Chapter 30

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

Olivia had never been kind to Liriette. But it was the first time she’d seen such an angry face, her heart skipped a beat.

 

‘I-I must have done something wrong.’

 

Is she trying to scold me for sleeping unkemptly on the lawn? Or did Grandma think I didn’t listen to her and played all day?

 

However, Olivia’s anger was for a completely different reason.

 

She cradled Mello in her arms and glared at Liriette.

 

“What were you doing to Mello?”

 

“Yes…?”

 

Olivia widened her eyes at Liriette’s bewildered response.

 

“I have told you. If you get a question, don’t ask back with a stupid face and give the right answer.”

 

Liriette was frightened at the terrifying look in her eyes, the first time she had seen, from the calm woman she had always been.

 

She barely answered with her trembling voice.

 

“I met Mello by chance in the garden and said hello. After that, Mello fell asleep in my arms, and it looked so cute that I fell asleep while watching it.”

 

Even as Liriette spoke, she couldn’t figure out what wrong she had done.

 

However, when she saw Olivia’s sad blue eyes, she thought she must have done something very wrong.

 

So Liriette lowered her head.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“…”

 

At the young child’s desperate apology, Olivia was at a loss for words.

 

After a while, Olivia put on an uncharacteristically puzzled expression, said.

 

“There are people who do bad things to Mello, so I thought you were too.”

 

There were people who expressed their dissatisfaction with the Duchess to the little puppy.

 

Among them was a noblewoman with whom Olivia was close.

 

She would grab Mello’s legs to avoid prying eyes and rock it, feed it spicy food, or poke its feet with sharp pins.

 

Leaving no traces behind.

 

It was because of Mello that Olivia found out about it.

 

Just looking at the person, Mello, who had been wagging its tail, grunted its teeth at her. Sensing the strangeness, Olivia asked the lady.

 

[Did you do anything to Mello?]

 

The woman smiled and shook her head.

 

[What do you mean by that? There’s no way I would do that to the Duchess’ beloved animal.]

 

It’s a lie.

 

Olivia was sure.

 

However, that was only speculation, and there were no traces around Mello’s body. Mello couldn’t even tell her what had happened to itself.

 

Therefore, she was an innocent woman.

 

Even if she was the Duchess of Windsor-Ice, she couldn’t cut the head of an innocent person, even a noblewoman.

 

Especially for the reason that she might have touched her dog a little.

 

If she did, there would be rumors that the Duchess, who was supposed to be the model of nobility, was crazy.

 

So Olivia found another reason to drive her woman.

 

The nobles who sympathized with the Duchess shunned her, then she couldn’t stand it and fled to a foreign country.

 

After that, Olivia reacted sensitively to anyone approaching Mello while she was away.

 

But…

 

Liriette, who was looking at her with a frightened face, didn’t look like that at all.

 

Most of all, Mello, who had just woken up, was wagging its tail looking at er.

 

As if it was having fun.

 

Olivia furrowed her eyebrows.

 

“It seems I have misunderstood… I’m sorry.”

 

She apologized.

 

That Olivia von Windsor-Ice.

 

The person who was strict and cold throughout the days they were together!

 

Liriette couldn’t hide her surprise and opened her big eyes even wider.

 

Olivia clicked her tongue.

 

“You look as if you were encountering a monster acting cute. I don’t know what you think of me, but it’s something one should do as a Windsor-Ice.”

 

Even if your opponent is the emperor, make it clear what you want. Even if the opponent is someone you love, express your anger confidently. Even if the other person is weak, if you have helped or harmed them, greet them formally.

 

That was an act to protect the honor of Windsor-Ice.

 

‘Come to think of it, the Duke also often said thank you to me.’

 

With a cold voice and warm eyes like spring.

 

‘Even though I received countless things from the Duke.’

 

Liriette, recalling the Duke, blushed slightly. Seeing that, Olivia said in a stern voice.

 

“Such a bewildered expression is unacceptable as the Princess of Windsor-Ice.”

 

“…!”

 

Liriette noticed what Olivia pointed out and straightened her expression right away.

 

Tighten her eyes, her mouth tight, her chin lifted slightly.

 

‘Looking smart, yet arrogant.’

 

This was the basic face of a noble lady, which Olivia had told her about.

 

‘If I’m not careful, it goes right back to normal and it’s so hard.’

 

Even so, Liriette tried to keep her expression.

 

Yet her efforts were soon in vain.

 

Mello, who was in Olivia’s arms, approached Liriette without realizing it and vigorously waggled its tail.

 

Why is your face different from before?

 

Are you angry?

 

Or are you playing?

 

I don’t find it fun, though.

 

Can’t you do something else?

 

How about petting me?

 

She couldn’t exactly know the emotions in its pitch-black eyes, but one thing was certain.

 

‘Mello, you’re so cute!’

 

Liriette couldn’t hold back her rising emotions and spoke out.

 

“Madam Olivia, can I touch Mello a little bit?”

 

Even when she asked, she thought she would be rejected. Mello was a puppy that Olivia cherished like a treasure.

 

Yet surprisingly, Olivia readily nodded her head.

 

“Thank you!”

 

When Liriette bent her knees, Mello brought its face as if it had been waiting.

 

As Liriette stroked its fur with her little hands, Mello waggled its tail with a happy look.

 

Olivia, who was watching them, opened her mouth.

 

“It’s been a long time since Mello liked the first person it met. Is it because it thinks you’re too young to harm him? Or else…”

 

“…”

 

“Is it because you have something called divine power, I wonder.”

 

“…!”

 

Liriette opened her eyes wide.

 

Olivia had never once mentioned the divine power of Liriette until now. That’s why she thought that Olivia had no interest in her power.

 

But it seems that it wasn’t.

 

Olivia asked.

 

“How, do you think I’m right?”

 

Liriette didn’t want to share her story about her divine power with others. So she lowered her gaze and answered awkwardly.

 

“…I don’t know.”

 

She could feel that Liriette was in a lot of trouble.

 

Still, Olivia had one more question of hers.

 

“Then do you know how far divine power can heal?… For example, can you heal the diseases and wounds of animals?”

 

Liriet turned her eyes with a puzzled face before replying.

 

“I know that divine power can heal all creatures, regardless of people and animals.”

 

At that moment, Olivia’s navy blue eyes twinkled. She spoke faster than usual.

 

“Then if you manifest your power…”

 

Olivia, who had spoken up to that point, shut her mouth with a startled face.

 

‘What am I trying to say to a child who can’t even pretend to be an aristocrat yet?’

 

Soon she returned to her usual expression.

 

The elegant and strict Duchess.

 

“I said something useless. Never mind what I just said.”

 

Olivia took Mello in her arms and continued her words.

 

“I’ll make sure you’ve read the book properly while I’m gone, so follow me.”

 

Liriette was relieved at the thought that the talk about her divine power was over.

 

She let out a sigh of relief, and she walked after Olivia, carrying the book she had been carrying.

 

Liriette thought as she looked at Olivia’s back as she walked with the infinitely graceful gait.

 

‘Then why did she ask if I can heal animals with divine power?… Could it be that Mello is sick?’

 

In her anxious thoughts, she looked at Mello, who was cradled in Olivia’s arms. Mello, whose eyes met with Liriette’s, waggled its tail.

 

‘No. Mello is so healthy. I must have thought something wrong.’

 

However, Liriette’s worries weren’t unexpected.

 

That night, an incident happened.

 

***

 

In the dark dawn, the always quiet mansion was in a commotion.

 

Liriette, who woke up, pulled the rope. She asked a maid, who quickly entered her room.

 

“Is something going on outside?”

 

The maid hesitated, then she answered.

 

“The condition of the Madam’s dog has suddenly become critical.”

 

“…!”

 

“It’s nothing for Miss Liriette to worry about, so please go back to sleep.”

 

Yet instead of following the maid’s words, Liriette raised her body.

 

“Where is Mello now?”

 

Although the maid put on a puzzled face, she quickly cleared her expression.

 

No matter how young Liriette was, she was a noble. Besides, she was the granddaughter of Olivia, the owner of the mansion.

 

She had to follow her word.

 

“Follow me.”

 

Guided by the maid, Liriette arrived at Olivia’s room.

 

Olivia, who had always been perfectly dressed from head to toe, was disheveled.

 

In front of her, in her nightgown with her flowing hair, was Mello ruthlessly shaking its body and vomiting.

 

Olivia exclaimed with a pale face.

 

“Why isn’t the doctor coming!”

 

It was an urgent voice that was completely different from usual, with a hint of elegance.

 

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