It was uncomfortable to leave the child he had been with for a few days, but at the same time he felt relieved.


Since she’s a child, she’ll be busy eating snacks, then she’ll quickly forget if he disappears.


“U-Uncle! Ah!”


However, Kassel, who was on his way to the carriage, heard a loud sound from behind him and turned around.


His face hardened.


Aika, who fell right under the stairs, got up on her own.


As if she was fine, hung her head down, and brushed her clothes off.


She raised her head again, so he thought she would throw out her anger, but she didn’t.


“Hicc, cough, hiccc… Hic.”


Kassel took a deep breath.


With Aika holding back her voice, only her tears dripping, she looked at him.


Her eyes looked like his, that’s why it felt like he was staring at himself.


He had to leave here as soon as possible, yet his feet didn’t move as if they were shackled to the ground.


“Why would you cry.”


What do you pity so much that you’re crying?


Still, Aika stood tall with one of her knees peeled, clenching both of her fists and letting her tears flow incessantly.


It was as if the faucet had been opened.


Her tears fell nonstop to the extent that he wondered what would happen if she got dehydrated.


He’d rather her chatter away as usual.


Kassel’s neckline, which had become extremely rough, moved greatly.


“Why are you crying?”


“…Hicc, cough, Uncle, Uncle abandowned, hicc, me.”


“Who abandoned you?”


“Hicc, Uncㅡhic, Uncle did.”


Aika’s face contorted once more.


Once again, her tears fell.


Kassel just stared at her as if he was frozen.






The two stood for a long time, without closing the distance between them.


The sound of dripping water from the garden fountain constantly separated them.


“I don’t even know anymore.”


Kassel, muttering resignedly, walked over and lifted the child.


Surprised, Aika struggled and pushed him away, yet it was a weak force that didn’t even bother him.


“You son of a bitch! Where are you taking her after making the child cry!”


Duke Valiott shouted and ran out belatedly.
He came out in a hurry without a cane.


Kassel, holding Aika by his side, headed for the carriage, stopped and turned roughly halfway.


“I’m going to raise the child.
I wish you a long life.”


Then he climbed into the carriage and slammed the door, leaving Duke Valiott still.


“Hey, you bastard! Put my baby down and go!”


The voice of Duke Valiott, who was very angry, followed the carriage.




Sniff, whimper.


The inside of the carriage was filled with the sound of Aika’s sobbing.


Her face was all wet, her eyes, nose, and even lips were red.


She cried miserably like a baby rabbit that has been hit all over by the falling rain.


Kassel, who received Aika’s resentful gaze in a small space, wasn’t comfortable either.


He couldn’t stand seeing it, that’s why he brought her back, but his future was bleak.


In the end, Kassel was about to turn his eyes to the window first, yet the carriage rattled once as it had caught on a rock.


Aika’s body, which floated and sank briefly because it was so light, was in danger.


Kassel, who had been watching, put his arms around Aika’s armpits and placed her on top of his own legs, wrapping his arms around her as if she were wearing a safety device.


Aika gasped in surprise.




“Go calmly.”


At those words, Aika, who was held in Kassel’s arms, immediately calmed down.


However, the hiccup caused the small back of her head to shake.


‘Such a strawberry smell.’


Kassel frowned.


She must have eaten all of the strawberry dessert by herself earlier, Aika’s strawberry sweetness vibrated.


The coachman, unaware of the uncomfortable feelings of the two, drove the carriage while singing so excitedly that it could be heard even inside the carriage.




It wasn’t long after I returned home that it was dinner time.


My eyes were swollen like crucian carp, but I returned safely to Uncle’s house.


And before getting off the carriage, I received an apology from Uncle.


[It was my fault, so stop crying.]


It was just a remark, though.


Hmph, I have to forgive him just once.
Even adults can make mistakes.


“You have calmed down more than before.
Don’t you feel bitter?”


Zenda removed the cold towel which was used to steam my eyes.


“Yeah, it doesn’t hurt anymore.”






“…I apologize.”


Zenda lowered her head.


She said she knew Uncle was going to send her to Grandpa’s house.


She was sorry that she couldn’t tell me beforehand, that she couldn’t stop him.


“That’s okay.
Because I beat Uncle!”


I smiled with puffy eyes.




Then Zenda looked at me with a stunned look.


“Zenda, but, you know.”


I lowered my eyes slightly and rubbed my stomach gently.


“Yes, Miss.”


Zenda’s face became a little serious.


“I’m hungry.”


I ate a whole snack at Grandpa’s, yet when I got home, I was hungry.


And if I don’t tell Zenda now, I think she’ll continue to feel sad.


Zenda, whose eyes were wide, put down the towel and hurriedly rose from her seat.


“Ah, meal.
Miss, I will prepare it quickly!”




Zenda asked me to wait just a moment, and she hurriedly got up and disappeared.


I waited for her as I thought of the food I wanted to eat the most.






The sound of the door opened turned me around.


However, instead of Zenda, it was Uncle who brought the food.


I didn’t put on a happy face because I was welcoming food, but I was extremely vigilant.


Uncle put down a tray full of delicious food on the table and walked towards me.


I quickly ran away from Uncle to the middle of the bed, yet he dragged me by clothes.


His real power is insanely strong!


“Have you done crying?”



Instead of answering, I pouted and Uncle tapped my forehead with his finger.


“If you’re annoyed, hit me with a punch.”




Even Uncle has to experience this for him to know.


Though he strikes lightly, his strength and weight are considerable! How crude!


Someone who was just like Uncle had to hit him on the forehead, but it’s a pity he couldn’t.


As I rubbed my forehead and inflated my cheeks, Uncle raised his bent body again.


“Eat it.
Don’t nag later just because you’re hungry.”


Then is he going out again, I wonder.


Just as I was about to call Uncle, Zenda came in.


“Miss, wait a minute.
I will prepare it quickly.”


Zenda quickly turned the table into a delicious restaurant with a lightning-like touch.


I waited for a large napkin to be tucked around my neck, then sat down in a chair, and there was an envelope right next to my plate.




“Ah, I think the Master left it.
The Miss’ name is written on it, so would you like to see it after you finish your meal?”


While listening to Zenda, I picked up the envelope and quickly found out the identity of the envelope.


It was a letter that had come to me sticking out among the piles of letters I saw on Uncle’s desk a few days ago.


The seal with the Imperial crest was also intact.


“Can I see this first?”


“Of course.
Shall I open it for you?”


“I want to open it!”


Zenda only helped me with the part of the seal that was difficult for me to break.


Inside came a card much thicker than an envelope.


I read one letter after another, but I couldn’t read it until the end and looked at Zenda with surprised eyes.


“His Imperial Majesty the Emperor.”




“He told me to come to play!”


“Pardon, pardon meee?”




I handed the card to Zenda.


Her eyes, which read the same card as mine, turned into surprised rabbit eyes.


“My goodness.
Really? It was a card to invite the Miss to the Imperial Palace.
I heard that the Master is also a close friend of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor…”


“He’s also friends with Mom.
Ah, but Uncle.”


I stopped talking and frowned.


If I ask Uncle to go with me, he’ll probably ask me not to stick around him again.


Or not to bother him.
I didn’t think he’d give me a ride.






“Is it far from here to the Imperial Palace?”


Zenda braced her chin with her index finger and pondered.


“It will probably take 30 minutes to an hour if you take a carriage.
I’ve never been to the Imperial Palace, but I think that’s what I heard.”




I couldn’t hide my disappointment.


Then I have to get Uncle’s permission, right?

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