The problem was Lucy.
How would she react if she learned that her family had been reported missing and that he was heading to the battlefield instead of Adrian? Just imagining it gave Felix conflicted emotions.
His steps toward the academy were as heavy as a block of stones.
The sky, which had become quite dark in winter, was now cloudy and gloomy. On campus, the trees stood with their arms bare and their leaves falling.
It’s the perfect weather to talk about going to war.
Felix contemplated the desolate surroundings with bitterness.
When he showed up at the academy, Lucy, who had seen him from a distance, immediately ran over. She asked Felix, not realizing that the wind had made her hair a mess.
“You’ve been visiting the Academy quite frequently lately, haven’t you? Aren’t you busy?”
Her slumped appearance has vanished, and she now exudes a cheerful demeanor.
She must have been relieved to learn that her family was safe, and that Felix had promised to transport them to the capital.
Maybe she has no doubts and believes him wholeheartedly.
“I have something to tell you; would you like to join me for a walk?”
Lucy agreed with his suggestion. The two walked into a peaceful academy garden. The seasons had changed as they walked side by side next to a fountain with withered lawns and fallen leaves floating, but he remembered the good old days.
Why does it seem so distant even though it happened only a few months ago?
Right then, it seemed as though the tranquil and laid-back time was all a dream.
While he was considering how to approach the subject, Lucy started the conversation.
“What about Adrian-Sunbae?”
She inquired, her gaze fixed on Felix’s face. Knowing how well-liked the twins were to one another, she was concerned for Felix, whose brother would be departing.
“I haven’t seen Adrian-sunbae in a while; I’ve been so busy lately that I forgot about him.”
She was still under the impression that Adrian was heading to battle.
“Adrian-Sunbae helped me with a lot of things…… I don’t know what to say at times like this.”
With a worried expression, she continued speaking.
“I know I’m being difficult, I’m sure you’re struggling as well.”
Lucy took hold of Felix’s hand. She comforted his heart as her thumb delicately brushed the back of his hand.
“I’m sure Adrian-Sunbae will be fine.”
Lucy turned to face Felix when he quietly called to her.
“I have something to tell you,”
He thought he couldn’t put it off any longer. His expression abruptly took on a serious tone, which caused Lucy to follow suit.
“What’s the matter?”
Felix was unable to speak. He would rather flee the situation. But he knew he couldn’t do that. He quickly closed his eyes, then he opened them and said,
“Your father and grandmother are missing.”
Lucy, who was holding Felix’s hand, began to feel weak. She let go of his hand.
Gradually, her expression started to change. When Felix noticed the profound shock and despondence on Lucy’s face, he felt as though his own heart was about to give out. Perhaps she was unable to accept the situation.
Felix grabbed her arm and shook it, but Lucy didn’t respond.
Felix calmly explained to her the news he had received from Brom. However, Lucy continued to maintain her blank gaze directed upward at Felix’s face.
It was as if she had no idea what he was talking about.
“I’ll find your family no matter how long it takes. The people I sent are looking for them.”
Lucy, however, took a rough breath and lowered her head.
How likely is it that someone who has gone missing will eventually be located on the battlefield?
After carefully lifting her up, Felix grabbed her by the face. As he stared at her, his eyes glistened resolutely.
“I’ll go and fetch them.”
The moment Lucy heard it, she scowled as if it were the most ridiculous thing ever.
“What do you mean? You’re leaving?”
“I’ll immediately join the Knights and set out for the East; I’ll make sure to find them and bring them to the capital.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Lucy, as if she still didn’t understand him.
“I decided to go instead of Adrian because Adrian has a job in our family.”
“No, you can’t.”
Lucy immediately shook her head. Her eyes turned red in a flash.
“…I’ve made my decision, and I’m not going to change it, but I promise you this: I’ll be back.”
“You can’t. Don’t say that!”
Lucy pushed Felix away, removing his hand from her cheeks. She responded with a stern face.
“Don’t worry about my family from now on. I’ll take care of them myself!”
“Don’t say anything!”
She immediately cut off Felix. Her eyes were welling up with tears, which were about to fall.
“I have to go.”
Lucy’s face was now filled with anger.
“If you go there, be prepared not to see my face again!”
“…I’m leaving tomorrow.”
Felix tried to hold Lucy’s hand, but she shook it coldly.
She glared at Felix for a moment with red eyes, and then turned her back.
Despite Felix’s call, Lucy sprinted out of the garden. Felix wanted to pursue her, but he knew he couldn’t give into her demands. He simply gave her a dejected expression as he looked in the direction she had left him.
Lucy did not return to the garden until he had finally left.
Felix was thinking about Lucy’s back. However, he had already decided what to do, and there was no chance that he would change his mind.
Felix completed all the preparations and left the room the following morning.
No more soft bed for a while.
He thought as he closed the door.
He entered the hallway and proceeded to Adrian’s room. When he entered the room, he saw his brother with his wrist tied to the bed. Adrian attempted to sneak out of the house early in the morning, but was apprehended by the servants Felix had placed in advance and brought him back to his room.
“…undo this quickly.”
“After I finish the apprentice joining ceremony, Rayleigh will come and release you.”
With his arms folded, Felix smiled as he looked down at him.
With disapproving eyes, Adrian looked up at him. He appeared as though he had never anticipated his brother would act in this way.
But Felix said without regard.
“I have a favor to ask of you. Take care of Lucy while I’m away.”
Adrian laughed as if he couldn’t say anything.
“I want you to keep an eye on every one who flirts with her. Noel Roman in particular, that fellow.”
“What if I make a move on her?”
With a serious gaze, Adrian incited.
“You’re scared, aren’t you? Quickly free me!”
But Felix stood his ground. He responded with a smile.
“My Lucy also has her own preferences, so it’s not really that scary.”
“You and I look alike. What preference?”
Because she knows me like a ghost.
Felix looked down at Adrian, his younger brother.
Someday you’ll meet a woman who recognizes you like a ghost. Then you’ll understand what I mean.
“Anyway, I’m asking you. Please take care of Lucy and Mother, too. And clean that up.” said Felix, pointing at the pile of papers which he had brought as an example to Adrian’s bedroom. The amount was enormous, and it would probably take months to get through them all.
“Why do you think it’s more difficult for me to process those papers than for me to go to the battlefield?…”
However, he felt sorry for his brother since he seemed to be running to the battlefield because he didn’t want to work.
He patted Adrian on the shoulder, encouragingly, and turned his back.
He didn’t like long goodbyes. He left the room after a short greeting.
Before leaving the mansion, he greeted his mother, butler, and the employees.
He didn’t want to hang around here any longer. He mounted the horse after giving a brief order to the butler and the staff to look after Adrian.
Before departing, he looked up at the mansion where he would be away for a while. When the servants saw it, they blinked their tears away. They might have thought he didn’t want to leave the house, but they were mistaken.
But he had no attachment to the house. The only thing that actually caused him to regret it at that time was that moment.
Should I have followed you all the way to the end yesterday?
Felix recalled the face that had yelled at him while crying and the back of her head that had vanished as if she were fleeing.
His heart broke because he felt like he had done a lot of damage to her.
In the end, he left without ever seeing her face.
The more he thought about it, the more he didn’t want to leave. With a firm resolve, Felix firmly shook Lucy’s face from his mind.
Finally he turned his head to set off.
It was then.
He heard the sound of horses’ hooves running fast toward the mansion. People turned their heads toward the sound.
A horse carrying two people quickly entered the mansion.
The bewildered gatekeeper tried to stop them, but in the blink of an eye, the horse came in front of the mansion and ran before Felix.
Colin, who was holding the reins, stopped the horse in a hurry, and the rider behind him rolled to the ground.
Surprised, Felix rushed off the horse and ran toward her.
Lucy jumped straight into Felix’s arms.