Chapter 1. Who are... all of you?

 

 

“I-It’s cold.”

Suyeon tried to open her eyes while trembling. As if it was the aftermath of hard labor, her body didn’t move as she wanted, as if her eyelids were glued. But before she could open her eyes, the tumultuous voice clung to her ears, making her dizzy.

“Lady, Lady! Are you awake?”

“Oh my God. Finally, our lady opened her eyes.”

“B-Baby. My baby, Lusi.”

After finishing her last part-time job, Suyeon could finally lie down in the boarding house. The boarding house was cold enough that you couldn’t tell the difference between the temperature inside and outside. However, it was still a comforting house, as it could block the wind.

By the way, she was sure it should have been like that—

What is this fluffy bed and soft pajamas that feel so nice?

‘What’s going on here?’

…is this a dream?

Suyeon forcibly opened her eyes, which were hard to open, and could see the group of people gathered near her, one by one. Her eyes lit up for a moment as if her sleepiness had gone away.

‘Gasp.’

Various different colors of eyes were sparkling around her. Suyeon stiffened her body as she met their sparkling eyes.

‘Who are…all of you?’

 

* * *

 

Viscount Waieos.

Simon Ron Waieos, the current head of the family, who was the closest relative of the emperor and had wealth comparable to the imperial family, was the minister of the Silven Empire. He could be said to be the central axis of power in name and reality.

In particular, in the early days of his work, he eradicated incompetent officials by hiring talented people based on his cool-headed, quick and accurate judgment. Since then, nobles have called him ‘Iron-Blooded Minister’ because of his relentless disposition.

Of course, in Suyeon’s eyes, it was just ‘rumors’ spread by people who liked to gossip about others. Simon, seen in her eyes, was just a typical idiot father who would do everything for his daughter, even die. It could be seen just by the fact that he had resigned from that great and prestigious position a few days ago, without much thought because his daughter was sick.

It was the same for the servants of this family because the young lady they served had fainted for a long time due to disease and only recently opened her eyes.

“Sigh, I’m all good. But how long do I have to stay in the room?”

Suyeon, who swept down her tired face, sighed loudly, unlike a child.

She possessed this eight-year-old lady about a month ago.

‘No matter how long I lie sick on the bed, isn’t it a bit too much to not let leave the room?’

A small hand caught my eye. Fingers that used to look like dry wood sticks, now look like human fingers.

“It’s not like I’m being raised.”

Looking at this, it was hard to understand. It had only been a while since she slept in the small room of the boarding house, but now she couldn’t believe she was complaining about such luxury.

Suyeon rolled her body once, lying on the wide bed. Perhaps she had completely forgotten her grunts. The corners of Suyeon’s lips rose up, drawing a long arc.

“I have become the only daughter of a really wealthy family.”

That fact alone was just like a gentle breeze on one side of her chest. It was as comfortable as walking on fluffy fur.

“And I don’t have to worry about money anymore. Hehe… Good things are good.”

Suyeon hummed, feeling happy with the soft touch.

A soft canopy bed with white and thin fabric hanging.  The soft texture of the blanket wrapped around her body every time she moved.

The family she had now, their warm eyes worried about her, and the spacious and comfortable room, including the expensive accessories and other toys that flowed out like water.

Just raising her fingertips, one glance, or one gesture, everyone listened and reacted to her.

Everything she had only seen in her imagination was now her. She was no longer Han Suyeon, the lonely orphan.

“Elusiana Loti Waieos.”

Mumbling her name, which she was quite used to, Elusiana rolled over the bed as wide as the Atlantic Ocean.

 

* * *

 

“Lady Elusiana! Lady, where are you?”

“You will be in trouble at this rate. What are you going to do if you get sick again?”

“Lady, please! Please tell me where you are. If the Viscount finds out about this, we are going to die.”

Elusiana, who managed to escape from the eyes of servants, quickly hid behind a tree. She felt a bit sorry for the servants running around searching for her, but she was determined to do what she had in her mind.

‘I’m sorry. Just suffer a little more.’

She didn’t mean to do this from the beginning. She was going to come out for a while, get some air, and quietly enter her room. During her nap time, the servants didn’t come and go often. But her exclusive maid, Trisha, came too early today, and now her small plan was shattered.

‘I’m really sorry. I’ll make up for it all later. So please understand a little bit. Please. I was terribly frustrated.’

Elusiana put her hands together and apologized deeply in her heart. She knew with what kind of feeling they were looking for her, but if she got caught now, it was clear that she couldn’t even dream of visiting the garden. Throwing away her feeble guilt, she carefully moved to the front gate.

How far did she walk like that?

“Ah…!”

Elusiana, who exclaimed without realizing it, hurriedly covered her mouth.

The ornate gate you could only see in the Middle Ages came into her view. A pillar made of iron ornaments twisted like rose vines and artfully designed patterns on the white bar. The sturdy knights standing in front of it were exactly what she had often imagined.

‘I knew this wasn’t the world I used to live in.’

Seeing the knights in iron armor and the swords they brought now made her realize a little, that this was a completely different world from before.

‘Ah, they say knights are sensitive to presence. I have to be careful not to get caught.’

Elusiana slowly walked like a stray cat.

And then—

‘Gasp! W-What is that?!’

Elusiana covered her mouth with a terrified face. She was so startled that she forgot to breathe.

‘…a person…?’

A thin child was lying on the ground, covered in blood. It looked like a horrible ghoul that seemed to be losing its sanity.

Elusiana’s heart thumped. Seeing the knights still roaming around, it seemed like she didn’t get caught.

‘No way. I-Is that person dead?’

She had seen people beaten up occasionally. How many times has she also been beaten for no reason? But she had never seen such a severe appearance like this.

As her unknown anger raised with fear, the knight was seen lifting that child. The child was limp and motionless as if it had completely fainted. However, the movement of the knight was a little strange.

‘…No, what are you trying to do now? Hey, hey! Where are you going to take them now? You need to get them treated first!’

The child, whom she thought would be brought to the mansion first, was moving away from the front gate. The knight of this family couldn’t have done that. The reason why Viscount Waieos had a high reputation was because he always kept the door open for the poor and needy.

Elusiana, who was in a hurry, ran out with her arms extended reflexively.

‘No!’

She didn’t know why she was in such an emotional state for a moment. Was it because she cared for her family’s reputation? Or did she suddenly realize the dignity of life? Or was it because of the feeling of guilt?

‘No, it wasn’t like that. Strangely, I feel my heart is heartbreaking. I didn’t want to let that child be like this. No, I wanted to save them somehow.’

That child looked like herself, who was abandoned when she was young. Alone, weak, pitiful and owning nothing. Her unhealed wounds… because they looked alike.

‘Ah, that’s right. That child looks like me.’

Her feet had already reached the front gate when she realized it.

“Stop!”

Elusiana shouted with all her might.

“Please stop!”

The two knights stopped walking at the sudden shout. They turned their heads without knowing how desperate the person who shouted it was.

“Gasp!”

“L-Lady Elusiana?”

Taking her breath, Elusiana stretched out her trembling hands and said, “…that child, gasp gasp, p-put them down.”

“Lady, how did you get here? You have not even recovered yet.”

“I told you… to put that child down. Right now!”

The two knights flinched at Elusiana’s shout, who trembled her fist.

But the senior knight was experienced. He looked around to confirm that the servants were not in sight, then asked, “Lady, did you come here alone?”

The senior knight, who had lifted up the child, glanced at his junior, then approached Elusiana.

“I will take you to your room, Lady.”

But all of Elusiana’s nerves were directed at the child. The small, dwarf-like child was covered in blood, like meat from a butcher. No matter what they said, she couldn’t hear them at all.

“Lady.”

“This is the last warning!”

It was a frosty shout which was intimidating but didn’t suit an eight-year-old lady.

“That child, put them down in front of me right now.”

Elusiana’s trembling body looked precarious, as if she was about to collapse. Nevertheless, there was not a sign of backing down in her eyes. It was a miracle that she survived.

The senior knight was at a loss as to what would happen if that child brought disease. He should have cleaned up this hideous thing sooner but regret always comes late. He hesitated over and over again, then reluctantly put the child down.

“Don’t get too close, Lady. It’s not… a good sight.”

Despite the senior knight’s request, Elusiana hurriedly approached the child. 

Notes

N/A

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