Author: Mametanuki 豆狸
── I heard the voice of a bird.
No way, that one can’t be in a place like this.
That child is a little bird from the Southern Empire. It does not come to the royal capital in the Northern Kingdom.
I’m shaking on the execution platform.
Given the choice, beheading would have been fine as a sentence. Death by hanging makes body fluids to evacuate completely.
The Earl’s son, the fiancé who was supposed to be my husband and the Viscount household, who were supposed to be my family, were laughing at my corpse. They’re so glad no one could reveal that the accusations against me were false.
My body trembles.
Oh, I’m still conscious. My body should have died.
I hope my heart stops soon. I wonder if I will continue to exist like this forever. I don’t want that. In the first place, my heart was so full of wounds that I was dying, but I wonder why my mind is still conscious even if my body dies.
Now, there was a sensation of being sucked in somewhere.
I’m finally unconscious.
I can die with this, I can disappear. I will no longer see the ugly wound in my heart……. I should be glad, but for some reason I was a little lonely.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
On the verge of consciousness that has been sucked into the darkness to disappear, I awakened.
I’m not on the execution platform.
I was lying on a warm luxurious bed. It is quite different from the prison in Royal Capital. Did someone help me?
Next to the bed, there was a maid.
She was the maid who has served me since I was a child. She adores very much because I cured her mother’s illness with the magic that I was studying as a hobby.
But by her own power, it would be impossible to save me who was stigmatized as a traitor.
There’s someone else… Is it the butler?
Born and raised in a Viscount household, I had been engaged to a high-ranking Earl’s son because I possessed potent magic. However, I, who studied magic to control my overwhelming power, am lacking in charm, so my fiancé the Earl’s Son as well as my own relatives in the Viscount household disliked me.
The only ones who loved and cherished me were the servants and the people in the territory who had helped me with the results of my magic research.
Remembering something, I stared at the maid.
She gave a tender smile.
It was the smile she gives whenever I was in despair for not being loved by my fiancé or family, and she pretended not to notice me crying alone in bed.
“You were still having nightmares, weren’t you? I heard your scream, and even though you didn’t call, I came out of the waiting room. …… you are sweaty.”
The maid wiped off the sweat particles that covered my face.
I hugged her.
I can’t stop crying. After all… she cannot be alive. The servants and the representatives of the territory who turned against their employer, the Viscount household, in an attempt to clear up the stigma that had been put on me were executed before I was hung.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Apparently, I returned to the past.
A few years ago, the Earl’s son broke off their engagement, and I was imprisoned in a tall tower in the corner of the Viscount’s estate. It was after that I was put in the Royal capital prison as a traitor.
Even the magic research, which was arbitrarily determined to have been obtained by selling information of this kingdom to the Southern Empire, has been snatched away. It was not even completed. Without it, both the Earl and Viscount’s territories would perish due to this year’s poor harvest and subsequent plague.
I had a deep-seated desire to find out about the abnormality that returned me to the past, which I was supposed to have died a few years later, but I abandoned it to my overwhelming sorrow.
First and foremost, I must complete the magic research in order to save the people from poor harvests and plagues.
I don’t care about my fiancé and family that only loves my younger sister, who is more sociable and glamorous than me. However, including my maid and butler, as well as the people of our fief who greet me with a smile every time I go on inspections, I refuse to let them perish without doing anything.
…… Well, it’s natural to be hated.
The servants and the territory people collect bird droppings at my request before self-mockery.
The droppings of birds from afar are mixed with plant seeds that are not found in this land. Of course, as it is, they will not take root in this land, but if my magic is poured, strengthened, and mixed with the plants in this land, some will survive. I have been doing this research for a long time.
“Oh, you’ve come again this year.”
A little bird with bright-colored feathers called out to me, and I reached my hand out.
It is a southern bird which appears every year when winter approaches.
I think it’s the kind to flock, but this one is always alone. I pat the little bird which has gotten on my hand without any hesitation.
“…… is it alone because of this wound? No, it’s wrong. This is not a wound, but a pattern.”
Carved on the wings of a small bird was an engraved pattern like a scar that healed from a large old wound.
When I can see the wound in my heart, I think it might look like this.
It’s so cruel and ugly that if you look at it from a distance, it might look like part of a monster instead of a bird. But…
“You are beautiful. And strong…… not like me.”
To be smeared with droppings and bearing the stench while trying to enrich the territory by continuing the magic research, truthfully if it wasn’t for the sake of the servants and people of the fief. The words of the formally virtuous are entirely false.
“Ufufu. Do I look good with the jewel you gave me?”
“Oh, it suits you very well…. It smells kind of awful.”
“My sister is doing her research in the backyard. That nonsense is just a shame on my house.”
“So it’s like that, is it? Hahhaha!”
The wind carries the voices of my sister and my fiancé from the courtyard to me in the backyard.
I noticed that even if he came, I would not be called. There’s no report that there’s a call to come.
The jewel that my sister received would be one bought with the money the Earl got from selling the flowers I had raised using my research. When the economy got better, he got carried away and increased the number of private soldiers, and was suspected of having an intention to revolt against the royal family. So he turned me into a traitor and offered my magic research, which he took away. And this was the truth of his false accusation a few years later.
I am aware of the future, although I was somewhat looking forward to it.
I wanted you to praise me, acknowledge me, love me ──
If I saved my territory, if I enriched it, I hoped that you would look at me. That is not the case however, I realized and lost spirit!
“My lady, why don’t you take a break?”
A maid appeared in the backyard, and the little bird flew away.
How long has it been since she arrived, that girl is emotionally attached only to me.
I’m happy about that, but I think it’s deplorable of me, that’s the way of such things after all. The heart chooses willingly or not. Someone, for some reason. Loved by the servants and people of the territory, like I always wished, yet the wounds on my heart were brought about by the love of my fiancé and my family.
The maid wiped bird droppings off me and took me where I couldn’t hear their voices.