10. I Have Been Insane for a Long Time
***Trigger warning: Domestic Abuse
I had a lot to deal with in my hands—my father’s embezzlement, Baron Heldin’s debt to my family, and the adoption of Aries for starters.
As soon as I saw off His Highness Weiss and was about to return to the office, Aries and my father were waiting for me inside the mansion.
“Older sister, why am I not part of the duke’s family, yet?”
“Sofia, haven’t you sign the papers, yet? His Highness Wagner has started a relationship with Aries. Unlike you, she’ll eventually become a princess.”
“His Highness Wagner is the third prince. On the other hand, His Highness Vitoselk is the crown prince. Therefore, it’s uncertain his wife will become the future queen. There’s also the case of His Highness Weiss, a knight commander. Because of his achievements, he has been granted the title of a duke. Compared to them, His Highness Wagner is still a student and has no achievements or status. Upon marrying him, what kind of power would you have?”
“Aries won’t only be marrying His Highness Wagner, but will also become a duchess in the future. Therefore, sign those papers quickly.”
What is this guy saying?
That was such a foolish thing to say. I was annoyed at how pathetic I was in my previous life.
Did I seriously let this man usurp the duke’s house? Not to mention, by following his desires, I had inadvertently let myself get killed.
“That’s right, older sister! Even if your engagement has been annulled, there’s no need to be disheartened. Surely, your father will find an eligible partner for you right away! I’m sure everything will work out fine!”
I proceeded to laugh, too—at those two.
Suddenly, my father stepped forward and slapped me across the cheek.
After all, he was convinced that violence could solve anything.
“What’s so funny?”
If I were my former self, I’d surely cry and apologize profusely.
But I’d never cave to such violence again. I had been exposed to countless abuses over and over again for years. I continued getting exposed to violence, my senses had been paralyzed. I didn’t even feel any pain.
…Back then, even though I was pregnant, I lost my child in the end. The stress and torment I endured made me unable to have children.
“Aries, you can’t succeed the duke’s family.”
“—Have I signed the documents acknowledging you as an adopted daughter? Well, not like it matters. The one who’ll succeed this house is the direct descendant of the duke’s family. That’s just how it is. An orphan like you, who has no parents, can’t succeed the duke’s family.”
Aries’ tears began to overflow.
Poor Baron Heldin family. Because of their incompetence, their debts swelled. Moreover, their outrageous business plan failed. Unable to deal with their ludicrous amount of debt, they died.
…In fact, I wonder if they truly died because of an accident.
Hey, Aries, what do you think?
“—You inhumane wretch!”
My father proceeded to embrace the tearful Aries. It was as if they were actual father and daughter.
“It can’t be helped? Children grow up while learning from her parents. Considering how unsympathetic you are as a parent, it’s only natural that I would become a ruthless child. You’re the one who failed to raise your child. Don’t blame me for your failure.”
“Is that how you are supposed to speak towards your father!?”
My father kept hitting me in front of the servants.
The beating went on until I couldn’t raise myself from the floor. The entire time, I glared at my father who clenched his reddened fist that had been dyed by my blood.
“Older sister, my father is doing this for your own good. Why do you keep going against him?”
“‘For my own good?’ By that, do you mean yours? Aries, you’re better than this. Regardless of your appearance, you’re a brilliant schemer. Despite your parents’ refusal to pay back what they owe to my house, here you are, acting all pretty.”
“I didn’t do such a thing. Isn’t older sister the one who squanders money every day to buy dresses and jewelry?”
I pulled the jewel hanging around Aries’ neck.
“Very well, then what in the world is this necklace? What’s with your dress? What’s that decoration in your hair? They are all luxurious. Did my father gave them to you? Or was it His Highness? You should’ve refused them. You should’ve sold them to repay your debt. Instead, you come to show off to me every day.”
No servant had ever witnessed such a scene.
“Me? Squandering money? Aren’t I wearing my mother’s old dress? Aren’t I wearing a simplistic piece jewelry? Which one is more luxurious, my current outfit or yours? Even a child could understand.”
It wasn’t like I didn’t have money.
However, if I had any luxurious goods, they’d be stolen by Aries. Therefore, not having anything was better.
“Aries is a poor child who lost her parents! It’s only natural for her to live a little extravagantly! Is your heart too narrow to even allow her that?!”
“I see, that’s why you gave her everything. Dresses and jewelry. Oh, that explains why you bestowed my fiancé to her the other day. Aries, you always want what’s mine. You did everything to be like me. Did you want everything I have so badly? You should’ve told me from the start. I’d have gladly given them to you. There’s no need for you to resort to this? I’m sorry for not realizing how you felt. If you need anything, just say it. I’ll give you all my dresses—because I no longer need them.”
Humiliated, Aries’ face went red with anger as her entire body shook.
“—Are you insane?!”
I was behaving differently from the usual me. It was unavoidable for my father to spout such a question. He was staring at me as if I was a different person.
“I’ve been crazy for a long time.”
Ever since I had been forsaken by them. Ever since I spent my days being neglected by everyone. Ever since I was married to that maniac. Ever since I endured those hellish days. Ever since I died all alone…
…How could I stay sane?
“If I were still sane, that would be crazy.”
***T/N: Although I know words won’t work against those two senseless fools, I still support Sofia going verbally Rambo on them.
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