Chapter 22 Part 2 – This chapter, in all the 108 previous lives, this is my mother’s story. Wendell is my father’s name. He’s not a new character.


Translator: ranzan


Chapter 22 part 2

My mother-in-law, who should have protected her daughter-in-law, instead incited the others to attack me more.

I stared at her coldly, because she should have been my salvation.

The insults and ridicule would have stopped instantaneously.

I’ve never been surrounded by a group of humans that were so cruel – treating me as a spectacle rather than a fellow noble.

So I still tried to smile, biting my lip.

But before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face…but even so, I did it with a smile.

There was nothing else I could imagine to be the correct way.

I was helpless. That smile was as immovable as the mask of smiles they wore in return.

I at least tried to protect my dress…how could I apologize to Wendell for what happened to it?

And so their attention turned to what I was trying to protect, mocking and belittling the dress.

I thought with all this laughter of theirs, they’d be done. That they would release me. That’s all I wished for…but it didn’t come true.

How much time passed?

Someone yanked my ankle from behind me and I fell face-flat to the floor.

I heard their whispering voices get louder.

And in my despair, I realized what was next.

They never enjoyed just defeating others completely.

I could see from the corner of my eye a new game they had prepared for me.

A pig’s head and a bucket of blood and guts…a lit candlestick.

I could hear them laughing and saying that they were ready for the main event…and I was screaming inside my heart like a small child.

HELP! I’M SCARED! SCARED! SOMEONE HELP!

Wendell! Father!

I could feel my mouth opening to scream the words, but no sound emerged, because my vocal cords were frozen with fear.

I realized how a hunted animal must feel…dying quietly in such despair and loneliness.

They put a pig’s head on top of my head…and its slobber and blood reached my eyes, burning.

The smell almost made me vomit…and they repeated this over and over.

These red-bloods continued this theater, as I was in shock and couldn’t move.

I was covered in pig’s blood, and they danced around me, laughing.

Cruel like a child, malicious like an adult.

Crazy, dancing silhouettes. An endless nightmare.

I finally understood what my father and Wendell had told me.

I should have listened…but I was too naive.

「YOU BASTARDS! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!」

My husband then rushed in, telling, but I didn’t have the courage even to stand…I was just curled up in a ball. If I stood, I would have looked even more ridiculous. He was just shaking and biting his thumb, looking at me as if I had curled up in a childlike defense.

If he had arrived later, I would have passed out.

I heard his long-awaited voice, and attempted to scream for help.

But just a weak plea emerged.

He rushed over, pushing some of the nobles to the side.

「Cornelia!!」

I could hear him practically screaming to me.

Then he picked me up, and my tears fell, as I finally received the salvation I had pined for.

My throat was so thick from shock, I couldn’t hardly respond.

「…I tried…to do my best…to be seen…as your duchess…but…」

That’s all I could say.

「I know! You’re my wife, better than any other! You did nothing wrong! That…!」

Wendell now held me up in one arm. I heard his sword’s scabbard ring.

His other hand was angrily gripped onto the handle of his sword.

He was willing to cut everyone there into pieces.

I looked up and could see his eyes red with that furious fire.

「You’ve…DESECRATED MY TREASURE IN LIFE…YOU!!」

In his rage, he had no words to express himself.

But you could feel savage anger erupt from his body and fill the room.

The vortex of ridicule that I had endured was now reduced to silence.

All the nobles had retreated to the walls of the hall, faces filled with fear.

My mother and father-in-law’s terrified face made me realize Wendell was serious.

「Stop! Wendell! Please!」

I reached out to his hand on the pommel of his sword.

No matter how exalted the name Crimson Duke is in this kingdom, you can’t do this without reprisal.

And it was I, after all, that had ignored his advice.

Could I allow his future destroyed because of my foolish mistake?

I cried to him and begged.

I held onto that pommel with my whole body, not allowing it to be removed from its scabbard.

He stepped over to these red-bloods with those burning eyes, but eventually retreated.

It was because my face was pale as one dead.

He chose to take me home as soon as he could because of that pallor, instead of slaughtering all of them right then and there.

So he picked me up and we left, the astounded servants quickly opening the bar. He only turned once to glare at them a final time with those eyes of fire…then he never looked back, and we left.

Because of that, I never received any word or note from a red-blood again.

Except…for his father-in-law.

Only one thing I received after that dinner party.

On the way back in the carriage, Wendell held me and continued to apologize, even after we arrived home.

He desperately wiped my face and hair and didn’t let anyone else touch me but himself.

His clothes and face were covered in the blood and soil that covered me.

「I’m sorry, Cornelia! I’m sorry!」

And no matter how much he apologized, this proud man cried tears over me.

It was the first time I saw him do so. It hurt me…tore at my chest.

This proud hero was lessened by my stupidity.

I am truly sorry. You are not at fault.

Please don’t apologize.

Everything was due to my carelessness.

I’m okay. Fine. But…

「I’m sorry…I’ve dirtied the dress you gave me. I cherished it. It was a fond memory of our love. But it can be cleaned! I’ll clean it!」

My voice choked. I couldn’t stop crying.

It was my treasure!

「Cornelia! It’s not the dress that matters. That treasure of yours is the trust you have of other people, and they’ve destroyed it…how can I get it back?!」

We cried and hugged each other.

After a while, I slowly was able to regain my composure.

However, I never attended a gathering of nobles again.

Just hearing that there was one made my legs weak and I was unable to walk.

Many times at night I jumped up from nightmares about it.

My heart was broken. I would vomit many times a day.

And Wendell, worried, never left me.

It was extraordinarily painful, as I didn’t want to be a burden on him.

And I tried to express this to him, that he didn’t have to worry over me so much…and those words themselves hurt.

I tried to prove to him that I was fine…behaved like a noble wife…he spoke differently to me and was more careful around me…and he would look down sadly when he spoke to me.

I also abandoned my bow.

There is fiend in the ancestry of my family, the Melvilles.

A woman called the devil’s arrow, the devil’s hunter, who could assassinate enemies with the bow.

The Melvilles inherited the poisoned arrow that she used to use.

It was a secret technique allowing you to easily take a human life.

Such was the wound in my heart that I received from those red-bloods…they did not heal.

And I knew that they would one day become a grudge.

I may not have much talent for noble sensibilities, but I do know the bow and arrow.

I feared that one day, out of revenge, that fiend would awaken in me and run out for revenge.

I could see that Wendell was sadly enduring my pain as he attempted to serve as a noble himself.

I love you as you are, so it hurts to see you like this.

He would say in so few words.

So a schism formed between us.

We both loved each other, but an invisible wall formed between us, and it’s frustrating to be separated, though we are together.

The blood, wine, and such didn’t come out of the dress either…it was never restored.

But if I could have a child, then it would go back to normal.

I expected that to happen, but only time passed.

Even through countless seasons of changing leaves, no child arrived.

From time to time, my mother and father-in-law would visit, mock me as useless, and urge him to take a concubine.

Each time Wendell would rage and drive them away.

I cried. Not being able to help him was so frustrating.

All I can do is vex him.

If I could just be by your side.

His comforting kindness always pierces me with happiness.

But then those days of disappointment came to an end…I was pregnant.

Wendell was obviously overjoyed.

We held hands again and laughed together for the first time in a long time.

Happy days had returned and the world brightened.

I had finally helped him.

He would listen for the child’s heartbeat through my tummy.

I told him that it was too early in the pregnancy to hear anything, and he just laughed at his own haste to hear it.

All of our cares disappeared like a morning’s mist.

We returned back into that close relationship again…but of course, all happy times…

Anyway, at first I was reluctant to show my pregnant body to Wendell, but he wouldn’t let me escape his arms.

He held me closely and dear, so as not to put any strain on my body.

Mornings then were so peaceful, awakening to his smell, his warmth.

From the time my tummy began to show, he began to leave for work frequently, but I didn’t doubt the reason why. Even when he was given a royal order that lasted for two months, when I was expected to deliver, and he said he couldn’t return until then.

「I am sorry. I can’t even reveal what this royal order is. But believe this, I will be back by your child’s birth. Then I will devote all to you and my child.」

He said it with a sad look in his eye.

He kissed me, looking full of regret, and then left.

My peaceful life continued for five more days.

Then there was a new person in the kitchen.



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