Author: rolypoly

It felt somehow unnatural.

 

It was more natural to assume that Clarisse knew everything.

 

And that wasn’t all.

 

Wasn’t it also thanks to Clarisse that Maximilian realized that he had strange feelings for Brielle? 

 

He stared at Clarisse with narrow eyes.

 

Perhaps recognizing his gaze, Clarisse raised the branch proudly. 

 

“Duke! It’s long! It’s very, very long!” 

 

Seeing that innocence, Maximilian put all his thoughts up until a moment ago into a corner of his mind. 

 

He stroked the pink hair of the child who ran up to him.

 

Somehow, it came naturally.

 

“….?!”

 

The child looked up at him, slightly surprised, but then she smiled shyly and blushed.

 

‘…Cute.’

 

It was an idea he didn’t even realize.

 

* * *

 

It was the inner wall’s request that Clarisse find the gardener grandfather’s precious thimble. 

 

[It’s frustrating to just sigh without being able to find the thimble that fell right in front of the outer wall.] 

 

Fortunately, Clarisse solved this problem brilliantly by suggesting learning snow sweeping.

 

And that wasn’t the only problem she solved.

 

“Tossing out the recipe notes! Why didn’t you just pull out your head and throw it away?!” 

 

The Sheridan chef, shouting at the kitchen maid, started feeling dark. 

 

“I, I’m sorry….” 

 

“Sorry? It is a piece of paper that has been treasured from the days of my great-grandfather, who served as the royal chef!”

 

“I, I… I thought it was a bunch of paper you threw away…” 

 

Even though the maid was crying and making excuses, he didn’t blink an eye and pointed out his fingers outside the kitchen.

 

“Get out of my kitchen right now.”

 

“Chef…!” 

 

“You should know that you can’t come here until you find it—Clarisse?” 

 

“Hello.” 

 

A girl with pink hair beautifully tied up on both sides appeared in the middle of the wild kitchen atmosphere.

 

The child immediately approached the chef and handed over the piece of paper she was holding. 

 

“When I tried to fold paper, there was a recipe written on it. I asked Sir Benson, and he said it would be nice to give it to the chef.” 

 

“No… this is!” 

 

It was the great-grandfather’s cooking notes that the chef so cherished.

 

“W, where did you find this?”

 

He had really given up because a while ago he couldn’t find it even after searching the mansion’s carpet floor.

 

“Um, I’m not sure either. But I’m glad I found the chef’s treasure.”

 

Clarisse bowed politely and went back, turning around as if remembering something.

 

“The stew you made today was really delicious. You couldn’t sleep well and you had a hard time going back and forth between your room and the kitchen, right?”

 

“Huh? How did you know that…”

 

The chef stared at Clarisse in surprise.

 

He didn’t expect a very small child to recognize such hard work.

 

“It must have been more delicious because you put a lot of effort into it. Thank you as always.”

 

Clarisse bowed her head again and quickly climbed the stairs.

 

“Ha, this is really.”

 

The chef stared at Clarisse’s back in bewilderment, then quickly turned to the kitchen maid, who was bowing her head.

 

“This isn’t the time. I’ll have to ask the Madam if it’s okay to change the dinner menu.”

 

“What? From now on?”

 

“Yeah, I should make something more delicious!”

 

“…to that prisoner?”

 

The kitchen maid pointed out an important point, but the chef answered with a frown.

 

“Yeah, to that grateful prisoner who brought the recipe book that you stupidly threw out! Do you have any complaints?”

 

The maid shook her head quickly.

 

“I’ll check what’s in the storage room!”

 

“Come on! Hurry!”

 

The chef seemed to have completely forgotten what he had been angry about a while ago, and suddenly he even began to laugh happily.

 

***

 

Maximilian and Brielle made plans to go to the capital with their own goals. 

 

Once, Brielle was scheduled to reunite with her mother after a long time.

 

Maximilian was scheduled to meet Lysander, his brother, to inform him that the problem of the ‘fake bride’ had been resolved and to discuss the disposal of the Count of Darrington.

 

Announcing this schedule, the Duke added, “Clarisse and Mallang will accompany me to the capital.”

 

There was a clear purpose in taking the child to the capital. 

 

It was because there was no other place like the capital to get the items needed for a child’s mental and physical growth.

 

For example, this was the case just by looking at the item “doll” that helps a child’s emotional activities.

 

There were only five dolls in Sheridan’s general store.

 

However, he heard that there were dozens of dolls in the capital, enough to fill the store.  

 

Maximilian planned to use this opportunity to stock up on the best children’s items, even in order to achieve the goal of raising Clarisse in good health until she was eighteen.

 

But there’s a problem here.

 

Opposition opinions were sent from all around the mansion. 

 

For example, the gardener’s opinion is like this.

 

[Who’s playing in the gardens of Sheridan Manor without Clarisse?

 

A garden where no kids were playing. It’s so painful to work in such a desolate place.]

 

It had only been about two months since the child started playing in the Sheridan Mansion.

 

But if no one is playing, is it desolate and painful enough to feel? 

 

He thought it must be self-will, but Maximilian gave him a polite solution.

 

[I will tell the knights to play in the garden once a day.]

 

The gardener didn’t reply again.

 

Then, this time, a complaint came up from the kitchen.

 

[I already have a month’s worth of nutritious food to help Clarisse’s future growth, but taking her to the capital will ruin all plans!]

 

This was a bit tempting, so Maximilian tried to compromise.

 

[If you hand over that wonderful diet, I will tell the chef in the capital to refer to it.] 

 

After such a long process, Clarisse and the Duke couple escaped Sheridan.

 

King of Shaper’s ‘Heiden’.

 

* * *

 

The royal capital, Heiden, is a city built with three layers of walls, and the area they can enter is limited according to their status or job. 

 

The first wall, the largest, was allowed to kingdom residents or foreigners with entry permits.

 

The second wall could be passed by those who had a status of nobility or higher and their servants.

 

Finally, the inside of the third wall was only permitted for the royal family’s figures, their attendants, and some high-ranking nobles.

 

Because of this structure, in the royal capital of Heiden, the expression ‘crossing the wall’ was used to mean great success. 

 

From that point of view, Clarisse was truly a ‘great success.’

 

Because she was able to cross the third wall from the first day she came to Heiden. 

 

It was thanks to Maximilian’s guarantee that she, as a prisoner, was able to cross this formidable wall at once.

 

The Duke and his party were permitted to use a small villa not far from the entrance to the third wall.

 

Some knights secretly expressed their dissatisfaction, saying, ‘Your Highness is too kind when they give the Duke such a shabby villa,’ but Clarisse had a different idea. 

 

The cute palace with white walls and pretty sky blue roofs and window frames was lovely, like something out of a fairy tale book.

 

When Maximilian led her into the room, the first thing she noticed was the walls decorated with wood and wallpaper.

 

‘It looks soft.’

 

Did she get used to the stone-walled Sheridan?

 

For Clarisse, the wooden wall she hadn’t seen in a while was somehow interesting.

 

‘I want to explore the house with Mallang quickly.’

 

Her heart pounded as she thought that perhaps there might be a stone here to share a story with.

 

“Clarisse.” 

 

The Duke took her to the children’s room on the second floor and reminded her.

 

“Yes?” 

 

“Some of the inside of the mansion are still being cleaned, so you’d better postpone your exploration until tomorrow.”

 

“That’s a bit unfortunate.”

 

Clarisse’s shoulders dropped, but she looked back through the clear window and quickly came up with a new plan. 

 

“Then, is it okay to explore the fountain over there?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

Maximilian looked in the direction Clarisse was pointing at.

 

“It belongs to the palace garden, so there shouldn’t be any problems. You are free to explore the garden as long as you don’t go outside.” 

 

“Really?!”

 

“Yeah. I hope there are new discoveries here too.”

 

“There will be. Because I’m going to explore it really thoroughly!”

 

“Yes, I will tell the knights. I think I’ll have to leave for a while.”

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“I plan to greet His Highness.”

 

“Ah…” 

 

Clarisse remembered the beautiful King of Saphers, whom she had once met at the execution ground.

 

「Don’t forget, brother. That the day that child turns eighteen, you must bring that head to me.」

 

When the king said that, he was smiling brightly.

 

She feels scared for some reason—.

 

‘That person… he seemed to dislike me turning eighteen….’

 

Besides, since he is the highest person in the land, a single word could end Clarisse’s precious life.

 

‘I hate that. He’s scary.’

 

Clarisse looked up at the Duke, holding her trembling fingertips together.

 

“Duke, by any chance… Can you tell His Highness that I am going to be a good eighteen?”

 

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Comments (2)

  1. [I will tell the knights to play in the garden once a day.] PLEASEEEE I CACKLED!!! i love maximillian so much. everyone is sheridan is grumpy about clarisse leaving, they already love her so much. idk what to think about the king. he gives me shady vibes. thank you for the chapter!!!