Chapter 1 - Part 1
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Bonus Chapter (1/2)
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She forgot as she was busy only telling Oscar not to call her ‘Leo’.
How will she go inside the castle and explain to her family?
Her mind went blank as she thought about how she would explain Oscar.
Meanwhile, she showed the seal her grandfather had given to her to the gatekeeper. He bowed and straight away opened the gate.
Lelia nervously drove her horse to the castle building.
As she approached the entrance, Oscar first dismounted from the horse and reached out his hand to her.
Lelia hesitated for a moment, and then she took his hand and came down from the horse. The servant took the horse to the stable, and soon the door of the castle opened wide.
It was her grandfather who first greeted Lelia.
Maybe he didn’t hear the news when she passed the boundary line and
only heard the news when she reached the castle gate.
The Duke of Superion was in no hurry to show off his excitement and happiness.
Thinking of her grandfather, who must have gone crazy on hearing news of her return, Lelia ran straight up a few low stairs one at a time.
“Yes, Lelia. My little child… you’re here! You’re here right in front of me…!”
The Duke of Superion grabbed Lelia’s cheek and patted them.
Lelia was moved to tears at her grandfather’s attitude, which was more welcoming than she had expected. Her grandfather’s response was astonishing and welcoming, as if someone he never thought would ever return has come back.
Tears welled up in Lelia’s eyes.
“Of course I returned. I took too long to come back, didn’t I?”
“No, it’s happened. I wished you would come soon…”
While speaking in a weeping voice, he forgot that he was a duke, and held his granddaughter and stroked her hair.
Hot tears ran down his wrinkled cheeks.
It was then, over the duke’s shoulder, someone ran out with a strange sound.
Lelia, who had escaped from her grandfather’s arms and turned her head, burst into tears.
Uncle Carius, whom she met after six years, was still a wonderful person. His cheeks were slender as he lost some weight.
His expression looking at Lelia was a mess.
He distorted his expression to contain his crying, but tears crawled down his eyes.
Lelia ran to her uncle with her arms outstretched and sobbed in his arms. She sounded like a ten-year-old child.
She’s been like that since she was little. Lelia always pretended to be more mature in front of her grandfather and grandmother.
But in front of her uncle, her childlike side appropriate for her age would often pop out.
Lelia did not know that Carius or the Duke of Superion, knowing that, was even more heartbroken.
“My niece, let’s see your face. When did you grow up to be an adult! You were this tiny!”
Lelia forced a smile.
Carius smiled strangely as he looked at Lelia, who had suddenly grown bigger. Yet a burning pain swept through his heart.
They met after six years, and now she looked exactly like his dead sister.
‘Even when you were young, I thought that as you grew the more similar you would look, and I was sure you would grow up to look just like her.’
It was even more heartbreaking because he still couldn’t forget his dead sister.
‘She should have seen this kid if she was alive…’
Karius bit his lip and stroked Lelia’s cheek. He returned from a hellish battlefield to see this child again. Instead of his dead sister, he wanted to keep this child safe and happy for the rest of his life.
But she did something strange. Lelia, whom he met again after six years and had an astonishing resemblance to Elizabeth, was dressed so differently from her past that it would be unrecognizable if they passed by each other outside.
What the hell is this outfit?
Carius asked, wiping the tears from his cheeks and blinking his eyes, “But why is it like this?”
The Duke of Superion, who had been wiping away his tears, also looked at Lelia’s outfit at that moment.
As Carius said, she was dressed in an outfit that immediately brought up questions of why she appeared like this.
Lelia’s long hair, which had ran down her back, was now very short. She had short hair like that of a knight.
Carius and the Duke of Superion looked down at the same time and looked at Lelia’s attire.
They both frowned together.
Lelia was wearing a cloak, but she was clearly dressed in male aristocratic attire.
“That is… because…”
Likewise, Lelia, who had stopped her tears, was embarrassed and tried to make excuses.
She heard the sound of low footsteps running up the stairs. Oscar, who had been watching their reunion for a long time, came up the stairs with a cold expression on his face.
He looked like he was suppressing something.
Duke Superion’s eyes narrowed when he saw Oscar.
On the other hand, Carius’ pupils grew as large as a royal bell.
Carius, who recognized Oscar, could not continue his words, but pointed his sword at him instead.
Lelia walked over to Oscar as he was approaching her as an excuse, and she grabbed his arm.
She was thinking of introducing Oscar to her grandfather and her uncle.
He’s a ‘friend’, she said.
Before she came here, she had asked Oscar to introduce himself that way.
However, the appearance of Lelia holding Oscar’s arm was enough to mislead both Carius and the Duke of Superion.
The Duke immediately grabbed the back of his neck.
At the same time, Carius went ‘Aaggghhh!’ and screamed as if he had seen a ghost.
“Grandpa, Uncle… Why, why do you…”
“Oh, no. Lelia! Bringing a man! It’s too early to get engaged and get married! No!”
“Lelia! Not that child! I can’t do this! Uncle is against this!”
At the fierce opposition as the two misunderstood, Oscar’s eyebrows twitched subtly.
Lelia waved her hand in embarrassment.
“Oh, no! It’s not like that! He’s my friend! Just friends!”
Duke Superion’s expression instantly softened.
But not Carius. He still shouted with a frown on his face.
“It’s unbelievable!! Why are you making friends with a guy like that?!”
Lelia glanced at Oscar.
Although there must be many questions, Oscar didn’t look strange at all.
But it was confusing, it seemed like he might be acquainted with her uncle…
[Are you talking about Oscar?]
Of course… It might be the case. In fact, Lelia had many similar thoughts while she came here.
But her childhood friend, Oscar, was an angel.
Her uncle should have met Oscar when he was a child, but even so, the word “angel” seemed too far-fetched now.
Lelia calmed her uncle by telling him to go in and talk.
As soon as they entered the castle, Becky, who came down the stairs in a hurry, ran to her crying.
Lelia also wanted to share a big reunion hug with Becky.
She was startled by her appearance and she tried to look at Oscar’s face, but she couldn’t because Becky came and hugged her tight.
Becky, who burst into tears, asked a question as soon as she pulled her out of her arms.
“By the way, my lady. What’s with this outfit? So cool! You really look like a noble man!”
“Becky… that is…”
She calmed Becky and looked at Oscar, but he had a calm expression on his face.
He didn’t seem to be surprised at all.
Rather, it was Lelia who asked with her eyes, ‘What’s going on?’
Lelia looked at him with blinking eyes, but Oscar didn’t say anything.
At that time, Becky asked as if urging, “But why are you dressed like this, my lady?”
Carius and the Duke of Superion also looked at Lelia as if curious for an answer.
“… Just… I thought this outfit would be comfortable while coming to the estate.”
After making a rough excuse, Lelia asked something more important than that.
“Where is Grandma?”
As soon as she asked, the duke’s expression became overshadowed. Lelia felt her heart pounding, and she asked, startled, “Where is she now? Could it have gotten any worse?”
“… Now, she is going to a villa in the Terren area with Atias.”
Teren was a small town within the Superion Territory and was considered a resort.
[Has your condition gotten so much worse that you moved to a resort?]
When she grabbed her grandfather’s arm and rushed him to answer, the duke replied with hesitation.
“Not much, just a little worse. Don’t worry too much. Since you are here, you should contact Atias to bring her back to the castle right away.”
Lelia responded, holding her grandfather’s hand, “I’ve been gathering ingredients for grandmother’s medicine.”
“Is that true?”
The Duke of Superion asked with a hopeful yet anticipatory look.
In fact, his wife’s condition was serious. Her condition rapidly deteriorated after Lelia left for the capital.
Now her husband, his face, was often unrecognizable.
She was sent to a resort with Atias, but now Lelia said that she had found the cure.
In fact, he was dubious, but he wanted to believe Lelia.
But even if the cure was of no avail, he had no intention of resenting Lelia.
He has no choice but to accept that she is destiny.
“Do not worry.”
She held his hand tight as Lelia noticed the duke’s anxious mind.
‘When did she grow up to be able to speak reassuring words to her grandfather?’
Duke Superion’s eyes became moist again.
“What about Uncle Zenon?”
Lelia thought, asking nervously.
[Don’t tell me there’s already been a battle?]
In the original story, after Dragon’s death, her eldest uncle, Zenon, died in a battle against an army created by a pagan.
At this point, shortly after Dragon’s death, there was still no news that a pagan had appeared.
The battle couldn’t have happened already, but she was nervous about it.
“Official letters have been sent down from the temple to the estate. He’s at the temple with the flag. He will come tomorrow.”
At Grandfather’s words, Lelia let out a sigh of relief.
After that, she held onto her uncle and grandfather’s hands and led them to the drawing room and talked about a few more things.
It wasn’t until much time had passed that the Duke said to Lelia, “Look at me.”
“You must have had a hard time getting here, so go and rest. You should relieve your fatigue until dinner is ready.”
Lelia nodded without refusing because she desperately wanted to wash up with warm water.
The Duke of Superion urged the servants to give Oscar, who had been silent all along, a guest room.
After the two left the drawing room, the Duke of Superion squinted and asked his son.
“Who’s that guy?”
Carius said, crumpling his face.
“The Crown Prince of Hraesvelg. He has a broken mind.”
Carius then tapped his head with his fingertips and emphasized.
“Broken mind? Why?”
“He’s cruel beyond description. Not long ago, I heard that the Emperor of Hraesvelg was half-maimed, and I’m sure it was him.”
When the Duke of Superion was startled and asked back, Carius whispered.
“He’s a total nut job and piece of sh*t! We must never let him get along with her!”
“But we don’t know what’s the truth… Not all parents are the same…”
“But he maimed his parents! I wouldn’t do that, even if my father were trash.”
‘This guy, by the way…’
The Duke of Superion asked with his eyes glued.
“So if Lelia maimed Perseus, would you call her that?”
“No, I would compliment her.”