Chapter 34 : Rat (Natalia’s POV)

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“Zak, zak, zak” (chattering sounds)

It was not even dawn yet.

In the small garden of Viscount Olsen’s mansion, a woman was digging with a gardening shovel under a large tree planted near the wall there.

Natalia has been dreaming of a prince since she was a little girl.

Her father has no interest in her.

He didn’t go as far as abuse her, but he didn’t show affection for her either.

He spends part of his small income on household chores and the rest on his hobbies and interests ——mainly gambling.

Even if he lost some money, he won’t lose a lot of money, would you call that lucky?

Then she has a mother who was used to her husband’s little interest, and a serious older brother.

There was one old butler and one maid who had worked for Natalia since she was a little girl.

What they lacked in hands, Natalia and Natalia’s mother would make up for by working.

Someday, someone like a prince will appear.

He is kind, handsome, and smiles like the sun.

Natalia’s own prince who is strong, always by her side, and protects her.

Natalia was confessed to by many men.

In the end, they still walked away from Natalia, but there were still a good number of people who told her that they liked her.

However, she was always afraid to take that hand, and while she was having a hard time taking the next step, before she knew it, they were gone from her sight.

So did that man.

Nicholas Trad.

They have the same Viscount title, but Nicholas said that since he was the third son, he would be knighted and receive a knighthood.

“It was love at first sight, please go out with me”, he said, holding out his hand, but Natalia couldn’t take it right away.

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But it looks like I made the right decision.

Because at the end of the school year, that person had left the academy.

There is no prince.

There is no prince in the world who will save, love, and protect you.

That’s just as it should be, because I am not a princess.

Even so, I still have a friend of my own.

Someone who will never see me as a woman, but will always be by my side as a permanent friend.

If there is one such person…

then, that’s fine.

While I was telling myself all these, that man appeared.

Shining golden hair, bright blue eyes like the blue sky of summer.

He was in the same Knight Training Department as Nicholas, and had a tall, toned body.

He was so beautiful that one might have thought the sun god had given birth to a son on earth.
And yet there was nothing extravagant about him.

He laughed shyly, then cleared his throat and said, “I’ve always liked you.”

He had seen Natalia when she came to cheer for the mock battle and had been thinking about her ever since.

He didn’t say anything since he didn’t want to take anything away from Nicholas, who seemed to be very close to her.

It would not be surprising if there was a white horse behind him.
In fact, it would look perfect with him.


She found herself nodding.

They were walking, holding hands.
They were cuddling.

I’m sure he will protect me.

I thought so.

With that in mind, she spent a happy, dreamy year, until…

Leopold stopped coming to school.

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About two months before the summer vacation.

I was so anxious and worried, it was unbearable.

I was afraid that I would lose someone I cared about again, and I was afraid of that.

That night, with such uneasiness, I started my summer vacation.

Then, a strange man suddenly appeared in my room in the middle of the night.

I was about to scream, when he covered my mouth and told me that he had come on an errand for Leopold.

That person gave me a letter from Leopold and a beautiful glasswork pendant.

And that the letterhead was just a dummy and the real deal was a small note.

She hid the pendant under her clothes and was told not to take it off when she bathed or went to bed.

She was then asked whether she had ever attempted to keep anything important at hand.

Three days have passed since then.

Natalia had been thinking.

— “Catch the rat at your own house.”

Who was that man who spoke to me that night, after all?

Natalia woke up on the bed and gently pressed her hand to her chest.

There was a pendant there that was said to be from Leopold, brought by the man whose name she did not know.

He was a strange man.

He seemed to have scolded Natalia, worried about her, but also somewhat dismissive.

In terms of time, he probably didn’t even stay for half an hour.

But what?

I feel like he was teaching me something important, Natalia thought.


In the empty room, Natalia muttered to herself.

“A rat, a rat animal… it shouldn’t be.
So, it must be…”

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That man knew that everything precious to her has always disappeared all the time.
So he told her to hide this pendant under her clothes as well.

— “Think.
Don’t wait for someone to give you a helping hand.
Start acting by yourself first.”

The person left only words that were like riddles to her.

He never once raised his tone.
But for some reason, in Natalia’s eyes, he seemed to be angry.

Yes, he was angry with Natalia.

That’s why he left her with last words like that.

— “Remember.
I’m not going to let you.”

Natalia shook her head from side to side.

Now, rather than thinking about that, first…

“Think and work on your own…”

Meditate and think for a moment.

Then she slowly got up and took a book from the bookshelf.
It was a different book from the one in which she had tucked the note.
In this one, she kept the letter that had been given to her as a dummy.

She then took an envelope from between the pages and walked out of the room.

Then two days passed.

A faint sound reached Natalia’s ears.

It was from the courtyard facing the bedroom window.

She quietly approached the window and peeked out from the edge of the curtains.

It was now the early morning hours, before dawn had even arrived.

There was a woman crouching under a tree, doing something behind her back.


Natalia wrapped a shawl over her nightgown and left the room and went through the back door that led to the garden.

Then she approached the maid who was digging hard in the dirt.


The maid’s shoulders jerked as her name was called.

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“What are you doing here early in the morning?”

Nora slowly turned around.
Then she spotted Natalia.

“Ah… young lady.”

“Hey, Nora.”

Natalia asked the maid, who was digging deep into the roots of the tree with a shovel in her hand.
This person had cared for her since she was a child, whom she also loved like a sister.

“Why are you digging there? Is there something buried there?”

“Ah, no, that.”

— “Think.
Don’t wait for someone to give you a helping hand.
Start acting by yourself first.”

That’s right, Natalia thought about it.

All her important things kept disappearing from her own home as well.

I thought it was due to poor management on my part.
Or maybe my father took it and tried to sell it, she thought.

She was so used to losing everything that she didn’t even think about it deeply.


— “Catch the rat at your own house.”

That man taught me.
He got mad at me for not thinking.

He said that he would never come again as an errand boy, and went out from the balcony, that man.

Surely it would not be possible to let that person know.

Natalia’s subsequent frantic thinking.

Then one thing came to her mind.

What she found out as a result was a very sad fact, though.

It was Natalia who pretended to bury the box with the envelope here two days ago.

Tears were threatening to well up in her eyes as she struggled to keep them from falling, but Natalia managed to keep her voice down.


I don’t want to remain unaware.
But once I came to know, it was a very painful reality.

The rat was you.

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