Home Post 1404-chapter-13



“That, that… What do you mean?”

The man chuckled in response to my question as if teasing me. His demeanor was so infuriatingly cheerful that I momentarily lost my words.

“I can’t tell you that. You should think about it carefully.”

“What’s there to think about?!”

“About our marriage. Lady might need some time to consider, don’t you think?”


Oh, for heaven’s sake… I didn’t even know anymore. I’d just have to go back and send a special delivery letter to Elouise demanding an explanation. Maybe, just maybe, this could be some sort of malicious prank pretending to be my brother.

I rose from my seat with a strained smile.

“Anyway… Thank you for willingly accepting the child my sister sent, despite the suddenness of it.”

“Well, aren’t surprises supposed to be like that? You wake up, and there it is, right at your doorstep.”

The man shrugged as if it was nothing.

Come to think of it, I’ve caused quite a bit of trouble in many ways. He mentioned that the little child had knocked on the door of the Duchy mansion three days ago. Even then, he didn’t bother to formally protest to Marquisate Bartolli, although he could have.

Furthermore, we ran into each other over the past few days—even on the day the child arrived!—the man never mentioned a word about the child to me. He probably knew I wasn’t in a position to raise a child…

Come to think of it; if Elouise had suddenly brought a child to our home while I was still engaged to Arnold, my stepfather might have joked, ‘Well, that’s unexpected,’ and pushed for a wedding between Arnold and me.

Ugh, I’d hate that.

In addition, Elouise sending the child to the Duchy might have been a good decision for me as well.

Of course, it would have been better if she hadn’t sent the child in the first place.

“But then, should I consider whether I’ll marry Lord or not, and get back to you? What should I do about Arne?”

It was a question about whether I, the supposed mother, should take him back.

The man nodded quickly and responded to my words.

“We will be taking care of Arne on our end for the time being, so feel free to contact us again.”

“Yes, thank you for your kindness.”

‘…How will I ever repay this debt?’

Of course, there was the debt of the heart, but more than that, there was the matter of actual expenses.

I sighed softly.

The miscellaneous costs incurred due to the sudden arrival of a child wouldn’t be insignificant. If he was to bill the Marquisate for all of that…

Then, I might as well ask Bambi how to make big money at the gambling den. Somehow, I felt like Bambi would know.


* * *


As Owen and I stepped outside, Arne, who had been playing with toys in the garden, perked up. As soon as Arne and I made eye contact, he smiled brightly and leaped off the chair he had been sitting on but couldn’t reach.


‘Ugh, I give up.’

I bent down to scoop up the running child and held him in my arms.

“Were you bored, Arne?”

“Uncle Martin played with me really well!”

That must be the butler’s name.

I asked cautiously.

“Arne, have you ever seen me before? Can I ask why you think I’m your mommy?”

Wasn’t it strange for a child who’s never seen me to call me mommy and follow me around?

The boy’s eyes twinkled as he spoke.

“Auntie Ellie said so. Mommy’s hair is the color of strawberries mixed with bananas, her eyes are the color of a clear sky, and she’s so pretty that you can tell right away.”

Oh my, he was quite the people observer.

Not! If it was ‘Auntie Ellie,’ then it must surely be Elouise he’s referring to. What on earth was this cheeky little one going on about?

Feeling a bit uneasy, I asked further.

“Did Auntie Ellie tell you to come to Duchy Glentino with this letter?”

“Yes! I came by boat and carriage. The uncles took care of me. There were a lot of boxes on the boat, but there was one that fit me perfectly, so I climbed in and fell asleep, and the uncles woke me up when we arrived.”

Arne answered innocently, but the content was anything but. A boat? Saying there were many boxes means it was a cargo ship, not a passenger ship. There was no way that was a normal way for a child to arrive!

Where on earth did this kid come from?

Arne continued innocently.

“And when I got off the boat and before I got on the carriage, the uncles gave me a drink, and after drinking it, I fell asleep again. When I woke up, we had arrived. The uncles asked me to come in here and show the letter.”

…They even gave him a sedative?! To a child?!

I grabbed Arne’s shoulders urgently and asked.

“Did you feel nauseous or want to throw up after drinking that?!”

“No! It was delicious.”

“Right… And those uncles? Did you know them?!”

“No, Auntie Ellie said they were people helping me. They left after seeing me here.”

…Goodness gracious. Elouise hired private mercenaries.

I responded with a soulless voice.

“I see, Arne. You’ve been through a lot to get here.”

“No, it was really fun!”

Well, ignorance was bliss.

And I realized something new after combining Arne’s words. If I turned Arne away, this child would have nowhere to go. At best, he’d end up living under Duchy Glentino or Marquisate Bartolli, eating scraps. In the worst case, he’d be abandoned on the streets.

Arne, who might not even know that adults have such wicked thoughts, lowered his eyes slightly and shyly said.

“I’m really happy to see Mommy. Actually, I wanted to call you mommy yesterday, but Auntie Ellie said you might be surprised if she suddenly called you mommy, so she told me to call you Big sister at first. She said I could call you mommy from the second time I saw you.”

“…I see.”

Not being able to call me mommy… that was too sad.

As the child nestled against me, I held Arne tightly without reservation.

‘What am I going to do with you?’

When I looked up, Owen looked at me as if to ask if I could really turn this child away.

…Yeah, honestly, I wasn’t sure.


* * *


After reluctantly letting go of Arne, I staggered towards the Marquisate.

Despite Lord Glentino’s offer to send a carriage, I insisted on walking all the way back, especially since I had to take Thunderroot with me.

In the time I hadn’t seen him, Thunderroot had become incredibly shiny, with a cute ribbon tied to his tail. The care from the Marquisate’s stable was impeccable. Even when I mentioned going home, Thunderroot looked back at the Duchy, seeming disappointed.

‘You’re not the only one who’s disappointed; I don’t want to go back to that damned corner of the world either.’

There was a saddle on Thunderroot now, something that wasn’t there before. After petting the beautiful horse’s mane a few times, I gathered my resolve and climbed onto his back. The world looked different from up here.

I had said I’d go back alone to sort out my thoughts, but with each step Thunderroot took, the man’s voice I had heard earlier echoed in my ears.

[ “Marry me.” ]

[ “Lady Bartolli should have the most impressive man in the world.” ]

[ “I’m a hundred times more handsome than the crown prince.” ]


Yes, it was sweet… so sweet it felt like a dream.

Before, no one had ever treated me as such a precious being. I was always the most important person to myself, constantly proving my worth to myself. I didn’t need anyone else’s love; I was already remarkable.

But then a man who hadn’t said a word to me suddenly appeared and shook up my life like this.

‘…Owen ta Glentino, what am I going to do with you?’


* * *


It didn’t seem like much time had passed, but we had already arrived at the Bartoli mansion.

As soon as we reached the Marquisate, I went straight to the stable hand, Charlie, and handed over Thunderroot.

Charlie greeted us with a look of almost angelic wonder.

“Miss, where on earth did you find this horse?”

“I just… found him.”

I replied vaguely and left it at that.

As I stepped into the mansion, the atmosphere changed completely. A tense, chilly air enveloped me. I knew exactly what had happened.

Ah, our Marquis was in trouble.

As soon as I entered, Bessie hurried over with an anxious look in her eyes. Clutching her maid’s apron tightly with both hands.

“Miss… the master is looking for you.”

I knew it.

“I’ll go to him right away.”

I made my way to the Marquis’s study.