Chapter 2 : Awakening (Beatrice’s POV)

“Good morning, milady.
How are you feeling this morning?”

…eh?

“Lady Beatrice?”

The one peeking at me with a worried look on her face is Martha, the maid.

She is my personal maid, who has served me since I was a child and she followed me when I married Leopold-sama.

I blinked my eyes.

I don’t know why I feel so uncomfortable.

“Milady?”

Come to think of it, there’s something wrong with the way she calls me.

Because after I got married, Martha started to call me “Madam”.

“…”

By the way, I was stabbed.

And I’m pretty sure that Martha, who was near the door at the time, was also stabbed by Natialia with a knife.

Martha hurriedly supports my shoulders as I sit up.

“Milady? You’re up so suddenly… what’s wrong?”

“Martha, are you hurt?”

“What?”

“You’re not injured, are you?”

“Me, injured? No, not at all.”

I breathed out a sigh of relief when she said that while lightly waving her arms around.

At the same time, a lot of questions came flooding in.

Martha is not injured.

And neither is my body.

And this room is not the one I was in earlier.

Because this place is…

This is the place where I grew up.

But I don’t know why.

I was stabbed to death by Natalia with a knife.

A dream?

Am I dreaming?

I can still vividly remember the sharp pain that hit my whole body.

I still remember Natalia’s tear-stained face and the sound of her sobbing as she held me in her arms.

“…”

I closed my eyes and gently shook my head.

Calm down and think it over.

You’re not in the Marquis of Rynalfa’s house, but in the mansion where you were born and raised.

Why is she called “Milady” instead of “Madam”?

Why is it that none of my stab wounds remain?

I wonder if I could just dismiss it all as a dream or my imagination.

Then what was that?

Are all these memories just a dream?

The two who gazed lovingly at each other in the academy.

A disturbing rumor, and him with a frustrated look on his face. 

The promise we made and the relationship I got in return. 

I’ve counted the time with him as he strived to be faithful.

I told Natalia to wait for me just a little longer.

Yes.

And that day.

Natalia suddenly burst into the room, stabbed Martha who was near the door, and then…

And then…

“…”

“Milady? Your face doesn’t look good.
Please lie down.”

“Martha.”

I called out to Martha in a trembling voice as she laid me down and draped the blanket over me.

“What day is it… now?”

“Do you mean today? It is the twelfth day of the third month.”

…I wonder if it would seem strange to ask about my age.

“If I remember correctly, it’s been 1215 years in the kingdom, right?”

I mentioned a year a little further back that I remembered. 

It was the year before I married Leopold-sama.

“Oh, my dear Milady.”

A smile appeared on Martha’s face, along with a tone of amusement and affection.

“Do you want to come of age so soon? It’s still the year 1212.”

“…?”

I was surprised to find that time has gone back further than I had expected.

This is the year I entered the academy.

The year I collapsed and became seriously ill.

It was also the year that Edgar-sama studied abroad.

ーーー Edgar-sama.

When his name popped into my head, my heart ached a little.

The one who took care of me as if I was his own sister.

The one who suddenly decided to go to a neighboring country with high medical standards to study abroad to become a doctor and achieve great things.

Edgar-sama, Leopold-sama, and I had been close friends with our parents and had known each other since we were children, but Edgar-sama’s departure to study abroad created a distance between us.

After Edgar-sama left to study abroad, if Leopold-sama and I continued to see each other alone, no matter how close our parents were, strange rumors would start.

As Leopold-sama had no feelings for me, it was inevitable that the distance between us would increase.

However, I felt very lonely because of the sudden distance between us, even though we had had many opportunities to meet before… although it was just me.

…but I’d been receiving letters from Edgar-sama from time to time.

His letters were more like medical research reports, though.

Perhaps the water in that country was too much, but Edgar-sama went to study there and never came back.

Yes, even for our wedding.

“…that was a bit of a shock…”

“? Milady? Did you say something?”

“Uh, no.
It’s nothing.”

Martha looked at me suspiciously, and I hurriedly shook my head.

…anyway, I don’t know why time rewound, but I do know one thing for sure.

It means that three years from now, I must not make that promise to them both.

Yes, even if I find him in the same situation as before, I will never reach out to him.

Because it wouldn’t be of any help to them both.

Because, I’m sure, after that…

Well, after I died…

It’s not hard to imagine what kind of future awaited those two remaining people.

The happy ending that I had told them before they could get married would never come. 

Suddenly, I noticed the sound of the door closing.

It seems that Martha, who thought I had fallen asleep, had left the room.

“If only Natalia believed in me and waited a little longer…”

I shook my head, thinking that such words were just too foolish.

“Talking about what ifs won’t change anything.
I couldn’t make them happy, that’s all.”

Natalia’s scream and Leopold’s shocked voice were still fresh in my mind.

The mixed reaction of many other people’s voices reached me.

That’s right, it’s one h**l of an ugly story.

I was the one who started it.

Yeah.
I’m sure it’s my fault.

I’m the one who offered to do the extra work.

“Well… it’s my fault for falling in love with him.”

With those words, tears welled up in my eyes.

So I won’t make any more mistakes.

This time, I will never love you.

Also, I can’t let you and Natalia be unhappy.

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