Chapter 16

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The green light spread from his fingertips and scoured the flowers once before disappearing.

Surprised, Hyazelki’s eyes grew round.



“Baby, this flower will not wither ever.”

“Really?”

“Yes, I’ll prepare a proper present for your next birthday.”

“No, Jiel. Thank you very much. I’m just happy to see Jiel today.”

“Baby…”



Jiel, filled with emotion, tried to hug Hyazelki, but Kael jerked him away.

Regardless, Hyazelki was carefully smoothening the flowers.

She had never seen such a beautiful flower. Even after the last three lives she lived.



“Pretty…”

It was amazing that Kael actually ordered Jiel to bring this.

A flower that is surprisingly precious to see in person.

She never thought Kael would know this much about flowers.

She was very grateful that someone had done such a great thing for her.

Hyazelki pulled at Kael’s sleeve, who had his head turned.



“……Did you prepare flowers on purpose? Because I like flowers?”



Kael cleared his throat, avoided looking at her, and nodded faintly.



“Yes, I know you like flowers.”

“Is that why you ordered this precious flower to be brought?”

“Of course. It’s a flower given as a gift, so shouldn’t it be the most precious and beautiful flower?”

“Really?”

“Of course. Can I give you something trivial as a gift?”

Kael thought that the gift he would give to her, of course, should be the best.

Unconsciously, he didn’t know what was strange, but Albert’s constant expression of emotion bothered him.



“Well, Lord Jiel…… Where did you find this precious Winter Lily?”



Yuri, who was watching the child quietly, couldn’t resist and asked Jiel.

Then, Jiel shrugged his shoulders and answered casually.



“What kind of flower can’t be bloomed by the Dragon of the Earth?”

“Ah…… yes.”



Yuri, who nodded with an uncomfortable face, asked Hyazelki next.



“Shall we get it to a vase, Miss?”

“Yes, Yuri. Thank you.”



Unable to take her eyes off the flowers, Hyazelki nodded.

Then she looked at everyone in the banquet hall one by one and smiled beautifully.

She has never been so happy.

This is what a birthday is like, and for the first time that day, she was thankful that she also has a birthday.

She was grateful to the people around her, and she thanked Ciel from the bottom of her heart for saving her and bringing her here.

She was also thankful for the parents who gave birth to her, even though they don’t love her.



“Come on, Lady! Eat more, try this, too.”



The banquet hall was filled with laughter, and Hyazelki’s birthday party, which began at noon, continued until late in the afternoon.



* * *



That night.

Hyazelki, who was lying on the bed, peeped through the lighted room.

She had the happiest birthday in the world.

Jiel went away quickly, saying he had to work again. But everyone else smiled and enjoyed the party enthusiastically.

She was so grateful for the fact.

It was not until her fourth life that she received the warm touch, smile, and affection that she had hoped for so much.

It was so warm and heartbreaking that she couldn’t live like this back to the past, where she had to live an affectionless life.



‘I think it’s okay to dream about the past now…….’



There’s someone who’ll hug her when she wakes up.

As she closed hereyes with that thought, someone approached.



“Hyazelki.”



When she opened her eyes, she saw a pair of red eyes glowing in the dark.

It was a silhouette she hadn’t seen in a while.

Hyazelki sprang to her feet.



“White dragon!”

“Long time no see.”



With a gentle smile, Ciel reached out and stroked her head.




“I’m glad it’s not midnight yet. Happy birthday, Hyazelki.”

“Ah…”



As he smiled, the child stared at the figure for a moment.



“Thank you.”



‘Did you come here on purpose for my birthday?’



It tickled her somehow to think so.



“How was your birthday today?”



It was a question as if he knew all about her past.

Looking up at Ciel, Hyazelky slightly dropped her eyes.



“……I was happy.”

“Thank God.”



The hand stroking the child’s head slipped.

Then he pulled the string from Hyazelki’s neck.

A watch with a dragon engraved on it.

Ciel, who pulled it out, whispered.



“I came here today to wish you a happy birthday and to tell you something about it.”

“This?”

“Yes, this is….”



Ciel’s fingertips rubbed the shape of the dragon engraved on the pocket watch gently.



“It reacted a while ago.”



Hyazelki, who was staring at the tip of Ciel’s slowly moving finger, looked up.

It immediately occurred to her when it was.

The day she saw Kael punishing a sinner.

Looking at the sinner, when it whined and clenched his hands.



“I wanted to come a little earlier and take a look, but I was busy. That’s why I’m here a bit late.”

“………why did you do that?”

“Because you have power.”

“Power…”



Instead of answering the question straight away, Ciel lifted the pocket watch to her eye level.



“It’s not just a watch.”

“Then?”

“It has the power that suits you very well.”



Hyazelki tilted her head at the vague words of Ciel.

He covered the watch with his hand. A flash of white light flashed from his hand to it.



“This is my present. Hyazelki, one day this will help you. Always keep it with you.”



Hyazelki looked blankly at Ciel and nodded.



“I hope you will always be happy.”



‘Cause that’s the only thing I can do for you.’

Ciel took a step back from her, swallowing the words back.

She was so loved but lived lives without being loved… what an irony.

Ciel shook off his thoughts, dropping a faint gaze on the floor.



“Well, I’ll come back again.”



With the short word, Ciel disappeared in an instant as if he had never been there.

Hyazelki, who was staring still into the air where he disappeared, looked at the pocket watch.



‘Power…’



The power that he said will help her. She didn’t know what it was, but Hyazelki stared at the pocket watch intently.

As if the dragon engraved on the clock would answer when she looked at it like this.

She wished she could use it if she had the power.

She didn’t know what the curse was or why it was after her.



‘Give my fate to a dog….’

But since Kael’s words began to linger in her head, she had been thinking that.

Why do I have to be unloved?

She didn’t know what she did wrong, and she didn’t want to be unloved at all because of a curse.

Hyazelki held the pocket watch, put it down, and lay down on the bed.

The child, who closed her eyes slowly, soon fell into a deep sleep.



****



Before meeting Ciel, the child thought that her fourth life would be no different from her previous life.

But for a moment, the distortion was quickly revealed.



“How can you be so pretty?”



Hearing that, Hyazelki thought she would be able to receive affection from her parents this time.

There was a smile on their voices, and she couldn’t feel any negative emotions in the atmosphere.

Not only her parents, but also the entire village.

Of all the lives that have passed, she has been in the arms of her parents in this life the most.

They hugged her often and took her outside to play.



“Oh, she’s so pretty.”

“Really? I only thought she looked pretty to me because she is my child…….”

“What are you talking about? I’ve never seen such a pretty baby!”



Her mother especially liked to walk around the village holding her.

Everyone in the village praised Hyazelki for being pretty, including children and adults.

But at the same time, her mind was uneasy.

As the praise for being pretty increased, malice mixed in the way they looked at her.

So the compliment was unwelcome.

As time went by, she was only afraid.

Then it was one day.

One of the villagers suddenly fell down on the street.

The village was infested with plague, starting with him.

People were dying, and the remainers were terrified that they didn’t know when it would be their time.

Gradually, they lost their composure, and their mind became exhausted.

They tried to solve the problem somehow, but they couldn’t get the help from the country.

It wasn’t the only village in the country where the plague broke out.

People refrained from going out, and were increasingly wary of each other.

As the state of having nothing to believe continued, the hearts with nowhere to go began to lean on false rumors.



“Heaven is angry…….”



The plague that devoured their village became the wrath of Heaven.

They began to beg for mistakes they didn’t do to live.

However, no matter how many mistakes were confessed, nothing was solved.

It couldn’t have been solved. It was ridiculous to say that Heaven was angry.



“Have you heard that?”

“It can’t be true…… Don’t be ridiculous.”



Around that time, strange rumors began to circulate in the village.

It is necessary to put in proper sincerity on the confession to calm the wrath of Heaven.

There was a lot of talk about what the ‘proper sincerity’ was.

Still, no one really wanted to practice the ritual.

But people continued to die, and when there was really no way to live, they suddenly changed.



“She’s the purest and most beautiful, so she’s the only one.”



It was absurd, but the villagers didn’t change their minds.

Hyazelki’s parents initially refused.

“How can I offer my child as an offering to God?”

However, the villagers were stubborn, and they also hoped that this disaster would end as soon as possible.

“Baby, I’m sorry. But I can’t help it. For everyone…….”



The child cried with tears and shouted no, but it was no use.

She thought she was loved for once……but she wasn’t.

They hung a crying and struggling child from a tree and put a pile of firewood underneath her.



“God, please forgive us for this offering.”



She saw people lying on the floor in the distance.

Having said the same thing so many times, they soon lit the firewood piled up under the child’s feet.

In order to live, they were killing a child who was only four years old.

The red flames rose in an instant, and the child cried endlessly.

The heat rising from below, the eyes watching as if she were dying, were so afraid.

She coughed up black smoke, she wanted to lift her legs to save herself from the flames, but she couldn’t.

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