𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐: 𝐀𝐧 𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 “𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦”
The nightmare begins with the death of my father.
Despite trusting the doctor’s words that his condition was stable, my father ended up losing his life.
Overwhelmed by this sudden parting, I didn’t know what to do. It was then that my uncle’s family appeared.
Uncle Gael, his wife Romina, and their daughter Sonia.
They comforted me, encouraged me, and spoke kind words to me.
Unaware that it was the work of a devil, I believed them.
This, it seems, marked the arrival of misfortune.
My uncle served as the chief mourner at my father’s funeral, which ended smoothly.
Even afterwards, concerned about my sadness, he took on the responsibilities of the Duke household.
To make his job easier, I handed over the pocket watch, the sign of the Duke Mendoza family.
From there, the lives of myself and Florenci plummeted.
My uncle said that since so many people were flocking to the mansion, he moved us to the annex where the servants were staying so we could live in peace.
Still unable to accept my father’s death and feeling down, Florenci and I misunderstood it as my uncle’s kindness and moved.
At first, the maids took care of our living necessities, preparing meals three times a day, but gradually their treatment changed.
The maids disappeared, meals became once a day, and finally, no meals arrived.
I was puzzled, but when I went to the main house, they shared their meals.
I learned how to cook and do laundry from charity work, and I even learned how to make sweets from the sisters.
Florenci and I, unfamiliar with household chores, lived a quiet daily life.
However, there were a few days when I thought “why?”.
However, my uncle may also be continuously occupied with unfamiliar tasks, and he might not have the time to worry about us.
I believed so.
I realized something was wrong when a maid refused to hand over a meal.
The maid clearly stated, “The master said there’s no meal for you.”
What on earth was going on? When I went to talk to my uncle, there was an unexpected development.
My uncle told me that he had become the head of the Duke Mendoza family.
Florenci is the rightful successor. Why is my uncle the head?
It would make sense if he were acting as a proxy.
When I asked if he would serve as head until Florenci came of age, my uncle shook his head.
He declared that the position of head was his.
It was here that I finally realized.
My uncle had come to us, weakened by my father’s death, and pretended to be kind in order to take over the Duke Mendoza family.
Apparently, my uncle even got a “seal of approval” from the king and flaunted his appointment as Duke Mendoza.
He must have maneuvered well.
But that wasn’t the end of the story.
He forced us to choose between leaving or continuing to live in the annex. We, who knew nothing but life in the mansion, couldn’t possibly live outside.
We had no choice but to continue living in the annex.
My uncle demanded high rent from us living in the annex.
When I was thinking about whether to become a tutor somewhere or to become a companion for a noble lady, my aunt made an outrageous proposal.
She suggested that I become Sonia’s exclusive maid.
A letter of recommendation is required to work in another house. Thinking that my uncle probably wouldn’t want to write one, I became Sonia’s maid.
From then on, I led a terrible life.
Sonia, who used to adore me like a sister, was nowhere to be found. She behaved like a queen and was completely selfish.
She complained about the tea being terrible, she didn’t like the sweets I lined up to buy, and she said I had no sense in choosing dresses.
It seems there wasn’t a day when Sonia didn’t yell at me.
My only ally, my fiancé Anthony, was captivated by Sonia and broke off our engagement.
Apparently, he had a relationship with another woman besides Sonia and even had a secret child.
I feel stupid for believing in Anthony, who doesn’t have a shred of sincerity, and relying on him.
To add insult to injury, a shocking incident occurred.
A dress I ordered at Sonia’s request arrived with absolutely no decorations, such as lace or ribbons.
Why, when I definitely ordered it? I went to inquire at the dress shop, but they didn’t take me seriously as the ball was the next day.
Enraged, Sonia told me to die and apologize.
I couldn’t die and leave Florenci behind, so I used my last resort.
That is the “Spiderwork” used by Ga-chan, the spider fairy I’ve been friends with since childhood.
Spiderwork uses my magic as a medium, with Ga-chan creating magical threads. Then, my imagination and the thread work together to create lace through magic.
When I used Spiderwork to remake Sonia’s dress, her mood improved.
It seems the dress with the lace was highly praised at the evening party, and Sonia was flattered and felt good.
But the relief was only temporary.
Letters started flooding into the Duke Mendoza house, asking which workshop made the lace.
When my uncle and aunt heard this, they decided to sell the lace.
They ordered me to make lace, promising I wouldn’t have to pay rent.
From that point, I shut myself away in a separate room, constantly making lace.
My hair became rough from overuse of magic, my skin became rough, and my lips dried up.
My cheeks thinned, and my arms and legs became twig-like.
Despite my youth, I was often told by my uncle’s family that I looked like an old woman.
Every day I would weave lace until I was exhausted, then sleep like a log.
Though I was living like this, Florenci was happy that he could spend more time with me.
I pleaded with my uncle to at least educate him, but was told there was no money for education.
So, I had to teach him as much as I could, getting up early to prepare teaching materials.
I also had to let him play outside and build his physical strength.
Just as I was relieved to hear that he had made friends with the children of the servants, one day he came home crying.
He said he had suddenly been bullied, even though he had been getting along with them before.
It was probably my uncle’s doing. It was terrible to target a child.
From then on, Florenci clung to me.
I hadn’t been able to spend much time with him before, so I was only happy to spend time with Florenci. However, the situation of him having no one to rely on but me was problematic.
I thought it would be good to involve him in charity work and let him learn about the outside world. Just as I was thinking this, Florenci’s illness was discovered.
He had the same symptoms as my father. The doctor said he would recover quickly because he was young, but his condition only deteriorated.
My uncle said there was a high-priced medicine that would work instantly, so I exchanged it for a large amount of lace.
Even when my body cried out for rest, I could keep going for Florenci’s sake.
One day, after living like this for four years, my magic ran out, and I couldn’t make thread with Spiderwork.
For a while, I was making lace by hand, but due to overuse of my eyes, I lost most of my sight.
Without being able to see, I couldn’t weave the intricate lace.
My uncle, seeing that I was no longer of use, harshly called me “useless!!” and ordered me to sell the goods that had been delivered instead, at a pawn shop called “Frutploiebeet”.
At the store, which means “Forbidden Fruit”, really anything was bought and sold.
From human flesh and blood to forbidden books and slaves, there was nothing they wouldn’t sell.
Almost every day, I was transporting the jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets that my uncle had ordered to be sold at the pawn shop.
One day in the fifth year, it was discovered that among these items were personal items of the queen of the neighboring sea country, “Binemöer”.
All the delivered goods were stolen.
I, unaware of this, had been diligently transporting them.
The theft caused a national uproar, and the king of Binemöer was reportedly furious.
As a result, it was not my uncle, but I who was arrested as the main culprit of the incident.
When I heard that Florenci had also been taken away, I was so desperate that I tore at my throat.
After that, they said my execution was decided immediately in order to calm the king of Binemöer’s anger as soon as possible.
Florenci and I were taken to the guillotine――and were brutally executed.
This is the nightmare I witnessed.
But I do not intend to dismiss it as just a dream.
The fear and sorrow of witnessing Florenci’s death, and the vile memories of being used by my uncle’s family, are vividly etched in my mind.
My father, who seems to be in stable condition, may suddenly worsen, and my uncle’s family, who targets the Duke Mendoza family, might be biding their time.
Wiping my tears, I stand up.
I have no time for self-pity.
I will not make the same mistakes again. There were mountains of things to do before my father passed away.