Ahin tried to be patient at first.
After all, no matter how powerful the Grand Duke is, the existence of an illegitimate child is bound to be the talked by the public.
However, as Ahin kept listening, his emotions eventually blow up.
He couldn’t tell whether it was because of the ridicule towards the child or because she dared to insult his father.
The important thing was that he had no intention of suppressing his anger.
Ahin’s eyes were cold as he looked at the Marquis’ daughter
She was startled, but because of her pride, she couldn’t back down.
“Insulting the Imperial family? You are talking nonsense.”
“Just because Imperial blood is mixed with a lowly body does not mean that the origin have changed. Doesn’t the Grand Duke already know about this which is why he’s hiding it until now?”
“It takes a very special kind of idiocy to dare mock and offend the Grand Duke in such a blatant way. Do you know that with just your words, the Marquis family could be blown up?”
“…I apologize for my rude remarks to His Grace the Grand Duke, but taking that lowly girl as the Grand Duchy’s Princess is absolutely unacceptable.”
Ahin’s mouth twisted.
It was not a matter for anyone else to care whether the child was made to be the duchy’s young lady or be left as an illegitimate child.
But she dares to make such a ludicrous claim.
It was just when Ahin was about to speak, a shout erupted.
“What are you!”
Ariel, who was standing next to Ahin asked while pointing her finger at the Marquis’ daughter.
“…What am I?”
The Marquis’s daughter, who repeated her words, burst into laughter.
“How dare an illegitimate child…”
Who is she talking to? This mere lowborn from the belly of a lowly woman.
She vowed to punish this cheeky illegitimate child firmly.
“How dare you look at this body with such disrespectful eyes!”
Not only was it not enough to be criticized by a lowly blood, but to think that she would even be scolded.
At that moment, the Marquis’ daughter, who had always been composed, lost her reason.
“What a cheeky bitch!”
The teacup in her hand passed Ariel.
Sharp fragments flew around, and long cuts appeared on the back of Ariel’s hand. Her delicate hand was torn and blood gushed out, but the Marquis’ daughter still seemed to be indignant.
She raised her hand high to slap the child’s little cheek.
But what is this?
It wasn’t Ariel that screamed, but the Marquis’ daughter.
Ariel was the first to grab her hair.
She was born and raised like a golden jade leaf, and for the first time in her life, someone grabbed her by the hair, so she couldn’t help but be very embarrassed.
‘This, how did this happen?’
Before she had time to organize her thoughts, a stern voice hit her ear.
“You dare to injure this precious body, do you really want to die!”
“What, who are you even!”
The Marquis’ daughter, who had been dragged around like a rag doll, squealed in protest.
What’s the point of saying that? She’s just a lowly illegitimate child!
Angry to the top of her head, she took Ariel’s hand off and raised her own hand to fight back.
Ariel spouted absurd words.
“I am destined to become the Grand Princess!”
The hand of the Marquis’ daughter dropped.
“What? Blasphemy against the imperial family?”
When the Grand Duke returned home and heard what Ahin had to say, he responded with an equally bewildered expression.
“Isn’t it obvious, she dared to insult father. Besides, no matter the fact that Ariel is an illegitimate child, she is of Claudif’s blood, so I cannot pass on this kind of insult.”
“… Illegitimate child?”
What the heck does that mean…
It was when the Grand Duke was looking at Ahin with a look of incomprehension…
The door burst open and Ren entered.
Glancing at Ahin, he lowered his voice and whispered secretly.
“Things seem to be taking a strange turn.”
“The kid that was picked up on the streets a while ago…everyone mistook the child as Your Grace’s illegitimate child.”
In what way he created such a ridiculous misunderstanding?
As the Grand Duke looked at him with bewildered eyes, Ren whispered again.
“You didn’t explain anything about the child when you brought her in.”
‘I didn’t explain?’
As he racked his brain, the Grand Duke reached out and touched his forehead.
Ren was right.
He was in a bad mood at the time, and after telling the servants to serve the child, he immediately went away.
‘That child rejected me and chose to be embraced by Ren.’
Recalling the memory of embarrassingly withdrawing his hand, he became angry and glared at the innocent Ren for no reason.
“Anyway, isn’t it too much to think that she is my illegitimate child?”
“About that…the misunderstanding seems to have arisen because the child’s appearance resembles Your Grace.”
“…You say we look similar?”
The Grand Duke, who quietly recalled Ariel’s face, wrinkled his brow.
“Damn it, I see.”
He’s surprised that he didn’t realized it right away. But what struck him most was how much the child resembled both him and Ahin.
“Somehow, they said it was strange that we were educating a child that would only stay for a while. Also, the furnitures…”
When he slept in the child’s room a few days ago, he thought it was strange that all the furnitures were for babies.
At the time, he just thought that Martin had provided the necessary things for the child…
‘There is no way that such luxurious furnitures will be provided for a child who is only sponsored. There’s also the fact that he came back running after receiving the news from the manor that the child is sick.’
He sighed deeply and shook his head.
‘Then maybe that too…!’
The title that the child used to call him in the pine forest.
She was just a kid, so he didn’t worry about it. But now that he taught about it, it seems that it was not simply a mistake.
‘Why did the situation turn out this way?’
Big and small things got tangled up and created a ridiculous misunderstanding.
It was when he was thinking about how to unravel this tangled ball of thread, Martin asked with a worried expression.
“I…Is it because the young miss is an illegitimate child?”
Since he brought the illegitimate child himself, he thought that the Duke might’ve tried to admit her as his daughter, but now that he sees it, he thinks it might not be the case.
‘It may not be easy for him to reveal his disgrace because he was born from the Imperial family so he only walked to this extent.’
Maybe he brought the child due to unavoidable reasons, and didn’t want to admit it to the end.
Martin pursed his lips.
“If the Duke thinks that the existence of an illegitimate child is a blemish on Your Grace’s honor, isn’t it a little too much?”
“You’re guilty, aren’t you? That she was born.”
Martin’s eyes were full of resentment as he looked at the Grand Duke. It was a disrespectful gaze that he hadn’t seen in decades of being with him.
But that wasn’t the only problem.
“If that is true, then I’m really disappointed.”
His son’s eyes were also full of contempt. It was like looking at a heartless father who abandoned his daughter.
Anger sprang up suddenly.
Why does he have to go through such an ordeal because of an illegitimate child he never gave birth to?
He wanted to quickly clear up the misunderstanding, but he couldn’t.
That child was picked up on the street. Currently, the identity is still unknown, but she’s definitely a commoner.
But what will happen if a commoner did not only hurt the body of a high-ranking aristocrat and even impersonated the imperial family?
‘I’m going crazy.’
This isn’t a trivial problem.
The crime of insulting the imperial family was brought up by Ahin, so it might be overlooked, but injuring a nobleman is also serious crime.
‘She might even die.’
The Grand Duke quietly closed his eyes.
The things that had happened with Ariel flashed through his mind.
How desperately she clung to him, pleading with him to take her…
The day they came back from being beaten up in the pine tree forest, the child did not leave his arms…
Even though she was kicking wildly in her sleep, she dug into his arms like a baby bird looking for its mother. He was even worried that he might crush the child while sleeping and wondered if she would fall out of bed or couldn’t sleep at night.
Looking at it, he seemed to have developed a good bond with the child in a short amount of time.
As a result, his heart sank at the thought that the child might die.
‘But how could I tell the child that she’s not my daughter?’
It was a time when he could hardly make a choice…
Suddenly, the door of the office opened.
Ariel came inside.
“I’m hurt here!”
The back of her hand, which she extended out while sobbing, was visibly injured.
He got up without realizing it.
“Ren, bring the registration papers right away.”
“And put a formal protest to the Marquis Family. I won’t let them go unless they apologize for the rudeness they’ve done to my daughter.”
Therefore, Ariel was unable to escape and became the Grand Duke’s daughter.