Chapter 53

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

I had no idea it meant anything like that.

 

I thought it was just joking on purpose.

 

I know it’s dangling near my neck, but it’s hidden behind or I can’t see it.

 

“Ser, where are you? Come out. But how did you know about Lepus?”

 

“When Seria found the artifact I was sleeping in, I listened by her side. Seria used to look for information on the agents of the ancient gods before looking for artifacts. Not all could be found.”

 

“Ah…”

 

I quietly put my hand behind my shoulder.

 

Although still invisible, Ser’s cold tail was caught.

 

“Ser, is it because of me?”

 

“…”

 

“I’m not afraid of Ser at all. I think your other voice is cool too!”

 

If you were forced to do this for my sake, you didn’t have to.

 

“…Well, it wasn’t really for you. I thought it would be nice to speak roundly.”

 

Ser’s low voice sounded in my ears.

 

I laughed bashfully.

 

Why would I think it did it for me. Well, that seemed like a good thing.

 

Lepus giggled beside me.

 

Refreshed, I quickly got up.

 

“Let’s study more!”

 

I held out my hand to Lepus.

 

Then Lepus put its hand on top of mine as if doing a high five.

 

“Alright.”

 

***

 

“Then Lepus, I’ll come back next time!”

 

“Are you going to stay longer again?”

 

It was time to go.

 

Even after taking a break earlier, I went back and forth twice more.

 

As I was about to go out through the hole, Lepus asked with its ears perked up.

 

“I want to come soon too… Uncle keeps stopping me from coming. I’ll come back as soon as possible though.”

 

Lepus didn’t hold me any longer and showed me its right hand all the way.

 

“Got it. Then be careful.”

 

That was just like a greeting, so I waved to Lepus and came out.

 

“Phew.”

 

Still, I had a good time with Lepus today!

 

It was at that moment that I had to go home, and brushed off my clothes.

 

The dull sound of heels echoed through the ancient library.

 

I instinctively felt my body stiffen.

 

Because it wasn’t the sound of Grandpa’s footsteps.

 

This…!

 

As I slowly turned my head to the side with a creak, the legs of a tall man came into view.

 

Then, as I raised my head more slowly, I saw Uncle’s face, who should have been in Cartiers.

 

He seems to be someone who looks a lot like Uncle.

 

Someone who resembles Uncle in the Imperial Palace… there’s none.

 

“It’s your uncle.”

 

Serga muttered next to me.

 

No!

 

Ser’s words brought me to my senses.

 

When on earth did he come?

 

Clack, Uncle came one step closer to me.

 

He tilted his head and began to let out an evil aura.

 

“Dang. I’m seeing my lovely niece here, am I not?”

 

“W-Why, are you here already?”

 

“Aika de Valliot.”

 

“…Yes? U-Uncle.”

 

Why is he calling me by name?

 

I staggered back.

 

“Come.”

 

Uncle snapped his fingers with a fearful look on his face.

 

“I-I won’t.”

 

“Why. Come quickly.”

 

Uncle’s lips are shaking.

 

I think that sounds like anger…?

 

Also a terrible anger at that.

 

He was smiling, yet his face was like a ghost.

 

“N-No. Uncle. I can just stay here…”

 

ㅡcan’t I?

 

I laughed awkwardly, shook my head, and took a step back.

 

That hideous smile seemed to tell me my future.

 

I’m in big trouble now.

 

However, Uncle, who strode forward and narrowed the distance between us in an instant, suddenly lifted me up.

 

I got off my feet to get away, but Uncle was much faster.

 

Then he slung me over one shoulder as if he were carrying a sack on his shoulder.

 

“Aaakh!”

 

Uncle caught me so easily!

 

I vowed to practice more on how to notice and run fast.

 

“I told you not to come to the Imperial Palace.”

 

“Hngg, but I came with Grandpa today, you knooow…”

 

“You wanna hang from the window?”

 

“No, no!”

 

“What did I say if you don’t listen?”

 

I said resignedly, dangling from Uncle’s shoulder.

 

“…You’ll spank me.”

 

“You know it well”

 

“Okay, buuut!”

 

“What but? This little one doesn’t listen to my words dirtily.”

 

Uncle carried me on his back and went out the door of the ancient library.

 

“I only read books! I did nothing!”

 

I struggled to get down.

 

“Why don’t you listen to me like this?”

 

“I-I was just trying to read the book. I never went anywhere else, I only read books inside!”

 

However, Uncle didn’t even listen to me.

 

I stretched out my hand as far as I could, but the ancient library was getting farther and farther away.

 

Still, although I was glad I could say hello to Lepus before coming out, I didn’t expect to be caught like this.

 

The place where I arrived after hanging on for a long time was a carriage.

 

“Get on.”

 

Uncle put me in the carriage.

 

“…Uncle was just here.”

 

“I’ve been away for a few days and then you made trouble.”

 

Uncle got on and closed the door, blocking the escape route.

 

“I didn’t make any trouble, Uncle!”

 

“Is it a good thing that you came to the Imperial Palace?”

 

At that, I kept my mouth shut.

 

Originally, sinners had nothing to say.

 

“G-Grandpa is still there! Zenda hasn’t even gotten on yet.”

 

Uncle’s eyebrows raised crookedly again.

 

Eventually, I gave up and sat quietly in my chair.

 

I could have dreamed of a perfect crime, but it’s a pity.

 

The carriage started rolling without even waiting for Grandpa.

 

I wiggled my hands and picked up the heavy atmosphere inside the carriage.

 

Ser was quiet as if it also had noticed Uncle’s viciousness.

 

Uncle must have come in a hurry, his hair was a little messy.

 

I started to worry about the sight of his long legs crossed and arms folded while he was looking out the window.

 

I carefully reached out and caught Uncle’s fingertips.

 

“…Uncle, are you mad?”

 

“…”

 

Uncle’s fierce eyes turned to me.

 

As he stretched out his arm, my body floated.

 

“Uaaakh!”

 

Uncle was right in front of me.

 

Sensing that I was going to get scolded, I closed my eyes tightly.

 

“…”

 

Isn’t he scolding me?

 

The moment I opened my eyes again, he grabbed my cheeks.

 

Swishㅡto the rightㅡswishㅡto the leftㅡmy head turned wildly.

 

“Uncle, my neck… hic.”

 

All the hiccups came out of the hideous eyes.

 

As if checking something, Uncle lifted my arms all the way up, checked my back, and finally set me down next to him.

 

Then he looked at me intently and sighed as if the ground would collapse.

 

“What should I do about you.”

 

“Hee.”

 

I couldn’t help it.

 

At times like this, I have no choice but to fill it with laughter.

 

“What are you laughing at?”

 

I quietly sat down next to Uncle.

 

“Uncle, why are you here so early?”

 

“There are rumors all over the neighborhood that Peanut isn’t listening.”

 

“Nonsense!”

 

Uncle pressed my head with his big hand.

 

Feeling my neck disappear, I twisted my body to avoid it.

 

“What nonsense. Anyway, if I take my eyes off of you, you’ll make trouble.”

 

“No… I really stayed in the ancient library today.”

 

How busy I was to come and go.

 

My knees were worn out.

 

I kept looking for Grandpa first, talking to him, and then coming back!

 

Of course, it was something I would never tell Uncle.

 

Uncle continued to make a disapproving face.

 

Is he really mad…

 

As I raised my head and stared at him, his eyebrows went up.

 

“So.”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Have you been fine without Uncle?”

 

“Mmhm! …No, a little!”

 

“What do you mean.”

 

“It was nice to see Grandpa, but I also missed Uncle a lot.”

 

“That snout of yours.”

 

But before I knew it, Uncle’s face was relaxed.

 

“Uncle, then are you not going again? To Cartiers?”

 

“I’m not going for a while.”

 

“Then are we going home?”

 

“Why, you want me to drop you off here?”

 

I was startled and shook my head.

 

“No! I left all the dolls at Grandpa’s.”

 

Although I only brought a few.

 

“You have a lot at home.”

 

“Yep.”

 

That’s right.

 

Well, I can go play at Grandpa’s again!

 

Then I guess I’ll go home again like this.

 

I leaned my head on Uncle’s arm and looked out the window, then glanced back at him.

 

“What.”

 

Even at Uncle’s hoarse voice, I laughed bashfully.

 

“I like it, Uncle is here.”

 

I want to tell him something like this.

 

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