Marciana Leocardia, the Little Bear’s fraternal twin sister, looked more like the Duke, but much cooler.
Her bobbed hair was black, and her eyes golden.
The intensity of the colors was much more similar to that of the Duke, not the Little Bear.
It was a deep black that engulfed all colors and a radiant gold that glowed brighter than the sun.
‘The stronger the Leocardia member, the richer the color, right?’
This person’s color was so clear that nobody would be unconvinced that she was the successor.
Her strength was obvious.
Even more than a Duke, it felt like I was looking at a giant leopard.
“Oh my! So cute!”
When Marciana’s eyes found me, they twinkled like the stars.
“Hi! My name is Marciana Leocardia.”
“Put me down.”
The Little Bear seemed a little dissatisfied, but still, put me down on the floor.
I bowed deeply with my hand together in front of my navel.
This humble one’s name is Dia.
Please take care of me!”
“Oh my God!”
Marciana gave a sudden scream, let out a deep breath, and gripped her heart.
The eyes that were stuck on me shook wildly, shining brightly.
Soon, Marciana opened her arms.
“Let me give you a hug.
How about it? Come here.”
It was a little scary.
I stepped back without realizing it, and the Little Bear hugged me again taking me farther away.
Marciana immediately ran after him and grabbed the Little Bear by the shoulder.
“Give her to me.”
“Give her to me!”
Marciana was about 10 centimeters shorter than Little Bear and had a small physique.
Her limbs were long and thin like her mother the Duke.
But the very same Marciana was like a man with enormous power and lifted the giant Little Bear with her thin arms.
There was no sign of struggle.
It was like she was carrying cotton.
“I want to hug her, too! Give her to me!”
“No! No way! Dia isn’t an object! Don’t talk about her like that!”
The Little Bear roared out loud.
Marciana listened to the Little Bear’s words, took away the arms that held Little Bear, and sighed.
“Dia, I’m sorry.”
I was surprised.
‘How friendly to a mere commoner like me.’
In my previous life, the Cardinal whipped me when I didn’t do something right, scolding me for being a mere lowly orphan commoner.
The Lord of Spania, the place where I grew up, trampled on all non-noblemen, saying that they were vulgar.
But here, the Leocardia Duchy was different.
‘She even grew up alongside the commoners.
I waved my hand.
“It’s alright as long as she apologizes”
“Oh my god…”
The Little Bear muttered.
Marciana smiled brightly and her eyes lit up again.
“So cute! Dia, can you hug me just once, yeah?”
“Hey! Don’t cut in! I asked Dia not you!”
“Dia wouldn’t want to anyway! Right?”
The eyes of the brother-sister pair stuck to me at the same time.
“You don’t want to, do you?”
“You want to, right?”
The two asked one after another.
I felt cold sweat trickling down my back.
Truthfully, I wanted to hug Marciana at least once, too.
‘I think she’s a good person, but Little Bear… is so frightening…’
It was obvious that if I did hug her, Little Bear would be upset.
‘Is this what adults do… Oh wait, is he even an adult?’
According to the explanation I heard on my way to the Duchy, the direct descendants of the Duke are treated according to their appeared age.
The two are now 20 years old, so they should be treated as such.
After all, they said that their brains also develop quickly.
However, the two are actually just 13 years old.
‘So it’s because they’re young’
It was only then that I was convinced, but I still couldn’t figure out what to do.
Then, my savior appeared, rescuing me from my suffering.
“Dinner has been prepared.”
It was Lavigne, the maid I encountered earlier.
I raised my hands and shouted.
“Let’s go eat!”
The brother-sister pair grumbled at the same time but didn’t continue to ask anymore.
The Little Bear hugged me up and started walking.
Marciana followed and glared at Little Bear with hawk eyes, apparently looking for an opportunity to take me away.
The Little Bear was very wary of Marciana and hurried his steps.
Soon, we arrived at a room past the corridor.
The room was large enough for 10 people to sit and eat at the same time.
It was filled only with the furniture needed, like tables and chairs, and they were neatly and comfortably decorated.
As soon as I saw the food on the table, I burst into admiration.
Most of the dozens of dishes on the table were meat, and there were many dishes I saw for the first time.
My mouth was watering in an instant.
The Little Bear looked at my face and laughed loudly as he put me down on a chair.
“Put your hands forward.”
In an instant, my hands were cool and clean.
It was Cleaning Magic.
I would have done it myself but I couldn’t use it as it required a lot of mana to use.
“This is Cleaning Magic.
I’ll teach you later.”
“I’ll teach you! I’m better!” cried Marciana, sitting across him.
I thought the Little Bear would glare right away, but he nodded instead.
Listen to her Dia.
She uses magic better, so it’s better for her to do it. But I’ll be the one to teach you swordsmanship!”
I use dual swords like the Warrior.
Dia, you like the warrior right? I can teach you how to wield dual swords!”
‘I’m definitely much much much better.’
But I couldn’t tell the truth.
I nodded quietly, and the Little Bear grinned with delight.
“Lavigne, help Dia with her meal will you?”
Lavigne smiled and happily approached before stopping beside me.
“What does our Dia want to eat first?”
As soon as they heard me, the brother-sister pair burst into laughter.
Lavigne, as well as the others in the dining room, could not help laughing.
This is called shellfish.”
I forked the well-done golden shellfish and took it to my mouth.
It was very delicious and savory, but hard to eat because I had no front teeth.
[t/n – crying sfx]
Lavigne seemed to notice my trouble.
“Let’s eat this later.
Maybe when you’re a little bigger.”
“What should our Dia eat next?”
“Jokbal!” (Steamed pig feet)
Here you go.”
“It’s so good!”
The Little Bear and Marciana both had happy faces.
They seemed to be watching me eat from the start.
“Have some too!”
“Yes, I will.”
After answering steadily, the brother and sister began to eat, periodically looking at me and smiling happily.
I focused on eating well.
It was hard after I finished eating.
“Ah, I’m so full.”
When I looked down, my stomach was sticking out.
“I still want to eat dessert…”
My stomach for rice dishes and desserts was different, but I couldn’t even drink water anymore.
‘I can’t believe this…’
The Little Bear smiled and comforted me.
“You can eat it tomorrow.
Shall we wash up and sleep? Lavigne, have you prepared the bath?”
“Yes, Young Master.”
“Dia, I’m going to go wash up and sleep as well.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
“See you tomorrow!” Marciana followed.
I smiled and bowed my head.
See you tomorrow.”
Lavigne asked me, bending over, “The bathroom is a little far.
Do you want me to hug you over?”
“No, I’m full so I’ll walk around to exercise.”
“Then shall we hold hands?”
I reached out my hand and Lavigne grinned as we faced each other.
As I left the dining room, I heard Marciana’s irritated voice behind me.
“I couldn’t even hug her…”
I rolled my eyes and pretended I didn’t hear.
Lavigne took me down the hall until a certain point.
There was a cylindrical transparent box that could accommodate well over ten people.
“It’s called an elevator.
Have you never seen one?”
“Yes, it’s my first time.”
“The castle has 10 stories.
You take this when your luggage is heavy or you need to move faster.
Let’s take it because even if you are full it’s still far.”
Lavigne put her right hand against the wall of the elevator.
As the light brown mana, which was the same color as her hair, permeated the elevator, the transparent doors opened.
I was surprised.
“Come on, let’s go on.”
A little wary, I followed Lavigne in.
“It’s going to move down now.
Don’t be surprised.”
I answered casually, but I was nervous.
Lavigne laughed and pressed three of the buttons on the inside of the elevator.
The door closed and it began to go down.
I was glad I listened to the explanation in advance, or else I would have cast an attack spell immediately.
I wanted to press the buttons too.
However, before I could ask, the elevator stopped.
The door opened and I stepped out together with Lavigne.
It was a bit disappointing.
“This is the third floor, and it’s a space for guests.
The room I prepared for you is here.
But before that, let’s wash up.
Have you ever taken a bath? I mean the kind where other people wash it for you?”
I can wash by myself.”
“You’re a guest.
Guests must be looked after.”
“Is that so?”
“Come on, let’s go in.”
Inside the bathroom were two ladies in their 30s neatly dressed like Lavigne.
They both looked at me and greeted me with glittering eyes, so I bowed.
“I’ll be in your care!”
The two people laughed and gently undressed me.
I was surprised because it was my first time, but I stayed still.
I was full, but I felt a little dazed when I went into the warm tub.
The two bears took good care of me, but I was undoubtedly tired from all the traveling.
Even more so with all the things that happened today.
The Duke came to mind.
‘Did she reject me…?’
Again, an incomprehensible melancholy and sadness washed over me.
My heart ached and my eyes ached.
I closed my eyes.
“Are you sleepy? You can sleep.”
Lavigne whispered softly.
“My hair isn’t dry yet…”
“It’s all right.
I’ll wake you up.
Sleep if you’re sleepy.”
Lavigne’s words sounded like a safe temptation.
‘It’s not dangerous here.’
It was Big Bear and Little Bear’s home.
A place that was blessed by the Lord.
A place where monsters can’t invade.
‘I don’t have to be on guard…’
I fell into a deep, black sleep.
I slept soundly without a single dream.
It was the first time I had slept so soundly since my rebirth.
I didn’t want to wake up.
‘I want to sleep more.’
It felt even better because it felt like I was floating in warm hot spring water.
“…The way she smiles is similar to that of when Marciana was young.”
The voice of a woman I had heard was dry and grim like a desert.
I couldn’t feel anything more from the hoarse voice but it felt like she was desperately pressing down her emotions because she was afraid they would burst out.
“If our third was alive… Would she be like this?”
“I don’t know…”
I knew who the owner of this man’s voice was.
But I couldn’t think of it.
Lingering between deep sleep and consciousness, I couldn’t think any further.
“Oh, I didn’t know you’d be so distressed.
I should have told you earlier… I’m sorry.”
“No, even I didn’t know I’d be like this.
Are you alright?”
“When I first saw her, I was in pain too.
But the more we were together, the more we laughed.
She’s a sweet and lovely child who has healed my wounds.”
“Are you thinking of her as the replacement for our third?”
I’ve never thought so.
Dia is not our third.
But Dia has indeed relieved me of my pain.
Love, I hope you can find peace too.
I hope that Dia’s presence can help you heal, and…”
“I hope this cute little child who has lived a hard life can be happy.
I really hope things go well for this child, who cried so hard she couldn’t breathe because she wanted to live a normal and happy life.”
The man’s last few words were said in a whisper.
But those words flowed into me and perfectly enveloped my whole body, no, my soul, with warmth.
It was an affection that I felt for the first time in my two lives.
I smiled and began to rise towards the happy reality.
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