Chapter ss-21: Side Story 21
I gaped my mouth at the unexpected thing I just heard. Those pair of blue eyes which were staring at me shook lightly in despair.
I did not know what to say but barely ask aloud:
"...Did you hurt your head?"
If you didn't, it would make no sense. 'How come?'
If the game was still in a full swing, this definitely was the situation that I would take note off of to try to raise my predilection.
But then it was all over. Including my relationship with the Eckart, and him. 'What's wrong with this bastard?'
I thought about it and was confused for a moment. "I..."
Suddenly, Derrick opened his mouth and soothed his voice.
"Despite being the next heir of the Eckart, I was a contemptible man who killed my little sister with my own hands."
"I admit, everything is my fault." " "
"You... when you came to the mansion instead of Yvonne "
Derrick's next words were predictable. I could guess it.
I couldn't hear any of his desperate confession since the goosebumps sprang all over my body. I hurriedly told him to stop.
(Note: geez even Penelope is disgusting with you derrick..stop already ) "Please stop. I don't want to hear it."
"I was such a fool, a fool with blind eyes." " "
"I can not repeat that twice." "Ha."
He wasn't talking about Yvonne.
I bursted out a cold laughter just when I understood everything. "What are you going to do, then?"
"I hate you, to the point that I am going crazy. What will you do?" His face got even paler after those words of mine.
As I looked at him, I clenched my teeth and titled my head abruptly.
"What? In order to hide your affection for your step sister in front of people, you make them abused and despited her until she committed suicide, and now all you going to do is confess?"
"Or, you keep procrastinating and lock me up like a bird in your room?" Did you think that I am not aware of the meaning of it?
As his blue eyes wide open, a vivid expression rapidly passed his face. Whether it was shameful or agonizing, it is not my problem.
"Obviously, you can't do that. But if you do, I will marry the Crown Prince immediately." Fortunately, or unfortunately.
Not only that I had no sympathy for his feelings, I also knew how to blow his fuse effectively. "Penelope Eckart!"
As expected, he revealed his true self and completely distorted his face.
Even if I didn't want to marry Callisto, he still hoped to quickly hand the throne to me.
But for him, a man who wished I would not get married, saying this was the most ideal strike.
"I don't need that protection of the 'authoritative Eckart' that you keep talking about. I'm going to climb up to a stronger, higher noble position and hold it."
Derrick's complexion changed as if all the blood was flooding out of his stomach. I slowly bowed towards him, still frozen like a statue, and whispered at his ears. "So, before I do that, you should keep the line, young duke."
"I told you, go and hug your little sister for the rest of your life."
After gently stroking the dark pink hair flowing down due to the bowing behind my ear, I reached out to him.
He might have thought I would hit him, so he stiffened his shoulder.
But I brushed him off and picked up the hand mirror that had fallen near his lap. "If you understand, take good care of it. It's a relic from your little sister."
However, my hand, which was about to retreat without hesitation, was held back this time. "...How can I ask for your forgiveness?"
He said, with an expression like when he begged Yvonne to come back. A face blurred in pain as if his stomach just got pierced.
"Please forget it. All I said before... was a slip of tongue." "..."
"But how can you do that...?" "..."
"Can you call me 'older brother' like before?"
(Note: disappointment.. that's all i could say to you derrick ) I stared at Derrick in amazement.
'Whenever I call you older brother, you hate it so much that it drops your favorability every single time...'
How ironic it is, for you begging me to call you by that phrase.
'What would Penelope, who called her older brother till death, say now?' Would she like it? She had finally been accepted as their 'real' family.
Unfortunately, I would never let those words went through my lips again. "It seems like the young duke have no idea about this..."
I quietly shook my hand off, as if I had just touched a dirty bug.
"Just pretend that you don't have a damn clue about what you have been doing so far." " "
"Please take care of that repulsive feeling by yourself, you know." “ ”
"My, there are many things that probably are much more important for the young duke. The honour of the Eckart, the reputation, this family, the judgment of others."
I gave back those words that he reminded me all the time, looking at his wilt eyelids, flinched.
I didn't even feel sorry for him, so I shrugged my shoulder whilst slowly tortured him by extinguishing his hope.
"Even when it came to a day you acknowledge my existence, you are not compelled to treat me as a part of the family."
"That day "
Derrick barely made a stifling sound as if he had been chocked. "Are you really gonna go?"
"I want to stay by your side... even as a brother "
"I have never known that an Eckart could be so shameless."
Just then. Both me and Derrick flinched by a voice, not from us, but from the one who just stepped in the incinerator room.
That person approached us without any hesitation. His fluttered golden hair shined resplendently in the afternoon sunlight.
It was the crown prince.
"Hey, shouldn't this 'stage of forgiveness' has already ended? Just think about all the shit you have done to princess up untill now."
Callisto came towards me with a gaze of a murderer. He quickly grabbed and hid me behind his back as if Derrick, who was kneeling, was a menace.
"Ah, your Highness."
I panicked and patted him on his back to stop.
The coronation is about to come soon, and it would be a big deal if he stabbed the Eckart young duke.
Nevertheless, Callisto stayed still and sprained his head, acting like he was spitting at the kneeling Derrick.
"Just be thankful that she saved you from the Leila and leave her alone. If I were the princess, I would have sharpened my sword to kill you right from the hunting contest."
"Stop embarrassing her. You knew that your knees is not valuable enough to get her forgiveness, right?"
Callisto stretched out his hand and clutched on Derrick's shoulder.
I could see blue tendon, appeared at the back of his hand, like he would break his neck right away. "Hey!"
I hastily pulled back his hand and told Derrick:
"Please stand up, young duke."
Fortunately, Derrick was a smart man who knew that he shouldn't act carelessly in front of the crown prince.
He rose from his spot, straightened his legs, which had just knelt down.
His face, as if all those pleadings before were all lies. He erased all his mien, back to the expressionless demeanor as usual.
"This is our family issue. It's not something an outsider could argue about, your Highness." As expect, he replied without any deference.
In response to Derrick's answer, Callisto suddenly pulled me by my waist.
As he stroked his hair, just like he was looking for something, he muttered with a rude expression : "Damn it! I left my sword behind!"
'Yes, exactly. I was wondering what you were looking for.'
A chill ran through my back as I thought about stopping Callisto before he lost control and killed Derrick.
"Both of you, please stop. Young duke, I will pretend that i did not hear anything you said today. Take good care of yourself. Then, excuse me."
"...Penelope, I still need to hear from you..."
Even after all of that, he took a step closer and spoke to me in a low tone. I wondered, was there still something left to talk about?
But before he even reached me, Callisto blocked him and started to warn him with a frown.
"Stop behaving so impulsively and start using that wise head of your, young duke. You only have one life, yet the Eckart still have someone left to enherit the dukedom."
"Well, you shouldn't leave this world before you had a chance to treat me as your brother-in-law." "Your Highness!"
I glared at him while blocking them since he kept threatening about killing the next heir of the Eckart.
Fortunately, Derrick understood the situation, he turned and left the incinerator room, holding Yvonne's mirror in his hand.
It's seemed like he also couldn't hold it longer, as his pale complexion and the bloodstain on the bandage grew wider.
'I'm glad that he is not the crazy type of guys as Eclise and Reynold...' As I looked at his forlorn back, I thought silently.
In a way, Derrick lost to the prince, but at least it didn't end up as a conflict like Reynold and Eclise.
"...As expect, I should have put an end to this by using the knife and tear up the other half of his stomach."
Just like me, Callisto, who also looked at Derrick's back, gave a completely different reaction. I frowned while scolding at him:
"Don't say such terrible thing."
"Because you let him live, he keeps talking about those bullshit." "Nevermind. Why are you here?"
He closed his mouth abruptly when i stared at his sullen face with my arms crossed. 'How the hell did you come here?'
It was high time he went to the meeting, he should have see those political affairs and officer staffs by now.
I purposefully set to the time that he could not track me right away, but seeing him acting so hastily, I guessed he was quite upset.
In addition, his complexion wasn't better than Derrick at all.
I somewhat felt bad since every male leads look as pale as a ghost whenever they saw me. "... I came here to pick you up."
I thought that because he felt very uncomfortable.
Unlike to the time when he bluffed at Derrick, he mildly murmured as he glanced at me. "...When you are done, let's go back to our palace."
"Go back... Is this all you gonna say?!"
I widened my eyes as I looked at him said 'Let's go back, when you are done.' I thought I was actually going crazy.
As I were suffering from the headache, I gently shook his hand, which held my fingers and corrected his words.
"It's your palace, not 'our'." "...Princess."
The Prince called me with a morose face.
I thought about it for a while, but it didn't fit me to remind him what was wrong, one by one. I did not want to.
"Is there anything I would need to know?" In the end, I asked him directly.
Fortunately, he admitted that his attempt to sneak out was not futile. "I understand it now."
"So where are you going to lock me up this time? A place that neither birds nor rats know?" I had time and skill to deal with that, you know?
Even though pretending not to know what had he done, Callisto's face became even paler after those threats of mine.
"No. Damn it, I'm all wrong."
As if I was going to disappear right away, Callisto rushed to me and embraced me with both of his arms. "I understand. Goddamn it, don't pick more fight, it's driving me insane."
(Note: hoho my poor prince...what should i do with you.. your childishness is way too cute )