Chapter 1. An Accidental Encounter
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Nelia felt strange.
Someone who looked just like her was already dead. They must have been young because Charlotte saw them as a friend.
“May I ask how their death was?”
“Because of old age…….”
Um…? Nelia tilted her head.
She couldn’t believe they died of old age. That meant Charlotte’s friend must have been extremely old.
The big age gap didn’t necessarily mean they shouldn’t be friends, but it was simply surprising.
‘Is it because they live in the countryside in a natural way?’
“So when I met Nelia for the first time, I felt as if we were very close.”
That meant the cause of the burdensome personal intimacy was because of the resemblance she (Nelia) shared with her (Charlotte) deceased friend.
‘She must have been more than happy now that someone she couldn’t see anymore appeared in front of her.’
She could understand Charlotte’s behaviour thoroughly after that.
“It might be because I know that Nelia is a good person, but I grow to like you even more now…….”
Charlotte shamelessly confessed her feelings.
Nelia felt the same. It might be because Charlotte was the first female friend she made since she came here, so she felt comfortable and relieved after the misunderstanding was resolved.
“I want to continue the friendship with Charlotte as well.”
Charlotte raised her gaze and nodded her head back and forth vigorously. It was cute when she saw her (Charlotte) doing that.
“How’s your life in the capital? Have you gotten used to it?”
“Better than before…… The priests of the monastery here were nicer than the previous one, and I think I’ve gotten used to the unfamiliar capital a bit…….”
Even so, Charlotte’s expression was not bright. As if she was caught in something.
“Is something the matter, Charlotte?”
Charlotte looked up. Her red orbs were filled with anxiety.
“I’ve never told anyone about this since I arrived here…….”
Nelia became cautious at Charlotte’s cautious look.
“Actually, I came to the capital to find something.”
Charlotte brought it up with great difficulty, but Nelia already knew what Charlotte was looking for. Even the reason she was trying to find it.
She knew the female lead, Charlotte, well since she read the original plot.
Even so, Nelia pretended not to know because she couldn’t act like she knew it first without being told.
“What are you looking for here?”
“……. Sigrid’s heart.”
Charlotte seemed very embarrassed of what she said.
“You might think it’s ridiculous……. But Sigrid’s heart definitely exists.”
Charlotte must have thought that she would give her (Charlotte) a strange look as she (Charlotte) came all the way to the capital to find Sigrid’s heart.
After all, Sigrid’s heart still remained a legend for most people.
“Yes, I think so, too.”
Nelia nodded at once, and Charlotte opened her eyes wide.
“There are already a few people in the capital looking for Sigrid’s heart.”
It’s a secret she kept from Charlotte, but she was one of the people looking for Sigrid’s heart.
“I see……. In the place where I lived, it was completely dismissed as a legend, and I didn’t think there would be people looking for Sigrid’s heart aside from me……..”
Charlotte murmured randomly, ‘As expected, the capital is different………’
Charlotte seemed quite shocked upon learning that there was already someone looking for Sigrid’s heart.
Nelia asked Charlotte another question.
“Is Charlotte trying to find it because you have a wish that needs to be fulfilled? That’s the reason most people look for Sigrid’s heart.”
Nelia already knew Charlotte’s reason to look for the heart, but she wanted to hear the reason directly from Charlotte.
“No……. I’m just looking to keep the heart from falling into the hands of bad people. The priest who took care of me said that such a thing should never happen…….”
Nelia looked at Charlotte with so much respect.
She had an admirable commitment to the task given to her that she blindly came to the unfamiliar capital to save the world.
She would definitely fall in love with Carlos in the middle of her journey and change her commitment to finding the heart for him.
Such thoughts made Nelia wonder.
The original plot has already been messed up, and Charlotte should have met Carlos a long ago, but she didn’t.
So, what would happen to Charlotte’s life…….?
Of course, Charlotte’s meeting with Carlos didn’t turn her thorny path into a flowery path at once.
‘She must have had a hard time…….’
Carlos was far from the typical male lead style who had a great personality.
He had a ridiculously handsome face and the position of crown prince, but his personality was tough.
Carlos loved Charlotte, but he didn’t realize his feelings right away and pushed it aside for a long time.
That was the reason why Charlotte suffered on her own.
On the other hand, she felt sorry for Charlotte. She would probably miss the happy ending because she couldn’t meet Carlos because of her.
The same with Carlos.
As Nelia’s expression gradually turned darker, Charlotte leaned her head slightly and brought her face closer to Nelia.
Shadow hung on Nelia’s light brown that were similar to clear beads.
“Charlotte, what if Sigrid’s heart didn’t fall into the hands of bad people…….”
Before anything, she wanted to make this clear first. To lift up the burden off her mind.
Charlotte closed her mouth for a moment. She seemed to be somewhat awkward by the sudden question.
However, she touched the pendant around his neck while she talked.
“Then…… I don’t think it matters. I’m not looking for Sigrid’s heart because I want my wish to be fulfilled.”
Charlotte looked up at Nelia.
“May I ask why you’re asking this question, Nelia?”
Nelia paused for a moment.
She couldn’t lie when she faced Charlotte’s innocent eyes.
It didn’t take so long for her to answer.
“Actually, I’m looking for Sigrid’s heart.”
Nelia smiled wryly as she looked at Charlotte’s round eyes.
“Yes……. they’re suffering from an unknown disease.”
Nelia explained vaguely because she couldn’t just say it was for lifting the duke’s curse.
Nelia felt strange because she felt ticklish while saying those words.
Charlotte didn’t seem to question her excuse.
“If that’s the reason, Nelia must be desperate……..”
“I’m desperate. I didn’t want to hide it since you already said that you are looking for the heart first.”
“Thank you, Nelia…….”
Charlotte dropped her gaze, looked at the pendant hung on the necklace around her neck and spoke in a quiet voice.
“The deceased priest asked me to find it first so that the heart wouldn’t fall into the hands of bad people…….”
Her voice was small, but Nelia was still able to hear it clearly.
“If it’s like Nelia, it will be fine if you manage to find Sigrid’s heart.”
The stone that was pressing on her heart seemed to have come down.
Nelia laughed with a lighter heart.
“Thank you for your words, Charlotte, and I promise you, I will never make a bad wish if I manage to find it.”
Charlotte smiled gently, following Nelia who smiled first.
“Actually……. It’s also my sincere wish to find someone who could use Sigrid’s heart rightfully…….”
Charlotte fidget with the pendant of the necklace on her neck.
“Although I’m sorry to the priest who believed in me, I really have no idea how to find Sigrid’s heart……. I don’t even know if I can find it.”
Nelia somewhat sympathized with Charlotte’s hopelessness.
She was still struggling despite the fact that she read the original plot and knowing how to find it to some extent, let alone Charlotte who must find Sigrid’s heart by herself.
‘I wonder how Charlotte found Sigrid’s heart in the original plot…….’
She couldn’t read the later part of the story, so she had no clue about how Charlotte found the heart.
She probably engaged with Carlos, whom she met by chance, and accidentally stumbled upon Elena’s Tears while visiting the Imperial Palace, and awakened Zenuit, is there a possibility that the story might be like that?
Nelia suddenly realized the plot she made in her mind matched perfectly with what she had been through.
But, here comes the important thing.
The way to get Zenuit out of Elena’s Tears.
Where is she supposed to get the holy dew?
She felt like blocked by a solid wall at this point.
Nelia stared at Charlotte.
‘Where does Charlotte get the holy dew?’
Trapped in her thoughts, the carriage came to a halt and the door opened.
“We arrived. Young Lady Nelia, and Young Lady Charlotte.”
Ton, who assisted to be the coachman, announced their arrival in a polite tone.
Their destination was downtown in the center of the capital. Nelia asked Charlotte, who was looking around.
“Charlotte, have you ever been downtown?”
“Yes……. I’ve been here several times to run errands for the priest, but it’s my first time coming here for personal reasons.”
Charlotte’s eyes darted around frantically.
“I couldn’t see it because I have no time to do so, but the streets are very beautiful……”
“It’s well-maintained. But, you shouldn’t lower your guards. There are quite a number of pickpockets on the street.”
Nelia had never been pickpocketed before because she rarely walked around the capital on her own, but she heard it from the duke.
‘Nelia, there are a lot of pickpockets in town, so you should always be careful. Especially if you got pickpocketed, you must never follow him. You might get caught up in other things.’
That was also the reason why the duke ordered Ton to escort her.
Behind the fancy-looking city, there was a slum in the darkness, therefore the crime rate was high.
The subjects were mainly a lavish-looking noblewoman or young lady.
Charlotte, who was wearing a monk’s uniform, looked like a priest at first glance, but she was worried about the pendant necklace around her neck.
The silver pendant was shining too much over her white attire.
Nelia, who was bothered by it, eventually spoke to Charlotte.
“Charlotte, I think it’s better to keep the pendant in your pocket. From the way I see it, it seems precious to you.”
She pretended to not have any idea, but it was actually a keepsake left by the deceased priest whom she saw as her mother. She would be very heartbroken if she lost it.
“Yes…… I think it’s a good idea.”
Charlotte untied her necklace calmly and put it in her pocket.
After Nelia and Charlotte were done talking, Ton, who stood by their side, politely asked.
“Where do you want to go first?”
Nelia turned to Charlotte.
“Is there any place you want to go, Charlotte?”
“I want to go to the park. I heard that there is a very big park around here…….”
“As the young lady said, the park is not far from here. Would you like to go there?”
Ton took the lead upon Nelia’s request. Nelia spoke to Ton after looking at his reliable figure.
“Thank you, Ton. Thank you for escorting me even though you must be busy.”
Ton halted and stood in his spot for a moment, before he turned around swiftly.
“It’s nothing. If Young Lady Nelia goes out alone and something bad happens, that would be even more troubling. His Grace won’t just stay still.”
At Ton’s firm remark, Nelia was able to let go of her guilty feelings.
‘Right……. He’s the type of person who would make a fuss even if I just get hurt in the slightest.’
One time, her finger was stabbed by a wooden thorn which was protruding out of the furniture, therefore the duke tried to replace the entire furniture in the house while saying it looked too outdated.
In another moment, she sprained her foot while taking a stroll, and he made a fuss that the garden path was bumpy and had to be fixed.
Nelia shook her head with a ghastly face.
While recalling the past for a while, they arrived at the wooded park. The smell of the green grass grazed the tip of her nose.
“The park is a destination for many ladies, so it won’t be dangerous, but don’t let your guards down.”
Nelia replied to the overprotective Ton like a good daughter.
At that moment, Charlotte pulled Nelia by the sleeve.