Chapter 45

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Most could eat what was placed in front of them, but Carius had a slightly different way of eating. He preferred to use special spices imported from across the sea.

 

Carius used tongs to grasp some of the spice from the glass plate. Then he sprinkled the dried grass-like spices on his beef.

 

He put the tongs down, and Lelia stretched out her arm, picked some spices up with the tongs. She began sprinkling some spices on her meal.

 

“Ha…!”

 

Carius looked at Lelia with astonishment.

 

This spice had a distinctive aroma along with its bitter taste. It cleanses the mouth, but usually people don’t like the scent.

 

This child was willing to eat this spice?

 

Carius frowned and looked at Lelia.

 

Over the past few months, Carius’ suspicion towards Lelia had lessened.

 

There have been many times when he felt this girl might be his sister’s daughter.

 

Carius reasoned with himself, saying it couldn’t be.

 

He wasn’t able to give up his doubts though, because he was burdened with guilt.

 

“…”

 

Carius squinted and watched Lelia.

 

He wondered if she was really tasting and eating it properly, or if she was stubbornly copying him. This spice has a robust scent that was too strong for ordinary adults to enjoy, let alone children. Carius is the only one who enjoys the spice at Superion Castle. Even his parents, the Duke and Duchess, did not like the spice.

 

Lelia cut the meat into large pieces and put it in her mouth with plenty of spice on top.

 

“Well…”

 

She chewed the meat and swallowed it with an ecstatic look on her face.

 

Carius’ expression hardened when he saw it.

 

He has never seen a child eat the spice so delightedly and become so ecstatic.

 

Is she acting? The thought occurred to him but Lelia wasn’t  paying attention to Carius. She kept tucking her head again and again, eating eagerly.

 

Lelia took it a step further and sprinkled spices on her soup and salad.

 

“….”

 

Carius lowered his eyes and looked down at his plate.

 

He almost began weeping.

 

It was because he remembered his childhood.

 

Elizabeth and Carius were the only ones who liked this spice in the Superion household.

 

The two loved spices that everyone else didn’t like. They enjoyed the sour taste that could be sprinkled on salads and soups, as well as main dishes. The reason why they brought spices from the city was because of the unusual eating habits of this brother and sister. As a child, Carius considered it very special that his sister and he had something in common.

 

“….”

 

Carius managed to pull himself together and looked at the child again.

 

Lelia had almost finished her meal without regard for Carius.

 

The glass plate, which had contained a lot of spices, was empty before he knew it.

 

Carius stared at Lelia with emotional eyes.

 

The similarities that he found between his sister and this child over the past few months crossed his mind, one by one.

 

If there had been one or two things, he could have simply said, “It’s coincidence”.

 

There were too many, it was ridiculous.

 

There were many times when he felt like his heart was pounding beyond a simple sense of déjà vu.

 

It was the same today.

 

As one more thing was added to the accumulated commonalities, it reached a point that it could not be overlooked.

 

Like small dots gathered together one by one, until finally completing a huge circle.

 

Things that he recognized with his head, but could not acknowledge with his heart.

 

“…”

 

After finishing her meal, Lelia glanced at Carius.

 

[What? He didn’t eat anything?]

 

The food in front of Carius remained untouched.

 

[Do you hate eating with me so much…?]

 

She was uncomfortable, she didn’t expect him to hate her this much.

 

[If you don’t want to eat with me, it’s as bad as saying you’d rather die.]

 

While a little extreme, one of the most important principles for Lelia was eating.

 

Also Carius’ eyes were wet with moisture. It means he wanted to cry.

 

[A grown man crying… That’s how much you hate me.]

 

Lelia fiddled with her hair awkwardly and looked at the empty glass dish.

 

[Or maybe he is upset because I ate all the spices…]

 

[Is he a softer and more delicate person than I thought?]

 

Lelia left her seat in a murky mood. It was time to leave the dining room while holding the maid’s hand.

 

“Wait a minute.”

 

Carius stopped Lelia

 

“….”

 

When Lelia looked back at him, Carius hesitated for a moment.

 

“Have you ever tried maclia?”

[Editor: I tried to look up what Maclia was referring to. The closest Korean dessert I could find was Hotteok. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotteok]

 

“.…”

 

What is maclia?

 

Lelia turned her head and looked at Becky.

 

“No, you’ve never had maclia.”

 

“…”

 

Carius removed the napkin from his lap and stood up.

 

He gave Lelia a nod to follow him.

 

***

 

“.…”

 

What is he up to?

 

Lelia was sitting in front of a table with a very good view of the garden.

 

The table was set with desserts.

 

Dessert time after eating.

 

It was Lelia’s second favorite time right after meal time.

 

But today she was with Carius, and he didn’t eat earlier.

 

Lelia wondered what he was thinking when he asked her to have dessert together.

 

“Try it.”

 

Carius gently put a maclia on Lelia’s empty plate.

 

Maclia is a round dessert with chocolate sauce on the outside.

 

Just looking at it made her drool. It was her first time seeing this dessert.

 

[It’s not poisoned, is it?]

 

Lelia looked at Carius with suspicious eyes for a moment.

 

[I know you don’t like me…]

 

Still… Carius was not the kind of person who would kill someone, let alone a child, in such a cowardly way.

 

[Plus, my grandmother’s condition has improved a lot since I arrived… There’s no way he’s gonna do that.]

 

Lelia pushed away her doubts and took a big bite out of the maclia.

 

“……!”

 

Lelia’s brow scrunched up.

 

Becky watched on with a worried look. She never brought Lelia maclias for a good reason.

 

Young children usually love sweet desserts.

 

Maclia has a rich cinnamon jam in the round dough.

 

The darker the cinnamon, the deeper the taste, the less children like it.

 

‘That’s too much for a little kid.’ Becky looked at Carius with exasperated eyes. She knew Carius didn’t like Lelia.

 

She was in a difficult situation where she couldn’t even speak up.

 

The Duke’s had ordered the servants to treat Lelia well, but it wasn’t needed.

 

The people working in the castle all liked Lelia, she was a very bright and energetic child.

 

She was at an age where she should be running around happily, but sometimes she had a depressed look on her face which made Becky sad.

 

She did not like that Carius asked Lelia to eat a dessert that is difficult for children to eat. Becky could not believe that he was harassing a child with such food. It was too disgraceful. 

 

She thought Lelia would immediately spit out what she put in her mouth, but she didn’t. 

 

It looked like she chewed thoroughly and swallowed it.

 

‘Did you force yourself to eat it?’ Becky seemed to be heartbroken at the thought that Lelia didn’t want to be hated by Carius.

 

Lelia ate another bite.

 

“It’s so delicious, Becky! This is really good! This is amazing!”

 

Lelia smiled brightly at Becky and began to eat the maclia faster.

 

“….”

 

Carius bowed his head as he watched the scene silently.

 

He was feeling emotional again.

 

Elizabeth and Carius had similar tastes, and liked this dessert since they were young.

 

To the extent of competing with each other over who could eat more.

 

When he saw Lelia enthusiastically eating like it was the most delicious thing, he remembered his childhood. Whenever his sister ate something delicious, she would savor the taste with her eyebrows scrunched. It was a really funny and cute look, and Lelia had the same look.

 

Carius was closer to Elizabeth than most brothers or sisters.

[Editor: Siscon?]

 

After Elizabeth died, he fell into a serious depression for a while and became withdrawn.

 

It was too late to change the past, but now he was convinced of everything he had been feeling.

 

This child must be the daughter of his dead sister.

 

‘What have I been doing…?’

 

‘What did I do to this child?’

 

He’d roared and threatened this child when he encountered her in the Imperial City. He did something similar at the Superion Castle. Even though he knew she was afraid of him, he always looked at her with fierce eyes.

 

Soon he began to cry, covering his face with one hand while his shoulders  shook.

 

“….”

 

Lelia, who was diligently eating her maclia, looked at Carius with bewildered eyes.

 

She looked at Becky, who shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t know what happened to him either.

 

That was when.

 

“My granddaughter, have you been eating dessert?”

 

The Duke of Superior spoke in a friendly voice as he approached, having just returned from his outing.

 

Surprised, Lelia looked at her grandfather with round eyes.

 

The Duke thought the eyes were asking, “What about my grandmother?” and answered with praise.

 

“Your grandmother fell asleep in the carriage and I carried her to the bedroom….”

 

As the Duke was approaching Lelia, his expression hardened rapidly.

 

Carius, who was sobbing into his hand, came into the Duke’s sight.

 

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