To do that, the first thing to do was to dig up the internal affairs of the Great Shrine from Calix. But since he had no intention of opening his mouth, it was frustrating.
However, because he was the twin brother of the Saint, he could not be interrogated. They would gain no allies if he was tortured, even if he rescued the Saint.
Because of this, Heinrich decided to take extraordinary measures.
‘I must bring your stepmother, Lady Damia.’
Damia frowned at those words, but she didn’t object. Because Noella was the only one that could convince Calix now.
Frankly, her sentiments for Noella were not favorable. Damia, like most nobles, was proud of her own family.
However, Noella, whom she accepted as her stepmother, was not actually a noblewoman but a servant of the temple, and she gave birth to Cesare through her relationship with a priest.
‘Nothing was true.’
So according to her social and ethical principles, she didn’t approve of Noella. However, it was clear from the circumstances that Leon was her father’s child.
She could not ignore the woman who had given birth to her father’s child and half-brother. This made the problem considerably more complicated.
Heinrich inquired of the troubled Damia:
‘What do you think? Can you convince your stepmother?’
‘There is no need to persuade.’
Damia answered his question right away.
‘Even if she was just following the High Temple’s orders at first, from the moment she lied about her identity and entered the family register, she committed a great sin against our family. So I will make sure she compiles with my request.’
If Noella was a human with a conscience, she would know. The woman Damia saw was a human being with shame and knew what she was doing wrong.
So, even if she had become a lady at best, she confined herself to the mansion without enjoying any luxury or social gatherings. Even when Damia was kind to her, she was very mindful of her and tip-toed around her.
Damia, who had now understood Noella’s psychology, was convinced. She would do whatever she wanted, either out of guilt or to see Calix again, whom she thought was dead.
‘By the way, to father… … What should I say?’
Damia, the heir to the Count of Primula, smiled bitterly, reminiscing about her family, which was increasingly becoming more of a mess.
It was when she was in that state of mind, with the teacup in front of her, a slight knock rang on the door, and then a tall man cautiously stepped inside.
“You’re early. Have you been waiting a long time?”
Like a shadow that shimmers when light is shone in the prism of a crystal, his silver hair shone exceedingly bright in the afternoon sun.
He was an eye-catching man. Damia looked at his eyes, which looked both a soft purple and vivid violet, and gestured.
“Come and take a seat.”
Conscious of her, Akkard slowly sat down across from her. The movement was like a lion who didn’t want to scare the keeper.
He sat down and looked at Damia. She was as bright as spring in a light sky-blue dress that exposed her shoulders and a green satin ribbon around her narrow waist.
But the blue eyes that met his gaze were still winter.
“As you may have guessed, the reason I asked you to see Lord Akkard today is… … To end our relationship.”
His heart pounded and sank at the words he feared the most. Akkard opened his lips pleadingly without realizing it, but his throat choked, and he couldn’t utter a word.
Damia took the opportunity to say more.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a positive answer in the end. But I also came to this conclusion after mulling it over and over with careful consideration. Rather than continuing to waste time and emotion, Sir Akkard… … .”
Akkard, who had been frozen in shock, suddenly asked. It was a brief question, but it was a sound that contained the confusion he felt.
Upon hearing this, Damia sighed. When she hesitated, unable to answer, Akkard clenched his teeth and asked again.
“Tell me honestly, Damia. What is wrong with me?”
He would be lying if he said he wasn’t afraid to hear the answer. But he had to know.
He needed to know what was holding him back, so he could at least work on it and look for the next opportunity.
“Can’t you believe my sincerity, that I love you?”
It was a tight, suppressed voice, but Damia could feel something hot, painful, seeping into it. So… … She couldn’t lie to him.
“Alright. Sir Akkard, maybe you lov me. At least ‘for now’.”
“For now? What does that mean?”
He couldn’t have missed what she meant. However, he dared to ask because it seemed he had to hear it directly through Damia’s mouth.
“Then I ask you, sir, how long will it last?”
Damia sighed and asked straightforwardly.