The first person she thought of was Isella. As Raymond’s fiancée, she was Carynne’s rival, and she recalled the times Isella tried to humiliate her in the past.
Worried about losing Raymond, Isella tormented Carynne a lot. And Isella actually had many weak points. Above all, she would be a relatively easy victim since Carynne could get close to her as her maid later.
“…But I’ll get caught anyway.”
Apart from being her rival in love, Carynne was also Isella’s maid. Who else would be the prime suspect if not her? It’d be better if she could hold out for a long time without getting caught.
She wasn’t afraid of the death penalty. If she would die, she could just start over again. And if she really did die without coming back? That’s what she wanted in the end.
However, if she was going to fail at the very beginning, her excitement would fizzle out. She wanted to kill as many people as possible and make it all the more fun.
She had been through all sorts of hardships in those repetitions, but if she could pull this off, she’d be overwhelmed with so much pride.
She thought of the easiest person to kill. Perhaps Raymond would be the most challenging one. Raymond was a man who was bestowed the title of ‘Sir’ after all.
Carynne had once seen him deal with six strong young men easily. However, if he was infatuated with Carynne, he might just be willing to drink whatever it was that she’d give him.
With this train of thought, she lost a bit of her steam.
She truly wanted to enjoy herself for a long time. Perhaps during a horseback riding date in the middle of summer, she could lead him to a secluded place and push him off his horse. If she’s lucky, he’d break his neck.
Carynne knew Raymond well.
No, she knew all the characters well.
That’s why her own weak body could contribute more fun to this challenge. Carynne clenched her hand into a fist as she thought this, but she unclenched it again with a smile as she placed an accessory on her hair.
She’ll save Raymond for later. Before meeting Raymond, Carynne would have to meet his current fiancée, Isella Evans.
She had the name ‘Carynne Hare’. And if Carynne was in any danger, Raymond would be there for her. As it had been thus far, this was the natural plot development—it was such a clichéd love story.
But this time, it would be a little different. Carynne looked into the mirror with a pounding heart. With her cheeks flushed and her eyes sparkling with anticipation, the reflection looking back at her seemed like a girl madly in love.
After so many decades, she was finally embarking on a new adventure. Carynne recalled the day she first met Raymond over a century ago.
A girl’s dream.
A knight whose hair was a luscious golden shade. Rich, handsome, perfect—yet cold to other women. Carynne smiled as she brushed her hair. What every girl dreamed of was, in fact, not a man who was kind to all women, but a man who was sweet only to her. That’s why he was perfect.
He was a knight who existed only for Carynne.
Carynne had always wanted to see what went beyond this year, but one future she especially wanted to see was how Raymond would act after her death. —What did you do after I died? My knight, did you take revenge against those who killed me? Did you shed tears, did you fall to despair? Or did you forget about me and move on with someone else?
Carynne was convinced that the clearest, most plausible possibility was her first assumption. Even before her death, he wouldn’t put up with it if Carynne was involved. And if Carynne died, what then? It’s a pity. She wanted to see it, but she couldn’t.
Carynne had died several times by Verdic’s hand in Raymond’s room. Verdic was Isella’s father, and under certain conditions, he had succeeded in killing Carynne on her wedding day with Raymond.
At the thought of Verdic, Carynne felt her throat sting a little. Of the few instances when Carynne lost her breath through him, there must have been moments when Verdic was caught by Raymond. What had Raymond done to Verdic? Or, what did she think he did? Carryne wanted to see Raymond’s reaction.
During her first few loops, Carynne thought that the answer was to have a 「 Happy Ending 」 with Raymond. She was terribly frightened back then, but right now, it was easy enough that she could leisurely think about killing people.
Verdic had once hacked through Carynne’s neck with a hand axe, and the axe’s blade was dull. Ha, ha… Gasping was the only thing she could do in response, and it took a long time for her to die—it wasn’t until her throat was crushed and her neck was broken.
When Carynne later would predict Verdic’s actions, she personally saw to it that his axe would be changed to a sharp one. She also tilted her head proactively, hoping that she’d die at one strike.
“I’ve really been killed through various methods, huh.”
But she wasn’t the only one who would die this time.
Carynne giggled. Like a fragrant blossom, a radiant smile spread out over her features.
* * *
“…which is why you must never sin. Those who commit sins would be thrown into the pits of eternal hell with no chance to escape. Be pure like the holy spirit…”
Carynne tried not to close her eyes, holding back the yawn that was threatening to burst out. There was no better sleeping pill than a tedious sermon. This was a homily that she had heard over and over and over again.
She tried to offer up a prayer. And she waited. The voice of a deity, an illusion, a mysterious appearance of an oracle—anything.
But there was no answer. She couldn’t hear the voice she wanted to hear so badly. She just wanted to understand why this was happening.
But as she went through more loops, she eventually gave up. When would her life be restored? When would this dream end? When was she getting out of this hell? Please. Show a sign. Tell me why I’m suffering like this. Why must I suffer like this.
“D-Do not in…sult this sacred hour, Carynne Hare.”
Wasn’t it more insulting that he’s the one standing on that platform? Think of the people who must endure a stutterer’s sermon. Carynne tried to rebuke Dullan, but she thought better of it when she saw a woman approaching from behind. Carynne curtsied slightly, and Isella also curtsied in return.
Hello. Yes, I’ve been doing fine. Ohoho. Insincere greetings and laughter came and went. Carynne smiled at Isella’s colorful silver dress that didn’t suit the temple at all.
You’re not making any progress either, hm? As Carynne had decided to do her best to spend this year committing murder, she did think of Isella, wearing this low-cut silver dress.
She looked like a bell handle. If she were to be held by the legs and shaken in the air, would she scream like a bell? Carynne was curious.
“Lady Hare, do you like my necklace?”
“Yes. Your father must have bought it for you. How beautiful…”
It’s like she was dangling a rope.
“Fufu, it wasn’t my father who gave this to me. This is a gift from my fiancée. I heard that you’re getting married soon as well, Lady Hare. Did you also get a gift?”
Hey now, let’s not be discouraged. Carynne sighed as she watched Dullan’s face grow increasingly red. How could a countryside fief lord’s son-in-law—who would marry into the family, by the way—possibly prepare an expensive gift on par with an aristocrat’s or a millionaire’s standards?
But since this was something that everyone was aware of already, the atmosphere increasingly got cold.
“Oh dear, I apologize. I was tactless. Please forgive me.”
“What are you saying, it’s nothing to be sorry about. It’s a beautiful necklace after all. Please show it to me again later.”
That guy would give Carynne a ring later anyway.
“Then I’m happy.”
Oh, Isella, Isella. This is why it can’t be you.
Even if you try to bully me, it really can’t be you. You’re rich, sure, but you’re not on the same level as me. Look around—everyone’s sympathizing with me instead of siding with you.
Carynne went with the flow and slightly shed some tears.
“P-Paying so much atten…tion to material desires is… not right.”
Ah, why must you pour cold water on my efforts?
Dullan struggled to continue speaking, trying to criticize Isella, but the more he did this, the colder the atmosphere became.
Carynne knitted her brows. Why was he bothering her so much? She didn’t want her chances to enter Isella’s mansion and to meet Raymond there be thwarted.
“I’ll be off now.”
While Carynne stared at the sulking Isella’s retreating figure, Dullan tried his chances at flirting with Carynne, to no avail.
She wondered if it would be easier to seduce Raymond if she was a widow.
* * *
Those who saw Carynne for the first time would think this: that she was breathtaking. Everyone grieved when the kind-hearted Mrs. Hare passed away, but they felt even more sorry for Carynne, who was becoming more and more beautiful by the day, as she cried for her. And though she got engaged at a young age, people who were curious about her continued to come.
However, Fief Lord Hare would protect Carynne from their prying eyes every time. Even as everyone thought that those two didn’t suit each other, the engagement was still well on its way. A subtle resentment bristled within the fief.
And everyone who saw Carynne, amidst the bright spring flowers, smiling at Dullan, they felt how their blood was boiling.
Her bright red hair was reminiscent of a bouquet of roses in full bloom. As she ran around excitedly, the peal of laughter that burst through her lips was not out of courtesy, but of sincerity.
Her lithe steps made her look like she was a goddess of spring, that she was dancing—that spring itself had come. She was so light on her feet that it seemed like she couldn’t possibly crush a single petal.
Everyone stopped whatever they were doing, breathless. She was like a cheerful, shimmering view of the coming summer’s sky. How many years had it been since she laughed like this?
This was a day worth celebrating. Spring has come. The fragrance of flowers was in the air.
The sky was clear and blue, and the most beautiful girl was smiling with such joy.
Carynne’s first murder was a success.
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