Chapter 2

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

Lawrence couldn’t hear Tommy’s voice, but he was grinding his teeth and glaring at Lawrence.

 

<Whom did he just curse…>

 

‘Tommy, stop.’

 

At the strange aura I felt next to me, I signaled Tommy to step back without showing it with one hand.

 

Tommy is no ordinary ghost.

 

He has been with me for over eight years, and the ghosts who have been with me for a long time are usually able to wield material powers.

 

It was the same reason that Tommy could throw candy at Lawrence.

 

For the past few years, the reason I have endured, ignoring the glare of the Viscount Oblene’s family, is because this is a place where my memories with Mom remain intact.

 

I can’t lose it in an instant.

 

‘You’re an ignorant little girl, Little Girl. A little girl who fully believes in the bluffing of the Viscount!’

 

I know the truth, so there’s no reason to be angry.

 

After repeating that a few times and taking a desperate deep breath, I opened my mouth.

 

“What did you say now?”

 

It was unintentional, but a voice that was low enough to give me goosebumps came out.

 

Lawrence shrugged his shoulders as he sensed that I wasn’t like that of an ordinary eight-year-old.

 

However, as soon as he was ashamed of the fact that he was pressured, his face turned red and he raised his voice.

 

“…I-I said the truth! What did I say wrong? Your mom went through it like that! My mom said it was all because she didn’t thank Dad enough and was punished!”

 

Let’s see what this bastard is doing.

 

Despite what I was trying to put up with, even the slightest bit of reason was cut off at those words.

 

How long do I have to endure this? Even if I’m stuck in a warehouse for a few days, I have to say something right now.

 

I smiled broadly, raising the corners of my lips in the most gentle and noble way. Then I said

 

“Shut up, Lawrence.”

 

“…What?”

 

“I said, shut that mouth that makes fun of me wherever it can, before I get a thread and a needle to sew it.”

 

Lawrence opened his mouth, as if he was in shock for a moment at my words.

 

But soon he came to his senses and twisted his face.

 

“This crazy!”

 

Slapㅡ!

 

And without even reacting, my head turned around.

 

I felt a bitter sensation in my cheek with a loud noise.

 

I laughed to myself.

 

‘Nice. If that’s the case, there’s nothing to say no matter how many hits I throw in self-defense. It’s all listed in the Imperial Code, self-defense.’

 

Now that this has happened, I thought I had to hit him in the pit of his stomach to relieve my anger and get imprisoned.

 

It was the moment when I was about to clench my fists with my eyes twinkling.

 

<How dare this crazy bastard put his hand on someone!>

 

In this place, a voice that only I could hear resounded in my ears.

 

Then, with his eyes reddened, Tommy reached out his hands and pushed Lawrence’s shoulder, slowly coming into view.

 

“Huh…?”

 

Lawrence realized his body suddenly leaning into the air and widened his eyes.

 

I reached my hand out in a hurry, one step late.

 

“Lawrence! Hold my hand!”

 

Yet hi’s fingertips barely passed my fingers, and then they moved away.

 

Thud! Crash! Bang!

 

With a roar, Lawrence’s body tumbled down the stairs a few times before falling to the first floor.

 

“What kind of noise is this!”

 

There was a loud noise that was incomparable to what it had been before, and the sound of users running towards it was heard.

 

“Lawrence! Baby!”

 

“How could this happen!”

 

The voices of Carlotta and the Viscount were mixed with the bewildered voices of the servants.

 

I thought as I looked down at the scene with a pale face.

 

“Theresia Oblene! Can’t you come down here right now!”

 

Ah, I messed up…

 

***

 

For the past few days, the Viscount hasn’t had time to be quiet.

 

Even though three doctors had been there, Lawrence was still unconscious.

 

Every time the Viscount goes to see Lawrence, Carlotta grabs his clothes and makes a fuss about punishing me…

 

After that day, it was Tommy and other ghosts who brought this news to me, who had been half-locked in a room by the Viscount.

 

Tommy wiggled his fingers as he told me that Carlotta had passed out after crying for several days.

 

<Hey…>

 

“What.”

 

<…Are you mad?>

 

Tommy, who asked with an uncharacteristically muffled voice, glanced at me and immediately avoided my gaze.

 

“…Phew.”

 

After sticking with a sullen attitude on purpose for the past few days, I finally let go of my expression and let out a sigh.

 

Yeah, what can I do about what has already happened?

 

If I think about it otherwise, I’d rather be lucky.

 

Because if Tommy hadn’t pushed Lawrence, he might have really come back with a thread and needle then come at me.

 

‘I’ve been locked up for about a week, but whatever. Because I’m used to it.’

 

Viscount Oblene won’t be able to cast me out completely.

 

The present Viscount Oblene, who attained the status of nobility by marrying my mother, Ifia Oblene, lacked the legitimacy of his lineage.

 

It’s not that there are no nobles who list illegitimate children in the family register, but it’s very difficult to obtain permission from the temple and the imperial family.

 

So, in the current family register, I was the only true successor to Viscount Oblene.

 

If I died or disappeared right now, it was clear that the nobles of the surrounding estates would somehow use their powers to swallow the Viscount.

 

So, the Viscount will treat me like I wasn’t there as he has always done. That side would be less troublesome than enduring the attacks around him.

 

…Well, I don’t know if Lawrence is going to be on the family register, because it’s not yet.

 

After organizing my thoughts, I pat Tommy’s shoulder, who was still gloomy, and smiled.

 

“Nevermind. I’m not mad anymore.”

 

<…Really? Really?>

 

“Yeah, really, really. Thank you for being angry on my behalf.”

 

<Hehe.>

 

As if he had never been depressed, Tommy smiled as he liked it because I smiled.

 

Because he’s a kid I can’t really hate. As I thought about it, I smiled softly.

 

Suddenly, the sound of thumping footsteps from the side of the stairs was getting closer, and the door swung open without warning.

 

After three days, through the door opened, the face of the Viscount, who had been hardened, was revealed.

 

“Theresia Oblene. Follow me.”

 

…Huh? Something’s off.

 

***

 

I was dragged by Viscount’s hand and went down to the drawing room on the first floor.

 

Sitting on the sofa opposite him, he threw a wad of papers onto the table, frowned, and flicked.

 

“Read it.”

 

I didn’t want to follow his words because of the ominous reason that was tickling my throat earlier, but I didn’t have a choice.

 

As I tried to suppress my instinctive rejection, I slowly reached out my hand and lifted the paper.

 

And the moment I read the letters on the front page.

 

[Agreement on Abandonment of Parental Rights and Adoption]

 

I had to seriously ponder for a moment whether my eyes were wrong.

 

“What is this…”

 

“It’s your adoption agreement.”

 

I couldn’t understand what I had read with my eyes, and the Viscount killed me by even kindly giving me a confirmation.

 

“Now that Lawrence is registered in the family register, there is no need to keep you here. Have you heard of it? The Duke of Everdeen is looking for a successor.”

 

With those words, I reflexively took my eyes off the paper and raised my head.

 

The word ‘Duke of Everdeen’ came into my mind, which had been dazed for a while.

 

I almost never left the mansion since I was born, but I couldn’t help but know that name.

 

One night when I couldn’t sleep, it was even more so thanks to the story that Tommy explained in detail and vividly.

 

The Duke of Everdeen.

 

In other words, he was called the ‘Ghost Duke’.

 

***

 

Five years ago.

 

The Emperor, who drove Duke Everdeen to the battlefield to keep him in check, seemed to have been very frustrated as he continued to win battles and build a reputation.

 

So the Emperor issued a nasty order.

 

[Subdue the Mortia clan.]

 

He ordered the Duke of Everdeen to subdue the Mortia clan, who lived in the forests on the western border of the Empire, communicating with the dead and helping them to rest.

 

The external justification was that they were a group of special evils that used ‘bad ghosts’ to possess the people of the Empire.

 

A very reluctant command to kill those capable of communicating with the dead.

 

However, disobedience to orders was treason, so the Duke of Everdeen and his knights silently raised their swords.

 

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