Ravia’s bloodline was his old scar.
He didn’t need to explain the context anymore, because it had existed since Ravia’s birth.
And Heint just said that the scar meant nothing to him.
As he stood on the brink of an enlightenment that pushed him to feel guilty regarding Ravia, he eventually admitted.
That everything was his sin.
That reason was merely a shackle.
That his reluctance to have Ravia as his successor stemmed from his obsession with being rational.
That he weighed the aftermath of a Leontine without silver hair to succeed the family. And the truth about his wife’s affair which he couldn’t reveal until the end.
The more he agonized, the more fatigued he felt, and the more he screamed for his daughter to succeed him.
He ignored the pressure to make rational judgments.
Did this reasoning ultimately guide him to the right way?
Rather, he was blinded by conceit, believing that his way would always be correct, and he couldn’t see reality.
We must take a lesson from 〈King Lear〉.
His ignorance prevented him from telling the truth from the lie and drove the old king to tragedy.
How toxic reasoning could turn a person into a madman.
Unfortunately for King Lear, there was no way back, but Heint had one.
Worn out by ignorance and arrogance, the old king had to grieve while cradling his daughter’s corpse, but Heint’s situation was better than his.
At least, Ravia was still alive when he left the mansion.
Heint’s mind was filled with fear around that time.
He couldn’t remain inactive without assuring Ravia’s well-being and bringing her to safety.
Perhaps because he felt the tragedy that befell King Lear was more than just a play. King Lear was betrayed by his own children, who muttered fake filial piety and exiled him to the wilderness.
He eventually met his own demise while holding the corpse of his daughter, the only child who truly loved him.
A fake son and a genuine daughter. He couldn’t help but reflect on his own circumstances.
They similarly faced tragedy due their own mistakes.
Arrogance was easily covered by reason. Ignorance was easily hidden by indifference.
There are times when feelings guide you to the right path. Looking back, Heint was really anguished because he hadn’t cherished Ravia.
When he felt regret because he hadn’t cherished her, it was because he desperately wanted to treasure her.
When he felt pain because of her pain, it was because he loved her so much.
You can’t feel the pain of someone you don’t love deeply.
Reason couldn’t change people, but emotions could. So for the first time, he tried to break away from Leontine’s principle.
He accepted that the most rational decision was not always the best decision.
So the old man confessed his sins.
“Even if I execute Tidwell…I can’t let you get hurt in the process. Even if I can’t undo what I’ve done… I can’t stand to watch it happen anymore….”
Heint’s voice steadily trailed away at the end of the conversation.
He was not as tragic as King Lear, but he shared that king’s regret.
“I’ll never leave you alone again. Even if you don’t believe me…I’m not going to ask you to accept me. I know that you don’t believe me because I haven’t shown you anything. I’m just…”
Tears fell down Heint’s cheeks.
One might be embarrassed to cry in front of his adult daughter, but he didn’t care anymore. No, maybe it was because he didn’t have time to pay attention to trivial things.
For the first time, he abandoned his belief and apologized to his daughter.
Unresolved issues still lingered in the back of his mind.
It was things that once had been part of Heint’s belief like her lineage and the unsolved succession.
But they no longer dominated Heint’s mind.
“I just…I just want to apologize to you. I want to make sure of your safety.”
He prayed for Ravia to be safe from the tragedy that had nothing to do with her.
He prayed that Ravia wouldn’t be too hurt by the scars he left from the time he wouldn’t love her.
“No matter what happens, I want you to be happy.”
Ravia frowned, unsure of what expression to make in response to that sincere declaration.
She had no idea what she was experiencing right now.
I don’t care if you’re not a Leontine, huh? I can’t believe those words came from my father’s mouth.
What in the world is this unreal situation?
Wasn’t it all started because of that one thing?
Because you judged the successor should be someone other than me?
Because you couldn’t bear the thought of Leontine’s bloodline ending in your generation, so you roamed around and encountered Tidwell, right?
How can you say that now that things have reached this point?
“…Why are you saying this now when things have already gotten this far?”
She sneered. She had the feeling that the entire thing was only a hoax.
It would have been a lot easier for her if Heint had just asked forgiveness. If only Heint had said such things just to make her stay.
Ravia could easily have turned her back on him.
Since it wasn’t regret, but selfishness.
It was nothing more than a man who didn’t want to lose his daughter through his own actions.
But Heint actually hoped for Ravia’s happiness. Every sentence he said was selfless.
Compared to the coldness that he showed for the past 26 years, it was as different as a river in midwinter and a pot on top of a bonfire. The disparity was too unfamiliar. It felt strange and unsettling.
And at the same time, Ravia knew.
That this sense of rejection was simply a result of unfamiliarity.
And it was something she used to crave so dearly.
But it was too late.
There was nothing left in her to break her emotional dam upon hearing her father ask for her forgiveness.
It had been long since she threw away those rotten things. So the only thing you would find when you broke the dam was just an empty pit.
She couldn’t get mad, and she couldn’t feel happy either. Ravia smiled self-deprecatingly. She still believed that her father, once freed from Dark Flower’s influence, would ultimately turn cold again.
It was ironic that she remained resentful even after her old hopes became a reality. She could only sneer since there were no tears left to cry.
“Why didn’t you realize it sooner? Just a little sooner..”
Why do you realize the importance of many things only after you lose them? Do you even have any idea what happened to your abandoned daughter who grew up alone?
It had been a long time since she embraced the conman who understood her best.
Even if she didn’t answer his love confession, she tried to paint a future with him.
Because he was the only one who looked at Ravia for who she truly was.
Could Heint imagine the things that Ravia had to bury in her chest in order to do that?
He must have thought that he fully sympathized with Ravia’s pain, but that was merely his delusion.
Three days after experiencing the Cheshire phenomenon, her tears didn’t dry out for over a day.
What did he know about the time she had to let go of the dream she yearned so much that it felt like cutting her heart out?
It had never been easy since then.
The time when she had to keep smiling under Tidwell’s surveillance while pretending she knew nothing.
Heint would never know that night when everyone turned their backs on her, and impulses won her.
While Heint was blind of all that, Ravia was already at death’s door.
Heint might have thought that he still could turn back, but that was not the case for Ravia.
The Cheshire Phenomenon she experienced in the carriage was nothing more than a premonition of her death.
But Ravia worried because she didn’t know how it would happen.
When she heard Heint’s confession and saw the way he was holding her to stay, her death was already set in stone.
At this rate, she’ll be the one to meet her demise.
All due to her father’s regret.