Home Post 1289-chapter-125-2


“…Thank you, Charlotte. Your words helped me sort out my thoughts a bit.”

Charlotte blushed slightly, and said that she was pleased, she could be of help.

I smiled and reached out to straighten the slightly askew ribbon in Charlotte’s hair. Then, we resumed our walk.

Descending the stairs to the first-floor corridor, I noticed someone staring blankly at a painting hung on the wall.

It was Theodore.

He too was dressed for the evening banquet, having neatly combed his hair and donned his formal attire.

As I approached him cautiously, he seemed to sense my presence and turned around.

As he slowly took in my appearance, his expression turned utterly awestruck.


When I called out gently, he blinked rapidly as if snapping back to reality.

His ears were tinged red.

“…I’m sorry, it’s just… you look so beautiful… I got lost staring.”

His unusual demeanor left me momentarily speechless.

Perhaps I also… don’t know him as well as I thought.

To assume you truly know someone else might just be arrogance.

“….Thank you, you look very handsome as well.”

“Ah… thank you.”

An awkward silence lingered for a moment. Charlotte, who had been standing a good distance away, made eye contact with me and then scampered off towards the banquet hall.


It seemed Charlotte had intentionally given us a moment alone….I hesitated, not sure how to start. Could I mention the misunderstanding earlier?

“This painting…”

While I was hesitating, Theodore initiated the conversation. His gaze fixed on a painting hung on the wall, “The Light in the Dark.”

“It’s quite an unusual choice to decorate the first floor corridor of a castle. Is this a favorite of yours?”

It dawned on me that…we had never discussed this painting before.

‘I had no chance until now.’

I nodded, raised my eyes to ‘The Light in the Dark’ and began.

“This painting holds deep significance for me. It was a gift from Zen five years ago.”

“…Zen Delacroix… I see.”

….I regretted mentioning that.

I hurriedly continued the conversation.

“But it felt wrong to just accept it without giving something in return, so I made sure to pay properly…. Whenever I look at this painting, it feels like the deep darkness mirrors my own life.”


“But the difference between my life and the wanderer in the painting who carries a lantern to light his path.”

There seemed to be no light in my life.

Or there hadn’t been.

“…But that was the past…. Not anymore.”

What had the unknown artist intended with this painting? Was it to depict life as a journey through darkness? Or to suggest that even in the darkest times, there is a lantern, a symbol of hope?

It depended on the interpretation.

To me, the important thing was the enduring light from the lantern in the painting was never extinguishing and everlasting.

“…Long ago, this painting helped me realize something. That the only one who can truly save me… is myself….”

I didn’t know what prompted it, perhaps the flow of the conversation, but I found myself opening up to Theodore in a way I hadn’t before.

“Actually, ever since we first got married…”


“I once hoped you would be my savior.”

In that moment I finally confronted the wish, that was once my hope. The unavoidable past, the cause of the deep wounds. It perhaps started with my unrealistic wish. And my nearly self-destructive resignation….

“I was mistaken. I thought you were my savior… that I couldn’t save myself.”

Love and illusion often seem to go hand in hand like best friends.

My hopes for you were a fantasy.

The weight of protection you bore on your shoulders, your hatred and desire for revenge against Everett, and the burden of carrying on despite it all…

Back then, I didn’t fully understand.

Now, after all this time, having come to see the world from equal standing,

Only after saving myself, my own life…

I feel like I’ve finally learned to understand and love you properly.

You must not surrender yourself, nor consume the other. Only then I can truly love and trust someone.

“The scars don’t hurt me anymore.”

My eyes began to warm slightly.

I reached out to Theodore, whose expression looked like he was going to cry.

I held his hand and smiled, a smile that even shone through sadness.

“Because I’ve grown enough to make those scars seem very small.”