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1645-chapter-154

The faint, low sound was the horn of a train. The sharp tone was undoubtedly the whistle signaling the train’s departure.

The woman was at a public telephone booth in the train station.

As soon as he finished taking notes, Leon threw the baseball towards the door of the adjutant’s office.

Bang.

A spiderweb-like crack appeared on the thin door. The ball hit the floor, and precisely three seconds later, a private person cautiously opened the door and peeked through.

Leon lifted the notebook to make it visible.

 

Bilford Central Station, West Station. Send police immediately.

 

The private nodded and closed the door. He would now coordinate with the police as per the script they had prepared.

[ …What was that sound? ]

Hearing the noise of the door breaking, the woman paused and asked.

“Oh, something just slipped from my hand.”

[ Control your temper. ]

She seemed to think he had punched the desk in anger.

“Ah, is that why you ran away? Scared I might get angry with my darling? I won’t be mad. Come back, okay?”

There were two stations in Bilford. Either way, his goal now was to stall until the police arrived and found the woman.

His mouth was already starting to feel dry.

[ So you’re saying my role as bait is over, and I should return to the trap? Think about it. Would you willingly go back to a man who has humiliated you like that? You’re just a b*stard who used me for your desires, so why would I return? ]

“It wasn’t just my desires that made me use you. It was to break your brainwashing. You never believed the truth, no matter how much I told you. I had no choice but to make you experience and see for yourself. I know it was a radical and illogical method, but if it weren’t for my child, you would have gone back under that devil who commanded you to use your beauty and been used just the same.”

[ Great. Whether that’s a defense or an excuse. Try being a lawyer once you’re out of the military. ]

“Whatever, my method ultimately worked, didn’t it? Even you can’t deny that. Thanks to me, you were finally able to see the truth.”

[ Oh, thanks. I’m touched by your gratitude. All for just bearing your child and spending a lifetime tied to you. You’re making a really bad deal. Oh dear, Your Excellency! At this rate, the County will go bankrupt. ]

The woman mocked him sharply before her voice took on a serious tone.

[ I get my revenge, and you gain your title. Our deal ends here. ]

“You’re mistaken. Your revenge isn’t over yet, that’s why you’re still wandering around the country with that belly. You don’t need to struggle. Just a flick of your finger, and I’ll annihilate them all for you. Come back.”

[ Can’t you say anything other than ‘come back’? It’s getting boring. I’m hanging up. ]

As the woman made to end the call, Leon hurriedly shifted the conversation.

“You should know it’s not just me you need to worry about.”

[ What don’t I know about? ]

“Did I specifically mention the rebels?”

The woman paused at his unexpected hint.

“The royalists are after you, too.”

[ Why would the royalists be after me? ]

“You remember the inspector who came looking for you at the annex? That was orchestrated by the king and the Grand Duke. They discovered your existence while trying to pressure me with the Sinclair affair.”

[ …And you kept me captive instead of letting me go? ]

The woman muttered something about him being crazy.

“The royal family and the Grand Duchy are also after you. Now that my power has grown, they need a lever against me more than ever.”

The woman was silent.

It was as Leon had expected. In truth, the involvement of the royal family and the Grand Duchy was still his speculation. Of course, she didn’t need to know that.

“Even your biological father is desperate to find you. He knows that secret could destroy him in a flash.”

As he felt her disturbance through the phone, Leon drove his point home.

“You know better that there’s no one else who can protect you. If you want to live, you need to come back.”

The woman sighed and murmured.

[ So if I return, you will use the excuse that they’re after me to confine me. ]

“Confine? You already know my plan.”

[ Then… ]

After a moment of silence, the woman suddenly demanded.

[ Try begging. ]

Leon was at a loss for words. The woman’s intention for making him beg was clear, but he had no other choice.

“Come back.”

[ Is that how you beg? Beg properly. ]

Leon, who had never begged anyone in his life, swallowed the bitter sense of humiliation and muttered almost like a sigh.

“…I beg of you.”

The woman burst into laughter so loud it was almost ear-splitting, and then suddenly, she stopped and scolded him.

[ You’re missing something important. ]

Leon groaned, holding his head in his hand and then tried again.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please come back.”

His plea sounded more like coaxing. The quick woman wouldn’t miss that.

[ You apologize too easily. I can’t feel any remorse. ]

“It’s hard to convey that over the phone.”

[ Already with that bad attitude. And didn’t the great Captain Winston say? When begging, make it clear what you want. ]

The woman played right into his fears. She had aimed to give him the same humiliation he had inflicted on her.

He tapped his pencil on the desk, considering his words carefully.

“I was too harsh on you. I hated you, it was all too much and I won’t do it again. I forgive what you did to me. I want to clear the past and start over with you. Please, just give me one more chance.”

The woman didn’t answer.

“Please.”

When he begged again, her response was chillingly cold.

[ Begging doesn’t mean I’ll give you everything you want, Leon Winston. ]

The pencil in Leon’s hand snapped. He wished it were his own neck he could break for uttering such nonsense to her. Did she disappear to pay him back for all he had done? Leon had to accept it silently. It felt like a necessary step if he was to truly clear the past.

“If you want to repay the humiliation you’ve suffered, come and do it yourself.”

Pff. The woman chuckled.

[ You’re so deluded. I don’t hold any resentment or interest in you anymore. ]

At that moment, something in Leon plummeted.

[ Anyway, thanks for enlightening me with the truth. I’ll disappear from your perfect life, just a stain that’s gone. ]

“When did I ever call you a stain…”

[ Ah, I can see the delivery girls you sent from the distance? I’ve got to go now.]

“G—”

In a rush to call out to her, she spoke first.

[ Leon. ]

“Huh?”

“Do you still love me?”

Leon clenched his eyes shut.

“…Yes.”

[ And does that make you unhappy? ]

“….”

As he hesitated, the woman abruptly hung up, leaving only her laughter behind.

“Grace!”

It was too late to call her back. She wouldn’t hear him.

“Ha, d*mn it…”

Leon buried his face in his hand. He couldn’t drop the phone where he couldn’t hear the woman’s voice again.

 

º º º

 

Leon failed to catch her in the end.

Well, he almost did.

The woman was initially detained by the officers at Bilford Central Station. However, the officers didn’t realize how cunning she was. Pretending to be in labor, she tricked them into taking her to a hospital instead of the police station. She disappeared amid the crowded hospital when they looked away.

By the time Leon rushed to Bilford, she was gone again.

A week later, a letter arrived at the headquarters of the First Special Task Force, addressed to Leon. Shamelessly, it was from ‘Daisy Abbington.’

When Leon checked the contents, it was nothing but disheartening. The contents were a note explaining how to decode messages from the Blanchard rebels hidden in newspaper ads. It was her way of saying she would no longer make reports.

Even so, he couldn’t give up that last bit of hope. Using the methods she had described, he stationed troops around the rebel hideouts and meeting points she had revealed.

Maybe that woman was still out there, thinking of her revenge and tracing the rebels.

He even placed fake ads in the newspaper as bait, pretending to be a rebel. But after a month, the ‘pregnant woman in sunglasses’ did not appear at the contact point or hideout. It was just the rats getting caught.

…As soon as there was a way to verify the woman’s safety and whereabouts, she vanished again.

Eventually, Leon could no longer endure it and personally tore down the last of his traps.

 

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