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Published at 28th of April 2020 12:05:49 AM


Chapter 4

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Chapter 4




Well then, did it look like I was going to lose everything in my second life as well?

 

Unfortunately, there was one thing that the clever lady Rania did not expect.

Though she may have hoped that her black-swan-turned stepmother would be in tears, twisting her body in despair every night……

「You’ve arrived, Swan-nim.」

「……Mmhm. You’ve worked hard.」

When I nodded my head to the flock of ducks that swam by, they parted to make way for me.

Even the ducklings and fish hiding behind them didn’t dare to dart out and lowered their heads without anyone needing to tell them. 

「……Hm!…」

 That’s right, on this lake, I was the only and only queen. 

This is awesome!

The feeling of cutting through the refreshing water, each water droplet bouncing between my feathers, this was the leisurely life that I had wished for in my previous life.

In fact, if you lay down all the facts, a more comfortable life than this one was almost impossible.

Since I now transformed into an animal, I could naturally understand animals. 

And actually, turns out that half of the lake’s inhabitants were actually people who Rania had cursed as well. 

A leopard can’t change its spots, eh? 

When she had begun ruling in her father’s stead, Rania had turned any who objected to her will into animals and stored them all in this lake. To put it in better terms, this place was a great place for a noblewoman like me to be. 

「Then will you be returning to the house, Your Ladyship?」

 「Mmhm. Since the sun will be up soon.」

The one who I could communicate with the easiest was the mallard Selene, who stepped out of my way as we talked. 

She originally worked in the duke’s kitchen. 

It had been Selene who had told me all the details of my circumstances so far. 

She’d helped me adjust to life on the lake when I first joined the inhabitants there, so we had a rather deep bond


「Did you find out what I asked about?」

「Ah…… I asked here and there, but people here seem to know nothing about the person.」

「I see.」

「But according to a couple of frogs who’ve recently moved here, the person was an envoy from another continent. I can ask them again, since they might even know that person. Their names are-」

「No. It’s fine.」

Selene lowered her head apologetically, and I shook my beak to say that it wasn’t necessary.

I had asked her just in case, but I didn’t really have any expectations.

「Even if we found out, what could we do.」

「But if we go look for the person, they might be willing to break Your Ladyship from the curse……」

「No they wouldn’t. Like I said, they don’t even know who I am.」

「Ahh……」 

Dismayed, Selene turned her head 180 degrees again and again, and though I felt sorry, I didn’t want to give her any false hope. 

Even if I wasn’t the main character, I couldn’t help wondering which novel this world is from. 

So I told Selene all the names of the protagonists I remembered and asked her if she knew of any of them, but so far I’d come up with nothing.  

At first, I was disappointed, but gradually, when I got used to living here, I wondered why I had to care about it so much. 

I mean, what was I going to do if I was the main character anyway. 

The main characters lived their lives, and I lived my black swan life. 

Right now, I wasn’t even a supporting character, and even if the main character knew of my situation, they didn’t have a reason to save me. 

Even though she was hateful, Rania wasn’t the villain.

Most of the top-name villains in romance fantasy novels were infamous in the world of the novel but still weren’t mentioned much in the story itself. Even the Rania who had the highest possibility of being an important character among all the people I’d seen so far, wasn’t even as famous as a villain, so there was nothing more to say. 

「It doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve already adjusted to this lifestyle anyway so I can just quietly live from now on.」

「But still…… Ah, ah, Your Ladyship! Over there!」

「Yes, I see her.」

As we saw someone approaching us under the dim lighting, Selene, frightened, quickly ducked into the water. It wasn’t only her, as the other animals also quickly hid in the nearby bushes.


For all of the lake inhabitants to hide in terror like this, there was only one such person.

“Wow, you’re as carefree as always.” (the person)

“……Indeed.” (Catherine)

As soon as I stepped out of the lake, my legs stretched out as they gradually became more human-like. I could never get used to the feeling of it no matter how many times I went through the transformation process. 

Lastly, I dusted off my black dress and then turned to my uninvited guest. 

“This lifestyle must be fun? I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to adjust.” 

“If you’re curious about it, you can ask your sister to help you.”

“Ugh!”

Rebecca’s face contorted. Though she rudely spoke to me like this, she was my second daughter on the family register. 

“So arrogant even though you’re under a curse! There won’t be anything good that’ll come out of being like that to me!”

“I guess there’s something worse than what I’m going through right now?”

“You could end up living as an animal for the rest of your life-”

“Then won’t your situation become troublesome?

Smirk. I gave a shallow smile and straightened the hem of my dress. 

Who didn’t know.

Her sister hadn’t left me as the only one among the cursed humans here to be able to take on human form because of her guilty conscience or of any good intentions. 

“Because your sister occasionally needs a Duchess Evendell. A while ago I even attended the duke family’s meeting and I signed the necessary documents for her.”

“Hey, you-!”

“Yes, mother……is what you should say.”

Yeah so read this on littleajummas.wordpress.com else u a lil bishy Rebecca.

“……”

At any rate, what a rude kid. 

I gently turned my head away towards the villa. 

At times like this it might be more comfortable to be a black swan, but it was my fate to turn into a person when the sun rose. 


“Why, does my younger daughter have something else to say?”

“What? Hahh, even so, you don’t have a lot of time left! You just watch, I’ll make you pay!”

“……Suit yourself.”

Was there seriously anything scarier than being cursed and living as half-man half-animal, you idiot. 

No matter what she did, Rebecca couldn’t hold a candle to her sister. 

If Rania was a psychopath who was indifferent to other people’s sufferings, Rebecca was, at worst, a sociopath who then still recognized that others’ sufferings were miserable.  

I don’t know if this counted as a compliment, but this kid only had a super mean personality.

She’d probably been compared to her older sister since she was young and thus grown up to have a twisted personality, but only had the confidence to poke around the lake like this. You could say that even though she didn’t have a curse placed on her, she was still a victim of her sister. 

Watching Rebecca stomp away, I raised my foot and lightly ascended the staircase. 

“Well…it’s not something for me to say.”

◇ ◆ ◇

My daily routine here was monotonous. As I said before, I was the Duchess Catherine during the day and the Queen of the Lake during the night, so my time was spent in a limited area.

I heard that if one went just a little bit further than this villa, they’d reach a bustling city, but if I went there and then turned into a swan after being hit by moonlight, it’d be all for naught. 

“Hey now, it’s not like I’m Cinderella.”

Since it was Cinderella, she only had to run away from the prince, if it were me, I’d have to run away from hunters trying to capture me. 

Honestly I was a pretty beautiful black swan. 

Anyone could tell that I was a rare species that could make them rich, so no one would leave me alone once they caught sight of me.

At first, I tried to come up with ways to run away and find a wizard to release me from the curse, but after hearing what Selene said a few days ago I changed my mind.

「Well, previously, there were two ducks who escaped and made it to the wizard’s house.」

「Really? And what happened?」

「What do you think. There……you can see them.」

Selene bitterly pointed her beak to two freshwater snails stuck onto a nearby rock.

The northern regions had already entered Rania’s control. 


No matter where I tried to run away to, I’d end up returning to the lake anyway. It was impossible to escape from the northern lands within a day. 

“……”

And frankly, I was already enjoying my current lifestyle.

There weren’t any words I could use to describe the quiet feeling of swimming under the moon every night. 

While working at the zoo in my past life, I used to wonder what exactly the birds were thinking as I watched them float atop the water, but now I knew. 

You’re jealous, right?

That’s probably what they thought. 

Afraid that Rania’s evaluation of my lifestyle would change for the worse if she saw me enjoying myself, I couldn’t show my happiness outwardly, but I honestly did enjoy my lifestyle quite a bit. 

Rather, I could say that I might feel a little empty when I spent my time as the human Catherine. 

I still wasn’t used to staying alone in a quiet villa.

Rania would call on me once in a blue moon when she needed the Duchess’s appearance, but since I had my face covered with a black veil as a widow, I didn’t even know who I was meeting.

Though I didn’t know what would happen to me after the remaining nine months were over……I decided to think about that later. 

“……Yes. It’ll be okay.”

It’s not that I was indifferent to my life. Objectively speaking, the more I knew, the more I would fall into a pit of despair, so for now it was better off not knowing. 

For example, perhaps you bought a house with money you’d shed blood and tears over, but then the previous tenant committed suicide in the house, and then when you went to complain to the home owner about it, the real estate agency and the home owner had disappeared. Or, for instance, the boyfriend you’d seriously considered marrying was actually already married to someone else and even had a fiance as well, something along those lines.

After experiencing events similar to the ones I’d mentioned, I approached the world differently. Because no matter how angry I got and hopped around like mad before any of these things happened, I wouldn’t be able to avoid misfortune. 

Anyway, this was something that had already happened as well, so not planning anything was surely the way to go. 

meta: yas queen catherine, slay 

1. If u haven’t noticed yet, i like to change the website color scheme a lot lel. yuanxiao should stop me but she doesn’t care about this kinda stuff. QaQ

But dw i’m not changing the actual format of the website anytime soon, and i always make a contents page for each novel. 

2. I’m feeling sad over the recent crackdown on translating novels, but im also feeling sad about, well, homework. kek.

I was on twitter and saw a bunch of posts that were calling out illegal translations…which made me scared haha we’re back to square one wen i was like no mo translations fo me.

So for now, I’m taking back what I said about allowing retranslations in the previous chapter. There’s just something about translating from the English version that only one person did instead of the original Korean version that leaves me feeling responsible.

I’ve started trying another route to finding the author’s contact info, and if they don’t give permission I’ll be dropping this. And if they do give me permission, I’ll ask them about retranslations as well. 



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