As planned, we were able to arrive at Delphia in three days.
Even though it was a normal morning, the town was quiet.
When a carriage from a noble family suddenly appeared in Delphia, a small village with almost no people coming and going, everyone seemed to be frightened and hiding inside the house.
“It’s probably better to get off and walk. Hey, stop right here.”
Grand Duke Crichton opened the window connected to the coachman’s seat and instructed the coachman.
Only after the carriage slowed down and came to a complete stop did Grand Duke Crichton get out of the carriage first.
Then he reached out his hand to help me get off.
I took Grand Duke Crichton’s hand and got off the carriage.
“Yes, child. Where is your house?”
Accompanied by Grand Duke Crichton, I followed a familiar path.
After walking along the main road of the village, I fell into a side road where the market was visible. And after that, I moved my steps to the shabby residential area that was close to each other.
There was a murmur in the mouth of the Grand Duke of Crichton, who was following me.
When I turned around, I had a frown on my face.
He seemed to think that the shabby and dilapidated houses were unsightly.
It seemed that it was an uninhabitable place for Grand Duke Crichton, who had the title of Grand Duke, second only to the emperor among nobles.
But for the people living here, it was a precious home and a place of life.
I pretended not to know the reaction of the Grand Duke of Crichton and headed for the house where my mother and I lived.
As soon as I entered the house, I heard a bustle from inside.
I thought I could hear my mom’s voice, but soon she appeared to me.
Mother’s face was very emaciated.
It was as if she had shed a lot of tears and her eyelids were slightly swollen.
“Where have you been… Do you know how much mom was worried about you?”
My mother hurriedly approached me, bent her knees on the floor, and cried as she covered my cheeks with both hands.
There wasn’t much I could say as I checked the tears welling up in my mother’s eyes.
“I’m sorry I left without saying anything.”
“Are you hurt? Are you in pain?”
“Okay, then that’s fine. That’s all that matters.”
My mother, who was looking everywhere for me, opened her arms and hugged me tightly.
“Don’t ever leave like that again.”
“Yes. I’m sorry, Mom.”
I gently patted my sobbing mother’s back.
It was an inevitable choice for me, but it seemed like the sky was falling down for my mother, who was left behind.
“… Oh My God.”
At the time, the voice of Grand Duke Crichton was heard from behind.
Only then did my mom realize that there was someone following me and let me go.
Grand Duke Crichton’s voice trembled.
My mom stared up at Grand Duke Crichton blankly in position where she sat down to hug me. Then she murmured quietly with a face that seemed surprised.
I looked at the two of them, a little away from my mother and Grand Duke Crichton.
Grand Duke Crichton’s eyes twinkled.
Even after seeing her daughter Cornelia Crichton in front of her, she didn’t seem to believe it.
I just proved that what I said wasn’t a lie to ask for help, so it was not unreasonable to be surprised to see the result.
“Really… is that you, Cornelia?”
Grand Duke Crichton sat down with his knees bent to be at eye level with my mother.
Grand Duke Crichton raised his trembling hand, seeing his daughter at last.
The Great Grand Duke Crichton touched her mother’s cheek. His fingertips were as careful as if touching delicate glass statues.
His gaze scanned my mother’s wet eyes, her stout nose, and her swollen lips from lack of nutrition.
Soon, the breathing of Grand Duke Crichton became rough.
Mom couldn’t even wipe away the tears flowing down her cheeks and looked at Grand Duke Crichton.
After hesitating, she wrapped her hand around Grand Duke Crichton’s hand.
“Yes, father. It’s me… Cornelia.”
Mom said to Grand Duke Crichton, smiling.
Then the eyes of Grand Duke Crichton opened wide.
Still, he didn’t seem to believe that the person in front of him was Cornelia Crichton.
But Grand Duke Crichton was soon forced to accept reality.
The fact that his daughter, whom he missed so much, is in front of him.
“Cornelia, my daughter!”
Grand Duke Crichton hugged my mother. Then he wept loudly like a child.
Nevertheless, his appearance did not feel ugly or shabby.
How happy was he to have found his daughter who was gone for 10 years?
My mother, who was in the arms of Grand Duke Crichton, also raised her hand while hesitating and hugged him tightly.
“I’m sorry, dad.”
My mother’s voice was also trembling from crying.
* * *
As time passed, the tears gradually stopped.
Mom and Grand Duke Crichton moved into the house only after they stopped crying.
“Have you been living in this house all this time?”
Grand Duke Crichton looked around the house and asked.
It was a common house in the village of Delphia, but the old and shabby interior of the house was not charismatic in the eyes of Grand Duke Crichton.
“Yeah, but it’s worth living more than I thought.”
Mom answered, putting water in the kettle.
Grand Duke Crichton was very shocked that my mother brewed the tea herself.
He even stopped my mother, saying he didn’t have to bring in the tea, but she showed a stubborn attitude, saying she wanted to treat her father, whom she met again after 10 years.
In the end, Grand Duke Crichton could not stop her, so he sat in a chair and waited for her to bring the tea.
“What happened to Gale?”
“Gale passed away four years ago while protecting the village.”
Grand Duke Crichton let out a soft sigh.
“Then why didn’t you come back to the mansion?”
My mother’s hand stopped for a moment when the Great Grand Duke Crichton spoke.
I opened my mouth after seeing my mother, who couldn’t talk for a long time.
“Mom wanted to ask the Grand Duke for forgiveness.”
My mom panicked and called my name. But the Grand Duke Crichton had already heard.
“Yes. So, she sent a letter to the Grand Duke. But no matter how many letters she sent, there was no response.”
“Letter? What do you mean…?”
Grand Duke Crichton looked at my mother, surprised by the unexpected words.
Of course, you don’t know. Since Daniel was stealing the letter.
“Then you’ve sent me a letter so far. Are you trying to ask me for forgiveness?”
“… Yes, father.”
Grand Duke Crichton, who understood the situation late, exhaled in despair.
“I don’t even know that…”
Grand Duke Crichton raised his hands and covered his face.
Grand Duke Crichton did not move until my mother put the teacup in front of him and sat down across from him.
Not so short a time passed, Grand Duke Crichton raised his head. His eyes, which were barely opened, were dyed red.
“I’m sorry. I should have found you first.”
“No, thank you for coming like this.”
Mom said it as if she was okay, but knew that she wished he had found her earlier, just like Grand Duke Crichton.
“Yeah, thanks to this kid…”
Grand Duke Crichton stopped talking and took turns checking me and Mom.
“Is she your daughter?”
“Yes, that is correct. Gail and my daughter. Her name is Mirabel.”
Mom smiled and looked at me.
“Mirabel, this is your maternal grandfather. Say hello.”
It seemed that the time had already passed to say hello, but for now, as my mother told me, I nodded my head toward the Grand Duke Crichton.
“My name is Mirabel.”
“Yeah. Now that I see you, you look just like your mother when she was little.”
The big hand of Grand Duke Crichton was gently placed on my head. Then he stroked my head with a careful touch.
“Thank you, Mirabelle. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have met Cornelia.”
“No. Your Excellency listened to me, that’s why you two met.”
If he had dismissed my words as lies, they would not have met.
In fact, Grand Duke Crichton did not really believe that my mother was Cornelia Crichton.
Nevertheless, Grand Duke Crichton and my mother were able to meet because they did not turn me away and listened to the cry of a commoner child for help.
“But Mirabel said you were sick. Is that true?”
Mother did not respond to Grand Duke Crichton’s words.
Grand Duke Crichton gently bit his lower lip as if he understood the meaning of silence.
“… It’s true?”
“No. What’s there to be sorry about for me? Let’s go back to the mansion. I think we have to go to the capital to treat your disease properly.”
Grand Duke Crichton hurriedly rose from his seat. At the same time, Mom and I got up from our seats.
However, my mother was hesitant.
“Back… Can I go back?”
“There’s no reason why you can’t. That’s your house. Brian will welcome you, too.”
Mom looked at the floor as if she were thinking for a moment, and then raised her head. At that time, a light smile hung on my mother’s face.
“Okay. Then please wait a moment. I think I need to organize my luggage.”
“You will need someone. I’m going to call the servants, so let them do it. You’re not feeling well, so don’t overdo it.”
“Thank you, dad.”
After receiving his mother’s greetings, Grand Duke Crichton coughed in vain and went out of the house.
Mom looked at the closed door and turned to me.
“Mirabel, will you come here?”
I ran with my short legs and stood in front of my mother, and she bent over and hugged me again.
“You brought your grandfather because you were worried about your mom. Thank you, and I’m sorry again. But don’t do this reckless thing next time. Because it’s too dangerous. Mirabel is more precious than anything else to mom. Got it?”
“Yes, I got it.”
After my mother heard my confirmation, she released me from her arms.
This chapter was translated by Bree.
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