Author: lipzoldyck

 

“…What? Dust is here too?”

 

I was on guard for a while, when I heard a startled voice again in the darkness.

 

With a rustling sound, pink hair appeared through the shadows.

 

It was Kai.

 

“…Ah, you surprised me!”

 

Was it Brother Kai?

 

I, who was in Dad’s arms, sighed.

 

However, he was also wary of not knowing who was in the secret garden.

 

“…What are you doing here, Dus…”

 

After checking on me, Kai came running towards me in a huff and then turned to ice.

 

His eyes obviously met Cassis’ and it was awkward belatedly.

 

“This late at night, what is my sister doing?”

 

Bian, who followed behind, found Cassis while wading through the thick bushes and roughly nodded his head.

 

The two still seemed awkward around their dad.

 

“What’s wrong, Brothers?”

 

Once I ran towards them, Kai and Bian naturally surrounded me.

 

We naturally lined up as three musketeers and had a quick conversation.

 

“I couldn’t sleep and suddenly I thought of Mom. So I came here just in case. Dust, why did you come?”

 

“I ended up here while catching Titi who was running away.”

 

“Titi?”

 

“Beepㅡ!”

 

Before we knew it, Titi had joined our group and showed off its presence.

 

Bian noticed Titi’s presence and chuckled.

 

“My sister is good at giving names. So that doll is Titi. By the way, is it okay to be noisy during the night? If Mom doesn’t like it…”

 

“No! I’m sure Mom will like it very much, right?”

 

I was sure.

 

Even though I couldn’t see her, I could feel Mom watching with interest from afar.

 

Our family is finally together!

 

The twins grinned as their eyes sparkled.

 

“Really? Then I’m glad.”

 

“By the way, if I knew Dust was here, I would have brought cookies. Actually, we were planning to just be quiet and leave soon.”

 

“Hmm. What should we do. But we can’t invite the employees into the garden.”

 

“If Dust wants to eat, I can bring it myself.”

 

“Then shall I bring it?”

 

I shook my head in response to Bian’s question.

 

Lately, I’ve been scared about cavities I heard from Lisa.

 

I could hold out as long as it wasn’t Higgs’ strawberry cake.

 

“I’m fine. Between us…”

 

Growlㅡ 

 

“?”

 

“?”

 

“?”

 

It was then.

 

My brothers and I turned our heads when we heard a sound not far away.

 

Dad, who was sitting next to the bed and working, was frozen as if he were dead.

 

“…”

 

There’s no way Mom is hungry, so it must be Dad.

 

“Ahem, ahem.”

 

Cassis, who was trying to clear his throat under the gaze of his children, stuffed a document into his nose.

 

Dad had a look on his face that looked like he thought it would be better to meet an assassin.

 

“…Don’t worry about it.”

 

The twins flinched at the answer, which seemed to be of concern to everyone.

 

What he meant by, “don’t worry about it” was that he definitely heard about the cookies.

 

So, if he’s starving, there’s no need to bring cookies for themselves.

 

Whiingㅡ    

 

The cold night wind separated Dad and us.

 

“…”

 

The already awkward situation became even more icy due to Dad’s growling noises.

 

Kai gnawed at the suffocating silence and closed his mouth.

 

Normally, he would have brought it without a big deal, but when he realized that the person he was handing the cookies to was his dad, he seemed helpless.

 

‘Geez, it’s getting awkward again.’

 

In fact, the relationship between the twins and Dad still had a long way to go.

 

Of course, after the building collapsed, they didn’t frown or ignore Dad whenever they saw him.

 

This is because I realized that Vallois’ enemy isn’t inside, but outside.

 

But becoming intimate between father and sons was a different matter.

 

“…Hey.”

 

As he turned his eyes, Kai tapped Bian on the side.

 

“…Why.”

 

“You bring it.”

 

Bian, who was watching, frowned.

 

“Then I will bring it, so you give it to him.”

 

“What? Don’t wanna.”

 

“Me too, a bit, Kai.”

 

“…Then.”

 

After a moment of hesitation, two pairs of blue eyes turned to me.

 

“Dust, you give him.”

 

“Will Billie give it to him?”

 

“No.”

 

Of course, I grinned and declined.

 

This is also a process of getting along, but do I have to join, of course no.

 

“Geez. Please do something…”

 

“Billie…”

 

My brothers were shocked by my rejection.

 

Kai couldn’t overcome the awkwardness and shook, but she sat back down because Bian and I were there.

 

Bian narrowed his eyebrows, which was unusual.

 

Seeing Bian playing with my hair, Bian looked just as uncomfortable as Kai.

 

It was the same with Dad.

 

Normally, Cassis would have tried to speak first, though.

 

Since he was the one who made the growling sound, he was burying his nose in the documents as if he was quite embarrassed.

 

I thought it would be okay if I didn’t join anymore.

 

‘…Hmm. Is it not. Should I help them?’

 

I rubbed my chin as I looked at my family, who looked more awkward than I expected.

 

If Kai brings it, Bian will feel awkward.

 

On the other hand, even if Bian brings it, Kai will feel awkward.

 

If I bring it, the remaining three, my brothers and Dad will suffocate.

 

“…”

 

First of all, I need to lighten the mood with cookies and something else.

 

‘Hmm. If that’s the case, then I guess I’ll have to break up the awkward atmosphere first.’

 

What would be better?

 

At this level of shame, pointless jokes can make things even more awkward.

 

‘…Do I have to go harder?’

 

In the silence where only the sound of the wind can be heard.

 

As I was quietly waiting to shoot the hit, my eyes widened.

 

“Ah, right. Dad.”

 

“…Why.”

 

“When did you say your first kiss was with Mom?”

 

At my question, the three men who had been quiet stood up at the same time.

 

“I said you don’t have to know that.”

 

“Dust, where did you learn that word?”

 

“Who taught that word to a 5-year-old?”

 

Kai even had his whole face as red as a tomato.

 

It was from this point on that the operation worked.

 

“What did you do with a child’s education!”

 

As Kai screamed in surprise, Cassis turned away from his son in embarrassment.

 

“I didn’t tell her. Mom did.”

 

“Are you leaving it to our mom now?!”

 

“It’s only been 8 months since I met Billishia…”

 

“Calm down, Kai. If it’s Mom, there’s a chance.”

 

Bian used his whole body to block Kai from rushing towards Dad.

 

It wasn’t a fuss.

 

But thanks to that, the icy still air became lively.

 

Right. It’s better to hit it off than to be awkward.

 

“Hehe.”

 

I giggled involuntarily at the thought that the strategy had worked.

 

“Dust, what did you do great that you’re laughing!”

 

“Billie.”

 

In the meantime, they must have heard laughter, I felt the resentful looks of the three men.

 

They seemed to not understand why I was laughing in such a serious situation.

 

“Uhmm.”

 

But I feel good, you know.

 

“Mmm… Pfft, hihihi.”

 

I tried to force myself to keep my mouth shut, yet laughter kept coming out of my mouth.

 

Because.

 

“I think Mom would like this kind of atmosphere.”

 

“…What?”

 

“We’re with Mom right now.”

 

When I pointed to the bed with my finger, the three men who had turned their heads in that direction flinched.

 

“…”

 

It was only then that they realized the meaning of my words.

 

In particular, the eyes of Cassis, who shared the most time with Vivian, were shaking.

 

He looked like he was imagining Mom caught between us.

 

He imagined that if she were there, she would burst out laughing as if it was fun.

 

The problem was that, contrary to my expectations, it became more solemn than before.

 

‘I guess I brought up Mom for no reason. I never thought it would get more serious…’

 

I turned my eyes in bewilderment, but a sturdy body stood up not far away.

 

“…Dad? Where are you going?”

 

“I’m going to the castle. All three of you, stay still.”

 

Was he lost in thought?

 

A lower bass sound flowed.

 

Cassis walked shakily and disappeared out of the garden.

 

“…Why did he leave?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“How can I know what that person is thinking?”

 

“…Maybe he’s mad because of us.”

 

Kai, who was sitting with his elbows on his knees, frowned.

 

“Brother Kai, no!”

 

I retorted angrily, but it seemed like he was being stabbed a lot on his own.

 

“You said you would bring cookies, but you didn’t actually bring them because he made a growling noise.”

 

“Would Dad get upset over something so trivial?”

 

“…I don’t know, how does that person feel? And especially because I was very annoyed with Dad.”

 

At Kai’s words, Bian tilted his head back and sighed.

 

Although Bian seemed to think that couldn’t be the case, he looked somewhat uneasy.

 

By the time there was that awkward silence.

 

Creakㅡ  

 

Dad came in through the iron door and placed something in front of us.

 

It was cookies and sandwiches.

 

“…Dad?”

 

“Why do you look so sad? I brought you something to eat.”

 

After examining us, he sighed and ran his hand down his face.

 

A look as if he understood.

 

“…The one who is hungry should bring it. Why are you guys paying attention?”

 

He even had a bottle of milk and orange juice for us under his arm.

 

Cassis paused for a moment and sat down between the twins.

 

The twins flinched.

 

But seeing as they didn’t move away, they just seemed really surprised.

 

Cassis said.

 

His gaze was focused on the ground.

 

“I don’t like it when you attach meaning to my every action.”

 

“…”

 

“Of course, I’m the one who made it that way, but when my stomach starts growling, I want you to get angry and tell me to bring it myself instead of paying attention.”

 

“…It was Dust who noticed it first.”

 

“You just have to get it before it gets awkward.”

 

Soon, the twins started chewing cookies with soft voices. Cassis smiled and washed his face dry.

 

He seemed to relax as he watched them eat the cookies he brought.

 

“Anyway, Dust, how do you know such a word?”

 

“That’s right. Sister, who told you?”

 

As the atmosphere calmed down, eyes turned to me again.

 

“No one told me. I read it in a book.”

 

“What book?”

 

The Contract Relationship between the Lion Princess and the Rabbit Baron. Agasa read it as a story.”

 

“…?”

 

Cassis’ jaw stopped as he munched on his sandwich.

 

The moment when Dad and the twins became closer to each other in earnest was when he cut Agatha’s annual salary by 1,000 gold the next day.

 

Our family sat in a circle in the secret garden and chatted often.

 

Of course, there was always a place left for Vivian in that circle.

 

***

 

After that, a normal but happy daily life went by.

 

“Princess, please concentrate!”

 

I’m starting Magi training in earnest.

 

“Miss Baby. Can’t Titi catch a mouse?”

 

At least once a day, I hit Agasa.

 

“Princess. You know there’s a limit to eating strawberry cake, which is twice a day, right?”

 

I always went with Lisa.

 

“Dust, just wait six months. I’ll come right away during summer vacation.”

 

“I can teleport to see my sister every time I have a break.”

 

My older brothers, who had left for the Academy, came to the Duke’s castle every summer and winter to play.

 

In the meantime, I thought of Sian from time to time, but I tried to forget about it.

 

But 7 years later.

 

The guest  who was almost forgotten like a faded photo came.

 

 

“Billishia, hello.”

 

He’s three spans taller than me.

 

Blonde hair with a fine texture reflected in the sunlight.

 

A subtle smile etched into his nerve-wracking, blunt face.

 

“Are you going to keep your promise?”

 

The boy, who had grown so big that I couldn’t recognize him, handed me a torn slave document.

 

“You said you would take responsibility.”

 

It was the year I turned 12.

 

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
lipzoldyck

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (2)

  1. OHHHHH?!?!?! And I wish she gave her family the letter from her mom 🥺