Rosenta casually opened the drawing room’s door and sat down at the top of the table.
The way she took off her collar-tie hat and arranged her disheveled hair was very elegant.
“What brings you here”
That is not the way to talk between siblings.”
“The one who drew the line and said we weren’t family was you!”
As if she couldn’t even hear Louis’s cry, Rosenta rolled her eyes and looked around the room.
‘Such an unmanaged place.’
There must’ve been no visitors coming.
Who would have come to visit such a ruined family There would be no reason to use people to clean unused areas… No, looking at his appearance, it was clear that they didn’t even eat properly.
Suddenly, she felt uncomfortable in the chair she was sitting in, so she got up, spread a handkerchief, and sat down again.
The three people frowned at the sight of Rosenta acting like she would when sitting outdoors.
“Lucas, come on in with mom.
Honey, call me when Countess Hunter says she’s leaving.”
Lucas’s mother, Bella, grabbed her throbbing head and left.
The child wanted to stay and listen to the adults talk, but he took her mother’s hand and went to the room together.
After confirming that her mother was lying in bed and cozily covering her with a blanket, Lucas left the room to bring water.
Of course, it was a lie.
It didn’t feel good to lie to his mother, but Lucas couldn’t stand the curiosity about what was happening.
“What are you really here for, Rosenta”
“Sitting face to face like this reminds me of the past.
Isn’t that right, Brother
Louis smiled crookedly at Rosenta’s words.
The past, something that was a long time ago…
‘What past are you talking about Back when we were still called family Or the day when you visited to cut off family ties Or those older days when I went to Count Hunter, asking for help, and threw away all my pride’
“Stop saying funny things, just get to the point.”
“Oh, I’m here to make a good offer.
If you act like this, I’ll be sad.”
At Rosenta’s words, Louis swallowed saliva without realizing it.
The anticipation he should have let go of passed over his toes.
His heart was already pounding.
It hurt his pride to have to swallow and endure his younger sister’s words that were like those of an enemy but, what did it matter to lose face Would that make things better for Bella Would Lucas be happy with his pride
Rosenta raised the corners of her lips watching his appearance.
He was still stupid.
So she could keep him in her palm.
She moved her hand lightly.
Even though it was a meaningless move from her excitement, Louis shuddered.
At the sight, Rosenta slightly bit her tongue to contain the bursting laughter.
“I have a favor, Oppa.
It’s a very good thing for you, too… Besides, if you just listen… I’ll pay for Bella’s treatment.
How about it Would you like to hear it”
Her eyes gleamed like that of a snake persuading him to bite the forbidden fruit.
* * *
“Honey… Will you really be okay”
I’ll be back in less than a year… Until I come back, you’ll only get the treatment.”
Lucas was standing behind his mother with his head down.
He cried so much at night that he couldn’t open his eyes properly.
He was ashamed and sorry that he had to see his dad off to a dangerous road with a face like this.
“Lucas, aren’t you going to show your face We won’t see each other in a few months.”
Louis bent his knees to meet Lucas’s eye level.
His son’s face, which was swollen, was cute and pitiful.
Leaving such a child and a sick wife, he did not want to leave, but… he had to go.
That way, he could earn enough money for the medical bills and living expenses.
He was afraid of monsters, but the idea of losing his wife was enough to fuel to stop his fear.
As Lucas lifted his head, Louis embraced him in a big hug.
“Take care of your mother until dad returns.
I love you, my son.”
Lucas clenched his teeth.
He didn’t want to send his dad away with a crying face.
‘When dad comes back healthy, then I’ll cry and hang in his arms.’
It wouldn’t matter even if it was too childish.
In his father’s arms, he would weep with his mother.
Lucas nodded his head.
Louis smiled at the crying voice and stroked the child’s head.
There was the sound of a carriage being pulled.
It was a sign of parting.
His father was leaving to the place where monsters were swarming.
The subjugation of monsters was one of the great wars against them.
As more and more people were being affected by the sudden increase in monsters, there was a great battle called to war by the Emperor himself.
Louis would be the commander of the knights there.
He would stand in front of people, show his backs to them, and lead the way.
Mainly and usually, such roles belonged to the nobility.
There was nothing that boosted the morale of the knights as much as those in power who didn’t run away.
Usually, the nobles who were famous for their knighthood were assigned to that position, or did not participate in the fight, but did the stratagem at the barracks.
Therefore, in this battle, the order was given to Count Hunter, who had deep roots in a household specialized in swordsmanship, but the Count pushed Lucas’s father to the front as a proxy using the pretext of illness.
Of course, this was also a transaction.
Instead of participating in the subjugation of monsters, the Countess decided to provide support for his wife’s medical expenses and provide living expenses for her and the child for a year… It sure was an irresistible deal to Louis.
Because he did it for his son.
That day, while hiding and listening to the story, Lucas only dreamed of a future in which his father… would come back alive from the subjugation.
He only dreamed that, he never contemplated his father not going to the subjugation at all.
And suddenly he realized.
How selfish was he How selfish was he to think of pushing his father into such a dangerous war zone He felt like he was going to vomit, so he covered his mouth and crawled down.
His father, who got on the wagon, looked back and smiled brightly.
Such a bright smile was… Lucas burst into tears.
A house without a father felt absurdly large.
* * *
Lucas knocked on the big gate.
There must have been at least two people inside that big mansion looking at this side of the gate.
“Auntie!! Please… It’s okay if you don’t have to pay for living expenses… Please! Mom is dying!! Please!!”
However, his cry did not seem to reach the mansion.
He knocked on the door so hard that his hand turned red and bloody, but Lucas couldn’t stop crying.
His mother was dying.
The promised support was fulfilled only in the first three months.
After that, the amount gradually decreased, and, needless to say, the treatment of his mother, which was cut off by the eighth month, was not performed properly.
As she got more and more ill, his mother could not survive a day without painkillers.
Today, she finally vomited up blood.
“Auntie! Ple-… Please!… Aunt…”
Lucas kept knocking on a door that didn’t open.
With the endless knocking, the door finally opened.
It was not Aunt Rosenta or the Count.
It was a middle-aged man who appeared to be a butler.
He glanced at Lucas as if he didn’t like the sight of him, then threw a money bag to the ground.
A few silver coins slipped out of the pocket that fell to the floor.
I’ll make you unable to knock on the door the next time you come.”
The man smirked murderously and turned around.
Lucas stared blankly at his back as he moved away from the door and fumbled to take the pocket money.
His mother… He only thought of calling a physician for his mother.
He shoved the money into his clothes and looked up at the sky.
The sun was already setting.
As if the sky was torn, the red glowing sunset felt too cruel.
“Please… my mother is in critical condition.”
“However, this money isn’t enough.”
The doctor, who was his mother’s primary physician, shook his head dryly.
The money in Lucas’s pocket was only a few silver coins, not enough to bring the physician home.
He resolutely refused and threw Lucas out the door, who was crying, begging, and hanging on to him.
After rolling in the dirt ground poorly, Lucas staggered up and ran home.
No one would help.
No one cared about his mother.
‘Mother… I have to take care of you.’
Lucas clenched his teeth.
He ran back home until he was out of breath.
There was not a single light leaking from inside the house.
A feeling of anxiety prevailed.
‘No way… it can’t be…’
Lucas opened the door, feeling anxious.
There was always a creaking sound from the door of the unmaintained house.
He trembled slightly at the old door that sounded too loud today.
Tears welled up.
He moved slowly, past the drawing room where his father and aunt talked, past the dining room, and standing in front of the door where his mother slept.
But he couldn’t open the door easily.
His hands were trembling.
He had to open the door and go to his mother, but he didn’t have the courage.
‘Maybe, maybe…’ Those thoughts slowly climbed up from his toes and strangled him.
“Lucas…” A weak voice resounded in the quiet and dark house.
A small sigh escaped from his mouth.
It was a relief.
All the darkness that wrapped around his body with just her voice seemed to disappear.
Lucas bit his lip upon hearing the voice and rubbed his eyes.
‘I can’t be weak.
Mom… I have to protect Mom.’
Lucas grabbed the doorknob.
“Yes, Lucas… Did you go for a walk”
His mother looked at him as she lay down.
Knowing clearly that he went for a physician, and seeing he came back alone, his mother acted as if she didn’t know.
“I… had a good walk… Mom.
I’m sorry for taking so long…”
So he replied as if he didn’t go for a physician.
It was all he could do.
They were the only ones who thought of each other…
“I’m sorry… I wanted to go for a walk with my son… Mom is so sorry…”
“Next time… we can go together next time.”
His mom smiled silently.
Bella raised her hand and stroked Lucas’s cheek.
His cheeks were cold from how much he ran.
‘Our small, nice, and pretty son.’
“Mom, are you hungry I’ll make soup.
There are a few tomatoes left.”
“Okay… Mom should cook it… Tomato soup is Mom’s secret weapon.”
This little thing had to stand in front of the fire at the age of eleven.
This poor child left home at dawn to deliver the newspapers saying he would earn money for the living expenses.
‘Ah… This lovely child…’
“I’m good at cooking now, too.
Mom taught me.”
That’s right… My son has a good teacher…”
Bella suddenly twitched her body loudly and convulsed.
It was a seizure.