When dawn came, Alice came over to Kevin's place. Her place was not far from him, but she had never visited him like this before. After all, she didn't really have any business with him before.
"Good morning, Alice. What are you doing here so early in the morning?" Neo asked with a yawn.
Alice smiled. "I thought that you're still sleeping, Neo."
"I have to prepare some things for the ceremony later. What about you?"
"I want to talk with Kevin if he had woken up."
Neo smirked and pointed to the door. "There's no need to worry. That workaholic has woken up far earlier than me."
Alice walked to the living room. With a glance, she could see that Kevin was sitting on the sofa. In front of him several papers were scattered around, filling the table with them.
"Is there anything that you want to talk with me, Alice?" without turning his head, Kevin asked.
Alice stopped in her tracks. "Kevin –no Boss, I want to cancel the engagement today."
Hearing Kevin agreed to her request immediately, Alice was rather surprised. She has been worried that Kevin might want to prolong the time because of the appearance of Rei. Thankfully, it didn't happen.
"It's common for friends to help each other. I have troubled you a lot with my request."
"It's nothing," Alice smiled. Even though it was hard, it also gave her the chance to stay with Tommy almost all the time. For her, it was already more than enough.
Bowing towards Kevin once again, Alice felt extremely grateful. Without waiting any longer, she walked out of the place and headed back to the place where her father stayed. From behind her, Tommy followed suit despite not understanding why this girl suddenly asked to annul the engagement.
Neo walked inside the room while holding a stack of documents. "Boss, here's the list of those who still oppose you."
"Put them there," Kevin replied.
Neo put the documents on the table and peered at Kevin's work. Without Alice, some of the supports might back down, so they had to move fast. Internally, he sighed at the amount of workload that he had to finish in a short time frame.
While Kevin was busy with his work, Alice finally arrived in the small house designed for her father. Her eyes locked on the door before her. She had never gone against her father in the past. Today would be the very first time she did it.
'I can do this.'
Raising her hand, she knocked the door softly.
Her father's voice caused her to tremble slightly. The authority's tone that he always imposed on her was deeply embedded in her bone. It scared her to stand on her ground in front of him, but she didn't want to stay this way.
As she walked inside, she could see her father was sitting on the chair. He looked towards her curiously.
"It's rare for you to visit me. Is there anything you want, Alice?"
"Father," Alice raised her head and locked her gaze with her father. Her feet trembled slightly, but she tried her best to not show them. "I annulled my engagement with Boss."
The temperature in the room dropped several degrees the moment Alice spoke out. Nico looked towards his daughter menacingly. He stood up and walked to the girl.
"Repeat what you say."
"I… I annulled my engagement with Boss."
Nico slammed his fist on the table. "How dare you annul your engagement with him! Don't you know how much I have worked all these years to get this promise from that man? You just throw the hard work that I have into drain. Get back to him and tell that you're only joking!"
The words from her father hurt her more than what she thought. Alice knew that she was afraid of her father. For her, her father has always been an existence whom she could never defy. But not today.
Today, she had to oppose him.
She felt scared and more than ever, just trying to gather her voice was hard. However, she knew that it was not only her future in the stake of this conversation, but also her friends. She didn't want to make Kevin, Kanae, or Tommy sad anymore.
The sight of Kanae's pained smile when she heard about the engagement was deeply engraved in her heart. The helpless expression of Tommy when he met her and how he always tried to keep a neutral face burdened her.
She didn't want to disappoint them.
"Father…" Alice started, cutting off her father's words. "I know that Father always want the best for me. All these times, I always obey your words because I believe that father wants the best for me. Whatever you say, I'll follow them without any protest.
But I'm no longer a child. Now, I can make my own decision. This is my life and I want to make the decision for myself. I don't want to make the decision that I'll regret in the end."
Nico patiently listened to his daughter. He snorted when she had finished. "Do you think you know what the best is for you?"
"I may not know everything, but I'll do my best," Alice replied.
"You even dare to defy me now, little lass. By breaking off the engagement, you will give up a life full of glory and fame. Don't you always want them?"
Life full of glory and fame…
She never cared much about the fame she could get. With her sickly body and frail constitution, all she wanted was to have a healthier body and genuine friends. Everyone around her always treated her well because of her position or treated her badly because of her condition.
It was Kanae who reached out first to her and helped her to gain more confidence. Even if it was merely an act of impulse for a classmate, the time she spent with Kanae allowed her to learn much more.
She didn't know since when, but she has already seen them as her genuine friends that she cared from the bottom of her heart. Even if it was hard for Kanae, she still treated her well and even though Misae hated those from the clans, that girl started to change. After all, the time they spent together was not a lie.
Alice treasured every single time she had with them, so she didn't want to be the only one to be unable to move. She had to be braver.
"I don't want them, Father," Alice replied firmly.
Seeing his daughter's gaze filled with determination, Nico felt inwardly satisfied. Although he didn't like his daughter defying him, he had never seen this young girl so determined before. She was a good and obedient daughter, so much that sometimes he worried that he did things out of her free will.
Finally, she spoke back to him.
Nico crossed his arm. His expression was as stern as ever. "Then tell me, what do you want?"
"I want to marry the one I love," Alice replied.
"The one who you love? Who is it?"
Alice smiled. She shifted her body position a bit and raised her hand slightly. "It's him, Tommy."
Tommy has been standing like a statue all these times. After all, he didn't understand part of Alice's conversation. However, when he heard how she stood on her ground, he felt deep admiration from the bottom of his heart.
As he heard his name, his eyes darted back to the young girl. Upon seeing her smile, he knew that he wouldn't be able to refuse her. Even though he had vowed to himself that he would never be fixated on a woman like his mother, but he could never leave this young girl. For him, she was so perfect.
Even if she has weakness, he would stay by her side and helped her.
"Him?" Nico was stunned. He knew that this young man was someone whom Neo selected to be Alice's bodyguard, but this development was clearly out of his expectation.
Alice nodded. "Yes, Father. I love him."
Tommy stepped forward. "I think, I'm the one who should say this, Alice. Sir, I'm Tommy Malady and I wish for your daughter's hand."
Nico looked at the two people in front of him. His daughter sure had grown up so quickly. However, he didn't have any intention to make things easy for this young man.
"If you wish for my approval, you have to pass my test."
Tommy nodded his head. "I'm ready."
Nico smirked. "Pack your belongings, Alice. We're going back to the clan."
Alice's eyes lit up when she heard her father's words. She looked towards her father with excitement. "Father, so you agree with me?"
"I will let you off for breaking the engagement," Nico replied mildly. In any case, all he needed to do was meeting that cold clan head to talk about this matter. It shouldn't be too hard, but he might have to lose some face. "As for this boy, we'll talk about it in the clan."
"Thank you, Father," Alice beamed. As long as her father didn't outright refuse, there should be a chance for Tommy.
Seeing Alice's excitement, Tommy smiled slightly. It would be hard for him to pass the test, but he was ready. He would not let this girl's effort in vain.