Home Post 1250-chapter-137


Joe returned home and came back holding an old diary and a faded envelope in his hand. He handed the diary to Grace and then stepped back outside, presumably to smoke, as the sound of striking a match and muted cursing drifted in from outside.

Opening the diary felt like she was prying open the coffin of her long-deceased mother.

The beginning was mundane, filled with the trivialities of newlywed life with Jonathan ‘Johnny’ Riddle, now revealed to be her adoptive father. But gradually, the entries began to weave in criticisms of the monarchy and the world’s injustices. Followed by detailed accounts of goals and sacrifices for a greater cause.

Grace flipped quickly through pages that mirrored her own diary until she abruptly stopped.

[ “At first, I thought it was a simple infiltration mission, but Johnny keeps making more demands. Saying leadership must set an example, I’m at a loss. God, is this truly the right path?” ]

[ “Catering to those dirty royalists while pretending to be a mistress still nauseates me, but the thought that my sacrifice will lead to their downfall makes it bearable.” ]

[ “What does Johnny feel, watching me live with another man?” ]

The following pages were densely filled with the revolutionary creed Grace often recited.

[ “I had an unplanned second child, but a child is always a blessing. Maybe I won’t have to take on that mission for a while?” ]

[ “God, why do you test me so? The child’s eyes, dark blue at birth, have turned teal. I cried all day after being scolded by Johnny for not realizing I was carrying the noble’s child. What to do about this terrible mistake?

Half of this child is from the royalists. My once angelic child now seems a dirty monster.” ]

[ “I suggested giving the child up to an orphanage, but everyone was against it. Even Johnny, who was initially in favor, changed his mind after meeting privately with James Blanchard.”

Why insist on raising a child of those despicable royalists? It’s tormenting.” ]

[ “I tried to abandon the child at an orphanage but got caught halfway.

I was severely reprimanded for over three hours by everyone at the round table. They warned if I tried to flee again or break the rules, my son would be given to another couple. Please, anything but that.” ]

Grace rapidly flipped through subsequent entries, unable to bear reading them.

[ “So, when are we planning to topple the monarchy?

Blanchard seems to think he’s the king. No, perhaps he considers himself God?” ]

[ “Grace has started going to school. A school in the Blanchard family’s basement, taught only to a select few leaders’ children. It’s not a school, but feels more like a church of fanatics.

Last night, Johnny finally explained why the leaders insisted we raise Grace. After hearing that, I found myself feeling sorry for the child.

This morning, I braided her hair myself, and she boasted with excitement to her friends she met in front of the house that I had done her hair and called her pretty.

I received disdainful looks from those who knew the child’s biological father.

It was foolish of me.

Moreover, the strategy of making dogs eat dogs and pigs eat pigs, the more I think about it, the more revolting it is. What’s the point of a strategy where royalists kill their own without knowing?

It seemed they found some perverse thrill in it.

And the plan to use the child eventually to shake the royalist is astonishing. Because the child is the bastard of a royalist and an enemy, they can tarnish his honor and aim for internal division within the royal family.

It must be Blanchard’s idea.

I agree that using the child’s paternity as leverage during negotiations with the royalists could be useful.

But using it for propaganda is beyond me.

The daughter of a royalist, a bloodline of the monarchy, joins the revolution. Even royalty feels disillusioned with the corrupt monarchy and joins the revolution. This kind of propaganda would certainly damage the royalists’ honor.

But then, we’d eventually have to tell the child about her real father, right?

When I asked Johnny about it, his response was something else. He said we only need to show the child the bright and hopeful side of the revolutionaries. Even if the child learns our secret, we must ensure she doesn’t betray us.

Is that even possible? Johnny insists that if we just hide it well and teach the child properly, it would be enough.

Though to my ears, that sounds like ‘brainwashing.’

It’s pitiful. I thought the child would make more friends at school. The leadership was wary of the child stepping out of control. ‘Before it’s complete,’ they said, the child shouldn’t be influenced by inappropriate information from outsiders, so they never allowed her to attend a real school.

To think of this small child as some sort of secret weapon is utterly ridiculous.

In the end, the monsters weren’t the child but them.” ]

[ “I never want my children to know about what I do. Especially Grace. I’m worried she might come to see it as just something women do in the revolution if she finds out too early. I wish she were a boy. Or at least ugly.” ]

[ “When will they stop keeping an eleven-year-old child cooped up in the village?

I insisted on bringing Grace along for this mission, arguing she should see the outside world, too. They questioned what use a fool who doesn’t even know how to ride a train would be.

This time, my persuasion worked. Yet, seeing her excited for her first trip, unaware of anything, makes me uncomfortable.

Truthfully, I wish she would just disappear… that some kind-hearted family vacationing in Abington Beach would take her away. I’m growing increasingly anxious, feeling she might end up with a fate similar to mine.” ]

[ “Taking her to Abbington Beach was a mistake. I never anticipated it would turn out like this.

Grace has changed. Blindly. She now looks at me with the same gaze I had when I first set foot here, following the monster named Jonathan Riddle. It’s suffocating.” ]

[ “…I might be no different from a monster now.

My face in the mirror, slathered with makeup, couldn’t look any uglier.

It seems Blanchard has finally told his son about what I do. The boy looked at me so strangely today that it made my skin crawl.

I’m terrified of my children finding out. What would they think of me then?” ]

[ “Grace is only fourteen. Yet, that devil took her on a mission and had her shoot people. While she was away, Johnny got drunk and laughed triumphantly, saying a pig killed another pig.

Disgusting.” ]

[ “Please, Grace. That guy will never be a good man.” ]

[ “D*mn it. Johnny gave Grace lipstick for her birthday. The kind of bright red lipstick a harlot would wear. I’ll kill him.” ]

[ “That devil is finally dead! Hahahahahahahahaha!” ]


She couldn’t read any further and closed the diary.

“Yes, I felt the same way when I first read that diary.”

Grace struggled to lift her head.

Standing in the doorway, blown by the cold wind, Joe harshly flicked his cigarette butt to the ground and stamped it out.

Staring blankly into space, she suddenly stood up.

She didn’t even know why she got up so abruptly. Rubbing her goosebump-ridden arms and suddenly feeling nauseous, she clutched her mouth, then cradled her contorting face with both hands, pacing in front of the table like she was lost.

Too many emotions were crashing into her all at once, canceling each other out, leaving her feeling numb. Her rational mind was the first to return.

Grace picked up the diary and extended it towards her brother, her hand shaking vividly.

“When, when did you know?”

“Which one?”

He asked back, smiling bitterly.

“When I was five years old, I found out you weren’t father’s child. I still remember it. I asked which crayon to use for your one-year-old eyes, and the house turned upside down.”

Joe sighed deeply, then closed the door and came inside.

“The adults said keeping it a secret was for your own good, to prevent you from getting hurt. But then…”

Joe snorted in disbelief.

“I had no idea such a dark purpose was behind it all.”

“So, when did you learn about all this?”

“Your role, mother’s role… I found out about all of it when sorting through mother’s belongings and discovering her diary.”

Her brother took another step closer, roughly rubbing his cheek with one hand as he stared at Grace as if he was about to say a difficult subject.

“Grace, I’m sorry for only telling you now, but mother didn’t die on a mission.”