Will Luca show up if I keep calling his name?
If I miss him until it hurts, will he show up like a breeze and stroke my cheeks?
But nobody remembers him now.
Rere, who said Luca was the greatest in the world everywhere she went, the nanny, who always praised him for his kindness, and even the maids. Nobody remembered Luca.
He completely vanished as if he never existed in the first place.
The items he had given me were still here, but not he himself.
I still had the bottle he gave me to help me fall asleep.
I couldn’t even ask those who forgot to remember.
My heart felt like it was breaking into pieces. No matter how hard I tried, the tears would not stop flowing. I was desperate to be with him once Rere had recovered.
Instead of dating him in secret, I wanted to hold Luca’s hand proudly and whisper my love.
“But…Luca is nowhere to be found. At this rate…what if…”
I’d changed my mind many times, dozens of times even. I felt angry about him disappearing on me like this, but I also missed him.
I will hear you out no matter what you say, so please come back.
I shouted and shouted toward the night sky.
Now I understand what it’s like to be loved, and I know how to love others. Why is the world treating me so cruelly?
“Isn’t it too unfair to take so much from people who only have so little…”
Perhaps he was the reason I was able to shine. But I didn’t have the strength to get back up on my feet.
I’m afraid that tomorrow will come too soon.
“We should have broken up then.Why can’t you even say goodbye, for God’s sake? Just why…”
You should have stayed in the carriage with me a little longer. You should be honest with me. Say that you will not meet me. Say that this is our last time together.
Say that we’ll never see each other again.
I was helpless as sadness overtook me because we had not really broken up properly.
To the point where it seriously messed with my head.
I had never known love before, but it came to me one day and became an overwhelming emotion that filled my heart to the brim.
When I was with him, I felt like I could withstand a huge wave of emotion.
It was quite enjoyable. But now, without him, I felt as if even a small wave would cause me to stumble.
I had become so weak that I didn’t think I could go on.
“Why don’t you even say goodbye…let’s have a proper breakup.”
I cried my heart into the inky darkness. But nothing would change. He still didn’t show, and I was still lonely.
I didn’t even feel this lonely when I used to live without knowing love.
“This is not the end. Luca…I’m sure you’re trying to surprise me. You’re going to appear out of nowhere. That’s what you’re going to do. So I’m going to wait…”
After confiding my heart to the empty air all night, I left the terrace only after the sun rose.
I ended staying up all night. I knew Rere would be concerned if I didn’t get enough sleep, but I couldn’t sleep at all.
Then the door opened very slowly.
The Duke was the one who appeared. He crept in like a thief and flinched when he noticed me sitting down.
“Aren’t you sleeping?”
I was also startled by his sudden appearance.
“Yes. I can’t sleep…”
It was hard to take my eyes off him as he drew closer.
Funnily enough, he was clearly dressed and behaved like the Duke, but I still had the impression that he was Luca.
“…Are you feeling better?”
“I’m much better than before. Are you worried?”
I was just checking, but he responded exactly as the Duke would. Not because I was concerned about him, but because I presumed he was Luca.
But I couldn’t bring myself to say it, so I kept my mouth shut. Instead, my expression was filled with disappointment.
“That’s a relief. Are you here to see Rere?”
“…And some other reason. I want to see you as well. I’m worried if I can’t wake you up. So this is great.”
Scratching his head, he smiled awkwardly at me.
“I have something to say. I was going to do it later, but I’ll tell you now.”
“Something to say?”
“Will you accompany me to visit the old butler?”
“I’d like to apologize. I was too careless back then, thinking that keeping them away would be the best way to solve the problem. But I’ve realized that’s not the answer. That is why I want to meet him.”
“That was me in the past, but I am now who I am. I’m not going to try to deny it. Now I try not to avoid the past and instead embrace it. In order to admit it properly, I must go to the old butler, apologize sincerely and ask him to come back.”
“So you want me to come with you?”
“I may act cool, but I’m still a human with flaws. Will you grab me if I attempt to escape again? From now on… I’m going to change. I accepted my sister’s death, and I’m trying to move on. For the sake of my daughter.”
I only stared at him and nodded.
“That’s why I’m really grateful. You are the reason why I feel this way.”
“Is that so?”
“All this time, I’ve been acting like a child. Just like when I lost both of my parents at 15. I was weak and refused to admit my flaws, causing people around me to suffer. I felt the same way after losing Lalice. But now… My mind appears to be clearing. I believe I can manage on my own now.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?”
“Thank you for being by my side.”
I asked if it was a good thing for him, but he just nodded.
Yeah, in this world…it’s good that one more person is happy. Now that he’s happy, Rere will also be happy.
‘Happiness doesn’t go well with me anyways.’
I quickly turned my head to look at Rere. I couldn’t even wipe away my tears for fear of him seeing them.
I didn’t want anyone to notice my weakness.
Fortunately, he only looked at us for a moment, as if he hadn’t seen my tears, and then slowly walked away.
“Then, rest well.”
He went out and closed the door. The silence returned, and I sat motionless until Rere woke up.
Rere slept in late, possibly because she was exhausted from nursing her father the day before.
I had to wash my face in cold water several times in case Rere found out I had been up all night, and in the meantime, Rere sat down at the table.
“Big Bunny, hurry up. Rere won’t eat until Big Bunny comes here!”
“You can eat first.”
“It’s called unloyal. Rere is a loyal person! Come and sit here.” Rere tapped the chair next to her with a bright smile.
Luca may be gone, but I still have Rere. I’m not here for love, and everything I’ve done is not to find someone to love.
So I sat next to Rere and hugged her.
“Rere is…all I need.”
“Yeah! Big Bunny is all Rere needs!”
My nose was filled with the warm scent of the child. Because of Luca, I may have forgotten what is most important to me.
‘All I need is Rere.’
The thought made me tear up, but the child’s warmth quickly brought a smile to my face.
I watched the child chewing her food like usual while only fiddling with my fork.
I said to myself that I was okay and it was all nothing, but I kept spacing out like a depressed person.
At that time,
“Why didn’t you eat?”
I looked down at my plate and realized that I was only fiddling with the food.
“N-No, I’m eating now.”
“Why do you keep eating grass like a rabbit?”
But I only picked at the salad. Then I stroked Rere’s head as gently as I could, realizing that I had been caught acting strangely.
“Is it because today’s food doesn’t suit my taste?”
“Probably because the chef can’t cook!”
Listening to that, the nanny and May flinched at the same time.
“No, that’s not true.”
“Then why can’t my Big Bunny eat?”
“How about Rere?”
“Do you like your meal?”
“…Y-Yeah. It’s delicious. I thought you were eating well these days. Could it be that Big Bunny is shedding?”
Suddenly Rere pouted.
“When animals shed, they either increase or decrease their appetite! Big Bunny, aren’t you shedding right now?”
Her cuteness made me chuckle.
“I think you’re right. I must be shedding right now.”
“Perhaps I should ask for dessert later. I feel like I crave it a lot.”
Meanwhile, the nanny brought a grilled salmon to the table.
“The chef boasted that the grilled salmon he made this time was delicious. Why don’t you try it?”
“The dressing on top of it seems to be very palatable.”
“Really? Thank you for taking care of me.”
“It’s my pleasure. Speaking of which, the portrait is finished.”
“Ah…I forgot about the portrait.”
I’d been busy for a while and had completely forgotten.
“Yes. They said it had just finished. I believe it will arrive soon, so why don’t the three of you, including His Excellency, go see it?”
“That’s a good idea.”
But suddenly someone burst into the room, announcing, “H-His Excellency has collapsed!”
Rere and I both stood up at the same time in reaction to May’s scream.
“Did you say he collapsed?”
“Yes. I think he’s in bad shape this time. You should hurry to see him.”
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