37. New Step
—to protect Shal Ferpia and free that child from that hellhole.
I kept recalling her words in my mind.
At midnight, when I suddenly sat up on my bed, I realized I was dreaming.
Three days had passed since then. During that time, I constantly dreamed about Fern.
My dream was always about that certain moment. A scene in which she was laughing while crying, while begging me.
Behind her was a burning red flame. Her light blue hair was also reddish.
Fern probably did die afterwards. That situation was too dire. Whenever I remembered that fact, I bit my lips to the point I began to taste blood.
I also mustn’t reveal that I was Tiarize Merfan. The taste of blood spread.
I thought help would come soon, but after three days, there was still no sign of that.
I learned a little about Talia in class. In Talia, the former king was a fool and the temple held immense power. The church was in the temple area.
Would my pursuers come to this church in the search of me?
I couldn’t grasp Talia’s state, and I could only speculate.
In the first place, where did all these children come from? Were they originally the orphans residing in a church? Where they kidnapped secretly? Or, worse, did the Church priest arrange for this? Or, did they kidnapped them from an entirely different place?
I must uncover more clues while keeping the fact that these are abducted children secret from the Father.
The morning sun had risen, leaving me no other choice but to prepare for the morning. I kept thinking to the point I couldn’t sleep.
What should I do in the future?
These children should be protected by the church. Surely, nothing would happen and the rest will probably be fine.
Now, the question regarding me.
There was also Fern’s words.
Anyway, I had to return to Haulfa—but I didn’t know how. I didn’t have any money. I ran here as it was—I left all my jewelry behind, well, at this point, they must had perished.
All I had now was a frayed dress and a linen dress given to me by the priest. It looked like a frock a town girl would wear.
Albeit my own dress still fluttered, it was frayed, tattered, and muddy. It wouldn’t fetch a high price, nor would anyone have any reason to buy it. It could also lead to my identity being exposed. I couldn’t afford to sell that dress.
…now that it had come to this, I had to make money with my own hands.
It was sooner than expected, but here it was—I was going to become an adventured and earn money.
The money it would take to return me to Haulfa would be 300 Dallies.
I could buy one or two fruits with 1 Daly. Getting 300 Dallies was quite easy when I was still in the Duke’s house, but now, I was a poor, lone girl. It would be difficult.
I sighed—this would take a while.
Suddenly, I remembered His Highness.
I didn’t expect it, but he must be looking for me.
Maybe he would come pick me up. I thought so, but I immediately denied such a notion.
Given the state of the kingdom, it wouldn’t be possible to spread the news that the Crown Prince’s fiancée had gone missing. Therefore, he could only look for me in the dark. That method would work if I was still in the kingdom, but considering where I was now, it was impossible. It was better for him to give up.
I had to make money on my own. There was no saying how long it would take.
Speaking of which, it was as if we hadn’t met at all. The last time I met His Highness was about a week ago, but it felt like an eternity.
Back then, we used to only meet once per week too, and I was accustomed to that—that was because I never thought such days would end.
I missed the Royal Palace. I missed my mansion. I wondered if Marie was worried about me—
—I missed them all, I wanted to go home.
“Fern, you’re late.”
The boy I thought was black-haired was ready to eat breakfast. His name was Jean. Jean looked at me and complained.
Ever since then, Jean had warmed up to me and started to take care of me.
When we met at the table, I smiled at Jean.
Rosa, sitting directly in front of me, puffed her cheeks. She was the unconscious girl who was beaten with the iron back then. She had recovered. She had a fluffy blonde hair and clear blue eyes.
Although she was still noticeably thin, she still looked adorable.
“Fern, what about your greeting?”
“Haha, Rosa, sorry, good morning.”
I couldn’t precisely say I was good with children, but all the children I saved that day were good to me.
Rosa smiled—her smile was akin to a large flower as she returned my greeting. “Yes, good morning!”
I was relieved to see their smiles.
I felt a bit relieved after all those intrusive thoughts.
The Priest also came and gave his morning greeting. We then ate breakfast. All the food in front of me wouldn’t have been allowed to be served on the Duke’s table, but they were apparently delicious.
They were simple dishes such as soup, bread, and milk. When the soft bread was soaked in the soup, it tasted even more delicious. The food was very enjoyable.
I told the Father I had an errand and left the church. I couldn’t afford to freeload in the church forever, I was an adult. I started walking to the government office.
***T/N: Wooow, how adaptable Tia is. No hardship over suddenly switching from her Duchess grand bed to church’s normal bed, no food she found unpalatable, no nothing… everything is fun and game for our M’lady here, because she got God (read: Author) on her side.