Chapter 42: Beloved Laura
Diana and Leon left the inn on their beloved horse, Regina.
In Diana’s hand, she tightly held a syrup made from red roses.
“Various facts have become clear.”
“That idiotic brother of mine, only concerned about appearances, didn’t tell anyone. . .What a fool.”
“. . .Laura-san, where do she live?”
“On the outskirts of Pabst village, in the forest. It’s close from here.”
“Hey, let’s go check it out.”
“What good would that do? There’s nothing we can do.”
Diana was restless and couldn’t calm down.
“But you know, George took roses from the inn’s backyard.”
“. . .Ah.”
“He must have gone to see her. Now might be a chance to help him overcome his illness.”
Leon gazed into the void and let out a sigh.
“Here it comes, Diana-ojousama’s miraculous lesson. . .”
“This is not the time for jokes. It could also affect our future, you know?”
“. . .Right. You’re right.”
Leon manipulated the reins and gently deviated from the usual path.
They passed through George’s mansion’s wheat field and headed south instead of the west, where Diana and Leon lived. As they entered the unfamiliar forest, Diana became slightly nervous.
“. . .Is there really a house in such a remote forest?”
“In that regard, our dwelling is similar.”
“Does Laura-san live alone?”
“No. . .She should live with her father.”
Suddenly, Leon noticed something and stopped Regina.
Beyond the forest, there were horses tied up. Leon recognized one of the horses.
“That’s. . .George’s horse.”
“I knew it. How lucky!”
Diana happily dismounted from the horse. As Leon also dismounted, he let out a deep breath, as if to ease the tension.
“Wow. . .this feels a bit embarrassing. . .”
“Come with me, Leon. The forest in the evening is unsettling.”
They tied their horse to a tree and started walking through the forest.
When they saw a brick house ahead, a sudden loud noise startled them. Crows flew out of the forest, and the two immediately stopped.
A man’s voice shouted.
“Because of you, Laura. . .! Never come back!!”
Diana was shocked and stepped back, but Leon supported his wife and stood on guard.
In the distance, they saw a man standing in front of a forcefully closed door, holding a small bouquet of white roses.
Even from behind, they could tell.
It was George standing there.
He silently placed the bouquet in front of the door, as if offering a prayer.
Then, he turned around expressionlessly and started walking away――.
George’s steps halted.
In front of him stood his younger brother and his wife, Diana.
George spat out the words.
“. . .Did you follow me? What’s the meaning of this?”
Diana widened her stance and asked clearly,
“Do you still love Laura-san, George?”
Leon was taken aback by the sudden question, but there was no sign of hesitation from George.
A quiet moment passed, and George said without changing his expression,
Diana, rather than George, blushed at his overly honest answer.
“In that case. . .do you. . .want to learn how to read?”
George furrowed his brow at the suggestion.
“. . .What are you talking about?”
“Well, you were deceived by the head chef of the inn in Lipps village regarding the price of wheat. In the account books and contracts, the price was actually written higher than what you were paid. The chef deceived you and embezzled the difference.”
George’s lips slightly parted at the unexpected story.
“If you can read, you won’t be easily taken advantage of in such scams. You’ll be able to communicate with Laura-san as well. My brother-in-law knows a treatment method for people like you who can’t read.”
George asserted firmly, leaving Diana perplexed.
“Huh. . .?”
“. . .You don’t understand.”
Veins bulged on George’s forehead.
“What does a privileged woman like you understand!”
Diana paled at the unexpected turn of events. Leon noticed and stepped forward to protect her. However, George’s anger didn’t subside.
“You, who have been pampered and taken care of everything because of your obsession with money, what do you understand! What do you know about being constantly belittled and considered inferior! You, who have never been looked at with eyes of resignation by your parents. . .”
Leon interrupted, hiding Diana behind him. George, upon seeing this, seemed to suddenly lose his strength.
“. . .Leon, you wouldn’t know.”
George trembled as he confided in his youngest brother.
“The reason I was given the most privileged land was not because I was the eldest son.”
Leon was taken aback.
“The reason I was favored the most by our father. . .was because I was the least capable.”
Diana clung to Leon’s back, swallowing hard.
“I told you before. Our parents gave you that remote land because they disliked you. But the truth is half true and half different. Father knew about Leon’s diligence and competence, and he believed you would be fine there. At the same time, Father resented you. The notion that you drove Mother to her death is a fallacy. In reality. . .Father was jealous of you.”
Diana tightly held a bottle of red syrup, her body covered in sweat.
“Do you know why?”
Leon trembled slightly and shook his head faintly.
“Because Father. . .had the same illness as me.”
With each new revelation, the two of them were left speechless.