Home Post 1121-chapter-40


In the forest, there was no deceptive smile like the one I had seen on the snake.

Instead, there was a stern look, like a north wind and the stern look that criminals see on a judge’s face.

She approached me steadily, brushed past me and commanded, “Follow me.”

I followed her to Barden’s carriage.

Helena opened the door and entered the carriage first.

I hesitated as I held the door open. The carriage wasn’t cramped, but once the door was closed, it became an enclosed space.

I reached for the handle and hesitated. Helena urged me calmly, “Come in.”

After a moment’s hesitation, I stepped onto the footboard and climbed up with all my might.

Thud. I entered the carriage, sat down, and closed the door.

I sat facing Helena. She sat against the left wall, toward the front where the driver sat, while I sat diagonally opposite, closer to the door.

My heart raced a little. Helena’s presence became more apparent as the door closed.

I tugged at the knot in my hands a few times, repeating the action to release the tension. Fear hadn’t fully set in yet.

“What did you talk to him about?”

She glared at me, shooting the question.

“Do I have to tell you?”

For a moment, the tension that had stiffened my entire body eased, and genuinely confused, I asked.

It had nothing to do with my late mother or her family, which had confused me beyond measure. Why should I feel obliged to answer her?

“You seem to be mistaken because I haven’t said it yet, Helena.”

Her look was piercing.

But unlike last time, I didn’t feel scared or suffocated. My body remained calm without shaking.

“I am no longer the piglet who lived and died by your words. So put away any thoughts of controlling me as you please. You no longer have that power over me.”

She tightened the handkerchief on her knee. The thin cloth stretched as if it might tear.

Her pale hands trembled with rage.

Seeing her like that made me laugh.

After all, I’m only sixteen. This fact hit me.

I couldn’t hide my feelings like before, pretend everything was fine and handle situations maturely like a twenty-year-old Helena would have done.

It felt like the fearful blindfold covering my eyes was slipping away. Things that were hidden before became visible one by one.

The accident took a sharp turn. My tongue, which had been stiff, began to move as if it had been oiled.

“Don’t go near him.”

“Did the tender-hearted conqueror control you? It’s shocking to see such a gentle side of you, Helena.”

“Shut your mouth.”

“Isn’t it you who wants to elevate our family and rise to the top of the empire? You, who so desperately wanted to be the Second Prince’s wife, now have feelings for the fickle, wayward First Prince, who wouldn’t be missed if he died tomorrow, really?”

“Don’t mock him so lightly!”

Helena shouted. She breathed heavily, as if she were gasping for air.

Was it a mistake? For a moment, it seemed as if moisture passed through her emerald eyes.

“He… he’s not what people think.”

Helena murmured. It was surprising to hear.

Did she also see through the mask Claude wore?

Since when? Was it the same in my past life?

She had fought off countless suitors from prestigious families, including Reedmore, in a desperate bid to become the Second Prince’s consort.

She visited the Empress daily and sent rare gifts to win her favor, all to become the next Empress.

I learned a lot about my past life. It tasted bitter.

Was I that ignorant of my own life?

I thought I knew everything, but I didn’t.

Was I just ignorant, suffering and struggling without knowing?

How much more did I not know?

It was just… regrettable.

Only now. Only now did I feel regret for my past life that ended in death. For all the things I missed then…

It’s an irreversible fact now.

“You’re the kind of dirty person who shouldn’t be around.”

Helena, who had been muttering with her head down, suddenly raised her face and spoke sharply.

“So get off his side. Don’t even think about coming close.”

“First of all, I don’t have those feelings for Claude.”

I said firmly. Helena bit her lip when I deliberately called him by his name. It was satisfying.

“Secondly, even if I don’t approach him, what does it matter to you? Will you confess your feelings to him? Will you propose to him and become the First Princess if he agrees?”

She didn’t answer.

“You won’t, will you? Because what you love most is power and prestige.”

Helena trembled slightly and, despite her reluctance, didn’t deny it in the end. It was amusing.

“Love for humans can never surpass that. Your love is so shallow.”

She struggled to push through her feeble excuses.

“I don’t have to do anything, I can just watch, that’s enough, right?”

“Then don’t care what I do with him. Just watch.”

“That’s not possible.”

Her predictable reaction almost made me laugh bitterly.

My greedy, beloved cousin sister,

Helena Barden has no intention of letting go of what she wants. She’s the type of person who has to have everything to feel satisfied, even if it wasn’t hers to begin with.

I replied sharply, “Stop this nonsense, Helena.”

“I cannot allow a devil’s daughter like you to linger at his side.”

“Would it be all right if it were someone else? Can you really stand to see him get married and whisper love to someone else? Will you just let it happen?”

Her gaze, as if she had a sense of duty, faltered with a strong will. I asked incredulously.

“You? Helena Barden? You should be glad that you didn’t resort to murder. You could never do such a thing.”

Tears fell silently from her eyes.

It was like a silent and calm illusion, like a reflection in a pond. But my heart remained unmoved.

“In the end, you’re just watching Claude’s situation, even though you know he’s deliberately playing the fool. You can’t stand to seek comfort from others. You’re selfish. You are greedy. You don’t deserve to love anyone.”

“What does it matter?”

She, who had been crying softly, shouted.

“Just because I can’t have something doesn’t mean I can’t even have feelings for it?! It’s inevitable to love, to be in love!”

“Don’t call that love! Even if I don’t understand love, it’s not like that. You’re a coward who won’t get close when you can’t have everything, you’re a coward! Get rid of the illusion that you can treat the person he keeps at his side as if he’s something of yours. You are pathetic, Helena!”

Tears glistened on her pale face. I felt a strange thrill as I pushed and prodded her, reveling in her twisted expression and desperation. It was satisfying to see her hit rock bottom, her hopes shattered.

Did Helena feel the same way when she had me under her thumb?

“What… did you… talk about! Speak, speak, speak!”

She cried out in fear. I smiled deeply.

“You’ll never understand.”

“Don’t you dare speak as if you share anything with him! You don’t understand him. Only I can understand him, his inner self!”

“Arrogant. Claude wouldn’t think so. That person, he’s much more twisted than you think.”

Unable to say more, I laughed out loud in front of Helena, who was biting her lips and shedding tears.

I laughed heartily, pounding on the walls and doors as if bragging. I stomped on the floor until the carriage shook and clapped my hands.

On the opposite side, Helena looked crushed, trembling and biting her lips. She seemed empty, like an old rag doll tossed aside.

“Devilish woman. You will surely fall to hell.”

The words were sweet, not even a hint of threat in them.

“I will gladly fall. When did I ever say I wanted to go to heaven?”

Mocking her, she could only cry without protest. The tears flowed continuously like a river.

I decided there was nothing more to say. I stood up and opened the carriage door.

Helena didn’t stop me, just followed my movements with her head.

Before I put my foot on the step to get out, I turned to look at her one last time.

“It’s not just me that will drag you to hell.”

She looked at me with deep resentment. I explained coolly as I looked into her face.

“You and your family. I will take them with me no matter what.”

Thud. My foot hit the ground. Completely out of the carriage, I looked down at her and said.

“So stop thinking useless thoughts and wait quietly for the destruction. Since you couldn’t kill me this time, I’ll be back to kill you.”

We fell into the abyss together.

I said goodbye with a smile. I closed the carriage door firmly.

I turned and walked back to the banquet hall where people were waiting for me. For a while there was no sound from the carriage.