I Ran Away And Got Married - Chapter 3
The next day.
Raphia changed into a rather rough, rigid white dress.
“Someone has come to offer their support for you today. He’ll take care of you. Remember to behave yourself.”
The Director had visited Raphia and said this with an intimidating face, threatening her with these words.
“Yes, I’ll behave.”
Raphia nodded obediently. At that, the Director was satisfied, thinking that his intimidation was effective.
Being an adult in a child’s body, Raphia simply accepted the situation and went with the flow.
“Good. Then, let’s go.”
The Director personally brought her to the office.
Unlike the shabby room where the children stayed, the room that the Director used was spotless, not a hint of an untoward stench anywhere.
“Stay right here. If you even so much as think about pulling any stunts—”
The Director lowered his voice to a dangerous tone to scare Raphia.
Unbothered, Raphia simply cut him off mid-sentence.
“I’ll stay still.”
He looked at her dubiously and sent a covert sign to the guard behind her.
“Watch over her.”
How much more suspicious could he get.
Leaving Raphia at the hallway, the Director entered the office first. She held her breath.
‘No matter how you look at it, it’s obvious that something’s going on.’
How strange that a benefactor was here to pick up his ward in the dead of the night.
It was all too suspicious.
‘Well, it’s not that important for that unscrupulous Director to care about the details anyway. As long as there’s a lot of money involved.’
“Follow me in.”
Raphia went in after him with a chilly expression.
A man, who had his face covered by a hood, was sitting on a couch inside the Director’s office.
At one glance, Raphia recognized him immediately.
“Is this the child you’re looking for?”
“. . . That’s right.”
It was a familiar voice.
Raphia had to steel her nerves for this meeting, but as soon as she heard that man’s voice, Raphia’s heart sank.
‘It’s okay. Calm down.’
Raphia exhaled silently and lowered her gaze to appear as if she was docile.
For her to run away successfully, she’d have to save herself here first.
“She’s a smart kid. No matter what you ask her to do, she follows orders well.”
Although the times he met Raphia could be counted on one hand, he rattled off as if he knew her well.
“It’s the orphanage’s policy that we shape these unreliable children so that they could go out to society and earn a decent living later. From the moment they enter the institution, as part of their education, we give them tasks to increase their job experience.”
In other words, this orphanage gathered children to the brim and exploited them by putting them under forced labor.
There was no response from the benefactor.
The Director then coughed a few times, then changed the subject.
“But how did you know that we had a child in our orphanage with her specific appearance here?”
He continued rambling with an amiable tone, perhaps hoping to get on the benefactor’s good side.
“Why are you curious?”
It was a young voice.
The icy question shut down the Director at once.
“Oh . . . it’s just that it’s a huge coincidence . . . I must have offended you by asking a brash question. I apologize deeply.”
To express his regrets, he cowered immediately.
Unfortunately for him, the benefactor answered with neither “It’s alright” or “Just be careful next time.”
Raphia stared at the man veiled by a robe. She couldn’t see his face, but inside her mind, she called his name.
He was Raphia’s benefactor in her previous life.
‘It really is him.’
But of course, that wouldn’t be his real name.
As she recalled her past, the fire behind Raphia’s eyes became stronger.
‘Who the hell are you to have so many followers?’
The person who got her out of this orphanage was definitely the man across from her, but ever since then, there were many people who started visiting her.
Sometimes it was an old man, sometimes it was a young man or a woman . . .
Height, age, gender. They were all so varied, but they all called themselves ‘Yuri’, as if they truly shared just one name between themselves.
Raphia eventually took it upon herself to call everyone who came to visit her as Lady or Lord Yuri.
However, there was a clear distinction between the Yuri in front of her now and all the rest of them.
Raphia called this person the ‘First Yuri’.
Many years later, this leader’s influence would grow exponentially, and it was only then that Raphia realized the people who visited her were ‘those who served Yuri’.
They’re the ones who used Raphia’s power over words indiscriminately, just as recklessly as the First Yuri.
It was like they knew a lot more about Raphia that she did about herself.
After leaving the orphanage on this night in her previous life, she had been with them for the next nine years, but all she knew were the following things: that they all used the name ‘Yuri,’ that they all hid their identities, and that they always wore those robes to cover their faces.
As if they were extremely wary about Raphia seeing through them.
As if they were carefully keeping her unawares as an obedient doll who listened to them well.
After Raphia grew up a little more, it crossed her mind that it was tiresome to keep following their orders. And so, for a little while, she strayed from the path they paved for her.
As she strayed, those people whispered many things.
—You must never forget, Raphia. If that person didn’t pick you up, you’d still be living in that hellhole.
—Until the day you die, never forget that he saved you from that gutter.
—If you still want to continue living like a human being, then remember that you have debts to repay.
In her first life, these were what she repeatedly heard from them.
There was a bitter taste in her mouth.
For the longest time, she had been burdened by the words that these countless Yuris uttered.
‘I won’t live like that anymore!’
She would now act on what’s right or wrong according to her own standards.
Raphia made a series of promises to herself.
At that moment, the silent Yuri before her opened his mouth.
“I’ll take this kid with me right away.”
“Yes, yes. We’ll get her ready for you at once.”
The Director promptly cowered beneath him.
* * *
Raphia followed the Director’s footsteps without the leisure of catching her breath.
As he walked in front of her, his excited voice rang out.
“You’re going to have a good life ahead of you.”
He was ecstatic at the supposed opportunity he created for this child.
“You’ll have a job for the rest of your life, and thanks to you, the other kids here will be able to have wheat bread and soup with meat for the next few days.”
Raphia only laughed inwardly as she listened to him.
Donations were never directly proportional to the welfare available to the orphans, no matter how large the money he received.
‘He’ll have yet another pocket filled in.’
The Director would continue living this way.
Raphia just kept her mouth shut and considered her circumstances.
In her first life, she was young when everything changed around her, so she never thought deeply about anything.
However, now that she had the chance to experience it for the second time, Raphia could plan out her moves objectively, one step ahead.
A question now presented itself.
‘Who were the people who could afford to shell out such a huge amount of money?’
Even though he was shrouded in mysteries, Raphia could surmise two things about Yuri.
First, that he was a wealthy man. And second, because he paid such an astronomical amount, he definitely knew who Raphia was.
Suddenly, the Director who was walking in front of her halted in his steps.
He warned Raphia once again in a low voice.
“He’s your benefactor. Be polite and always be careful. Understand?”
It seemed like he was anxious about Raphia throwing a fit, which could potentially cause the cancellation of the sponsorship contract.
When she looked up, there was a dark brown carriage which must be Yuri’s.
It was closed off with not a single window, as if its passenger didn’t want to be identified.
Raphia decided to put her thoughts about Yuri aside.
‘What’s important right now is . . .’
Taking a deep breath and making sure no one noticed, she quickly took account of her surroundings.
‘The horse is facing to the right.’
That meant that the carriage was on the right side of the road, which should be relatively wide.
‘A wide road would be too disadvantageous for me.’
Regardless of how secluded or remote the orphanage’s location was, it was still under the Director’s watch.
Which was why the chance of her getting help on the main road was slim to none.
‘I need to use this small body well.’
She had to make herself as small and as dirty as possible.
Because that’s when she’d be least likely to be caught.
Raphia took a deep breath, held it in, then closed her eyes.
‘My power didn’t disappear, did it?’
Yesterday, as she was organizing her thoughts after taking that bath, she gauged the extent of her remaining strength.
She wasn’t old enough to activate the Way of the Word entirely yet.
However, as she slowly assimilated her consciousness to this body in the present, she wondered if there would be any signs that the seal on her power would be cracked.
That’s why she checked it. Fortunately, just as she guessed, the door to her power was open. It was the faint golden energy that could be used to control speech and language. However, it seemed like the light could go out any minute.
Just in case, she tested it out again, but nothing happened.
‘It’s still not enough.’
She would be able to use three commands at most. After that, it was clear that she would only be able to use her strength again after a long rest.
Raphia grew solemn as she pondered.
The more she used her power over words, the more she suffered internal injuries. Could her young body endure the pain?
But then, no matter how much she thought about it, there really was no other way.
‘I have to run away first.’
To a place where they wouldn’t reach her.
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