Chapter 28 : Thread of Attachment (Natalia’s POV)

He was not in the classroom today.

Natalia staggered back to the General Education Building.

Her heart was filled with nothing but anxiety.

Because she hasn’t seen her lover for almost a month.

The day after tomorrow, it will be summer vacation.

At this rate, she won’t be able to see him until the end of the holiday.
She didn’t even know what happened.

What’s wrong?

Just what is going on?

Why did you suddenly stop coming to the academy?

Suddenly, without saying a word to me.

…why? Leo.

Uhn.
Maybe this is…

A sense of déjà vu struck Natalia, and her body shuddered.

“I wonder if it’s… again.”

Lunch break at the academy.

The whole campus, both inside and outside the school, was crowded with students moving to have lunch, and no one picked up on Natalia’s little murmur.

What came into her mind were the words she didn’t even want to remember.

“How did you find it, Natalia? I just searched for it there earlier.”

“True.
It’s always like that.
I can’t help but wonder.”

She just wanted to help a friend who was in trouble because of something he had lost.
That was it.
And yet…

The moment she found it, when it fell by the table, or the other time when she saw it on the shelf, and when she picked it up and handed it to him, he said something different than she had expected.

“Hey, was that really there? You didn’t hide it?”

She froze, not understanding what was being said.

Why, why, I always have no idea why they would take it that way.

The cat she found was dead in the bushes in the park.

Her small bird had its feathers plucked, and had fallen miserably to the bottom of the bird cage.

I don’t know why.
The things I hold dear always, always disappear.

I wonder why.
Why is it that even when I think I have found a friend, they always hate me?

Yes, always.
People and things, everything.

Some die, some disappear, some will be ruined, and some will hate me and leave voluntarily.

“I hate people like you.”

“You pretend to be innocent like this, but behind the scenes, you’re sneaking around doing nasty things…”

“You are such a jerk.
I’ve never met someone like you before.”

What are you talking about?

What is this about?

What have I done to you people? What did I do?

Am I making people feel bad about themselves without even realizing it?

Is that why everyone is disappearing around me?

So… Leo stopped coming to the academy, too?

So, if I go to the Reinalpha Family, will they let me see you?

Hey, what did I… what did I do?

A clear drop of tear trickled down Natalia’s cheek and landed on the back of her hand.

“What’s wrong, Natalia?”

As Natalia sat alone and ate her lunch, a voice suddenly fell above her head, but it was not the person she had been hoping for.

However, it was the childhood friend, who has always been by her side.

It was the voice of a dear friend who always chose to be by Natalia’s side, no matter what anyone said or what happened.

She looked up, and called that one and only name.

“…Alejandro.”

In response to Natalia’s voice, Alejandro squinted his amber eyes.

“You’re always alone these days.
That man… what happened to your lover, is he not with you?”

“I don’t know either.
He hasn’t been to the academy for a long time… and I can’t go to the Marquise’s house to see him.”

“So… he’s at his house?”

Natalia, who replied with a dejected expression, didn’t notice Alejandro’s probing look.

“I think he’s there.
The butler always comes out and refuses, saying, ‘The young master is too busy to spend time with you’.
If he wasn’t there, he would say he wasn’t.”

“…hmm.”

“I wonder if I was hated…”

“What, did Natalia do something?”

To this question, Natalia shook her head weakly.

I don’t remember doing anything.

But it is true that, even until now, I’ve been accused, ignored, and avoided by people I don’t remember doing anything to.

If so, then, this time, too.

Before, I knew it… maybe I did something to offend Leo.
The first person of the opposite gender whom I ever liked.

Yes, I’m sure.

“Maybe I did something that Leo doesn’t like without knowing it…”

As she muttered this, her eyes slowly grew hot.

I had never, ever intended to intentionally hurt anyone or anything.
And yet I was always told that I did.
Even I was surprised, and even doubted myself.

I hated myself for hurting someone so badly and not even realizing it.

I hated myself for always making the same mistakes, no matter how much I tried to pay attention and be careful.

I knew I was no good, but I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me, and I couldn’t forgive myself for being such a pathetic person.

Therefore, I was trying to keep a reasonable distance from people.

I took one look at Leo and thought he was like a prince, and I had hope that he would love me even if I was like this.

‘I love you, I won’t let you go no matter what’, I wish those words were true.

And yet, again.

Maybe I made the same mistake.

If I knew what was wrong, at least I could try to fix it.

Tears welled up and she hurriedly wiped them away with her sleeve.

Alejandro then softly caressed Natalia’s head with his hand.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll do whatever I can to help you.”

“Uh… yeah.”

“It’s okay, you’re not alone.
I’m here.
I will never leave you.”

“Yeah… thanks… Alejandro.”

“Don’t worry, I know you’re a good girl.”

Natalia did not notice the distorted pleasure in Alejandro’s eyes as he said this.

“Because you are my precious, precious, princess.”

It was this obsession that surrounds Natalia, like a spider thread that entangles her wholly, without knowing who put it up.

Natalia felt relief at Alejandro’s words.

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