But the Grand Duke had no mercy at all.
Even his blue eyes were not as lively as it seemed.
It was as if the person said one more thing, the Grand Duke wouldn’t leave him unscathed.
That was the kind of anger he had.

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“Shut up, if you behave like that, the burgess will rampage.
Do you know why I haven’t been doing anything this whole time? Did you even think of that?”

“Your Highness!”

“What a nuisance.
But I shouldn’t let it slide from now on.
If I do, it’ll get as annoying as flies.”

It was a warning, but the man didn’t even think about backing down.

“What have I done so wrong? Your Highness! It’s just a single word.
I’ve been living like a faithful dog all this time….”

It was then….

The sword, which I thought was only a threat, escaped from the Grand Duke’s waist and swayed with a sharp sound.
I didn’t want to hear it, so I rushed to Cecilia’s shoulder.
 However, when I got curious, I didn’t think about changing my gaze towards the Grand Duke.

“Human beings are no better than lower animals.
Your words are not working.”

He said those words without hesitation, while stabbing the man in the back of the hand that had fallen on the floor.

“Argh… Your Highness!”

“You must be out of your mind, seeing as you know who I am.”

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“Eek… Please s-save me!”

The man lying on the floor looked around in a hurry and gave a solemn look to the people around him asking for help.
Only then did someone else step forward as if he couldn’t win.

“Y-Your Grace, that’s too much.”

At that moment, the Grand Duke looked at the person who was speaking to him with a piercing gaze.

“Too much, too much.
What’s too much?”

It was an obvious question, but I knew it even as a child.

That I shouldn’t answer that question.

“Tell me.
What’s too much?”

“If you say one more word, I will turn anyone into this.
Though it is my first time to let it slide, I wouldn’t know the next time around.”

He looked around carefully, threatening those who did not move according to his will.

My lips twitched as I watched it.

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“I thought you were nice…”

“What?”

I feel nauseous because he looks exactly like the emperor who abused my mother and I.

Cecilia patted me on the back for a long time because I felt something different from usual.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m not.
I said a word wrong.
He also just said a single word and he just… kicked him out and stabbed him with a sword.”

The images of people who hit me or assaulted me for no reason and his appearance instantly overlapped.
I got goosebumps all over my body at the sight of the one who came to see me in the morning, which was clearly different from the one who came to see me in the morning.

“Don’t be afraid.
There must have been a reason.”

“…Why?”

“I understand that rumors are circulating around about the Grand Duke.
But he doesn’t do that for no reason.”

“…He is rumored to be a madman.”

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Just in case, I raised my head and made eye contact with Cecilia.
There were visible wrinkles all over Cecilia’s face, as if it was obvious enough that she had aged.

“….So is he not crazy then?”

“I can’t say he isn’t, but don’t be afraid anyway.
There will be no harm coming towards you.”

“…O-Okay… I guess so.”

The moment when I was talking to Cecilia.
The atmosphere suddenly became quiet, so I focused myself again to the Grand Duke’s position.

However, the Grand Duke, who was punishing the aristocrat a while ago, was looking at me.

I thought it was an illusion, but even though I was quite distant, his eyes were on me.

There was an ample distance between us, so I couldn’t see how he looked at me.
I thought he was looking at something else, but when the nobles surrounded him stepped back, he stood upright and looked at me.

“But it’s a bit burdensome when he looks at me.”

It would be less burdensome if he stopped looking, but Harris, who was next to the Grand Duke, also looked at me as he followed the Grand Duke’s gaze.

I had a bad feeling for a moment.

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So I rushed Cecilia.

“Now that we’ve picked all the flowers, let’s go back.”

“Yes, please.
But is it okay if I carry you like this?”

“…Yes, am I not heavy?”

“It’s okay.
You are lighter than everyone else.”

While smiling, Cecilia held the basket on the floor and headed to my room while holding me.

Somehow, I looked at Cecilia, who looked confident, and turned to the back of the garden.

But the two of them were watching me until I disappeared from there.

It was very uncomfortable.

As soon as we arrived in the room, Cecilia left for a while to get a pretty vase.

I sat in a chair waiting for her and sorted out the fresh and less fresh flowers.

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