Cedric opened the carriage door.
He seated the trembling child in the carriage and bent to her eye level.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t make eye contact.
Because Lillian wasn’t looking up.

Eventually, Cedric sighed and called out to Lillian.


“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”

And then the apology that I never asked for came back.

“… What?”

“I, I followed you secretly… I’m sorry to have brought you into this…”

Lillian clung to the messy hem of her skirt and continued her apology with her head bowed.

“That, and calling you like that… sorry.”

“Like that? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

During Cedric’s questioning, Lillian’s hand, which was gripping the hem of her skirt, bent further inward.

Tears fell drop by drop on the dirt-stained hem of her skirt.

“Ah, ah, Dad… call… Dad”


When Cedric came to her at the word, Lillian was really tearful.

There is a man who came to my call.
There is a man who will hold my hand when I am in a corner.

I was so happy about the fact that I felt like I was about to cry.

However, the cold reality immediately followed Lillian’s heart.

The way Cedric treated Curtis was the first time Lillian had seen him cold.

― How dare you treat the child I have like this?

The intent to kill in that voice was transmitted not only to Curtis, but also to Lillian in his arms.

For a while, I was grateful that he had come forward for me.

The fact that it might be her next, and not Curtis, rattled Lillian’s shadow.

‘The Duke has no intention of accepting me.’

Not only did you come after me and create this situation, but you even called me Dad.

What if he kicks me out for being presumptuous?

I tried to get closer at best.
I was a good child, so I wouldn’t be kicked out of the mansion.

Because of this incident, Cedric might think of her as a presumptuous orphan and drive her out of sight.


The tip of her nose crinkled when the thoughts reached her.

This combination of letters with nowhere to put their feet has always tended to make Lillian’s nose crinkle.

― Can’t you get out of here, orphan?

— Do you know what orphan means? It means that the parents who gave birth to you hate you, too.
So who will like you? You will be abandoned wherever you go.

The nursery school teachers were far from affectionate.
They often slapped the children and used the word orphan as an insult.

Of course, the children used to fight against the teachers, but the words that I had been hearing since I was a child did not easily disappear.

Thanks to that, Lillian became afraid.

The plan failed.
Far from announcing in front of everyone that Duke Maynard’s lost daughter had returned, she was caught by Duke Maynard himself before she even entered the banquet hall.
If he didn’t, she would have been captured by Curtis and sold to a slave trader.

Even if Cedric decided to send Lillian back, she couldn’t resist.

Lillian tried to think as positively as she could, but after sending Curtis back, she came to the carriage.

Cedric didn’t say a word.
It’s as if he’s mad.

Adding to that, Cedric’s usual dislike of Lillian was added, and Lillian’s head came to a conclusion without realizing it.

Cedric hates her.

‘I can’t get kicked out of here like this.’

Terrified, Lillian finally decided to use a last resort.

Begging for it.

“Now, I’m sorry, hah, I’m sorry, so please don’t kick me out…”

But why are there so many tears?

Even if I get hit on the head by the director at the nursery school and get cursed at by the teachers.

Even while Swan is dead and all the children in the orphanage are whispering.

Even more, until she came to the Duke’s residence alone.

It was a pride she had never bowed down to.

Lillian behaved like a bad-tempered cat to everyone except Swan, and it was also a defense mechanism that stemmed from not wanting to hurt herself.

Lillian was a proud girl, an orphan.

However, when faced with the danger of being out of sight of Cedric and possibly being kicked out, Lillian became desperate.

She didn’t care about her body or her pride as she was slapped and dragged by Curtis.

“Heh, uh, uh, I, well, I did it wrong, heh, I did it wrong, I won’t do that again.

To act as a kind and dignified child, I had to speak clearly as usual, but it didn’t work out.

Normally, I didn’t even cry, but why did crying interrupt everything only at such an important moment?

The hem of her skirt, which she clung to in her final pride, crumpled terribly.
The thick tears dripping on it made an irregular pattern drop by drop.

It was the first time I had ever been so desperate or begged like this.

In the end, it came closer to sobs rather than pleas.
Lillian put her hands over her mouth and tried to stop her sobs somehow, but once she broke out, her tears wouldn’t stop easily.

Besides, there was no answer from Cedric.

‘I ended up ruining everything.’

Even without raising my head, I could feel Cedric’s gaze falling on the top of my head.
He was obviously looking at me with contempt.
Just like the nursery school teachers did.

Adults hate crying, children.
There was no way he wouldn’t do that just because he was Cedric.

However, since she was crying annoyingly until the last moment when she begged for fault, it was clear that she would be kicked out.

I wanted to quickly stop crying and act dignified, but I couldn’t.

Tears kept flowing from frustration.

However, a hand was placed on top of Lillian’s head, who was crying in a mess.

As always, a careful touch, like stroking the downy hair.

Lillian lifted her tear-stained face involuntarily and saw Cedric’s face.

For some reason, a face that looked more terribly distressed than herself.

“You said you were my daughter… I don’t know why you’re apologizing for something like that.”

The kind voice made my tears stop, surprisingly.
Lillian’s wet eyelashes rose and fell slowly.

Then I saw something I hadn’t seen before.

The twigs on Cedric’s chest that she had made for him.

“Don’t cry, baby.
I’m not good at soothing.”

“… Aren’t you going to throw me out?”

“Do you want me to kick you out?”

“Oh no!”

“Then why did you think that?”

“That, that… Duke… The Duke seems to hate me…”

“… What?”

Cedric’s brow furrowed with a ridiculous answer, and the tears that had stopped at last rose again.

“The duke, me, me, when I look at you, I hate it, heh heh, the duke hates me, so, heh, heh heh, so, oh, all the way, the duke doesn’t say a word, heheh, he only has a scary face… huuu!”

Eventually, the crying broke out again.
Unlike the moment before, when she was able to suppress it somehow, this time she couldn’t.
In the end, Lillian broke down and cried.

I still had thoughts in my head that I needed to stop crying, but I didn’t feel that desperate.

The reason was simple.

Because Cedric was hugging her.


“So, you don’t think you’ll be able to attend the reception for long because the child secretly followed you.”

At Lennox’s summary, Cedric lightly nodded.

It was a very refreshing reaction to break down the railings of the imperial palace and say that you couldn’t attend the banquet where you were the main character.
Lennox pressed at his forehead, not knowing where to begin.

‘Suddenly, it’s ironic.’

A little while ago, after Cedric broke the railing and went to the child.
Lennox easily dealt with that and found Cedric.

Fortunately, it happened after the first dance of the party, so there was no need to worry about the Emperor’s gaze, but it couldn’t be good for the banquet’s protagonist to be away for a long time.

Until then, Lennox hadn’t been puzzled by Cedric’s overreaction to the child’s call.

‘It must have been because it reminded him of the lost child.’

Even calling him dad seemed like the child was in a hurry to call anyone.
Lennox had no intention of pointing out such trivial happenings.

However, when he found Cedric at Maynard’s wagon, Lennox had to completely recant his opinion.

— Cedric! Do you know how long I’ve been looking for you? What the hell is this…

Lennox involuntarily stopped talking.
From inside the carriage, he could see Cedric holding something in his arms.

It was the same child who called Cedric dad.

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