Everyone in the drawing room turned toward Tia Bluea after she made a bold statement. Nobody dared to speak in response to her words.
Gilbert sipped his tea quietly, and Theodore, who I expected to say something, turned away from Tia and stared at the sunlight reflecting off the glass.
Aiden’s mouth remained open, and judging by his cautious gesture of touching his ear, he appeared to be doubting his own hearing.
Tia’s words made me feel a strange sense of foreboding.
Despite her timid delivery, her message was clear: “If Rex can stay at the Grand Duchy, why can’t she?”
Tia Bluea resembled Jung Seulbi not only in appearance but also in her demeanor, the way she spoke about her rigid mindset as if it were malleable. It made the listeners feel as if they were at fault, despite the fact that she was the selfish one.
Tia lowered her head in embarrassment as everyone’s gaze was drawn to her.
“Well, Rex Bluea came to the Grand Duchy as a child, and as I said before, the head of the house is currently unconscious…….”
“That’s why I have to stay here at the Grand Duchy!”
“Why is that?”
Tia responded with a ridiculous excuse as Gilbert repeated his earlier remarks in a slightly nicer and clearer voice.
Gilbert had a troubled expression as he looked at Tia. He probably realized that the young girl in front of him was not an easy opponent, and that it would be ineffective to treat her like a child.
“Because I have my father figure lying unconscious there.”
When did you ever see him as a “father figure”? Your father is sitting next to you right now.
As Tia spoke, I cast a quick glance in Duke Bluea’s direction. If I were Duke Bluea, I would feel uncomfortable hearing such words.
But there was no indication of that in the Bluea Duke’s gaze as he turned to face Tia. He has a look that seemed to believe the child had simply said what she needed to say.
Theodore, who had been staring languidly into the sunlight with a bored expression on his face, opened his mouth in surprise at Tia’s words.
Anyone could have understood the sarcasm in that exclamation of blatant admiration.
“You must have raised your child well; I’ve never thought of Duke Bluea as a father figure.”
“Oh my. Why do you say such mean things? If he’s his brother, then he’s my father figure.”
“I heard he turned out like this because of sister Mary.”
Theodore’s abrasive remarks were simply dismissed by Tia as being cruel. Then she glared at him while puffing up her cheeks.
Gilbert observed this and attempted to mediate. Gilbert tried to stop Tia, but she turned her arrow towards me.
There was no malice in Tia’s expression. Her eyebrows were lowered, and her hands were shaking.
“It’s not Miss Mary’s fault.”
“Oh, I wasn’t trying to blame anyone; I thought he was a hero; he became like this while trying to protect sister Mary, right?”
“I asked my father if he would do the same for me, to protect me, and he said he could only seek revenge if he is alive! How can he be so cold?”
Tia stuck out her lower lip and pouted. Duke Bluea chuckled lowly and patted Tia’s whimpering head.
It might have appeared as though he was simply giving her a pet because he thought she was cute. However, in my opinion, it appeared to be a reward for Tia for a job well done.
“Why don’t you just live with your beloved father?”
“I just, I like my sisters and brothers here so much, and I want to get to know them.”
Theodore grunted lowly in response to Tia’s response, expressing his displeasure.
“I feel happy when I think of people with the same hair color as me as my siblings, especially since I don’t have an older sister or brother. That’s why I’m a little excited,”
As she spoke, Tia clasped her hands together as if her heart were full and smiled warmly. Despite her innocent and cute appearance, I didn’t like Tia very much.
It wasn’t just because she resembled Jung Seulbi, but also because she kept referring to us as “older sister and brothers,” but excluding Rex. Of course, it could just be my prejudice. Rex was nonetheless special to me.
“But it’s still difficult.”
Tia’s dreamy cooing was cut off by Lucas’ adamant disapproval.
Duke Bluea’s face twisted, as if Gilbert’s opposition weren’t as devastating as Lucas’s.
“The Lord of the House Conler is currently unconscious, as Master Gilbert has been saying all along, and with his comfort being our top priority, we do not feel it is appropriate to entertain ‘guests’.”
“I will take care of him…!”
I’d never heard Lucas speak so coldly.
Aiden and Theodore were also looking at Lucas with surprise in their eyes. The two of them resembled black rabbits.
“With all due respect, the Grand Duke will never regret saving Miss Mary, nor will he believe it was her fault, because that is the kind of man he is, whose love for his children sometimes overrides his rational judgment.”
Lucas’ expression was somber as he said this.
“The Grand Duke may be unconscious right now, but he knows everything. He’d be furious to know that there’s someone around who thinks Miss Mary is the reason he’s like this.”
“I really don’t mean that.”
“And I wouldn’t stand for it if anyone thought that.”
My eyes became warm at what Lucas said. I was ashamed of myself for secretly fearing that he blamed me, too, for all of this, for the family curse.
I remember when Lucas said that not only me but also Gilbert, Aiden, Theodore, and even Rex were like his own nephews. Even though I am sure he meant it, it really resonates with me in this particular circumstance.
“You’re being presumptuous, Lucas.”
“Your Grace, I sincerely apologize; I am constantly filled with regret.”
As Duke Bluea scolded Lucas, his voice sounded powerless. It was clear that Duke Bluea really liked Lucas.
So it seems that Lucas was more heartbroken than angry at Tia saying these things.
“Father would probably tell the Duke the same thing if he saw this,”
Duke Bluea, you are being presumptuous too. Perhaps he wanted to say this, but Lucas sternly called out Theodore, who was being immature and sarcastic next to him.
If it had been usual, Theodore would have evaded Lucas’ gaze.
Theodore seemed to be processing a lot of what Lucas had just said.
Tia bowed her head softly and muttered in a lifeless voice, realizing that living in the Grand Duchy had become a distant memory for her.
Her appearance was frankly pitiful and a little satisfying.
I mean, who told her to speak so thoughtlessly?
Tia’s voice was gloomy.
I was confused again by how quickly she admitted her mistake and apologized. That’s not how Jung Seulbi acts at all.
“I really didn’t mean it like that. I was just envious of sister Mary who had a father like that, because my father spoke so coldly.”
“No, I’m sorry for speaking too coldly.”
“I just really wanted to get closer to sister Mary!”
Jung Seulbi, no, Tia, hugged me, sobbing. Her body radiated a fresh freesia scent.
This is not the scent that Jung Seulbi likes. She preferred a scent that was just a little soapy.
Although I knew that the one in my arms was not Jung Seulbi, I became a little dazed.
I was hearing what Ha Sohee wanted to hear the most, so instead of feeling good, I had goosebumps all over my body.
“Sister, can you forgive me?”
Tia asked while looking at me with tears in her eyes.
When I first moved in with my aunt, Jung Seulbi sobbed and said I had no shame. I was powerless in front of those tears.
“Then, can I come to play often like this?”
I nodded like an idiot.
TL/N: Sorry peeps! I can only post 1 chapter this week. We don’t have electricity. :((