Chapter 9


The fact that he made a public confession in front of his fiancée to her own sister, with so many people watching, was surely shocking.

‘My mother is trying to protect me…’

However, my expression couldn’t help but get blurred when the increase in social activities was mentioned.

‘Mother.’

I called my mother, who was next to me, inwardly and looked at her.
In fact, it may be because it had been a long time since I had seen my mother that I suddenly felt strange while looking at her.

‘Mother will die next year.’

If my mother wasn’t feeling well, it would show up immediately on her skin.
Because of that, she always applied powder on her face to cover up her bad skin when she went out…

‘The problem is that the cosmetics of this era are made of lead for adherence.’

In my past life, my mother died of lead poisoning.
It was not uncommon for noblewomen to die of this.
But there was something unconvincing.

‘Even if she isn’t feeling well, it doesn’t seem like she will die right away next year.’

My mother didn’t go out much, so she didn’t apply powder all that much, so why did she pass away from lead poisoning when other noblewomen who often attended social gatherings didn’t get affected?
I had the same question at that time.
But nothing changed.

My father and brother didn’t care if my mother died or not, and I was the only one who mourned her death.

“Father, something is wrong.
The noble ladies who have died of lead poisoning until now are more socially active than Mother and apply a lot of powder on their faces…”
“If she died because she applied powder with lead on her face to look prettier, what’s the point of making more noise?!”

As a villainess, there was nothing I could do on my own.
After my mother died, I became more and more isolated from the world.
There was no one to love me, no one to worry about me, no one to protect me.

It was just like that today.


If my mother had not been in the study with me, would my father have raised his voice to Lilika, no matter how angry he might have been? Was there any guarantee that he would not have ignored what happened today?

‘This time, I reversed Lilika’s trap.
So… I can change other situations in the future.’

I clenched my fists tightly.
I have the memories of the foolish Yuria from my past life, who died as a villainess at the hands of her family, as well as the memories of my life in Korea.

‘I will never lose my mother in this life.’

I was not going to let my mother apply powder mixed with lead.
But… that alone did not reassure me.

Standing by the window of the study, I looked down at the flowers in the garden that were swaying in the pleasant breeze.

‘It’s the right weather for the Viikos flowers to grow.’

I recalled the grievous realizations from my previous life and the results of my research.

A corner of the garden that you can never see from the main building.
The time for harvesting the flowers that were growing diligently was approaching.

***

“Mother, the festival is going to be held in a few days, so…”
“Yeah.
Let’s go together.”

I smiled brightly when I heard my mother’s response.
My mother seemed to think that I was staying by her side because I was having a hard time due to my breakup with Vieira, but…

“Do you promise? You can’t change your mind later.”

It had a bit of a special meaning to me.
Ah, the teatime with my mother that I missed countless times in my previous life.
Of course, we also went for a walk in the garden or had a meal together.
There were also many times when I suddenly went to visit her without making an appointment and acted like a child.
Someone might look at me and laugh, saying that I’m simple or asking if I’m happy with just that.
For me, though, this kind of ordinary routine was more wonderful than ever.

“When did I ever break a promise to you?”

‘You said you would name my child when I gave birth’, the words I couldn’t say just lingered in my mind and then disappeared.


In my previous life, my mother died before I became an adult, let alone get married.

“My Yuria, I thought you were all grown up… You’re still a child.”
“That’s why Mother has to stay by my side.”

Lilika hadn’t shown her face since the commotion last time, and my brother hadn’t been picking fights either, so I was able to be with my mother even more comfortably.

‘Though I’m not just playing around.’

Of course, I was spending more time with my mother because I missed her, but there was actually something I wanted to investigate.

‘It’s not like there’s a lead bowl among the tableware.’

We had teatime several times, and we had meals together several times, but there was nothing particularly suspicious.

Maybe I was being suspicious for no reason? Since my mother wasn’t well, she may have died from a smaller amount of lead than the other noblewomen.

‘But I saw the way Lilika looked at me and my mother.’

Even in the past, when I was unaware of everything, I often felt a bitter feeling in Lilika’s gaze when she saw me and my mother, who was especially close to me.
She must not be trying to make me lose my mother because it was my fault she lost her mother’s keepsake, right?

‘And if Lilika isn’t after my mother… there really isn’t anything I can do about it.’

I felt frustrated and let out a long sigh.
At this rate, I was just waiting to see my mother die in a few years.

“Ugh…”

That’s right, even on Earth, where everyone knows lead is harmful, did they not use crystal glasses made of lead glass? However, the crystal glasses were not particularly dangerous.

‘Even if the tableware is made of lead, the temperature of the food is lukewarm like this, so it’s not…’

I repeatedly thought about what I was thinking for a moment.
What did I just say?
There was a flash of enlightenment.
I thought I figured out what I had overlooked until now.


‘Doesn’t the temperature need to be high for someone who is poisoned by others to die?’

To do so, rather than having my mother use the tableware made of lead…

I asked my mother to call the butler.
Even though my mother questioned it, she listened to my request.

“I heard you called.”

Shortly after, the butler arrived.
Despite the sudden call, he greeted us without the slightest embarrassment.
His attitude clearly showed that he had worked for the Primrose duchy for many years.

‘He was just as proud of the family.’

Whenever I misbehaved like the villainess I was, he scolded me several times, telling me to act like a lady and that I was dishonoring the family.
Because of his uncompromising nature, although he tried to be polite to me, his disrespectful attitude was not hidden.

Seeing him come running when my mother, the duchess, called was surprising, but it was a relief that my mother was alive.

“Yuria says she has something to do with you.”
“… I understand.”

The butler’s eyebrows twitched.
It was very brief, so my mother couldn’t have noticed.
He even showed discipline when he bowed his head after that.

“Now, we’re going to the kitchen.”

But the butler’s attitude changed from the moment we came out of the hallway.
He added right back as if it were a given.

“If you want something to eat, you can order a maid instead of going there yourself.
The kitchen is quite a long way away, so if your legs hurt, you can call a knight…”

I cut off the butler’s words that were not worth listening to.

“Yes, I know that giving an errand to a maid is the right way for everyone.
Everyone will be surprised if I suddenly look for them.”
“…”


“But there’s a reason for that, so I’ll accompany you.”

I wasn’t someone who regularly looked for him, so the butler didn’t think there was a reason for me to go with him.
I couldn’t believe my employees looked at me with startled eyes because they thought it would be surprising for me to suddenly look for them.
I was amazed at how often they saw me as the worst.
He seemed to be worried about what else I was going to do, but I was not going to make any misdeeds.

“… I apologize.”

As expected, despite being the young lady of the family, the treatment I received was oddly poor.
But it didn’t matter.
The work I was going to do from now on required a butler who was trusted by everyone.
He was going to do it even if he didn’t like me.
He was not the type to harm someone just because he didn’t like them.

“Young Lady, before we go in…”

Arriving at the kitchen, I ignored the butler’s words and opened the door.
It was a surprise visit.
The employees in the kitchen opened their eyes wide as they saw me storming inside, silently.

“H-huh? Young Lady Yuria?”
“Everyone hurry up and give your greetings.
The Young Lady is here!”

The butler clicked his tongue and raised his voice as the employees of the kitchen looked flustered.
I guess it came out without me realizing it, but even though I said I knew enough about this earlier, I didn’t think I could trust him.
But what mattered now was not the butler.

“Young Lady, for what reason have you come this far? We will prepare food right now and bring it…”
“All the employees will stop what they are doing and take their hands off all the tableware.”
“What?”

All the employees froze as they heard my resolute voice.
I lined up all the employees on one side and prevented them from doing anything nonsense.

“Don’t take your eyes off me.
I have something to check, so everyone should be a witness.”

——

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