Home Post 1096-chapter-13


“Can you please elaborate on that?”

As Rayna expected, Lucius showed interest.

His voice was cautious, and there was no hint of impatience in his demeanor.

Thus, Rayna became sure of it. Her story was a profound clue that Lucius didn’t want to miss.

“Since the child didn’t look like a wandering orphan, I asked him a lot of questions, but he didn’t answer. At first, I assumed that he was mute.”

Rayna was grateful that Jonathan was at the Naval Academy, a place where outsiders were forbidden from entering.

As much as Rayna regretted this situation, she found it fortunate that Lucius couldn’t check Rayna’s answer through Jonathan.

“That child didn’t even want my brother’s help. I couldn’t just leave him be, so my brother gave me some advice.”

“What advice?”

“My brother told me to bring that child to an orphanage. He said that if I take him there, I’ll get help. He even gave me some money.”

After finishing her words, Rayna waited to see how Lucius would react.

Lucius had a pensive look on his face, with his eyes slightly downcast.

No matter how hard she stared at Lucius’ face, Rayna couldn’t discern his thoughts.

“Excuse me…”

As Lucius’ silence prolonged, Rayna raised a question.

“If you don’t mind, may I ask what kind of relationship you have with that child?”

Lucius didn’t answer right away, and stared quietly at Rayna.

After a brief silence, he asked.

“Why are you curious about that?”

While she didn’t expect him to answer honestly, his response was much colder than she anticipated.

‘Mind your own business.’

Wasn’t he basically telling her that?

Usually, someone who was desperate to get any hints about the whereabouts of their sibling would’ve compromised.

Lucius didn’t seem to have any intention of doing that.

Seeing his attitude toward Calyx, Rayna reaffirmed her vows.

I’ll never hand Calyx over to you.

“I just…”

Lowering her gaze, Rayna continued with her reply.

“Seeing that you went out of your way to meet me, I thought you were desperate to find him. For a moment, I thought someone cared deeply about that child…”

She furrowed her eyebrows ever so slightly to appear crestfallen.

“No words can describe how much pain I feel right now…”

Lucius saw her long eyelashes fluttering softly.

She looked devastated, as if she was struggling to hold back tears.

A myriad of emotions was reflected upon the normally cold and detached face she showed in front of the count and his wife.

Rayna looked up again.

In truth, there wasn’t even a trace of moisture in her eyes.

Lucius covered his mouth with his hand and pretended to touch his chin. He pressed the corners of his mouth, which threatened to rise.

“I, for one—”

“—The last time we ran into each other by the stream…”

Removing his hand from his mouth, Lucius cut Rayna off.

“Didn’t you tell me about your private property?”

Rayna’s eyes widened.

‘Why would he mention this now?’

“Apparently, said private property, which was on the other side of the stream, was an orphanage.”

He had looked into it.


It didn’t occur to her that he would investigate the orphanage at the brief mention of a private property.

“Isn’t that the orphanage you run?”


“Makes sense, since Sir Krollot brought up the names of the orphanages.”

“…I guess.”

Rayna nodded her head slightly.

Although she tried to maintain a calm façade, she was quite embarrassed.

Can he read minds?

Lucius’ questions were ones Rayna had prepared for when they met.

When he reached the conclusion first, Rayna couldn’t help but feel odd.

“No matter how much he rejected it, he’s still a child.”


“At the end of the day, he may have felt at a loss and gone to the orphanage.”

Lucius considered the possibility that Calyx might have headed to the orphanage.

Again, that was what Rayna wanted to say to him.

Lucius seemed thoughtful for a moment.

He clasped his hands tighter and lightly tapped the back of his hand with his index finger.

It looked as if he was counting seconds, and Rayna couldn’t take her eyes off his fingers.

“—Lady Rayna, if I may?”

Lucius spoke again.

“I would ask for your cooperation.”

“What would you like me to cooperate with?”

“First, I want to search the orphanage you run.”

Rayna’s expression hardened when she heard that he wanted to search the orphanage.

“As I said earlier, my brother returned alone. There is no child matching that description in our orphanage.”

When Rayna answered firmly, the corners of Lucius’ lips slightly rose.

The crooked grin on his lips suited his face very well.

Rayna couldn’t help but be mesmerized by his smile, which she was seeing for the first time.

That smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“I’m the type of person who needs to see the answer for myself.”


“So, would you cooperate?”

Rayna stared quietly at Lucius.

She was at the point where she couldn’t afford to appear even the slightest bit hesitant.

Resolving herself, Rayna spoke.

“All right.”

A smile slowly formed on her face.

“If that’s what the Grand Duke desires, then so be it.”

Rayna willingly invited him to the orphanage.

—The situation was going smoothly according to her plan.

Lucius searching the orphanage was exactly what she had hoped for.

* * *

The carriage carrying Rayna and Lucius arrived at Green Garden Orphanage.

The children playing in the yard were shocked.

After all, they were rarely graced by the appearance of a young nobleman like Lucius.

Ellie jumped out from among the children watching with curious gazes.

She ran in front of Lucius and sniffed him, circling around him as if searching.

“Ellie, be still.”

Despite Rayna’s restraint, Ellie didn’t stop.

Woof, woof!

After completing her investigation, Ellie looked at Lucius, vigorously wagging her tail, so much so that her butt almost touched the floor.

It was difficult to believe it was their first meeting. Showing how much she was fond of Lucius, Ellie stuck her head out to be patted.


Lucius stared quietly at Ellie without moving.

His slightly narrowed eyes shone coolly.

Ellie paid no heed to his reserve and stood with her chin and front paws resting on Lucius’ body, looking up at him.

With a slight frown, Lucius raised his hand, causing Rayna to flinch.

However, instead of shoving Ellie aside, Lucius softly stroked her tousled fur.

Momentarily distracted by the sight, Rayna came to her senses when she heard Ellie barking excitedly.

She whispered something to Maya as she left the driver’s seat.

Lucius’ eyes lingered on Maya’s back as she entered the orphanage.

“Let’s go in.”

Taking the lead, Rayna spoke to Lucius.

Olivia was visibly taken aback by the unannounced visit.

She stared at Rayna, demanding an explanation, and Rayna calmly spoke.

“Grand Duke Ingerson has come to tour our orphanage.”

G-Grand Duke Ingerson…

Olivia attempted to steal a glance at Lucius, but quickly crumpled to the floor.

She bowed her head and clasped her hands tightly.

Rayna glanced at Lucius.

His gaze dropped to Olivia’s hands, whose knuckles were turning white.

“I’ll show you the way.”

Lucius shook his head at Rayna’s offer.

“I can manage.”

“Then feel free to look around. I also have something to do.”

Rayna left Olivia without any remorse.

Lucius’ eyes followed Rayna’s retreating back.

It bothered him that she readily left him alone, but Lucius headed for the stairs as soon as Rayna was out of sight.

He had noticed the woman named Maya hurrying up the stairs after Rayna’s whispered conversation with her.

As he went up to the second floor, muffling the sound of his footsteps, he heard the whispering voices of a woman and a child at the end of the hallway.

Lucius walked to the farthest room at the back and immediately opened the door.

Then the woman, Maya, suddenly raised her head and looked at him with wide open eyes.

A child stood in front of her with his back facing Lucius.

Black hair and petite body.

Lucius rushed toward the child.

“W-wait a moment!”

Maya attempted to stop him, but Lucius was faster. He quickly reached for the child’s shoulder.


Lucius froze when the child turned around.

Reddish brown eyes.

Freckles around the bridge of the nose.

Extra teeth were visible between the gaping lips.

The child wasn’t Calyx.