Chapter 1 - Part 1
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The Duke of Superion led Lelia to a suite where Elizabeth had stayed until she got married.
(E/N: A suite would be a group of rooms that are meant to be used as a whole, similar to an apartment.)
The maids had recently cleaned these rooms, but it seems that the maids attended to the suite on a daily basis.
Lelia looked at the cutely decorated rooms.
She was able to get a sense of her mother’s taste in the hut, but she could feel more of it in these rooms.
It was so pretty.
[Besides, it can’t be taken away by her Brothers, Cedric and Damien.]
Her mother’s suite was divided into a large living room and bedroom, a bathroom, a walk-in closet, and a study that lay past unopened arched doors.
It was so spacious that she dreamed of staying here forever. It seemed better than the single room she had back in the temple.
(Editor: The sitting/living room and bedroom seem to be “one room”.)
Lelia could feel her mother as she looked around her rooms.
The Duke of Superion was following and watching Lelia as she explored the different rooms.
“Oh, I have something to give you.”
The Duke of Superion then led Lelia back to the living room.
On one of the tables lay a mysterious package.
At the Duke’s words, Lelia carefully opened the package.
Inside was an ornate box that sparkled with gold. She carefully lifted it up and opened it, revealing a clear, and beautiful song.
“It’s a music box.”
Lelia exclaimed with a happy expression.
“Yeah, this was originally a present for Elizabeth. She loved music boxes since she was a child.”
At those words, Lelia felt her heart fill up with something warm. She cradled the music box to her chest.
“This is a gift from your mother, and I will give you more gifts from now on. You should never refuse them and take all of them. Got it?”
When Lelia answered, the Duke patted her head in a curious way.
It was then…
She heard a knock, well more like a Bang-Bang.
Duke Superion’s brow furrowed.
The door soon opened and a man walked in with an angry expression.
Lelia was startled and subconsciously went to hide behind Duke of Superion’s back.
Opening the door was a young man with an angry face.
He was one of her mother’s brothers, it was the man she had seen in her mother’s cabin.
Carius, who came in angry, stopped when he briefly saw Lelia’s face before she hid behind the duke again.
[Why did he come in here so enraged at his father for bringing home a child?]
He couldn’t believe it was her.
He blinked in disbelief.
His face turned very red and he began to shout loudly.
He had never dared to be angry in front of his father, but he couldn’t stop himself now.
“Father! Why is the child I saw in the Imperial Palace here? What is she doing here now?! Damn it! Do you know whose daughter this is?”
When the Duke did not immediately answer, he continued to shout.
“Besides, why… ! Why did you let her into this room?! And then you called me here! Why Father?!”
Carius was almost crying. Tears flowed down his face, which was flushed in anger.
“How, how…?! You brought Iris’ daughter here!”
Carius glared at Lelia, and grit his teeth. He was thinking about how he wanted to drag this child out immediately and drive her out of the palace.
It wasn’t enough to invade his sister’s hut, but she even desecrated these rooms! He gasped around his congested nose.
Even now, seeing her hide behind his father’s back made him see red.
The Duke of Superion clicked his tongue and looked at his sullen son.
“Father! Don’t you know that the Emperor is looking for that child?! Come out from behind him! How dare you hide behind someone’s back!”
Carius yelled at Lelia, who was still hiding behind the duke.
Lelia was even more terrified than when she met him in the hut. His appearance now was making her very nervous.
That was when…
The Duke, who had been quietly watching the whole time, reached out and pinched Carius’ cheek.
Carius looked at his father with a shocked look in his eyes, as if confused that his father had grasped his cheek.
“How dare you get angry in front of me! How can you not even recognize your own niece… pathetic man. Don’t you feel sorry for Elizabeth?”
“Let me go!”
Carius exclaimed, while his father continued to pinch his cheek. The duke narrowed his eyes and let go of the cheek.
Carius’ cheek had turned bright red.
“What? Niece? What are you talking about…?”
Carius wrinkled his brow while holding on to his cheek.
It was at that moment that Lelia, who had been hiding behind the duke, leaned her head out slightly and looked up at him.
[He must have been very angry, but I think he’s calmed down…]
He had been angry when he saw her in the hut, but the thought that she had managed to invade his sister’s space this far away had enraged him.
Carius looked at Lelia with a puzzled look. Then he looked at his father as it dawned on him.
“Alas! I’m afraid that I’m getting old…”
This time the duke firmly pinched Carius’ other cheek.
In a chamber inside the Duke’s office.
The three Superion siblings were sitting around the conference table. This was a venue used by the high-ranking family members to have meetings.
At the head of the table sat the Duke of Superion, with his brows heavily furrowed. He was an old man in his 60’s whose spirit was more formidable than when he was in his youth. It was a frightening dignity that has carried the House of Superion for nearly 40 years.
The three Superion siblings were sitting around the table with faces full of complaints.
Xenon, the oldest of Elizabeth’s two brothers, is 35 years old. He’s in charge of the knights of the House of Superion and the father of two sons.
Carius, who is seated next to Xenon, is 28 years old. He was the closest to Elizabeth before her death. Among the three siblings, Carius has the most resentful look on his face.
Finally… Atia, Elizabeth’s little sister, who is 27 years old.
She wasn’t close to Elizabeth because she’d spent her childhood at the capital. She returned to the territory, from the capital, when her sister became the crown princess.
The sadness and longing she felt for her dead sister remained.
She also looked to be full of complaints.
“Will Father listen to our words?”
The reason why siblings looked unhappy was because of what their father had said moments ago.
The girl he’d brought from the capital is Elizabeth’s daughter.
They heard the whole story, but the siblings couldn’t easily believe it. But Xenon seemed to think that it might be possible.
“She certainly looks like Elizabeth when she was a kid.”
“She does not look like Elizabeth! There’s no resemblance other than the color of her eyes!”
Carius refuted the words of his eldest brother, Xenon.
“I remember Elizabeth’s childhood in more detail. We have to leave open the possibility. If that’s true…”
If that’s true…?
Carius’s eyes darkened. If that kid really is the young daughter of his dead sister… .
“If it’s true, Carius, you’re in big trouble. Why don’t you just die?”
“Shut up, Atias…”
Carius and Atias started a fierce battle and exchanged harsh glares. The situation between the two was common, Xenon sighed as he looked at them.
“Stop,” said the duke, who had been silent the whole time.
“I have no intention of getting your permission anyway. There will be no talks about sending the child to the capital.”
This meant that the existence of Lelia, who was being looked for in the Imperial Castle, should be kept silent.
The Superion Territory was quite a distance from the capital, and the emperor would never be suspicious of the Superion family.
Princess Iris, Lelia’s official mother, was an enemy to the Superion family.
Most would think that if they had a chance, the Superion’s would kill Lelia. No one would ever suspect that they were protecting her.
The emperor didn’t seem to be looking for the child because he was worried about her child’s safety.
“But Father, shouldn’t we wait to see if she’s Elizabeth’s real daughter?”
“I’ll look into it myself.”
The Duke answered Xenon’s question firmly. Xenon pondered on his Father’s answer for a moment and asked another question.
“What are you going to tell the vassals?”
“For now, I will announce that I have brought in a child resembling Elizabeth for the sake of my wife’s illness.”
“This should be kept strictly secret.”
At the duke’s words, the three siblings nodded saying they understood.
After receiving his children’s confirmation, the Duke left the conference room as if there was nothing more to say.
The three siblings remained and exchanged glances with each other.
They believed in their father.
“For now, I’ll believe it. Do you know what Mother did when she saw that child?”
“How was it?”
Xenon asked for clarification of Atias’ words. To which Atias went into great detail, as she could no longer contain it.