Even when Violette arrived in the mansion, no one welcomed her.

Sometimes, Marin would welcome her, but she mostly did it after Violette had returned to her room. Especially at days like today when she went home later than usual without any notice.

The large mansion still remained quiet. Even though a family of four should be living here, Violette didn’t feel like anything was different from when she was alone. She couldn’t hear any voice or sense any existence. Not even a breath.

That showed the distance between Violette and her family.

“Violette-sama, welcome home. I’m sorry I couldn’t welcome you at the entrance.”

“It’s alright. I didn’t say I would come home late.”

“Did you go somewhere?”

“...No, I stayed in school a bit longer than usual. I was asked to help the student council.”

“Eh…”

Marin’s sharp eyes widened. What a rare right. The maid most likely found her answer that unexpected, which was true.

After working for Violette for a long time, she had known that Violette’s history of love affairs perfectly well. Even if she didn’t personally see what happened with Violette’s complicated first love, she could imagine it. Marin had heard her master complained about how her love didn’t make any progress. To be honest, Marin thought it was only to be expected.

But what Violette said this time was not about her romance or progress in her approach to the prince. It was just about how she helped the student council in their busy period to escape from reality. While diving, drink water.

“Apparently, they are very short-handed this year.  I don’t really have anything to do, so I suppose it won’t hurt to help them.”

“I see… If you’re tired, I’ll carry your dinner here.”

“I didn’t do much there, so it’s okay. I’ll go to the dining room.”

Violette handed over the clothes she took off and received the changes of clothes prepared by Marin. It was a white shirt, a bright blue long flare skirt. As a finishing touch, Marin fixed the collar of Violette’s shirt.

She rather wore her dressing gown, but she didn’t know what would her father say when she attended the family dinner with that attire. Since they weren’t going out, this should be appropriate enough.

“Then, I will call you later for dinner.”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Even if there’s not much time left… Please rest for a while.”

After seeing Marin bowed and left the room, Violette sat alone on the sofa, leaning her upper body and went limp.

Marin told her to take a rest, but of course she shouldn’t sleep. She was just going to have dinner, but the maid knew how much anxiety it gave her.

Her clothes would wrinkle if she laid down too relaxedly, so she occupied the two-seat sofa, thinking that she would just rest for a while.

Probably because Violette used her head more than usual, her brain wanted to rest even though she wasn’t tired. It wasn’t much of a big deal, but concentrating too much also consumed some of her energy.

Before she noticed it, she closed her eyes. Her drifting consciousness went straight to the world of dreams.

She didn’t know how long she slept.

The first thing she recognized when she was awakened to the swaying feeling was Marin’s worried expression, her eyebrows lowered. Violette immediately woke up in a bounce, realizing what it meant if the maid was here.

Violette gave her appearance one brief check and went to the dining room in quick steps. She didn’t even know why she needs to be so panicked.

However, she knew that she had dug her own grave when she opened the door of the dining room. The expression of her father before her eyes were clearly unpleasant.

“You’re slow. What were you doing?”

“...I’m sorry.”

“Go take your seat already. Everyone is hungry, yet we still waited for you.”

“I’m sorry.”

Violette bowed deeply once and got to her seat quickly. In front of Violette, her stepmother was gently stroking her father’s hand with a smile, as if calming his sullen temper. Next to her, Maryjun puffed her cheeks and said, “Father, don’t say that to her!” It’s unclear whether she was angry or not, but it didn’t have any impact either way. It only had those cutesy charms.

The mother watched over her family with a smile. The father listened to his daughter’s words as if his initial bad mood was a lie. What a perfect family scene.

Since Violette had seen this every day, she didn’t desire to become a part of it anymore. Even so, she didn’t understand why they had to wait for her even though they were basically excluding her now. It only pained her to watch them being harmonious.

Her father said he was hungry, and yet he didn’t touch his food. He just kept talking with his wife and daughter.

The dishes weren’t steamy, so he didn’t have to bother to cool it down. Violette said the courtesy word before eating with a voice that no one could hear and picked up the knife and the fork.

She could switch her focus on the food if she was eating. Move her hands, open her mouth, smack her lips, chew, swallow, and repeat. She wouldn’t leave her seat even if she finished her meal quickly since she didn’t want to greet her father, so she kept that in mind and adjusted her eating speed.

Violette noticed that all of her family members had started eating at the corner of her eyes. Even so, her father’s interest was Maryjun, who happily ate each bite.

I’m being overly conscious.

While eating quietly, Violette sneered at her conceited self. Of course she pretended chew so that no one would notice it, but she didn’t really have to do that.

Violette was not necessary here. At least for her parents, she worth as much as a decorative plant. Maybe they didn’t even think she existed here.

Who would care about her, who was the equivalent of a talking figurine? Who would notice when she came home late? If they didn’t have dinner together, her father surely wouldn’t notice whether Violette had returned home or not.

There was repulsion due to the lack of recognition. Probably, somewhere in Violette’s mind, she was still hoping that her father would care about her. If so, it was just a dream that wouldn’t come true.

A broken thread could be tied again. But from the beginning, she had no connection with her family. The distance was even deeper than the hell, impossible to be filled.

Violette put the tender fish into her mouth and bit it.

Considering how the chef made the dinner following Violette’s favorite, it was supposed to be delicious. And yet, she couldn’t taste it anymore.


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