Between Dream and Reality
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–I had a dream.
It was a dream of a girl, somewhere, sometime. It was a dream that was so ordinary that there was nothing worth mentioning.
The girl’s daily life was an ordinary one. The only thing that wasn’t ordinary was the fact that she had a friend who was a bit different from her in terms of age. Talking with the friend in the large courtyard was a part of her daily life, but it was still not out of the ordinary.
And it was such an ordinary day that was spread out there as a scene in a dream. An ordinary everyday life where a girl and her friend were talking.
However, although their daily life was ordinary, that friend wasn’t ordinary. She had black hair and black eyes. The only person around the girl who had that color in her hair and eyes was her friend.
The girl loved her eyes and her hair, and she loved her friend. So, the time she spent talking with the friend was ordinary, but also very important.
Even so, it wasn’t like they were doing anything special. It was as it was mentioned before. It was an ordinary, average, yet special time only to the girl.
…No. It was average, or so she thought, which was more accurate. It was in every sense.
The time that she thought was average was suddenly gone one day. She wasn’t sure about her friend, but apparently, the friend had to go somewhere because she had some important business to attend to and had to go somewhere. After that day, the supposedly ordinary time that had been so special to the girl never came again.
In return, the surroundings became noisy, and it was around that time that the girl learned that her daily life wasn’t an ordinary one. She learned for the first time that she had never seen her parent’s faces, that she was alone when she slept, alone when she ate, alone when she did anything, and that all of these weren’t ordinary.
But apart from that, the girl had never felt lonely. It was because it was normal and ordinary at least in the girl’s mind.
However, that might be one of the reasons. It wasn’t because she had done everything on her own, but because she had learned that there were people who… weren’t even allowed to do so.
In that sense, the girl wasn’t ordinary after all. Perhaps, it was because of her less than ordinary life, the girl had a different set of values than most of the people in the country.
So much so that he wanted to do something about them.
Or… it could have been redemption. The girl didn’t know. She thought that she was ordinary, so she assumed that her friend was also living an ordinary life.
But it wasn’t. The friend who wasn’t even close to being ordinary, was just being oppressed.
Of course, even if she had been aware of it, there would have been nothing she could have done. But it didn’t make any difference that she couldn’t notice anything and couldn’t do anything, even though she was supposed to be her precious friend.
So, she decided to do something about it. Do something about everything. She didn’t have the strength for it, but still…
From the bottom of her heart, she wanted to do something about it.
That was why–…
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–She had such a dream somewhere, sometime in the past.
“Eh? Why…?” (Cecilia)
Cecilia’s momentary bewilderment wasn’t caused by the dream she had just had. She understood that she had just been dreaming, but the place where she woke up wasn’t a room in the inn.
It was outside. And it was a familiar place. This was the place she was dreaming about just now.
It was in the courtyard of the castle.
“This… this isn’t a dream either, isn’t it…?” (Cecilia)
She pinched her cheek to test it, and it hurt like normal. She also tried to pinch the back of her hand lightly, but it still hurt like normal. It was definitely a reality.
However, it was also impossible. In order to enter the courtyard of the castle, she must enter the castle through the gate. However, Cecilia had no memory of passing through the castle gate.
There might be another way, but at least, Cecilia didn’t know any other way to get there, and there was no way she could get here in a way she didn’t know how. Most importantly, she had been asleep until just a few minutes ago. She didn’t have the ability to travel anywhere while she slept, so waking up here shouldn’t be possible.
Besides, for some reason, she turned her gaze to the sky. There was still the darkness of night, indicating that it hadn’t been long since she had fallen asleep.
The castle gate was closed at night, as it should be, and there was a gatekeeper standing guard. In fact, the security was much tighter at night. There was a limit to how many people could guard the castle at night, so they would inevitably have to fortify the outside.
There was no way that Cecilia could sneak in when she was asleep, but the reality was that she was here now.
“What does this mean…?” (Cecilia)
She muttered the unanswerable question, still trying to think calmly. The current situation was far from unknown, but that was why she needed to remain calm.
Therefore, she didn’t expect an answer to that murmur from the start, but then, she suddenly heard the sound of footsteps. In other words, it meant that someone had appeared here… and at that moment, the thought of ‘How can that be?’ appeared in her mind.
Although she had never told anyone, she liked this time of day. This was the time of the day when the night was deepening, the world was quiet, and she felt as if she was the only one left in the world.
As she lingered in this courtyard at this time of day, it was as if the night had taken shape and her friend came to her. The time she hadn’t met her friend was overwhelmingly longer, but she still felt that she could see her at this time of the day, and that was why she liked it.
It was on a day like this that she first met her friend. She woke up somehow and couldn’t sleep, so she came to the courtyard and stared at the sky, and then, her friend appeared.
Yes, just like now–…
“–Why are you here? Could it be that you have decided?” (??)
But… As a matter of course, the person who appeared wasn’t her friend.
But at the same time, it wasn’t a stranger. Cecilia couldn’t hide her surprise, because she knew… well, in a way she knew…
“Wha–…!? Why!?” (Cecilia)
“That’s why I asked whether you have decided or not. You’re here, and I’m here for the same reason. After all, I brought you here. Do I really need to tell you why? My sister…” (Isac)
Isac Veritas, the second prince of the Veritas Kingdom. The man, who was also her brother, was standing there with a thin smile on his face.
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