Regina Rena – To the Unforgiven - Chapter 16
A Chance to be Forgiven
Translated by Wook
Edited by Wook
Upon arriving in the private room, the marquis offered Rena a seat. Then he sat across from Rena and looked at her face.
After a while, the marquis murmured a little.
“You look good.”
It was not the manners of a gentleman toward a lady, nor the manner of a high-ranking nobleman toward a knight.
It was just the voice of a father dealing with his daughter.
At that, Rena quietly sighed.
“So, you still recognized me?”
“How could I not recognize my own child?”
At Rena’s question, the marquis smiled bitterly, making Rena tilted her head at that change of stance. Then he asked a bit more affectionately.
“You made a risky choice.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean by acting as a representative of the South.
Rena burst out laughing at the marquis’ worried voice.
“Are you admonishing me?”
“I wish you could think of it as a concern, but…”
“You’ve skipped too much, Father. Don’t you think you should’ve done something before we reach this point?”
At Rena’s kind remarks, the marquis also smiled kindly.
“Yeah, I have something to do first.”
Rena’s smile disappeared in the next moment, as the marquis got up from the sofa and knelt down.
Rena was startled and tried to get up.
Before she finished, the marquis cut her off.
It was a very sad voice.
Rena looked at the kneeling marquis without a word. A long sigh escaped Rena’s lips as her father, who she had always looked up to, lowered himself before her.
“What are you sorry for?”
“I neglected you. No, I sold you. To that dangerous man.”
The marquis’ voice was monotonous, but desperate.
Rena muttered with a blank expression at her father’s confession.
“… I never imagined a moment like this.”
Then she paused for a while before she continued.
“But I’m not really happy with it. Why are you doing this all a sudden? You still pretended not to know me just yesterday.”
“I just couldn’t believe it.”
“What do you mean?”
“That you appeared again. Because I thought I’d never see you again.”
The marquis said so and raised his head. As his eyes met Rena’s, they turned more affectionate.
“It’s a shame. If you hadn’t tried poisoning me, I would have believed it.”
At Rena’s whisper, the deceptive appeal that had been filling the marquis’s eyes stopped.
“You were not sure whether the lion would simply die from the poison, so you sent the butler because you needed confirmation, right? To make sure that I really died.”
The marquis’ face hardened at the words that stabbed his core. Rena looked at him and muttered bitterly.
“Are you having a hard time with me coming here?”
“What are you saying…”
“Don’t worry, I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just curious.”
When the marquis was looking for an excuse, Rena tenderly comforted him.
A smile formed on Rena’s lips.
It was not a sharp direct attack or a sarcastic ridicule. It was a genuine smile that one usually wears when having a normal conversation.
Seeing this, the marquis belatedly remembered Clavis’ words.
—She recognized me, but she just smiled
—How the hell will she deal with the people who pushed her into the abyss?
—I know, right? The child we sacrificed has returned as a monster.
A chilling fear swooped down his spine.
Not long ago, he had thought that Rena knew nothing about the poison, because she came to the ballroom yesterday without hesitation, which was not the reaction of a person whose life had been threatened.
Being angry at threats is the natural nature of living beings. However, he couldn’t find such a thing in Rena.
So, her gentleness was infinitely bizarre, like a fragment of a nightmare out of causation.
The marquis was secretly startled. Rena, lowering her body, asked her father.
“Why did you go that far? Or rather, have you always been that kind of person?”
When Rena was young, her father was very busy, so she didn’t see him very often. However, Rena really liked her father nonetheless, because he was a sweet, warm and wonderful father.
He sometimes joked around. Like poking his daughter’s face with an ink-soaked hand, switching Rena’s apple juice into ginger tea and watching her reaction, or holding the doll that Rena had dropped in her place.
He had been a father who made unexpected pranks with his gentle face, earning his daughter’s resentment and laughter.
Rena remembered clearly. When her father taught her to dance, he placed her feet on top of his, then they toddled together.
“I really liked my father.”
“… So did I.”
“So why did you do that?”
Rena asked in a whisper.
“I didn’t do anything bad, so why did you do that?”
“Because it was the right thing to do.”
“The right thing to do?”
“Just like the emperor, who does not have to choose because we’re all humble like an insect. Either we all die together or survive with only one finger cut.”
“And I was that finger?”
Rena asked with a smile. At that detached attitude, the marquis felt a strange sense of despair, like no matter what was said, it would be useless.
“Stop it and just get up. It’s okay if you don’t do this.”
Unsurprisingly, Rena still spoke softly.
“I’m an adult now, Father.”
“I just turned 18 this year, recognized as an adult by the Empire by law. Are you still mistaken about my age?”
Rena made fun of her father, who did not even know the age of his daughter. However, the marquis only showed a clueless face.
Rena continued, enjoying her father’s embarrassment.
“So, please treat me as a person, not a finger. Don’t kneel in an uncomfortable way.”
At Rena’s request, the marquis finally got up. Then he sighed and said.
“Your letter has been well received.”
It seemed meaningless to confide in Rena. Thinking so, the marquis chose to talk rationally.
Rena smiled as if he was giving the correct response.
“I asked why yesterday.”
Just yesterday, Rena asked this in a letter.
—I am very curious. About what made you do that to me.
—If you can tell me the reason, I can explain to you as well.
—What I am going to do for you, and what I can do now.
It was a letter that could only be described as a declaration of war even if one read it over and over.
He had thought of it as a letter sent with gritted teeth, but now that he knew that she had been aware about the poisoning, he felt a different weight from those words.
“Is the answer I gave earlier not enough?”
“No, that’s enough. Is it my turn to explain now? What I’m here for, and…”
“What you can do.”
As the marquis continued to speak, Rena responded as if she had been waiting.
“I want to exist.”
It was not easy to comprehend.
“I don’t exist in this world. Everyone has forgotten about me, and even if they remember sometimes, they know me only as a dead person. But I’m not dead. I’m alive, and I’m here now.”
Rena declared with smiling lips, but with determined eyes.
“That’s all I want. For me, who was erased by my father, to exist again.”
“Please acknowledge me. Officially.”
“… Do you mean to confess my mistake?”
“I don’t care about Father’s fault. All I want is me.”
The Marquis took a deep breath at Rena’s request.
Official acknowledgement of Rena Rubel. That Rena was his own daughter, that she did not die of her disease, that she was sacrificed to Clavis. Nevertheless, she meant to reveal everything about her return.
In the end, it meant confessing about the treason, and it was also telling them to throw away what they had built up so far and to just die.
“I’ll give you a new life.”
The marquis said in a serious voice.
“I’ll promise you a life that you will be satisfied with. I will not make you the daughter of a marquis, but I can make you live as noble as the imperial family.”
“Forget it, then.”
But Rena humbly declined.
“I’ve been telling you this, all I want is me.”
“That cannot be done.”
“And why is that?”
“Because that means admitting treason.”
The marquis exhaled deeply and confessed.
Rena’s eyes widened, and the marquis smiled bitterly at his daughter’s surprised face.
The marquis had been pondering since yesterday. His daughter had come to himself with such a determined intention. What card does that child have? What on earth did she have to come to challenge the cardinal and the Northern Marquis?
There is only one way that makes sense. There was no way for Rena to ruin him and the cardinal, other than by using the emperor by accusing him of treason.
So the marquis would rather be the first to play this handle.
“You don’t seem to know this.”
He didn’t know if she was really surprised because she hadn’t known, or if she was embarrassed because she was losing a card. Either way it didn’t matter.
“The cardinal took you to fight the emperor. If it were known, you would of course be a traitor’s child.”
As with all monarchs, Nihil was particularly ruthless about rebellion.
Nihil Gracia is a person who regarded even a simple slander against her as treason, and will not hesitate to annihilate the traitor’s whole clan. Even the informant will not be spared.
Thus, this handle of treason is a double-edged sword that will inflict fatal wounds on Rena as well.
There is another possibility of Rena attacking the emperor and fighting with each other to the death. Hence, with this in mind, the marquis continued talking with Rena, acting like a fire moth.
“I understand your resentment towards me. I have nothing to say about it, but…”
The marquis stopped talking and looked at Rena. Their eyes met, and he frowned.
“Your mother is innocent.”
Rena’s eyes fluttered at the word “mother”.
The marquis looked at her and gradually calmed down. Now that he could feel the humanity in his daughter, he felt like he had found her weakness.
“… I am not guilty either.”
Rena muttered after a while.
“Relax. I have no intention of accusing Father. It’s not worth the time I’ve spent up to now to finish things just like that.”
The time I’ve spent.
The marquis thought, looking absorbed. Yes, six years is by no means a short period of time. It would have been harsher and longer for a child that had been abandoned.
It would’ve been better to just die.
The marquis felt so sorry for his daughter who had returned alive. As if reading his thoughts, Rena spoke.
“So, I’ll give you a chance.”
“A chance to be forgiven by me.”
The marquis’ eyes narrowed at the unexpected words.
“Even if Father does not approve, even if I become a clue to treason, I will still remain as Rena Ruber. Unless you want to get rid of me?”
The marquis couldn’t respond to this sudden attack. Knowing this, Rena smiled bitterly.
“Then try it. If you succeed, you can still keep your position as you are now.”
“Try to kill me. Like before.”
Rena’s voice was still calm.
“The deadline is until the conquest of the Tomb is over. Until then, I will neither retaliate nor disclose anything about this matter. However, if you fail to kill me until the last day, then I will return as much as I received.”
I will return as much as I receive. It was a simple sentence, but the meaning within was deep. It was like saying they were going to kill each other.
When the marquis looked at her with a hardened face, Rena added in a softer voice.
“But if you acknowledge me before that, I will forgive you too.”
Kill, die, or confess.
This was a chance to be forgiven by Rena, or to sin against her again.
The marquis, who understood the meaning, sighed deeply.
“Did you come here two days ago to talk about this?”
Okay. Alright. The marquis murmured a little. The daughter’s determination to fight against him was so vivid that it seemed to touch his skin, making him fall into a deep thought.
While the marquis was speechless, Rena threw a light question.
“Will the deadline be enough?”
A bitter smile spread across the marquis’ lips as he thought that Rena, who jokes around while talking about killing herself, is weird. And as if that was not enough, he still didn’t know if he should consider her as someone strong or someone broken.
“Is this really necessary?”
“I want to ask the same thing. Do you have to do it like this?”
The marquis reluctantly nodded at Rena’s determination.
“Consider my proposal carefully.”
“We could’ve reached a positive result.”
When Rena was about to finish speaking, the marquis called her, using the voice he used to call at his daughter. Just like in the past.
“I can let you meet for a while.”
The marquis’ voice that had been serious turned kind again, making Rena’s expression rather strange.
Rena looked at her father with a smile on her face. Her eyes implied that she still had something to say.
But in the end, Rena didn’t say anything. She merely got up and turned around.
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