Chapter 66 – The Spring Breeze
Inabelle, perhaps mistaken for worrying about something, quickly changed the subject after the anxiety sank in Tiana.
“But please don’t worry! The two-month self-reflection period ordered by the duke is almost finished. From what I heard, he is moving back to the main building today.”
“Yes. You’ll probably see him at dinner this evening, ma’am.”
That news added another layer of tension. Tiana put out Inabelle, who was smiling soothingly while looking at her, and thought about her brother whom she’d meet in a few hours.
Lennox Quinn Celeste. Actually, there wasn’t much she knew about him.
He was the successor to the duke, but magic was his specialty. He became a close aide to the current emperor and was a prominent figure in social and state affairs.
Aside from that, there wasn’t much she knew. So, if they happened to cross paths later today, Tiana would be in big trouble. She should have met him right when she had begun recovering.
Even in modern times, she didn’t know what a younger brother was like because all her sisters and brothers were older when she lived at her aunt’s house. Her aunt’s daughter and sons were her cousins, but they weren’t very friendly to her. Would it be okay if she treated her brother the same way they treated her? Tiana had a slight headache as if an unexpected rival would appear.
A brisk wind breezed by, slowly lifting her spirits. She turned her head to gaze at the sun rays beaming down from the sky. Unlike her complicated mind, the May weather was lively, full of spring breeze.
She stared blankly at the cloudless blue sky and shook the swing slightly and uttered the name crossing her mind.
Suddenly, her vision became slightly blurry and she recalled a fragment of a memory once again. When this body recalled the old Tiana’s memories, they only came back in bits and pieces.
Tiana and Lennox had enjoyed horseback riding together. The two smiling brightly and gazing at one another meant they were closer than she’d originally thought.
The fragment of the conclusive memory was cut off there. The feeling that was somehow lacking while repeating his name was in the ‘name’ that she had called out. That wasn’t what she called him at all.
His thin, curly red hair surely suited him much better than the name Lennox. Thinking it was a perfect, cute nickname, she spoke it out loud once. Inabelle looked at her with a surprised face.
“Ma’am! Now you…”
“The young master’s name…”
“Lenno? I just remembered calling his name like this…”
Was it really that surprising for her to call out her younger brother’s name? Somehow, Inabelle, who came close to her with an emotional face, was embarrassed. When Tiana finally saw her crying, she was at a loss for some reason, so she reached out to soothe her.
Right then, she saw a strange figure approaching from behind Inabelle. When Tiana turned her head slightly, she saw him. He was the one she’d seen in the short memory just now. Curly red hair and light blue eyes. He was now an adult, having broken out of his boyish looks, and the fresh manly appearance made her feel different from other men she’s met so far. Is this what seeing a blood brother felt like? She couldn’t look away from him because it felt like a magnet was pulling her hard.
When the name slipped through Tiana’s lips without having realized it, Inabelle flinched and turned around to look in the direction she was gazing. The woman’s face was full of astonishment. Lennox, who had heard his nickname, relaxed and smiled.
Alfred and other servants, who came in a hurry, joined Inabelle and stared at the two siblings. A heavy silence fell around them.
The familiar view outside the window forced Lennox to roll his hand over it.
Someone so close, but yet so far. His sister, whom he respected and loved, had left him with an unforgettable trauma. A kind person, one with a bright smile. Until an unexpected accident two years ago. His sister had changed after suffering the accident. Like a completely different person. It was strange to see her looking at him with dull eyes for the first time.
For two years, his sister had blocked people’s access by denying everything that existed. The duke, and others she was close with, nor her family could accept it.
‘I know who you all are. I know, but you’re not related to me.’
‘Of all people, why you! You again!?’
‘You’re my father, and you’re my brother!? I have no father and brother! This body is my family; you all aren’t my family!’
‘Why are you here every time I come back? I’m glad I’m not there, but this isn’t what I wanted…’
‘I’m going back. I can’t do anything in this body.’
His sister, who had repeated the same things and acted as if she were trying to break off from the world, was a stranger he had never seen before.
‘You’re not my sister. The sister I know… isn’t this person.’
‘Get out of my sight. Don’t come near me.’
He had said words he couldn’t unsay. The stone, which had already flown from his hand, had caused a stir in the calm waters. As she watched him quietly, she frowned with a contemptuous face and turned away.
Right then, the horse she had been riding suddenly jumped up.
The uncontrollable horse bolted away just in the nick of time. Afraid she’d fall over, she held steadfast to the reins. Grabbing the mane of the wild horse, she was hanging with her face pale. Biting her lips, she reached up to wipe away her hair that was blowing in the wind, blocking her view. At that moment, Lennox lifted his head and met her gaze. His body stiffened by the strong disapproval and contempt from her silver-gray eyes.