Chapter 1 Everyone Has A Causal Relationship
It’s been five years since I’ve started taking care of my sister’s daughter in a rural village.
Today, Sierra was on her way to pick up her sister’s daughter, Hanael, from school. But something felt very strange.
First, it was the weather.
The wind blew cold, the sky was dark, and it almost seemed as thunder would strike.
“The weather feels odd…”
But it was always common for the weather to be bad in rural villages. Sierra walked forward, raising one brow.
With a lingering sense of déjà vu.
I had a strange feeling that someone was watching me from afar. Sierra rubbed the ends of her brows and whispered low.
“…It’s just my imagination, no one is following me.”
It was when Sierra, who poured her whole spirit into her heart, walked down the path leading to Hanael’s school. Her back, as she stepped forward, shuddered suddenly.
When she nervously stood firm, someone whispered behind her back in a low, heavy voice.
No one actually called out Sierra’s name in this rural village. They usually called her the pharmacist, the pharmacist lady, and Hanael’s mother.
Being more and more curious, Sierra turned around halfway.
‘Who is that?’
A somewhat familiar tall man stood right in front of her.
The black-haired man wore a black knight’s uniform and wielded a sword. He was so tall that it was intimidating. And it wasn’t just that, he had deep eyes and heavy shoulders…
Sierra, a commoner, had no such clue of the man who looked noble and sharp. She stepped back and asked in a trembling voice,
“Excuse me, who… are you?”
“I regret leaving you.”
Sierra frowned upon his deep voice and unfamiliar words. His hollow eyes, distinct nose, and hostile face seemed to remind her of someone.
‘You left me? I wouldn’t forget a guy this handsome… No, wait a minute.’
I didn’t recognize him because of his jawline, which has gotten a little sharper rather than six years ago, and his face, which has turned cold.
The man before her resembled Cassius Idios, her friend from the academy, a one-night stand, and a lover whom she had dated for about a month.
At Sierra’s question, he took a step closer with a lazy sigh. Sierra felt suspicious.
Why on earth does he look so miserable, as if he regrets something?
Something’s not right.
Sierra shrugged her shoulders with a curious expression. Although he now gives off the feeling of a raw beast, Cassius was never a dangerous man.
“I had no idea.”
Cassius murmured low in a painful manner.
“I didn’t know you were here alone, raising our child alone.”
“…I don’t know what you mean, but it’s not like that.”
Sierra rubbed her ears several times.
What is he talking about?
Did I hear correctly? Otherwise, It would seem Cassius is strangely misunderstanding.
She was in a very unexpected position. Cassius seemed more convinced by the subtle changes in her facial expression.
“You must have thought I had deceived you.”
What is this situation?
Sierra shook her head with a ridiculous smile forming her mouth.
“I don’t know what, but I’m sure there’s some sort of misunderstanding.”
Cassius strode one step forward and stirred low.
“Misunderstanding? What do you mean?”
Um, this whole situation?
Your expression at this exact moment?
All those thoughts flowing inside your head right now?
Sadly, however, Sierra could not finish. Mostly because of the ringing sound of the school’s dismissal bells. Sierra looked around in a hurry.
Then, just at the right time, I could hear someone running fast behind my back.
Suddenly I had an ominous feeling. Wait, no.
It can’t be, right?
But sinister feelings are always right.
Hanael, who had been running at a fast pace, smiled broadly at Sierra and waved her hands.
“Hanael, come to Mommy!”
…Yes, Mommy! I said it twice.
Sierra shut her eyes tightly and then proceeded to open them. In the meantime, her niece, Hanael, clung to her leg. Sierra lowered her stiff gaze.
My sister’s daughter, Hanael…
For more than five years, due to certain circumstances, Hanael has not seen her biological mother’s face and grew up thinking of her aunt as a mother.
In short, the two of them should not meet in this current situation.
Sierra raised her head once more with a stiff expression on her face and stared at Cassius.
‘Crazy, what is this!’
Fully misunderstood, Cassius rubbed roughly around his eyes and muttered in a husky, locked voice.
“…A misunderstanding? Lying is no fun, Sierra.”
Hanging from her leg, Hanael seemed to have only just noticed the man in front of her. Hanael, who carried her school bag, inflated her cheeks with a curious manner.
“Mom, who is this man?”
“I have no idea. Let’s go, Hanael.”
Cassius said, glaring at Sierra.
“We weren’t in a relationship that was meant to be expressed in such words. Don’t deny it.”
His expression made him look guilty.
To put it simply, the face of a man who noticed that the woman he loved was pregnant, ran away, and was living a miserable life.
Sierra’s lips were sweet, but she was so dumbfounded that she couldn’t bring herself to words. In the meantime, Hanael, who glanced at Sierra and Cassius, soon opened her eyes.
“I see what you’re thinking, but I assure you it isn’t that.”
“It’s my fault.”
…Cassius tried to kneel at her, but Sierra hurriedly caught him before he could reach the ground.
One thing is for sure. This situation was getting worse and worse.
“No, do not kneel!”
Cassius murmured quietly at Sierra’s squeal.
“Don’t I… even have a chance to apologize?”
No, you didn’t do anything wrong!
“About this, I’ll talk to you about it later for now.”
“Will you… give me a chance to talk, Sierra?”
“Yes, of course!”
Sierra rushed at her feet and tried to walk away. But there was one thing she overlooked.
The fact that there was a little rascal, Hanael, still clinging from her leg.
A man approached her beloved mother, apologizing and saying he was wrong. Moreover, Hanael was watching him with immense affection.
What this situation meant was obvious.
Hanael bulged both cheeks and continued.
“Phooey, don’t give that bad mister a chance!”
“Aren’t you eating well and living well without us? I dislike you! Go away!”
“…No, that’s not true.”
Hanael also seems to be misunderstanding this situation just like Cassius. Cassius stared silently at the little girl, who looked nothing like me, shouting and stomping her feet. Soon Cassius bit his molars into this shocking day.
“…I’m sorry, Hanael.”
“You fool! Go away!”
Sierra felt like crying.
He’s never walked out on you. I was never pregnant!
Besides, you have no clue, but he’s the head Duke of the Idios family!
If we play our cards wrong, we’ll die!
“Hanael, don’t do that to the man, it’s a nuisance. Let’s go home and take a nap.”
But Cassius growled and grasped Sierra’s shoulders.
“Don’t deny our relationship, nor our child, Sierra.”
There was a fierce look in her eyes.
“Now I’ll protect you and my daughter.”
Is it an illusion to think that we won’t be able to communicate?
Cassius’s glaring eyes make me too scared to explain. How did he end up like a wild beast?
You were supposed to be a friendly little dog…!
Stiff as a rock, Sierra began to seriously consider how this whole crazy situation started.
So all this misunderstanding led to more misunderstandings…
Exactly six years ago, back when Cassius and Sierra spent the night together.
“You’ve woken up, Sierra?”
Asked Cassius, sitting on the bed, gently touching Sierra’s forehead.
Sierra gazed at Cassius’s neck with dim eyes, eyeing a faint kiss mark.
Sierra touched her swollen lips, reminding her of yesterday. The dark atmosphere, her plumped lips, and even Cassius’s fingertips…
My face naturally flushed at the thought of last night. Sierra lifted both hands and took a long deep breath, bringing them close to her face.
‘No, this is a dream, it has to be a dream.’
Sierra soon shut her eyes tightly and then opened them again. But last night’s afterimage didn’t dissipate.
“You’re very tired, aren’t you?”
His sweet voice rang in her ears.
‘A dream… right….?’
No matter how many times I blinked, Cassius did not disappear.
Sierra opened her mouth with difficulty and told Cassius,
“Well, you already know. Right, Cassius? Last night was…”
“Yes. Last night.”
His dreamy eyes felt like honey dripping with affection.
Sierra asked, lowering her trembling gaze.
“Uh, I mean…”
…We spent one night together, didn’t we?
The memory was too vivid to ask without shame.
Cassius then kissed her forehead.
It was a kiss of affection.
His soft lips fell gently from her forehead. Sierra’s thoughts became more and more complicated.
Originally, Cassius and Sierra were friends. A moderately warm and comfortable friendship. But as of yesterday, their relationship went sour.
Yesterday was a ‘coming-of-age’ night.
I bumped into Cassius at the pub, and we drank together to celebrate his coming of age. That night, Sierra was intoxicated with wine and the atmosphere. Just by looking at him, the handsome Cassius looked twice as attractive as he drank.
So I made a mistake.
We played with fire for a night.
‘Yes, I was hung up on the atmosphere and made a mistake.’
She smacked herself and clasped the blanket in her palms. Cassius, who did not even know what she was thinking, asked carefully,
“You’re sweating. Are you sick?”
This man who had a strong relationship with her last night.
As a twenty-year-old, he was the head of the Academy’s Swordsmanship Department and a talented person who was said to be a swordmaster.
He’s also the only heir to becoming the Duke of Idios and the only child of the duke who had become infertile.
Of course, any perfect man had a weakness.
He had the label of an illegitimate child.
But the Duke of Idios recognized him as his child and had no wife.
Regardless of the label, Cassius is stuck with, he is excessively different from me, a commoner pharmacist.
Since our relationship is just that different, I thought we could barely remain friends at the academy. I thought we’d go our separate ways after graduation.
I didn’t expect to have a one-night-stand just before graduation.
‘Yeah, yeah. Now that he and I don’t get along, I can just ask him to forget about last night, right?’
Cassius does not necessarily love me to the point where he can even overcome his social constraints.
Besides, I have no ambition to become a duchess. Sierra wanted to be a great pharmacist in a wonderful pharmacy, so she didn’t want to be a noble lady.
Stiffened, Sierra looked up at him carefully and pursed her lips.
“Well, about last night.”
Sierra washed her face dry. In the meantime, Cassius was lovingly staring at the little soft hands rubbing her cheeks.
I think the impact of one night was quite significant.
We were just friends, but I didn’t know our relationship would go this way.
‘Okay, how can I say goodbye without sounding like trash?’
While pondering over what to say, Cassius, who was waiting for her words, spoke first.
“Can I go first, Sierra?”
It was the ray of voice that embarrassed Sierra. I decided that I should listen to what Cassius had to say.
Cassius, who looked into Sierra’s eyes, began to quietly risk his luck.
“About last night.”
Sitting on the bedside, Cassius rose and drank a glass of water from the nightstand.
In the meantime, Sierra pressed her head against the pillow as if the ground was disappearing. Then she looked at Cassius with fierce momentum.
He looked very nervous and sorry.
Even after drinking all the water, he couldn’t take his lips off the glass.
Isn’t there one thing Cassius is sorry for?
I’m trying to shake off my one-night stand.
Sierra began to cheer Cassius with her heart.
Yeah, you got this, Cassius!
I’m so sorry, I can’t take responsibility for you!
Say something like, ‘A commoner like you never mixes with the son of a duke like me!’
Sierra clenched her fists as if eagerly praying.
Cassius murmured low, putting down an empty glass of water on the table.
“I, yesterday… was my first time.”
There was a blush of shame on his cold and chilly face.
We’ve got a problem.
Cassius was looking eagerly at Sierra as if she were his own savior.
Actually, I can’t remember for sure, but…
The first time she met Cassius Idios, he definitely had the image of a cute little dog!
She looked seriously at the menacing beast in front of her.
‘Didn’t we have a short one-night stand and split calmly? What the hell is going on?’
Cassius, in Sierra’s eyes, twisted his lips upwards.
“Are you thinking of running away again?”
Nope, not what I was thinking.
Because I never ran away. And I have no intention of running away.
No matter how I looked at it, it seemed this situation was getting more extreme. Cassius raised his hand and muttered, rubbing her cheek slowly.
“I won’t be able to leave you.”
This is a big deal.
While briefly recalling past memories, Cassius seemed to have expanded his misunderstanding. He gently touched her hair with his calloused hands and whispered as if warning.
Madness showed through his cold facial expression.
Sierra was agonizing over how to clean up the mess in this situation. Hanael, who was watching them both at the time, said with her arms folded,
“Daddy, don’t be a bad man.”
Hanael’s small figure felt a force.
“If you were going to regret it, you shouldn’t have abandoned it.”
Sierra tapped her lips.
Well, if the genre of our lives was regret, that would have been quite refreshing.
The problem is that it is not.
Now, Hanael was practically pouring oil onto the burning house.
“Now… everyone, just calm down.”
Sierra agreed to have a calm and serious conversation with Cassius.
Sierra looked into Cassius’s eyes, as if to ask why on earth these misconceptions occurred.
And quickly gave up on talking.
‘Yeah, no. We can’t communicate at all right now.’
Those eyes are filled with half-money…
“Let’s just calm down and have a conversation. So…”
It’s going to take a hundred years to calm down, but if I file a restraining order for a hundred years, it would shackle you.
She opened her mouth and nailed a friendly tone and gentle manner.
“A week or so, I’ll need time to think.”
In short, you can’t approach us.
Sierra, you need to get some sense of this bizarre situation through some sources.