And the feeling of being alone as if you were slowly sinking into the deep abyss.

Neirin had all experience this before back in her previous life. She was too familiar to the feeling of losing and being alone. She thought to herself that she was prepared and had already accepted the fact that she can save everyone, but him, the duke whom she viewed as her savior, his death was like a knife sinking to her heart slowly.

Weeks, months before, she tried so hard to search for the dukes cure trying hard to save him but she can do anything to a person who wanted to die. The duke seemed so happy with the thought of death and for he also knew that he would be reunited with his wife.

Neirin respected his wishes however, it made her realized that no matter how good she was at planning and even knowing the future, such variables like death would always be inevitable.

Heaving her breath, Neirin saw the whole mansion grieved for their master. As the servants prepared for their Duke Sebastians funeral, Neirin saw their expressions full of grief and confusion.

The servants and even the butlers were shocked by the news for they do not know that such a sudden death would rob them of their master. However, Neirin also felt their suspicious gaze landing on her. She understood that if a person wishes for the dukes death, she would be the first on the list.

Back on her first life, she was angry about this but right now, she just shrugged it off. She knew she was innocent and she have the dukes wishes to fulfill.

”My lady, ” the butler, Arison, walked towards Neirin who was overseeing all the preparations. She shifted her gaze to the butler.

”Yes? ” Her eyes looked at him, studying his expression and his emotions.

This old man who was wearing a gold rim glasses, looked too devastated yet he still tried his best to serve the late duke by ensuring his funeral to be prepared with utmost sincerity.

Neirin had already commanded him earlier to prepare letters to be send to the vassals informing them of the news and that their presence will be needed for the appointment of the new master of the Halstead duchy.

”My lady had instructed me earlier to prepare letters to be send to the vassals. ”

Neirni nodded. ”I did. ”

”We already received their response my lady. ” Butler Arison handed a letter sealed with a brown wax seal. Neirin grabbed it and flipped it over to see whose letter it was from.

Baron Perez, Neirin read. In the back of her mind, a piece of future was replying. A sinister grin slowly appeared on her lips.

No matter whether it is the past or the future, this bastard will always be like this. He needed to be put down to his place soon.

”What did he say? ” Neirin asked.

The butler looked like he was scared seeing the ladys expression. He tried to speak with cautiousness.

”He said that he was too busy managing his estate and that it would take days for him to get here. He would just offer a sum of money and his letter of condolence. ”

”How impudent. ” Neirin chuckled throwing the piece of letter to the fire place letting it be burn by the fire.

”Write him another letter. Do not give any greetings or pleasantries as he did not deserve it. ”

”What would I write my lady? ” The butler asked. Neirin can see well his confused expression. She gave him a confident smile.

”Tell him that if he won grace us with his presence, I would be retrieving back all of his possession, money, and land. Those weren his in the first place. Those were gifted to him by the lord, Duke Sebastian himself. ” Neirins smile turned cold and all the servant who saw if flinched. ”If a dog like him doesn know how to be grateful he doesn deserve it. Tell him that this will be my last warning. ”

Swallowing, the butler bowed. ”I will tell him your wishes, my lady. ”

”Thank you Arison. ” Neirin glanced the whole room looking for a specific figure. ”Where is my brother? ”

”The young Lord is in the dukes study my lady. ”

Neirin gave a nod. ”Prepare us some tea and snacks. ”

”As the lady wishes. ”

As the butler left to run the errands Neirin gave him, she watched the servants one last time giving some instructions before leaving.

Standing in front of a black double doors, Neirin raised her hand turning it into to fist before knocking.

”Vincent? ” She asked. ”Are you there? ” With the dukes sudden death, Neirin was busy. She wasn able to see how Vincent was coping up.

Back in the past, after the Dukes Sebastians death, Vincent went to the Academy as soon as possible without interacting with Neirin. Although she tried to send letters after letters, he never replied. Although she understood of what Vincent felt for that time, she can help but be anxious this time. Neirin knew that Vincent was already a young adult, she can help but worry.

”Sister? ” he asked. Without waiting for her reply he said, ”Come in. ”

Heaving her breath, Neirin twist the door opening it. As she looked up, she saw Vincent staring at the portrait of his father and mother placed in the room behind the dukes desk. As if the time in the room was not moving, Neirin can feel the heaviness of Vincents gaze. Her gaze landed on the portrait of his parents.

The duchess were seating and the duke was behind her. They were holding each others hands. Both of the duke and the duchess were smiling. Their eyes glisten and they were both looking at each other lovingly.

Her heart can help but ache wanting to comfort him.

Without causing so much noise, Neirin walked inside finding herself to seat at the sofa and just accompany Vincent inside the room. Neither of them spoke but for some reason, their presence was enough to understand each others intention.

After a few minutes, Vincent heaved his breath and sat down facing Neirin.

A little while later, there was a knock from the door. Neirin stood up to open it letting the servants in. Vincent watch them without saying any words.

After preparing the tea and snacks on the table, the servants left after Neirin dismissed them. She then poured him some tea and gently placed it on his table.

”How are you faring? ” she begun to ask. Vincent grabbed the tea cup and slowly took a sip from it. He did not speak any words. Neirin glanced at Vincent thinking that he wasn in the mood to talk. Neirin respected that.

She let the Silence engulfed them. She was thinking that this silence would be awkward but It wasn awkward at all instead, they both felt like this silence was needed.

”Vincent, ” Neirin stared the conversation after they finished the tea. She looked at the time on the clock before She looked at Vincent straight in the eye. Vincent met her gaze with his cold lifeless purple eyes.

Feeling a sense of pressure, Neirin tried her best not to stammer.

”Although I have already told you before about the dukes will, I would like to gain your trust. ” Neirin was anxious as she started this topic. She knew to herself that Vincent wasn the type of person to really trust someone especially to people like her without any background origins.

Furthermore, it was just a month ago when she was adopted by the duke. In every angle they looked, she was someone suspicious.

”If its fathers will, theres nothing I can. ” Vincent wanted to dismissed the topic but Neirin was persistent.

”I swore an oath that I won betray you, ” she smiled. Neirin then pulled a piece of paper and pushing towards Vincent. Vincent who was curious grabbed it and started reading the content. His tired eyes read the paper slowly.

”This is a contract, ” she added. ”Its a contract. It states that I will be handing the whole Halstead duchy the moment you came of age. I have already signed it. This agreement won be a burden to you instead, it can be a form of assurance. ”

Neirin who already understood Vincents personality way back before her her second life, she already prepared this contract the moment the duke had written his will. Neirin knew that Vincent grew up in a way where he himself was the only one he could trust. She pushed herself to him in the first timeline trying hard to ease him but those were just actions that backfired at her.

She can still remember how many times they fought over the duchy and even sending some assassins to her. Now, taking considerations of her past life, what she wanted to give him right now was a sense of assurance that she was not here to steal but to help him.

Deep inside, Neirin really wanted to become his guardian and protector. She wanted to spoil this child who cried for her and treasured her despite of their dispute and misunderstanding back then.

It can also be understand as a form of repaying all their kindness. Being adopted as a daughter by the duke was a huge turn over of her life and she doesn want to ruin that.

Neirin stared at Vincent wanting to see his expression but just like what she expected, his expression did not change. It was still cold and lifeless.

”Its peculiar that you want my trust from the very beginning. You are persistent, I applaud you for that. But at the same time, Its quite vexing. ” Vincent finally said folding the piece of paper and putting it into his pocket. Neirin smiled seeing his actions. Even though he still has his suspicions he was trusting Neirin. That action alone made Neirin a little proud of herself as she was able to take one step closer to him.

”Just like what I told you before, I wanted to become your family. Although I might leave when I have fulfilled my purpose, please keep in mind that my purpose will always be this. ”

Vincent stared at Neirin for a while hearing her words. He sighed. He stood up preparing to leave.

”I would like to apologize first as I do not see you as a family nor a sister. ” his words felt like knives poking her but she smiled for she understood him. ”However, I will respect my fathers decision. I will call you my sister until the day I come of age and be a respectable little brother. Thats the only thing I can do as his son and as a form of gratitude towards you. ”

Neirin nodded. Her gaze remained straight. However, there was a gentle smile on her face.

”Im thankful, Vincent. If ever you need my help in the future do not hesitate to tell me. I would help you with all of my heart. ”

Vincent nodded and walked towards the door without sparring her a glance. ”I will keep that in mind sister. Please excuse me. ”

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