“What do you think?”

“What?”

Lucas sneakily asked a question to Estin, who was thinking about something while sitting as if leaning on the back of an old-fashioned chair, with her chin resting on the armrests embossed with the shape of an eagle.

The question brought a stir like a stone thrown into a calm lake.

Despite the omission of the subject, Estin closed his eyes for a while after clearly grasping what Lucas was asking.

At that time, he felt it when he carried her out of the orphanage, the child was very small and light.

The small feet supporting the ground were even commendable to the point where I wondered how she could stand on a leg that seemed to break if he touched it. 

Watching his three sons grow up before him, of course he was proud of them when they showed him that they deserved to be in the Conler family, but was there ever a time when he felt proud just by seeing them standing?

A child fluttering like a small petal brought a wave to Conlers mansion more than expected.

Is it because the child is too small?

Estins expression, which had been thinking that much, seemed to loosened for a while, but it began to harden at a fast pace.

Like a stone thrown into a calm lake.

But why…? 

His dark long eyelashes shaded the corner of his eyes, creating a mellow atmosphere.

Lucas, who was preparing for the meeting behind Estin, couldnt see his expression and jokingly talked again.

“Oh, are you avoiding answering?”

“I have no idea what youre asking about.”

Estin responded with a voice that seemed to contain no emotions to Lucas playful voice.

“Miss Mary.”

“Well, shes cute.”

“Right? Sometimes she really looks like a kitten.”

Lucas trembled thinking about how cute Mary was talking back to him with a sulky expression.

It was regrettable that Mary couldnt show her rebellious stray cat side in front of Estin.

It would have been fun to see the duke flustered.

Well, she must have been embarrassed enough.….

Thinking about the meeting of the father and daughter earlier makes him smile anew.

It was the cutest and funniest meeting ever.

Lucas approached Estin, who pretended not to know anything, and brought up the story he wanted to tell the most.

“No, you were patting her head.”

“If youre going to talk nonsense, just shut up.”

Estin, who noticed Lucas trying to tease him, fixed his expression which had been relaxed for a while.

It was because as soon as Estin returned, Lucas said something while reporting Marys recent status.

“Miss Mary is doing well in the mansion now. Maybe because Bonita took good care of him, her expression got brighter. She still seems like a cat who is wary, but these days, she doesnt say anything to me even if I pat her head. She has been a little friendly lately. At times like that shes like a tamed cat!”

He was just bragging about how close he became to Mary.

Mary didnt like to be touched except for Bonita, the maid who takes good care of her.

At Conlers mansion, it was said that she was like an awkward cat who doesnt like to be touched. 

So, Lucas, who was allowed to pat her head, was proud to be Marys second next to Bonita.

“Do you want to do it too?”

Estin didnt respond to Lucas question, but furrowed his left eyebrow as if he had heard something nonsense.

Leaving smiling Lucas behind, Estin stood in front of a huge window.

The child who went out earlier was throwing a black ball alone in the garden.

It was quite funny to see her throw the ball to the floor and then chase it …

If there was any impatience at the time he was trying to find that child, it wasnt because he couldnt find the child, but because they made the Conler Family angry.

But the child asked him why he only came now. Seeing her living in that kind of place and moving with a body that is so small and light. 

A ridiculous sense of remorse spread in his mind as to why he couldnt find the child sooner.

If he was a little late, what would happen to the kid?

Its driving him crazy.

“Are you still looking for the head of the orphanage?”

“Yes, but no one knows about the orphanage. People in the neighborhood knew there was an orphanage, but they didnt know the details. The people who had been interacting with the director were gamblers in the village below the mountain, but they didnt know his identity.”

“In any case, that bastard is a gambler.”

“Money is everything.”

“Do you know whos funding the orphanage?”

“I dont think its from Britina, so were looking into the Larvian Empire.”

There was a calm silence on Lucas face, which was always bright.

Estins relaxed expression was also distorted in an instant, and some anger spread on his face.

I must find the director. I have so much to ask him. And Im going to return the pain a thousand times the child suffered.

***

As I left the Grand Duke Estins office and went back to my room, I agreed to Bonitas suggestion to play outdoors for a while because the weather is nice today.

Bonita looked worried, but I reassured her by waving my arms.

Ive been in the mountains, so whats with playing outside for a while. 

Bonita brought a black and smooth-looking ball and handed it to me, saying that the youngest young master played with it.

It was hard to play with such luxurious toys in the orphanage.

Since there are no toys, you have to play using your body. Its a shame it always ended up in a fight.

When the ball lightly bounced on the ground, the ball went higher than expected.

As expected, expensive toys… 

“Miss! Dont go too far!”

Bonita who is taking care of me, the young lady of Conler family was overly protective 

Well, of course, I cant beat the physique and stamina of the boys in this family, but I was called “the best” at the orphanage.

I was the fire fist at Brandon Orphanage.…. 

I looked at my fist and briefly became nostalgic.

The glory of the past.

Thats why I showed Bonita my fist and told her not to worry, but I couldnt easily shake off her worries because she saw me being brought here unconscious.

Bonita smiled in vain, saying that my fist was too small.

Lucas even said it fits right in his mouth. 

Its not like I dont understand Bonitas worries at all, so I nodded and ran to where the ball rolled.

It rolled a lot more than I thought.

As I drove through the bushes, I could see the ball lying alone.

I tried to go quickly to get the ball, but I couldnt move as if my legs were frozen.

Next to the ball was something similar to a ball but has 4 legs and black fur. 

Dog?

As I turned my gaze slightly upward, I saw a large thing with the shape of a black dog.

Its too big…. To be called a dog. 

It would be taller than most adult men if it stood up.

Should I go back and ask Bonita?

I thought this is a dog being kept at the mansion but I suddenly remembered that Lucas said they dont keep any animals in the mansion. 

Should I inform them about this? 

However, I still cant move my frozen legs and I couldnt take my eyes off the big black dog. 

The big dog also kept staring at me without turning away.

The moment passed slowly.

How long has it been? 

Suddenly, the tail of the giant dog began to go round.

Isnt that a happy expression?

Its like… it seems friendly. Can I come closer?

The ball rolled a little more because it stood up and wagged his tail. 

I dont think thats a dangerous animal.….

My stiff body finally relaxed. I tried to approach the dog

“Miss Mary!”

When I heard Bonitas voice and I looked away for a moment, then the dog disappeared like a lie.

I trudged to the place where the dog stood and picked up the ball.

I was holding the ball and looked at where the dog was, when Bonita ran up to me.

“I told you not to go far!”

“Uh, uh, just.”

I looked back as I was being pulled by Bonita.

For some reason, I thought I shouldnt talk to Bonita about the black dog, so I just closed my mouth and shook my head when Bonita asked why I came all the way here.

What the hell was that?

I cant really explain it but…… it feels strange.

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