Author: alyalia

“What’s the difference?”

 

Viscount Rumbojio responded with a truly absurd expression.

 

“If you think about it, you might not even be able to be called a servant… Let alone adjust to someone else’s tastes, keep quiet, and give birth to a child. Animals like dogs or pigs would be more suitable.”

 

Layla spoke in self-help.

 

“What? Dog or pig? How can you say such a vulgar thing? And what kind of answer was that from earlier! How can a father be like that?”

 

Viscount Rumbojio jumped up from his seat and shouted.

 

Tuk, turuk. The seams of her skirt, which Layla had been pulling with all her might, were starting to tear, bit by it. I can’t stand it. No more…

 

According to his father’s will, she learned flower arrangement and embroidery, which she had no interest in, and regularly attended events that weren’t very enjoyable with ladies of her age and young masters.

 

She smiled face to face with ladies and pretended not to know anything about the gazes of men who found fault with each other, cursed at each other, and looked at her as if they were evaluating her.

 

I don’t want to live like that anymore. I…

 

Someone suddenly came to her mind. The woman who proudly revealed her viciousness with a beautiful, gentle face like an angel didn’t pay attention to anyone.

 

I want to live like that woman.

 

Layla finally admitted. That she envied Arianne. That she wanted to live like her. She persistently denied it before, saying she would lose if she admitted it. Still, she finally admitted that now. And then,

 

What is this? It doesn’t matter at all.

 

Rather than feeling upset, she felt relieved, as if her tight stomach had been emptied. Her eyes sparkled.

 

No! I won’t live like a lady anymore!

 

Snap! The hem of her skirt was torn without hesitation in her hands. She couldn’t help but feel relieved when her hands tore the hem of her skirt apart.

 

“W-what are you doing! Cover it right now! What are you guys doing! Hurry and find something to cover up!”

 

The viscount’s face turned pale when he saw his daughter, who suddenly showed her pure white petticoat.

 

“I’m going to the capital! If you don’t let me, I’m going to run all the way to the village like this!”

 

Do you want to see a noble lady running down the street in her petticoat? Would he be able to endure that as her father?

 

Looking at Layla’s challenging eyes, Viscount Rumbojio was momentarily speechless. What the hell is going on? Why did his daughter, who was so obedient, suddenly do something like this?

 

Viscount Rumbojio was so embarrassed by his daughter’s rebellion, which he had never thought about before, that he couldn’t even get angry. Like a mute who ate honey, he could only mumble and couldn’t even catch his daughter, who turned away coyly.

 

Afterward, Layla packed her belongings and came up to the capital with her mother. And she sincerely apologized to Madam Kaien.

 

“I was wrong. I took advantage of the goodwill shown by Madam without even knowing my subject.”

 

She has changed.

 

Layla has changed. Madam Kaien noticed it right away.

 

Layla was someone who never knew how to apologize. She could have gone through the situation that led her to such actions point by point.

 

For the young lady who used to be like that to change this much… This must be thanks to Arianne too.

 

It was written in a letter sent by her close friend before they left the territory. It was about Baroness Devit visiting them. Even when she was leaving for the battlefield, her thoughtfulness in caring for Layla was enough to warm her heart and content. In that short time when she stayed, it seemed like she had worked some miracle to mend Layla’s heart, judging by her sincere apology.

 

Madam Kaien smiled graciously and consoled Layla’s sincere apology.

 

“You can forget it. It’s good to admit your mistakes and realize your capabilities, but the truth is, humility doesn’t suit you.”

 

Madam Kaien didn’t kick her out despite Layla’s behavior being out of line because of her honesty and confidence. She looked like her close friend, but her personality was completely different, so that made her interesting and cute.

 

Layla, who bowed her head for a moment, looked up at the words of Madam Kaien and smiled confidently.

 

“Actually, I think so too.”

 

The eyes of Layla’s mother, Viscountess Rumbojio, widened at her bold answer.

 

“Oh my, this child…”

 

Dollorence Kaien. Even though Madam Kaien was her mother’s friend, she was so elegant and dignified that young ladies wouldn’t dare to look at her or talk back to her. But instead of feeling upset, she soon relaxed after looking at her friend, who was laughing out loud.

 

“It must have been hard to come this far, so why don’t we have some tea and take a breather?”

 

Viscountess shook her head in response to Madam Kaien’s words.

 

“It wasn’t hard at all. I was more worried that you were left alone, but I’m glad you seem okay.”

 

Madam Kaien smiled sweetly at her close friend, who was still worried about her, and took her hand.

 

“I’ve been fine. Then, tell me your story first. Your wicked husband must still be the same.”

 

Then Madam Kaien soon became as talkative as any woman and disappeared into the parlor, arm in arm with her friend. And Layla, who stayed behind, said clearly to the servants she could see.

 

“I was rude last time. That won’t happen in the future. So, let’s get along.”

 

Layla left those words and disappeared into the parlor. And the remaining servants looked at each other with a face that they couldn’t understand the situation and quickly went back to their places.

 

I guess she said that just as a courtesy.

 

However, contrary to their expectations, Layla behaved completely as a guest. She went out as soon as daybreak and returned only at dusk. Even after that, she stayed in her room except for meals.

 

“Madam, Mother. I have decided.”

 

Viscountess’s head turned at Layla’s words.

 

“What do you mean out of the blue?”

 

Viscountess’s eyes flickered dangerously. She hasn’t been able to stay in the duchy lately and has been going out. I wonder if she found a man?

 

Unlike the anxious viscountess, Madam Kaien opened her mouth as if she had been waiting.

 

“Have you decided to be a painter?”

 

Layla’s eyes widened at her question.

 

“How did you know that?”

 

“Isn’t it my role to protect this brave young lady who wanders around recklessly without a guardian?”

 

Madam Kaien spoke in a somewhat stern voice.

 

No way, did she attach someone? Layla remembered something.

 

There was an uproar the other day because the duke assigned a watchman to the countess, but I guess that’s something he learned from watching his mother.

 

Layla probably couldn’t understand what’s wrong with them for the rest of her life. She decided to just give up and accept it. After all, it’s not like they’re her mother-in-law or husband anyway.

 

Layla suddenly felt sorry for Countess Proud, but she thought it was useless to worry. She remembered the cruel face of the person who threatened not to leave him alone if he was caught attached watchman again.

 

I’m more worried about the duke. I’m sure he’ll secretly put a watchman with that personality again. On the day he got caught… At this rate, will Duke Kaien’s family be cut off?

 

* * *

Several years later, a moan pierced the silence of Kaien Duchy.

 

Haa…

 

The moan that escaped my mouth was soon absorbed by Charter’s breath.

 

Shh. At this rate, the sound will leak out.”

 

Haa. I exhaled, lowered my arms around Charter’s neck, and scolded him irritably. “Just because you’re saying it doesn’t mean I can hold it. Ah!”

 

As the movement began again, I once again wrapped my arms around Charter’s neck and supported my body.

 

Creek. Creek. The heavy bookshelf couldn’t support the weight of us and was pushed around, making a friction sound. The books on the bookshelf shook precariously.

 

The moment when Charter’s movement, which reached its peak, became more passionate, there was a clattering sound of the study door handle being grabbed and shaken.

 

“Dad! Mom!”

 

“Uh? It’s locked? It’s locked!”

 

The intense atmosphere suddenly sank like ice.

 

How did they find it? We’ve run away to the unused study…

 

The beings standing outside the door were able to find us like ghosts wherever we hid, such as dressing rooms, greenhouses, warehouses, and weapons storage rooms. Even Violet’s informant wouldn’t have been this persistent either.

 

We sighed and pulled away to touch our clothes. I stood there standing at the old bookshelf, and Charter sighed heavily and opened the study door to welcome the uninvited guests.

 

“What’s going on again?”

 

When the door opened, twin boys with strikingly bright silver hair and purple eyes, similar to me, appeared.

 

“Older Sister is here!”

 

“Yes! Older Sister is here!”

 

“Ah, Rowina has come?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Yes! Yes!”

 

A nice smile hung around the mouth of Charter, who was hurriedly looking outside the study door.

 

“I’m sorry, Father. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

 

Rowina Kaien, who resembled my appearance and inherited her father’s blunt personality, had no childlike cuteness at all. However, in Charter’s eyes, she was a daughter who was more precious and cute than anyone else in this world.

 

“You came earlier than expected this time too.”

 

“Yes. It just happened.”

 

“Ah, Rowina is here.”

 

I happily welcomed my daughter after two months. A lot of semester is still left, but she’s returning home a month early. Does this mean she’s graduating early again? She’s smart, just like me. I looked at Rowina with a happy expression.

 

Then, the twins, who ran into the study and were all over the place, shouted.

 

“It’s hot here. Why is it hot?”

 

“The window is white. Why is it white?”

 

Rowina greeted me according to etiquette, took a quick look around the study, and spoke calmly to her immature younger siblings.

 

“If you guys keep chasing after our parents like this, you won’t have any younger siblings.”

 

Cough.”

 

“…”

 

Charter and I became mute.

 

“I want a younger sibling!”

 

“I want two younger sibling!”

 

The twins shouted.

 

“Edis, if it was more than one, you should call it ‘siblings’.” Rowina immediately pointed out the error.

 

“Yes. I want two younger siblings!”

 

“I want three!”

 

Edis shouted two, and, like any sibling, wanted one more than his twin siblings, Prins shouted three. Rowina grabbed her younger siblings’ hands, one in each of her hands, and dragged them out of the study.

 

“So, let our parents finish what they did. Shall we go to the greenhouse and eat macaroons?”

 

Woow Macaroons! I’ll have two!”

 

“I’ll have three!”

 

In the study that the three siblings swept past, only the vain laughter of Charter and I, who touched our foreheads as if we were in trouble, remained.

 

Sigh. Rowina is so grown-up.” I let out a low sigh.

 

“She probably looks like me.”

 

“So it’s a relief.”

 

Rowina only resembled me in appearance, but her honest personality, unaware of pretense and expediency, really resembled Charter. I thought it was fortunate rather than have a personality like me.

 

“Anyway, isn’t there a secret space in here? There’s no hiding place anymore, so what should we do?”

 

Charter approached me, who was talking, and whispered in my ear. “Then, I will build a castle. Why don’t we create a secret passageway and secret spaces that only we know about?”

 

I held Charter’s cheek and said, “Yes. As much as possible.”

 

“Of course. As much as possible.”

 

Once again, the door of the study was locked.

 

The end of the side story.

 

Author's Thoughts

Hello, Alyalia is here~
I think it's been more than a year since I translated IDWTBAL, and now the novel has ended. Thank you so much for reading this novel. I hope you enjoy the story about Arianne. I apologize as I made many mistakes while translating this. Once again, I'm really grateful that you read this novel until the end. May we meet again in another series (≧∇≦)/

P.S.: I heard this novel will be getting a manhwa adaptation, though I'm not sure when it will be coming out.

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