Author: lipzoldyck

 

The words “I’ll get a refund” rose up and down my throat.

 

What a refund for something I received as a bonus! Is there any way to make the Schlager family, who is already a terrible customer, into a crazy, terrible customer?

 

As I pondered what to do, the Duke’s handsome eyebrows twitched, unable to wait long.

 

“What if I don’t like it?”

 

“…I’ll bury it and throw it away!”

 

I deliriously reached for the cufflinks. However, I reached nothing.

 

“Throwing it away, you say.”

 

He stuffed the cute gift box into the jacket pocket.

 

“I’ll receive this well.”

 

“Ah… Is that fine?”

 

“There’s no way it can be not fine.”

 

Is it really fine? Or is this something like that? It’s said that people who receive bugs as a gift from a stray cat they take care of pretend to eat them because of their sincerity.

 

Was the Duke considerate in his own way?

 

Then the Duke said something truly surprising.

 

“I guess I should give you a gift too. I can’t be in debt.”

 

“A debt? The Duke bought me clothes.”

 

“It’s the clothes you chose. A gift is meaningless unless the giver chooses it themselves.”

 

Are you serious? Do you even know how to interact with people like humans?

 

I keep an eye on him nervously.

 

“Even if you look at me like that, I can’t give it to you right away. Wait until tomorrow.”

 

“I’m not urging you!”

 

Did it seem like I was expecting it?

 

I waved my hands and sat quietly again. But my heart was already pounding.

 

A gift, so what is he giving me?

 

As soon as we arrived at the Duke’s residence, the servants carried the clothes to the room.

 

The closet has been cleaned, hasn’t it?”

 

“The shoes are here. Hmm, add two more hangers.”

 

Everyone is working hard late. But this isn’t the time to think about others.

 

It’s already half past ten at night. As a child who needs to sleep, my eyelids droop. The Duke looked at my face and said.

 

“You must be tired.”

 

I don’t even have the energy to be polite.

 

“Yes… thank yawn for today.”

 

A yawn escaped me. The Duke’s gaze sting. Wow, I woke up right away!

 

I said, bending deeply to avoid his gaze.

 

“Then good night….”

 

“It’s not a situation to greet people.”

 

“Pardon? …Kyaaaah!”

 

I thought the Duke’s arm came under my armpit—

 

He lifted me up. His left arm supported my butt.

 

“D-Duke?”

 

“Don’t move.”

 

“Yessir!”

 

“Don’t answer in a military manner. Where on earth did you learn that speaking style?”

 

At the factory. No, more than that, why did he suddenly hug me? Did I even look cute?

 

The Duke said as he walked up the stairs.

 

“I’m telling you this in case you misunderstand.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I gave you a hug because I thought you might fall down the stairs while walking while dozing off. Don’t expect me to hug you again next time.”

 

Well, indeed.

 

The Duke’s words didn’t end there.

 

“Don’t mistake other people’s help for favor, and even less for affection. This is a truth that pierces the world.”

 

“…”

 

“Don’t be fooled by the sweet favors of outsiders. It may be a ploy to use you to bring down the Schlager family.”

 

“I understand.”

 

I know it very well. Fraudsters also start the relationship by saying, ‘Seyool, I heard you got scolded by the boss? I’ll buy you coffee to cheer you up!’

 

The Duke immediately dropped me off in front of the room and turned around. I looked at the back of the Duke, who never turned back.

 

His hair, as if made by melting moonlight, flutters in the air. It feels like an imaginary animal. Being hugged by an adult was something I only imagined.

 

…I think I can still feel that arm. Is this what having a dad is like? I opened the door with mixed feelings. A neat room that the servants have finished tidying up greets me—

 

“Sol!”

 

Suddenly a boy jumped out and stood in front of me.

 

It’s Elber!

 

“Elber! What are you doing here?”

 

“I waited for you.”

 

“Eh?”

 

However, Elber wasn’t the only uninvited guest. Benén appeared from behind, smiling brightly.

 

“Hello, Sol.”

 

“Hello…?”

 

“We’re sorry for coming in on our own. We were originally waiting in the hallway.”

 

Benén pointed to Elber.

 

“As soon as Elber saw Father coming up, he got his ass and came over here~”

 

“Brother!”

 

“Why, it’s true, though?”

 

Elber’s face heated up. He’s huffing at his brother, but Benén keeps looking at me.

 

This brotherly relationship is also worth knowing. First of all, we need to take care of Elber.

 

“I understand, Elber. The Duke would be scary to anyone who saw him…”

 

“N-No! I’m not scared!”

 

Elber’s face became redder. So it’s the opposite effect…

 

In cases like this, there is a way.

 

“I’m really scared, you know.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“I was scared when we were talking alone earlier. He looked down at me in the dark hallway without changing his expression… I almost cried.”

 

“R-Right? Being alone with Father is like facing a wolf!” 

 

Elber immediately puffed his chest. Oh my, how cute.

 

I wanted to make a mom smile as much as I could. However, I’m concerned about the would-be villain next to him who doesn’t know how to enjoy his little brother’s cuteness at all!

 

“Anyway, you two, what are you doing here?”

 

“You two, you say.”

 

Benén smiled brightly.

 

“I’m here to sort out that part.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

“Now, what should you call me?”

 

My lips were tightly pressed together. He wants me to call him ‘brother’.

 

…A fifteen-year-old.

 

“Uh, uh… ”

 

The Confucian soul within me resists. Where is there a fifteen-year-old older brother?

 

But.

 

“It looks like you’re not ready to become a member of the Duke family yet, right?”

 

Benén’s smile, as if he was enjoying my trouble, pierced my pride again. I opened my trembling lips.

 

“No way. Nice to meet you, Brother Benén!”

 

“…”

 

Benén opened his eyes wide in confusion.

 

You really thought I don’t know how to? While we’re at it, we’ll have to deal with Elber as well.

 

“Brother Elber…”

 

“…W-Wait.”

 

Elber covered his face.

 

“Tell me in advance!”

 

Is this something that needs to be told in advance?

 

While he was bewildered, Benén’s expression returned to normal. These are the eyes of a smiling fox.

 

“It’s refreshing because it’s my first time hearing it.”

 

“It was something I had said for the first time in a long time.”

 

“Have you ever done so?”

 

“I had a close older brother at the orphanage.”

 

“…We’re your real brothers, so forget about him.”

 

Who are you telling me to forget? No, let’s be patient. My opponents are kids…

 

…And, he was someone I had to forget anyway.

 

I swallowed Eugene’s name, which was still rolling around in my mouth, and looked at my brat brothers.

 

“Please take care of me. Brother Benén, Brother Elber.”

 

“Take care of me too, Sol.”

 

Benén offered to shake hands. His hands, just entering puberty, were large and soft.

 

“Although I wish you could speak more comfortably from now on—”

 

“I’ll do that once I get used to it.”

 

“What a pity. Feel free to speak to me comfortably anytime. I won’t get angry.”

 

For now, I’m going to use polite language. If I use informal language, it seems like the attitude I used to treat young boys in daycare will come back. Let’s try to be a good little sister.

 

Now, is it Elber’s turn?

 

“Brother Elber too—”

 

“…”

 

Elber, whose face was still bright red. As soon as our eyes met, he covered my ears and spoke.

 

“N-No, I’m mentally preparing….”

 

“I was prepared to call you brother. But do you need to be prepared just to listen?”

 

“D-Don’t even use honorifics!”

 

Suddenly, Elber stood up. It looks like he’s trying to run away.

 

“I’m sorry, Sol! I’ll come back tomorrow when I’m ready—”

 

“Wait! Don’t leave now! I have a gift for you!”

 

Elber stopped at the sound of the gift.

 

“Gift?”

 

“Hm?”

 

Benén was also surprised. Those eyes became like a rabbit’s again.

 

“A gift, from you? To us?”

 

“It’s nothing special.”

 

When I was packing a gift for the Duke, I also took gifts for these little kids. You can’t give something to someone and leave someone else out, right?

 

“When I went to buy clothes, I got some men’s accessories from the store. This is for Brother Benén, and this is for Brother Elber.”

 

I held out the boxes I brought earlier. Rather than being happy, both of them looked as if they were looking at green minerals held out by an alien.

 

“My arm hurts.”

 

Only then did the two people snatch the gift.

 

Benén was the first to bravely open the gift. What I prepared for him was a handkerchief. There is brown vine pattern embroidery on the edges.

 

The look in Benén’s eyes when he looks at the handkerchief—

 

It looks like he’s checking to see if there’s any poison on it.

 

“At fifteen, you’re at the age where you go to a lot of official events. You might need a handkerchief.”

 

“…Is this your judgment?”

 

“The store owner said so!”

 

Whoa, I made a mistake. It would look suspicious if a ten-year-old talked about an official event.

 

Benén, still suspicious, looked at the front and back of the handkerchief and closed the box.

 

“Thank you. I’ll use it well.”

 

“Hehe, make sure you use it well, alright? I did my best to choose!”

 

“Hmph.”

 

The guy snorted openly and stood up.

 

“It’s good to be seen well by your family. You will adapt well, yeah?”

 

“Wow, Brother Benén, you like me?”

 

“…I see something like that.”

 

The guy forcibly pulled up one corner of his lips and left the room.

 

Wow. Although still a teenager, he’s still the seed of a villain. The look in his eyes is no joke.

 

I was just rubbing my arms because I got goosebumps.

 

“Me too! Now I’ll open my present too.”

 

Elber called me.

 

Was he waiting?

 

When I turned my eyes, I saw Elber with his eyes wide open like a puppy.

 

Ah… How can I call him ‘brother’, I wonder. I think I should call him, ‘oh my, oh my, our puppy’.

 

I exercised superhuman patience.

 

“Yes, Brother.”

 

“Speak comfortably to me.”

 

“Yes, Elber.”

 

“…A bit fast. You?”

 

“When have I not been faster? Quickly open it.”

 

Elber laughed. It’s easy because I can act childish with this guy.

 

Soon the ribbon on the last box was untied. What came out of it was—

 

“Whoa…”

 

“Huh, huh?”

 

It was a brooch in the shape of a rabbit face.

 

“How strange? I prepared half-gloves for Elber.”

 

“Half gloves?”

 

“The one you use for sword practice.”

 

Elber in <Rank 99th> was a sword master, as expected from the romance-fantasy male lead. Naturally, he must have trained with a sword since he was young, that’s why I chose a pair of half-gloves as his gift, which was said were commonly used for sword practice.

 

Maybe I chose too roughly, and I also worried about what if he hated sword practice…

 

If this is the case, there is no point in worrying about it!

 

“I guess the employee put it in wrong. I’ll change it at the store tomorrow.”

 

“…No, no! This is okay. If you don’t mind, give me this.”

 

“Huh? Really?”

 

The rabbit brooch with a pink ribbon in its hair is an accessory made for girls, even if you see it while passing by on the KTX.

 

Well, I think it would suit Elber surprisingly well because he’s cute. What will the Duke say if he sees it?

 

‘Elber, what is that overly cute brooch?’

 

‘It’s a gift from my little sister.’

 

‘You don’t have to use everything you get as a gift. I’m going to improve Sol’s perspective a bit.’

 

Wouldn’t this kind of conversation take place? Just imagining it is difficult!

 

“Elber, are you going to wear that?”

 

“No.”

 

Then why are you asking for it?

 

At that time, Elber held up the rabbit brooch and said.

 

“Sol. Can I put this on you?”

 

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Comments (2)

  1. I’m so happy that the translation is being continued, I fell in love with it when it first started and I’m already knee deep in it now, thank you translator-nim ❤️

  2. The same here. I like this story! Thank you for the translation