Chapter 6 – Seems that the plot devices in the exposition are in place, and only Bradd has shown up. I have knowledge cheats but since I’m a baby I can’t use them, so there’s no way to be angry.
There’s a certain corner of the Duke’s garden where the sun is blocked from all directions, particularly dark and cold.
Four ghosts reside there talking and entertaining themselves in that dim, twisted part of the forest, devoid of all light.
「This duchess wass not llong for the world…」
A ghost then explained,
「Yess, she has a ssick heart. And since her diet was sso unbalanced, she had little iron in her bloodd. Yet she gave birth to a child. Nott strange that sshe would die.」
「Whoooa, still young, this duchess, and when she becomes a ghost, shee can be a frienddd. When I was married 10 years ago here, I laughed not knowingg I would be a ghossst!」
Said a fattish ghost.
Then a tall, thin ghost replied,
「Cut it. She’s such a tall, noble, yet gloomy girl, but I don’t like herrr. She’ss been threatened by the Duke’ss parents so much she’ss like a twistedd vine of old beans. I feel moree for the Duke, having to care for that girl. The Crimson Duke, no, the hero of thiss kingdom. I can’t stand hiss wife.」
「He iss a good man. I’d like to possesses him.」
A thin female ghost gluttered a wheezing laugh.
「Hee hee, such a ssstrong statement. The Duke rarely returnsss to his mansion here, even withh a daughter to be delivereddd. He’s staying with his concubine. Such a sad duchesss.」
The fat ghost said, in sympathy.
「That concubine is quite the tarttt, always clamoring for time withh the Duke. Besidesss, the concubine’s family is quite richhh – they took on the Duke’ss family debt. Totally different from that poor duchess. That duke’sss got to grovel in the dussst to his concubine so her parentsss look fondly on himm. Even though hee iss the Crimson Duke.」
After hearing the tall ghosts words, the final ghost, a strong warrior uttered slowly,
「…the Duke is just a mann. No matter what the parents say, he should be back home with a daughter onn the way. He only hass that maid of hiss Mary caring for the wife. In fact, the parentsss of his concubine have stopped him from getting newss of the birth. Terrible.」
「Yesss. She gave birth two weeksss before when she was dueee. Without news, the Duke doesn’t know. She’sss been trying to have that child for 10 yearsss and now the son she wanted has become a pointlesss girl. She tried to kill the childdd. Ho ho hee hee hee, people turn into such demons because of love. But it isss a drama you can’t take your eyes from.」
The female ghost laughed happily.
The warrior ghost then shook his head,
「…sad story. But I see it as luck. That girl is more like a little wolfff. She’s quite strong, even if destined to diee. I’d like to help her…she’s no ordinary girll.」
Hearing that, the fat ghost turned to the mansion and said,
「”Wolf?!” Heh heh, more like that boy from the Lawless Crew. Sneaking in there and ssscaring them like thatt. But now that duchess and her poor heart, whichhh almost stopped, fainted, but still hass lived.」
「As the next chief of the Crew not only could he readd the heart and circulationn of others, but maybe cure her illnesss. No reasson not to try. Maybe he could cure her infertility as wellll.」
「Hee hee, then that concubine would hit the roofff! She’s waiting for the duchesss to die so she hass her chance. Seemss like a storm is brewingg.」
The female ghost said to the tall ghost, nodding.
「Hah! Nothing is asss interesting as a woman’s strugglesss in this world. A love-hate drama with money and women on the lineee. Going to be interestinggg around here!」
…the ghosts all nodded, standing by idly.
In the meantime, the story progressed elsewhere.
「…ten years…finally, a child…you’re weak, so the fact you’re here with child is a miracle…the doctor told me. My husband…didn’t even return in time…」
My mother was lying on the bed and had regained consciousness, but now was quiet and calm.
She had thanked Bradd for protecting me and Mary for stopping her during her fit of infanticide, and apologized to all for the horrific things said.
I was just wondering if she would attack me again.
Then to me she said…
「I know that you were born innocent, and I apologize. I did something you should never forgive. I don’t know what I did it…」
She held me and whimpered, eyes full of tears.
No, no worries.
Humans will always make at least one mistake.
After all, I’ve had mine end over 108 times because of my mistakes.
It seems like a daily occurrence. No big deal.
I tapped my mother with my hand.
Is this what it’s like to be held by a mother?
It’s strangely embarrassing and makes one feel ridiculous…but it’s not a bad feeling. Yeah, nothing bad.
「Are you trying to comfort me? I’m such a horrific mother. Such a kind child…thank you.」
Saying that her words descended back into soft weeping.
Her tears fell on my cheeks.
No need to cry anymore – you’re crying about a future evil queen…so don’t cry.
I was upset.
This was the first time I remember being held by my mother in my previous 108 lives.
S…stop looking at me!
Why are you standing there grinning at me!?
Hurry up and do something!
「…ma’am, you have a blood illness, and a strange smell. Probably you were given some kind of strange drug. It made you weak and confused you. I’ve changed the flow of your blood, so it should even out now.」
「…it can’t be.」
Mother and Mary are both stunned.
Bradd had revealed something quite strange.
I knew what it was from countless lives lived…that bitch of a concubine’s instigation.
「You don’t seem addicted to the drug and you’ll get your appetite back, so you’ll be okay. I can smell and sense poison in anything given to you if you wish. You are quite a beautiful woman…even after all you’ve been through. I think you’ll be healthy from now on if I help…so what should I do?」
What a nice guy this Bradd turned out to be!
I’m aware of all this stuff and can’t express anything to Mom or Bradd…
I’m sorry Bradd, I always saw you as different.
H…hurry up and get me out of this baby body! I can’t do anything as a baby, dammit!
I can’t even show my anger at BEING a baby!