Eradicating the Rumours
With swift skilful movement, Leonardo led Francesca to the balcony. Francesca as well, while peeking around at her surroundings, obediently followed his lead there.
“Leonardo, you don’t need to protect me that much. I’ll be fine.”
Walking beside him, Francesca told him so.
“It should be fine if I just have to name myself. I need to greet people at least a little otherwise it’ll only come to hinder me later.”
When she said that, Leonardo looked at her with a suggestive smile.
“By ‘later’, do you mean when you actually become my wife?”
“Like I said, my goal is to annul this engagement in the end!”
“Hahaha. Well, I’ve been thinking about stuff as well.”
Without paying much heed to Francesca’s protests, Leonardo continued to speak.
“Without letting you even name yourself, I was hoping to completely monopolize you for the rest of the night but……..I might have to flaunt you as [my fiancée] openly otherwise other men might start flying around you like bugs.”
Looking suspiciously at Leonardo, Francesca reminded him as a warning once again.
“Remember, just like at school, only use Trovato as my family name , okay? The real name needs to be kept secret. Otherwsie………”
“——So the Calvinos are absent once again.”
Francesca suddenly heard the chat between two men as she was passing them by.
“Their daughter doesn’t show up at these parties no matter what huh.”
Unaware that said daughter was currently right by them, they continued to gossip in a low voice.
“Well, that’s obvious no? I mean, apparently she was born skill-less, right? Even if she has become of age now, I imagine she’s gonna stay cooped up inside her home out of sheer embarrassment.”
“Pfft, now that you say it, for a daughter of a big 5 family, to be born skill-less is……”
(Waah, it’s been a while since I’ve heard bad mouth me behind my back!)
Francesca of course felt nothing about it, and simply blinked her eyes while feeling a tinge of nostalgia.
(Inside my family, no one would dare even bring up the topic of my skills there. My actual reason for not showing up to these high society parties is [To live a normal peaceful life] but, I’m kind of glad that my lack of skills has made for a conveniently reasonable excuse and so no one got suspicious.)
While thinking such things, she was about to continue her conversation with Leonardo when right at that moment.
Francesca gulped in fear from the sheer coldness shining in his eyes.
And Leonardo was about to walk towards those two men.
“………You mustn’t, Leonardo……..!!”
In a panic, Francesca quickly grabbed onto Leonardo’s arm.
But Leonardo simple spoke back to her in a gentle voice.
“What’s wrong?……….Wait for me here for just a second, my cute Francesca.”
“No I won’t, and I’m not letting you go either………!!”
The aura around Leonardo right now was a little bit different from his usual bloodlust.
He wasn’t going to go and suddenly kill those two men or anything like that.
But yet, the atmosphere around him had completely changed into something so severe that it made Francesca very nervous.
“Leonardo, you’re planning to do something to those men aren’t you!?”
Leonardo dimly shining golden eyes narrowed at her words.
And suddenly, he leaned in close to her ear and gently whispered.
“………I’m simply going to make the [atone] for their sins, that’s all.”
His voice was sickeningly sweet as if he was spoiling her with kindness.
Her ears felt numb, and it was as if the devil himself was whispering in her ears. Feeling this weird numbness, different from his usual bloodlust, Francesca could only frown.
“They dared say such unpleasant words towards my cute precious girl. Their words alone dirty your beauty, so they must make up for it.”
Leonardo entwined her hair between his fingers, and teased Francesca while looking straight into her eyes.
“………Can I not?”
——–Francesca? He asked, as if seeking permission.
Hearing that, in such a tone, would have made anyone else say [go ahead] out reflex but of course she wasn’t going to do that.
(If I leave him alone, who knows what kind of crazy thing he might do…………even though he looks so beautiful, his entire existence is a walking hazard………)
Standing in front of her mastermind villain fiancé, Francesca declared clearly.
“………ABSO. LUTELY. NOT! C’mon, we’re going!”
She grabbed Leonardo arm once again, and then pulled him all the way to the balcony.
Of course, the people around them were watching this scene from afar in amazement but right now, she didn’t have the time to be worried about that stuff.
“You need to stop caring about every little dumb gossip!”
Finally reaching the empty balcony, Francesca asserted again to Leonardo.
“I don’t see any reason why I should ‘ignore’ the people that mocked you though.”
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(Wh, why is he sulking about this…….!?)
Leonardo always looked aloof and indifferent about most things, but right now he was very clearly dissatisfied. She could tell just from his expression.
“As far as wanting to act for my sake goes, I do appreciate the gesture, it makes me happy so thank you! However, seriously, stuff like that means nothing to me.”
“…………you know I’ve had this doubt in me for quite some time but…”
Leonardo leaned back on the pillar of the balcony as he began to speak.
Well, at least he seemed to have calmed down a bit so Francesca felt relieved.
“Why exactly have you have you lied that you are skill-less?”
“You should know better than anyone Leonardo…………If people knew my skills, my life would be in danger.”
For example, by the villain mastermind of the game that happens to be the protagonists fiancé, who’s also the head of another family.
” But your family, and especially your father would do everything to fight against those attackers and will keep you safe though.”
“Perhaps so but, I just want to live peacefully. I don’t want to cause any more problems for Papa and others, and I hate having to be constantly protected by others……….Also..”
There was something that was always on Francesca’s mind.
“……..I absolutely hate it. The fact that our society is entirely built on the rule that a person’s skill and its strength would determine their value and importance.”
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