Chapter 23: Lumentium XII (part 1)

Where did it go wrong? 

What went wrong? 

No, maybe everything went wrong from the beginning.

The reason for that was simple, and it went somewhat like this…

Today, Iris was in a good mood. She felt like she was flying.

‘I thought everything from the past had already disappeared. I thought I was the only one who knew that the clocks had turned backwards and that the time of the world had gone backwards.’

It was painful…

The memories of that day, the whispers, and the exchange of emotions they shared together were now gone, which made her sad. 

Iris sighed, thinking that she would be unable to share the emotions she had experienced while gazing at the twinkle of the stars they had witnessed that day.

Of course, he existed even in this time line. But Iris thought he wasn’t the man she had in her memories. 

He wasn’t the man loved by the woman named Iris el Devhart. She thought he remained in the future beyond her reach. It occurred to her that only she was imprisoned in the current time. She was discouraged that the brilliant times she had with him would turn into a lonely delusion after not being understood by anyone.

However, it wasn’t. 

In truth, it was connected! 

When she realized that the ‘time’ she had experienced was not her own, but a time shared with someone else, Iris felt relief and joy. She no longer felt like she was alone. 

Although there seemed to be a few unwelcome strangers mixed in, Iris thought that was acceptable. Judging by her beauty or status, she was in an overwhelmingly advantageous position over those ‘strangers’.

Iris opened the window. 

Outside the window, countless constellations were embroidered in the sky just like that night. Suddenly, she had the urge to see those stars from even closer. So, she went out to the terrace. 

The night wind was cool. The cool night breeze cooled her cheeks, which were red with anticipation.

It was then…

On the west terrace far away, a pair of man and woman having a tryst caught her eye.

“…..”

A pair of man and woman having a tryst in the imperial palace was a scene Iris had witnessed countless times. At other times, she wouldn’t have paid much attention to it, as if she was looking at a wooden statue. However, the moment she confirmed the faces of the man and woman, all of her attention became focused on them.

“…ah.”

The moment Iris recognized who the two were, the first thing she felt was lamentation over the fact that she had mastered sword technique, Flowing Star.

If she hadn’t mastered sword technique, and hadn’t had better eyesight than normal people, she wouldn’t have noticed that they were there.

The man and woman she knew very well, meeting secretly on the terrace and facing each other face to face. 

How could she not recognize that face? 

Just a moment ago, she was thinking about it.

“…Cain.”

And the woman…

“…Sarah Cernard.”

It was a completely unexpected combination. It would have been more understandable if Cain had been with the white-haired girl or the insidious Aria Thiers. 

She wouldn’t have been able to understand it, but she would have been able to rationalize it.

But him being together with that woman didn’t make sense. 

‘No, she can’t be forgiven. Ah, how could I ever forgive that b!tch…’

The woman who heartlessly canceled the ‘engagement’, the woman who violated Cain’s trust and all his devotion. A wh0re who sold her body and entrusted herself to the Duke of Tournigen.

Suddenly, the conversation Iris had with him one day surfaced in her mind.

[Sir Cain, are you really okay? Can you forgive a woman who was your fiancée, seeing her in the arms of another man?]

[…because I loved her. And, now that it’s all over, it can’t be helped, right?]

At that time, Cain shrugged his shoulders and smiled as if nothing was wrong. 

So, she also forgave that woman. Because it was already over. Sarah was a woman who would no longer interfere in the life of the man named Cain von Estel. 

No, in a way, Iris was grateful. Because that girl abandoned Cain, she now had a chance.

‘…but why?’

Why was Cain meeting that woman alone on the terrace? 

What was he talking about with that girl right now? 

There’s no way that would be the case, but wasn’t Cain and that woman exchanging sweet secrets?

“…..”

The distance…the distance was too far to hear the sound. 

All kinds of bizarre imaginations occupied Iris’ head. Her hands were trembling. It felt like the hairs all over her body were standing upright.

Iris regretted coming here. If she hadn’t known about their meeting, she wouldn’t have felt this way.

It was then… 

Cain took a step towards that woman and whispered something. 

Hearing those words, Sarah Cernard also took a step closer to Cain. The two stood facing each other without speaking for a long time. 

That sight, no matter who saw it, could only be explained as a romantic relationship.

*Crack*

There was the sound of something breaking. 

Unable to control her strength, the railing of the terrace was smashed. But none of that mattered. 

Iris’ eyes widened in disbelief. 

Cain’s hand, his hand caressed the nape of Sarah Cernard’s neck. 

At the same time, Sarah Cernard entrusted herself to Cain’s arms.

“…ahh.”

At that moment, something in Iris’ chest broke. She couldn’t figure out what had broken. However, now she could understand that something irreversible had broken.

‘I was robbed…’

Iris had never been so close to another man. She had never allowed another man to touch her neck. And, she had never been so far in the arms of another man. 

She would allow him to have all her first times, that’s what Iris had promised herself.


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