Chapter 2. Promise (1)

 

 

‘H-How can a person be like this!’

Elusiana looked down at the child, stiffening her body.

The child was a living human being. This child also deserved to be protected and loved endlessly.

But what about the child in front of her now? Not only was their body full of wounds, but blood was still oozing from them that hadn’t yet healed.

‘This… isn’t going to work.’

Seeing that the child was wearing worn-out clothes, it seemed that they had never lived getting protection. It wasn’t their fault they were born like that.

Elusiana looked at the child and wept. A flower of anger bloomed inside her mind.

That child must have come here to live. Believing in the reputation of Viscount Waieos, who was famous for giving charity as a virtue. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have dragged their wretched body and collapsed in front of the noble mansion.

‘However, far from being saved, they were thrown out in vain.’

The child’s hope was shattered simply because their status was humble, just like her past life, where she lost her parents and had to be thrown into an orphanage without knowing anything.

‘I also wanted to live with my family, just like ordinary people.’

The world was harsh and cruel. That mediocre wish was too far away to reach, for a woman with nothing to pursue. It was like a mirage that could never be reached.

‘…at least until I got here.’

Elusiana closed her eyes tightly and then opened them. The sight of the child struggling to breathe as if it were too much for them caught her eyes once again. The child’s bones protruded under their rough skin, and all the vitality in their body had disappeared.

Elusiana slowly bent her knees and sat in front of the child. It could be said that it was the feeling of sympathy. Or it was okay to say it was pointless meddling. What she wanted was just to put this poor child to rest.

“It’s okay, don’t worry. I will protect you from now on.”

Don’t let your life go out like a light swept by the wind. So that your will can be strong anytime, I will be your support.

“So, take it easy.”

Elusiana, who recited quietly, reached toward the little child. It was the moment her fingertips had just touched the child’s hair. The eyes of the fainted child, as if he was about to die, suddenly opened.

“…!”

Red eyes darker than blood. Those red eyes rose ferociously as if to devour her.

‘…Gasp!’

Elusiana’s trembling hand stopped in mid-air. For a moment, something black suddenly struck her vision.

“No!”

“Lady! Avoid it!”

“You crazy punk!”

Thud!

Her eyes flashed with dizzying pain. She felt drowsy without even having time to think properly.

‘Huh…? Why am I suddenly… being like this? That child… needs to be treated…’

Then, she saw the pale faces of the servants running from afar.

“Lady! Lady!”

“Catch that punk! Stop that hand first!”

“Doctor! Call the doctor!”

She wanted to say, ‘Guys, I’m fine,’ but her lips were immovable.

‘…Father will be here soon.’

What to do? He will be worried a lot, right? More than that, is that child going to be okay…?

At the end of that thought, Elusiana completely lost consciousness.

 

* * *

 

‘Ugh, my head hurts.’

No, what’s wrong with these eyes? Elusiana blinked her eyes. No, she wanted to blink, but her eyes didn’t move as she wanted. It was stiff as if the muscles around her eyes went missing.

‘…This, what’s wrong with you?’

Elusiana got her body up and gave strength to her eyes once more. Only then did her eyelids slowly lift.

Fortunately, she could see the familiar bedroom. The fluffy bed and soft pajamas that felt so nice were all the same.

Taking a breath, Elusiana leaned her body against the bed.

“I was surprised.”

While she fainted, she thought she would return to her past world.  

“Why am I here anyway?”

She was definitely trying to save the dying child just a moment ago. However, lying down here all of a sudden and the memory of being fainted right after holding the child were full of things that she didn’t understand.

“Why did I faint?”

At the time of her possession, she had to recuperate for a full month because she was not in good condition. Now that she could finally take a walk, it wasn’t particularly unusual for her to faint. However…

‘I have to remember something I guess. Wasn’t it dark without a single light?’

As Elusiana wanted to remember something, she forced herself to look back at her memories and then she heard the suddenly open door.

“Lusi!”

Simon, who spit out her name,weeping. He sounded  as if he was caught up in a turbulent wave, rushed in.

“You’re awake now.”

“Yes, Father. I just woke up.”

Her father, Simon Ron Waieos, loved her. He immediately held Elsuiana’s hand and said, “Huhu. That’s a relief. Thank god. How surprised I was, I thought I would lose you.”

“Ca-Calm down, Father.”

“I didn’t mean to leave you behind when you were sick. What’s the point of being an administrator? Huhu.”

Elusiana was startled, then gently patted Simon’s back. When Simon gave up his position as the minister, the emperor ordered him to keep the administrator position and gave him less work to do to protect his position.

She thought she had gotten used to it, but his excessive love still burdened her.

“…I did something wrong today. It’s not Father’s fault.”

“No, Lusi, it’s all my fault. If I had been by your side, I wouldn’t have made you suffer like that.”

Suffer?

Leaving Elusiana puzzled, Simon continued in a sad voice.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Lucy. This father was wrong.”

His hand holding hers trembled softly. How surprised he was that his daughter fainted again.

Elusiana was a little curious about what Simon meant by ‘suffer.’ Still, she remained silent because she didn’t want to ask about the situation.

But – at that very moment.

There was a face that was quite unfamiliar yet familiar. At the antique, highly crafted triple mirror dressing table, something in it was staring straight at her. And that face was also the face she knew well.

Elusiana unwittingly stretched her finger to the mirror.

“Elusiana?”

“Uh, huh?”

Simon was surprised to see what she was pointing at belatedly. He hurriedly blocked her view.

“Lu-Lusi.”

“Hold on, Father. Look, the person in the mirror… is it me?”

“T-That’s it.”

Simon hesitated in a cold sweat. But Elusiana certainly saw it. Of course, she was swelled up like steamed buns, but her face was dyed red.

‘No, why am I looking like this?’

Elusiana gave Simon a slight push to get out of bed.

“Please step aside for a moment, Father.”

“I can’t do that! Even if the sky is split into two, I would never get out of my way for tod—”

Before Simon could even finish speaking, Elusiana jumped out of bed and ran to the mirror.  

“He-Heuk. N-No! Do-Don’t look! You must never look at it!”

The startled Simon screamed to stop her, but Elusiana was already staring at herself in the mirror. Long-dropping brown hair and scarlet eyes that resembled the sunset. It was the look she had been familiar with so far. But what was that mottled mark that covered her smooth skin?

‘…how the hell did I become like this? Who made me like this?’

No one in Waieos would do bad things to her. Neither Simon nor the servants who loved her would do it.

Her eyes naturally turned to her wrist. She didn’t know until now, but her wrist had a clear red mark. Only then did she feel a throbbing pain.

‘What is this?’

The handprint was as if someone was holding her with a strong grip.

It was at that moment a powerful memory hit her head like a huge wave.

 

* * *

 

So—

‘Is the child I was trying to save the one who created this?’

Elusiana, who had barely driven Simon away, asked Trisha again, who was absorbed in applying the ointment.

“So, he’s still unconscious?”

“Yes, apparently.”

Elusiana, who crumpled her brows, swallowed the frustrating sigh.

The child, who fainted again after revealing his name was ‘Astein,’ was still unconscious and unable to open his eyes. They couldn’t leave his treatment to the priest because there were obvious signs that he had escaped from somewhere.

‘Still, isn’t it necessary to treat him? What if he dies by mistake?’

At first glance, it wouldn’t be strange for him to die soon. What was the point of getting first aid from the doctor but not getting any advanced treatment?

Elusiana asked worriedly, “What do you think, Trisha?”

“What do you mean?”

“That kid… I mean, Astein. Do you think his complexion or wounds are getting better?”

Her hand, which was combing Elusiana’s hair, suddenly stopped.

“Are you worried about him now?”

“Uh, yes?”

“The shameless child who made Lady’s pretty face look ugly?”

“It doesn’t look that ugly. I didn’t feel the pain because of the ointment. The bruise too. It’s not a torn wound, so it won’t leave a scar.”

“Lady!”

Trisha’s eyes became fierce. Somehow, Trisha looked like she wanted to twist that child’s neck, if she had the momentum, as he was still unconscious.

“Calm down, Trisha.”

“Hmm. I’m sorry, Lady. I must have been a little emotional.”

‘I don’t think she’s a little emotional.’

Elusiana secretly avoided her gaze. Trisha, who was paying attention to whether the lady looked depressed, calmly softened herself and then spoke. 

Notes

N/A

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