Thiel was a mongrel.
A crossbreed between the most noble of the leopard clans, the Snow Leopard clan and the Black Leopard clan.
Unlike Rowen (Thiel’s cousin), who was born with silver hair, a symbol of nobility, Thiel’s hair was a faded white.
“This useless thing!”
These were the words Thiel had heard the most since she was born. Because Thiel was a ‘mongrel’ who couldn’t use her abilities.
The Snow Leopard family, Nestian.
Snow leopards of the Nestian family were born with the ability to freeze anything. Thiel’s mother, Lena Nestian, had a strong freeze ability. She was to become the head of the Nestian family, succeeding Thiel’s maternal grandfather and the current head of the house, Zender Nestian.
If Thiel hadn’t been born.
Lena Nestian fell in love with Cassius Asterian, the head of a hostile family. Despite her family’s opposition, she gave birth to a child with Cassius, and lost her life in the process. Thiel was born that way.
Zender Nestian lost his most powerful heir, and his most beloved daughter all in an instant.
“Thiel, because of that mongrel!”
How good it would have been if a child with strong abilities had been born.
Contrary to Zender’s expectation that she would manifest her superpowers later, Thiel still had not manifested her superpowers at seven years of age.
Considering that normal children developed their abilities after one year of life, it was safe to say that Thiel would not be able to do so in the future as she had not yet manifested them.
So Zender abandoned Thiel in the attic. If it weren’t for the maids who looked in there from time to time, Thiel would have died. Zender abused the child savagely, and everyone in Nestian were bystanders. The child barely survived.
However, Zender abused Thiel constantly.
The fact that Thiel was born with gold eyes, the symbol of the Black Leopard clan, was also a reason for the abuse.
It was the same on that day.
“Don’t you know what your problem is? This stupid thing!”
Thiel trembled and took a step back, crouching.
The little child rolled up in terror and nodded. Thiel was so hungry that she only stole a piece of hard bread and ate it. What the child stole was hard, black bread.
Bread so hard that one couldn’t even bite into it unless it was soaked in soup. Thiel found and ate what someone had put out to throw away.
However, even that was not allowed for Thiel, and Zender, knowing that, cornered Thiel.
Her clothes were torn in places, showing old scars wherever her skin was exposed. It was the spots where sharp ice shards had pierced her flesh in the past.
However, the child kept her lips tightly closed as if she was not in pain.
The black bread that Thiel had been chewing on just before fell at Zender’s feet.
Thiel saw the bread and swallowed. The child’s mouth was trembling. Her stomach growled incessantly, and she felt sick to her stomach, probably from starving for so long. She couldn’t even remember the last time she ate proper food.
As Thiel glanced at the bread, the furious Zender raised his voice.
“You’re still acting crazy!”
Thiel quickly lowered his head at Zender’s angry voice.
The child trembled and crawled into a corner.
“I’m sorry, I was wrong.”
To Zender, Thiel was a mongrel that was difficult to get rid of.
It was nothing more and nothing less. He looked down at his granddaughter with a slow, cold gaze, then grabbed her and dragged her to the balcony of the office.
A blizzard raged outside, and Thiel was kicked out onto the balcony with no shoes, only wearing old, worn-out pyjamas.
“You are the shame of Nestian.”
Zender’s cold eyes made Thiel feel choked up.
The little child hurriedly knelt down and prayed for forgiveness.
“No, I was wrong, I was wrong, Grandpa please…”
It’s too cold here.
Please forgive me.
The words that she couldn’t bear to say scattered from her parched lips.
Thiel knocked hard on the locked door.
However, the tightly closed door would not open. Her hands were red and swollen from the cold, and snow continued to accumulate on her body. However, Zender completely ignored his granddaughter.
Left alone in the brutal cold, Thiel could do nothing but shiver. Zender’s sharp gaze hurt more than her red, swollen feet.
But the most painful and sad thing to her was-
The door to the office opened, and Cornelia Nestian, Thiel’s aunt and now Nestian’s heir, walked in.
She was a beautiful woman with shiny silver hair and, unlike Thiel, had blue eyes.
Thiel called to her in a trembling voice.
But Cornelia didn’t stop Zender.
“Can’t you be quiet! Who is your aunt?!”
Thiel was startled and her shoulders shook.
Cornelia had said that she may not hate her more than Zender hated her, but she never hated her less.
Thiel was well aware of that fact.
Nevertheless, the reason she called out to Cornelia was because she had the slightest expectation – that maybe that she would help her get out of this balcony.
She tut and clicked her tongue when she saw Thiel, who was as unsightly as a dog that had been kicked.
Today Rowen’s going out to buy her dress and the kid is so excited, are you going to stay here? I heard you decided to leave last time, but didn’t because of this mongrel.”
Rowen was Cornelia’s daughter and Zender’s granddaughter.
She was treated completely differently from Thiel in this Nestian Mansion.
I remember, so you should stop too, Cornelia.”
Zender glared at Thiel again with angry eyes.
Thiel couldn’t say anything and only smiled at him.
“Tell Rowen that he’s leaving now- Rowen!”
It was then.
Through the crack in the open door, a little girl who looked just like Zender and Cornelia glided through. She was a girl with shiny silver hair and, unlike Thiel, blue eyes.
The blue eyes, the symbol of the Snow Leopard clan.
The child ran toward Cornelia and Zender.
Zender hugged his granddaughter, not even looking at Thiel anymore.
“Rowen! I was going to leave now, anyway.”
“Grandfather never came, so Rowen came to pick you up.
Come on, grandfather!”
Rowen laughed and grabbed Zender’s hand.
Cornelia looked at Rowen with loving eyes.
And Thiel looked at them quietly. She was a complete outsider here. An invisible wall existed between Cender, Cornelia, Rowen, and Thiel.
A great and strong wall that couldn’t be broken or overcome by anything. With Rowen in his arms, Zender looked as happy as any grandfather.
Thiel had never been looked at like that since she was born, because everyone despised Thiel.
“If my mother was alive…”
If so, would it be different?
Tears ran down her cheeks.
Once the tears started flowing, they did not stop.
Thiel put her palm on the window and cried endlessly.
The two left the office as they were.
No one even paid attention to Thiel.
Now, only Cornelia remained in Zender’s office.
Cornelia walked over lightly and looked down on her in the balcony.
Thiel called out to Cornelia with a trembling voice, holding on to the hope that Cornelia might bring her out of this place.
“Hey, aunt, no…Cornelia.”
“Shit, I feel bad.
If you look exactly like your mother….”
“Please, it’s too, too cold in here, Cornelia!”
“Ha! Didn’t you forget what a mongrel mixed with a black leopard’s blood was? You are a snow leopard too! What do you mean it’s cold? Anyway….”
Cornelia looked at Thiel in a pitiful way, then left the office.
The child was left alone on the balcony like that.
Thiel trembled with her skinny arms wrapped around her body. Thiel was a mixed blood of a snow leopard and a black leopard, so she did not have thick fur like other snow leopards.
The biting cold smothered her body as if it would swallow Thiel at any moment. She knocked hard on the balcony window, but no one returned. To make matters worse, the place where Thiel was confined was a three-story balcony, so it was impossible to even jump down.
The child stared blankly into the office.
The light of the candlestick was burning faintly, as if it would go out at any moment.
‘How long has it been like that…’
Snow piled up on Thiel’s head.
Her hands and feet had long since lost any feeling.
“Something like you won’t be loved anywhere.”
“You killed your mother and were born!”
“Why was such a thing born… Tsk.”
Zender’s words rang in her ears like tinnitus. The child slowly blinked her eyes, her consciousness clouded. Her eyesight blurred.
“I wanted to be loved too.”
She had said to herself that someday, Cender would treat Thiel like Rowen and other children.
Cornelia will one day recognize her as her nephew.
No matter what anyone said, Thiel was of the Nestian bloodline.
Her bloodline may be that of a mongrel, but half of it was clearly a snow leopard.
But what a futile dream it was. Thiel finally realized. Grandpa’s warm arms and familial love were not for Thiel.
“I want to be loved.”
“Just once is good, so please.”
Thiel whispered earnestly.
A cloud of soft breath escaped from the child’s mouth.
The laughter of Zender and Rowen seemed to ring in her ears. Was it a hallucination? But what was clear was that the laughter was telling Thiel the truth.
There’s no place for you here.
There was no place for you in the first place.
Thiel slowly closed her eyes.
Soon after, her shaking body completely subsided, and her feeble breathing stopped.
The candles in the office went out.
Thiel died, just like that.
That was how it should have been.
Thiel traced her face with trembling fingers.
She felt a slight warmth in her fingertips.
t/n: hope you guys enjoyed the read! i thought this novel was quite interesting, so i decided to pick it up.
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