Author: Niks




The Duke, who had been looking at me for a while, immediately asked a strange question.


“How old are you?”




“I asked how old you are.”


For a moment, I had a bad feeling. I swallowed an evil laugh and spoke innocently.


“Ten years old…”¹






The Duke answered calmly.


“You must have a limited grasp of the language.”





“I really hate your father!”


Rudrick stared at Dahlia sitting in front of him.


Where did the adult figure, who had proudly expressed her thoughts in front of his father a while ago? Dahlia inflated her cheeks and fidget, seeming like a ten-year-old child?


That’s why Rudrick couldn’t help but look at Dahlia even more curiously.


He doesn’t understand Dahlia’s attitude, but Rudrick seemed to be surprised by everything he’d be encountering today.


“It’s the first time I’ve seen my father like that.”


In fact, Dahlia was a very unusual case.


Most children would get scared or cry as soon as they saw his father.


Even most adults were often intimidated in front of his fathers, the Duke.


‘But, instead of getting discouraged by my father’s overbearing atmosphere, who seems to look down on others, she even looks directly into his eyes.’ ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


That’s probably why my father was interested in Dahlia.


My father, when he sees an annoying child, he would usually ignore them, but with Dahlia exchanging so many words was a different case.


The appearance of my father was something I have never seen before.


“That’s when he gets flustered.”


Maybe Dahlia didn’t know.


How embarrassed my father was when Dahlia said her age.


How much he was in such a hurry that he left the room without even realizing it.


How he was so hesitant that he spit out such absurd words without realizing it and left the room.


Rudrick, who had been wary of his father since birth, could tell. Although no one seemed to know because of his father’s unique expressionless face.


In the end, Dahlia, who heard sarcastic comments openly, was ridiculous.


In a way, it was natural for Dahlia to swear at his father and be brave until now.


Rudrick wanted to tell Dahlia that she had screwed up his father enough, so he stopped.


It’s because Dahlia, who cries in front of me, looked cute, and because I remembered the conversation between the two of them a while ago, so my heart kept pounding.


-‘I heard you couldn’t ride a horse. Still, that guy who dared carry the princess on his horse didn’t handle the horse properly and put your life in danger. Couldn’t I blame him?’


When he heard those words, Rudrick felt his heart thumping and sinking.


My father was right. In the end, I was the one who rode a horse with Dahlia and chose a place that was difficult to reach by horse-drawn carriage.


‘He doesn’t know how much I regretted it.’ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


I shouldn’t have gone out of my way to make her feel better, and I shouldn’t have been greedy to take her to a place I didn’t know well.


Because of that, Dahlia almost got seriously hurt.


So Rudrick rather felt fortunate that he was injured.


How fortunate I was to be able to hold Dahlia’s hand at that time. If it had been a little late, I would not have been able to breathe with greater guilt than last time.


‘But that might have been an escape.’


Dahlia almost got hurt because of my mistake, because I tried to avoid responsibility by getting hurt instead.


That’s why I was suddenly scared when my father revealed it’s my fault.


Rudrick clearly remembers the feelings at that moment. Emotions of wanting to see Dahlia’s face, but not wanting to see it.


Reassured that all he could see now was Dahlia’s back, but still anxious, he struggled to hide his trembling hands.


‘What if Dahlia blames me, what if she says she’ll never see me again?’


When I thought I didn’t want to hear anything with my ears closed.


-‘It’s my responsibility because it happened according to my choice. Even if I was seriously injured, I wouldn’t have been able to blame Rudrick. But Rudrick even saved me.’


Dahlia said proudly.


-‘I’m grateful to Rudrick. Even in that situation, saving me came first’


When I first heard that, I thought I was imagining what I wanted to hear.


However, seeing his father’s interesting expression and Dahlia blocking him to the end, Rudrick realized.


‘You don’t resent me for it.’


Even though she’s been through something like that, she still says it’s not my fault.


Then Rudrick became ashamed of himself.


Even though I’ve been with Dahlia all this time, I’m still afraid that she’ll resent me.


Come to think of it, Dahlia was like that from the beginning.


Because of that, she reached out her hand first, saying that it was always okay if she got burned or if he refused her.


Even though she was always by my side.


‘I guess I’m really a coward, Dahlia.’


While Rudrick was smiling and thinking, Dahlia, who had been talking for a long time, paused and looked at Rudrick.


Dahlia, who opened her eyes thinly, stared at him and shouted at him.


“…Are you listening, Rudrick? Rud?”




“What? What are you thinking about? Let go of the nuts?”


Oh… Hmm…” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


Rudrick, who was immersed in his own thoughts, hurriedly rolled his eyes and looked for something to say.


Because I couldn’t tell her the truth about this shameful story.


Just in time, a trivial fact came to mind, and Rudrick muttered blankly.


“…Did you think we were the same age?” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


Soon, silence continued.








Dahlia got up and immediately grabbed his shoulder.


“Was your birthday over or not?”


“Not yet.” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


“I’m past it? That was a long time ago? So I’m the older sister!”


The words, ‘It’s only a few months apart…‘ rose to the end of his neck, but Rudrick closed his lips instead of talking.


Dahlia, who thought he was convinced, began to chat again with a proud look on her face, and Rudrick also thought it was best not to say it.


Because Dahlia looks good with that expression. He couldn’t imagine her gloomy depressed look, and Rudrick didn’t want to.


‘I hope you stay bright all the time…’ ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


Rudrick leaned against the head of the bed.


Perhaps because the window was open, a soft wind passed by his cheek.


It was peaceful.


I love the warm sunlight pouring over my head, Dahlia’s chattering voice, the relaxed atmosphere, and this peace that has come after a while.


Rudrick had longed for it.


‘Please let me stay here a little longer.’





Due to the advent of the Duke of Bouser, two changes have occurred between us.


First one,


We have not been able to meet more often than before.


Especially since Rudrick was injured recently, so I went in and out every day as if I were on my way to work at Duke Bouser’s mansion.


At first, we saw each other when our mothers met, and soon enough, we went to each other’s mansion alone, even if we weren’t with our mothers.


In fact, when I learned that Duke Bouser suddenly came to the capital, I was prepared to some extent.


I thought we wouldn’t be able to see each other as often as before…


‘But that’s still too much!’


At first, Duke Bouser didn’t like me going in and out of the Duke’s house.


No, actually, it’s not just me. It seemed that he didn’t welcome the arrival of other nobles themselves.


At least Rudrick’s birthday dinner was planned in advance before he came down, so we could hold it as scheduled.


Perhaps if the Duke had come earlier, Rudrick would have been taken to the North without having even spent his birthday here, let alone the dinner party.


Yeah, actually, it was okay for Duke Bouser to hate having someone in his house. Then I could call Rudrick to our mansion.


But the Duke didn’t even want Rudrick to come into our house!


“That bastard!”


Rudrick wasn’t his property, and he’s a person with a single ego, so why limit the radius of Rudrick’s actions as he pleases.


Of course, it’s different when a child’s going down the wrong path.


What’s wrong with our house? What’s wrong with just a child going to a friend’s house and playing?


Even when I couldn’t meet Rudrick, he’s a good kid who knows what he needs to do.


He’s a kid who stays up all night to finish everything, no matter how much he has to do to spend time with me!


I couldn’t quite understand the Duke. No, I had no intention of understanding him.


If only he hadn’t had an influence between Rudrick and me.


Because of that heinous Duke, Rudrick and I met almost every day, twice a week, and later for over a week.


‘What the…’


Thanks to this, I wasted hours sitting in my room idly, without even knowing if Rudrick was getting better.


What was even more crazy was the second change.


No, to be precise, it wasn’t between us, it was Rudrick’s change.



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