Chapter 141 Dida and Tanya
“I’m coming in, Dida.”
After knocking, I walked into his room.
He sat on the chair, looking as if he were deep in thought.
This room wasn’t very big, probably not much for anyone who was living here.
But me and Dida had been with milady’s family for a long time. Sebastian always arranged a spacious room back then to use as a single-resident room.
“This is from Lady Iris. If you’re coming back to work, you should read this.”
“T-thanks.” Dida smiled and accepted the document.
“Also, before you plan on coming back, do something about that expression of yours.”
“Is this another pointer from Lady Iris?”
“No. It’s advice from me.”
My words made Dida laugh.
It was the kind of laugh that didn’t have much feeling to it.
“I’ll say it first. I won’t forgive you”
“How merciless. You already gave me quite a lecture back then.”
“Quite a lecture? That’s not how I remember it.”
Although I said that, I couldn’t help but recall what it was like when he was imprisoned.
Back then…he, who had suffered through countless torments, smiled when he saw me enter the room.
It wasn’t a smile of relief, rather a smile that marked a loss of self-control, a moment of self-abandonment, not as bright as usual.
“How are your wounds?” I had asked.
“No problem…sorry, could you undo my cuffs?”
“What are you talking about? I’m here to ensure your safety and protect you and Dawson. I’m trying to prevent you from being captured as a hostage again. But you’re talking about taking them off? What are you planning to do if I take them off? What can you do in your current state?”
“I want to end things.”
“End things? Hah…end things! I don’t want you to disappoint me again on this.”
“If you’re disappointed, then you’re disappointed. I can only do what I should do.”
“What you should do? What you should do is stay here with him. Running out like that, you’ll be seen and people will think that we’re connected to the Boltique family. Then what do we do? Plus, what if you get caught again? Your body…you can’t move like you used to, can you?”
“I know my own body best. I’m in no worse shape than before.”
“I can’t trust that. You were already caught once.”
“I was caught up in my emotions, and I deserved that…but I’ve already abandoned pointless sadness like that.”
“If you’ve already abandoned it, then why do you need to end anything?”
“I want to turn it into something concrete. Even when you abandon something, the ghost of the past will still haunt you consistently. Right now what’s most important is that after this crisis…after this confrontation I need to have ended that part of my past.”
“No…if you do that, what do we do about him?”
Our eyes turned down together. Dawson was lying on the ground.
He didn’t even wake up to us arguing like this. What a heavy sleeper. What a careless man.
Boring thoughts like these kept bubbling to the surface of my mind.
“You’re here. If he wakes up, just knock him out again.”
“Come on. If I just go on like this, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. And how could I even face Lady Iris or you like that?”
He looked at me, his expression dead serious.
“Lady Iris is my savior, and my master. To protect her, I don’t even care about giving up my life…but right now she’s in danger because of my mistakes. I can’t allow that. So if I’m caught and end up bringing her more trouble, I will choose death without hesitation.”
“You don’t sound like you’re kidding.”
I removed the cuffs from his hands.
He checked his arms and then stood up.
“After confirming that the mission has been carried out safely…if we meet up with Lady Iris again, she’ll probably just forgive you. But I won’t, Dida.”
“That suits me well enough.”
And then he ran off to confront Terry.
Thinking of all that, I opened my eyes again.
“…Even if she forgave you, I won’t.”
“Seeing you fight, I know now. You lost to your past. What you said when you were trapped too…you lost to your memories. And you can’t see what’s in the moment, what’s most important.”
That can’t be allowed.
His investigation, being caught…none of that was the reason I was angry.
“To you, your true intent is to protect Lady Iris. Me and Ryle have the same idea. But is that all your determination is worth?”
“You say that, but there’s nothing I can do about it.” Dida smiled slightly.
In response to a weak answer like this, I could only sigh.
“What, bringing an end to things?”
“So the man named Terry is a part of these ghosts from your past?”
“Well…I guess you could say that.”
Dida took a deep breath.
“When investigating on the streets, I learned that this incident was connected to Terry. So I immediately reached out to him, trying to stop him…I wanted to convince him.”
Dida muttered as if he were talking to himself. I had to focus my full attention on him to catch everything he was saying.
“You don’t need to say more. You and that guy are close.”
“Yes. He’s like Ryle is to me now…that guy. When I came back to myself we had been together for so long. We were together when we searched for food, did dumb things, joined the organization.”
“Ah, sounds great. When I was treated like garbage I was quite alone.”
“In terms of that he took care of me quite well. And look what that’s turned into. What can I do?”
“One time, the organization ordered us to take something from another. What it was, I don’t know. Anyhow, I had a bad feeling…since it was stealing and all. We were dirty little kids without anyone to back us up. If we succeeded all would be fine. If we didn’t, the organization would throw us away. The thought seemed so terrible that I mentioned to him that we should try escaping the organization. But he responded with the fact that we couldn’t escape to anywhere, that no one would take us in. Eventually I was the one who ended up leaving alone.”
“It went well at first, but we were discovered midway through. I suggested that I serve as bait and that he leave first with the thing. Our enemies called backup and I was caught and beat badly. But I escaped when I got the chance. And then I bumped into Lady Iris when escaping…and you know all the rest.”
“Yes. The master of the family said yes to using you as a guard. Perhaps because they had investigated your experience?”
“I think so too. Milady’s intense wish plus my capabilities and what I ended up doing in front of excellent servants in service to the family were what made him agree.”
“Yes, it seems to be the case.”
“Separating with Terry under those circumstances…since I was the only one who could escape, I think I felt guilty. So if possible I wanted to convince him. And then I ended up like this. I believed that since I escaped from the environment we had lived in, maybe if we talked things would be better. But when I came to the meeting point, everything went sour.”
“And you were caught.”
“Exactly. I’m not great at convincing others.”
He laughed when he said this, but there was no trace of a smile on his face.
“I probably didn’t even believe myself. I was so suspicious that if anyone believed me they had to be naive…but I wanted to believe. Because that’s the only way that people can build relationships. But it’s impossible. No one should hold expectations like that. Just like you said, I lost to my past.” He clenched his fists until they turned white.
I don’t doubt that his nails were drawing blood from his palms.
“Yes…” I sighed and stood up. Then I walked to his desk.
On top of it rested the documents that I had given him.
I picked it up and handed them to him again.
“Well then, hurry and finish reading them. Tomorrow it’ll be time to come back to work.”
Because of how quickly I changed the topic, Dida’s eyes went wide.
“You’ve just drawn a line between yourself and your past. It’s a hard-earned opportunity. In response, all you need to do is do your job well. The ghosts that have been stopping you have vanished now.”
Affirming what I had said, Dida raised his head.
He had covered his eyes with his arm.
“You’re quite decisive.”
“Are you trying to comfort me?”
“No…that would be pitiful.”
His words were odd. I thought for a minute, then laughed.
“You and I…and Ryle, we’re all the same. Our goal is to protect Lady Iris. As long as we don’t get off-target, we will move in that same direction together.”
Even if our opinions differ.
Even if our views diverge.
As long as our final goal is the same…we won’t ever disagree to that extent.
That’s what I think.
“You won’t waver, will you?”
“Of course not. Even if I give my life, I’ll protect milady.”
“Your actions this time left our goal…but in the end you came back. You resolved the issue on your own. So I’m not worried about you anymore. Even if I haven’t forgiven you…let’s work together for the same goal.”
“Well then, I’ll have to start working even harder. Not just so we can walk together, but also so that you can trust me to have your backs.”
“…The fact that I can be here makes me so happy. So happy…”
As he said this, he trembled slightly.
On his face there will still tear stains.
But I pretended not to see them. I left his room.