Why was she brought there? Where did the original witch’s soul go? Maybe the Grand Duke knew that?
“What’s your intention?”
So she asked, but the Grand Duke only shouted.
“What kind of cat likes water so much?”
He said as he saw Daisy rubbing herself excitedly in the pool outside the cave. She was a golden retriever inside.
‘If you I caught, I’m dead…’
She swallowed dryly and replied casually.
“There’s a cat like that in the world.”
Now it was her turn to change the subject.
“By the way…”
The moment she flicked her fingers, a large towel appeared out of thin air and fell onto the Grand Duke’s head.
“What are you doing?”
The Grand Duke suddenly became fierce. He pulled out the towel that covered his face with one hand and drew his sword with the other, thinking she was going to cover her eyes and raid.
“Wipe it down.”
‘I guess he’s really paranoid.’
She put a towel over her head and snapped her hand. Firewood fell from the air, piled up in the shape of a bonfire, and flames flared up.
“Come here. I won’t eat you.”
The Grand Duke narrowed his eyes as if he was offended by being called a coward. He glared at her, and strode over to sit down. He stopped about three steps away from her across the campfire.
The Grand Duke roughly brushed his hair with a towel, and water droplets splashed on her. Judging from the triumphant look in his eyes, he must have done it on purpose.
‘He’s not a good guy either, is he?’
Was it really okay for someone like that to raise children? He was worried and basking in the light, but he couldn’t hear anything over the campfire. The Grand Duke was looking at her with one hand on his chin, observing her as if he was watching a zoo monkey.
“Usually women scream and run away when they see a bear.”
Was that the problem?
“I’m a witch.”
The Grand Duke wore a towel over his head and just glanced at her again. Did he still doubt it?
“Daisy, do it in moderation and come in!”
The silent gaze on her cheek was awkward, so she spoke to Daisy casually.
‘Come and save me!’
But Daisy didn’t understand her feelings and continued running excitedly in the rain. Whew! As she sighed heavily, she heard a rustling sound behind her back. She turned around and saw that the Grand Duke was pulling a plump net mushroom out of her basket.
She watched him stick it on the end of a dagger and roast it over a campfire.
“Why do you eat my mushrooms as you please?”
“Because I’m hungry.”
“Didn’t you learn that when you take someone else’s things, you have to ask the owner’s permission first?”
A man who doesn’t even know that basic etiquette was raising children.
“Someone else’s? How is this yours?”
“Because I won…”
“This forest belongs to my fiefdom and is mine. Everything I get in this forest is of course mine.”
“Isn’t it Miss Hazel who should ask for my permission?”
She has the feeling she would start hating the smile at the corners of his eyes.
Soon, the smell of browned mushrooms vibrated in the cave. Watching the Grand Duke savor each bite of ripe mushrooms left her speechless.
“At least you’re not as picky as your siblings.”
Moreover, he was a nobleman among the nobles, and it was surprising that he knew mushrooms well. Recognizing the poisonous umbrella clown mushroom at a glance earlier was also not an ordinary skill.
“Eat a lot of mushrooms. I’m going to …”
With a snap of her fingers, the picnic basket and blanket fell out of the air.
“I’m going to have a tea time.”
As she lay out a blanket and enjoyed an elegant tea time with various desserts and tea, the Grand Duke, who was staring at her from a distance, asked:
His voice was stunned.
“Would you like to eat?”
Wasn’t she the one that should be stunned?
“What if I put potions on cakes and tea to turn His Highness the Grand Duke into a puppet of a special spell?”
She recited exactly what the Grand Duke had said the other day when he framed her carrot cake. How could she forget that?
“What are you trying to do with manipulating me like that?”
She clasped her hands together and admired the whimsical, happy imagination that suddenly arose.
“Then I can go to the Grand Duchy and meet the chestnuts.”
The Grand Duke, who had been glaring at her with his eyes narrowed, burst out laughing.
“That’s all you can think about…”
He muttered to himself, sipping tea and asking me again.
“There was nothing in the cake?”
“I told you so.”
“So what did you do?”
That was not a question to be dispelled in words. She broke her resolve to eat it all by herself and cut out a piece of cake. The Grand Duke came out with incomprehensible eyes for a moment, looked at the cake alternately, and accepted the plate. But he didn’t accept the fork she gave him.
Watching the Grand Duke pull a small silver fork out of his bosom, she was speechless for a moment. Did he always carry silverware with him in case of poisoning? At that point, she didn’t know if he was paranoid or if he was really living his life threatened all the time.
“But you bravely came to the witch’s house alone. You didn’t bring a mage or a paladin last time either.”
A soldier with a spear and a sword couldn’t deal with a witch. Wasn’t that a flimsy response for someone who was always fanatically thinking about his life?
Suddenly, she remembered a moment she had forgotten.
“So where did the frantic person from the other day go?”
The Archduke put the cake in his mouth and paused, then turned his gaze to his plate without answering her words.
“It’s not polite to talk while eating.”
He was so… She waited for the Grand Duke to empty his plate before talking.
“How’s my cake?”
“Well, I don’t know? I’ll have to try another piece to find out.”
The Archduke made a vague noise and took a piece directly from the cake plate on the blanket. It’s double the piece she gave him a moment ago.
“I see how you did it…”
He devoured the large piece in an instant and muttered to himself.
‘Look at it, once you taste it, you understand?’
She laughed and poured herself a cup of tea. If he ate so much cake, he’dl choke up. That time, as she watched a silver spoon come out of his arms, she asked him what he had wanted to ask.
“How are the chestnuts doing?”
“It’s not chestnuts, but Grand Prince and Grand Princess.”
“So… Your Highness Grand Duke, how are the Grand Prince and Grand Princess doing?”
“Princessily. ” *
The Archduke stopped adding sugar to his tea and burst into laughter while she felt wronged. She just did as she was told, so why was he laughing at her?
“Whether it’s teasing, dull, stubborn…”
Why didn’t he answer her?
“How are they eating?”
“Not very well, thanks.”
‘Oh boy. It’s time to eat well.’
She shared with the Grand Duke one by one the eating habits, favorite foods, and favorite recipes she had learned from her time with the children. But for some reason, the listener’s expression became harder with every word. What was so unpleasant? Anyway, it didn’t look very good, so she added just one more word and kept her mouth shut.
“The carrots need to be chopped.”
The Grand Duke muttered bluntly as he took the silver spoon, which was still shiny when he dipped it in tea, out of his teacup.
“I told my younger siblings to hit the nail in their ears.”
I frowned at what he added.
“Is it a trick to pretend to be pure goodwill without any ulterior motive?”
She snapped her fingers. The glass that the Grand Duke had been tilting to the corner of his mouth came into her hand in the blink of an eye.
The Grand Duke stiffened as he had intended to drink his tea, looked down at his empty hands, and laughed sheepishly.
“Should I be thankful you didn’t turn me into a frog?”
“I don’t do that.”
“You did it a few years ago? There are investigative materials left in the security forces.”
Witch, why were you really doing that? As she was pouting in a cold sweat, the Grand Duke glanced at her face and asked:
“Why are you suddenly trying to be a good witch?”
“Oh, that hurt me a lot a few years ago, and then I regret everything I did… So I decided to reflect on my past mistakes and live a good life in the future, haha…”
“I don’t believe that.”
Purple eyes stared at her fiercely through his squinted eyelids.
“Usually, people don’t change overnight. It’s not easy to let go of the way you’ve lived.”
“Are you here to interrogate me?”
“Not an interrogation, but a question.”
The Archduke rested his elbow on his knee and pressed his chin against his lightly folded knuckles, fixing his gaze on her. Unlike his playful curving eyes, the pupils beyond him looked serious.
“I have a lot of questions about witches, or Miss Hazel to be exact.”
“Are you going to burn me at the stake when you’re done with the questions? For that purpose, that’s interrogation.”
Peek, a short smile leaked out of the corner of the Archduke’s mouth.
“Nothing to worry about. Actually, I came here because I had a request.”
“I knew it.”
“… Do you have foresight?”
The look in the Grand Duke’s eyes suddenly set him up with a sense of wariness. Oh my, if she had something like that, she wouldn’t have been deprived of her children.
“I don’t have foresight, but it’s obvious to see you suddenly come to me and call me ‘Miss’ Hazel.”
“You may not have foresight, but you’re sharp.”
“Anyway, my answer to His Highness’s request is no.”
* Here he is laughting at her since in the original version her question can be translating as asking who was he and no the children. So what he really answers is “I’m doing well”.
Hello there! This is RJR.
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