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    A World Beyond / So We Are Told
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    She is fake.

    What needs to be done now is to turn this fake into real, to fuse the white skin with blood, and preferably grow together, inseparable.

    Natasha stopped speaking and stared blankly outside the window for a while before saying,

    “Just now, I really wanted Mrs. Ferguson to hug me and tell me that I’m also great… Actually, I had high hopes when my father and Mrs. Ferguson got remarried. I expected to have a gentle mother, a doting sister, and a loving family…”

    “It’s foolish to place your dreams on others, Natasha.”

    “But not everyone is as ruthless as you, Sister. You don’t love anyone, not even Mrs. Ferguson… She loves you so much, but you treat her so coldly.”

    Natasha said softly.

    Liu Yu reached out her finger to poke Natasha’s head,

    “Is that so?”

    Spots roared at her,

    “Spotty! Spotty!”

    “Natasha, you see, this bird that you saved easily abandoned you. Love? I don’t believe it.”

    One part of her sleeve was soaked with tears, but she seemed oblivious to it and smiled brightly.

    Natasha finally closed her mouth.

    The carriage fell into silence, and both of them looked out the window instinctively. A flock of white pigeons flew over the dome, and the distant snow-capped mountains were faintly visible. They were still in the city-state of Solo—the Bright Academy was located in a simple town under the snow-capped mountains, facing the Bright Temple across the lake.

    By the time the carriage arrived at its destination, it was approaching evening.

    A hint of blood-like sunset, countless carriages from all over stopped outside the black lacquered gate engraved with a star and moon emblem.

    The gate was tightly closed.

    The gatekeepers stood upright, dressed in gorgeous silk shirts, pure white trousers with loosely-tucked cuffs into black boots, and golden longswords at their waists. Their eagle-like eyes scanned around like electricity.

    On the white square in front of the gate, the statue of the Divine Light, holding a star and moon scepter, stood silently. He “watched” the visitors from all directions with kindness.

    On the square, there were groups of people standing in small groups.

    They were all teenagers, some wearing simple cotton and linen clothes, some wearing luxurious silk, some accompanied by servants carrying luggage, and some alone, covered in dust. The only thing in common was the anticipation in their faces for the future.

    “Miss Bella, Miss Natasha, we have arrived.”

    The coachman stopped the carriage and opened the door.

    A moist, icy breath mixed with snow frost rushed towards them, and Liu Yu was the first to jump off the carriage.

    Natasha carried a small bag and also got off.

    “Sister Bella, this place is nice.”

    She smiled, “Very free.”

    “Yes, very free, very equal.”

    A handsome young man in a khaki vest walked towards them. He had short brown hair and amber eyes.

    “We meet again, little angel.”

    Natasha covered her mouth in surprise,

    “Prince Carlo…”

    She had danced with him all night.

    That night was like a dream, and she felt like a real princess being worshipped in the palm of someone’s hand, without Sister Bella, without… the endless chores.

    “So you’re also an Apostle.” Prince Carlo smiled gently, “We met at the Soren Academy, do you remember? At that time, you were delivering food to Miss Ferguson.”

    “Yes, yes,” Natasha nodded, “It’s me, you still remember me?”

    Prince Carlo smiled.

    He didn’t know why he cared about such a poor girl, maybe because of her unfortunate background.

    “What about Miss Ferguson? Your servant, and the other luggage…”

    “Uh… no need,” Natasha interrupted her, “I don’t have many things, but it would be troublesome if you could help Sister Bella…”

    She stopped midway in her sentence:

    “It seems like it’s not needed anymore.”

    Carlo followed her gaze and saw several diligent boys carrying large wicker baskets following a red-dressed girl. Her red silk dress was like a blazing fire. Her raised head and slim waist formed his familiar, noble arrogance.

    “Is that Miss Ferguson?”

    “Yes, isn’t she pretty?” Natasha’s eyes widened, her shoulders slumped like deflated balloons, and she kicked the grass, “They all like Sister Bella more.”

    After saying that, she realized that she had spoken rudely in front of Prince Carlo and her face instantly turned red.

    Prince Carlo rubbed her head,

    “A beautiful soul is even more precious. You have a kind and noble heart, no need to be sad.”

    Natasha looked up, blushing embarrassedly,

    “This is the first time someone has praised me like this.”

    Prince Carlo took her small bag,

    “Let’s go report.”

    The black lacquered gate opened wide, and a new group of Apostles walked in an orderly line.

    Liu Yu followed behind the line and entered as well.

    Before going in, she turned around and glanced at Natasha, seeing her happily chatting with a handsome young man—

    Based on the cross sword on his waist and the gold-trimmed belt, she immediately deduced his identity:

    Prince Carlo, the first in line to the throne of the Soren Kingdom.

    Natasha’s second admirer.

    It was just like in the book, starting a heated rivalry as soon as they entered school—actually, as long as he didn’t compete with her for Gaia, Natasha could do anything.

    ✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧ 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝓋𝒾𝓉𝓎𝓃𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓈 ✧˚·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥·̩̩̥͙✧·̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥˚·̩̩̥͙✧

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