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Chapter 45

“Why did you clean up the body?”

Why did you steal the truth from me? Do you even know what this means to me?

Tears welled up in her anger. This act was no different from taking away the truth from her like this, letting her madness and irrationality eat away at her. This was neither love nor protection.

“Wouldn’t it have been difficult for you if things grew out of hand? The child’s happiness is the parents’ happiness as well. All Catherine and I wish for you is happiness.”

“If you wish for my, my happiness.”

Her voice was hoarse. Carynne hated the middle-aged man in front of her. This stance of his of not telling her the honest truth, this conduct of cleaning up her mess without telling her anything. It was all disgustingly terrible.

“Why didn’t you grab me by the shoulders and tell me this—You’re crazy.”

“What should I do to satisfy you?”

“If I killed someone, you should have told me that I’m not supposed to do that, right? You should have thrown me in jail. You should have let me be tried in court and gave me the death penalty.”

“What kind of happiness could you attain in prison? You haven’t even started your life yet. You’ve yet to meet a man, get married and have your own children.”

She was so utterly speechless that she wanted to stomp her feet.

“If my insanity is hereditary, then it must have been from you, Father.”

At those words, the fief lord abashedly shrugged his shoulders. And then his answer was just absurd.

“You resemble your mother more than me.”

“…Do you even know what on earth you’re saying right now? My mother and father ruined my life. At the very least I should know how to think for myself, but no. I can’t even believe anything I see, hear or feel right now. It’s not about trusting you or not, neither is it about you loving me. What you’re doing is nothing short of a sledgehammer right to my head to erase my memories just to give me what you claim is a stable life.”

Marriage, love. What the hell kind of dream was that.

Between putting someone to sleep through medications and with this so-called peaceful life, what’s the difference?

“Those things have no importance to me right now.”

“They’re important.”

The fief lord asserted this.

“They’re very important, Carynne.”

“Look here, Mister Fief Lord.”

If it was like this, then there was no need to continue this conversation. Carynne tightened her grip on the fief lord’s hand. She had just gotten her nails done. His hand gained a few red marks, but that was all.

“What is it?”

“…I should be angry. But I can’t even do that properly either, I’m too baffled. Ha… Fine, do as you please. I’m going to keep killing people, so if you want to stop me, then try it. And if I mess up, I’ll just go to Sir Raymond and turn myself in.”

“I won’t let you.”

“Lock me up then. Stop me. Tie my arms and legs, find another hypnotist to replace Nancy. This time, I want you to tell me an even more beautiful story than this fantasy where I’ve fallen into a book and have been dying over and over again for one hundred years. It might be fun to find myself waking up in the emperor’s bedroom and become a sex slave, or even go further back in history where I can try to change the world.”

Carynne tried to be as sarcastic as she could. She would not be able to see any grief from her father. And he wasn’t going to fight with her about this.

If a crime had been committed, it’s only natural to exact punishment. She didn’t start all this with that determination in mind.

But then, rather than her determination, the fief lord focused his attention on three words.

“One hundred years?”

“Maybe more than that, I don’t know. If there are new memories, just erase them all and turn me into a dunce.”

It felt like she had died for nothing. Carynne wanted to burn her whole body. To burn her father to death right in front of her eyes. To rip him apart.

But even more vehemently than that, she felt a seething hatred. All those efforts, those years, those memories—did all that mean nothing? It was all just an illusion? Was there no worth to them? The conclusion that this was all just her own insanity was too convenient.

She’d rather kill.

“…One hundred years. Is that the time you’ve lived?”

It’s done now. It’s much too long. Just finish it all.

Carynne came up with a plan to take her own life so she could escape reality.

Should she hang herself, drink poison, or shoot herself in the head. Which one.

Poison, as expected?

“I’m sorry about not being able to give you a proper answer.”

“Should we just stop doing these useless things and walk hand-in-hand together into the monastery? What do you think?”

“Catherine told me not to interfere in your life as much as possible.”

“I don’t want to hear about a mother who I don’t even remember.”

At that, the fief lord drew back from Carynne. He looked shocked by what she said.

Everyone here’s a lunatic. It’s a den of psychos. Wasn’t this a family that would just make you sigh?

However, the fief lord looked at Carynne with a crestfallen look.

“Catherine loved you. Very much.”

“Do I really have to be reminded of that now? My very own father erased my memories to the point that I can’t even feel this love that you speak of. What are you trying to do, really? Are you going to continue being an accomplice to my murders, just as you’ve done so far? Sounds fun. Sure, great. That’s what I want. If you’re helping me anyway, kill that man Verdic straight away. Isella’s a bonus. And it would be ever so splendid if even Sir Raymond dies. You’ll do it for sure, yes?”

“Carynne.”

“Why, you won’t do it? Then what the hell do you want to do?”

Carynne glared at the fief lord. How frustrating. She knew far too little, and the fief lord was hiding something from her. And now she was looking at her with that kind of look. Who are you to do that to me.

“…I’ve grown tired now, too,” he said.

“Likewise.”

“Don’t talk about Catherine like that. She did it for your happiness. But…”

Tears streamed down from the fief lord’s eyes.

“I… I’m tired now.”

“……”

And he covered his eyes with his hands.

“Catherine loved you so very much. And she was just like you.”

“Then I must have inherited this insanity from Mom.”

“Don’t be sarcastic when talking about Catherine. She, your mother…”

The fief lord found it difficult to continue speaking. His emotions surged up. He took a moment to breathe, and then he spoke once more.

“She used to talk just like you. The world… is like a novel to her. And she said that she’s older than how she looked.”

Carynne stopped breathing.

“And you, too… She said that you will live the same life she lived.”

“So what you’re saying is that Catherine—my mother has the same symptoms that I have?”

“Yes.”

“…Are you certain?”

Hearing the suspicion in Carynne’s voice, an offended look swept through the fief lord’s expression without holding back.

“That’s what my wife said. How can you doubt her words.”

Don’t tell me. My father’s not an imbecile, is he?

Carynne spun a wily imagination inwardly. If it was like the life Carynne had experienced thus far, her mother, Catherine, wouldn’t have turned up dead had there not been any conflict caused by her father. They always just had that only that much relevance.

But what he said just now, that it’s not just Carynne. That was something she could never ignore.

“I don’t exactly know the details of it. And in the end, it’s just something that you’d tend to doubt. I’d rather that it’s just… But she’s right. To start from the beginning and forget everything.”

“Missus Catherine.”

“Mother.”

In the midst of it all, the fief lord still corrected her words. She had to hold it in because she was about to spit out words that she couldn’t even describe. She wondered if the fief lord had always been this kind of person.

“Yes, my mother.”

She glanced sideways and looked at the portrait. How great would it have been if the person that was here before her wasn’t the fief lord, but her. Carynne couldn’t help but sigh.

Why was it that the one who’s left living was this fief lord who was an outsider to all this? If what he’s saying was right, then wasn’t it that the only person in this entire world who could understand Carynne was her dead mother?

“Do you have any proof that she lived a repeated life… like me?”

“So, in the end, you’re still doubting it.”

“……”

“Aren’t you the living proof of it?”

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