Stone Thrown into the Lake - Chapter 11
‘Dew, I really love you. The human being, Yvor Adela, is only made up of the love for her brother. Your sister wants to live for you. Dew, my beloved brother.’
“Even so, I will do everything you want.”
She had never been hungry, so she didn’t know the suffering of his starvation. She didn’t even know what a loaf of bread meant to the hungry, or realize what a single gold coin could do for the needy.
All she knew was what her loneliness was like, but now she had her Duran. He didn’t even need to say he loved her, she was happy just to know that he was there. After all, he didn’t know what a single word of love meant to a lonely person, who’d never been loved.
Obviously, love that doesn’t respect the will of the other person is no better than self-righteousness. Love could also be a burden to those who don’t want it. When applied to the situation with Duran, Yvor was right in one way but wrong another way. Disappointment was due to expectations.
Duran’s hatred came from her desire for him to love her. Long-term expectations, and disappointments eventually grew into hatred.
“Because of you, your sister won’t be lonely.”
Yvor spoke again.
“I was always alone. I was lonely, even though I didn’t know what loneliness was. When I held your hand, I realized that I had you.”
To Duran, Yvor’s words sounded like his own story. He was younger than her, so his childhood memory of her wasn’t so clear. There was a beautiful princess-like sister, who lived in the lakeside castle. He remembered they held hands and talked to each other that day, but that’s all he could remember.
Everytime he recalled that time, he reminded himself that it meant nothing, it was in the past. Don’t expect much. In other words, if he didn’t think about it, then he wouldn’t expect anything.
In the end, even for this little boy, his sister was the only one who gave him hope. His only sister, who’s hand he held.
“But your sister was foolish to leave you alone and not even say I love you. I thought I could just love you from afar, without knowing how you lived. Then I made decisions about you on my own and loved you on my own. I tried to love you as I pleased, I’ve only done what is good in my own eyes and what was right from my own point of view, so foolish…”
He couldn’t help, but come to understand that she loved him with all her heart.
‘Why do you love me?’
Unbelievably, his doubts which had been piercing him like thorns, finally dissipated. His emotions, which were difficult to name, surged forward. For the first time since his childhood, he reached out and grabbed her hand.
“…It’s very late.”
“You didn’t even light a candle tonight, what were you thinking?”
When he spit those words out, she found that she’d been scratched by stones or branches, so she was speechless.
Yvor liked her outfit, and even the scratches on her skin, because Dew was worried about her. Only that was important to her right now.
“Dew, can I watch you while you sleep?” She asked with a hopeful expression.
Children from noble families do not sleep with others from a very young age. They don’t even share a bedroom, but it wasn’t unusual for a sister to stay with her little brother until falls asleep. To Yvor, who died at the age of twenty-nine, Duran at fifteen looked like a child.
But to a 15-year-old boy, his 18-year-old sister was not a child. Duran pushed her away in amazement, just imagining it made his face burn. Yvor was rushed out of the room. As she looked around the annex, she felt sad. Duran had been living in the dark.
“…I’ll take you back.”
That remark made Yvor Adela so happy that she wanted to cry.
◇ ◆ ◇
“Ziark, how long do I have to pretend to be sick?”
Sidis asked with a bored face. Despite his overly blunt way of speaking, and poor behavior, he managed to sit on the window sill with an elegant posture. No matter how graceful his movements were, what’s the point of sitting that way? Ziark decided not to put his thoughts into words.
“I do not know.”
‘You have to do that until it’s all over.’ Ziark made a blatant sarcastic remark in his mind.
“Why don’t you just meet with her? Didn’t you want to meet everyone?” He was sticking to this position. Sidis looked at him still without an answer. Ziaq then added, “If one side is so eager to come to you, doesn’t it mean that the game has already been won?”
“What’s the situation in Dunmel?”
“I don’t know?”
“…You are such a good friend.”
It was said in such a way as to imply that he was useless as a subordinate. Ziark just shrugged his shoulders. Sidis Murka was a person who made vague distinctions between friends and subordinates. From the moment he was born, it was practically meaningless to distinguish between the two.
Ziark finally answered him, “The atmosphere isn’t very festive.”
◇ ◆ ◇
Yvor Adela is allowed to love Duran Craig. When he held her hand for the first time last night, it was like he’d given her permission. She may love him. He didn’t need her love, but also didn’t hate it. Yvor Adela could therefore live, because he didn’t reject her.
In the end, Yvor knew that it wasn’t what she could do that mattered, but what Duran wanted and needed from her. This was really difficult.
Duran didn’t answer that he didn’t need her love, or that he didn’t hate her. He did say that he didn’t feel uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to receive any more from her. Yvor needed to know why.
She resented her stupidity. It was something that she’d never done, even when she was a child. Even when her tutor would give her an absurd task, and beat her whenever she failed to achieve it.
Yvor thought about it for a long time, and wondered if she might’ve hurt his self-esteem. It was difficult for Yvor to even come to such conclusions, since all that she thought about was that he deserved everything.
‘If you have pride in yourself, even when you’re receiving everything from another person, then my Dew is a child with strong self-esteem.’
A sister, who didn’t even know the character of her beloved brother. She wrote those thoughts down in her heart, like a blank piece of paper on which only the words ‘I love you’ were written.
“I heard you found it.”
Mrs. Harris said this as she entered Yvor’s room. A little over thirty, she was Yvor’s tutor and a distant relative. The Harris family did not have any special titles, but their lineage was prestigious and was passed down from the Bunt. At least that’s what her father, who made Mrs. Harris her tutor, thought.
For this reason, Yvor had many teachers, but it was always Mrs. Harris who was by her side. She was in charge of her education and ‘management’. She was also the executor of all the corporal punishment inflicted on the young Yvor Adela.
Today, she had a thin pointing stick in her hand. Perhaps she was going to punish Yvor for refusing to follow the schedules she had set for her, and for willfully ditching her classes.
Yvor felt as if everything had suddenly changed when she returned to the past. When she came back, she noticed that everything was different from what she’d remembered. The faces and hearts of the servants of Serium Castle were different from what she recalled.
Only Mrs. Harris had the exact same figure as her memory. She still looked down at Yvor with a chilly look on her face. Yvor thought that she might find even a fragment of emotion that she’d never noticed in the past. She hadn’t so far, and that was rather reassuring to her.
“Yes, I did.”
Yvor refused to offer her seat and responded curtly. Mrs. Harris’ expression hardened as she looked down at her. What was happening right now seemed impossible to her. Yvor Adela was truly a diligent student. She could do nothing, but learn and accept what she was taught. The pointing rod was bent in the hands of Mrs. Harris. She’d expected Yvor to explain, or make excuses and apologize.
However, Yvor Adela was a woman who’d lived as a queen, and enjoyed peaceful suppers. She didn’t feel the need to go back to her old self, which already felt far away. What would she do if she returned to being a student who’s cheeks were callused from the beatings administered by her tutor?
Mrs. Harris’ lips quivered, but it was gone moments later. Yvor soon realized, Mrs. Harris’ eyes weren’t seeing a student who was lacking. It was something much deeper, hatred.
Going through her memories, it turned out that she hadn’t liked Yvor since she was very young, and she was right to think that she was hated. Even for a little mistake, Yvor would get hit on the calf or wrist with a stick. Mrs. Harris always reprimanded her with a cold voice.
“Are you finally ready to let go of your laziness? You’ve been putting off classes for days. Indulgence leads the soul onto a path of corruption, only with diligent learning and ceaseless mindfulness can sinful souls be saved, Yvor.”
Yvor listened quietly and answered, “Of course.”