Discomfort oozed over him and clung to his whole body, his grip on the steering wheel tightened.
‘Since how long How long has he held back his insatiable lust and has he pictured her in his disgusting imagination Even Liloa seemed sympathetic towards him today.
It isn’t unusual for her to talk to her crew first, but Liloa had been especially suspicious of Edgar.
No matter how persistent he was, her dislike for him was so obvious.
But her demeanour has clearly changed since then.
What transpired between them Something has changed since the mermaid.
Helping with its escape must have contributed greatly to winning Liloa’s favour.’
Cesar cast a sidelong glance at the bare mast.
It had been a week since they dropped the anchor.
Serlio, he thought, was the end, but he didn’t know how much their schedule would be pushed back.
It could take up to a couple of weeks.
The thought of having to look at all of this for another month made him sick to the stomach.
‘I can’t even warn Liloa about the doctor knowing her real name.
He boarded the Bell Rock after striking some kind of deal with the Duke, and is willing to do anything to achieve that purpose.
Knowing him, he also wants to meet some personal pleasure, so there is nothing he won’t do to catch Liloa’s attention… I should have told her from the start… When we got out of the Count’s mansion in Amiaeng, I should have revealed to Liloa that he was the Admiral.
But now it’s already too late…’
Cesar leaned on the wheel and rubbed his face.
‘At first, I was perplexed.
I recognised the face lit by the moonlight the moment our swords met.
But I was so taken aback that I didn’t even call him out on the spot.
That instance, that room, and that face felt so strange as if they were all unrelated to each other.
It was such an unexpected person that it was hard to fathom his name… Nonetheless, the two of them had already met.’
From then on, Cesar became suspicious of Ed’s motives.
‘The news of the Admiral’s southward movement, which was causing a commotion throughout Anatole, had to have something to do with Liloa.
I couldn’t open my mouth in front of Liloa because I didn’t know what Edgar was up to.
Assuming that the Duke was behind it, I abandoned the idea of speaking about it completely.
Could this situation have been avoided if I had told her about Edgar back then Maybe if I had just kept it vague… Damn it.
This is a pointless illusion now.
Despite the fact that this shouldn’t have happened, what is done is done.
I’m unable to tell her.
And even if I could go back in time, I would do the same thing… Because I’m not confident.
I still can’t help but doubt her whispers of love.
I’m unsure about her true feelings… Knowing about the Duke’s search for her might compel her to return to him.
There’s no assurance she won’t.
I’m afraid of what I’ll do if I even see a hint of confusion in her eyes.
I told her I didn’t want to force her feelings, but I can’t let her go…’
His stomach burned every time he thought about it.
His heart raced at the thought of discovering Lil wasn’t happy by his side.
It was a fear that could become a reality at any time, and that dreadful possibility had always felt within reach.
What made matters worse was that the feeling kept persisting even after years of being together.
When he looked at Lil, such flaws still existed as possibilities.
It was a gap as thin as a needle, but it could open and tear so easily.
When that happens, all of his happiness would shatter.
Cesar was nervous and couldn’t take it any longer.
Ed, on the other hand, was approaching rapidly.
His fingers appeared to claw their way through the gab.
As long as he couldn’t get rid of Ed, Cesar couldn’t be relieved.
Cesar lowered his eyes in search of Lil.
Just simply looking at her caused his heart to beat intensely.
This hasn’t changed even after many years.
It was always a wonderful experience for Cesar to wake up next to her, seeing her when he opened his eyes and hugged her when he opened his arms.
Cesar loved Lil far too much to let her go now.
If she left, his life would lose meaning…
‘I don’t want to lose her.
I can never let her go.’
Cesar was about to call Lil.
He hoped she’d raise her head and smile when she heard his voice.
However, a sailor from Valtano’s crew, Julio, approached Lil in a condescending manner.
As Lil gave him a look, asking what his deal was, he shoved her shoulder.
With this, the scene that was their peaceful day-to-day life shattered in an instant.
Cesar let go of the steering wheel and shouted.
Ed jumped up and yelled as well.
The two rushed forward at the same time like they were betting on who would reach her first.
After assessing the situation, sailors near the middeck began to flock in as well.
Alain was the first person to approach the captain and bumped his torso against Julio.
“What If it’s a mistake, apologise quickly.
You’d better, little Julio.”
In fact, Julio was not small at all.
He looked rather large compared to Alain, who was smaller than Lil.
But even so, Julio couldn’t help but be embarrassed and was unable to really refute the boatswain.
“Stay out of this, old man.”
Alain snorted audibly and wiggled his little finger between his legs while rocking his hips.
“Hey! Valtano begged us for something small, and gave you to us, now you’re playing with mutiny”
“My Captain’s nose was cut off by those pale bastards! Whenever I see the same skin as theirs, I can’t help but grit my teeth!”
Cesar and Ed, who arrived almost simultaneously, held Julio in check.
One with calm and intimidating eyes, the other with squinting eyes wondering how to cut Julio off.
However, the grip on their hilts were the same.
They weren’t the only ones affected by the commotion.
Before long, Bell Rock’s sailors were gathering around their captain.
Although he was pretending to be confident, Julio was still young and relatively inexperienced.
Feeling intimidated by the forming crowd, he looked behind him.
But the sailors of Valtano, who were supposed to be united together, were already falling back one step at a time.
Alain, the eldest, stepped in and stopped the young sailor.
If Captain Valtano finds out about this, do you think he will commend you or rebuff you Huh Don’t forget that Captain Valtano supported the Black Whale with goodwill and that you’re sailing the Bell Rock because of that.”
Julio just sighed and stared at him.
Even so, he still despised Lil and wished he could kill her.
Although there were others who had the same skin colour as her, Julio couldn’t dare to look at Cesar and Ed, who appeared much stronger, so his glare was only aimed at the captain.
Despite this, Lil passed him with a tired expression and walked towards the captain’s office.
Julio’s reasoning for making such a bold move was straightforward.
There was no corporal punishment on the Bell Rock.
In comparison to other ships, where confronting the captain like this would result in dozens of lashes, the Bell Rock would only resort to wage cuts or orders to clean up filth.
Furthermore, Lil’s appearance was the main cause of this conflict.
‘Judging by the gravity of his hatred, Julio must be from Marchand…’
Lil let out a small sigh no one could hear and began to worry about the day when she would be stabbed in the back with a knife.
It was becoming tiresome for her to constantly put her life in danger in order to pursue her passion.
Nonetheless, this was no unfamiliar sight.
When she first got onto the Bell Rock, where there was no corporal punishment, the crew acted arrogant and fearless.
She’d been through this hardship before, but it had gotten more difficult recently.
Her time with the Bell Rock was coming to an end, but half of what she had built up was already gone.
It was bittersweet for Lil to remember her last voyage in such a crumbling state.
Lil chinned Julio toward the door of the captain’s room.
“Follow me in.”
At first, no one seemed to understand her words.
Lil then gently raised her hand and pointed at the captain’s room.
There were hushed murmurs of concern about her dangerous decision.
Ignoring the noise, Lil leaned against the wall next to the door and waited for Julio.
Julio walked forward with a disgusted expression only after Alain had kicked him in the back.
Cesar then followed as if pressuring a prisoner, and grabbed the doorknob to let Julio in.