To You Who Will Kill Me – Prologue

(For those who have read the previous translated prologue, this is the full version.

Set aside some time aside before reading because this has a word count of 13k+! It’s worth it tho!)

Raws Provided By Lilac (Thank you❤️)

 

Why is my life like this?

“Isaac, calm down. Please calm down.”

The front of Isaac’s clothes began to dampen as his blood started to seep through.

He was only nine years old. I can’t imagine how painful it must be for his small body to be stabbed by a knife.

“This… what… Ah…”

“It’s okay. It’s okay, Isaac. Auntie will protect you.”

Up until ten minutes ago, we were sitting in bed playing board games. Why was Isaac nearly stabbed to death and I am now running away from the killer?

The murderer, covered in the blood of his employees, mistakenly stabbed Isaac, who opened the door, in the neck. It was an error on his part as the attack was intended for me.

He was visibly bewildered when he discovered the person he had stabbed was a child. His knife aimed towards the young boy’s neck, way from the original target that is my chest or stomach.

“Isaac, wait a minute. Auntie… … Auntie…!”

This damn body.

My heart tightened as I gasped for air. It was a late reaction to frantically running around while carrying a nine-year-old child.

I was relieved to know that my breathing difficulties weren’t the result of the sudden stress and anxiety.

I could see the medicine room in the distance. Fortunately, the medical treatment area of the mansion was not far from my room.

But I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was suffocating.

“Ugh! Ugh!”

Just another fifty meters to the medicine room, but that fifty meters felt very far.

I put Isaac down and took out some medicine from my pocket. In the meantime, blood was dripping from his neck.

“Ugh!”

I pounded on my chest as I poured the medicine into his mouth. But before he could swallow the pills, a man appeared at the end of the hallway.

I held Isaac; my heart felt like it was going to explode and my breathing becomes ragged.

‘I’ll protect you.’

It was an eventful day in the city, so there were no adults in the house, and all the employees were killed by an unknown man.

Although I am only an 18-year-old girl, who had only been an adult for 11 months, at this moment I was Isaac’s guardian.

‘I just have to hold on until my brothers return, so just a little longer…’

I popped some medicine into my mouth and chewed as I ran.

Every piece of pottery I threw at the man, the porcelain shards scattered, and dug into the soles of my feet as I tried to escape.

The marble floor was slippery from the bloody wounds on my feet.

“Ouch!”

My feet were so slippery that I stumbled. As I fell forward, I crouched over Isaac to protect him.

My forehead slammed into the hard floor. I felt like my neck was going to break. I couldn’t pull myself together. A half-dissolved pill popped out of my mouth.

“Gasp!”

Meanwhile, a shadow fell in front of me. I couldn’t tell if I had blacked out for a moment or if the man had caught up quickly.

A pair of blue eyes, resembling violets, stared at me. I felt like my legs were going to weaken due to fear. Tears began to flow as I sensed the terrifying atmosphere emanating from the man.

I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was going to die right then, but I wanted to say it.

‘Help me. Please save Isaac.’

The man grabbed me by the neck and lifted me up.

I dropped Isaac helplessly, as I was dangled midair by the man’s massive strength.

My vision blurred from the tears and the blood pouring down my forehead.

Was it for money? Or was he sent by the opposing forces of my brothers?

With my airways restricted, my vision began to fade. As I prayed for the last time, my prayers were answered with the feeling of the blood circulating again.

I gasped as I was finally able to breathe. Then I unconsciously began to speak.

“Help me…”

It was the first plea I had ever made in my life.

Who would have predicted such a day would come in Scarlett White’s life? Princess of the White family, who was raised like the most precious flower in a glass greenhouse.

“Help me. Please save Isaac.”

Because of my arrogant personality, I never realized that a day would come where I would beg for someone’s life.

My vision was still blurry, but I begged and pleaded.

“Please save my little one. I don’t care if you kill me, but this child is innocent.”

My lovely nephew, my croissant. (Yes, she means croissant.)

Just ten minutes ago, we were wrestling over who would roll the dice first…

‘… Isaac, I will save you. In any way I can…’

“Not Isaac. Not this child. Kill me. Please, I beg you.”

At that moment, a thunderous sound rang. Someone fired a magic bullet at him. Surprised, the startled man dropped me.

While the man turned around to see who fired the magic bullet, I frantically grabbed Isaac and ran away.

I must have sprained my ankle when I fell because every time I put weight on it, I felt like I was about to collapse.

The situation was both mentally and physically exhausting, as I wasn’t very active outside of playing with my nephew Isaac or Abigail.

‘Finally!’

I arrived at the medicine room. After placing Isaac on a table, I locked the door, and shoved a chair under the door knob.

“Isaac, wait for me. Hemostatic…Where the hell are you!” (Hemostatic agents are used to stop excessive bleeding.)

I searched through the drawers, and when I bottled labeled as a hemostatic agent, I poured the contents onto Isaac’s neck. Then wrapped his neck with a bandage. Meanwhile, knocking on the door could be heard.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

The gentle knocks gave me goosebumps.

The rug from the floor of the medicine room was pushed aside and then a tile of marble was lifted. I didn’t know the reason, the only thing I did know was there was a hidden empty space beneath the floor of the medicine room.

Isaac, with the pale complexion of a corpse, rubbed his dark eyes. Blood was now dripping from the coils of my red curly hair. I kissed Isaac’s forehead and whispered.

“Isaac, listen carefully. You mustn’t make any noise.”

Isaac pursed his lips to say something.

“I’m fine.”

My infinitely pitiful nephew. Even in this moment, he was still trying to comfort me. I covered his mouth and whispered.

“Isaac, make a promise with your auntie. Promise me you’ll stay quiet until your family comes. Understand? Auntie will go out and fetch someone. Hang in there. I love you, my croissant.”

After kissing him, the floor was finally restored to its original state.

I broke the window with my bare fist. My hands and arms were torn and ragged from the glass that pierced my skin. Regardless, I pulled myself out, paying no mind to the clothing I ripped around my waist in the process.

I had to make it seem like I had evacuated Isaac. Because the man’s attention must be diverted so he wouldn’t search the room and find Isaac.

My heart shrunk with every second. The door handle was slippery with blood, so he had a hard time opening the door properly.

Bang!

The door flew open. The man’s violet eyes met my gaze. When did violet become such a cruel color? It was an eye color that was rarely seen in humans, so it felt even colder.

He strode over while I was halfway out of the window and pulled me in by my hair.

“Ugh!”

My scream had to be swallowed because If Isaac hears it, he may scream in surprise.

The man was covered in more blood than before. He must have killed the man who shot the magic bullet.

“I… what did I do wrong…?”

Why are you doing this to me?

“Just kill me…”

The latter words were strangled and could not come out.

As I dangled in the air by my neck, I punched the man’s arm. But the man did not budge.

Even during the moment of death, I had only one hope. That I saved Isaac. I hoped the child survived and was rescued safely.

“Argh!”

Is this what it feels like, to your death coming while you’re still alive?

Soon, the real hell began, and I died cruelly, unimaginably horribly at the hands of that man.

The man stabbed me until I lost my breath. He stabbed me five times then grabbed and threw my body against the wall.

I died holding in my screams for Isaac. That’s how I died.

 

* * * * *

 

“Gasp, gasp, gasp!”

As soon as I woke up from the dream, I searched for a tranquilizer and swallowed it without water. The bitter and astringent taste made my head feel numb.

The bell rang and Marie was called.

This is how the day began.

“What the hell did you do! Do I also have to pay attention to the security of this house? Why do I have to wake up every morning trembling with fear!”

“My Lady. Nothing happened last night. Calm down. If you get too excited again-“

Marie quickly rang the bell. The asthma attack that had already started to affect my breathing.

“Gasp!”

Not being able to breathe is a sensation you can never get used to. With that frightening feeling, I eventually overturned the objects on my side table.

I didn’t forget to glare at the servants while hunched over. I couldn’t stand their negligence. After struggling with breathing for so long, my body returned to its normal state.

“Do you want me to die? Do you want the crazy Scarlett White to die so you can be set free? Is that why you’re bothering me like this? Did you call for the doctor late because you were hoping for that?”

My emotional state, which originally fluctuated several times a day, had worsened since returning to the past.

I died a month before my 19th birthday, but when I opened my eyes, time had reversed.

Even with my arrival in the past, my memory remained intact, so I couldn’t come to my senses in the aftermath of the murder.

It was the 100th day of having to take tranquilizers and sleep inducers every day for the anxiety. Or I would wake up crying shortly after falling asleep. My nerves made me feel as if I was relying on a worn-out string while climbing up a cliff.

Scott visited with good timing.

As soon as I saw him, a rather old request came forth.

“Scott. Please find it for me.”

Sweeping a hand over his dry face he looked like he was barely hanging on. As if one touch was all it took for everything to fall apart.

“Are you taking any medications?”

“I’m taking the max dosage. I can’t increase it anymore.”

Scott was my third brother and the twin brother of Isaac’s mother, Susan.

His intelligence was more accurate than the government. Thanks to his mother being an only child, he inherited military lessons from his mother’s family, the Kravitz. The Kravitz family were known for its generational intelligence power.

“You have to find him.”

“Will you not tell me who it is?”

“Later. I’ll tell you another time.”

“He’s blonde, and he’s a little over 180cm tall… Do you know anything else?”

“I don’t remember, Scott. But I owe him a large debt.”

It’s such a huge debt. Even if I tore his limbs from his body before death, it wouldn’t be enough. That man stabbed me to death five times.

Scott’s face darkened at the word debt.

If the White Family owed a debt, it’s obviously not a financial problem, but a personal problem.

But I didn’t have anyone who could be called a friend, let alone an acquaintance. So, it was natural for him to question my words.

Nevertheless, he smiled faintly, perhaps thinking that this would bring some excitement into my boring daily life.

“Oh yeah. By the way, yesterday the house was noisy.”

Scott took out a faded piece of paper from the envelope he brought with him.

“Isaac’s playmate has been absent due to a family illness. I found Isaac alone, playing with the portraits of the deceased, in the portrait room.”

“What’s that?”

“I thought long and hard about whether I should tell you this. But I’m saying this because I thought you should know. Listen carefully before you flip it over and check.”

“What is it?”

“This is a portrait of Ashford.”

The words caused the lines in Scott’s face to deepen.

‘Ashford’

It was none other than the surname of my father’s mistress.

She was the woman my father had an affair with while my mother was pregnant with me.

I grabbed the paper immediately and tried to rip it up, but my hands trembled and I dropped it. When the front of the fallen paper was revealed, I inhaled sharply.

“This… this is….”

What surprised me the most wasn’t the fact that Julia Ashford was a beautiful woman. I was surprised because her face had an uncanny resemblance to my murderer.

The violet-eyed murderer who stabbed me five times.

I was so startled that I grabbed my chest and looked for my medicine. Scott quickly located the medicine and offered it to me.

“Ha.”

“Breathe. It’s okay. Calm down, Carly.” (Scarlet’s nickname)

Why does that man resemble Julia Ashford so much? Who is he?

My hands were trembling. My body was limp, the anxiety had sucked the strength out of me. My arms prickled as the hairs stood on end.

I felt pain in my stomach and chest, I wanted to tear off my clothes and check for wounds.

What the hell happened? Where did Isaac find such a picture…

“Someone hid that woman’s picture behind her father’s portrait. Carly, listen. It’s all because of her that you’re sick. She insisted that her son, who resembled her, was his son. The shock caused mother to give birth prematurely and as a result, you were born so weak. But according to the information I received recently, that woman is dying.”

“…Oh my, a son?”

“Yes, she had a son, He’s a year older than you.”

My body shuddered. It was the son of a lover. It was the son who killed me.

“I will do whatever you want. What do you want me to do?”

Scott’s eyes gleamed black. I took a deep breath.

“I…”

200 days. Time left until I’m murdered. I wanted revenge.

I knew my father had an affair when my mother was pregnant. However, no one told me that my mother gave birth prematurely after seeing that woman’s one-year-old son, Noah Ashford.

They only said my mother saw a likeness and thought Noah was my father’s son.

The fact she gave birth to a child one month prematurely must have shaken my mother. Then she was told that the baby she just birthed would not live long and would die at a young age because it was sickly with a weak heart and lungs.

That baby was me.

“I wasn’t my father’s son….”

I had to stay calm and take deep breaths after I opened my eyes from traveling back in time. I was constantly ill, all because of Noah and his mother.

I was killed by Noah Ashford

 

* * * * *

 

“How dare you…”

To kill me in way you did, how dare you!

Anger coursed through her body, and a burning sensation rose to her face.

I grew up without my parents because of Julia Ashford. I was told my father never returned to his lover, but my mother still died after suffering from heartache.

He was also the son of the culprit, who ruined body, family, and life.

“Gasp!”

I couldn’t breathe. I gripped his chest and groaned while grabbing Scott’s wrist. Scott brought the medicine to my lips. I chewed the bitter pill without water.

I wanted to live. I must live. If Noah Ashford was the catalyst at the beginning of my life, I would choose my own death. So, I had to survive.

“Gasp!”

I will kill you.

“Gasp!”

I will kill you. I will never let you go.

“The medicine isn’t working.”

Scott quickly took out a syringe from the drawer.

Why is breathing so difficult for me, but so simple and natural for others? Maybe the world had rejected me because my existence wasn’t welcomed.

So, Noah Ashford and his mother will pay with their lives for making me this way.

“Carly. Come on, calm down. It’s okay. Damn it. If I had known this would happen, I wouldn’t have told you.”

I couldn’t calm myself down or be okay. But sedatives made it all possible.

As Scott injected sedatives and relaxants into my forearm, my harsh breathing gradually improved. It didn’t make my heart feel better though.

“Are you okay?”

Scott took advantage of my breathing issues to calmly deal with my emotional turmoil. However, he couldn’t hide his concern as still didn’t appear to be calm. I gasped and spat out anger-filled words.

“Why are you telling me this now?”

“Are you okay?” Scott asked repeatedly.

“Why are you telling me all of this now?” I asked. “You should have told me! Even if everyone else was silent, you should have given me a clue. Why are you making a fool out of me!? Why did you turn me into a stupid doll!?”

“Don’t get too agitated. I don’t want to give you another shot.”

“Scott!”

“Scarlett.”

Unlike me, who was agitated easily, Scott always managed to remain calm. But his breathing had begun to increase gradually.

The drugs I was injected with simultaneously began to interact. I welcomed the numbness I felt.

“… She’s dying?” I asked in a slightly hoarse voice.

“Yes.”

“What about her son?”

“That’s not the part that bothers you. Are you resentful?”

“Is there any reason not to be resentful?”

“Father-“

“I don’t have a father.”

Did I even remember my father? Did he hold any other emotion in my heart other than resentment?

“Who else knows?”

“No one else knows that she is dying.”

Scott’s expensive cufflinks caught my eye.

It was one of the gifts from Aaron, her second oldest brother in the family. Aaron enjoyed displaying his wealth. The cufflinks, which were adorned with diamonds, were given by him as a congratulatory gift on Scott’s birthday.

I grew up in such a family. Among brothers who were so full of affection that they didn’t know how to express it normally.

I felt no affection for my father. Not even once.

“Find her son.”

“It will be difficult.”

“Why?”

Scott shrugged his shoulders. “His whereabouts are unclear. One day he disappeared without a trace. I’ve been searching everywhere.”

Scott reached out and stroked my head.

“Please don’t let me regret telling you the truth.”

“I don’t have any complaints about you raising me like a flower in a greenhouse, but I don’t want to be a stupid doll who knows nothing.”

“What’s the difference?”

“A flower in a greenhouse lives a life under protection, but the life of a doll is passive and under the control of an owner with no choice in the matter. So, if you hadn’t told me the truth, I would have died and resented you.”

Scott pondered over the word “flower” and how it differed from the word “doll”. Then he replied with a smile.

“Okay. If you continue to stay as pretty as a flower, all the dirt will be on my hands, so just tell me.”

I live under this curse every day and night, but your whereabouts are unknown?

I want to find that man and make him feel the same pain he caused Isaac to feel.

That’s how it would be fair.  You deserve revenge. He should be sick and suffer like me.

“The man…”

Noah Ashford’s violet eyes came to mind.

Then my hands began to prickle, like there was still shards of glass embedded in them. A shiver ran down my spine. That man still terrified me.

“Give me the information on Noah Ashford. And I need that woman’s surveillance report. Regardless of where he runs and hide, he will still make time to appear in front of his dying mother.”

“What are you going to do?”

Should I show my face? I didn’t even think of her as a person.

“I’m going to meet her.”

Scott frowned. I ignored it and continued speaking.

“I want to ask her one question before she dies. I want to ask how sweet the affair with a married man was.”

“If Susan finds out, I will be dead.” Scott sighed as he rubbed his face.

“Then I will meet her casually, and then I’ll forgive you. Because I’m just as nice as the main character in a novel. Did you think I’d be like that? Rather, does she not need to pay the price for her sins now? Before she dies, kneeling on her knees will not be enough. Does it make any sense for me to keep still and lie down? You may have forgiven her, but I have not. This is just the beginning!”

“Okay. You’re right… I’ll have you the info by tomorrow. I don’t know what you’re going to do, but you have to make sure it doesn’t harm your health.”

Instead of answering, I just smiled.

I died just before turning nineteen.

I know my end. In the end, all paths lead to death. So, I could throw everything away.

 

* * * * *

 

After Scott left, the lawyer, Mr. Smith, arrived as scheduled.

“Long time no see.”

At my words, Mr. Smith raised his glasses a little puzzled.

It was then that I realized that I was not in his memory. I met Mr. Smith while I was lying in a hospital bed before I was murdered.

“I was mistaken for a moment. This is a will I made with Mr. Johnson when I was 14 years old. Unfortunately, he left before me in a train accident.”

“Is there anything you would like to edit?”

“Yes.”

Money was in fact, meaningless to my family. The White family has been wealthy and influential for generations. If my wealth was the water in a bucket, the wealth of my older sisters and brothers was a deep lake.

“I became an adult a few months ago and inherited a fortune. Sometime in the future, I will build a scholarship foundation under my name. Please put all my inheritance there.”

I continued after confirming that Mr. Smith was taking notes of the request.

“And I own a lot of real estate, cash, bonds and stocks. If…”

I closed my eyes. A disastrous future came to mind. This has nothing to do with murderer Noah Ashford. As I raised my eyelids, I saw Mr. Smith glancing at me with puzzled eyes. I lowered my voice and spoke.

“Let’s keep this a top secret between us. Can you swear?”

“Yes. Don’t worry. I swear to God.”

“If my niece Abigail becomes unwell… She has a physical disability due to a serious medical condition.”

My head was in a throbbing pain.

Abigail, the only daughter of my eldest brother, John, had suffered from a severe fever. She has trouble walking and was blind. I had caught Abigail’s fever and suffered greatly as well.

But Abigail’s blindness prevented her from functioning properly.

“She especially has problems with her eyes… …Natalia has a low level of ethical code in medical magic. I commissioned her research at the Wizard’s Tower. When I die, my eyes will be taken out and stored. As soon as Natalia’s transplant magic research is complete, transplant my eyes. Since I am a family member, there’s a lesser chance of transplant rejection. And I will pay for all the surgery costs.”

Mr. Smith’s face contorted. He shuddered as if he felt disgusted with the idea of ​​an eye transplant. At the same time, he began coughing to hide his thoughts, but it was all in vain because I could see through it.

“I will leave everything related to ships and construction to Isaac. Isaac’s mother, Susan, doesn’t have a villa, so it will be perfectly fine to leave all of my villas to Isaac.”

At that moment, I heard familiar footsteps outside the door.

I whispered to Mr. Smith to quickly hide the documents, and before the door even opened, I jumped up to greet him.

“Croissant!”

I ran to the door and held Isaac, my croissant.

My lovely nephew, who I would miss even if I saw him every day.

I placed the child on my hip and hugged his little body tightly. I felt relieved once again today with the warmth of the small body. I’m thankful I returned to the past.

My death is a set circumstance, but Isaac’s death is an event that must be changed no matter what.

“Croissant. Didn’t you miss Auntie?”

I kissed Isaac’s curly red hair. The croissant giggled and hugged me.

“Did you enjoy school? Playing with Auntie is the best, right?”

“Hey, Auntie. Stop calling me a croissant.”

“Then what should I call you? Apple pie?”

“Auntie.”

When I saw my lovely nephew, I was convinced that I would kill that man no matter what.

Susan, who was slowly following behind Isaac, hardened her face when she saw Mr. Smith.

“What brings you here, Mr. Smith?”

I’m so screwed if Susan found out the reason he was meeting me. So, I pretended as if meeting Mr. Smith was nothing special and asked Susan tactfully.

“Did you two know each other?”

“He worked hard on Aaron’s lawsuit last time.”

There’s no way the quick-witted Susan didn’t realize the meaning behind Mr. Smith’s visit. So, I decided to use a distraction ploy.

“Isaac. Do you like small ships or railroads?”

“Me? I like the railroad!”

“Oh my, Isaac will grow up to be a railroad king like Uncle Aaron! In that case, I will hand over the mining rights to Isaac. For Abigail, cash and real estate-”

Susan frowned and interrupted me. She seemed very angry at this situation.

“What are you doing right now?”

“It’s better to do the organizing in advance.”

“You have no need to organize things now. Mr. Smith, I’m sorry that I made you take unnecessary actions in vain. I was planning to see you again soon for a bill of exchange lawsuit, but I didn’t realize we would meet again like this. I will contact you separately on Monday.”

Susan sent Mr. Smith back with no protest from me. Susan is a bigger customer than me, so he didn’t have much of a choice either. Susan was currently the largest shareholder of White Bank.

It was also strange for me to entrust my will to a lawyer in charge of disputes between companies in the first place.

“Isaac, I’ll play a card game with you next time. Uncle Scott is home, so go ask him to join you.”

As soon as Isaac disappeared, Susan cried out.

“Scarlett White! What are you doing!”

“I was contemplating what to give my beloved nephew. What do you mean? Do you not like the railroad? Should I give you land or cash?”

“Even without your money, I have more than enough. Why are you doing this all of a sudden?”

“There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t cry and get angry for no reason.”

“What’s going on? Tell me We’re on your side.”

“Are you on my side?”

A lie.

I didn’t believe Susan’s words. If she was really on my side, then why has she been silent about Noah Ashford?

A complex feeling of betrayal towards a sister, who I relied on most rushed, over me.

Then there was a look of annoyance on her face because she didn’t understand my intentions. So, I impulsively told the truth.

“Noah Ashford killed me.”

“What…”

I was angry and wanted to say it anyway. She wouldn’t believe he killed me when I’m still alive like this…

That was ridiculous.

So, I searched for a suitable excuse.

“Noah Ashford destroyed all possibilities of me living normally. But I almost died without knowing his name. Why didn’t you tell me? How much did you intend to fool me?”

“How did you know? Did Scott tell you?”

“Why does it matter? Regardless of who told me, the most important thing is that you deceived me. I have the right to know. I should have known.”

Noah Ashford hunted me down like a dog as I bled and ran away.

Do you know what it feels like to have been brutally murdered just a few months ago by the same person who almost caused my death before I was even born? Do you know how miserable it is?

“What else are you keeping a secret? Would you mind telling me?”

Susan kept her mouth shut and gave me an unknown gaze. I felt an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach because I didn’t understand the implication in those eyes.

“Since you refuse to say anything, I won’t say anything either.”

“You don’t understand.”

“Why? Because it happened before I was even born? Or because I don’t know my mother’s face? Ha, yes. Just as I couldn’t fully understand the situation at the time, you won’t be able to understand me either. What do you know? What do you know about a dying body?”

Instead of attempting to calm me down, Susan kept silent so I could vent my anger. I constantly criticized her. We were thirteen years apart and the only sisters among brothers. So, I felt betrayed since I trusted her so much.

“Don’t come because I don’t want to see you for a while. And don’t keep an eye on me.”

It was late in the evening when Susan left and the documents from Scott arrived.

Julia Ashford was a cheap woman from the Kingdom of Cersia who went back and forth between this man and that man as a mistress. She chose my father as her final destination, and the actual father of her son Noah Ashford, remains unknown.

Noah Ashford was said to resemble his mother from an early age, but she strongly insisted that her son was the blood of the White family. My father also claimed that Noah Ashford was his son. But that’s just a cheap lie for a man in an affair to win a woman’s heart.

“Disgusting.”

And my mother did not sit still, even though her body was extremely weakened by the premature birth.

She took all the rights my father had and handed them over to my older brothers, who had just become adults, and prevented Julia from taking a piece of the White Family’s fortune.

Before my father passed away in a wagon accident, Julia Ashford was living with my father in his mansion in the capital. Afterwards she left the capital and her whereabouts are unknown.

And now, after some time, she reappeared in front of me.

 

* * * * *

 

“It’s so dirty.”

To live in a garbage dump in the capital, with streets full of trash and filth, was an appropriate final destination for the mistress of a married man. But it was not the easiest place for to me stay because of her. I closed the carriage window and grumbled at Scott.

“If I come to a place like this one more time, my lungs will rot. My lungs are too weak to handle this stench.”

There was still no conclusion.

How can I harass this woman and lure in her son?

What the hell happened to Noah Ashford that allowed him to escape Scott’s network?

“Are you sure you don’t know the whereabouts of Noah Ashford? You’re not lying?”

“I’ve always been truthful to you, but you don’t believe me?”

“Let’s call it a reasonable doubt. There is no truth that is not revealed in Kravitz’s information.”

“We are also a group of people. How can I know everything when I’m not a god?”

Yes. We are all born human, but some grow into beasts while some remain weak human beings.

“We have arrived. Be careful. It’s a street where you can’t walk alone as a woman, so stay close to me.”

I stepped down from the carriage and was escorted by Scott. It felt strange because it had been a long time since I had walked holding Scott’s hand.

“I feel like I’ve gone back to my childhood days.”

“If it’s your childhood days, that would be terrible. I hate it twice as much. Seriously, even Abigail and Isaac together weren’t as bad as you. You were so stubborn. Sometimes you would cry and scream… …Ugh, raising you was so difficult, I decided to announce my divorce.”

“Don’t use me as an excuse. Why are you blaming me for failing your first love?”

“But I forgive you since you grew up so well.”

Scott lightly patted me on the back. I was deeply grateful to him for taking such good care of his younger sister when he was only thirteen years old.

If our father had never committed the affair, could I have grown up under the care of our mother? No, could I have grown up under the protection of my father without my mother?

When my mother died, John, who was the oldest, was only 21 years old.

My brothers, sister, and I have been deprived of a proper family. John, Aaron, Susan, Scott, and Andrew. My immature brothers had to grow up unprepared.

And I was forever deprived of the opportunity to have a decent family.

“Raising me, wasn’t it difficult?”

“It was hard, but it was doable.”

I looked up at Scott.

Scott, the tallest man in our family, was one head taller than me. Perhaps because of that, Scott looked like an adult in my eyes as a child. Come to think of it, Scott at that time was a young man with a long way to go before adulthood.

“We all shared the time, effort, and responsibility it took to raise you.”

“Yeah. I liked it, too. I received five times more love.”

Scott smiled faintly at my answer.

 

In time, 85 Dahlia Street came into view.

“Aren’t you going in?”

“I don’t want to see her,” Scott answered while pulling candy from his pocket.

“Carly.”

“Yes.”

“No matter what you do, I will support you. And whatever you want, I’ll help you get it. Do not forget.”

No matter what form of revenge I took, Scott would support me. This gave me a peace of mind.

I knocked on the door with a little trembling heart. There was no sign of anyone inside, so I knocked a few more times, and then heard a muffled sound.

“It’s open. Come on in.”

I knew the sickness in that voice. When you have a lung disease, your voice will often sound like that.

I opened the rotten black door and went inside.

It was a dark place where not even a single ray of light could come in properly. It was dark that I struggled to see, but I could tell how dusty it was just from the smell and the stale air.

“Cough. Cough.”

The woman coughing lit a candle inside and slowly approached. Who uses candles in this day and age?

She was dressed shabby and looked so unkept that the sight made me nauseated. While it was thrilling to see, it also annoyed me. How could she already be dying in a miserable state without giving me the opportunity to destroy her?

“Julia Ashford, right?”

“Yes. Who are you? Are you from City Hall?”

“Don’t you recognize me?”

I took one step closer to the candle. The swaying flame revealed the woman’s emaciated face. I got goosebumps because her eyes were the same as Noah’s eyes. If I hadn’t been on sedatives, I would have started convulsing right then.

“Who…”

I pulled out a magic stone from my pocket and activated it. Then a bright light glowed brightly, illuminating the dimly lit interior of the house.

“You’re not an observer. Who…? It’s time, right?”

“Red hair is characteristic of the White family. I guess you don’t remember the man you used to roll around with 18 years ago.”

“No way…”

Julia Ashford’s disgusting blue eyes shook violently. The wrinkled face revealed the harsh life she had lived.

My lips were twisted. It was unfair that my life had been swayed by such a meaningless woman.

“I’m Scarlett White. I’ve grown a lot, right? I thought you would have thought of me every time you looked at your son, but I’m a little sad to find out that’s not the case.”

“Oh my…”

The woman’s complexion turned from pale to blue.

“I don’t know what my father had, but I know he had a lot of money, but I guess he didn’t give you anything. It’s so funny.”

“…….”

“What are you doing? I’m not just a guest. Scarlett White has arrived; you have to serve me properly or get ready to kneel. But here… …It’s so dirty I can’t even sit down.” (I see what she meant by arrogant personality lol!)

Julia’s body seemed to falter a little, she trembled and struggled to drop a candle at once.

I approached her and blew out the candle in her hand. I smiled and continued speaking.

“Careful. There can’t be a fire. My lungs are weak, it’s so hard to bear this stench now.”

“Miss White. Oh my gosh… …I didn’t know you’d already grown this much.”

“Did you think I was going to die? Or did you expect that much?”

“No, no. Seeing that you’re healthy…”

“Healthy? Do I look healthy? Ugh!”

Whenever I took a breath, the weight of my body became heavier, as if it was pulling me down to the floor.

Julia Ashford didn’t understand that I was mad at the fact that our complexions were not much different from each other. We were both sickly.

‘Calm down. Now is not the time to get angry.’

My first priority was to find Noah Ashford and kill him.

So, I forcibly suppressed my anger and glanced around the house. It was narrow and dirty. That was the end of my impression.

“Your son is nowhere to be seen. The youngest son of the White family.”

“He had something to do, so he went out for a while.”

It was obviously a lie.

It doesn’t make sense for Noah Ashford, who disappeared without a trace, to be somewhere nearby, impossible to locate with the Kravitz’s power.

“Really? That’s too bad. I wanted to see how much he resemble me. Does Noah have red hair too?”

“Oh, no. He is blonde.”

“What about the eyes? Are they gray like mine? Or blue like yours?”

“He looks just like me. But Noah is definitely Mr. White’s son.”

“…What on earth did you want from the White Family that made you approach a man with five children? John’s influence as a senator or nobility? Aaron’s railroad? Susan’s bank? Andrew’s shipping business? Ah, I wasn’t there at the time, so was it the mines? Or cash? Real estate? Well, even a little dust from White shines.”

I was out of breath as I spit out long words without stopping. My heart was pounding with excitement, and I felt a sense of crisis.

In the midst of my head spinning, the words continued to come forth. I couldn’t stop. Every word I spit out was only a tiny fraction of my searing pain.

“Miss White. It wasn’t as simple as you know. We really-”

“Nonsense. Kravitz’s information revealed that you were pregnant before meeting my father. What did you covet so much that you became my father’s mistress?”

Julia Ashford shook her head, trembling as if she was about to die.

“…He is Mr. White’s son. Mr. White acknowledged it and promised that Noah would be his son. Always.”

Promise? Did my father love this woman so much that he recognized her son as his, even though he knew it wasn’t true?

I was sick of being the daughter of such a man, and I had the urge to drain all the blood from my body.

I was impatient and couldn’t stand this situation any longer.

“Where is your son?”

“Noah went out because he had something to do.”

“Where is he hiding? I know he’s missing.”

Darkness fell on the woman’s face.

She knows where her son is. And she knew better than anyone that I wasn’t looking for him with good intentions. Nevertheless, she has to tell me.

“If you don’t tell me, I will erase your son’s identity. He’ll forever be unable to live as a decent person in this world. And as soon as I find Noah Ashford, I will send him to the northern coal mines as a slave.”

“… …”

“You know, right? The fact that the White family is expanding its power deeply in society, including in the political and financial circles. Dealing with you, it may be embarrassing, but it won’t be difficult.”

It’s really nice to have the power to be cruel.  (TL: Gurl…are you a villain? Cuz you sound like a villain lmao)

I smiled brightly because I was willing to throw him into the gutter with more joy than anyone else.

After a moment’s hesitation, Julia Ashford kneeled in front of me.

“Please find Noah. Please!”

“…What?”

“Noah is missing. He went out to work five months ago and I haven’t seen him since then. He must have been kidnapped. Miss White, please help me!”

“…What….”

Are you lying in reverse to hide Noah?

But Julia Ashford’s expression was desperate. She crawled on her knees and came up to me and dared to grab my hand. The action was so absurd that I slapped her hand sharply. It was dreadful to touch her skin.

At the same time, I didn’t take my eyes off her. It wanted to see if she was using a trick to confuse me.

“Noah Ashford. Where did you hide him?”

“I didn’t hide it. Please find Noah. No matter how much I search, I can’t find him. Even going to the Police Department is useless. They say that he’s not a minor, and simply ran away from home…”

Julia Ashford began to summarize her story in a fairly logical manner. But her words could not penetrate my anger.

I was becoming furious. I felt it, that deep-seated hatred swelling from within the darkness inside of me. It doesn’t matter if what she says is true or false. What matters to me is that she’s begging me.

“Bullshit.”

How dare you do this to me. How can you look up at me and say such a thing?  How low is that woman’s morals?

I have suffered from heart disease all my life because of him, how can she ask him to find him?

“It’s okay to curse at me.”

She raised her head, her blue eyes flickering.

“With the power of Kravitz, you can find Noah. I’m begging you, please. He must have been kidnapped.”

“What do you gain by kidnapping a person who doesn’t have anything?”

“Legally, Noah is recorded as Mr. White’s illegitimate son.”

“The law does not recognize illegitimate children.”

“He’s Mr. White’s son-“

“Stop!” I snarled in anger.

I clenched my teeth and immediately tried to ease my breathing.

However, I didn’t want to reveal my pain in front of Julia Ashford, so I held back my anger until my fisted hands turned white.

It’s disgusting. The mother was making a fool out of me and her son had murdered me.

I grabbed her by the neck and pushed her up against the wall. Tears filled Julia Ashford’s face as she cried and pleaded helplessly.

“Sorry… …But Noah is Mr. White’s son,” her voice was barely a whisper.

“…Ha.”

All my strength drained from out of my shoulders. She was a meaningless woman there was nothing to be angry about.

Thud. Thud.

A strong knock could be heard from outside. It was a signal from Scott, who was worried since I hadn’t come out after a while.

I took a deep breath and released the hand holding her by the neck. I turned away from the eyes shaking with anxiety and grabbed the doorknob.

But the door opened before I pulled it. I was dazed by the light coming in. I frowned and called for Scott.

“Let’s go. What did you expect? I’m disappointed.”

I took Scott’s hand and walked away. It was a long way to the carriage. When I started to stagger from the lack of strength in my body, Scott, carried me on his back.

“Noah Ashford is missing.”

“He must have run away. There is no hope in that house. The business failed, all he had was debt and illness, as an ambitious man, he would have left the house.”

“Didn’t you say his grades were abnormally high in school?”

Noah Ashford’s school report card was among the information Scott provided me. (TL: Even his report card?!!) It was written that he was extremely smart and had high academic enthusiasm. He was eager to study.

“At least you know that he and I are not siblings.”

Because I hated studying.

Scott frowned slightly at the next words. I was trying to relieve the stiff atmosphere, but it was a failure.

“Scott. He could be at his father’s house. If your biological father is a powerful person, it might be possible to hide.”

“At least not an influential person.  Kravitz would have found something during the information gathering. But what do you want to do after finding him?”

“…Just a second. You didn’t give me any medicine.”

“Medicine?”

“I have to stay alive until my anger has dissipated.”

Like Isaac who bled and almost died in front of me, Julia must bleed to death in front of Noah Ashford.

 

I headed back to her house, leaving Scott behind. I was only a hundred meters from Julia’s Ashford’s house.

I was reluctant to come back in person but wanted to warn her by handing over the medicine myself.

I am the one who will destroy your life, just as you destroyed other people’s families at will.

“Noah. Be careful.”

My hand, lifting towards the doorknob, stopped at the sound of a woman’s voice coming from inside. I stopped breathing.

“They are looking for you.”

“They?”

The low voice, without a doubt, belonged to a man. The man’s voice was younger and healthier than Julia Ashford.

The disgrace of being deceived intensified my rage. I can’t believe she knelt and begged for such a lie.

“Noah. Don’t come here anymore. They don’t know where you are. I think changing your identity worked.”

“Did they come and act violent? Are you okay?”

“Nothing happened. How fortunate it was that they came while you were next door for a while…”

“Who came? Was it the eldest of the White family?”

“… …was an employee. Nothing really happened, so don’t worry about it.”

Why are you hiding me?

“Mother.”

I covered my mouth. The voice of the man belonged to Noah Ashford.

I wanted to call Scott right away to capture Noah Ashford and make screams come out of Julia’s mouth. My stomach was twisted with pain.

‘Hold on. Now is not the time.’

At the most appropriate time, I will erase that name as if it never existed in this world. And before they die, they will taste hell on earth.

“How is your body?”

“It’s much better. Don’t worry. You’re skinnier than me. Are you having a hard time?”

“It’s because I’m still growing taller. The work is worth doing.”

My heart was pounding at the sound of soft words. I was suffocating due to the tension in my stomach.

“Prepare well for the entrance exam-”

The speech was interrupted. I also shared secret words often, so I could tell they were conscious of this. I stood right in front of the door. Scott was not far away, so there is nothing to worry about.

Soon the door opened, and the woman appeared.

“… …Not yet… …You didn’t leave.”

After confirming I was still at the door, Julia’s complexion turned pale in an instant. I noticed that her eyes trembled unsteadily, even biting her dry lips with her teeth.

Just a few steps away was the one who killed me. I pretended to be okay by giving strength to my shaky hands.

“I forgot something.”

I took a small medicine bag and threw it at her.

“It’s medicine. Let’s see each other again.”

I couldn’t stop myself from looking around behind her. Without realizing it, my body visibly shrank, and I lowered my eyes.

The sensation of being stabbed five times came to mind. Tears welled up in my eyes at the horrible feeling that I couldn’t forget.

“… … Miss. White?”

I lifted my eyes and glared at the woman who had committed an unforgivable sin. I clenched my jaws tightly, emphasizing each word.

“Please, don’t die.”

Because the hell I go to when I die is not hell for me. (Basically, right now living is hell for her and far worse than the actual Hell.)

 

* * * * * * *

 

“I’m thinking about attending Iodes.” (Name of university)

That evening, my family had different reactions to my bombshell remarks.

Susan was concerned that it would be too much for my health, and Scott, who gathered the information I asked for, smiled calmly. My sister-in law, Amanda, jumped in to say no, and Aaron…

“Haha. I wanted to go to college too. I’ll just give you one of my foundations, so don’t worry about the admission.”

I was proud of the wealthiest of my brothers. If my other brothers were present, their reaction would have been the same.

“Is Auntie going to school too? With me?”

“Isaac, Auntie will go to another school. If I go there, I can’t play with Isaac as much anymore. Is that okay?”

“It’s okay.”

Even when this child turns 20, or becomes a grandfather, he will still be a small and precious child in my eyes.

Tears welled up as I remembered the courage of this child, who tried to comfort me while bleeding from the cut on his neck.

“Oh my God, Carly. Not being able to go to college isn’t anything to cry over.”

I usually screamed and shouted when I got upset, I didn’t cry often, so Susan rushed to my side in panic.

Since I already had tears in my eyes, I decided to use it to my advantage.

“I’m now over eighteen years old. I want to go to college at least once. It’s only one semester. Why do you think I’m creating the Scarlet White Foundation? Since I can’t fully attend college, I’m trying to live vicariously through others.”

“Hmm.”

Aaron groaned as if he was troubled and asked cautiously.

“Iodes is a top 1% school. How are you going to get in?”

“There is a donation admission.”

In fact, the administrative preparations had already been completed, and my admission to Iodes was decided. Now I was simply notifying my family of my decision. How hard it was to prepare quietly without Scott knowing.

“It’s only one semester. I’ll quit right when the semester is over.”

One semester is enough time to kill Noah Ashford.

“It’s not a light matter. This may give John issues as a senator.”

“It was never a light matter for me either. It’s something I want to accomplish before I die.”

“Carly!”

Scott had good sense to cover Isaac’s ears. He was speechless.

“No one knows when or how my health will deteriorate. Even a small illness could be fatal to me.”

“So, you shouldn’t go to places where there are more people.”

“But what’s the meaning of living if I stay at home? You can’t find any value in a life by only surviving.”

Amanda patted Susan. Scott’s face darkened. Aaron crossed his arms with a serious expression, and Susan looked like she would burst into tears at any moment. Only Isaac welcomed the decision with a faint smile.

“That’s great! Auntie was always bored at home! When you go to school, you play ball and secretly eat snacks with your friends, right? I agree!”

“Sure, apple pie. Auntie has a lot to do at school. I’m only going to do fun things with you.”

In the end, two days later, I obtained permission from all my family members.

The preparations were done quickly. I decided to live at a nearby villa during the three days of class at Iodes and spend Fridays and weekends with my family.

 

 

* * * * * *

 

 

When I arrived at Iodes, a designated student helper was waiting for me.

It was a system where students of the same grade assisted students with disabilities like me, all day in exchange for a special scholarship.

My student helper seemed a little nervous, his tanned, healthy-looking complexion had become pale. He must have waited outside for a long time because I didn’t show up for the entrance ceremony. It didn’t matter. I did it on purpose.

“You’re… …Scarlett White.”

The low voice I heard in Julia Ashford’s house resonated in my ears. Contrary to his expression, there were no signs of nervousness in his voice.

I was actually the one who was nervous. If I hadn’t taken a sedative beforehand, I would have collapsed from shortness of breath right away.

After disappearing like smoke, Noah Ashford reappeared with a new identity. His new identity was someone my age, who died long ago, but was still alive on paper.

And that name was…

“It’s Theo Grisham.”

The moment I met Noah Ashford’s violet eyes; my heart froze.

I couldn’t be satisfied with just killing him.

It was time to contemplate a more terrible revenge.

Every night, those wretched violet eyes stared back at me as he murdered me. I was stabbed five times as I pleaded while struggling to breathe.

‘Please save Isaac.’

I didn’t know if Isaac survived or not.

It was unimaginable for me, a human being, was able to return to the past. So, I imagine that my future death would happen as it did in the past.

Would Isaac survive and become an adult in a world without me?

‘Wake up.’

The important thing is how breathtakingly difficult it was to meet Noah Ashford’s eyes. The sharp eyes of the murderer who tried to kill Isaac was here, right in front of me.

“You…”

My voice trembled. Stupid Scarlett White!

The moment I put money in the dean’s pocket, he was arranged to be my student helper, but I pretended not to know.

“…Are you, my helper?”

“That’s right. I’ll always be with you while you’re at school. I heard you’re not feeling very well. Is there anything I should be careful about?”

“…You…”

I think you’re the one who needs to be careful.

“Huh?”

“I can’t stay out in the sun for more than ten minutes.”

“I didn’t know it was so bad. You don’t look so good. Let’s go in.”

His eyes and facial expressions were completely different from what I had seen in my dreams. The word ‘hunting’ didn’t suit the man in front of me. Even so, it seemed that the strength in my legs would crumble from making eye contact. After taking a steady breath, I barely responded.

“Give me the schedule for the first class.”

“Ah, yes. Here you go. The first class is Introduction to Economics.”

He held out the paper to me. The movement reminded me of a figure wielding a knife, I flinched instinctively. Tears welled up before I realized it.

Will you kill me again this time? If so, will I get stabbed again? Will it be possible to keep up this act?

I stumbled as my body trembled in fear. Noah Ashford caught me, and I cried out in surprise. He was startled and released his hold immediately.

“Are you okay? Do you need a doctor-”

“Don’t worry! I know my body well!”

“Tell me if you’re in a lot of pain. I am here for that.”

“… … Is that so, Theo? Do you have anything else to say?”

His blonde hair glimmered brilliantly in the sunlight. At first glance, he seemed to have no reason to kill me.

But his copper-toned, healthy skin told him that he was spending quite a bit of time outdoors and in need of quite a bit of money.

Was it because of money? Why on earth…

Noah hesitated for a moment before replying.

“…Nice to meet you?”

Would we be happy to see each other? As my head became numb, courage I didn’t know I had sprung up. Maybe the medicine is starting to work now.

Noah didn’t blink an eye at my sarcasm. Just kept silent with a closed mouth. When I didn’t say anything, he spoke up.

“I’ve prepared a table. Class will start soon. Let’s go.”

Noah took the lead. Walking alongside I thought to myself.

‘You have to be firm. If I fail, Isaac dies too. Let’s kill him first. Then everything is fine.’

I won’t be stabbed to death five times again.

I fiddled with the magic bullet for self-defense in my pocket. It was a magic bullet specially made in the shape of a pen by Scott.

“Is there any reason why you decided to major in economics?” he asked. I deflected and responded with my own question.

“What about you?”

Countless newspaper articles made several assumptions about the admission of the youngest member of the White family, who wasn’t the subject to rumors or frequent any social circles, would attend Iodes. It was speculated that I was trying to take full action in management like my brothers and sisters and had their own expectations as to what field I would enter.

But my goal was to keep an eye on him and get rid of him at the right time, there was no other reason.

“Because economics are fun,” Noah answered in a cynical way as he opened the classroom door.

Then dozens of pairs of eyes focused on me.

“Theo, this way,” beckoned a man sitting in the front row, who seemed to be acquainted with him.

I immediately took a step back.

“I don’t sit in the front row.”

I found a seat in the far corner and sat down. It was exhausting enough just to come by horse-drawn carriage.

In the midst of this, Noah tried to take the seat next to me.

“Don’t sit next to me until class time!”

The sound of my heart rang in my ears. My hands shook subtly. He seemed to blush slightly out of embarrassment and then asked with a stiff face.

“I’m sorry. Are you uncomfortable?”

“No, no. It’s okay. I’m just a little nervous today.”

“Why don’t you take some more sedatives?”

“I’ll take care of it, so don’t be presumptuous.”

Eventually he sat down next to me.

My heart was pounding, and my chest tightened. All my nerves were focused on the person sitting next to me, and I couldn’t focus on anything. The memory of being killed was repeated in my head dozens of times.

Even after swallowing a sedative, I still couldn’t calm myself down. As my body trembled, he cautiously called.

“White?”

“It’s okay.”

“Do you have medicine in your bag?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

It was bearable.

John, Aaron, Susan, Scott, Andrew, Abigail, and Isaac.

I recalled the names of my family members in my head. As I remembered the faces of my loved ones, I felt more at ease. However, when I saw the murderer with a worried face, I wondered how weak I was to receive this kind of attention and became angry with myself.

Meanwhile, the professor came in and the class began. Professor Diego called each student one by one and checked their faces.

“Scarlett White. Oh, if you were that White, you would be the sister of Aaron White.”

“Yes. He’s one of my older brothers.”

“He was a great student. I still think Aaron would achieve amazing results if he continued his economic research. It’s a pity that I missed out on the corporate research.”

Aaron didn’t like Professor Diego. He said Professor Diego, a foreigner, often discriminated against students based on class due to his strong sense of identity. He swept a hand over his white beard and looked at me intently.

“I didn’t know Aaron had such a young sister.”

The White family had no security before our generation. My mother and father were quite the reputable lovebirds, so Alex White’s affair decorated the capital buzz at the time.

Little was known about her mother’s premature birth, but given my age, I guess there was reason for curiosity. But instead of addressing it, I turned the topic around.

“I’ll send your regards to Aaron.”

“Oh, yes. And tell him that the wine I received as a gift last Thanksgiving was very good. By the way, I heard you’re not in good health. Are you okay?” (TL: why is this professor telling her business to the entire class??)

“Yes. Don’t worry.”

Noah Ashford was scanning a book while Professor Diego was preoccupied with me. Even in the midst of this, I was twisted with anger as I watched him tensely.

“Thankfully someone who knows me, applied to help. I was lucky.”

“Oh, there’s a helper.”

Noah raised his head. A look of embarrassment flashed across his face for a moment.

Our eyes met and I forced a smile. Professor Diego’s gaze turned to him.

“What’s your name?”

“Theo… …Grisham. There seems to be a misunderstanding, but Miss White and I don’t know each other-“

“You are the top student!” Professor Diego exclaimed. “What is your relationship with Miss White?”

“He’s my childhood friend,” I answered in his stead.

I think it would be better to say that we are childhood friends rather than strangers in order to get sympathy or the others will cause us all kinds of trouble in the future. If we’ve known each other for a long time, there won’t be much gossip.

“Oh, I’ve never heard of the Grisham family name…”

“It’s a family that will make a name for itself.”

“Hahaha. That’s true too.”

Professor Diego continued taking count of each student in attendance without inquiring more about Theo Grisham. He seemed to think that Noah’s interaction with the White family was for personal gain.

Professor Diego took a long time to judge his students before starting his class. Throughout the class, the eyes of some students were on me. Curiosity wasn’t the only emotion contained within those gazes.

“Let’s have Miss White read the next paragraph.”

As I searched through the passages to find our place, Noah spoke up.

“Professor, Miss White seems to be not feeling well because today is the first day of class. So, as a helper, may I, read it for her?”

“Oh, then let’s do that. It’s nice to see you help as an old friend,” he smiled awkwardly.

I was ashamed to receive help from Noah Ashford. While moving to the next classroom after class, I spoke to Noah again.

“Your help earlier was unnecessary.”

“Really? It looked like you needed it.”

It was a cynical tone. That tone was annoying. It seemed like he was bothered by my lie, but it was he who bothered me. Even before I met Noah Ashford, my life was swayed by just his existence, so was lying such a big deal?

“I don’t need your help,” I retorted. I was furious so my fear was forgotten in the moment.

“Then I should quit being your helper.”

What kind of guts is this again? He was trying to appear calm, just as I was trying to force myself to relax in front of him.

From what I investigated; he needed a lot of money. He had a lot of debt and had to pay for living expenses and medicine for his mother. A spiteful laugh flowed out.

“You need the money. Can you afford to quit?”

His eyebrows rose. I asked again.

“Didn’t you apply for help because you needed money?”

“Right. But I don’t need-“

“The need is for me, not you. You just need to lift your feet and stay by my side.”

“I am a helper, not a servant.”

As if the sentenced was shaped with pride, his shining eyes turned to me. I gave him an emotionless smile.

I took a step closer to him while struggling to resist myself from trembling. The closer I got, the more his eyes appeared blue.

But weren’t Noah Ashford’s eyes violet? The color was different from the dream. But I didn’t give it much thought because it didn’t seem like a big deal. As I get older, my eyes often change color. And in the past my vision was obscured by blood as I was being chased.

“What’s so bad about being a servant? It’s not like you’re being forced to live as a slave.”

His eyebrows twitched.

“Did you do a background check on me?”

“There’s no reason not to.”

“I will formally report this to the school. This is something that can’t be overlooked.”

“No. You can’t.” I grabbed Noah’s arm as he was about to walk away from me. I felt a chill travel up my arm.

“You owe me a debt.”

‘You owe it just by existing. Your mother committed the original sin. If that wasn’t enough you also killed me.’

“What…”

I had a good idea. A very good way to get proper revenge.

“Do you think I don’t know?”

“What are you talking about… …Don’t tell me…”

“I am dying because of you and your mother; how can I not know you?”

The corners of my lips went up. His face hardened in an instant, and his eyes filled with darkness as he had not heard something he thought he would ever hear.

“I missed you a lot.”

Andrew often told Scott: ‘Forgiveness is the best revenge.’

But I don’t believe that. So, I won’t forgive you. I’ll just pretend to forgive and give you everything, then take it back and throw it in the gutter. After that, you can die just like me.

You’ll beg me not to kill your mother, like I beg you not to kill Isaac.

I will make you wait only for the moment when you run out of breath, howling in a pool of your mother’s blood.

“Nice to meet you.”

I will kill you and fall into hell, after I remove you with these hands.

“Noah Ashford.”

I will live in the same hell as you.

“Why do you look like that?” I murmured and moved to the classroom for the next class.

I am the one who should be embarrassed.

When I checked the timetable, the next class was World History, and then a liberal arts class. Noah, who had been nailed to the spot behind me, chased after me.

“How do you…”

Looking at the pale complexion and the wrinkles on his forehead, I thought I was approaching a little fairness now.

“Why did you appear before us?”

Noah Ashford, who had a stubborn and proud impression, really resembled that woman. She had eyes that didn’t seem to be easily broken and a beautiful appearance.

Objectively, Noah Ashford was quite handsome. His cool and friendly atmosphere was something that girls my age would especially like. But to me, who was murdered by him, his coolness came across as unnerving. A man with such a face and eyes killed me.

“I was curious about the person who caused my body to be like this, why? It’s classroom 1303, it’s right here.”

I opened the door and went in. I sat in a seat where there was no place for Noah to sit next to me.

Dark blue eyes stared at me. Ignoring his gaze, I greeted the boy sitting next to me.

“Hi. Isn’t the weather really nice?”

“It will be autumn soon. I’m Wilhelm Hoffmann.”

“It’s a Hiebergan name. I think you have the accent.”

“Oh, do you speak Hiebergan?”

“Of course,” Wilhelm’s eyes widened. I swept my thick hair over my shoulder and burst out laughing.

“It’s Scarlett White. If there’s a White you’ve ever heard of, I’m that White.”

Wilhelm Hoffmann laughed as if my words were funny.

“I bought the textbooks in advance. Would you like to look at them together?”

“Sure.”

When I glanced sideways, Noah was sitting nearby flipping through a book. Occasionally, our eyes would meet. I pretended to be relaxed and smiled faintly.

The control must be on my side. And I was in the beginning stage of that.

 

* * * * * *

 

After class was over, it was lunch time.

Wilhelm and I found one thing in common: we were both the youngest in a family with many brothers and had no interest in business. Also, Wilhelm was not fluent in the language here, but I knew the native language of Wilhelm’s homeland, Hieberg.

That means we could have been pretty good friends.

“Since Hieberg is far away, it is not often that people come to Wieland to study abroad. I never thought I would meet someone who knew the language of Hieberg in Wieland.”

“It’s because my nanny was from Hieberg.”

“Really? My nanny was a Whiplander.” (TL: I’m sorry, I don’t know what that means!)

It was a muffled remark, but that little sympathy narrowed the distance towards Wilhelm.

The world outside my home was special to me, who had no friends and thought only of family as everything in the world. The first friend I met there, Wilhelm, might be a little more special than I thought. Because I never assumed I’d venture out into the world.

“But who was that? He was glancing at you all throughout the lecture.”

“My helper, Theo Grisham. Theo, say hello. This is Wilhelm Hoffmann.”

Noah didn’t spare Wilhelm a single glance.

“… …Look at me,” Noah said

“It’s lunch time. I can’t skip meals even because of my medication.”

Wilhelm and I walked pass Noah Ashford.

Noah grabbed my arm and made eye contact. The deep blue colored eyes resembling the sea and sky made me flinch away without realizing it. Wilhelm struck Noah’s hand.

“You’re quite rude.”

Hieberg, where Wilhelm lived, was an allied country with small territories. And the Hoffman estate resided within a clear class system. It was natural for him to say something to him.

“This is between the two of us. It’s none of your business.”

“Don’t touch me!”

My body trembled with a terrifying sensation, as if I had placed my arm between the teeth of a beast. That memory of being hunted overlapped. The memory where I held Isaac and ran away with blood dripping from my feet was clear. His friendliness was terrifying. It was unbearably scary.

“Scarlett?”

“Who do you think you are? Who do you think you…”

Who are you to make me break like this?

Noah Ashford’s cheek was slapped.

My mind, body, and soul were caught up in the afterimage of the past and I was struggling inside.

It was a quagmire, an eternal darkness from which there was no escape.

Oh, my god Please have mercy on me.

“Scarlett.”

Wilhelm held me back. My heart was beating fast. My chest tightened and I quickly became breathless. I shoved Wilhelm away and shouted fiercely.

“Get off!”

I search my bag for the sedatives with trembling hands. Noah hastily took out the medicine from my bag. I grabbed my chest as I chewed the bitter pill. Numerous eyes were directed this way. It was so shameful to show this side of me.

“…It’s okay.”

I made an excuse, but Wilhelm’s startled gaze turned his head. Just imagining what those people seeing me for the first time would think of this made my lips ache.

Ordinary people wanted one of two things from me. Influence of the White family or money.

A sincere heart was not worth much to them. But they couldn’t stand my ferocious temper and anxiety, so they left me alone.

“…”

I didn’t try to befriend them. There is no warmth to give to those who had no sincerity. So, I couldn’t even befriend Wilhelm.

After all, the Hoffman family would have no regrets, there was nothing to gain by being by my side.

I didn’t want to be touched by the murderer, but there was no other way. I was so miserable that I bit my lips harshly.

“You, Theo Grisham. Help me.”

Noah quickly grabbed me as if he had been waiting. My body was frozen by the intense tension and fear that I had to endure all morning. He moved me without any struggle.

He found an empty classroom and sat me in a suitable place.

“Are you okay?”

“Do I look okay to you?”

In order not to be discouraged, I deliberately straightened my back and stared straight into his eyes.

Noah Ashford had an upright posture, stubborn eyes, and an atmosphere that would never be broken by anyone. Perhaps that’s why, no matter how deeply I glared at him with eyes full of hatred, it never reaches the depths of his heart.

It felt like a sense of defeat, and tears threatened to fall.

When I opened my eyes wide and bit my lip to hold back my tears, he handed him his handkerchief in embarrassment.

“I do not need it.”

Noah chose to stay silent and tapped the floor of the classroom with the nose of his shoe. But I decided to break the silence first.

“Do you feel sorry for me?”

There is nothing more miserable than being pitied by someone like you.

“I feel sorry for you. And for the poor person whose identity you’ve saddled with mountains of debt. Hmph. Such trash.” (Still Scarlett)

Noah’s lips were dry, and wrinkles deepened on his forehead.

Between regret and shame, wounded pride, and guilt, I couldn’t figure out what to do.

But to me, it was too ridiculous. Someone who can make a face like that, murdered me so cruelly. Slashing Isaac, slaughtering the servants…

“… …”

“Are you sorry? Are you just shy? Or are you afraid? What am I going to do about your identities?”

“Why are you in front of me… …No, why in Iodes…”

“Say it correctly! What do you want to ask?”

I tried to speak as calmly as possible while pressing down my boiling anger, but a hysterical tone came out.

Noah took a deep breath and collected his emotions. When he spoke, his voice had a more relaxed tone.

“Is this why you came to Iodes? No way.”

“Did I come to see you? There are dozens of ways to make you kneel down at my feet, so why would I have come all the way here with a body like this?”

“Then why…”

It hurt my pride to say that I had come to monitor Noah Ashford with my own eyes. I took a deep breath and pretended as if nothing was amiss.

“As soon as you saw me, you should have gotten down on your knees first. What are you doing? Don’t tell me you’re unaware? What your mother has done with my father.”

“I know. I know… …I’m ashamed.”

Noah hung his head in shame. Sweeping the bright blonde hair, he spoke as if he was in pain.

“What should I do to make your heart… …Damn it.”

Noah Ashford didn’t appear to be the same person as the murderer who killed me. It made me so angry. It’s absurd for him to feel guilty about his mother’s actions and his existence, and not kneel in front of me begging for forgiveness.

“Beg.”

Noah Ashford raised his head and looked at me.

“Plead for forgiveness for the sins of your mother who gave birth to you. Otherwise, I will erase you from this world. I have the power to do that.”

“Will that make you feel better? Will it comfort you?”

“Do you know what? I won’t last more than a year.”

“…What?”

“Thank to you, I have a serious condition that started from birth. It’s all because my mother gave birth to me prematurely. And the reason for that was because of your mother’s affair. Oh, it’s not just her fault. You can’t really deny your appearance or your mother’s sins. So, let’s say you’re also half responsible for this dying body.”

A complex emotion flashed across his face. Seeing his face full of pain, it was hard to pinpoint why it made me feel so nauseous.

“Get me some water. I feel sick because I took the medicine on an empty stomach.”

“Okay. Just a moment.”

While Noah went out, I found more tranquilizers in my bag and took them.

Tonight, I think I’ll be killed ten or a hundred times in my dreams before Marie wakes me up.

Soon he bought back water and simple bread. I set aside the cheap bread and wet my mouth with the water.

I slowly opened my mouth to the man who was standing in front of me like a sinner.

“Listen. You have two options.”

Die now and or die later.

“Will you become a slave and live like a dog, or will you receive my forgiveness and take responsibility?”

Forgiveness? Take responsibility?

I laughed at myself for spouting such nonsense.

“I don’t understand why you would do that. Being forgiven is something I’ve never thought about. Will that make you feel better?”

“You are my half-brother.”

“We really… …Do you really think we’re half-siblings?”

“Did you not ask your father?”

“Mr. White just said I was his son.”

What kind of life did my father lead? To be called “Mr. White” by the adopted son he abandoned his own children for.

“You are my brother. I found something while rummaging through my mother’s belongings. A letter recognizing you as your father’s son.”

Scott brought it out the day I met Julia Ashford. I’ve kept it a secret so far because I was shocked, but I think there’s a limit to keeping it a secret.

I hate to admit it, but we were siblings.

“I’m glad you look like your mother. How disgusting it would have been if you had resembled my father. I would have dealt with nausea every time I saw your face while accepting that we shared the same blood. Now, decide. Will you become a slave and live like a dog, or will you pay for your sins by my side until the day I die?”

Choose. Whatever it is, your end is already decided.

 

 

❤️Note❤️ Whew!  You made it to the end!  Let me know in the comments if you are looking forward to the first chapter! What do you think of Scarlett? She’s something else!

ShyGurls TLS