Author: Byuon

“Father!”

A while ago, I jumped out of my seat with anger at my father repeating what he said to me.

Helios grabbed my still-fluttering hand and pulled it lightly.

“I know what the Viscount is worried about, but I don’t think you should.”

“You expect me to believe that?”

“It is natural for the Viscount to consider me unreliable. But I will respect Lenia’s will in any case.”

“Don’t you realize that you’re weak-minded brat picks and chooses what he can get away with?”

“I will take good care of it.”

Helios was polite but determined.

He met my father’s piercing eyes, which looked sharp if he didn’t smile, and grumbled under his breath, avoiding eye contact.

“So you’re going to force my daughter to raise other people’s children.”

His grip on my hand tightened.

The masses of emotions that were a combination of regret, upset, anger, and self-doubt came to me vividly.

I grabbed his cold fingertips and opened my mouth.

“I never thought of Escal as someone else’s child.”

“So you’re saying you’re going to raise that child as your child?”

“Absolutely. Escal is my legal son.”

“What? Your legal son?”

“Yeah, I finished custody registration a few days ago.”

“Hey, have you been such a fool!”

My father banged his feet.

It seemed that anger had risen to the top of his head, but I had no intention of backing down either.

“I don’t care what you say, Escal is my son, and you need to stop denying it and accept it.”

“Enough!”

Dad got up from his seat.

“I was foolish. Don’t go away.”

My father picked up the cane that was standing by the sofa and walked out into the hallway.

Helios hastily followed after my father.

“You’ve come all this way, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t see you go. I’ll escort you all the way to the estate, so here today—.”

“Forget it. There’s nothing more to talk about, and it’s only going to make you uncomfortable.”

My father refused Helios’ suggestion and moved forward.

As he made his way down the long parlor hallway to the front door, standing in the middle of the living room, caught his eye.

No, why is Escal over there!

I shook my head urgently as I looked at Merlin standing next to Escal, but, sadly, Merlin did not notice my signal.

My father, who had been walking diligently, stopped in front of the child.

“Hello, I’m Escalium Antemi…”

“Tsk, this little boy looks just like his mother.”

The child’s face hardened at the sharp tone.

“Father, please-”

“That’s enough. I’m leaving, so don’t come out.”

My father passed the child coldly and left the front door.

“I’ll come see him off.”

Helios whispered to me, who was speechless, and followed my father.

Meanwhile, Merlin led Escal into the room.

“I can’t live…”

My head was in a mess.

 

****

 

The aftermath of his father, Viscount Evelyn, lasted for quite a few days.

Strictly speaking, he is someone who has nothing to do with me, but I was strangely uncomfortable with the brief quarrel that day.

‘Have you even been assimilated by Lenia Evelyn?’

He was so casual about it, even though we didn’t know each other.

I’ve never been very comfortable with someone like a father.’

My father, whom I met again when I was 12, after leaving me when I was young, was always a difficult person to deal with.

Even though he knew that I was being scolded by my stepmother for no reason, my father never took my side, rather, he used to get angry saying I was a useless girl.

But Viscount Evelyn, I could feel that he was thinking of me even during such a fierce argument.

‘I wish I hadn’t sent him that way.’

It bothered me that I couldn’t serve him a hot meal and just let him go.

As Helios said, when the work was finished, he let out a sigh, thinking that he had to visit my parents and clear up the misunderstanding.

“Madam, the carriage has arrived.”

I got up from my seat, shaking my thoughts at the sound of Mary’s voice from beyond the door.

“What about Escal?”

“He’s waiting in the carriage.”

“I see.”

After all, today is the Honor Society meeting.

I was already tired at the thought of having a fight with other madam with this fresh mind.

I left the mansion with an unwilling feeling.

Outside the mansion, the carriage sent by the Empress was waiting.

Last time, I had a meeting at the Empress’s Palace and rode the Duke’s carriage, but this time the location was different, so the Empress sent the carriage herself.

Is there a special spring outing area that only authorized people can enter or something?

Summer is just around the corner, but I don’t know what kind of spring outing they are doing.

As I got on the carriage grumbling, Escal, who was in the carriage first, looked at me.

“Have you waited long?”

“No.”

Escal slowly shook his head.

I stroked the boy’s head and smiled brightly.

“Come on, let’s go.”

 

****

 

The place for the spring outing was an Imperial hunting ground quite far from the capital.

Perhaps because the Emperor loves hunting, the hunting grounds were very spacious and nice.

The entrance to the hunting ground was a manicured garden, with a large pavilion where the women could wait with tea while the men hunted.

“The weather is very nice.”

“I know, right. It was great to get out.”

The wives who were seated in the pavilion chatted nonstop.

The kids were excited to be outside for the first time in a long time, and the ladies were excited to show off their best outfits.

Judging by the mood, there was no time for that ridiculous talent show today.

I looked at Escal walking alone near the pavilion.

Since they’re children, I thought that they would become close soon, but it seemed that it was difficult to approach them because there was a group among them.

“They said madam took over the Dillua Academy this time?”

“Ah yes.”

Countess Turner spoke warmly.

“They said you were very interested in educating children, and you made a great decision.”

“I’m only applying, and Grand Duchess Crawford decided to take care of it.”

“The Grand Duchess Crawford?”

“Yes.”

At my answer, the ladies began to talk.

“How can someone who doesn’t come to the meeting make such a decision….”

“She also attended Duke Anthemion’s birthday banquet.”

“Isn’t there a special relationship between them?”

The ripple effect of the name Grand Duchess Crawford was great.

Even if the Grand Duchess was not interested in power, she would not be able to ignore the Emperor’s older sister title.

So let’s try to use it right now.

“Can I ask one favor to the people gathered here?”

“What are you asking for?”

“As you all know, something unfortunate happened at Dillua Academy.”

“It was.”

“I think it was because the Academy relied solely on the wealth of Baron Rockefeller, and I would like you to make a donation if that’s okay with you.”

“A donation?”

“Yes. If you donate, you naturally become interested. Then the transparency of the academy will increase and the children will feel at ease.”

“It makes sense.”

Countess Turner agreed with me.

“Those who donate will have their names engraved on the sponsor’s nameplate, and every year we will send out a booklet with children’s thank-you letters, expenditure details, and annual activity plans.”

“That sounds great.”

Some wives responded positively.

What a good plan this is because it can satisfy the aristocrats’ desire to show off and collect donations.

In this atmosphere right now, if there was only one person who would donate, donations would continue one after another.

“Is 10,000 gold suitable?”

The first person to express a willingness to donate was the Empress.

“It’s enough, Your Majesty. Thank you.”

“Thank you. I am grateful that madam does the work for the imperial family.”

I bowed my head deeply.

As soon as the donation was opened, people began to express their intention to donate here and there.

“I also pay 5,000 gold.”

“Then I have 8,000 gold.”

“Is 3,000 gold okay?”

I opened my books to the influx of donations.

With this money, it would be enough to repair the entire building.

I’m glad I don’t have to use Helios money anymore, so I’m organizing the list of donors.

“Mom!”

A boy ran into the pavilion screaming.

“Gail?”

Duke Eaton’s son, Gail Warland Eaton, cried as he hugged his mother with a bloodstained face.

The surprised Duchess of Eaton pulled out a handkerchief and wiped her son’s face.

“Oh my God, look at this blood. Who did this?”

“That kid did that!”

Gyle said, pointing to Escal standing outside the pavilion.

“Escalium? Did that kid say that?”

“Ugh, that kid hit me!”

At Gail’s accusation, I got up and ran out of the pavilion.

“Escal.”

As our eyes met, Escal bowed his head.

Judging by the reaction, it didn’t seem like a lie, so I calmed my startled heart and looked at the child first.

There was also a small wound on Escal’s lips.

I cautiously opened my mouth, wondering if it wasn’t a one-sided argument.

“Escal, are you okay?”

Bead-like tears fell from Escal’s eyes.

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