Chapter 22: Lumentium XI (part 1)

‘Take her…with me?’

“…what the hell does that mean?”

“Eh, well…”

Sarah keeps a smile on her face at my question but does not give any answer.

Could it be that Sarah still had feelings for me? She was cold and distant to me on the outside, but on the inside, she truly loved and worried about me. So when she saw Aria on the bed, she couldn’t calm down her excitement and decided to cancel the engagement. Maybe that was it.

‘…that definitely is not the case.’

If I had been 10 years younger, I might have really believed in that delusion and taken what she was saying as some sort of signal to reunite with me. 

But not now. I was able to look at Sarah more objectively than anyone else in the world. I looked at her carefully without revealing any intentions. 

On the surface, she was saying sweet words, but the expression on her face when she said those words was not romantic, much less seemed like a woman in love. Crucially, neither of her eyes contained any emotion towards me. Her eyes were extremely cold and distant.

I smiled involuntarily and shrugged my shoulders at her.

“No matter how much I think about it, it doesn’t sound like a sweet story about wanting to keep our engagement?”

“What, did you notice already?”

Sarah giggled as if this situation was just amusing, and soon afterward, she meekly affirmed my words.

“Great. I like it even more. To be honest, I thought it was long before, but now I can be sure. You have become a reliable man, Cain.”

“…are you saying I wasn’t reliable until then?”

“Oh? Do I really have to say that with my own mouth?”


No, the fact that my dark history might flow out of Sarah’s mouth was something I refused to let happen even if I died. I’d rather commit suic!de from a terrace ledge than watch it happen.

“…I wish we could just stop there. Could it be that you brought me here to play with words?”

When I raised my eyebrows slightly to show my discomfort, Sarah also erased the playfulness from her face and put on a serious expression.

“Of course not. I’m sorry for teasing you. But what I just said wasn’t meant as a joke. It was said with sincerity.”


“Yes, what I meant to tell you was literal. When the time comes, I want to entrust myself to the Duke of Estel. I want you to take me in, Cain.”


At that, I looked at her again. Certainly, she was different from before. Presently, her two pupils contained a firm will. I wasn’t sure if she was aware of it, but I could see that her fingertips were trembling just a little bit. Her appearance reminded me of a baby bird soaked in rain. The pitiful sight of her trembling little body made me feel the urge to hug her.


“Why me?”


I deliberately made an exaggerated smile. I raised the corner of my mouth and gave her a mocking look.

“Sarah, don’t you know that too? That there is no reason for me to accept your offer.”


“Isn’t the matter of our engagement literally just an old story? The moment our engagement had been broken off, we became nothing more than mere aquaintances.”

Saying that, I took a step forward toward to put pressure on her. 

However, Sarah didn’t blink an eye. Rather, she looked straight into my eyes and didn’t look away. 

Seeing that, I clicked my tongue inwardly. 

‘Still, she’s a formidable woman.’

“Moreover, Count Cernard was rude towards the Duke of Estel. Wasn’t it Count Cernard’s side that sent only one letter without any discussion to break off the engagement? Sarah Cernard, are you too comfortable with the Duke of Estel? In your eyes, does the Estel family look like a roadside shop that you can come and go whenever you want?”


“So tell me, what is the reason the Duke of Estel has to accept you, huh? It’s true that you look pretty when viewed objectively, but don’t you think it’s a bit unreasonable to accept you for just that reason? As you know, the Duchy of Estel is very poor. We don’t have enough room to accommodate you.”

Sarah’s eyes changed slightly as I spoke in a sarcastic tone. The corners of her eyes widened. 

Seeing her shoulders tremble in a different way than before, I honestly regretted the fact that I spoke a little too harshly. In my heart, I was prepared for her to slap me on the cheek.

But she didn’t get angry with me or hit me. The path she took was a completely different one.


Sarah took a step forward, and before long, we were standing at a distance where we could feel the other’s breath. At a distance where our lips would touch if we took one more step, we were facing each other’s eyes. 

All of a sudden, I noticed that she smelled of a subtle rose scent. With our eyes looking at each other at such a close distance, it seemed as if the time of the world had literally stopped.

However, I couldn’t exactly call the situation “romantic”. The only thing filling this space was tension, like a thread pulled taut. 

And for a while, we just stared at each other in silence.


The first to raise the white flag was Sarah.

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