Translated by JirahGem
Edited by Mel
I hummed and moved my hands.
The vibrant colours filled the sketchbook.
Anna smiled and talked to me. The maids chatted with me too. It felt like yesterday was just an emotionless blip.
“My lady, you’re such a great painter. Is that a pineapple?”
I answered in a sulking manner.
How can this be a pineapple? Why does a pineapple have eyes, nose and lips?
“This is Anna.”
I said that while pointing towards the pineapple… I mean, Anna.
“Oh my god! You really painted me!”
Anna sweetly admired me. I was wary about it a little.
To be honest, the drawing was closer to a pineapple than Anna.
“Is that the young miss and me while holding hands?”
“There’s a heart here.”
It was a little embarrassing to the point I played with my hands.
Anna was silent for a while.
Well, I didn’t think it was a nice drawing either. The colouring stuck out of the lines.
It was equivalent to a potato.
If I’m really not the Duke’s biological daughter, I’ll need the help of the employees.
‘I’m sure you’re trying to make it to my side but don’t you think it will just backfire?’
I’m curious about the Duke’s <Magi>!
I engulfed Anna in a hug and she patted my head.
“My God, are you trying to say I’m pretty?”
“I like Anna!”
No, are you going to cry?
It felt awkward.
“I’ll keep it as a heirloom and will pass it down to my future grandchildren.”
Huh? Huh, no, what are you saying…
I wanted to hide when she mentioned the thought of wanting to pass down the drawing that I’m unsure if it’s a person or pineapple
Anyway I don’t understand but it seems to work well.
I used the same method with the other maid sisters.
However… not all the reactions were normal.
“I’ll take it to the grave. I don’t need a husband anymore. I’ll bury myself with your drawing.”
‘….Huh? You were actually planning to pursue a husband?’
That was the reaction from Nancy who’s a husband advocate.
“I’m going to put this drawing from the Young Miss up so I can see it when I go to bed and wake up everyday.”
‘Oh… isn’t that what a stalker would do?’
That was the reaction of Laura the stalker.
“You gave me a heart when I needed it… do you need it? I can get anything the Young Miss wishes for!”
“What about the other’s hearts?”
Tilda’s reaction… will be omitted.
When I first met them, I thought they were normal people with rational thinking and a common sense.
How did this happen?
It was time for a walk after giving them the drawings but they kept saying ‘pretty, pretty’ when they weren’t with me.
I was excited to go to the glass greenhouse today.
A glass greenhouse in the mansion! How cool.
Now it feels as if I’m in the world of Rofan.
I ran with excitement.
“Young Miss! If you run like that you will fall-”
The horse fell down as if it had been seeded*. It’s embarrassing.
(t/n it’s an idiom like you reap what you sow/what you say will happen)
“Are you all right?”
I heard the startled sisters.
I must have hit my nose. It hurts so much. I could tell my nose must be red without even looking at it.
I whined while I raised my head.
But what caught my eyes wasn’t the face of the innocent maid sisters.
Just like a stretched white bridge on a highway.
I raised my head higher than usual
I could see the face of the cold Duke of Paeraton. He raised one of his eyebrows when our eyes met.
“What are you doing?”
What did I do?
“I fell down.”
Contrary to my inner thoughts that were grumbling, I replied in a kind and modest manner.
“Why did you fall?”
The Duke looked at me with a face that couldn’t understand.
I was dumbfounded.
Why did I fall? I fell because I fell!
“Children normally fall often, Your Excellency.”
That’s not what you’re supposed to say to a baby!
In the heat of the moment, my hands reached out to the Duke.
“Carry me, dad.”
I was afraid I would get ignored and be chased away, but the Duke carried me. Although he narrowed his eyebrows.
I swayed into the air and looked into the Duke’s eyes.
The emotionless red eyes that scanned me from head to toe stopped at one place.
I looked down to where his eyes were at and saw my bruised knee.
“It’s alright. It doesn’t hurt at all.”
The Duke walked away ignoring my words, while holding me in his arms.
When we arrived at his office, he sat me down and stared at my knees.
‘My knees are going to be pierced!’
After looking at it for a while, he tilted his head. A low and cool voice could be heard over my head.
“Why did it get darker?”
“You will be better after applying medicine for a few days.”
The Duke frowned.
“I knew she was weak but I didn’t know she would be this weak.”
My heart throbbed at his words and sighs.
By any chance.
‘This may be the reason why I left my uncle’s house.’
I’m too weak.
If I was really the daughter of the male lead, wouldn’t I need magic?
I held my skirt tightly.
In the meantime, Nancy brought out ointment.
Duke Paeraton applied the ointment with his awkward hands.
I was worried whether I was bothering him too much. I looked at Anna but she didn’t know about my intentions and just smiled happily.
After the ointment was applied, I tried to get off the Duke’s lap.
But the Duke decided to hug me when I tried to stand up.
He didn’t let me down at all.
Nor when he ate, signed documents, or had meetings with the vassals.
I was held in the Duke’s arms like a baby kangaroo.
‘Have you forgotten to put me down?!’
I beat the Duke’s chest with my cotton-like fists, but he only patted my butt.
Suddenly, I became a whining baby.
The vassals who entered the conference room were startled to see me like that.
Just as the meeting was about to start, Anna opened her mouth carefully.
“Well, Sir, I’m sorry but you have to put the Young Miss down…”
The Duke’s eyes turned to Anna. It was a sharp look that startled me.
Anna flinched but said what needed to be said while nodding her head.
“There’s someone waiting in the dressing room.”
It seems like the tailor that was called by the Duke has arrived.
I thought it was a chance to escape. I tried to get off from his lap.
The Duke glared at me with a dissatisfied expression.
You’re the one who called the tailor!
Are you saying it’s a waste of money now!
I looked at the Duke with sadness on my face. He reached out to me.
‘Ahh! Did you read my mind! I’m sorry!’
Contrary to my expectation, he hugged me again when I tried to shrug him off.
“Y-you’re going there yourself?”
I closed my mouth in contemplation when Nancy asked the Duke.
The Duke left the office.
‘No, weren’t you supposed to be in a meeting?’
The vassals who watched the situation also stood up and followed.
‘Why are you guys doing this again?’
It felt interesting to see.
* * *
She was a legendary commoner, with no foundation, who designed clothes for the royal family. That’s how she received a title.
She is a trendsetter who brought the continent’s fashion to where it is today.
Compared to her prestige, she was very nervous.
It was to that extent as today’s guest was very special.
‘I’m finally seeing the rumored princess.’
“I finally meet the owner of the dresses.”
The chief tailor beside her, who might’ve had the same thoughts as me, whispered.
“I never expected to see the Duke. He always ordered dresses around this time of the year for the past few years, but I’ve never seen him before.”
Every year Duke Paeraton will order the best dresses no matter the cost.
When I first received the orders, I had a chill go down my spine and made a dress worthy of my name.
The Duke paid the price without any delay.
Young children grow up fast. She has a wardrobe with clothes that she can only wear for one season.
Even royalty wouldn’t order a dress like this.
‘I was sure that it was a chance to feed my artistic soul.’
There were many things I wanted to show but couldn’t because of money.
However, it was regrettable as we could never see the owner of these clothes.
The only thing I knew was her size.
“Who are you? Princess Paeraton does not have a single portrait so i’m curious.”
“Don’t you think she will look like the Duke and Young Master?”
Black hair that won’t take a speck of light.
Clear blood-red eyes.
A fierce and ferocious spirit that is less refined than a wild beast.
The Duke of Paeraton has such characteristics.
“Your charisma will surely be great for a Young Lady.”
I sighed inwardly at the staff’s chatter.
The charismatic young princess.
As I imagined, my expectations were able to cool down.
‘I’ve been designing the dresses imagining she was a dainty lady.’
That was a freedom I was able to enjoy because I didn’t know who the Princess was.
I’m a professional.
Even if the Princess of Paeraton was similar to the Duke, I will still make clothes that will suit her.
‘We shouldn’t expect a cute little love from the Paeraton’s princess as she’s not from any other family.’
So far none of the models have captured my heart.
As an artist, I have a definite taste.
‘Let’s not be too disappointed even if it’s a mini version of the Duke.’
Then, the door opened.
I straightened my face and lowered my head. As a professional, I didn’t let an ounce of appreciation be shown.
But the moment I saw the person who entered the room, my pupils shook excitedly.
* * *
Dozens of assistants who came with Yutra looked at the Duke with embarrassment.
‘D-Duke Paeraton? Your Excellency, why are you here…’
He doesn’t look like the type of person who would appear to order clothes for his little daughter.
‘Oh, the Duke has a baby in his arms?!’
‘Am I seeing things?’
I was looking with my own two eyes but I couldn’t believe what I’m seeing.
I wasn’t focusing on the Duke of Paeraton but on something else…
With a thud.
The measuring tape slipped out of my fingers.
“…As expected, they look the same.”
A low scream came out of my mouth.
I tried to calm down despite my excitement.
‘What’s with that cute little girl!’
Even the frightening Duke couldn’t scare me.
The moment I saw the cute little girl with the coveted pink hair in his arms, a sharp shock inflicted my soul.
At the same time, countless ideas began to pop in my mind.
A lovely girl with voracious cheeks was more ideal I thought.
I clapped and shouted without realising it.
But the joy didn’t last long.
I realised the situation we’re in only after a cold silence.
The feeling that was emitted from the Duke’s cold gaze made my mouth move forcefully.
“Eh, the Young Miss, who is ever so lovely, made me unsure of what to do…”
I thought my life would end like this, but the Duke only held his child in his arms and said nothing.
“Just take the measurements.”
My assistants and I approached the Duke, but we couldn’t do anything more than that.
The eyes of the Duke became enraged at the slightest stroke.
I opened my mouth in a cold sweat.
“Well, sir, if you want me to take the Young Miss’s measurements, please put her down first…”
The cold, bloody eyes glowed fiercely.
“Oh no, we’ll take care of it.”
I shook my head in contemplation and gestured to my assistants.
I wanted to measure her properly but he’s holding her although we were professionals. I had to do it.
I measured the princess’s arm first while I examined the Duke’s face.
He didn’t look particularly upset.
At least it was better than taking the Duke’s measurements.
I had a hunch because I have been dealing with the aristocrats of the system.
I swallowed my saliva and opened my mouth.
“I can’t believe you’re so well-dressed just for taking your measurements. I guess the princess really likes you. What a lovely daughter.”
As soon as I finished speaking, I could feel all eyes were on me. They seemed to think: ‘If you want to kill yourself, this should be fine.’
I quietly waited for the Duke’s answer.
“She said she would stick right beside me. It bothers me.”
The corner of my mouth began to rise slightly.
“Your Excellency, must love the Young Miss very much too.”
“I’m just holding her because I don’t want to see her falling down like a newborn deer”
My smile deepened.
I didn’t expect the Duke to have this kind of side.
The vassals who followed and watched the scene unfolding took up the courage and opened their mouths.
“The Young Miss seems to be very fond of you.”
“She seemed so comfortable the other day when she fell asleep on your lap.”
“Oh my god, is that right? I guess there’s nothing better than her dad’s arms”
The corners of the expressionless Duke’s mouth rose slightly, but just a little.
The vassals glistened their eyes like hyenas.
They found a thin ice like lifeline that could open the Duke up.
“When I came back from war, all my daughter did was cry and ask if a scary uncle came back.”
“My son didn’t even recognize his own father. I really envy you, Sir.”
The Duke said nothing. His face hardened as if he didn’t like it.
But he and his long time friends knew.
The feeling of the Duke Paeraton is now better than ever.
* * *
‘No, I don’t know what these guys ate as a group. What the hell is wrong with you?’
His expression hardened whenever they said I liked the Duke or whenever I felt comfortable.
I trembled at the sight of his increasingly irritated face.
I was about to get out of the Duke’s arms because I thought there were going to be a death sentence but he didn’t budge as he held me tightly.
Suddenly the Duke’s strong chest came to my attention.
“Oh my god, she is hugging you even more tightly. Isn’t that cute, Your Excellency?”
“It’s just annoying.”
No I wasn’t hugging you. I wanted to climb down.
If it’s so annoying put me down!
“Young miss, do you like him that much?”
I thought for a moment and nodded as the old man asked me.
Well, I can’t say no.
And honestly, it was a hundred times better than Marquis Tarenka.
“Yeah, how much do you like him?”
I glanced at the Duke.
He said I was annoying, when I cling on him and hug him. Also, he told me I was embarrassing him.
‘…shouldn’t be too troublesome.’
I held my hands up that looked like potatoes.
Not only the vassals but the maids and older sisters and brothers, who were the assistants, looked at my hands with anticipation in their eyes.
I opened my index finger and thumb thanks to the expectations.
Just a little bit.
To the point where a bean could fit in.
For some reason, silence filled the room that was colder than the north wind snow.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog