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    Translated by Translated by Tam
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    Rumbling.

     

    The murmur of ‘that thing’ grew louder and louder. It looks like a threat. The quiet room began to get distracted as if dozens of guests had come. 

     

    But Catherine had no intention of backing down. Through her many years of experience, she knew how vicious ‘they’ were. If she didn’t take it out here, it would almost always stick to her like a leech.

     

    Catherine decided to nail it one more time. 

     

    “Move one more step from there.”

     

    The shadow that slowly spread over the ceiling flashed and hardened. 

     

    “I won’t let you set foot in this place again. You don’t know, but I’m the one who does.” 

     

    Whispering.

     

    ‘That thing’ whispered to each other with a small voice. 

     

    「That’s strange.」

     

    「Strangely, it doesn’t work.」

     

    「What is that child—? Why doesn’t it work—?」

     

    It seems this applied properly. The voices of the ‘that thing’ gradually diminished and finally disappeared completely from the drawing room. 

     

    “—Ha.”

     

    She did everything she could with this. The drawing room was still, and the fire in the fireplace was warm. Even though it is still wet, both men’s clothes and hair will dry up quickly. 

     

    Catherine moved slowly and threw herself on the sofa across from her. Her bed was getting a little damp from the rain-soaked clothes. 

     

    ‘I hope the rain stops tomorrow.’ 

     

    Was it because she’s tired? She fell helplessly into her sleep. 

     

    *******

     

    She had a dream. In her dream, there were faces that were very familiar to Catherine. In a wide-open bedroom door, her mother dressed beautifully as if she had just returned from outside, a father who’s embarrassed, and—.

     

    ‘That cocky!’

     

    Her father’s secret woman. 

     

    She had forgotten about it as time passed, but the memories of that time standing in her dream came back to life as vividly as if it appeared in front of her nose. Her father’s concubine, with her white skin, was half-naked.

     

    The woman was lying on the bed, covering herself with a blanket. And her mother who saw it—.

     

    Slap! 

     

    She rushed in and slapped her in the face. 

     

    ‘Ah!’

     

    The woman’s thin body collapsed like a drop of flowers in front of the typhoon. Soon her mother raised her eyes sharply. 

     

    ‘This body is alive with both eyes open, but how dare you crawl in here!’ 

     

    ‘R-rian!’

     

    At the woman’s cry, her mother’s eyes turned to her father, who stood near the door. 

     

    ‘Don’t move even a single step from there, Rian! After I deal with this bitch, you’re next!’

     

    Mother’s voice towards her father was sharper than the tip of a knight’s sword. Startled, her father stiffened and stepped back from his bedroom. Catherine stared intently at her father’s back, which was hurriedly moving away. 

     

    He didn’t expect her mother and she to return from Phanya a day earlier. Otherwise, he could not have done this even though he knew her mother’s personality was fiery.

     

    ‘How dare you betray me like this when I took you as an orphan with no connection? I’ll strip you and throw you in the sewers!’

     

    ‘I-I’m sorry— Ugh! I’m sorry Madam!’

     

    The woman’s thin blonde hair swung helplessly in her mother’s grasp. Catherine looked at her mother like that with her eyes a little tired. Even at her young age, she seems to have been fully aware how strong her mother was. The commotion subsided only after the servants took the woman hostage. 

     

    Her mother, who had breathed out for a while, soon returned to her innocent face and held Catherine’s hand. She followed her mother to a drawing room with sweet snacks and warm milk.

     

    ‘Catherine? Lovely baby, you have to learn from this mother.’

     

    Saying that, her mother was looking out the window with the blue sky wide open. There is no view of the garden outside the window of this small drawing room. The drawing room overlooking the garden was located elsewhere. 

     

    ‘It’s right to step on things that crawl fearlessly without delay. So that they don’t misunderstand the subject and look down on you.’

     

    The direction the mother was facing was the back door of the mansion, where food and employees entered and exited. 

     

    Ack! 

     

    She heard a sharp scream somewhere. Catherine seemed vaguely to think that the owner of the scream was a maid who was dragged naked. 

     

    ‘You understand, Catherine? They must be greedy for what you have, Catherine, and those who have taken it must pay a corresponding price.’

     

    The mother’s gaze over the window was indifferent and calm, as if she were watching other people’s work. Only one voice was different. It was as strict and clear as if it were a matter of life. 

     

    Her mother’s high, fine nose turned towards her. It’s weird. She has only very vague memories of what her mother’s face was.

     

    ‘You have the「qualification」for that.’

     

    Only a week from that day, her mother was—.

     

    It was bright in front of het, and the air filled with lungs was as cold as a needle. Instinctively opening her eyes, Catherine raised her upper body and hurriedly breathed in. 

     

    “Ugh.”

     

    Seeing that her head is dizzy and her senses are unfamiliar, she must have returned to reality. She staggered up and pulled the blackout curtains from the window. It had been raining since dawn, so it was dark and foggy outside. 

     

    “—Bed?”

     

    What about him? 

     

    Catherine’s bedroom was one of the rooms on the 2nd floor where she cleaned with all her heart and soul. She stopped thinking and left the bedroom and went down to the hall. 

     

    ‘Why did I dream about it then?’ 

     

    How long has it been since she dreamed about her mother? It was even a dream when her father committed adultery with his maid. If she dreamed of her mother, her bright memories would have been better. 

     

    The sofa in the drawing room where the man was lying was empty. The fire in the fireplace was also cold, leaving only ashes. The bedclothes piled up on the man’s body also showed no trace. 

     

    ‘Rose must have cleaned it up.’

     

    As she got closer to the kitchen, she smelled warm and savory. It smelled like baked potatoes. 

     

    “Lady!”

     

    Rose, who had such a good ear, recognized Catherine’s step from afar, put down the ladle and hurried to run. 

     

    “You should ring the bell! Is your body okay? When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t see you, so I looked for it for a long time.”

     

    “It’s all right, Rose. More than that, thank you for moving me to bed at dawn.” 

     

    “What? What do you mean, move?” 

     

    Only pure doubts were contained in the face of Rose who questioned it. Catherine frowned slightly at the sight. 

     

    If Rose hadn’t moved her, wouldn’t there be only one person left? That strange man who disappeared last night after being very rude. 

     

    “Oh, yeah. Your friend visited earlier!” 

     

    Friend? 

     

    Rose stepped into the kitchen pushing Catherine’s back.

     

    It wasn’t that Catherine was a loner without a single friend, but neither did she have close friends who would come here. Who knows, that she, above all else, had gone out of her own way and that she had settled in Christopher? She’s sure even her father wouldn’t know—.

     

    “Oh, Miss Phanya. Good morning.”

     

    It was him. The man who came to her mansion last night was very rude. 

     

    Now Catherine didn’t even have the words to be dumbfounded. The man sat at the edge of the kitchen table, sipping his tea with a book open. He had such a comfortable face that one might think it was his house. Rose whispered in Catherine’s ear.

     

    “He said you take him to the drawing room, but he said he will wait in the kitchen. How come— When did you make such a wonderful friend, Lady? When he stand still, he look a bit like the Archduke—”

     

    Rose started cooking again with a smile on her face.

     

    The man, in a word, looked very fine. He seemed to have stayed in this house ever since he was awakened by the light shirt and vest only. Of course, all of the hair and clothes that had been messed up in the rain were surprisingly neat.

     

    He smiled casually as his eyes met Catherine. It wasn’t the eerie laughter that was often seen with courtesy, it was a calm, quiet smile. Such a gentle smile that will make all women fall in love at first sight. 

     

    “Hey.”

     

    And the man’s sarcastic and arrogant appearance made Catherine even more speechless. He doesn’t know how much she struggled to save that madman in the rain last night. 

     

    Catherine felt she needed to know the dark side of that man today.

     

    “Why do you keep coming back to me so pathetic?”

     

    And when it’s time to forget!

     

    The man shook his head and let out a subtle smile. Then he picked up the teacup and drank it. She could feel Rose with her ears wide open and only her eyes rolling.

     

    “Well, I didn’t know you’d talk like that. Have I been so pathetic?”

     

    “Isn’t that right? It’s not enough to show up like that last night, you’ve been drinking tea at someone else’s house since early morning today!” 

     

    She even had to be upset because of ‘that thing’ that appeared after him. But whether Catherine expressed her displeasure or not, the man smiled softly as he smelled the tea. 

     

    “Come to think of it, Miss Rose, the tea is very nice. Thank you for being so nice to me even though I came unexpectedly.”

     

    “Oh my.”

     

    Rose, who blushed, covered her mouth and smiled. It was a beautiful gathering of smiles, but Catherine only bit her tongue. 

     

    “Just answer me.”

     

    Perhaps it was a heavy voice, so she hurriedly lowered the corners of her lips that had been curled up. She looked into the eyes of Catherine and the man—.

     

    “Phew. Lady too. How can you have a love fight in the kitchen?”

     

    Leaving only the words behind, she turned and disappeared in the distance. If she wants to be mistaken, she’d rather mistake it for a debt relationship. About the time Catherine twisted her brow, the man called Catherine. 

     

    “Miss Phanya.”

     

    A bloody light different from the mellow voice flashed past his blue eyes and disappeared. 

     

    “I think I must have given you some very important advice, but I don’t know why you’re still in this mansion.”

     

    She’s been waiting for it, too.

     

    “Please wait a moment.”

     

    Then Catherine, who moved up to her bedroom, came down with 1,000 Rid of cash stored under her bed.

     

    “Take it. I’ll give you the money back.”

     

    She pushed a 1,000 Rids to the man. The man stared at the banknote on the table with his eyelids down calmly. 

     

    “Thanks for the advice, but I’m not going to leave this house. So please stop looking for it too.”

     

    Ha. The man had a ridiculous laugh. 

     

    “You think I’m coming because I really want to.”

     

    “Hey— Wait, what’s your name? I can’t keep calling you “hey” right?”

     

    His thinly narrowed eyes meticulously scatter her eyes, nose, and mouth. All she had to do was ask for his name, but the man didn’t seem to like it. However, such a sign is also for a while. The man soon responded with a look of indifference. 

     

    “Cesare.” 

     

    Not long after hearing the name, Catherine hardened her face.

     

    Cesare? 

     

    A typhoon hit Catherine’s head once. Because there is no one among the people of the Empire who does not know his name.

     

    Cesare Jean Ulde Christopher. 

     

    Of course, there must be ten long names behind Christopher, but that name was one of the most famous names in the Empire. Because it was the name of the only Archduke in the Empire. 

     

    “…Cesare. Not only the face, but also the name of the Archduke is the same.”

     

    Cesare, the man, smiled gracefully at her words.

     

    “I hear that a lot.”


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    Tam

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