“Then who will it be for?”

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Sir Shubart handed me the dress as I stood there gawking.
The scene was almost like a parent preparing a present for their child on Children’s Day.
I know I haven’t told him about the coming-of-age gift I wanted yet, but for Sir Shubart, whom I know, his gift will not end only with this.

Maybe this was only the beginning?

Sir Shubart whispered softly, “Come on, put it on.”

I looked at my mother for a moment, but she didn’t say anything, only sipping her tea.
So, after standing a little longer, I shyly took the dress and went into the small room where I kept my clothes.
Soon, I untied the chest strap of the dress I was wearing.
Taking off my winter dress and putting on the new dress made me feel lighter.
It wasn’t cold because there were layers of frills inside.

I looked at the mirror in front of me.
A reflection of a woman with pale skin, dark red eyes, lips of the same color, and long silver hair could be seen.
Come to think of it, if I remove the color of red from myself, nothing else is left.
My body is full of achromatic colors except for my eyes and lips.
Even the dress was red, and it made me feel strange.

Is this why people look at me badly?

I would be happy if it was an ordinary gift, but I wasn’t happy.
On the contrary, anxiety swept over me.

They’re preparing this gift just because of my birthday, right? I don’t think there’s any other purpose.
For example, let me go to the capital or meet the Prince…

I wish my mother would stay still, and I want Sir Shubart to come to visit me from time to time, just like before.
And if my mother is up to something, I need to stop her, but…

The dress strap was still untied, and I was lost in thought, without knowing that my mother came in through the door.

“Did you even forget to wear a dress?”

“Ah, mother.
No… I was looking at the dress because it was pretty.”

My mother led me to a chair in front of the mirror.
As she led me, she sat me down on the chair, skillfully tying the strap behind my back, which had not yet been tied.
Then she gathered my hair to one side.
My hair stayed still with a hairpin to secure its position.


“Thank you.
Are we really moving?”

I looked at my mother in the mirror.
Her dark-purple eyes looked at me indifferently.

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My mother didn’t deny it.
So what Sir Shubart already said was true.

“Come out right away.”

My mother, who had my hair done, left the room.
I fiddled with the hair that my mother had done for a long time.

As some strange things had happened, I thought something bad would happen, let alone my wish to be happy.
I’m almost certain about it.
But I couldn’t sit down and think about it for a long time.
It’s because I heard Sir Shubart making a fuss as he asked my mother if the dress looked good on me.

Sir Shubart’s behavior is really different from his appearance.
I’ve never seen him like that in front of anyone else, but every time he comes to our house, he changes 180 degrees.

As I stepped out, Sir Shubart was, of course, impressed.
Half of the compliments were about how fit it was, and the other half was about how good the sense of who chose it was.
It continued until I said I’m going to change my clothes again.

The dinner table was plentiful again.
Even though my mother had already come home, she didn’t eat dinner, and I ate too much again.

* * *

A week later, flowers were delivered in front of the house in the morning.
In the middle of winter, in the North, where firewood wasn’t delivered often.
I think the destination of the flowers was strange, but my mother naturally looked at them.
I don’t know why but I felt like something was getting worse and worse.

Did my mother’s family contact my mother back without my knowledge? Does my mother have other plans I don’t know about?

No way.

I struggled to suppress the rising anxiety.
But that didn’t last long.

When it was time for breakfast, Sir Shubart made all the preparations and called me.
I followed him down to the dining room, where my mother had already come.

“Hurry up and sit down.”

“Let’s sit down.”

With only the sound of plates, forks, and knives passing through the still air, my mother put down the fork and knife and then wiped her mouth.

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“I’m thinking of going back to the capital.”

As soon as I heard my mother’s words, I couldn’t hide my surprised expression.

“We are going back… to the capital?”

What about the new house?

It’s been a few days since they said we’re moving, but my mother suddenly talked about the capital out of the blue.
As if she had already talked about it with Sir Shubart first, Sir Shubart only smiled awkwardly.
On the contrary, I couldn’t shake my doubts at the sight of them eating so fine in the relaxing atmosphere.

Please, don’t do anything dangerous.
Let me live a long and happy life, please!

I prayed by naming the Gods from all over the world that I didn’t believe in.

“Not right now.”

As I panicked at her words, I opened my mouth in a slightly calm state.

“But why in the capital?”

“That’s where we’re supposed to be.”

My mother raised her eyes as if she was saying something obvious.
It’s an expression I haven’t seen in a long time, so I swallowed my saliva.


“First of all, we will move to another place and talk about it later.
Why do you surprise her?”

Sir Shubart stopped my mother as if to calm me down, but my mother never could be stopped with only those words.

“She’s all grown up now.
It doesn’t matter.”

Her cynical voice gave Sir Shubart a troubled smile.
I smiled slightly at him as a sign that I was fine and put the food back in my mouth.
Because of that, I couldn’t think of the taste of the food I was putting in my mouth.

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Did my mother find out something?

It’s been a while since he left, so they probably wouldn’t have run into each other.
I thought deeply about it and bit my tongue.
Eventually, I got indigestion from all the food I ate during the meal.

* * *


I was going to take a walk to get some winter breeze, but I felt sick and eventually came back to my room and went straight to bed.
I randomly opened the nightstand near the bed.
Then, I poured out the medicine without taking water.
Even though I had just taken medicine, I still suffered from stomachache, so I lay on the bed and groaned.

“Ah, I really have a stomach ache.”

It was really frustrating.
I don’t know why my mother can’t understand my feelings.
Of course, I tend to actively agree with her opinion.
But this time, I might really die.
Indeed, this time might be really dangerous.
It made me think that my mother would rather die than understand how I felt.
I turned to the ceiling again and lay down.

Knock, knock.

Someone knocked on the door.

“Come on in.”

It’s 100% percent Sir Shuabrt who did it.
And as expected, it was Sir Shubart who opened the door.

“Are you okay?”

He came near.
The bed clumped and tilted, feeling a heavy weight on one side.
I just looked at him, then looked back to the ceiling.
I just looked down at him then looked back to the ceiling.

“Does mother really want to go back to the capital?”


Sir Shubart gave a vague answer and looked at the window.
Unlike the small room, the large window contained the scenery outside in the middle of winter.

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“Lucellai will never give up for the rest of her life.”

It sounded as if my mother was very desperate.

“Does mother feel uncomfortable living like this? It’s just her ambition…”

“Carbella,” Sir Shubart called me softly.


“Each person has something that they can’t let go of.”


“That’s why.
It’s something she can’t let go of.”

I didn’t answer his words.

Sir Shubart patted the blanket a little as if to comfort me, then left the room.

I know what he’s saying.
That everyone has something like that.
I know.

“…That’s how I am to my mother.”

* * *

It was only a week after that day that we moved.
Sir Shubart has been busy coming and going since a few days ago, and soon after, I heard that we should start moving this morning.
I put on my thick winter clothes and followed my mother.
The black carriage with Sir Shubart was waiting for us.  My mother got on the carriage first.

I grabbed Sir Shubart’s hand and looked back as I tried to get on.
This house was full of inconveniences, but I guess I was already attached to it.
When I saw something in the snow on the way, I looked at the house once and then to the food storage where he had been staying for a while.
Now there was no trace of Prince Valery Ahibara Kasinev.
Even if he comes back to give me a reward, he probably won’t be able to see me.

Without further ado, I turned my head and climbed into the carriage.
The carriage ran non-stop for about an hour or so.
It said the place we moved to was still in the North, but the size of the North territory was enormous.
The fact that the Prince came to my house even though the North territory was this large was amazing.

I stared endlessly outside, seeing nothing but bare trees and white snow.
My mother hasn’t said a word to me since morning until now.
I was already used to this kind of atmosphere, so I continued to focus on looking at the scenery. 


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