The Villainess Who Has Been Killed 108 Times - Chapter 10
Chapter 10 – Even though I remember everything in my 108 lives, what happened outside of my sight was unknown – the love, malice, and sadness.
This is one of Scarlet’s 108 lives.
Among them is an event that happened without her knowledge.
The cobblestones froze cold in the winter gale, breath hangs in white clouds and clings to the faces that breath it.
Even in the cold falling flurries, Mary’s heart warmed as she rushed to the Duke’s residence.
「I can see the young mistress soon!」
Just thinking so brought a smile to her face.
The new man in charge under the Duke was friends with Mary, so the reunion was going to happen.
She stood a step back, waiting for a horse carriage, as Mary quietly anticipated that soon she would see her mistress again.
「I bet she’s gotten bigger. It’s been almost five years since then.」
She was remembering the only daughter of the Lingard’s, Scarlet, who she had nursed with her own breast.
It had been five years since they had parted. Mary had gotten a letter that made her heart jump – a request to meet her if she had the time and the occasion. She danced about a bit, held the letter tightly, and sank into an emotional sigh.
She really did remember her.
When the contract expired, Mary had left the duke’s mansion in tears, grabbing inwards, trying to return.
She had grabbed onto Mary’s clothes as they pulled her away, trying to prevent from being peeled off and thrown out.
Scarlet was a clever child and never cried.
But as if lit on fire she had said with the words she knew, 「Mama! No Bye-bye! Mama!!」
And cried out with the few words in my possession.
Her being pulled away was like a knife to the heart.
Scarlet was the one that had given her the love her dead mother could never provide.
After her birth, her true mother had spiraled into confusion and rage, and attempted to kill her daughter. She died suddenly of a heart attack.
Mary had tried to stop her, and was in a fierce battle over her. If her role in the matter was doubted one whit, Mary would have been accused and sent to prison. However, several servants testified to her story and she was able to continue as the wet nurse.
They had all rushed into the room after some mystery boy had shouted,「Better get in there or the child of the Duke will die!」
She earnestly believed that the spirit of my departed son, Joshua, had saved her.
And Scarlet, who was nearly killed by her mother, was merciful.
Or, at least, she felt she should repay at least some of the love Mary gave her.
Mary expected no reward.
However, this young toddler had loved Mary as her own mother.
Mary’s joy of being able to meet her again was unlimited.
It was strange to feel so touched that the little girl had such emotions for me, she had cried so, and yet…
Mary could never allow herself to hold back from seeing her again.
She could hold Scarlet forever.
No matter that Mary’s this lowly of a woman…! And no matter who mistress is…!
It made Mary want to run away to her.
The separation between them was simply too much.
Her existence alone filled the abyss that the death of her true child Joshua had created.
Mary gave her milk, listened to her sleep, held her as she cried, and watched her smile at Mary as Mary did at her.
Those daily repetitions healed that solitary wound to Mary’s heart.
The more days Mary spent with her, the deeper her affection became.
Instead of just replacing Joshua, Scarlet seemed to become Mary’s own child.
Even though others protested and begged, Scarlet never left her side.
So, as she cried while Scarlet slept, kissed her forehead, and said goodbye.
She had left the mansion behind, waiting for her chance to return, and now that the two’s thoughts were intertwined again, she cried in sadness as she sat in the horse’s carriage. Outside the sun gleamed hazily through the forest as her thoughts pierced her again, deep into her heart. She was bothering the other riders, and she knew she must restrain herself, but she was unable to.
And so she said a silent prayer for the happiness of Scarlet.
Soon she would be able to see Scarlet again.
Even in the dense cold the warmth of that thought rose within Mary.
「I bet she’s developed into such a beautiful child.」
Mary tried to draw a portrait of what little Scarlet looked like in the back of her mind.
She wondered what had happened to that shock of red hair. Perhaps it was curly, down on her shoulders, and maybe she had happily braided it on her own by now.
And from a satchel Mary would pull a handmade doll and Scarlet would look it over and over.
It was a souvenir that Mary would give to Scarlet.
A little doll with red hair and multicolored clothes.
It was a doll that Mary had actually sewn as Scarlet’s friend.
Mary was ordinarily very good at sewing, but this work was exquisite.
「I hope she enjoys this doll.」
In the region where Mary was born, it was customary for mothers to present handmade dolls as a prayer for the safety of their children. Almost like a guardian doll. Of course, Mary would never reveal that. It was too much as it looked just like the child. Better to just give it to her as a present.
「I hope …our…child will be happier than any other. May everyone love you. May life be full of joy and hope.」
She uttered those words, closed her eyes, rubbed her doll on her cheek.
「That’s a cute doll. Gimme it.」
Mary suddenly raised her head and saw a lovely girl with curly blonde hair looking at her. Her blue eyes were looking at the doll, and the girl had very fine clothing. In fact, the little girl looked like a doll, she was so cute and her face so flawless. No other humans were around. Is this child lost?
Mary was confused as the girl pushed out her open hand to her.
「I’m sorry, child. This is for a very precious friend. I can’t give it to anyone.」
When Mary apologized, the girl said *Hmph* and withdrew her hand.
She then folded her hand to her chest and seemed to think, then spread her hands out and said,
「Then hug me.」
Mary hesitated. There were many people around. She might be mistaken for a kidnapper.
「Are you lost? Where are your parents?」
「I’m waiting here for my papa, my mother has gone up to be a star in the sky.」
Mary was struck by how innocent the girl sounded.
She had asked something she shouldn’t have. She felt a bit guilty.
「But, I, Alisa, am quite lonely. You remind me of my mother. I never wanted to say goodbye to my mother. So, can you hold me?」
*Mama, no bye-bye! Mama!*
Mary suddenly remembered Scarlet’s crying face.
This child of the same age almost seemed to overlap with her.
The horse-drawn carriage was near to arriving. As long as she didn’t leave with this child, there would be no misunderstanding.
「Okay, let’s wait for your father together.」
Mary smiled, crouched, and reached out to pick up the girl.
She reached out and the blonde girl happily put her hands behind Mary’s neck.
A sharp pain then struck the nape of Mary’s neck.
Did a bug sting her? She thought. Suddenly, her vision was distorted.
She lost her strength and fell to her knees on the ground.
She felt almost intoxicated and her consciousness faded.
Unsettledness. Nausea. Lack of consciousness approaching.
The girl laughed.
She held Mary’s head with both hands again.
She was desperate to stay awake, and had lost her ability to understand what was happening.
Another pain ran through her nape.
She was now on both knees on the lightly snow-covered road.
Her bag strap had fallen from her shoulder to the stone pavement with a crack.
She groped along the cobblestones, no longer seeing straight. No sound could be heard either.
All of her senses were hollow. The little girl threw a tiny poisonous stinger on the ground with a clink, it disappearing into the joint of two cobblestones.
「I’m sorry. For you and the child in your belly. I can’t stop getting rid of those friends of Scarlet. Time for you to make your exit.」
The girl smirked and snatched the doll from Mary’s finger tips, as Mary strangely extended her hand out to the doll.
「You’re pregnant. You didn’t notice because it was too early, but now that’s over. I’ve stabbed the back of your brain twice. I also know the name of your child was to be Flora. Scarlet…had said…that she…wanted you…to use that name.」
The blonde girl who called herself Alisa then spun and walked away, as if nothing had happened.
She never looked back.
All passersby later smiled at the little girl humming and skipping away.
「A guardian doll for that child? I wonder if she’s from Krocassis?」
Then, as the girl walked, she gently pressed the doll she had stolen from Mary against her cheek.
Her little cherry lips whispered softly,
「I hope Scarlet will be unhappier than any other. May everyone hate you. May life be full of sadness and despair.」
The doll was then thrown casually under the wheels of a passing carriage and cut into ribbons.
「Ahahahahah! So sad!」
The girl laughed and distorted her mouth into a slim smile, enjoying the lingering feeling of a dark, perverse joy.
Mary was curled up on the ground.
She could no longer distinguish the sounds of the worried and the other onlookers.
The light of her eyes had clouded over becoming like glass.
But her face still had a smile on it.
She remembered the light of early summer during her time with Scarlet.
Scarlet’s face looked strange, as a ladybug had landed on the point of her nose.
They both laughed about it.
The first day she burped after feeding, the first day she crawled, the first day she was able to stand, all of them were irreplaceable treasures.
In her failing imagination, Mary and Scarlet were reunited in a field of flowers, still there in her memories.
Scarlet happily hugged the doll to her chest and softly whispers into Mary’s ear,
「…hey, can I secretly call you my mother?」
Mary smiled as a few flakes of snow fell upon her cheeks.
Then two streams of tears left the corners of her eyes.
She said with her last breath.
At the Duke’s mansion, a young Scarlet waited for a guest that never came.
The time of her arrival had passed.
She cried, bit her lips, stared out of her window, standing stock still with the gift that she had prepared for a person she would see again the first time in five years.
The snow and buffeting wind rattled and shook the windowpane.
「Ah, you’re sleeping together! You’re gonna catch a cold!」
Bradd said with a slight grimace as he entered the room.
He might have been there to check on the infant Scarlet’s sleep.
Both Mary and Scarlet were in the nursing chair with heads cocked to the side in sleep, drool beading in each of the corners of their mouths.
「Haha, that same look.」
He threw a blanket over them softly, checked the safety of the room, and left in hushed footsteps.
Sunbeams slowly streamed through the room as they slept soundly, Mary still holding her precious Scarlet.