Chapter 1 – Unexpected Visitor
Zed watched Leticia as she slept soundly on the bed. Her skin was pale, and her wrists looked thin beneath her sleeves, making her look even more pitiful than usual.
Who would look at her in this state and think this was the same cold-blooded and merciless Leticia?
Zed gave a bitter smile and rubbed his face to clear his thoughts. It had been ten days since she had ingested the poison, and she still showed no signs of waking up.
How did it all come to this?
Rumors were a funny thing. News spread that a woman nearly died from an attempted poisoning, but after the population heard that it was Leticia who nearly died, they spoke about it as if it were a good thing.
Newspaper headlines printed out extra copies reporting this hot issue—The cruel villainess Leticia was trying to disrupt the best romantic couple of the century! Therefore, it was deemed justice for her to nearly die for committing the crime. They treated her like filth they wanted to scrub clean from the beautiful painting that was the couple.
It was very funny, very funny indeed. What gave people the right to talk about Leticia like this, when she had never done anything to them? They were never personally harmed by her, yet they spoke as if they were the biggest victim of her crimes.
Zed gave a sigh. “They really are blabbering about whatever they want, aren’t they? If My Lady is the villainess, then did the other villainesses in the world drown and die already?”
Leticia was not evil. She only saw things in a more practical way and was slightly more cold-blooded than others.
It was just…she didn’t quite trust people, and had a fair number of enemies. Then Yevnika walked into her existence, and Leticia was heavily compared to her. The misunderstanding of her personality only grew worse, and gave people the chance to label her as a villainess.
A wry smile spread on Zed’s face. “That’s why I said I told you to act kindly once in a while, didn’t I?”
Although he complained about her only in the inside of his mind, he already tried admonishing Leticia in the past. However, all she did was completely ignore him like a true esteemed daughter of a marquis, saying, “Why Should I bother lowering myself to others?”
“Yes, her self-esteem is quite strong.”
Zed wished that she could be more humble, even just a little bit. Then perhaps the ending of the story may have changed.
A breeze slid inside the window, playing around with the red strands of Leticia’s hair and causing a few to fall over her eyes.
Zed pulled his chair closer and stretched his hand out towards Leticia’s forehead. He then used the tips of his fingers to fix her hair, making sure not to touch her skin.
“Now, please get up already.”
‘You have to show all those blabbing idiots outside that you are completely fine and healthy after all.’
The words he whispered drifted in the room and fell into silence.
At that moment, the bedroom door opened and the maids carefully peeked their heads inside.
Anna, Leticia’s personal maid, gave an awkward smile as she held a tray with a kettle and towel on it.
“Sir Evan, I apologize, but could you vacate the room for a moment?”
Zed turned his head towards the window and looked outside. The sky was beginning to take on the orange hues of the sunset. It was already time for the maids to clean the sleeping Leticia’s body. They couldn’t physically bring the bathtub to her bedroom, so they made do with cleaning her body with wet towels.
“…Very well,” Zed said shortly, then stood up from his chair. He tried to quickly walk past the maids, when Anna called his name.
Zed turned around with a slightly confused expression.
“Uh…Well…There’s a guest…” Anna mumbled. Her facial expression was a mixture of both an apology and discomfort. Just by that, Zed knew what the maid was trying to say. It meant that there was a guest that was difficult for her to take care of, so she wished for Zed to do it instead. In this situation, the only person closest to a stand-in for Leticia was Zed himself.
The knight gave a cold smile to her in return. To think that the humble peasant bodyguard was the only stand-in for an esteemed daughter of a marquis. What a funny world.
‘Now that I think about, My Lady doesn’t really have anyone else by her side, does she.’
There were few that could handle Leticia’s personality, and the other problem was that there was nearly no one else that Leticia put her belief in as well.
The only human relationships she had usually were based on contracts, alliances, and statuses depending on the class and wealth of the people above and below her. It could be said that she had no such concept of love and friendship. She even considered her own family just as other people to make deals with, so everyone would see it as a serious problem for her.
Presently, the only people that Zed could think of that remained by Leticia’s side for a long time were himself and Anna—a grand total of two people. And Anna had only been around for two years as well. She didn’t have as much authority as Zed, who had served Leticia for seven years now.
“I’ll take care of the guest then,” Zed replied gently, and Anna’s face brightened. She must have been stressed out by the visitor.
Zed stepped out of the bedroom and closed the door. There was a robed and hooded figure standing just outside the room, and he spoke in a lowered tone of voice.
“Please state your business…”
The robed figure flinched as he spoke.
Zed studied their petite body and the strands of white hair that escaped from their hood. Zed blinked his bright brown eyes and spoke the visitor’s name.
As the visitor heard their name spoken without hesitation, they slowly lifted their hands to lower the hood, revealing a beautiful young woman. Any other man would have their breath taken away at her appearance, but Zed’s eyes remained cool.
Feeling his hostile glare, Yevnika gave a bitter smile and opened her mouth.
“I apologize for the sudden visit. But I was worried about Lady Leticia and—”
“I don’t think you should be saying that, as you are the main reason she had ended up like this.”