The house became very busy at night.

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She didn’t want to hear the busy footsteps, the sound of putting dishes on the table, and her stepmother’s voice, Natasha.

She could hear everything well from her room at the end of the hallway on the second floor, which made her nervous.

Sitting in front of the dressing table, Cherryl stared at Lucy and murmured.  “Is he trying to sell me to the bandits?”

Lucy, who was currently braiding her hair, paused.

“What are you talking about? The Marquis must have–”

“You don’t have to spare me, Lucy.
You have been working in the mansion for a long time.
Of course, you are aware of this.”

Marquis Milose had no affection for his ex-wife, Cherryl’s biological mother.

Cherryl had no idea how it was in the past, but when her mother began suffering from a chronic disease, her father’s cold treatment also started.

The Marquis wasn’t even sad when the doctor told him that his wife couldn’t overcome her illness.

Cherryl could only see boredom and irritation on her father’s face.

 The Marquis didn’t even shed a tear at the funeral that followed.

He was also miserly enough to lure a frivolous woman like Natasha, who possessed her deceased ex-husband’s properties.

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“I just have this hunch that they will use me as some kind of payment,” Cherryl said gritted teeth.

Lucy continued braiding Cherryl’s hair sadly.

“That wouldn’t happen, My Lady.
Don’t worry too much.
The Marquis might just be offering a place to stay and a meal for the sake of friendship.” Lucy’s consolation had leaned towards the positive side, but she failed to persuade Cherryl.

She simply disagreed.

What kind of aristocrat in the world would enjoy the company of savage bandits and treat them with free dinner?’

Lucy was heartbroken to see Cherryl sitting still without a response.

She just wanted to cheer the lady up little by little.

“Look at this dress, My Lady.”

Lucy pulled out a light coral dress from the closet. 

The color was brilliant, but it was designed to expose her shoulders and fit her torso so tight like a second skin.

The gorgeous gown was subtly decorated with fabrics of pale salmon hues in several places.

“The color is so pretty, right? It will go well with your ivory skin.”

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“I just can’t get rid of the feeling  that I will be sold and wrapped in a pretty package.”

“Don’t do that.
Here, try it on.”

Cherryl kept her mouth shut and allowed the maidservant to dress her up in peace.

“Wow! You’re so beautiful!” Lucy exclaimed.

Even Cherryl found herself pretty after she got all dressed up.

 The elegant dress showed her womanly curves all too well, while the silver-blonde hair cascading behind her waist was the icing on the cake.

Not wanting to get carried away from contrasting emotions, Cherryl shook her head.

“Well, I’d like to change my ring.”

She wasn’t comfortable wearing thumbnail-sized jewelry on her ring, so she took a simple silver ring from the jewel box.

It was her deceased mother’s heirloom that she cherished so much.

Cherryl couldn’t wear it often because she was afraid it would wear out, but she always felt comforted with it on her ring finger whenever she was sad or anxious.

“This isn’t my first life, so I’m confident everything would work out.”

Is this for real? 

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She reincarnated, but she was already sold to an unknown bandit because of his greedy father and stepmother!

*SIGH*

Even her second life wasn’t normal either.

Cherryl’s past life was a long distant future from now.

The modern era had airplanes flying in the sky and communicating with people on the other side of the world with a snap of a finger.

She grew up as an orphan who had dreamed of endless possibilities but instead, she died of infectious disease after a year of doing homework and chores.

It was such a humble and sad life a twenty-three-year-old could express in one sentence.

It was a miracle to open her eyes again and become a newborn baby.

“Cherryl.” That’s what the warm-hearted beauty she believed to be her mother had said.
“Your name is Cherryl Milose.”

It wasn’t until a couple of years later that Cherryl realized that she was reincarnated in a book she enjoyed reading in her past life–a tragic novel entitled ‘Descendants of Fallen Heroes.’

Her current reality felt ridiculous, but Cherryl’s life wasn’t as bad as her past.

She was the only child of a wealthy aristocratic family and a caring mother by her side.

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Her biological mother was a woman of great character and deeply admired by everyone.

 She was a famous beauty in the Empire and a senior graduate at the Academy. 

She died of illness even before Cherryl reached puberty.

She thought her life would go smoothly, but it had become twisted little by little since then. 

A vulgar woman had replaced the vacancy her biological mother had left and bullied her for no reason.

She wasn’t just a stranger but a thief…

“I’m just guessing, but I’m still wary of the situation.”

For now, she hoped it would be just a meal with her father’s friend, just as Lucy said.

“What does this mean?”

Suddenly, the ground trembled as if there was an earthquake.

The sound of hooves from galloping horses followed.

Men had ridden their horses fiercely as if the devil was at their heels.

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