I Became The Childhood Friend of the Obsessive Second Male Lead - Chapter 56
He led his limbs stiffly— becoming increasingly sore as they were— as he walked behind the screen.
It took quite a long time to remove a party suit with many buttons.
Furthermore, because of a wound on the tip of his finger, it was more difficult than usual for him to undo the buttons.
Why did such a simple task become so troublesome?
. . . because of Rieta.
Because she had said that she was leaving this house.
When the thought of the word leaving crossed his mind, there was an afterimage of his childhood that would surface no matter how hard he tried to suppress it.
A promise to return in spring.
The blurred view of her back.
Words he had to endure until the end.
It was a great fear for him.
Rietta is leaving too.
For a moment, he paused in his action.
Could it be that Noel’s gestures were not taken to heart?
Soon, Darrell’s voice was heard.
“Noel, are you okay?”
“I’m here, brother.”
Noel spoke with difficulty, his voice choked with tears.
“I- I . . . If only . . .”
In fact throughout all those years of waiting in vain for his mother, he had a thought that had resurfaced time and time again.
If Noel had let go of that ‘good boy’ image, if he had acted with a little more honesty at her departure . . .
“Don’t go! I hate it when you leave me!”
If he cried out loud while holding onto her skirt so much that it bothered her . . .
What would have happened differently?
His father and mother would almost certainly have been very disappointed with Noel.
“You’re not acting as a noble child should.”
Even so . . .
“It wouldn’t matter if you ended up hating me forever . . .”
Those words were no louder than a whisper.
If only he could turn back time.
He would have clung onto his mother with all his strength. Even if it meant giving up all familial affection and love.
If she had stayed . . . Being hated would not have been at all that scary.
But waiting for a distant spring was far too long.
“. . .”
The wound reopened.
Tears fell down, a stream entirely of sorrow.
* * *
Darrell stayed with Noel until dawn.
In all truth, Darrell had had similar thoughts to Noel.
He just never expressed those feelings. Perhaps even their father had felt the same way as his two sons
The three of them were clearly afraid of someone ‘leaving’.
It also had to do with their failure to protect the Duchess.
Endemic diseases, they had said.
It was a periodic outbreak in the Duchy. Very few inhabitants had ever contracted the disease.
But their mother was from another land.
The endemic disease quickly turned a healthy woman into a still body buried in the ground.
The duke, a close associate of the emperor, was banned from even guarding his wife’s deathbed.
He had resisted at the time, but later understood that he had no choice but to comply.
If that terrible disease had struck the Duke and had spread to others in the Capital . . .
Perhaps something even more terrifying would have begun.
What was understood by one’s mind, however, did not always leave one’s heart unscarred.
Moreover, the Duchess’s body was not even allowed to enter the capital city where her children were raised.
They had said that it was because the body carried a disease.
Even in the end, in death, she was unable to return to the Duchy.
The spring she had promised Noel had passed many times. And would continue to do so for many more.
Darrell stroked the head of his younger brother, who had fallen asleep while crying.
“You may be right.”
It might have been better to live as a bad child than as a good child who had meekly lost something precious to them.
“However . . .”
One’s happiness was something else altogether.
He didn’t know the correct choice either.
Darrell was sorry that he didn’t possess such wisdom.
He didn’t believe that he was capable of giving any light to Noel. Noel, who was lost in the darkness.
Instead, I will wander through the darkness, right by your side.
He didn’t want him to hurt so much.
His pretty little brother . . .
Darrell gently clasped Noel’s little hand.
* * *
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