At that time, my big hand touched my shoulder.


“My Lady.”

“Theo…”

“I’ll protect you.”

“Huh?”

He suddenly popped out and said something incomprehensible, and sat down and made eye contact with me.
Somehow, his eyes looked stronger than ever.

“I’m fine.”

“….No.
I haven’t grown up fully since I was little, so I’m good at understanding people’s feelings.
And I also felt that My Lady was not in a good mood right now, so I’ll protect you.”

“I’m fine.
Really.”

“I’m not okay.
I’m worried about you because you’re not in a good mood.
I’m not in a good mood either, but you…”

I just reached out to prepare for the future, but Theo was more friendly than I thought.

“Thank you.”

“It’s nothing.”

Meanwhile, Harris roughly wiped away the dripping tears with her hands.
While looking at that, the Grand Duke held her arm in his.

He took out a handkerchief and wiped Harris’s eyes.


“I must have made you so upset, Harris.
Is that why you’re wearing something like this?”

“……You don’t even treat me like a princess anyway.”

“That’s not true.”

“But everyone does that.
That… That… She took my place.
All that’s left is to get kicked out!”

Who could say such a thing?

However, Harris pouted her lips, crying as if she had actually heard such a thing.

“Who said that?”

“I did! If I said who it was, what’s the difference? It’s the same since you don’t care about it anyway.”

At that, the Grand Duke shook his head.

“Harris.”

“That’s fine… I’ll just stay here for a while… and my dad is happy with his fake daughter.”

Harris tried to turn her body around, whether it was her old habit of speaking or intentionally pushing him.

Perhaps the child’s reaction was unfamiliar, but the Grand Duke narrowed his forehead and dried Harris’s tears.

“Harris.”

“Why are you trying to comfort me now?”

“Did I hurt your feelings when I checked if your blood was real?”

“…Ugh.
It feels bad to doubt you, but we’ll get confirmation.”

“And even if I’m confirmed to be your real daughter after that, I won’t be here any longer.”

As if he had been crying, Harris eventually stopped.
Why on earth were they talking about that here where I was organizing gifts? I couldn’t help but sigh.

“… So you’re going to leave, Harris?”

“Yeah, because you didn’t trust me.”

For a long time, the Grand Duke was silent.
I looked at them and turned to the gifts I had left to organize.

“Theo, shall we organize the presents?”

“Should I?”

“Yes.”

The gaze of the Grand Duke and Harris reached us for a while at the sound of our muttering, but that did not stop us.

“Then why don’t you choose the gifts from this side first?”

“Let’s just clean up the food first.
And I want to open the package, too.
I think it’ll be fun.”

I approached Theo’s side and held a large box in my arms, but he was determined.

“Why don’t you open this?”

Theo handed me a box the size of his fist.

“…Why are you telling me to do a small one?”

I can do a big one, too!

“Uh… That’s… Well, I think it’s a little special.”

Theo, who was mumbling, kept pushing the box.
Eventually, I held a small box in my hand.

“I wanted to open a big one…”

“Try opening it up.
You’ll be satisfied.”

Theo, who kept pushing me, somehow looked happy.
I couldn’t help but try to rip open what he gave me.

However, Harris and the Grand Duke, who had not talked to each other for a long time, finally opened their mouths.

“I’ll be honest with you.
I cannot believe you.”

“Oh, how could you say that! D-Didn’t you think of me as your daughter all this time?”

As if she was shocked, Harris’s hands trembled.

“I thought you might be my daughter, that’s why I’ve done so many things to you.”

“Hah… How… How!”

“You didn’t prove it.
Otherwise, I can’t even leave you here anymore.”

“No! I don’t have to prove it! I have the blood of the Grand Duke! That’s why I can stay here!”

I wondered why Harris refused to prove herself so much, but now I think I know a little.

“Things like that can be said by anyone, Harris.
That’s all I have to say.
Prove it, and I’ll cherish you more than anyone else after.”

Originally, it was his own consideration for the Grand Duke, who hated useless children the most, but Harris was still angry.

“If I were your real daughter, I’d get out of this house!”

“Then I’ll support you to live comfortably.”

“That’s not it! That’s… Okay.
When are you coming? I’ll prove it.”

“A week later, so prepare until then, Harris.”

“Ugh!”

Unable to contain her anger for not getting what she wanted, Harris went outside with a huff.

However, the face of the Grand Duke, who was watching Harris as she left, hardened more than before.

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