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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by popcorn


     

    Cersinia glared at him for a moment. For a very brief moment, Charles’s lips stiffened and trembled. Her gaze was so sharp so it was easy for her to spot it.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about right now” Charles responded with a shady smile as usual.

    ‘Lucky guy.’

    She wanted to smash that face right away but managed to hold it in. She is certain about it, judging from his reaction, but there is no exact physical evidence yet. If an opportunity arises, she will not miss it. It’s not the time yet.

    “Be careful. If you get caught, I really won’t let you go.”

    Cersinia glanced at Charles with scornful eyes and walked past him.

    “This bitch really!”

    Unable to stand the humiliation, Charles reached out to Cersinia. No one in this village looks down on him. Because he was the village chief’s son. However, it was different with Cersinia. He didn’t like her relaxed face, as she was always looking down on him as if she had nothing to lose. He said he liked her and would make her happy… But her contemptuous attitude and annoying gaze all turned into anger and piled up in Charles’s heart.

    ‘I said I like you, but you dare to act like this!’

    Charles gritted his teeth tightly and rushed to grab Cersinia’s hair. Cersinia turned her body when she felt someone’s presence. Charles, who was shaking like an angry bull, caught her eyes. He rushed as if he couldn’t even see the people in the market were staring and murmuring. Cersinia easily grabbed Charles’s neck with one hand.

    “Urgh! This… let me go.”

    Charles’s face turned red after being caught by Cersinia without a single resistance.

    “Gasp, Urgh…!”

    It was difficult for him to breathe due to the pressure on his neck. He tried to get out of her grasp somehow, but it was in vain.

    ‘How can this woman be so strong?’

    He slapped and pinched Cersinia’s hand, which strangled him, but she didn’t even flinch. She tightened her grip a bit more before letting him go. She strangled him because he tried to attack her but his reaction was very boring.

    “Gasp! Cough, cough!”

    Charles, who collapsed helplessly on the floor, looked so insignificant. He coughed continuously while breathing heavily. Cersinia clicked her tongue, annoyed by the situation, and leisurely entered the market. Obviously, Charles ran away from there, since everyone present became a witness. And it won’t matter if he’s the village chief son, he won’t be able to touch her recklessly.

    “What are you looking at! Stop looking!”

    Charles groaned and shouted at those who were watching him. His face looked like it was about to explode. He clenched his fists as he felt insulted. It was even more embarrassing for him since people were watching him. At that thought, his anger soared.

    “I’m going to put that bitch on her knees someday.”

    Charles gritted his teeth.

    “W-Why is that witch here…”

    At that moment, Charles’s head turned to the voice murmuring next to him. A man was looking somewhere with a pale face as if he had seen a ghost. His eyes were looking at Cersinia. Charles’s eyes gleamed.

    “Witch, what do you mean?”

    “That monster… That woman is a monster!”

    Unable to come to his senses despite Charles’s question, the man kept muttering to himself. The terrified man had a bandage on one of his hands.

    * * *

    That night.

    “Hoam.”

    Goredon yawned, tears formed in his eyes from yawning a lot. The sun had already set, and darkness came. He was patrolling and saw nobody suspicious roaming around.

    “Well, there’s nothing special. I’ll just do my job quickly.”

    Goredon, who felt complacent, yawned once more and turned to the way he had come. He had to go back and play with his daughter.

    Swish.

    At that moment, something came out of nowhere along with the sound of the wind.

    “Uaargh!”

    Surprised, Goredon fell on his butt.

    “W-What’s there!”

    Goredon shouted at a black thing that was already far away. He belatedly lit the light toward what made him jump. There was only one small tree, and it had already disappeared. It happened so quickly that he couldn’t know exactly whether it was a person, a ghost, or a large beast.

    “Ha, it really shocked me…”

    He scratched the back of his head roughly. He was wondering if he should report to the village chief about what just happened. If he saw something and said he didn’t know its identity, he would be persecuted if he didn’t check it properly.

    ‘No one saw it, right?’

    He quickly looked around. As expected, there was no one.

    ‘If I keep my mouth shut, it’ll be okay.’

    It didn’t seem like a big deal considering the surroundings were quiet. Goredon thought it was just a passing beast and decided not to report, brushing the dirt off his pants and walking again. Unlike a while ago, he began looking around carefully. Maybe he felt guilty in the corner of his heart, so he turned around to patrol areas he hadn’t checked.

    “What is this smell?”

    When he sniffed, a burning smell came to the tip of his nose. There was also gray smoke that made his surroundings even darker than usual. He ran in the direction of the smoke to check. A red shadow was cast on Goredon’s face when he arrived. In front of him was a good warehouse covered with flames. A food warehouse that was already burning.

    “Fire! Fire!” Goredon screamed in shock.

    It was one of the food warehouses in the village containing grains that had been harvested for the upcoming winter. Villagers began to gather one by one at Goredon’s voice. That night, everyone worked together to put out the fire, but the warehouse had been burned down. Only smoke rose among the ashes. An unburned brooch glistened in the ashes, but no one saw it.

    * * *

    Cersinia’s body shivered in the harsh wind. Her body felt as heavy as cotton soaked in water due to the dampness and humidity.

    “Uumm.”

    Her closed eyelids trembled. Her face, which was originally white, became paler, and her red lips turned pale. She slowly woke up at the sound of wind blowing in her ears. Her powerless eyelids didn’t open at once but opened slowly.

    “Ah, damn it.”

    When she opened her eyes completely, a small curse flowed out of her mouth. Cersinia slowly raised her sore body. The back of her pajamas was wet. Every time she moved her body, the smell of earth came from her wet pajamas.

    Cersinia, who woke up, checked where she was lying.  She was on the ground in the front yard of her house. Cersinia frowned as she looked at the soil that shaped into her own body. It seemed that she had been sleeping in the yard for quite some time. With her foot, she flattened the soil.

    ‘Again. I opened my eyes somewhere other than my room.’

     She was used to it, but the new place always frightens her. This type of situation started three years ago and gradually expanded its scope little by little. She woke up mainly inside the house, such as in the bathroom, kitchen, front door, and living room, but today it was the yard. She obviously sleeps on the bed in her room, but when she woke up she had been in different places. 

    Cersinia knew the name of the disease. The act of going around without knowing when you fell asleep. The fact that she didn’t even remember moving. It was sleepwalking.

    The first time she experienced this symptom was around three months after Ben had disappeared. She fell asleep at dawn that day, but she found herself lying in front of the front door when she woke up. It did  not happen often, but these days, the frequency seems to have increased a bit.

    “Now I do it all the way out of the house…”

    She thought. She should lock the front door so that she can only unlock it when she’s sane. Cersinia turned her back to the rising sun and entered her house. She was about to stumble. Her pajamas were heavy with the moisture from the soil. Her body, which was exposed to the chilly air outside for a long time, was cold. She wrapped her arms around her shivering body and headed straight to the bathroom. She warmed up with a hot shower and stayed there for quite some time.

    “Cersinia, do you know that?”

    Cersinia was eating the potato bread that May made today. Not even expecting what May was going to say this time, she focused only on eating. May continued to talk, disregarding the fact that Cersinia ignored her.

    “There was a fire in the village last night.”

    She didn’t even ask, but May started reciting the stories she had heard.

    “They said that a fire broke out in the food warehouse, and they lost all the food they had harvested for the year.”

    May constantly talked. Cersinia just looked at May, who was just talking well alone.

    ‘If she talks like that, her mouth will hurt.’

    However, May looked more excited, contrary to her worries.

    “It doesn’t look like there was a fire from the beginning. It seems like someone made it on purpose. If they catch the criminal, the villagers will probably beat them up.”

    “Probably. They burned all the food the villagers had stocked up for the winter, so if the culprit is caught, the villagers won’t stay still,” Cersinia said and rose from her seat.

    “Ah, this.”

    She gave May the clothes she bought yesterday. May looked at the clothes handed over to her with a puzzled face and soon jumped in joy. Cersinia smiled when she saw May jumping in place like a bright child.

    “As expected, Cersinia likes me, right?”

    Cersinia immediately laughed. It’s not that she doesn’t like May. Rather, she liked her presence. But now, she wished to start the novel quietly and alone.

    ‘I shouldn’t give her any more affection…’

    Cersinia walked past May and headed to her room. She was going to lie in her comfy bed all day because she woke up from sleeping on the ground with aches all over her body. Since three years ago, her daily life has been free. 


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