Author: alyalia

“I took her son and drove her out. I ordered the butler to write a letter of recommendation, but… I didn’t know she would be the servant of the little Duchess. I’m sorry, Your Highness.”

 

“I’m the one who chose Mari, so it is not something the Countess should be sorry for.”

 

“After my father, my mother… and my brother passed away… I never wanted to lose someone again…”

 

Countess Yvonne lost her entire family to the plague. Loved to play with her dolls and loved as the youngest daughter, she became a countess without time to mourn her family’s death.

 

Even if it was difficult, she met her husband while living her life. Her husband was a sincere and kind man. When her husband faced her properly when she lost the baby in her womb, he looked thinner.  He was busy keeping an eye on her and was restless.

 

That night, in her dream, she saw her husband overjoyed to know she was pregnant after eight years. When she opened her eyes, she was crying. She wanted to be happy again. She missed him so much that she just wanted to dismiss it as something that had never happened.

 

Ironically, her husband did much better in those brief days than he had ever done as a husband. He didn’t skip a day to send flowers with good flower language or make soup by himself for her. Every time he did something like that, she got goosebumps. She tried to hypnotize herself to be happy after putting such thoughts to sleep.

 

“Let’s get a divorce.”

 

“Adel… please. It was a mistake… really. You said… you would… forgive me.”

 

“That’s because I wanted to go back to the old days. I thought I could do that.”

 

“Then… why… you…”

 

“It wasn’t you that I missed, but it must have been the time when I was smiling happily without knowing anything.”

 

Eventually, she let go of her husband’s hand first.

 

When she divorced her husband, the baby cried so hard that she was out of breath at any moment. She knew very well how foolish what she had done was.

 

Countess Yvonne, who had told all her stories so far, shook her head.

 

When she divorced her husband, the baby cried as if he was out of breath at any moment.

 

“From the moment the Countess held his hand, he became Countess’s son.”

 

“…”

 

“Countess has become a mother. You can be happy again.”

 

“…”

 

“You’re a strong mother, Countess Yvonne.”

 

Tears fell from the eyes of Countess Yvonne. It was Countess Yvonne’s own hand that wiped her flowing tears. Charelize waited until Countess Yvonne calmed down.

 

“… you’re here for another reason, aren’t you?”

 

“Do you know anyone who was close to Mari?”

 

“Umm. Beni, that child was close with him.”

 

“Beni?”

 

“Beni is a child who originally worked for Baron Ite. I remember Mari, who came from Viscount Pete, followed Beni here.”

 

At Countess Yvonne’s words, Charelize smiled slightly.

 

* * *

 

After returning to the duchy, Charelize had an unexpected guest waiting for her.

 

“Cecile Lure van Loen sees the little Duchess. May Goddess Resina’s blessing reach you.”

 

“May you be protected.”

 

Viscountess Loen, who wanted to forget her daughter, forced Jenny, the long-time maid, to quit her job because of her daughter and come to Charelize.

 

“Hailey, bring me the tea.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

Hot steam was coming out of the tea Hailey had brought.

 

Time kept on passing. Sadly, the time of a mother who lost her child had long stopped.

 

“Jenny… that child, I heard she works here.”

 

“Yes, I brought her into the duchy a few days ago.”

 

“…”

 

“Do you want me to kick Jenny out?”

 

Clink.

 

At Charelize’s words, Viscountess Loen broke the teacup she was holding. In an instant, it fell into fragments and scattered on the floor.

 

“I-I’m sorry, little Duchess…!”

 

It was the moment when the bewildered Viscountess Loen stood up to clean up the fragments.

 

“Just leave it. I hope you are not hurt.”

 

“…thank you.”

 

“What does Viscountess Loen want?”

 

At Charelize’s sharp question, Viscountess Loen pondered for a long time.

 

“I want… to say thank you.”

 

Charelize could quickly figure out the meaning of her words.

 

“Call Jenny.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

“And… it would be better for us to go out for a while to avoid the servants who will be around us.”

 

Charelize rang the bell and called for Hailey.

 

“Your Highness, it’s Jenny.”

 

“Come in, Jenny.”

 

Jenny, who came inside, looked greatly surprised to see Viscountess Loen. Watching the scene, Charelize and Hailey went outside.

 

The atmosphere in the room alone was awkward. Meanwhile, Jenny was the first to speak.

 

“Lady Rara’s death anniversary… I haven’t forgotten it. Even when she passed away, I will never forget it. I have six family members to support, Madam.”

 

“…”

 

“Please… allow me to continue working.”

 

Jenny knelt down on her knees. Viscount Loen raised Jenny and said, “On the floor… There are sharp pieces. Get up, Jenny.”

 

“Madam…”

 

“Coming late… I’m sorry, Jenny.”

 

“…”

 

“I’m so sorry… for coming late, Jenny.”

 

“…”

 

“When I said why were you the only one who survived, I didn’t mean it. I ran away… because I was afraid I might say something that would hurt you… even after I let you go. I was a coward. I’m sorry, Jenny.”

 

On the day Lady Loen died, Jenny, the lucky survivor, lost one of her arms. It was because the moment the carriage collided, she was holding Lady Loen in her arms unwittingly.

 

 

“Why did you survive alone! My daughter! What about my daughter! They are all dead… why only you survive!”

“I’m sorry for surviving alone, Madam.”

 

“When I see you… you reminded me of Cassandra.”

 

“Madam.”

 

“Get out. Your payment… I will give you five times the salary you’ve received along with your retirement pay.”

 

Viscountess Loen regretted it belatedly. After learning that Jenny’s father had spent all the money she had given him on gambling, she searched for her right away. But Jenny was already working as a servant in the Duchy Marsetta.  Even if she wanted to take her back, she thought it would be shameless for her.

 

She came just because she had something to say. She had only kept it in her mind, which she couldn’t say before, and she had to say it now.

 

“Thank you… for protecting…. my daughter.”

 

“…”

 

“And…”

 

“…”

 

“Thank you for being alive… Thank you for being here… Jenny….”

 

Tears welled up in Jenny’s eyes at the words of Viscountess Loen.

 

“I didn’t grow tall… I’m sure my father will tease me for being too small. What should I do… Jenny, do you have any good ideas?”

 

The young lady’s stature was too small to even reach her wrist.

 

“Here! Jenny, eat too! After all, the strawberry cake is delicious when shared. My mom won’t let me eat because I have tooth decay, so let’s eat it before anyone sees us.”

 

The young lady was kind enough to share her favorite thing.

 

“Jenny! No!”

 

Such a young lady had grown up enough to protect her. She hugged her as hard as possible as if she had unconsciously stretched out her arms.

 

“Thank you… for telling me… it’s not a sin for being alive…”

 

“…”

 

“Thank… you, Madam.”

 

Viscountess Loen reminded her of her dead daughter. There were so many things she wanted to do with her daughter. Her daughter was distinctly different from other children her age.

 

She had already miscarriage twice, so it was a really hard time for her. That made her always said no to whatever could put Rara at the slightest risk. Perhaps that was why Rara thought that her considering actions were a little excessive.

 

“So that’s it. I’m sorry, Rara. Were you upset with Mom?”

 

“Yes…”

 

“Come here. I will be more careful in the future. You and other children are different… That’s why Mom is scared something will happen to you.”

 

“No, Mom…”

 

“I’m so happy that our kind and pretty Rara came as Mom’s daughter. I love you, sweetheart.”

 

“I love that you are my mother too.”

 

“I love you, Cassandra.”

 

“I love you more, Mom!”

 

* * *

 

Charelize and Hailey waited outside until they had enough to tell their story.

 

“Hailey.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

“This earring. Do you know what it is?”

 

“That…”

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