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Left in the still darkness, Damia pondered over the shocking scenes she had seen. And fell into a very complicated sentiment.
The Akkard she knew was always a glamorous and arrogant man. So Damia had assumed in her heart that he must have grown up as a very precious, young tyrant that could have anything by simply pointing his finger at it.
Therefore, knowing his dark past, which she could not have imagined, was very uncomfortable.
“What are you thinking about?”
At Sienna’s question, who was watching from the side, Damia sighed deeply. And she asked frankly.
“This isn’t just a dream, is it?”
Sienna didn’t answer. But the smile on her lips grew a little thicker. Seeing this, Damia asked another question,
“I don’t understand. Why did you show me this?”
She answered her question after thinking for a moment.
“I just wanted to let you know.”
“Why is he callous to pain? Why did he ever become a human who only knows himself?”
As Damia thought, Akkard lived comfortably and knew nothing but himself. But, on the contrary, it was close to that because he suffered too much.
Akkard’s pain receptors were utterly paralyzed and numbed. He did not love anyone; he thought only of his own comfort and pleasure.
“Because there is no pain anymore. Because he can’t feel the hurt. He choose only to do things that are so reckless and selfish,”
Sienna explained with a small sigh. Just because he wasn’t injured didn’t mean others were like that. Indeed, he was a foolish little brother.
Akkard was now a big and strong adult man. The looming shadow of his cruel father could no longer threaten him.
But somewhere in the corner of his heart and in the back of his mind, there was still a little boy. The soul tied to the whipping and suffering from that time had not yet fully grown.
So there was no way Akkard could love anyone. So far from embracing a person, his heart, paralyzed for too long, was on the verge of rotting due to the lack of blood.
“But then you showed up, Damia Primula.”
Sienna’s bloodless fingers pointed straight at Damia. Startled by this, she shook her head and replied:
“But I don’t love him. We have no relationship, and have nothing to do with each other.”
“But then why me? Why did you show me these things?”
Damia asked calmly. In case Sienna planned on asking her to forgive him or accept him because he had a painful past.
Of course, she had no idea that Akkard’s past was so terrible. It was truly unfortunate.
While Akkard had been whipped over the years, no one had saved him. Because of that, he grew up to be a man who only knew himself.
‘But because of that doesn’t mean I should indulge him,’
Damia thought firmly. She was not the one who whipped him and stood by. Therefore, out of his numerous miseries, there were no grievances she was responsible for or had to be accountable for.
So Akkard Valerian had no excuse for treating her like that.
“Don’t be too wary. I’m not asking you to love him.”
Sienna shook her head and said something unexpected to her with a bitter smile.
“All I want is… … you pretending you don’t see him.”
“I meant literally what I said. Even if he wanders around you pathetically, just pretend you don’t know—ignore him.”
Damia was silent at the words that didn’t make sense. Seeing this, Sienna laughed with a sigh.
“I know. Even that is my unreasonable greed. Now you don’t want to even look at him.”
“… … I don’t quite understand,”
Damia asked, rubbing her stinging temple with her hand.
“What do you mean, pretend you don’t see him? What does that mean?”
“Meaning? Yes, there is.”
Sienna came closer, took her hand, and gently stroked her hair. Then, miraculously, the headache that was bothering Damia disappeared.
“You make the child’s dead heart leap, and you bring back the pain that was once numbed,”
Sienna said in a relaxed tone as if she were singing a song.
“You are enough, Damia. Just your existence itself is valuable.”
You make Akkard a better person just by being alive, Sienna whispered, donning a very older sister’s countenance.
“I knew he was going awry, but I just let go of him and watched. Because he’s been so miserably wounded so far. I didn’t want to hurt him anymore or it to get any worse.”
But one couldn’t become an adult without growing pains. Unlike the body that already knew the pleasures of countless adults, Akkard’s heart was of only a selfish boy.
If it weren’t for Damia, he would have never grown. And without knowing what he was lacking, he would have died with an empty heart and reiterated relationships just as mechanical as excretion.
“You are a good person, Damia.”
It was already the third time she had heard it. But Sienna’s expression as she said those words looked bitter, unlike before.
“So I used your kindness and empathy for other people’s pain. I’m sorry.”
“Can you please tell me so I can understand, Sienna?”
Damia replied with a half-resigned face. She was already suffering enough, accustomed to the North’s distinctive direct way of speaking.