Chapter ss-20: Side Story 20
Penelope stared at Derrick in amazement. She didn’t know why, but he was breathing hard because he had been in a hurry to find her. His pale complexion and the sweat on his forehead were extraordinary.
‘Why is he so sick?’
Unconsciously, she glanced at him and found a bandage rolled around his waist. No, he was sick. “I think it’s bleeding.”
“Ah.” Pointing at the bandage, which was faintly reddish, Derrick looked down and checked. Then he answered bluntly.
It seemed like a big deal, but Penelope said nothing. Whether the wound bursts or the blood leaks or spills, it was irrelevant to her. Due to injuries, Derrick’s face was gaunt.
‘Anyway, it’s strange that he’s okay when his belly is pierced…’
It occurred to Penelope that he had been attacked by Leila and had been in therapy for quite some time.
A moment of uncomfortable silence fell between them. Penelope was wondering how to get out of the incinerator naturally.
“What...are you doing here?” Derrick opened his mouth first.
At the same time, Penelope suddenly recalled what she had forgotten and answered obediently. “I was sorting out my luggage.”
“Yes, I don’t need to leave anything here.” Penelope’s bright blue eyes glanced behind her. It had been a long time since everything in the kiln was engulfed in a raging fire, but it also included what Derrick had given her, which made her feel sick. It was time to stand in the way of the door with fear of him seeing a part that had not yet been burnt through the side window.
“I was told that you're leaving the duchy…” Derrick suddenly spoke in a cautious tone. ‘Did you get the message already? It's fast.’
However, after Penelope left the office, she wondered if the Duke immediately called Derrick.
-You won't do it.
-I can't forgive you. Everyone in the duchy, including Derrick and Rennald, who have been abusing me. ‘I dropped the bomb that I was leaving, but they wouldn’t have let it go.’
She nodded without an answer. Then, Derrick was hurried. “...I can't do it.”
Penelope, who didn't expect to hear from Derrick again, looked at him in a daze. He must have felt her gaze, but he continued talking.
“Why don’t youthink twice about leaving the duchy?”
“The situation in the capital is not yet stable. Especially since it happened, all the attention has been on the Eckarts…”
“Did you follow me up here just to say that?” “...”
Penelope’s expressionless face and sarcasm caused Derrick’s mouth to suddenly shut. In fact, it wasn't surprising. Wouldn’t it be creepy if his personality had suddenly changed?
‘But you’ve made progress? You didn’t send someone to ask me to come to your office, you came in person.’
It occurred to her that it was not funny. She snorted coldly. “I told you last time.”
“It’s no longer a matter of your involvement.” “...Penelope.”
“I’ve already finished talking to you. Of course, even if you know that…” “…”
“If I want to go, I'll go.”
She never needed his permission.
Even if she wanted to voice her complaints, she swallowed it.Penelope thought that she would leave after pouring out the buckets of abuse she had endured, but he didn’t have the right to do so. When she looked back behind her, she noticed that the flames that had been roaring in the kiln subsided quite a bit.
Penelope turned to Derrick again and nodded unceremoniously. “If you’re done talking, bye.”
“Where are you going?”
Derrick cut her off in a hurry to ask. Penelope frowned at the excessive interference. “That too.”
“That’s something you don’t need to know.” “Is it because of me?”
Heck, he took one step closer to her. His face, which had gotten closer, was still filled with agitation and cold sweat.
“The day of the ceremony… I picked up Yvonne and brought you to death?” “Well.” While answering like that, Penelope was inwardly surprised.
‘It’s not like his fault.’
The man who escaped from the brainwashing seemed to be aware of the atrocities he had committed. Maybe it wasn't because of brainwashing, but a change of heart after being pierced by the hands of a monster in his sister’s skin.
“I can't say no, but it doesn’t seem to be just for that reason.” Penelope replied very slowly. When he brought Yvonne with him, Penelope was really going crazy...
But she wasn't very angry enough to remember. Strangely enough, from one point on, feelings for Derrick had disappeared, as if they were washed away. Expectation, disappointment, anger. Maybe it's
because Penelope thought the idea that she might be like that would be overwhelming. “Don’t worry. It’s just the time.”
“Don’t play with words and tell me a reason that makes sense.”
Penelope didn’t want to blush while she was leaving. She didn’t blame him by speaking as lightly as she could, but Derrick rushed again and questioned her.
“Where are you going to go away to, and why are you going back to the palace after you’ve come all this way…?”
“Why am I?” Penelope firmly cut off his tedious tone. “Why should I convince you?”
“If I answer to the person who seems to have a contemptuous way of speaking, the attitude of arrogance is terrible enough to be disgusting."
“Then what’s the difference?” Derrick’s shoulders flinched noticeably at her words. The reddish bloodstains on the bandage around his waist began to deepen.
‘This is killing me.’
Penelope’s words seemed to hit harder than she thought. His pale complexion was like that of a white sheet. She laughed at the desire to pour out more.
“But sadly, I don’t have enough interest in you to feel that way.” “...Penelope.”
“This.” She took a steps closer to the man who repeatedly called her name. Then she pulled something out of her arms and pushed it out.
“I wasn’t sure how to deliver it, but this is fine.”
“This…” Derrick’s blue eyes, looking down at what Penelope held out to him, began to quake. It was Yvonne's mirror.
‘I was going to give it to the care of the butler before I left…’
Penelope thought that she’d give it to the Duke, but he wasn’t the one that Yvonne wanted to convey her message to.
-Please tell Derrick Brother that I’m thankful to him for buying the hand mirror, and I’m sorry I lost it. Recalling her crying voice, Penelope translated it in a heartless way.
“As you’ve already heard, I met Yvonne yesterday. It wasn’t Leila, it was your little sister.” “...”
“It's the thing that she gave me. She said thank you for buying it, and she wanted me to tell you that she was sorry for losing it.”
At the end of the magic wand, the splendid decorations disappeared, and there was only one old, faded hand mirror with cracks. It was just like her relationship with Eckart, irrevocable to anything.
Derrick's face slowly crumbled as he looked at the mirror in her hand.
“Yvonne…” The dilated pupils shook endlessly. He was unlikely to bleed a drop of blood even if stabbed, but he also had a trauma of losing his sister with his own hands. Penelope didn’t want to see his despair, even though he had acted like an idiot to her.
‘Think about it. I have to go, so hurry up and get rid of it.’
Penelope waved the hand holding the mirror in a hurry. However, he just stood there without thinking about accepting it.
‘You’re annoying till the end.’
With a sigh, Penelope reached out and held Derrick’s hand, forcing the mirror into his hand. Perhaps because of the shock, the trembling warmth under her palm was a little disgusting. Of course she didn’t express it.
“Just think it's all my fault, as always. I accidentally killed Yvonne, and that’s not why I’m leaving, but getting kicked out.” If they thought like that, won’t people feel sorry for them?
Derrick was originally a man of narrow-mindedness, and now she wasted time facing him. Unlike the Duke, she had no reason to talk to him. If they passed like distant strangers as they had done so far, it would be fine.
“Then.” Penelope finally grabbed the hand of the man who held the mirror, closed it tightly, and then released it neatly. And it was just a moment when she was just about to walk past him.
The empty hand suddenly clung to her. Penelope raised her head in amazement. “...If I say I regret all the things I did.”
“Can you forgive me a little?”
He was holding her with the hand she had just released. Yvonne’s mirror, which she had forced him to hold, lay on the floor.
As he held her hand tight, he said,
“I will kneel at your feet and beg if you wish.” “…”
“Will you not leave?” ‘Is he crazy?’
That was the first thought Penelope had. She couldn’t hear what he was saying because her gaze was stuck on the mirror on the floor.
“Let it go.”
Penelope tried to shake his hand off and bent to pick up the mirror. It was that moment.
The tall man's face went blank in an instant.
When Penelope came to her senses, Derrick was kneeling before her. “What…”
She was dumbfounded by the black-haired head near her waist. “Don’t go.”
“I was all wrong.”
Hneeling wasn't enough either, so Derrick began to say things that were unbelievable. “Wrong…?”
“Yes. You’re right. Maybe I’m the one responsible for all the misfortunes you’ve gone through.” “...”
"But...I’ll still try. As soon as I recover enough to be able to move, I can change. I promise I will compensate you as much, or more, as you have suffered.”
Penelope had never seen him speak so long and fast. He spoke with a desperate face and without taking time to breathe, as if he thought that she would disappear as soon as he stopped talking.
“I'll put it all back. I'll make sure you won’t be bothered again.” “…”
“Don’t marry the Crown Prince.”