There Were Times When I Wished You Were Dead - Chapter 13
She had a long ongoing dream.
It was her dream as Lilian Lou’s days,
Twelve-year-old Lilian Lou was a young child who lived in a slum, set in a barely inhabited dark forest with her mother in the Duchy of Delois.
The way she lived wasn’t exactly how a normal ‘young child’ would be raised, but life wasn’t bad.
She was never hungry, though she was never full either. She still had a mother even if she didn’t have a father.
“Lou, my baby.”
A loving mother’s voice hugged and whispered to her every night.
“Lou, come and get something to eat.”
The only neighbor who took care of the mother and daughter, Aunt Mariel.
Lilian Lou was living a decent life with what she had.
But people don’t realize if their life was terrible.
They only realize that face when they are in misery, but they eventually feel better.
Just as Yvonne, who believed there would be no greater misfortune than the Duke, realized that real misfortune was after marrying Karloi.
Even taking into account that her misfortunes are not so diverse, the misfortunes that came to Lilian Lou were overly banal.
A terrible illness fell upon Denise, who needed expensive medicine for an illness that could not be cured.
Sickness and poverty were easy things that mated. No, maybe misfortune brings in other misfortunes.
Lilian Lou suddenly became responsible for her livelihood at a young age. She didn’t have many options.
There were thugs living in the dark forest who would not refuse any job as long as you provide them with money. Those thugs often needed young children who looked naive, so Lilian used to work for them often.
She helped them avoid the security forces’ suspicion, deliver things for them, clean their dwelling place, and a small amount of labor. Then she would get her hand on a small amount of money.
For Lilian, who was in a rush for money, she had no feelings of guilt, conscience, or a sense of justice, so the thugs got it easy. Besides, she was a child with big guts.
The day she first saw Karloi was a normal, usual day for her. She had just found a young boy tied up as she went to clean the place for the thugs, which was dirty like a pig’s den.
The embarrassed Lilian groaned without her knowledge. She wasn’t surprised that there were people there.
This was originally a place where thugs often locked people up. Threatening, beating, or torturing.
However, it was the first time she had ever seen such a young child.
The boy let out a deep yell.
“Run away! Get out of here! This is a dangerous place!”
It seemed that he thought Lilian was a child who entered innocently without knowing anything.
Lilian was shocked. If she was in that situation, she thought she would shout ‘save me’ first.
Some people don’t usually think about their own livelihoods and their own lives first. They can afford to care for others and do the right things.
Lilian stood as if she was nailed to the spot and looked at the boy who was worried about others without considering his situation. How could this be?
As Lilian stood still for a while, one of the thugs came in and shouted.
“Lou! Why are you caring about useless things? If you don’t, you won’t get any money, and you’ll have to be prepared to get kicked out of here.”
Lilian nodded roughly and pretended to wipe the floor. The thug turned his gaze lightly.
Since Lilian never ratted about their business to anyone.
The expression that appeared on the boy’s face when he looked at her then was buried in her mind. The look of betrayal, contempt, and all kinds of negative emotions was shown on his face.
“What, you are in the same gang? You…”
A terrifyingly dull sound echoed. The thug gave a relentless blow to the boy’s head.
In fear, Lilian Lou ran out. It felt completely different than seeing a grown-up beat a child at her age.
“What, Lou, why did you come out?”
“That’s right. If you turn right past the witch’s tree, a man in black will be standing there. Get some stuff from him.”
The witch’s tree was at the entrance to the dark forest.
“When it comes to medicinal herbs, the security forces won’t say anything. Everyone here knows that you’re struggling with your mother’s disease.”
Lilian listened to him because it was better than cleaning. It wasn’t until she realized that the goods she brought were a massive number of gold coins.
The boy, who seemed to be beaten all day, became quiet until the evening was over. At that time, Lilian went into the place again, but the boy was tied up and shedding tears.
“If you rebel, it’s worse. You better just shut up.”
Lilian’s helpful advice wasn’t appreciated at all, and the child glared with his tearful eyes. His bloody face was terrifying, so Lilian rubbed the child’s face with her hand without her knowledge.
“What, put your dirty hands away.”
“Don’t you know? Your face right now is a lot dirtier than my hands.”
“It’s not that dirty… Boy, why are you looking at me like that? Put your hands away!”
“What? You idiot!”
“Wh, what? How old are you! You’re a criminal!”
She wanted to squeeze the boy with his bursting open mouth, but Lilian couldn’t do that because he looked so miserable.
Instead, she took a clean wipe and wiped his face. As she wiped it, it was bloody, but his face didn’t fit the situation as much as she thought.
His lips seemed to burst, but the face was not that swollen except for his right cheek, as they hit his head and body a lot.
The boy stared at the floor with a piercing glance, as if he was not thankful for this kindness at all.
“You’re just pretending to be nice to me, too.”
Lilian Lou wasn’t very patient. She replied,
“Then, should I hit you, too?”
The child bit his mouth. After all, he doesn’t like being hit.
After wiping his face, Lilian exclaimed without knowing it.
The boy is so…pretty.
Although he was matted and covered with dust, the black hair must have been naturally shiny and the beautiful golden eyes. She had never seen such eye color before, and she had never seen such a pretty boy as well.
No, he is the prettiest of all things she has seen in her life. More than her mom, Denise. Even after being beaten, if he’s still pretty like this, he must be prettier when he’s not wounded.
“You keep staring unpleasantly.”
Though his tone wasn’t as beautiful as his face.
“All pretty things have thorns…”
Lilian stuffed the bread she had snuck from the kitchen into his mouth. If he has to close his mouth to be pretty, she’ll make it that way.
The boy who frowned at her looked like he wanted to swear, but he was starving so he ate the bread in his mouth.
“…What is this bread?”
“You don’t know what this is? It’s hordui.”
“…What is that?”
Lilian frowned. She guesses he is more treasured than expected.
He had never eaten hordui bread in his life? The only bread that commoners can eat is hordui, a bread that was made with barely any dough.
“It’s my first time trying this bread. What kind of bread is this? It’s dry.”
Somehow, the unlucky boy had an appetite even though he was complaining that it was tasteless. He’s eating so fast it contradicts what he is saying.
“What’s your name?”
“You don’t have to know my name.”
“If you tell me, I’ll give you another bread.”
If he hadn’t eaten or tasted it at all, he might be able to endure it, but it is difficult to resist when he already tasted it. No matter how great a family is, both rich and poor, feel hunger.
And Lilian knew this better than anyone.
“You think I’m a dog!”
But it wasn’t easy with this guy.
“Okay, so I’ll call you kid.”
“Don’t call me anything! Why are you calling me!”
“I have jam, but do you know pinata jam? Have you tried this? You must not know what it tastes like? It’s really difficult to explain but it’s very delicious.”
Of course, it was a child who was hungry and beaten. The boy didn’t give a full answer, but he couldn’t have eaten pinata jam. So what kind of jam do rich kids eat?
Lilian, who had been thinking alone, put the bread covered with jam in his mouth with a happy face.
“Why do you do this? Are you going to save me?”
Kal asked. Lilian couldn’t answer.
“Look at you. Then, don’t pretend to be a good person and get lost. You’re equally bad.”
“You have a lot of breadcrumbs in your mouth. I guess it was delicious. But you pretend it’s not tasteful… Why are you so shy?”
Kal’s red face was pretty bright, so Lilian laughed out loud. Lilian gave all of the bread she had to Kal. Of course, his hands were tied so she had to put it in Kal’s mouth.
Lilian, who was eagerly observing the dirty Kal, asked again.
“How old are you?”
He was one year older than her.
Lilian, who knows how strange boys act even one year apart, decided not to tell him her age. So, she decided not to tell the truth.
“Me? I’m fourteen.”
“Lies. You don’t seem to have one more hair than I do.”
Without a reply, Lilian took her ointment and applied it to Kal’s mouth. He groaned in pain. After applying the ointment, Lilian worked hard to put some dust onto Kal’s hard-cut face.
“What are you doing!”
“If they find out I’m being nice to you, I die too.”
“It was good what you gave me some bread. But don’t do it! Clean it up and dirty it again, are you crazy?”
Yes. Lilian pondered for a moment. Why was she doing this for him?
However, unlike his harsh words, there was fear in Kal’s eyes. She knew those eyes.
It wasn’t much different from Lilian’s eyes as she was desperately looking for money.
“Then I’m going.”
“Get lost quickly.”
As if swearing, the boy said while clenching.
Lilian got up without any regrets, and she turned back. She started walking towards the door. She took the first step, second step, and the third step. Lilian walked counting the steps. Fourteen steps.
Lilian turned around to where the sound was from. Kal cried out again.
“Don’t leave me alone.”
A sad cry was heard. Even if you are a pretty and precious child, there’s nothing you can do when you’re standing in front of fear. He looked no different from her.
It was inevitable.
Lilian approached Kal and squatted next to him. Only then he began to feel like his tension was slowly relieved.