Author: rolypoly

Actually, until a little while ago, she spoke of a dream-like hope that ‘they might recognize each other.’ However, now that the situation has turned out like this, she’s a bit worried.

 

Brielle was hesitant to search for the past. She also mentioned not having a single memory that came to mind.

 

‘But, still!’

 

Clarisse put strength into her clenched hands. 

 

This was the moment the Marchioness had been waiting for her whole life, so she hoped for a miracle to happen at least once, where they would recognize each other.

 

“I’m sorry, madam, this is my wife…”

 

However, Maximilian’s answer came first. Though he was embarrassed, he calmly introduced Brielle to the Marchioness.

 

“This is Brielle Sheridan.”

 

Although Clarisse thought it was obvious, she somehow lowered her head in disappointment. 

 

It was then. 

 

“It’s Cici!” 

 

Brielle suddenly said that.

 

Everyone was surprised, and they all looked at her. However, it seemed that she herself was also equally bewildered by the situation.

 

“S-so…”

 

She continued to stutter and make excuses.

 

“It might mean that could be the case. Um, suddenly a few memories came to me…Because there was a scene where I called myself Cici, so…” 

 

Of course, it wasn’t just that memory that made Brielle nod her head at the Marchioness’s call.

 

It was familiar to her. 

 

The tone and atmosphere in which the Marchioness called her ‘Cici’… It somehow felt familiar, as if she knew something.

 

Even she can’t explain how she feels that way.

 

“…Yes?” 

 

Maximilian, standing between the Marchioness and Brielle, asked back dumbly.

 

His eyes were shaking with confusion.

 

“I might not be… I know it sounds strange for someone like me, and I also feel like it doesn’t suit me somehow. I’m aware of that…”

 

“It… can’t be true. Oh my.” 

 

The Marchioness, who had been standing stiffly, finally approached Brielle with unsteady steps.

 

“How… how can it not be? How can you not be… how can you not be my daughter?”

 

She held out her shaking hands.

 

“Oh my God, my God. If this is a dream, please…” 

 

Brielle quietly looked at her wrinkled hands, unable to reach her.

 

The Marquess wondered if perhaps this was a dream, afraid to touch her recklessly in case she might wake up. 

 

She was a person who had this kind of heart. But, Brielle…

 

「Anyway, they probably didn’t need me so they threw me away.」

 

She was unreasonably convinced her real parents abandoned her, and she even said bad things about them.

 

Finally, the madam’s trembling fingertips touched Brielle’s cheek. 

 

She was careful enough, as if she were touching something more precious than any jewel.

 

“Oh my goodness…nothing has changed at all.”

 

Perhaps realizing that she wasn’t waking up from reality, the wife burst into tears while holding Brielle’s face. 

 

“Cecilia, my…daughter.”

 

Even as her tears continued to flow, she never dropped her gaze towards Brielle.

 

“…I’m sorry, I…” 

 

Somehow, Brielle, suppressing the urge to cry along with her, began with an apology. It seemed right to do so under the circumstances. 

 

“I, I didn’t expect you to find me, so…”

 

Madam hastily shook her head.

 

“You didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

“But I had some thoughts about it…”

 

“You’re alive and healthy like this. Oh my.” 

 

She stroked Brielle’s cheek again and again.

 

“You really heard my prayers.”

 

“You… prayed for me to be found?”

 

In response to Brielle’s story, she nodded quietly.

 

“I always prayed for your health, even if…”

 

“….” 

 

“Even if we don’t get to meet…Just you…I want you to be healthy and happy.”

 

Brielle finally knew the answer to the question of why she could be so happy.

 

It was because two caring mothers, who had been so affectionate for a long time, earnestly wished for her happiness.

 

“If… it’s okay.”

 

Brielle carefully spread her arms, which had been clutched under her blanket.

 

“Can I… give you a hug?”

 

But before the question was even finished, Brielle was already in Madam’s arms.

 

“…Ah.”

 

The sound of the heartbeat coming from that chest was undoubtedly familiar.

 

No further explanation is needed now.

 

Brielle raised her hands high and hugged Madam’s back tightly. 

 

* * *

 

Clarisse and Noah quietly left the room the moment they recognized each other and hugged each other.

 

For some reason, there seemed no need… to suddenly jump in and prove their relationship with magic right away.

 

Someday, there will be a need to magically resolve their relationship.

 

But now, rather than doing that, he felt like they just needed time to welcome each other.

 

‘Is this a good solution?’

 

Noah thought about it for a moment, but then he remembered that there were still a few problems left.

 

Above all, it seemed that there was a need for something to be sorted out regarding the relationship between the Duke’s family and the royal family.

 

He was curious how the Duke of Maximilian, who cared about his wife, would react to the royal family.

 

‘And again…’

 

While he was thinking about what problems he had left, he suddenly stopped when he heard a strange sound coming from behind him.

 

“Hiccup.” 

 

“….?” 

 

When he turned around, he saw Clarisse following behind him with a tear-covered face.

 

“G, girl?” 

 

When he called out in embarrassment, the crying he had been holding back for some reason burst out, and she began to wail loudly.

 

“….!” 

 

Noah hurriedly held out his hands.

 

“P, please don’t cry. Why is the young lady crying?”

 

“That’s, madam! Heuk, ugh…” 

 

Clarisse couldn’t stop crying, but she could barely say that much and started crying again.

 

“Why are you still like a child?”

 

Noah, feeling awkward, rummaged through his pockets. In the pockets of the wizard’s robe, there were various items.

 

There was also a small notebook, pen, plastic seal, and cotton swab. But there was nothing anywhere to wipe away Clarisse’s tears.

 

“Ah…”

He looked away from his pockets, which were still full of junk, and then back at Clarisse. 

 

While saying, “Isn’t it good?” She continued to sob with a soft weeping sound.

 

“Okay, so please stop crying. Mhm?” 

 

He tried to console her, even using a tone as if soothing a child, but somehow Clarisse showed no sign of stopping her tears. 

 

She kept sobbing uncontrollably, repeatedly saying, “It’s okay, I’m so happy.”

 

If she was happy, he wished she would smile a little, but he couldn’t understand why it happened like this.

 

Most of all, when Clarisse cries like this, he gets upset for some reason…

 

“Ah really.”

 

He had no choice but to grab Clarisse’s arm and pull her into his arms.

 

He had memories of consoling a crying Clarisse like this several times when they were younger.

 

Of course, at that time, Clarisse fell into his arms without permission and cried.

 

“Okay, now please calm down.”

 

He patted Clarisse’s back as if he were handling a child.

 

“Huh…I want to stop crying too…” 

 

Despite saying so, the hiccupping sound indicated that she truly couldn’t control the pouring tears.

 

“Heug…” 

 

Clarisse buried her face completely into his chest.


“…!”

Since he had never planned to hug her so closely, Noah was so surprised that he lifted his hand that had been covering Clarisse’s back. 

 

“G, girl!” 

 

“The crying… h-haven’t stopped. It’s just… I like it so much…”

 

“This m-misunderstanding! It’s an error!”

 

“I know, I know. Eugh.”  

 

Clarisse still leaned on him, raising her head. In the meantime, her eyes had become slightly swollen… Noah couldn’t help but find Claris adorable.

 

‘There’s no way puffy eyes could be cute.’

 

He quickly went against his instincts, but his gaze couldn’t help but linger on her puffy, fish-like face. 

 

‘W-well then, the prettiest fish in the world…’

 

At the dramatic resolution between reason and instinct, there was once again the sound of Clarisse sniffing. 

 

Now that it was like this, there was no other way.

 

The only thing he can do is to hug her tightly and comfort her like he did when they were little.

 

So, in this gesture, there was absolutely no mix of any romantic affection or even a slight desire he might have harbored towards Clarisse. 

 

Just as a friend.

 

And as a best friend.

 

It was just an extremely innocent act to help people stop crying.

 

…Although. 

 

Without even noticing, his heart is racing at an incredible speed and it feels like he’s ready to die.

 

Since it was just a body reaction that had nothing to do with the brain, he thought it would be better to ignore it. 

 

He cautiously moved the hand that had been awkwardly dropped for a moment.

 

And so, when he finally had Clarisse completely in his arms…

 

“Heuk…!” 

 

Noah trembled without realizing it and quickly pushed Clarisse’s shoulder away.

 

“….”

 

This was because Maximilian, who had followed them out into the hallway, was looking at them with wide eyes.

 

Cold sweat broke out on Noah’s back.

 

He seemed to understand what it meant to dominate someone with just a gaze.

 

No, is it perhaps magic?

 

Is the Duke a wizard?

 

When such questions arise.

 

“Heuk…” 

 

Clarisse, who was crying again, leaned her face back into his chest without even knowing what was going on.

 

The Duke’s eyes were now flashing ominously, as if a frightening light were about to burst forth.

 

Noah hastily shook his head as if to deny something.

 

However, there was an undeniable sense of discomfort… in revealing something that shouldn’t be exposed to him. 

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