Saturday, October 7, 2023

Chapter 61

 8 – The End of The End – 7


Even though there was only a faint light in the room, because Marianne was there, the colorfulness of the world increased. It looked like beads of pale light were covering her body, and the sight was gorgeous.

Yet, her cloak which she wore to protect her slender silhouette was as dark as the night, and was not at all eye-catching.


“It is not a dream, right? You are really here, aren't you?”


While I couldn't move since she was hugging me, Marianne stroked my back and shoulders as if to make sure I was really there. When I let my smile show because I felt the palm of her hand tickle as it moved back and forth, over and over again, she finally noticed my expression and said again, “Ah, thanks God...!” Seeing my friend, who was obviously overcome with emotion, also made my heart swell.

Even though I opened my mouth to ask why she was there, no words came out right away.


“... Lady Marianne. We do not have much time.”


As I blinked many times to shake off my blurred vision, the man who was watching us from the corner of the room spoke quietly. Still, she wouldn't let go of me, so he grew impatient and rebuked her, “Please, make haste.”

At last, Marianne took a step back dispiritedly and I felt lonely as she moved away from me. Almost unconsciously, I reached out for her hand. Maybe it was the same for her.

Only our fingertips touched once, brushing lightly against each other.

“I feel like I’m going to cry.”

A voice so small that I almost missed it spilled from her trembling lips.

However, her strong-willed eyes never wavered as she looked into my eyes, “Lady Ilya.”


“You are not hurt, are you?”

She seemed to already know that, but I still nodded gently in response to confirm. That's when I finally realized.

The eyes of my friend, who had appeared so suddenly, were depressed and dull. Compared to the last time I saw her, her cheeks had become thinner. She couldn’t hide how exhausted she was.

Considering that she only had one bodyguard with her, this meant that the child of an aristocrat, who was brought up like a princess in a greenhouse, traveled without her maid.

Of course, she would be tired.


When I looked down at her feet, I saw the dusty hem of her dress hovering loosely over her dirty shoes. Her dress, made of a fabric that was instantly recognizable as a luxury item, looked dull because it was covered in dust. The cuffs surrounding her thin wrists were also dirty.


For her to end up in such a state... She wasn’t like her usual self.


“Lady Marianne didn't even have time to sleep and came all the way here. We even lost two of our horses. She rode for a long time and she was in such a hurry... All that in order to see you.”


As he looked at my face, the man suddenly spoke up in a concise way. There was a hint of disapproval in his tone that he couldn't hide.

"...Do not pay attention to what he says.”

I didn’t know what to answer back to Marianne who shook her head and laughed. So, I simply called her name, “Lady Marianne,” and she gave me a bashful smile before continuing,

“I wanted to take a bath before meeting you, lady Ilya...''

Before I could reach out to her in time, she lost her strength and plopped down on the bed.

I called out to her because the way her head hung down looked unreliable, like she was about to collapse. But she immediately straightened her back and tidied up her appearance as if nothing had happened.

Her fingers swept away the golden hair that had fallen over her shoulders, and she casually adjusted the way her skirt spread out on the bed. That gesture was extremely elegant. I couldn’t help but realize how different she was from ordinary people.

Her composed demeanor may seem pompous, but it didn’t feel bad and she naturally attracted people's attention.

She deserved to be called a "lady" and that was what she was trained to be. Every woman born into an aristocratic family learnt to become one. Rather, they were forced to learn. However, it could also come from an innate talent and temperament. As for me, I had always thought,


... No matter how many times I start my life over and over again, I will never get it.


“... Actually, I would like to talk to you more, but it is true that I do not have time.”

Marianne said so, placing the small bag that had been at her feet onto her lap.

She asked me to sit next to her, and although I was confused, I followed her instructions.

After watching me calm down, she removed the metal fitting that held the lid of the bag. Marianne looked inside and pulled out a bundle of papers.

“I am going to explain it now, so could you please look at it carefully?”

While reading out loud the words written on the paper one by one, Marianne began to explain as if she were reciting a speech. She looked like she was fulfilling her duty.

Before I could say anything, she stated,

"We have prepared everything we can at this stage. An exit permit, a passport, and a visa to enter the neighboring country."

When she handed me the things I needed to get on a ship, my throat tightened.

The thickness of the paper, the printing, and the signatures of the various parties involved made it look like it had been officially acquired, rather than a forgery.

Or were they made using very advanced technology?

Either way, it wasn’t something an ordinary person could get.


“These exit permit and visa will serve as your identification cards. Of course, the name written on them is not Ilya but someone else’s.…So please remember this name well.”

A document that was under someone else's name but wasn’t a fake. I couldn’t fathom all its implications.

Even if she needed to borrow someone's help to achieve this result, Marianne held the power to prepare something like that.


“Also, I brought some jewelry that seem to have monetary value.”

“... Eh?”


“Please exchange them for cash. They are my personal belongings, so you will not be in trouble even if someone probes into their origin. However, if possible, please exchange them for money after you have left the country. It would be safer that way.”

I couldn't believe my ears and rolled my eyes at what my friend said. My feelings couldn't keep up with those facts that were laid out so plainly. I wanted to ask her to wait a moment, but she kept talking so quickly that I couldn't do anything about it.

“For now, please cross over to this country by boat.”

A map was spread out in front of me. From the year stamped on the edge, I could tell that it was the latest one.

What was shown in red ink was one of the friendly countries our land had a close relationship with.

“To be frank, I would like to have one of my family's subordinates guide you there, but if someone else intervenes, the risk factor will increase accordingly. Therefore, I will give the details of the location to the black-haired man.”


When I turned around to follow Marianne's line of sight, I saw Crow who was standing by the entrance with a faint smile on his face.

“I have prepared a house for you, lady Ilya, so please do not worry. Although it is a little far away, it is a villa that I personally own. That being said, it is not under my real name. It is managed by someone who has no connection to our house. In other words, it's a proper hideout. For emergencies. So, that house is safe. No one will think that I am involved in this matter.”

"...Ah, uhm..."

“Originally, my grandfather had prepared this place so that if something happened to our family, we would have a place to hide, even for a short period of time. I never thought we would have to use that house... But it was furnished and ready to be used at any time. In the end, it came in handy."


“Please hide there until you decide what to do from now on. I cannot arrange your life after that... but it's probably safer that way. I'd rather not know about your future.”

“Um, lady Marianne.... Why are you doing all this?”


I last parted with Marianne on our way home from the academy. After that, she returned to her own mansion, and while she might have been concerned over the fact I took a break from the academy, she must have been living her life as usual.

Yet, she seemed to be very aware of my current situation and what I had been through. 


“I don't know anything, lady Ilya.”


Marianne declared so while looking at me in the eyes.

“All I know is that you must leave this country immediately, and that you must go into hiding for a while.”


Oh, and also... I naturally know that you are already dead.


“I said I didn't know anything, but surprisingly, I might know a lot more than I expected.'”

“Hehe,” she laughed, her smile deepening as she stared at me intently.

“...Are you not wondering why I am still alive... Isn’t it strange?”

Under her frank and unblinking gaze, I felt a sense of guilt.

“...Certainly, it is true that when I heard that you had passed away, I cried.”

She spoke with a gentle voice. However, it pained me to think that faking my death had made her sad.


From an early age, Marianne already possessed the perfect qualities needed for an aristocrat.

At an evening party a long time ago, there was a distinguished guest invited from another country, and they mistook Marianne for a member of the royal family. That’s the kind of person she was. It wasn’t just a matter of her physical appearance. Of course, that was also one of her charms.

I didn’t know the details, but I heard that she boasted knowledge that rivals any expert in the field of chemistry. She was very smart.

She didn’t seem overly proud. In fact, she looked confident and had high self-esteem.

She possessed both beauty and elegance that overwhelmed others, and her dignified demeanor was always dauntless and fearless.

She was someone who didn’t get upset over little things.

That person... cried for me.


“It is embarrassing to say, but day after day I was absorbed in sadness. Even though I knew that I couldn't bring you back, even though you were no longer here, I kept thinking about what I could have done to save you…”


“At that time, I shouldn't have gone home. No matter how much I was rejected, I should have stayed by your side. That's what I thought.”

At that moment, Marianne's hands gently wrapped around my hands, which were stacked on her lap.

“But, lady Ilya. You are alive, and this is how we were able to meet again. So, it's alright.”


Her gentle yet strong hands were clearly encouraging me.

“If I had never been able to see you again lady Ilya, I would have regretted my actions for the rest of my life.”

It is surely God's will that this did not happen. Then, she put the map and passport back into the bag and handed it over to me.

“Actually, I wanted to prepare many, many more things... but I thought it might get in the way of your trip if you had too much to carry with you. Also, fortunately, I see that you were able to prepare clothes and other necessities.”

Her eyes flicked over to the travel bag we had brought with us, then she nodded and stood up.


“... ... The god that appeared before me took the appearance of a butterfly.”


I suddenly shifted my attention to Crow, but the person in question seemed uninterested, staring in another direction without returning my gaze.

“I am glad I believed it.”

Marianne, who didn't seem to notice Crow, smiled and spread her arms, saying, "We will go back to our estate now." As I stared up at her from where I was sitting, I saw her slowly curling her upper body into a hug.

I felt the soft touch and gentle scent of her golden hair that felt on her cheeks. She was like a queen who every girl envied.

I could see the stained ceiling over her thin shoulders.

I never expected that we would end up hugging in a place like this.


Although we had known each other since childhood, we had never felt each other's body heat from such a short distance. We had always remained not too close, not too far. I thought that was the best thing for us to do.

I didn't want her to get involved in my own strange life.

“I'm sure this time is the last.”

My shoulders trembled at the words whispered in my ear. I reflexively tried to pull away, but she held me so tightly that I couldn't. That's when I noticed that her delicate back was shaking.


She was crying.


"Lady Marianne, we do not have time."


I heard her sniffle, and even though I had been held with such force that I couldn't escape from her embrace until now, I couldn't believe how easily she released me.

The Marianne who faced me again, was smiling gracefully as usual.


“... ... Goodbye, Ilya...'' she said, calling my name without honorifics, as if she had been doing this for a long time. It sounded very friendly. However, her voice contained a loneliness that couldn’t be hidden.

Then, after a short silence, she took an imperceptible breath.

She puffed out her chest, bowed like an aristocrat, and left the room with her escort. The both of them were in a hurry and I didn't mean to hold them back, but I ended up calling her name. Marianne almost unconsciously stopped in her tracks, but she didn't look back.


Like this, we parted ways.

chapter 60

                                                                                                                   chapter 62


  1. it's almost the end huehuehue. thank you for translating this story even with its long updates

  2. after a long, long time it was finally nice to see Illya realizing she's incredibly loved. Thank you for sticking with us!

  3. Before we had betrayal sadness, loneliness sadness, abandoned sadness, evil parents sadness, kidnapped sadness, and, of course, depression sadness. Now we get parting with a best friend sadness. Instead of every stage of grief, we’re going through every version of grief.

  4. This novel will always make me cry when they mention all the sad events of Ilya, I want to see the pain and regret of his sister and Soleil deserve to never see her again and pay for everything