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IBHD Chapter 8

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Ahin stood in the hallway and stared at the stairs leading to the second floor as if he’s ready to kill.

A few days ago, that child uttered strange words making him appear like the culprit, then fainted comfortably afterwards. 

Thanks to that child, he was subjected to unfair accusations all night long. The eyes of the servants have also changed.

They regarded me as an unscrupulous person who had hurt a child.

He wanted to reach out and grab their shoulders to reassure them of his innocence, but instead he put up with everything and waited for the child to awaken.

He wanted her to sincerely apologize for hurting him, even if it wasn’t her intention. But even after waking up, the little child didn’t even went to see him.

“It must have been a misunderstanding.”

However, his father wrapped up everything in a single sentence. Thankfully, it appears that the misunderstanding has been cleared up, but Ahin was unable to move on.

Why did she say that at the moment she looked at him and fell unconscious?

Ahin’s anger kept him from sleeping at night.

However, at the same time, when her maid was requesting a permission to go out, he can’t completely be mad at her.  However, he still desires an apology to allay the uneasiness in his heart.

Ahin pursed his lips as he heard a faint “heh-heh-heh” and looked up to see Ariel sprinting down the stairs.

With her luscious blonde hair split on both sides and tied up, she’s running happily with an excited expression.

“Cute…”

Ahin, who muttered involuntarily, was startled and covered his mouth with an embarrassed face.

‘What am I talking about now? How could I even think of that kid cute?’

Of course, his statement wasn’t wrong. But how many days have he been unable to sleep at night because of that kid? He can’t have forgotten those dark days, can he?

Ahin immediately returned to his senses and looked at Ariel with scorching eyes.

‘Apologize. Apologize. Apologize.’

Ariel abruptly came to a stop while walking, as if she could hear the voice screaming in his heart. Her eyes widened, seemingly in shock at seeing him.

Ahin’s lips twitched.

‘Yeah, if you have a conscience, you should apologize. You should quickly say sorry for the mistake you made. Only then I’ll let this matter go.’

As if noticing his heart, Ariel approached him in a rush. Ahin thought that this time he would be able to hear the apology but,

“Looks like you’re in-charge of the directions. Okay, let’s go fast!”

Ariel walked past Ahin as she said those words.

“Huh?”

Ahin, who suddenly became a guide, could not shut his mouth in absurdity. With a frown on his face, he followed Ariel.

“Wait, you…!” 

This time, he thought he had to get an apology from this kid. But that can’t be. It was because Ariel, who stopped in front of his carriage, spread out her arms.

‘Why is she doing that?’

Seeing her spreading her armd, it seemed that she had something to wish for.

‘Ah…Does she want me to hold her?’

After a brief moment of thought, he recognized Ariel’s wish and smiled.

‘So, no matter how arrogant she was, she’s still a child.’

Shaking his head lightly, he picked up Ariel and put her on the carriage. It’s the first time he did such a favor.

‘I guess it’s time to receive a thank you.’

Ahin looked at Ariel with anticipation in his eyes. However…

“Ahh!”

Instead of thanking him, the little girl grabbed his arm and lifted her eyes.

“Be careful! What will you do if I get a scar on my precious body?”

“…Sorry.”

Ahin was always on the receiving end, but now that this little girl has arrived, he appears to be the one who always apologizes.

***

The first outing was very satisfying. As Jane said, the skill of the carpenter was as good as that of a god, and she also liked the dress presented by a woman who was called the best designer in the empire.

She also enjoyed the rare gems given to her by Ahin and the fruit juice given upon her by the shopkeeper.

But there was also a problem.

“How about this doll, my lady?”

“Isn’t this necklace lovely?”

“Oh, look at this hairpin! It’s the same color as the lady’s eyes! “

Ariel looked at Jane with her tired eyes as Jane wandered around more excitedly than she did.

‘Do this woman even feel leg pain?’

Jane was moving around so fast that she couldn’t even have the time to tell her to take a break. Unable to bear it, Ariel waved Ahin’s trousers, who was standing idly.

“Try to put a stop to that woman.”

“…?”

“I’m going to die because my leg hurts!”

Ariel sobbed as she looked up at Ahin. At that moment,  Ahin became aware of Ariel’s pain.

“You’re exhausted.”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s rest there for a while and return later to look around.”

Then he led Ariel into a nearby tea shop. A fragrant and delicious smell pierced the tip of her nose as soon as they opened the door.

‘What is this smell?’

Ariel, who was sniffing inside, abruptly came to a halt.

‘Oh, it’s a lump of dirt!’

There were piles of dirt on the shelves placed at the entrance of the store.

Ariel’s face turned red. After the plate the Grand Duke gave her a few days ago, she hasn’t eaten more since then.

‘The only thing that came up at every meal was bland and tasteless food.’

In fact, given that Ariel’s body had not yet fully recovered, it was a healthy meal. But Ariel, who had already experienced the ecstasy of cookies, was not pleased.

‘I feel like yelling at him to give me a lump of dirt.’

On the first day, she couldn’t eat it because of Jane, who ran out of her room weeping when she asked for some dirt.

‘It’s just a lump of dirt, they’re so cheap,’ Ariel sobbed as she recalled the previous few days when she had to suck only her empty fingers.

‘But to see dirts like this again!’

It was when Ariel couldn’t take her gaze away from the lump of dirt…

“What’s the problem?”

Ahin, who thought it was strange for Ariel to stop walking suddenly, asked.

“It’s nothing, let’s get going.”

Ariel shrugged and crept past him.

‘I’ll be able to eat it anyway, so there’s no need for me to lose face by saying it first!’

However, the only food Ahin ordered were fragrant tea and pieces of grass.

‘The dirt! I don’t see a lump of dirt! ‘

She can’t eat that delicious thing even if it’s close by so Ariel grew increasingly anxious. 

At that moment, a knight guarding the outside approached Ahin.

“Young master, you need to come out for a while.”

There appeared to be a problem outside. Ahin, who was having a serious conversation with the knight, looked back at Ariel with a troubled expression.

“I think I need to go out for a bit, can you be alone?”

‘Of course!’

Ahin was still hesitant, despite Ariel’s nod. Even for a short time, leaving the child alone in an unfamiliar place bothers him.

‘Ugh, why are you taking so long to go out?’

Frustrated, Ariel urged.

“Don’t mind me, go on, go on!”

Ariel even stood up and lifted Ahin’s body. Ahin, who had been forced to stand up, nodded his head as if he could not help it.

“Don’t wander around needlessly and wait patiently here.”

“Well, I know.”

Ariel tapped his chest saying not to worry, only then did Ahin turned around. Ariel, who was staring at Ahin, who had vanished around the corner, urgently called the employee.

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

The employee who quickly approached lowered his head and inquired, and Ariel responded as if waiting.

“Bring me some dirt.”

“…Yes?”

The employee doubted his ears. What kind of dirt are you looking for when you come to a shop that sells tea and desserts?

Strangely, the man’s expression hardened.

“I’m sorry, but could you repeat it?  What should I bring…”

“The round, black thing that resembles this.  Over there at the front door! “

Ariel exclaimed in annoyance. Ariel made an easy-to-understand fist gesture and waved them with her eyes twinkling.

‘Why is this employee so slow? What if that boy suddenly come back…’

If the employee doesn’t understand this time, she has no choice but to let her dirt go.

“…Yes, I understand.”

Fortunately, the staff moved quickly as if he understood. And after a while, the employee returned with a tray on his hand.

“This…Is this what you are looking for…”

With the employee’s unsure tone, Ariel hurriedly looked at the tray on his hand. 

Perfectly moist black dirt with studded pebbles.

It wasn’t quite like what she’d seen in the Grand Duke’s Mansion, but it was definitely a lump of dirt.

“All right, this is it!”

Ariel nodded quickly, and the waiter gave a shaky expression on his face.

‘Why the hell am I doing this…’

Actually, he didn’t quite understand what Ariel was explaining. However, he couldn’t keep questioning a noble’s orders, so he headed to the place Ariel told him.

If he go there, he will find something.

However, there were broken flowerpots and a lump of dirt that matched Ariel’s description. He was still not convinced of his actions after carrying it.

‘If you were looking for a pile of dirt. What are you doing in this place? ‘

He was curious as to what this young noble would do with a lump of dirt.

So he didn’t leave his position and just stood there idly watching the situation, but something truly incredible happened.

The child snatched a handful of dirt and shoved it into her mouth.

‘Why are you eating that?’ 

The employee was perplexed in an entirely incomprehensible situation. But then something even stranger happened.

The young noble’s face was wrinkled with a lump of dirt in her mouth.

“Eww! This dirt tastes bad!”


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