Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 20

 

As Dane opened the door and entered, he saw the back of Liv standing in front of the window. He leaned against the door and stared at her for a moment. He could not get enough of the sight which he had only imagined in his head, no matter how much he looked at her directly.

When Liv spotted him, Dane pulled off his leaning body and approached Liv.

“I guess I didn’t hear you calling me again.”

Not being able to hear in one ear was more uncomfortable than she thought. Her sense of direction became dull, and she frequently failed to hear him calling.

“No, I was just watching you because you were so beautiful in the moonlight.”

As Dane hugged Liv from behind and kissed her on the head, Liv patted his hand that touched her stomach as if she were used to it. The distance between the two, which always maintained a certain distance, stuck tightly and did not fall apart.

“What were you looking at?”

“If you look from here, you can see Hale. There, that’s Hale, right?”

“Yes. If you follow this road, you will find Hale. Others might not see it well because it’s far away, but you managed to notice it.”

The view of Hale through the window was the reason he chose this house.

He would sometimes suffer from severe insomnia, and when he did, he would stand here and imagine the inside of the Ragnell mansion that he had never visited.

What the study looked like, what kind of food was usually served, and what kind of flowers the garden was full of. When he imagined her and thought of her walking around it, the painful night of not being able to sleep turned into a sweet rest.

Liv looked out the window and asked.

“How many days have I been here?”

Has it finally come? Dane had a complicated face.

“It’s probably been a fortnight or so.”

“……but why hasn’t my father contacted me? Did something happen to father?”

Even though he said they were going to get married, this was so strange. There was not a single formal letter from her father.

‘Maybe he doesn’t know I’m here. Or…… Does he not care about me anymore?’

When he said nothing, Liv turned back.

“Dane?”

After a moment of silence with their eyes in contact, Dane spoke with a heavy expression.

“Liv, don’t be too surprised and listen.”

Liv was taken aback by the unusual atmosphere.

“Baron Ragnell was caught up in the explosion and died the same day.”

After a very long silence, Liv asked again.

“Father…… was caught in the explosion and died?”

Liv was bewildered, as if she had heard nonsense.

“Yes. I’m sorry I only told you now.”

“Don’t lie. I was definitely the only one in the study. Perhaps the explosion did not happen on this floor but on the first floor?”

“The explosion happened in the study on this floor. To be exact, it was a secret room next to the study.”

Liv had no idea the secret room existed.

“In there was Baron Ragnell and the butler. They were caught in the explosion and died on the spot.”

After speaking, Dane looked at Liv with bated breath, so as not to miss a single expression. Liv’s eyes trembled in utter confusion.

‘My father is dead? Father…… Father…….’

It was ridiculous. Her father was not a man who would die in vain. He was a man who would survive and give his life for Ragnell.

Everything that had happened so far felt like a dream to Liv.

‘The fact that my ear had become like this, the situation of staying in his mansion, and everything he says now is not true, but a dream. I’m not waking up in my dream right now.’

It was a very long dream.

“Now that the lady has woken up, there will be a funeral in a few days. I couldn’t delay it any longer. I’m sorry.”

The two bodies that had been mangled by the explosion were so similar to each other that it was impossible to tell who was who. Dane, thinking about what to do, decided to bury the two together in one place.

Wouldn’t it be better to be buried together than to be buried mixed up? Dane didn’t bother to tell Liv about it.

“Why are you telling me so late…… to me…….”

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell you because it hadn’t been long since the lady woke up.”

“You’ve met my father so you know! My father…… He’s not the kind of person who would die ghastly.”

Dane thought so, too. He never expected Anton to die in vain.

Even if the two had a bad relationship, they had a father-daughter bond that was inseparable. Death was the only thing that could perfectly separate them, but it was such a dangerous idea that Dane had put it aside.

But to leave like this…… He didn’t know if he should like it or not.

“Who did this?”

“We are currently investigating, but it will be difficult to find out because there are no traces left from the explosion.”

Liv looked down at the floor with blank eyes. It was clear that a corner of her heart was in pain, but no tears came out.

She couldn’t hear, and now she couldn’t even cry? Perhaps her tears dried up because she had been crying for days.

‘Tears haven’t been made yet, so there’s nothing to shed. Right, that’s it. That must be it.’

“Liv. Are you okay?”

“Take me to Ragnell mansion. I need to check it. I, I just can’t believe it.”

“It is late at night now and it is dangerous. I will take you as soon as the sun rises tomorrow. I haven’t touched anything, so everything will be the same.”

Liv wanted him to take her there right now, but she held back. She has to go to sleep quickly to wake up in the morning.

Liv walked to the bed like an emotionless doll and lay down. Dane was a little relieved because he had even thought of the worst-case fainting situation.

Dane pulled the duvet up to Liv’s neck. Liv slowly closed her eyes.

 

***

 

Liv hurriedly ran towards the stairs, but was roughly caught by a hand and dragged back to the study.

 

‘Liv, say hello. They’re Ragnell like us.’

 

Young Liv, who had run away at the sight of the portrait on the wall, was seized by Anton and placed in front of the portrait.

Even though it was a painting, she hated the horrifying gaze that looked down on her. No matter how hard she struggled to free herself from the peering gaze, she couldn’t escape Anton’s grip.

Anton’s eyes flashed with madness as he alternately looked at the portrait and Liv.

 

‘Father, I’m scared.’

 

Despite the child’s crying voice, Anton did not loosen his grip on Liv.

 

‘What do you mean by scary? We’re a family that shares the same blood. The spirits of our ancestors dwell in the mansion we live in. It is all thanks to them that you and I are able to wear beautiful clothes and eat our fill without getting a handful of dirt on our hands. So shouldn’t we do something too? Liv, like me, should swear an oath in front of them. I will definitely live for Ragnell.’

‘I don’t want to! Let me go!’

‘This! Are you going to pretend you didn’t know what you’ve been receiving? I shouldn’t have raised you if you’re this ungrateful!’

 

Liv looked at Anton with frightened eyes.

 

‘In the distant future, what you have to do will surely come. When that time comes, you just have to follow me. Sweetheart. So please grow up beautifully.’

 

Anton grabbed Liv’s head and pinned it to the portrait. Young Liv was powerless.

 

‘My lovely daughter. Liv Ragnell.’

 

She hated that voice so much that it gave her goosebumps.

The more Liv closed her eyes and struggled, the stronger Anton’s strength grew. Her head felt like it was about to explode as she was being held in the big hand.

‘Help me! Please someone help me!’

She kept crying out even though there was no one to help her. Without a face coming to mind, she anxiously looked for someone.

 

‘You useless bitch! You ruined it! You ruined all my plans!’

 

Her father’s hand gripped her head and pressed down on her scar, and she heard the voice full of irritation she had always heard.

 

‘You’re just a useless pig who only knows how to eat! Get out of this house right now! Now!’

 

‘No! No! I don’t want to!’

Liv woke up struggling.

“Ah…… Ah…….”

Liv’s body was drenched in cold sweat. Anton’s hand, which had gripped her face, was vivid. Her whole body ached as if she had been beaten.

‘My father is dead? No, that’s not possible!’

Liv raised her trembling body and stepped out as if possessed. The sky was cold without the sun. Only moonlight illuminated Liv.

Outside, Liv looked around with anxious eyes and stumbled toward the stable.

The sensitive horse jumped up and cried in surprise at the sudden arrival of Liv. Liv hurriedly calmed it down.

“Will you help me out? I beg you. Please…….”

The horse calmed down little by little, as if it had read her desperation. Liv, on the other hand, still looked uneasy and precarious.

With trembling hands, Liv saddled the horse and hurriedly rode out of the mansion on horseback.

 

***

 

Descending from the horse, she opened the door to the Ragnell mansion and entered. There was no one to greet her, only the cold air.

As she frantically climbed the stairs, Liv tripped and fell.

‘If I open that door, my father will be sitting there.’

With staggering steps, she opened the door to the study.

She stumbled through the messed-up study. The study, which had always suffocated her, had become a mess and was no better than a ruin.

Liv, who was walking around blankly, did not see the frame lying under her feet and stepped on it and slipped. A torn portrait was seen on the floor where she had fallen.

The portrait, which fell to the floor after failing to withstand the explosion, was lying on a pile of books with only the edges sticking out or was torn unsightly.

‘My father is really dead…….’

Only then did a sense of reality pierced through her body. A cry like a scream came out of her mouth.

“Ah…… Ah! Ahhh!”

Liv cried out as she looked up at the sky.

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone~! Eica, here. If you find any mistakes, please do not hesitate to inform me. And, I'm sorry in advance for any mistranslations that might occur.

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back. NOTE: Updates will be sporadic. Any of my novels will be updated randomly.

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)