When I opened my eyes, my throat was sore.
Seeing the noisy road outside the window, it seemed to be raining.
I was about to get up from bed and close the curtains, but my limbs were numb.
Today, there was no maid at the door.
‘Ah… Come to think of it, starting today, I was able to be alone for around the whole time I slept…’
The question was whether or not putting people together for 24 hours a day was the right way to protect them, but it was a thing of the past anyway…
After making a rough conclusion, I got up wriggling from my seat.
The blanket, which was more wrinkled than usual, made me realize how intensely I slept last night.
I staggered around and pulled the rope next to the bed.
I didn’t know how much time had passed since I pulled that rope.
Until now, whenever I woke up, I heard a maid at the door greeting me like a morning bird.
Soon, a maid entered the room.
“Milady, here’s water for you to wash up.”
“Yes, thank you.”
The water service, which ranked the best in this service job, was always outstanding.
Humans always tried to somehow live without bothersome things, so… they paid people in return to do the hassle they didn’t want.
I finished washing my face lightly, admiring the right temperature of the water in this unchanging world.
Soon, dressed in a brightly colored indoor dress, I headed to the dining room downstairs.
There were two conditions for my outings and getting rid of my nightly surveillance.
First, when going out, be with Lucas or someone else.
Second, eat together.
“Good morning.” I sat down at the same time as I said my morning greeting.
Again today, the whole family was sitting around the table, waiting for me with excitement.
Did you sleep well too, Selena”
Selena’s mother, holding her hands tightly together atop her pounding heart, truly looked like a young girl.
Even the female lead of the novel wouldn’t look as shy and innocent as her.
I put my hands together and nodded.
Unlike yesterday’s mealtime, the waterfall of questions did not pour out.
Even so, it was customary to ask if I was feeling well or not.
‘You must have asked all the questions you wanted to ask last time…’
After I swallowed the last piece of roasted potato, I lightly pressed the corners of my mouth to clean it.
The three people’s dishes had already been emptied, but when I started wiping my lips, they too did so, pretending they had finished their meal.
They probably thought I would feel embarrassed for finishing late…
When I saw them, my stomach felt heavy, as if I had been crushed by something big.
‘Maybe it’s because I haven’t had breakfast in a long time…’ I knew it wasn’t actually like that, but I roughly concluded it was.
After the meal was over, the family chatted over full-fledged tea time.
I was still in the dark of the unknown political situation, staring into the air, and then turned to my older brother for an interesting story.
“Yes, that’s why I’m going to go with Lucas.”
“Yeah, the temple…”
Selena’s father pretended to drink tea casually as he glanced at me while talking.
“…Donate some money to the temple.
It doesn’t matter what the amount is, so bring it up somehow.”
And just in case, I’m thinking of staying nearby for a day or so.”
“Oh… Staying out overnight” Mother put down the teacup and clasped her hands together.
Previously, it was because she was shy, but now it was because she was concerned.
Lucas said it might not be easy to convince them.
I have to bring them here at once before the other notices that I’m trying to persuade them, so I’m going to talk about it slowly while staying at least a night.”
Then let’s do that.
How many servants will you take”
“I won’t take any.
I did it all by myself when I was at the academy.
It’s harder when I have to go around carrying other people.”
‘That’s right!’ I took a sip of the tea and shouted in my mind.
I was not even a child, but every time I went out on the street, someone had to come with me…
However, the large number of bumpy gangsters came to mind suddenly.
Even with that huge stick…
‘I can have at least one, I guess…’ My mind changed so fast that I shook my head.
Lucas would be absent.
For a night at that.
This was an opportunity.
He was the biggest stumbling block to my plans.
When Brother and Lucas would prepare to stay overnight, everyone’s eyes would be drawn to that.
My condition was gradually improving, and my brother was drawing the attention of everyone after finishing his engagement ceremony… So everyone would be busy in many ways.
Naturally, this—my—side would be neglected if there was a good reason to go out while Lucas was away…
The day the two went out was three days later.
Today, my brother and I had dinner plans with the princess, and above all, the weather wasn’t good for a trip longer than one night.
The muddy soil would still be wet tomorrow, and it seemed that preparation and planning were needed for two days.
‘I don’t know what the hell is so serious about the two of you to going to the temple, but…’ I shook my head resolutely.
I had a deep feeling that if I missed this opportunity, the plan would be delayed for a long time.
That would be difficult.
Because the more I dealt with this family, the more uncomfortable I would feel.
And above all…
I started having nightmares.
It started on the night of the engagement ceremony.
In the dream, many white butterflies flew together, and they formed a human figure.
The figure of the person gradually became clearer, revealing a familiar face.
It was the real Selena.
She grabbed me and cried sorrowfully.
No, to be honest, I didn’t understand why she cried so much after all the bad things she did, but… Still, being the owner of this body, and having witnessed the tragic end of her death, I absentmindedly patted her on the back.
But it kept happening from then on.
Selena appeared in my dreams every night since that day.
In addition, her actions became more and more radical.
While crying, she grabbed me by the collar and yelled at me in an inaudible voice.
Pointing her finger somewhere, grabbing my shoulder and rocking it back and forth, then hugging me again and crying… Thanks to this mad Selena, I hadn’t been able to sleep for about a week.
I was so tired.
Uncomfortable feelings during the day, and tiresome dreams at night.
If I didn’t take a nap from time to time, my body couldn’t stand it.
“Aiden, are these all the invitations”
I pressed my stinging temple firmly.
My limbs that had been sore in the morning were still tingling.
Also, it was only today that I found out that this desk and chair felt like this.
I used it for the first time today.
So far, the only furniture I had used to the fullest in my room was the bed.
‘Well, It’s a good thing I used at least one item well.’ I tapped my finger on the unfamiliar desk, waiting for Aiden to answer.
“Yes, for now, that’s all.” The pile of invitations to every kind of gathering was quite large.
After Selena, who was recuperating from illness, showed up at the engagement ceremony, people started to invite me everywhere.
Anyway, everyone must’ve been thinking the same.
One by one, I rummaged through the envelopes with colorful patterns, marked with something red, and relentlessly tore the outer envelopes to check the contents inside.
Aiden, who flinched at my unexpected movement, asked me for the envelope, took out a tool called a paper knife, opened it, and only handed me the letter quickly and easily.
‘As expected, humans are also animals of tools…’
“Rose Garden Party”
“It is a popular, fashionable garden party from the early summer to the end of summer.
Nobles usually decorate their gardens with roses and have a small tea party there.”
‘In short, it’s a party in a garden full of flowers.’ I held an invitation in my hand and tapped my toe.
The gold-rimmed invitation came from some Jonas County.
“I should use this.”
There was only one reason I chose this invitation.
Getting ready to attend this garden party, which was ten days later, was a pressing move.
This meant that it would create an unavoidable reason to go out.
If I said I wanted to go to another young lady’s garden party, they would be a little worried, but they’d also be pleased and would agree.
I felt like I was taking advantage of Selena’s family until the end, but it was inevitable.
It was better than living my old life to deceive them like this.
‘Right, Selena That’s why you should stop coming to my dreams now.’ I collected the other invitations from the desk, threw them into the trash can, and then dived onto the bed.
My body was throbbing all over.
“Are you okay, milady” As I dived onto the bed, Aiden approached me with a letter.
I roughly waved my hand, signaling I was fine.
“Mmh, I’m fine.”
“If you’re not feeling well, tell me right away.”
Aiden said so, glanced at me, and left.
Not long after, however, he came again with a knock.
“…It’s my job to be here…”
Only at night I was free.
My head was pounding and my thoughts became dull.
I looked at Aiden sitting familiarly on the chair in front of the door, and dug into the blanket.
I wanted to sleep like a dead person until the next mealtime.
Three meaningless days had passed.
I didn’t do much because I was going to die soon anyway.
It would be rather amusing to leave a will behind, though I wasn’t the real Selena… However, I had no intention of making great memories with other people.
I just ate with Selena’s family, slept, nodded my head roughly at Lucas’s words, who occasionally showed up to see me; and looked out the window at the muddy soil after the rain had stopped, realizing the preciousness of home once again.
Then I ate and slept again.
It was a fantastic and ideal time.
Of course, while I was sleeping, Selena showed up and grabbed me by the collar while crying.
This cute and dreadful chick.
If I went to hell and met this child, I would have to slap her hard.
And finally… morning came.
The sunlight pouring through the window was bright.
I started this year losing someone in the most unexpected way I could have ever thought of.
It felt like rain hitting me in the face so suddenly that I’m still drenched and at a loss of what to do or how to understand all of this.
You have no idea how hard it was for me to translate this chapter… I just wanted to say, stay safe guys.
If someone you know, if you yourselves are struggling or feeling down, please ask for help.
Please embrace the people that love you.
I hug you all.