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All the hurtful words she heard back in the Duchy of Elheim were gone without a trace at the word ‘Lili’.
It felt like a part of her frozen heart was warming up.
“Michael, I think I’m very happy right now.”
She thanked Carmen for giving her the nickname ‘Lili’.
“You’re really happy?”
“I think what I’m feeling is maybe happiness.”
Liarte thought this strange and ticklish feeling might be happiness.
But she doesn’t know for certain since she has never experienced this kind of emotion before.
“If you’re happy, then Father would be happy, too. I told you, I’ve only heard my father use the word ‘Lili’ three times before.”
Michael found his two blood relatives waiting for Liarte in the distant garden.
“When was that?”
“It was when the Duchy of Elheim stole an island they had been trying to acquire for years and when he was standing at the garden that my grandmother left for me.”
Carmen was sitting opposite Liarte.
‘The teacup across from my father is for Liarte.’
Even though the white table was wide and there were many seats available, he was seated in front of Liarte.
Aaron’s situation wasn’t particularly different.
Originally, he would have fought and growled at Carmen.
He even had his buttons fastened up to his neck, and he was wearing a tie that he had never worn before.
Birce wore more robes and suits than other families.
However, Aaron did not wear a coat because he was frustrated.
“And the last of the three times I’ve seen was when he called you, Liarte.”
The two approached a table in the middle of the Rose Garden.
Carmen smiled naturally and pointed to the seat with his hand.
“Please sit across from me.”
Aaron had no time to speak.
He glared fiercely at his foxlike son.
An average person would have been afraid of that stare, but Carmen deftly turned his head and ignored him.
Aaron, seeing his son’s lips rise smoothly, sat down with a trembling body.
“If you want another teacup, I’ll bring it to you. I thought that you’d need a tea set for yourself, so I had it delivered.”
“Have a seat here, Liarte.”
Liarte sat at the seat that Michael politely pulled out.
“One teacup is all I need. Or I’ll use it once a week. How many other tea sets do you have?”
“Well, maybe a thousand?”
Carmen smiled at Liarte, who seemed to have no idea what to say.
“I’m just kidding, Lili. It’s not true.”
Since two thousand tea sets could be a possibility here, it was not too far off that they could have a thousand tea sets.
The Duchy suddenly stirred the capital up because of the sudden purchase of expensive tea sets.
There was a scene in which the ladies were dazed because they could not find new tea sets.
Michael took out a spare chair and sat next to Liarte.
It was close to the corner of the table.
“Tea sets are very difficult to store and it helps if you have them, Liarte. It’s a good asset.”
Sometimes tax evasion was useful, as they could acquire all these tea sets.
The Imperial Family strictly investigated artworks and art materials, but did not meticulously search for the expensive household items used by the ladies.
For example, tea sets or things like hair brushes.
“Thank you for buying me a tea set, Carmen.”
Liarte, who thought of the five sets in front of her, said.
“What… With this much…”
Carmen, with his chin on his hand, laughed as he took a plate of refreshments in front of Liarte.
Michael picked up a cherry.
“I’ll feed you, Liarte.”
“It’s okay, if you’re uncomfortable.”
“Then you can give me one.”
He doesn’t know whose son he was, Liarte was just so beautiful that he doesn’t know what to do.
Carmen relaxed on the sidelines.
Aaron got discouraged as he did not get a chance to speak to Liarte because of his son and grandson’s skillful conversation skills.
The old gentleman’s strength drained from his huge body.
It was then that Liarte spoke to him.
“Are you okay?”
Water-colored eyes and tiny hands reached out to Aaron.
Aaron was staring unconsciously at her hands.
‘Here.’ (the Korean says ‘hand’ but I changed it to ‘here’ bc she held out her own hand with candy and didn’t want him to hold out his hand like a dog.)
It was the influence of the training that Liarte taught him at the time when he was suffering from madness.
Liarte also realized the subtle gaze he gave her. But soon, she carefully offered him a piece of candy.
“Do you want some?”
She was hesitant in saying ‘good job’ because he was sane now.
“Thank you, my savior.”
Aaron’s voice was very low and thick.
A roaring sound echoing and resonating from the depths.
“I am grateful to you.”
On the outside, he’s just an old gentleman with nice white hair and black shoes.
Liarte did not miss the calluses in Aaron’s hands.
It was something she did not see before because he did not use his hands much when he was in his mad state.
Aaron carefully took the candy so as to not hurt Liarte.
He motioned to pick up the candy with his big thumb and index finger.
“It’s okay if you don’t take it.”
Liarte unwrapped the candy and placed it on Aaron’s hand so that he could eat it right away.
“You don’t have to be too careful because I won’t get hurt.”
Tears welled up in Aaron’s red eyes.
The large old gentleman sobbed. (tl/n the author really worded this like an absolute read on Aaron’s physique crying like a baby T_T)
“I see, my benefactor.”
He was touched by Liarte’s kindness, but she didn’t notice.
“Father, can you eat something sweet?”
It was then that Carmen chimed in.
“What do you want to say, Carmen?”
Aaron replied to him with a ferocious look, perhaps because he was not on good terms with his son.
It would not be too unusual of him if he’d snap Carmen’s neck right at that moment.
“If you eat sweets, your blood pressure goes up.”
Carmen, to his delight, held out his hand. There were traces of holding a pen, but his firm palm shook slightly.
“Hand them over to me.”
“You foxy child!”
It was a conversation between a man who was almost 40 years old and a man who was 60 years old. Carmen stood up and gave his father a savage smile.
“Yes, I’m a child. My father’s foxy child.”
It was a childish quarrel, but Aaron growled low in excitement at the thought of catching a horse’s tail. (tl/n like playing rowdily.)
Searching in his pockets for a gun was rough, but he was graceful.
Michael had been pouring tea in front of Liarte.
“You’re not going to stop them?” (L)
“They’re always fighting like that.”
To be honest, Michael was indifferent to his father and grandfather’s quarrel because he only cared about Liarte.
However, the people in front of Liarte were quickly silenced.
“You don’t want them to fight, Liarte?”
For a moment, Carmen and Aaron paused.
“I don’t like it.”
Liarte, who spoke thoughtlessly, picked up the teacup. The tea with milk was not too sweet, so it suited her taste.
After that, Carmen and Aaron went silent.
Liarte replied, and the three men drank tea calmly.
Watching the beasts of Birce gather together and have a tea party, the passers-by were amazed by the sight.
“I’m telling you. They lost their minds.”
Said Walter, who was standing nearby, shaking his head at the sight.
After drinking tea, Liarte said.
“Come to think of it, Merlin isn’t here.”
It was a question for both Aaron and Carmen.
“You said Merlin was always with Aaron, right?”
Merlin, Andre, and Hans said they served Aaron.
Now that Hans has been identified as the spy, only Merlin and Andre remain.
When she became Liarte’s maid, she had no choice.
She believed Aaron’s madness would never be cured, so she stayed by Liarte’s side.
Now Aaron, who was Merlin’s original Master, has been cured.
“She didn’t say she’d go back to my father, Lili.”
Carmen said as if he had read Liarte’s mind.
“Why don’t you get the details directly from Merlin?”
Aaron nodded too.
“It’s not something I can tell you, savior. But since the rat hasn’t opened his mouth yet……”
Aaron hurriedly covered his mouth at those words. Michael and Carmen looked at him with a searing stare.
Carmen sighed and gave Aaron a candy.
He meant to silence Aaron with candy in case he’ll blurt out something with a slip of the tongue.
“Lili, please pretend you didn’t hear that. My father must have still been out of his mind and can’t control what he’s saying.”
“Even cursing is fine for me, Carmen. By the way, what does he mean by the ‘rat that hadn’t opened his mouth yet’?”
Those abusive words were familiar.
This was because the clan of Elheim, who pursued nobility, hurled all kinds of curses at Birce when Birce took half of their territory.
“It’s about Hans.”
Eventually, Carmen answered Liarte’s question without a hitch.
“I questioned him and he confessed that he was sent by the Crown Prince. But a few days before he was caught, there was a strange record of him in Birce.”
“A strange record?”
“There is a record that he suddenly wandered all around Birce.”
Carmen chuckled and pulled out a cigarette, then put it back in.
“He wouldn’t tell me what the hell he did here. No matter how much Merlin and Andre torture him, he won’t open his mouth.”
Michael was tucking Liarte’s hair behind her ears so that it wouldn’t fly in the bread.
‘He suddenly wandered around Birce.’
Michael smiled beautifully when their eyes met.
He had similar red eyes from Aaron, but it had a different feel from the latter’s fiery gaze.
Something seemed to come to mind.
“Now that the interrogation is over, Merlin will go back to you, Liarte.”
Michael said affectionately. Liarte leaned her face slightly onto Michael’s big hand.
“Let’s stay like this for a while, Michael.”
Michael did not dare to resist.
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