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Author: Boucha Editor: Boucha

Charlotte hid behind Cesar, the knight who followed her from behind as she walked through the forest, and stared blankly at the child.

 

The child, who looked around the age of three or four, was left alone in the forest without any family member or servant.

 

 

“Big brother, where is he?”

 

 

Why is a child alone in the forest? Did you walk alone and end up here after losing contact with your parents?

 

Normally, she would’ve thought so and would try to find the child’s family.

 

However, Charlotte didn’t give Cesar any order…

 

 

‘….Blood?’

 

 

It was because of the dark, red blood soaked in the child’s clothes.

 

It wasn’t only present in his clothes. There was blood on the child’s golden hair and plump cheeks as well.

 

 

Cesar, who was on guard and had his sword pulled out, only watched the child walk around at the unexpected sight.

The child kept looking around, poking his chubby cheeks as though he was about to burst into tears.

 

 

“Pulled, tied. Big brother.”

 

 

Upon noticing Charlotte and Cesar, he curled up like a frightened squirrel.

 

But he only stayed that way shortly after blinking a few times and looking around.

 

Soon after, he began to tread carefully towards the two.

 

 

“Sir Cesar.”

 

At Charlotte’s call, Cesar sensibly hid his sword.

 

They lowered down their guard knowing that even if someone with a sword were to suddenly appear from behind the child’s back, Cesar could still respond quickly.

 

He excelled in handling swords, enough to be noticed in the capital. Among his many advantages, the biggest one he had was his speed in detection.

 

The child, who had come close to Cesar, faltered once more when he saw him.

 

Charlotte stepped forward and came close to him, wondering if he was now relieved.

 

The child, who was looking up at Charlotte, had an expression that seemed to be asking, ‘Older sister, did you see my brother?’.

 

If he had looked at her with that expression at another time, she would have thought he looked lovely and cute, however, his blood-stained clothes, hair, and cheeks made him look rather cold instead.

 

The child, who had been looking up at her for a long time, sat on the floor and began to sob when he didn’t get the answer he wanted.

 

“Brother.”

 

Upon hearing the child crying, Charlotte was brought back to her senses.

 

“Are you all right, baby?”

 

 

She approached the child despite Cesar’s dissuasion.

 

 

“Where’s your brother?”

 

 

The child answered breathlessly.

 

 

“I don’t know where older brother is now. He was over there earlier.”

 

 

The child raised his hand and pointed to the bush from which he had come out.

 

 

‘Older brother?’

 

 

The child’s pronunciation was so unclear that Charlotte could not understand his words properly.

 

But I could see that something had happened at the place where he had pointed his finger at.

 

Charlotte was taking a walk in a small forest in Baron Rania’s territory located in the north.

 

Of course, it was a peaceful place with no predators.

If a certain area of this place is covered in this much blood, then this is definitely a serious matter.

 

It was unusual for a child to walk around alone as well.

 

 

‘I feel uneasy.’

 

I had a bad feeling. A feeling of blood flowing at Baron Rania’s territory, which used to be quiet and peaceful.

 

 

‘Oh, come on.’

 

 

Charlotte shook her head and struggled to shake off her ominous thoughts.

 

 

“Sir Cesar.”

 

 

“Yes, Miss.”

 

 

“I think his brother is nearby, so please search around the area.”

 

 

“If that’s the case, I’ll be stopping by the mansion first to send more people──”

 

 

“We don’t have time. If this blood was his brother’s, he would have been seriously injured. We need to find him as soon as possible.”

 

 

What if they are perhaps too late? Charlotte did not utter the words she has been thinking of.

 

Despite Charlotte’s emphatic words, Cesar did not move an inch. For him, it was of utmost importance to protect the young lady from any danger lurking beneath the shadows.

 

Charlotte spoke to him once more, but this time she made her words sound firm.

 

 

“Sir Cesar, I’m from the Rania family. If anything happens to the young child, I’d have to take care of him. My father taught me that it is one of the most important virtues a noble must have.”

 

 

At her words, Cesar had a perplexed expression and soon glanced at the knight with a bright expression behind him.

 

The knight, who had been learning swordsmanship from Cesar for years, nodded after recognizing the meanings of his every gesture.

 

 

“I’ll go check it out. If anything happens, I’ll call your right away.”

 

 

Then, he hurriedly went to the place where the child had pointed at.

 

Charlotte looked at the back of the distant knight and carefully held the child’s hand.

 

 

“Come on, baby. Let me take a look at you for a second. That’s all right with you, right?”

 

 

The child, who had been looking around nervously, nodded silently after he noticed Charlotte smiling brightly.

 

Charlotte began to examine his body while wiping the child’s face with a handkerchief handed to her by her maid, Emma.

 

Charlotte was able to rest assured with Emma’s help because she rolled up the child’s sleeves and pants as she looked at his arms and legs and lifted up his top as she scrutinized his stomach and back.

 

‘Fortunately, he is not hurt anywhere.’

 

 

The child was covered in so much blood that I was worried he’d be severely injured, but he was unexpectedly fine.

 

The only injury he had was a small scratch on the back of his hand, presumably from a tree branch.

 

Further details would have to be made by a professional. But for now, she’s certain that the blood, which stained the child’s clothes, was not his.

 

 

‘Then did the child’s brother really get hurt?’

 

 

Charlotte, who had a serious look on her face, began to look inside the child’s clothes after.

 

 

‘There must be evidence left by his brother somewhere in his clothes.’

 

 

After taking a closer look at the child, he seemed somehow different.

 

He had small, plump hands with very clean nails, and the clothes the child was wearing looked more luxurious than Charlotte’s clothing.

 

He seemed so noble that she thought he was a child of a noble or someone with immense wealth.

Then, if that’s the case, she should be able to find a clue somewhere in his body that would let her know of his origin.

 

She, alone, could not be recognized well, but the bottom of her skirt was embroidered with a symbol that belonged to the Rania family.

This place was such a small country that it was not possible for a person to wear such luxurious clothing. As Charlotte knew of that, she concluded that the child must have come from a different place.

 

 

‘I don’t know why you’ve come this far, but….’

 

 

First of all, she needed to find his family immediately.

 

 

‘Ah, I found it.’

 

 

Charlotte looked closely at the symbols embroidered inside his sleeve.

A roaring lion with a huge sword under it.

It was a symbol that Charlotte was aware of. No, actually, no one in this empire wouldn’t know of such a symbol.

 

 

‘The Duke of Heinst?’

 

 

One of the three dukes in the empire.

As soon as Charlotte knew of his origin, only a word floated in her head.

A child who looks about three to four years old, the Duke of Heinst, a forest, and blood.

Charlotte’s face turned pale in an instant.

 

 

“No way….”

 

 

At the same time, a knight’s voice was heard from deep inside the forest.

 

 

“Sir, I found him!”

 

 

Upon hearing the knight’s voice, Cesar was the first one to walk towards him.

 

Charlotte looked at Cesar’s back, left the child to Emma, and began to walk towards the same direction as Cesar did as if she had been possessed.

 

The sight she expected to see was a six-year-old child lying down.

 

But what unfolded before her was a completely different sight.

 

 

“There must have been an ambush.”

 

 

There were five men, who had strong builds, soaked with blood on the ground.

 

One of them was wearing a uniform with a symbol of the Heinst family, whereas the other four were dressed in black from head to toe.

 

They even wore a mask on their faces.

 

Anyone can tell they’re assassins.

 

This confirmed it.

 

 

‘The assassination of Theodore Heinst.’

 

 

The main incident of the original novel, which she had forgotten.

 

 

‘That child was the male lead’s brother?’

 

 

Theodore Heinst.

 

 

 

The little boy, whom Charlotte Rania met today, was the brother of the male lead, who was killed at the age of three in the novel she read.

Author's Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter !
If you can't wait to know what happens next, don't forget to check my Petreon for the advanced chapters for a more affordable price and to get updates once a new chapter is up.<3

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