Chapter 24 - Friends
Laila hesitated for some time as she looked at him, but ended up just telling him to be careful, then went inside. Venio didn’t release the beautiful smile on his face until he saw the door shut. But the instant he turned his back to her dwelling, his face couldn’t be colder.
That place was not fit for any human. Now that he’s seen where she lived, he wasn’t going to hesitate anymore. It wasn’t up to par. If he knew that she hadn’t eaten anything at all today, and that she was actually used to not eating, he would have raged even more.
And in this country, no one could take on Venio de Arsen’s anger lightly.
“I can’t just destroy the family of a loyal servant without a proper reason.”
He had quite a temper. He, of course, thought he was perfect even in his temper, but that’s how he was.
At last, he decided to hire a secret informant. That’s because he had a gut feeling that he wouldn’t hear anything about Laila as she wouldn’t tell him about herself. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that he didn’t want to make her talk about it to him.
“For now, I should look into why they are doing this damn thing,” he muttered coldly with the face of the Grand Duke, which was completely different from the face he had in front of Laila.
* * *
There was a girl. The girl didn’t have anything. She was able to speak, but she was always silenced, and the soft gray color of her hair was always the subject of ridicule.
She was able to run, but she was not allowed to. She was able to smile brightly, but now, she couldn’t laugh anymore.
He set down the reports for a moment. His frowning eyes looked tired. It was not because he had stayed up all night, but because of the reports that he had been reading since the night before. The Empire’s best intelligence guild, with the Grand Duke as their leader, offered everything they had without even a moment’s delay at the Grand Duke’s request.
All the information they provided was about one person. This was for a smooth collaboration with the contracted subject, so he read them over and over again, but he knew himself that that wasn’t the only reason.
Since he began reading the first few pages till now, there wasn’t a single moment when he wasn’t frowning. He read the reports over and over again while staying up all night. He read them repeatedly to the point he almost memorized them.
She was as good as a ghost living in the house of Estevan. She existed, but at the same time, she didn’t exist. Even if she walked around in front of their eyes, they denied her. And when she made noise, they bullied her and told her to keep herself quiet if she knew who she was.
“What are they doing to her?”
He sighed a few times without realizing, then sighed again.
His visit to her yesterday didn’t result in anything good. Being the Grand Duke’s friend didn’t make any difference in that family.
Laila was called to the Duke of Estevan in the morning. There was a noise, then, she returned to the terrible place. When he found out about this in the morning through the informant’s report, he didn’t know what to think at first.
“They’re definitely not loyal. I should have just destroyed everything.”
He thought he should have destroyed them, then told them that since he broke everything by accident, it wasn’t his fault, but rather, the things that were placed shouldn’t have been there to begin with.
It seemed that only this type of ridiculous logic made sense to that family.
His eyes were contorted with rage, glaring at the report. A few sentences from the latest information were bothering him.
He found out that she had not eaten for days, and as a result, she had collapsed after running to offer him the contract.
He hadn’t realized it when they were speaking as he had been too intrigued by her talk of love.
And when he visited her in the middle of the night, she was crying. When she was with him, she didn’t smile that often, but at least looked peaceful and spoke well. However, the reports reflected that she was usually living like a dead person. And yesterday…
“She must have been so cold all day.”
She was probably suffering for not having eaten anything. It seemed that the condition of her body was not great either. And now, he was able to understand the words Laila had told him that didn’t quite make sense.
“I must be dreaming right now.”
She had looked unwell, but tried to show that she was in the right mind.
“There’s no way you would appear like this.”
She was waiting for him. She had not even seen him that many times, but she had waited desperately all day long.
She was probably used to waiting without expecting anything in return. And maybe because of that, she probably didn’t expect him to return.
She was just…
“…pretending that we are in love.”
The strange contract was now making his heart feel sad.
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