“Serina, what are you doing?”
“Don’t bring him back.”
“Serina, please, ··!”
The pathetic-looking boy cries and desperately grabs my skirt.
I don’t care about a boy like that.
The boy, who was just 14 years old, had an extraordinary aura.
His purple eyes sucked you in. They were dazzling, bright and captivated all the people they met. The more you looked, the more compelled you are to keep looking.
But the people in this family are indifferent in the face of the enchantment.
The boy begged me again.
As usual, I wore the same detached expression as the people around me.
His hands mirrored each other in a prayer posture.
Gak’s leash was desperate.
“Please, Serina, will you bring the Alastair to me?”
“You have to be educated, but you don’t listen.”
The dark gray eyes echoed in her hair color, stare at me with a cold surging force.
The eyes of the Duchess of Melford, were so icy that a frosty pressure filled my face which resembled her.
“My good daughter, come here,” she had such power.
The ability to overwhelm with just her eyes—not even needing action to dominate. That’s why she beat those brothers and became the Duke, even though she was a woman.
“Please, Serina, please.”
“……Go. Give up this much, Alastair.”
Alastair was still holding on to my skirt. I pulled the hem gripped tightly in his hand but it didn’t budge.
If I were you, I’d grab someone else’s skirt and run away.
Of course, running away doesn’t mean you’ll succeed, but could postpone the enviable.
“My daughter is so tender-hearted,” the Duke of Melford mused at Alastair.
Her child, who knew what the servants wanted, began to come this way.
The sound of a heels hitting the cold marble floor is exceptionally sharp.
As the footsteps of the servants neared, the Alastair trembled like a decaying tree in autumn.
His white skin frightly turned paler.
Sadly, however, there was no one here to sympathize with him even after seeing his despairing visage.
The Duchess of Melford had only these kind of people around her. Like herself, there is not a grain of empathy, only a joyful sadism.
But there is one exception.
“Mother, he dosen’t look well today, so why don’t we do it next time?”
“’What do you mean he is not feeling well? Then the brainwashing will work even better.”
The Duke of Melford grinned and clapped as if she had accomplished something. Her laughter did not resonant at all with the situation.
To my disgust.
This is mainly what the Duke of Melford does to Alastair.
Brainwash him to obey the people of the Melford family. And love Serina.
It was bizarre.
I try to tell myself I’m used to it, but every time I heard it, I frowned.
It was a cruel act towards a young boy, but it was inevitable deed for our family.
When I turned to Alastair, I saw the room of hallucination.
A place specially made for Alastair’s brainwashing. He visited it weekly.
In the Room of Hallucination, the Duchess’s specially-made scented candle produced hallucinations strong enough to melt the average person’s brain.
Therefore, Alastair should not be locked up frequently or for long periods of time.
At last the servants were just around the corner. The servants who came to my door paused.
A servant was politely bowed to me and then took Agester’s arm with a throbbing grip.
“No, no, no, no, no, no!”
Alastair struggled to pull out his seized arm, but the more he resisted the more he was trampled on.
The Duke’s servants overpowered him, refusing to let him go. Their ruthless hands seized Alastair’s head and plummeted him into the floor, and twisted his arms behind him, immobilizing him. The more they do, the more aggrieved they are.
It got worse. “Oha!”
Alastair’s arm escaped from their ruthless grasp and unintentionally brush my ankle. He only frowned small in astonishment at the touch, but Alastair’s face was stained with sweet sulphur.
At my verbal surpise, Alastair’s attention immediately focused on me. The servants didn’t miss the chance.
They completely overpowered Alastair and bound his arm with a rope. Alastair quickly calmed down, perhaps surprised by the fact that he hit me.
The servants slammed his face firmly on the floor and forced him to stop moving. In the process, Alastair’s fine black hair was pulled and rolled back on the floor. His eyes still contained only me.
As I tried to keep looking at the wobbly eyes, I felt guilty and inadvertently avoided his gaze.
I turned my back on the tumultuous situation, leaving only the words.
There was nothing I could do for Alastair.
What can a 14-year-old girl do? Come to think of it, it’s already been three years since Alastair was brainwashed.
I don’t know if the brainwashing worked well or not, but one day he began to blush at me.
It may seem that the brainwashing to love Serina worked, but strangely enough, the other brainwashing did not.
He’s not at all following the orders to obey our family.
Sometimes, I think it would be better for Alastair to be prefectly brainwashed. Then this cruelty would come to a stop. But there is also the important fact that he firmly refuses to be brainwashed till the end.
From the moment he is perfectly brainwashed by the Duke of Melford, he will live as her puppet.
I’m tired. I arrived in my room and for a long time was lost in thoughts. I lay my tired body on the bed because I didn’t want to think any more.
The warmth under the quilt did not go at all with the cold violence of this family.
When I was here, I often fooled myself and mentally escaped— like I was somewhere other than the Melford duchy. In that sense of deluded comfort I fell into a numb and deep sleep.
* * * *
Half asleep, I can feel something warm and cumbersome on the ankle. Nervously, I took my foot away from it, but an unknown ‘something’ caught my ankle again. Something that wouldn’t budge.
I wondered what it was that kept bothering my ankle, and it was Alastair. He treated my ankles like the precious water of a desert oasis. He didn’t move.
“What are you doing now?”
“……I’m sorry, Serina.”
“I made you sick.”
Ah. I guess you’re talking about your hand grazed by my ankle during your struggle earlier.
“It’s not something worth mentioning.”
Maybe it’s because the brainwashing worked well. Alastair overreacted like I would die if I was pricked by a thorn.
I could see his brainwashing clearly.
He stroked my ankle with an anxious look.
He never got sick in the first place, but he is ridiculous in treating people as critical patients, which makes me laugh.
Who’s worried about who you are when you’re the one trouble? The sight is funny, and one laughs at the absurdity.
“No thanks. It’s just a tap. Yes, don’t react sensitively.”
I pulled my ankle from him.
He couldn’t take his eyes off my feet as if he had lingering feelings.
“I’m sorry, Seri,” he called my pet name rarely.
Ttukttuk, Alastair began to shed tears like chicken poop with a mournful face, and my body trembled at the embarrassing sight. Here the victim was apologizing to the real assailant.
What do you mean? What a strange sight it was.
”·····, I was wrong. So don’t leave me with that foot.”
The Alastair sat with his knees bent under my feet, imploring earnestly.
Please don’t lose yourself. I felt so sorry. Alastair’s feelings were not real. It was a misleading, irrational emotion created by brainwashing.
The reason why he is afraid to be abandoned by me is because he believes he loves me. To love and to believe in love are different levels of emotion.
If he doesn’t believe in love, he’ll have no more feelings for me.
I stroked his black hair with these complex thoughts. The fine black hair curled up between my fingers. I savor the soft touch.
Patting him on the head as if he were crying, I soothed him.
“Why don’t you come here and sit next to me?“
To my words he strained his shaky legs and got up from his seat and settled next to me. There’s really no other dog that listens this well.
Alastair, sat on my bed and stared at my red eyes for a while with a hazy, slightly loosened, longing eye. Charmed eyes were on me
My insides gently bent.
For a weightless moment, I felt as if time had stopped.
A beautiful face smiled and I almost fell in love with him.
I thought I got used to it, but I guess not. It’s a beautiful image that I always feel and linger for.
“Serina, can I hold your hand?”
As soon as my permission was given, Alastair hurriedly grabbed my hand.
My slender hands are enveloped in his rather large hands.
He relaxes his grip as if he were being careful in case my hand gets hurt. It was a very humorous sight.
Holding my hand and fiddling, he suddenly lowered his head and kissed me small on the back of his hand. Maybe that was the beginning, my hand, my head, and my mouth.
“Serina,” he raises his head and looks at me.
Looking at the hazy eyes, I wondered if the day would come when the brainwashing would be relieved.
Seeing him looking at me as if he was loving Serina made me upset.