Author: Nikss

Chapter 7

Translated by Niks

Edited by KBJ



The foundation for his misfortune had already been laid. 


The Duke had already cheated, and the Duchess had known about the Duke’s affair for years.


The Duke will try to bring his affair into the house until the end, and eventually lash out against the two.


And young Rudrick has to watch the whole process.


‘It will be painful.’


I know. I know, but I can’t stop it. 


So I didn’t know if I should look the other way, because it wasn’t my business. If you think it’s someone else’s job, you feel at ease.


But when I saw a child who couldn’t even cry properly, who smiled broadly as if he was truly pleased with the little bit of comfort I gave him.


I thought I couldn’t look away anymore.


‘Then how about calling each other by our first name?’ 


I blurted out, before we had to say goodbye. 


We introduced ourselves, and we’ll keep seeing each other. I thought it would be more convenient to be on a first name basis. 


But I felt more restless because of Rudrick’s first face.




Rudrick was smiling shyly and happily, so I couldn’t say anything.


Since then, we have been very friendly, calling each other by our first names.


However, whenever Rudrick followed me around, and whenever he gave me an innocent look with those clear, pure eyes, I felt frustrated as if I had an upset stomach.


It was a subtle feeling that complicatedly intertwined with a weak sense of guilt about the future that I couldn’t help, a hesitation that I could do this, and a sense of joy on the other hand. 


And whenever I felt that complicated feeling, I observed Rudrick. 


I didn’t know much about Rudrick yet, and when I was with him, I was looking at him without realizing it.


And before long, I was able to learn some facts about Rudrick.


At first, I thought he was just timid. After a while, I realized he was also extremely indecisive. And … 


‘Is this a choice disorder?’


After our first meeting, we met quite often.


My mother wanted to see the Duchess often because she was happy to see her friend after a long time, and that was the same with the Duchess.


Besides, the Duchess, who came to the capital alone, was like a fish in water.


There was no Duke suppressing her, so she invited us to the Duke’s residence whenever she wanted and visited our mansion. 


And I could tell that Rudrick was always sticking to the Duchess.


At first, I was worried about Rudrick being left alone in the mansion, so I wondered if she was going to bring him with her every time.


But later on, it was clear that my mother had some sort of appointment with the Duchess, because she had to take me with her.


Anyway, when the two met, it was no different from the first meeting.


We were both giggling when we greeted each other. The Duchess naturally gave me Rudrick’s hand and said, “Can you two go and play?” After that, both of them would disappear.


As a result, I spent more time alone with Rudrick. 


In fact, it wasn’t bad for me either. 


It was better to observe Rudrick alone, because his reactions were different when he was with the Duchess. 


However, the observation was not always smooth.


Every now and then I had a hard time, because Rudrick’s personality was so different from mine.


For example, it went like this. 


“What do you want to eat? Melon? Strawberry?”


I wasn’t particular on ‘likes or dislikes’, but at least I knew for sure what I preferred.


In other words, I liked strawberries more than melon. This was because of the freshness you feel after taking a big bite, or the sweet aftertaste that lifted my appetite. 


But it wasn’t that I hated melons, so I was willing to concede if Rudrick liked strawberries better.


‘Or you can ask the maid to bring another strawberry flavor.’


But despite my consideration, Rudrick said, without any hesitation.


“Dahlia, you go first.”


At first glance, it seemed that Rudrick had made concessions to be considerate of me.


If  this had been the first time,I would have picked up strawberries with excitement, thinking, ‘You have a pretty face and a good personality.’


But the problem was, I didn’t hear that once or twice.


Yes, it went like this every time.


“What would you like to do? Puzzle? Jenga?” 


“Whatever Dahlia wants to do.” 


“What do you want to eat? Cream soup? Mushroom soup?


“Dahlia’s favorite.”


 “Where do you want to go? Left? Right?” 


“Wherever Dahlia wants to go.”


‘Is this kid playing with me?’


…I’ve been putting off all my choices.


In almost every situation, not just once or twice. I even felt like grabbing his hair, saying, ‘I already know my name is Dahlia. Just tell me what you like!’


But I’m an adult inside. I couldn’t fight with a child over something like this, so I tried to endure it. 


Instead, I thought there was a reason for everything, and I tried to figure out why he was acting like that.


It must have been a good or bad reason.


‘Is there no likes or dislikes?’


Come to think of it, it was the same. 


I’ve met Rudrick a few times now, but I still don’t know a single thing about what he likes or dislikes.


That was understandable. Rudrick had never expressed his opinion in front of me such as ‘I like or dislike’.


He followed my choice unconditionally, regardless of whether he liked it or not. 


Now that I think about it, I should’ve noticed something was strange, but I dismissed it, thinking ‘He’s still shy’.


‘But it’s weird.’


Even if there were no likes or dislikes, there would be at least one thing that distinguished people from others.


It wasn’t like that right now, but in the original novel people had to be careful to not make Rudrick angry, because his likes and dislikes weren’t clear.


‘Does a person’s personality change in an instant?’


If I had to look around, it wouldn’t be without him, but I couldn’t overcome the uncomfortable feeling and focused on looking after Rudrick’s reaction for a while. 


And before long, I saw it. 


‘There are?’


Obviously Rudrick also had likes and dislikes!


If it was the Rudrick who was famous for his never changing expression, it would’ve been different. 


But the other person is a child who was not good at hiding his feelings. Even if he tried not to show it, it would be obvious.


Watching him closely, I was able to spot the right moments and find out some things he hated. 


To give you an example, Rudrick hated dessert. 


To be exact, he hated sweets rather than desserts. His face was sweeter than anyone else’s, but he hated sweets. I remembered it clearly because it was unexpected.


I was sure of that when I asked ‘Melon or Strawberry’. 


At that time, we were eating dessert as well as fruits.


For me, who was crazy about sweet and salty, my eyes were turning to the dessert and eating this and that, but I realized that Rudrick, who had no particular reaction on that day, was strange.


“You don’t like the dessert?”


When I asked him that, Rudrick shook his body as if he was caught off guard, and soon picked up the macaron with a smile as if nothing had happened. 


“No, I like it.”


But I saw it. 


Rudrick, who took a bite of macaron, frowned subtly.


But before I said anything, Rudrick ate a whole macaron. Then he smiled at me, and it was so awkward that I couldn’t eat dessert anymore. 


Maybe that’s when he felt something was wrong. 


It’s not that it’s strange that he doesn’t like sweets, but what I found particularly alien in his behavior…


‘Are you sure you want to hide your taste?’


He said he tried to “hide” the fact that he hated sweets.


It wasn’t even sweet.


Rudrick was surprisingly clear about what he liked and disliked, but he didn’t let it be obvious. 


Like someone who learned that you shouldn’t show off. 


‘No way…’


No way I could say that I had clearly witnessed the result of his education that he was ‘not allowed to cry’, and I also knew that it would not be weird if something like that happened again.


Only then did I know why Rudrick kept leaving me with choices. 


He probably hasn’t had many chances to choose in his life. Maybe even if he chose himself, that opinion would be ignored? 


Especially if he grew up under Duke Bouser. If you think about the situation, it makes sense.


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