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Oddly enough, although Ann just experienced something very absurd that she couldn’t comprehend, her mind was calmer.
Perhaps the weirder her situation turned, the calmer she became… and it was due to the mindset of ‘Duck it, if I can’t understand what’s going on, might as well go with the flow and just enjoy what I can enjoy.’
Perhaps it was her most effective coping mechanism that was subconsciously ingrained in her.
Or probably she had been overthinking for too long that she finally snapped. And finally, she returned to her old mindset of wanting to just cross as many bucket list she could cross before, well, crossing over for good.
In any case, her days went regularly as before. Doing whatever she wanted in her spare time such as using her water magic to have fun, indulging herself with the luxury she finally had, sometimes reviewing and perfecting her mannerism and noble education just so she could survive and for formality, and going to the orphanage to help out. Sometimes she would visit places around the town—but she didn’t dare going to somewhere unknown or somewhere with not many people.
Because she didn’t want to bump into any reminder about why she—or the character her soul was in—was fated to die no matter what.
That day, Ann was enjoying her time in the orphanage as usual.
And out of a sudden, Silas approached her and said, “You seem to be doing better already now.”
“Huh?” Ann was scared silly because of his sudden descend. Never in a million year she’d thought that Silas would initiate a talk with her that was non-orphanage related.
“What do you mean?” Ann added to make herself clear.
“These past few days, you aren’t acting like yourself. But now, it’s much better,” Silas commented.
Ann was very dumbfounded and her mouth was slightly open. If not for her trained reflex to keep her image, her mouth might as well already formed the shape of ‘O’.
She was surprised he even noticed that. She had developed a perfect work versus private life separation during her days in the modern world so much that she was doing a very good job even if her mind had something to stress or feel down about… Because that was how she could survive.
Or did she let her guard down in this world? Or her new body couldn’t conceal it as perfect as her original body?
“I’m just glad. If you keep not being yourself, it may impact the children. That’s all,” Silas said as he walked away to mind his own business.
Leaving Ann who was obviously still trying to process yet another bizarre event happening in her life.
What on earth is going on?!
There was a meeting with all the orphanage workers and volunteers who were present that day. Just when Ann thought they had finished covering everything as usual, suddenly Grace dropped a bomb.
“I’ve been saving up and thinking about having a picnic or vacation somewhere with the children. They can learn more new things and there’s also the possibility of them finding their fated family during the trip. I’m hoping to go by spring next year.”
“That’s a nice idea!”
“Is there any way I can contribute?”
Lots of positive feedback echoed throughout the room.
Meanwhile, Ann was staring blankly into the space.
Vacation… It would be nice to go with all of them, with these children, and we could play together…
But spring next year?
That would be around late March or April next year, huh?
My fated death day is 20 April.
But the days leading up to that fated death day are surely very ‘interesting’ and by spring next year, I think this body’s real identity will definitely be known to many people.
I… most likely won’t be there to enjoy the vacation together with them…
Ann’s heart was like a roller coaster in such a short moment.
When she heard about the vacation plan, it soared so high up.
But the next moment, the moment she processed the timing of the plan, her heart dropped in an instant.
It was October at that time.
From her one year time… Only half was remaining by now.
Time passed by so fast. She hadn’t even realized that there was only half remaining…
To be honest, there weren’t many things she really wanted to do here. Most of the things that she really wanted to do before her death, things that mattered—they were all related to her life in modern world. For example, have one last fun vacation with her family, treat them well, meet and spend some time with her close friends…
After crossing out several bucket list that she made since coming to this world, she realized her true feeling but tried to suppress it as there was no way to do them here. She could only focus on the things she was able to do here.
“Arle—Big Sis, what’s the matter?” Faye asked as she noticed Ann’s eyes that seemed to not focus.
Ann snapped out of her thoughts and smiled bitterly, saying, “The vacation is so far away… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to participate when the time comes.”
Faye tilted her head and asked, “Why not?”
“There could be other events to attend or stuff I have to do,” Ann quickly lied on the spot.
“Can’t you just arrange it so you can go to the vacation instead?” Faye asked back.
“Hmm… Well, if for example there’s an important event I have to attend as I am a duke’s wife…”
“Can’t you just tell Allen-sama? I’m sure he will help you.”
“How are you so sure?”
“Allen-sama loves you, right? He will do it as long as it will make you happy,” Faye said innocently.
Ann’s face twitched.
He loves me?
Ah, Faye must be not accustomed to noble’s custom of arranged marriage.
“Well, we will see about that,” Ann said as she patted Faye’s head.
There’s no way I can tell her that I might be hunted or even gone by that time…
Aside from that, it was relatively a normal day for Ann. The two returned home not too long after.
When Allen returned home, he was surprised to get an unexpected guest. It was his first time receiving this guest on their own initiative. Normally, it would be because he summoned them…
He had to droop his head to see the small guest that was currently looking at him with eyes full of determination. Her lemon green eyes didn’t waver when she looked up at his eyes.
“Speak. Is something the matter?” Allen asked.
“Allen-sama, may I ask for something?” Faye didn’t beat around the bush. Her childlike straightforwardness somehow matched Allen’s style of always speaking only a few words that were clear on the matter they wanted to convey. Thus, Allen didn’t mind at all.
“What is it?”
“It’s still a long time, but the Heart’s Wings Children’s Home is planning on a vacation in spring next year. Arlea-sama seemed like she wanted to go, but she wasn’t sure if she could. She said there might be things she had to do as the duke’s wife at that time. Can you let her come?” Faye asked.
It was Allen’s first time hearing Faye speak for so long.
“Vacation?” Allen’s mind was focused on this matter, however.
“Yes,” Faye nodded.
“She wanted to go on a vacation?” Allen asked again as he put his hand on his chin.
Faye nodded again, like a chicken.
Suddenly, Allen thought of a plan.
A very, very good plan that caused his usually calm heart to be excited.