, they were unable to approach, and maintained a certain distance. However, the gazes on Enoch increased.
As soon as she saw the ladies peeking at him, Leticia’s heart sank.
‘It’s not that I don’t understand…’
Even though she was confident in her fiancé, she still felt annoyed for some reason.
Now that Levion decided to suddenly study abroad, Enoch was now considered the most coveted bachelor by the young noble ladies.
It was only natural now that everything was going well for him, like he was sailing in fair winds. Along with being one of the most talented people in the Imperial knights, and having the title of Duke, he also attracted people’s attention with his well-groomed appearance. At first, the ladies were uncomfortable with his sharp impression, but now more and more young ladies began to admire him. They said that he gave the feeling of being strong, and reliable.
“Oh, yes. Did you call me?”
Leticia dropped her gaze from Enoch, quickly managed her expression, and looked at her friend. Melony had a worried look on her face, before she could ask why, Melony asked her question first.
“Your face doesn’t look good.”
Leticia sighed, smiled awkwardly, and shook her head.
“It’s okay, you can tell me.”
“You might feel better if you tell someone.”
Melony told her that she can speak comfortably, but it didn’t go as well as she wanted, and Leticia’s lips began to quiver.
“Is it because of Duke Achilles?”
Leticia hadn’t expected her to realize right away, and asked back.
“How did you know?”
“How did I know… You kept looking at him.”
Leticia wondered if she should be honest, but eventually she reluctantly confessed what was on her mind.
In short, she talked to Enoch about marriage, but he hadn’t proposed yet. That’s why she was starting to worry that she was the only one who wanted to get married.
Melony quietly listened to Leticia, and made an unexpected suggestion.
“Then why don’t you propose first?”
Thinking that she heard her wrong, Leticia’s eyes opened wide, and she pointed a finger at herself. Melony nodded as if it were completely normal.
“The courageous person catches the beauty.”
She imagined herself proposing first, and that made her face hot. Eventually, she couldn’t bear it, and bowed her head. Melony sighed briefly, and grabbed Leticia’s hands.
Leticia slowly looked up at the voice calling to her so seriously. As soon as she made eye contact, Melony said with a very determined look.
“You won’t feel secure until after you get married.”
Leticia immediately understood what she was saying, and became pale. However, Melony spoke more firmly hoping to make Leticia more proactive.
“There’s nothing you can get from just waiting.”
With Melony’s unwavering voice, Leticia felt shocked, as if she’d been hit by a heavy rock. She stared blankly at Melony for a moment before she took a slow breath that helped clear her head.
If there was something she wanted, she needed to win it first.
‘I’ll propose to him first…’
Just thinking about it caused her face to heat up. Leticia, who’d been hesitating for a while, bit her lip, and clenched her fists.
“You can do it, Leticia.”
She was able to confess her feelings, why couldn’t she propose too?
‘If he won’t do it, then I’ll propose.’