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Chapter 50: 07. Engagement ceremony

07. Engagement ceremony

Actually, there was still no answer.

She knew so little. At the futile and empty answer her father had given her, Carynne’s first reaction was to be dumbfounded.

But right now, rather than worrying, Carynne was being swept away by a more unusual feeling.

It was hope.

The hope that she could, at long last, rest.

There was one other person who went through all this before her. If Catherine truly had experienced the same thing as Carynne, then the possibility was there for Carynne to succeed as well.

One other person just like her existed in this world. Oh, how sweet it was to know even just that.

Carynne sat in front of the harpsichord and played on the keys, feeling refreshed. It was too early for people to come out, but it also wasn’t an early enough time for their sleep to be disturbed by her playing.

The cool air of daybreak enveloped the room. As she played a cheerful tune for the morning, Carynne spoke to Tom, who was standing next to her.

“Finally, there is hope that I can die. Don’t you know how delightful this is?”

There was a bright smile full of joy on Carynne’s lips as she said this to Tom. Whether or not he believed or not believed, the boy just closed his mouth and nodded.

Carynne sometimes felt regrettable about Tom being a mute. She wanted to see a more interesting response from him, and there’s only so much a mute boy could impart. All Tom did was to close his mouth, then nod or shake his head.

“If I die, wouldn’t it be good for you?”

“……”

“Gosh, I didn’t mean that spitefully.”

Holding back the peal of laughter threatening to burst through her lips, Carynne increased the tempo as she pressed down on the keys.

“I’m in support of revenge. That’s how life is, after all. It’s not fair.”

With one look at this boy’s face, who would be able to guess his age? Tom looked a lot cleaner compared to when he was rolling around in the streets, but one could only guess what’s inside that mouth which he didn’t open.

And most of all, his demeanor was different. He didn’t have the same look that kids from the back alleys had—the look that’s full of the moment’s misery—rather, he had the eyes of a person who had experienced a more advanced form of pain. In fact, if he were to live like that for the rest of his life, then he would neither yearn for another person’s life nor would he complain about his own.

“Hmm…”

Should I kill him now?

Carynne calculated the date. Tom would soon die from illness. Yet, even as he didn’t look well, he had yet to collapse thus fat. He still died young in the past when she had taken care of him, but compared to back then, he was holding up pretty well now.

Carynne looked closely at the boy’s cheek. His demeanor wasn’t pleasant, but his body was more alive than ever. He didn’t look like he was going to drop dead right away. How fun.

“Normally, with these kinds of developments, if the child is kept alive, they’ll come back for revenge later.”

Carynne pressed down hard on the keys.

“You got surprised?”

He couldn’t speak, but his gasp could still be heard. Carynne grinned, then apologized.

“Sorry. Still, you look healthier than I expected. It amazes me, that’s why.”

Tom answered through his facial expressions. He’s nervous.

Carynne returned to playing on her instrument again. The piece was as lively as how she was feeling.

Should I kill him? I want to kill him. I think it’ll be alright even if I kill him. He’s going to die anyway, right? But if he doesn’t die, it might be more fun. It all started when I killed Nancy and then it all unraveled like this. If I kill Tom, what will happen this time? How chaotic. How difficult. Should I spare him for now and then kill him next time? What’ll be better?

“Milady!”

Her agony shattered.

“If you come outside like this without dressing up first, what should we doooo.”

“I always look perfect though.”

“Wow… That confidence…”

While looking drowsy, Donna brought over a towel that had been soaked in warm water. Carynne wiped her face as she lowered the lid of the harpsichord’s keys.

“I guess I’m having fun these days.”

“With playing your instrument?”

“Mm, sure.”

Carynne realized that she naturally slipped into relishing murder yet again. She started doing it in the name of fun from the beginning, but she now had a new reason. Even when she was told that the answer was love, she did not wish to change the principles of her actions.

“I’ll dial it back.”

“You said you were sick, Milady, but you’ve only been pretending? Still though, you can’t play at night. It’s said that the Countess is coming.”

“I know… I got it.”

Damn plot development. No sympathy for laborers inside the novel.

“First, we have to get you dressed up.”

“How come you look more excited?”

“Hehe. The seamstress brought in the new clothes yesterday and they’re so pretty.”

“Her hands are so slow that I can’t believe she finished the garments only a day before.”

Although, it couldn’t be helped since the customized dress was made after Isella’s. She let out this small complaint, but as Donna was unaware of the situation, she replied back excitedly.

“But still, it’s really pretty.”

“I got it.”

“Milady, since the leftover cloth came in as well, can I make a ribbon for your hair?”

“You’ve become thorough, too, after dealing with the people from Evans. Fine. Do as you please.”

With a spring in her step, Donna cheerily left the room first. Did she like it that much?

Carynne closed her eyes, preoccupied by the warmth of the towel that Donna had given her.

Across the hall, she could hear Donna saying that she had drawn the bath already. Carynne sighed and followed behind the maid. It’s not that she didn’t like dressing up—it’s just annoying. There were so many other things for her to think about besides the countess.

Still, she hoped that she could uncover more information from here on out, just as she had been doing so far.

Carynne paused for a moment to turn her head, then she asked.

“By the way, Tom. Did you properly deliver my letter to Father?”

The boy nodded.

“Alright.”

Carynne headed back to her room.

“I heard you were sick.”

And Isella was there, waiting in front of her bedroom door.

“Isella.”

The bathwater was going to cool down at this rate. Carynne let out a sigh without hiding it. At this, Isella made a face.

“You don’t even look sick.”

Isella’s eyebrows were furrowed.

What are you so unhappy about. It’s the first time that such a grand engagement ceremony was going to be held so ostentatiously.

It was an unparalleled opportunity for Isella, yet here she was, not concealing any of her discomfort towards Carynne.

Carynne tilted her head to the side at this, but soon greeted the other young woman.

“Thank you for your concern, Miss Isella.”

“……”

Might be good to give a smile here.

Isella paused for a moment, but then she hurriedly called out to Carynne again when she tried to leave.

“Carynne!”

“Yes.”

After calling her like so, silence once again enveloped them as she hesitated to speak the next words.

“Come to my engagement ceremony.”

“I don’t think my condition is good enough for that though. I haven’t regained much energy yet.”

“Are you seriously saying that when you’ve got enough energy to play the piano so early in the morning?”

“It doesn’t take that much energy out of me to play using my fingers. And it’s a harpsichord.”

“But that’s not the point here?”

Miss Isella, your tone seems very pointed right now.

Carynne had to control her lips from curling. Wasn’t this just a pointless attack? Carynne thought about what to do with Isella, who was eager to quarrel at the break of dawn.

It’s been quite a while since Carynne had felt so refreshed. It was a happy morning where Carynne had confirmed for herself that hope was in sight, yet why was Isella doing this to Carynne during the time that she’s happy?

“The Countess is coming today, but are you going to stay cooped up? If you’re that sick.”

“…I will have to go out, of course.”

Certainly, since it was Countess Elva. She was the young madam who had a formidable personality and whose husband was the Minister of Finance. Verdic was desperate to establish connections with that very official.

It was laughable how Isella liked to equate herself to the countess. Now that Carynne thought about it, would the mistake of revealing their investment funds be committed here again?

“For tonight’s attendance, don’t you think it’ll be too much if you miss two dinners in a row?”

“Isella?”

She spoke in this way.

Carynne looked at Isella with a bit of bewilderment, as though saying,

It’s going to be great for you if I don’t come, but why are you being like this?

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