Young and Rich, Tall and Handsome(3)
The moment Hamill’s soft mutter rang out, Aristine’s head spun away.
And she began to walk quickly.
Seeing her getting farther in the blink of an eye, Hamill unconsciously followed after her.
He gently grabbed Aristine’s wrist.
Aristine didn’t turn to face him. The golden rays of the fall sun cascaded over her head.
As if responding to that title, Aristine harshly turned around.
Right, he would rather she was angry. He wanted her vivid emotions to hit him like a wave.
However, Aristine’s voice was flat, without any inflection.
Her purple eyes were rigid. A wall so firm that it was impenetrable.
Aristine gave a slight nod before turning around again.
Her attitude was as if she simply couldn’t ignore the prince’s greeting, so she acknowledged him before going on her away.
If he was a friend, she would have ignored him.
‘So I’m a complete stranger to you now.’
An existence who couldn’t even make a ripple.
However, he couldn’t let go of Aristine’s hand like this.
“Are you not going to call me Lu?”
Aristine looked up at him. Her expression was riddled with disdain.
But even that contemptful gaze was better than being ignored.
“Do you think you can say that after deceiving me?”
Her tone was formal.
Strangely, it felt like being stabbed in the chest.
Hamill gave a pleasant smile, “It wasn’t deception.”
“Even though you talked to me about Prince Hamill as if it wasn’t yourself?”
“If you found out…”
His deep-blue eyes stared at Aristine like they were bound. The look in his eyes was almost desperate.
“I knew you’d react like this if you found out.”
Aristine immediately refuted him. Her voice was calm but clear.
“If you had told me yourself, my reaction would have been different.”
Directing someone to a false conclusion with half-truths was the same as lying. Using that to claim that you aren’t lying and have been sincere is simply deception.
Hamill read the clear rejection in Aristine’s eyes.
It was on a different level from the iron wall he had faced when they first met and she thought he was a gold digger.
He couldn’t help but realize that he had been completely pushed out of Aristine’s life.
Hamill has never been attached to anything in his life. He had never been obsessed with anything either.
He had been perfect from birth, and there were no obstacles in his path.
Even when Tarkan’s influence grew stronger, he never once felt pressured.
Everything was in the palm of his hand before he could reach for it, and even when he opened his palm, nothing ever escaped.
“We are friends, aren’t we?”
Hamill tightened his grip on Aristine’s hand.
Even though he was holding her so tightly, she was slipping through his fingers; he could see it so clearly.
No, even though he was holding her, she had already left his grasp.
For the first time ever, there was something he didn’t want to let go of. He only realized it after there was nothing left in his hand.
“You said background isn’t necessary to become friends.”
Hamill’s heartrending gaze flitted across Aristine’s face. Anyone who saw him right now would be surprised.
Because even Hamill didn’t realize what kind of face he was making.
That was how desperate he was.
He knew how cowardly he was acting towards Aristine, who missed the warmth of people after being locked up for a long time. He knew how special the word ‘friend’ was to her.
Despite that, he didn’t care.
If Aristine could treat him even slightly like before…
However, Aristine was unmoved, “That was before you deceived me.”
“As a friend, can’t we forgive each other’s faults? I can acknowledge my mistake, sincerely apologize, and ask for forgiveness. And you can consider it again.”
“As a friend?”
“Yes, as a friend.”
“Prince Hamill,” Aristine grinned and looked up at him, “Yes, you’re right. I haven’t had a friend for very long. And I don’t even have that many. So, I don’t know much about friendship.”
Somehow, Hamill’s heart sank at that smile.
“But I do know this,” Aristine looked him straight in the eye, “Friends do not deceive one another.”
At the same time, Aristine roughly shook off his hand.
The sight of her turning away could not be any colder.
“…To think you can cut me off so easily. I suppose you never really considered me a friend.”
Aristine, who was walking away, abruptly stopped at those words.
The betrayal she felt was because she considered him a friend. That was why she was hurt.
If she didn’t think of him as a friend, she would have felt nothing.
Ha, Aristine let out a choked breath.
The day she found out who ‘Lu’ was, she was able to push it to a corner with the thought of saving Nephther.
As she handled such a huge matter, time passed, and she realized that Hamill’s betrayal was just something that could happen in life.
Perhaps, if she hadn’t been confined, she would have experienced such a thing when she was younger.
That was also part of the process in the free life that Aristine longed for.
As she organized it in her mind, she was able to think of it as one of the countless things in the past that served to strengthen her current self.
But imagine how shocked her own self must have been when she didn’t know anything.
Aristine was startled by the look on her face in the future that the Monarch’s Sight showed her.
“I considered us friends,” Aristine uttered in a low voice, “Just not anymore.”
Her gaze on Hamill was not cold at all. It was placid, like she was looking at a complete stranger.
That made it even colder than any icy glare.
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