Author: Nikss



Merria, who was facing Shannon in a daze, quickly came to her senses and answered. “It’s your mother’s birthday and the cake fell on the floor…”


Merria blurred the end of her words at the thought that came to her mind as she spoke.


Perhaps Shannon’s mother was already dead. The fact that she was in the capital was evidence of that.


But Shannon was still celebrating her mother’s birthday. Her mother was her only family, so she couldn’t easily let go of her.


Merria frowned weakly at the bitter feeling she felt.


Shannon shook her head and answered how she accepted Merria’s expression.


“My mother’s already dead. She never had such an expensive dessert in her life, so it might just be for my satisfaction.”


Shannon replied softly, trying to hide her feelings.


Originally, Shannon should have been smiling happily with boundless affection from Altheon by now.


Merria said coldly, trying not to show how guilty she was. “But I don’t think I’d feel comfortable serving a cake like that.”




Just in time, Lexie called her from behind.


Merria took a small box of cake from Lexie’s hand.


“Take this with you…”


With a simple cake like this, Merria knows she couldn’t pay for changing her life.


But Merria decided to be cowardly for herself. Shannon, who never dreamed of Merria’s actions that wanted to alleviate her guilt, looked at her with her eyes wide open.


Then, feeling that Merria’s words were sincere, Shannon smiled like a brightly blooming flower.


“…Thank you.”


“Okay, I’ll take my leave…”


Merria turned around before Shannon could say anything to her. Shannon also pressed on her robe and quickly moved on.



“Miss Shannon!”


Shannon trembled as she walked through the poorly guarded fence of their mansion. As she turned her head, a beautiful maid was walking toward her.




Shannon’s face, which had been hardened by tension, softened.


Arene approached Shannon and put a coat on her.


“Lady, how was your outing?”


Arene’s expression softened as she spoke gently. It was because she saw the box of cake in Shannon’s arms.


Recognizing Arene’s gaze, Shannon rolled his pink eyes around.


“Ah. So this uh, I picked it up…”


At her absurd excuses, the corners of Arene’s lips raised into a light smile.


Arene said with a look of disappointment. “Are you ignoring everything I told you?  I’m doing it all for you…”


“I know! Of course, I know. I’m sorry, Arene.”


‘Don’t talk to anyone, don’t make eye contact, don’t let anyone know.’


Every time Shannon went out secretly, Arene always emphasized.


Because she was always there for Shannon. But she even brought evidence that she broke the promise openly like this. Shannon felt ashamed.


As Shannon fidgeted and apologized, Arene burst into laughter.


“Miss Shannon would be the only one who apologizes to her maid.”


“No, there’s someone like her…”


Shannon recalled Merria, who politely asked her maid, and blurted the end of her speech.


“Her?” Arene asked back with keen eyes.


“Well, it’s nothing. Anyway, how was everything while I was gone?”


Arene nodded as if it were natural.


Shannon’s room was located in an outbuilding in the corner of the Magner’s mansion.


It was a desolate and old building to the extent that the word ‘annex’ felt luxurious.


And since Shannon was treated like a nobody, it was only Arene who came to find her.


The two opened the door as if they were used to it and entered.


Every time they stepped on the floor, a grotesque creaking sounded.


Shannon placed the box she was holding dearly on the table. When she opened the box, she found four delicious pieces of cake.


Glossy cakes and a shabby old room. It was a very incongruous combination.


Shannon wiped off the dusk on the table with a worn-out cloth. Then Arene covered it with a cloth she had brought, to make it look like a plausible tablecloth.


“Was this for your mother?” An alluring and disturbing voice resounded.


Shannon smiled and nodded and said, “A beautiful young lady gave it to me as a gift. She has sparkly eyes just like Arene.”


Shannon thought that her azalea-colored eyes of Arene were similar to those of Merria’s crimson eyes.


A strong red, not a pale pink like her eyes. There was a strong sense of purpose in her eyes.


Shannon didn’t know exactly what it was, she didn’t have what the two had.


‘I envy them…(Shannon)


She learned that she shouldn’t be envious of others, that it would only hurt herself.


Seeing two people with sparkling eyes, it felt like she was humbled compared to them.


‘What would my mother say at times like this?(Shannon)


Her pink eyes became distant as if her eyes were repainting what she missed.




Shannon, who erased her ugly thoughts at Arene’s call, hid her eyes with a cheerful expression.


“Oh, let me pray for a moment. And let’s eat this together.”


“I’ll pray too.”


Arene sat quietly next to her. The two people, each with their hands overlapped and their eyes closed, quietly held their breath.




Then suddenly there was the sound of the door opening violently.


Thud, thud, thud-


Then the sound of heavy footsteps started to get closer and closer.


“What’s that?”


Shannon glanced at the door with anxious eyes.


In the same way, Arene heard the sound and blinked slowly with an indifferent face. She stood up, patting Shannon on the shoulder.


“I’ll be right back. Stay here.”


While Arene was walking towards the door, the sound of footsteps approached.


Before she could grab the doorknob, the door slammed open.




Shannon’s face turned pale when she saw the person behind the door.


Count Magner let out a rough breath and swept his messy silver hair. He reluctantly entered the room, grabbed Shannon’s arm, and threw her on the floor.


Shannon tried to stand upright, but she was unsuccessful.




She bit her lips, trying to endure the pain as she hit the floor to stop herself from screaming.


Count Magner looked through the room with cold eyes.


The Count’s gaze rested briefly at the table on which the cake was placed and soon turned his gaze back to Shannon.


“Someone’s busy saving the family, have you been eating such a good thing for four years?”




Count Magner let out a rough breath and glared at Shannon, shivering like a soaked bird in the rain.


Shannon’s pale pink eyes were tearful enough for tears to fall at any moment.


She managed to hold back her tears, as she bit her lips harder.


It was because she already knew that the more she cried, the angrier the Count would be.


“Why do you think I have reaped something as lowly as you?”




“It was because of that fair face. I let you stay here because I thought you’d be useful just like your vulgar mother!”


As Count Magner raised his voice, heavy tears began to drip from Shannon’s eyes.


It wasn’t the tears that flowed out of fear. It was born out of sympathy for herself in an insect-like situation.


“Even at the victory banquet, you couldn’t even have a man ask for you! You’re useless!!”


“C-count… Please forgive me. Please.”


Shannon begged, rubbing the palms of her hand like a child pleading for her fault.


He shook her head violently and let out her weeping, but the Count frowned as if he was looking at a worm. The Count, who was staring at her with an annoyed expression, spoke. It was when Shannon was almost lying on the floor.


“Do you want forgiveness?”


Shannon, who had been drooping, raised her head. She nodded in desperation.


“Yes, yes! I’d rather be a maid again. I could work on the stables and clean the floor. Anything’s fine!”


The Count smiled brightly at Shannon’s naive reply. He slowly approached Shannon and slammed the table.


“Don’t think about filling it with your hands. This would be the use of what I fed you for four years.”


He raised Shannon’s chin with his dirty hand. Her clear silver hair fell behind her neck, revealing her tearful, slender neck.


“You’ll be used as bait to lure a stupid nobleman, so you’ll have to take good care of this face. If you fail again this time, then… Anything useless deserves to be thrown away.”




Shannon stared blankly into the air as if what she had heard was shocking.


Count Magner finished what he had to say and pointed his finger at Arene standing by the door.


“There you are, hiding like a rat and taking care of this stupid girl.”


“I’m sorry.”




Arene instantly fell flat on the floor and nodded.


The Count agonized for a moment at the sight and put on a twisted smile acting like a good man.


“I’ll forgive you for your sins for the time being. Instead, wash and clothe her to make it useful until the period I mentioned. Report the cost directly to the butler.”


“…Yes, Count.”


He left the shabby annex without hesitation. The annex where Count Magner had left was engulfed in silence as before.


Shannon, who had been crouching, had to hold back her anger as she was about to explode.




Shannon suppressed her groan to the end, but the feelings of being helpless were pushed beyond limits.




Arene held Shannon’s hand tightly and spoke in a sorrowful voice.


“Miss…” (Arene)


Shannon burst into tears as she felt the warm touch of her hand that was lying on the cold floor.


“I don’t want to do that…! What did I… What did I do so wrong? Arene, why do I have to live like this?” (Shannon)


“Miss Shannon. What do you think of when you see me coming here for miles to see you?”




“I’ll get you out of this beggar’s place. I’ve saved up quite a bit of money. Hang in there.”


As Arene’s firm willful eyes turned to her, Shannon’s face, which had been painfully distorted, smiled.


Shannon smiled with tearful eyes.


“Thank you. You’re really… You must be an angel that my mother gave me. If it weren’t for you, I would have starved and died sooner.” (Shannon)


“Don’t say that.”


At Shannon’s kind words, Arene stared at her sweetly. She whispered as she slowly wiped the corners of Shannon’s eyes that were brimming with tears.


“I could do more for you, Miss.”


In her poor condition, Shannon who was sitting on the floor for a long time fell asleep as if fainting.


Arene, who gently lifted her and laid her on a creaking wooden bed, smiled ecstatically.


“A bastard who’s offering food with his own hands.”


The laughter that escaped from her dark red lips scattered into the air.


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