I’ve actually stopped bleeding by the time I arrived at the door to the ballroom with the handkerchief pressed against my neck.
No one knew if Buinter secretly casted magic on it knowing that he was a sorcerer.
I flinched to a stop when I was about to enter the ballroom to check on myself.
‘I didn’t know wearing a dress with such dull colour would be this much of a help today.’
The blood stain on the dress I was wearing were hardly visible due to its dark colour.
Thanks to that, I only had to give my hair a little touch before I went in.
Finding Derrick was very easy.
Our mister capture target with cold aura was shining alone out of all the people surrounding him.
‘He told me to just stay quiet and not make a fuss…… He’d be mad if he saw my neck cut.’
I was too focused on thinking back to the warning Derrick gave me when we arrived at the royal grounds that I didn’t notice the gazes of people all looking at me.
Didn’t notice that I wasn’t fine just because my dress was fine.
I called him out quietly.
Fortunately, he heard this quiet call that was close to a whisper from all the way in the crowd because he turned to look at me right after.
“I think I’ll be leaving now, I’m not feeling too well.”
Derrick’s blue eyes widened when he spotted his pale little sister who looked like she was about to faint with a blood-soaked handkerchief pressed against her neck.
Everything turned black that moment in an instant.
The last thing I saw was Derrick running towards me with a pale face as I fell unconscious.
I didn’t remember anything after I fainted at the ball.
“Quick! Hurry and bring a doctor!”
Urgent shouting and rushed footsteps could be faintly heard.
The fact that I was lying in bed for days, suffering just from a small cut on my neck, made me laugh.
It was as if all the stress I’ve ignored, due to the fact that I was busy trying to survive, exploded all at once there.
I’ve dreamt of lots of things during those days.
I thought I was going to dream about Penelope’s past now that I’ve become her, but it was all my past that I’ve dreamt of.
It was not too long since the day I entered a highschool which only the rich family’s kids goes to, after I was taken into that house.
I was packing my things up after class when someone tapped on my shoulder.
– Hey. You’re brother is searching for you. He told you to come to the gym storage room.
He was one of the kids who favored the second bastard who basically had the central power and controlled the school.
I headed to the storage room without thinking much about it.
I did notice that the second bastard was sort of involved with bullying in school, but it wasn’t that serious to be thinking about.
I carefully stepped into the storage room, quietly opening the door.
I couldn’t see anything from the dark.
Then something was abruptly put over my head when I was wandering in the place. It seemed like a plastic bag.
– Wh, what…… Ack!
Me whose face was covered, was thrown deeper into the storage room, then was beaten up badly.
Tens of foots kicking and stepping on me.
I didn’t have a second to recover consciousness. All I could do at the moment was screaming from all the abuses coming at me while cowering.
– Wow, now this is refreshing! Where did this beggar thing even come from? She’s not in the level to be attending the same school we go to.
– Hey. But aren’t we in big trouble if her brothers know?
– Nonsense. Her brother hates her to death. I followed my father to a meeting and she was brought up in their conversation. Their brothers just shivered in disgust.
They grinned and said those trashy words while watching me trying to get back to my senses with the energy I have left.
Those words hurt more than their actions on me just a moment ago.
– Hey. From now on, make sure you don’t come into our view, hmm? And don’t say a word about today.
With that said, I heard the footsteps of people leaving out the storage room.
I was lying there, on the floor, completely still for at least one hour after that.
It was because I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even move.
It was long after that when I could barely stand up again.
I took the plastic bag off my head and saw both my bag and my uniform, ruined.
I headed to the washroom and started wiping all the footprints on my uniform until I realized that it wasn’t the uniform I should be worrying about.
In the mirror, I saw blue on my eyes. From that, I could know that I was kicked not only my body, but my face as well.
A laugh escaped my mouth at the sight of me seeming to say ‘I’ve been beaten’.
I didn’t remember the feeling of when I was being kicked at, because I was out my senses and because my mind was blank then.
I trudged my way to that hell-like house. I hated the house so much that I’d rather die than to go in, but there were no place to go to other than that house.
I was unfortunate when I entered the house. There had to be my step-dad and my two step-brothers all having a little snack time in the living room at the time when I did.
– I’m back.
Since I wasn’t someone who could join them, I hurriedly bowed to greet them and hastily headed to the stairs.
– Wait. Stop there.
Usually, they wouldn’t care if I came back or didn’t.
But that day had to continue to be a bad day because the second bastar called me out.
– Hey, I told you to stop!
I ignored him and continued walking. The second bastard got up from the spot when I did.
I was grabbed by the wrist before being able to reach the stairs.
– Hey, what’s all this? Why do you look like that?
– …… Nothing much. I just fell.
I answered with my head shook. It was intended to hide my blue bruise on the eyes with my hair.
– Hey, look at me. Were you beaten up?!
– No. Like I just said, I fell.
– Ah, I told you to raise your head!
I wanted to go up to my room and rest for today, but he had to block me from doing that and pulled my hair up.
– You, what’s up with that bruise? Which bastard did this. Who in hell……!
My messed up face was revealed by the brat’s hand.
– It’s nothing.
– Oh, this is nothing? How is this n……!
– It’s really nothing, seriously! It’s nothing, I told you it’s nothing-!
I think I was out of my mind because I shouted at him and also shook his hand off me without my wills.
Even my step-dad and the oldest step-brother widened their eyes. It was probably because they’ve never seen me angry for me to act like so.
That moment, I thought I couldn’t get more miserable than this.
The fact that they were having a nice time eating fruits while I was being beaten up in the gym storage room.
– Since when did you care for me!
That view of the three having a family time in the living room when I walked in through the door made me envious. Jealous.
And me who couldn’t join them was…….
– Please just leave me alone! Did I ever ask for you to do something for me before? I didn’t even do anything but why! Why are you guys keep……!
Silence filled the living room that could make one have goosebumps.
I always thought that crying meant loss and failure but I couldn’t stop myself that moment. All the tears I held back up until now flooded out my eyes like a waterfall.
I cried like a little kid, not knowing what kind of face they made while watching me.
A few days later, by the time the bruise on my eyes disappeared, the second bastard came to me and spoke.
– I caught them all and beat them up until they’re half dead.
Those were the words he spoke without even saying hi. I already sort of knew from the rumours saying that some of the troublesome kids were hospitalized all at once.
– Just how much did those bastards look down on you to do that?
He muttered, looking at me who shook my head.
– Anyways, those things wouldn’t happen again, just so you know.
Even though, I wasn’t thankful to the second bastard at all.
I became even more isolated in school. Nothing got better, in fact, they’d bully me more sometimes.
– …… Thank you, brother.
I wanted to scream that it was his fault Instead of forcing those thanking words to him.
Why do I need to thank you when you’re cleaning up your own mess?
I just, really…… .
Just really…… .
“……is what you said it was, but why isn’t she waking……!”
Loud shouts were heard but I couldn’t figure who and what they were saying.
My head hurt. I opened my eyes that wouldn’t easily open.
“……at least do that. Obviously you along with that insane bastard the crowned prince……!”
Someone immediately came to me as I squeezed my voice out.
“Hey, are you awake…… .”
Everything was blurry. I couldn’t see the person’s face too well.
But I could immediately tell who it was, thanks to that familiar voice.
It was the second bastard from the house.
“……I hate…… you.”
I forced my voice out into saying the words I couldn’t before.
“…… Really, I hate you so much. I hate you a hundred, a thousand times more than you hate me…… .”
“I hate you more than anyone in the world.”
I closed my eyes, finishing my words, feeling a little refreshed.
And I wasn’t able to see because I was falling back asleep.
The blue eyes trembling like it would during an earthquake, and the pink haired person as stiff as one can be.
(A/N: Just in case you guys are confused, he is Rennald but Penelope mistook him as her second older brother from the house, before she fell back asleep.)