Chapter 5

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If I hadn’t manifested my sword skills as a child, my own father would never have taken me in.

 

As a child, my mother, who was my only family, often coughed and got sick. However, we had no money and could not treat her illness in a timely manner. Instead of treatment, she was plagued by debt collectors every day.

 

[Sorry, cough cough………………………….. until I’m better….cough cough.]

 

 [If you can’t pay off your debts, I’ll take your daughter.]

 

They weren’t afraid to bully the weak woman and child. And so it seemed that I was not a very gentle person even at that young age.

 

[Don’t bully my mother!]

 

I shouted at the men and threw whatever I could get my hands on at them.

 

I didn’t expect the fork I accidentally threw at them to pierce the opposite wall with a blue light.

 

Crack!

 

Cracks began to appear on the wall where I threw the fork, and soon, boom! The wall collapsed with a deafening sound.

 

[Ahhh!]

 

[Power….!]

 

The men looked at me as if they had seen a ghost, and quickly ran away.

 

[Oh my god, Yvonne….?]

 

And so it was the same with my mother. She took me with her to visit a magnificent mansion. There were two men there, both with the same silver hair and green eyes as me.

 

[It’s the master’s child. Please take the child.]

 

The younger of the two men snapped at the mother’s words.

 

[What child? It can’t be …….!]

 

[Stay still, Oswald]

 

But the old man stopped him and asked his mother.

 

[Are you sure this kid used swordplay?]

 

[Yes, she threw a fork, and it flew, glowing blue, and the wall crashed.]

 

The old man told a person to check the truth. A few moments later, when the report came in, he looked straight into my green eyes.

 

[It’s confirmed. You’re a child of Chernicia.]

 

My mother received some money from the old man and walked away without looking back at me. The old man bowed to me as I stared at the spot where she had disappeared.

 

[Yvonne Chernicia. That’s your name from now on.]

 

The old man patted me on the head as if to comfort me. I stared up at him.

 

[I am your grandfather. You can comfortably call me Grandpa Gunther.]

 

Gunther praised me, saying that no one in Chernicia’s history of owners had mastered the art of swordsmanship as quickly as I had.

 

In Chernicia, there was a family tradition that those who mastered the art of swordsmanship would spend their childhood in the estate until they were ten years old.

 

Therefore, I had to stay there alone with my father. But the time I spent with him was not very pleasant for me.

 

It was when I was nine years old.

 

[Ha……]

 

I sighed as I looked at the scar on my wrist.

 

It was left by my father not long ago.

 

On the days when I occasionally reminded him of his dead wife, my own father was unbearably disgusted by my presence. After he came to his senses, though, he looked at me with a face full of guilt.

 

[Miss Yvonne? What’s that scar?]

 

[Oh, no, nothing.]

 

[What do you mean, nothing? Let me see.]

 

The butler who was in charge of the estate’s castle discovered a scar on my wrist.

 

He was not his own father, but Grandfather Gunther’s.

 

The butler immediately told Grandpa Gunther about my abuse, and when he grasped the truth, he kicked my biological father out of the house.

 

Violence with no regard for the weak was not allowed in the Chernicia family. 

 

[I’m sorry, my child. I’ll protect you so that no one can hurt you anymore.]

 

I took Grandpa Gunther’s hand and stepped into the Chernicia mansion in the capital. Deciding that I needed a proper guardian of the same gender, Grandpa Gunther married a younger wife at a late age.

 

 

Grandmother Gransy was a woman who didn’t get along with Chernicia, but she took care of me anyway.

 

She and I didn’t get along very well, but we were a loving family.

 

She called a doctor to heal the wounds on my body. All the minor wounds were healed, but only the one on my wrist was not.

 

[This is a wound that cannot be treated by medicine.]

 

The wound that looked like it had been burned by heat was a hazy sword mark.

 

[This can only be healed with strong divine power…..]

 

The doctor slurred his words and continued to explain.

 

[As you know, the last person who was said to have dealt with the divine power, Leobrante’s master, had already died of illness several years ago. Unfortunately, the wound on her wrist cannot be cured.]

 

Anyway, because of that, my wound that could not be treated still remained a light scar.

 

Whenever I looked at the scar on my wrist, it reminded me of my father’s face, and I felt sad.

 

I couldn’t help but think that Theodore had the same pain that I had, and I couldn’t stand it and felt sorry for him. Shaking off the old memories, I reached out toward him. His dark hair grazed my fingertips.

 

“It’s not terrible.”

 

I felt him flinch as soon as I said what was in my mind.

 

“Your hair color is as beautiful as the night sky.”

 

“….”

 

Theodore stared at me blankly. He was silent for a while.

 

‘Did I make a mistake?’

 

I think what I said a while ago was too presumptuous, so I was somewhat embarrassed. It was when I was about to take my hand off his hair.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Theodore smiled and grabbed my hand tightly.

 

 I was startled. 

 

His smile was so beautiful that I held my breath as I looked at him. How can a person be this pretty?

 

“Then we’re still friends, right?”

 

“Yes, yes!”

 

With a strong nod of my head, he laced his fingers between mine and pulled me closer to him.

 

“Isn’t that how friends talk to each other?”

 

“But the Prince….”

 

“Do you also call Ernst the prince?”

 

I shook my head at his words.

 

“Theodore, Theodore, my name.”

 

I laughed at the sight of Theodore staring into my eyes and repeating his name over and over again for me to inscribe it.

 

“Theodore.”

 

When I said his name, Theodore smiled broadly.

 

So beautiful.

 

I was so mesmerized by his beautiful smile that I couldn’t take my eyes off him for a while, then I came back to my senses and asked him what had been worrying me all along.

 

“You’re not sick anymore, right?”

 

“Yes, I’m fine now.”

 

Luckily, Theodore seemed to have gotten rid of all the cold spirits.

 

“How did you get up here?”

 

“Because I can see you.”

 

“…?”

 

Sometimes Theodore said things I didn’t understand.

 

Maybe there was areas between me and Theodore that I didn’t understand, just like my grandmother didn’t understand me.

 

“…Anyway, I have to stay at the Empress Palace until the end of this month.”

 

“Oh, I see!”

 

Theodor smiled and rejoiced at my words.

 

“Then we can see each other every day.”

 

“Every day?”

 

“Let’s meet here at 2 p.m. every day from now on. Don’t tell Ernst, just you and me.”

 

“Okay, sure!”

 

We made a secret promise like that.

 

I felt as if I had shared a great secret with Theodore.

 

While he was whispering sweet nothings in the trees, I heard Ernst’s voice looking for me below.

 

I tried to glance down, but at that moment Theodore gently cupped both my cheeks and fixed his gaze on me.

 

“Theodore …….?”

 

When I asked why, he just smiled.

 

I felt kind of embarrassed when Theodore held my face and looked at me close.

 

“Let me go.”

 

I said in a petulant and defiant way, but he didn’t let me go. Instead, he smiled beautifully.

 

“Pretty.”

 

I felt funny hearing such words from Theodore, who was prettier than me.

 

“I’m not pretty…”

 

I grumbled for no reason, avoiding his gaze.

 

Then Theodor emphasized one syllable at a time.

 

“You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, Yvonne.”

 

“…”

 

I had no answer.

 

It wasn’t even mid-summer, but the heat was very hot.

 

Theodore chuckled and let go of my face.

 

I was at a loss, wrapping my cheeks with both hands.

 

Before I knew it, we were sitting side by side, chattering about what we had been doing the whole time.

 

I talked mostly, and Theodore listened, holding my hand tightly.

 

Every once in a while our eyes would meet and he would smile so beautifully.

 

Theodore was really strange.

 

He liked to hold my calloused hands. 

 

Unlike noble ladies’ hands, my hands were not as pretty or lovely, they were rough and small.

 

A breeze blew softly.

 

I leaned on Theodore’s shoulder and fell asleep.