Chapter 12 – I’ve had 108 previous lives as a low candidate for succession to the throne, so how the hell did I become queen? Well, this is the beginning of it.
Hello ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Scarlet Ruby Noel Lingard and I have looped through 108 lives of me being murdered.
This is currently the 109th time.
All I want is some nice romance and to withdraw from the world.
This dreaming maiden is now an infant.
So let me tell you some more.
I haven’t been baptized yet in this 109th life.
Yes, just a baby in a cradle with no name yet.
Almost like a cat is treated.
So back to what happened before.
Bradd almost drowned. My mother is a master archer.
Come on, mom! Show me that bow-work again!
I was excited seeing her do so well at target practice.
My mother sees my shimmering eyes and bated breath, and looks over with a curious gaze.
Oh! You have no idea what I’m saying! I KNOW!
I can’t talk, can’t walk, so how the heck am I going to use all these knowledge cheats from my past 108 lives?!
It’s like I have a mountain of gold that I can’t spend!
This is just too much!
I want to just turn into an adult and blow the cash all over!
Mary, my wet nurse, saw me grasping at the air.
「Oh, are you sleepy? Or hungry again?!」
Whoaaa! Don’t just pop your boob out like that and try to feed me!!
It’s okay if we’re alone but not in public! I’m too embarrassed!
As if I want to be seen sucking on a boob!
Bradd’s going to see everything after all!
…I mean, he IS dressed like a maid, but he’s STILL MALE!
Well, no choice. I decided to fall asleep.
「Oh, asleep already? Such a cute baby. I guess you were sleepy.」
Yeah! Now I’m a proficient actress too!
I wonder if I could do that instead of being an evil queen.
「No, she’s just pretending to sleep. I can tell by the blood flow. Why would a baby try and act like she’s sleeping, and so poorly?」
Bradd said with a confused look.
BRADD, YOU IDIOT! Stepping all over my attempts to dodge embarrassment!
And why the hell can you convince everyone by just talking about 「blood flow」?!
A year from now I’ll attack your kneecaps with a deadly baby-walker attack!
「She’s upset. Like before…it’s strange.」
Bradd looks over me closely.
No, not upset, not upset. It’s just things are difficult.
I’m a BABY.
…so I open one eye to check.
How did my award-winning performance go with my audience?
Bradd wasn’t smiling but very serious.
「…this baby’s acting. Are you aware of what we’re saying?!」
Eeep! He figured it out!
I guess I DO suck at acting!
『This is one of Scarlet’s 108 lives. What happened in one of them.』
Again, I’m Scarlet Ruby Noel Lingard.
The only daughter of the Duke of Wilhelm in the Lingard family. I will be 8 this year.
My father’s realm is Wilhelm, so his title is the Duke of Wilhelm.
However, in this kingdom all know him as the 「Invincible Duke」or the 「Crimson Duke.」
He is more awe-inspiring than anyone else on the battlefield.
Seeing that my father is the greatest hero of my kingdom, I am very proud.
And my red hair and eyes come from my father’s.
I have never met my mother.
As soon as I was born, my mother passed away.
I asked everyone in the mansion what type of person she was, but no one would answer. Why? Are they scared into silence?
No portraits of her remain in the mansion. There is a small portrait of a woman that is carefully displayed in my father’s library, but she can’t be my mother. Hair tied back, like a hunter. A beauty to be sure, but no one of high blood.
Dad seems that he loved her so much that he chose to remain single after her death.
The marquis of Vygod and his wife…they are my father’s father and mother, meaning they are my grandparents, and they continually urge my father to remarry.
My dad is very handsome, is well-bred, and the hero of his country, so he’s next in line to be king, but he continually refuses the idea.
Whenever it is mentioned around him, he smiles but then quickly glooms into a deep solemnity.
His face turns very, very frightening.
Those usually glimmering red irises of his darken into almost black.
You feel the air around you cool, almost like when the dusk comes in winter.
Even the king himself, after asking my father, turned his face away at the resulting gloom.
Any commoner that brings the topic up with father soon scurry away like little spiders caught in the light.
Even my grandparents, the great marquis of Vygod, clam up after seeing his expression.
I hate all of them. They long to say something of my mother, and when I get a chance to say something, my father appears before I know it.
He hugs my shoulders, reservedly like a grandfather would, and says,
「Cornelia, as Scarlet’s mother, still exists within her beloved daughter. That beloved, excellent woman still is with me here in Scarlet, beside me even now. That is why, until Scarlet strikes out alone, I will be with her as if Cornelia is still with me. I need no other family.」
My father always would state that so not only my grandfather but all his audience and servants so they could clearly hear it.
It almost was enough to make my cry.
And father is still very close to mother’s family, the Melvilles.
The territory of the Melvilles are outside of this kingdom.
With its rich forests and mountains, the Vygods mock it as some kind of remote region. I really hate my father’s parents. It’s an eternal shame upon all of them that they don’t understand the value of beautiful mountains and fresh flowing waters.
I also love the Melville Realm…it is rich in nature, as does my father.
Mother’s grave stands in the midst of it.
It is built under a very large tree the thickness of a house that grows in the center of the forest. This is the place that father met my mother. It’s also the place he proposed to her…an important place for both of them.
This eternal tree has survived even the severest of avalanches.
My mother will sleep quietly there forever, protected by this tree that has grown and stood for millenia.
Her father, Baron O’Brian, cares for the grave so it always looks as if it were freshly built.
Father and I always visit it during every anniversary of mother’s death.
He always stoops low, kneels, and kisses the grave stone, saying,
「Cornelia, I’m here. I hope you are well.」
Then he places his forehead to the stone with eyes closed, as if her forehead is there against his, pressed close.
Almost like two lovers who have been absent, there in a quiet yet emotional embrace, and it affected me after seeing it constantly. It’s a woman’s dream to be loved like this after she dies.
I asked once why my mother’s grave wasn’t in a church in Wilhelm.
「The wild birds that fly here are so beautiful. It was the place that mother was born, raised, and here she will feel at ease.」
So my father uttered these words so sadly. He said he had made a mistake. Then he asked me if I hated this place.
I shook my head and hugged him as he stroked my hair. I didn’t know why, but I was satisfied because I could strongly feel that my father deeply loved my mother.
Hey, dad. In fact, I’ve never met a man that loved his wife as much as you.
I can’t believe those rumors that such a father had a concubine that he would dwell upon, thus abandoning his wife.
I was with my father all the time when he wasn’t working, because he always stayed with me.
He never would have time to see some concubine.
However, he never denied the rumor that one existed.
What happened back then?
Was something still going on?
Can’t tell me? Because I’m a kid?
I remember seeing Baron O’Brian drinking with my father, talking with him,
「She was happy to be loved by you as she was.」
「Why? I wonder why she trusted my love until the end…」
「She told me that she was happy with your love as it was.」
「But…she must have tormented herself to the end…dying as she did. That fool of a woman, why did she and everyone else leave me?」
And with that, I ran to father in tears and clung to him.
All of Baron O’Brian’s family had passed before.
I was the only grandchild, so I was his most important.
Whenever I thought of this, the days away from my father seemed even more important.
But seeing him again, it made it seem like an eternity since I had seen him before.
And I don’t think he ever thought that the truth would ever make his daughter unhappy.
In fact, one day, my father knelt in front of me and swore,
「Scarlet, your name is what your mother named you after seeing the color of my hair through the sun. She praised me for that hair, which you now possess, and I thought, once my child is born, I would give you that name she wanted.」 he said with a happy laugh.
The sky was dyed in the rising light of the sunrise.
And from the mountains the glimmering sun arose.
「Your name is from your mother, Cornelia…whose life is still in you. Your mother lives in you.」
He then kissed the back of my hand respectfully.
「I will make you the queen of this kingdom, and everyone will kneel and count you as their precious queen, no matter how much I must dirty my hands, even if it takes years. You will be their queen, in return for my Cornelia, and you and she will be the sun that illuminates everything in this kingdom.」
The rest of his words were for mother, saying,
「I swear over the Scarlet that is our bond. It is revenge on this country that refused you and attacked me. This is, my wife, the only gift I can give you.」