The girl paused for a moment to catch her breath and lowered her head in frustration.

That reaction melted Lazer’s heart, again.

He looked at the girl and was on the verge of telling her everything; his guilt, how much he cared for her, the life that he hoped that she had… Since meeting her again, there was not a day that went by that he did not want to confess everything to her, but somehow he always stopped right before he uttered those words.

Perhaps he was afraid, afraid of the fact that his confession may lead to him to lose more than what he had, and that the “balance” that he had maintained would disappear, driving him to real madness. The girl aside, even he himself may not have been able to stomach his past.

He shook his head. No, this was not the time to tell her everything, at least not yet.

Her disappointed look was far better than him losing everything.

“If you go to the port now, you will find a merchant ship called ‘The Green Leaf.’ The captain of the ship will find a place for you to stay at the border. The place is rather remote and the Juan family will not be able to find you there. You will be able to live a good life there and not have to worry about going back to the life of a beggar.” He ignored her frustration and talked at a steady pace. “Let me ask you again; do you still wish to stay with the Juan family despite the possibility of you being assassinated at any time and you being sacrificed by the family head without anybody knowing about it?”

His question made her question herself again. Her legs became weak and she was no longer certain about her decision. What was the correct answer? Although he refused to explain his reasons, he did not seem to want to see her come to harm. She felt clueless. True freedom seemed to be right in front of her, but it was so surreal that it felt like a trap.

She was unable to decipher his true intentions so she clung to the “idea” that flashed in her mind. The view of Diana’s back became the only thing she could grab onto before making the final decision amidst all this confusion and fear.

“Yes,” she said firmly.

“Why? Is it because it makes you feel alive?” He frowned.

“You must have heard about my past. I lived on the streets since I was little and had nothing. They gave me everything…”

“That much I know,” he interrupted her impatiently, “Are those things all that you want? What if I can give you what they cannot?”

“Do you even know what it is that I want?”

He remembered the female lizard from the casino, how the spirit in her sad-looking eyes was gradually languished by the shackles of life.

“Have you ever thought about having things like freedom, dignity, and…” he crossed his hands and looked into the distance, saying it in a deliberately casual tone, “love?”

She gasped in surprise, her mind suddenly going blank.