The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 25
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Edwin did not know what happened to escaped slaves. If they were lucky, they would end up with one limb cut off, but if they weren’t, they risked losing their necks. Brimdel generally had good human rights compared to other countries except for slaves who were not treated as human beings.
Edwin was not particularly interested in the law concerning commoners. Since he was the heir to the Redford family, he had to learn the teachings of law worthy of the position, and he just took those things for granted.
“The law is the cornerstone of the kingdom. And our Redford men built thick pillars upon them for the king and his people. But yes, Edwin. No matter how hard we try, if the foundation under our feet is weak, everything will crumble.”
“People who want to avoid typhoons will naturally see the roof above them, but we are different. When they look up to the sky, we have to look at the floor. To find out what the problem is, we have to go through the basics.”
As far as Edwin can remember, all the people of Redford, including his father, loved Brimdel and were loyal to the royal family, and took pride in their name. Because he and the men that came before them carried the name of Redford, those many teachings became the bones and flesh that made up his existence, imprinted in his mind, and bound him.
Maybe that’s how it was.
Abandoned by the king, having everything taken from him, and being dragged down into the filthy muddy water, he did not react once. Even though he saw the people of his proud family turn into wretched and filthy people outside the castle, he obeyed the last command of the king. This was unfair, and he never followed those who said they would help him find the truth.
Although his name was taken away, Edwin was still a Redford. The only Redford left in the world. So his instincts were to submit to the royal family as if he were bound by their laws. Even after the ugly stigma was put on his body, that didn’t change.
That is until he met her. Herietta Mackenzie.
Edwin saw Herietta in a crucible of shock and fear. She seemed very surprised, but she probably wasn’t as surprised as he was.
When he heard that she was suddenly leaving for Lavant and when he found out what the reason was, the instinct that had been with him for over twenty years weighed him down. When he woke up, he was already in front of Viscount Mackenzie and after a very long time, he asked him for a favor.
“I’m sorry. I would like to grant your request, but you must remain in Philioche.”
Baodor was truly sorry, but in the end, he turned him away with a word of refusal. Yes, it was unavoidable, but even though he accepted it so calmly, seeing Herietta shook his heart again.
He thought the days he would spend were going to be dull if he couldn’t see her. Like everything, he thought she would be forgotten with time. The strange feeling he feels when he thinks of her. The passionate affection she shows towards him. Everything will be useless and forgotten.
‘I don’t want to be forgotten.’
He didn’t want to be forgotten, not as a Redford, but as Edwin. He raised his head.
‘I don’t want to lose her.’
Even though he knew he couldn’t have her, he couldn’t control his desire. His body preceded his head. It was an unfavorable act, but when it was related to Herietta, he let himself go to the extent that he was confused.
It was not right and infinitely ugly to expose his desires as they are as he lost control even though he grew up listening to the law as if he were being brainwashed. He couldn’t quite remember what happened after that. His judgment was clouded by emotion, and not even reason could stop him from going to her.
Closer to Herietta, he wanted to go where she was.
Whatever may happen, whatever punishment would be inflicted on him for his actions, he only wanted to be where she was.
He wanted to say those words to Herietta, but Edwin had no choice but to swallow those words and remain silent while suppressing his boiling emotions. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he couldn’t help her either.
For the first time since becoming a slave, Edwin had to rethink his own worth and position.
* * *
A week had passed since the commotion caused by the letter. Herietta didn’t say a word to Edwin during that week. While others would say, ‘it’s only been a week’, that time seemed like an eternity to Herietta.
There must have been a reason he couldn’t tell me. Without realizing that she was only making excuses for Edwin, she soon realized her actions and shook her head. What’s wrong is wrong. No matter how much she put forth various reasons, that fact did not change.
Edwin didn’t even come to visit her, knowing that Herietta’s anger had not yet dissipated. She couldn’t find him anywhere, to the point that she wondered if he really had come to Lavant with her.
Only the purple flowers placed in front of her door every day confirmed his existence.
Anemones. In the language of flowers, they meant faith or waiting.
Herietta couldn’t bear to throw them away, so she put them together and put them in a vase. Where did he find these flowers that have already passed their season? The flowers in full bloom quietly showed off their beauty.
She let out a long sigh as she gently stroked the flowers with her fingertips.
* * *
Behind him, he heard footsteps treading on the soft grass. The sound of the footsteps and the speed at which they went was very familiar to Edwin. His breathing slowed. He knew who the owner of the footsteps was without even looking back.
“Flowers alone are not enough.”
As if they were spitting, a piercing voice spoke to him.
“I don’t think I should see you.”
Without hesitation, he acknowledged his defeat.
Edwin slowly stood up and looked behind him. As expected, Herietta was standing there. Her hair, which was usually neatly curled up, was hanging out.
Herrietta, who had lowered her eyes and stared at the ground, raised her gaze and met Edwin’s eyes. A supremely warm light permeated her eyes that contained him.
“If you do this again next time, I will really scold you.”
A faint smile spread across her hazy lips.