Dear Anonymous Sponsor - Chapter 9
“Hmm, maybe it’s you who hasn’t had enough of my luck,” Judith pointed out mischievously.
All the donations Judith had received so far, except for her pocket money, were used to fund the operation of the orphanage.
It was, of course, something Judith did willingly. After learning that Rachel was constantly struggling with finances as she fed, clothed, slept, and educated dozens of children, Judith offered a large portion of her donations to Rachel.
“And I know about the secret letters you sent to Mr. Ans. Did he also pay for the expansion of the annex?”
“Oh my, how did you know that? Our Jude grew up to be so smart. Now she knows how to joke around.”
“What?” Judith cried out in shock at her words. “Really? I wasn’t being serious!”
Rachel burst into a delightful laugh at her bewildered and embarrassed expression. Realizing that she had been tricked, Judith pouted her lips.
“Anyway, I’m all grown up now, I don’t need the extra help anymore. There are plenty of children in the world who need it far more than I do. That’s all.”
Last year on Christmas Eve, the war that had been dragged on for five years finally ended with the victory of the Eiland Alliance. A total of 34 countries, including only 15 countries in the Western Continent, and the Southern and Eastern continents, participated in the war. It was a global bloodbath with casualties on both sides that amounted to tens of millions.
Judith couldn’t forget the reporter’s voice which was crackling from the radio interference on the evening of that day.
-The Oberon-Grissen Alliance has agreed to a ceasefire, and the Kingdom of Eiland has declared the end of the war. It is expected that a negotiating table will be set up between the allies for post-war processing after the beginning of next year.
-The King of Eiland has declared this day as the ‘Christmas of Glory’.
-The main agenda of the post-war negotiation table is to discuss how the Three Kingdoms of Oberon and the Kingdom of Kilgeny will divide and distribute the Southern Continent colonies.
Although the reporter’s voice sounded cheerful while delivering the news, Judith found it cold and indifferent.
It was only natural. The Federal State of Baja had remained neutral throughout the five-year war. Since it had never been subjected to horrors caused by guns and landmines, the end of the war was nothing more or less than interesting gossip from across the sea.
‘Christmas of Glory? What utter bullsh*t.’
That evening, Judith cried all night long. When she woke up the next morning, her pillow was still soaked from her tears. She desperately wanted to remember her past, but her memories did not return. Instead, she was constantly plagued with terrifying memories of the war. For the first time in a long while, Liselotte showed up in her dreams.
Over time, even after her tears dried, Judith sometimes suffered from phantom pains and a distant sense of guilt.
After a while, her constant worries came to an end.
Dear Mr. Ans,
Do you recall the letter I sent you last Christmas?
Even though I survived a war that killed my sister, who was my everything, I live a peaceful daily life as if the war had never occurred. I wrote that it suddenly felt scary and strange. I don’t miss my homeland, and I don’t know why.
I think I know now.
Although I have completely embraced this comfortable way of life, I have never forgotten the horrors of the battlefield. There are countless orphans who have seen and experienced the same things as me but are wandering aimlessly, waiting for the same miracle that I received.
Now, I want you to help the children who could not escape that hell, instead of continuing to sponsor me.
As Judith wrote that letter, she had no regrets, just a slight feeling of emptiness.
For a moment, Rachel watched Judith sip her coffee with a relaxed expression.
Her dark hair, which was loosely braided into pigtails, had a healthy sheen. Without an ounce of baby fat, her heart-shaped face was accentuated by her pointed chin and small nose. Her warm, chocolate-brown eyes were almond-shaped and framed with her long, thick lashes. Her slender figure was far more mature and developed than when she was a young girl.
‘Now you really look like a lady.’
She readily agreed with Judith. Having grown up so beautifully, it’s time for her to become independent. Unless her sponsor planned to take care of her for the rest of her life, it would be for the best if they said their goodbyes gracefully.
“It’s a pity that it’s not easy to bite such a generous tycoon. But you’re right, I’ve eaten enough for five years.”
“What do you mean by ‘bite’? That expression is a bit…”
“You really don’t regret it? You loved writing to him.”
Judith’s relaxed expression darkened slightly at Rachel’s words. She hesitated for a moment before nodding her head slightly.
“I still enjoy it. It was my escape, my comfort, and a part of my daily routine.”
Which is why Judith decided to add a P.S. to her last letter.
I hope you don’t find this rude, but I have one final request…
For the first and last time, can you please write me a reply? Anything is fine. If you’re reluctant, you don’t have to tell me your real name or age.
You created a new life for me with only a few lines of words, so when this relationship ends with your letter…
If you can just write something that will give me strength in the future, even if it’s a single word, I’m sure I won’t cry.
After finishing her letter, Judith went to the village shop and bought the most expensive fountain pen with the money she had saved while working part-time the past two years. She sealed the letter and pen in an envelope with ease, but when it came time to mail the letter, her hands trembled as she sent it off.
Judith’s expression was so pitiful that she resembled a puppy that had been abandoned in the rain.
“Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get a reply. It’s just… Now that I’m all grown up, I thought he would finally grant my request.”
“Well, your sponsor has always been the type to respond with actions rather than words. Actually, I received a phone call in the morning.”
“What? A phone call?”
“You’ll find out shortly.”
Ignoring Judith’s bewildered expression, Rachel turned toward the window. When she shifted her eyes to the open window, Judith could see a car approaching in the distance. it drove along the one-lane boulevard, which led to the Wortherford Orphanage.
Judith quickly rose to clean up her coffee mug.
“Are you expecting guests, Director? Why didn’t you tell me in advance?”
“Yes, it’s a guest,” Rachel responded meaningfully.
She stood up and approached the window when a black Rolls-Royce stopped in front of the orphanage as gracefully as a gliding hawk. The top-of-the-line luxury car did not suit the quiet atmosphere of Kinsley at all.
Judith’s eyes gradually widened in amazement. After witnessing the scene, she had a strong suspicion that the guest wasn’t here to see Rachel.
“Director, there’s no way…”
“I guess you misjudged him because he has properly responded to your letter for the first time.”
Rachel grinned, sweeping away the stray hairs from Judith’s face.
“Now then. Shall we go greet the guest of Judith Wortherford?”
* * * * * * *
“You’re from Waltz?” Judith asked as she struggled to understand the situation.
The gentleman, who had come directly from Waltz to Kinsley to meet her, extended his hand and gently greeted her.
“It’s been a long time, Miss Wortherford.”
“Nice to meet you… again?”
Judith had already extended her hands to greet him but suddenly froze when she realized the identity of the person standing in front of her. This face. His voice dragged up old memories that she had long forgotten.
‘A distant relative of Miss Krauser has expressed his desire to become your sponsor.’
Judith’s eyes widened as she recalled the memory.
“Oh my, I can’t believe it. You’re the one who picked me up from the hospital in Eiland?”
“You remember. It’s nice to see you again.”
The gentleman took off his hat and extended his right hand once again.
“I apologize, but I couldn’t introduce myself at the time. My name is William Larson. I’m Mr. Curtis’s secretary.”
“I see… Um, excuse me? Where do you work?”
Judith shook his hand with a confused expression.
When he noticed Judith’s confusion, the gentleman kindly repeated himself again.
“I traveled here from Waltz, where I work as secretary for General Curtis, who is the world’s leading defense contractor.”
“Hmm, I expected him to be a Tolthread or Baldwin. I never considered that he would be a Curtis,” Rachel muttered in surprise.
Judith pursed her lips when she heard Rachel mutter, “….I should have eaten more…”
‘How the hell did you expect to do that without me knowing, Director?!’
In the Northwest Hemisphere, which consists of the combined territories of the Baja Federation from the Northern Continent, and the kingdoms of Eiland, Oberon, as well as Petra from the Western Continent, there are five families with more power and influence than any family on the Eastern or Southern Continents.
Among them, three of these families are located in the Baja Federation. The Tolthreads; the rulers of the financial sector, The Baldwins; the great kings of oil, and Curtis, with their emerging company that is currently dominating the military industry.
“I know you must be surprised. Actually, my master didn’t intend to reveal his identity or family name until the very end… But he must have been quite impressed with the last letter from Miss Judith. I’m sure he never imagined receiving a request from his beneficiary to sponsor another child as a birthday present?”
“I’m sorry,” Judith said with a flushed face.
“I am an adult now… I think I can manage on my own now. It would be shameful to continue being a burden…”
“Of course, my master fully respects the lady’s wishes and agrees that it is very reasonable.”
“Oh, that’s a relief.”
Only then did Judith breathe a sigh of relief. Just hearing his surname was enough to make her nauseous and dizzy.
Curtis. When Millian and Natia mentioned it jokingly, it was so absurd that she laughed out loud, but when it became a reality, it was too difficult to even smile.
She had been writing letters to him for five years, often with rather casual words, as if she was writing to a close relative. Whenever she pointed out his overspending, she would wonder about the financial power of her sponsor.
She recalled when Millian stated that an elephant wouldn’t care if there was a leech stuck to the bottom of its foot.
‘You were only wrong about one thing, Millie. My sponsor isn’t an elephant, he’s a mammoth.’
“However, my master also feels guilty. He has enjoyed reading Miss Judith’s letters over the past five years. So he made a suggestion.”
“Uh, what kind of suggestion?”
“When does your summer break start, Miss Judith?”
The conversation flowed as naturally as water. But unbeknownst to Judith, she had been caught in a trap.
“The semester ends at the end of May, so the summer vacation starts from June until the first week of September,” she answered quickly after recalling the day when the final exam of the semester ended.
“Good. By the way, my master is also planning to spend his vacation in Waltz starting from June.”
“Oh, I see… But why are you telling me this?”
When she noticed the secretary smiling happily as if he had just caught a large fish, warning bells started ringing in her head.
‘…There’s no way…’