“By the way, do newspapers come to the mansion?”
“If you’re not uncomfortable, can we receive one more newspaper? I’ll pay for it.”
Carlon crossed his arms and gazed at her with a look of disapproval. When there was no answer from him, Valletta slowly pondered what she had said.
She exclaimed ‘Ah’, and opened her mouth again.
“Do I ask for this as a favor as well?”
“You can ask me for anything except for those that you can do yourself.”
Valletta nodded her head.
How should she ask for this? She sluggishly worked through it in her head.
When learning a foreign language, it would be easier to have a conversation formula for things like basic tense, past tense, and present tense.
Her brows slightly furrowed.
“Please, Carlon. I’ll pay for it, so let’s receive one more copy of newspaper.”
Both Quilt and Carlon’s mouth were blocked.
The format was obviously a request, but that’s it. It was a request forced into that frame.
Quilt looked at Valletta with a very slight sense of surprise.
He had guessed to some extent that neither his master nor the woman in front of him were ordinary. However, he never expected that she would be this inflexible.
“… Valletta, if you’re paying for it, then what’s the point of requesting it from me?”
“I don’t know how to order and receive the goods in your mansion, so I will need to trouble Your Grace for this part and bother you.”
Carlon touched his forehead.
The explanation was lacking. It seemed like he didn’t have any talent in explaining. Duke Leon forcibly pushed the child to understand, unfortunately, that kind of coercion was not Carlon Delphine’s personality.
“It won’t bother me.”
“I understand. If I edit that part… Ah, should I remove the ‘I’m paying’ part?”
Valletta asked, tilting her head.
She wasn’t even some kind of a machine, so he wanted to ask the reason as to why she was this twisted. In what kind of environment, and what kind of treatment, does a person have to go through to grow up this soulless?
The child did not learn any emotions, as if she had brainwashed herself. Like finding a mathematical formula or what is normal, remember the wrong part in mind and someday, replacing and fixing the incorrect parts.
“… It’s going to take a long time to get there, so how about we talk about the old days?”
“The old days?”
“Let’s start with something simple.”
One of the easiest topics to discuss was stories about one’s family or themselves. Carlon Delphine spoke up after thinking for a while.
“Uhm, all right. Where is your mother? Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve heard of Countess Delight. If it’s hard to say, just shake your head. I’ll ask something else.”
“Maybe my father killed or sold her?”
Valletta answered in a calm manner while stroking the snow tiger’s head, who had fallen asleep.
On the contrary, Carlon Delphine was speechless at her answer. Even with choosing the topic, he chose the wrong one.
Worse, even the detestable eyes of Quilt reached him from the side.
After coughing a couple of times, Carlon Delphine rubbed his cheeks with dry hands and smiled.
“Hm, I see. Count Delight…”
“Yes. At first glance, I look like an adopted daughter. Count Delight should not be married. Aren’t I often referred to as an illegitimate child? Because I was born from a woman that my father had embraced.”
It’s too bleak to say ‘a woman that my father embraced’ instead of mother. She also didn’t have a look of longing. The child said it in a voice as rough as grains of sand and with a dry look.
“You don’t miss her?”
“Yes, do I have to miss her?”
“Did she leave early?”
“I was born with this magic circle so my father was very pleased with me.”
Valletta said as she pressed her palm against her eye where the ancient magic circle was hiding.
She doesn’t remember her face very well. She thought her hands were soft, but she couldn’t remember for sure.
“I heard my mother’s situation changed thanks to that. I think we were together up until I was three years old, but the problem was, that woman was also not in the right mind.”
Recalling vague memories, Valletta licked her lips indifferently. It was a memory from when she was still very young so she didn’t think it was regrettable.
In the first place, she was a woman who was jealous of a newborn child’s happiness. Apparently, she was born unhappy. Then, she was sold to Count Delight and was embraced by him, and she became pregnant with Valletta.
In fact, she doesn’t know it very well. Whenever she asked anything, annoyed looks were the only response.
“She wasn’t in the right mind?”
“She tried to kill me several times. I can’t remember anything else, but I still remember her expression when she strangled me.”
She still couldn’t understand the heart of the woman who clenched her teeth and strangled Valletta while sadly crying as she spit out malicious words.
“One time, she fell down with me from the second floor to try committing suicide. After that, she was dragged away by hand by father and disappeared.”
“If she was alive, she’d have been educated in a foster home; if she was sold, and went insane and died… that may be happiness for that person.”
She doesn’t understand it, but she would have rather died. Count Delight was not a merciful person, so she couldn’t even imagine what she’d be like if she were alive.
“Don’t you want to meet her?”
“I don’t know…”
Valletta, who spoke vaguely, narrowed her eyes and pondered. Never in her life had she ever needed a mother.
She doesn’t know if it was because she has memories of her past life, but she was on a fast-paced track and was preoccupied trying to survive from Count Delight.
“If we did meet, I feel like I would kill her so I don’t really want to.”
Carlon did not hide his surprise.
Quilt’s forehead also furrowed. Whenever he looked at her, he felt like he was looking at his Master.
A dry attitude and tone that suggested having lived for a long time.
“Because she was kicked out like that, she wouldn’t be living a normal life anyway. Wouldn’t it be better to just die rather than living like that?”
Twisted, crooked, messed up beings. Perhaps it was because they grew up together, so their way of thinking was also similar.
“If it was me, I would think so. If someone killed me, I would be grateful.”
Quilt thought that his Master had inherited cruel tendencies, just like the previous Magic Tower’s Masters. It was a bit too far reaching, but he thought that cruelty was proportional to the power that they had.
Valletta shut her mouth as she felt the silence enveloping the carriage.
As she belatedly pondered what she had said, she rubbed her forehead with the back of her hand.
“Looking at the reaction of the two of you, I don’t think I said something normal. I’m sorry. Just forget about it.”
Since that day, she had been trying to get her mind back to normalcy as much as possible, but things that were already established were not easy to return to their place.
“No. I think I made you tell a story that was hard to talk about.”
“No, not really. But I need to be careful in the future.”
Valletta bit her lower lip a couple of times and rubbed her nape.
The words said in a dry voice were not tinged with regret but self-blame.
Self-blame filled with sadness for not getting the correct answer.
“Because I lived in a narrow world, I haven’t been able to understand the standard for normalcy, so there are times when I would make some mistakes. If you point it out, I will correct it.”
“… It’s more like gathering information so you can act.”
“Yes, my goal is to live a normal life, so in order to do that, I have to blend into other people’s lives without any sense of incompatibility.”
Valletta obediently nodded her head in response without any denial or falsehood. Indeed, it was just that. For her, it was simply a wrong answer. An incorrectly noted answer that will not happen twice.
“That child… When did you first meet the Magic Tower’s Master?”
“I think it was when I was nine years old.”
“Nine years old.”
“Yes, my father gave him to me as a birthday present to use as a slave.”
And she found out the first time she saw him. The fact that he was a time bomb and not a present.
She struggled to live her life, but the result did not change much. Except, she didn’t die like the original plan.
‘Though I received a strange obsession.’
But it didn’t make everyday life impossible.
“What kind of person did Count Delight look like to you?”
“A person who planned ahead, meticulous, vain and greedy, but never stupid. But his disadvantage was that he doesn’t listen to other people’s opinions properly.”
If he had listened, he could have lived.
However, thinking about it a little more, if Count Delight had lived, she would’ve been confined in the Imperial Palace and working like a slave.
Looking back, it was clear that Reinhardt even saved her future. Of course, she would have run away as soon as the bracelet on her wrist loosened.
“Come to think of it, there was no news today, right?”
“An incident or accident report that comes in.”
“There was nothing particular.”
Valletta nodded and sluggishly looked away.
Since Reinhardt sent an escort, he must have seen something. And he was probably wary of the danger that it could pose to her.
“Mr. Henchman, how is the atmosphere at the Magic Tower?”
“… It’s Quilt.”
“Should I call you by your name?”
“I don’t know why you’re ignoring someone when they have a decent name.”
Valletta’s eyes slightly widened at Quilt’s words.
Was not calling someone’s name an act of ignoring them? She closed her mouth and met Quilt’s gaze.
“That’s ignoring other people?”
“I don’t call anyone’s name, so isn’t that fair?”
“In that case, you have been ignoring everyone.”
Valletta’s expression darkened at Quilt’s resolute reply.
She didn’t know that relationships with other people were that difficult.
If you call someone by their name they become attached to them, so how the heck do other people call out someone else’s name casually?
“When you call someone’s name, you’ll be giving that relationship a name and feelings are also created.”
Valletta said with a puzzled look.
“… What are you saying?”
“Then I would feel something if the other person dies…”
Valletta, whose lips slightly moved at Quilt’s surprised eyes, stopped talking and let out a low sigh.
When she glanced back, Carlon Delphine had become pale white.
‘So this is also wrong.’
Valletta wrote the wrong answer in her mind. Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere became even colder.
We finally got a glimpse of Valletta’s mother and it’s not great…
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