“No physical contact with the employer.”
What was that again?
“There wasn’t a rule like that in the rule book, was it?”
She took out the rule book from the pocket of her apron, and the Grand Duke grabbed it and headed for the desk. She tilted her head as she watched him scribble something on the rule book with a quill. Why was he doing that all of a sudden? She remembered the moment she wanted to do that just by accidentally brushing the back of her hand. She tried to silence the Grand Duke in the greenhouse in the morning…
It was a mistake she made because she was too hasty. No, then it’s fine to say that he was embarrassed. Was it something to add to the rules? It really went to the point of embarrassing people.
“Make sure to keep the rule.”
After receiving the rules-notebook from the Grand Duke, she asked.
“Your Highness, don’t you have a rule book?”
“I am not on duty here.”
The Grand Duke let out a long sigh, as if saying something nonsensical again.
‘If you don’t have it, I’ll just make it.’
A few days later, she visited the Grand Duke in his office. He narrowed his eyes when he saw the object she had ambitiously placed on the desk.
“What is this?”
On the outside of the notebook, which looked the same as the work manual, the words ‘big brother’s manual’ were written in large letters.
“As you can see, the rules.”
The Grand Duke put down the papers and cupped his forehead with his hand.
“I can read too, Miss Hazel. I mean, why are you giving me this?”
“You are still a good older brother, but I wrote down the rules you need to follow to become a better older brother for your siblings.”
The words said ‘rules’, but in fact, it was a kind of guidebook containing observations made during the period of nearly a month since coming to the Grand Duke’s residence.
The Grand Duke looked at her through his spread fingers, nodded briefly, and opened his rule book.
As he read the rules, the Grand Duke’s expression grew worse and worse. Finally he put the rule book down on the desk, and he pointed to one of the rules with his fingertips.
♡ No bad words like ‘Damn’!
“Wasn’t this said by Miss Hazel before?”
It was a pity he didn’t remember it when he was talking in front of the kids.
“I’m afraid you might use it in front of the children.”
The Grand Duke let out a short sigh and nodded his head.
His fingertips, smoothing his nails, skimmed down the rules one by one.
♡ Give ten compliments a day!
♡ Actively participate in activities with children!
“It’s such a huge improvement that you’re spending so much time with the kids these days.”
The Grand Duke narrowed his eyes, as if asking for something to say in praise. So, she felt good.
“It’s like a royal guard. You just follow me.”
“The babysitter was so perfect that I didn’t have time to fit in.”
When the Grand Duke smiled and laughed at her, she quickly pointed out the rule below.
♡ No sarcasm!!!
Then, taking the quill from the Grand Duke’s hand, she underlined it and drew five asterisks beside it.
“It’s a bad habit that upsets other people.”
“Miss Hazel, as I said before…”
The Grand Duke straightened up and clasped his hands together. His voice was quite sincere.
“Miss Hazel is a babysitter, and it is my siblings who are to be raised properly, not me. It means that Miss Hazel cannot interfere with my actions as an adult.”
“That’s true, but Your Highness is becoming a major obstacle to my mission of properly raising Luna.”
The Grand Duke folded his brows and tilted his head. So, in the meantime, when she told Luna that it was a bad habit and an anecdote that she had been sarcastic like the Grand Duke, she told her that her brother said so, but why couldn’t she do the same thing.
Then the Grand Duke laughed.
“Did she learn from me? It must be a natural personality?”
“Pardon? Are you joking?”
The Grand Duke smiled so much that the corners of his eyes creased and pointed behind her. She turned around and saw the family in the giant portrait on the wall looking down at her. The Grand Duke opened his palm and politely pointed out a woman as beautiful as a fairy. It was enough to guess that she was the former Grand Duchess just by looking at the silver hair and sky-blue eyes that looked just like Luca.
She realized then and opened her mouth wide. It seems to mean that the Grand Duke and Luna inherited their personality from the previous Grand Duchess.
She almost committed disrespect to someone else’s mother who had passed away. While contemplating, wasn’t the Grand Duke talking to the mother in the portrait with a voice that was truly disgustingly melancholy?
“Mother, it is a big obstacle for Luna to grow up properly, and yup…”
The moment he flicked his fingers, the handkerchief in his pocket stuck to the Grand Duke’s mouth.
“I followed the rules!”
Didn’t he say to avoid physical contact with your employer? But the Grand Duke glared at her with narrow eyes, removed his own handkerchief from his mouth and slipped it into his jacket.
“All right. Got it.”
She put ink on the tip of her quill and corrected the rules.
♡ No sarcasm!!! ☆☆☆☆☆
(Only in front of children.)
Would it be like that? When she returned the rule book with a shy smile, the Grand Duke reached out to her and tapped his fingertips.
What else was he trying to add? ‘Don’t shut his mouth with magic?’
When she handed over the rules-book, the Grand Duke took the quill from her and wrote the new rules under “no physical contact with employer.”
– Do not open your mouth when surprised.
What else was that? As she frowned, the Grand Duke rested his chin on his hand and said with a grin.
“Because it’s a bad habit that I’m not happy with.”
Shocking. He said he wasn’t a child, but he was so childish, really!
* * *
She was so elegant in fairy tales. Riding a carriage was actually very hard work. It might have been graceful if it hadn’t been for passing through a forest road muddy with snow. Every time the carriage rattled, she braced her stomach and gripped the armrests, trying not to fall.
‘All princesses in fairy tales must have amazing core muscles.’
After riding the wagon like that for several days, her socks hurt. Still, considering today was the last of the three-day journey, it was worth holding on.
They were on their way to the island now. Tomorrow was the first day of the new year, the day when the New Year Festival was held. At this time, the upper nobles of the entire empire gathered in Jedo.
The carriage rattled loudly again. She straightened her body leaning sideways, almost sticking to the wall, and glanced at the Grand Duke sitting next to her.
The Grand Duke, resting his elbow on his armrest and resting his chin on his lightly clenched fist, looked only at her. So chilly.
“I’m really curious about what I am to Miss Hazel.”
“King of Nagging!”
Luna, who was sitting across from her, shouted as if she had guessed the answer to his quiz. Now the Grand Duke’s disapproving gaze turned to Luna.
Luna, that’s not a question. It meant that he looked like a moth who would talk about the prohibition of physical contact because the carriage was shaken and their bodies collided.
However, she also hated being seen leaning on or being hugged by the Grand Duke. The awkwardness of sitting next to each other was because children get motion sickness when they sit back so they had to take those positions.
“I’ll be sure to stay awake tonight.”
“You did that last year, but you slept well from 9 o’clock.”
The children were excited for several days after leaving the Grand Duchy, as if the swaying carriage was not uncomfortable. She was a bit tired now because of the wagon, but she was thrilled inside as it was the first time she had left the Grand Duchy after possessing that body. However, for safety’s sake, the curtains on the windows were not allowed to be removed, and the night-tolers were sullen. Luca kept asking if he was bored after being confined to a narrow carriage for several days without seeing the scenery outside.
“Are you all here?”
The Grand Duke gave a sigh that seemed to lift his patience from the bottom, and he answered.
“No, Luca. I told you five minutes ago, but we have six more hours to go.”
“If there were 6 hours left 5 minutes ago, isn’t it 5 hours and 55 minutes left now?”
‘Luna, you’re smart.’ But the Grand Duke glanced at Hazel who was laughing and rubbed his temples as if his head was pounding.
“Because it’s not exactly six hours.”
“Then my brother is lying?”
Riding the carriage must have been difficult for the Grand Duke as well.
“Chestnuts, shall we play something fun?”
The children’s eyes suddenly lit up.
“What is it, what is it?”
“We will be writing a children’s book.”
“The use of ink in the wagon is prohibited.”
“No, not like that. One person at a time, one sentence at a time, I create a story as I go along.”
“Can you tell a story in one sentence?”
“Then let’s do it in three sentences. I will try first.”
She thought about it for a while, then a thought struck her and she looked at the three of them and grinned.
“Once upon a time, there lived a poor couple in the Black Forest. The couple had two children, a son named Hansel and a daughter named Gretel.”
She was very curious about what the people in the reinterpreted version of Hansel and Gretel would be like.
“A couple who were too poor abandoned her children in the woods…”
My, when she sait it like that, they seemed to be jerks. Should she change the story? Cinderella? That was a story about abuse. Thumbelina? Kidnapping comes out…
Fairy and the Woodcutter? No, it’s kidnapping, confinement, and forced marriage.
When she thought about it, there was no such thing as a wholesome fairy tale. She finally gave up and finished the sentence.
“The smart kids went back home the way they had marked with stones. Now, it’s Your Highness’ turn.”
After thinking for a moment, the Grand Duke opened his mouth.
“That way, Hansel and Gretel went to the village police station and reported their parents for child abandonment.”
Hello there! This is RJR. Thank you very much for reading! 😀
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Next post will be released on April, 1. See you then!
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