I never thought these words would ever leave my own lips.
As Cassion was leaning into me in my arms, I sat him up.
It would be laughable to say such things in this position.
After I leaned Cassion against the cave wall, making sure that he was in a comfortable position, I faced him.
Strangely, this just made it odder.
Compared to when I had to look into his eyes while I was so close beside him, this time, our gazes were locked.
His silent gaze told me that he was waiting for me to speak.
For a moment, I had to string together the explanation coherently in my mind.
Where to start, which things to bring up.
As I had lived a long life already, there were many things that I could tell him now.
However, I’d have to use up the entire night just to organize everything in my mind.
The blue monsters were still out there, and considering Cassion’s physical condition, it would be better for us to stay here a little longer…
But I couldn’t make him stay up all night.
As I briefly contemplated, I finally decided on where to start, and I soon began my story.
The first truth that had to be revealed.
The first truth that I want him to know.
“To be honest, I… am not Rosetta.”
Right, what else would be more befitting as the beginning of this story.
Cassion’s eyes widened slowly.
As he looked at me, his silent gaze betrayed a noticeable amount of agitation.
“…You, you’re not Rosetta…”
“Believe it or not, but it’s not the first time that I’ve come to possess someone else’s body.
And to transmigrate into another world.”
I managed to explain more calmly than I had thought.
Cassion continued to listen to me, shocked.
“I would enter someone else’s body, live their life, and when that body dies, I will leave and enter another person’s body.
This is already my fourth time.”
“Yes, my fourth.
Rosetta is my fourth transmigration.
And those strange blue monsters had existed from the time that I was still living in my third transmigration.”
Originally, those things should not be here.
As I explained, his lips murmured that name.
He recalled that I had mentioned the name ‘Rita’ earlier.
With a smile, I nodded.
After I silently agreed, Cassion’s brows furrowed together.
He looked exceedingly confused.
“Wait, I don’t understand, it’s all so sudden…”
“Right, it’s only natural.”
“So then, you repeatedly transmigrated into someone else’s body… And this is your fourth time”
“And the blue monsters… Those things existed in the world where you lived in your third body”
“You managed to understand much better than I expected, huh”
I tried to speak in a joking manner, but the confusion and all the questions stamped across Cassion’s expression did not go away.
Indeed, it’s quite hard to believe.
Even if I was in his shoes right now and I was hearing this story for the first time, I wouldn’t be able to easily believe it.
Without any warning, such a thing as transmigration, shifting to another world…
I’m just glad that he’s not laughing to my face right now.
Cassion showed absolutely no signs of derision or sarcasm.
He moved his lips slightly for a moment, then later on asked a question.
“…So, when you transmigrate into someone else’s body, do others come along with you”
“No, that’s not how it had been.
This is the first time that this has happened.
But there’s one thing I’m certain of.”
That one thing, I’m truly certain of.
“Someone from the third transmigration followed me to this world.
The man who’s controlling those monsters.”
The scenes I saw in my dream earlier vividly played once more in my head.
The book and the butterfly, coming out from Rita’s corpse.
Urien, reaching out, and soon, another butterfly coming out of his body that fluttered into the book.
‘Because of the rift, that unrelated punk even jumped right in.
This is just…’
Even that irritated voice.
“Yes, he followed me.
That man, who I loathed to see to the point that I’d rather have died.”
He followed me all the way here.
‘I will always be by your side.’
That goddamn promise.
That crazy warning.
He made sure to fulfill it.
At the thought of Urien, my teeth clenched together once again.
With my lips pursed tightly, one corner curled upwards sardonically.
Soon, however, a paradoxically cold warmth covered the back of my hand.
I turned my eyes from the cave wall and looked at the owner of that warmth.
Cassion, whose confusion had eventually left his expression, was staring back at me with his characteristically calm face.
His black eyes gazed upon me quietly, then he spoke.
When he told me to relax, that was the only time that I felt that my body had frozen on the spot.
And without realizing it, my nails were digging into my palms as my hands were clenched into fists.
Slightly dazed, I looked up at Cassion.
Honestly, that’s all I was planning on telling him.
After dying, I would pretend to be someone else because I’d come to possess their body.
The third was Rita, and the fourth was Rosetta.
Therefore, I am not the real Rosetta.
And those monsters weren’t from this world.
They’re owned by the man who followed Rita.
He’s the one behind all this.
That’s enough of an explanation.
I’ve already said everything I needed to say.
And yet, strangely enough, my lips continued to move without my permission—
“That man… In the previous world, he was my lover.”
—While saying things that I didn’t plan on saying.
With a little jolt, Cassion closed his mouth.
For a moment, a wave of emotion could be seen expressed by those straightened lips.
Faced with that subtle display of emotion, I kept moving my own mouth.
“For a while, I believed that I was happy, and I believed that I could continue being happy.
I knew what he was truly like, but I thought I could change him.”
Quite exactly as I had said it, while I was living as Rita at that time, I thought that I could change Urien.
I knew exactly how much of a madman he was in the original novel, but I thought that I could make him become a good man.
“But no, it was nothing but arrogance on my part.
And when I finally realized, it was already too late.”
In my head.
The fragments of the past, which I had tried to suppress, came up one after another.
Back when I still lived as Rita.
At the very beginning, I was the one who approached Urien.
It was after Rita’s family found out that I was a fake.
I wanted someone to love me.
I didn’t care if it was the male lead who would later become crazy—I was just so lonely.
He’s someone who did not know Rita yet.
So, I didn’t have to pretend to be Rita.
So, even a little bit, someone would know who I truly am.
So, it was Urien who I chose.
It was Urien before he officially met Rita, before even the original novel had started.
The male lead who had a miserable childhood.
A lonely person, just like me.
I was arrogant at that time.
I was completely certain that I’d be able to change him.
I believed that I’d be able to heal his loneliness, that I’d be able to lead him down the right path.
That we’d be happy, together.
The line was thin between confidence and conceit.
And, joy and despair worked hand in hand with each other.
Right, just like that.
I was naïve.
As I still grappled with the fragments of the past, I continued speaking.
“Wickedness was already in his nature, but I didn’t know that he couldn’t be rid of it.
So, I ran away.
I became terrified of that man.
However, he persistently found me.”
The first scene of the dream, there in the forest.
That, too, was the first time.
My first attempt at escaping.
I ran barefoot through the forest, and the blue monsters chased after me everywhere.
I knew that I would be caught eventually, but I couldn’t stop trying to get away.
The only thought that kept going through my mind was this—that, as long as Urien wasn’t there, I knew that I could endure hell.
However, he caught me.
It’s as if he was just playing a child’s game of tag.
There was a relaxed expression on his face.
And yet, the cost of my escape was more disastrous than I could imagine.
A few days after that…
For the criminal offense of treason, Rita’s household was eradicated.
Her family members were all stripped of their surname, and they were all sent to the temple’s dungeons.
Urien was responsible for this.
This was the result of the misappropriation of his great divine power, as well as his authority as the high priest.
He took them all so as to be used as hostages against Rita—against me.
And a few days after they were released from prison, Rita’s brother was killed.
Right in front of my eyes.
As I remembered that time, I laughed.
Instead of crying, laughter burst forth instead.
“Every time he caught me—every time I tried to get away from him—the ones who paid the price were the people around me.
Rita’s brother, father and mother.
Even just the people who talked to me.
They all paid the price instead of me.”
As Cassion called me, I bit my lower lip tightly.
He just called my name, but for some reason, it felt like that was enough to trigger my tears.
So, I went on, pretending that I did not hear him.
“Rosetta, you can stop…”
“There’s no difference. I was the one who killed Mother.”
Cassion tried to dissuade me from continuing, but I firmly stated it anyhow.
The atmosphere was heavy.
Amidst the silence that went on between us, I recalled the day that Rita’s mother died.
I took advantage of Urien’s carelessness and headed towards the dungeon.
Then, I went to Rita’s mother and succeeded in breaking her out.
Her older brother and father were already dead.
After breaking her out, she suddenly took my hand and said this.
Let’s run away together, child.’
As I had lost my own name, this was what I was called.
However, it didn’t sound bad to me.
Although I couldn’t be Rita, it felt as if she was acknowledging me in her own way.
She looked at me not with pity, and neither with resentment.
I dared to nod.
I dared to say yes.
I dared to vow that I’ll be good to her from now on, that I won’t pretend to be Rita again.
Only that… we’ll live together.
No one chased after us, to my surprise.
Now that I looked back on it, it was strange.
But at that time, we were so preoccupied with running away that we couldn’t even stop and be suspicious of it.
As we desperately ran through the woods, barefoot, in the midst of darkness, such doubts were a luxury.
We just ran.
Suddenly, around the time that we were running out of breath, the ground began to collapse beneath us.
We were running down the path towards the cliff, however the intact ground crumbled like that.
There was no such thing as escape.