Home Post 1036-chapter-13


Watching Riersha pull Sona away into the distance, Rocinante burst into laughter.

“Miss Riersha is shy.”



“With this face?”

As Fernore asked while he rubbed his face in disbelief, Rocinante sighed inside, thinking that wasn’t quite what he meant.

“Yes, even around that face.”


“It’s understandable for the Miss to feel awkward meeting the Young Duke for the first time.”

Fernore furrowed his brows at this unexpected complication. During the four-year hiatus, the child had come to see him as a stranger.

Rocinante’s eyes sparkled with interest.

Who would have thought they’d see Fernore, of all people, fretting in front of his daughter? Remembering Fernore sitting beside Riersha just moments ago, he nearly let out a laugh. The scene of him failing to speak to Riersha until everyone had left the Tower of Truth would be unforgettable.

“But Rocinante.”

“Yes, Young Duke.”

“Why is Riersha so small? She should have had proper care in the estate.”

“…That’s because the collateral families interfered with the supply of resources, causing the Miss much distress.”

“D*mned collateral families. I should have known.”

A surge of murderous intent rippled around Fernore. Rocinante nodded in agreement.

Four years ago, Fernore had to step down from his title as Young Duke to ensure Riersha was officially recognized and protected. This was due to opposition from the collateral families, who said that she couldn’t be recognized as a successor due to her lack of magic.

It was the first time Archmond, a man of principle, was forced into silence.

The incident weakened Archmond’s standing. Breaking the rules caused numerous problems, but it was a necessary sacrifice to protect Riersha.

However, the biggest issue was something else. It was the imperial family starting to take notice, waiting for a chance to tighten its grip on Duchy Arachrene. It seemed someone had leaked that there was unrest within the Duchy.

Fernore ran his fingers through his hair, troubled by the thought.

The most urgent task was…

“First, I need to get along with the children and bring back the one who left.”

“Yes, that seems to be the correct order.”

Rocinante seriously agreed.

“And then, deal with those d*mned collateral families.”

“Yes, that would be wise. But, Young Duke.”


“…Perhaps you should be more mindful of your words and actions? With the Young Duke behaving this way, the young master is also developing a…”

…Similar demeanor.

He thought of the young masters and sighed deeply.

There used to be a time when they had their cute moments, but those days seemed long gone. Now, they would be wary and snarl at anyone attempting to get close. He understood it was conditioned by their past experiences, but it also worried Rocinante.

Rocinante shook his head, opening his mouth.

“Just a few days ago, young master Ricardor sent such a menacing glare my way that I literally felt a chill down my spine. And I’m not exaggerating when I say my hazard pay needs a serious bump.”


“I misspoke.”

Facing Fernore’s piercing red gaze, Rocinante quickly shut himself up. Yet, he couldn’t just back down.

He had more to say.

Clearing his throat, Rocinante straightened up.

Fernore’s demeanor was far from gentle. Honed on battlefields where life hung by a thread, expecting tenderness from him seemed difficult.


Ahem, the reason I bring this up is because I’m concerned about Miss Riersha.”

“Why would Riersha be a concern?”

“Just imagine if she starts mimicking you, saying we need to ‘deal with those damned fools.'”

Fernore was about to argue but fell silent. He wanted to say that it would never happen, but thinking of his three sons, he found himself at a loss for words.

“So, you’ll need to use proper and polite language from now on.”

“…Is raising a child always this complicated?”

Fernore pondered how he had managed with the other boys.

“Given Miss Riersha’s age, she’s at the stage where she’ll mimic anything she sees. Spending time with her in battle play like you did with the young master could end disastrously.”


“It’s absolutely not advisable.”

Rocinante emphasized his point repeatedly.


* * *


In Riersha’s room at the annex.

“Miss Riersha, why did you come back without spending more time with the Young Duke?”

When Sona asked as she tilted her head in curiosity, Riersha let out a sigh of agony.

“I donno wat to do.”

“What do you mean?”

“Feel wike a schranger.”

She had met her father, whom she had never seen before. Yet, calling him ‘Dad’ outright felt awkward, given the long period of absence between them.

A gap of ten years.

‘…Even though I’m only four now.’

For Riersha, who retained her memories up to the age of ten, it was as if there was indeed a decade-long gap. In fact, she felt somewhat closer to Archmond. Moreover, she was deeply moved by the fact that he had supported her during the disciplinary committee.

“Is the Young Duke intimidating?”


Riersha readily nodded. She was uncertain how to approach Fernore, especially given his cold demeanor. She had been overjoyed the moment he rushed to the disciplinary committee for her. For the first time, she understood what it meant to have a strong guardian’s support and how comforting it was to have such stability.

But despite that…

“Too awward.”

Sona nodded, acknowledging her candid feelings. Given Riersha’s struggle to connect with people, getting closer to Fernore was bound to be twice as awkward for her.

‘The Young Duke needs to make an effort so that Miss Riersha doesn’t feel intimidated to approach him.’

…But was that even possible?

Sona laughed embarrassingly to herself.

“It’s natural for things to be awkward between you two at first. You’ll grow closer over time.”

“Can I weally?”

“Of course. Perhaps the Young Duke is having the same worries as you.”


Riersha looked like she couldn’t believe it. Could it be that Fernore was worried about the same thing as she was? Truly?

“All the two of you need is time. There’s no need to rush.”


“Shall we think together of ways to become closer?”


Riersha blinked with a face full of worry. Her long eyelashes fluttered, and her lips pursed in deep thought.

As she waited for an answer, Sona recalled how she had become close to a certain individual she had set her sights on. Applying that to Riersha’s situation gave her a potentially normal solution to mind.

“How about this? We could make him a present.”


“Yes! Since Miss like jewelry, we could surely create something beautiful.”

Riersha flinched.

The jewelry Sona mentioned referred to the hastily packed belongings when she was about to leave the Duchy. When found in the forest, she had been adorned with toy jewelry, leading to some misunderstandings.

“…The jewesh were for—”

“They’re your most treasured items, right?”

Sona smiled warmly, already knowing.

Riersha hesitated before deciding not to explain. There was no point in mentioning her initial plans to leave the Duchy.

“Then, shall we try making them?”

“…Yesh. I want to make two.”


“One for Gwanpa, too.”

Riersha’s determined response surprised Sona for a moment, but then she smiled brightly. Deciding to reach out to Archmond first was a very positive sign.

“Yes, then shall we go find the materials right away.”