Chapter 36

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

“…!”

 

Liriette’s eyes widened.

 

She had heard something similar before.

 

A few months ago, what the Duke had said to her was exactly like that.

 

[Be my daughter.]

 

If so, the meaning would be the same.

 

The words that she wants her to be not a ‘fake’ granddaughter, but a ‘real’ granddaughter that is connected with affection.

 

Liriette looked at Olivia with her quivering eyes, and she nodded her head vigorously.

 

At that moment, Olivia smiled brightly.

 

Just like the Duke, who heard the answer from Liriette the other day.

 

***

 

Olivia, who had collected her heart, went back to the routine.

 

Her hair was neatly put on, her makeup applied, and her waist straightened.

 

It was the morning when she was teaching Liriette the things the nobles had to learn.

 

A maid entered her room and said.

 

“Madam. The noble ladies came to visit with Marchioness Nersa.”

 

Olivia nodded calmly, as if she had expected it.

 

“Liriette, let’s continue class a little later.”

 

 

Olivia entered the drawing room.

 

In a luxuriously decorated room, Marchioness Nersa and more than ten noble ladies were sitting on chairs.

 

All the women had cold expressions. Especially Marchioness Nersa, her usual flattering smile had completely disappeared.

 

Olivia opened her mouth as she sat down in a chair.

 

“It’s been a while, everyone.”

 

Marchioness Nersa lowered her eyes.

 

“Yes, it’s been a while. Even when I came to the mansion, the Madam wouldn’t open the door.”

 

In spite of her resentful voice, Olivia answered without a single eyebrow raising.

 

“It was because I wasn’t feeling well. From the look on your face, I don’t think you’ve been concerned. Why did you come to see me?”

 

Olivia’s tone and demeanor were perfectly polite, yet it was extremely overbearing.

 

Marchioness Nersa said, straining her eyes not to express how she felt.

 

“Madam Windsor-Ice’s sudden departure ruined the prayers.”

 

“…”

 

“Don’t make excuses that it’s because of your granddaughter. Because I know everything. The real reason the Madam left the prayer room wasn’t because your granddaughter was in critical condition, but because your dog was missing? Hearing that story, the noble ladies, including myself, were very angry.”

 

Marchioness Nersa was jealous of Olivia, but she never showed it openly.

 

It was because of her fear of the Duke of Windsor-Ice.

 

However, it was different now.

 

Her son will soon marry and she will become an in-law with the Imperial Family.

 

Most of all, the funny fact that Olivia, who hadn’t shown the slightest gap, ruined the important event only because of a dog, made her vaguely aware and her fears disappeared.

 

‘The saying that Windsor-Ice is the toughest woman in the north is now a thing of the past. From now on, this is the era of Nersa.’

 

Marchioness Nersa opened her mouth with ferocious eyes.

 

“Please apologize to the noble ladies, including me, for ruining the prayer ceremony.”

 

Surprisingly, Olivia innocently nodded her head.

 

“Indeed.”

 

“…?!”

 

The eyes of Marchioness Nersa and the ladies shook at the answer that was more innocent than expected.

 

Olivia said.

 

“Regardless of the reason, it’s my responsibility to ruin an important event due to personal circumstances. I apologize to all the noble ladies who attended the prayer ceremony. I will also offer 1,000 of deers to the temple dedicated to the goddess and pray for one thing.”

 

The mouths of Marchioness Nersa and the nobles dropped open.

 

It was because there was so much sincerity and money that ordinary nobles couldn’t even dare.

 

Seeing the ladies soften in an instant, Marchioness Nersa’s face contorted.

 

‘No, how did this opportunity come about, though!’

 

It was her chance to push the perfect woman who had never been caught. She just couldn’t move on after letting her spend a few apologies and a few bucks.

 

Marchioness Nersa cried, raising her eyebrows.

 

“It’s not going to work that way. Rumors have now spread all over the north. Madam Windsor-Ice ruined the devotional prayers only for a dog. How are you going to return the honor of the prayer ceremony that we lost because of your denial…”

 

She couldn’t keep up with her words.

 

Because Olivia’s eyes have changed.

 

“Not just a dog.”

 

“…!”

 

The sad blue eyes and her voice made Marchioness Nersa widen her eyes. Looking down at her, Olivia continued her words.

 

“It was the most important thing to me. I felt the pain tearing my heart and soul apart, like the loss of my child.”

 

Yet Olivia didn’t expect people to understand her feelings.

 

In other people’s eyes, it’s just an animal dead.

 

“However, it’s unacceptable to make light of my sorrow. I’m not the existence you can treat like such.”

 

At that moment, the ladies noticed.

 

Although she gave up the title of duchess and kept quiet, she was still a Windsor-Ice.

 

A cold and bitter winter woman.

 

The noble ladies lowered their gazes with pale faces.

 

The same was true of Marchioness Nersa, who led them like a fearless one-day puppy.

 

 

Liriette entered the room where the ladies left.

 

She didn’t know what Olivia and the ladies were talking about here. However, she could have expected that good conversations wouldn’t come and go, seeing that the ladies’ expressions weren’t good as they left the mansion.

 

Liriette asked cautiously, placing her small hand on top of Olivia’s.

 

“Are you okay, Grandma?”

 

However, Olivia raised the corner of her lips to dispel Liriette’s concerns.

 

“Don’t worry. Because it feels so good.”

 

She said all of the words that she hadn’t been able to bear until now.

 

All sorts of things would be said about the woman who was the Duchess of Windsor-Ice, distracted by a dog and threatening the ladies, yet she didn’t care.

 

She even regretted that she should have done this earlier.

 

‘Then I would have taken Mello everywhere…’

 

At the banquet hall. At the tea party.

 

She would have adored Mello to the fullest.

 

Enough for all over the world to know how much she loves Mello.

 

Fortunately, it’s not too late for her.

 

She still had one more love left in her.

 

Olivia looked up at Liriette, who was staring up at her, and she smiled and stroked the tiny head.

 

***

 

“Your Highness the Duke. We will arrive at the mansion soon.”

 

At the knight’s words, the DukeㅡLaurencio von Windsor-Iceㅡraised his head. Under the red sunset, he saw the splendid and huge mansion where his mother was staying.

 

He was originally going to come two weeks after leaving Liriette.

 

However, due to a large-scale monster invasion from the northern mountains, the schedule took longer than planned, and it had been over a month since he hadn’t seen Liriette.

 

He heard in a letter that Liriette was doing well, so he wasn’t worried.

 

He just wanted to see her.

 

He wanted to stroke her fuzzy hair and hear the little voice like a bird chirping.

 

It was the first feeling he had felt since missing his mother in his childhood to such an extent that he couldn’t even remember it.

 

‘Not bad.’

 

The Duke got off his horse with a slightly flushed face (of course, no outward expression at all).

 

Then he moved his long legs through the garden. Soon, he saw the child he wanted to see so much.

 

“…”

 

The Duke was speechless for a moment.

 

Apart from the desire to see her, a month was not such a long time for an adult. as if nothing had changed.

 

But not for a growing 10-year-old.

 

The big eyes, pale cheeks, and petite body remained the same.

 

Yet when she stood with her hands clasped together and his back straight, there was an overflow of dignity that hadn’t been seen before.

 

Liriette smiled brightly and lifted the hem of her skirt.

 

“Welcome, Duke.”

 

She was the perfect little girl.

 

The Duke looked at Liriette with slightly widened eyes and replied a little later.

 

“You’ve changed a lot in a short amount of time.”

 

Liriette tried to ask again, ‘Really?’ as was her habit, but she held back.

 

[Don’t bother asking again unless it’s necessary. Because it looks dumb.]

 

Recalling Olivia’s teachings, Liriette answered calmly.

 

“Because Grandma taught me manners every day. Do I look a bit like a noble lady?”

 

“Not a bit, but a lot.”

 

“…!”

 

Although it was a short answer, Liriette was overjoyed. Because the one who said that was none other than the Duke.

 

However, Liriette tried to lower the corners of her lips as they were helplessly going up.

 

‘Grandma said that a noble shouldn’t be too open about her feelings.’

 

Olivia, who was watching Liriette, said.

 

“Ah, I didn’t tell you something important.”

 

“…?”

 

“It’s only when the other person is a stranger that you perfect your demeanor and don’t reveal your true feelings carelessly. It’s fine in the family.”

 

Liriette’s eyes widened.

 

“Really?”

 

To tell the truth, Olivia didn’t learn that.

 

The nobility had to strictly observe etiquette even among the family members. That’s why Olivia didn’t get along very well with her one and only son.

 

‘But I never want to do that with my one and only granddaughter.’

 

So Olivia stroked Liriette’s cheek, she said.

 

“Really. So do as you please in front of me and Laurencio.”

 

Laugh when you want to laugh, cry when you want to cry. Do it when you want to do it.

 

Like a child.

 

Like Liriette.

 

At her words, Liriette’s eyes changed.

 

She ran to the Duke like a puppy on a loose leash.

 

The Duke involuntarily fell to his knees and spread his arms. Liriette, who had burrowed into his wide chest, embraced the Duke.

 

“I missed you, Duke!”

 

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