The Youngest Daughter of the Villainous Duke Chapter 23 - The Little one and the Duke, the Daughter and the Father

Author: Jirah Gem

As soon as Henriette heard my answer, he left his seat in a calm manner. The aide went with him.

 

The maids clung to me all day long until the end of the day, saying, “My baby is the most precious in the world,” “Do whatever you want”, and “We will kill all the people who made you suffer.”

It would be a little less complicated if they were the only ones.

 

The butler cried, and my seamstress tried to run to the dungeon with a knife. The chef apologized for a long time, saying it was because he failed to educate the cooks properly while bringing a lot of refreshments.

 

Even the knights, like the maids, said that I was the most precious child in this castle, and the Count was out of his mind.

 

They seemed quite shocked that Count Semond had been abusing a small child like me, mistreating me for a long time.

 

Surprisingly, that fact made my mind more relaxed. Maybe it’s because the servants and the knights all said it in unison.

 

Children just need to eat well, sleep well, laugh well, play well, and adults who do bad things must be punished.

 

So whatever punishment he’s given is reasonable.

 

There’s only one answer I gave to Henriette.

 

Please do as the law says.

 

It was the only one.

 

On second thought, it may have become “Dad, do as you please” for Henriette, who is already the law of the Empire.

 

It’s already been a long way into the night.

 

The maids seemed to stay in my room all night today, but I sent them out on the pretext that I needed time alone.

 

And as soon as I saw them move away from the room, I came down from the bed , put my pillow in the blanket, and went outside with a lantern.

 

I still had work to do.

 

‘Is Count Semond still alive?’

 

At first, I heard that he was tortured and his whole body was ragged, but since they were in front of a child, everyone didn’t tell exactly how he was like.

 

I wanted to see him messed up and talk to him for the last time.

 

How does it feel to end your life, even though I wanted to reply most pleasantly.

 

I was worried that ghost servants would appear again on the way, but fortunately their voices were not heard today.

 

I knew the location of the dungeon roughly, so I was able to get there without difficulty.

 

When I pushed through the half-open door and went down the dark stairs, the damp air came in front of my face.

 

I left the lantern just in case, but it wasn’t too dark thanks to the lamp on the wall.

 

‘Uh, who’s there?’

 

Trying to go a little further, I saw a person standing in the middle of the prison, so I stopped right away and hid myself behind a pillar.

 

When I listened, I heard a voice, and it was the voice of someone I knew.

 

“Do you think you’re, like, safe and sound? If they knew I was gone, my people, wouldn’t stand still!”

 

Count Semond, trapped in a cage, was screaming like hell.

 

Somehow his pronunciation sounded very vague. As if enduring the pain, the groaning was mixed and it smells like blood. I held my breath first before I stepped closer.

 

As I looked out a little more, I could see the tall man in front of the cage.

 

It was Henriette, who was just staring down at Count Semond, screaming.

 

“Y, you don’t want to fight a war! Then ·····!”

 

“War.”

 

I could feel the air around me rising very quickly. I hugged my shoulder feeling goosebumps all over my body.

 

The air was shaking because of the mana that rose around Henriette’s body.

 

“Why would I have such a grand reason to kill you?”

 

Rumble…. The whole underground prison, surrounded by mana that began to swirl violently, vibrated. The walls and the ground shook, and even the atmosphere with a pungent smell shook recklessly.

 

“It doesn’t matter how many territories, how many knights you move.”

 

Only a low growl-like voice rose to the middle of it like a broken blade.

 

“You will have to pay for the abuse you did to my daughter.”

 

I was shivering until then, and I felt someone gently hugging my shoulder and stood next to me.

 

The red and shiny black eyes curled finely. That’s the boy at the time, Kian.

 

Why, why is he here?

 

I opened my mouth in bewilderment, and he opened his index finger, put it on my lips, and let out a sound behind me.

 

Then he pointed with a look of delight outside the pillar.

 

Do you want me to keep listening? For now, I looked outside even further. The shaking of the body stopped before I knew it.

 

“…on the day I was released from prison, I was going to take my daughter with me immediately.”

 

Then came the sound of Henriette bringing it up.

 

“But then, what did you say to me? You told me not to worry because you’re taking good care of my daughter. So when things are completely stable, you said it’s okay to come then.”

 

Through the silence, Count Semond’s troubled groan was heard faintly.

 

A boy who I didn’t even know where he suddenly appeared, held my hand tightly as I shrank.

 

I listened to the story that followed.

 

“Isn’t that right? Every time, I send you a letter, to take good care of my child. Even back then, I still couldn’t face my child, and I believed in your words. Stupidly.”

 

At the same time, it was powerful and gave the listener a feeling of fear enough to make the body tremble on its own. His low sinking voice was soggy.

 

“But if you were going to take care of my child like that, why did you go ahead and say you’d take her? Why did you stop me, saying she’s sleeping or she’s sick every time I went to see my child? Why did you want to sell my child as a slave?”

 

So Henriette tried to pick me up again and again shortly after he was released from prison.

 

But when Count Semond heard Henriette’s death, he began to abuse me. By the time he came looking for me, they hid my existence because they were afraid of being caught.

 

If they let me go, he’ll know what Count Semond has done to me. And I realized.

 

Henriette haven’t forgotten about me. It’s just that we didn’t meet. He came looking for me over and over again.

 

He asked in a thin, icy voice.

 

“What did my daughter do wrong?”

 

But the answer did not return.

 

It reminded me of the old days. There was a day when I felt so sad about my situation.

 

That day I asked Count Semond why I should be beaten, why I should do hard work and why I should starve.

 

What did I do wrong to go through this?

 

The answers returned then were still as clear as memorable scars.

 

It’s just that I’m powerless, small, and I don’t have any brothers or parents to protect me.

 

I’m useless now, because I’m annoying and they’re annoyed.  Most of all, I regret that they took me away.

 

I hung on to a small assumption that my dead father might be alive, but Count Semond said that even if he were alive, he wouldn’t come to see me.

 

Because Henriette is the cold, bloodless, tearless, brutal villain of this empire.

 

But he found me alive.

 

On the day when a five-year-old kid first asked questions in sorrow, she covered herself with an old blanket at night, brooding over Count Semond’s answer, crying and looking for her father and mother.

 

Henriette missed me, too.

 

“Are you sad?”

 

I was about to cry, but Kean whispered, like a quiet whisper.

 

Nodding and he looked at me briefly lost in thought.

 

Then Count Semond screamed as if he had scratched his throat.

 

“Well, aren’t you at fault! Your daughter, that, that girl, it’s your fault after all! You were gone seven years ago…!”

 

“That’s all for now.”

 

Count Semond’s scream suddenly stopped.

 

I opened my eyes wide in surprise and looked around. Before I knew it, the underground prison, which was surrounded by damp darkness and faint sunlight, disappeared, and a large room with a pretty picture hung and a flowerpot appeared.

 

I was dazed for a moment, so I wondered where I was, but it was my room.

 

“Uh, uh?”

 

And before I realized it, I was sitting on my bed.

 

Seeing Kean standing in front of me with a puzzled face, he took a step back as he let go of my hand.

 

“N, no, w, wait. Uh, why do you suddenly…?”

 

“Didn’t you say you were sad? If you’re sad, you should stop watching things like that. It’s all right now.”

 

Kean smiled with a pretty face. He asked as if he wanted something.

 

“Will you not thank me this time?”

 

“….T, thank you?”

 

Still confused and equivocal, Kean seemed satisfied only then.

 

“Well, have a good night.”

 

Then he suddenly disappeared, just like how he appeared out of the blue.

 

He was nowhere to be seen, as if an incongruous puzzle had fallen from the landscape.

 

Surprised, I jumped under the bed and found only the lantern I had taken on the floor.

 

I felt like I was possessed by a ghost.

 

“What, what the hell…?”

 

I wonder what Kian really is. He has been popping up and disappearing since last time. It’s obvious that he’s not a human being either.

 

I think I should ask Henriette soon.

 

“…Henriette.”

 

I sat on my bed for a moment and recounted what I heard in the dungeon.

 

Seven years of absence. Reasons why Henriette couldn’t come to see me.

 

What the hell happened that Henriette sent me to Count Semond without raising me properly?

 

When I looked around the room, I felt somehow empty.

 

I sat there for almost half an hour, contemplating, and, rather impulsively, picked up my pillow and went out of the room.

 

The destination was Henriette’s room.

 

There are days like that sometimes. I’ve known for a long time that there’s no one close to me, it’s a very lonely day.

 

I haven’t felt that way since I came to the castle, but I wonder if it’s because it’s been a long time since I’ve been through such a hard time like today.

 

It was lonely. I didn’t want to sleep alone.

 

And I decided to think that today is a special day.

 

The day Henriette stood by me. Exactly, the day I confirmed he was totally on my side.

 

Wouldn’t this be okay?

 

Thinking of that, I found my way as Henriette told me last time when I first got lost.

 

I was thinking about knocking on the door, but when I opened it, I could see Henriette sitting on the bed, who was in the dungeon until a while ago.

 

He seemed a little surprised when he made eye contact with me through a crack in the door. I brought it up stutteringly.

 

“That…… can I sleep with you tonight?”

 

Henriette sat there for a moment not answering, and soon removed the blanket a little and made room for me by stepping aside.

 

As I ran along, climbed onto the bed, put my pillow on, and sat down, Henriette covered me with a blanket with an awkward touch, just as he did when he patted my head during the day.

 

He looked down at me for a long time before he blurted out.

 

“…I can’t sing lullabies or anything like a lullaby.”

 

Don’t tell me I still look like I need a lullaby or something?

 

For some reason, I tried not to laugh a little, but as I tried to hold it in, I shook my head.

 

“I don’t need a lullaby. But I can sing one.”

 

“Then sing it.”

 

I remembered singing a lullaby in Henriette’s room when I fell asleep by mistake. It was a mistake then, but not this time.

 

Seeing Henriette lie down, I started singing lullabies like I did last time.

 

Meanwhile, he didn’t ask me why I came.

 

He didn’t hug or stroke my head like a loving father.

 

He just pulled the quilt a little more over my shoulder and patted it a few times. As expected, with very awkward hands.

 

The feeling of emptiness that filled my heart was gradually fading away.

 

Sleepy-eyed, stopped the lullaby and yawned, and Henriette said in a low voice. Go to sleep.

 

“Woong, good night……”

 

I curled up under the covers like a habit and went to sleep. Henriette’s gaze seemed to touch me for a little long while.

 

He seemed to pat me slightly on the cheek while I was a little half asleep.

 

That’s how the long day went by.

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