Author: Byuon

Helios, who soaked his throat with a drink before the meal, muttered as he put down his glass.

“I think the message was late. He will be here soon.”

When he carefully defended Escal and winked at Merlin, he noticed the meaning of his eyes and left the restaurant.

“Young master? What are you doing here?”

Suddenly, Merlin’s voice was heard just outside the dining room.

I waved warmly to Escal, who was hesitating as he stood by the door.

“Escal.”

“Forgive me for being late.”

“No. Come on in.”

Escal looked at Helios and approached the table.

Dressed up in a children’s suit for dinner, Escal was as cute as ever, but very nice.

Although the clothes were small and the shoulders were tight and the pants were hopping, the ankles were clearly revealed, but they were not noticeable due to their tall appearance.

He has a lot of money to buy some clothes.

I glanced at the indifferent Helios and pointed to the seat next to me.

“Sit here.”

Escal, who rushed to avoid Helios, climbed into a high chair.

Escal, who barely climbed onto the chair, shook in the air.

The table was so high that it was barely sticking out his nose.

I like it because it’s cute, but he looks so uncomfortable.

I called a servant because I thought he couldn’t be like this.

“Bring a hard, high cushion.”

“All right.”

The servant who left the restaurant quickly came back with a cushion.

“Escal, would you like to get up for a second?”

I put a cushion on the chair and put Escal on it.

The child who finally saw the table smiled brightly at me.

My heart was pounding at the innocent smile.

If there is a six-year-old who is as handsome as our Escal, bring it here!

With a proud smile, Helios and his eyes met.

He flinched for a moment at the displeased expression, but Helios pretended not to know.

“Eat now.”

“Eat well, Helios, also eat a lot, Escal.”

“I will enjoy this food.”

How can you be so cute?

Escal greeted warmly and started eating.

The first dish was turkey soup. The soup with a subtle turkey flavor was quite tasty.

After carefully taking a sip of the soup, Escal’s hand movements gradually accelerated.

Seeing him happily eating the soup, Escal, who had his nose stuck in the bowl, raised his head.

“Aren’t you eating?”

“Yes? Uh, I’m eating.”

Only then did I come to my senses and start eating.

Escal, who emptied a bowl of soup, was furiously eating the salmon salad they had given him.

What if you get stomach upset?

I wanted to tell him to eat slowly, but I was careful about opening my mouth for fear of noticing.

Thankfully, as if he read my mind, Merlin controlled the rate at which the food was served.

“Excuse me.”

As Escal was sucking the empty fork, the main dish appeared.

Escal, who received a large piece of steak, took a fork and knife and started cutting the meat with clumsy skills.

To be precise, it was closer to crushing rather than cutting.

Would it hurt his pride if I said I’d cut it for him?

What if Helios says something about not being able to eat alone?

When I was hesitating whether to cut it or not.

“Oh!”

Escal, who was struggling with hard-cut meat, missed the knife.

The knife spun around on the table and fell to the floor.

There was a moment of silence in the dining room with the sound fork.

Embarrassed, Escal bowed his head.

Even if it was a big mistake, I quickly cut my steak into small pieces and exchanged  to Escal’s plate.

“Eat this.”

“Th-thank you.”

Escal, whose cheeks were red, gave a small thank you.

Helios, who was watching the scene, smirked slightly.

“Why did you cut it? He has to do it himself.”

“Only today. He will do that next time.”

I asked playfully at Helios, who didn’t like it.

“Do you want me to cut yours, too?”

“It’s okay, go eat yours.”

Reassured that Helios’ momentum had softened, he turned to Escal.

As he beckoned to eat, Escal, who was rolling his eyes with an empty fork, dipped the meat and put it in his mouth.

I cut my share of meat, put some more on Escal’s plate, and continued eating slowly.

I wish I could eat like this every day.

Looking at Helios’ plate, which had another half of it, it didn’t seem like it would be easy.

I’ll have to call Helios when he goes out and feed him.

“If you’ve finished eating, I’ll bring the dessert.”

The final dish of the dinner was a pudding made of pineapple.

The large slices of pineapple embedded in the bright yellow pudding looked very appetizing.

I scooped out the pudding and put it in my mouth. The sweet-and-sour fruity washed my mouth.

I turned to ask if it would fit in Escal’s mouth, but for some reason, Escal didn’t eat the pudding and just stared at it.

Then.

“Eat this too.”

He gently pushed the pudding in front of me.

“Do you hate pudding? Shall I ask them to bring something else?”

“No.”

“Then why don’t you eat it?”

“You said you like pineapples.”

“Yes?”

A few days ago, I remembered telling Escal about my favorite food.

‘I like sour fruits. Oranges, pineapples, strawberries, etc.’

It was just a passing word, but he remembered it.

It didn’t matter whether it was Escal’s innate kindness or his desperate effort not to be hated.

The earnest desire to be loved by someone must be sincere.

I said, trying to hide my broken heart.

“Thank you, I’ll eat well.”

“Yes.”

“But now I am very full. It’s a waste if I leave it alone, so won’t Escal eat it with me?”

“… Is that okay?”

In fact, Escal swallowed and asked if he wanted to eat.

“Of course.”

I scooped out plenty of pudding and put it between his cute lips.

Escal, who swallowed the pudding with his small mouth clenched, smiled broadly.

“It’s delicious!”

“Really?”

“Yes!”

“Eat as much as you want.”

As soon as I finished speaking, Escal enthusiastically devoured the pudding.

I finished the meal happily watching the bulging belly of the slender child.

 

  ****

 

After finishing his meal, Escal went straight back to his room.

If you sleep when you are full, digestion is not possible, so even if you are sleepy, wait a little and then go back to sleep.

Helios, who was barely speaking during the meal, asked abruptly, as he was contemplating whether to give advice through Merlin.

“Are not you hungry?”

“Why are you hungry? We just came from dinner.”

“You didn’t eat properly because you were taking care of Escal.”

“I didn’t, He ate well by himself.”

“You always have that problem. You thinks of other people first, no matter what.”

Helios, who slapped me with a sigh mixed in with his tone, looked like he was worried about me.

Lenia Evelyn, I know isn’t like that, but it might have been different for him.

I carefully wrapped Escal around him so he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable.

“Escal is young. He needs someone to help him out.”

“What is young? He’s already six years old and he needs to learn how to do it on his own. Does it make sense to be able to cut a single piece of meat properly?”

“There is no one who is good from birth. You have to teach him slowly.”

Helios stared at me softly at my answer and said,

“Yeah, Escal should learn it one by one.”

The suddenly lowered voice was unfamiliar.

Helios calmly brought up the main topic.

“So, by the way, there is something I want to discuss.”

“You want to discuss?”

I assumed it was the Dillua Academy thing, but I pretended not to know because I was afraid that I would make Merlin in trouble if I said it too hastily.

“I’m going to send Escal to the academy.”

“Academy?”

“Dillua Academy is a place about half a day away from here. I told Merlin to look into the admissions process.”

Why don’t you say it’s a place where nobles don’t go?

I asked the explanation that missed the key point.

“Isn’t it too early to send Escal to the academy? How about hiring a tutor?”

“That hurts more. They have to go to an interview, and you have to find a guarantor.”

“If it’s your network, it’s not that difficult, right? If you ask the nobles you know…”

“Escal should also develop sociability.”

As if it was a decision for Escal, Helios was stubborn.

As a stubborn person, I decided to use the last resort, thinking that clumsy persuasion would not work.

“Then let’s go and decide.”

“Where?”

“Academy. Let’s check and decide what the facilities are like, what the level of teachers are, and how the curriculum is structured.”

“No need to bother….”

“I need it, Helios. To be honest, people would hate me if they knew we were going to send Escale to the academy.”

“Who hates you? There is no such thing.”

“No. Everyone will think like that. Escal wasn’t my real son and he was kicked out of the mansion.”

Helios frowned at the direct words.

In fact, Lenia’s reputation was not good.

Because the Marquis of Melks had spread bad rumors, and there were few who would appreciate me, who sat in the Duke’s house as soon as Charlet Melks died.

Helios could not deny my words.

I wanted to give him a chance, so I pushed him.

“So I have to go and see it in person to refute it. If I send my stepson to such a place and I don’t know, I’m sure there will be rumors.”

“Alright.”

Helios eventually raised his hand at repeated urging.

“Let’s go together next week.”

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Comments (3)

  1. The female lead is quite smart on how to deal with the father.

    I will just say I kinda understand the father, a bit, because even though the kid is cute and very smart, and clearly his son, the kid is kinda a product of rape.

    It’s a really complicated situation. I hope it gets better