PDM Chapter 45
Laura closed the door, approached him, and bowed. “Did you call for me? Anyway, I’m curious as to why Madam didn’t come back, so I wanted to ask–”
“I know,” Kyle said with a sigh.
Laura glanced anxiously at him and shrugged her shoulders. “What do you mean–”
“I know you’re no longer mine.”
At the sound of his frosty voice that followed, Laura stopped speaking.
Kyle looked at Laura with half-lidded eyes, his eyes were dark enough that Laura couldn’t distinguish between the pupil and the iris.
“But I didn’t know you were stupid enough to drive your master over a cliff.”
“It was overlooked,” he said, his tone morose. “Yeah, it was overlooked.”
A deep voice repeated the same words.
Laura, biting her lips enough to make her jaw ache with tension, furrowed her brows and slightly lifted her head. She didn’t know to who Kyle’s words were addressed.
Laura was puzzled. The reason he called her was probably out of conviction, not suspicion. He’s convinced she’s helped Aelle.
Madam didn’t return to the mansion meant that she successfully ran away, so Laura figured she would be the first to be cut off.
But instead of interrogating her, Kyle seemed a little lost. The man took a deep breath and rubbed his face, his large hands covering his face like a curtain.
Laura’s heart became heavy because she was uncomfortable, feeling like a stone passed heavily against her chest.
‘Are you all right?’
On the one hand, she was worried about Kyle. She had watched him try to seal the forest to prevent Aelle’s death.
She was his nanny from childhood, yet she betrayed him. She felt so guilty that she wouldn’t be able to say anything if the ghost of the previous Duchess came to get her.
Laura gave him a sidelong glance but soon closed her eyes tightly. What happened was irreversible, and she didn’t regret helping Aelle. She had agonized over it countless times since she overheard Takan and Aelle’s conversation.
What was the path meant for her? Laura had come to her own conclusion after much consideration. She eagerly clasped her hands as she remembered Aelle.
‘Please be safe.’
After that, Laura greeted him and left the office.
After time had passed, Kyle’s hand fell under the scene of petals falling beyond the transparent window of his office. Blinking his eyes languidly, he looked down at his hands and lowered his eyelids.
He felt as if something he was holding in his hand had escaped.
It didn’t matter whether his eyes were opened or closed; he could still see vividly her hair waving through the wind as she ran away holding another man’s hand.
He clenched his neck as he thought of Aelle and frowned in resentment. Then he exhaled in shaky breaths.
He felt it again–unknown emotions coming up through his throat, running through his veins, and taking root in his heart.
Feeling suffocated, Kyle hurriedly untied his cravat and thought of Aelle. She lost her child and was about to die at any moment.
Guilt and an unknown emotion ate at him, but he thought it would soon fade. Still, it remained, so he figured it would be better if she could achieve what she wanted. He didn’t realize that whenever she tried to leave, thin ice would engulf her body as if she had fallen into a frozen lake.
Oddly enough, he didn’t even think about Hari. It was from a sense of duty and atonement for Louis that he kept Hari by his side, but Kyle somehow cared about Aelle. He wandered through unknown emotions–from her misunderstanding, losing their child, to letting go.
One day, he got annoyed, finding it hard to let go of her, who invaded his life.
‘Do you really want this woman to get hurt?’
He knew that Takan couldn’t kill her.
He knew that Takan would mercilessly wield a sword against an opponent, so he trusted him on the battlefield.
Kyle watched as Takan thrust a sword into her neck, his eyes trembling with anxiety. He knew he had to let her go.
His body stiffened at the sight of the blade slashing her skin and bleeding red. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, and he took a few breaths. Aelle. He bitterly swallowed the name he couldn’t get out of his mouth and stared at Aelle as she closed her eyes as if prepared for death.
She chose to die than stay by his side.
He was still used to loss. Whatever he cherished always left.
It was a strange emotion he couldn’t feel even if he lost Hari, Louis, or his parents. He hadn’t even felt this with Hari, the first woman he loved.
If she died. if she broke down. if she ever forgot him.
As he repeated those scenarios in his head, the feelings he had neglected became clear, and he laughed.
Okay, I’ll admit it.
This was fear. He was afraid to lose her and be forgotten by her.
A rift broke out in the solid feeling he had defined as guilt.
“Aelle.” Kyle covered his mouth, repeating her name as he groaned. She hasn’t changed, but Kyle has. Unlike before, her name didn’t come out easily, and he almost bit his tongue.
If he lost her, he felt like a vast, incomparable sense of loss would overtake him. When he imagined her coming back dead, or seeing her with Takan, his whole body shivered, and his head flickered.
He raised his gaze and looked out the window as if Aelle was there. Then he clenched his fist. It’s like grabbing something he’s missed.
Takan opened the door and beckoned me to enter. I followed him over the high threshold that came to my shin.
The door opened and closed quickly, unable to withstand the weight.
I glanced inside to see colorful lanterns adorning the ceiling, helmets, armors, spears, and swords that filled the walls. A wooden board displayed various weapons–daggers, bow and arrows, shurikens, exotic weapons, anything one could imagine.
Takan looked around with an unusually readable face as he headed towards the wall where weapons were displayed. He held a sword of intense color with a snake-like pattern on the handle. It was more like looking at a work of art than just a weapon.
Takan grinned at the sword, obviously pleased with the weapon.
I stared at Takan as he admired the sword, and a thought struck me. I rummaged through my jacket pocket and pulled out a pair of my earrings.
I shamelessly received help, so I had to do something to ease that feeling.
Well, this wasn’t mine in the first place, so it wasn’t worth considering paying off debt. So I turned around with a bitter smile and said, “Takan, you can buy the long sword with this–ack!”
A sudden appearance startled me, and I dropped the earring in my hand. At the noise, Takan quickly pulled out his long sword and turned around. He aimed the tip of his blade at the man standing in front of me.
He blinked his eyes in disbelief and breathed out a sigh of relief. The man in front of me had a thick beard covering his chin.
A man with dark skin and short hair that didn’t even reach his forehead had a rough impression that reminded me of a rogue. His appearance was as big and high as a mountain, and anyone who looked at him would feel terrified.
The man glanced at me contemplatively and then pushed the tip of the sword aimed at his neck with his index finger. He didn’t take his eyes off me.
“Hey, stop that. That’s expensive.”
Takan’s eyes widened and he quickly lowered the sword. “Could it be, Rin?”
I looked back at Takan in surprise. Rin? The blacksmith and owner of this shop. Takan, who brought me here, looked even more surprised.
But why was he looking at me? His contemplative gaze, as if inspecting me, felt unpleasant, so I furrowed my brows and glared at him. After a while, he contorted his face as if he was holding back his laughter, then collapsed.
Rin grabbed his stomach and bellowed out in laughter. He even slapped his thighs. His shoulders also shook as he cackled.
Takan and I stared at Rin in disbelief.
He continued to laugh, wiping the tears from the corner of his eyes.
“You look like a squirrel whose food was stolen from them, then glare at me with so much venom,” Rin murmured so that only I could hear his words.
Takan sighed deeply and stood in between Rin and me.
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