After the captivating music performance on a stage that is three times wide than the herbal store where she lives, the result of this overwhelmingly popular new artist selection contest ended with Ravyn as the winner of this show. A girl with dark purple hair that was almost black even in the spotlight pondered with a throbbing heart.

…This is the moment Ive always been waiting for. The cheers and applause from the audience acclaim as if to thank me for my efforts. Its so touching that it hurts my heart. And above all, I hope you
e watching me right now…

######

”That kid, shes done it again! ”

Pims slightly hoarse, middle-aged womans voice exclaimed from the front of the TV in a small herbal shop down the alley. Her gaze was fixed on the girl who won the music competition on TV with sparkling eyes.

######

Soon, Ravyn has now arrived at the front of Pims store booth. The girl takes a deep breath to chase off her nervousness before sliding the door open.

”Did you watch the live show I told you about? ”

The purple-haired girl asks Pim as soon as she entered the herb shop.

”Though its showtime overlaps with my favorite AB Weekly, why did you just tell me at the end of the season? ”

”Surprised? ”

Ravyn replied with a question. Just as Pim nods, Ravyns smile grows brightly. The woman then teases,

”What an ugly smile. ”

”Its your beauty that makes me look like that, auntie. ”

”Hey, did I just hear the word auntie? Call me big sis! ”

Pim chased after the Ravyn in a joking manner. The purple-haired girl ran around in the small booth laughing while the feeling of nostalgia kicks in.

…I was a kid adopted by Pim. My real parents were migrant workers who died from the construction site accident. Without this woman in front of me, my fate would be no different from theirs. All the time, I was always grateful for Pim and wanted her to be proud of me. And todays achievement makes me wonder whether she thinks that I did well enough…

Despite the conversation not being much different from every day, seeing her guardian smile and laughs more today means a lot to Ravyn.

…Well done, myself…

”Today we will have your favorite carbonara, girl. But while I was cooking, can you go get todays AB Weekly videotape from Gentle? I had him recorded it for me. ”

######

At GentleSand sandwich stall,

Pierret, Gentles daughter, handed Ravyn a camera recorder with a bag containing a pair of egg sandwiches.

”Dad is busy dealing with loads of supplies, so he left me to give these to you. And…Congratulations! I was so excited that I almost fainted. But I know youll win! ”

”Thanks ”

Ravyn replied as she get her pocket.

”Uh-uh ”, Pierret interrupted.

”As a celebration that my friend is about to become famous, this weeks sandwiches are free of charge! ”

”That won do. Things cost what they cost. ”

”Just keep it. Lets go. ”

Pierret cut short the matter and took her friends hand out of the shop. They both waved goodbye before Ravyn walked home. Along the way, the girl began to hum and cheerfully swing her sandwich bag lightly.

”Mmhumm~… ”

######

That evening, Pims shop closed earlier as there would be a feast held on this special day. The footsteps that barely made any sound approached Pims back while she was sorting the dried herb jars. Yet in the hand of these footsteps owner, was a fine knife that didn match the atmosphere of the celebration at all.

”Thank you for coming just now. ”, calmly said Pim.

The man with a knife replied.

”It took me forever to find you.. but finally, luck is on my side! ”

He rushes his blade towards Pim. But she turned around and grabbed the attackers wrist, then shifted his attack to pierce the medicine drawer.

*Stab!*

In the blink of an eye, Pim disarmed the man and arm-threw him over her head.

*Smash!!*

The attackers body hit the ground violently.

”Your treads are too loud for those who are not here to talk, Undre. ”

The herbalist commented, sitting on top of the captured attacker. Despite being hit so hard, Undres body was not injured in that slightest.

”Hahaha, so is your strength. Because of babysitting, huh? ”

”Wanna try that again?..*cough!**cough!* ”

Could finish her words, Pim coughed up blood. Undre then took this chance to shake her off. His right arm was shrouded in a curse mark that emitted an eerie black aura. He then choked Pim with that hand and pushed her up against the wall.

”Youve been dead for so long, its time for the dead to be put in their coffins. ”

######

Ravyn, who had just arrived at the front of her dwelling, saw the unusual smoke coming out of the door. So she rushed into the shop hurriedly.

…Pim hasn burnt her potions for years now. What happened?…

The girl thought as she waded through a cloud of smoke entered the store.

In front of her, a stranger in a disgusting black atmosphere pressed the blood-soaked Pim against the wall.

”Don touch her! ”

Ravyn dropped her bag, leapt, and delivered a flying kick into Undres torso, followed by a push kick that got him out of Pim.

”Who are you? What do you want?! ”

”I just happened to see an acquainted family name on a music show. And I couldn resist paying a visit. ”

”Sicko ”

Ravyn cursed while trying to deal with the confusion. Both the strange power and the fact that a lunatic traced her to attack Pim. The girl settled down then grabbed a drawer from a nearby herb cabinet and held it in a defensive stance. The intruder approached Ravyn and slashed through the drawer she was holding with his black aura-wrapped knife. The purple-haired girl threw the remaining part of the drawer at his wrist and then interlocked her hands, smashing again on the same spot, causing the knife to slip out of Undres hand. Didn bother with the sudden attack, he reached out another hand to grab Ravyn and throw her to the ground.

”Ugh!! ”

”Based on how you react, Pim sure knows how to keep you in the dark. ”

Undre averted his attention from the girl who was lying on the floor to pick his trustworthy knife up. Pim, in a state that could faint at any second, took this chance, gathering all her remaining might and shout.

”Vyn! On the floor! ”

Then she slides the eccentrically designed pistol from her shoe towards the purple-haired girl. Without hesitation, Ravyn picked up a gun she had never seen before and fired at Undre.

*BANGG!!*

The sound of the blasting wind rang out. And its destructive energy smashed into the knife-wielding man. He tried to defend his body with his blackish power, but it could not withstand the power of this gun. Undre was buried in the wall, unconscious, and the explosion scattered things in the shop into a mess. Dried medicines and flammables set fire on the stove that was boiling herbs to spread throughout the building. Ravyn was shocked by what she had just seen. But her worry for Pim, whose body was full of serious wounds, gave her no time to be intrigued. The girl quickly grabbed some herbs in the shop that were intact to tend her patroness.

”I already applied Cludweld Aloe. You will feel better when the wounds start to heal. ”

Ravyn said in a trembling voice as Pims heartbeat grew fainter. Deep in her heart, she knew Pim had lost too much blood and that her wounds had not healed.

”Hurry up and get out of here, Vyn. Youll be choking on smoke… *cough*… You
e a herbalists daughter. Can you see that my condition is irrecoverable? ”

”Quiet! The more you talk, the faster you will bleed. ”

Ravyn struggled to carry the injured Pim on her back and shouted for an ambulance call. The blood flowing from Pims ceaselessly forces Ravyn to give up moving Pim on her own.

”Im sorry for secretly going on the show without telling you.. Its all my fault. ”

The girl can hold back her tears anymore.

”How am I supposed to live without you? We haven even celebrated together today… ”

And words after this were mixed with sobbing that couldn be heard clearly. Pim raised her cold hand and gently stroked Ravyns trembling head. The purple-haired girl embraced her only godmother, whose body was getting colder as the sirens gradually approached.

”Please stay with me. ”

######

The day before the debut show, in the backstage room…

Ravyn is working her best to practice playing the beloved guitar that Pim bought for her. But the sounds that come out are distorted notes and sobs that do not match the rhythm. The face of those who were supposed to delight the audience with a smile was filled with tears. For the first time, words that had never been in her dictionary came out softly.

”I really can ”

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