Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 4

 

The bookstore owner welcomed her warmly.

“Is there a book called <Towards the Wasteland>?”

“Of course. There is.”

The owner answered confidently and disappeared into the pile of books. Meanwhile, Liv looked at the book leisurely.

Unlike Hale’s bookstore, where dust was always on the cover because it was not cleaned properly, there was not a single grain of dust to be seen here.

‘The owner must be very diligent.’

Liv smiled slightly, remembering the lazy Hale bookstore owner.

‘Margot Halton, Shale Julian, Hughes Urban……’

As she recited the names of the authors written under the titles one by one, she imagined a book with the word ‘Liv Ragnell’ placed side by side here. Just imagining it gave her a deep sense of fullness.

At some point, she vaguely wanted to write. She wanted to let someone know about hope and the joy of imagination by being called a writer rather than Lady Ragnell.

It was fine even if she was full of jealousy and inferiority because of her pathetic writing skills. She wanted to fill her current self, which is nothing more than an empty shell, with something.

“Oh my, I’m sorry. I can’t find the book no matter how hard I try.”

Liv opened her eyes and turned back.

“I was confident that all the books sold in the Empire were here……”

The bookstore owner looked visibly depressed.

“Ah, maybe it’s because it’s a book from another country. I got a recommendation from someone from another country.”

“Ah! Is that so?”

The owner pondered for a moment and continued.

“Then shall I get it for you?”

“Can you get it?”

“Just in time, there are trade merchants who are traveling around the country and anchored in the village. Would you like me to ask the merchant?”

“How long will it take?”

“The ship is leaving tomorrow…… So, I’ll probably be back here in a month.”

‘A month……’

She didn’t know when Lohan would arrive in Hale.

‘I hope to read the book before Lohan arrives.’

After agonizing over it, Liv asked him to do so. The bookstore owner brought some paper. On the paper, he wrote down her name and the address of Ragnell’s mansion.

“I will send you a letter when the book arrives.”

Liv left the bookstore after saying thank you.

The sun was slowly starting to set. As the weather got colder, the days got shorter.

‘Oh no. I don’t know where to rent a carriage.’

She looked around with the intention of asking the person who was facing her, but there was no one passing by unlike a while ago when it was crowded.

Liv was in a hurry. Panicking, she ran through the alleys, unsure of where she was. The winding alleyways reminded her of old memories with a nostalgic feeling.

‘I often played hide-and-seek with my friends in a maze of alleys…….’

After a relentless run, the alleyway finally comes to an end, and a gap between the larger roads unfolds.

A back alley that exists behind a splendid city. So it was an unforgettable place.

While Lesbourne was brimming with splendor, it remained dreary and felt more gloomy than before. Liv looked at the back alley in front of her with the road in between. It was a place she had never forgotten.

“Why did it not change at all.”

Then it wouldn’t come to her mind as vividly as it does now.

A damp breeze carried a musty smell from the back alley.

 

*

 

‘Liv, do you know what this smell is?’

 

The smell reminded her of her innocent childhood when she knew nothing.

 

‘What smell?’

‘Smell it well. It’s musty and smells weird. It smells like a rain-soaked animal.’

‘I had followed my father before and smelled a pig. It smelled like this.’

 

At a glance, the children of nobles, well-dressed, covered their noses and frowned. Although she couldn’t smell anything, Liv held her nose, pretending to avoid the foul smell.

 

‘Do you see that across the street?’

 

Liv turned her head in the direction the child was pointing. It was a shabby place that did not fit at all in such a beautiful city.

 

‘It’s called the back alley.’

‘Back alley?’

‘Yes, my father says pigs live there. It’s also a pig that speaks human language.’

 

A pig who speaks human language?

Liv was very surprised to hear the words for the first time in her life, and opened her big eyes even wider and looked at the back alley.

 

‘Can we go there to see?’

‘What?’

‘I’m curious about the pigs that talk to humans. Is the building so shabby because it’s a pig? If we go and help, wouldn’t we live in a prettier place than now?’

‘No, my father told me not to go in there because all sorts of dirty things are in there.’

 

Liv stared at the back alley with a curious face and crossed the road. They shouted from behind to come back immediately, but Liv couldn’t hear them at all. Her head was full of talking pigs.

When her feet finally reached the back alley, Liv felt a chill hovering there. Obviously, there was someone living there, but she instinctively faltered at the heat that she felt.

Someone spoke to Liv as she was toggling between curiosity and fear.

 

‘Go back.’

 

Liv looked at the place where the sound was coming from, her shoulders shaking. A boy appeared in the dark house where there was no sunlight. Did it get stained because it was in the dark? The child’s hair and eyes were all dark.

 

‘This is not a place for a kid like you to come in. So go back.’

 

Liv said bluntly, feeling a bit offended by being treated like a child by a child smaller than her.

 

‘There’s a pig who speaks human language here. Do you know?’

 

The child simply shut his mouth and looked at Liv.

 

‘I’m not familiar with the geography of this place, so can you find it with me?’ 

 

As soon as she finished speaking, Liv was pulled back by a rough grip.

 

‘Go away, you pig bastard!’

 

The boys who came with her hid her, blocking Liv’s front.

 

‘How dare a stinky pig talk!’

‘Go away!’

 

The boys spit out harsh swear words and spit at the place where the boy was standing. What pig bastard, Liv was bewildered at the sight of violent boys she had never seen before.

 

‘Guys, stop it. Let’s go.’

‘……I’m not a pig bastard.’

 

The child came out of the door. He was obviously a little smaller than them, but he didn’t feel small. It was because of those dark blue eyes.

 

‘Stupid one. The pig bastard is you, not me.’

‘What, what did you say!’

 

Liv said nothing and looked at the child. The child was not intimidated by the humiliating situation at all. Rather, it was the well-dressed ones who were intimidated.

 

‘Look carefully. Who is it that eats everything they are given and gets fat. Is it me? Or you?’

‘Don’t talk nonsense! I’m not fat!’

 

The child laughed when he heard that.

 

‘Right, not yet.’

 

The child, who had been thinking for a while, lowered his gaze obliquely and opened his mouth again.

 

‘No, you wouldn’t even know if you got fat. Because the world you live in is full of pigs.’

‘This…… this…… this bastard!’

 

It was when a boy couldn’t contain his anger and tried to jump at the child.

 

‘Dane!’

 

Someone approached with a loud voice.

He was a tall, slender, adult man. Thick eyelashes created a shade under the eyes, creating a gloomy atmosphere.

 

‘What are you doing here?’

 

The man looked in Liv’s direction. Children, dressed in expensive clothes, were nobles to everyone. The man frowned and grabbed Dane’s shoulder.

 

‘Let’s go.’

 

Dane made eye contact with Liv before turning around. Liv couldn’t take her eyes off his eyes as if possessed. So was Dane.

It wasn’t until he turned completely out of sight that Liv realized that she had been staring at Dane, barely breathing, clutching the sleeves of the boy next to her.

The children there soon forgot what happened that day. For them, that day was nothing but dirty filth that they had accidentally stepped on. Just bathe once and wipe it off and it’s over.

But Liv could never forget. Rather, it became clearer as each day passed, and as she got older, she understood the meaning clearly.

That child was right. The pig bastard was them.

Lazy nobles who do nothing but eat and sleep. A person who reigns above others even though they have everything – luxury and pleasure. The people around her are all pigs, so she doesn’t even know she’s a pig. What a penetrating statement.

Liv even stopped eating and drinking for a while. She felt like a greedy pig and couldn’t do anything. She was useless not only in the empire but also in the Ragnell family.

 

The person from the back alley who left the Empire returns!

 

After learning that the protagonist of a newspaper article she happened to read was the boy she met when she was young, Liv felt like she had fallen into a pit she couldn’t get out of.

The newspapers were full of his stories. Every time she read it, she felt so low that she wanted to hide.

What did he think of her when she was young? A pathetic noble girl who was just born lucky? An immature pig bastard? It was unbearably and excruciatingly painful.

 

*

 

Liv wiped her face with her slender hands, revealing her bones. She was still stuck on that day.

She didn’t want to think about him, but her mind kept thinking of him, and her eyes continued following his articles. Even though she knew it would be painful, she kept confirming his existence. It was something she couldn’t understand herself.

‘Anyway, I’m glad I came wearing a hat.’

Liv touched the hat once and turned back. Her back was as fragile as a bird soaked in rain.

“Lady Ragnell.”

Then an unfamiliar voice rang in the empty street. Liv’s body stiffened.

 

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone~! Eica, here. If you find any mistakes, please do not hesitate to inform me. And, I'm sorry in advance for any mistranslations that might occur.

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back. NOTE: Updates will be sporadic. Any of my novels will be updated randomly.

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)