This chapter is dedicated to LadySoySauce! Thank you so much for your support! (〃＾▽＾〃)
It was correct. To some extent at least. He clearly returned on horseback in a hurry.
But it wasn’t due to Ariel. But it was because of the knights who came over during the territorial inspection, urging him to return as if someone was going to die. Even when he asked why, they just told him to leave because ‘something happened,’ and the cycle continued.
They couldn’t say directly that their lord’s daughter, whom he had only brought a few days before, had collapsed. As a result, the Grand Duke had no choice but to believe that something significant had occurred, and he hurriedly returned to the Grand Duke’s house.
Martin, however, mistook the Grand Duke’s appearance for paternal love and sniffled.
‘The person who was most surprised must’ve been the lord, how dare I bear such resentment…’
He bit his lower lip in shame, and the Grand Duke’s expression darkened.
“Could you explain what’s going on, Martin?”
“Your Majesty, my lady…”
Martin turned away instead of finishing his sentence. The Grand Duke’s eyes, which were drawn to him, were rarely wide open.
‘How come that child is…dead?’
Ariel, who had her eyes closed and didn’t move, appeared to be a corpse.
Without realizing it, he took a step forward and placed his index finger under Ariel’s nose. He could barely feel her breathing.
‘Fortunately, she’s still alive.’
The Grand Duke returned Martin’s gaze after relieving his heavy chest.
“Why did the child, who was fine until a few days ago, suddenly become like this?”
She was a very healthy child, so who would dare to make her do this with both his eyes open?
One side of his chest felt unusually cold. Everyone held their breath in response to the Grand Duke’s cold stare.
“What in the world happened…?”
He was about to scream at that point.
“Oh no! I’ll never give you my blood!”
Ariel jerked awake and crouched close to the headboard of the bed while looking at him with terrified eyes.
It was too eerie for a child to utter such a word.
The Grand Duke’s pale green eyes, which had been tinted with embarrassment, grew cold again.
“What exactly do you mean by that? Could it be that someone harmed you while I was away?”
“Oh no, my lord!”
“How could that be!?”
“We will not dare!”
Even if she’s an illegitimate child, who will touch the girl the Grand Duke personally brought over? There isn’t anyone. So the servants quickly shook their heads. They all had a sad expression on their faces.
When the Grand Duke was unable to identify any suspicious figures, he turned to Ariel.
“Who threatened you?”
There was no answer returned. However, the terrified eyes had no choice but to be interpreted negatively by anyone.
‘How dare they touch and harm a child in my house.’
He clenched his teeth and took a deep breath. Then he comforted Ariel in the most caring tone he could muster.
“It’s okay. As long as I’m here, no one can harm you. So don’t worry and say who is it?”
Ariel’s face changed strangely.
She was avoiding them because the image of the boy threatening to draw her blood was still fresh in her mind
‘Is it only his own idea to draw my blood?’
It was when Ariel was thinking, the Grand Duke spoke.
“Don’t be afraid. You will never be in danger.”
The Grand Duke even held her small hand tightly as if to reassure Ariel, and his reaction was warmer than she had anticipated.
Ariel, who had been hesitant, inquired in a low voice.
“…Are you sure you’re not going to draw my blood?”
“Take your blood and use it for what?”
He laughed as if he were perplexed. Ariel simply nodded because it didn’t feel like a lie. After all, this human had done her a favor.
He dared to mock a goddess, but he didn’t appear wicked enough to draw her blood.
‘Maybe it’s that human’s sole action.’
She wanted to be honest and tell what had happened, but the moment Ariel opened her mouth…
Ariel’s face went white and she trembled, as if she had confronted the criminal who had abused her. The Grand Duke and the servants hurriedly turned their heads in the direction of Ariel’s gaze.
And at the end of it…
There was Ahin with a bewildered expression.
“What, what… no!”
He had never threatened Ariel before, so he shook his head quickly. However, once the suspicion has grown, it will not go away easily. So Ahin turned around, looking for someone who could explain the situation.
“The lady passed out again.”
Ariel, ironically, had already passed out.
“Come with me.”
Ahin was eventually forced to trudge away by his father’s cold command. Ahin reflected as he felt the startled looks behind his back.
‘Since that kid came in, my situation has changed. Everything appears to have gone strange.’
Ariel, who fainted after leaving an unjust victim, regained consciousness only after a full day had passed.
Ariel, who was arranging her blurred vision, was startled and got up.
‘Huh, when did I fall asleep?’
She’s not supposed to lower her guard until her safety is guaranteed.
‘On top of that, it’s already morning!’
Ariel hurriedly examined her body. Fortunately, no wounds or needle marks exist.
‘Ha, that’s good.’
Ariel tilted her head, relieved. She couldn’t figure out why those who wants to covet her blood didn’t touch her when she was defenseless.
‘Hm? Did I get it wrong?’
Ariel reflected quietly on the events yesterday.
“…Are you sure you’re not going to draw my blood?”
“Take your blood and use it for what?”
The human being who was the owner of this house just burst out laughing as if her question was absurd. And he was embarrassed when he saw her finger pointing at him.
‘Ummm.’ Ariel, who had been seriously thinking about it, came to a conclusion after a long time.
It must have been her misunderstanding that blood was drawn and shared.
It was when Ariel, who was relieved at that time, stroked her pounding chest.
A faint voice could be heard.
Ariel’s eyes widened and she unconsciously turned her head.
“Oh, you’ve woken up!”
Jane, whom she had no idea was there, hugged Ariel tightly, and something attached to Ariel’s forehead fell over.
It was a wet towel.
It was still cold, so it appeared to have been placed on her just now.
Ariel, who had been staring at the towel silently, turned to face Jane. Her face had gone from shiny to rough in a matter of days. Now that she thought about it, Jane’s face began to look like this when she stopped eating and drinking.
It reminded her of how she refused to eat when something bad happened. Things that had been obscured by her fear began to become clear.
‘How could I have misunderstood such a nice person?’
Jane asked when Ariel is in awe as she looked into Jane’s weeping eyes.
“Why are you doing this, lady? Are you still unwell? “
“No, I’m fine now.”
Ariel shook her head.
“Oh, I’m so relieved.”
She sighed in relief and waved the bell on the table.
“You called, Jane.”
“The lady woke up. Inform His Highness immediately, also, go to the kitchen and bring some food.”
Jane returned her gaze to Ariel as the maid walked away.
“No matter how stubborn you are, I will make sure you eat it this time.” Because you didn’t eat anything, you eventually passed out.”
Jane’s eyes trembled, as if Ariel would reject the food again, but she was worried for nothing because Ariel no longer think of skipping her meal.
Even after she fainted and collapsed, her body and Jane’s attitude cleared up most of the misunderstandings, moreover, Ariel couldn’t stand her hunger any longer.
Jane’s eyes widened as Ariel devoured the crab soup brought by the maid.
“Oh my, why have you been so stubborn when you can eat this well?”
“Ah, that’s actually…”
Ariel smiled shyly and tried to explain why.
“I was mistaken, Your Majesty. Please only forgive me once! “
A terrified voice came from outside her window. Curious, Ariel quickly ran to the window. Jane on the other hand, lifted Ariel who was hopping to look out the window and put her on a chair.
‘What is that?’
A white-faced man was being dragged by the knights.
Ariel tilted her head at the outrageous commotion.
“In the end, this is how it will turn out.”
“Yes? Do you know who that person is?”
“It’s Baron Pyrell, who worked for His Highness.”
“A worker? The why is he being kicked out like that?”
“He must’ve made a mistake with his mouth.”
“Huh? Mistake with his mouth?”
“I mean, he probably talked nonsense. Like saying that His Highness is drinking a child’s blood to stay young.”
“What, what, is he drunk?”
What a cruel thing to say!
So, what the boy said was true? Was the human owner’s words that he won’t draw out my blood a lie?
Jane burst out laughing when she saw Ariel turn white.
“Oh, you believe that, miss? That, of course, was nonsense.”
“That is a truly an absurd rumor. Baron Pyrell made a joke about it, but seeing His Highness without signs of aging, the rumor spread among people.”
Jane shook her head saying it was absurd, and Ariel sighed in relief.
‘How unexpected! Why is he spreading such slanderous rumors? Ugly human!’
It was when Ariel rolled her eyes at the baron, thinking that he deserved to be kicked out, the Grand Duke knocked and entered the room. Ariel’s shoulder twitched slightly because of hearing a terrifying sound a while ago so the Grand Duke frowned at her.
“You’ve been lying on the bed for a whole day, so I expected that you would be resting quietly in your bed. Then why are you peeking on the window?”
Misunderstood that the shivering of her shoulders was due to the cold, he hurriedly closed the window and carried Ariel to the sofa.
“Have you fed her anything?” “
“Yes, my lord. Since she haven’t eaten in a long time, I feed her a soup first. I’ll gradually increase the amount of food later on.”
“How long will she be able to recover her energy by eating like that? Give her the snacks that she love.”
“But, my lord…”
A sweet snack would not be good for a child who had been starving for several days.
Jane tried to stop him, but the Grand Duke’s face was too determined.
After all, such a beautiful daughter had been hungry for several days, and her father must have wanted her to eat more.
Jane smiled, as if she couldn’t help but leave the room with an absurd illusion.
‘Now that I think about it, His Highness behaves like a parent to the young miss…’