Chapter 17 – Previous Life Settlements
The hallway in the second temple, after listening to Eugene’s story from Prince Keefa, Liz looked up to the high ceiling.
In the midst of his emptiness and piercing sorrow, he was suddenly filled with anger. Even the bright sunlight coming through the windows could not comfort him from it.
Cecil and Eugene were deceived by the butler of the Howard family.
In front of Liz, Keefa, who had the urge to tear out his hair, leaned on the wall, his head on his hands,
“So that letter was not written by Cecil…” he groaned bitterly.
Apparently, it was a ploy created by the butler, who has been beside him all this time, to deceive him so that he’d give up on going back to Cecil.
“Had the butler written those letters similar to Cecil’s?” Liz hesitantly asked.
“No, If I’m not mistaken, it was certainly Cecil’s handwriting. They might have either hired a specialist to write a fake letter, or a person with an ability to do magic.” Keefa replied.
Despite his struggle from his distress, he seems to be racking his head hard, staring at one point in the hallway with bloodshot eyes.
“Ah , I finally got it.” He murmured in a low voice as if he squeezed it out of the back of his throat, “My father told me that Eugene had no need to take over. He did not want to burden Eugene, whom he had left for eighteen years. So the butler carried it out instead. The butler had said that the Howard family’s head was a benefactor of his life.”
Residents of where Cecil lived, her co-workers, and friends, including the butler. They all had lied to him.
“Cecil’s not dead, she married another man and left the capital.” they said.
The butler had lied so that Eugene would give up on marrying Cecil and marry the Gould family’s daughter instead as well as taking over as the head of the Howard family.
Since the Gould family has relations with the Howard family’s territory, Eugene can’t easily complain or express his opinions since he’s just a commoner. The gold ring she wore had been given to her by the butler, saying that it was from Eugene.
In that sense, he can’t easily judge and say who the victim was, whether it was him or her. But he can’t forgive her for lying and treating Cecil rudely rather than turning to Eugene for answers.
Cecil’s workplace was a tailor workshop, subcontracting for nobles. People at her workplace and the residents of her apartment complex wouldn’t be able to live freely if they are caught by the prestigious Howard house.
Perhaps his friend who had suddenly moved away from the capital rebelled against the butler; Therefore, he could not stay in the royal capital.
The landlady too, the letter stated that her niece had given birth to twins which was true, but Cecil did not take care of them. The twins were born with deficiencies and were hospitalized due to it.
She had lied, of course, because she had been upset with Eugene who had left Cecil over the Howard’s house, but she could not leave her dear niece, who was as dear as her daughter, to leave the capital.
It’s frustrating. He felt distressed.
Cecil, Eugene, her landlady, and her friends were certainly commoners, and would seem like nothing more than a renowned nobleman who had power, but they had no right to manipulate others.
They had betrayed Eugene for their own greed, they even sabotaged his relationship with Cecil and threatened them to cover it up. He was fooled this whole time!
Liz’s red eyes softly glowed, like a burning spark.
When she becomes the saint―― !
What would happen if she becomes the next saint? Can’t it be changed?
He stopped thinking of such thoughts even those related to his previous life. He did not want to relive such experience again nor did he want anyone else to go through such sadness.
If she does become the next saint―― !
Suddenly, Keefa’s face became pale,
“The money— did Cecil receive money while Eugene was at Howard’s?” He asked. He wanted to know, like a nagging feeling, his expression seemed like it was his last hope of knowing the truth.
Liz was confused, she didn’t respond quickly and questioningly muttered, “Money?”
Keefa looked like he was in despair, his teeth were clenched as if the anger and sadness were coming in at once.
“Hey, what did you think were we…!” she retorted. For five hundred years, she was angry. Liz stopped herself from bringing her hands up to tear her hair.
Keefa raised his head and faced Liz.
“I’m sorry” his voice quivered but he was sincere, “I didn’t properly confirm it. I took seriously what they said and did not doubt it; I let you die alone, thinking you betrayed me. I’m sorry. I know an apology isn’t enough, but I’m really sorry.”
He deeply bowed. He slowly looked up and stared straight into Liz with bloodshot eyes.
“I will make up for it. I’ll pay you my whole life.” He said. He looked worn out but his face showed such determined expression.
Even though Eugene himself had been deceived by the people he had trusted, he would’ve felt more remorse and enmity towards anyone he believed.
Since he’s also a member of the Howard family, he would not escape from this mistake and take responsibility. He would swallow everything and pay Cecil over with his own life.
He’s different from Eugene in their previous life. Eugene was sincere and single-minded, not as strong as this. For a while, Liz became a little bit lonely but then she suddenly panicked, rejecting such ideas.
“It’s natural, isn’t it?” she thought.
It’s just as the present Liz isn’t Cecil and Keefa is no longer the past Eugene. What the butler did was unforgivable, he should’ve been punished.
However, the silver ring engraved “to Cecil ” was the very proof and truth of Eugene’s past life and sincerity. She was never betrayed by him. Just as Cecil had been thinking about Eugene for a long time, so did Eugene, it was a happy moment for them.
When Cecil believed the stories made up by the butler and the Gould family’s young lady, she had thought he abandoned her.
Both of them had doubted each other. They both did their best fighting for each other at the time, but they should’ve persevered more and looked for answers through each other.
At first, Liz didn’t even try listening to Keefa. She also misunderstood and already assumed when she saw the ring. It was only now that she had decided to ask him about it.
She felt embarrassed and shameful in her heart and tightly clasped her hands. “…Let’s reflect”
They should be living in this time right now. Otherwise, there’s no point in being reincarnated having memories of one’s previous life.
Liz held the silver ring gently in her hands.
“You don’t have to make up for it, either way…Cecil has already received this ring.”
Cecil, not Liz.
The tips of his lips slowly raised, “Thank you.” he said. He had been in remorse, regretting and thinking about what happened in the past until he died.
“You said that before, right? The time right now is different from the previous life. That’s right, we’re no longer Cecil and Eugene. I’m Liz and you’re Keefa. Let’s both live our new lives of our own.” Liz said.
Life in this world. Let’s live strong.
Facing each other, Keefa turned his gaze towards Liz, “Whenever you need help, let me know. This time for sure I shall be your power.” he sincerely said.
* * * *
Claire, a descendant of the Howard family, looked back at the temple carrying a puffy bag, she was going back home. She was one of the selected candidates to be saintess, unfortunately she failed.
“I told Liz that I’ll go home with my chest up but honestly, my feelings are quite muddled. It can’t be helped……” Claire thought.
As she was about to step into the carriage, a voice hesitantly called out to her. She turned around and saw Prince Keefa.
“Your highness, Prince Keefa!?” she exclaimed. She was surprised that her bag fell from her hands, he knew her name. It wasn’t a shock for Prince Keefa to be at the temple behind the royal palace since she has occasionally seen him there.
Strangely, Keefa looked at Claire sadly with emotional eyes. “I’m sorry, You seemed quite similar to my old acquaintance. —Theo” he said.
“I have an ancestor with the same name” Claire replied.
“Yes, that’s right.” Keefa’s eyes seemed like it was tearing up.
“Your highness?!” She was already shocked that his highness called out to her, but she became even more surprised when he bowed his head to her, who’s just a mere commoner.
“Thank you for telling me the ring, it was thanks to you.I really appreciate it.”
She was confused as to why Prince Keefa would thank her about the Howard family—Eugene’s ring but she inwardly knew that those words were sincere, coming from the bottom of his heart.
“I have heard that you had an unfortunate result for becoming the next saint, but I’m really grateful that you came here as a candidate. Thank you. It may not be of any help, but I do think that you are a great magician.”
“Well, I’m normally told that I’m useless with magic. But unlike my ancestor, Theo, he was one whose good in it.” She wasn’t sure what she was saying, her mind was quite muddled, panicking a bit.
Keefa smiled with conviction, “That’s not true, both You and your ancestor Theo made people happy, it’s what makes you the most magical.”
Claire’s head snapped up, her mind blank. For such a long time she’s always been told how useless her magic skills were. Keefa’s words made her very happy that it touched her heart.
“If anything happens and you need any help, just tell me.” He said so with a serious face, leaving.
She blankly stared at Keefa’s back.
There was a man who approached Keefa. He’s wearing a black cloak and seemed to be in his mid-thirties. He looked familiar, he resembled someone. The man looked at her and slightly bowed. She noticed that there was a scar on his cheek.
He must be that man, the stranger who saved her family from that debt ten years ago, the man that her parents could not find. His features seem to match with that man’s character.
It was a bittersweet moment, she smiled. He’s the close aide who acts under the orders of Prince Keefa. Ten Years ago, Prince Keefa was still a nine-year-old boy. Besides, Keefa has nothing to do with her family– the Howard family.
Still, she felt lighthearted. She picked her bag up and stepped into the carriage. Claire sat down on the soft seat with a smile. The white glowing temple can be seen from the large window in the carriage.
Let’s go home proudly with our chest out. That sincere thought coming from the bottom of her heart.