After finishing his work in the office, Ben got up from his seat and stood in front of the window. He finished not many works, but darkness was falling over the setting sun before he knew it.
He couldn’t concentrate today. Perhaps because the last words Cersinia said before going out kept ringing in his ears.
How slow the day went because Cercinia was not around. He didn’t hide his longing to see her and stared intently at the vast garden through the window.
There was only one thing he waited for in his heart. The carriage that Cersinia rode. By this time, he didn’t take his eyes off the gate with the thought that her carriage would appear at any time. The gate, which was very far away, looked like a black dot, but it was visible to his eyes. But the gate hasn’t been opened yet.
A calm smile hung around his mouth. He hoped she would come back soon, but it seemed that Cersinia was happy as she had fun going out with them and delayed her back. He always wanted her to feel like an ordinary person.
“You already know, because of my power, something might happen to you.”
It was what she said when they were at the docks.
Ben wanted Cersinia to be free from the pressure and enjoy her life to the fullest without being stressed by her power. He wanted to give her that kind of life. By his side, he wanted her to have a peaceful day. Days that are flawlessly perfect and happy that no one cannot invade them. For that, Ben was determined to do anything.
As it was already winter, Ben got out of his office and went down the stairs, looking at the rising moon instead of the setting sun. He was thinking of waiting for her in the garden so that he could see her faster. He didn’t even forget to get a thick coat in case Cersinia, who would get off the carriage, would feel cold.
“Are you going for a walk?”
Archen approached and asked the question as he saw Ben wearing a coat.
“I think Cersinia will come soon.”
Archen nodded in response to his answer, saying, “So that’s it.”
He knew Ben’s words meant Ben would be waiting for Cersinia outside.
“I want to get some fresh air. May I stay with you for a while?”
Archen began to speak out of fear that his master, who would wait alone until the carriage arrived, might be lonely.
“Do as you please.”
Ben left the door with Archen and headed for the garden path through which the carriage passed. There was no conversation between the two, but there was no awkward atmosphere. Their trust and faith were built over a long period of time. Although invisible, there was a fence around them.
Ben recalled the past while walking along the street with Archen. It was Archen who always supported and sided with him when he was imprisoned for nearly three years and suppressed the rebellion of the former Grand Duke.
“Yes, Your Excellency.”
For a moment, Archen was speechless. It was rude to not answer his Master’s words, but he couldn’t answer him. Because he was choked by a feeling he couldn’t describe in words.
“I don’t know if you’re still blaming yourself, but it’s thanks to you that I met Cersinia again.”
“Your Excellency, I…”
It was none other than Archen himself who made him and Cersinia separate. Archen had helped to imprison Ben, who had been dragged away as if he had been kidnapped, left a scar on Ben’s back, and did not let him meet Cersinia, whom he had always longed for several years. Archen bowed her head. The sense of debt and guilt he always carried on his shoulders weighed on his heart.
“Anyway, aren’t we the victims of the former Grand Duke?”
Ben didn’t mean to say that Archen wasn’t at all at fault. After all, Archen carried out the orders from the former Grand Duke, who was his Master, but she couldn’t pass the responsibility. However, he and Archen were victims of the former Grand Duke’s ambitions. At that time, they had no power, and Archen was there to protect him, even though he disobeyed his former master’s orders.
“So, whenever you have something you want to do in your life, you can leave. You don’t have to be tied to me.”
Ben knew that Archen had always felt guilty. That’s why he thinks he should stay by Ben’s side like a shadow and protect him until his death.
Archen raised his trembling eyes and looked at his Master at the unexpected words.
“Archen, I want to get out of that past now.”
Eyes filled with sincerity turned to Archen.
“He can’t be called as a father, but I’m still his bloodline. If you asked about his sins of violating heaven and earth, he deserves to die, and I agree about it. But, I want to get out of that past in this life.”
He wanted to bury those days completely in his heart, which was full of despair. With Cersinia, his endless happiness, staying by his side, he wanted to be free from that past. That way, he thought he would be able to move forward.
“So, I don’t want to have anyone next to me who can’t get out of that past.”
Archen hardened with words like a bolt from the blue. In the end, Ben was saying that Ben didn’t want Archen to be by his side, who was still trapped in the memories of those days.
“Your Excellency, for you I want…”
Archen wanted to be his servant not only because of guilt. Even though he was subordinate to this family, Ben was the only master who treated him as a person rather than a tool. He wanted to serve him for the rest of his life. He wanted to protect the future of his master, who had finally attained happiness. It was his only wish and happiness.
“Then bury that past now.”
Dark purple eyes stood out under the night sky with a resolute tone.
“There are no exceptions. If you can’t get out of that past, leave.”
His attitude was tough. But he did it while caring for Archen.
The sinner, the culprit of the despairing past, died and disappeared, but the rest of the people who are still alive endure the pain. Ben was completely happy that he was already with Cersinia, but Archen wasn’t the same with him. Ben only wanted Archen to live only for himself, free from atonement and guilt.
“I don’t know if I deserve it. The sins I have committed are so great that I don’t know if I can forget them and live my life.”
“That’s enough. You have done as much as you can.”
Archen’s eyes trembled. He had always been expressionless, but at the words from his Master, his emotions were severely shaken. His guilt, which had only grown day by day, disappeared as if washed away by a large waterfall.
The guilt, which had only been getting heavier day by day, disappeared like washing up in a large waterfall.
“There’s no turning back. What would you do?”
Archen knelt down on one knee. Suddenly, his eyes hardened like a stone.
“I’ll still be by your side, Your Excellency.”
“You can go in now. I’ll wait for Cersinia alone.”
Ben’s face softened in response to his answer.
Archen followed his Master’s orders and went to the mansion.
Being alone, Ben was in contemplation and walked across the darkness everywhere. How far he had walked towards the gate to meet her a little faster.
Anxiety was drawn on his face. The carriage should have come back now. However, the garden was only quiet, and he couldn’t hear a single sign of someone. He began to worry that something wrong was happening to Cersinia.
‘Or it happened again…’
Maybe ‘she’ appeared and took over Cersinia’s body again. When his thoughts reached that point, he couldn’t stay still. Ben quickly returned the way he had come to ride the horse.
At that moment, the sound of a rough horseshoe resonated with a loud horse sound behind his back. He turned around quickly and looked at the running horse. On the running horse was the knight that had been attached to Cersinia.
The knight who jumped off the slow horse quickly approached Ben.
“What’s going on?”
The knight explained what has happened to Cersinia so far in a cold voice.
The carriage broke down, and the place to repair the carriage and rent the carriage were all closed as if being planned, forcing them to stay there for one day. Ben’s face darkened as he listened to the story.
He clenched his lips strongly. Everything was going smoothly, like someone’s scheme. The scheme seemed to target Cersinia.
‘Who was trying to harm Cersinia?’
Anger, colder than ice and sharper than a sword, stood in his eyes.
“Guide me to where Cersinia is right now.”
Ben quickly climbed on the horse that the knight came on. As he pulled the reins as hard as possible, the horse ran out with a sound.
Worry, anger, nervousness, and anxiety were tangled.
He hoped he would not be late and nothing would happen to her.