Whoosh. There was a ghastly sandstorm.
I stood alone in the middle of an endless wasteland.
I dazedly looked around. The scenery that was empty in all directions was more familiar than unfamiliar.
…Oh, this is the Southern Archipelago of the Empire.
It’s Queen Island.
My hometown that had fallen. There was a hellish mountain created from pile of the bodies of my dead comrades.
That’s right. The land I currently stand on is a hill of corpses.
As soon as I recognized it, a thin hand protruded from the floor and grabbed my ankle.
[G, Help me, Andert…]
The face that revealed itself from beneath the sand was one of melted flesh between the skull, it could not be called that of a living person.
It was a voice I’d heard before, but I couldn’t think of a name or face.
A familiar voice, an unfamiliar face.
I have many people whose presences were like that to me. On the battlefield, we didn’t ask each other’s names. Remembering names meant there were more people to mourn.
[It hurts. Help me. Help me-]
[Sir Andert, Why didn’t you help me? Why did you let me die!]
These were soldiers who died in the war.
Maybe that was why I couldn’t bear to shake off this person.
Soon after, the second arm reached out. And then the 3rd one, and the 4th one.. The tenth arm came out of the ground and snatched me down by my limbs.
Having no more strength to resist, I fell down into the wasteland and bony hands stammered close to my face.
[No, that’s not it.]
[You’re not Andert!]
Screaming hands roughly pushed my body away.
They pointed at me with their fingers and pointed.
[Who are you?]
I answered, saying Andert, but the dead did not hear my voice.
[Don’t lie and use another’s name.]
[Take off Andert’s skin.]
[Who are you?]
I am Andert.
I’m the real Andert Fager. I carried a sword and gun with you under this name! I went through hell for 10 years with this name!
[Tell us your real name.]
[How dare you use Andert’s name?!]
[You’re not Andert!. Who the hell are you?]
I am not Andert Fager..
Andert was my brother.
So, who am I?
I rose to my feet, my shoulders shivering and trembling like they were on fire.
When I gasped for air, what filled my lungs was not the dryness of the wasteland, but fresh air that seemed to contain peace in it.
Before I could figure out where I was, the voice that remained in my head confused me.
[Who are you?]
I wish to know, too.
“…who am I?”
“Who you are?”
When I turned my head reflexively, I saw the head maid standing next to my bed.
The maid, who looked at me with cold eyes, continued to speak in a chilling voice.
“I’d be happy to answer that. You’re a brave maid who slept in, Miss Daisy. You seem to be still wandering in your dreams because you overslept. Hurry to wake up before I have to pour cold water on your head to ensure that you do.”
Oh, I overslept.
“It was a dream.”
Even if it was, why did I have such a bad dream? It’s not fair to say that I overslept, is it?
A contract clause stating that my salary would be reducted if I was late to work twice came to mind. I became even more depressed when the effects of the nightmare were already making me gloomy.
Besides, my throat hurts so much. It’s like I’ve truly been through the desert. Instead of changing into the maid uniform, I sat crouching.
“I’m very thirsty.”
The maid, who shook her head with an expression of bewilderment, turned toward the door.
“Sigh. I don’t know if I’m raising a child or educating a maid. I’ll bring it to you, so just change your clothes.”
Tak. As soon as the maid left the room, I made my way to the window.
A small note I noticed on my way out of bed was neatly stuck between the window frames.
The contents of the note were as follows.
[Pub. Time: whenever you’re free.]
There was nothing more, but the letter must’ve been from the assassin butler.
It meant to stop by the pub anytime because he had something to say.
“Did you already find Diancecht’s relic?”
I put the note in my personal drawer, got ready for work, and went down to the first floor.
When I stepped foot outside of wide-open front door, I saw the maid, who’d said she’d bring me water, standing stiffly at the main gate.
She was looking through a letter with very serious eyes.
“Is it a threat?”
I couldn’t help but ask about the contents of the letter because she looked so fierce.
The maid, who turned to me rigidly, hurriedly shoved the letter in her pocket and answered,
“Oh, Miss Daisy. No, it’s just something I was a little concerned about… let’s go in now. Did you drink water?”
“I’m going to.”
I started my morning routine after drinking the water the maid watered the plants with.
Sometimes I think that the maid really takes me for a working cow.
After mopping the second floor’s hallway, I came out to the garden before lunch and checked the flowerpot ‘Ru’ that was placed neatly on the stairs.
“…it seems fine.”
Yesterday morning, it sprouted for the first time.
The cotyledon of the seed I planted belonged to a dicotyledon.
The leaves were small but plump, and a total of 22 seeds germinated. The irregularly huddled appearance was no small matter.
So grass can be cute, too.
Ru, you have 22 bodies. I’m glad I named it ‘Ru’, even if it has 20 different bodies. No matter what anyone says, you’re Ru.
From above my head, there came a dry tone that broke the sentimental scene.
“Or you can transplant it somewhere else – but it’s too much to just replant. There’s no room in the garden. We’d better just thin it out.”
When I looked up, delicate features like that of a doll were staring at me.
The noon sun glimmered behind the blue hair that reminded me of a pouring waterfall. But I couldn’t focus on the sun. this guy’s face flashes more.
“Pull out the ones with thin leaves and weak stems.”
“it is hard for nutrition to be distributed properly in such a small flowerpot, so the plant won’t grow properly. It’s correct to keep the ones that are more likely to survive.”
How dare you apply such barbaric logic to my plant!
I looked at the flowerpot with mixed feelings. It is barbaric, but it is not wrong. Even if you huddle together in this small pot, it will only turn into a tragedy if you kill each other.
‘Life is bitter. Even grass is competing with each other to survive.’
However, I don’t feel comfortable thinning out the leaves that I grew with my own hands. Looking around the garden, Rue warned in a callous tone.
“Like I said, there is no space in the garden.”
“What do you mean? There are so many empty spots. There is so much grass next to the fountain, and grass again in front of the flower bed.”
There, there, there.
Forgetting that my lips were parched, I pointed at the places in the garden and Rue clutched my fingers, replying with a friendly yet pitying expression, as if he were teaching a fool.
“The empty space is for aesthetics. The beauty is maximised by leaving it empty. The flowers planted in the garden are not refugees. There’s no reason to blindly plant anything into the empty space.”
So you don’t want to die.
“You can’t forcibly dig into the ground.”
The Weatherwoods mansion basically shares all the household chores with all its employees (except for cooking).
So when Rue was busy I would water the garden, and when I was busy Rue would clean the fireplace.
However, the beauty of the garden was definitely in Rue’s jurisdiction.
This means that I needed his permission to transplant more than 10 pairs of dicotyledonous plants, which might harm the beauty of the garden.
No, I can’t bear to say it while looking at the face of my nemesis Rue.
I turned my head and closed my eyes tightly.
“Let me plant it.”
The words were barely able to leave my mouth, but there was no response.
When I opened my eyes and looked at him, he asked back with a face that looked like he didn’t want to let me plant them at all,
“Do you want me to cut it for you?”
He looked as if he were asking, ‘Am I your slave?’
His amused face tilted at an angle. Rue jabbed at the pot full of cotyledon.
“What flower do you think it is?”
“It’ll be pretty.”
“With what confidence?”
“Because it’s name is Rue.”
Rue’s eyes narrowed.
Perhaps due to the thinness of his eyelids and the sharpness of the eyelashes, even when he opens his eyes, he appears like someone in a portrait.
“Do you even know how to do flattery?”
His voice sounded more like a laugh than a sentence.
Rue, who was staring at me, raised his head and looked around, walking to the back of the fountain. He soon touched the grass under its fence.
“In a row, here. If it’s messy, I’ll cover it up with dirt. I’ll be checking it later, so move steadily.”
Oh, just like this?
Before he could change his words, I moved to pick up my flower pot. When I turned my back to bring the shovel, he stood in my way and raised his chin, giving something that was somewhat like an order yet not an order.
“…Thank you, Mr. Rue.”
After enjoying looking at my face as I chewed on my words, he stirred his long legs and disappeared. What a fastidious guy.
I picked up a shovel and began digging up the hard grass.
..but if I transplant them in the garden, are these still Ru? Ru is the name of the flowerpot, and these cotypes have come out of the pot and will be newly established in the garden.
“Would it be okay to give them a new name? Like singular units?”
How much time passed like that while I was transplanting each one of the plants?
Children’s quarrels could be heard over the fence.
“I’ll be Raphael.”
“No, I’m Commander-in-Chief Raphael!”
“Hey, you idiot. You have brown hair. So just become Commander Andert, or do you prefer Natasha?.”
“What? I don’t like Andert. Then I’d have to die from the Great Wizard Mephisto. I’m Raphael!”
my poor daisy…