I Got Divorced And Abandoned My Family - Chapter 1
Translator and Editor: Frosty and Tide
The child loudly cried out as soon as she stepped foot in the drawing room.
“A child’s cries?”
Helia stopped in her tracks.
In the balmy, ornate drawing room, the lone crib did not fit in.
Inside the crib, there was a newborn slightly below the average size.
Due to the child’s rambunctious cries, Helia had to come to a standstill as soon as she entered the room.
Within the drawing room she was directed to, frozen in place, she peered at the small, wailing critter.
Bewildered, she looked around, but there was no one to ask for help.
Helia, feigning ignorance, sat down on the sofa, but not even 10 seconds later, got up and moved towards the crib.
She reflexively reached out a hand to comfort the child, but her hand hovered in the air and did not reach it.
Widening her eyes, which some considered chilling, she furrowed her brows as soon as she saw the hand she moved instinctively almost touch the child.
As if it was frightened by a giant hand advancing toward it through its blurry vision, the child started to yowl even more raucously.
Unsure what to do about the child, who began to cry harder as soon as Helia reached out her hand, she remained frozen. After standing still for a while, she pulled her hand back.
‘Why did they put this child here?’
No nurse or any other caretaker was present near the child. Since they couldn’t have left the child on purpose all this time, Helia’s most reasonable guess was that they were waiting for her to walk by and retreated as she was.
Inside the drawing room Helia was guided to by the servant, the existence of a child that came out of her own womb made her feel even more strange than she expected.
She remembered how this child looked when it was just born as if it was yesterday.
As a newborn, it had been covered in wrinkles, but now, the child was plump with baby fat, and its skin, once scarlet like an overripe plum about to rupture, had turned pure white, with only a bright red flush coloring its cheeks.
As she watched the child’s body darken as it howled, Helia stretched her right index finger.
Her finger, which had been twitching in midair, slowly moved forward, as if it was acting upon its own adamant resolution.
Helia’s index finger lightly pressed the child’s forehead.
As soon as the child’s skin gave way, the child’s sweltering body heat surged through the tip of her finger, and she yanked her hand away.
Grimacing, Helia clutched the finger with her free hand.
The unpleasant sensation traveled through her skin and sent chills down her spine.
Still, maybe thanks to Helia’s cold hand, the child stopped incessantly wailing as if it had never happened.
A feather floats downward until a gust of wind blows it away, and her finger was the same way.
Just for a split second, it had made contact briefly. Despite that, the child seemed to be aware of someone else’s presence and stopped crying, while Helia shuddered as if the hot sensation had burned her finger.
Clumsily massaging her hand over and over, she backed away.
The child’s voice assaulted her ears.
Helia turned away, trying not to look in the direction of the child.
The recognizable yet slightly unfamiliar scene came into view.
The mansion she returned to after a long time was still filled with pleasant warmth and was still as uncomfortable as walking on a thorny path.
Awkwardly standing around, Helia observed the now-quiet child from a distance.
The child lifted its swollen, pink eyelids, revealing golden-yellow eyes tinged with red, like the sun.
Whenever they came under the sunlight, they glowed gold.
While Helia was deep in thoughts, the doorknob turned suddenly and she heard a dull sound.
Although she expected the door to open right away, the doorknob, which had been partially turned, sprung back to its original position in a bizarre way. Shortly after, the movement was followed by an ungainly knock.
Helia distanced herself from the child and sat down on the sofa.
“Yes, come in.”
At her impassive voice, the doorknob turned once again.
The visitor revealed himself to be a man with dark red—almost black—hair and red eyes.
His unmistakably sun-tanned, rather than pale skin, was especially conspicuous. Over his well-muscled figure, he wore a uniform tightly fitted to his frame.
“…It’s been a while.”
“Yes, have you been well?”
There was an invisible wall between the pair exchanging impartial greetings as if they were reading from a prescribed manual.
The distant feeling made Caligo breathed a drawn-out sigh as he slowly sat down, facing her.
He looked around, then motioned with his hand. Trailing him, the nurse held the child to her chest.
Helia glanced dryly, then turned her attention on Caligo again.
She opened her mouth, taciturn. “Where are the divorce papers?”
“…..Are you sure you’re leaving like this?” Caligo asked, in response to her straight to the point question. He brushed his hair back with a rough sweep.
Out of frustration, he scrambled to undo one of the usually well-fastened buttons.
Helia’s eyes were chilly, and her frigid voice was devoid of emotion. After only a few months of separation, the wall in front of her had hardened even more.
“Yes, is there anything else to settle between us?”
Settle. The word underlined the wall between them.
Feeling like he was about to drown, Caligo took a deep breath.
“Our contracted marriage is over. By your condition, I gave birth to a child, stayed for the full five years, and accomplished my goal in the meantime.”
There was no trace of lingering attachment in her eyes, which seemed to be asking whether there was anything else to settle.
Her expression was immaculate as if she had made up her mind when she gave birth and recovered.
Caligo jerked his head away, the veins in his neck bulging from the indignation bubbling up inside his chest.
The room was balmier than the others and received plenty of sunlight, but the air between the two was frigid and icy.
“About the child’s name-”
“Did you decide on one?” Helia asked, interrupting Caligo in the process.
“No, not yet. Anyway, since it’s both our child, I thought asking for your opinion would be the right thing to do.”
In response to Caligo’s words, Helia lowered her lengthy eyelashes.
“If… you had picked out a name, I was going to tell you not to talk to me about it.”
Caligo’s eyebrows twitched. One corner of his lip twisted, revealing his aggravation.
He calmly opened his mouth, swallowing the harsh words threatening to spill out of him.
“What an absurd thing to say. In any case, Helia, isn’t that child the one you gave birth to? It’s not like you’re never going to see the child again, so it would be better if we can talk over something like a name…”
“I’m not going to see it again,” Helia adamantly interrupted Caligo. “You know what, Caligo?”
At Helia’s call, Caligo’s plans to argue with her escaped his mind.
How long had it been since his name came out of her mouth? He did not know.
Judging by how foreign it felt, she probably had not addressed him by name in a long time despite sharing a mansion for five years.
Choked up by that fact and at a loss for words, Caligo stupidly stared at Helia.
“Even if it’s my child, I can still not love them,” Helia indifferently commented as she shifted her eyes away to watch the child in the nurse’s arm.
Though her words were not particularly thorny, it was clear that the room temperature had plummeted.
“Caligo, I won’t love that child.”
To be precise, she couldn’t, but Helia kept that fact to herself.
“I won’t be that child’s parent or declare rights over them, and after forgetting about the child day by day, I won’t remember that I even had a child.”
“Someone like you…” Caligo muttered with a sickened expression on his face when Helia faced him with a chilly gaze.
“Did we ever love each other?”
At that one sentence, Caligo, who was about to lash out at her, went silent, dumbfounded.
To him, Helia had been an arduous dilemma during their time together, and to her, Caligo had simply been a catastrophe that was better to steer clear of.
Their life together for the past year flashed by in Caligo’s head.
It was bizarre, as it wasn’t like death was imminent or anything.
“What, did you say just now….”
“You and I didn’t love each other, and this child was only born out of necessity…” She trailed off. “How could you expect me to possibly love this child.”
Her remark was as obstinate and as harsh as it could be.
The silence descended like lead and crushed Caligo’s heart.
Helia opened her mouth towards the still tongue-tied Caligo as if to rub it in his face.
“So, don’t bring up anything about the child to me.” She drew the line. “Pick whatever name you want. You probably won’t need my opinion.”
Caligo’s clenched fists trembled at the blatant apathy.
“Damn it! From when I first met you till now, you’re as selfish as they come! Does iron run through your heart instead of blood?”
Caligo, who had been trying to keep his composure, raised his voice at last.
He could not resist the feeling of rage, like molten lava, surging inside him. His glacial face flushed with blood, and veins throbbed on his neck as he cried out.
Helia’s shoulders became rigid. However, her expression did not change much, and because of that, she was apt at hiding her emotions without anyone noticing.
Caligo was the one person who was quick to discern her feelings, but in his agitated state, there was very little chance that he would be able to gauge them now.
Seemingly sensing the prickly air and its father’s rage, the previously calm child scrunched up its face and let out a loud wail soon after.
The nurse holding the child tapped her foot repeatedly, at a loss for what to do; ultimately, she lowered her head and rushed out toward the hallway.
The nurse’s gentle voice soothing the child mixed with the child’s incessant, pitiful cries behind the heavily shut, bulky door.
Helia, who had been listening to Caligo’s fit of anger without a word, broke the silence. “I don’t understand why you’re so upset about it. Is it that problematic to talk about taking care of the expired contract?
Instead of answering, he took out several documents from the cabinet and dumped them on the table, the outrage still visible on his face.
The words ‘Divorce Agreement’ was clearly written on the white paper.
Since Caligo no longer seemed interested in continuing the conversation, Helia picked up the form and carefully read its content.
One side of her heart was heavy, but she made a conscious attempt to ignore it.
She looked over the terms and conditions with an upright posture, then printed her name and signed it.
Flipping through the papers page by page, she signed her name and stamped her fingerprint with red ink to finish.
After thoroughly checking the document for the last time, Helia organized the papers and thrust it towards him.
“May I ask you one thing, Helia?” Caligo asked in a low voice, suggesting he had calmed down somewhat.
“Did you really not feel anything for the past year? No love towards the child, no affection? Were you not fond of me at all?” Caligo prompted as he slowly accepted the form from her.
Unlike her, he signed without bothering to read the papers and printed his fingerprint without delay.
Was it because she was thrown off guard by that?
Helia had trouble processing Caligo’s questions and analyzed them over and over in her head.
After silently reflecting on them for what seemed like an eternity, she gave her answer at last. “Yes.”
At that firm, unequivocal response, Caligo let out a hollow chuckle.
It signified their end.
“We will process the document on our end.”
“I’ll do it. It might be more straightforward that way.”
She reached out a hand. Facing the pale yet subtly calloused hand, Caligo stiffened.
“Do you really have no faith in me?”
“I just want to finish it without any complications.”
“For the past five years, I thought of you as a friend, at the very least. I would like to ask what I was to you during those five years.”
One side of his mouth twisted bitterly. Caligo handed Helia the papers.
She inspected the papers and rose from her seat.
“You were…” She slowly lowered her eyelids. “Nothing to me.”
At that aloof declaration, Caligo’s pupils gradually dilated.
His eyes widened, revealing the whites of his eyes. Desolation and rage stormed through his red irises simultaneously.
Because Helia was aware of Caligo’s sudden aggression, she avoided looking at the man in the eyes.
“Unlike you, I’m someone who can’t love a single thing,” she expressed herself in a rare display of frankness. “Take care, Your Grace.”
After saying her farewells, she turned away and left the drawing room without hesitation.
Those words turned them into complete strangers.
Caligo sneered jadedly, then took out a cigar and gnawed at it with his teeth, as if planning to crush it.
A fortnight later, the notice approving the divorce by agreement arrived from the temple.
The five year contractual marriage was terminated precisely five years and two-and-a-half months later.
He was 28, and she was 25.
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