The Youngest Daughter of the Villainous Duke Chapter 20 - The Little one and the Duke, the Daughter and the Father

Author: Jirah Gem

Count Chehilb Semond.

 

When I had previously confided what I knew about him in front of Henriette and others, I had vowed that I would never run into him again.

 

Even if I had to meet Count Semond again, there was a virtue that I thought he could no longer threaten me with anything.

 

Because I am no longer the humble maid who lived mistreated in his mansion.

 

So even if I saw him again, I thought that, at least, he’d ignore me or something.

 

“Oh, my God! Sweetheart!”

 

Beyond the gate of the wide-open garden, Count Semond is running to me with a face about to cry as soon as he gets off the wagon.

 

I turned pale at once, and there was no time to hide on Henriette’s hem.

 

Count Semond clenched my hand and sat on one knee.

 

He was spitting out tremblingly, as if he were a parent who had just met the child he longed for.

 

“You don’t know how long I’ve been looking for you! Yes, you suddenly disappeared before, so I was surprised ·····!”

 

Looking at his face filled with tears, I was really stiff, and Count Semond then pulled me in his arms.

 

But Henriette stood in the way between him and I.

 

“What the hell is this, Count Semond?”

 

Henriette uttered a stern voice. I managed to get up and grab his hem, gripping my shaky legs.

 

I felt like my face was losing its color. Even in my head, I couldn’t think of anything.

 

After Count Semond wailed, he raised himself up with a face that managed to drive the tears away.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Your Excellency, I’ll stop being rude…”

 

Before I knew it, dark clouds, which poured rain from the far side of the sky, slowly began to pour raindrops on our spot.

 

Henriette ordered the servants to guide Count Semond to the drawing room in the castle.

 

I wanted to go back to the room, but I was called along at the behest of Henriette. It seemed like there was something to talk about.

 

There was silence for a while after arriving at the drawing room.

 

“… you have taught my daughter so much.”

 

And after a long time, Henriette opened his mouth in a calm and low voice.

 

“I still remember the day I trusted you and left my daughter in your custody. At that time, I had great confidence in you, so I had no doubt that you would raise my daughter without shortage.”

 

“Y- your Excellency·····.”

 

“Even after I revealed that I was alive, you were worried about my condition, so I kept trusting you. But my daughter was found in a slave auction house, not in your mansion.”

 

His voice, which had only been cold, suddenly gained strength.

 

Henryette soon chewed up his feelings with a face full of rage.

 

“When I asked about the education she had learned, she talked about chores that would have been done by maids. Nor was she educated, there are calluses in her hands, her poorly managed hair, everything but a finely raised child.”

 

I couldn’t help but be surprised.

 

I had no idea, but Henriette had been carefully observing me.

 

“If you don’t explain it properly, you won’t be able to get out of the castle today. You know I tried to bring down your family the other day.”

 

A cold sweat was seen dripping under Count Semond’s chin. I trembled with fear of Henriette’s unusually low and cold voice.

 

“Let me understand.”

 

Rumble… rumble!

 

Between the thundering noise of the storm, the sky outside quickly turned dark.

 

“How do I say this…”

 

It was an embarrassed voice, but Count Semond went on to bring it up in a very distinct voice.

 

“How many years have I served her? You may well know that your daughter has been raised as a foster daughter and that she has not lacked an inch. But I’m really, really sorry for the two of you reuniting in such a bad place.”

 

Then he gave a tear-jerking explanation, followed by a grotesque shout.

 

“If only I hadn’t looked away when you were kidnapped that day…”

 

Count Semond went on a picnic together and said that I was kidnapped by slave traders.

 

He then toured the country looking for me but couldn’t find me, and it wasn’t until a while ago that he found out I was at the Duke of Wensgray.

 

It’s all a lie.

 

I was almost stabbed to death that day, I boiled my knees when I was captured and sold to slave traders.

 

I clenched my hand trembling with anger.

 

“Also, the position of foster daughter was bothering her, and she used to imitate the maid’s work. The situation in which the exclusive servants I entrusted with childcare dared to be rude in front of the lady was detected, and I have already punished them for it, but…”

 

He then handed over his share of wrongdoings to the Countess, saying she disapproved of the education or excessive support for children other than her own daughter.

 

Perhaps that’s why I was frightened by the Countess, and Count Semond showed himself up as a loving foster father who supported me and took care of me sincerely.

 

“She’s also your daughter, and I cannot name her without permission. You told me to take care of her, at that time, I thought you were already dead ······· I didn’t dare to give her any names.”

 

At the end of his speech, he fixed his eyes on me.

 

“You know best how much I valued you. Isn’t it so?”

 

The moment I made eye contact with his gleaming eyes, I recalled the past.

 

Memories of being beaten countless times by Count Semond as a maid.

 

Kicked, slapped by the big palm on the back of the head, battered all over the body with a belt.

 

“Is that true?”

 

I heard Henriette asking. I bit my lips hard.

 

The lethargy learned over the past seven years told me at this moment.

 

I have to lie.

 

The fear and helplessness is screaming at me.

 

“Tell the truth.”

 

Henriette followed suit with a low voice, but my answer was already set.

 

I spoke quietly, my eyes dropped.

 

“The Count… took good care of me, like I said before.”

 

“I’m sure there’s no lie to that.”

 

“…”

 

Only nodding this time.

 

Henriette, who had been staring at me for a moment without saying a word, soon turned his head with a sigh.

 

“I see. I still have a conversation with the Count, so you should go back to your room.”

 

As soon as I heard what I had been waiting for, I came down to the sofa. My legs were still shaking.

 

Peina held my hand with a curious look and stiffened her face. I did have a lot of cold sweat on my hands.

 

From behind, I heard Count Semond talking in a brightened voice.

 

“How fortunate is it that she has returned safely into your arms? Also, I think there has been a misunderstanding recently, so I asked you to meet me here to have a conversation, so please······.”

 

I didn’t hear his voice through and went out, almost pulling Peina’s hand.

 

As soon as I got back to my room, I lay down with my blanket turned upside down.

 

The sound of the maids talking seriously at such a sight of me was faintly heard.

 

“… the lady’s hands were covered in cold sweat. How shaky she was.”

 

“Of course, she is….”

 

“I must inform the master right now…”

 

“D- don’t tell him!”

 

As soon as I heard it, I pulled back my blanket and shouted. Now my lips were shaking.

 

“D- don’t ever say it!”

 

“Lady!”

 

“Don’t say it, okay? Please don’t say it!”

 

I know Count Semond can no longer hurt me. Nevertheless, I was afraid.

 

All the scars left on my body, all the scars that crossed my memory, were engraved so clearly in my mind that it seemed to be heated by fire.

 

I thought I was going to cry, so I dug into the blanket again.

 

But before long, I could feel warm arms hugging me under the covers.

 

“It’s all right, miss. Everything will be fine.”

 

Peina patted me on the back and whispered,

 

“Because all beings in this castle love you.”

 

Is it a momentary illusion that her voice felt cold?

 

“He’ll never get out of this castle.”

 

At the same time, Peina’s voice seemed a little shaky. Like someone who made a big decision.

 

***

 

Henriette led Count Semond to the guest room, then returned to his office and arranged what he had heard from him.

 

It was already very late, and it was raining more and more.

 

Count Semond was talkative, but in the end there were only a few stories he wanted to tell.

 

First, his daughter got along very well with the Countess, and it was just too late to educate or name her, and the maid’s job was self-claimed.

 

Secondly, the child was good at lying. When she felt all the Count’s affection for his own daughter, Shady, the child would lie about even the smallest stories to get attention.

 

Of course, he added that it was Count Semond’s own fault, so don’t blame her.

 

Finally, he emphasized the times he and Henriette had known each other. 

 

How loyal Count Semond was to him.

 

Instead of Henriette, who had to go to prison, he was the one to take charge of his daughter, who had nowhere to go because he was not on good terms with his relatives.

 

‘So please don’t listen to the rumors that are going around. I’m on your side as far as I can go.’

 

But Henriette was not a man who listened with his ears and believed only in what he saw with his eyes.

 

He looked straight ahead instead of looking at the documents in his hand, frowning.

 

Inside the office, three finely decorated paintings were hung on the opposite shelf side by side.

 

Isn’t it the first time that the kid’s face, who painted that painting, was so pale?

 

Furthermore, there was plenty of evidence already, to say that all the facts she had told us at every meeting were false.

 

The movements of the aristocrats that the little one named at the meeting were too accurate to match a series of events between the royal family and the aristocrats so far.

 

The uptake of new powers, assassination attempts, slander, bribery, money laundering, misthrill mines and secret money cover-ups, and all kinds of corruption in the Academy.

 

Even the misinformed circumstances were correct. In other words, the child properly informed them that they weren’t mistaken.

 

A child is, of course, a liar. Henriette was well aware of that.

 

I also knew that children turn into liars in front of those who they are afraid of, but at the same time, they can be infinitely honest.

 

He was familiar with the eyes of the beast, who was struck by an arrow and tried not to collapse.

 

“Excuse me, my lord.”

 

There was a knock outside.

 

When he allowed the door to open, three maids stepped inside.

 

Peina, Mary, and Shelia. They were all people he attached to the child himself.

 

“What’s going on at this hour?”

 

When Henriette asked, Peina opened her mouth with a stiff face.

 

For this moment today, breaking fears.

 

“As for you, I’d like to tell you what we’ve seen and heard.”

 

***

 

-Miss, miss.

 

I think I cried and fell asleep tired, but my eyes opened by themselves to the voice of someone calling me.

 

-Can you hear us right now, lady?

 

“Listening…”

 

I answered in a murmur, but I couldn’t open my eyes well because my tears dried up.

 

So while I raised my hands and rubbed my eyes, voices were heard constantly.

 

-Miss, please wake up. 

 

-Lady, wake up.

 

It was not the voice of one person.

 

I looked around, rubbing my eyes, but I couldn’t see anyone.

 

I don’t think I heard it wrong, are they ghosts again?

 

Maybe it’s because I’m still half asleep, but I’m not as scared as I was last time.

 

But then I burst out of sleep when I saw the door of my room suddenly burst wide open.

 

“W- what?”

 

-Lady, please follow us quietly from now on. Please.

 

-We’re not gonna do anything to you. Please, trust us.

 

It was a voice that sounded so desperate.

 

After a moment of hesitation, I was forced to step under the bed and put on slippers on my feet.

 

As I looked out of the open door slightly, I saw a group of faintly shiny lights floating in the middle of the dark hallway.

 

As if to follow, the light group circled in place and quickly moved away to that height.

 

“Where are you going…?”

 

I was still half asleep, so I yawned and chased the light.

 

The group of lights went down the stairs one floor, turned to the right corridor, and went further before stopping.

 

People’s voices were heard over the corner of the hallway.

 

-Come on, miss, come on. Listen to the conversation they have.

 

-It’s late. I’m sorry Lady, but now you are the only one who can hear our voices.

 

While peering over the corner of the hall, the ghosts were buzzing.

 

Their words should be ignored for now, and the images of the two men were seen over the dim corridor.

 

Rumble! Thunder is hitting the window.

 

As soon as the hallway was lightened for a moment, the faces of the two were revealed.

 

Count Semond. He was standing with someone.

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