Just as he’d said, the next day Sheila woke up earlier than Levisia.
Sheila smiled faintly at her when she opened her eyes, and took care of her more than before, without asking a word about Farid.
Though she would be curious about the news about his sudden disappearance, Sheila never once showed any signs. Just like in the beginning, she behaved like Pel hadn’t even existed, as if Levisia was not conscious of his absence.
For that reason, Levisia assumed it was because Sheila had woken up earlier that day and witnessed him leaving.
Since she would also feel the gap like Levisia, the two behaved in the same manner.
Like that, by not mentioning Farid they’d formed an implicit promise between one another.
But, Sheila, like her, was spending most of the day thinking about him.
It’s hard not to think about him.
How much time had she spent staring out the window?
Someone had called her name out in a loud voice. Having come back to her senses and turned her head, Elizabeth was looking at her with a frozen face.
“Oh, Your Highness” What is going on?”
At her question, Elizabeth gestured toward the window.
“Didn’t you say we arrived at the count’s castle?”
Levisia looked in the direction she was pointing.
It was the window she’d been looking out, but the sky was dark. It had been a long time since the carriage had stopped in front of a long rolled-out carpet.
As soon as she lifted her gaze, she saw the elegant castle at the end of the carpet. The lights shining from the inside reached the carriage.
Levisia stood up with a sigh as if she were a screw that had fallen off a wheel. Lidan, who had gotten off the carriage earlier, held out his arm for support so she could get off.
Lidan was one to reply with a laughing voice, but Levisia knew his eyes were persistently observing her face.
As soon as she let go of his arm Elizabeth asked as she exited behind her,
“Why on earth are you so relaxed?”
“Right, I’ve been this way lately.”
“From when we left Vinhol, to be exact.”
This was typical Merril and Lidan. Seeing them talking, Levisia must have felt quite mesmerized
When Levisia scratched her cheek and open her mouth, the three pairs of eyes stared at her so hard she felt a burden on her shoulders. She mumbled, rolling her eyes to avoid them,
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
They sighed all at once, sounding like steam from a teapot.
“There is something ther―”
“All right. Tell me when you’re ready to talk.”
The one to block Merril, who looked like she was trying to say more, was Lidan. He said, turning a blind eye to Merril’s uncomfortable gaze,
“Because I am ready to listen anytime, Levy.” He said, turning.
This was Levisia’s first time to see his sunken gray eyes so focused on her. When she almost absently nodded, Merril butted in.
“Hey! What about me?”
“What about you?”
Her face twisted when Lidan flashed a grin. She looked like she was heating up from inside.
As they began to buzz again, Elizabeth widened the distance between them with a frown.
Levisia glanced at the hand Elizabeth had stuck out. The hand wrapped with a white laced glove was thin and straight. Wiggling the tip of her finger, she said,
“I won’t ask any more questions either. When you want to speak…”
She blurted out what she had been saying, and quickly turned her head and finished.
“Say whatever you want. Anyway, do whatever you want.”
She probably didn’t know with her winding blonde hair up that her exposed neck was gradually turning red.
“I will be better than that guy.”
Elizabeth appealed to Lidan in a confident voice.
“Hold on. I think I heard something odd just now.”
Lidan, who understood well when he was being disrespected, couldn’t have missed those words.
Coming up past Merril, he opened his mouth as if he was about to say something out loud but unexpectedly remained silent when he saw Levisia holding Elizabeth’s hand.
“…okay then. Whatever Levy wants.”
Elizabeth raised her nose higher when he took one step back.
“Hmmmph. How long do you plan on doing this?”
She squeezed Levisia’s hand and pulled it as she made an eye gesture towards the long, stretched carpet.
“Are you thinking about going now?”
Levisia hadn’t stopped here because she didn’t want to go. It was all because of their scuffle.
Those weren’t the words she needed now, however. She replied looking into the purple eyes.
“…yes, Your Highness.”
“Then we too shall go.”
Holding Levisia’s hand, Elizabeth took the lead, and Merril and Lidan each stood on her sides.
Levisia looked at the three of them shining under the light then lowered her head. Their long shadows stretching under their feet seemed to have devoured hers.
…this what it’s all about?
Well, I’m not sure.
One thing was for sure: no matter what, it was hard to replace Farid. No matter who it was.
If they didn’t meet forever as Farid had said, she would probably live with his vacancy for the rest of her life.
I don’t want to.
It was just one less person next to her, but somehow it felt lonely.
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