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Ann tried to think of her time ever since she came to this world. When did she ever offend a person called Mila or maybe a member of her family? …Never.
Then, the real Anne… As far as she knew in the game, there was no such thing… so, was it something that happened in the background that she had no knowledge of? …Most likely.
If that was the case anyway, all she could do was to prove Mila that she was someone different. Though to be honest, as long as Mila didn’t do anything that could harm her, then Ann wouldn’t even bother with her.
Aside from the visit to the royal castle, Ann hadn’t gone out again after the rebels ambushed her and Allen. It wasn’t that she was grounded or injured.
When Allen suggested her to remain at home lest the rebels tried to come for her again, or the rebels causing something dubious and pinning the blame on her in order to force her to return to their side, Ann readily accepted. Even without Allen’s suggestion, she was planning to do so.
That was how Ann ended up exploring the Schwartzen family’s library together with Faye and Birdie.
“Books about spirits… and exorcism… and spirit possession…,” Ann mumbled.
“Ah, there’s [Record of Exorcism – Exorcism Throughout History], Arlea—uhm, I mean, Ann-sama… Uhh…,” Faye pointed at the book that was positioned even taller than her head. Then, she slipped out on the name she should be calling.
Not too long after revealing the truth to Allen, Ann also informed Faye to address her using her real name when they were in private.
However, Ann simply told Faye, ‘Hey, my real name is actually Ann, so can you call me that when we’re alone?’
The same request she asked of Allen.
Not knowing the whole story, Faye tilted her head in wonder. Even so, she still complied, although it wasn’t that easy changing the habit that had been formed.
“Thanks, Faye,” Ann said as she took the book that Faye had pointed for her.
Then, she noticed Faye’s hesitation.
“Right. I haven’t told you the full story yet, right? I think it’s time,” Ann said with a smile.
The two of them sat on the sofa by the window that was located in the library—the best ‘seat’ in the library, if Ann must say.
Then, Ann went silent for a while to think about how to break the whole truth to a child like Faye.
After pondering for a while, Ann opened her mouth.
“Actually… this body isn’t mine…”
“What?” Faye quickly turned her head to look at Ann who was sitting right beside her with a very bewildered look.
Whoops, is it too much of a topic breaker?!
Ann felt as if she had given a huge shock to this poor girl…
“You see, people have souls, right? This body’s original soul isn’t me. My soul entered it after my original body died,” Ann carefully explained.
“Y-you are not Arlea-sama?” Faye asked.
“Actually, this body is originally not Arlea, either…,” Ann forgot to tell Faye this. However, she didn’t even know where to start explaining!
“W-w-w-whaaaaaaaat???” Faye was so confused at this point that she was about to cry.
“Y-you see, Faye… This body’s original identity is the previous king’s daughter, Princess Anne. You know that there was a revolution before in this country, and the royal family had changed… right?”
“That, I know… Wait, Ar—Ann-samaa…?” Faye widened her eyes in surprise.
She looks like an owl halfling with her eyes wide like this!
Ann thought, feeling amused.
“Yes. Basically, this body’s original owner lied about her identity for a bad reason… And midway through, something happened, and my soul ended up entering her body… in all this mess…,” Ann sighed, lamenting her luck of entering the body of the original villainess that was destined to die…
“This happened not too long before I met you,” Ann told Faye.
Faye looked at Ann with a marveling expression, “So the mistress that I’ve always known is you, Ann-sama?”
“Yes. You have never known this body’s original owner. It’s always been me all along,” Ann nodded.
“I see… So, when the others told me that you were a bad person… It wasn’t you, but…?”
“Correct. It was the previous inhabitant of this body, Princess Anne. Aaaaah, imagine having to shoulder accusations of things that you never do, but you can’t really say anything, Fayeeee…,” Ann hugged Faye as she finally was able to rant to someone.
With Allen, she was too focused on thinking of the future seriously that she actually didn’t have the time to rant like this.
Perhaps in the future, it wouldn’t hurt to rant like this and act like a spoiled child in front of him…?
The thought was amusing and she couldn’t wait but to try it out.
Ann felt that there were small arms hugging her back.
“Ann-sama, I love you, the you that I know, no matter who you actually are!” Faye’s beautiful voice could be heard.
“Uwaaaaa, Fayeeee! You’re the besttttt!!” Ann then lost her composure and rubbed her cheek furiously against Faye’s.
“A-Ann-sama, stahp itttt—,” Faye couldn’t even pronounce her words correctly thanks to Ann’s intervention.
After Ann had calmed down and the two separated, Ann then continued her explanation.
“The original soul is still in this body, I can feel it. And I’m afraid she will take over again. Therefore, we’re currently trying to find a solution to this matter. That’s why I am looking into spirits and exorcism.”
“Exorcism… is a ritual done to shoo away the bad spirit that’s possessing someone else’s body, right?” Faye asked.
“Correct! Faye is so clever!!”
“Then, Ann-sama… Aren’t you going to be the one who’s shooed away if an exorcism is performed?” Faye’s question caused Ann to freeze.
“W-well, technically… But we’re thinking whether or not the exorcism can be done to shoo away the other soul in this body that’s not me…”
“What if you’re the one who’s going away, then?” Faye asked with a concerned look.
“T-then we’re not going with the exorcism idea! Hahahaha!!” Ann awkwardly answered.
“Then… what about the dormant soul? What if she were to get her body back? Will you go away for real?” Faye asked again, with a face that seemed like she was about to cry from imagining that the kind Ann she knew would be gone forever.
“That…,” Ann was at a loss on what to answer.
Ann herself didn’t know what could be done in that scenario.
And if the original soul of this body were to take over again and she couldn’t control this body again… If she were to watch as this body she was in, goes out of control and then does something bad to the people she loved…
A flashback of the time when the real Anne was about to stab Allen replayed in her mind.
Thankfully, they were lucky at that time and she was able to take over this body again.
But there was no guarantee for the next time.
If… If it were to happen again… Since Anne’s target was indeed Allen… Then what would happen?
She’d definitely regret and be overcome with guilt.
If the original Anne’s soul could never leave this body, then what would she do? Live every day in fear that one day she’d take over and do something bad?
At the very least, she needed to find a way to be able to have control over this body, way stronger than the original owner… alright, this seemed nigh impossible…
Seeing how Ann’s expression didn’t seem to be right, Faye tried to call her out again.
At that time, a woman’s voice could be heard as well.
“Excuse me, Arlea-sama, are you there?”
Being called by two people at around the same time, Ann was forced to return to reality.
She first smiled reassuringly at Faye before answering the other voice that seemed to be one of the maids in this residence.
“I’m here, is something the matter?”
Hearing Ann’s answer, the sound of hurried footsteps could be heard before a woman in the residence’s maid uniform could be seen.
What could be the matter, to have a maid looking for me in such an urgent manner? I hope it’s not something bad…
Ann tried to swallow her nervousness.
In the next moment, the maid did something that was unexpected instead.
She didn’t stop in front of Ann. She was moving very quickly as she wrestled Ann’s body and locked Ann’s arms on her back.
“Wha—?!” By the time Ann realized something was wrong, it was already too late.
“What are you doing?!” Faye gasped in surprise.
“I’ll have you return to us, even by force!!” The maid said in a chilly voice, completely different from the tone she had used earlier.
An alarm rang in Ann’s mind.
Crap… An intruder…?!