But Cecilia was terribly sweet.
I couldn’t believe she was the one who responded to me the whole time.
“There are a lot of kids coming to the Grand Duchy, and I was the one who sent them all back.”
“Children would come to the Grand Duchy in the middle of winter.”
“That’s why I thought so, too?”
“Yes, but I’m sure you said it yourself.
What Master Lexit asked me was if you are blood-related to the Grand Duke.
I’m sure you are.”
I only nodded due to her obvious words.
I changed my mind when I saw you.”
“I remembered the scars I saw while I washed you.”
“Who said you could look!”
Shame came to me when I screamed at her for no reason.
And yet she didn’t have a look of recoil.
“But wouldn’t it be better if I saw it?”
“Better than being a weakness known to others.”
There was no such thing as amazing healing powers to me, so there was scars all over my body.
Never once in my life did I think the scars were my weaknesses.
My existence itself has always been a weakness.
But Cecilia spoke with all her heart.
“You don’t have to hide it anymore.
You can treat me or others harshly.
I just want you to relax a little bit.
I just hope you don’t have any more nightmares.”
I mumbled as I watched Cecilia talking in mumble.
“What did I say in my sleep?”
“Oh, you screamed for your life.”
“…Did you listen to all of that? I feel bad.”
I didn’t like it; the way she looked at me as if she knew everything about me like my fake father, the current emperor, gave me goosebumps.
I flinched even though I knew that her emotions were different.
Cecilia’s face has hardened as well.
“…We’ll call it a day anyway.”
“It’s etiquette training.
I’m doing it right now.”
“The basis of etiquette is to look at the other person.
I’m teaching it now.”
Only then did I raise my head and make eye contact with her directly.
But Cecilia was adamant.
“You don’t have to force yourself.
You’ve done enough today.”
“…Are you being considerate?”
“No, I’m just saying this because I’m afraid you’ll get tired before I do it right.”
She might be being considerate.
But I didn’t want her consideration.
I’ve never received it before anyway.
No, I’ll just keep forcing myself to close my heart from Cecilia.
I was afraid I’d hurt myself again, but now I’m afraid she’d hurt me again.
“Then rest today.”
It just came out like that.”
“Is it more comfortable?”
“I’ll do it if you want.
So from tomorrow onwards, get a hold of yourself and reconsider taking etiquette lessons.”
Her voice sounded much sharper than before, but I felt as if she had become someone else.
‘I don’t want that.’
It was better to start with hate and end with hate.
She didn’t have to pretend to be kind then became spiteful afterwards.
Because of her, I climbed onto my bed no matter what she had said.
Cecilia looked at me for a moment and soon left the room.
I looked at the door for a long time just in case someone else came in, and quickly fell asleep.
* * *
The next day…
Perhaps it was because of the fatigue from the previous day, but I couldn’t open my eyes easily even in the midst of the sun shining.
“You have to get up now.”
Rolling in my bed, I raised my head due to a clear voice.
It was Cecilia, who had already entered the room.
She was staring at me in bed without a change of expression.
“You don’t seem to have any sleeping habits.”
“I’m glad I don’t need to fix it.”
“Should aristocratic children have good sleeping habits in the first place?”
Cecilia nodded when asked out of sheer curiosity.
“Of course, there should be no bad manners from head to toe.
In that sense, you seem surprised.
The hardest thing to fix is sleeping habits.”
I slept on the sofa with my mother the whole time after my father was killed.
Even a thin woman and a small child had no choice but to fall off sleeping on a narrow sofa.
Each time, the knights would whip us.
Violence was a matter of course.
Thanks to them, my sleeping habits were quite quiet.
‘Still, it’s something that helps a bit.’
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