IBAWWMB (Novel) Chapter 128

                                



C128

I approached the white bird perched on the window.

As soon as I opened the window, Muffin, whom I hadn't seen in a while, flew to my palm, flapping its wings.

"His owner shouldn't be in the capital, but how did he get here?"

I was sure the letter I had just received stated that he couldn't come here at the moment.

The bird whistled. There was a handkerchief tied to its ankle, not a golden thread.

As soon as I saw what was written, I quickly put on my robe and ran out.

"Why is this house so spacious?"

It was nice that the mansion was as large as a resort, but all the time it took me to get to the garden to meet him, I wished the house were a bit smaller.

"I didn't know it was so difficult to meet him in front of the mansion!"

When I barely reached the east gate of the mansion, without a guard, I ran while holding the handkerchief he sent with force.

"He clearly said he was in the nearby forest."

By the way, how did Isidor get to the Seymour estate?

"Oh, right, teleportation magic is his specialty."

As soon as I convinced myself, I looked around the mansion and the nearby forest.

Then, I turned my head in surprise feeling the touch of a hand on my shoulder.

"He's really here."

As soon as I faced him, my heart began to beat strongly, maybe because I had run around impatiently.

"Isidor...!"

As soon as I called his name, Isidor whispered slowly while narrowing his eyes.

"It's been a while, Deborah."

He responded lightly and pulled out the parchment.

"No matter how far this place is, it's hard to have a conversation."

"..."

"It's impossible for me alone to deal with your entire family, so hold onto me first. I'll teleport us to a place where we can talk in peace."

He explained the situation and immediately broke the parchment.

The place we arrived using teleportation magic was the slope of the Yones district, where we stopped for a walk after watching the play last time.

Amidst the silence, only my panting breath could be heard clearly in my ears.

I was still out of breath from what I had run.

"You should have taken your time. I didn't even make an appointment and came suddenly. It must be tough."

"..."

I tried to say it was okay, but I stared at Isidor without words.

In a short time, his jaw had sharpened, due to weight loss, and the dark circles under his eyes were darker than usual.

I noticed signs of his mental exhaustion.

The nervous feelings about his sudden appearance lasted for a moment, and I soon felt full of concern.

"I thought it might take longer to get to the capital. You're not pushing yourself too hard, are you?"

"The only event left is the banquet anyway. Given my status, I left as quickly as possible without notice so that the people below me could have fun."

He spoke in jest, but it was difficult for me to accept his words immediately because I know how hard it is to shorten an official schedule.

Moreover, he must be exhausted as he must have used several teleportation gates to reach the capital.

Isidor's pale complexion might also be due to him exerting too much effort to run to the capital.

"How are you feeling? I don't think you've eaten well in the meantime."

"Seeing how I can breathe properly after seeing your face unexpectedly made me feel like I haven't been well until now."

"..."

"I think I can live now."

He said to himself in a low voice.

It also seemed like he was clinging to me as his lifeline.

I reached out without thinking and stroked his hair. He leaned his face on my shoulder and took a slow deep breath.

"Your father will probably go to a better place."

I told him the usual comfort in this situation and stroked his back and down. However, he suddenly raised his head and spoke.

"It's quite difficult for that person to go to a better place. He has committed many sins."

"Ah. Th-that can happen. There are many people who don't act like parents. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be sad no matter what."

While I quickly accepted it stammering, he smiled.

"My father was more like a beast sticking to his instincts rather than a human being. I haven't had a good relationship with my libertine father for a long time."

"..."

"My father also hates admitting that I'm his son. I'm not happy that half of my blood is mixed with that man's, so I must say we both have the same opinion on that, don't we?"

"..."

"It may seem like a great prestigious family to others, but it was difficult for me to hide the fact that it was a broken family."

The coldness in his voice was as sharp as a knife.

"Honestly speaking, it's neither sad nor painful. I'm just grumbling for nothing now. Because I like that you care about me, hug me gently, and console me."

"..."

"Just like I'm happy that you came here running to see me..."

He rubbed his forehead against my shoulder gently as if asking for more comfort, so my hand moved to his golden hair.

His soft hair spread between my fingers.

"He's not grumbling at all."

The fact that he needed me so much hit me deeply.

Isidor was never a person who called someone on impulse without prior notice, especially at such a late hour.

The fact that such a person acted spontaneously and appeared before me, setting aside his schedule to the point of making an effort, meant that it was difficult for him to cope with this situation on his own.

"Although I feel like he thinks it's nothing."

That doesn't mean he is suffering alone when he feels the pain of loss.

Not feeling anything in the face of his father's death was probably his defense mechanism.

Throughout the time Isidor spoke of his father, he had clenched his fist enough for blue veins to burst on the back of his hand.

As if he were suppressing something.

"Besides, if he grew up with such a libertine father, he would only remember the pain, not the good memories."

I'm not good at consoling someone with words, so I lent him my shoulder.

Isidor breathed slowly as he leaned on me.

While stroking his massive back, he lifted his head and looked at me silently with an expression full of mystery.

Perhaps because he lost weight and his dark circles were darker, his atmosphere had become more dangerous.

It also seemed like he was filled with a dark melancholy.

"What is it?"

"My hand, do you like it?"

He suddenly said something unexpected.

"Eh?"

"Because you've been looking at my hand since before."

"Me?"

"Yes."

"Why—why did I? Well. I guess your hand looked cold since your hands are bare. I'm not cold because I'm wearing a thick robe, but you're only wearing a shirt."

I blurted out nonsense while getting nervous.

"Would you like to touch them? My hands aren't that cold."

He entwined my fingers with his slowly while smiling cunningly like a fox, and I shivered in surprise when the feeling of our joined hands didn't feel so unfamiliar.

"Even when I was drunk, Isidor held my hand like this."

His hands, as pale as snow, were warmer than expected. And they were dry, probably because he doesn't sweat much, so I suddenly realized that I was examining his hand.

Then, his thumb gently grazed my palm, so my toes curled as I shivered.

I couldn't shake off his strange gesture.

Maybe for the crime I committed before.

"When you were drunk, I thought you would like it more if I took off my gloves. Today, I deliberately took off my gloves."

I was misunderstanding something. That I only like his hands.

"In fact, I like Isidor's face more."

Still, I couldn't confess that I wanted to confirm his mysophobia.

"When—when did I do that?"

I pretended ignorance.

"Why do you keep pretending not to remember?"

"How did you know I was pretending not to remember?!"

"You're really bad at these kinds of performances. Is it a memory you want to forget? But I liked it."

"What did you like about it?"

I touched him without permission and felt guilty as I suffered alone.

"Because this is the first time I held hands with someone I'm interested in. I couldn't sleep that day. Because my heart was pounding."

"Liar. Was it the first time you held hands with someone?"

I doubted my ears for a moment.

"Why do you think I'm lying? I held some hands, with gloves, during dances, but it's the first time I held hands with someone with my bare hands."

He suddenly squeezed my hand tightly to the point where it hurt a little, so I swallowed saliva.

"First of all, I hate coming into contact with people."

"..."

"I have mysophobia."

He said that while playing with my hands casually.

"...Have you overcome it now?"

"No."

"Is it only in the hands?"

"Throughout the body. Once someone tried to touch my face when I was young, but I think I broke their hand or arm."

"..."

"I felt so offended that I think I even broke their leg."

He lifted his lips and slowly brought his hand towards me.

He curved his lips and pulled his hand towards me slowly.

"It's not that the symptoms that continued from childhood have improved, but you're an exception only with you."

"..."

"Why do you think it's like that?"


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