PCP – 120

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Presumably, Cesare must have hid amongst the mourners to make sure the ceremony was held properly. That way, he would know if his tricks had deceived everyone.

It was a pity that he could not be arrested at the scene. But Damia wasn’t too discouraged. Because she knew Cesare wasn’t the kind of person to be caught so easily in the first place.

“… … That’s how it happened. Oh My God.”

Cecil furrowed his thin eyebrows as if organizing the incidents she had heard. Then, conscious of the surroundings, she whispered in a low voice.

“I was really surprised, Damia. I slept without questioning any of it and when I woke up, the North couldn’t stop talking about you.”

Damia’s best friend, Cecil, went to the funeral early in the morning. Therefore, she did not witness the commotion that followed.

But now, all the northern nobles knew. The fact that Cesare had drugged her stepfather, Count Primula, to manipulate him, and was later caught, so he had staged his suicide. He had even tried to kill Louise to silence her.

And it was Damia who spread all this.

‘The fact that Cesare tried to silence Louise by attempting to kill her means he would be in trouble if the fact that he was alive was exposed.’

Of course, there was no way to know ‘why?’. But she didn’t need to know the reason behind this weakness in order to exploit it.

‘What Cesare was trying so desperately to stop in the first place, I must use against him.’

Damia acted on her hunch. There was no need to hide the shameful doings of an enemy.

So she gladly made it known that Cesare was alive. She even listed his crimes and put a bounty on his head.

So it was only natural that the rumors spread all over north after only half a day.

“… … It’s really shocking. I knew Cesare was crazy, but I had no idea he would go that far.”

Cecil, who was shaking his head, suddenly had a thought. With a worried expression on her face, she asked Damia,

“Hey, is your stepmother okay?”

“Well—”

Damia’s face, which had been sober up until now, darkened for the first time. After thinking for a moment while fiddling with her hair, she replied reluctantly.

“Honestly, she is not okay. How could she be?”

She remembered Noella that day when she had told her Cesare had committed suicide. She was all pale, in shock.

The appearance of her collapsing on the stairs was so devastating that it was impossible to think of it as acting. So Cesare may have deceived even his biological mother, Noella.

She was a timid person without the guts to deceive from the very beginning. So Cesare must have thought he was better off not letting his mother know anything.

Thanks to that, Noella had to face the brutal truths she could not have imagined. Her son, whom she thought was dead, was actually alive and committed horrific crimes!!

All of this had terrified the frail Noella. She said that she had no face to see her husband and Damia and lay down with anguish, ill.

“… … What’s wrong with her son? I feel sorry for her, really.”

Cecil felt sorry for her, who didn’t look like she was in her late 40s. She had always been a sweet and fragile girl, but how did she end up with such a huge burden?

“Still, I’m sure she will get up and shake it off soon. Because she is still a mother to Leon,”

Damia said, remembering her little half-brother, who had just begun to walk.

Leon was a precious little child for whom her stepmother had previously obtained after devotion and a full week-long prayer. Noella would surely get up and shake off this shock for such a child.

“That’s a relief,”

Cecil sighed in relief, and then her eyes curled up coyly. Then, leaning her body forward, she gave Damia a subtle glance.

“Hey, so what happened to Sir Akkard? That day, he came out so desperately and saved you with a bang?”

“You have to be precise. He saved Louise, not me.”

Damia was not shaken by her friend’s fact-checking of the widespread hearsay. Cecil was relieved inwardly instead.

‘It seems that she really has no heart for Lord Akkard.’

To be honest, Cecil thought that if she had been rescued in such a dramatic fashion by a wonderfully handsome man like Akkard, she wouldn’t have been able to help herself from falling in love. However, for some reason, Damia did not waver.

She smiled softly, perhaps feeling Cecil’s strange, peering gaze.

“You had said it before too.”

Contrary to her calm expression, Damia’s tone explaining her reason was cold.

“No one should willingly walk into hell with their own two feet.”

It was a warning that would make the many young girls in the capital lament who had already walked into that hell.

But Damia was sincere. Even if he hadn’t just thrown away her handkerchief, she wouldn’t have fallen in love with Akkard anyway.

Akkard was such a prodigal man. But it wasn’t just that she didn’t love him.

‘Now… … I can’t love anymore.’

It was essentially due to Damia Primula’s individual condition.

She had already poured everything into a ten-year-long unrequited love. She believed that her first love would be her last love, so she foolishly gave everything she had had all away without leaving a single part of her heart intact.

So she had nothing left to lose and nothing left to be taken away. It was impossible to give an emotion as overwhelming and desperate as the early buddings of love that was like vomiting up her heart upside down.

Because she was empty and dried up after giving everything that her heart had had.

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