Author: alyalia

A faint forest scent lingered in the air. Feeling bliss as if floating, I slowly opened my eyes.


“Did you sleep well?”


Frinel was smiling in front of me, playing with my hair.


“…What? You were awake?”


“Yes. Lady Lobelia looked so pretty, I just had to watch you a bit longer.”


He chuckled, lifting the corners of his mouth.


“Now you’re my… lover.”


A blush crept up my fair cheeks. Frinel, too, looked the happiest I had ever seen him.


“…Yes. That’s right. Your lover.”


I gently caressed his cheek and then lightly kissed his lips.


His golden hair shimmered in the sunlight. Could a face look this beautiful just after waking up?


I smiled and whispered. “I think I’ve fallen for this face.”


“Surely, looks aren’t everything, right?”


I remembered Endimion’s face and playfully pouted.


“Well, being handsome doesn’t hurt, does it?”


“It doesn’t matter. There’s no one as handsome as me in the Tiazen Empire anyway.”


Pfft, right. That’s all? You’re also of the highest status.  And you’re wealthy.”


“Besides, I only love one person.”


Seriousness quickly replaced the lightness on Frinel’s face. He hugged me tightly.


Ha, I don’t want to part.”


“We must. Morning is coming.”


“I know.”


A slight frown of regret formed as Frinel gently kissed my forehead.


“You’re so pretty. What should I do?”


“If we’re talking about prettiness, I think Frinel might be prettier.”


“What to do when I miss you?”


“What, you’re admitting it?”


My tone made him momentarily silent, as if incredulous before he spoke again.


“Of course, Lady Lobelia is more beautiful.”


“Too late. It’s already late.”


Pretending to be miffed, I got out of bed. Suddenly, I felt pain in my back. The intensity of the previous night was to blame.


I heard he was single from birth. But he had done it not only once or twice.


Recalling the night flushed my face; I quickly turned her back, trying not to show embarrassment.


Then, Frinel quickly got up, teasingly saying, “You’re lovely, beautiful, pretty, cute, charming, and marvelous…”


His playful swaying head reminded me of a large puppy. Unable to resist, I burst into laughter and shook my head.


“Okay, okay, I get it. Stop it.”


“Am I forgiven?”


“I wasn’t angry to begin with.”


“My heart almost stopped, you know.”


“Always having way with your words.”


“Go have breakfast.”




I tenderly stroked his golden hair. “Your Royal Highness, will you eat too?”


“I’ll cook for you later.”


“You can cook?”


“There was a time I had to gather ingredients myself, all thanks to the empress trying to poison me.” Frinel snorted sarcastically.


“…Frinel’s cooking. I’m curious.”


“I’ll cook anything for you. Even that cake I gave you before was made by me.”




My eyes widened in disbelief. The cake he gave me tasted exactly like Chandrine Bakery’s cream. I thought he had asked the bakery’s chef to make it, never imagining he made it himself.


“Yes. I even bowed my head to Chandrine Bakery’s chef to learn the secret of that cream.”


At Frinel’s words, gratitude came flooding in like a wave. Before I even realized my feelings, he was giving me his whole heart and soul.


Overwhelmed by his gesture, I pressed my lips together, then smiled brightly and said, “…I’ll cook for you too. I’m not bad at it.”


“I look forward to it, Lady Lobelia.” He draped a thin shawl over my shoulders.


“I should go now. If Bella finds out, who knows what she’ll say.”


“Can I tell her?”


“About what?”


“That we’re dating.”






His blue eyes sparkled as if dusted with jewel powder. In the end, I smiled slightly and nodded.


“I’ll go now.”




I waved slightly and teleported back to Hamilton March.


Sigh…” A hot breath escaped between my lips.


Really, who would’ve thought it’d turn out this way. Embarrassed even without an audience, I covered my face with my palms.


I hadn’t planned to accept Frinel’s feelings, not until finding Merilly, and even after that. At first, that was the plan. But things changed. It’s said one can’t predict human affairs, and my situation was a prime example.


It had been a long time since I felt as happy as last night. The happiness I felt… I’ll give it all back to you, Merilly.


After washing up and changing clothes, I headed to the kitchen. Despite my frail body, I prepared breakfast for Merilly and Roseni. Since Endimion hadn’t yet returned from the capital, this morning was supposed to be extremely peaceful.


After finishing the preparations and waiting in the dining room, Merilly and Roseni entered cheerfully.


“Merilly, Roseni.”


Ah, Lobelia. Did you sleep well?”


“Yes. Did Merilly and Roseni have nice dreams?”




The children responded energetically.


I glanced at Merilly, worried Frinel’s situation might have been a shock to her, but fortunately, the child seemed fine.


“Wow, did Lobelia make breakfast today?”


“Yes. To give everyone strength.” I answered warmly.


Merilly and Roseni looked at the table filled with food with round eyes. Though the dishes were simple, commoners’ fare I had learned, they looked decent thanks to the quality ingredients.


“It looks delicious. Right, Merilly?”


“Yes. It looks yummy.”


The children took their seats, their mouths watering. The three of us chatted amicably, like a family.


“So, about Merilly.”


“Oh gosh, don’t say it!”


Hahaha, Merilly and Roseni’s relationship is so nice to see.”


The laughter of Merilly, Roseni, and I mixed together, creating a beautiful harmony.


I looked at the two bright children and smiled happily. “It would be fun to keep living like this, the three of us.”




Merilly’s eyes widened like a rabbit’s.


“What about father?”


“Do you like your father, Merilly?”


“Yes. Because he’s my father…”


The child shyly lifted the corners of her mouth.


Watching Merilly with a bitter smile, I answered softly. “Hmm… I see.”


After all, she was just a seven-year-old child. Not yet at the age to realize Endimion’s neglect and abuse, even if unintentional.


That’s when Roseni spoke up. “I’m fine. I don’t need a father or a mother.”


Roseni’s cheeky words made me turn my head towards her. Eating a roasted cherry tomato, she casually continued. “I’m happy eating breakfast made by Lobelia. Just the three of us.”


Puffing out her lips, Roseni squashed the tomato. “And I don’t need anyone else.”


Gasp. Roseni, you can’t say that.” Startled, Merilly blinked rapidly and soothed Roseni. “Father and mother would be sad…”


Roseni and I shared a look. Despite being tormented by Magorit, the kind child was worried about Magorit.






“You don’t always have to love and respect your parents just because they’re your parents.”


There were many layers of emotions. They didn’t always have to be divided into good or bad. Especially for Merilly, a victim, she shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.


I added softly, “It’s okay to feel hatred sometimes.”


“But…” Merilly smiled weakly, trailing off before continuing. “I don’t hate mother.”




“Although she was wrong in her methods.” Her tone was shy yet firm.


My gaze tenderly swept over Merilly. The scars in the young girl’s heart seemed to have forced her to mature too quickly.


“Merilly is very mature.”


“Is that so? Hehe.”


Then, Roseni, who had been biting his lip, suddenly looked up. “…That’s nonsense.”




“How can you not hate her?” Her furrowed gaze was directed at Merilly.




“Mother wasn’t kind to you. No, that was abuse, Merilly.”


“Roseni, I’m fine…”


Glancing uneasily at me, the child tried to smile.


“I hate them.”


But Roseni clenched her small fists, trembling.


“Mother, father, grandmother, I hate them all.”


Her eyes, a mysterious mixture of green and purple, rolled towards me.


“I only need Lobelia and Merilly.”




“Don’t leave me.”


“Why would I leave you, Roseni.”


“What if Lobelia has to go somewhere?” Roseni’s eyes slowly reddened.


The mess they’ve made.


With a hollow expression, I suppressed a sigh.


“Take me with you.”


Her voice, tinged with moisture, grew fainter.




The desperation in those few words was painfully clear.


Look at the outcome. Endimion, Magorit, Kriella…! With rage and a heart squeezed tight, I clenched my eyes shut.


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