>“Excuse me, ma’am… may I come in?”


I put the notebook back in the drawer.
The future noblewoman entered as she didn’t hear me say no.

“Let me get you some cocoa.”


I made Eddy sit on the sofa and brought her some cocoa.
Since it was night time, I added some warm milk to it.


Instead of drinking the hot cocoa, Eddy fiddled with the cup showing a tense expression on her face.


I didn’t want to rush her into drinking it.
I sat myself across where Eddy was sitting and stared at her in silence.

Only the ticking of the clock filled the silence.
After a while, Eddy finally took a sip of the cocoa.
Then she murmured with a slightly flushed face.

“……It’s delicious.”


“That’s a relief.
I am glad you like it.
Didn’t Jake also make this for you?”


“He did make it for us, but this is more delicious.”


Eddy began sipping a few more, as if to prove her sincere feelings.

But in my eyes, this was not an act of savoring the taste of it, but rather just trying to buy a little more time.



Eddy glanced around anxiously.

This gesture solidified my uncertainty as to why Eddy came to visit me.
Although I hoped this uncertainty was wrong.


“Accidently…… I heard the conversation between the director and the baron.
I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it just happened when ……”


“I see, it’s alright.”


I took a sip of the tea I’d prepared.
Though the warm tea went down my throat and made me feel calm, my heart was pounding in my chest.

Eddy looked at me as she continued to speak.
However, she quickly stopped herself, likely scared that she would get in trouble.


I tried to speak in a soothing tone.


“It’s all right.
Continue speaking.”


Eddy’s eyes shook.
The small hand on the cup was filled with strength.
Eddy lowered her head slightly, and her wheat-colored hair lightly flowed down around her.


Compared to Ren, who fit the word “pretty”, Eddy was a normal girl who better fitted the word “cute “.

Eddy’s eyes suddenly filled with tears.


“Well, I mean…… The baron said he’s going to adopt a child from our orphanage.
And I hear he doesn’t mind if it’s a girl…….
I mean….”

Eddy hesitated.
She kept her eyes on me without finishing her words.


I unconsciously let out a sigh without realizing.
Eddy’s tiny shoulders shivered in response.


“Do you want to be adopted by the baron?”


“Huh, no, I am sorry, I am sorry!”


Suddenly Eddy bowed her head apologetically.
Now I was wondering what the hell she would even be sorry for?

“I’m not worthy of such an honor.”


“No, that would be presumptuous……”


Eddy continued in a small voice.
This child’s self-esteem and confidence were very low.


‘I can’t help it.’

I lowered my gaze and brought the teacup away from my lips, setting it down.


“This is not something you should be sorry about.
In no way am I saying that you’re not worthy enough to be adopted by the baron.”




“But Eddy, I won’t let you be adopted by him.”


Eddy looked up.
Her blue-green eyes grew wide.


Holding her gaze, I spoke in a firm tone.

“I’m not sending anyone to be adopted by the baron.
Not the other kids, and of course not you either, Eddy.”



“How come……? The director wants us to disappear though.”

Eddy said with a dejected look.


I felt sorry for Eddy.
If she was to be adopted by the baron, she would certainly feel an abundance of freedom with it, but she was completely ignorant of the future that would come after.




I made eye contact with Eddy.
I could see myself clearly in her turquoise eyes.


“If there’s ever an opportunity for you to be adopted into a new, good home, I’ll send you immediately.

But if there isn’t, I won’t let any of you guys go.”




“Because you are children I have to protect.”


Eddy was speechless.

I got myself up.
Eddy’s eyes followed.


I smiled as I drank more warm tea and met her gaze again.


“Go back to bed.
It’s getting late.”




“…Does the director really mean it? That the fact of the matter is…”

Eddy, about to say something, closed her mouth.


Then she got up from her seat and bowed to me and left the director’s office.
Her turned back seemed so frail.

After closing the door and putting away the cups, I let out an exhale and leaned back in my chair.


“I have a headache…….”


My head began to throb, so I applied pressure to relieve some of the pain.
I suddenly remembered what Eddy said.


‘How come……? The director wants us to disappear though.’


I lowered my eyes.

Of course it makes sense.
If one child is adopted, even if it’s not Eddy, there is a lot to gain for the orphanage.



The first gain would be the huge debt that would disappear, and the second would be that living expenses would be partially reduced.




I recalled Ren’s flashback, a part of the book I had not finished.


[Eddy, the child adopted by the baron.
And after a while, I heard that she was killed by the pervert baron’s sadistic behavior.
If we had paid more attention to Eddy back then, would this still have happened? I wish we could go back to that time.]

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