I Became The Stepmother Of An Irrevocable Dark Family - Chapter 18
Translator and Editor: Maru and Aki
Each thing Leona had gone through in her life sank in my head.
I took a glimpse of her course of life. Her life was so tough that she’d rather die.
Leona Selen originated from a fallen aristocrat family. No matter how much of a downfall a fallen aristocrat runs into, they’d usually be able to make ends meet.
Her family was an exception.
Even though his legs and arms were intact, her father, who wanted nothing but a quick buck, did not even carry out the basic responsibilities as the head of the family just because he was a nobleman.
That’s not all. Her mother used up all the money they had left and squandered it on luxury. Even her older sister acted like her mother and indulged in luxury.
The youngest member of the family, Leona, had to earn money from a very early age on behalf of her family.
She did everything she could to earn money, except for selling her body.
However, no matter how hard she tried, her family’s situation did not improve.
Each time she earned money, it was used for either of the two: Her father who gambled, or her mother and sister who indulged in luxury.
It was like pouring water into a pot with a hole in the bottom.
Leona had to patch up her own clothes and wore a thin summer dress even in winter.
‘In the end, Leona’s father did what he shouldn’t have done.’
He tried to sell his daughter as a prostitute.
Due to sheer luck, Leona’s father met the Duke just before he sold his daughter to a brothel.
‘Anyways, this place was heaven compared to where she lived then. During the days when Leona lived in her house, her room was an attic. In that room, she couldn’t even straighten herself up properly and made friends with mice and cockroaches.’
In that instant, I had goosebumps all over my body.
Absolutely not. Even if I run away from here, I would never return to that house.
Never in a million years would I sleep with such friends.
In that sense, this place was no different than heaven. But Rere seemed to think differently.
“In such a room…!”
“No. I like it. Come on in, Rere. It’s not always good to have a big room. It’s cozy and nice. The sun comes through warmly.”
However, the child seemed to be dissatisfied with it.
Rere struggled to go down from my arms. She was busy skimming through the entire room while grumbling in a blunt manner.
“Small. I said it’s small! I’m going to kill daddy. How dare he give my mom this kind of room?”
“You’re trying to side with him again, aren’t you?!”
“No, there’s no way I’m siding with him. If anything, I want to curse him out.”
“True. Mom, you should curse at daddy. It’s his fault!”
After her last scream, Rere looked at the bed and opened her eyes flimsily.
“I’m done looking around. How small! I don’t like it! It’s smaller than my toy room! It’s not even as big as my dollhouse!”
As soon as she said that, Rere climbed up to my bed.
“…Rere? You said you don’t like it?”
“Yeah. I don’t like it to the point that I’m so annoyed, but what can I do? Mom can’t sleep alone, so I’ll sleep with mom today. In this room!”
“Uh, yeah? Is that so?”
“The room is bad and old, but I’ll sleep here just for you. Come on.”
The child pounded on my bed with her hand.
“Just for today. Let’s sleep in my room from tomorrow onwards. How can you sleep here!”
“Is it that bad?”
“Yeah, I’ll allow you to sleep with me not only tomorrow, but also until my stupid daddy gets you a room.”
The grinning child even turned the blanket down.
It’s so darn cute.
‘Why did I never look into this child’s heart even once?’
Even now, seemingly, I couldn’t completely love Rere yet.
As the Duke said, the child’s heart might change someday. Nonetheless, I really liked Rere.
To the point that I often wonder why I even hated her.
The same would apply to Rere. Once the child opened her heart, she absorbed love like a sponge.
She didn’t speak nicely, but since I knew she didn’t mean any of those words, she was even more adorable.
So I naturally lied down next to Rere.
Thanks to the exceptionally high ceiling, the moonlight gently drifted in through the window that was hung on the upper side.
Perhaps because of that, even when the lights were turned off, the room was bright. It was such a dreamy atmosphere.
Thanks to that, I could see Rere’s face lying next to me.
Rere also smiled slightly as if we had the same thought.
“But it’s not that bad. The atmosphere is a lot better than I thought.”
“You like it?”
“Yeah! I guess it’s because mom is right next to me.”
“Our Rere is talking prettily now?”
Rere, who smiled brightly to the point her cheeks might burst, hugged the doll she was holding more tightly.
“That’s not true! Well…..Mom will act pretty when I spoil her. So mom is more pretty.”
The child stroked my head with her small hand.
“Rere is also pretty these days.”
“Yeah. Rere is always pretty. Such a cute child is not common in the world!”
The child stuck out her tongue and flailed her feet.
When I saw the child who seemed shy but happy, I laughed without realizing it.
“That’s right. You’re cute and pretty.”
“She’s in a good mood because of your compliment.”
Rere raised the rabbit’s hand that she had been carrying along.
Thanks to this, I could clearly see the doll that I had seen before.
“And what’s the rabbit’s name?”
It was an old rabbit doll.
The rabbit that Rere always carried seemed to always have a new bag, but the rabbit doll itself isn’t new.
As if to prove it, the rabbit doll’s eyes fell out, and there were several broken parts here and there.
The awfully broken parts were roughly mended with fabric.
It looked different from the countless rabbit dolls in the child’s room.
“Are you curious? Then, I’ll only tell mom about this. Her name is Ugly.”
“…Because she’s ugly. She has different eyes and uneven ears. There’s less cotton in the arms, so it’s not good to hug.”
Rere, who grumbled, held the rabbit up high.
“That’s why her name is Ugly.”
“But you seem to cherish it a lot. Didn’t you make her a bag, too?”
“…Yeah. My ugly mom made it for me. The mom who gave birth to me. Instead of making things like this, she should’ve stayed next to me. Why bother doing something useless. Just like mom now. You only do useless things.”
The sullen Rere stretched out the rabbit’s mouth.
When I asked what I shouldn’t have asked, I hurriedly tried to move on to another subject.
“I see. What about other dolls…”
“But still, I’m fine. My mom is next to me now. Because mom won’t leave.”
Before I knew it, Rere, who hugged the doll in her arms, curled up in my arms.
“Did you know? That daddy’s a fool? All I like is Ugly, but he thought I liked rabbits and bought a hundred of them last time.”
“Uh, yeah? Did he?”
“Not only that. I actually don’t like rabbits, but he always buys me rabbit dolls because he thinks I like it. I’m talking about those rabbits in my room.”
“So Rere doesn’t want them?”
“Yeah. Rather, I always lose my Ugly when I play there. Daddy…Daddy doesn’t know what I really need. He doesn’t even try to find out. He always does as he pleases every day. He became very stupid lately.”
The grumpy child buried her head in my chest.
“Yeah. No idea. Just…mom is different.”
She kept saying I’m different, but honestly, I don’t know what’s different about me.
“Then, what would Rere do if mom becomes like the other moms? What if I become a fool like your dad?”
The child didn’t answer for a long time.
But then she smiled as if she thought of something.
“Then I want to love such a mom. All I have to do is to love my mom. That way I won’t hate you even if you change.”
Rere, who was giggling as if she had earned an enlightenment, shook her head quickly.
“Do-Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I love you. Ra-Rabbit! It’s Ugly who said that.”
At that moment, Rere’s cheeks flushed red and her ruby eyes shook endlessly.
“What are you looking at? Don’t look, stupid mom. Hurry up and sleep.”
Perhaps she wasn’t used to expressing her feelings, so Rere couldn’t subdue her shyness. She dabbed my arm and kept eye contact with me.
And then she fell asleep first.
Seeing such a child, I couldn’t sleep for a long time.
Indeed, what did I want? Did I really want to turn the evil child into a normal child?
‘If I do that, what difference would it make? The child’s body has a time limit.’
She would die in the end.
In the novel, the child’s body slowly worsened.
‘But I want to heal you. I want to change the child’s life, which is hanging on by a few numbers. Don’t let yourself die. Twenty to thirty. I want to protect this pure heart until she becomes an adult and old woman.’
But I couldn’t remember the child’s last moment.
Did she really die because of her illness or something else?
I must’ve remembered everything at first, but somehow my head became clouded now.
“Baby, what really happened to you? If only I could remember the future, I would definitely protect you. But still, don’t worry. I won’t let you die. Because I decided to be your mom.”
My hands naturally caressed Rere’s hair.
Rere rubbed my hand against her cheeks as if she was feeling comfortable with my touch. After a long time, I finally fell asleep.
The next morning.
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