“Come out.”

The knight who opened the prison door was barely standing in front of her.
The knight turned himself on by putting strength into his legs.
She barely breathes when she followed the knight out of the prison.

It was comfortable for a prison, but it was cramped all the time because it was closed on all sides.

Seeing that the way she was going was familiar, it seemed like she was going to the same place she had been to before.
It seemed that she would face the duke again.
What would happen to her? Her fingertips trembled slightly in fear.

‘Keep calm, stay calm.’

She let out a deep breath and diligently followed the knight.
Suddenly, the knight stopped walking and knocked on the door in front of him.

“Duke, I brought her.”

[Come in.]

Hearing the Duke’s voice from inside, the knight opened the door and pushed her inside.
She was taken aback by the sight unfolding before her eyes.

“Huh, Elia…”

The peacock Duke was holding the weeping child in his arms.
He twisted his face as if he didn’t like something.

She looked at the peacock striding forward, then lowered her gaze.
The blue eyes she met were filled with tears.
She was surprised to hear her name for the first time from the child.

The ropes that restrained her body snapped at once.
The knight next to her cut her rope.
How was this situation…

After looking at the Duke’s eyes, she gently stretched out his hand.
As if the child had been waiting for it, he moved into her arms.
The Duke didn’t say anything even though the child had moved from his bosom to hers.
Should she say something too?

When she was worried because she couldn’t figure it out, she heard a voice full of dissatisfaction.

“…Let’s sleep right now.”

“Excuse me?”

“Let’s sleep.”

She was taken aback by the Duke’s sudden words, then lowered her head.
Blue eyes full of tears were still looking at her.

“It was very jingling.”

The Duke, who had been spitting out incomprehensible sounds, glanced at the knight.

At that moment, the knight grabbed her arm and stuffed something into her wrist.

She looked down at her wrist, which was filled with a bracelet decorated with red jewels.

“In any case, if you do anything stupid to Delian, you won’t be safe, so you’d better keep that in mind.”

“…What is this?”

She unknowingly swallowed her saliva.
The peacock tilted his head slightly and whispered in her ear.

“If you’re really curious, you can ignore my warning.”

She felt terrified for a moment.
She didn’t know what purpose the bracelet was for, but she did know that it was not an ordinary item.
The Duke took a step back and straightened his body.

“The disposition of you will be notified tomorrow morning.”

After that, the Duke passed her and went outside.
She exhaled slowly, feeling barely able to breathe.

“Follow me.”

At the knight’s words, she followed him with the child in her arms. 

At the moment when she wondered where she was going, the child whimpered and whispered softly.

“…We’re going to go to my room.”

So, was it really okay to stay with the child today? She wanted to ask the knight, but he didn’t seem to give her a kind answer.
As she quietly followed the knight, a door with an ornate pattern came into view.
That’s the kid’s room.

“Go in.
You won’t be able to get out of the room, but you’d better not think nonsense.”

The knight opened the door, similar to what the Duke said earlier.

‘I’m not even making a fuss, everyone.’

She sighed inwardly and as soon as she stepped inside, the door slammed shut.

… Was that a room or a playground? She slowly looked around the room in amazement.

All the items that made up the room were high quality.
Every little thing seemed worth it.

Since it is the room where the heir of the duchy resides, of course he must have been concerned…


Then, the child sniffed and called her.
She gently caressed the child’s cheek and looked around him.
She wanted to wipe the face of a messed up child with tears.
Anyway, she had to be there until tomorrow morning.
Was that a bathroom?

She walked to the back door and opened it, revealing a gorgeous bathroom.
She took the cloth folded on the shelf and headed for the bathtub full of water.
She put a cloth in it, moistened it a little, and carefully rubbed the child’s wet eyes.

“Why did you cry so much? Your pretty face is swollen.”

“I don’t have Elia…”


She smiled softly and wiped the corners of the child’s eyes.

“Elia is not a kidnapper, so why doesn’t he believe us? I’m so upset.”

“…That’s right.”

Even she, the person in charge, was frustrated like this, but there’s no way he wouldn’t be frustrated because he’s a child.

“My father is really too much.
I don’t know why he thinks I’m lying.”

“Perhaps the Duke thinks I’ve brainwashed you.
The knights earlier seemed to believe that as well.”

She put on a look that the child couldn’t understand.

“But Elia didn’t do anything.”

That’s why it’s more frustrating.”

It’s all my fault.”

She was gnashing to make him cry again.

“You didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s the adults who don’t believe us.
So don’t cry.

Before she knew it, she gently rubbed the corner of the tear-filled eyes with her hand.

“…Huh, is it really not my fault?”

“Of course.
We’re not at fault.”

Seeing the child’s face more messed up than before, she thought she might as well wash up now.

She said, “Since she’s been in the bathroom, shall we wash up and talk?”


The child sniffed at her and answered.
She looked around and brought what she assumed to be soap.
The soap bubbled up well.

“Come on, close your eyes.”

Soap foam was rubbed on the child’s face and rinsed several times with water.
After wiping the water completely with a towel, the child’s face was dry.

After putting the child on a chair in her bathroom, she washed her face.
She even seemed to clear her mind a bit after washing up a bit.

As soon as she left the bathroom with the child, she headed straight for bed.
Even if several adults rolled around, the bed was large enough for several people to lay down.

The child followed her and lay down next to her and blinked.

“Hey, Lian.”


“The Duke, why did he allow me to be with you?”

“That is…”

“That is?”

“I kept crying because I wanted to meet Elia.”

The child twisted his body while laughing awkwardly.

“Is that all?”

That alone was not enough reason…

“For six hours.”


“I think I cried for six hours.”

She was amazed.
She guessed he cried for a long time, but she never thought he cried for six whole hours.
Now she completely understood what the former Duke said.
That’s why the Duke said it was funny.

“Wasn’t it hard? It sounds like your throat will be very sore.”

“Ugh, it’s okay.”

The child answered in a slower voice than before.
Seeing his eyes half-closed, his drowsiness seemed to pour out.

“If you’re sleepy, snore.”

“… You won’t go?”

“Of course.
I will sleep with you.”



As she spread her arms slightly, he burrowed into her arms as if the child had been waiting for them.
She quietly looked down at the child who looked dwarfed for his age.
When she first saw him, she thought he was about five or six years old.
He wasn’t very tall so she thought he was 8 years old at most.
Perhaps because the child was born so weak, the rate of growth was exceptionally slow.


A small muttering was heard.

‘Mama, Mama..’ he said it when she rescued the child from the kidnapper.

When we first met…”

She looked down at the child who slightly lifted his head and continued.

“You used to call me mom.
Could I possibly know why?”

“…I have no memory of my parents.
Both of them passed away when I was controlled.”

“It must have been very sad.”

Instead of answering, the child put his arms around her neck.
The child, who hadn’t spoken for a while, murmured softly.

He said, “I was very scared when I was kidnapped.
I thought I might die, but then I was saved by Elia.”


“Elia is my mother.
You are my mother.”


She blinked slightly embarrassed, but the child buried his face back.
He seemed to be talking well at first, but at the end the conversation jumped out in the wrong direction.
There seems to be more circumstances, but was he deliberately avoiding words?

She wanted to ask more, but it seemed unlikely that he would answer any more now.
So she stroked the child gently on the back and asked another question.

“Then why do you call me Elia, eh?

“I think my father will be very angry if I call Elia ‘mom’.”

“Is the name Lian a nickname created by your mother?”

The child nodded his head slowly.
His eyes seemed more drowsy than before, and he seemed to fall asleep any moment.

“Let’s go to sleep now.”

She patted the child’s back slowly and hugged him tightly.

Shortly thereafter, the sound of even breathing came.
As she listened to the child’s breathing, she also fell asleep.
She still had some worries about this or that, but for now she just wanted to rest.

What will the Duke say tomorrow morning? She wondered if he was going to get rid of her for the last time… She fell asleep right away.

* * *


What was that sound…

As she thought so, something pressed heavily against her body.
From that point on, consciousness began to float rapidly.
When she fully opened her eyes, two chubby little arms filled her field of vision.

When she wondered what was pressing on her body, it must have been a child’s arm.
Was it a sleeping habit? The child’s body was out of her arms and up to the top of her head.
Perhaps because of crying for a long time yesterday, the child’s face was more swollen than yesterday.
When he opens his eyes, he will be like a baby crucian carp.

As she smiled quietly and carefully removed the child’s arm, she immediately heard a whining sound.

She pulled the duvet down to cover him and patted his back.
After confirming that the child was exhaling, she carefully raised herself.

She went into the bathroom and checked her face in the mirror on the wall.
Unlike usual, her face was full of blush.

“…I must have a fever as well.”

From the time she opened her eyes earlier, she had a strange thought that her body was heavy.
It seemed that she had a body ailment.
Maybe it’s because she was tired from yesterday’s work.
She let out a small sigh and tossed her loose hair back.
Then, she washed her face with water and left the bathroom.


Who was it at that hour?

[Excuse me.]

A voice came from outside and the door burst open.
She was none other than the lady-in-waiting.
She walked straight to the bed, picked up the child, and headed for the bathroom.
The sun hasn’t risen yet, but she was taking the child to wash at this time.

As she stared out the window with the curtains drawn, she felt a sharp gaze and turned her head.
There, two knights were looking at her disapprovingly.

‘If you come, say that you have come, or what else are you going to stare at cheaply and silently.’

Because of all the people who were wary of her, now only sighs came out.

“The Duke is waiting.
Follow me.”

“At this time?”

“Don’t talk nonsense and follow me.”

The knights showed an infinitely unapologetic appearance and winked at her to come out.
Well, if she went, she could go faster, couldn’t she? She let out a sigh inside her and went outside, and the knights surrounded her back and forth, urging her to walk.

She was about to say something, but she held back and started to move her steps.
Judging from the knights taking the same route as yesterday, they would meet the Duke again since it seemed to be heading to the place where he was.

“Go in.”

When she reached the front of the room, one of the knights opened the door without knocking and pushed me inside.

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