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I read the name on the letter’s surface over and over again.
It’s always the same handwriting, the same position, and the same type of paper every time.
– It’d be more interesting if it were slightly different. You could then say this is different here and this is different there.
Everything was terribly similar, except for the letter’s contents.
I rummaged through the drawer whilst throwing a fit.
– ……It’s not funny.
Why is it so irritating to organize the letters in chronological order with teary eyes?
In an attempt not to cry, I would stir the insides of the drawer I had already organized, then rearrange it again.
– Master, if you keep doing this, the Great Master will be worried.
When I was young, the butler would comfort me that way.
I was always told the same thing when I skipped meals or left the windows open on a windy day.
My petite body, wrapped in a blanket, twitched.
I didn’t remove the blanket until the maids finished clearing all the broken glass and the clinking could no longer be heard.
That’s because a stream of tears was soaking the pillow.
– If Master cries, the Great Master will be sad.
– If Master is sick, the Great Master is also heartbroken.
– The Master is… The Great Master is…
Lies. They were all lies. Regardless of if I was crying or sick, he didn’t come.
I jumped into a lake, hoping that he would come if I did that. I even played a practical trick and stood dangerously close to the window.
Still, he didn’t come. By the time I grew older, the letters that used to arrive often had become scarce.
– Hmph! You seem to have forgotten about your fading daughter now, haven’t you?
She opened the drawer with great force.
– Such letters! I don’t need them anymore! I’m going to burn them all down…
I picked up a handful to burn, the papers had wrinkles here and there.
He will never know that my face distorts in sorrow when I see them.
I pressed and pinned down the letters with my hand several times to straighten them again, then collapsed from exhaustion in front of the bookshelf.
– Oh, my! Master!
– Call the senator right away!
I looked at the people who noisily surrounded me.
They were all familiar.
There was no man I hadn’t recognized before.
– Huh… I’m sick… I’m sick….
‘Why aren’t you showing up…? I’m really going to die…’
They said that he had shiny blonde hair and blue eyes just like mine.
The butler told me that he was a very pale man and I would recognize him with one glance from afar.
However, the man who was expected to be recognizable from afar didn’t show up.
‘And it will probably remain this way.’
I didn’t expect to see him anymore.
I only waited continuously.
I even dreamt.
Just once, even for just one moment, I wanted to see my father.
It was a sad and painful dream altogether.
Because I never saw his face even in my dreams.
The dreams were usually in third person. However, it was common to dream of another self I saw as ‘Me.’
That was the dream I had this time.
As if an actor had assimilated into a long drama, I clearly recognized Nineina as ‘Me’.
Feeling the wet cloth on her skin, ‘I’ and Nineina separated again.
That’s how I woke up.
“Ugh… it’s wet.”
The pillow was damp as if Nineina couldn’t breathe comfortably even when she was asleep.
A dark curtain was drawn so I couldn’t tell whether it was night or day.
Seeing a maid dozing off in front of the door, it seems as though it’s night.
“Ah…… My eyes hurt…”
In fact, my eyes didn’t hurt.
I had a headache as if someone had just pulled my brain out.
Still, the most painful thing was the single part of my chest where no pain was felt.
I clutched my wet, trembling chest with my hands.
It was something I couldn’t comprehend.
“I’ve never read a scene like this in the book…”
Nineina Seia was, after all, only a supporting character for the female heroine.
She didn’t appear unless Meia was with her.
Let alone Nineina’s childhood.
Her story was completely unnecessary, except for her relationship with Rubenio which was needed for Meia’s main story.
‘How the hell did I know that there were letters in this drawer…?’
I cried so much that I looked at the bottom drawer of the bookshelf with puffy eyes.
I knew that Nineina had left Rubenio’s letter somewhere, but I didn’t know that she kept it so close.
But the moment I saw the letter, I could only see it there.
I felt like I had to run over there.
‘Did this feeling assimilate into this body?’
Maybe it’s something that enters this body and assimilates its memories from time to time.
However, it didn’t feel like I was only looking at the memories stored in this body.
All emotions came alive vividly. As if they had been experienced in person.
“Is this a sign? What is this?”
I spoke first, then flinched.
Am I dreaming of Nineina or is she dreaming of me?
For the first time since I woke up in this body, I was suspicious of my situation as I had never identified Nineina with myself.
I wonder who I really am.
At that moment, the maid who was sleeping in front of the door tossed and turned.
The maid, who was looking at me with the gaze of ‘Who is that?’, whether she was sleepy, came to her senses and jumped up.
“Oh! My M-Master!”
The maid, who wiped her lips with the back of her hand, walked over and stood in front of me.
“Oh my God! Why are your eyes like this?”
“I woke up with it.”
It’s because I cried a lot in my sleep, but I was embarrassed to say that I cried, so I pretended not to know.
“We should cool it down with something cold… But what if you catch a cold? I’ll have to discuss it with the butler.”
The maid stomped her feet while worrying realistically.
I shook my head, embarrassed to get scolded for my slightly red eyes.
“It’s better if you leave it.”
“Nevertheless, I’ll bring a cold towel instead of ice.”
“Rather than that, can you open the curtains? I feel stuffy.”
I’ve been feeling very gloomy ever since I woke up.
I was depressed and sad.
I wasn’t bothered by the pain.
The wet cotton towel was placed on my chest and pressed against it.
The more I thought about it, the more I was out of breath.
The air was thin as if I was climbing a mountain, making it hard to breathe. I heard tinnitus in my ears.
It felt like there was a fog over my head.
I held my breath while clasping both hands.
‘And you’re telling me that……. I shouldn’t worry about this body again?’
My breathing felt like it was clogged, it was painful.
I opened my mouth wide to suck in more oxygen, but my stuffy chest did not get better.
‘Yeah. It’s just a dream. The body remembers. Not me.’
As if to stop compromising, she simply accepted it.
At that moment, a green light flickered and my heart swelled with vitality.
I felt like a butterfly soaked in the spring sunlight.
‘I am me. What do you mean?’
However, the beating heart calmed down soon.
The confusion quickly vanished, as if a third party intervened;
In an instant, I doubted my peacefulness and fell into a deep sense of despair.
My arm and legs were trembling, probably due to the after effects of not being able to breathe properly earlier.
Looking at my twitching fingertips, I slightly lifted my head and looked at the bottom drawer of the bookshelf.
Somewhere in that drawer was a letter from Rubenio that arrived yesterday.
‘I should read it.’