Chapter 1: Prologue
“Ah, that’s right. I’ll give you the shoes I’m wearing now. Look, these gemstones around the toe area, they might help cover some of the medical expenses.”
I took off both shoes and lightly brushed them off, then gently placed them on the small, bony palm of his hand. While thinking that I should have worn better shoes, I hid my bare toes under the hem of my dress.
“Oh no, not even the shoes… You’ll be inconvenienced,” he said with a deeply apologetic expression.
“It’s okay, really. Don’t worry about me.”
Although the boy had a look of great concern, I truly wasn’t troubled at all, so I wanted him to stop worrying.
We were heading to a rural area with nothing but fields. Even if I had such fine shoes, they would only grow mold and be thrown away. In that case, it would be better to sell them and make good use of the money.
──I, Lisette Ashburton, will continue to live in seclusion in this so-called sanctuary in the countryside until I die.
By the way, the sound of “sanctuary” is lovely, but there’s only a forest and fields where no monsters appear. I plan to do farming there and live quietly.
On the way there, what I saw from the carriage window were these seemingly orphaned siblings. Both of them were thin, but the problem was with the younger sister. I recognized the spots floating on her small body.
In a previous life, it was this disease that took away the life of my sister. She wouldn’t have died if we had the medicine, but she passed away without us being able to afford it due to poverty.
Seeing such a sight, it reminded me of my sister who died in my arms while suffering, and I couldn’t just leave them alone. Before I knew it, I had instructed the carriage to stop. And I gave them the accessories I was wearing as payment for the medicine.
This necklace that I cherished, I won’t have another chance to wear it anyway. I handed the necklace to Liala, who was a maid, and she looked at me with a puzzled expression.
“Those children might be taken advantage of or fall victim to fraud if they’re alone. So, Liala, please go with them. I’ll go alone from here.”
“What are you saying! I can’t let My lady go alone.”
“It’s okay, normally everyone goes alone.”
Yes, I am about to enter the monastery…
“Actually, don’t you have a lover in the capital? I’ll be fine, so please live happily with that person.”
“Instead, I’m asking you to occasionally look after these children and care for them.”
Liala welled up with tears in her eyes and nodded repeatedly. She is a kind-hearted woman who was worried about me and even offered to accompany me to the monastery. I hope she finds happiness.
Originally, I planned to set her free with some excuse along the way, but this worked out perfectly.
“You’re from a noble family, aren’t you?”
In the midst of it all, the boy who seemed like an older brother looked up at me intently. He was terribly dirty, but his facial features seemed well-defined.
He’s probably a little younger than me.
As I looked at him, those sudden words filled me with surprise. At the same time, an indescribable fear welled up within me. I had a bad premonition, so I said, “I’m leaving now.”
“Someday, I will definitely find you and repay this debt.”
“Please don’t worry about it. You know, it’s definitely better to live a little selfishly in life.”
Hearing me say this, he gasped and widened his eyes, which resembled amethysts. Did I say something that surprised him so much?
I gently stroked the head of the breathless girl, instructing Liala to take her to a doctor as soon as possible, and then boarded the carriage.
“…Ah, I hope I can live a little longer.”
Muttering to myself, I turned my gaze out the window. Both Liala and the boy were looking at me with faces on the verge of tears. I hope everyone quickly forgets about me and lives happily.
But for a while after that, I couldn’t get the beautiful purple eyes that the boy directed straight at me out of my mind.