I should be grateful for him not killing and keeping me alive.
“But listening to Diria, it seems that the dolls in Elle’s room have increased one by one.”
I remembered the dolls in the room when Leon said it.
Come to think of it, I think the puppy dolls filled the closet one by one……?
“It’s a perfect gift.”
I pressed on Leon’s wounds with embarrassment.
Even if he says happy birthday, I’m not a friendly person.
‘How old am I to be gifted a doll’
I don’t like it, and I’ve never even touched it.
Should I say thank you next time?
Well, if I looked back on the past, I thought I’d been too mean to him.
There was nothing particularly memorable.
It means that there are no memories between my father and me.
I shook my head hastily and erased my thoughts.
Come to think of it, is there anything that Leon wants?
“Leon, is there anything you want?”
Leon’s lips, which are smooth without red lips and dead skin, were smoothly curved.
“It hurts because you move. Oh, I did ask. I’m sorry.”
I made an awkward face and focused on the treatment.
If I do something wrong, you may get another scar on your handsome face.
I should have taken care of him and let him go. But he’s hurt.
That is not possible. I picked the best medicine possible and applied it carefully around his mouth.
“Hmm… Did I put on too much?”
It’s better than less.
I slightly wiped off the excessive part with hands and closed the box.
Leon, who was staring at me quietly, opened his mouth.
“…… If I tell you what I want, can I have it?”
“What, what can I give you?”
What? I thought there wouldn’t be any.
Leon’s unexpected words made me look forward to it.
I didn’t know that Leon, who had no greed, wanted something.
Are you interested in swords these days?
When Leon, who was not interested in clothes or anything, said that he wanted something, curiosity stuck out in my head.
“Is it expensive?”
“I can’t have it even if I tell you.”
“What is it?”
I kept asking Leon because I was curious.
What do you mean you can’t have it? Is it very expensive? I had a desire to win for some reason, and my eyes lit up.
But Leon didn’t tell me until the end.
Even after hours of persistent questioning, he just smiled and didn’t give any answers.
You’re a tough guy.
* * *
Leon covered his eyes looking at the calendar.
“I wish time would stop like this.”
He gently swept around his mouth and recalled Elle.
How can I have it?
As time went by, she felt more and more distant from me.
What expression would she make if she knew what I’d done to get Elle’s attention, to get her worried eyes.
Will you hate me with a scornful look like anyone else?
I must be a cursed devil and you may throw me straight away. But Leon vaguely knew Elle wouldn’t.
‘You’re the one who brought me here.’
Leon couldn’t forget Elle’s gaze, which was staring at me that day.
How can I forget the bright eyes that did not contain any emotions, but seemed to have found a treasure beyond them?
The hand she held out to me was my salvation, and it was different from others.
Because she whispered that she wanted to see only me with the red eyes that have cursed me since I was born.
Leon would have taken his heart out today and given it as a gift if he could.
Will she know the meaning of the red brooch on her left chest?
It was a pledge never to forget her.
Elle used to wear accessories that she liked for a long time.
So this time again, even years later, she will still have the red brooch on her chest.
Even if there was a situation in which he did not recognize her, he can recognize her with the thing he left.
“Elle, I’ll be back.”
Leon skillfully handled the mana he felt in his hand.
The red mana, like his eyes, fluttered in his hands. The burning shape revolved around him, with a strange mixture of beautiful red.
Just a little bit more until I’m an adult.
He was relieved to see the pattern had not yet appeared on his body.
The count was not as interested in me as I thought, and cared very much for Elle.
Although she didn’t seem to know.
But thanks to him, Leon was able to hide himself here and stay quiet.
He was a cursed child, but he could live like a human being, avoiding other people’s eyes.
He didn’t like Elle’s growing loveliness to be noticed by others.
I felt new every time I saw her face, like every day, but wouldn’t others remember her growing face and take everything into their eyes?
Elle has to go out into society even if she doesn’t want to.
Because she was the eldest daughter of a count, and it’s one of the things every lady goes through.
“Elle, you’ll meet the others there.”
I gritted my teeth.
I didn’t want anyone other than me to know Elle’s loveliness.
But I didn’t have the power to hold her.
“So, I have no choice but to go with you.”
Elle wouldn’t want to, but Leon didn’t want anyone approaching Elle in society.
Because I wanted to be the only one who has her.
One thing Elle would be disappointed to find out.
In front of her he had to be a naive, clueless man.
As Leon, who hides his impure heart and doesn’t want anything as a friend.
Every time I showed a little bit of another mind, she kept her distance.
It’s as if she could leave me at any time.
It’s not close or far, and it would prevent them from hurting each other.
But it was entirely Elle’s idea.
Leon was already hurt by Elle’s behavior.
I had to pretend not to know even though I knew it, and I had to pretend not to be greedy.
“But, Elle. If I leave this place when I become an adult…… I don’t think I can keep my promise with you then.”
He lay down on the bed and closed his eyes.
I couldn’t sleep because I thought of her all day.
I have no choice but to calm myself down by just using my mana to talk to each other even in my dreams.
I thought it was a relief that Elle was not interested in others.
“I don’t want to make a fuss yet. Elle, I want to remain like this to you.”
If he could see her bright smile, Leon would always wear a mask and remain the Leon she wanted.
As long as you don’t abandon me.
* * *
“Well, I’ve already received your birthday presents.”
I stared at Edgar in the office where I had been called out of the blue.
Looking at the wrapped box next to my father, it must be my present.
“You’re not giving me a doll again, are you?”
His body trembled.
Oh, really. How old am I and he really prepared another doll?
It was better to ask the head of staff to prepare a gift.
“Shouldn’t you just be grateful that I’m giving you a present? Because you’re living in my house. You don’t need to work, get to eat, sleep, and it’s cheap, and you’re no different from an animal.”
“Human beings are originally mammals and animals. The count is an animal if he calls his daughter an animal.”
I didn’t want to call him my father, so I kept calling him Count.
Edgar’s mouth twisted up again with my words.
Why do you laugh at people like that?
“I don’t need a gift, so you don’t have to give it to me. As the count said, I’m an animal that plays and eats here without doing anything.”
“I’m glad you know where your place is.”
Oh my god.
I wanted to ask.
If this is the case, why did you have me? I live alone, did you just have me to make me suffer this hardship?
“Is that a brooch?”
“Yes, it’s pretty, right?”
“You’re old enough to debut in society soon.”
“Did you care about that, too?”
Edgar looked down at me, patting his chin.
What are you thinking so hard about?
“Was your age already 14?”
“I know. I’m getting old now. Kids grow up fast.”
I stared at Edgar, who was at an eye level as me.
Of course, if my father gets up from his seat, I have to raise my head for a long time to meet his gaze.
“Have you decided on a partner?”
“The date of your social debut is still far, but what about your partner?”
What’s wrong with you? You’re paying too much attention.
You’re not thinking about anything else, are you?
I looked into my father’s eyes, wriggling my hands.