Mary was the first to act.
Others called her from behind, but Mary ran without hesitation.
The road to the child’s bedroom was not too long, but Mary felt suffocated.
And when I finally opened the bedroom door.
A cold wind blew in through the open window.
A winter wind blew fiercely through the wide-open window, and the beautiful room, like a candy store, had a desolate atmosphere as the owner had been lost.
Mary staggered from the dizziness she was unconsciously experiencing.
A hollow voice came out in disbelief.
“The lady is gone.”
Meanwhile, at that time.
Inside the carriage heading for the celebration at the Imperial Palace. Lillian showed off the skills of a skilled free rider again today.
‘I almost couldn’t get on.’
It was easy to secretly ride a wagon, but Lillian, an experienced free rider, was quite taken aback at first because she had never seen such a small wagon used by nobles to move around. There was no room to sneak in.
If it had been delayed a little, the plan for the coachman to come and secretly ride the wagon to the celebration would have been in vain.
‘I’m glad I found space under the seat just before the coachman came.’
The space, which seemed to have been made for luggage, seemed to be able to easily accommodate two of Lillian, who was small.
Did they realize she was missing from the mansion by now?
I deliberately disturbed the story so that the maids would not bring dinner, but it is unclear whether it worked.
I felt sorry for the maids who were kind to me, but I couldn’t help it.
After all, what was the point of leaving the carriage at the time the maid brought dinner?
I felt sorry, but Lillian couldn’t give up today.
‘I have to brand myself at the celebration today.’
She had to let everyone know that she was Maynard’s daughter.
After hearing Cedric’s conversation at the gymnasium that day, Lillian felt a sense of crisis.
‘The Duke can kick me out anytime.’
It’s a really painful truth, but it was.
Didn’t you say that with his mouth? Lillian is the most likely candidate yet, so I just left her at home, and I don’t intend to let her in.
In a way, it was a smart story. That’s how it was even if I put personal disappointment aside.
Although Cedric stayed by her side all night when she was sick, she may have felt complacent somewhere in her heart, but Lillian was used to letting go of her emotions.
What she had to engrave now was not emotion.
As the dead Swan wanted, to inherit all of Swan’s life.
Becoming Maynard’s lost princess in name and reality.
That alone was important to Lillian.
In that sense, the current situation was very dangerous.
‘If another child resembling Swan appears in this situation.’
It was clear that Cedric would be shaken.
Since Cedric didn’t trust her easily, Lillian felt uneasy, even though she said she wouldn’t go over it right away.
Moreover, the fact that Lillian wasn’t the only one who knew Swan’s identity further heightened her anxiety.
It had already been a week since she had left the orphanage, so it was clear that by now the director would have noticed the absence of Lillian and the treasure he was handling.
And connecting the two would certainly not be difficult.
It would be easier than closing and opening your eyes to find out what Lillian, who had no presence and was nothing more than a handmaid to the nursery school princess, was carrying as she ran away.
‘And I’m sure he’ll come to meet the Duke for a celebration.’
To let you know that you are fake.
However, the child to be presented by the director was also a fake.
I couldn’t lose my seat to them.
One good thing is, so far, Lillian has the upper hand.
‘Even in the capital, it’s not easy for anyone to enter the place where the great nobility lives.’
Unless it was the old lady’s house that the director had been begging, it was a long shot to set foot in Maynard. That’s why the director wished to attend the celebration and meet Cedric.
Just because I’m interfering, will the Duke listen to me?
Lillian immediately remembered what had happened yesterday.
The past few days, if short, but long.
Lillian tried to get even a little closer to Cedric.
It wasn’t just that she wanted to ask him about the night she was sick. It was more like a struggle to survive.
While you still have the upper hand, you should keep your eyes on him as much as you can, so you can prepare for the situation.
If I failed this time, I would not be able to see Swan’s face.
But Cedric didn’t hug Lillian the way he did on the first day he met her or caress her as everyone else did. Perhaps, if there was someone in the mansion who didn’t like Lillian the most, it would be Cedric.
When our eyes meet, he just stares at Lillian with a sad gaze. He didn’t seem to particularly dislike her, but Cedric never tried to approach her first.
So one time, Lillian approached him first.
“… yes. What happened?”
“This, I made it.”
Lillian said so and held out a boutonniere made of turquoise and red branches used for decoration in winter. It was made by a child, but it was quite stylish.
In winter, Lillian and Swan usually break the birch branches. It was thanks to making various decorations and playing.
I do not have anything. I wanted to give something better to Cedric, I wanted to show my sincerity.
“Because the garden trees are pretty. The gardener told me that I could cut it a little, so…”
Lillian stayed up all night making this.
I made it quickly, but I didn’t like the corner of it, so I had to throw it away every time.
Eventually, even though I was a little tired, I found a result that I liked.
Would the Duke like this?
Lillian anticipated it without realizing it. That is a cool, friendly voice to give a compliment.
“Is that why you didn’t sleep?”
However, what came back was not a compliment. Rather, a snarky voice.
Lillian unknowingly asked back in surprise.
“Oh, how did you know I didn’t sleep?”
“Yes. The light was on while I passed by, so I walked there once and heard something rustling. It’s impossible not to know.”
In short, it is said that she was caught doing something without sleeping all night.
It wasn’t enough that I was caught not sleeping, and I even came to see him.
‘I should have been a little more careful.’
It felt so stupid to make a boutonniere without even knowing that Cedric had seen it all, and even hurt her hand to give him a surprise gift.
Just in time, Lillian felt Cedric’s gaze on her bandaged hand, so Lillian hurriedly hid her hand behind her back.
“Now that I see it, you hurt your hand, too.”
“Get proper treatment, and don’t do it from now on. If you want something, ask the maid.”
The last words, he said, felt like a bruise.
“But I’ll take this. Thank you.”
Cedric took the boutonniere from Lillian’s hand with a dry gesture. And with the same hand, he brushed Lillian’s hair as if brushing it off.
A gesture as if it were hard to reach
Lillian then realized.
That Cedric would not take her side in any case.
He always spoke kindly to Lillian, but that was it. He couldn’t even hide the dryness contained within.
Still, Lillian was a stranger to him.
‘It’s rather good.’
I’m not even a real daughter anyway, it’s more comfortable to be like this. Come to think of it, even if Cedric regarded her as his real daughter and gave her excessive affection and attention, it would have been difficult for her to bear it because it would felt uncomfortable.
Maybe it could have been worse than being indifferent like now. So this is better.
Lillian soothed herself and carelessly wiped her dry eyes with the back of her hand. She didn’t cry, but it was her habit to come out whenever she felt like crying.
The carriage came to a halt with the light sound of a horse. The coachman’s voice came from outside.
“Duke, we have arrived.”
It was the Imperial Palace.
Hope you enjoy ♥️