Gallio paused at the thought that struck him like lightning. 

 

He moved his body to fulfill his master’s orders, but inside his thoughts were going crazy.

 

‘The kidnapper confessed to the murder just before he died, but there was nobody to confirm it.
If she’s seven years old and not five…’

 

However, the most basic thing was not right. 

 

All of Leocardia’s direct descendants had different shades depending on their respective strength, but their hair would always be black and their eyes golden. 

 

Dia had dark brown hair and eyes. 

 

But according to Helladius, Dia’s mana was black.
The same color as those within the Leocardia family. 

 

‘Since she’s a genius, could she be using magic to hide the color of her hair and eyes?’

 

It was not impossible for someone to hide their natural colors from birth ‘til now. 

 

Besides, the Spania estate, where Dia grew up, was not far from where the kidnapper was found. 

 

‘By any chance! Could it be…!’

 

At this moment, Gallio could no longer control his spiraling thoughts.
His heart continued to beat violently for a long time. 

 

‘I need to check!’

 

Unlike the swirling emotions in his heart, Gallio moved with a calm face. 

 

He took a deep breath in front of the treatment room before knocking and entering. 

 

“Dad, you’re here.”

 

His son, Ruth, Welcomed Gallio.

 

“I have a place I need to go.
Come with me.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Gallio quickly began to walk with his son beside him. 

 

Of course, the destination was Dia’s room.

 

***

 

After leaving the Duke’s office, I felt a little depressed.

 

“Dia, what’s wrong?”

 

I hurried to breakfast and met Little Bear who came to see me in front of the elevator. 

 

The Little Bear immediately hugged me and looked at me, showing signs of concern. 

 

“Did Mother say anything bad?”

 

“Yes…”

 

The Little Bear’s eyes dropped sharply. 

 

“What did she say?”

 

“I need to learn etiquette.”

 

“…”

 

“If I don’t learn, she says I can’t eat dessert.
I also can’t use magic until I’m 13.
If I use it… I’ll be banned from eating the chocolate pudding from The Silver Fork.
The Duke is so cruel!”

 

“…”

 

The Little Bear’s expression relaxed.
Quietly evading my gaze, he injected some mana into the elevator. 

 

When the door opened, the Little Bear went inside and said, “You can press the buttons.”

 

“Okay! Since we’re going to the third floor, I’ll press three?”

 

“That’s right! Our Dia is a genius!”

 

The Little Bear smiled brightly.

 

‘I can’t believe I’m being called a genius over just this.’

 

I was embarrassed, but I didn’t hate to hear the words looking at me in a good light.

 

‘Am I hungry for compliments?’

 

Come to think of it, it was safe to say that I had never been praised before I met the two bears.
There was not a single hint of it in my previous life, and even less in this life. 

 

‘Everything’s changed since I met the two bears.’

 

As soon as I was born, I was kidnapped and almost died, entering a strange orphanage not long after.
However, ever since I met the two bears, my life had slowly begun getting better. 

 

‘Thank you.’

 

I smiled at the little bear and said, “But she also said I can continue living in the Duchy! And since I’m a guest of the Duchy, all my meals and rent are free!”

 

“I see.
But… mother only told you you’re a guest? She didn’t mention anything else?”

 

The Little Bear asked seriously, and I quickly recognized the Little Bear’s anticipating eyes. 

 

‘He wanted me to be adopted…’

 

My heart ached, so I clung even harder to the Little Bear. 

 

“She did mention something else… But I decided to go with just Dia.”

 

“Why? Do you still hate aristocrats?”

 

The Little Bear seemed quite disappointed.
It was sad to look at.

 

“It’s not that.
I just thought that I shouldn’t forget that I am ‘Dia’.”

 

This was not a lie. 

 

For the sake of my revenge, I could not be Dia Leocardia. 

 

I had to remain Dia.
Just Dia. 

 

“You… You’re only five, but you sometimes talk like an adult.”

 

The Little Bear let out a complicated sigh. 

 

My heart hurt, but I knew my decision wasn’t wrong. 

 

The Little Bear quietly stroked my head. 

 

I shouted again. 

 

“I don’t like it!”

 

There was a reason why I hated etiquette so much. 

 

–You don’t even know manners? As expected of a commoner!

 

It was natural that I didn’t know manners because I was a commoner and an orphan. 

 

Still, they cut the back of my hand open with the top of a pointy dagger every time I made a mistake.
When blood dripped from the back of my hand and soaked the table cloth, they became furious, yelling that it was dirty. 

 

It was after that, that they started using the whip. 

 

‘…Stop’

 

I shook my head to stop the painful memories. 

 

The Little Bear looked surprised.

 

“Do you hate etiquette so much?”

 

“Yes.
Juliano, can you ask them to not continue with it?”

 

“No, you need etiquette.”

 

“I don’t need it!”

 

“No.
You need it.
In truth, I also ran away because I didn’t like studying etiquette, but over time I realized that it is actually needed in many things.
Our Dia is a genius.
I’m sure you’ll be able to learn fast.
You can do it, right?”

 

The Little Bear smiled affectionately. 

 

How could I continue protesting in the face of that gentle smile?

 

 “…I’ll try.”

 

I was forced to nod. 

 

The Little better strode away, looking at me cutely again. 

 

Soon we arrived at the room where I slept the night before. 

 

“Do you like this place?”

 

I couldn’t see the room properly because I was so busy in the morning, but I finally realized just how big the room was. 

 

It was so luxurious that I was afraid to even touch the bed, desk, and closet.
The window was so big that I could look down on the entire territory, with the warm sunlight illuminating the room. 

 

“Yes!”

 

I answered and pointed to the Secret Bear next to the bed. 

 

“It’s the best!”

 

“Our Dia has high standards!”

 

The Little Bear smiled brightly and went on to say, “I’ll tell you more about this place.”

 

After explaining that the building was 10 stories above ground and three stories below ground, the Little Bear brought me towards the large window.
The view was lower than what I saw through the glass window of the Duke’s office on the fourth floor.
Still, many things could be seen because the Duchy’s castle was built at the highest point of the territory. 

 

 “That’s the first external wall.”

 

The Little Bear pointed to a sturdy-looking, tall, and round wall about 500 meters away with the Duchy Castle in the center. 

 

“There’s a second outer wall in the distance, but most of the city is between the first and second outer walls.
Between the second and third walls was a place for farming and other works alike, and the third outer wall was for guarding the borders of the land.  It’s the one we passed by yesterday.”

 

“The territory is so big…”

 

The road that stretched out in an orderly manner was very wide, and the floor was well maintained.
On both sides of the road were tall, straight, and strong buildings.
Many people crowded the streets, going in and out of buildings, or just leisurely walking. 

 

It was far away, but I could see that everyone was dressed up neatly. 

 

“It’s such a nice place…”

 

The Duchy was the largest, most relaxed, and good-looking of all the territories I had ever visited. 

 

“Indeed it is.
Mother is the one who made it all possible.
Actually, when my Grandfather was the Duke, things were bad.
It was a land blessed by the Lord, but there were so many high-class monsters around, that just the act of farming was hard.
Our territory had to develop mines deep in the Chaos Mountains, and sell monster by-products and minerals to get by.
However, my Grandfather and Uncle, the heir apparent, didn’t manage things properly and lived luxurious and wasteful lives.
He killed a lot of people to fund his luxury.
It was then!”

 

The Little Bear widened his shoulders and said proudly. 

 

“Mother came back to the Duchy.
She then evicted all those who had done bad things and took the position of Duke.
Since then, she worked hard and our lives have since then become so much better.”

 

“Amazing!”

 

“Right? Mother is amazing! She’s good at magic and swordsmanship! She’s the best!”

 

In her previous life, the ‘Lisa’ she knew had never revealed anything about her family. 

 

‘She must have been kicked out by her father or brother.
Maybe she even left by her own will.’

 

Then, after I defeated the Demon Lord and died, went back to her territoy. 

 

The Little Beat told me a simple story that briefed over most details, but I knew it was probably not that simple. 

 

‘She must have had a hard time.
I can’t believe she’s so successful after overcoming all that.
Lisa is the best!’

 

I was satisfied. 

 

The Little Bear looked at me and pointed to a place in the forest with his hands. 

 

“I don’t think you can see it well, but that over there is the Silver Fork.
Shall we go and get some chocolate pudding?”

 

My eyes shined. 

 

“Yes!”

 

“It’s cold outside, so you have to be prepared properly.
Let’s get dressed first.
I’ll call the maid for you.”

 

The Little Bear moved with me in his arms and opened the door.
As soon as we stepped in, we spotted people walking toward us. 

 

“Sir Gallio.
Sir Ruth.”

 

The Little Bear bowed politely. 

 

Ruth, who was in his early 30s, was the first to be seen.
However, I immediately knew that he was Gallio’s son.
His large muscular body, calm expression, and horn-rimmed glasses were very similar to Gallio.
But one thing was distinctly different. 

 

While Gallio was wearing butler’s clothes, Ruth was wearing a uniform that I was extremely familiar with.
A uniform that I had seen so many times. 

 

A priest’s white clothes. 

 

–You stupid orphan!

 

–You should be taught a lesson today!

 

The sudden surge of memory made me feel faint.
I clasped the Little Bear more tightly. 

 

“Dia? What’s wrong? Are you cold?”

 

My trembling seemed to have been found, and the Little Bear’s words of worry passed by my ears. 

 

“…No, I’m not.”

 

I took a short breath and faced my head forwards, which I had turned sideways in avoidance. 

 

My eyes stayed down. 

 

“Hello…?” greeted Ruth. 

 

I knew my pronunciation had improved well enough, but I was shaking too hard that I couldn’t say it back. 

 

I was afraid.
Not only of the Cardinal but also the priests. 

 

I don’t like it. 

 

‘It’s still the same…’

 

After being reborn, I had seen a priest. 

 

The director of the orphanage called in a priest once a year to check for any health problems.
I was unbearably scared of the priest’s so-called treatment. 

 

At the age of three, I once got hit by employees while shouting loudly because I didn’t want the priest to come near me. 

 

‘It got better as I grew up.’

 

But inside, I was still afraid. 

 

After leaving the Spania territory with the two Bears, I saw a priest, but it was okay because we just passed by.
However, the pain of my past life was provoked slowly when I faced one like this. 

 

Especially my back.
The sensation of my flesh tearing became unbearably clear. 

 

I couldn’t face Ruth anymore so I turned my head. 

 

“Dia, are you sick?”

 

“No… That’s not it…”

 

With the weak and small voice I spoke in, even I couldn’t believe my own words. 

 

The Little Bear stroked my head more gently than usual. 

 

“Mr.
Ruth, you’re just in time.
Can you examine her?”

 

“I have been instructed by the Lord to examine the child.
Hello, Dia.
My name is Tolle Ruth, the Chief Priest of the Duchy.”

 

Ruth was using honorifics because I was a guest of the Duke.

 

I really didn’t want to, but I slowly turned my head towards Ruth. 

 

Ruth had a friendly smile. 

 

“I’m here to help.
If you’re sick I can heal you.”

 

“I’m not sick.
Go away!”

 

I said fiercely.
I knew it was rude, but I just couldn’t bring myself to be polite. 

 

Still, Ruth smiled and soothed me. 

 

“I also don’t think Dia is sick.
However, the Lord told me to check.
We must obey the Lord.
How about letting me check just once?”

 

“N-no!”

 

“If I disobey the Lord, this humble servant will be in trouble.”

 

“What kind of trouble?”

 

“I’ll be crushed.”

 

“…”

 

Edited by: Healing Moon 

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