I'm A Villainess, Can I Die? - Chapter 34
Translator and Editor: Gina and Nabi
The place I opened my eyes was a space full of darkness. A space so dark that I couldn’t even see my fingers. It was the same, even if I had my eyes closed or opened.
‘Did I really fall into hell this time…?’
I didn’t really feel like getting up. If you lie down like this, someone would come to pick you up—whether it’s the grim reaper, the devil, or King Yan.
[ T/N: King Yan or Yama— Buddhist mythology. King of the underworld and a Dharmapala (wrathful god) said to judge the dead]
‘Ah… I really didn’t want to do anything.’
I must have been lying blankly for a while, and suddenly a white butterfly flew from the empty space, flapping its wings.
The number of flying white butterflies gradually increased. Dozens, hundreds of them gathered together and flapped their wings, and then radiated light and formed a humane figure. It was like the dream I had always had. The human form gradually became more apparent and became Selena, as usual.
However, the difference was that this time her voice was clearly audible.
Selena, who shouted, stroked her neck as if surprised at herself. Her gaze slowly turned toward me, groping her neck and checking her voice a few more times. Soon, she strode over to me, grabbed me by the shoulders, and forced me to stand up.
She then looked up at me with eyes that looked like she was about to cry before raising her hand and slapped my cheek harshly.
‘No… what? Are you f*ckng kidding me right now, people? What is this lifting me and slapping me on the cheek…?’
When I turned my head straight back and stared down at Selena with an expression of ‘Hey what the f-‘ she was crying, she was crying so much that I could barely say anything.
“When… When did I ask you to die?! Who told you to die?!”
Selena uttered so as she crouched down and started crying in earnest.
I didn’t really understand the flow of the situation in which she lifted me, slapped me on the cheek, and then suddenly sat down and cried. Even though I was the one slapped, she was the one crying sadly.
Either way, eventually, I sat down next to her and patted her as in my dreams.
“When did I… Hiiik…tell you to die? Waaahhh… No… did I call you for you to die? The reason I called you… Whaaaa…! It wasn’t this!”
“Why did you call me?”
“…That’s… uh… I…I didn’t call you…! Yeah! I don’t know because I didn’t call you. Anyway, I never told you to die! I regretted my life at the moment of death, and that’s why I showed you that. I meant you shouldn’t live like me!”
“Most people wouldn’t live like you.”
“Woaah! I don’t even know what to say–! Ha! Most people don’t even live like you? Who’s the one with a death wish who jumped on her own?!”
I also had nothing to say.
“…I don’t care if I die or live anyway… I can listen to that much.”
“Oh, my gosh! Just amazing! Though the important thing is that it wasn’t my wish! I want to live as long as possible!”
“Well, why don’t you go into your body and live?”
Selena gritted her teeth at my words. Instead of getting angry, she gazed at me, turned her head, and buried her face in her knees.
“…My soul is dead, and I cannot enter it.”
“I’ve been punished! That’s how I lived my life. Bullying people, exerting power, cursing, and hitting others… A greedy person who covets other people’s things… Ah, I’ve been living my life like a crazy dog. Well, these kinds of people are going to be punished in the end.”
‘Punishment… So, will my previous parents be punished, too? I wish they were punished… No, I hope not. Was it my younger sister’s death punishment for them, or was it a punishment for me?’
“Are you listening?”
At her words, I nodded my head roughly as I was thinking about Selena’s tearful confession.
“Anyway… since you entered my body…I wanted you to live as you are. I wanted you to accept people’s love as it is, and wished for you to live as happily as you can without being greedy about this bad thing.”
Accept people’s love as it is… be happy as it is, without being greedy at all…
It was such a difficult thing. It was a wish more difficult to grant than dying. Indeed, I didn’t care if I lived or not. My previous life was exhausting, my little sister died, and I killed myself with my own hands.
When I entered Selena’s body, I just thought it was annoying. Since it was the life I had gained, I did not have the desire to die again, nor did I have the desire to live hard. I was destined to die at the age of twenty-three, anyway.
I wanted to pass some time… Then, I found out about Selena’s wish (of course, I misunderstood), and I wanted to grant it.
Yeah, basically, for me, life and death were so light enough to be swayed by someone else’s wish. Nonetheless, the words love, greed, and happiness were different.
“How could I do that?”
“I said how could I do that. I’m not really you.”
Selena’s eyes widened as she looked at me. It was as if she had heard something she hadn’t thought of.
She opened her mouth as if she had something to say, then closed it again. Moments later, her eyes turned bright red, and tears welled up again and fell to the floor. It looked like she was full of tears by nature.
She squeezed her eyes with both hands and shook her head, pressed her lips, and turned her head back to me.
“Why aren’t you real? You’re real… you’re the real me I say. You’re in my body. It’s one body. You’re the real Selena… You deserve to be loved, too.”
Did she become a person just because she entered a body…?
It didn’t make sense to me. How could I insist that I was Selena when the years we had lived in this body differed so much? It was even strange to talk about the right to be loved just because I barely entered the body and pretended to be the real one.
“Anyway, I’m going to die soon. I fell from the clock tower, so don’t keep saying nonsense.”
Selena’s — two-month — life experience was my childhood dream and fantasy. Of course, it was very similar to the terrible and beautiful experience I tasted. However, she wanted me to accept this dream-like thing so easily?
‘My name is Selena. Oh, right, I’m Selena. Just like this?’
“…Nonsense, you say? Why is it nonsense?! You said that you would grant my wish! Isn’t that why you died? Then grant me my wish again this time. Live a happy life! Happily!”
“There are also wishes that cannot be granted. From the start, what’s the meaning of happily living? Pretending to be you…? Deceiving all of your family, being loved, then dying of illness? If not then pretending to be you and enjoying a high place as a princess?”
I didn’t raise my voice, I was just speaking as usual.
Still, Selena bit her lip and stepped back every time I opened her mouth.
“My usefulness has already ended. My whole life belonged to my parents and my little sister, though now I am useless. They swung me around and controlled every aspect of my life, but then they say I’m useless, they won’t meddle in my life anymore and set me free? I don’t know how to be alone. But how do I live happily? I don’t even know how to live alone. How can I live in happiness…? I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything about myself. Leave it. It’s all troublesome now. I feel tired. Regardless, I’m dead, so that’s it.”
It was a confusing feeling. Although the words that came out from somewhere deep were pouring out non-stop, the voice I heard in my ears was so calm that it felt strange.
Selena, who had been listening to my story while walking backward, dazed, came with a rough footstep and grabbed my arms with both hands. With strange anger and similar emotions to mine in her eyes.
“Why do people need to be useful? Do only useful people have to live??!! What’s that!! That someone has to decide whether you’re useful for your future or not—! What…”
Crying and screaming, Selena covered her face with her hands. Her shoulders shook for a while. Eventually, she wiped her eyes with her sleeves and gazed at me with a calmer face than before.
“…Why did you jump like that? Isn’t it because you think I wanted it?”
“…I was a dead man in my previous life, anyway.”
“But, now you’re alive.”
She clenched her fists as if she had no intention of backing down.
“You’re just dying out of obligation. As you said, you don’t know how to live a life where no one decides on your future, but it seems like you don’t want to die miserably… That’s right, I’ll die by myself instead— You were obsessed with such a strange and bizarre sense of duty and tried to die as if you were performing a mission. You thought it was of use. Because you believe that you can live only when you are useful.”
Selena spat out her words as she stared at me.
Looking at her glaring gaze and clenched fists, it felt like I had suddenly entered a fistfight. Considering such a thing, she was a good puncher, and I was the one being hit by her fists and shut the hell out.
Everything she said was true.
A truth that I had been ignoring and even was unaware of. I could only live if someone decided on my usefulness because all my previous life I had lived and moved as if I was controlled by a remote control…
A year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, one minute. Whatever it was, I had to walk on the road as my parents told me to.
As a result, I didn’t even know if I wanted to die or live. I lived because I was told to live, but after my sister died, they said I was of no use anymore. What would my life be like if it were useless? A useless life, a life without milestones.
In a life where I didn’t even know who I was, I climbed into an abandoned construction. The squeaking of the old metal resonated in my ears, still, I wasn’t scared. The more I climbed the stairs, the more my mind became empty. I dragged my empty head and tired body up and looked down at the ground.
In the pitch-black darkness, it was difficult to see the appearance of the floor. It was like looking at the black sea.
Thinking of the end of my life, I recalled my sister’s face.
Even though it was due to coercion, that child was the reason and purpose of my life…. A sickly, pale face.
Ah… the only face I could remember was that face. If I sacrificed myself to live for her… shouldn’t I recall her, at least, with a peachy-colored face? She should have shown me that face, at least, for a moment.
As I shut my eyes, a cold wind blew around me, and my long hair tickled the back of my neck.
…Oh, so annoying. Forget it. It’s enough. It’s over.
After all, this is how it ends.
With that thought, I took a step forward. Of course, there was nothing to step on in the empty space.
That was how I died.
When she says ‘peachy-colored face,’ she means a healthy-colored face
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