.”

Rere was busy complaining in my arms even after waking up so late.

“Say, Rere… should we just not go?”

Please, say you don’t want to go.
Rere, you’re the only one who could go against the owner of this house.

However, Rere always confounded my expectations.
Rere, who had her head buried in my chest until a little while ago, straightened her back suddenly.

“No! If it’s a place where Mom and Daddy could meet, of course I’ll go! It’s been a while since Big Bunny met my daddy.
If I don’t go, Big Bunny won’t go either!”

She had me all figured out.

“…Look.
There’s a wrinkle of truth in Big Bunny’s forehead.”

“Hmm? Wrinkle of truth?”

“It’s when Big Bunny is caught not liking something, Big Bunny will always show wrinkles like this.”

Rere wriggled her eyebrows and puckered her lips.

“Do I look like that?”

“Yeah! I’m telling the truth!”

Rere scrubbed my forehead from side to side with her tiny hands.

“So put aside your wrinkle of truth.
We have to eat with my daddy.
That way, Big Bunny will have feelings for my daddy even a little.”

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In the meantime, Rere’s hair was tied cutely on both sides by the nanny.

“By the way, Rere.”

“Mmmh!”

“What if Mom says Mom doesn’t like your daddy?”

“Of course, I’m gonna change my daddy!”

“…Ah.”

“Since Big Bunny likes Luca, I should change my daddy to Luca!”

“…Shouldn’t you give up on me rather than your daddy?”

“I can’t give up on my mom! But I can give up on my daddy!”

Rere was smiling widely enough to show all her tiny teeth.
She hugged my waist and buried her head in my chest again.

“Because you’re my mom.”

“Okay…I got it.”

“But if Mom doesn’t like my daddy…I don’t need my daddy anymore.
Luca is not bad either.
Please don’t leave me.”

“I won’t ever leave you.”

My dear Rere, I couldn’t love your daddy, but I won’t ever give up on my love for you!

“Then let’s go eat now! Let’s go meet my daddy!”

“Okay!”

What can I do even if I hate him? He was the father of my beloved Rere.
At least, I should be able to do the bare minimum.

With such determination, we headed to the dining hall.

When we sat next to the Duke who had already begun eating, the servants served a lot of food in front of us.

“Looks like you’ve been eating comfortably for a while.”

I drank the water first with a face full of discomfort because a certain someone insisted on eating together even when I clearly declined his offer.

“Of course I feel comfortable if you keep watching me like that.”

I didn’t think I’d ever feel comfortable around him.

“Anyway, how have you been?”

I just realized that it had been quite a while since I met the Duke.
Luca was always next to me, so I didn’t even feel his absence.

“Ah, yes.
It’s been a while, Duke.”

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“I had a lot of things to deal with after the party ended.
I have to wrap up the matters regarding Duke Arvida as well.”

The Duke, who would usually visit the room late at night, hadn’t appeared recently.

“Why didn’t you come to visit Rere, then?”

“He came last time!”

“Huh? Really?”

“Yes! When Big Bunny met Big Bunny’s family! I scolded him really hard that time.”

“What do you mean by scolding?”

Rere, who was chewing the grilled salmon, hit the table with a fork and glared at the Duke.

“He never works and is always fooling around! I told him I don’t want to see him anymore if he keeps messing around like that!”

“I-Is that so?”

“Yeah! I heard Luca wrapped up the party last time, too.
So I scolded him a lot! It’s not attractive to keep postponing his work like that!”

I burst into laughter at Rere’s brutally honest words.

“So that’s why you never came?”

“Ahem, that’s true, but mainly it’s because I am busy with work.”

Perhaps satisfied with his answer, Rere started eating again.
I wanted to praise the child for doing a great job, but I just responded roughly because I couldn’t really say it aloud in front of the Duke.

“I see.”

“By the way, Princess Astra said she wanted to meet you.
She wanted to properly apologize for her mistakes.”

“Did you promise that you wouldn’t harm Duke Arvida’s family if they apologize?”

The Duke was shaking the bright red wine in a transparent wine glass and nodded slowly.

“Of course.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because I must have their official apology.”

“Official, huh?”

“I told them that I won’t accept their apology if they don’t get on their knees, so keep that in mind.
They’re going to visit you soon.”

He was making decisions without asking me first, so I didn’t really care about it.

“And tomorrow, all of us will go to the Imperial Palace, so make sure to prepare thoroughly.”

Until, that is, he made the shocking announcement that we were going to the Imperial Palace!

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