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Chapter 41

“So you really don’t remember.”

“…Yes, Missus Deere.”

The first thing she felt was discomfort. From the way Missus Deere looked at her and to the kind of expression the older woman had, Carynne didn’t like it all. And neither did she like anything the woman said.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes.”

Even when it felt awful, this was fine. What Deere told her was already something that Carynne had expected—to the extent that Carynne already thought that her entire life was her own delusion. She had already been thinking about this over and over again.

“Why?”

With a perplexed expression, Missus Deere directed a question at Carynne.

“But are you alright? It must not be all okay.”

At that haughty response, Carynne felt a bitter taste in her mouth.

“To sum up everything that you said, the state of confusion that I experience is because of some kind of mysticism.”

“It may be unpleasant to hear, but it is true. Gypsies know many kinds of sorcery.”

Carynne snorted.

“Why would they move from place to place if they’re so capable? They’d just conquer the world.”

Missus Deere’s face reddened slightly. But, she soon opened her lips to speak once more.

“Your mind is fragile, isn’t it.”

To some extent, it was not so pleasant to hear this from another person. But Carynne brushed off this feeling and merely shrugged.

A hundred years was not so easy to live through. It’s already stamped in her mind that everything here could be an illusion caused by her own madness. Therefore, it’s not surprising to hear this truth from Missus Deere.

The nonchalant acceptance of, ‘Yes, that’s a possibility’, was something she heard first. Before she would fulfill her promise to Nancy that she’d die by the nanny’s hand, Carynne made up her mind to dole out the proper punishment first.

“Thanks to you, I’ve confirmed one thing—that my father knows that I’m not in my right mind.”

And that, in the manor, he was the one who gave a helping hand and hid the corpse. Carynne stared at the woman’s dry hair.

“You are not me.”

Because all the memories in her own head were too long and too specific, she couldn’t dismiss them all as mere delusions. Carynne couldn’t figure out to what extent she could believe Deere’s words. No, even if she were to believe everything, wasn’t the information she was given far too limited? After all, this woman was an outsider. She did not know everything.

“My father, and my mother, too, are not me. Especially Nancy…”

…shouldn’t have been killed.

“Now that she’s far away, what you said couldn’t be proved true.”

These words made Deere look remarkably happy.

“She’s gone? What happened?”

“She quit.”

“That’s great news. So that’s why you came all the way here. If she was still by your side, you couldn’t have come all the way here.”

That’s right. I killed her after all. I gave her some drugs and strangled her to death. And I tried to use her corpse to surprise Isella. But I can’t even find that corpse now.

“Then… I can go back to being your governess now, right? You followed my lessons well. You don’t remember, but trust me, you did.”

It was disgusting to see how the woman was acting like she’s close to Carynne by using memories that she didn’t even have. If a rich man was about to die, all sorts of women would cling to him. A woman like Helen, the housekeeper.

But Carynne hadn’t any plans to drive out Missus Deere while saying that the woman should know her place. She had already been thrown out once. Besides that, Carynne had also met her fair share of women who wanted to wedge themselves into her life to try and be her mother.

“There are still many things you haven’t told me.”

“I’ve told not a single lie.”

“Then tell me, why did you get fired?”

As Carynne asked Deere, the older woman’s complexion changed.

“That’s because I was opposed to how Nancy kept feeding you those useless ideas.”

“Missus Deere, you mentioned that you were against Nancy from the very beginning. And even though it’s been a while since you were my governess, it’s also true that you stayed in the manor for quite a long time. You were suddenly asked to leave and…”

Carynne looked around the old, dilapidated house, then shook her head in exaggeration.

“I am only wondering if there’s any other reason why you had to move out. Why must you skirt around the issue when it comes to that topic?”

Carynne did not trust anyone. If she couldn’t even trust herself, who could she possibly trust? The same was true for this woman in front of her. This was a fact that she had already come to terms with for as long as she had been suffering from this madness.

But this woman, she wanted Carynne to deny the 100 years that she had lived through? Carynne couldn’t accept it. After just one measly story about an abstract past, she was being asked to admit that that’s the end of it?

“Did you wish to become my mother?”

“Everyone in that house is out of their minds. For you, I…!”

“Oh, you protested so gallantly on behalf of this crazy little girl you’ve taken under your wing, but because of that, you got thrown out. I don’t believe any of it.”

At first, Carynne’s tone of voice was light-hearted, as if she was very amused by it all, but then it dropped down suddenly towards the end.

Deere was about to approach Carynne, but at the sound of the younger woman’s voice, she flinched.

And, little by little, fear set in.

“Carynne?”

“I said I don’t believe you. Just for the sake of verifying my cognitive capacity, I chopped up a body, brought in that corpse’s son and confirmed it through him—but you come out suddenly and say, ‘You’re crazy, you mustn’t believe anything’? As the protagonist of my own life, I refuse such a plot twist.”

“Carynne, what… Right now, what on earth are you saying.”

“I’ve done one thing thus far! Now, I’m asking you what this is! I gave her drugs, cut her to pieces and set her on fire, I tell you! Do you think I’ll be satisfied just hearing something like this? From someone as insignificant as you… when you just suddenly appeared?”

“I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Do not pretend that you don’t know.”

Carynne clenched her teeth. She found it difficult to accept that it was all because she was ‘confused’. This needed to be sorted out. It had to be handled. Steer herself. Take action. The coin had already been tossed. There was no reason to hesitate.

“And if you at least had a brain, you would know.”

Clatter.

“You should understand that I have no intention of keeping you alive now. Right?”

“Carryne! Calm down…! Nancy has been tormenting you, the fact that you’ve come all the way here only now, can’t you see? The time since you were a baby and to this day now that you’ve come here, can’t you tell just by looking back at the things that you can’t remember? But now that you’ve come to me, it’ll be alright. Yes? Now that His Lordship kicked that woman out, I can see that he also knows. That I was wronged. If you take me back with you now, it’ll be alright. Everything…”

Deere let out everything she wanted to say in a hurry. Something had gone wrong.

Bang!

“AHH!”

Carynne aimed at the woman’s head, but she missed the mark. Blood dripped from Deere’s head nonetheless. Her face was covered in blood. Carynne reloaded and approached the woman. The bullet just grazed her scalp and hit the surface.

“Raymond finished it in only one shot, but I guess a human being’s skull is more slippery than I thought.”

“Carynne, get ahold of yourself now, please?”

Carynne took a step closer to Deere. What a sight. This middle-aged woman had been trying to get Carynne under her control just now, proudly laying down her past. But now, she was over there in one corner, shivering.

“I’ve already killed Nancy.”

Carynne laughed. Her bright teeth shone in the afternoon sun. Deere stepped back, but there was nowhere else to go.

The girl with a smiling face drew closer and closer.

* * *

It’s alright.

It’s fine.

All the sad things are just part of the novel.

The young lady is dreaming right now.

To you, this world is but a dream.

Soon, you and the knight shall fall in love.

And all the suffering shall come to an end.

* * *

“Didn’t I say I’ll pick you up in a little while, Milady?”

“Borwen.”

“Please just stay docile. The one who’ll be scolded by Lord Dullan is a lowly person like me.”

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