It wasn’t long until the energy presiding session ended.
Right, it definitely didn’t last long, but that tired me out this much.
Both of us exhaled at the same time.
Cassion placed a hand on the ground and gasped out.
My head started spinning.
I could control my own power well enough, but for me to direct someone else’s energy with my power… and to that point, a very different kind of energy, too.
It felt as if I was going to die.
With a cough that seemed to scratch at my throat, a metallic taste came up.
I wiped a corner of my mouth and soon saw blood on the back of my hand.
Right, it’s been calm for a while now.
While helping Cassion train his fighting abilities, I also trained my own stamina and my external strength.
I didn’t have as drastic of an improvement compared to Cassion, but I also gained quite some muscle in a short period of time.
With this body’s muscles improved now, my endurance limit of controlling my internal strength increased as well.
Recalling the time I first came to possess this body and back when I had just regained my power, even if I used my internal strength a little, it’s been a while since I vomited blood.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve seen blood come up like this.
After that, the dry coughing continued.
Blood didn’t flood out like the first cough, but a few drops here and there fell every time I let out small coughs.
It seemed like it was still too much for me to direct someone else’s energy, especially if it was mana.
I propped myself up with one hand on the ground.
My coughing stopped, but for a moment, I felt light-headed as my vision spun.
And I felt beads of sweat streaming down my forehead.
‘I was once a sage transcendental’s daughter, but…’
I can’t believe I’m struggling with just this.
If my brothers and sisters from the second round saw me like this, they surely would have laughed at the sight.
As I smiled quietly, my lashes fluttered.
Feeling how heavy my body had become, I let all the tension within me grow lax.
I’d rather lie down here for a while.
And I was going to.
If I lie down and get a bit of rest, I’ll be fine again in no time.
However, just before my head touched the ground, someone’s hands caught me.
One hand cradled the back of my head, and another hand supported my waist.
That person’s touch was ever so careful.
Like someone holding a newborn baby.
Beyond my trembling eyelashes, I saw Cassion’s face.
He was as white as a sheet.
He stammered out my name.
He looked so much like a frightened child that I burst into laughter.
This is nothing.”
At my feeble reply, moisture welled up in those black eyes.
I could feel him putting more strength in the hand that cradled the back of my head.
And soon, he brought my face to his shoulder.
My face, as it touched his shoulder, was cold.
“You’re going to worry again, aren’t you And you’ll ask, ‘is this because of me,’ right”
I asked jokingly on purpose, however he didn’t answer.
In the silence that blanketed the air for a moment, Cassion nodded.
“…Yeah, I’m worried.”
Speaking quietly, he looked at me with watery eyes.
“Every time you tell me not to worry, I go crazy as I do worry.”
All that was reflected in those black eyes was me.
I opened my lips for a moment, but because I couldn’t think of something to answer, I closed them again.
Instead, I blinked slowly and reached out.
A cold cheek could be felt beneath my palm.
With my thumb, I swept under the man’s eyes.
Then, a light touch upon moisture.
It crossed my mind that, maybe, it tasted salty.
The night sky could be seen visible behind the man’s face.
A clear night sky, just like a clear fair day.
Picturesque, the stars and the moon shone brightly.
I stared blankly at the moon, and soon, my lips opened.
“The funeral will be soon.”
That’s all I said, but Cassion seemed to understand what I meant.
The watery eyes gradually began to widen.
Besides that, the eyes, which contained only me, shook.
Red anger could be seen rising in those black eyes.
Like the red eyes of the Carter family, a truly bright red anger.
So, worry about yourself, not me.
Worry about the pitiful you, who’s about to have a funeral despite still being alive.
Worrying about yourself would be more worth your time compared to worrying about someone like me, who couldn’t die in all these repeated lives.
Thinking about the words I couldn’t utter aloud, I caressed the man’s cheek.
Still, his cheek was cold.
* * *
For days on end, it rained.
With the summer at its peak, the monsoon season—which was short if it was short, or long if it was long—began in earnest.
All throughout, dark clouds encroached the sky, making it almost unclear to people when the last time they saw the blue sky.
Then, finally, the sky cleared up.
After a long time, it was a summer day that was neither humid nor too hot.
The heat in the air was still there, but it was worth basking in the weather as the damp humidity was lost.
The sky, which had been hidden by overcast clouds, was brighter than ever, as if it had emerged from letting out all its frustrations.
The weather was fine.
It’s a world where green leaves, soft flowers and puddles, which had still not dried up, shone beneath the sunlight.
Looking at the blue sky that couldn’t be more dazzling, Rosetta turned her head when she heard someone call her, “Sister.”
And the owner of that voice was the main character, Alicia.
“It’s our turn soon, right”
Nodding in reply to the small whisper, I looked around.
There was a throng of people.
The atmosphere was strangely subdued, but nevertheless, there was turmoil amidst the restraint.
If she looked to the side, a huge harden and a magnificent mansion could be seen.
It was a mansion of a similar size to the ducal residence of House Valentine, but it had a completely different ambience to it.
This was the Carter Duchy’s residence, where Cassion’s funeral was being held.
Today, just as the sky cleared for the first time in a long while, was Cassion’s funeral.
The man who was alive, but who they hoped to die.
A funeral was held in a hurry despite the lack of a corpse.
Rosetta glanced at Cassion.
He was following after her, about three steps behind.
Because of the veil, she couldn’t see his expression well.
Originally, it would be better if he didn’t come.
This place was where Cassion lived his whole life, and also the place where the people, who tried to kill him, lived.
If someone were to recognize him here, all his efforts would be in vain.
However, for some reason or another, Cassion wanted to come to this funeral.
For some reason or another, he wanted to confirm his own funeral with his own eyes.
What kind of expression did the people who killed him were making, what kind of changes had taken place in the mansion that he wasn’t in any longer.
Rosetta thought about it a lot, considering the risk and the man’s request, but soon enough, she allowed him to accompany her.
Revenge wasn’t just a hundred-meter dash.
It was a marathon.
And, since it would take a long time, it’s always a good thing to provide adequate motivation.
The moment his resentment would fade, this motivation would once again make him gnash his teeth.
Cassion’s desire for revenge and his own survival likely wouldn’t wither away so easily, but you never know what life would bring your way.
And so, Rosetta allowed Cassion to accompany her despite the dangers present.
Look closely with both your eyes, confirm it, and let that fire burn even more.
If you don’t kill, you will die.
If you don’t rise to the top, you will fall down.
This was the fate that was set in front of Cassion, and the fire within him must never be extinguished, even for a moment.
Well, that didn’t mean that Rosetta agreed to let him come along without any countermeasures.
In this world, funeral etiquette dictated that people would cover their faces.
Regardless of age and gender, putting on a veil was commonly done to mourn the death of another.
That’s why the droves of people around them all had their faces covered with a variety of veils.
Most nobles had veils that covered until the top of their noses.
Of course, this was because they still needed to know who’s who.
However, it was common for the servants and escort knights who followed them to use veils that covered their entire faces.
This was according to tradition.
Rosetta’s entourage was no different.
The two sisters both covered their faces with a white veil made of woven mesh.
On the other hand, Cassion’s face was covered with a thicker, longer veil.
Rosetta looked at the veil that was covering his face.
Perhaps where his eyes were.
His eyes couldn’t be seen because of the fabric that covered both their faces.
Then, her gold gaze went down a little.
Instead of gauging through Cassion’s hidden face, she checked his condition through other ways.
For example, though his stiff shoulders and tightly clenched fists.
‘…You’re really stiff, huh.’
Though trivial, she wanted to ask him if he was alright and offer some consolation, but she couldn’t do so because there were many eyes around them.
Rosetta had no choice but to turn around.
“Sister, are you alright”
Soon, Alicia uttered this question.
She was looking up at the sky just now, then looked behind her and fell silent.
She even looked worried.
Rosetta smiled faintly and nodded once more.
“Yes, I’m alright.
Besides that… You haven’t forgotten what I told you earlier, have you”
She said these words with a tone laden with stealth and caution.
It was rare, but her voice even contained a bit of tension.
Alicia clenched her small fists and nodded vigorously.
Never take off my veil and never engage Young Duke Leo in any conversation apart from offering my condolences.”
She answered bravely, but Rosetta couldn’t be at ease.
A white dress, a white hat, a white veil.
As she was in all white, her blonde hair shone particularly beautifully, and its golden luster over the veil was dazzling.
As if this thin sheet of fabric was not enough to mask her beauty.
This beauty was what worried her.
Today was Cassion’s funeral, and this was the first scene that would mark the beginning of the original novel.
In the original, Cassion’s funeral.
If they were to consider fate, it was on this day that Alicia would catch Leo’s interest.
Her thoughts became complicated just being reminded of it.
Or, no, did it stop at just being complicated It felt as if she was going to implode.
In the middle of all that, Alicia was shining right beside her, so she felt even more frustrated.
‘Right, you’re this pretty, so it would be more strange if the other person wouldn’t be interested.’
All of a sudden, Alicia was so especially beautiful today that it came to a point where Rosetta had such thoughts.
As if fate was keen on being on track, it had cast a halo upon her to make her shine.