Chapter 29 – The Day I Got to Know Madness (狂気を知った日)
As usual, Marin was hungry and wandering around the back of an alley.
Even anyone’s leftover, rotten meals, or drinks were fine.
Inside of her brain which was lacking of nourishment, she thought that she would die if she couldn’t put something in her stomach.
Marin walked staggeringly, her field of vision grew hazy, and she lost any feelings she should normally have from her own body.
She should’ve been looking for food, but she couldn’t figure out where she was or where she was going.
Sleeping outdoors couldn’t make her rest well, and the chronic lack of sleep and her mind and body that were close to sleeplessness had already complained that they were at their limit.
Even if Marin knew that, she walked around without thinking anything, and she didn’t even know where she was.
Marin moved her legs until she was exhausted, and she realized that she had fainted when she was going to blink, because the sight that greeted her when she opened her eyes was very beautiful.
She couldn’t understand the situation, but she didn’t have the strength to be surprised.
However, she was able to decipher that the gorgeous ceiling spreading out in her blurred view was not the sky.
She couldn’t see the sky, this place was not outside.
“You woke up?”
While she was comprehending those two facts, the voice of someone who entered the room without any sound reached Marin’s ears, making her reflexively wanted to get up from the bed, but she could just prance her shoulders on the mattress.
Her voice was hoarse, and even the warmth that was wrapping her body felt heavy.
Her current body was the same as a marionette with snapped strings, and she couldn’t find a way to move it.
“I brought your meal, but can you eat it?”
“I also brought some drinks, so it’s better if you moisturize your throat first.”
Marin felt a delicate cold air overflowing from the tip of the straw near her mouth.
Rather than understanding that the clear liquid inside the cup was water, she was resigned at how her hunger was looking forward to have something inside soon.
Marin couldn’t move her body well just as she expected, but she greedily drank the water in happiness.
With the movement that made her feel tired, she moistened her throat little by little, and the fresh water that she could finally drink after a long time satisfied her body even with just the small amount.
Thanks to the cold water, her mind was cleared.
Marin still couldn’t move her body well, but her hazed vision had regained its beauty.
For the first time, she recognized the face of the person who was standing by her side.
“If you can wake your body up, you should eat even if it’s just a little, but… Ahh, you don’t have to overdo it.
Even if you can only drink water right now, it should be alright.”
That person had light gray hair that was cut short.
They looked soft and also elegant, emphasising on the halo of that person’s head.
That person also had round and big eyes, reminiscent of a cat’s eyes which had the color of sky that were about to cry.
The white lustrous skin was slightly pinkish, and the small lips were vivid, as if they were ridiculing the existence of deep red.
While wearing a white shirt and black shorts with suspenders, they were not using any ornaments at all, but even just their presence alone was enough to make them stand out.
That perfect beauty was like a dreamy treasure trove.
Marin was convinced that that person was an angel rather than a human being, but their distinct gender was unclear.
At the first glance, that person was a surprisingly beautiful boy.
Neither their tone nor clothes indicated that they had the same gender as her.
And yet, the out of place feeling that Marin couldn’t erase hindered her from deciding on their gender.
That person looked like they were younger than Marin, but they were also not that young as well.
The beauty of that face made not only their gender, but also their age unclear, but they still didn’t look like they were older than her, and also not at the age when that person could be considered a little child.
Their height wasn’t too short.
Even if compared to Marin who was considered as the higher ones among kids of the same age as her, that person was tall enough to make everyone agree that they were not short.
Their complexion was good, and they didn’t seem to lack anything.
That person should be a normal boy that looked extremely healthy, but…
Why did their frame and build that was reflected on Marin’s field of vision look so unreliable?
“Y, ou… who…?”
Who are you? Where am I?
Marin couldn’t make a voice, and she was about to cough violently.
She completed her badly done sentences inside her mind.
Even though Marin was mentally recovering, this was still the matter of her physical health.
It seemed like her dry throat didn’t seem to have had enough power to regain its original function with a small amount of water.
From the mouth that should’ve given her answers, only air leaked out.
That person looked down and closed their lips with a little hesitation.
But that was only for a moment.
“I am Violette Rem Vahan.”
At this time, how much conflict did Violette have in her mind? How much determination and courage did she muster up here?
At this time, Marin couldn’t imagine it at all, drifting between the dream and reality.
It was only after ten days that Marin’s condition improved and she could finally speak.
× × × ×
“Won’t you work here?”
Ten days ago, Marin was wandering around in search of food, and apparently she came to the front door of Vahan family in her hazy state of mind.
The servant who found her informed Violette, and they took care of her for those first ten days.
When Marin heard that, she apologized and thanked Violette first, then asked if she could do something to pay her back.
Marin didn’t have money, a house, or even enough nutrition in her body, but she pressed her forehead to the floor with force, telling Violette that she would do anything that she could.
What Violette responded with about that matter were those words from before.
In contrast to Marin who was clearly puzzled, Violette’s expression was full of confidence, as if she was saying that she came up with a good idea.
“The mansion only has few people coming in and out, and… I can’t go out much, plus my servants are mostly adults and I’m bored.
If you want to, won’t you work for me, specifically as… my talking partner?”
Her appearance of sitting on a chair with her legs crossed clearly looked like a noble son.
This was the Duke family and Violette was the child of this family, so the impression she was displaying should be correct.
Even so, Marin still felt uncomfortable, unable to take it in for some reason.
However, Marin was not in a position to ask about that now, and she believed that there would be various problems if she were to be a servant of Duke family who was an orphan with no clear identity.
First of all, the head of this family… Violette’s parents would surely oppose this.
Marin rejected the offer with that reason, but Violette responded like this.
“Don’t worry about my parents.
They… won’t say anything, or even come here at all.”
Were they too trusting of her, or was it overprotection that allowed Violette to do anything?
For Marin who had lived without knowing how it felt to be loved by her parents, it was an unknown territory.
It’s true that she felt some kind of envy, similar to jealousy.
Somehow, Marin held some negative emotions towards Violette, even if it was not hate.
However, the offer itself was ridiculously attractive.
It was enough to make her want it desperately, and there was no need for Marin to refuse as long as she didn’t make any misgivings next to Violette.
The more she listened to the conditions, the stronger those thoughts.
She would get money, a place to live, food, and clothes.
It was absurd when she compared it to her livelihood until now.
Marin would perfectly erase her jealousy towards Violette as long as she could get out of her current life.
Everything Marin did was supposed to be only for her survival.
When did she start to think that something was strange?
The father that she never seen even once.
The mother who didn’t want to meet anyone other than Violette.
Violette who wouldn’t come out from her mother’s room.
Marin had been hired to become Violette’s talking partner, but she only had little opportunity to do that job.
The other servants teached a lot of things to Marin who had too much free time, and also dodged a lot of her questions.
Don’t enter Madam’s room.
Because she would be very angry.
Don’t talk about the Duke in front of Madam.
Because she would be very, very angry.
Don’t call Violette-sama at the place where Madam could hear you.
Because she would be very, very, very angry.
Because, you would hurt Violette-sama.
Marin was told again and again, with sorrowful eyes and sad faces.
They told her to just protect her, and never break her.
Marin didn’t understand what they meant and asked why, but they would only tell her that Madam would get angry.
Everyone insisted that it was the rule that should be followed if she was working here.
Marin discovered the reason only a few months after she started working.
× × × ×
The door of Madam’s room, which was always tightly closed, was slightly open.
Marin didn’t mean to take a peek, she just thought that she had to close it.
As she approached the room, she heard a voice from inside, so her gaze was just lured to turn towards the room.
Marin swallowed the scream that was about to leak.
She covered her mouth with both of her hands, because if she didn’t do that, she wouldn’t just shout, but also vomit.
“Ahh… You are really beautiful.”
“Even your hair, eyes, and tips of nails are the same… Wonderful, how wonderful…!”
The Madam reached out from the sofa where she was sitting and continued to stroke around the cheeks and hair of Violette who was standing in front of her again and again.
Mother was stroking her child.
Even though it should have sounded pleasing in words, what Marin saw from those two profiles was not such a precious act.
Contrary to her mother’s eyes which were serene and sparkling, Violette’s eyes had no emotions inside.
Marin had thought that Violette was as beautiful as an angel or a doll, but in the end, it was all just a metaphor.
Violette was a human with blood flowing inside her body.
She should’ve be a human, but…
The face that Marin saw was like a lifeless doll.
The difference in enthusiasm between Violette and her mother who was enjoying this happily was eerie.
And above all, the reason why Marin felt like screaming and vomiting was…
There were photos on the wall, on the shelf, and on the desk.
There were also photos randomly scattered on the floor.
What projected in all of them was the same person.
Gray hair, cloudy eyes, white skin, and red lips.
With features as beautiful as an angel, Marin thought that it was Violette.
The hairstyle and facial expression were so similar, making it very hard to find the difference.
Marin thought that it was weird when she realized the age of the person in those photos.
At first, Marin thought that they were photos from Violette’s childhood, but the person who was inside those photos gradually grew, passing Violette’s age, and suddenly became an adult man.
Marin had seen that face before.
It was the groom in the wedding photo displayed at the entrance of this house.
“Come on, say it.
Madam’s voice sounded heart-crushing, cruel.
It wasn’t as simple as a denial, but a clear refusal, rejection.
The color of hatred that melted on her eyes shouldn’t be the emotion that she should direct at the child who called her mother.
“That’s wrong, right? Hey… Auld.”
“Yes, that’s good.
Say it once more.”
“Yes, once more…!”
The scene that was repeated over and over again was just like hell.
The reason why she shouldn’t enter Madam’s room was, because that place was her paradise.
The reason why she shouldn’t talk about the Duke was, because it would break her dreams.
The reason why she shouldn’t call Violette-sama was…
For Madam, she was not Violette.
For her, Violette wasn’t her child, but her beloved husband Auld.
Marin’s body staggered to the unbearable nausea.
The act of sheer madness that was displayed in front of her eyes shattered the moral values that Marin had.
She couldn’t bear to see it, she didn’t want to see it.
She couldn’t endure the extremely terrifying scene and whipped her body that lost its strength to start running away.
“I love you, I love you… Auld.”
The voice that Marin heard behind her in the end was unforgettable, even after seven years.
The confession for her beloved person was an unmistakeable curse.
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