Chapter 13

 

Thank you kuroneko_chan for the kofi~!

 

***

 

Layla stared at the trap in front of her with a frown on her face. She doesn’t know how many hours she had been doing this but… It’s been quite a while.

 

It was because Layla’s stomach had started rumbling after she had eaten early in the morning. But, Layla was deliberately ignoring the sound.

 

She had been tossing and turning since early on, but it was still fruitless. She hadn’t been able to catch a single rabbit, let alone a roe deer or a deer.

 

“Please, just one deer, or a rabbit, anything is fine, so please catch one that can be made into a steak.”

 

Layla’s muttering was filled with desperation. It would be a bummer to just go back like this.

 

“D*mn it! You mean this kind of crap is a trap? Those trashy people of the Baron!”

 

It was one of the items sent by the Baron a long time ago. When she saw it, she realized that she shouldn’t have expected anything.

 

At some point they stopped sending meat more frequently, instead that was in the package. It was an object that she quietly threw to a corner of the room after realizing that she was being told to go hunting to provide for herself.

 

“Is there something broken in it?”

 

At that time, she threw it so hard that there were pieces of wood scattered in the cabin.

 

Layla, with a doubtful expression on her face, rose quietly from the bush. She moved carefully in case an animal that could be caught in the trap would approach during that moment.

 

She picked up a long stick next to her and gently pressed the middle of the trap.

 

Kwang!

 

Layla flinched as she clutched the stick caught in the trap. The trap was working very well.

 

“But why can’t it catch a single thing?”

 

Layla, who muttered in a dissatisfied voice, suddenly wondered if the reason may be herself.

 

“D*mn it!”

 

She stunk, and as long as she’s there, there might be no animal who would approach the trap. Animals also avoided places that smell rotten.

 

“D*mn it!”

 

Layla mumbled vulgar language and tried to get a stick out of the trap, but that wasn’t easy either. The tightly closed trap was not letting go, biting as tight as if the stick was a delicious prey.

 

“Let go, you stupd thing!”

 

She tried to shake the stick vigorously, but she didn’t know how to open the trap.

 

“Ugh! Really!”

 

Layla pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from her pocket. She then looked at it with a big frown.

 

The cool breeze of the forest passed between the paper and Layla’s gaze.

 

“D*mn! You should be able to read something.”

 

Layla, who had been looking at the manual like that for a long time, crumpled up the paper. She couldn’t read the writing.

 

It was an obvious thing. Although she was a Baron’s esteemed daughter, she was an abandoned child.

 

She at least had an old nanny when she was young but after a year, the nanny, who suffered from a headache because of her stench, left for her hometown under the pretext of illness.

 

Six months, three months, or one month, sometimes just three days. A few nannies changed. And by the time Layla started walking, no one was there.

 

The Baron and the Bonin both had given up on looking for a nanny to take care of a stinky child. From then on, Layla began living in a stable.

 

There was no way that a tutor would be given to a child abandoned in the stables. She overheard people passing by the stables, and she learned how to speak, but not writing.

 

It was the same after she came to the cabin. No, it was worse. In there, there was no one who came and went, so she often didn’t hear people all day long, and more days passed by without Layla talking.

 

It was impossible for a young girl who did not have one of those common children’s books to learn how to read.

 

“I’ll use it to start the fire later.”

 

It was a simple principle, it would supposedly spread its teeth when the button on the side of the trap was pressed, but for Layla, who could not read it, it was just a manual that would start a fire.

 

“Argh! Really!”

 

After shaking the stick a few more times, Lalya eventually let go.

 

“Enough! Steak or whatever, I don’t care!”

 

Layla turned around as she groaned. At first she thought it was crazy.

 

She couldn’t even read the manual, and the idea that she would set a trap to hunt was strange even for herself.

 

It was strange for her to keep being bothered when he said he liked steak.

 

It was strange that she jumped up from her seat last night, thinking about the trap that she had not used in years.

 

Not to mention that she searched the whole house looking for it since dawn , and that she went out without eating breakfast nor drinking.

 

No, the strangest thing was the strange sensation that the man made her feel when he offered the treatment. It felt like something was itchy, it felt like it was tingling, but it wasn’t cold, and goosebumps arose.

 

She thought she was getting weirder. Ever since that man appeared.

 

Layla, who remembered Bioust, stopped walking towards her cabin.

 

Black hair, shining golden eyes. The face that smiled kindly.

 

The annoyance slowly subsided from Layla’s face, which had been standing on the edge of annoyance.

 

He was the first man who saw Layla and didn’t say she smelled. No, a person.

 

He was the first person to tell her that she was a pretty girl.

 

Also, he was the first person to smile towards her.

“Sh*t! D*mn it!”

 

She spit swear words out, but Layla’s cheeks softly blushed.

 

Layla turned her back. She was about to shake the trap again. And she was about to wait for a stupid animal to be caught in the trap again.

 

Just in case, if Bioust comes again, she wants to serve him steak.

 

That would be nice.

 

***

 

“There seems… to be some misunderstanding about this.”

 

Seeing Ariadne standing in a nice dress and with sparkling eyes, the attendant made an embarrassed expression.

 

“What?”

 

Of course, Ariadne, not knowing the meaning of his embarrassed expression, had no choice but to ask him.

 

The attendant looked at Ariadne in front of him without a word, and the carriage behind her. With a look of genuine embarrassment.

 

“Is there something wrong?”

 

The Baron, who had been silently watching the figure from behind, approached. He had been standing behind him on purpose because his eyes were red after having a tearful farewell with Ariadne a while ago.

 

“By the way, the Crown Prince is nowhere to be seen.”

 

Since he was taking the candidate for Crown Princess by hand, he thought they would ride in the imperial carriage the Crown Prince had been riding in, and he didn’t even prepare a carriage for Ariadne.

 

“I came down first to make sure that everything is well prepared.”

 

Suli lied with a dry mouth.

 

“However, this has become very difficult.”

 

“What difficulty are you talking about?”

 

“That…”

 

Suli opened his eyes and looked at the two people staring at him.

 

“It’s because she was not the esteemed daughter that I told Baron about.”

 

“Yes? What do you mean? Didn’t you say that the Crown Prince surely said that he was taking my daughter to the Imperial Palace?”

 

‘Yes. He surely did say that.”

 

It was true that the Crown Prince offered to take the Baron’s daughter as a candidate for the Crown Princess. And it was also true that he said so.

 

“Well then, what do you mean by ‘It was not this person’?”

 

However, it was Suli who played a bit of a prank in the middle, and Suli, who was a faithful attendant of the Crown Prince and his precious title, had no intention of involving the Crown Prince in his prank.

 

So, the precious Crown Prince was now spending his time in a comfortable room, wiping his sword. He had no idea what was going on in the Baron’s garden.

 

“So what I’m saying is that it is true that he wants to take Baron Valencia’s esteemed daughter to the Imperial Palace as a candidate for the Crown Princess, but she is not the Baron Valencia’s esteemed daughter I speak of.”

 

“No, what do you mean she’s not Baron Valencia’s esteemed daughter!? Is there another daughter that I’m… not aware of…”

 

At first, the Baron was talking with a rapid-fire cannon as if angry, but his words gradually slowed down. And after that, he could not finish speaking, and only opened his mouth.

 

“N-no way.”

 

“Yes. You’re right.”

 

Seeing the stuttering Baron with a pale face like a blank sheet, Suli slightly smiled.

 

“Nonsense!”

 

“It makes sense.”

Suli smiled broadly at Ariadne, who just as expected, screamed with a startled expression.

 

“The Baron Valencia’s esteemed daughter that we want is Layla, the Baron’s eldest daughter.”

 

Suli, who had hit the last wedge, still had a smile on her face.

 

Perhaps the prince will not blame him. Although you could say that he did something pointless.

 

“T-that child… as the Crown Princess… to the Imperial Palace…”

 

“We will take her there.”

 

In place of the baron, whose language ability had deteriorated, Suli neatly completed his sentence.

 

“That’s nonsense.”

 

“Again, it makes sense. It makes enough sense.”

 

“How is that possible? When did the Crown Prince see her?”

 

“He said he saw him in a cabin in the forest. During that hunting day.”

 

“Even if you say he did see her! How could it be that child!”

 

Ariadne’s hand clenched her fist and trembled. If the other person had not been aware that he was the Crown Prince’s attendant, she would have beaten that nonsense talker’s mouth with a whip right away.

 

If it wasn’t for the Crown Prince, and if her actions would not have reached his ears, she would have ripped off the head of the maid next to her and kicked those trees.

 

Because Ariadne couldn’t do any of that, she had no choice but to suppress her anger by clenching her fists tightly.

 

“No, what kind of nonsense is this? Besides, I’m sure I gave you money to look after my child.”

 

‘Yes. That’s right.”

 

“Yes that’s been set, and you received a bonus because it has succeeded!”

 

“Isn’t it obviously a success? Because the Baron’s esteemed daughter is going to the Imperial Palace as a candidate for the Crown Princess.”

 

“No, what is that!? The daughter that I was talking about!1”

 

“Isn’t Layla the Baron’s daughter as well? Besides, isn’t she a magnificent eldest daughter?”

 

He wasn’t wrong. Layla was also his daughter. She was the daughter that he abandoned.

 

“Since there are two daughters, there seems to have been a slight misunderstanding between us, but now that the misunderstanding has been resolved, I think it is fortunate. Would it be too much for Layla-nim to leave today?”

 

“No, that…”

 

“Then I’ll give you until tomorrow. I’ll see you tomorrow, at this time, here, with the Baron’s esteemed daughter that was supposed to be here.”

 

With those words, Suli turned around.

 

***

 

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