< — Ever After — > (1)
The Count stayed at the ducal residence for four days. Lucia felt sad about her grandfather leaving and asked him to stay for a few more days.
“If they don’t hear from me for a while, your uncles will be worried. They don’t know I came to the capital. They only know that I’ll be visiting a friend for a few days.” (Count)
“Did you really not tell anyone?” (Lucia)
“I’m sorry. I’m very worried about them being unnecessarily caught up in the capital’s comple political battle. Even though it’s upsetting, please understand.”
“I’m not upset.”
Her grandfather chose the best method for his son’s family’s sake and for his granddaughter’s sake. Lucia completely understood her grandfather’s thoughtfulness.
“And…thank you.” (Count)
“Actually, when I came to the capital last time, I had a difficult issue. The family mansion was about to fall into other people’s hands. I decided that when I got home, I would sell my title and settle my debts; I didn’t want to burden my sons anymore. But after I got back, the problem was smoothly settled. As long as we pay a small amount of money every month, the family can continue living in the house, and business your uncle started is going well recently. You were concerned, weren’t you?”
Lucia asked her husband to help her maternal family, but she didn’t yet know the specifics of how he helped them.
“…I don’t know much about business. It’s probably my husband’s handiwork. If there’s anything I can help with, do please tell me. I want to be of help to you, grandfather.”
“You’ve done enough. There are many different ways to help people. It is easy for a wealthy person to help by throwing money in front of someone who does not have a lot. But not everyone can help without revealing who they are, without hurting the pride of the recipient, and also allow the recipient to stand up on their feet. My granddaughter married very well.”
“Grandfather. You have to say that about him too.”
The Count burst out laughing pleasantly.
“Right. My grandson-in-law also got a very good wife. Indeed.”
Both grandparent and grandchild looked at each other and erupted in a bout of laughter. They looked at each other warmly before saying their goodbyes with a final embrace.
“Take care. I’ll come again.” (Count)
“Yes. Come anytime you want.” (Lucia)
After seeing her grandfather off, Lucia thought of the pendant that she had forgotten about for a few days. She calmly organized her thoughts together from the beginning. She based her premise on the fact that the pendant was certainly a magical tool and through an extraordinary power, it showed Lucia a dream. And she chewed over the Baden family legend that was told to her.
‘It will save the family from crisis… How does the power of predicting the future save the family from crisis? It would have been better to show the future of the Baden family being wiped out to my uncle. Why was it shown to me?’
As she leaned onto the sofa, she gave a short sigh.
‘…What if it was seen? What if the very situation of myself changing the future after seeing the future in a dream was seen. What if the ancestors saw it with the power of the pendant?’
If the magical tool had mysterious power, the power should be able to work on other people as much as it worked on Lucia. But what still didn’t make sense was why the pendant’s power worked on Lucia of all people.
According to her grandfather, the pendant did not react to the magical tool identification device. That could be explained by assuming it was sealed with a special power. Magical tools were mysterious items with a lot of secrets were yet to be revealed. Then, what was the trigger that broke the seal?
After mulling over it for a long time, Lucia vacantly gazed at her hand. Her young hands had held the pendant very tight. When the handmaid forcibly took one of her hands to confirm her lineage, the young Lucia squeezed the pendant with her other hand and hid it in her chest. The handmaid pricked the young girl’s finger with a needle, drawing blood. Even with her senses were half-gone, Lucia had felt the smarting pain at her fingertips.
Lucia drew in a deep breath. The puncture wound from the needle was not that big. But because she was holding the pendant very tight, blood would have flowed from the wound. And most likely, no, definitely, the pendant was stained with Lucia’s blood.
‘The blood…what if the blood was the key to breaking the seal?’
The people of the Baden family regarded the pendant as a precious heirloom and kept it in a safe where no one could reach it. There was no chance for someone’s to reach it. Most likely, if the Badan family enjoyed an era of prosperity without any mishaps, the heirloom would have remained safely stored in the safe.
‘My mother wouldn’t even have conceived the idea of secretly taking the pendant from the safe.’
Lucia felt joy as if she had found the answer to a difficult riddle, then she felt disappointed. There was no one who could tell her if she was right or not. Unlike what she expected, her grandfather knew almost nothing. Now that the pendant had disappeared, she couldn’t even find a clue.
After thinking till her head hurt, Lucia chuckled to herself. She was worrying over nothing. What did it matter if it was a magical tool or not?
‘If everything was your arrangement, Sir Founder. Thank you for caring for the future of your distant future descendants.’
Lucia decided to quit worrying about the unanswerable question. In any case, the future that would unfold was an unexplored frontier. A new path would open in the direction she stepped in.
At that moment, a maid knocked on the door of the receiving room and came in.
“Milady. Master has come back.”
Lucia stood up to go out and greet him. She wanted to thank her husband for helping her maternal family and also relay her grandfather’s happy praise for him. With an excited heart, Lucia hurried out of the receiving room.
Please make sure you’re reading on ruby maybe translations.