Author: lipzoldyck

 

Benén was a little flustered.

 

‘Father must have a better ability to evaluate people. Does he mean to ask me to see if it’s cute?’

 

He only relayed what the servants said in passing. Why does Father react as if he heard something strange?

 

Well, but he has no reason to refuse with a straight face.

 

“I understand. I’ll tell you later.”

 

Because cuteness is also one of human values. Father who isn’t interested in aesthetics may want to hear other people’s opinions.

 

‘It’s a little girl. Is she’ about ten years old?’

 

Dealing with girls was very awkward for Benén.

 

‘No. ‘It’s not the girls that are the problem, I hate kids.’

 

Weak and noisy ones.

 

What if a shameless chatterbox who clings to him like brother, brother comes? It’s scary to even think about it.

 

‘I’m sure she’ll act cute to make a good first impression, right? If she wants to do it, do it. ‘I’ll press the bridge of her nose.’

 

Benén giggled in his twisted mind, and also for a split second sympathized with the girl who would have a brother like this.

 

But what is more important to him than the girl she will meet for the first time today is the condition of his younger brother.

 

“Is Elber fine?”

 

“Yes. We retrieved Elber. We also dealt with the guy who sent this threat.”

 

Latigre flipped a letter from his folder. It’s a classic threat made by cutting and pasting newspapers.

 

[Get out of the development industry right now. Otherwise, it will be difficult to guarantee the safety of the youngest child.]

 

“Oh, did that blackmailer find the orphanage where Elber went to? They’re more capable than I thought.”

 

“Exactly. If they have that ability, they should use it for their main job, yet you’re just taking out your anger on me.”

 

Latigre frowned, as if he was displeased even thinking about it again.

 

It was last month that he received this threatening letter. An ordinary person would have locked his son in a corner of his house, taken refuge in a distant relative’s house, or taken refuge in a monastery, as soon as he received the threat.

 

But Latigre avoided the obvious choice. He deliberately caused his son to disappear from a remote parish.

 

The future of the missing children in the diocese was obvious anyway. Going to an orphanage subsidized by the local temple.

 

If he enters an orphanage, they will definitely have a hard time. However, if he had been evacuated through his connections, Elber would have been traced and kidnapped within three days.

 

Even if his son goes through some hardships, it’s better than being kidnapped.

 

“I think it ended well, though. Elber, he looks very dissatisfied with me.”

 

“Father. Did you not explain to Elber that you received a threatening letter?”

 

“Should I?”

 

“…No.”

 

“He has to deduce this much on his own before he’s qualified to be the successor of Schlager.”

 

Successor. Benén gritted his molars at those words.

 

The Schlager family’s children are initially born with normal blue eyes. However, when they reach puberty and the power of the Silver Dragon comes into their lives, their eyes begin to sparkle with a strange light like shallow waves on the beach.

 

A glimmer that he can sometimes catch a glimpse of even twelve-year-old Elber.

 

However, Benén’s eyes, which have entered puberty, are as beautiful as crafted glass… There will be a low probability that the power of ice will be revealed to him in the future.

 

“Benén.”

 

“…Yes, Father.”

 

“Don’t think in vain. Because everyone has their own use.”

 

Latigre doesn’t know anything about comfort. Father’s words pierce his heart like a dagger.

 

Benn tried to divert his thoughts elsewhere. Today, about the girl who dared to sit at the same table as him, despite being a commoner.

 

‘The servants say she looks like a rat caught in a stable…”

 

He couldn’t convey that honest expression to Father, so he just said, ‘Not cute.’

 

Then, Benén belatedly realized the problem with that testimony. She was just brought from the orphanage, so of course she would be dirty.

 

‘Wouldn’t she change if she’s washed?’

 

***

 

I was happy to take a bath after a long time.

 

The pressure of being washed by the maids was momentary, but as I entered the warm water, all my worries disappeared. After I left the orphanage, I always showered!

 

Without realizing it, I hummed.

 

Linda, the maid who was in charge of me, smiled.

 

“Hehe, I never thought I would be taking care of a miss in this house! The house that I thought would always be filled with men now looks bright.”

 

“Only men?”

 

“Yes. The Duchess passed away a long time ago.”

 

Ah, it seems like she died shortly after giving birth to her third child.

 

I pretended to hear it for the first time.

 

“Well, what happened?”

 

“They said she was sick. It’s a story that’s been around for ten years, so I don’t know for sure.”

 

“The Duke must have had a hard time.”

 

Even as I spoke, I felt strange. Do villains in novels have such feelings? Then the maid opened her eyes wide and spoke.

 

“Miss. Are you really ten years old?”

 

“…Pardon?”

 

“It feels like I’m talking to an adult. Five or six years older than me.”

 

“…”

 

She hit the nail on the head. What do ten-year-olds talk like? I can’t be seen as suspicious by others!

 

“I-I! I was the oldest person in the facility! So that’s why!”

 

“Aha, were you?”

 

Linda laughed bashfully.

 

“You’re the youngest here.”

 

Her rough fingers gently brushed under my fingernails. The dirt and sand beneath it sank to the bottom of the water.

 

“You’ve had a hard time.”

 

“…”

 

“The Duke is a scary person, but… he probably didn’t bring the Miss with bad intentions. Smile and have fun.”

 

… I was brought here with bad intentions.

 

But.

 

“It’s done! Wake up now. “I’ll wipe you off with a fluffy towel!”

 

Linda smiled brightly and held out a thick towel, making me think that my days at the mansion might not be so bad.

 

And although I didn’t look very cute in the mirror earlier, if I wash myself well and change into nice clothes, I’ll look average and cute.

 

Then, that villainous Duke might turn into a daughter’s fool when he sees me. Same goes for my brothers!

 

… It may seem like a pipe dream, but I’m serious. Although possessing romance-fantasy from the beginning was unrealistic, I can expect that much, right?

 

When I finally got out of the bathtub, dried my body, combed my hair, and put on the clothes Linda had prepared for her.

 

“Oh my, you’re so cute!”

 

Compared to before, the me in the mirror, cleanly washed and dressed, was so cute that I couldn’t help but gasp.

 

“I tried braiding your hair to one side. Now, shall we go eat?”

 

“Ah… But are these really the only clothes they have?”

 

It was a stupid question.

 

“Yes. It can’t be helped.”

 

“…”

 

So, holding Linda’s hand, I went down to the first floor restaurant, where I met my ‘family’ for the first time.

 

“Miss Sol is here.”

 

At the far end of the wide table.

 

Duke Schlager, who was drinking an aperitif, raised his head towards me and said,

 

“Come… Cough!”

 

I could hear it.

 

The youngest brother, Elber, had sparkling eyes.

 

The boy who appears to be the second of the three brothers in the original story…

 

He said with a very bewildered face.

 

“…Was it a younger brother who was coming?”

 

No!

 

There has never been a young woman in this house. Naturally, the only clothes I could wear were boys’ clothes.

 

That’s why! Now, I! Am looking like a very cute boy.

 

I sat down in the prepared seat with a bright red face.

 

Elber’s still-so-cute-I’m-dying expression. And the second child… Was now holding his stomach and started laughing.

 

Lastly, the Duke wiped under his chin with a napkin and spoke solemnly.

 

“…After eating, let’s go buy clothes right away.”

 

The servant next to him answered.

 

“I will order the servants to immediately buy children’s clothes. It seems like it will only be ready-made clothes.”

 

“No. It’s my fault for not considering the clothes, so I’ll go down there myself.”

 

…Why are you doing this to me so burdensome, I wonder.

 

But something more burdensome happened next.

 

“Among the ready-to-wear stores in the city, those with three or more employees aren’t allowed to close until I get there.”

 

“I understand.”

 

Hey! Let them get off work! Really, he’s not a villain but a terrible customer. I heard that VVIPs rent out department stores and shop at certain times. Is that true?

 

After the servants had left, the Duke spoke to me.

 

“Eat.”

 

“Yes.”

 

This is a very awaited command.

 

As soon as I sat down on the chair, a feeling of despair came over me. The white one is a bowl, and the silver one is a tool for eating.

 

Uh… Usually it’s used from the outside.

 

I ate the soup with the outermost spoon. As soon as I took one bite, my eyes lit up.

 

This is really delicious!

 

After just a moment of trying to eat gracefully, I was already holding the soup plate and pushing the contents into my stomach.

 

“Haaa… ”

 

The feeling of your stomach being filled with warm, rich soup is the best. I drank it down frantically and put the plate down.

 

And belatedly, I realized that three men were staring at me. Wow. I ate too obscenely, right?

 

My face got hot and I put down my spoon and looked around. The second child covered his mouth. It looks like he was holding back laughter, as his back was shaking.

 

Before the Duke scolded me, I voluntarily came clean.

 

“…I apologize.”

 

“What are you apologizing about?”

 

“You didn’t eat politely… I will eat it using the right tools!”

 

I grabbed the spoon again. Well, the Duke shook his head and pointed to my spoon and said.

 

“No. That’s a teaspoon.”

 

“…Pardon?”

 

To think that somehow it fit into my mouth!

 

I was embarrassed and put down the teaspoon. No, if you’re going to do that, don’t leave it there!

 

“That, it fits my mouth perfectly…”

 

“I don’t blame you. “I’ll prepare you properly next time.”

 

While my face was turning red, the Duke glanced at the second child and said.

 

“Benén, it’s as I said, isn’t it?”

 

“…Indeed small.”

 

The second one pouted his lips. He looks like an adolescent boy who doesn’t want to acknowledge his parents’ words. What are they talking about?

 

At that time, the second child noticed my gaze and opened his mouth.

 

“Ah, I also should do an introduction, right? I think the other two came from the orphanage saying hello. I don’t want to be left out, you know.”

 

He smiled brightly. A fox laugh that completely covers his eyes. Only then did I remember what kind of character he was.

 

Benén Schlager.

 

The second son, who inherited the Schlager family’s black hair, blue eyes, and cruel disposition, yet didn’t acquire the power to control ice.

 

In the original, he was a villain who suffered from an inferiority complex and bullied his younger brother.

 

This is the second most important thing to watch out for in this house.

 

“Hello. My name is Sol, and I’m ten years old.”

 

“Hello, my name is Benén Schlager. I’m your second brother, and I’m fifteen years old this year. If you don’t know anything, feel free to ask.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

I bowed my head and finished the topic.

 

Benén. Right now, he’s looking at me with a friendly smile, but deep down, he’s clearly evaluating my usefulness, right?

 

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