BA – 4

“Sorry. It would be a little difficult for you.”

It was the fourth time that Angela had been rejected. Her gloomy face mirrored the cloudy dim sky.  It was difficult even to find a decent job but it was to be expected as an urgent job seeker.

All Angela could do was translation and housework, but translating was time-consuming and paid little. (TN: HA!) The job search wouldn’t have been so pitiful if Angela went to the academy, but that was when the Baron’s business started to crumble.

The Baron’s business collapsed after Angela graduated from secondary school. Treated as a loathsome troublemaker at home, Angela had no chance to continue her education. 

There were ridiculously few places that would employ Angela, who only completed secondary school, and entrust her work. Not being able to complete her education was a hot thorn that pricked her heart her whole life—and even more so now that she was so desperate.

What should I say to Lucia?

Now Lucia was in the capital with Jeffrey preparing for the wedding.

The Baroness wouldn’t talk until Angela found a solution, but Baron Burke is different. So Angela had to fix this dilemma before she came back.

Angela felt terrible.

No matter how much I think, I can’t think of a solution.

Angela’s heart felt heavy and her steps got slower. She kept struggling, but her mind was sharp. At the end, when Angela decided to go home, the sun was completely set and the road was busy.

I can’t solve anything.

With that hurtful thought, hopelessness settled over Angela’s body; aching fatigue grew until she was at the brink of collapse.

What if Mr. Jeffrey wants to break the marriage off with Lucia...?

One pessimistic thought led to another.

He could change his mind… men are fickle. The Baron did it before...

Angela couldn’t help herself. It was a dark situation. Is there any way? Suddenly, a chilly wind passed through and opened her collar to the cold evening breeze.

Abruptly, a smear of red grabbed Angela out of her depressing rumination. 

Her eyes registered the corner of a dark road and continued to focus on the alley as if she was possessed. Contrary to the now quiet street she found herself on, there was bustling movement inside the lane. A long white dancing cloth hung off of the building, and a crimson glow bled out the windows. 

Riveted to the sight, Angela realized the shadows were silhouettes of naked women. Crowds of men were coming in and out. 

It was a brothel.

Angela turned her head, overwhelmed by the embarrassing sight. Hazy memories flashed through her, from when she was young and with her mother. Mother and most of the prostitutes around me spent a lot of money... Angela laughed as she recalled that some women received gifts from rich men with precious metals that looked much more expensive than their ransom.

I shouldn’t even think about it… Angela shook her head as if trying to wake up. She didn’t want to live like her real mother, apart from making money quickly.

It was painful for Angela to imagine selling her body and giving birth to a child like herself, who would also be treated as a burden and having to hand over that child— the same thing that she had to go through.

I don’t want to be the same person.

The foolish thoughts were disregarded. 

I’d rather be kicked out of the house.

It was when she thought so and tried to turn, her arm was swiftly yanked. It was as if the shadow on the wall had swallowed the girl. Her figure disappeared from the road. 

Angela blinked her eyes and tried to adjust to the sudden darkness. Artificial light from a distance was brought into focus. Her eyes were able to quickly became accustomed to the gloom. 

Angela identified the presence of multiple strangers.

“Who?”

Angela asked a foolish question and heard a ridiculous laugh.

“Can you help us?”

There was a bewildering voice that seemed to scrape iron.

“… I… I have to go home quickly.”

Angela noticed an unpleasant sensation and tried to pull her elbow, but only pain echoed. It was because the man didn’t let go.

“Why? Didn’t you come out from the brothel? You work there. I won’t be bad. I pay well.”

In an instant, Angela’s face turned ashen. The men had no intention of letting go. Angela was mistaken for a prostitute and it didn’t seem like they would care if she attempted to correct them.

Unbeknownst to Angela, even when the sun went down, it was enough to recognize Angela’s beauty with the surrounding lights. She took after her mother with the same rich blonde and sorrowful blue eyes that carried a delicate glaze that had the power to stir the sadistic imagination of these men. They wanted to turn Angela over and fuck her right away.

Her mind raced. It was too late and the shadow of the alley was more contrasted, making it was hard to see from the outside. There would be plenty of time for work. There would be no one who would dare touch the gang of flying moons. 

When Angela groaned with the pain she felt in her arm. The situation became even worse. Horrified, she twisted and tried to scream. With demonic hand movements, the man poked a bundle of cloth into Angela’s mouth. He tied Angela’s wrists with a shawl and ripped the hem around her chest without hesitation. Angela’s scream was blocked in her throat.

A feeling of despair rosed in Angela’s heart. A strange hand wandered under her skirt. The group enjoyed the sight of her mouth being blocked and her groan-like nasal sounds that leaked out instead of screaming. 

Angela’s pale skin was revealed. Her legs crushed by a heavy weight had long since lost all their strength. The gang planned to harm Angela here. Despair deepened her heart as she prayed she would survive.

Suddenly, a flashing light broke the men.

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