Please Kill Me Vol. 2 Chapter 1 - Lambert - Me, the Unloved, Pitiful Lambert
<Me, the Unloved, Pitiful Lambert>
“Lambert Leopold Ernst Barenboim Hindleton. You probably don’t remember me, do you? I am your great Aunt.”
When I woke up in great Aunt Elizabeth Rose’s mansion, there was no one by my side. Dahlia. Even before regaining consciousness, I kept calling Dahlia’s name, she said.
“Who on earth is Dahlia, Lambert?”
I couldn’t answer.
Dahlia… She’s the only reason I can smile. Dahlia is a beautiful and delicate butterfly, Dahlia is the blue sky of May, Dahlia is the cherry blossom petal that owns spring.
Dahlia, my Dahlia… She is the only one who makes me want to open my eyes the next day.
I couldn’t say it like that.
If I said it like that, I felt like my breath would be taken away by the terror that I might never see Dahlia again.
Right now, I might just run out of this great Aunt’s mansion with the body of a boy who is just a helpless orphan, running around in all directions until my feet are blistered, just to find out where she is.
Breathing slowly and unable to calm down, on the day I find her… I have to be able to protect her… I silently vowed inside myself, chewing and chewing on the flesh in my mouth over and over again, promising to only say the words that my great Aunt wants to hear.
* * *
For me, my earliest memory was the vacant pair of eyes that looked at me. My mother’s eyes, with transparent emerald-like green hues. Her beautiful eyes would often silently gaze at me for a long time. But once I learned to speak and understand emotions, even that gaze became distant.
My caretakers changed frequently. Before realizing the reason, whenever a caretaker changed, I would yearn for affection and cling to them. I realized it was all in vain when I was around eight years old. One night, I witnessed my caretaker, Berta, who I wanted to hold onto and sleep next to, being subjected to cruel treatment by my father. Yet, I couldn’t save her, and I spent that sleepless night hating myself. Since then, I couldn’t confess my love to any caretaker who took care of me. Not long after that incident, Berta received a purse filled with money and had to leave the mansion.
I didn’t feel sad at all. Now Berta wouldn’t suffer torment every night. Somewhere far away, she could escape from the villain who resembled my father and simply live a comfortable life. I only regretted that I didn’t steal more coins from my indifferent parents and put them into the purse clenched by Berta.
According to the kitchen maids, they heard that Berta must have also become pregnant. They said that if she had gotten pregnant here and given birth, she would have been killed without a trace along with the baby, without anyone knowing.
Even if she wandered somewhere else with the child, she wouldn’t be able to find a job. Even in the difficulty of obtaining a job, if she became pregnant, she would be driven away. Hearing such words pained my heart too much. I wanted to secretly go and find Berta on that night, worried about her and the baby in her womb. But I couldn’t do it. Because on that night, in my house where there was no warmth, a beautiful girl with sad eyes had taken refuge.
No, while I was racking my brain to find Bertha, the mother of that child had been hired as a nanny. It wasn’t some misfortune occurring overnight at Hindleton manor, but rather she seemed to be the nursemaid of the baby, my little sibling, who was brought by my father who impregnated the widow in the nearby Viscount’s house.
It was said that several babies who were born in such circumstances had died, so I tried to not pay any special attention to the baby. However, I couldn’t help but take an interest in the baby. The poor little thing couldn’t suckle enough from the wet nurse, so I had to suckle the wet nurse’s milk for the baby. I must have grown up sucking someone else’s milk. My birth mother never nursed me.
Even though my attempts to attract the cold attention of my mother, who eventually stopped even looking at me, had become feeble and ceased at some point, there were times when I tried hard to seek her attention, which had become chillingly indifferent. But when I, at the tender age of a few years old, sought affection from her, she coldly looked at me and uttered a few words.
“I don’t love you, Lambert.”
Even at an age when I didn’t understand what love was, I understood those words with my entire being. And since then, for a while, I clung to the nurses. My attachment, as a young child, was simply grasping onto their apron strings. I followed them wherever they went. Of course, it was only allowed during the day.
But all the nurses I grew attached to left me. Many times, they were driven away by my father’s interference. So I swore to myself that I would never love anyone again. If I frequently made eye contact or clung to someone’s apron strings, it could lead to giving away my heart. I made that determination over and over again. I wouldn’t give my heart to anyone, not even to Berta.
However, the moment I first saw Dahlia, I realized it. To dispel the fear in her terrified two eyes, I was born.
The sadness contained within her fearful dark brown eyes, I recognized it. Since that night, I swore to do everything in my power to protect Dahlia. It was not an easy task. I was the eldest son and heir of the Hindleton estate, while Dahlia was just a nanny’s daughter.
People said I would inherit my father’s title and fortune. They also knew, as did I, that I had inherited my mother’s beauty and my father’s madness. But they and I also knew that it was all just an empty shell, that I couldn’t find anything to fill my inner self within the mansion. As I wandered alone through Secretia woods, mesmerized by the butterflies and flower petals fluttering away aimlessly, and the delicate things that would wither and die, I felt a sense of anticipation. Dahlia, I had been waiting for her to appear in my life.
So, whenever her mother was being tormented by my father at night, I would put Dahlia to sleep in my bed. Secretly, I would give up my blanket and pillow, and after watching her close her eyes tightly and peacefully fall into a dream, I would sit by the door, leaning my back against it, and only then would I finally sleep. It was unlikely that someone would suddenly burst open the door to my bedroom, but it was a precaution just in case. Still, every night that I was able to do so, I was genuinely happy.
The next day, as the morning sun rose and the rooster crowed, I would quickly open my eyes and wake Dahlia. But as we sat down for breakfast, we knew we would meet again, and in the secluded and enchanting Secretia Woods, where all the secrets of the world could be hidden, we could enjoy distant and joyful days. And because we believed that death was the only thing that could separate us in this world, we would laugh and happily sit down to sleep every night.
If I could have lived a few more years of my childhood, I could have said that they were beautiful and warm days when I reminisced about them before I died. Unfortunately, such blessings were not bestowed upon me. My mother’s depression, which seemed indifferent to everything, deepened. The fact that the new nanny, who was Dahlia’s mother, had kept my half-sibling alive for a long time only fueled her anger. Of course, the realization that the one dominating the nanny’s nights was my father also became the trigger for the flames.
It was a sunny afternoon, no different from any other day when I would often visit the kitchen to bring cookies or dried fruits specifically for Dahlia. As soon as the head maid in the house, Madelina, sensed my presence, she hastily hid something. It was a rough linen sack. I immediately recognized the protruding purple petals.
Bellbedionna’s poisonous herb.
No one knew that I could recognize it. It was my secret who had taught me its identity. Not only did I know its toxicity, but instinctively, I sensed that something would happen due to Madelina’s suspicious behavior. However, I pretended not to notice and asked again.
“Are you going to eat it? What are you hiding?”
“It’s nothing, young master. I wasn’t going to eat it. It’s a very bad weed that shouldn’t even touch the tip of your nose.”
Comparing it to a weed was an understatement. The phrase ‘very bad’ fell far short as an evaluation for it. Just a pinch of it could blind someone. The fact that it had been gathered in abundance in the linen sack seemed more than enough to constitute a lethal dose capable of killing a person.
It was undoubtedly my mother who had instructed the head maid, Madelina, to gather it in such quantities. Madelina had no reason to do such a thing unless someone had given her orders. It was clear who my mother wanted to kill. My father and his woman. The ones who constantly made her miserable and fueled her resentment.
Undoubtedly, she would attempt to kill the baby fathered by my father with another woman as well. And before another baby could be conceived, she would seek to cut off that possibility.
I casually reached out to the cookie jar and took several thick, well-baked oatmeal cookies. I didn’t think about grabbing something other than cookies, something that could have been worth money. I regretted that for a long time.
Little did I know that it would be the last night. No, I did know. But I was too young to carry out something so intricate. No, I wasn’t young. That night, I saw a monster, and I became a monster myself.
That night, everyone involved died in the lifeless courtyard… I don’t want to remember those horrifying moments again. I only did what I had to do to save my precious Dahlia… I have no regrets.
In the end, my mother tried to kill everyone.
It was because my father killed my mother, her soul, over and over again.
And regardless of the order of events… my mother’s plan failed in the early hours of the night, and in the process, my father ultimately snapped the slender neck of his wife. I couldn’t forgive either of them.
My father was just the first target in my mother’s plan. I couldn’t save everyone, and I knew my father wouldn’t stop at just preying on any young women he could find with his madness.
Everything had to burn and disappear.
I woke Dahlia up first. Even though she rubbed her eyes in a daze, she didn’t realize that she had already taken a few sips of what should have been consumed by her mother.
“Dahlia, wake up quickly. You need to get out of here.”
Because I had to endure nearly a dozen years of time to become an adult back then. Still, as an adult, I woke her mother, Ines, up and told her to quickly, as far away as possible, without looking back, escape from this Count’s estate before it catches fire, before everything burns down, and flee.
And then, I did what needed to be done.
While crying and being dragged away, clutching her mother’s wrist, I wanted to erase everything from that night, thinking about Dahlia leaving me, looking back at me multiple times.
When I regained consciousness, the only adult who would manage the inheritance I would receive among my blood relatives was Aunt Elizabeth Rose’s house. From that moment on, until I became an adult, I decided to live as Lambert, Aunt’s faithful and well-mannered nephew. Every night, missing and worrying about my Dahlia, I resolved to become an adult as soon as possible.
Once I became an adult and had full control over my estate, I immediately restored the mansion. And I spared no expense in finding Dahlia. The person who lied to me, emptied my purse of gold coins, and employed a noble maid who bore no resemblance to Dahlia, suffered the consequence of having their tongue cut out. I made her a cripple. It wasn’t long before rumors spread that she was crushed by a carriage on the Hastings Bridge. It was her just reward.
When I finally discovered where Dahlia was, I mercilessly tore my father’s portrait that filled the walls of the restored mansion into shreds with a letter opener. Hildesreville, or rather the thought of Dahlia and her mother Ines ending up in the brothels, made a taste of blood rise in my mouth. I imagined finding all those who had exploited Dahlia and cutting off their genitals, as I mercilessly slashed through all the tapestries hanging in the house with the letter opener.
It took only a few days for all the explosives to be prepared to blow up the small houses that crowded the filthy alleyways of Hildesreville. As soon as the preparations were complete, I bought a boy to run errands there and found out where Dahlia and her mother were living. I ran there at full speed.
Fortunately, Dahlia was still there. She was huddled up, covered in ash and all sorts of filth, as if she had never been washed even once. Looking at her like that, I felt hot tears streaming down my cheeks after such a long time.
The boy who ran errands told me that she emitted a foul odor. What I smelled was the scent of life. Her eyes were covered with thick, moist velvet, and he said that her eyes had already gone blind before she ended up there.
On the night before leaving, the price Dahlia had to pay was to drink a few sips of the venomous potion of the worst plant in Secretia Woods, Bellbedionna’s poisonous herb, intentionally intended to blind her mother, Ines, and even take her life. The tragedy that I couldn’t prevent on that night. My Dahlia, who waited for me all that time in such a state.
The moment we met again, it felt like my heart was being torn into a thousand pieces, with hot blood gushing out. But at the same time, my heart pounded as if it would burst. Now I can protect her. I can take care of her. I can ensure that no pain ever invades her.
I will pour all the love I never received onto her. I will make up for all the time I couldn’t preserve. Until my last breath, I will devote myself to making her happy. I will do everything for her.
I was grateful that she was alive. Aah, my Dahlia.
With her trembling in fear and seeking refuge in my arms, I made a solemn vow as we escaped that hellish place. She became the reason I had to keep living.
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