Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 21

 

“Father! Father…….”

Liv succumbed to the overwhelming sadness that surged up and slammed her head on the ground. It was so painful. While she was curled up among the bookshelf, her father must have felt the explosion with his whole body in the secret room.

‘He must have died with his limbs torn without even having the chance to scream. What did my father think then? Was it heartbreaking to die so vainly? No, did he even think of me a little bit?’

Liv cried like a beast. No matter how much she hated him, he was Liv’s only father. There was no one by her side anymore.

Liv looked around blankly with dispirited eyes. There was no sense of presence in the mansion.

‘I’m really alone.’

She shuddered at the fear that came flooding in.

The moonlight coming in through the broken window comfortingly caressed the back of Liv’s head. But Liv did not feel any comfort. She just laid on the floor and cried out incessantly.

How much did she cry? Liv looked up as she felt a sharp paper piercing her fingertips. It was a torn portrait.

Liv, who was looking around with blank eyes, fixed her gaze on the desk that had lost its owner. Something flashed across her mind as she stared at the desk and portrait with tears streaming down her face.

Freedom.

It was freedom.

Her father has always been a subject of fear and hatred. Liv always wanted to be accepted by her father, but he didn’t give her any affection because of her ugly face.

So she was distressed. She couldn’t love herself.

Anton was like a demon sucking Liv’s life. Liv was slowly dying in Anton’s arms.

But then such a father died.

“Hu…… Heukk…… kuk…….”

Her eyes, which contained nothing but infinite sadness, were filled with different emotions. Liv’s expression began to crack.

The ruined portrait was awfully pleasant, and her father’s study, which had lost its authority as it turned into a mess, strangely brought a sense of liberation. She kept trying to persuade herself that she shouldn’t be like this, but her emotions spiraled out of control.

She felt freedom that she had never felt before, and at the same time, she felt disgusted at herself for feeling this kind of emotion.

‘Am I grieving or rejoicing at the loss of my father now?’

Liv’s feelings kept fluctuating.

Freedom.

Sorrow.

Joy.

Pain.

Exhilaration.

Guilt.

Fear.

As emotions fluctuated for a short period of time, fear emerged again.

Anton kept Liv out of the world, making Hale her everything, instilling guilt and frustration, not even giving her the courage to enjoy freedom.

The joy was short-lived.

‘What do I do now? I don’t have anyone…… No one by my side…….’

Liv trembled from the rush of loneliness and fear.

“Liv?”

At the sudden sound of a voice, Liv turned around and a man with his face covered approached her. Liv flinched in fear and stepped back.

“Liv! It’s me! Lohan!”

“Lohan?”

He approached Liv, who was plopped down.

“Lohan!”

As Liv collapsed into Lohan’s arms, Lohan whispered that he was glad in a voice like a sigh. Liv said as she cried in Lohan’s arms.

“Lohan, father…… Father is dead.”

“Yes, I know…….”

“I’m so scared. I’m so frightened and terrified…… But…….”

“It’s okay, Liv…… It’s okay.”

How stupid of her. How could she forget Lohan? Liv was not alone. She had a brother.

Her one and only brother. Lohan.

Liv slipped out of Lohan’s arms and ran her hands over his face. Unlike before, his face, which had changed to a firmer appearance, showed that he had become a full-fledged adult. Liv asked in an anxious voice.

“Lohan, are you really back to Hale? Father is dead now, so why don’t you just come and live here? Let everyone know who you are and live as Lohan Ragnell.”

“…….”

“As you can see, I’m unattractive, so everyone will welcome you. So you don’t have to worry. You can―”

“Liv, I’m not coming back to Hale.”

At Lohan’s firm words, Liv paused.

“I’m sorry, Liv, but Ragnell now means nothing to me. I just came to see your face one last time.”

“Don’t do that, Lohan! Is it because you hate me? I was afraid of father, too. I was as afraid of father as you were!”

“No, it’s not like that, Liv. How could I hate you? I could never do that.”

“Then why are you doing this? You don’t like Ragnell? Now that we’re the only Ragnell left, you can do everything you want. I will follow your words unconditionally. I’m not greedy for anything! If, if you could only just be by my side……”

Lohan shook his head.

“Liv, do you remember my letters?”

Tears dripped down the floor.

“I was in so much pain from being kicked out of this house and abandoned. Every day was painful because I felt like my very existence was denied. The affection you gave me was my only salvation.”

Lohan kissed Liv’s head and thanked her.

“And when I finally came out of the world of pain, I saw a completely different world.”

Lohan grabbed Liv’s hand.

“Liv, I am so grateful now that father kicked me out. Thanks to him, I was able to get out of the pain on my own.”

He spoke up, looking determined to do something.

“Liv, I can’t come back to Hale. Because I am a rebel.”

Liv forgot to breathe at Lohan’s words. A rebel.

“Damn it! I wasn’t going to tell you! I just want to see your face one last time……”

“Lohan? A rebel…… What are you talking about?”

“I will overthrow the emperor and achieve complete equality.”

Liv’s mouth fell open. All rebels were beheaded. Those who were caught as rebels were brought in with their limbs broken and their throats cut in front of everyone.

‘You’re going to do such a dangerous thing?’

“Are you…… Are you out of your mind?”

“Maybe.”

There was no fear in his face as he spoke with a bright smile.

Lohan shone brighter than ever. He was no longer the child hiding behind her and who was conscious of his father. Liv couldn’t take her eyes off his face. As time passed, her brother changed.

‘Why…… Why did you change like that, leaving me alone? I’m still the same. I couldn’t move here at all.’

Liv swallowed her sorrow and asked.

“Why are you going to do such a thing? You could lose your life.”

“I loathed the blood of the serfs that flowed through me. If I hadn’t been born like this, I would have lived a different life. He constantly resented my mother and cursed me.”

Lohan smiled bitterly.

“But I realized it after spending a lot of time in disgust and pain. It’s not my fault. I was just born. My mother and I were just born. It’s not me that’s wrong, it’s the world. So I want to change the world. I want to get rid of my identity and give everyone a chance to live a better life than now.”

“Even if…… Even if you die?”

“Yes. I feel like I’m living my life now.”

Lohan was no longer coming back. His confident answer spontaneously made her think so.

Liv hugged Lohan. She was obviously a little taller than him, but now he was well over her height and was about to walk away.

“You’ll go even if I tell you not to go.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I can’t see you anymore……”

“Perhaps.”

“I liked you as soon as I saw you. Did you know? You are my one and only brother.”

Lohan buried his face in Liv’s shoulder, not wanting to reveal the tears in his eyes.

“Of course. My mother and you were the only family I had. I thank father for not giving me the surname Ragnell. That name would have been a stumbling block for me now.”

Lohan said in a small voice.

“We don’t know each other anymore. So you should never, ever pretend to know me no matter what I do. I’m not your brother anymore.”

Liv burst into tears.

“You’ve become a crybaby since I didn’t see you.”

As he wiped her face, Lohan’s face was full of regret and affection.

“Lohan, someone is coming. We have to get out of here now.”

Hearing the voice of an unfamiliar woman outside, Lohan quickly pulled Liv away and stood up. Liv’s breathing quickened at the impending separation.

“Take care of yourself. Liv.”

Seeing Lohan’s back as he was about to leave, her heart tightened.

“Lohan, Lohan! Don’t go! Please, please don’t leave me!”

Liv collapsed and looked at Lohan with a miserable face.

“Hu…… Heuk…….”

Liv was afraid of being left alone.

She couldn’t do anything by herself. She knew that she was so ugly right now, but she couldn’t stop crying. She was afraid of freedom. She was so scared that she wanted to die because of the sudden feeling of being left alone.

“If you leave me behind, I will have no one. So please don’t go!”

“Liv, you…….”

“We have to get out of here quickly! If we don’t leave now, we might get caught!”

Lohan stopped approaching Liv at the sound of his comrade’s urgent voice. Looking at her with confused eyes, Lohan eventually turned away.

She heard the sound of Lohan and an unknown woman hurrying out of the mansion.

“Don’t go……. Don’t go…… Please…….”

Liv ended up being left alone on the cold floor. She curled up in fear and sobbed for a long time.

“―!”

Then someone grabbed Liv’s forearms as she crouched down and pulled her up.

It was Dane with an angry expression on his face.

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.

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Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back.

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