Ever since I can remember, there’s one number that I’ve been hearing for who knows how many times.
“9 million Gil.”*
It’s the negative legacy left over by my parents whom I can’t even remember their faces well and I have to shoulder it instead of them as they died to the epidemic or something.
“Don’t you think you will be forgiven just because you are a kid. The leftover debt that your parents didn’t pay, I will have you return it all to me.”
Even the forgetful me, clearly remembers that moment clearly even now. It’s because it was so scary.
What came right after the death of my parents were the guys who looked like they were very bad people.
They were well-known debt collectors in the area.
They glared at me as they found me in the corner of a run-down old house. They bent down as they looked down on me while putting both of their hands in the right and left pockets of the jacket. They strained their one eye, and I could hear them clicking their tongues.
“To think that the leftover would this dirty looking brat…We can’t even sell her. Hey, you, don’t you think you can run away.”
The money-lenders said to me in a husky voice.
“We’re going to make do with anything, to pay all your debt.”
After they spit their bad breath, damaged the furniture, and being violent for some time, they kidnap me to their hiding-placeーSo that, I can return the 9 million Gil that my parents borrowed.
No matter how much I think about it, for them to tell me to return it repeatedly, it’s such a weird thing.
After all, the ones that borrowed the money were my father and mother. Not me. I shouldn’t be held responsible for it.
Even so, I have to return it even though I’m not the one who borrowed it, there’s a limit to this unfairness.
Even if that were to be true if this 9 million Gil was from the failure of their shop, from the betrayal after becoming the joint guarantor, or from encountering a fraud…or something like that. If that 9 million Gil are from those reasons, maybe I would not indulge in such unhappiness like this. Maybe I would be able to work more admirably.
But the truth was the one that shocked others.
My parents seemed to be genuine trash, they used all the money they got on a gamble, and in order to take back what they lost, the debt kept stacking. Just like that, before anyone knew, their debt had gone up to 9 million Gil.
…No, no, no.
Those money lenders should have realized it before they lent it.
No matter how much I lamented my dissatisfaction, it doesn’t change the present where I’ve been caught by the money lenders.
When I was young, I was told to do chores like cleaning and cooking. But since a few years back, they made me work as a maid as they have a high hourly wage. Almost all of my earnings were taken by them. I’m always extremely poor every day.
“If it’s not for that face of yours, you could have been a prostitute.”
He said as he gave me a cheesy smile which has become a daily occurrence…Damn it. I’m becoming irritated as I remembered a lot of those things. It’s not like I chose to be born with this kind of face.
In the first place, is your face beautiful enough for you to find fault with other people’s faces?
Are you as beautiful as Lowell-sama?
Lowell-sama, Lowell-sama is…not just his face, but his heart is also beautiful, you know…!!
“…Umm, is it done?”
The next morning after my employment contract was signed. I was lost for words. This is the first time I’ve seen a person as beautiful as he is.
Lowell-sama called me by my name for the first time, and I couldn’t hear it as I was too shocked by his beauty. I kept standing there as I stared at the handsome young man in front of me. That’s right I stared at Lowell-sama, who changed to a different person.
I’m the one who suggested that he cut his long hair and I’m also the one who suggested he shave his beard. I did not think that not bathing, cutting his hair, and shaving his beard was because he likes it unclean and long.
But also didn’t think that it would lead to this kind of resultー.
His voice seems like he was from far away. I couldn’t take my eyes off his face that was hidden by his hair and beard before for even one second.
His well-defined nose, his well-shaped jawline, and his lips that were not too big. His eyes that were half shut have eyelashes that are long, and thin, while they cast a small shadow on his face. Combined with his fragile beauty, it makes him look like a fantastic work of art.
“Franelle…? You are here, right?” He said in a thin voice.
His right hand that he raised had touched my arm.
I grasped his hand back on sudden impulse.
“I’m sorry! Ummm…Lowell-sama, you are too beautiful…And I was captivated by your beauty!”
I grasp his smooth right hand tightly, as I tried to appeal to him that I’m right here. Lowell-sama‘s eyes remained closed as he got relaxed and laughed.
“Captivated by my beauty…haha, What’s up with that?”
His laugh is just too bad for my heart. He is too beautiful. I thought that I couldn’t afford to look at him anymore as I took my eyes off him.
However, he didn’t take back his hand. His right-hand clasps back at my hands. Oh my gosh, I’m going to die from this.
“I’m glad that you are here. You suddenly became quiet so I was startled.”
Lowell-sama slowly asked,
“Hey, am I that ‘beautiful’?”
His words somehow sound like he was amused about it.
My hands that were grasped became hot. Lowell-sama is making a cool face but maybe his body has a high temperature.
“Tha…That’s, You are the most beautiful person I’ve met.”
“Hmm, I see. That’s the first time I was told that.”
His words, ‘first time’, made my heart sting.
No matter how I look, Lowell-sama looks older than me, but his pure smile makes me think of an innocent young boy. Is it because he’s being separated from the outside completely?
Lowell-sama who doesn’t know the sweets and bitters of life, maybe his heart still remained the same as when he was young.
“Is it okay for me to feel happy about that?”
His genuine smile stayed in my heart.
“Ye…yes, of course.”
Lowell-sama slightly tilted his head.
“You are really strange…Hey, you don’t think I’m creepy?”
Creepy, no way. Who in the world would say such cruel words to Lowell-sama. I can’t forgive that person. Who the hell said that!?
“Not at all! That’s not true at all! Rather, ummm…it’s an honor for me to be able to serve you. Honestly, I envy you.”
It seems like that’s the first time he heard that, too. He asked me back in bewilderment.
“Ah…Ummm. Actually, I have freckles.”
ーIt’s a ghost!
It’s a lie that I have freckles. Actually, what I have is not so cute.
ーYou scared me!
There’s a knife cut from the right of my forehead until my left cheek. Right now, there’s still a red line left on my face. People who see me for the first time will always be startled.
When I wasn’t able to speak, my parents had a fight with each other, and swung around the knife, and so I got this wound. (Really, they are good-for-nothing parents.)
However, I felt hesitant to talk about it to Lowell-sama, because this is only the second day I met him.
Also, I think the topic is too heavy to talk about with one’s master, and I didn’t want to talk about my parents. I just want to forget all about it as soon as I save up money and pay back all my debt.
Just like that, I want to start my new life. That is my goal.
“That’s why sometimes I do think that I want to have a normal face like others, even if it’s not as beautiful as yours. Well, I only think about it once in a while.”
When I finally realized it , on Lowell-sama’s forehead, there was already a frown.
“Who made fun of you?”
I flinched as I felt pressure from him.
“…Ummm, the people that I have worked with until now.”
“I won’t do something like that, definitely.”
“I’ve just known you for a little bit, but I think that you are funny, and you are so good to me, I’m really thankful for that.”
The hands that were still gripping, the feeling in my hand suddenly came back.
“That’s why I want you to be at ease while you work here.”
A half happy, half wry smile.
“Thank you, Lowell-sama.”
I feel so sad.
I can’t honestly be happy.
Lowell-sama can’t see this face of mine that’s why he could say that. I thought as I concluded on my own.
As I was completely ignorant of Lowell-sama’s heart.