Theon did this to be prevent Leila from going out and asking for help.
So she could be completely isolated.
He made her tremble in anxiety at night, and on days she tried to go out, he stirred up kidnapping disturbances.
“I will make sure only I can stand beside you.”
His actions were even helpful in a situation where he could almost lose Leila.
“Poor child. She lost her parents at such a young age and ended up in such a situation. However, I can’t make exceptions for just one person.”
It was because the old emperor sympathized with Leila’s circumstances and offered a line of relief.
The Emperor asked a well-established and sickly count to take Leila as his wife.
She was never meant to be his own mistress, but was rather sympathized with by the emperor who was just trying to help her survive.
However, Leila’s vigilance was high due to the previous tricks played by Theon.
She flatly refused the emperor’s offer, and the emperor felt sorry, but did not reach out twice.
As time passed, the property was inherited, and a funeral was held.
No one attended the funeral. It was because Theon had stolen away all the letters she’d sent out.
The nobles who were the recipient of these letters probably did not even know that the funeral of the Elantre couple was taking place today.
“Mother, father! Why didn’t you take me with you? Why should I be the only one living in this world!”
Crying endlessly in front of their tombs, Leila misunderstood the world and collapsed into despair.
The only person to help her was now her godfather. But even he had been bought over by Theon.
“Do you think that idea makes sense? She’s like my daughter! How…can I…”
Selton’s defiance was swallowed up by Theon’s suggestion.
Like Leila’s father, he had lived as a merchant all his life and could bring himself to resist the material temptations, nor the conditions that were so great he knew he would never get them in his life.
Thus, Leila was hurt even by the godfather she trusted and ran down the road on a dark night.
She didn’t even know Theon was watching her.
“Where are you going?”
Theon waited, receiving Leila’s movements from time to time.
That’s enough. Leila was isolated now. There is no place to go, no place to turn to.
If he showed up in this situation, if he helped her, then…
It doesn’t matter where you run to.
He’ll already be there.
Leila arrived at the temple, and of course Theon was there.
“Are you okay?”
A frightened face, eyes on the verge of tears and a shrunken body.
A wounded person stood in front of him.
Theon’s feelings while looking at Leila were not those of sympathy.
He was excited that her face, eyes, and behavior would change in the future, he couldn’t stand the excitement he felt when he knew she would smile only at him in the future.
“They just finished hearing their last confession and locked their doors.”
He forced himself to hold back the smile that was threatening to form and told a lie.
Theon stayed at the temple orphanage. He knew the proceedings of the temple more than anyone.
“They won’t open the door until the dawn prayer begins. You’ll have to wait at least 4 hours.”
There was no such thing as night for the temple.
God created the world by day and blessed man who was born in it by night.
Therefore, the temple people put out the lights and take turns praying every hour of the night. That’s what life was all about in the arms of God.
Knock on the door now, and someone will stop praying and come out.
“Will you go?”
Theon reached out his hand to Leila, and Leila climbed into the carriage without a hitch.
After that, Theon told Leila what she wanted to hear, assured her safety, and spared no consolation and encouragement.
It was relatively easy to remove Leila’s vigilance, the first layer of her protective cover that he’d created.
But the process after that wasn’t so smooth.
“Are you kidding me?”
First of all, Lishipe made a big fuss.
“You said you’d divorce me as long as you got stronger! But what are you doing? What have you been immersed in? What did you put all your money and energy into?”
He didn’t know whether she’d found a man as compatible as Theon, or whether he possessed matching qualities with her, unlike Theon.
At any rate, Lishipe was always talking about divorce as if she were in a hurry.
Lishipe’s words were true. Theon’s position as a marquis was at stake.
If he divorced Lishipe, they might immediately try to take him down, saying he had no legitimacy.
In the meantime, he’d put off his work to catch Leila and poured money in it, which was a pity in a way.
But he didn’t regret it. Because he’d gotten what he wanted the most in his hands.
You haven’t smiled at me yet, but I’ll make it happen soon.
“I think you understand. I can only work well if I have what I want.”
“Ah? Ha! If you say so, I will……!”
Lishipe, who was about to explode at Theon’s words, wrapped her head in her arms and groaned.
“……I have nothing to say. I can understand, I really can! But I don’t want to! I don’t want to work! There are so many guys who don’t need me to work, so why do I have to live like this?”
That’s the only reason.
Theon sighed softly. I lost all my strength when I dealt with this woman.
“Wait. I got what I wanted, so I’ll focus on my work. It won’t be long.”
“How am I supposed to believe that?”
“Then do you wish to go to the Imperial family and beg them for it? Why don’t you say I’m refusing to divorce because of your infidelity? For how many decades will you stretch the divorce with me?”
“……hey, that’s going too far.”
“Hand over every little thing except for what you do on the surface. I’ll do it then.”
She could have done at least this much.
It was Lishipe who’d cracked down on the people in the family while Theon was distracted by the matter of Leila. She talked about divorce only in front of Theon so others wouldn’t listen.
Otherwise, he would have been interrupted in all sorts of ways.
“Oh. You’d appreciate it, wouldn’t you?”
With this, Lishipe’s mouth could be shut for some time, but there was a bigger crisis at hand.
“I want to die. I have no reason to live. Just let me die.”
Leila didn’t smile. She tried to die just like his mother did and leave him.
Why? Why does the person he loves doesn’t love herself?
Why did she try to leave him irresponsibly and leave him empty to go and die?
It was the same when he was younger with his mother, even now, he was expressing his love so straightforwardly.
It’s okay, it’s okay. She’s in my hands, I just have to wait.
Leila has nowhere to go. There’s no place to turn to. She doesn’t even have money.
Theon was the only place she could turn to.
So, she wouldn’t leave as easily as his mother did. If he just waits, he’d see her laugh again. As long as she didn’t die.
He worked hard, preserved, and waited for more than a year.
And finally, Leila broke away from the boundary between life and death and began to laugh.
“Can I call you Theon?”
What should he say about his feelings at the time?
I felt like I found a flower blooming in a pile of garbage and ruins.
It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.
Theon held the flower in his arms. He inhaled the fresh and warm spring air to the fullest.
‘Oh, I think I’m going to live now.’
The cold that surrounded him, the wind that seemed to move about out and in his heart seemed to disappear.
Now it was perfect. He would not yield her to anyone, nor would she be taken away.
She wouldn’t be able to die without his permission.
Until she filled this hole in his heart completely.
Theon worked hard ever since.
Before the previous Marquis’ death was announced, who he wasn’t aware was dead or alive at the time anyway, he tried to expel the power of the former Marchioness in the family.
After that, he decided to divorce Lishipe and marry Leila.
By then, no one would say anything to Leila if she was his wife.
He hated it to show off Leila as his mistress.
She wasn’t just a mistress to him.
She was the meaning of his life, his only resting place, and his breath.
However, it did not mean that he denied reality like Leila did. Leila was his mistress right now.
It was only unpleasant and hateful to perceive it like that.
That was probably why.
“If I make a mistake, your prestige will be damaged. I don’t want to make that happen.”
The reason why Leila tried to avoid herself from being seen as a mistress to the nobility, the reason she didn’t even show up to any meetings.
Theon didn’t know what Leila wanted.
He was able to smile, hug her, cherish her and say nice words that were easy for her to hear.
That was it. He didn’t know how to love.
He didn’t know what people wanted from their loved ones because he didn’t know how to love them.
Theon has never been properly loved in his life.
Not only by his mother, but in the orphanage and now even by the Marquis.
His father was nice to him, but it was because he was a powerful successor.
Wasn’t he the one who left him even knowing his mother had him in the first place?
All he had was wit.
He carefully examined his mother’s feelings, stayed at the orphanage, and curried favor with his father and family members.
He only matched Leila’s mood with the wit he had acquired.
As such, he did not know how to give love or receive love properly because he had never been loved.
If Leila had expressed what she wanted from him, he would have noticed, but Leila, who was abandoned by him and feared that the past would repeat, did not.
That’s how their relationship ended.
But did Theon really love Leila? It was something Theon himself did not know.
However, it was evident that Theon had projected the negative sides of his mother on Lishipe and the positive side on Leila.
He was still in the shadow of the mother who’d abandoned him. It was truly pitiful.
There was no person who didn’t have a story like this. Every person lived with at least one big wound in their heart.
Few people would want to do evil, and even though they know that they were doing wrong because of these wounds, they sometimes went the wrong way.
“I just want to live in love, not starve!”
So was the case with Theon’s mother.
As soon as she was born, she was abandoned and grew up in an orphanage. She became an actress because of her good appearance and voice.
Although she tried to be loved, most men just had flings with her then threw her away.
That’s why he wanted to live like this, marry a rich man, and live comfortably.
She didn’t know how to love because she was never loved like Theon.
Maybe it was in her love in her own way that didn’t make her throw Theon away as soon as he was born.
Like this, Theon’s mother also had a story.
However, this was just the reason for the scars in their hearts. Was it possible to be forgiven for trampling on one’s life just because of this?
I tried something new and added the cover art to the chapter. I think it looks quite neat.