If you asked someone to tell you about their childhood memories.
Most could only remember a few scenes.
Memories were weathered over time.
Laritte also had little recollection of living with her biological mother.
‘I only remember being scolded for no reason.
It wasn’t until I was sent to the County that I didn’t know why my mother did it.’ Laritte grabbed the iron gate and looked into Olivia’s eyes.
“Laritte?” Ian stood behind her.
Olivia was a famous dancer in the shadows.
She gave birth to Laritte, which ended her career and left her starving.
The people of County brought out Olivia’s story whenever they teased Laritte. “An illegitimate girl abandoned even by her mother, isn’t it a very good topic for making fun of her!”
As Laritte grew up, she understood why Olivia had come to hate her.
“I don’t know why you came looking for me.” Laritte’s gaze descended to the ground below Olivia.
There was no snow today.
However, all the sprouts were frozen to death and the ground was barren.
She had no doubts in her belief that her mother would hate her forever.
No matter what kind of discrimination she faced in the County, she could not miss her mother.
Your mother…..,” Olivia raised her hand through the grills of the iron gate, her voice quivering.
Her hand was caught by Ian while trying to stroke Laritte’s cheek.
“What are you doing?” He growled in a low voice.
“Laritte, there is no need for you to look after her because she’s your mother.
Even, within the boundaries of family, there is a limit to how much you can take care of yourself.
No one can curse you even if you don’t treat her like a mother.”
“I have no such intention.”
“What? But…..,” did you not seem emotional just now? In fact, Ian had reached a stage where he could understand her even if she stood still.
Ian released Olivia’s wrist before she stepped down.
The gatekeepers lowered their spears from both sides to block her.
“I mean, I really don’t know why she came here,” Laritte spoke to the point where Olivia couldn’t hear her.
In the Empire, dancing was not a prestigious job.
It played the role of entertainment during street festivals and poor quality parties of the rich.
In many cases, the person in charge often received back payment or hired only dancers who had a good interest.
In order for a dancer to perform well, she had to be smart politically.
“My mother is not dumb.” Ian thought it was strange, too.
When Ian was away for a few months, rumors circulated that the Duke and his wife were not on good terms.
But in the last thirty days, the rumors were gone.
Ian also got rid of the Count’s family.
Did Olivia come here because she wasn’t afraid of death? Did she risk her life to have the will of one hundred thousand gold?
“What other purpose do you mean?” Ian grew nervous when Laritte fell silent.
Finally, she spoke.
“Well? I don’t know?”
The last time Laritte saw Olivia was when she was eight.
She didn’t have enough information to figure out Olivia’s motive.
Then, Laritte whispered something to Ian.
Olivia watched him sigh, “…..okay.”
He waved his hand at the gatekeepers, and the huge gates opened.
Smiling broadly, she ran to Laritte.
“Laritte! You forgave your mother!” Ian pushed his sword, still in its scabbard, between the two women.
The pattern of the Reinhardt family shimmered threateningly under the fading light of the winter sun.
“Don’t approach her.”
“You dare expect forgiveness? You should let go of your false hope and leave.” Still, Olivia stubbornly spoke to Laritte.
“Laritte, what did you say to the Duke earlier? I want to know.”
Did you not miss me?”
Ian clicked his tongue as he saw Olivia following Laritte back to the mansion.
He recalled what Laritte said.
Was this really the right choice? It was unknown right now.
One thing he could be certain of was that he was now on the verge of dying from frustration.
Let’s just wait for three days…..
Olivia followed Ian and Laritte wherever they went.
Limping, she followed.
She continued to talk to Laritte, who never said much.
“You look the same as when you were young.
So I recognized you immediately.”
“The mansion is so beautiful! I never thought I’d be walking through a place like this.”
She was just as noisy as Ian, Laritte thought blankly.
Those who hadn’t seen Ian with Laritte would disagree.
Ian felt like he had eaten a hundred potatoes.
He felt suffocated.
Laritte said to Ian as they entered the hallway, “ah, Ian.
We have to part for a while.” He recalled the last time when he failed to hug her.
Come to think of it, she said she had work to do after that?
“Irene said the clothes that go well with this bracelet have arrived, so I should change them.” She fumbled with the bracelet on her wrist.
The scales of a dragon’s tail were crafted with jewels and embedded in them.
The dagger given by Seta had lost its effectiveness in protection, so it had been a long time since it was replaced.
When Ian and Laritte fell apart, Olivia struggled in the middle.
Then she chose to follow Ian this time.
Ian glared at Olivia.
If she was going to pretend she loved Laritte, at least she should like that.
It’s better to bother me than to bother Laritte.’ But as Olivia chatted non-stop, he grew increasingly annoyed.
“Duke, where is my room?”
“What kind of bedroom do you share with my daughter?”
“Laritte is beautiful, isn’t she?” She followed him wherever he went.
When she was passing under the closet, the white cat Nabi jumped and landed on Olivia’s head.
“Kyaaaaa!” She was startled.
“Meow,” Nabi then landed gracefully on the ground.
“A c-cat?” Olivia watched as Nabi slowly left the scene.
Ian held back a laugh.
Nabi always remained calm even when Laritte was stroking her fur.
However, the cat did not leave Ian’s side right after he returned from the Capital.
It was disappointing to watch, but now all was back to normal for her.
“A-Are you raising a cat? I don’t think Laritte likes cats.”
She had no idea! Ian said to himself.
“By the way, my appearance doesn’t look good, does it? I’ve been wearing this bulky jacket for a few weeks now.
I’m worried that it doesn’t suit the mansion.
Do you have some spare clothes?”
Ian crossed his arms.
Laritte barely made a living by borrowing things, but her mother was completely oblivious.
“I’ll tell you what, nobody here will be kind to you.” Olivia, who had gone through all the antenatal care on the street, choked on her breath while her limbs trembled in fear.
“We didn’t let you in the mansion because we’re stupid, so if you still value your life, stay still,” Ian began to leave the place at a quick pace.
Olivia followed behind.
“Duke!” But her legs could not catch up with him.
It was when Ian walked down to the end of the hallway to avoid Olivia that a door opened, and a pale arm appeared from within.
It was the closet where the maids keep their clothes.
“Laritte?” Laritte grabbed Ian by the collar and pulled him inside.
Not long after Laritte closed the door, Olivia entered the hallway.
But unable to find Ian, she walked past the closet.
“Where did you go? D*mn it!”
Ian and Laritte looked at each other, snuggled up inside the cramped space.
They could feel each other’s breath.
It was dark inside, but the light coming in through the cracks helped them to see the other’s shape.
Ian smiled, “where you worried about me and came to rescue me?”
It would be adorable if she came to rescue him, a Swordmaster.
But of course, Laritte shook her head no.
“Come to think of it, you haven’t hugged me today.
You can’t miss a day.
The book says it.”
“Is that so…..,” Ian held back his tears.
Irene had prepared Laritte’s dress to match her bracelet.
His lips felt dry at the sight.
The fact that they were alone in a closed space suddenly became very conscious.
Why did darkness bring out the most strange situations? He felt parched, so he continued to swallow.
Come on, let’s finish today’s task,” he moved in the narrow space, leaning down.
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