Author: lipzoldyck

 

‘J-Just now…’

 

It happened in an instant.

 

Eleanor’s eyes widened to the limit. Kaidel’s eyes and Demian’s also widened.

 

And,

 

“Teacher…”

 

The eyes of Sienna and Lucas, who were standing in the doorway, also widened.

 

Eleanor and Kaidel’s faces slowly turned as red as apples. Her lips twitched, but no voice came out.

 

Eleanor covered her burning cheek. Is it because she was surprised? The sound of her heart beating rang in her ears.

 

“Eleanor, just now…”

 

“Stupid. I’m not telling you to do it to me…!”

 

Kaidel covered his mouth with one hand. His lips still felt smooth and soft. He could feel his heart beating through his fingertips.

 

The problem was that he was distracted. He moved instinctively without even having time to think.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“That’s fine. I’ll talk to you l-later!”

 

Eleanor ran as if running away. Demian also followed Eleanor’s footsteps.

 

However, Sienna and Lucas stood there like statues, looking at Kaidel. Their mouths were still slightly open.

 

Kaidel handed apples to the two children.

 

“…I’m sorry.”

 

Sienna said in a tearful voice. The tip of her nose was slightly red, as if she was sad.

 

“I won’t play with the Duke anymore.”

 

“Sienna.”

 

Sienna ran, and Lucas followed. Only Kaidel, the high treason criminal who left a brief kiss on Eleanor’s cheek, was standing alone at the entrance.

 

***

 

“Come on, let’s go to class.”

 

Eleanor gulped down the cold water, managed to calm her stomach, and then began the lesson. At first she managed to keep her composure.

 

But the scene from earlier suddenly popped into her mind. Kaidel’s unrealistic face as he bent down to get closer to her, the feel of his hot lips touching her cheek, and even the breath that touched her as he moved away. Everything came alive.

 

‘I’m twenty-four. This is just a cheek kiss for people of all ages. It’s just a friendly greeting that many children do.’

 

Each time that happened, Eleanor cast a spell on herself. The effect of the spell was excellent. Slowly the embarrassment disappeared, and her shoulders straightened.

 

“From here on…”

 

It was then. Sienna, who had her face half buried in the textbook the entire time, burst into tears.

 

“Enna, what’s wrong?”

 

A startled Eleanor asked, hugging Sienna’s head tightly.

 

Hicc, Teacher and…”

 

Sienna raised her head and made eye contact with Eleanor. Her brilliant golden eyes sparkled as they were wet with tears.

 

“Are Teacher and the Duke dating?”

 

Sad tears flowed down Sienna’s peach-like cheeks. Eleanor didn’t know what to do and threw up her hands. Cold sweat broke out down her spine.

 

“No! No, Enna. It’s not like that.”

 

Sienna asked sharply.

 

“But why did he kiss you?”

 

“It’s a mistake. By mistake…”

 

At that time, Lucas, who had been pouting next to her, also burst into tears.

 

“You’re lying!”

 

“I’m not lying, Luke. Why are you crying too?”

 

Eleanor was sweating restlessly between Sienna and Lucas.

 

She and Kaidel were the ones who kissed, but she didn’t know why Sienna and Lucas were crying so sadly. Sienna may have liked Kaidel a little in her young heart, but why on earth is Lucas crying?

 

Eleanor glanced at Demian, who was sitting across from Sienna. But for some reason, Demian’s expression was also unusual. The tightness of his tightly closed lips seemed like a precursor to bursting into tears.

 

“You can’t cry, Demi.”

 

No. No. Please don’t cry.

 

Despite her earnest wishes, teardrops fell from Demian’s big eyes.

 

Eleanor tapped her forehead. Her head was pounding.

 

“What’s going on, Ellen? Why is everyone crying?”

 

The Countess came running after hearing the crying. Eleanor quickly shook her head.

 

“It’s nothing. Mom, just go up and rest.”

 

“It’s nothing, you say. If so, why do children cry so sadly?”

 

The Countess came striding up and affectionately wiped Lucas’ wet cheek, said.

 

“Oh my, why is our prince so upset? Hm?”

 

Lucas answered, sniffling his nose.

 

“Teacher and Demi’s brother, hicc, kissed.”

 

“Hm? I beg your pardon?”

 

The Countess’ expression became mysterious. Eleanor held Sienna tightly and patted her, suppressing the urge to hide in a mouse hole right now.

 

“It’s unfair…”

 

Sienna buried her face in Eleanor’s arms and mumbled. Eleanor didn’t know what was unfair for her, but she nodded for now.

 

“Yes, it will be fair from now on.”

 

At that time, Albert, the butler who sensed the chaotic atmosphere, entered the living room.

 

“Are you okay? Is there any problem?”

 

Albert, seeing the living room in a sea of tears, hurriedly took out his handkerchief and handed it to Demian. Demian calmly took the handkerchief and patted his cheek to dry it.

 

The Countess shook her head and said to Albert.

 

“It’s fine. After listening… I heard that His Grace the Duke of Valentine and Ellen kissed. Everyone was just a little surprised.”

 

The voice was calm at first glance, but strangely mixed with laughter. Albert opened his eyes wide as if he was surprised, but then smiled faintly.

 

The two looked at Eleanor with happy faces. The eyes were full of excitement and curiosity.

 

Eleanor protested softly.

 

“It was just an accidental kiss on the cheek… It’s not like we’re dating.”

 

Eleanor’s face turned bright red. It was clear what her mother and Albert were thinking.

 

‘My daughter is all grown up and now I can kiss her too!’

 

‘When did our young lady grow up like this, I wonder…’

 

Albert, who was lost in thought for a moment while standing next to Demian, asked a curious fact. In fact, Eleanor had been curious about this all along.

 

“The Duke and the Miss kissed, why are you all crying?”

 

Lucas said, rubbing the area around his eyes with the back of his hand.

 

“I mean, Teacher is going to marry my brother.”

 

Sienna, who was next to him, glared at Lucas and said.

 

“No. She’s going to marry my uncle.”

 

Demian, who was quietly fiddling with the handkerchief, also spoke.

 

“She can’t. It’s my older brother.”

 

Only now did Eleanor notice the children’s ingenious plans.

 

When she thought about it, she sometimes found the children’s eyes and actions a little strange. Whenever they took classes in physical arts, art, or social etiquette, the feeling of difference was noticeable.

 

No, perhaps it was the children’s plan that they took charge of teaching those subjects. Eleanor’s mind was busy.

 

Eleanor muttered helplessly as she pressed her throbbing temples.

 

“Guys. I said I would just live alone…”

 

***

 

The tear-filled class ended.

 

Eleanor grabbed Kaidel’s wrist forcefully and headed toward the backyard. She wanted to grab him by the collar, but he was the Duke and Eleanor’s gut wasn’t that big.

 

“What are you going to do. Compensate me!”

 

Kaidel burst into laughter after hearing what happened in class. He saw that Eleanor’s expression was so serious that he tried to hold back as much as he could, yet it wasn’t easy for him.

 

“How?”

 

“I don’t know. It’s up to you, the guilty one, to come up with it!”

 

Eleanor was upset when she saw the corner of Kaidel’s lips twitch.

 

“Don’t laugh!”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Kaidel, who was lost in thought for a moment, carefully opened her mouth.

 

“Can you give it back?”

 

He tapped his cheek with his index finger. Eleanor blushed at the uncharacteristic smirk.

 

Although she was quite accustomed to his face, he had no qualms about taking advantage of his beauty. No matter how many times she saw his cool and sharp face melt gently, it still drove her crazy.

 

“Kaidel!”

 

Kaidel’s eyes were round. Eleanor scolded, walking ahead of him. She needed to get a little away from his noxious face.

 

“I think you’ve become a bit shameless these days.”

 

Kaidel obediently admitted.

 

“I think so too.”

 

“Aren’t you ashamed?”

 

“I’m so ashamed to my bones.”

 

Eleanor laughed at his honest answer.

 

“But I don’t mind being a little ashamed because of you.”

 

“Why?”

 

Eleanor spun around and her eyes met his. Kaidel answered in a calm voice.

 

“That’s because I like you. There is no way I would have the pride to show up in front of you.”

 

Her heart sank.

 

It was the first time. That he confessed to her directly that he liked her.

 

It was something she already knew, but hearing it from his mouth made it feel different. She bit her lower lip gently.

 

Kaidel, who was looking at such Eleanor, cautiously called out to her.

 

“Eleanor.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Were you in a bad mood earlier?”

 

Eleanor opened her eyes slightly. Kaidel continued as he looked at Eleanor’s face.

 

“I like you, but you don’t. If that were the case…”

 

“It didn’t feel bad.”

 

Eleanor decisively interrupted Kaidel.

 

“So you don’t have to apologize.”

 

Kaidel nodded her head slightly.

 

“Of course, you have to accept all my resentment for how things turned out like this. How embarrassed I was today. I sweated a lot trying to comfort the kids.”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Kaidel said, scratching the back of his head.

 

“I heard Sienna won’t play with me anymore.”

 

“She must be serious. She’s really angry with you.”

 

Eleanor said with a grin.

 

“I didn’t know kids were planning something like that. Sometimes I thought Demian would disappear far away when we were alone.”

 

“I didn’t know either. If you think about it, it’s obvious.”

 

“That’s why the children love you, Eleanor.”

 

Eleanor nodded at Kaidel’s words.

 

“Kaidel, you should have been there earlier too. If you’ve seen how fiercely Demian defends you…”

 

“I would have given him at least a horse as a gift.”

 

He smiled happily. It was truly amazing.

 

“Anyway, I don’t know what to do.”

 

Eleanor let out a long sigh.

 

“I was wondering what they were talking about because they kept saying it wasn’t fair… Does it become fair when I get a kiss each?”

 

Kaidel’s mouth suddenly opened at Eleanor’s words. It was an instinctive action.

 

“No.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

Kaidel’s blue eyes shook greatly. He gulped.

 

I don’t like it when other guys kiss you. Even if dirt gets in my eyes, I don’t want to see it.

 

Kaidel suppressed his anxious feelings and answered briefly.

 

“I’ll solve it.”

 

He faced Eleanor with a determined face.

 

“Like you said, I did it, so it’s right for me to solve it.”

 

Eleanor tilted her head.

 

“But what can you do?”

 

“I just need to be fair.”

 

So how on earth?

 

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