“How dare this arrogant girl make your father wait?”
Was it because he waited long? Father’s voice was full of anger.
Laura opened the door and stepped aside, stiffening as she held onto the doorknob.
She seemed surprised that a father could speak such rude and vulgar remarks to his daughter.
However, it’s something that had always happened to me, so I entered the drawing room unperturbed.
Laura hesitated, then bowed and left the room.
It was the first time I had come to the drawing room since Hari last visited.
I took a leisurely look around the colorful place, felt a piercing gaze, and sat down opposite Father.
He smirked and looked around the drawing room.
“Looking at the mansion, I can see how you lived the last few years.”
I turned to look at the familiar face.
The father I haven’t seen in a long time looked well, unlike the last time I saw him.
He was dressed in a pristine outfit and polished shoes.
He looked like the typical perfect aristocrat.
He placed his hat down on one side and crossed his legs.
He glared at me, his eyes wild, as his legs impatiently bounced.
So what if your appearance changed? The important things haven’t.
I bit the flesh inside my cheeks as I suddenly remembered the day I first met Hari.
No matter how much one changed on the outside, their essence stayed the same.
“By the way,” he gritted his teeth, narrowing his eyes at me as if he were ashamed.
“Do you dare disrespect your father who fed, clothed, and supported you?”
“How can you not accept my invitation even once!”
Invitation? I frowned, trying to think of what he meant, and soon understood.
Even after I’ve sent him a message to sever ties with him, he would send me invitations from time to time.
He was invited to by high-ranking nobles, so he asked me to come and show my face.
In other words, he needed backup.
“How much shame I suffered because I’ve been humiliated by you… When I think of Viscount Hayton laughing and snorting at me…!”
“Why should I accept an invitation from you when I know it would only turn me into a spectacle?”
“What did you just say?” Father clenched his fists, his body shaking as if he was about to give up.
But after a while, he grumbled and cleared up his uneasy feelings.
He clicked his tongue and nervously leaned against the back of the chair.
“If the Duke had not invested in the business, I would not have forgiven years of your behavior.”
I slowly lifted the teacup as I listened to him, then stopped.
My eyes trembled slightly, and I almost dropped the cup.
When I caught the teacup, I placed it down and stared at Father.
“What did you just say?”
Father snorted and muttered to himself that he finally understood.
“This is also the reason why I personally came to you this time.”
“The Duke is investing in my business.
All at once, there’s a problem with work, so the investor–”
He frowned when I interrupted him, but soon realized that he was in a position to ask for a favor.
“Ah, that’s right, you’ll have your own child,” Viscount Carena suddenly clapped his hand and exclaimed.
I was speechless.
It was so ridiculous that no words came out.
I thought my dry eyes would no longer tear up, but I was wrong.
I overlooked the possibility that I could still cry because I was upset, angry, or hurt.
My throat closed up as tears welled up in my eyes.
I still couldn’t speak.
He had a sly smile on his face that made the hair on the back of my neck stand.
“Right, well done.
“Even if you and I don’t have things like that–”
“Is Father even human?”
I barely spit out the words with a trembling voice.
How dare you put us on the same line?
I was angry because I was miserable, my pride was hurt, and I resented everything.
I was mad that such a father existed, but I was furious at myself, who had such a father.
I was also angry at Kyle, who didn’t tell me anything.
I had so much anger inside me that the whole world angered me.
What was Kyle thinking? He extended his hand to Viscount, whom he despised.
Did he do it because he felt it would comfort me, who had lost the child? If that wasn’t the case, did he do it to make me feel indebted to him and tied up to his house?
Whatever it was, it didn’t matter.
“You can’t feel shame because you’re not human.”
Father’s eyes flashed in anger as he jumped up from his seat.
His face was flushed red.
“Even animals recognize their parents…!”
“Viscount Carena.” I clenched my fists and put every emotion I had into each syllable.
I didn’t even blink, afraid that tears would fall.
“Humans give birth to humans, and animals give birth to animals.
Are you implying that animals gave birth to humans?”
“I can understand–”
The Viscount jumped and grabbed my neck with both hands in an instant.
The force pushed the chair back, and my head slammed against the smooth marble.
For a moment, my vision flickered, and I felt pain as if water seeped in.
“You’re just like your brother! I made you live comfortably, but you don’t even know how to be grateful!”
I struggled to get out of his grasp because everything hurt.
But the more I tried to escape, the more he squeezed my neck and the worse the pain felt.
No matter how hard I tried to breathe, my airway was blocked, and I could only gasp and groan.
“It’s so vulgar to see you wearing clothes that don’t fit you, and cling to the Duke–”
My ears rang, and my mind went blank, then I heard a roar and felt free in an instant.
Just then, I thought I would suffocate, but I could suddenly breathe again.
As I inhaled, I coughed, my throat in pain.
I coughed so much I almost gagged.
I loosely held my neck with both hands as I fought to catch my breath.
My whole body trembled like a dry branch swaying in the wind.
When I glanced up, Kyle was there, staring at me.
His eyes, focused on my neck, were brimming with anger.
After a while, he leisurely approached Viscount Carena, looking as if he wasn’t angry at all.
“Have you forgotten your promise that you will never come back?” He said, gritting his teeth.
“Don’t tell me you’ll only remember it if you have it engraved on your skin?”
A reddish tint flashed across Kyle’s eyes.
Father, who made eye contact with him, swallowed his hard and stepped back toward the entrance of the drawing room.
I scoffed as I looked at my frightened father.
Tears fell from his thinly curved eyes and wet the hem of his clothes.
Father was like a giant to the young Aelle, but that majestic and strong father disappeared, leaving only a frail old man.
His face was pale, like a sheep cornered by a wolf.
“Or was I too gentle?”
Kyle stared blankly at him as if he were looking at a bug, then suddenly grabbed Father’s neck with his gloved hand and tightened his grip.
It was a cruel and ruthless move.
Father groaned and struggled until he finally stopped breathing.
Then, when his eyes opened, our eyes met.
He reached out to me and struggled as if begging for help.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if his face, stained with a line of blood on his forehead, burst in front of me.
I grabbed my neck and took a deep breath, but I didn’t avoid his eyes.
You want help? No, I have no obligation to rescue anyone who tried to strangle and kill me.
But, I didn’t want to either.
Father, who had been holding on, convulsed, and his eyes rolled back.
Kyle then threw him away.
“Cough! Cough!” Father held onto his neck and coughed.
He wheezed against the marble, his noise similar to that of a cattle getting slaughtered.
Father shoved his face into the marble, but continued to glare at me with his snake-like eyes.
After seeing Father’s gaze, Kyle stood in front of me to block his gaze.
Father’s bloodshot eyes widened, then he waved his hand in the air.
“I-I won’t look for her, cough! I’ll live like I’m dead…!”
Kyle tilted his head and hummed, questioning his sincerity.
“I don’t think your life is worth it,” a hoarse voice came out of Kyle’s lips.
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