At the maid’s words, the three men jumped up from their seats.
“The young lady is in the guest room next to the kitchen, but…”
Ignoring the maid’s words, Cassius stepped forward with big strides. The maid followed him from behind, matching his steps, and spoke.
“I gave a little dessert because it seemed like she was hungry, but maybe she ate it in a hurry, so she threw up…”
The maid, almost in tears.
“She insisted on not eating anything but two pieces of bread the whole time. It looks like her stomach was surprised by suddenly having food.”
Cedric said, gathering his brows.
The sound of footsteps hurriedly crossing the hallway reverberated in the hallway.
Soon after, they arrived in the room where Thiel was.
Cassius knocked on the door.
“Baby. Can I come in?”
There was a sound of something falling in the room. Cassius couldn’t wait and opened the door.
What Cassius noticed was a messy tea table and a little girl in the arms of a maid.
The maids who were cleaning the room lifted their heads in unison. Cassius glanced at the carpet the maids had removed.
There were traces of vomit in the corner. The girl bowed her head and trembled as if she had committed a great sin.
There were a lot of bread and desserts on the floor.
Cassius understood the situation when he listened to the maid’s words, and Cedric’s words, and saw the pile of desserts.
The hungry child must have eaten the dessert until she was full, and she must have regurgitated it on the spot.
Cassius wanted to comfort his daughter by saying it wasn’t her fault that she vomited, but he held back.
‘It’s not good to surprise her even more.’
The child was in a very unstable state. She was already said to be very sensitive, and now that she had thrown up, she would be even more on edge.
“I, I’m wrong….”
As expected, the girl was already trembling like a rattan tree, apologizing for her mistake. The maid who was holding Thiel gently patted her back and said,
“I will go and wash the lady.”
Cassius nodded with a guilty face. The maid who was holding the child quickly left the room.
The maid, Lia, carried Thiel and headed to the bathroom. She felt the little body trembling uncontrollably in her arms.
Thiel was so startled that he even hiccuped continuously. Lia held her tightly around the neck to prevent her from falling out of her arms, and she opened her mouth.
“I was, wrong, wrong… I was wrong, don’t kill me…”
With both eyes tightly closed, Thiel repeated the same words as a broken leaf doll.
Lia didn’t know what the little girl had been through, but she continued to stroke her messy hair, confused.
She said, hugging the child tightly until she felt her warmth.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, lady. It’s not your fault, lady.”
A gentle voice wrapped around Thiel. The little girl seemed to have calmed down a bit from the voice.
Lia arrived in the bathroom and placed the child next to her before filling up the warm water.
It would have been easier if there were other maids to help with the task, but according to Cassius’s orders to keep Thiel away from contact with other servants due to her shyness, Lia had to wash Thiel alone.
After filling up the warm water, Lia held Thiel again and asked, “Is it okay to take off your dress now?”
Lia asked gently. Thiel was still trembling. She didn’t seem to be in a state where she could answer properly.
However, Lia couldn’t leave the child like this, so she carefully removed the bright yellow dress Thiel was wearing.
The silky dress fell to the ground with a soft thud, revealing bruises and wounds all over Thiel’s snowy white skin.
It was clear that the wounds were not self-inflicted. Lia was at a loss for words, faced with Thiel’s more serious condition than she had anticipated.
“Oh, my goodness… Miss Thiel…”
“… Ah, I-I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”
Lia thought she had done something wrong again because of her reaction, and Thiel burst into tears again, apologizing.
“J-just wrong… really… h-hic!”
“No, no, it’s not your fault, Miss. It’s okay. I’ll wash you off soon. Lady, please hold on a little!”
She tried to soothe the child and carefully lowered her small body into the bathtub.
And she began to curse whoever had made the child like this, gently wiping the delicate skin of the child.
The fragrant bubbles touched every corner of her body and soon melted away.
Most of the wounds were old, so they wouldn’t hurt even if water touched them, but Lia was still very careful.
The dirty water continued to flow out for a while. It was natural, since no one in Nestian had ever washed Thiel before.
Her hair, which had been tangled and neglected for a long time, seemed like it needed to be cut at the bottom.
“It’s almost stiff. I have to cut it off.”
However, there was only herself and the young girl in the bathroom.
Lia decided to postpone cutting her hair because she didn’t want to risk leaving the girl alone to fetch scissors.
Thiel’s sobbing echoed loudly in the quiet bathroom.
Thiel tried to cover her mouth with both hands, but the sound of her sobbing kept leaking through her fingers.
Seeing her, Lia lowered Thiel’s hands and said,
“You don’t have to force yourself to hold it in, Miss. I’ll wash you up and bring you some water. You’ll feel better after drinking it.
Her voice was gentle. She did her best to thoroughly wash Thiel’s small body.
As the color of the feces that had been coming out for a long time faded and stopped completely, Lia stopped the bath.
The foul smell that had been emanating from her body had disappeared, and the fragrant scent of soap tickled her nose.
Lia hugged the little girl with a large towel.
And after thoroughly cleaning her, she put on the small pajamas that were in front of the bathroom.
It was the clothes that Olivia, Thiel’s cousin, and Cassius’s young niece, used to wear.
Since the girl often slept in the Asterian family, the girl’s clothes were left behind as they were.
Meanwhile, Thiel had fallen asleep, exhausted from crying. Lia looked at the sleeping Thiel with loving eyes for a while.
“I don’t know what you’ve been through, young lady, but I hope you’ll be peaceful here.”
Lia whispered a prayer in Thiel’s ear. She hugged the sleeping Thiel and hurried away.
The place where Thiel was laid down was a room that was used by Cassius’ niece, Olivia, when she stayed in Asterian. There were many girls’ things, so Thiel didn’t feel uncomfortable lying down.
After laying Thiel down, Lia asked another maid to call for Doctor Cade and Cassius.
Not long after, Cassius, Ian, and Cedric arrived in the room with Doctor Cade.
Cade was a middle-aged man who appeared to be around forty, with a gloomy impression.
“Is the child okay?”
Cassius asked, in a hurry. Lia nodded her head.
“She kept saying she did something wrong, begging to be saved, until she fell asleep… What in the world did she go through?”
Lia’s gaze turned to the sleeping Thiel. The girl looked the most peaceful since arriving at the Asterian mansion.
“Examine the child’s condition,”
Cassius ordered shortly. Cade grabbed the girl’s slender wrist.
After examining the child for a while, the doctor raised his head and spoke to Cassius.
“She’s severely malnourished and her growth rate is much slower than other children her age. Other than that, we’ll have to wait until the young lady wakes up to know more.”
“She was certainly small,”
Ian muttered while gauging Rowan’s height.
Rowan was the same age as Thiel, but she was one head taller than Thiel, who was small for her age.
“Why did she suddenly fall asleep?”
“She seems to be tired. Maybe she couldn’t sleep properly during the trip. It’s not uncommon for young children to suddenly fall asleep when they don’t get enough sleep.”
Cade explained slowly. After nodding as if he understood, Cassius lowered his head and let out a sigh.
Then he sat down next to the bed and gently brushed the child’s cheek.
When she was awake, she was so surprised to see him that she couldn’t even speak properly.
‘I-I can eat a bit of food, really, I can live as if there’s nothing there. I can sleep in the warehouse or in the barn, so… If you want, you can stay in Asterian as long as you want.’
I couldn’t tell you that you can stay in Asterian as long as you want.
‘I… want to stay here.”
I’m ready to steal even Nestian’s mansion if you want.
Cassius made up his mind that when Thiel woke up, he would definitely say that first.
From now on, this is your home, so there is nothing to worry about.
Those who try to harm you will put an end to their sins in the name of Asterian.
Cassius gently kissed the back of Thiel’s small hand, then pulled away.
It was strange to feel the warmth from her small body.
Then, Cedric asked cautiously.
“Are you going to do a paternity test?”
At Cedric’s words, Ian and Cassius looked back at him without saying anything.
Already, that child’s gold eyes are a symbol of Asterian and Nestian’s mixed blood, so what’s the point of doing a paternity test?
Seeing that gaze, Cedric hurriedly made an excuse.
“Of course, I’m sure that the young lady is the biological child, but it’s still procedural.”
“I will do a paternity test.”
Cassius said, tucking the child’s hair behind her ear.
“It is procedurally necessary. There must be documents proving paternity for the child to be registered in Asterian’s family register.”
“Then it would be best to cut the hair now, Marquis.”
It was Ian who opened his mouth this time.
“When she wakes up, she might be surprised if you cut her hair.”
To do a paternity test, you need the hair of the child and Cassius.
Ian gestured to Lia, who was standing politely next to him.
Lia brought scissors from somewhere and snipped off a small section of Thiel’s hair from the back of her head.
The white hair glowed translucent on her palm.
“Ask the temple for a paternity test. They have mine stored there.”
In preparation for finding the child, Ian had already entrusted his own hair to the temple.
Sending only the child’s hair to the temple would allow them to receive the results of the paternity test immediately.
Of course, there would be a long line of people waiting for their turn, but it wouldn’t be a problem for the Asterian family.
As the Asterian provided a huge amount of funding to the temple, it was natural that the temple would give priority to paternity tests requested by the Asterian.
Cassius looked back once at his sleeping daughter and spoke.
“Now it’s better to leave. The child might wake up.”
“Yes, then we will go now.”
Cedric met eyes with Ian and spoke. Ian nodded in agreement.
“Your schedule has been delayed quite a bit. Your Highness, you should return to the palace now.”
“I wanted to say goodbye, but it’s a shame.”
Ian murmured as he looked at Thiel’s sleeping face.
“Yes, thank you for today, Your Highness. Cedric, I will give you formal thanks next time.”
After finishing his words, Cassius looked back at Lia.
“You, go to the temple and request a paternity test. Also, call the maid from earlier and have her stay by the child’s side. If the child wakes up, call me immediately.”
“Yes, my lord.”
The four of them left the room.
A small sound of breathing filled the room.
Once again, a bright light flashed from Thiel’s hand. It turned into the shape of a fish, then a small bird.
However, it quickly withered away, and there was no one left to see its form.
Support for more