Seizures were more frequent.
Seeing her twisting and gasping for breath in pain, Lucas abruptly got up and started rubbing her limbs.
“Kaagh… aahkk… kaagh..
Bella’s body shook as she breathed erratically.
Red blood spurted out of her throat with every gasping.
Lucas looked down at his mother, stiffed by the unusual seizure.
After shaking like that for a while, the mother slowly stopped moving.
His mother’s purple eyes looked dimly at him.
Lucas’s eyes twitched as he saw himself reflected in her wet eyes.
Tears flowed out.
Taken aback, tears poured out nonstop.
Her trembling hand tried to move to his face, but it shook violently and helplessly fell onto the bed.
He raised her hand and brought it to his face, and those rough, skinny hands fumbled across it.
“…Son… s-son… Mom…mom… Is- is… sorry…”
After stuttering and spitting out her words, his mother’s hand fell again.
He hadn’t even opened his mouth yet, but she closed her eyes as if she didn’t want to listen.
As if in a novel, she died while talking…
Reality was very different from fiction.
His skinny mother closed her eyes with blood all over her face.
In the end, she couldn’t even see his dad’s face…
Lucas wiped his mother’s face with his sleeve.
The more he did, the more blood spread.
But he couldn’t stand it without wiping it.
That vivid red color seemed to evoke death.
It confirmed that his mother… was dead.
“Ah… no… Ah… Ah!! Huuuk!! Mom… mom… mom… No.
No… Please no… Don’t leave me alone, don’t leave me alone.
Please! No… I- I’m scared… I can’t… mom… hukk! No…!!”
Lucas crouched down as if collapsing.
He grabbed his mother’s hand and cried, but the hand no longer gently stroked his head.
He could feel the cold temperature and stiff muscles.
“No!! Ah… Mom… mom…”
This empty house.
A quiet and dark place.
Only the moonlight shone faintly through the window room…
His mother had died miserably.
* * *
Lucas managed to set up a funeral for his mother.
It was the most remote and devastated cemetery near the temple, which was obtained by donating a few silver coins that he received like a beggar that day.
There were no proper funerals or coffins.
Still, a kind-hearted priest helped him arrange the ceremony and other things.
On the day Bella Barnett was buried, only a priest and Bella’s 11-year-old son, Lucas Barnett, were present.
* * *
From that day on, Lucas starved for several days.
He couldn’t do anything.
Sadness ate up his whole body.
It ran so deeply in his body that a mere eleven-year-old child couldn’t overcome it.
Lucas squatted down next to the blood-soaked bed where his mother had been lying until death and buried his head.
The door opened, but Lucas couldn’t hear it.
After starving for several days, he could neither see nor hear well.
Lucas barely raised his head at the sound of someone calling him.
Louis dropped what was in his hand.
A small music box fell and a beautiful melody flowed out.
It was a melody that didn’t fit the atmosphere.
Lucas blinked, wondering if this was a dream.
However, his father’s appearance did not disappear.
‘Daddy is back.
Dad… is back.
He couldn’t get up from his seat.
There was no strength in his legs.
Lucas tried to give strength to his legs to get up, but he helplessly fell forward.
He barely raised his upper body and looked up at his dad.
“D- dad… dad… mo- mom… mom is…”
The child’s cracked voice and the smell of blood vibrated inside the room.
Louis could feel the darkening of his eyes, but he shook his head vigorously.
After clenching his fist, Louis lowered his body to his son and held the child in his arms.
The death of his mother, which this little child must have suffered alone… He had to comfort him.
He had to soothe his child.
But tears kept coming out.
Lucas noticed his dad crying and wetting his shoulders.
The two cried together.
Right, on the day his father left, he really promised he would cry in his father’s arms after he came back.
Dad’s hand wrapped around his back was very warm, unlike his mother’s.
But… Something was strange.
Something felt strange.
Lucas slowly fell from his arms with a sense of incongruence.
By the way…
“Dad… left arm… Where’s your left arm”
One of his father’s arms was missing.
* * *
Lucas got up from lying deep on the sofa.
At the same time, wine leaked from the wine glass in his hand and made a small puddle on the floor.
He, who watched it slowly, got up from the sofa and spread out the puddle with his feet.
After looking down at the stained floor, he placed the wine glass on the table and walked towards the window.
All the people he loved left him.
They all disappeared from his hands, as if making fun of him.
People of higher status constantly took something away from the ones below them and turn a blind eye.
How much pain had they caused him What a great sense of loss they left on him.
How much hatred did they leave inside of him
The day he saw that his father’s left arm, after returning from the monster subjugation, had disappeared, he cried out as if the world was collapsing.
In the end, he had no choice but to cry as if he had lost everything to the world.
The reason why he met a connection with the duke in the war was for the cost of his father’s left arm.
And Lucas, who seized the opportunity to gain in exchange for his father’s left arm, made a promise: ‘In this beggar-like society, I will survive until the end.’
He wouldn’t let the things he loved just pass him by anymore.
He wouldn’t just watch things pass him by without doing anything…
After the duke, who decided to support his family due to a connection with his father in the monster subjugation, told Lucas that he had a talent for swordsmanship, he stuck to it and learned it thoroughly.
Every day before dawn, he opened his eyes and held his sword with his hands so full of blisters that it didn’t have the time to heal.
He wanted to be recognized by the duke.
Rather, to be honest, he wanted to rise to a higher place with that kind of recognition.
The duke acknowledged his efforts.
Like everyone else, he didn’t just call him a genius but praised him for his efforts.
How happy he was, he pressed his ruined hands and shed tears of joy.
And that day, he dreamed of a happy future for himself.
He would no longer be letting go of his precious things.
He thought so.
But… As the time passed by, those thought thinned and faded, making a mess of his head.
The more he gained, the higher the position he wanted, the more opportunities he had to achieve, the weaker he became.
He was scared.
‘I want to protect it.’
‘Would I be able to’
‘Am I able to go all the way’
‘Can I take this chance’
‘And… won’t I lose it all’
The more he gained, the more afraid he was of the lost past.
After sinking beneath a sea of endless thoughts, he concluded: ‘Be a cool person.
Let’s be calculative.
Think only of the benefits.
Let’s pretend to let go of what I didn’t get.
Let’s pretend I’m not interested in things I can’t be greedy for in the first place.
Let’s pretend that human relationships are nothing to me…’‘
Even to those whom he hated so much, as if he had forgotten the past… He could tell what they wanted.
The purpose of those who approached him.
His appearance, skills, and power.
If so, he would use all of them to thoroughly profit from them.
Polite to noblemen and kind to women, shaking the chessboard leisurely…
Right, it was a kind of self-defense.
The young Lucas, afraid of losing, never grew up.
Still, he… He was like a fearful little child afraid of losing everything.
He couldn’t escape from that childhood, when he cried a lot for the lost things.
Thus, he hid himself in the shape of a calculative, cool adult.
Even if he lost something, he would decieve himself… to the point of pretending it was all out of his own calculations.
He was handsome, he was in a position where people envied him.
Didn’t he have a lot of things to be envied for now… And to be scared of… too many…
Lucas felt a new sensation at Selena’s refreshing words.
It was a long time ago that he started acting so differently.
So long that he couldn’t tell whether he was acting or not, yet, she realized at once.
‘How How can she tell from where to where is all acting How can you see something I can’t’
Because he couldn’t tell what he really looked like when he wasn’t acting, he postponed stopping acting.
The hiding child was still too scared to reveal himself.
Clouds passed in front of the crescent moon, shining brightly through the dark night sky.
The crescent moon, half covered by the clouds, looked like a candle just before it went out of light.
Looking at the moon, Lucas recalled Selena’s back, staring blankly at the river and the clock tower.
Her precarious appearance resembled his dead mother… The moment he looked at her back, Lucas realized.
That woman hadn’t given up dying.
But… He couldn’t just doubt and let her die.
She couldn’t die before he got the answer.
And now he considered Selena a member of the Duke’s family.
In the past, no matter how much she carried the Duke’s last name, her personality resembled that of his aunt and she didn’t seem like a loyal member of the Duke’s family… However, after losing her memory, she began to appear as a member of the Duchy.
Thus, he decided to devote his loyalty to her.
Because the Duchy was the only place where he would pay allegiance with his life.
It was the place he wanted to protect the most after his father.
Therefore, he would protect Selena.
Lucas closed the curtains.
In a place where the light had disappeared and only darkness remained, purple eyes gleamed black.