I didn’t even think my mom’s feelings towards Robellin Kastone would probably be similar to mine.
Love and hatred.
Even though she was murdered more than ten times and repeatedly experienced nightmare-like death, mom sympathized with and understood her.
Robellin Kastone. Considered the greatest and worst villainess in the history of the Kastone Empire. Born to a princess from a small country who had been taken hostage, Robellin lost her mother at the hands of her father, the Emperor, as a child. Ergo, as the years went by, she showed hysterical and cruel behavior.
Suffering from madness for a long time, her brutality reached the crown prince’s ears. Even the emperor, who loved her dearly, had to order her execution.
Nevertheless, there was one truth that only the readers, and the main character, my mother knew about this case.
As I was deep in thought, Emil asked for help.
“Isn’t this too much…?”
Within a short time, Mom called the butler and the maid, directing them with the necessary items for Emil one by one.
“First of all, I decided to call the tailor tomorrow. It will be winter soon, so it’s time to wear new warm clothes. Isn’t it?”
“That’s too much…”
“Ah! Perhaps there is anything you want to learn? Feel free to ask anything. Magic? Alchemy? Sword? For swordsmanship, my husband will be more qualified than other teachers.”
“It- it’s alright.”
I intervened at the right moment for the burdened Emil. From tomorrow onwards, my mother would hold onto him all day, so I needed to help him now.
“Mom, that’s important, but we have to show him the room where he will be staying from now on first.”
“Oh my, I was holding on to you too recklessly. You must have been tired from all the travelling… The room has always been maintained so it’s clean, but I don’t know if you’ll like it.”
“No… I’m grateful for any room.”
“I can’t give you just any room.”
Mom patted Emil’s hair with a tender hand.
“We want you to be greedy here, do what you want to do, and enjoy as many things as you can enjoy at this age.”
These were probably the words she wanted to say to Princess Robellin.
“It’s okay to think of this as your home.”
Emil’s lips moved slightly.
Just in case this child may feel uncomfortable due to his strong pride, I quickly brought him out. Fortunately, for Emil, this kind of treatment itself just seemed unfamiliar.
“The room is on the left side of the 3rd floor.”
While climbing the central staircase in the very center of the mansion, servants who recognized Emil greeted him with smiles. Among them were Isana and Elena.
“Hello, Young Master. My name is Isana, my Lady’s nanny. This is my daughter, Elena.”
“Nice to meet you, Young Master Callixst. A servant will be assigned to Young Master as well, but if you need anything, feel free to call upon me anytime.”
When the servants greeted them, Emil, who was wary at first, spoke puzzled
“…It’s like a different world here.”
If the environment, which should be taken for granted, was enough to make him think of an entirely different world, would it mean that Emil in his previous life lived more harshly?
“Isn’t it cool in the Duke’s residence too?”
“That place, it’s not that kind of place.”
“You mean my house is better?”
At the end of the hallway, on the way to the calmest room, Emil stopped in front of my room.
“Oh, this is my room.”
“And this next room is yours.”
Emil was a little stubborn so if by any chance he showed any signs or was sick, I could run right away. Because we are the same age, we want to share the same hallway.
“You don’t have to be this close…”
“Of course, if you’re uncomfortable, you can change to another room.”
“It’s not that…”
“It’s close, so if you want to play more, you can sneak out at night and visit me.”
Contrary to my bright smile, I hid my compulsive thoughts– I had placed next to me the very same person that once killed me.
This was an action I took at my own risk. Letting go of my trauma to gain trust.
“I’ll show you my room, but before that, let’s look around your room first.”
I was still at a loss as to how to deal with this child.
* * *
Emil was silent for a moment seeing the scenery beyond the door. It was my first time coming inside too, as I had never paid attention to the adjacent room, which had always been used as a guest room.
The room was very spacious and full of sunlight. White, translucent curtains fluttered in the cool breeze. Wooden furniture, such as large bookcases and a bed, created a warm feeling.
“Here- it’s my room?”
Emil couldn’t believe it easily. As if the entire Marquisate may be playing a prank on him, he doubted over and over again.
“Do you like it? It was originally a room for guests my age.”
If this space, which was comfortable just to look at it, brings stability to Emil, sleepless nights would be nothing for me.
“I like it.”
“That’s a relief.”
Emil, who paused, touched the sheets of the spacious bed. In preparation for the chilly weather, a thick duvet was placed over the bed, and right next to it there was a desk fitting his height. Everything was amazing.
‘I’m sure he has lived in a room such as this in the Duke’s residence, even if it was a place where child care could not be found even if I washed my eyes and looked for it twice.’
“The chair fits perfectly.”
“Is the desk height okay?”
“Mnh, it’s comfortable.”
Meanwhile, I opened the window. On the other side of the mansion, a small annex was visible. Because of my small size, I had to tiptoe to point out the place properly.
“The library is over there. Let’s go together later. There is also a greenhouse in the flower garden in front. It has a lot of flowers my mom likes, and on this side…”
Trying to make him excited, I continued saying tempting words. But there was no response. When I peeked at the boy curiously, Emil was looking at me. As the wind blew and his hair blocked his view, he raised his arm to prevent it.
“Is there anything you don’t like?”
“You…” My heart almost stopped at the next words. “I don’t know why you’re being nice to me.”
Emil was staring at me. A mixture of dejection and joy coexisted in his facial expressions.
“Because I want to be close to you…”
I hurriedly fixed my hardened face.
“It doesn’t matter why you treat me kindly. Thanks to you, I think I will be able to be a little happy.”
My heart throbbed. At the same time, I was reminded of the bloodstained hallway and the eerie blade that stabbed me on that dreadful day. Contrary to that day, the Emil in front of me now was just a child. A child who was thirsty for affection, and yet I was tense.
“If there’s anything you want from me,”
I thought to myself: ‘I’m doing well. No one has to lose anything.’ In the end, Emil will be happy, and I will continue to live a normal life with my family for a long time. So it isn’t wrong for me to be pretentious to Emil.
“By all means, I’ll make it come true.”
It’s enough for me that you don’t hurt my family.
The words that came out of my mouth and my inner thoughts were different. I hurried to change the subject.
“…You were curious about my room, right? I’ll show it to you now.”
Emil did not refuse and followed me. He likely noticed I had changed the subject.
‘Why do I feel guilty?’
I couldn’t know.
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