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“You’ve grown into a better woman than I could imagine.”
Cesare wagged his tail and laughed like a rattlesnake enticing its prey. For a moment, his genuine intentions were revealed. Then his usual mask of softness slipped on to his face again.
He stepped away from Damia, he leaned forward and reached out his hand. Then, holding Damia’s warm hand, he kissed it softly as it was expected of unrelated single men and courtable ladies in high society.
“You’re as beautiful as a dream tonight. Please have a good time during your stay.”
Damia laughed shortly. Cesare had just declared through his actions that he would treat her as a woman, not his sister.
Then she had no choice but to protect herself with all her might. Damia smiled as if she hadn’t heard his declaration of war. And deliberately spoke Kael’s name in front of him.
“Thank you, brother. So, today’s star is, uh, there’s one, right? I’d like to say goodbye before Kael leaves.”
Cesare was still smiling. But Damia could see it. His eyes, which were the color of pale water until earlier, were now frozen like winter icicles.
There was only one reason why she got a reaction out of the indifferent and cold-hearted Cesare. It was because he hated Kael Roysten, the main character of today’s farewell party.
It was a matter of course. Kael was Damia’s first and only love.
“…Kael? Right… You don’t know when you’ll see him after he leaves tomorrow. Of course, you want to say your greetings to him.”
Cesare replied with a fierce smile that smelled bloody.
Damia sighed inwardly at the sight of his expression.
As expected, Cesare must have been involved in Kael’s departure. He was not a man to let Damia go without a fight.
But Damia wasn’t subject to Cesare’s dirty ticks; he had targeted Kael instead.
Even though she knew all this, she lowered her eyes and asked a favor from Cesare with her head bowed.
“I’d like to say goodbye to Kael. So please tell me where he is …Please Chesare, brother.”
Damia wish she could have been steadfast in front of Cesare until the end, but she let her voice tremble slightly. For this reason, it became a pitiful plea.
She had no choice but to do so. Cesare was good at controlling people. He had patiently and meticulously made Kael admire him and look up to him.
Kael, who had been isolated from the Roysten Marquis, was lonely and naive. So he fell for Cesare’s trick. His application for the paladin’s entrance test, which he was not interested in, and his departure from the North were all the results of his manipulation as Cesare being Kael’s “respectful older brother.”
So Damia was afraid. Kael didn’t like this grand banquet. He would leave tomorrow, so Cesare didn’t need to keep up with pretense.
Cesare could crush Kael in a few words if he so desired.
‘Then I won’t even be able to say my last goodbye to Kael… ….’
Damia had no choice but to admit defeat. She lost to Cesare.
For Kael had picked him over Damia.
So Dami bowed her head and begged the victor to be generous. To put an end to her long, unrequited love.
Cesare, staring at Damia with an unreadable look, opened his mouth. Fortunately, his gaze at Damia was softer than before.
“You’d better take it easy at this point.”
‘For you and me.’
Damia heard his unspoken threat.
Damia checked the direction he was pointing and turned.
The sticky gaze on her back seemed to squeeze her neck. Damia hurriedly headed for the garden without regard for how she might have looked.
She had often come to play since she was young at the neighboring Roysten estate with Kael, so she knew the landscape as clearly as if it were the back of her hand.
Damia crossed a flower bed full of roses, rounded the corner of the mansion, and passed a fountain with an angel statue.
Before long, Damia stopped in front of the pretty pond and raised her head, searching.
Then she spotted a young man with blue hair standing alone on the balcony on the second floor above the lake, full of stars.
Damia carefully called the name of the man she had loved for ten years.