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Chapter 31 – You’re Not Alone (一人ではない)
By morning, Maryjun had regained her usual cheer. It was becoming more and more common for her to call Violette from behind when she was heading to the dinner room, and then walk alongside her in the corridor.
It didn’t change how Violette felt awkward with Maryjun, but responding to her everyday faithfulness every time mentally drained Violette to a high degree. Was it because of her defense instincts that she felt like Maryjun skillfully made the conversation between them go smoothly now?
As usual, Violette didn’t have any impression of the meal other than the taste, but that wasn’t something special, since it had been that way since childhood. Even if the single person meal changed into a happy family dining, she was just more uncomfortable because of the increasing number of people.
The desire to feel jealous of the three people who were wrapped in such a soft atmosphere had died a long time ago.
Ignoring the chattering of the others, Violette enjoyed her breakfast alone. The meals that always matched Violette’s preferences had always healed her loneliness in this large mansion, albeit only for a short while. Even so, it was exactly true that delicious foods would make her heart feel a lot better.
“That’s right, Onee-sama. Why don’t we have some tea together today?”
“There are a lot of things that I want to tell you, so how about meeting up in my room?”
Maryjun had probably decided to come to grips with Violette’s thoughts on the other day for her. Violette was well aware that Maryjun tended to have dreams, but she was also frank. Although the girl had a tendency to act righteously, her way of thinking was not stubborn.
Violette thought that the fact that the girl had considered her words and wanted to discuss them was wonderful. Regardless of the outcome, being able to consider different opinions than what she believed until now would have a positive effect on Maryjun.
But that was just Maryjun’s side of the story, and from Violette’s point of view, she just wanted to say that she should do it somewhere else.
“I’m sorry, I have a prior engagement today…”
It was not a lie. She already had a promise for today, and due to Violette’s policy that previously planned engagement should be prioritized, she didn’t feel bad at all.
Still, the guilt of having a desire to refuse her seemed similar to that of a child who wanted to take a break from school by feigning illness. Even if she had made no promise, she couldn’t deny that she could have refused her using some kind of reason.
Fortunately, today’s schedule had already been filled in as of yesterday. No matter how she felt, there was no reason for Maryjun to blame her… or that was how it should be, properly speaking.
“Can’t you change your schedule for your younger sister?”
The tone harboured disgust and scorn in it. Violette felt as if the one who said that had had deepened his frown, and when she saw him in front of her she realized she was not wrong.
“Should you prioritize your whatever plan over your family?”
The reason of her hesitation in replying was not because her father’s words were right on the point. On the contrary, it was to warn herself not to refute him by saying, “Are you in any position to say that?”
She didn’t want to hear “family” word from this person. She couldn’t believe those words had come from a man who once abandoned his wife and ignored his daughter. If he had resolved to change himself, couldn’t he have shown her a slight bit of kindness to her now?
In fact, this was only proof that his family didn’t include Violette.
The highest priority of her father’s world was surely Maryjun and his wife, Elfa. The role of the eldest daughter who he originally should’ve accepted happily was probably only a convenient sister who gave up everything for Maryjun.
This was not the first time that Violette’s body temperature dropped drastically and her heart felt like it slowly died.
For example, when the morning came and there was no one to say good morning to her.
For example, when she was eating alone in a large dining room.
For example, when her mother whispered her obsessed love to her.
Warmth left every part of her body, from her head to her feet, even her fingers became ice-cold. It was to the point where the depths of her heart lost its temperature and her blood stopped flowing just like that.
She had experienced this many times since a long time ago. Although it had been lesser since Marin came, she still felt it like it was a daily occurrence.
The pleasant taste that should’ve been there since a while ago was blown away in an instant, and her anticipation to the aftertaste was no longer apparent.
“Oh, Father, don’t say it like that. It can’t be helped if she has promised her time to someone else… I’m sorry for suddenly inviting you, Onee-sama.”
“…I’m sorry, Maryjun.”
“Onee-sama doesn’t have to apologise! Ah, but can I invite you again later on?”
“Yes… I’ll be waiting.”
That smile was gleaming without any worries in it. Did that mean Maryjun was really oblivious about Violette and her father?
It was only natural that Violette prioritized her promise. Even if her father criticised such a Violette, she perceived it as if her father was just scolding her and sympathized with her.
Her thought process was covered in sugar and syrup and grew up in a beautiful flower garden to the point that she thought that a molehill was a mountain. It was definitely benevolentce, gentle and beautiful in the middle of equality.
For someone who faced so much adversity in childhood, Marin felt like it was nothing but something that made her nauseous enough to vomit.
Marin desperately held her hands so that she wouldn’t show discomfort in her expression. Her palms had already gone beyond pain and lost their sensation, but if she relaxed her strength, she felt like she was going to hit someone.
Marin gazed at the back of her important master who was sitting diagonally in front of her. She wanted to hug that back right now and take her out of this room. She didn’t want these guys to even be at the edge of Violette’s field of vision.
But if she did that, these fools would definitely keep herself away from Violette. It was still alright if she was removed from being her personal maid, but if she was chased out of the mansion, that girl would really become alone. And these fools would greedily devour her heart.
Since Marin couldn’t tolerate that, she desperately transformed her thoughts into concern for Violette.
Violette’s proper posture was not different from usual. She was the same girl who was more beautiful than anyone, more wonderful than anyone.
That’s why, her heart was hurting.
Marin knew that for Violette, this much was nothing. It would be painful and sad, but she was accustomed to it.
Just as Marin thought, Violette had gotten used to this. No matter what kind of existence she was among them all, she didn’t feel anything other than the reality. Even if they told her that she was a stranger, she would answer with, “Right?”, or rather become convinced by that statement.
Violette continued to eat silently, wiped her clean mouth in front of her empty plate and stood up from her seat after making a vague reason.
“You are not alone. Revise your freedom up until now and take care of your younger sister a little bit more.”
“…I will take that into my mind.”
Violette slowly lowered her head and took Marin out of the dining room.
She struggled with the desire to lift her skirt and start running and the desire to stop right now, and eventually reached her room with slower steps than usual.
A crying-like sound reached her ear. It was Marin, but not her normal voice. Her voice was shaking and gloomy like she was about to cry. Violette wondered what happened to her indifferent tone and turned back, only to find Marin’s expression also looked like she was about to cry, the same as her voice.
“Thank you, Marin… I’m fine.”
Every time Marin clenched her teeth to avoid crying, her words disappeared gradually.
Was she feeling sad or painful, or angry enough to make her want to cry? Surely, all of those feelings were circulating in Marin’s heart, flowing through her blood.
Marin was usually so cool that she showed almost no emotions. Violette laughed after seeing such a servant was feeling hurt for her. Actually, it was hard to call it a smile, and she definitely couldn’t laugh at all.
Still, the remaining little white emotions left that had not been swallowed up inside her darkened heart turned into an energy to smile to her affection for Marin.
While telling Marin… and also herself that she was fine, Violette stroked her head even if she was already taller than herself.
Her father told her that she was not alone.
Her head felt like it was boiling. In an instant, her heart became black.
She wanted to scream loudly and tell him to die.
At that moment, Violette’s head was filled with resentment of anger, to the point that she was likely to repeat her mistakes.
She couldn’t forgive those words.
How long did she wish for those words, that she was not alone? How many times did her heart recover because of those words?
Marin and Yulan comforted her, telling her that over and over again.
She was alone all the time. She was alone in the loneliness.
She had reached out her hand again and again to try and cut through the sky in this large house. Even though she already knew that no one would hold her hand back, even without needing anyone to say it, she cried, calling for someone who didn’t even have a name. One day, she also forgot to cry, and gave up even calling.
It was Marin who stayed by her side. It was Yulan who was there together with her. Those two people told her that she wouldn’t be alone.
Those words were very, very important words that saved the lonely and hopeless Violette.
Violette wanted to throw a plate at him, telling him that he spoke those great words just because of the circumstances. That his likes were unfit for those words.
She was really glad that there was nothing beside her that she could throw at that time. She was really relieved that she remembered herself in her previous life before she swore at him, and those thoughts strangely cleared the corner of her head.
The feelings that had risen to her head dispersed as soon as she comforted Marin. Heat returned to her cold fingertips. However, saying her mood had returned to what it was before would be an exaggeration.
She knew that getting angry was pointless. Even if she became emotional, nothing would be changed.
She wouldn’t be forgiven for throwing things, because that was not acceptable.
What was entangling her whole body was a constraint that kept her from escaping this place, and it was also a chain that told them not to get any closer than this to her.
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