~ 3.28 ~
A sudden visit from the former queen and Duchess Ferrante…
Just the thought of it gave him a headache.
Even with that feeling, his gaze was still icy.
He was used to living that way, unable to show his emotions.
Haven looked out the window for a moment with a dry gaze, then turned to his butler.
“They may be uninvited guests, but guests are guests.
I trust that you and the head maid will take care of them.”
“We will prepare with all my heart.”
The butler bowed and answered politely, then turned to go outside.
But just before he opened the door and left, Haven called him back.
“I would like the child to avoid running into them as much as possible.”
His words were cold.
But in some way, it seemed to mean that he didn’t want to show them Flitta because of embarrassment.
But the butler quickly realized the true meaning behind it.
A soft smile spread across the faithful old butler’s face.
His master knew very well that his daughter was afraid of the late queen or the duchess.
And it was quite understandable that he gave such instructions out of consideration for such a child.
“I will keep this in mind, Your Highness.”
The butler repeatedly bowed politely and went out.
Haven glanced back at him and frowned.
It seemed that a slightly embarrassed look passed over his cool face.
* * *
She heard the neighing of horses outside the window, then saw a carriage coming through the front door.
“How could His Highness give such a ridiculous order…”
Rosé looked at the gorgeously dressed woman getting off her carriage and then turned her head.
She nervously set the nanny’s embroidery on the table.
At the same time, Flitta quietly covered the picture book she was reading, and then got up from her seat and approached Rosé, tightly gripping the hem of her skirt.
It was clearly a scene in which the master-servant relationship was reversed.
It was because Flitta, the owner of Rosé, was paying attention to the nanny who was taking care of her.
However, not only they were familiar with this kind of sight, but also Rosé.
… It was not because she was upset over this.
Rosé felt sorry for the child who looked after her nanny, and on the other hand, resented the nanny for making his child like this.
She was also angry at Haven for not embracing his child.
But most importantly, she was mad at herself.
To herself who can’t do anything as her mother even when seeing all of this.
To herself, who can’t even do anything to the child grabbing the hem of her skirt, but wrap and hold her hands.
Nanny bit her lip impatiently and jumped up from her seat.
Then she opened her mouth to Flitta.
“Princess, I will be away for a while.”
“Shouldn’t I also say hello to the former Queen and the Duchess? It seems that His Highness ordered the princess not to go outside because he was afraid that the princess would make a mistake, but I need to pay more attention at times like that.”
Flitta blinked at the nanny’s words, then put on a shy expression.
Rosé saw the child and held her mouth open.
Meanwhile, the nanny opened her mouth again.
“Anyway, even if I’m away, you must never leave the room, Princess.
Do you understand?”
“Rosé, take responsibility and serve the princess.
Don’t leave the room for nothing.”
Before Rose could finish her answer, the nanny quickly turned her around and left her room.
It seems that her heart was in a hurry.
She opened the door, looked towards the closed door, then let out her wry smile.
Ever since she heard the news that the late Queen and Duchess were visiting, the nanny had always been like that.
Besides, she was even more so after hearing Haven’s command conveyed by his butler.
“Why is the princess not allowed to even say hello to the two of them?!”
“His Highness’s command, Mrs.
Despite her nanny’s protests, the butler consistently said only ‘His Highness’s name’.
Until she finally gave up, with her exhausted nanny raising her hands first.
“… Nanny, is she mad?”
At that moment, Flitta hesitated and spoke her words out.
Rosé turned her gaze to Flitta.
Flitta lifted her head and was staring up at her.
“She seems angry.
What have she been saying ever since? You can’t even leave because of me.”
Flitta looked up at Rosé, then pouted her mouth and bowed her head.
Then, fidgeting with her hands, he spoke hesitantly.
“Dad… Is he embarrassed because of me?”
Rosé squatted down in front of Flitta.
The face of the child who lowered her head was sullen.
Over the past few days, the amount of time she spent with her father had increased, and that shadow was once again over her brightened face.
“I, hhhngg, acted like a fool in front of my uncle.
I am scared of my aunt and grandmother, too.
“His Highness will be disappointed if he hears those words now.”
Rosé laughed and interrupted Flitta.
Flitta lowered her head, then looked at her.
“… Is father sad?”
“Of course, he is sad.
He might be even upset inside for not knowing his feelings.”
Flitta’s eyes shook as she listened to Rosé’s words.
The child, who blinked her round eyes several times enough to show her surprise, opened her mouth.
But she just kept her mouth shut, and she couldn’t get her words out easily.
Rosé silently waited for her words.
Then she heard Flitta open her mouth a few more times before she asked in a barely whispered voice.
The child’s voice was very low.
However, Rosé could fully feel the anticipation contained in Flitta’s voice.
She nodded her head and replied affirmatively.
“Without a doubt.
His Highness loves Princess so much.”
“… Bu, but.”
“You can’t believe it?”
It was a positive change.
She looked at Flitta and her heart tightened.
She hesitated for a moment but the child finally expressed her feelings on her own.
Does he know?
He knew that a small change he had made such a big difference to the child.
“Well… Oh, why is Dad like that?”
Flitta twitched her fingers and she asked again.
Rosé smiled quietly, then opened her mouth.
“He must have been worried about the princess.”
Because he must have wanted the Princess to be at ease with him.”
Flitta closed her mouth and was silent for a moment.
Then she wriggled her hands and held them together.
“But… I have to say goodbye The nanny said that is being polite.”
“Of course, she said it was polite.
It is to welcome his guests to his house.”
At Rosé’s words, Flitta wept with a sullen expression.
She patted her, and Rose continued her words.
“But, for His Highness, the princess is the priority.”
“It’s important to follow manners, but His Highness puts more importance on you, Princess.”
Haven’s decision might not be right, but it is important to teach children basic etiquette.
So, Rosé respected Haven’s decision unlike Nanny.
One could blame Haven for this decision.
If you unconditionally overprotect a child because she is a child, you could say that it would only lead to bad habits, or you could criticize him for raising a child weakly.
But she is only five years old now.
Five years old only.
Moreover, she grew up never feeling the love of her parents.
She never fell asleep in his mother’s arms to a lullaby, never laughed and played pranks on his father’s lap.
She couldn’t play with dolls or playhouse in the garden.
She would never have ridden on his father’s shoulders, too.
She wouldn’t have been able to sit on that strong shoulder and see the world from much higher than Rosé’s eye level..
Rosé’s eyes as she looked at Flitta wavered in pity.
Even a foolish mother can’t help it.
What is it like to be so overprotective of a young daughter who doesn’t know the tenderness of her parents? What if she grows up with no manners? Although Rosé hopes that she grows up spoiled, Rosé knows full well that a timid child cannot be like that.
So that fact makes her heart ache like this.
“Shall we draw a picture?”
‘… So, it’s okay, baby.’
Rosé swallowed the words she wanted to say to her child, then turned to her.
A child who had no way of knowing Rosé’s intentions looked at her in the eyes and smiled shyly with a nod of her head.
She laughed and pulled out her sketchbook and colored pencils.
* * *
A dinner for the Queen and the Duchess was prepared from early evening.
The table decorated with bright flowers was filled with dishes prepared by the chef’s skill.
However, no one touched the dishes.
Even Haven, who was sitting in the seat of honor, as well as the late Queen Dowager and Duchess Ferrante.
“Didn’t I tell you to call the princess right now?”
Instead, the Duchess’s fuming voice filled the table.
The butler fidgeted with a puzzled look on his face, then barely opened his mouth.
“Your excellency, I told you already that the princess is sick…”
“So, even if a guest comes, she will not come out to greet or to have dinner? Are you telling me to believe that right now?”
The Duchess sarcastically glared at the butler.
Then she turned her head and looked at her Haven.
“Haven, you tell me.
Not even a child from a humble family would commit this kind of rudeness.
But how much more does the grand duke’s daughter behave so rudely? Haven, this will also tarnish your reputation.
(TN: Why are you even interfering, dumb*** Aunt.
You’re the second b**** I’ll beat up.
“I told her not to come out of her room, aunt.”
Haven looked at his aunt, the Duchess of Ferrante, with his usual cold gaze and spoke his words.
“You told her not to come out?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Right after hearing her answer, which was so calm, made the Duchess’s mouth curved up.
She was speechless by the demeanor he was showing.
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