But death in reality did not.
As if it were in a hurry, the strength was lost in an instant, and the dry eyelids, which were shaking, stopped as if frozen.

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“Oh, n- no.”

Tears did not come out.
My mother’s death was something I’ve experienced once.
Contrary to Solita’s words that she didn’t open her eyes and was out of breath without any pain or difficulties, the reason why my mother opened her eyes this time was not due to God’s mercy.

When my mother had opened her eyes Solita must have been unable to tell Calliope that the last appearance of my mother was looking for her because she knew the weight of the guilt Calliope would feel for not being there.

I looked at her skinny face, which was no longer warm.
Calliope didn’t even notice that she wasn’t breathing.
The wind blew through the shutters.
Like an envoy to pick up my mother’s soul.

Calliope was hit in the face by the wind and looked up.
The sun was setting.
The sky, which had been red like the blood of living things, gradually darkened.
As if to signal the end of someone’s life.

Hot liquid ran down my cold cheeks.

“… Mom.”

There have been times when people have picked up the saying that the sense of hearing is alive for a very short time after death.
She opened her mouth to say the last words she could not bear to say to her.


A cry of grief and despair ensued.
A cry that is like a scream echoes through the old, worn-out wooden house.
The sun has gone down completely.
The embers of the simple stove, which was barely left in the dark house, shone.

Calliope, who jumped from the bell tower, returned to the morning of the day her mother died.
Calliope cried and shouted.
God has never been on her side.
Seriously, not once.

* * *

Solita woke up early in the morning and was cleaning the house when she heard a knock.
There are no customers who will come this early, is it Etiel? She was worried because she wasn’t feeling well recently, but she  thought she got better.
The broom in her hand leaned against the table and  she approached the door and asked.

“Who is it?”

“Aunt Solita.”

Contrary to my expectations, it was Calliope, not Etiel.The voice of a 12-year-old child this early in the morning was so hoarse that it was cracking like a dry, drought-stricken land.
Solita felt a rush of anxiety rushing in.

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I opened the door and found Calliope standing right in front of the door.


And I was speechless when I saw Etiel’s beloved little daughter.

Calliope stayed up all night holding her mother’s hands, which had cooled down.
She stayed in the same place without doing anything until the sun set ,the night came  and the sun rose again.

It was not until the new day emerged that Calliope stood up from her place where she was seating.
She couldn’t stay like this forever.
The sweet and kind Solita will help her again this time.

“I want to hold my mother’s funeral.”

Solita couldn’t even respond to what she said and distorted her expression with dismalness.  Obviously, the platinum blonde hair that had been shining just like Etiel until yesterday was now coloured white.
Her red eyes, which had become cloudy as if they had followed my mother’s soul, were tanned as black as hell.

“Help me.”

Solita embraced the young, thin body.
It was so sad that this young girl came to see her mother’s end all alone .

Even as Solita swallowed her tears, Calliope stared into the air with black and red eyes.
Her tears really burned out that night.
And she reflected on her mother’s last words.
Survive, that one word.

With the help of the villagers, Calliope held the funeral of her mother, Etiel.
It snowed throughout the funeral, and the cries continued intermittently.

The child’s year passed quickly.

* * *

“Calliope, over there!”


When Dalton’s urgent voice pointed to one side, Calliope sprinted forward with her leather-shoes feet.
The white rabbits started running away from her in the opposite direction, but Dalton’s arrow quickly crashed into the rabbit’s body.
Calliope didn’t stop even while watching the beast squawking down.

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“Dalton! One more step!”

“I know!”

The rabbits rushed to Calliope and ran towards Dalton.
Like a skilled hunter, he fired arrows in a row, and all but one shot hit.
The red blood of rabbits was scattered over the white snow.
Calliope stopped breathing in a shaky breath.

“How many did you catch?”

“Well, let’s see.
One, two, three.
Four in total.”

“Wow, you catched a lot.”

“There are definitely more catches than yesterday.”

Village hunter Dalton picked up the dead rabbits one by one.
Today is the day Calliope goes hunting with Dalton.
On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, she hunted with Dalton, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, she learned self-defense from Dora, the only blacksmith in town.

Dalton, who had picked up all four rabbits, took two and put the other two in Calliope’s hands.

“Thank you.
I’ll give one to aunt Solita.”

“Solita wouldn’t blame you if you ate both.”

“That’s true, but how can I do that? She treated me with porridge the other day.”

“The porridge made with dried grass? It wouldn’t have tasted good.”

“I’ll give it to Solita, and that’s for sure.”

“What? No, no!”

Calliope came down from the mountain with a chuckle.
It didn’t snow as much as last year, but it was enough to sink her ankles.
Fortunately, it rained a lot this summer and the weather was good, so few crops grew well, and the number of rabbits living in the mountains increased, so she was able to live without being hungry.

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With Dalton, she practiced archery in the morning and went hunting in the afternoon, and the sun was already setting slowly.

“It looks like it will snow tonight.
Just go in today.”

Goodbye, Dalton.”

When Calliope, who usually greets ‘see you next time’ greeted him differently, Dalton felt a little puzzled, but thought nothing of it and waved to Calliope.
Calliope grabbed two rabbits and ran to the house of Solita, who was next door.


With a bang instead of a knock, Solita, who was cleaning, opened the door.

“You are getting stronger day by day.”

So, here’s the rabbit I caught today.
Take one.”

“Oh, again? It’s okay if you don’t do this every time.”

“You gave me porridge last time.
It was delicious.”

Solita snorted when Calliope lied without .

“The porridge didn’t taste good to me either.”

Calliope burst into laughter.
She turned her back to return home after delivering the rabbit, and Solita looked at Calliope with pride.

“When did you grow up like that?”

Calliope, who is now 13 years old, is almost an inch taller than last year and was over 150cm.
Her mother, Etiel, wasn’t short either, so she could be taller.

When Calliope went to her house, Solita also closed the door.

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Calliope shut the door and boiled hot water.
With the knife that Dora had given her, she began to skin the hunted rabbit and cut the meat.
It’s winter, so it won’t go bad easily, but if you don’t take care of it and dry it in advance, you can’t eat it for a long time.
Calliope, who was making fun of her hand with that thought in mind, suddenly stopped acting.

“Oh, I won’t be able to eat this for a long time.”

She is leaving town this Sunday.
It was the reason she said her last goodbye to Dalton earlier.
Calliope, who had been hesitating, moved her hand again as if she was  lost in her thoughts.

After she prepared the meat, she can deliver it to Solita when I leave.
In fact, she wanted to leave quietly without notifying anyone, but there was no way she couldn’t have noticed the commotion in Solita’s house next door.
Let’s meet her again for the last time and then leave.
She should also do the same thing to other people in the village.

Calliope finished cleaning the organs and meat, and washed her hands with the cold water .

“It was a year that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

So much so that I think it’s okay to stay with the villagers here.
After her mother died, the villagers took turns taking care of Calliope.
Dalton the hunter, Dora, the only blacksmith in town, and Solitta next door took great care of her.

‘I still can’t stay here.
Let’s leave without any regrets.’

After entering as a marquise, he never visited the village again.
Rumors that a noble girl lived in poverty, worked, and socialized with the common people were a huge flaw, so the family did not allow her to interact with the villagers at all.
And she must have a reason to return to the Marquis family.


The man she thought was the only one who understood her and who she thought was stronger than anyone else.
Until the saint came, she was the only one who he looked at  and regarded her as his whole world.
Neither the past nor the present self knew why he changed his mind in an instant, but it doesn’t really matter now.

Now that she has returned, no one can take him away from her.

“I’m going to make it like that.”

Calliope was going to do anything to make him completely her own.

Calliope murmured, holding the blood-soaked quilt, her mother’s only relic.

“I’ll not miss him this time.
Never, never…….”

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