“What I’m saying is that Older Sister only leaves behind a burden….”
A never-changing temperamental face.
Sharp words that pierced at every encounter.
Beatty understood Aunt’s unfavorable reaction.
After all, from the standpoint of a child who has nothing, she had no choice but to understand.
Beatty calmly nodded to Aunt who painfully grasped her shoulder while saying that she should never forget her kindness.
Even if she accepted it without any objection, Aunt endlessly talked.
A child who was sent to a relative’s house without any money for compensation.
A child whose father doesn’t even want to see her face, and lives off her aunt.
A child who was a burden.
Until the repeated words were finally considered the truth.
That’s why, Beatty couldn’t help but be startled.
‘Father has no interest in me at all’, and as proof, ‘He left me alone in the Capital and never sent a single penny for childcare cost’.
At least for Beatty, that was a big proposition.
‘Aunt always said.
That not a single coin or letter has ever come for me.’
That’s why she couldn’t help but accept it, saying that maybe the words that Father had no interest in her was true.
But what if the premise of the truth, which she had no choice but to accept, had been wrong from the beginning
‘By any chance….’
Beatty’s heart began to throb.
The possibility that came to her mind unexpectedly, wandered busily inside her head.
Her sight turned blurry.
‘Father… actually… me….’
The story’s certainty, she had always been believing, was now wavering.
Somehow it felt embarrassing to even think that it wasn’t a delusion of hers alone, Beatty gulped down her inner thoughts.
Since then Beatty has felt as if she was possessed by something.
Unconsciously getting up, Beatty couldn’t even perceive that something was falling from her hand and opened her mouth.
Since her courage was still a bit lacking to call him that, she brought up the question right away.
“You said that you sent childcare funds for me…”
Father’s flustered face came into her sight.
It was her first time seeing such an expression like that.
‘Ah, as expected, was it a useless question’
Thinking like that, Beatty’s footsteps stopped.
Come to think of it, her voice just now was also terrible.
Beatty’s small head lowered down as if falling.
Since she had a useful gift, and the banquet she prepared had ended well, she had come to make such a report that would make him feel good hearing it.
To think that she took out words that had nothing to do with such useful information with an unbelievably shaking voice like this.
‘At this rate, let alone investing, I’d be relieved if he doesn’t tell me to quickly get out of the Castle, saying that I’m annoying.’
In the eyes of Beatty, who had habitually given herself a harsh evaluation and had changed her mind, there was seen a large front of a shoe.
When she raised her head, Father was standing in front of her, before she even knew it.
“What are you doing here”
At Father, who narrowed his brows as if he was unhappy, Beatty unknowingly flinched.
The Duke, who didn’t miss even a single one of Baby’s minor gestures, recognized it immediately.
‘As expected, was she scared’
The Duke regretted it.
It was a mistake for becoming emotional and interrogate her inside the mansion where Baby can move around, and not taking her to the underground first like usual.
To think that he’s showing a rough look in front of Baby who should only hear and see good things.
‘…She won’t run away from Daddy with this, right’
Anxiety filled the mind of the iron-blooded Duke, who didn’t blink an eye even when the enemy’s arrow passed by his ear.
He heard that daughters grew up fast and that they dislike hanging out with their father, saying that Daddy is annoying, but.
If the horrendous words ‘I don’t like Daddy’ comes out from little and cute Baby’s mouth….
Recalling a future that he didn’t even want to think about, the Duke’s eyes shook.
Beatty who unconsciously opened her mouth and was flustered, blinked.
‘What are you doing, what are you going to say.’
Scolding herself lightly, Beatty was at a loss, unable to speak immediately.
Maybe if she had left it like that, she would have just shut up again.
However, even though it was slightly to the point that it almost couldn’t even be heard, the Duke never missed Baby’s voice.
Beatty’s eyes opened wide at the sight of the Duke bending one knee, matching her eye level.
It was something that even Beatty, who had never been out to the society and didn’t really know about noble’s customs, knew.
A high-rank noble like a Duke does not lower one’s body to anyone.
‘He’s trying to match… his eyes with mine’
Becoming closer to the point she could meet his eyes even if she doesn’t raise her head stiffly, the Duke’s eyes somehow felt soft.
The warm sunshine-like golden eyes.
Meeting those eyes, Beatty felt the anxiety that wandered inside her melting down.
“…By any chance.”
The lips that clung like glue slowly opened again.
“By any chance, have you ever sent any childcare funds”
Seeing the Duke’s brows becoming knitted again after hearing her question, Beatty was afraid, but she finished her words which she had been curious about with all her might.
“Even if it’s only once….”
Although it was a waning voice, even so, for her it was a meaningful question.
Aunt always said.
That he didn’t send a single penny because he didn’t care one bit about his daughter whom he abandoned.
That’s why to speak as if it was the other way around.
‘Even if it’s only once, if you have ever sent me childcare funds…’
That means that at least, he had that much interest.
That even if it’s only a little bit, he was thinking of her as a ‘daughter’.
Clasping her hand which she put on her chest, in Beatty’s eyes, the face of the Duke who was slowly opening his mouth was seen.
“Isn’t it something obvious”
Beatty’s eyes widened more and more at the Duke’s answer that just came out.
The voice without any bewilderment, had the determination to eliminate different views as if it was something in which nothing else could happen apart from that.
Feeling her pounding heart again, Beatty swallowed carefully.
It could be that he only sent money just for the family’s face.
Maybe it could be that he sent it so that he doesn’t have to care about her anymore….
But still, at least.
Didn’t forget me.
The expectations inside her heart, which Beatty had thought she already erased all of it.
She felt a helpless move again.
Beatty tilted her head.
A strange sound came out of her mouth.
And her front view became blurry.
Beatty was puzzled by the uncontrolled body reaction, perhaps because she was still young.
Just why is she crying
It’s not something that’s that sad, though.
No, or rather, at least she should be happy hearing that there was her in a corner of Father’s memory, though.
‘Yeah, this is a good thing.’
She tried to talk out to herself like that, but.
Pitter patter, pitter patter.
The tears which fell like an untimely rain shower, regardless of how she felt inside, heavily ran through her cheeks, fell down, and drenched her neckline.
Father’s flustered voice.
His appearance of raising his voice with a perplexed expression, was not like the Duke who always gave orders without losing his composure.
And a surprising sight unfolded in the eyes of Beatty who had stood blankly, leaving her tears in which are pouring out helplessly and she herself also was completely lost about what to do with it.
Father knelt on both knees before her.
Beatty hardened as it was.
The Duke slowly reached out his hand to her with both of his knees touching the floor like a person apologizing for their fault.
His hands wrapped around the cheeks which were moistened by tears.
The body temperature of the large palm, which her entire face gets into it, felt hot.
His hand that wiped away the tears which were still flowing down was careful.
She felt a slight tremor in the Duke’s voice.
Strangely enough, when she heard those words, contrary to her heart that was warming little by little, tears rather poured out more.
As Beatty’s tear stains which fell onto the floor here and there gather.
“Are you sick somewhere”
The Duke was on edge.
Beatty’s mouth, which breathed in, trying to stop crying, made a strange sound.
Her eyes which were dyed red like a rabbit, and her bloated cheeks puffily holding back her breath as if stopping a hiccup, looked ridiculous.
However, facing Beatty’s face, which had turned red until the tip of her nose, the Duke asked with a serious face, let alone a laugh.
“Is there anything that you want If you stop crying, I’ll immediately build the townhouse that I said before.”
At Father’s appearance, making a wrong guess and said weird things just like last time.
Beatty somehow laughed.
The Duke had an indescribable expression when he saw Beatty smiling, pulling her cheeks up which were wet with full of tears.
Wondering why Baby was wearing such a painful smile like that, he had the urge of wanting to tear the cause into a thousand strands.
“The ‘Baby’… is it me”
And with a slight air of embarrassment, Beatty asked.
Blinking at the unexpected question, the Duke nodded.
The existence of whom he called ‘Baby’, there was only one person.
After he saw Baby and called her, as to his usual habit which he had called her inside.
Baby’s face turned red like a rippen maple leaf.