I opened my eyes to a splitting pain in my head and heard a familiar voice.
“I’ll be back to pick you up soon,” the woman whispered shakily.
‘No! You won’t be able to return and pick me up! I’m going to die soon!’
I struggled and tried to shout, but a meaningless babble is the only thing my mouth could produce.
“Oh my, this is too sudden,” another voice exclaimed.
“I’m sorry for the abruptness of it all,” the first woman told the other.
I saw the woman holding my hand over a small box she had been carrying to the other woman.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay for the child support regularly.”
The woman on the other side opened the box and breathed a small gasp.
Although I couldn’t see what was in the box, I could definitely see the greediness reflect off her eyes as she calculated all of the prices within the box.
“I promise I’ll come to pick you up, okay?” The first woman vowed, caressing my small cheek with the knuckle of her finger.
“It’s just that we’re just barely making ends meet right now .
After holding me for a moment longer, I was handed off from one woman to the other.
I struggled incessantly.
‘Hey, you irresponsible woman! Don’t go! Don’t leave me in this hell again!’
Despite my cries, the woman didn’t turn back and quickly disappeared into the forest.
That woman would never expect what fate would give her later.
After she disappeared from view, the other woman took me into her home.
As soon as the door behind us closed, I was tossed into a hard wooden chair.
All I could hear was the woman and her family gathering in the living room to ogle at all of the gold and jewels they had received as a payment for my child support.
As expected, I was left alone.
* * *
Three and a half years have passed since that day.
The memory of that night is still glaringly vivid despite the passing of time.
I am now a four-year-old girl who trips a lot.
“Ha! That’s the most I’ve ever done, right?”
But despite my young age, these madmen who pose as my family, claim that they need help and use me to make money.
“I’ve word all day long, without stopping…”
I’m currently picking up useful minerals and stones from an even larger pile of mixed stones.
Even though I’ve been working for an entire day, it was still hard to get a few minerals.
When I presented what I had found today to my adoptive mother, she got angry, yelling, “It’s not worth your meal! Don’t you think you should be earning your own living now? There’s nothing to eat tomorrow right now!”
My birth mother had given enough gold, silver, and treasurers to my adoptive family so that I would be able to eat comfortably for 10 years, yet this family was still so shameless.
In fact, this family has torn apart.
My adoptive father is obsessed with making money but doesn’t get to work because it’s hot in summer and cold in winter.
The only son of this house often comes home after playing with other local boys all day long, while also saying that he will carry out knighthood in vain.
My stepmother, meanwhile, is busy blaming the misfortune of the entire family.
She calls me a cursed child.
Mother, if you were going to leave me, you should have sent me to a more normal home.
Even worse, I’ve been through this ten times.
I have experienced being reborn nine times.
The beginning has always been the same.
During the springtime, a woman whose face is completely covered up wraps me in a small sack and takes me to this terrible house.
But the end of all of my lives have been different each time.
One thing that is always consistent is that I have always died before I turned 12 years old.
But I can barely recall the ways that I’ve died.
Not even my ninth life from before.
“It’s because we’re out of discipline! Discipline!” Andy yelled in response to my adoptive mothers’ scolding as soon as I stepped foot into the house.
“You mean she can’t even do her share? Where does she even get this laziness?”
I walked away from my adoptive mother and slightly pushed against Andy as I began to rummage through the pile of stones once more.
“It’s because of her real mother.
Who else could it be from? It’s all bloodlines and genetics!”
I laughed silently.
Genetics? As if your genetics are any better than mine.
Just take a look at those ugly lips.
“What do you even want?” I replied, tightening my hand and raising my head.
“Why, are you upset that you’re still being blamed for being left behind by your own mother? Do you still think she’ll pick you up? Hey, it’s already been over three years.
She’s never coming back.”
He stomped his feet and grabbed the minerals I had picked.
“Even though my family is losing money and is going down because of you, we’re still nice enough to keep taking care of you.
But you’re cursed! I’m just going to kick you out.
We don’t need to be nice anymore.
No person with grandma white hair like yours’ would ever be able to live normally anyways,” he berated.
“Andy, are you grumpy?” I asked him sardonically.
I’ve already lived through this injustice ten times, there was no need to keep the cycle going.
“Don’t make me laugh.
Even if you grow up okay, no one will be desperate enough to marry you, and you’ll just have to work for the rest of your life with that shabby body.
You’re short, you don’t have muscles, you’re stupid, and you’ve got a big head.
You’re never ever going to become the knight that you want to be.”
“Don’t you understand, stupid? You’re a terrible knight.
It takes a lot of training and focus to become a knight.
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