“Mary, what is that?”

At Lillian’s question, Mary, who was holding her, raised her head.

Lillian saw the disapproval quickly flowing over Mary’s face.
Of course, it was very fleeting.
Mary is an adult, and adults are usually good at hiding their emotions.

“It is a separate building.
It’s a place you don’t need to know.”

“No, that’s right! It’s easy to get lost in the main building, so I’ll guide you later.”

“Where else did you say you wanted to see? Garden?”

The other maids also joined Mary’s words.

They quickly became friends, but Lillian could feel the subtle currents flowing between them.

“Now, then, shall we go see the garden? Maynard’s garden is very beautiful, even in winter.”

What’s inside the annex?

Anxiety tickled his toes.
The black Mary-Jane shoes Lillian was wearing were dangling in the air.

“Shall we go, lady?”

“… Yes, let’s go.”

Lillian replied a beat late and smiled.

But even when she turned around, her eyes were on the annex.



The swords collided and fell.
No matter how strong the impact was, the sharp blue-forged sword blade vibrated and made a whining sound.
Cedric lightly cuts the roaring sword into an oblique line and fires at the opponent.


“Yes, Your Excellency.”

“Do you have any children?”

At the unexpected question, the knight on the other side of the question narrowed his eyes.

The handsome man, with his azure hair and a sad smile, seemed embarrassed by his owner’s sudden question.

“Do you know that I’m single?”

“You don’t have to be married to have children.”

“Ah! Is it because of the princess?”

Isaac opened his eyes wide, as if he finally understood his master’s eccentricity.

“I’ve heard the story, too.
She’s very clever, isn’t she? She saw a newspaper article and came to the duke herself.
You don’t know how loud the Knights were after hearing this story.
Everyone wanted to see the lady’s face-”


“Yes, I think so too, everyone is saying no.”

Isaac smiled and put the sword into the scabbard.

“Still, everyone seems to be curious because they hear something.
What kind of person would the princess who disappeared be?”

“I’m not sure if my daughter is right yet, but there’s a lot of talk.”

“Why? Didn’t you say she brought the locket? Isn’t that enough to be sure?”

“I want to believe that.
But it’s too early to be sure.
It could have been something that was lost somewhere and found by someone else.”

“Ah, if that item was lost, someone would have picked it up and handed it over to the pawnshop.
Wouldn’t it be too absurd to think of claiming to be Maynard’s daughter with just that thing?”

“I guess so.
However, since the disappearance of my daughter was an abduction, the possibility cannot be completely ruled out.”

Exactly this was the problem.

The disappearance of Maynard’s princess did not simply disappear in an accident, but was kidnapped.

However, no details were known about why the kidnapping took place and who was the culprit.

Usually, when a child is kidnapped, they will contact you demanding a ransom, but strangely, in this case, there was no such thing.

Even so, it was simple to know that it was an abduction.

There was a request left by the deceased Duchess Maynard, Agnes.

[Don’t look for the child until Cedric returns.
You must not provoke those who took the child.]

Neither finds the child nor informs that the child has been kidnapped.

It was only after Agnes died that the letter containing this content was found.

They wanted to ask about the details, but the dead don’t talk.
Stefan, the butler, sent the contents of the letter to Cedric and asked what to do, and Cedric replied as follows.

[Follow Agnes’ will.]

Fortunately or unfortunately, at the time the child disappeared, only a minimum of people were left in the mansion for the holidays.

It was easy to keep a secret because most of them died trying to protect the child.

In this way, Maynard’s princess was treated as missing rather than kidnapped.

Thanks to this, it is easier to distinguish fakes.

“Maybe it was possible to be fake, even more, if you had a pendant.”

It wasn’t such an unlikely tale for Cedric, who has a lot of silence, as anyone else might know.

“So, first of all, I plan to finish investigating the nursery school and see if the child shows suspicious behavior.”

“You mean the one you entrusted to Cozmo, right?”


Cedric replied lightly and turned his gaze toward the window.

“So don’t pay too much attention to her either.
Firstly, that child is the most likely the one, so I only have her, but I don’t intend to let her in recklessly.
If I recklessly give her my heart and my real daughter comes back later, it will hurt both of them.”

“That’s nice of you to say.
Is that the kind of person who was in her bedroom all night?”

Cedric’s face wrinkled in Isaac’s grin.

“… Did Nisha tell you again?”

“I will be silent for the sake of Nisha’s life.
It was only a bit of a joke that you ran straight to her as soon as the news came out.”


“That’s what you’re trying to do, but you don’t want to, do you?”

Cedric’s face crumpled even more at Isaac’s question.
He was silent for a long time, but the answer he gave was the same.

I didn’t know how to treat the child.
She’s clumsy, so I just paid more attention, so don’t make a fuss.”

“If you say that, I don’t know what to say.”

Isaac brushed his hair and opened his mouth again.

“If I dare to add, there may be an irreversible moment after hesitating because of fear.
Don’t many choices come with regrets?”


“This is no longer a battlefield.

Isaac’s word, which continued to speak, suddenly faded.

He looked toward the door of the gymnasium and raised one eyebrow.

“Is there anyone else who comes in and out of here?”


It was like this.

‘This is why they didn’t take me to the annex!’

Lillian was frantically running away.
Even while the blood in her whole body was cold, she did not forget to cover her mouth with her hands, fearing that it would spill.

A little while ago, Lillian headed to the annex alone.
It was thanks to her skillful capture of the moment when her maids were busy preparing for tea time.

―Well, I think I dropped the bracelet in the garden.
I think it’s around here somewhere, I’ll be right back.

— Why don’t you let me do that??

―I’ll look for it and if I don’t find it, I’ll ask.
I don’t want to bother you.

— oh… Then don’t go too far in case you get lost, look around a bit, and come back if you don’t find it?

The maids couldn’t hide their eyes that Lillian was very proud.
There was no doubt to be found in her.

Thanks to this, Lillian went into the garden alone pretending to look for the bracelet, and after a bit of wandering, she was able to reach the annex.

That’s what I saw.

―So, firstly, I plan to finish the investigation of the nursery school and see if the child shows suspicious behavior.

―You mean the one you entrusted to Cozmo, right?

— yes.

It was a space that looked like a gymnasium.

Because the window was small, it was not enough to capture the scene inside it, but I couldn’t help but recognize the person standing inside it.

He had black hair that was recognizable even from afar, and she could hear the voice that had welcomed her into the mansion.

— So don’t pay too much attention to her, either.
Firstly, that child is the most likely the one, so I only have her, but I don’t intend to let her in recklessly.

The moment he heard that, something inside Lillian thudded.
And fell.

‘The Duke… He doesn’t intend to accept me.’

Lillian staggered involuntarily and took a couple of steps back.

She already knew the name of this feeling.

It was anxiety.


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