“You may think it’s reckless…… or that it’s stupid.”

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“Is that so?”

“But I…… I don’t regret what I did.”

Grand Duke Estin raised an eyebrow, as if he had no idea what I meant when I said I didn’t regret it.

“If I could turn back time, I would do it again.”

“I have no regrets, la.”

Frankly, If I was the 18 year old Ha Sohee and saw the 9-year-old Mary steal her director’s office money to give to the orphanage children, I would have probably scolded her for being reckless.

But I still wanted to say it.

Although it was reckless and someone might point out that it was not the right way, it was the surest way out of the options I had at the time.

No, it might have been the only option I had.

After saying that, I bit my lower lip as tears started gathering in my eyes for some reason.

Tears kept pouring out, and the silhouette of Grand Duke Estin in front of me fluttered.

I thought it would be embarrassing if I shed a path of tears on my cheek, so I tried to slightly lift my head up, but the tears flowed faster than that.

“Lady, are you crying?”

Hearing the surprised comment of Lucas who was quick to catch on, I quickly wiped my tears.

He was really quick, but I couldn’t.
Lucas does this amazing thing.

Watching me wipe away my tears, Grand Duke Estin sighed a little.

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‘I’m still being scolded for being so mean to a weak subject, but I’m even crying.’

Hearing his sigh made me feel like I was getting smaller.

This wasn’t the first meeting I had in mind.

For our first meeting, I had practiced my smile.

I wanted to show him that I was able to grow up well without being discouraged in the orphanage.

To Ha Sohee’s parents and grandmother that I can grow up well without their care…… That’s what I wanted to show.

Over Grand Duke’s broad shoulders, Lucas also looked at me not knowing what to do.

I felt so sad and sorry that I had created a cold atmosphere like this, and so even when I tried to stop the tears quickly, it was as if my tear glands were broken and tears kept on dripping.

Even if I remembered all my past lives, I was still 9 years old.

No, why is it that the more I stopped crying, the more my tears fell?

“I get it.”

“Hick, yes?”

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Ah, my voice cracked.

What a funny thing it was that on top of the tears my voice cracked.

I was on pins and needles, and the Grand Duke’s hand cautiously approached my head.

‘Is the Grand Duke stroking my hair now?’

I was so startled by the unexpected touch that my tears stopped flowing.

As I blinked and I looked at the Grand Duke, the remaining tears that still hadn’t flowed yet started flowing down.

Was it just my illusion or was there a slight change in his facial expression?

“But in the future, don’t do anything reckless again.”

“……Yes.”

I sniffled and agreed to his words.

It’s probably because I was worried about it, huh.

Even if it was a mental victory, I thought it was good for me and held out my pinky finger towards the Grand Duke.

I was trying to make a promise with Grand Duke Estin to not cause any major accidents in my own way.

I had to stay here somehow.

If I didn’t listen, I would become a hated person just like in the story.

……Then I would go to Nicor without even getting paid.

Daddy, I think I have cold hands and feet.

“What is this?”

But the Grand Duke, unaware of what my heart was thinking, looked at my little finger and frowned again.

“It looks like the lady is trying to make a ‘promise’.”

Lucas sneaked up and whispered into the Grand Duke’s ear.

Watching the Grand Duke’s reaction, I was contemplating whether I should lower my finger or not, but I missed the opportunity and awkwardly raised my hand.

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Upon hearing Lucas’ explanation, the Grand Duke clicked his tongue and put out his white, straight finger against my lost little finger.

Is this for real?

Having the grand duke make a ‘promise’ with me felt like a dream, but the sensation of our fingers touching each other felt so clear that it made me feel strange.

“Wow, you two made a promise.”

If it wasn’t for Lucas’ lively voice, I would have kept our fingers crossed.

Rather than a promise between us two, it was more of a one-sided promise where I said that I wouldn’t cause any more trouble.

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The Grand Duke, who removed his finger from my finger, stood up.

His gaze was fixed on me.
I was also staring high up and looking at the Grand Duke

The Grand Duke opened his mouth with a serious expression.

“But originally…… are you supposed to be this small?”

……It’s because I grew up without being able to eat much!

In fact, even at the orphanage, I was very small and skinny compared to the others in there.

Even then, I would hit anyone who called me small or skinny with my fists… I was very annoyed.

But that didn’t mean I would be able to hit Grand Duke Estin.

Yeah, I had no chance of winning.

No, no matter how small and skinny I was, there is nothing I could say against such a serious expression and tone.

At first glance, it looked like Grand Duke Estin was almost two fists bigger than Lucas……The Conler family was probably taller than an average person.

What the hell did Mary inherit from the Conler family other than her eyes and hair color?

“Are you eating well?”

“She still ate mostly porridge or simple food.
She has to start eating properly.”

“You must eat a lot.
You look like you would break if I touched you.”

I wouldn’t break.

I lowered my gaze and looked at my wrist.
Hmmm, It did kinda look like a skewer.

I was going to have to quickly put some muscle on this body.

Since I was Conler’s youngest daughter, wouldn’t I be able to gain some muscle by working out a little?

Still, with this body, I ate quite a bit at the orphanage.

I looked at my wrists and looked up again to see the Grand Duke looking down at me.

‘Did he keep looking at me?’

When I lowered my hand, I was touching in embarrassment.
Grand Duke’s mouth, which was looking at me with an indifferent expression, opened.

“You asked me why I came now.”

“……”

“It looks like you can’t remember.”

‘……Me?’

It was something I couldn’t remember at all.

When on Earth? This was our first time seeing each other…… Was it not?

I thought about when he was coming, but did that mean that I said rude things like that?

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I tried digging through my memories for a bit, but I had no recollection of saying anything like that in my head.

“You may leave.”

The Grand Duke shrugged his shoulders at my bewildered expression and told me I could leave.

I can’t believe I could finally escape this suffocating space!

As I half-heartedly bid my farewells, I soon found myself facing a new problem.

‘How do I leave?’

He was the head of the Conler family and the Grand Duke…… Could I dare show my back to him?

In historical dramas, they seem to take a step backwards to leave.

After contemplating for a moment, I slid my right foot backwards.

“You, right now…… what are you doing?”

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As I cautiously back stepped towards the door, Lucas asked me in a curious voice.

After telling me I could leave, the Grand Duke, who started looking out the window, heard Lucas’ voice and looked back at me.

There was a subtle change in Grand Duke’s expression when he saw me standing awkwardly.

“I was leaving……”

“Then why are you leaving like that?”

“I felt like I shouldn’t be showing my back for some reason……”

Oh shit.

I was so embarrassed!!

I didn’t know what but seeing Lucas’s expression, I knew very well that I had said something very shameful.

The Grand Duke, who was still, raised his hand and covered his mouth.

“Pu ha ha! Is that why you took a step backwards?”

“Ah, T-That is.”

“As expected of the young daughter of the Conler family, she is always prepared for the enemy!”

Puck.

The Grand Duke hit Lucas in the back of the head while as was laughing while holding his stomach

I was relieved to see the wish I was hoping for since earlier, no since a long time ago, come true.

“Stop it.”

“Oh, okay.”

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Did I mention that Lucas is a distant relative?

I heard that they grew up together since childhood.
That’s why, I thought that Grand Duke Estin had the appearance of being in a comfortable atmosphere.

“Shall we go then?”

Lucas grabbed my shoulder and turned to head towards the door.

Uh……Could I leave like this?

“Wait a moment.”

As I followed Lucas towards the door, the Grand Duke called me in a low voice.

When my shoulders trembled as I was walking, Lucas tapped me on the shoulder a couple of times as if telling me not to worry.

“Lucas, why are you leaving?”

“Yes?”

What the, I shouldn’t have been scared.

Lucas turned around while holding my shoulder as if he was dumbfounded.

“Should I attend the meeting too?”

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“When did you not?”

Maybe he was trying to hit the polka dots while pretending to go out naturally with me.

I can’t believe he was trying to use me as his excuse, it was ridiculous.

I politely bowed towards Lucas and Duke Estin, who were holding their heads, and went out.

I let out the long breath I was holding in.

It was finally over.

Still, I think it was fortunate that our first meeting ended without any troubles.

As soon as I came out, I saw Bonita looking restless as if she had been waiting for me to come out.

As soon as I saw Bonita, I relaxed and went to hug her.

Bonita tenderly sat me tight against her and patted me on the back.

“See.”

“Huh?”

“Because you are his daughter, I told you it wouldn’t be hard as long as it’s you.”

Come to think of it, I felt so mentally intimidated while I was in the room, but I didn’t think it was hard or tiring.

I nodded at Bonita’s words.

That’s right, daddy was daddy.

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