Soon, a bewildered smile appeared on Asralda’s lips.
Did she think I was coming and send me this note? More than that, I don’t know why this woman cares so much about me, who is just a mere prisoner. I’m not even sitting next to Aiden like before.
“I’m afraid it’s difficult because I’m in a state of probation. Please apologize to Lady Marinda for me.”
After saying that bluntly, she handed the paper note to Ophelia and turned to leave, but she quickly grabbed Asralda.
“Hey! This…this is….”
When she turned her head again, she saw that Ophelia was holding something out. It was another paper note.
“If you won’t come, I have to deliver this.”
“If you read it, you’ll have to come….”
Have to come?
Although she had no intention of doing so, she was curious about those words. Asralda hesitated for a moment before accepting the paper note.
She stumbled as she unfolded the paper note and noticed a neat handwriting on it.
—P.S. I thought you would refuse if I just told you. Do you remember when I said I didn’t love Aiden? Actually, I just pretended to kiss Aiden that day.
At that word, Asralda was seized by a strange feeling. Her green eyes shook slightly as she read the paper note.
It was written like this.
— It’s about the autumn night you secretly watched us from the window. Lady Asralda.
Asralda left the dormitory and headed towards the main building.
The contents of the paper note echoed in her head like an echo.
—There must be more than one or two things you’re curious about. Don’t you want to know why you suddenly died and came back, and why it happened at that particular point in time?
When she arrived at the terrace entrance after crossing the corridor, she saw Marinda leaning on the railing and enjoying the breeze.
—Please come. It’s a story that will pique your interest.
Asralda stood at the entrance to the terrace, catching her breath. She heard Marinda murmuring as she quietly enjoyed the scenery.
“You came much faster than I expected.”
Marinda’s gaze then turned to the paper note in Asralda’s hand. A mischievous smile appeared on her lips.
“Shall we get straight to the point?”
“I heard you’re on probation and that you also came up here to avoid Aiden’s gaze.”
“How did you….”
“You want to run away from Aiden, don’t you?”
Marinda suddenly spoke in a low voice while staring intently at Asralda. Her smile remained on her lips, but her eyes did not reflect any amusement.
“I’ll help you.”
Asralda wasn’t sure what kind of help Marinda was offering. Although her tone was friendly, it sounded awkward for some reason.
Although it was a tempting offer that made her feel uncomfortable, Asralda did not flinch. Instead, she replied coldly.
“There’s something you need to explain first.”
Then Marinda covered her lips with her hand and said sheepishly, as if she had just remembered something.
“Oh, right. I should get my head straight. Anyway, it’s nice to see you again.”
Of course, Asralda didn’t even shake hands.
Just like with Aiden, she didn’t like being in the same place as this woman.
Marinda withdrew her hand without showing any sign of embarrassment. Then she suddenly asked as she walked towards the railing.
“You didn’t have a ring or anything like that, did you?”
“When you went back to the past, did you have a ring or some kind of jewelry in your hand or pocket?”
The mention of a ring reminded Asralda of the one she found in the barracks.
Marinda added leisurely,
“You did, didn’t you? A red gem surrounded by dozens of white gems.”
Asralda froze at the words.
The jewel set in the ring is so identical to the gem that Marinda speaks of, almost indistinguishable.
However, Asralda did not immediately affirm it as such.
Marinda couldn’t easily provide an answer in a situation where she didn’t even know what kind of trick it was. She hadn’t heard the full story yet.
As if reading what was on her mind, Marinda suddenly burst into laughter.
“No need to hide it from me, Asralda, dear.”
“I just said I’ll help you.”
Asralda looked at Marinda cautiously, then broke the silence.
“Do you trust me?”
Marinda tilted her head as if asking what that meant, but didn’t answer.
“I feel the same way.”
“If you really want to help me with a pure heart, you already talked to me separately when you came to the castle a while ago, didn’t you?”
When Asralda read the note, the first thing that came to mind was what Marinda had said to her when she came to the castle.
‘…I really like the choice you made this time.’
She had a nagging feeling in her chest and now she knew why.
“To be honest, I was worried all the way here, but now that I see you, you’re much… um.”
That unpleasant attitude of looking up and down.
“I like you.”
“But you were suspicious of me from the beginning.”
“Oh my. Marinda’s eyes widened. She thought she was completely innocent, but she was surprised that she was quite sharp.
“Well, I’ve been through some things, so I’m not a complete fool.”
“You didn’t even think about telling me from the beginning and now you’re trying to act friendly. We weren’t even that close to begin with.”
“So, do you not need my help?”
Even if she wanted to help with a pure heart, Asralda didn’t want her help now.
“The only reason I’m here is to find out how we were able to go back to the past and how you knew that I had gone back.”
“You’re curious about such a trivial thing.”
“Okay, whatever. It’s not important.”
Marinda turned her back and looked out at the scenery outside the terrace.
“The reason you were able to go back to the past was because of the jewel I mentioned earlier.”
Her gaze, which had been enjoying the summer scenery, finally stopped at Aiden, who was under the parasol. One of his legs, which had run from the opposite side, appeared to report something urgently with an anxious expression on his face.
‘He just realized that Asralda disappeared.’
Marinda sneered as she watched the scene.
‘Even after experiencing that, you’re still so confident…’
At that moment, a voice was heard from behind.
“Explain how you knew I went back to the past.”
Marinda replied, looking at the man who whispered in Aiden’s ear.
“You made a different choice from the past at the same time. You pretended to be a man.”
“Is that all?”
“And you rushed over like this in response to my note.”
Asralda frowned at her words.
“Are you trying to get rid of me now?”
“Well, when I saw your reaction when I was in Aiden’s office a few days ago, I had some confidence, but I couldn’t tell when and why your attitude suddenly changed now.”
She didn’t seem to be lying, but her attitude of answering questions as they were asked bothered Asralda.
“So what does it mean that I was able to go back to the past because of the jewel?”
This time, Marinda obediently opened her lips.
“That jewel can turn back time to a predetermined point. When someone uses the jewel, time goes back, and usually, except for the person who owns the jewel, everyone forgets their memories before turning back. So, Asralda, to be precise, you remember what happened before regression because you had the jewel.”
It was a pretty ridiculous story, but Asralda wasn’t surprised. She had already experienced all sorts of incredible things.
So, in other words, someone had used the jewel to turn back time.
Watching her back in silence, Asralda asked,
“Is it you. Marinda?”
“The person who turned back time with the jewel.”
At that, Marinda laughed again. Soon she shook her head and said,
“No, only the person who owns the jewel can use it. I don’t know why you have it, but that jewel belongs to Aiden.”
“That ring belongs to Aiden?”
She had never thought of it. That it was Aiden’s ring.
But she had never seen him wearing the ring during her lifetime. No, he found jewelry itself cumbersome.
But what was more surprising was…
“Aiden turned back time?”
“Why did Aiden…?”
Before the question was even finished, Marinda answered.