Chapter 1 - Part 1
Huge thanks to Angelina for the kofi! (2/3)
Damien muttered as if he was trying to make excuses.
“Grandfather, back then…”
“Shut your mouth!”
It was such a loud voice that seemed to shake the whole castle.
The old man’s expression quickly distorted.
He looked like he was on the verge of collapse. The wrinkled cheeks quickly began to get wet.
He never imagined it.
Of course, he knew that his young granddaughter lived in hunger while she was in the Imperial Castle.
The granddaughter whom his daughter tried to save with her life.
To kneel down in front of that child, who was only in possession of the emblem, but wasn’t of imperial blood…?
She apologized with her forehead on the ground to her own brothers, Cedric and Damien…?
The duke still remembered when he first met Lelia.
“Sir, help me.”
“But it’s more dangerous for me to go back to where I’ve been!”
“Help me… I don’t want to go back. You just have to pretend that you don’t know me! From here onwards, I won’t follow you anymore. So, just don’t send me back to the capital city…”
It was very saddening to see her boldly ask for help while she was much smaller and younger than her peers.
Even though he was usually apathetic, he wanted to help her because he thought that the small and thin child must have gone through something so big, she felt that her life was in danger.
It was that bad and pathetic.
As soon as food was given, she ate in a hurry, and just by looking at the hungry kid, his heart turned sour and numb.
He regretted it.
It was a deep regret.
There had been nothing more regrettable than this since he learnt about his daughter’s death.
‘I should have found this child earlier, but she shouldn’t have suffered such humiliation. How dare…’
“Grandfather, what we’re saying is that-”
“Get out of here!”
Duke Superion’s gaze changed as he began to swing his hands recklessly. Still, his swordsmanship training was not neglected, so his solid arm slapped his grandson on the cheek.
“Oh my god!”
Julianna, who stepped back in fear, was also pushed by his huge hand and collapsed.
She looked up at the furious old man, with a look of disbelief that she was hit by him.
The Duke spoke loudly towards Cedric and Damien.
“From today onwards, you are not my grandchildren anymore.”
“I have never taught Elizabeth’s children to behave in such a manner!”
Like Lelia, Cedric and Damien were grandchildren cherished by their grandfather.
However, Duke Superion finally realized.
No matter how mixed Elizabeth’s blood was, they were still the children of Emperor Perseus.
Lelia was just a child of a predator, who took away his daughter and abused his granddaughter.
He didn’t want to waste the rest of his life regretting and lamenting anymore.
At this point, it was the right call to end their relationship in order to protect his granddaughter and daughter, who had barely recovered.
They couldn’t be taken away anymore.
“Get out of my castle!”
The hall on the second floor shook at his loud voice. The Duke even called for the knights and instructed them to drag them out.
The knights hesitated as they were not in a position to drag out members of the imperial family.
However, they had no choice but to obey the orders issued by the Duke of Superion, with frenzied eyes and a voice so desperate that the tendons on his neck were visible.
The attendants who came from the Imperial Castle were dumbfounded.
No matter how great the grandparents of the princes were, the Duke was still the emperor’s vassal.
In addition, Prince Cedric was likely to take over the throne if unfortunate circumstances befell upon the emperor.
But they couldn’t believe the Duke kicked out his grandchildren, who came at the news of their dead mother being alive.
The attendants were so appalled that they couldn’t even speak properly. They had no choice but to criticize the Duke, because of their anger and damaged pride.
However, the princes were the ones who were most dumbfounded.
Inside the carriage while going back to the Imperial City.
Cedric and Damien looked out of the window silently.
It was a shock that their living mother did not recognize them, and it was also shocking that the gentle grandfather kicked them out.
Within their heads, the image of Lelia, who was shouting earlier, was clear.
They couldn’t forget the desperate eyes akin to a wounded beast.
To that extent… they didn’t know what had happened would have hurt her so much.
It was something they had forgotten in the first place. To them, it was just a joke played by them when they were young.
But was it really a joke?
At that time, the two did not intend to bully Lelia that viciously.
They just wanted her to disappear out of their sight, and so they teased her to remind her that the daughter of the woman who bullied their mother shouldn’t live comfortably.
That was it.
But during all of those moments, Lelia said she knew the truth of her identity.
“Hey, really… Did she really know since then?”
“…Yeah. That’s what our father said last time.”
“But… Then why didn’t she say it? Why? If you don’t tell us, how would we be able to find out?”
“…We wouldn’t have believed her words.”
Damien was greatly shaken by Cedric’s answer.
‘Yeah, I wouldn’t have believed it. But…’
Cedric closed his eyes tightly. He regretted his immature behavior when he was a child, but it was too late.
The same was true, for both the events from a long time ago, and today.
It was the first time she cried so much.
For the first time, Lelia revealed all of her feelings.
She cried in her mother’s arms and confessed everything that she had never said before.
Mother, grandfather, uncles, and aunt listened to all her words silently.
She felt guilty, because she felt like she was putting a heavy burden on her family, but she couldn’t help it.
She confessed all her grievances like a child does to her parents.
Throughout it all, Elizabeth patted Lelia’s back affectionately despite having yet to regain her memories.
For the first time in her life, Lelia cried and fell asleep in her mother’s arms.
It was late at night when she woke up.
Lelia realized that the place she had awoken in was her room.
At the same time, she found someone sitting by the bedside.
With his back against the moonlight, Oscar was watching her.
“Where have you been that you’re only here now?”
As she said it, she felt sad.
She thought she cried enough in her mother’s arms earlier, but she still had tears left to shed.
“I’ve been around for a long time.”
“Yeah, I don’t want to leave your side anymore.”
“…I thought you would need some time alone.”
In response, Oscar came up to the bed. Then he laid down next to Lelia and gently looked at her.
Cold fingertips swept around her eyes. It felt good to have a friendly touch wiping away the tears she shed.
“What if I make you unhappy?”
He muttered in a low voice. From his voice, she could feel how much fear he was feeling.
“I’m not unhappy.”
With tears clinging to her eyelashes, Lelia raised the corners of her mouth slightly.
She meant it.
She had her grandfather, grandmother, mother, uncles and aunt.
In addition, there were now friends next to her.
Even if there was nothing between her father and brothers, it wasn’t a problem. Pretending that they weren’t in her life from the beginning wasn’t difficult anymore.
Because that’s the truth.
Lelia seemed to know what Oscar was afraid of.
Contrary to his worries, however, Lelia will never take her own life.
However, life was bound to end someday. On that day, Oscar, who has been cursed by eternal life, will be left behind.
‘That must be what Oscar is afraid of.’
Oscar will live forever, even after she dies, after everyone’s deaths.
At the thought of the pain he would bear, her eyes widened.
Above all, what Oscar feared the most was his own situation, where he couldn’t even die with Lelia.
Thousands and tens of thousands of times.
He will try to die by killing himself countless times, but he will have to live an eternal life, filled with pain.
That was pitiful.
After she dies, there won’t be anyone to stop Oscar’s fear whenever it rains.
Whenever it rained, she felt numb when she thought of Oscar, who would be in fear like he was when he was younger.
She didn’t want to leave him alone. Wherever he may be.
Lelia whispered, placing her hand on Oscar’s cheek.
“I promise, I won’t die before you.”
“I’ll be by your side forever, even if I have to use the method that saved my mom…”
At that moment, something came to her mind.
Come to think of it, she forgot.
Just before saving her mother, Lelia obtained the last recipe.
That was medicine for Oscar.
A poison that would lead to death.
At that time, she didn’t understand why such a drug was meant for Oscar… Now, she knew.
At the belated enlightenment, she became overwhelmed. At that moment, Lelia hugged him by the neck.
She buried her face in the crook of his muscled neck. She was glad she didn’t have to leave Oscar alone, really…
“I promise, I won’t leave you here alone.”
Oscar hugged Lelia without an answer. Feeling the warmth of her small body, he nodded.
Nothing mattered if Lelia, who said this, was next to him.
With those words, he wasn’t alone forever.
Morning came, and Lelia, who fell asleep again, slowly opened her eyes at dawn.
Unlike the two nights that ended with his missing figure in the morning, Oscar was by her side today.
For that reason, Lelia was particularly perplexed.
“What, what are you doing?”
Obviously nothing happened last night. They just hugged each other and slept… Oscar was lying next to her, taking off his top.
It was awkward to see him naked in the bright light.
Oscar opened his eyes loosely and asked her what the problem was.
“…No, why are you taking your clothes off?”
“My clothes were all wet because you cried last night.”
Her cheeks heated up with the strange nuance.
In the last two nights they touched each other, she was sure Oscar had whispered something similar.
He must have spoken in such a manner purposefully to remind her of then.
At Lelia’s reaction to his words, the corners of Oscar’s lips rose slightly in mischief.
“It’s okay, Lelia, because you are always welcome to get wet.”
“… Hey!! Don’t say that.”
“What? It’s okay to cry anytime.”
Lelia frowned. Then, she noted that it was very bright outside the window. She checked the time and realized that she woke up later than usual.
That means that Becky would be arriving.
“Becky will be here soon, come on, get out!”
Unlike last night when she was infinitely friendly, Lelia’s tone of voice was cold. Oscar felt a strange sadness and got up.
As he picked up the clothes that had fallen, he felt a strange presence outside the door. He knew who it was.
“Get out of here,” Lelia said, and then she disappeared into the bathroom. It was cute that she used a cold tone to hide her shyness.
But contrary to Lelia’s words, Oscar didn’t go out.
Moments later, he heard a knock on the door, and Oscar went to the door without doing all of his buttons on purpose.
He was going to show the person who was smart from now on. He knew who Lelia had chosen.
When Oscar opened the door, the owner of the presence he had felt a moment ago stood in front of the door.
It was Griffith.
As soon as his eyes met Griffith’s, Oscar raised a corner of his lips slightly and smirked…
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed what you have read, do consider tipping us a little through: https://ko-fi.com/rainofsnow . Once we receive 7$, an advance chapter will be posted as a thank you. Don’t forget to mention the series that you’re supporting!