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Fondness Story

Long Bao Chibi 4 Contents of this page has been fan-translated by cakerollkarol and may not be completely accurate.
Official translations will be added whenever it's available.

I. Beloved Doll

​“Pull your hair up into a bun, the Viscount will like it like that~” ​ “I don’t need his attention.”

“What are you saying, Miss? You’re the Viscount’s child now.”

Standing behind the “Miss”, I spoke into her ear with a low voice, but my eyes were looking at the expressionless face in the dresser mirror.

“What was the original reason for us to come here?”

That’s right, the “Miss” was like me, sent here to train as a butler.

“Clearly, there are numerous replacements, right?”

“Miss, you are the Viscount’s most beloved child.”

“You think so? Because he hasn’t discarded me like his other children, right?”

​Hearing this, I froze, unable to continue.

Being “discarded” is not something new.

Originally, the mansion had a few children from the outside that the Viscount adopted. But afterwards, excepting the “Miss”, the other children don’t seem to be allowed to remain inside.

The “Miss” didn’t appear to have anything special, but she had one common feature with the other children—Golden hair.

However, there were some recent anomalies. The Viscount seemed to constantly bring back children from the outside, late into the night, and more frequently than before. There wasn’t any use in hiding it, even the ‘Miss’ knew far better than I what those children will go through.

“Can you call me like how you used to before? Don’t you understand that the only thing he wants is this face of mine?”

The ‘Miss’ spoke with empty eyes.

“After all, I’m different from what that demon expects.”

“An…”

The words were on my lips, but once again, I couldn’t help but swallow them down.

I still cannot do anything, whether it was before, or now.

“Don’t say that, I’ll help you get dressed, and then you can go meet Lord Viscount.”

“Meet? Say nothing and smile like an idiot at that demon?”

“The Viscount loves you.”

I said, as I gathered the “Miss’s” long, slightly curled golden hair. Then, I saw the large, purple bruise on the back of her neck.

When I looked at the dressing mirror again, what I saw was not her lifeless face—but myself.

“You can’t go laughing at a time like this~” The ‘me’ in the mirror said.

Laugh? No, I have no intention of laughing at the person before me.

“Soufflé, why are you here?”

“I’m currently looking after you.”

“Have you never thought of leaving this place?”

“Leave? But where would I go? If the Duchess doesn’t tell me what to do, I wouldn’t have anywhere to return to…”

“…Yeah, there’s no place to return to…” The “Miss” repeated my words, as if she were possessed.

The room fell into silence, until I once again thought of a topic.

“Miss, would you like to talk with Lillia? Lillia is a very good child, she always listens to me earnestly.”

Lilia is the name of a doll I made. It was also the name of a human that I met a long time ago. ​ She was cheerful and gentle, the only person in that dim, somber world who would listen to me.

“Mm, thank you, Soufflé.”

I wasn’t sure if my impotent words had any effect. Upon hearing them, the corners of the “Miss’s” lips lifted into a grim arc.

I was trying to comfort this person who was as lonely and powerless as I was, but at that moment, a faint voice inside my heart whispered:

That’s right, become even more helpless, “Miss”- my beloved doll.

II. Butterfly Lost in the Fog

“Ah, Miss, the Viscount will soon return.” ​ Taking out my pocket watch, I looked at the slowly approaching time, feeling anxious.

“Yes. Soufflé, you can go first.”

“But Miss, if you don’t appear on time, the Viscount will…”

“Nothing would change, would it?”

I didn’t know how to comfort the girl before me. It’s just as she said, the Viscount seemed like he wanted to make things difficult for her, and any reason is an excuse.

I always wanted to do something for her.

So to relieve some of the Viscount’s fury, I chose to wait at the door ahead of time.

To be a butler, the first thing one must learn is how to perfectly manage everyone’s time.

This was what the butler at the Duke’s mansion told me before.

Whether it’s your own time, or other servants’ time, or even the master’s time, all of it must be carefully organized. Only then, can you provide the master with even better service.

Even though I was a Food Soul, summoned by nobility, I did not have any outstanding talent, and was never seen as important or valuable.

An idle life made my noble etiquette lessons useless.

On the other hand, though, these etiquette lessons did not train me to become a butler.

It was under the Duchess’s arrangements that I came to the mansion of Viscount Pell, whom the Duke had been corresponding with, training to become the Duchess’s future butler.

“Where’s Anna?”

As expected, the first thing the Viscount does is to ask about the “Miss’s” whereabouts upon his return.

“The M-Miss is currently changing.”

“I’ve said it before, I want her to come greet me! Can’t you even complete something this small!?”

The anger in the Viscount’s voice rose, as if he would next brandish his cane towards me.

“Lord Viscount, why lose your temper over something so insignificant?” The man besides the Duke commented.

“I originally wanted you, Mr. Vita, to become acquainted with that child, Anna.”

“Lord Viscount, there is no need to be so urgent, everything is still in the testing phase.”

The stranger’s voice sounded familiar, yet, felt malicious, even suffocating. In an instant, I was taken back to a time I should have forgotten.

I uneasily lifted my head to look at the man talking to the Viscount. He was wearing thin rimmed glasses, a brown trench coat, and in his hand was a suitcase with strange lines on it.

Ah, I knew his name. It’s a name that I heard long ago, countless times from that person.

“Have we met before?”

There was a polite and gentle look to his face, but beneath the surface, there was ice in his scarlet eyes.

“No.” I lowered my head.

“Then I must be mistaken, I keep thinking you’re a bit familiar.”

Upon that, the man finally removed his inquisitive gaze, turning away to continue his conversation with the Viscount.

“Do not worry, Lord Viscount. Everything has already been properly arranged.”

In a few words, the Viscount’s wrath was placated, much to my shock.

“Yes Mr. Vita, you may continue your experiments here. Whether it’s equipment or environment, we’ve provided everything for you here.”

“Thank you for your aid, Lord Viscount.”

“Randolph, take Mr. Vita there.”

“Yes. Please follow me, Mir Vita.” Randolph was the Viscount’s butler. His hunched back and greying hair hinted at the years of serving the Viscount. He bowed slightly towards the Viscount.

“Master, I hope you still remember today’s meeting with the Duke.”

The Viscount was a bit taken aback, before letting out a disdainful laugh.

“Heh, yes, the meeting… In that case, you’ll accompany me, Soufflé.”

“Y-Yes.” The Viscount suddenly remarking my name made it difficult to cover my panic.

The truth is, there was another reason why I came to the Viscount’s mansion. Besides training to become a butler, I had another mission. That mission was to gather information on the Gambling Duke, another aristocrat, through Viscount Pell.

In this nation ruled by nobles, noble intrigue is seemingly unavoidable.

The Duchess said that the Gambling Duke had recently been in the limelight, but was secretly scheming to overthrow the Grand Duke.

Viscount Pell was in the same circles as the Gambling Duke, the two knew each other well and kept in contact. That was why I was using my time at the Viscount’s mansion to find relevant evidence.

But, did the Duchess truly believe I could find evidence, hence arranging for my stay at the mansion? No, I didn’t think so.

“What are you still standing around for!?”

“I… I’ll prepare the carriage immediately.”

Hearing the Viscount’s shouts, I snapped back into the present and scurried outside to ready the carriage.

The moment I opened the door, a red bejewelled butterfly flashed past my eyes.

I knew that this butterfly, as beautiful as a handmade craft, was the Duchess’s servant.

But if this butterfly followed Mr. Vita here…

Had the Duchess long expected his arrival?

III. My Mirror Self

In the end, my question was dispelled.

The Duchess took me in by pure coincidence, but I hoped that this time, I could change our fates so “that person’s” tragedy would not have a reprisal.

I drove the horse carriage, and soon, I had brought the Viscount to the Gambling Duke’s mansion.

From the outside, this mansion was about the same size as the Viscount’s mansion.

But the extravagant decorations, inlaid with gold, reminded me of that grand palace in my memories again.

After our arrival at the mansion, the Viscount did not wait for the Gambling Duke to welcome us.

But it appears he was accustomed to this, as he followed the servants, who brought the Viscount and I to the Gambling Duke’s underground floor.

For some reason, the basement seemed to be a favorite among nobles to hole up in.

The basement was exactly as I was told it was: a huge gambling hall.

I followed at the Viscount’s side, walking to the Gambling Duke’s table.

There were two other lords at the Duke’s table and they were conversing with Duke.

“Sir Duke, it seems that I’m late. I’m truly sorry about that.”

“Not to worry, I’m not like a certain other Duke, bickering and fussing about every second.”

“Hahaha, that is true. A person who needs to count to the minute when making plans is really too much.”

I knew their jeers at the Grand Duke’s strictness towards time were abnormal.

If they knew I was sent by the Grand Duke, would they still say that?

Or would they say those things, while observing my reaction, like Viscount Pell?

“Viscount Pell, you don’t know how great our Duke’s luck has been of late, we’ve never seen him lose.”

“Luck is also a strength, no?”

As they spoke, the nobles began a new round.

“Let me shuffle the cards and start.”

A blonde boy was fiddling with the poker cards with natural ease. The gamble had already begun, and everyone was absorbed.

Maybe it was because the basement was too empty, but aside from the sound of cards shuffling, one couldn’t hear anything else.

It was at that moment that I noticed that the blond boy seemed to be cheating.

“As expected, you won again, Sir Duke.”

After a few rounds, only I realized that the blonde boy helped the Gambling Duke change cards every time.

“It’s only luck.”

“Why not stop for a bit, Sir Duke? Speaking of which, didn’t you bring us here to talk about something?”

“Soufflé.”

I was just about to listen in on their conversation, when the Viscount suddenly called my name, motioning with his eyes for me to wait outside.

So I left.

Before I did, I secretly peeked at the blond boy shuffling cards at the gambling table, head hung low.

Should I expose that young boy next to the Gambling Duke? Why didn’t anyone else notice, why was I the only one?

Was this the evidence that the Duchess wanted?

I kept pondering about it, struggling, and time quietly passed during my deliberations.

In the end, I waited for the Viscount to return from the basement. The Viscount said nothing, and I could not gain anything from it, so I drove the carriage back to the mansion.

“Where’s Mr. Vita?”

Upon the Viscount’s return, he called for the butler.

“You’re back, Master. I’ve already made Mr. Vita’s arrangements as you asked.”

“That’s good.”

“Master, do you want today’s dinner sent to your study or would you like to enjoy it in the dining room?”

“Dining, bring Mr. Vita too. Another thing, Soufflé, have the Miss come down for dinner today.”

The Viscount’s last words had a harsh tone, a tone that would not accept refusal.

“Yes…”

–But the ‘Miss’ absolutely didn’t want to see the Viscount, I thought to myself. I furrowed my brows as I stood on the pavement outside. I wandered about for some time, and by chance, caught a glimpse of myself in the glass window.

“You look pretty upset. If you have an opinion on the Viscount’s arrangements, just say it.”

The figure in the mirror had the same face as me, but in that moment, he donned an unfamiliar smile.

“Earlier at the Duke’s basement, too, why didn’t you just say it? Isn’t it so interesting, how once a fraud’s been exposed, this mob of phony cutthroats will murder one another? Don’t you wanna see it? You really wanna see it, right?”

Not again, this ghostly hallucination I could never shake off.

“I… won’t believe what you say. I wasn’t sure, maybe I was wrong that time…”

“How could you be wrong? I was the one who pointed out to you that the Food Soul was being a cheat.”

“Food Soul? That blonde boy is also a Food Soul?”

“So you’re willing to believe me now?”

Seeing my surprise, the smile in the mirror’s reflection grew deeper.

“But it’s only a brat with really weak Soul Power though, an ability like that can only trick humans who’ve never seen the real world.”

“Who are you, exactly? W…Why are you constantly following me?”

“Ah~ Me? I’m you, of course~ I only appeared because of your wish that time~”

“I…I didn’t…”

“But Lilia still died~ It’s obvious that she was an exceptionally beautiful human, what a waste. I’m very sad too.”

“You…That’s enough!”

Heart-piercing pain overcame my entire body, even the ever hiding dolls Lilia and Vivian flew down to my side, as if they were comforting me. ​ “Your desire to stay by Duchess’s side, is it not because she and Lilia look exactly the same?”

“No… It’s not…”

“How long do you plan on lying to yourself? Coward!!!”

Memories of the past crashed into me like a tsunami.

A blood red memory gradually transformed into a pathway to unfathomable darkness. It took only a moment, and I couldn’t wake up from my dream again.

“It’s already been so long and you still haven’t grown one bit~ even Lilia would cry if she saw this, coward.”

But this makes it easy for me to come out. ​ –“Now, then it’s my time to enjoy~”

​IV. After the Curtain Falls

Note: This is written in Soufflé’s Mirrorself POV, who refers towards Soufflé’s normal self as “the coward.”

For me, returning to the Duke’s mansion is a very easy thing to do.

Since I was the Duchess’s butler, Viscount Pell couldn’t punish me too much.

Hence, all I have to do is use the Duchess as my shield, claiming that the Mistress had summoned me to return, and such claims were not hard to fabricate.

However, our [1] Duchess is a peculiar woman: she was also a Food Soul who cannot go a day without her afternoon tea.

She was obviously not the sentimental or melancholic type, but she was interested in certain human things.

More precisely, she seemed to care about that human, Lilia, a lot.

Even on the rare occasions I visit her, she’s usually reading that storybook. It was said to have been left behind by the real Duchess, at the time of the storybook’s writing.

I supposed this was also the reason why she’d allow a useless coward to be at her side. Of course, this didn’t mean she didn’t actually want a servant, too.

I reported to her of what happened at the Viscount’s and Duke’s mansions, but she did not seem perturbed.

My words seemed to have confirmed something in her; she eagerly awaited the next chapter of this story.

And so, our Duchess planned the next act for our new protagonist.

That coward actually considered the following days to be peaceful.

To ensure the play is successfully put into motion, the Duchess quickly summoned him back to her mansion—House of Time.

Soon afterwards, the Grand Duke decided to host a rare birthday banquet under the Duchess’s suggestion.

That night was especially long.

During the banquet, Viscount Pell introduced that Mr. Vita to the ailing Grand Duke.

After the banquet, the Gambling Duke, who’d been scheming to snatch power from the Grand Duke, lost everything in that round of gamble.

The royal regime in this country exists only in name; the nobles are the real authority.

The ever aging Grand Duke was the perfect example of this.

The Gambling Duke’s popularity didn’t last long enough to have much support from the nobility, and he faded into a myth among the urban commoners.

“Do you think it’s already over, Soufflé?”

“Asking questions like that, you wouldn’t happen to mean that the beginning has just started?”

“Not a bad answer. I shouldn’t be bored from here on out.”

“Then Mistress, for you to have forcibly awakened me, have you anything interesting to tell me?”

I looked at the expression of the woman before me. Arrogant and beautiful, but her face revealed an atypical cruelty.

A smile from my memory flitted past; it was a smile that could never appear on the face of this woman.

It belonged to “that person” in the coward’s memories.

“Today is the Duke’s birthday. He asked me a question not long ago.”

The Duchess said as she turned a page of the storybook in her hands.

“Can a person still be trusted if they’ve betrayed others before? How do you think I should answer?”

“If you’re so worried of treachery, then denying him any chance to do so is sufficient, right?”

“Oh?”

Hearing my answer, she lifted her head to look at me with great interest.

“A dead man has no chance of betraying anyone.”

I wasn’t concerned with her gaze; of course I understood what I must do next.

“And another thing, I hope you’ll use a gentler way of awakening me next time, Duchess.”

That night, I did not attend the Duke’s birthday banquet. I took advantage of the night to arrive at Viscount Pell’s mansion.

For now, I did not want to attract other people’s attention; so I lightly jumped up to the study on the second floor.

The study was lit by a lamp, so according to what I knew, it was currently the Viscount’s working hours.

At that time, Viscount Pell was genuinely delighted with the Gambling Duke’s defeat. All the properties that he’d originally lost to the Gambling Duke were returned to his name.

The Viscount was bewildered to see me, the Duchess’s butler, suddenly appear on the balcony of his study.

“Soufflé? Why are you here today? It’s Sir Duke’s birthday, I’ve already sent an apology. There is so much work that I simply cannot attend.”

He seemed somewhat hesitant, but still feigned eagerness as he welcomed me into his study.

“No, it’s the Duchess who’s given me some orders.”

“Well, since it’s the Duchess’s orders, then naturally I’ll do my best… ugh…wa….w-why…”

The Viscount had lowered his guard and turned his back to me; seizing the moment, I snatched the walking cane by the Viscount’s side to pierce his heart.

“It’s so wonderful that you’d readily agree, Sir Viscount.”

After that, I offered flames as a gift to the Viscount’s death, and burned everything down.

Not one snake can remain hidden in the grass [2].

The sky was lit up with fire, and under it, I beamed a dazzling smile as a final farewell to this pitiful individual. ​ “After all that trouble I went through to find an experiment field, you just went and destroyed it just like that?”

That even-tempered and refined Mr. Vita soundlessly appeared behind me. Even his outline, silhouetted by the flames, looked as though it was entwined within the black shadow of a snake.

But I was not that coward, who’d run away from this. I turned around, smiling as I looked at Whiskey.

“But you’ve already found your next stage, haven’t you? Mr. Black Snake?”

​V. Soufflé

From the start, many things in Soufflé’s life have been meaningless- so was his summoning.

Soufflé was summoned by a noble obsessed with decadence, at a time when Food Souls were fashionable.

“This is a Food Soul? Doesn’t look any different from a human.”

His Master Attendant was related to the royal family, so he never had to worry about food or clothes.

And so, even though he summoned a Food Soul, he wasn’t very interested in it.

He wasn’t expected, he wasn’t needed, and so, Soufflé spent much of his time just standing in a dark corner.

But to Soufflé, life was fortunate enough. This way, he could live peacefully in the shadows as an aristocrat.

In this ever peaceful and serene kingdom, a weak Food Soul like him was gradually seen to be worthless after his Master Attendant’s death.

He didn’t have any special talent in combat, but he was an expert at sewing. He discovered this ability while living as an accessory in a kingdom full of nobles.

Thus he created his first doll—Vivian.

Vivian was exactly as he’d imagined, a clingy child.

Short hair that was slightly curled and pitch black eyes, she would constantly pull at Soufflé’s clothing and be by his side.

But dolls are monotonous, just like Soufflé’s life. No one understands how terrifying this sort of life is.

Until one day, Vivian suddenly disappeared.

The wheel of fate began to slowly turn.

Soufflé continually searched for Vivian in the palace, calling her name in a tone others would call quiet, again and again.

“Are you looking for this child?”

He looked towards the source of the voice, Soufflé bent as he looked towards the high tower, which had blocked most of the sun’s light from him earlier.

The voice came from a girl, leaning out of the high tower’s window.

Soufflé shifted his direction, walking out from the high tower’s shadows.

The first time, he didn’t see much, as he was unable to block the sunlight out from his eyes. He could only make out the girl’s sunlight hued curls, hanging down, and a pair of eyes that were as blue as the sky.

That was probably the first time he enjoyed colors lit by sunshine.

Ever since then, he would often visit this high tower. The young girl said everyone had already forgotten her.

She was in a situation like his, and as a result, for the first time, Soufflé found someone in the kingdom he could call his ‘friend.’

The young girl had a beautiful appearance and a stirring voice. She would often read him all kinds of fairy tales from the tower.

She said she used to read to her little sister, but whenever Soufflé asked about other things, the young girl would either go silent or change topics, never once giving him an answer. ​ Quickly, he stopped asking so many questions. After all, she was the first human who he could talk to without worry.

For Soufflé, he doesn’t need to know many secrets. Her presence was already a great blessing.

Soufflé, satisfied with the current circumstances, only knows the young girl’s name—Lilia. It was the same name as the queen of the kingdom.

Lilia said that for the time being, there was no way for her to leave the tower; but a man named Vita would come and take care of her.

Soufflé never met this Mr. Vita that Lilia spoke of. That’s because every time he was about to appear, Soufflé would feel a frigid and suffocating aura, compelling him to leave.

Lilia was clearly held captive by some scary demon.

At that time, Soufflé didn’t know why Lilia was chained in the tower. But seeing Lilia’s tranquil, yet bright eyes, Soufflé couldn’t help but think that perhaps she didn’t think her situation was too unfortunate.

Otherwise, why would the stories she read be so beautiful?

But very soon, her fairy-tale life was destroyed by the royal castle’s invaders.

The masses’ fury was monstrous, the weapons in their hands had killed many of the palace’s guards and nobles.

Countless blood stained feet trampled over the once peaceful kingdom.

Soufflé didn’t even have the time to figure out what happened- the entire kingdom had already descended into a hellish inferno.

“Hurry up and bring that bloodthirsty butterfly!”

“That’s right! Kill that witch!”

Similar declarations could be heard without end.

Soufflé didn’t know who they were searching for, only that the mad mob would attack any noble in finery the moment they saw.

At that time, he could only hide behind the door of a hidden corner room, daring not to make a sound.

The sound of chaotic footsteps streamed past him.

Soufflé hugged the doll he’d made of Lilia. He had just completed it after much effort. He curled up, not daring to step out from behind the door. Vivian could only pull at his clothes, frightened, and hide beside him, unable to venture even half a step.

He’s not strong like those Food Souls others spoke of, he didn’t even know his own abilities.

But right now, he wanted to go out, he wanted to take Lilia away from her prison tower.

Once found by those humans, Soufflé didn’t dare think what brutalities might happen to her.

He dreaded, but at the same time, prayed, that there was someone by Lilia’s side who could protect her.

Even if that person isn’t Soufflé himself, even if that person is a demon… It doesn’t matter.

But despite thinking that, his fists would not stop clenching. Eventually, the pain materialized. His fingernails broke skin, and blood seeped out from his palms.

In the end, Soufflé couldn’t use the excuse that he’s ‘trash’ to run away from the truth.

However, not long after he’d gone out, he was discovered by the people.

“Look! Another nobleman! He must know where the Bloodthirsty Butterfly is!”

Soufflé could only keep on running forward. He understood that if he stopped, he’d meet the same end as the other nobles.

But even though he ran nonstop, it only attracted even more pursuers.

Soon, people poured in from all sides, blocking him.

Without any hesitation, the clubs in their hands swung down and struck Soufflé’s head once, twice; innumerable heavy blows landed on his body.

Soufflé desperately crawled out, his mind was filled with thoughts of finding Lilia.

“Don’t beat him to death yet, speed up and ask where the Bloodthirsty Butterfly is!”

“Hey! Not dead yet!? If not, hurry up and answer!”

He didn’t know when or how, but suddenly, he was only a few steps away from exiting the corridor.

The sunlight was shifting, and Soufflé continued to drag his black and blue body towards the sun.

He only needed to walk out, only needed to cross that beautiful garden, then he can see the tower, then he can see his beautiful Lilia.

But that’s not possible! There was no way for him to see her again.

Behind him, the humans were trying to see where exactly Soufflé was crawling to, waiting for their moment.

He didn’t know how to protect her, much less lead away this mob of noble killers.

He was a Food Soul, and yet, at a time like this, it would be better to just die.

Soufflé stopped struggling forward as he thought of that, abruptly sprawling onto the floor with his back.

Because of the split wound on his head, blood was oozing into his eyes. But for some reason, he started laughing.

“Is this guy really a nobleman? He looks more like a maniac to me!”

“You guys, look. He’s been holding onto two dolls without letting go. Absolutely disgusting.”

He couldn’t tell who was mocking him with such malicious words.

“Do you feel remorseful? Do you regret being so weak? Then yearn for me! I’ll help you kill all of these humans.”

Suddenly, a completely different voice came to Soufflé’s ears. It echoed with unparalleled clarity inside his ears.

“Who? Who is this?”

Soufflé asked for an answer, repeating himself.

“As expected, he’s a monologuing madman, get rid of him!”

As soon as the voice faded, Soufflé felt an indescribable pain stab into his abdomen. Vivian and Lilia, too, were pierced through by this foreign object.

“My god, those two dolls can actually move!”

He must be a monster too, huh? The panicking humans used the sword in their hands to plunge it through Soufflé’s body once more.

Then, a voice shouted from afar.

“Everyone! I found the bloodthirsty butterfly! She’s hiding in that tower on the other side of the garden!”

“Really!? Hurry! We can’t let that witch run off!”

Souffle’s eyes widened. Even breathing was difficult, but he still wanted to struggle and crawl back up.

N-No, you can’t… You can’t do this!

“Do you want to save her? I don’t think a coward like you can do it~”

He heard that voice again. Like a demon, tempting him with promise of salvation, holding his hand out.

In his hallucination, Soufflé grabbed onto the savior’s hands, the tone in his voice desperate.

“P…Please, I’m begging you… Save her, I’ll do anything. S-Save Lilia…”

“Che, seriously. It’d been alright had you given up this body earlier and changed to me.”

He didn’t know what was happening himself. In his last moments, he saw black mist surging from his outstretched hands.

Within the black mist, Soufflé slowly stood up again. Looking at the humans carrying blood stained weapons, he revealed a demented, arrogant smile.

“Che—Alright then, it’s time to round up the bastards that hurt this coward. I’ll personally send all of you to hell!”


The clock chimed four times; the next time he woke up, the scene before Soufflé was completely foreign.

He didn’t know how he came to this palace, nor did he know where he should return to.

From the very beginning, he was never expected by anyone.

Even his whole body, in constant pain, was telling him that it’s all over now.

In the end, he wasn’t able to protect anything. Even the last friend who looked forward to him was now gone.

But why did he survive?

Why was he, someone absolutely worthless, still alive?

The gap of his memories was a blank white, there was only an immense sorrow. For a moment, he was reminded; his mental state cracked, and he couldn’t suppress his tears.

The dolls cannot speak, they’ve witnessed everything but are forever unable to tell him.


A few years later.

Soufflé, who’d lost everything, still resembled a stray cat with no home to return to. He wandered about in the dark corner of a street.

Until at that moment, a coquettish butterfly flashed before him. Its red wings were so beautiful that it didn’t even look like a living being.

His gaze couldn’t help but following, until it flew towards an exquisitely engraved four wheeled horse carriage coming from afar. It landed on the back of the noble passenger’s hand.

But then, what made him unable to tear his eyes was no longer that butterfly, but the person sitting on the horse carriage. She looked exactly like Lillia in his memories.

By the time he snapped out of it, he was already in front of the carriage, blocking them.

Subconsciously, Souffle defended himself, but the horse carriage didn’t knock into him.

“Where’d this lunatic come from, does he want to die!?”

The coachman abruptly pulled at the reins as he swore.

“Lilia…”

Soufflé didn’t hold back, and called out softly as he walked towards her.

“Do you think the Madame’s name [3] can be shouted as you please, lunatic?”

The coachman’s whip lashed at Souffle’s body, knocking down the doll in his arms. Souffle’s body went rigid, and when he lifted his head again, there was black mist slowly filling his eyes.

“How unexpected for you to know this name, truly surprising.”

What’s shocking was that madame in the carriage seemed to show interest in him.

“Since the madame is so surprised, would that mean you’re interested in getting to know me?”

“Oh? Get to know you? Do you believe you have that kind of value?”

“That’s for the madame to judge, of course.”

The madame in the horse carriage looked at Soufflé, suddenly different from the one blocking the carriage earlier. Her smile broadened.

“Follow me if you wish.”

Perhaps this was why his worthless survival happened.

Soufflé believed so now.

Translator's Notes

  1. Translator's Note: Soufflé uses “our,” referring to both of the personalities
  2. Translator's Note: [凡事可不能留隐患] Potential dangers cannot remain in any and all situations.
  3. Translator’s Note: Fruit Tart is of high status, so to use her personal name in this case is taboo, (名讳) as honorifics should be used instead.

Long Bao Chibi 4 Contents of this page has been fan-translated and may not be completely accurate.
Official translations will be added whenever it's available.


I. Beloved Doll

"Let me pull your hair back. I'm sure the Viscount will love it~"

"I don't need such 'love'."

"What are you saying, miss? You're currently the Viscount's daughter."

I stood behind her back and whispered into her ear. However, my eyes were instead looking at that expressionless face, which was reflected in the makeup mirror.

"In the beginning, what was our reason for coming here?'

That's right, Miss and I are the same. We were both sent here to be nurtured by the butler.

"Clearly, there's quite a number of substitutes, aren't there?"

"Miss, you're the real apple of the Viscount's eyes."

"That's what you think, because he hasn't abandoned me like the others, right?"

Hearing this, I couldn't go on.

Being abandoned isn't something new in this period of time.

Originally, there were supposed to be some children that were adopted by the Viscount, in here. But other than her, the others were seemingly barred from living in the mansion.

They weren't unique, but they shared the same trait: Golden hair.

But just recently, it became somewhat unusual. The Viscount appeared to have brought home even more children at dusk and apparently, this was getting more frequent.

Yet, it is futile to hide it. Miss is far more clearer than me on what those children will experience in the mansion.

"Can you address me like how you did in the past? You're aware that all he needs is me."

She spoke. Her pair of eyes were hollow.

"After all, what awaits me and that demon is different."

"Ann...."

The words were at the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't help but swallow it back.

Regardless whether it's the past or present, I'm still unable to do anything.

"Don't say that, I'll dress you up before you greet the Viscount."

"Greet? By staying silent and foolishly smiling at him?"

"The Viscount loves you."

As I spoke, I combed her gold, somewhat curly long hair. Afterwards, I saw a large patch of a deep purple bruise behind her neck.

I looked at the makeup mirror once more. What I witnessed wasn't her face, which still show no signs of anger. It was mine.

"Don't laugh in this moment."

The me in the mirror said.

"Souffle, why are you here?"

"I'm taking care of you now."

"Have you ever thought of leaving?"

"Leave? But to where? Without my lady's request, I no longer have anywhere to go...."

"....That's right, no place to go...."

Akin to being possessed, she repeated this.

Silence fell between us until I thought of a topic.

"Miss, do you want to chat with Lilia? Lilia's a good child, she'll always listen to what I have to say."

Lilia is the name of my hand-made doll. That name also belongs to a human I met a long time ago.

She's positive, gentle and was the only person who was willing to listen to what I had to say in this gloomy world.

"Alright. Thank you, Souffle."

I'm not sure whether my weak words were effective. After hearing this, the corners of Miss's mouth began to curl at an unsightly angle.

Clearly, I merely wanted to console this helpless and lonely person, who is just like me. But, a faint voice was speaking in my heart.

Yes, descend into even more helplessness, Miss, my beloved doll.

II. Butterfly in the Fog

"Ah, Miss, it's almost time for the Viscount to return."

Taking out my pocket watch, I watched the approaching time and became uneasy.

"Well, Souffle, you go first." 

"But Miss, if you don't appear on time, the Viscount will... " 

"Nothing will change, will it?" 

I don't know how to comfort the person in front of me. As the lady said, if the Viscount wants to embarrass her, then any reason is an excuse. 

But I still have to do something for her. 

In order to relieve the Viscount's anger a little, I chose to wait in front of the door early. 

As a housekeeper, the first thing to learn is to arrange everyone's time perfectly. 

That's what the butler at the Duke's mansion told me before.  

Whether it is your own, or other servants or even the master's time, you must master it in an orderly manner so that you can provide better service to the host. 

Although I am regarded as a Food Soul called by the nobility, I have never received any attention because of my lack of talent. 

Free life made the aristocratic etiquette I learned useless. On the other hand, the aristocratic etiquette did not contain the basic qualities that made me a housekeeper. 

So, under the arrangement of the Duchess, I came to Viscount Pell's Palace, who had been very close to the Duchess in recent days, to study as the Duchess' future housekeeper. 

"What about Anna?"  

Sure enough, when the Viscount returned to the palace, the first sentence was to inquire about the whereabouts of Miss. 

"Young Miss is changing clothes." 

"I should have told her to come and greet me! Why can't you do that?" The anger between the Viscount's words grew as if the cane in his hand would swing at me the next second. 

"Lord Viscount, why should you be angry about these little trifles?" said the man standing beside the Viscount. 

"I wanted you to meet that child of Anna today, Mr. Vita." 

"Your excellency, it's not too urgent. Everything is still in the experimental stage. " The strange voice of the man is accompanied by a familiar and hazy suffocation. In an instant, I remembered -- some of the past that should have been forgotten. 

I looked up uneasily at the man who was talking to the Viscount. He was wearing thin-rimmed glasses, a brown windbreaker coat and a box with strange lines in his hand. 

Ah, I know his name. I've heard it many times from that man's mouth a long time ago. 

"Have we met before?" 

His face showed a polite and gentle look, but this gentleness flowed on the surface, and the coldness hid in his red eyes. 

"No." 

I bowed my head. 

"I should be mistaken. I always feel that you're familiar." 

As he said this, he finally turned away from his inquiry and continued his conversation with the Viscount. 

"Lord Viscount, everything is in order." 

To my surprise, the Viscount's mood soon calmed down under his three words. 

"Well, Mr. Vita, let's continue experimenting here. Whether it's equipment or the environment, it's ready for you." 

"Thank you for your help, Lord Viscount." 

"Randolph, take Mr. Vita with you." 

"Yes. Please follow me, Mr. Vita."

Randolph was the Viscount's housekeeper. His slightly rickety body and white temples told of his years of hard work in serving the Viscount.

He bowed slightly to the Viscount. "Sir, I hope you remember today's meeting with the Earl."

The Viscount became slightly stunned and then laughed out with disdain. 

"Oh, yeah, meet... In that case, you can accompany me this time, Souffle." 

"Oh... good, good." The Viscount's sudden nomination made it difficult for me to hide my panic for a moment. 

In fact, besides being trained to be a qualified noble housekeeper, I came to the Viscount's palace with the task of finding ways to get information from another nobleman, known as the Count of Gamblers, through Viscount Pell. 

In a country ruled by aristocrats, collusion between aristocrats always seems unavoidable. 

The Duchess said that the Count of Gamblers had been in the limelight lately, even secretly trying to plot to bring down the Duke. 

Viscount Pell was originally a gambler count, and the two acquaintances often came and went, so I will use the time in the Viscount's palace to find relevant evidence. 

But did the Duchess really believe that I could find evidence by sending me here? No, I don't think so. 

"What are you waiting for?!"  

"I'll get the carriage ready right away." At the sound of the Viscount's rebuke, I hurried back to my feet and went out in a hurry to get the carriage ready. 

The moment I opened the door, a jewel red butterfly flashed past my eyes. 

I know this butterfly, which is as beautiful as a handicraft and belongs to the Duchess. 

But if, I mean, if, this butterfly came here with Mr. Vita...the Duchess has long known that this person will come here? 

III. The "Me" in the Mirror

This question in my heart was eventually dispelled by myself.

I was taken in by the Duchess by pure coincidence, but I hope I can make some changes this time and not let that person's tragedy repeat itself.

Soon I was driving a carriage, and with the Viscount, I came to the Gambler Count's mansion.

From the outside, the size of the mansion is not much different from that of the Viscount. 

But the extravagant, gold-inlaid decoration reminds me of that magnificent royal city in my memory. 

When he arrived at the mansion, the Viscount didn't wait for the Count of Gamblers to greet him. 

But he seemed accustomed to it, and followed the servants calmly, letting them take us to the basement of the Count of Gamblers. 

Somehow, the basement seems to be a place that these nobles generally like to hide secrets. 

And the basement here is a huge casino, as I heard. 

I followed the Viscount to the table where the Count of Gamblers was. 

There were two other lords at the same table with the Count, who were talking to him. 

"Your excellency, it seems that I am late. I'm really sorry. " 

"That's all right. I don't care about time like a duke. " 

"Ha-ha-ha-ha, yeah, that kind of person who has to calculate the travel plan for minutes is really terrible. " 

I know that they are ridiculing that the Grand Duke’s severity of time is different from ordinary people. 

If they knew that I was the one sent by the Grand Duke, would you still say that? 

Or would it be like Viscount Pell, observing my reaction while saying such a thing? 

"Viscount Pell, you don't know how good our count's luck has been lately. Basically, I haven't seen him lose." 

"Luck is also a kind of strength, isn't it?"

These nobles started a new gamble as they said this. 

"Then let me start shuffling." 

A blonde boy was playing cards with ease. The gambling has started and everyone was focused. 

Perhaps it's because this basement is too empty, and no one can hear anything other than the sound of playing cards. 

At that time, I noticed that the boy with blond hair seemed to have done something secretly when he was playing cards. 

"You won again, count." 

Several rounds of gambling ended, and only I found out that the blonde boy changed cards for the Count of Gamblers every time. 

"Good luck." 

"Why do you pause, Viscount? What's the matter this time?" 

"Souffle." 

I was about to listen carefully to their conversation when suddenly the Viscount called my name and directed me to wait outside with his eyes. 

I had to leave. 

Before leaving, I peeked at the blonde boy who was shuffling his cards at the gambling table alone. 

Should I tell the story of the young man besides the Count of Gamblers? Why didn't everyone notice it, but would be noticed by me? 

Is this the evidence that the lady wants to see? 

I kept thinking about it, tangled, and time passed quietly between my hesitation. 

Finally I waited until the Viscount came back from the basement. He said nothing, and I had nothing to gain. I had to drive home. 

"What about Mr. Vita?" The Viscount returned to the house and called the housekeeper. 

"You're back, Sir. I have placed everything for Mr. Vita according to your request." 

"That's good."

"Sir, do you want to send your dinner to the study or to the dining room for today's dinner?"

"Dining room, please bring Mr. Vita over, too. In addition, Souffle, bring the lady down for dinner today."

The voice of the Viscount's last sentence was markedly suppressed, with an irrefutable meaning.

"Yes..." 

—— But now Miss doesn't want to see the Viscount at all. I said so silently in my heart, frowning in the aisle, hesitating, and accidentally glimpsed at the glass window beside me. 

"It looks like you're unwilling to look at it. If you have any objection to the Viscount's arrangement, let's talk about it. " 

The figure in the glass mirror has the same face as me, but this time, there is a strange smile. 

"In the basement of the Earl's Palace, too. Why not just say it? How interesting is it that once the fraud is uncovered, how can these people who have a false face because of their interests kill each other? Don't you want to see it? You really want to see it, don't you?" 

Again, this illusion, like a ghost, can't be shaken off. 

"I don't believe what you said. I'm not sure. Maybe I was wrong at that time... " 

"How could I be wrong? I made you notice that Food Soul was cheating." 

"Food Soul? The blond boy is also a Food Soul?" 

"Now you believe me?" 

I was surprised, and the smile in the face of the mirror deepened. 

"It's just a weak Food Soul. That skill can only deceive people who haven't seen the world. " 

"Who are you? Why, why do you always follow me?" 

"Oh, me? I was you. At that time, because of your wishes, I appeared~” 

“I...I didn't...” 

“But Lilia is still dead~ It’s a pity that it’s such a beautiful human being. I'm also very sad."

"You...stop talking!" 

My whole body inexplicably came with pain. Even the dolls, Lilia and Vivian, who were hiding beside me, flew worriedly to my side as if they were comforting me. 

"Are you staying with the Duchess now because she and Lilia look exactly alike?" 

"No...No, it isn't." 

"When do you want to deceive yourself? Coward!" 

Memories of the past swept in like a tide. 

The bloody red memory gradually became the darkness to the abyss, and just for a moment, I could no longer wake up from my dreams. 

"I haven’t made any progress for so long. Lilia will cry when she sees me, coward." 

But it’s convenient for me to come out. 

—— "Now it's time for me to enjoy myself~" 

IV. A Beginning after the Fall of Curtains

For me, going back to the Duke's House is a very simple matter.

Viscount Pell couldn't punish me too much because I was the housekeeper of the Duchess.

So it's easy for me to let the Duchess be a shield and tell lies like I was called back by the Duchess.

However, our Duchess is a very strange woman, and she is also a Food Soul that can't leave afternoon tea. 

Clearly not so sentimental, but interested in some human affairs. 

To be precise, she is very concerned about the human being called Lilia. 

Even when I rarely went to find her, she would look at the story book that was said to have been left by the real Duchess of that time. 

But I guess that's why she keeps that useless coward around. 

Of course, it does not rule out that she really wants a Master Attendant. 

I told her what had happened at the residence of the Viscount and the Count's, but she did not seem very surprised. 

My words seemed to give her some exact confirmation, and she waited for the story she was looking forward to. 

So, our Duchess planned the story for the new protagonist to develop next. 

The days that followed were actually calm for the coward. 

In order to make the story go smoothly, the Duchess quickly recalled me to her residence, the House of Time. 

Later, the Grand Duke hosted a rare birthday dinner at the proposal of the Duchess. 

The night was particularly long. 

At the dinner, Viscount Pell introduced the Mr. Vita to the sick Grand Duke. 

After the dinner, the Count, a gambler conspiring to gain power from the Duke, lost everything in that gamble. 

The kingship of this country is in vain, and the nobility is the only one that covers the sky.

This is perfectly confirmed by the aging Duke.

The Count of Gamblers didn't have time to become popular among the nobles, and it became a talk of people in the streets and lanes.

"Do you think it's over? Souffle." 

"You'll ask that. Doesn't that mean everything is about to start?" 

"It's a good answer, it shouldn't be boring next." 

"Then, madam, what interesting things do you want to tell me when you forced me to wake me up? " 

I looked at the woman's expression in front of me, proud and beautiful, but it revealed the cruelty that this face shouldn't have. 

The flash of a smile in memory is absolutely impossible to appear on the face of the woman in front of me. 

This is the look of this person in the memory of the coward.

"Today is the birthday of the Duke, and he asked him a question." As she spoke, the Duchess turned over a page of her storybook. 

"Is it true that people who have betrayed others are still trustworthy? How do you feel that you have to answer all your questions?" 

"If you're afraid of betrayal, just let him have no chance to betray. " 

"Oh?" 

Hearing my answer, she looked up at me with great interest. 

"The dead have no chance to betray others." 

I didn't care what she looked at. Of course I knew what to do next. 

"And I hope next time you can wake me up in a gentle way, Duchess. " 

That night, instead of attending the Duke's birthday dinner, I arrived at Viscount Pell's house at night. 

Because I didn't want to be too eye-catching for the time being, I lightly jumped onto the second floor of the study.

The study's lights was on. As I learned before, it was the Viscount's office time.

At this time, Viscount Pell was delighted with the defeat of the Count of Gamblers, and all the money he had lost to the Count of Gamblers because of gambling was returned to his name.

The Viscount was surprised to see me suddenly appear on the balcony of his study as the housekeeper of the Duchess.

"Souffle? How did you come here today? I have already apologized to the Duke for his birthday, since I am too busy to attend."

He seemed to be confused, but pretended to warmly welcome me into the study. 

"No, the Duchess had something to say." 

"Since it was the command of the Duchess, I will do my best. Hmm..this amount......why...?" 

As he loosened his guard and turned his back, I pierced his heart with the cane he laid aside. 

"It's great that you can agree so quickly, Viscount." 

Then I gave the flame to his death and burned everything. 

Everything cannot stay hidden.  

In the light of the fire all over the sky, I made a final farewell to the sad man with the most brilliant smile possible. 

"Did you just destroy the lab that I worked so hard to find?" 

The gentle and elegant Mr. Vita appeared quietly behind me that even the shadow reflected by the fire seemed to be entwined by the black shadow of a snake. 

But I wasn't the coward who would run away because of that. I turned around and looked at him with a smile. 

"But haven't you found the next stage, Mr. Black Snake?" 

VI. Souffle

Many things were meaningless from the beginning, and so was his birth.

Souffle was just a Food Soul summoned by the nobleman who was addicted to pleasure.

"This is a Food Soul? It doesn't look any different from human beings."

His Master Attendant, as an immediate family member of the royal family, never had any concerns about food and clothing. 

Therefore, even if he summoned a Food Soul, he didn't have much interest in it. 

Not expected, not needed, so Souffle always stays in the dark corner. 

But this is the best way for Souffle, so he can continue to live as a shadow aristocrat safely. 

In a kingdom that seems calm and peaceful all day long, a weak Food Soul like him is gradually ignored even after his Master Attendant had passed away. 

He didn't show special combat talent, but he was very good at meticulous sewing, which he discovered when he lived as an accessory in a kingdom full of nobility. 

So he created his first doll, Vivian. 

Vivian, as he thought, was a very clingy child. 

With short curly hair and dark pupils, she would always follow him by pulling on the corner of Souffle's clothes.  

But the doll is unchangeable, just like his life. No one knows how terrible this kind of life is. 

Until one day, Vivian suddenly disappeared. 

The gears of fate are gradually turning. 

In the palace, Souffle was constantly looking for Vivian. He kept calling Vivian's name with a volume that was not so loud in other people's ears. 

"Are you looking for this child?" Following the sound, he looked at the tall tower that had covered most of the sunshine for him. 

The girl who raised the question was the one who leaned out of the window of the tower.

Souffle moved slightly and stepped out of the shadow of the tall tower.

For the first time, he looked at the sunshine without any preparedness, and saw the girl's long, golden, sunny curls, and blue eyes as blue as the sky. That was probably the first time he liked the colors in the sun.

From then on, he would come to the tower from time to time, and the girl said that she had been forgotten by everyone. 

In the same situation like him, for the first time in this kingdom, Souffle had found what he can call a "friend". 

The girl has a beautiful appearance and a touching voice. She often read various fairy tales for him inside the high tower. 

She said that she used to read for her sister, but when he asked questions about it, the girl was silent or opened another topic and never told him the answer. 

He soon stopped asking questions. After all, it was the first human being he could talk to without any hesitation. 

For him, there is no need to know too many secrets, and the emergence of the girl had already been a great fortune. 

Satisfied with the present situation, the only thing he knew was the girl's name, Lilia, the same name as the queen of the kingdom. 

Lilia said she couldn't leave the tower for the time being, but a man named Vita would take care of her. 

Souffle had never seen Mr. Vita in Lilia's tower. Because whenever this person was about to appear, he feels a cold suffocation that forces him to leave the place. 

Lilia must have been imprisoned by some terrible demon. 

At that time, Souffle didn't know the reason why Lilia was bound to the tower, but looking at Lilia's calm and bright eyes, he couldn't help thinking that she might not be as unfortunate as he thought. 

Otherwise, why would the story read from her mouth be so beautiful? 

But soon, this life like the fairy tale she read was destroyed by the people who suddenly broke into the kingdom.

The anger of the people is like a ghost. They hold weapons in their hands and killed many guards and nobles of the royal city.

Countless blood-stained feet trampled on the original tranquility of this kingdom. 

The whole kingdom had already fallen into purgatory before he could even figure out what had happened. 

"Find the bloodthirsty butterfly!" 

"Yes! Kill the witch!" 

Such remarks are endless. 

Souffle didn't know who they were looking for, but the people who had fallen into madness wouldn't hesitate to attack him at the sight of nobles dressed in gorgeous clothes. 

At that time, he could only hide behind the door of a small room in a corner, daring not to make any noise. 

The chaotic sound of footsteps kept passing by. 

Souffle hugged the doll that he managed to look just like Lilia, and dared not step out the door. Vivian could only hide by the corner of his clothes in fear, daring not leave half a step. 

He is not as powerful as the Food Souls people call him. He doesn't even know what ability he has. 

But he wanted to go out and take away Lilia, who was imprisoned by the tower. 

Once found by those humans, Souffle didn't dare imagine what terrible things would happen to her. 

While he was afraid, he prayed that there would be someone around Lilia who could protect her. 

Even if that person is not him, even if that person is a demon...it's okay. 

Although he thought so, the hands that were constantly clenching gradually came with pain, and the blood oozed out from his palm.  

After all, there is no way to escape the fact that he is an excuse of a "waste". 

However, he hadn't been out long before he was discovered. 

"Look! It's a nobleman! He must know where the bloodthirsty butterfly is!"

Souffle can only keep running forward. He knew that once he stopped, he would end up in the same way as other nobles. 

But even if you keep moving forward, you will only attract more pursuers. 

Soon, people from all around blocked his way. 

Without any hesitation, the sticks in their hands swung at his head, twice, and it was too late before the heavy blows fell on him.  

Souffle crawled desperately, his mind was full of thoughts of wanting to see Lilia. 

"Don't kill him yet. Ask him where the bloodthirsty butterfly is!" 

"Hey! Don't die! Answer before you die!" Somehow, Souffle was only a few steps away from the corridor outside. 

The sun was slanting, and Souffle was constantly moving towards the sun with the body that had been bruised.  

Just go out and walk through the beautiful garden where he can see the tower and his beautiful Lilia. 

But no! He can't see her anymore. 

Behind him, the humans who tried to see where he was going were waiting for that moment. 

He has no way to protect her, let alone lead these people who only want to kill the nobility of the royal city. 

He was obviously a Food Soul, but at this time, it was better to die. 

With this in mind, he stopped struggling and lay his back on the ground. 

At that moment, he had a bloody wound on his head, but he didn't know why he laughed. 

"Is this guy really a nobleman? I think it's a madman!" 

"You see, he has been holding onto two dolls for a long time. It's disgusting." 

He couldn't tell who was speaking malicious words in such a mocking tone. 

"Regret? Do you regret your weakness? Then yearn for me! I'll help you kill all these humans." 

Suddenly, a totally different voice came to Souffle's ear, echoing in his ear with great clarity.  

"Who? Who is it? " 

Souffle kept asking for answers.

"Sure enough, it’s a madman who talks to himself, deal with it!" As soon as the voice fell, he felt the pain that had pierced his abdomen, and Vivian and Lilia, who had been pierced by the foreign objects. 

"God, these two dolls are moving!" 

He's also a monster. The panic-stricken human once again stabbed Souffle's body with the sword in his hand. 

Just then, a loud cry came from a distance. 

"Everybody! I found the bloodthirsty butterfly! She is hiding on the tower on the other side of the garden!" 

"Really!? Quick! We can't let that witch run away!" 

Souffle's eyes widened. He had difficulty breathing, but he wanted to struggle to get up. 

No, no... you can't! 

"Would you like to save her? A coward like you can't do it, can you?" The voice reappeared in his ears, like a devil, reaching out to him with the temptation to save him. 

Souffle caught the redemptive hands in the illusion, and his tone was almost pleading. 

"Please... please... save her, how can I save, save Lilia..." 

"Oh, really, it was better to give up this body earlier and change into me." 

He didn't know what had happened to him. At the last moment, he saw his hand reaching out with the black mist. 

Souffle, who slowly stood up again in the dark fog, looked at the humans who were holding blood-stained weapons, revealing an evil and arrogant smile. 

"Ah - so those of you who just beat up this coward, it's time for you to come over and report~ I will personally send you to hell!" 

The bell struck four times, and when he woke up again, he saw a completely strange sight. 

He didn't know how he came to this place, nor where he was going. 

He was not expected by anyone from the beginning. 

All the pain he couldn't stop was telling him that it was all over.  

In the end, he couldn't hold on to anything, and even lost the last friend who gave him something to look forward to.  

But why did he survive? 

Why does a worthless self still exist?

There is a blank space in the fault of memory, only a great sadness, let him recall a little, and there will be irrepressible tears to wash away the mind.

Dolls don't speak. They witnessed everything, but they can never tell him. 

A few years later. 

Having lost everything, Souffle still wanders around the dark corner like a homeless stray cat. 

Until now, a beautiful butterfly flashed in front of him. The red wings were so beautiful, it didn't appear to be a living creature. 

His eyes couldn't help following it until it flew to a four-wheeled, exquisitely carved noble carriage that was far away, and it landed on the back of the hand of the noble there. 

But at this time, it wasn't this butterfly that had made it impossible for Souffle to remove his eyes. The person sitting in the carriage was no different from the face of Lilia in his memory. 

When he reacted, he stopped in front of the carriage. 

Souffle had subconsciously protected himself, but the carriage did not hit him. 

"What a madman! Do you want to die?!" The coachman pulled the reins and yelled at him. 

"Lilia..." 

Without holding back, he called softly and walked towards her. 

"Maniac, you think the name of the lady is something you can call out freely?"

The coachman's whip swung at Souffle's body, knocking the doll in his arms to the ground. Souffle's body is stiff, but when he raised his head, a dark mist slowly diffused in his eyes.

"You actually know the name, this is really surprising." Strange enough, the lady in the carriage seemed to be very interested in him. 

"Since you're surprised, would you be interested in knowing about me?" 

"Oh? Know? Do you think you have such value?" 

"This is naturally the judgment of the lady." 

The lady in the carriage looked at the Souffle who seemed so different from when he'd stopped the carriage, and her smile deepened. 

"If that's your wish, then come with me." 

This may be the reason why the miracle of his worthless survival will happen. 

Now, Souffle thinks so.

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