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 With an awkward atmosphere, they arrived at the carriage that Gerard was supposed to have ridden in.

Getting inside, Ortansia sat down next to Gerard as usual.

Then, after making sure the door was closed, she opened her mouth…

"Um, Brother…!"

Her call to her brother never materialized.

In the middle of her sentence, Gérard firmly grasped her shoulder.

Without releasing his grip, Gérard forcefully pushed Ortansia's shoulder back.

With the excess momentum, the back of her head hit the window glass, and a dull pain spread with a tingling sensation.

Ortansia gasped at her brother's violent action.

More than the pain from her grabbed shoulder or the pain from hitting her head, what frightened her the most was Gérard's sharp gaze that even emitted a murderous intent.

"What are you trying to do?"

Gérard growled in a low voice, while digging his nails into Ortansia's shoulder, 

With the intensity of his gaze and the chilling aura, she could only freeze, forgetting to even breathe.

'Oh, my.'

Memories were awakened involuntarily.

Ortansia knew the person he was now.

'This is my brother before I was executed.'

Just like back then, there was no affection but hatred.

Looking at her as if they were strangers, not family.

Gérard was there.


"Why were you at Duke Rignier's mansion? What were you doing there?"

It wasn't a question, but a demand… no, more like an interrogation.

Shocked and unable to think straight, Ortansia opened her lips with a shudder, realizing that her brother was asking something of her.

"I-I... I was... trying to gather information on that cult…"

She had never witnessed such rough behaviour from him, and Ortansia involuntarily stumbled over her words

When Ortansia said that much, Gerard clicked his tongue as if he was truly offended.

"I told you to stay in the house and behave yourself."

Gerard said in a voice that sounded as if he was trying to suppress his fury.

It was terrifying. Everything about him was terrifying.

Her beloved brother may have turned back into that cold-hearted person who abandoned her.

Thinking that way, her thoughts became tangled, and tears overflowed unintentionally

"I was just worried about Oniisama"

"Worried about me?"

Gérard's lips curled into a smile, but it was not the kind of smile that usually brightened Ortansia's heart. It was an expression that made her feel mocked, with unfathomable malice.

"You are nothing but a nuisance."

The words pierced Ortansia's heart like a sharp knife.

"What can you accomplish? Just stirring up trouble for the sake of it, and finding satisfaction in that?"

The thorns of his words gouged at Ortansia's heart

Ortansia shuddered, afraid that if her body was hurt, blood would flow, and if her heart was hurt, the warm memories of the past would be erased.

"I am disappointed in you. How dare you still call yourself a member of the Verite family?"

… "I don't mean to be family. We are family.

…You are a Verite duchess, family to me and my father. I have told you so many times."

The words he had once given her echoed emptily in her ears.

Ortansia had no energy to argue, and could only let tears fall.

Gerard said nothing more. He didn't offer any awkward words of comfort or pat her head.

Even though they were within reach, it felt as if he were distant, somewhere far away.

Before she knew it, the carriage had returned to the grounds of the Vérité Duke's mansion.

As the carriage came to a stop, Gérard, who had been silent until then, grabbed Ortansia's arm.


With a single word, he roughly pulled Ortansia down from the carriage.

He then made sure that Ortansia's feet were on the ground, and began to walk away, dragging her along with him.

"Gérard-sama! What on earth are you…?"

The servants noticed their return and rushed to them, but Gerard brushed them off.

"Shut up, don't interrupt me."

Ortansia was dragged away by Gerard, her face wet with tears, stunned by his icy aura.

The servants were all astonished at such an unusual situation. But no one could defy Gerard.

All they could do was watch as Ortansia was taken away by Gerard.

Gerard held Ortanshia's arm and led her to a section of the Mansion that Ortansia had never been in before.

He then opened an old door and began to descend the stairs leading below.


The staircase was made of solid stone, and the cold seemed to crawl up each step down.

Eventually, they descended the stairs and arrived at... a cold prison.


The coldness of the prison stimulated the abominable memories in Ortansia's head.

In her previous life, she had been locked in prison before her execution.

Accused of assassinating a prospective queen, Ortansia was interrogated over and over again and spent many nights of despair in the cold prison cell.

No one believed her when she pleaded that she was innocent.

She could not sleep well at night and could only shrink back in the cold corner of the cell, wondering when she would be sent to the decapitation table.

In her current life, she was kidnapped and locked in prison by a group of demon god worshippers. Whenever she heard the screams of the victims from a distance, all she could do was shiver, wondering if it would be her turn next.

Gerard lightly pushed Ortansia's back, who was motionless as if she were rooted to the ground.

Ortansia hesitated and stepped into the cell. Immediately, she heard a door close behind her, and she was startled out of her reverie.

She quickly turned around to see Gerard looking down at her with cold eyes from behind the bars.


Unable to comprehend the situation, Ortansia simply called out to her brother in front of her.

But what she got back was a cold reply.

"Cool your head there."

With that, Gerard turned his back and walked away.

Ortansia, realizing the situation a beat too late, desperately clinged to the iron bars and screamed.

"Wait, brother! Wait!"

Gérard didn't look back, even though there was no way he didn't hear Ortansia's voice.

"Please, wait! Listen to me! Brother!!"

Ortansia desperately implored as Gérard's figure grew more distant as he moved away.

But the locked prison door would not open, and the distance between Ortansia and Gerard grew wider and wider.

"Please, brother, don't go."

The door to the staircase leading to the surface was soon heard closing, and Ortansia's weak voice turned into sobs.

'Now Oniisama is just like Oniisama from the previous life'

Perhaps the approaching demon God was influencing Gérard and causing this change.

She wanted to believe that, but she couldn't shake off the terrifying doubt.

'I… wonder if my brother hates me again.'

Because she ignored his words to stay quietly in the mansion and jumped into a dangerous place.

Therefore, Gérard may have finally grown tired and lost patience with her.

'... Maybe it would have been better if I had obediently followed my brother's instructions'

Deep despair dulled her thinking.

Even if she had meekly listened to Gerard, she would not be able to save him.

Even knowing this, Ortansia could not help but look for something wrong with her actions.

In the dungeon, isolated from the outside world, not a sound could be heard except for Ortansia's breathing.

Ortansia  simply sat on the cold stone floor, curled up.

It seemed as if everything she had been able to do in her second life had been a dream.

When the cell door opens again, will she be informed of her execution once more...? Even such dark thoughts cross her mind.

'Did I fail again this time…?'

The more she thought about it, the more her thoughts seemed to sink deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit.

If that's the case, she wanted to at least forget about reality and immerse herself in warm memories.

Ortansia tightly buried her face in her knees and closed her eyes.


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