It strangely hurts my pride, but I followed him with a forced smile on my face.
Speaking of the way, basically, the room for important members of the dukedom is located in the middle of the castle.”
It would be great if you told me beforehand.
“I was unaware of that.”
I pursed my lips in a small pout and followed him diligently just like a baby bird following its mother.
I carefully studied the hallway in fear of getting lost again.
‘I think I’ll get confused again.’
The Duke, who was walking in front of me, stopped walking and turned his head to look at me.
“Have we arrived yet?”
I just wanted to say that you don’t have to wag your head left and right like a rabbit.”
“I’ll assign someone to you starting tomorrow, so you don’t have to wag your head to memorize the way.”
I was wary of the duke’s sudden change.
“What do you mean?”
“If what is written on this piece of paper you gave me is true, it would mean that your desire to take care of my daughter is sincere.”
I almost shook my head.
No, it’s not like that at all.
It’s just a list of people who bullied me.
I just wanted to run away.
But I couldn’t say that out loud, so I put my impulse to rest and smiled pretentiously.
You look confident, so I’ll be looking forward to it.
I replied excitedly like a clown and painfully put on a harmless face.
“That’s a relief.
If you hadn’t answered that, I wouldn’t have shown mercy.”
“Mercy, huh? Will things get better if I ran away?”
“Are you growing your liver in the meantime? You look completely different from that day, you know?”
(T/N: It’s a Korean saying used to make fun of people who act recklessly without fearing possible consequences.
‘Liver’ here is a symbol of courage/gut.)
Suddenly my conscience was pricked, so I stumbled on my steps.
“What do you mean by different? I’m always the same.”
“Let’s watch and we’ll know.”
‘What are you going to do if I persistently tried to run away?’ That’s what I’ve been itching to ask, but I might get my liver taken out from my stomach for real.
In the meantime, a lot of servants stopped around us.
It was only then that I knew I had finally arrived in front of Rebecca’s room.
Anyone can tell it’s Rebecca’s room.
The door was embellished in red and gold color.
Now I could see the reason why the servants blocked me every time I went this way.
‘It’s obviously Rebecca’s room.’
The eyes that were observing me keenly when I was alone, averting their gazes as if they were avoiding me now.
“We should enter now.”
While I was busy watching the servants, who gave me the poles-apart treatment, the duke urged me to enter the room and we went inside.
The room was extremely large as if to announce that it was the princess’ room.
The ceiling was so high that it could never be reached, and dolls were lined up everywhere.
The room with a yellow-pink tint that shone like a forsythia flower was adequately childlike.
In the middle of the room, the black-haired child, who was playing with the rabbit doll, spat out stinging words without even looking back.
“Why are you here?”
“I brought your mom.”
Only then did Rebecca turn her gaze away.
Her vicious gaze disappeared in a second.
“Mom? Are you kidding me? What kind of mom is that? She didn’t even look for me.”
Her gaze was once again directed at the rabbit doll, but Rebecca’s cheeks twitched as if she experienced an electric shock.
(T/N: The MC tends to interpret or react to something hilariously.
So expect a lot of exaggerated comments like having a seizure or getting electrocuted just by looking at a simple gesture like this one XD)
To the point where I can feel that she’s giggling.
“It’s not because I didn’t look for you, it’s because I can’t find you.
Come to think of it, Rebecca.
Why are the servants, who said that they didn’t know your room when I asked them, here?”
As if to show the height of my innocence, I pointed my finger at the servants one by one thoughtlessly.
“This woman, when I asked her three days ago, she freaked out and ran away.
Ah, that woman, she shouted ‘Don’t ask me anything’.”
As my steps turned towards the maids instead of Rebecca, all the eyes in the room were nailed on me.
“These people were written on the paper I gave you earlier.
I wanted to ask when I met them again anyway, so this is great.”
‘Why do you all hate me for no reason?’
I tried to overlook it, but ‘Rebecca’s maid’ in this room particularly displayed hostility towards me.
Whenever I try to ask something about Rebecca, I feel like they are having a seizure.
As expected, the complexions of the maids in the room turned gray.
They were busy avoiding eye contact as if I’m going to stab them in the eyes.
“Is it true?”
“Duke, about that…”
Unlike the perplexed servants, Rebecca hummed casually.
Almost as if I was showing off, I was busy playing around like I was not affected at all.
As I watched them, I was struck by a sudden realization.
‘Yeah, these people had done nothing wrong.
And if I do this…then I’m no different from Rebecca.’
My mind changed quickly.
I didn’t want to harass them anymore because I even got an unexpected vacation for a week anyway.
So with a bubbly spirit, I strode toward the duke.
“Actually, I lied.”
His expression was distinctly different from before as he turned to me.
“That paper is a lie.
Actually, I didn’t ask these people.”
“As you might be aware, my life has been very tough.
I wanted to play a little.
I made it because I would seem suspicious if I just play around.”
His sharp eyes looked right at me as I deliberately acted more boldly.
Contrary to my expectation that he would get furious, his gaze shifted strangely.
“So it was a lie.
Is it because of your big ‘liver’? I can’t believe you lied to me.”
“I was told to ‘get lost’ on my first day here, so it’s only natural that I don’t want to come, right?”
As I was confronting him and opened my mouth, the tip of my hand trembled.
You’re not going to kill me straight away if I lied, are you?
Right now, the duke’s murky red-eyes automatically made me flinched.
I swallowed my saliva.
What are you going to say? Your silence is making me more frightened.
It was then.
Along with an unexpected answer, a smile spread on the Duke’s face.
“You’re probably the only one who tells these lies to the Duke of Petri.”
The raging tension inside the room gradually subsided and the jittery faces of the maid loosened.
But the atmosphere was quickly stiffened because of someone.
Why are you so noisy in someone else’s room?”
Rebecca jumped up from her seat and walked past me while holding a black rabbit in her arms.
Not only did she walked past me, but she also intentionally elbowed my thigh.
Her black hair and red-eyes, just like the duke’s, expressed more hostility than he did.
As if trying to show that she was the prospective villainess, her personality is already horrible.
‘How can I change the setting of the novel?’
Seeing the pair of eyes who were glaring at me while sticking at the Duke’s feet, I was determined to give up on Rebecca.
Before I became Leona, I was an orphan living in the modern age.
I was abandoned when I was a baby so I couldn’t remember anything, and I grew up in an orphanage.
Thanks to that, I grew up watching all kinds of children.
Even in my eyes, Rebecca is not normal.
“What are you looking at! It’s annoying.
Dad, tell ‘that’ to get out of here!”
I had already heard it last time, but hearing it again today made me feel filthy.
My forehead naturally frowned.
But whenever she saw my face, Rebecca just grinned and wriggled her nose.
As if it was funny.
I smiled as if I was unaffected by that.
“Unfortunately, ‘that’ had no intention of going out.
My dear daughter, Rebecca.”
“Did you just say ‘my daughter Rebecca’?! Don’t make me laugh!”
“Sadly, there’s nothing funny about that.
Now that I’ve become your mom, from now on, Rebecca needs to listen well to me.”
Before Rebecca could hide, I quickly moved towards the child and stroked her head.
“What are you doing!”
“I’m touching you.”
With no room to spare, I stroked Rebecca’s head with care.
“It’s annoying! Go away!”
Unfortunately, I’m not that kind of person who would back down with that much irritation.
I got up from my seat hugging Rebecca, who was getting more and more agitated.
She was heavier than what I expected, and as a result, a crack sound was heard from my backbone.
Luckily, I managed to repress my shriek and put on a forced smile.
Surprised by my action, the duke came one step closer to me.
“Don’t worry about it.
I’m not going to hurt her.”
“Put me down!”
“If I just put you down from here, someone is going to get hurt.”
“If you struggle so much, I might drop you on the floor.”
Surprised by my threats, the body of a woman, who seemed to be her nanny, and the duke turned to my side.
As long as she’s not struggling, I won’t throw this cute Rebecca on the floor.
There’s no way a mother would throw her child on the floor, right?”
I smiled brightly while remaining oblivious to whether their expressions became hardened or not.
“Then why don’t you leave so that you can handle the dukedom state affairs now?”
“Do you think I would abuse the child? She’s not just any child, she’s my child and the princess at that.
I will take care of her with love, so don’t worry too much.”
If you don’t like it, just kick me out right away.
The best thing to do here is to kick me out.
I stared at him with bright eyes full of anticipation.
However, the novel was really faithful to the original story.
As I was staring at him intensely, thinking that I might soon be kicked out, the duke only nodded slowly.
“Of course, as you should since you are the mother of this child.”
I never thought that he would give up this easily.
In the meantime, Rebecca, who was frightened by the fact that she might fall, squeezed the hem of my dress as tight as she could.
“Da-Daddy! Don’t leave!”
“Have fun, Rebecca.
Try to get along well this time.”
“Daddy! This is crazy! Crazy! She’s going to throw me! Daddy!”
But whatever he was thinking, the Duke’s eyes were stuck on the paper, which I said was a lie.
He seemed to be in a hurry because he couldn’t even hear his daughter’s whimper.
When the duke went out and the door was closed, the silence quickly descended upon the large room.
Even Rebecca, who was violently struggling, stopped moving, while the maids and the nanny silently looked at me.
Then the woman that I believed to be Rebecca’s nanny, began talking.
“Why don’t you put her down?”
She was the only one wearing different clothes, and there was a strange sense of pride around her.
She was wearing a heavy necklace around her neck, which came off incompatible to wear while taking care of the child.
She doesn’t appear like a maid, rather, she looks like a noblewoman.
“Who are you?”
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