?”

Ian looked puzzled when I stopped the carriage.

“No.
There’s a place I’d like to stop by.
You don’t have to follow me.”

“I can’t do that.”

Ian doesn’t have to do his job, but he’s very straightforward and stubborn.
I had no choice but to bring him with me.
We arrived in front of a dessert shop that somehow had a few customers and looked shabby.
It was a shop that didn’t match the clothes I’m wearing now.

“I will come in.
Do you have to follow me into this place too?”

“I’ll be watching from here.”

“All right.”

I opened the door straight in.
As soon as I entered, I smelled sweet desserts.

“Welcome.”

“It’s still here.”

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I was greeted and stepped in a little more.
There were two or three different kinds of desserts on display.
Some of them were familiar to my eyes.

This shop has been in business for over 10 years.
I came here because my mother brought me here when I was young.
Not long after I came out of the orphanage, only once did I eat outside with my mother, and this was the place.

I thought this place would have disappeared, so I erased it from my memory.
But to think I could see the sign again.
I stopped the carriage without realizing it.

What I ate that day was still being made.
Fortunately, not one of them seems to have been sold today.
I ordered one and sat down by the window, where I used to sit as a child.
Soon tea and the ordered dessert were served together.
As soon as I saw it, I felt like I had returned to that day.

I almost lost my life when I was a kid.
The memories of that time were almost erased, and only traces remained.
Still, it was not long after I barely survived anyway.
It was just before I remembered the memory of my past life.

My mother brought me here and watched silently with this cake and a drink.
Then, she went out for a moment.  It was the first time my mother had bought snacks for me, so I ate with a fork and saved some, but my mother didn’t return until the shop closed.

I thought she might forget about me since she was such a busy mother, so I casually waited for her.
The shop clerk informed me that the shop was closing, and as a child, I put the cake I had saved in my mouth and left.
If I remember correctly, the sky was already night, and it started to rain. 

I waited for my mother in front of this closed shop.
As I waited patiently with all my clothes wet, I saw my mother’s shoes as my gaze fell to the ground.
A pair of shoes that were not stained with dust.

That day, mother put me back in the carriage and said nothing.
I came back home like that, but my mother hadn’t said anything about why she did it that day until now.

If I had been abandoned then, would I have been thinking about something else instead of worrying like this?

I stared out at Ian without eating.

“Excuse me.”

I turned my eyes and called the staff.

“Can you wrap this up for me?”

The staff looked at the untouched dessert in wonder.
When I said it wasn’t because something was wrong, he was relieved and took the dessert.
Shortly after, a cake in a small box came out.
I took it out and handed it to Ian.
He looked at me while holding it.

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“It’s a gift for you.
It’s delicious.”

Ian kept staring blankly and soon nodded.
Every time I see him, I think he’s really a boring person.
I got into the carriage and stopped the carriage again.

“Ian.”

“Yes, Lady.”

“Buy me some menstrual pads over there.”

I ordered him casually.

Ian asked back, “Pardon?”

“It’s about the time.
I left it all in the North, and I won’t come back there for some time.
So I’m going to buy it in advance, as much as possible.”

“I will buy it for Lady as soon as we get home.”

Perhaps it was difficult to leave me alone, but he said he would take me home first and buy it.
I shook my head.

“Aren’t you wasting time? You know the horseman will be waiting here too.
So, hurry up.”

I knocked on the carriage.
After a long pause, Ian agreed.
We were in the middle of the capital, so there were many people, and there were guards everywhere.
Perhaps he thought there would be less risk.

“…Then I’ll be back.
Please wait a moment.”

“Yes.
Be careful.”

I smiled and turned as soon as he disappeared from view.
Then I began to walk to a place just a short distance from the carriage.
It is an alley if you turn straight ahead.
As soon as I turned the corner, I slipped into the alley.

I walked to a place just a short distance from the carriage.

“Somewhere here…”

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