69. The price of giving up

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 Surprisingly, there was no sense of curfew in Violette. But that doesn’t mean there is a lot of freedom, but rather a more severe reality.

 It is not the father or Violette herself who determines Violette’s curfew, but Marijune or her step-mother. If either of them cares about Violette, then Violette has exceeded her curfew, and if they don’t care, they will not be interested in her going home in the morning.

 No, they could be offended by her late appearance, but …… none of them have any feelings of concern for Violette’s safety. But Violette isn’t concerned about their feelings for her. The heart that used to feel hurt has already withered away.

 She no longer has any emotion or energy to spare, and even if she were to vent her frustration, she would just let it slide. She has gotten used to it, or maybe she has given up? She doesn’t know if it’s just her feelings of giving up,……, but either way those frustrating and depressing feeling is not healthy, and she is happy that she could have a healthy life in this lifetime that she never thought could have in the first place.

“I was nervous, but I think I did the best I could!”

“I see. It must have been a tough first test for you.”

 So today, too, Violette becomes a machine. She is like an inorganic object that just moves her hands and mouth.

 Whether or not her sense of taste works depends on the day, like an eating game that even Violette herself doesn’t know. Sometimes it tastes good, but when she tries to be mindless, she can’t help but perceive food as nothing more than a mass of nutrients, an object to fill her stomach.

 She feels sorry for the food that the chef made for her. It tastes so good when she eats it in her room, but she didn’t realize how much the taste of the food depends on the place and the people in the same space.

 But the fact that she can swallow it without feeling the discomfort of wanting to spit it out suggests that they made it with that much consideration for Violette. Neither the texture nor the slurpiness of the food makes her feel the discomfort of being tasteless.

 At the same time, Violette feels a weight in the pit of her stomach grow heavier just thinking about what would happen after the test results came back.The results of the test are posted in the hallway, just in case students can’t see them properly. However, since the grades and tiers are different, she doesn’t know the ranking of Marijune and her classmates. But if it is the same as last time, then it is possible Marijune will be reigning first place.

 Even when she didn’t cooperate in Marijune’s study, she(Marijune) was able to get the top position without any difficulty. This time, when the difficulty level was even lower, it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for her(Marijune) to get the first place.

(I am …… in fourth place?)

 Violette already doesn’t remember …… what place she was last time, but she is sure that she went up quite a bit. Violette is sure that the majority of people would rate it as a good result, but only objectively, from a third-party’s perspective.

 However, to her father, Violette would have been condemned if her ranking was lower than Marijune’s. Even if she had been ranked higher, she would have been reprimanded by him. The scale of reprimand would be a little smaller, but still the day when that father praises Violette would never come. This is not the dimension of possibility, but certainly, as a promised future.

 In the first place, Violette is an “embarrassing sister who can’t even win first place” to Marijune when she didn’t win first place. And even if, in desperation, she did get first place, she would end up being recognized for the fact that it’s her duty to get a better result, without being praised or reward she deserves.

 What an unreasonable and hard family lineage. Violette is the only one who is imposed upon, though the other three probably think they are the ideal family.

(Well, I’ve gotten used to it…… by now…)

 She has gotten so used to it that she can forget their unreasonable logic with a sigh. She is not even angry anymore. She is well aware that she has become much more energy-efficient person because of her one-time failure.

“I wonder how …… Yulan did.”

 Violette has no concerns or expectations regarding her half-sister, and for many reasons she is not interested even a little bit.

 On the other hand, she knows that she shouldn’t be worried about Yulan, but she is worried for him. He is a childhood friend who is like a younger brother to her, and although they are only one year apart in age, it is almost a habit for her to act like a big sister.

 Yulan is on Marijune’s class. He has the talent to absorb and utilize a lot of things quickly. He is not a genius like Marijune, but he is the type of person who knows exactly what he is capable of. Whatever the case may be, he is still an excellent person.

 Still, the reason why her worry comes first instead of reassurance is probably because somewhere in her heart, she still treats Yulan like a child. The little boy who she was protecting behind her back has grown up to be a fine young man. Still, to Violette, he is still a cute and adorable little brother, far more important to her than her family.

 She chuckled at her own feelings, as if she were an overprotective mother.

“I did my best, and I’m sure I did well, but ……”

 Violette can’t quite imagine what level that her result is.

 Come to think of it, last time, she never once asked Yulan about his test results …… She couldn’t afford to. Marijune had shattered all kinds of pride she had, and her father scorned and scolded her without any reason. Denial of her existence is a given, and he tells her to work hard even though he has a habit of not recognizing her efforts. The contradictions were so severe that she didn’t understand what he meant, but she guess it was a reasonable logic for her father. How could she endure such unreasonableness for a year? She wonders if the result of a year’s worth of resentment was a huge eruption that ended her up in prison in her previous life.

 Perhaps it was because her mental exhaustion was too much that she had no time or space to care about Yulan. In fact, she thinks she was the one who made him worry a lot. It was he who had been worried about her back then.

 Violette gave up everything, but if she could afford to think about Yulan as a result, then that was enough of a return for her.

(Oh, I should thank you both……)

 Thanks to Claudia and Mirania, Violette was able to achieve more than she was capable of. She is willing to thank Yulan again for asking them to help her, but she must further add her thanks to the two of them for taking care of her and Marijune.

 Violette doesn’t have any intention to take her sister’s place, but she honestly doesn’t think that Marijune can repay her properly ……. It’s not she is saying that she(Marijune) doesn’t have manners, but her(Marijune) values are still more like those of a commoner. She is sure that she(Marijune) intends to improve, but she can’t afford to fail in the hands of a prince.

 And if she(Marijune) did something wrong, it would be Violette who would be scolded.

 Not from Claudia and the others, but from that blind father of hers. Her father, who wants nothing but love for Marijune, might even put the blame for her ignorance on Violette.

(Let’s ask Marin to prepare something for them as thanks.)

 Since their tastes are unclear, she would like to give them something as acceptable as possible. Sweets would be the most standard, then she can ask the head chef. Claudia and the others liked the tea leaves that she recommended and praised so highly, so she will have to ask him about other necessary ingredients as well.

 But first, she would have to endure her father’s irrational remarks.

 Violette stopped thinking about it, realizing that the fact that she no longer felt disgusted or angry about it was not because of her growth but degeneration.

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