North x Northwest - Chapter 129
Volume 4 Chapter 129
Translators – Pru and Formidable
Lil’s whole body froze and she needed time to process Ed’s words.
‘What did he say? Just now, Ed… I’m sure…’
She felt suffocated.
‘Even in this situation, I know very well that I’m treating Ed extraordinarily by not kicking him out of the cabin right away. The reason we’ve come this far was that I didn’t want to go back to our old relationship. Apart from his occasional rudeness, I still care for him. I’m aware of that. He’s the one who has been saying the words I have longed for throughout my whole life, so his existence is special to me… But, what the hell, can’t he be satisfied with the patience I’m giving him? Doesn’t he know how hard it is to forgive after going through so much humiliation? Or see how I still want to leave room for something? Isn’t this enough?’
Lil had no idea how much special treatment he wanted.
“Are you implying that I have certain feelings for you and I can’t admit them? I didn’t answer your question, so you immediately call it love? How are you in the position to ask me this just because I applied some ointment on your wound for once?”
‘Can those ‘certain feelings’ be his own cherished heart? I don’t know what he’s hoping for. But he’s clearly waiting for me to answer.’
However, she never wanted to talk about how she felt about him and even if she wanted to, she couldn’t. Cesar knew best how suspicious Lil was of Ed in the beginning. That’s why, whenever she and Ed clashed in an unusual way, Cesar would watch them closely.
A wave of guilt coursed through her stomach.
‘I could have stayed on the deck instead of following him to his cabin in the middle of the night… I could have requested that he carry his bag to the upper deck….’
She couldn’t decide whether she was angry at herself for being careless or at Ed for insisting profusely. Lil raised her chin. Ed had already locked his gaze on her. Her eyes suddenly sting due to being pricked by his green needles. When she tried to clench her fists, her sweaty fingers kept slipping out.
‘Why does he feel the need to exaggerate the fact that my attitude has become somewhat softer? Who does he think Lil Schweiz is? Haven’t I already emphasised that I’m the Captain over and over again? Great feelings? Love? This is unforgivable… After thinking about it for a long time, I finally gave him my trust, but he takes my change as a joke.’
His comment was the final straw for Lil. Unable to hold back her simmering anger, she started to shout.
“You’re the disappointment!”
“I finally trusted you, and now you’re going to say some nonsense like this in return? Let me be clear. You’re just a sailor, nothing more nothing less.”
“Yes, accepting you as part of my crew took time, but I’ve been treating them that way since the moment they boarded the ship. Don’t think you’ve gained anything just because I’m being more generous now.”
“Are you sure about that?”
The moment she met his confident face, Lil realised her mistake. The first and foremost thing she overlooked was the fact she should have denied it from the beginning. Still contemplating inwardly, Lil crossed her arms, trying to remain calm.
“First of all, why would I like a man?”
‘I should have said this first. How on earth did I miss this?’
Ed, on the other hand, radiated a calmness that overshadowed Lil’s regret. As if her concern about gender was irrelevant, he indifferently moved closer. By instinct, Lil pushed him away. She recalled that her untied gun belt was lying on the edge of the desk. Moving her head slightly, she caught a glimpse of it in the corner of her eye and gave Ed a stern warning.
“I dare you to touch me one more time. Know that when you do, the trust I had in you will be gone. We’ll go back to the way we used to be and I won’t overlook any signs of sodomy anymore.”
“That story again? What do you gain by erasing the past and hiding in one of your shells? Convenience?”
Ed, who was standing in front of her, looked exhausted. It was Lil who was tired of her opponent, but Ed looked like he was too. This caused Lil to be increasingly confused because the person that instigated and upheld this troublesome discussion, was getting angry and fed up himself.
‘What are you so sick and tired of, exactly?’
Lil couldn’t overcome her frustration and asked.
“What the hell are you hiding? What do you know and I don’t?”
“I thought you would stop deceiving yourself in front of me, so why did you go back to being so stubborn again?”
“Don’t just talk ambiguously about the things that you think you know. Explain it properly. Otherwise, you’ll never get the answer you want.”
“At that time, you’re the one who asked!”
“You asked if I wouldn’t mind regardless of who you are. You wouldn’t ask that if you didn’t want to go back to how we used to be. So I gave you my honest answer.”
“And even though you only silently smiled… Weren’t you the happiest you’d ever been? How can you say you don’t care about me when you were so happy you nearly cried? There’s no reason to hold back in front of me. You feel at ease, right?”
“You said you hadn’t been sleeping well, but didn’t you sleep so well just now?”
“Or, could it be that everyone else gave you the same answer, so there really is no difference between me and them?”
Lil avoided his piercing gaze. Her heart pounded violently, and with her breath caught in her throat, she pressed down her chest.
‘Since when is it that easy for him to see through me? I… don’t remember… There isn’t a single mistake in his words and he knows it. But I can’t give him the answer… The moment I do, I’ll lose the little control I still have…’
It felt like a stiff wooden pole pierced her heart.
“Your heart knows the truth so well that it shows you everything. So why can’t you say it out loud? Are you afraid that it will all disappear once you open your mouth?”
Lil fumbled with the necklace under her shirt. Its round curve touched her fingertips. Even though not a word was said about it, she somehow felt compelled to check it. The feeling that it could fall off at any moment, was terrifying.
“The reason you asked me is obvious…”
Their gazes locked. Ed had been staring at Lil for quite some time now as if he was waiting to get her attention.
“You want me to see you for your true self.”
“But you’re still living while deceiving yourself, what’s this if not deception?”
“Whomever you are now and who you were in the past, you want to return to your original self. But right now, you’re hiding in a different shell for convenience or whatever… I know it all, so don’t make those futile efforts in front of me. Tell me the truth.”
Lil staggered back and muttered.
“…No. What the hell are you talking about…”
A gust of wind blew through Mortu’s tightly closed castle. In there, Lil was swept around aimlessly. She realised it was the kind of wind that didn’t just tickle her heart, but shook her entire core.
‘What the hell I’m I supposed to do? When Serlio is just around the corner… If I agree with him now, what will happen to the castle? Won’t it collapse? Won’t the whole land be uprooted?’
With Mortu as its owner, Lil had no authority to decide on such a grand ending. But Ed, who didn’t know that, continued to talk.
“I’ll ask you one last time, don’t you feel like you’re overlooking something really, really important?”
Lil hid her tongue away.
“How can you put me in this position and not be aware of it?”
She simply couldn’t answer.
“Admit it. You want to be yourself in front of me.”
“And you know you can do that. That feeling isn’t something you have in front of an ‘ordinary sailor’. In one way or another, you think of me as special.”
“I don’t love you…”
“It doesn’t have to be love. It doesn’t matter. It’s not like I want to be by your side in that form.”
Lil’s heart raced toward her neck, making even breathing painful.
‘So far, there’s only one thing Ed’s after. He wants my approval… Approval, that I don’t downplay his significance in my life. But I can never give it…’
Her and Cesar’s world would shatter if she did that. Lil was fully aware that she’s already been shaken too much.
‘It doesn’t have to be love? That may be the case for him, but not for me… Even if it isn’t love, his wind will always be blowing. Like a gust of wind. Even if I don’t want to, being around him has an effect on me that I can’t ignore… Who wouldn’t want to fully step into that wind if they had the chance? Won’t my desire grow? Everything is self-evident…’
Lil bit her lip to retain herself from answering.
‘If this goes on any longer, it will become dangerous.’
“We’re running out of time. I really want to know your feelings before this shallow relationship ends…”
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