Seeking for Your Forgiveness - Chapter 15
Marquis Schneider greeted Kristoff as he entered the drawing room. The old gentleman’s eyes were slightly distorted when looking at his grandson’s face.
Kristoff’s face was ridiculous. He could guess the fact that it didn’t go well just by looking at his face.
Marquis Schneider clicked his tongue lowly so that his grandson couldn’t hear it. Kristoff only nodded at him and then turned his back.
“I’ll go up first.”
He walked up the stairs, loosening the ascot tie around his neck with one hand, maintaining his nice appearance, whether others saw it or not. He also unbuttoned his shirts one by one.
Kristoff clenched his lower jaw. The blue veins of blood protruded around his neck.
The room he uses every time he visits the estate hasn’t changed a bit from the last time he came by. Kristoff remembered the last time he came, while throwing the ascot tie on the bed.
It was his grandfather’s birthday last year. Of course he came with Marianne. Even though it was Marquis Schneider’s second birthday after their wedding, she was just as nervous as she was the first year.
Kristoff couldn’t understand her. It’s not like the sky was going to fall just because she doesn’t know such antiquated manners. There were countless ways to shut the mouths of those sarcastic people.
Didn’t their first meeting even go that way? All of a sudden, memories from a long time ago crept up to his mind effortlessly.
The Imperial College has opened its doors to women as an action to adjust with the current trend. Marianne was one of three women enrolled in law school, which was also known to be conservative within the Imperial College.
Kristoff was in his senior year and was busy practicing at the same time. It was not his concern whether a woman came in or a cat came in.
Sometimes he felt strange to see a woman in a dress walking through the hallway. He heard that there were three female students who entered the law school, but he was also surprised at the fact that more female students came and went.
Without noticing at all that they did that to get a glimpse of him.
Kristoff was envied not only by his juniors but also by his peers. Coming from a good family, great brain, outstanding abilities, and even good looks. He was truly one of the chosen few who had nothing missing in his life.
Moreover, the news about Kristoff as the successful candidate to get into ‘Bagger’, a large lawyer office that only receives one new employee every year, have circulated vastly. Perhaps, it wasn’t entirely wrong.
The children of the nobles were often married at the same time as they graduated. This was because belated marriages would only cause unnecessary scandals, so there was no need to scratch things up further.
Dating could be done after marriage. Marriage was just a contract between two families, and it wasn’t uncommon for each of them to have a mistress or lover after marriage.
However, there wasn’t even a shadow of a woman beside Kristoff. There was no engagement ceremony, but no nasty rumors followed him either. Everyone knew that he was too busy to get involved with women.
Therefore, the question of which family’s daughter Kristoff was going to marry has always been the talk of the town.
There was also a faint expectation that the position could be theirs despite having not even been nominated.
However, there were many more important things Kristoff had to do. He began practicing at the Bagger, the most prestigious lawyer’s office in the capital, and didn’t even have enough time to devote himself to it.
When he was busy walking by himself whilst recalling the appointment he had with his supervisor.
A firm voice penetrated Kristoff’s ear. It wasn’t sharp or shrill. Rather, it was a soft voice which sounded serene.
Nevertheless, he could feel the power in her voice. If he heard that voice in the courtroom, he thought he might be persuaded.
Kristoff, who slowed down his steps, turned to the place where he believed the sound came from. Dozens of students were circling something, or someone.
He heard people in the back whispering, “Kristoff Schneider, Kristoff Schneider.” He could sense their glances and even the sideways ones.
Because Michael was there. Kristoff was one head taller than the other, so he could easily make his gaze through the crowd. His brows suddenly distorted.
The third son of Count Hindenburg, he didn’t have a very good reputation, which was the opposite of Kristoff. He deserved it knowing there was a rumor that he was successfully admitted to the law school because of his father’s donation.
Michael was staring at someone coldly. And the corner of his gaze caught a woman. The short hair hanging on her shoulder was so beautiful that it successfully captured Kristoff’s attention.
The blue eyes seemed so far away that their depth was unknown. He even stupidly thought it was like a star, sparkling brightly.
Kristoff, who had been involuntarily distracted, belatedly noticed a woman sobbing in her arms.
It didn’t look good.
He had no idea what’s going on, but somehow he had a hunch that they were caught up in pretty big trouble. When Michael Hindenburg was involved, it was mostly that way.
Sure enough, Michael threw a mocking smile.
―Why should I apologize? This is not a chicken farm. You need to know your place, no matter how much times have changed, there is always a line to follow. How dare a woman enter law school? Even if you don’t know the subject, you have to push yourself. Just stop talking. Unless you’re Dike, the Goddess of Justice, you’re just a laughing stock for everyone here.
The words made the woman, who was sobbing quietly, grow louder. Only then did he understand what was happening.
Michael seemed to catch his juniors, just like rats.
It was a yearly event. It was one of Michael’s bad habits to pick up a pushover among freshmen every year and bullied them until he was tired of doing it.
However, that was not Kristoff’s concern. ……No.
Kristoff took the watch out of his pocket. The maximum time he could afford for this was only three minutes. More than that would be dangerous. He was never late for an appointment.
Just when he took a step away after muttering so.
Kristoff stopped walking. He slowly turned his eyes and stared at the short-haired woman. Kristoff stopped walking. The surprising fact was the atmosphere was stirred up as well as people in the crowd.
―What did you just say? Say it again.
Michael threatened her with a fierce look. However, she didn’t back down one bit. She looked so confident that he even thought for a moment she was really Dike.
―What’s wrong with a woman entering law school? Did you forget that Dike, the Goddess of Justice, whom Senior Hindenburg adores so much, is a goddess?
―More than that, do you feel the fact that a woman entered law school is more urgent as an issue rather than an unqualified person entering the law school? Are you confident to graduate, having entered the school with the donation from the Count of Hindenburg? You should make sure that you graduate before me who just entered this year.
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The dismayed silence dyed the surroundings pale. Kristoff stared at her face once more. Only then did she realize that her blue eyes were glinting with anger.
She wasn’t calm. Her anger was at the top of her head.
Michael, who had a blank look on his face at unexpected words, blushed belatedly. Upon feeling the gaze of the crowd surrounding him, his face looked even more grim.
―This is how you…….
―Oh, let me just give you a piece of advice.
Her words made her surroundings quiet. Even Michael didn’t say anything. She was the only one who spoke calmly.
―It’s childish behavior that even a six-year-old kid wouldn’t do, Senior Hindenburg.
―W-What are you talking about? Why are you interested in that?
Michael had an unfair look on his face. The onlookers were agitated once more. Kristoff’s gaze didn’t waver, as if it had been glued on her.
―You’ve been hot on our tails for a week and harassed us. What’s the point of doing that when you’re not interested in us? So, between Sofia and me, who are you interested in? I say this for your own good, Senior is not my type.
―Who are you to care about such a thing!
The shaking Michael strode at her. Unable to contain his anger, he raised one hand. Then he swung it toward her. She closed her eyes tightly for the upcoming pain.
At that moment.
Michael looked at his arm, which flew quickly and stopped in the middle. Someone was holding his wrist. He twisted his eyebrows.
Before he gets to finish his words,
―That’s enough, Michael Hindenburg.
A low, heavy voice engulfed the surroundings. The voice, which was accustomed to only give orders.
Michael looked back and bit his lower lip. Onlookers began to murmur about Kristoff’s appearance.
―There’s no need to add fuel to the rumor. The spreading scandal is already more than enough. Therefore, don’t tarnish the Count of Hindenburg’s name furthermore.
Michael glared at him. Anger and inferiority filled his eyes at the same time. However, he turned his back without saying anything. It was because he knew that he was no match for Kristoff.
She finally dropped her tense shoulder when she saw Michael’s back moving away from the scene. A relieved sigh came out of her slightly opened mouth.
She seemed to have a lot of guts, was she scared inside?
When Kristoff’s head was filled with unanswered questions for the woman, she looked back at the smaller woman with a tender expression.
―Are you alright, Sofia?
―I’m fine. Thank you, Marianne.
Kristoff softly recited her name. Marianne looked up as if she had heard him call her.
Their eyes met and she bowed slightly.
Her earlobes seemed to be flush. Her cold blue eyes seemed to embrace the faint warmth for the first time. It was as if the star were burning.
―There’s nothing good about provoking Michael. He’s not someone who threatens with mere words. He could really hit women.
―If he did, I would have sued him for assault. I should be treating it like criminal law practice.
Kristoff opened his eyes slightly wider at her words. The outstanding Kristoff Schneider was speechless.
Barely taking his eyes off her for a moment, he checked his watch once again and clicked his tongue lowly. Five minutes had passed before he realized it. The appointment time was tight anyway. He couldn’t delay his steps any longer.
He hurriedly turned his back from the two women.
Upon being kicked out from the long thought, Kristoff stared at the wall in front of him. Marianne, who was staring at him with a flushed gaze like a burning star, was not there anymore.
She said she didn’t love Kristoff. With calm eyes as if she was looking at Michael.
His heart turned cold. His blood seemed to flow the opposite way. A reality that he had never thought about before finally began to take shape and weigh on him.
“What should I do, Marianne?”
Kristoff asked in a weak voice, which was so unlike him. He sounded lost as if he really didn’t know what to do.
For the first time in his life, he felt anxious. Or, fear.
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He recalled life without Marianne. It was a very dull life. Humans are adaptable just like animals, so he would get used to the previously boring life he had before, someday. Obviously.
It might not take longer than he expected. His life without her was longer than life with her, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. It was just as if he was going back to the life he once had.
This time, he tried to imagine Marianne’s life without him. Oh, dear.