Chapter 3: Found
“Casey, you look really beautiful.”
“Oh, thank you.”
One day, when I turned 19, I found myself in the capital city after 8 years. If I were to die again, it would be on my 20th birthday. With still 5 months left until then, there shouldn’t be any problem leaving the sanctuary.
Today is Casey’s wedding, who was once a close friend during my noble daughter days, and now we are in the midst of celebrating the party.
A few years ago, we coincidentally met when she came to visit the sanctuary as a tourist. She kept my identity a secret and we occasionally exchanged letters. Although her suggestion of living together or offering support was kind, I declined everything.
However, I couldn’t refuse her invitation to see her in her beautiful wedding attire, and here I am.
By the way, I borrowed Casey’s dress, shoes, and accessories. I left the preparations to her. And when I saw my reflection in the mirror, I was honestly surprised to see myself as a noble’s daughter.
“You look beautiful too.”
“Really? Thank you.”
And now, the person I’m with is Martin, the son of a count, who was once close with Casey and me.
Even though it has been 8 years, I was glad that he treated me the same as before. It was lonely to attend alone, so I appreciated his presence.
“I’ll go freshen up my makeup a bit.”
I called out to Martin and headed to the restroom alone. I felt an unusually strong gaze from the surroundings, but it seemed that no one recognized me as Lisette. Casey also avoided introducing me to the attendees as her relative.
It has been 8 years since then. My appearance and atmosphere have changed considerably. Moreover, due to rumors spread by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, it seems that I am quietly spending my time in a convent. And that’s fine.
As I left the restroom and tried to return to Martin, I ended up getting lost in the similar-looking corridors.
It must be because it’s been a while since I’ve been in such a large building. My current home can be traversed from wall to wall in just a few steps.
In the midst of it, I noticed a man standing at the end of the corridor. From his appearance, it was evident that he belonged to the upper nobility.
As I hesitated whether to ask for directions, even though I hadn’t made a sound, he immediately turned around to face me. For a moment, I felt something terrifying, resembling hostility or murderous intent, in his eyes.
Just as the atmosphere around him seemed to soften, he looked at me with wide, jewel-like, almond-shaped eyes, filled with astonishment.
“─Finally, I found you.”
He was incredibly beautiful, to the point that it sent shivers down my spine. Witnessing his violently captivating beauty, I involuntarily held my breath.
For some reason, he murmured, “I finally found you,” while looking at me. Even though I discreetly looked around, there was no one else. No one.
At the same time, for some reason, I felt the need to escape.
An alarm rang in my mind. I didn’t know the reason, but instinctively, I felt that it would be dangerous if this man found me. I decided to stop asking for directions, pretended not to notice that our eyes had met, and turned my back to him.
But as soon as I started walking, a voice came from behind.
“Why are you running away?”
“Huh? W-What do you mean?”
“Oh, your voice is as beautiful as I imagined.”
I wondered when he had closed the distance between us so much.
He stood right beside me, and for some reason, he looked at me with an expression that seemed on the verge of tears.
“I’ve been searching for you all this time, Lisette-sama, to meet you again.”
And for some reason, he spoke words that seemed like they came out of a romance novel, with a serious expression.
─Wait, how does he know my name?
“Lise, where are you?”
Suddenly, I heard Martin’s voice, indicating that he was searching for me. When I raised my head, the man reacted blatantly.
“. . .May I ask what kind of relationship you have with the man who just called you?”
“Uh? Um, we met again after 8 years, we were childhood friends.”
“I see. Do you have a lover, fiancé, or husband?”
“No, but. . .”
Caught up in the moment, I unintentionally answered. He seemed satisfied as he formed an arc with his lips and called my name again, “Lisette-sama.”
“Um, I’m not in a position to be addressed with honorifics by you.”
“No, Lisette-sama, where do you currently reside?”
This man clearly hasn’t been listening to the conversation. Besides, I’m not foolish enough to reveal personal information to a stranger. Well, I’ve already let some slip.
“Um, I’m sorry. I have to go back now.”
As I said that, he smiled in a troubled manner.
“I apologize for detaining you. I am Ralph. Let’s meet again soon.”
Ralph, as he introduced himself, surprisingly released me easily, and I felt relieved inside.
I bowed my head slightly, turned my back to him, and hurriedly headed towards the direction where Martin’s voice came from.
─Little did I know, at that moment, that his “Let’s meet again soon” would be the very next day.