Author: Tam

So I was very happy to see Adele. 

 

Her face, which I saw only after death, still looked kind. 

 

I hugged poor Adele by the nape of her neck and wrapped my arms around her.

 

Just like when I was alive, I still felt a familiar warmth.

 

“Adele! I, I missed you so much…”

 

Adele’s shoulder was soaked with my tears and runny nose.

 

I didn’t care about myself and wiped the tears away from Adele’s clothes.

 

I died anyway. No one could say anything like this. 

 

Had I been alive, Mrs. Bellin would have scolded me for not being able to protect the dignity of Raniero—.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

Then, I heard an unwelcome voice even after I died.

 

I turned my head slowly.

 

Then I saw Mrs. Bellin’s face, which was frowning at me with her aquiline nose.

 

“…Mrs?” 

 

It was really Mrs. Bellin.

 

Speak of the devil, she appeared before my eyes after I thought of being scolded by Mrs. Bellin.

 

Yeah, come to think of it, Mrs. Bellin is dead, so she’s also here.

 

She was in charge of managing the succession of the Raniero family, so she couldn’t avoid responsibility.

 

When I was alive, she was one of those people who I didn’t like at all, but when I died, I was even happy to see Mrs. Bellin’s face.

 

I ran to her crying.

 

And clung to her skinny legs.

 

“H, hiik, Mrs, Hnngg, I, I didn’t want to die…” 

 

Crying.

 

Tears kept pouring out.

 

As I rubbed my head, Mrs. Bellin’s blue dress was soaked with my runny nose.

 

I never thought I’d be happy to see these people.

 

It was then.

 

My short legs were hanging in the air.

 

Mrs. Bellin held me in her hands and lifted me into the air. 

 

She wrinkled her brow as she watched me wipe away my tears and runny nose.

 

“Adele, what’s wrong with Lady Linsy?” 

 

Mrs. Bellin asked sharply.

 

Adele replied, lowering her head in a bewildered countenance.

 

“Looks like the Lady had a nightmare. I’m—”

 

“Lady is having lunch with the head of the house today. Adele, you didn’t forget, did you? But if it was like this—”

 

She handed me into Adele’s arms politely, but coldly. 

 

And she immediately turned around and walked away.

 

Mrs. Bellin’s elegant shoes gradually faded away.

 

“…Lunch.” 

 

I stopped crying and looked up at Adele.

 

“Ah, Lady too, there is a lunch scheduled with the head of house today. Come on, change your clothes, Lady.”

 

The last time I was invited to my father’s luncheon was before I was ten years old.

 

But lunch?

 

“…Am I not dead?”

 

“Lady Linsy, how long are you going to be like this? Now you have to come to your senses and wash your face.”

 

I turned my eyes slowly.

 

Then, my face was reflected in the fancy mirror standing next to the bed.

 

In the mirror, a young child with curly milky hair, light green eyes, and two plump milky cheeks was looking at me.

 

I asked, touching the mirror like I was possessed.

 

“…Adele, how old am I?”

 

“You just turned seven yesterday.” 

 

I looked slowly around the room with a blank look on my face.

 

A small but beautiful room with a little white cloth-covered bed, a fluffy fleece rug underneath, and a soft teddy bear on the bed. 

 

This was the room I lived in when I was very young.

 

Before Adele was kicked out, before my hair turned red, this is the room I got when I was a daughter who was loved by my father.

 

‘…Am I back?’

 

Before I died?

 

******

 

I’m sure I’m dead.

 

Adele, who’s been busy running around changing my clothes and tying a ribbon around my head, doesn’t seem to think so.

 

“Adele, am I really not dead?”

 

After repeating the same question six times, Adele put her hands on her waist with a tired expression.

 

“Until when are you going to talk about your dreams? It’s already been thirty minutes since you woke up.” 

 

She scolded me with a stern look on her face.

 

Then she untied the blue ribbon tied to my head and said.

 

“Would pink be better?”

 

I nodded my head roughly.

 

At a time when I can’t tell whether it’s a dream or a reality, the color of the ribbon can’t be important.

 

‘Is it a dream?’

 

However, everything was too vivid to be a dream. 

 

Adele’s warmth, the warmth of the wash water, and the soft feel of the blanket on my small palm.

 

In the end, I had to admit it.

 

I returned. To seven years old.

 

‘Then will I die in the same way in this life?’

 

I don’t want to. 

 

I closed my eyes tightly.

 

Still, when I closed my eyes, I remembered the flames that seemed to swallow me.

 

The smoke that clung to my throat.

 

I didn’t want to die.

 

However, it was clear that I would be killed unfairly, like in my previous life, if I didn’t do anything.

 

What should I do? 

 

‘I don’t know, but I’m sure of one thing.’

 

I can’t let Arsene Yeckhardt die.

 

If so, the wolf family will kill us all.

 

“—Lady!”

 

It took me a while to wrap my head around the complicated situation, but I immediately returned to reality when I heard Adele’s voice calling out to me.

 

“Ung?”

 

Adele sighed deeply when she heard the answer.

 

There were wrinkles on her fine brow.

 

She asked, holding my hand gently.

 

“What have you been thinking about since this morning? You have to go now, Lady. You woke up late, and you don’t have much time.”

 

If I remember correctly, lunch time with my father was always constant.

 

Half-past twelve.

 

I was always scolded if I was a little late for lunch or if I didn’t behave properly.

 

Maybe that’s why Adele is so nervous.

 

“You can’t go and do this, Lady. If the Master asks you a question, you need to answer right away—”

 

She held my hand tightly and warned me firmly.

 

“Eat a small meal with dignity. After you finish your meal, you wait politely for the Master to finish his meal. You didn’t forget Mrs. Bellin’s words, right?” 

 

“Ung, don’t worry, Adele.”

 

“I’ll bring you more bread from the kitchen when you get back.”

 

Adele gently brushed off the hem of my dress with a gentle touch. 

 

It was a neat dress without a single wrinkle.

 

*****

 

I think I’m going to get an upset stomach.

 

I thought as they put the pile of food little by little on my plate in front of me. 

 

Just to the right was my father, Arthur Raniero, who was eating calmly, and behind, Mrs. Bellin, with her eyes raised, was watching my actions.

 

‘It’s even weirder not to get an upset stomach in this situation—’

 

With my own two eyes, I clearly saw that his neck was hanging on the wall.

 

It felt strange to see him alive and eating.

 

I put the rest of the fish on the plate in my mouth and put the fork and knife neatly down.

 

And I watched my father and siblings slowly eat a mountain of food.

 

Everyone was eating with their eyes down as if they had promised.

 

As taught by Mrs. Bellin.

 

I turned to the youngest, Schville. 

 

In fact, before lunch, I thought Schville had already left for Duke Yekhart. 

 

Because, in my memory, Schville went to Duke when I was seven, and she was six.

 

‘So I wondered if I should let Yeckhardt know in advance.’

 

The fact that Schville will kill Arsene.

 

But surprisingly, the time I returned to was before Schville became the bride of Arsene Yeckhart. 

 

As proof of that, Schville was in front of me, with a fish dish shoved into her mouth. 

 

“Schville.”

 

I heard my father’s low voice.

 

Schville was startled and missed the fork she was bringing to her mouth.

 

My father talked, wiping his mouth with a napkin hanging around his neck.

 

“Keep your manners while eating.”

 

Schville’s face turned red.

 

The little sister bowed her head.

 

The small ears were all red.

 

Here, the ‘manners’ my father spoke of were the etiquette of a meal they must observe as a noble of the bird family. 

 

When eating, don’t bring food to the mouth quickly, and don’t eat all of the food on the plate.

 

We have had Mrs. Bellin’s strict education about this ‘meal etiquette’ since we were very young.

 

But Schville was the youngest.

 

She was a year younger than me.

 

‘What would a six-year-old kid know?’

 

I used to get scolded quite a bit at lunchtime in my previous life, too. Like Schville. 

 

It was high-quality food for the first time in a while, but the situation was not welcome. 

 

Thanks to that, I was able to keep ‘manners.’ 

 

“You eat well with dignity today, Linsy.”

 

My father’s gaze shifted to me.

 

Cough!

 

I coughed without realizing it. I quickly closed my mouth with both hands.

 

But it was after everyone who was already at the table focused on me.

 

“I, I apologize!”

 

I quickly lowered my head.

 

There was a long silence, and then I heard the clatter of the tableware again.

 

‘Whoo.’

 

I lifted my head gently, and my eyes met Mrs. Bellin, who was staring at me.

 

She seemed to be glaring at me for being sloppy during the meal.

 

‘But I couldn’t help it.’

 

It’s been a while since I heard my father’s sweet voice.

 

After red hair started growing on my body, I couldn’t even hear his voice, let alone his sweet voice.

 

My father locked me in the room, and the servants treated me like I was completely invisible.

 

As the thought reached that point, strength entered the hand holding the fork.

 

‘I don’t want to be locked up again.’

 

Of course, it is being treated as an invisible person as well.

 

But once the molt is over, I will be thrown away again. In Raniero, I will be completely erased. Just like in a previous life.

 

In an instant, my expression was distorted. 

 

But fortunately, my father didn’t see my distorted face and looked away.

 

“Tomorrow, the head of the wolf family will visit Raniero.”

 

Author's Thoughts

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