“I am your daughter, too.”
Jin Ye-Seul quietly opened her mouth.
She then glanced sideways at Jin Ye-Jun with a squint, who opened the door and walked in, and added.
"Also Older Sister's sister."
So, I think I'm well qualified to attend the funeral.
Jin Ye-Seul replied in an extremely calm voice.
“To the end…!”
Her mother, Park Hee-Sun, tried to get up from her seat, but collapsed back on the way.
Jin Ye-Jeong's death was such a shock that she could not even move properly.
"Why… why on earth that child....”
She murmured, bowing her head, as if she didn't have the strength to be angry with Jin Ye-Seul.
“… because Older Sister was always burning with a useless sense of justice and duty.
I knew something would happen one day."
At those words, Park Hee-Sun's eyes flashed low.
Her eyes glaring at Jin Ye-Seul could not be said to be the eyes of a parent looking at their child, no matter who looked at them.
“You…! What did you say...
"If you really didn't want to see Older Sister die that much, you should have stopped her earlier."
Jin Ye-Seul stared at her mother with cold eyes.
Even as she looked at her startled, Jin Ye-Seul didn't stop.
"You were proud that she was a fellow student with one of the Ten Strongest, proud when she took the top spot in Urea, and proud when she became the youngest professor.
You were also proud when she volunteered here and there to go around the danger zones.”
Jin Ye-Seul burst out laughing.
At the end of her gaze was a wall of the reception room.
There, several medals hung in frames.
These were medals awarded to honor the achievements of Jin Ye-Jeong, who volunteered for dangerous missions in the past.
They were nothing more than lumps of plated iron that meant nothing in Jin Ye-Seul's eyes.
Aren't they too light for the price of a person's life
“What did you want Older Sister to achieve next New Ten Strongest Or the hostess of the World Tree clan Indeed… Mother, I think I know how much fun you must have had when you saw Older Sister doing what you couldn't do."
“… then you.”
A voice asking back came.
Jin Ye-Seul turned her head and stared at her mother.
It was her mother's cold face that she saw for the first time.
"What have you done so well that you're talking arrogantly like that…”
Park Hee-sun, the mother of Jin Ye-Jeong and Jin Ye-Seul, opened her mouth quietly.
“Have you ever once thought about why I was so obsessed with Ye-Jeong, why on earth I acted like that”
“Yes, you couldn't have.
How could you do that”
She turned her head with a snort.
At her attitude, as if she didn't even want to see Jin Ye-Seul's face, Jin Ye-Seul's eyes sank coldly.
“I was afraid of you.”
She muttered quietly.
“Do you know how much I agonized over whether you were really my child, whether you were really the child I carried for ten months and gave birth to Perhaps the child was switched after the birth.
There were times when I thought like that.”
"Now that I think about it, it was a really stupid idea."
Jin Ye-Seul just listened to what she said.
Jin Ye-Jun, who came in to stop the two, was also unable to move hastily because of the different atmosphere from usual.
It wasn't normally like this.
Normally, his mother would have shouted, and Jin Ye-Seul would have just avoided her as if it were annoying.
This kind of atmosphere was something that Jin Ye-Jun had never experienced before.
His always nervous mother looked exhausted, and his older sister just quietly listened to her.
It was the first time he had ever seen such a scene.
“… I was married into a family of wizards with a long history at a young age.”
She muttered quietly.
“And then I gave birth to a child who couldn't handle a single magic, and when that child was 10, she smashed a man's head to death, and smiled like she knew nothing.
You don't remember, but do you know that you grabbed my wrist and crushed it when you couldn't even walk"
There was no answer to her question.
It wasn't a question to which she expected an answer either.
"But I tried somehow.
I tried to love you, I tried not to discriminate, I tried to somehow raise you properly."
But the human heart really doesn't work the way you want it to.
She muttered quietly.
"Even if you don't want to compare, how can you not do it If you were an embarrassment to me that I wanted to hide, Ye-Jeong, that child, was the one I wanted to show off to the world."
After saying that, she covered her face with her hands.
Neither Jin Ye-Seul nor Jin Ye-Jun moved at the sight of her trembling and sobbing quietly.
“Ye-Jeong… My daughter, my child...
How did my daughter....”
The mother, who had lost her child, began to sob like that.
"If I had rather died, if I could have died instead of you, I would have done so as much as I could….”
She quietly raised her head.
With tears streaming down her face, she looked at her other daughter and whispered quietly.
“You should have died instead…”
Jin Ye-Jun yelled out at the words that he couldn't just ignore.
He could never have imagined that she would even say something like that.
"Huh… Or go to your friend, that World Tree boy, and ask him.
Go kneel down and beg.
Okay That clan is a clan with a lot of secrets.
Maybe they know a way to save Ye-Jeong.”
Seeing her who looked desperate and even crazy as if she were caught up in something, Jin Ye-Seul quietly closed her eyes.
And then she looked at her gently with eyes whose inside was still unknown.
It was the first time she saw her mother's expression, staring at herself eagerly.
Jin Ye-Seul looked at her like that for a while and then opened her mouth.
“Did you want me to die and Older Sister to live”
“Rather, you wish I wasn’t born in the first place”
“The fact that you gave birth to me….”
Do you regret it
At Jin Ye-Seul's question, she nodded.
At that word, Jin Ye-Seul gave a small smile.
It was such a gentle smile that, for a moment, Jin Ye-Jun wondered if he had seen it wrong.
"Since Mother lost Older Sister, it would be right that I, as Older Sister's Sister, should take care of that aftermath."
Jin Ye-Seul said so and quietly walked to the door through which Jin Ye-Jun had entered.
Before putting her hand on the doorknob, Jin Ye-Seul turned and bowed deeply to Park Hee-Sun.
"Thank you for raising me."
Jin Ye-Seul opened the door without even hearing an answer.
Then, noticing Yoo Ji-Hyuk on the other side of the door, she opened both eyes wide and immediately began to escape from there as if running away.
― Follow her.
Before Jin Ye-Jeong could even whisper that, Yoo Ji-Hyuk was running after her.
* * *
It was raining.
After running after her for a while, I was able to find Jin Ye-Seul standing blankly in the rain in a corner of the garden.
As I approached her cautiously, Jin Ye-Seul, who was showing her back to me, suddenly opened her mouth.
“… Since when have you been listening”
After pondering for a moment, I spat out an answer.
“Since the beginning.”
Jin Ye-Seul gave a small laugh.
Then she turned around and stared at me.
Her face and eyes, drenched in rain, were looking at me.
“Am I really that weird”
“I didn’t want to be born like this.”
I could see that the droplets of emotion were piling up and forming a puddle in her mind.
Rainwater was constantly running down her face.
“Everyone else is the same with me.
I can't be the only one living in this world like that.
Everyone, everyone is no different from me...
You're all…… just pretending not to be."
I couldn't say anything.
Jin Ye-Seul muttered as she looked up into the sky blankly.
“What the hell is the sound that I can’t hear, but other people can”
I've been ostracized by everyone until now because I can't hear that sound.
She said so and turned her head to look at me.
“Older Sister told me this.
There are sounds that can only be heard if you cover your ears.
So you're not weird at all."
She burst into a giggle.
Then she sighed quietly.
“Still, she was a person who tried to understand me.
There were only two people like that in the world."
And I could know well even if she didn't say it, that one of those two people was me, that I had betrayed her expectations like that before Jin Ye-Jeong.
Jin Ye-Seul was still muttering in a quiet voice.
“Maybe I loved Older Sister.”
Maybe Mother too.
Maybe, maybe even that father.
“I’ve heard before that an intense heart toward someone is love.
Then this feeling for Older Sister, this hatred for Father, maybe it's all love.”
Jin Ye-Seul said so and stared at me.
Now she was only looking at me.
“So maybe, I think I was madly in love with you too.”
Muttering so, she took a step towards me.
“I was so envious of you.”
“You were so dazzling, I was so envious and dazzled by the things you had that I didn't, that I couldn't stand it.
I feel like I’m going blind.”
I didn't step back.
It was because I could instinctively know that if I stepped back from here, the distance between her and me would never be narrowed.
“Just a handful.”
She was standing right in front of me.
I could feel the breath she was breathing out vividly.
"Just a handful, could you hand out what you have to me..."
She asked, looking up at me pleadingly, with her eyes full of anxiety.
Her hand cautiously gripping my collar seemed to offer a somewhat awkward prayer.
I unbuttoned some of the buttons on my clothes without a word.
Then, without hiding, I exposed my neck and shoulders and offered them to her.
Jin Ye-Seul let out a small breath and pushed her head towards me as if she were possessed by something.
Swallowing a small breath, she cautiously put her mouth on the nape of my neck.
Even as the raindrops poured down on the head, her body temperature was felt vividly.
She immediately revealed her teeth and began to mumble around my neck.
she asked me cautiously.
I nodded and replied.
“As much as you want.”
Her mouth opened wide, as if cheering at those words.
A burning pain spread with a crushing sound.
The bracelet that I received from Jin Ye-Jeong was making a sound in my pocket.
* * *
Jin Ye-Seul trembled for a moment at his hand covering her head.
For a moment, she was afraid that he would grab her hair and throw her away, but realizing that he was just stroking her hair, she continued her halted action.
Fearing that he might get away from her, she held his body tightly with both hands as if hugging him.
Without saying a word, he was offering his neck to her and stroking her head.
She felt the corners of her eyes becoming damp at it.
It's because of the rain.
Thinking that way, Jin Ye-Seul rubbed her chin, already wet and glistening with blood, against his skin and wiped it off, then brought it to another place.
It was then.
A sound like some old piece of iron cracking came.
She flinched and trembled at the sound that was clearly audible even through the roaring rain.
Something is coming.
She could feel it.
And even before she could react in any way, it was right in front of her.
It was so fast that she couldn't do anything.
Her eyes opened wide.
The door, it opened.
A sensation she was experiencing for the first time.
It was a sensation that Jin Ye-Seul, she, could not express in any words she knew.
If she had to express it, it felt as if a stick that had been piercing the middle of her head was being pulled out.
It was soon the pedestal of the embankment.
And the embankment where the pedestal had collapsed was bound to collapse.
Something was rushing in like a tsunami.
She didn't know what it was.
For the first time, she felt fear, not disgust or hostility, of the unknown.
“Ah, uh… ah…!”
It was raining.
In the rain that was coming down rigidly, she felt that she was the only one who could not flow over the world.
As always, she was alone.
It was so frightening that she couldn't stand it.
… she wasn't alone.
She felt someone's body temperature.
Her mouth was filled with a fishy smell, and there was someone who was warming her rain-soaked body.
Right next to me… he….
Her mind soon grew mixed up like a fungus between wood and rotting leaves.
Her screams, rising like dust, were instead heard without sound.
She could realize that something was mixing and shaking inside her.
Something was grabbing her and dragging her from beneath.
She didn't know, but she wasn't afraid now.
Jin Ye-Seul raised her hands without realizing it.
Carefully, she pushed him away and stroked his face with both hands.
Looking at his face that was ghastly pale from handing out his own color, Jin Ye-Seul spat out earnestly with every bit of her sincerity for the first time since she was born.
With me, let's fall.
Only after she uttered those words, could Jin Ye-Seul feel her heart, which had always been empty, filling up.
She was happy.