Chapter 1 - Part 1
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Romeo made an excuse right away.
“I’ve never agreed.”
In the meantime, Romeo swallowed his saliva. Honestly, he felt guilty. It’s true that he didn’t agree, but deep down, he thought it was not a bad solution. Of course, Lelia is the most important thing, but the Lelia he knew would not have allowed it.
“He’s crazy…” Lelia muttered. Romeo nodded, agreeing she was right. As if his reaction encouraged her, Lelia continued. “If I don’t accept it, he will kill you and Kalix. Then you all will point swords at one another.”
Romeo wasn’t surprised. Griffith was a stubborn man who would remain that way.
“I’m so scared… I just want us to get along like before. Is that what you want?”
Romeo couldn’t answer easily. It wasn’t greed. However…
“Romeo, I love Oscar.”
Romeo’s expression blanked out. As if he had heard the most shocking thing in his life.
“I think Griffith knows that and will do something. But I…”
“Who do you love?”
Romeo’s forehead was wrinkled. He blinked like an idiot. Soon his eyes began to change. He grabbed Lelia’s arm with angry eyes.
“What are you doing? No, no, wait.”
Lelia stared at Romeo with anxious eyes. She was worried that Romeo might think the same way as Griffith.
“Wow, what is this…”
Romeo’s head hurt as if he had been stabbed in the back of his head. He rubbed his forehead with his palm. He could see why Griffith suddenly whined to go to the temple in such a hurry.
Anyway, he was a ghastly man. No, that’s that. How did she get Oscar…? Of course, he vaguely guessed, but when he heard it from Lellia’s mouth, it was shocking. He recalled a conversation a while ago.
“Lelia, do you happen to…”
“Do you love Oscar? Did that happen?”
“It’s not like that… But Oscar is…”
She has been nervous since then. Romeo, who sighed deeply, asked, “You’re not saying you love him as a friend, are you?”
Lelia didn’t answer, but Romeo could see the answer in her eyes.
‘Wow, I’m going crazy.’
Romeo grabbed his fine hair tightly.
“Lelia, then… What about me? What about us?”
“… You guys are precious to me…”
Lelia was speechless. Romeo bit his lips. Romeo didn’t think Lelia would be able to look at them with feelings other than friendship. At first, he had hope, but at some point he believed that, so he killed the thought in his mind. He thought it was okay for Lelia to deceive his mind and remain as friends for the rest of his life if she wanted. But if that’s not the case, is there a chance?
If Lelia had a different heart for Oscar, it meant he had a chance. It was the same now. Even if she has already fallen in love with Oscar, he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the future. When he realized that, he regretted it. He shouldn’t have received and drank the medicine that Lelia gave him last time.
Well, it didn’t matter. A drug that will never catch him lying. Relying on her drug, he intended to hide his feelings for her for the rest of his life and remain by her side as her friend. He thought everything would be okay if his love wasn’t caught. If so, it’s time to change the lie. In the future, it’s not his heart that deceives Lelia, but…
‘It’s enough to hide the identity of the drug.’
Romeo smiled with his mouth up.
Lelia looked anxious. Romeo clicked his tongue. Griffith was a madman. Lelia didn’t understand that about Griffith for a long time. But he was different. He was the first to become friends with her. Lelia, such as an anxious and sensitive person, should not be pushed hard. Rather, little by little…
“Be honest, Lelia.”
“You want to be successful because you’re a saint, right?”
It was advantageous to coax her and change her mind little by little. If he adds a little affection like sunshine, she will bloom soon. It was not a difficult problem just to listen to what she wanted.
“But if you don’t do that…”
“It’s your family that’s important.”
“You don’t have to be brainwashed by Griffith. Tell me what you want.”
Romeo helped himself by saying that. Honestly, Romeo also thought there was no other way when Griffith told them his plan. He fell for his clever way of speaking. Maybe due to the sacred power or the unfamiliarity of the situation. He was a man with a talent for making dog noises which sounded like truth. However, with a little reasoning, he could see that that way was not the answer. Romeo was like a fool who had never thought simplly until now.
“If you want, Emperor Perseus can’t even touch Superion’s territory. It means you can protect yourself and the land.”
“No matter how clever his talk is, I think you were brainwashed for a while. Of course, it’s going to be hard.”
“Emperor Perseus will not stay still, so it must be painful for you to see him. But I’m sure it’s the same for you to stay here at the temple.
Romeo’s words were not wrong. As he said, Griffith always spoke cleverly. As he listened to it, he was persuaded by him. It was accurate to phrase it as brainwashing.
“If it’s going to be painful in the first place, wouldn’t it be better to be with your family?”
“We killed the Dragon. Is it hard to stop Emperor Perseus? Honestly, Kalix, even sending that strange monster is enough to solve it.”
“What about Griffith?”
Griffith won’t stay still. When Lelia muttered, Romeo nodded as if he agreed. But soon he smiled jokingly and said, “There’s nothing he can do about it in the end. He is terribly afraid of being hated by you.”
“He doesn’t get seizures, but… It would be convenient to think of him as a patient similar to Oscar.”
Lelia blinked her eyes. To be honest, Griffith felt like a wall that couldn’t communicate even more than Kalix. It was so solid that she couldn’t even think of surpassing it.
“Just as you become helpless in front of us, so do we.”
“Of course the same goes for Griffith.”
Romeo lifted himself up.
“I’ll be right back. I’ll tell your uncle first. You’re getting ready to go back to the territory.”
“Really… Will it be okay? Emperor Perseus…”
“Don’t worry about him for now.”
Romeo shook his head and said casually. It was such a light attitude that even Lelia took it lightly. When he went out, Lelia pondered over Romeo’s words.
“Just as you become helpless in front of us, so do we.”
“Of course the same goes for Griffith.”
The presence of her friends were her everything and weakness. As Romeo said, everything became useless in front of her friends. Even if she made a ridiculous request, she thought they would have no choice but to accept it.
What if Griffith continues to push her, if her friends mean everything to her? It was clear that she would have accepted the meaning in the end, too. The presence of her friends was absolute for Lelia. It made everything so easily helpless, but it was the same for her friends. Griffith is also…
Lelia couldn’t imagine what Griffith would do if she asked for his will. Perhaps thanks to Romeo’s visit, she was no longer trembling and could not feel fear. Lelia walked to the window.
The sun was already setting. Lelia looked at the setting sun with a calm gaze. The faint sound of bells came from afar, and believers and servants were seen moving for evening worship. The peaceful scenery gradually calmed her mind.
Suddenly, she remembered her childhood, when she lived here. Is it because of Romeo’s words? She was able to look at those days with a different perspective than before. Griffith was quiet in a good way, and chilly in a bad way. Whenever she tried to help him with something, he slapped her hand as if he was displeased. At the same time, she looked at him with sorry eyes. Every time, Lelia tried to overcome her embarrassment with laughter. As it was repeated, she gradually stopped reaching out. Oscar always seemed like a brother who needed her touch, and Romeo only repeated childish arguments. Kalix was always busy swinging his fist and whining.
Lelia felt strangely awkward when she was alone with Griffith. She thought Griffith felt uncomfortable with her. Griffith always had a hard expression and did not respond much whenever she took care of him. He acted arrogant like he didn’t need it. So… Lelia had never thought about it, but she suddenly realized.
It felt like an arrow penetrated her head. Increasingly, Griffith may have felt that unlike their other friends, she was discriminating against him. Now that she thought about it, it was really like that. Her attitude toward Griffith gradually changed. Suddenly, her mouth became dry and throat was stuffy.
Griffith was always mature and had nothing to take care of. Looking at his expression and tone, she judged it without realizing it. He had fewer wounds than the others, and she assumed the wounds must have healed. But Griffith was alone. He didn’t say he was lonely, but he was always alone. However, he was just not used to leaning on and relying on someone. He was afraid that he would be abandoned after leaning on and relying on her. The wounds he received from his family who only thought of using him made him defensive.
Lelia often remembered Griffith’s eyes as a child when he looked at her. At that time… Why was he looking at her like that? Did he feel bad again? She thought about it, but it was now clear. At that time, Griffith was also a child. A child who doesn’t know how to express his feelings. He was jealous, but couldn’t express that he was hungry for her interest and wanted to receive her affection like their friends. Now that she looked at it, it looked like he was longing for attention.
Lelia swallowed her dry saliva. Maybe unlike the other children, Griffith didn’t grow at all and was stuck in those days. Even though he became an adult, he still doesn’t know how to express it. He was hungry for attention, and jealous of his other friends… It was then.
She heard a knock on the door. Lelia calmly turned her eyes towards the door. It was Griffith who opened the door slowly and came in. As soon as she made eye contact, Lelia realized that her thoughts were not wrong.
Griffith’s eyes looking at me were no different from when he was young. The child’s eyes, hoping for attention and affection, wiping away the loneliness, and desperately hovering around her. It was the same as it was back then.
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