I stood in the middle of the huge garden I once admired so much.

Psh, not anymore.

I looked up in the sky, staring at the bright blue hue Ive come to despised so much, inhaling the fresh clean breeze, only to let out a sigh. Indeed, the garden has always made me feel calm. It has always made me feel free. It never failed to make me realize that freedom is something that can be possessed even by someone like me.

But now,

My blood boiled as I remembered what the viscount and his wife said. All I want to do is burn and tear the garden apart piece by piece, showing no mercy to every living plant currently residing here.

Our precious daughter, Coralia Lizeth Kad Brotillon.

Those words,

That name,

It kept echoing inside my head over and over. My brain kept repeating it from the moment the Brotillon couple uttered them, to when Addie carried me outside the room and down the stairs, up until now. It bothered me how they spoke the name so naturally, as if theyve been calling me that my whole life.

Which made me think; perhaps they really thought of me as a pathetic fool to begin with?

To my demise, even Addie dare not speak to me so informally.

On our way to the garden, as she silently carried me downstairs, the faces of all the maids and servants who once worked alongside me turned pale as we locked eyes. Usually, I was always more afraid of them since they can easily get me into trouble. But now, It seemed they were more afraid of me than I was of them.

”What in the world is happening? ” I whispered to myself, squinting my eyes as I continued to look up at the sky.

What more could I possibly say?

The color of the sky is much darker than I wouldve liked, its dark blue hue reminded me so much of their disgusted stares whenever they looked or even caught a glimpse of me. Which is why when those same dark blue eyes looked at me with such warmth and care; to be honest, that scared me even more.

Hmm, come to think of it–

The doctor said something about my eyes. He said something along the lines of; Your eye color baffles me. What he said was nothing out of the ordinary, my eye color is indeed the eye color of the lowest ranking mage. Although, the way he said it was. His tone was neither disgusted nor loathsome, thats what puzzles me.

And if my memory serves me right, he seemed to never take his eyes of me. I even recall seeing him frown the moment the viscountess burst into the room crying, not because he hated Lady Cordelia–although I wouldn blame him if he did– but because he never got a chance to hold my hand and examine me properly.

The more I fixate on that thought, the more it sends chills down my spine.

What exactly does that doctor know?

After a short while of staring blankly at the sky, thinking about all thats happening and trying to my best to make sense of it, I noticed a flowery pink umbrella above me. It was so huge that it immediately blocked my whole view.

”Aren you tired my lady? ” Addies voice asked in a calm tone. ”Youve been standing there for a good fifteen minutes now. ”

When I heard her say the words my lady, my stomach felt disgusted, instantly clenching my fists in anger. I glanced down, staring at the ground for a good five seconds before I mustered up enough courage to look back and face the woman who is now my
anny.

”Im fine. ” I answered coldly.

We only locked eyes for a few seconds but I could tell that just like me, she was in agony too, and it felt like even more so than me. But even so, I proceeded to walk away from her and head deep within the garden, ignoring her as I did.

”Don follow me. ” I uttered.

Those were the last words I told her before I entered the main garden of the mansion.

Out of all the things that pissed me off today, out of all the things that confused me, Addies ignorance to the whole situation frustrated me the most. Its as if everything that happened before, all the abuse, the humiliation from the Brotillon family and the fact that she almost died–did not happen at all.

No matter what anyone else says, I know for a fact that all those things did happen, no one would be able to change my mind on that matter. I may no longer have the scars as proof, which still perplexed me how that happened, but I still have all memories of the beatings, the hardships, and the humiliation they gave me.

”Perhaps… ” I whispered under my breath, my legs pausing in the middle of the grassy pathway as a thought suddenly popped into my head.

Once again, I looked up at the sky as if conversing with the white puffy clouds above me.

”Did something happen after I passed out? ” I questioned.

Its just a gut feeling but…

I really feel like something happened, why else would they act all fishy?

I could still remember the little details, all the events leading up to my vision turning black as I fainted. But somehow I feel like I didn really passed out, its as if a small part of me was wide awake. It may sound strange and even more confusing, but I just can shake off this feeling building up inside of me since earlier.

The viscounts hand wrapped around Addies neck was the last thing I could remember, how I screamed at the top of my lungs as I begged Lord Brotillon to stop. As I did, I felt an unbearable pain in my chest as I saw with my own two eyes how Addie struggled to breath. And as my anger burst out by yelling
o as loudly as I can–

My memory stops there;

though, the feeling of anger and frustration oddly continued for a while before I became…satisfied.

I mean,

Is that even the right word? But I indeed felt satisfied in a way, I guess.

Satisfied with what? you might ask.

Thats the thing,

I do not know what I was satisfied about or what I did to satisfy and calm my nerves down.

Everything I explained just now,

I felt even as I laid unconscious, floating in the nothingness of the void I don even know how and where to begin describing.

Yes, I call it he void because thats what it felt like.

A vast pitched black space filled with nothing but the weight of your own self.

”Ah jeez… ” I let out a tired sigh, scratching my head.

”All these thoughts are making my head hurt. ”

I shook my head lightly as I tried to snap myself out of such thoughts for at least a couple of minutes to rest and continued walking the grassy path towards the middle of the garden where I was originally planning to go.

For at the end of that long narrow path, a huge withering willow tree awaits.

All in all, it only took a good minute before I finally reached it.

”Im here~ ” I hummed excitedly in front of the huge tree, as if it could actually understand what Im saying.

Wouldn that be nice though?

Ive told the tree in front of me a lot of my secrets. Well, not secrets per se; rants about my life. The location of the tree itself is somewhere the members of the noble family rarely visits, even though its literally in the middle of the garden.

I was told that the huge land where the manor stood was gifted to the Brotillon family a long time ago, and that the manor itself was actually built around the garden. Heh, it goes to show that this willow tree may perhaps even be older than the the water mage family itself.

”Its nice to see you again Willow! ” I uttered in an excited tone, reaching out my hand to pat the wrinkly old branch just right above me.

And so, I sat down near the large plump roots of the tree, letting out a sigh of relief and relaxation as I did so. ”You would not believe how my day started. ” I whispered.

Thus, I started to babble about everything that happened, from the moment I bumped into the young lady Carolina to the part where I left Addie near the entrance of the main garden. How angered and betrayed I felt by the world I was born in, only to wake up confused to the same one but with a different setting, per se.

Although the soft wind carried my rants away in a breeze as I uttered them, it didn matter to me. All I needed at the moment was to let it all out.

It took me about a good twenty minutes before I finally finished of by saying,

”The world sure is cruel Willow. ” in a soft somber whisper.

My eyes shifted down, staring at my tiny fiver year old hands as I thought of the world I was born in; Xenopha, the continent at the center of the world, known as the creators favorite land. In reality, its nothing but a huge lump of mass where the ones on top feast on those poor beings at the bottom.

There are only three kinds of beings in Vassiliy, yet I was stuck at the bottom of it.

Medeis, they
e the ones who wield their elemental magic with such powerful force, making them the highest of the three
ankings.

Machaera, whose magic is in their weapons; they
e born with such powerful instincts and usually the knights of the empire.

And lastly,

The ones at the bottom of the system; Malems.

As you already know, they
e born without any magical powers at all which makes them utterly useless as they always say in front of me. So in conclusion, the only way for a malem to survive and thrive in this empire (perhaps even this world) is by serving and pleasing the high nobles of Vassiliy.

But of course, there are those who are somewhat in the middle class who live a normal life of working and maintaining or strengthening their magic. Their life, that kind of life, makes me extremely jealous. Its something Id happily kill for to have.

I am Nahite,

a malem working for the Brotillon noble family whose head is a well known viscount.

A lot has happened since I woke up in this tremendously confusing alternate world, where those who looked down on me and treated me harshly for the last five years; out of nowhere, were suddenly sweet and nice to me.

They even went as far as to call me their daughter.

But maybe because they don know that Im not stupid (or not as stupid as they think I am) as to fall for their schemes.

I sat there, under the huge Willow tree in the middle of the garden, deep in thought as I felt the soft breeze of wind on my skin. At that moment, as I listened to the sounds of the leaves dancing along with the wind, I suddenly remembered a soft melodic song Addie used to sing to me.

”Hmm, ” I closed my eyes. ”Shall I sing for you then, Willow? ”

I asked like I was talking to an actual person. Well to me, the tree is an actual person, who gave gave me an actual response as it swayed even more gracefully from one side to the other. The beautiful willow tree I sat beneath on, danced to the song I hadn even sang yet.

Pretty flowers, come find me~

Near the Willow, where Ill be~

Don be sad when it rains,

Ill help you with the pain.~

And when you cry your tears Ill save,

For when you are reborn.~

And as I hummed the same tune over and over again, without even realizing it;

My small five year old self began to slowly drift off to sleep.

*-*-*-*-*-*

When I opened my eyes, I found myself standing in the middle of a bright and sparkly fantasy world unknown to our kind. My fascinated eyes widened, I was surrounded by all sorts of colorful hues, my eyes glistened at the site of it all.

When I looked down, my whole body flinched.

There was no ground to step on, I was just hovering in mid air.

Frankly, It feels as if you
e floating in a very colorful version of space, even the story books Addie once read to me, couldn compare to such a beautiful scenery. My face brightened at the sparkly lines that tingled every single time the wind carried it away, it was like music to my ears. I even tried touching it, but forfeited at the last moment as my hands became jittery.

As I looked around the beautiful scenery, a sudden thought could not help but pop into this small head of mine.

At that point, Ive come to think–

Am I in Evermore?

It certainly looks like I am.

I mean, you wouldn encounter such a place even if you travel all across the continent of Xenopha and the other continents across the world, such a beautiful place could only be inhabited by the God of all.

But as I looked around the colorful fantasy world, a sudden thought struck me out of nowhere.

If this is Evermore, am I…dead?

My excited smile turned into a soft grin as my eyes sunk at the realization that perhaps, I am dead. I mean, I already kind of knew that was the case. I already anticipated that the awkward and confusing events that took place was nothing but a dream.

Although that was the case, I couldn stop the tears from falling from my eyes.

”I-Im… ” my voice shook. ”…really dead, huh? ”

Wiping the tears from my eyes with my arm, I clenched my aching chest with the other.

”Well at least I got to see Addie alive for the very last time, even if it was indeed just an undead dream of mine. ” I said, forcing a smile on my face as I closed my eyes.

Just then, My eyes sprung wide open as I felt my a sharp sting in my heart.

Not my chest, but my heart.

Its not the feeling of heartbreak or loss though, I know what that feels and that it nowhere near what Im feeling.

”Grahh!! ” I groaned in unbearable pain.

Luckily, I was already clenching my chest to begin with, but even so;

”Wh..What… ” I panted as I tried my best keep myself still, convinced that it was all just some cleansing ritual thing before Im able to enter Evermore for real.

But does it really have to be this painful?

And if that wasn hard enough,

My heart then started to feel heavy,

So heavy that my knees weakened in a matter of seconds.

I felt a different kind of dying, a more excruciating one.

The feeling of heaviness kept building up,

Making it stronger and stronger as if forcing the feeling on me.

Until finally,

”GRAAHH!! MAKE IT STOOOP!! ” I screamed, couldn take it anymore.

Just then, a low ominous voice spoke.

”Now you know, ” it said in an irritated tone.

But oddly enough, the pain and heaviness stopped the moment I heard that voice; calming the painful sting inside my chest, soothing the pain in my heart.

”The agonizing pain youve cause me for the last thousands of years. ” the voice of the man behind me continued.

I could feel his powerful energy. The same goes with his ominous aura that spread vastly wide around the beautiful place. When I looked up, I saw the once colorful hues that surrounded me turn into a dark shallow kind of space.

I let out a screwed sigh before doing the one thing I knew Id come to regret later on.

As slowly and carefully as I possibly can,

I turned around to face who in my mind; was the creator himself and God of all.

And upon doing so,

I paused, eyes fixated on the creature in front of me.

My little five year old self,

was greeted face to face by a huge terrifying black dragon.

And as it locked eyes with me, it spoke.

”Welcome back, our sweet dearest Agathe. ”

My eyes widened as the dragon creature whos a hundred times bigger than me;

bowed.

*

*

*

*

*

To Be Continued.

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