“I’m a horrible human being, and will do anything to achieve my goals……..no matter how dirty, I’ll use whatever I can.”
“If that really was the case, you wouldn’t actually say that out loud.”
Slightly astonished at his words, Francesca told so to Leonardo.
“If you were, you could have very simply said [I wasn’t involved] to my question just now. But the way you phrased it is almost like you want me to doubt you, even if I fully trusted you.”
And Leonardo wasn’t the type to make such a mistake unconsciously.
“If anything, the way you said it made it sound like your best attempt at hiding the truth without having to outright lie to me, you know? ——almost as if you yourself are warning me, to not trust you completely.”
He let out a small, almost self-mocking laugh at her words.
“I am a liar, Francesca. And you, are really bad at doubting others.”
“Are…….are you scolding me?”
“No, I am complimenting you. From my heart.”
While still facing Leonardo, Francesca’s hands were taken into his own, as their fingers intertwined with each other.
“But I am also worried. When you trust people too much, you are bound to have the carpet under you pulled by someone sooner or later……..especially, in the world we live in.”
“I know that, because that’s the kind of people my father and brother were as well.“
Hearing Leonardo’s words, Francesca’s eyes widened with shock.
(He’s talking, about his family?)
From his mouth, came out information that had not even been described in the game even once. It seemed he must have sensed the nervousness that Francesca felt as well.
“O that day, they stupidly and naively walked straight into the palms of the enemy family, and the were mercilessly killed for it.”
In the game, one of the characters had spoken about the incident as such.
[The story that it was a ploy of an enemy family is a lie, in truth, it was Leonardo that had planned the death of his family to become the next head of the house]. This was the explanation given.
“It must have been really easy to kill my father. Even back then, when I was just a child, I could easily imagine how easy it would be to make that happen.”
The way he told the story was smooth, fluent, yet also somewhat frivolous.
If this was before Francesca had come to know Leonardo, she would have felt extremely unpleasant by his way of talking.
But right now, for whatever reason, she felt like she could get a small glimpse into the real person behind his façade, and now wanted to truly find him.
Francesca looked straight into his eyes.
“Do you really, genuinely like me?”
Hearing the sudden question, Leonardo eyes widened slightly.
And then soon after, quickly showed his usual smile.
“………..Of course I do. You are my beloved dear friend, Francesca.”
“Thank you. And you said that your father and brother resembled me, didn’t you? In that case..”
Leonardo was had interlinked his hands with hers, but now Francesca also put strength into her own fingers and properly intertwined their fingers with strength. Hoping, that she could properly relay her own emotions to her dear friend.
“…………Leonardo, you loved your father and brother as well right?”
In that moment, Leonardo’s expression looked like that of a young innocent child.
As if he had just heard words he didn’t understand the meaning of, as if he was watching a view he had never seen before, that’s how his face looked.
Hearing the muttered words of doubt from him, she felt she could not let this chance go, no matter what.
“Yes, that’s right…….!”
That’s why, Francesca made sure to reiterate it with passion.
“I’m sure you really, truly loved your family that have passed away……….if what you say about liking me is really true that is!”
Leonardo slightly squinted his eyes and seemed to frown, in complete silence.
He seemed like he was in pain, but she didn’t want him to avert his eyes away from her, so while still holding hands, Francesca spoke once again.
“Try saying it. Say that you like me.”
That phrase was something, Leonardo had thoughtlessly uttered to her many times before.
In that moment, Leonardo’s face grimaced, if only slightly.
And suddenly, his hand pulled her, and she was taken into a deep warm embrace.
His usual calm and composed self was nowhere to be seen.
It was like he was clinging on to her, his touch felt sad and lonely, making Francesca gasp.
And close to her ear, a slightly hoarse voice spoke this.
“——I love you.”
Hearing those words, she felt the insides of her chest tighten intensely.
Leonardo continued to embrace Francesca, and then went quiet as if he was praying.
But still, his gesture of nuzzling his forehead cutely into Francesca’s shoulder like a spoiled child spoke louder than any words ever could.
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And the words that came after that, were in his usual aloof flippant tone.
Leonardo released the strength in his arms, and took a step back, and then spoke in a joking tone and daring smile.
“Did I surprise you?”
“Like I said, you are really not good at doubting people.”
He said such things, but she was not going to be fooled at this point.
(………..that rumour about Leonardo planning the deaths of his father and brother when he was a child, are most definitely a lie.)
That was the feeling she strongly got.
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