Author: rolypoly

As soon as she realized the truth, Luce pulled the latch of the running carriage. 


It was so fast that Franz and Rev couldn’t even catch it.


“Oh my, what am I supposed to do with this….” 


“Ugh, the flames are too strong!”


“Everybody back off! I can’t put out the fire, so everyone, please take a step back!


She fell and rolled on the floor, but it didn’t hurt at all.


The villagers’ voices shouting at each other were all heard humming like a miracle from afar.


It seemed like all of the body’s senses were only focused on sight.


Red color, shimmering flames, pillars digging in, sparks hitting the roof as it collapses.


Luce ran like a madman to the place where a huge, desperate flame looked down on her.


‘Mom, where is Mom?’


Chelsea was nowhere to be seen. The smoke was thick, and it was difficult to breathe.


“Mister, cough, what about my mom? Haven’t you seen my mom?” 


“Oh, what on earth is this?”


Even when she grabbed people and asked them, none of them paid attention to Luce, as if their souls had burned out in the fire.


Luce, who was looking for Chelsea like crazy, touched her forehead in despair. 


The fire was great. Several tens of minutes must have passed since the fire began.


Chelsea, who must have been working at the general store, must have heard about a fire at home.




A faint thought flashed through her mind that maybe Chelsea was pumping water from the vanguard.


Because she cherishes this house where traces of her relationship with Lawrence remain more than anything else. 


So, she will definitely be at the forefront to put out the fire even at risk.


No doubt it will. It should be.


“Mom. Cough, Mom?” 


So even in this desperate call, Chelsea won’t be able to answer.


There must be one reason why Chelsea, who has always listened to her daughter’s voice even among so many people, can’t answer.


Because she’ll be busy putting out the fire.


“Chelsea, ugh…” 


That’s why Dahlia, Chelsea’s friend, must cry so sadly.


She feels sorry for her friend, who can’t give up on the house that is already on the verge of being destroyed by fire.


Through the acrid smoke obscuring her vision, Luce struggled to get to where she heard Dahlia’s voice.


“Cough, cough. Dahlia…” 


It was when Luce tried to call her.


“We can’t help it. It’s impossible to get Chelsea out of here, honey.”


‘What do you mean by that?’


Though she heard and understood it, it was a word that had no sense of reality. 


At first glance, Dahlia’s husband was seen hugging and patting her, but Luce kept walking away.


“Chelsea would have been safe if she had only come out to the store today….” 


“What happened to the person who cared terribly for the general store, whether it rained or snowed?”


“Dahlia said she would rest at home because Chelsea was not feeling well today. Apparently, the flame of the stove flew out like this….” 


“…Looks like the chimney wasn’t cleaned properly….” 


The mumbling voices of people passed by her ears.


Even so, Luce continued to walk out.


A roaring laugh leaked out.


It can’t be. Could Chelsea have been in that burning house?


How could a mother who is stronger and wiser than anyone else have been caught up in such a ridiculous disaster?


It must be that people are delusional. They are people who don’t realize how little they know. 


However, contrary to her thoughts, her steps kept moving. She just felt like she had to check it out. 


She wanted to deny everyone who was under a strange misunderstanding.


‘Mom’s not here. What are you all talking about?’


Just like herself now, who wants to make sure no one is in the house even though she knows it will burn and the fire will spread. 


Everyone watched the flames, unaware that a girl was approaching the house.


It was at that time when Luce’s hand was about to reach the embankment that was burning.


“You can’t, Luce.”


The voice that had grabbed her swaying hand at once and held it in his arms fell.


“Let go of this, Rev.”




“Everyone… everyone said weird things that my mother was over there. Shouldn’t I check it out? Huh?” 


“No, Luce. Close your eyes, hold your breath.”


“Why would my mother be in here… It can’t be, heuk.”


A cold hand choked off her breath, and at the same time, her body lost strength.


Her eyes were hot, probably because of the heat of the fire.


Tears flowed. Maybe it’s because the smoke is too strong or something.


“The house is about to collapse! Everyone, run!”


As they were being led, Luce looked back at the place where she had lived. 


She saw people screaming and running away and little buckets rolling across the ground because they were too helpless in front of the huge flames. 


Yohan, who ran in a hurry, and Franz, who held his head, talked about something.


And even Rev’s strange expression, Luce saw it clearly. 


“It will be over soon.”




The house collapses.


Luce closed her eyes.




A bandage was wrapped around Luce’s swollen left leg.


Rev, who was slowly sweeping over the tightly wrapped bandage without slipping an inch, raised his head.


Through the black dirt on the skin and the burned hem of her clothes, his eyes reached Luce’s eyes. 


Even though she had long since lost consciousness, her eyes shed tears through her closed eyelids.


Rev slowly bent down and looked down at her eyes.


Neither a warm blanket nor cocoa with marshmallows will erase these tears.


If he can do something to help, what should he do, and how should he do it?


It was the day before he left for the Duchy of Ximel.


“You know who I am. What do you mean?”


“Your manner, your expression, your way of speaking.”


He didn’t understand then.


But now Rev seems to be able to understand her words.


Rev remembered Chelsea’s buzzing words in his extraordinary memory after recalling Franz’s comment that everything about him was too noticeable.


“I worked as a maid in Menelik County for quite some time. I know better than any of the villagers about the nobles’ laws, manners, and behavior. Would it have been difficult for me to know your true identity, Revinas?”


Chelsea, unlike Franz, was valuable to Rev.


She wasn’t important on her own.


It was only because she was Luce’s mother, whom Luce loved and cherished.


“Have you ever had a conversation with Luce about my identity?”




“Why did you do that?”


So maybe he can at least tell Radanum a lie about it to keep Chelsea’s memory.


Rev thought so and adjusted his expression, but the words that followed were beyond his imagination.


“I have no right to talk about someone’s hidden identity. Because I’m hiding something too.”


“What do you mean by that?”


“Lawrence Menelik. The eldest son of the Menelik family and the young Lord. Do you know?”


Chelsea’s bloodshot eyes caught Rev.


Rev’s already white skin turned pale.


“I knew that he died due to illness.”


“It is true that he died of illness. It’s just that it wasn’t in Menelik County but in this Xenon Village.” 




“Because the sick young Lord ran away after his eyes met the maidservant who served him.” 


Chelsea, who had bit her lip, laughed in a self-deprecating way.


“He was preparing to become the head of Menelik officially. There were people who worried about him because he was weak, but it was unavoidable because there was no substitute. Perhaps the younger brother is cruel because the royal family’s blood has been expressed in a toxic way, and most of all… he was infertile. A man who can’t have an heir can’t be a Lord.”


Chelsea, who had shown particular hostility while telling the brother’s story, let out a long sigh.


“So Lawrence was a man who could become the county’s Lord if he stayed. However, despite this, he carried out the so-called ‘escape of love’… we couldn’t raise a child in a place full of crazy people.”




“Luce will be used as Menelik’s hand instead of her weak father and unqualified uncle. I couldn’t stand to see Luce, who would grow up to be lovely and beautiful, be used to strengthen Menelik’s power at best.”


There was a sound of teeth grinding from Chelsea.


“No one in Menelik knows that I am at Xenon, and since Xenon is a small town that is not even mapped, I thought it would be safe.” 




“Until Friedrich, the madman, found this place.” 


Chelsea didn’t seem to hear Rev.


She said all the words she’d been holding back as if she were spewing them out.


“Cutting my name out of the general store and not making a grave for Lawrence were all in preparation for the worst, but I never thought that one would come out of nowhere now. Now… I didn’t know until now that he was still after Luce. Not anymore. If we’re exposed in Xenon, it is dangerous to go anywhere in this country.”


Chelsea, who was memorizing her words, suddenly raised her head.


“That’s why I came to you. To ask for help.”




Author's Thoughts

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