Release that Witch - BestLightNovel.com
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"Enjoy." The maid placed some wine on the table and gave the three people a strange glance. "If you need a refill, just pull the rope near the door."
"Got it. You're excused." Otto waved his hand, and the maid bowed and left. When the door closed, the ruckus in the lobby was blocked out, and the room immediately fell silent.
Even now, his heart was still racing, and he stared intensely at Andrea, as if he was afraid she would suddenly disappear. "I thought this was a dream. Belinda and Oro both think you're dead, and I never thought I'd see you again..."
Otto's loud outburst in the market caused Andrea to stare at him; since she responded to this name, this meant that she wasn't just a lookalike.
In fact, she couldn't be anyone else, since Andrea's outstanding beauty and air of elegance were unparalleled among other girls.
However, she wasn't as excited to see him as he had expected, and instead, she frowned, walked up to him, and sternly ordered him to follow her as she exited the market.
"She probably didn't want to cause a scene. Yes, that's right, the n.o.ble shouldn't draw attention to themselves when among commoners. I was being rude."
He followed the two people into a private room in a pub and finally got a chance to take a closer look at Andrea. Even after five years, she still looked the same as he remembered. If this was a dream, he hoped that it would last a little longer.
"This is your ex-lover?" The dark-haired girl whistled in awe.
"Since you insisted on coming, you should know when to keep your mouth shut," Andrea said with a glare. "Even if you stay quiet, no one will think you're mute."
"I came to protect you," said the other girl with a grin. "Besides, you dragged me here to buy Tilly a birthday present, so kicking me out now would be an improper behavior for a n.o.blewoman."
"That depends on who the behavior is directed to." Andrea scoffed. "I don't have to be proper towards you."
"This is ..." Otto didn't get a response from Andrea and felt a little awkward, so he turned to the equally stunning dark-haired girl. "... your friend?"
"Ashes," she said quickly before Andrea could respond. "Who are you, and why do you know her?"
"I'm Otto Luoxi, and I come from the Kingdom of Dawn." He was slightly taken aback by her interrogating tone—this Ashes girl spoke too bluntly and incisively to be an educated n.o.blewoman, so why was Andrea in her company? "I've known Andrea since we were children, along with my sister Belinda, Oro Tokat, and the eldest son of the King of Dawn, His Highness Appen. We were all extremely close."
"Sounds like a bunch of rich brats." Ashes shrugged. "You said she died?"
"That's enough." Andrea interrupted. "Belinda and Oro are right—the lady of the Quinn Family whom you knew is dead."
"But you're right here." Otto shook his head. "What happened?"
Besides the royal family, the most powerful families in the City of Glow, the capital of the Kingdom of Dawn, were the Tokat, Quinn and Luoxi families, because their heads were the King's trusted friends and held high positions. This tradition had been pa.s.sed down since the founding of the Kingdom of Dawn and remained the same for Otto's generation.
Andrea was the eldest daughter of the Quinn family and was outstanding in her appearance and background, so she naturally had many suitors, including Otto and Oro.
However, no one expected that during a spring outing, Andrea's carriage would go out of control and fall into a canyon, an accident that even startled the king. The three families combined their efforts to search for her, and ages later, they found her battered body at the foot of the mountains.
After hearing about this, Otto was depressed for a long time, because while Oro had already begun pursuing Andrea, he had not yet expressed his feelings to her. He never thought he would get the chance to do it, and he would never have expected to see her again in this foreign land.
After a long pause, Andrea sighed. "It wasn't an accident.
"The carriage accident five years ago was all planned by my family," she whispered. "Father found out that I was a witch."
Otto was startled. "A witch?"
"Seems like you did a pretty good job of hiding your powers," Ashes said, covering her mouth, "since you were even able to fool your childhood friends."
Andrea ignored her. "Yes. After father learned this, he immediately arranged for the accident to be staged—I wasn't even in the carriage, and a driver and maid lost their lives for me. Then, I was sent away from the Kingdom of Dawn and settled secretly in Palisade City of the Kingdom of Graycastle." She paused. "He never actually asked for my opinion on the matter and didn't care what I thought because he was only focused on getting rid of me as quickly as possible."
"So that's what happened..." Otto fell silent. "The beloved 'Flower of Glow' is actually a witch. If word of this gets out, it'll greatly damage the Quinn Family name." However, the staged accident also protected Andrea from harm—as a member of the upper n.o.ble, he had heard many tragic stories about the sufferings of witches who fell into the hands of the church.
After some hesitation, he shared his thoughts with Andrea, but she interrupted him with a cold chuckle.
"Protect? As long as father didn't give me up, what could the church have done? Sent the Judgement Army straight into the inner city to arrest me?" She raised her voice. "He was Prime Minister to the King of Dawn and controlled the outer city's surveillance teams, but he didn't do anything to help me. Nana's father was only a Baron, but for the sake of his daughter, he went straight to the Lord's castle and demanded mercy from His Highness Roland, while my father simply banished me from my home. Do you call that protecting me?"
Otto was at a loss for words, and after a long and awkward silence, he finally said hesitantly, "Are... are you going back?"
"Never." Andrea stood up. "I already said that the lady of the Quinn family died five years ago, which was exactly what father wanted."
"Oro still leaves flowers at your grave every year. He can't forget you."
She walked up to the door and whispered, "His love is one-sided, so he'll forget me one day."
As Otto watched the two people disappear from view, he lay helplessly on his chair.
He was beginning to hate his cowardice.
Even at that moment, he still only mentioned Oro instead of expressing his own feelings.
I can't forget you either.
He closed his eyes.