The news that they had found the missing young lady brought relief to everyone at the Asterian mansion, and they all breathed a sigh of relief.
After displaying his ability, Cassius cradled the unconscious child in his arms and returned to the room.
He carefully laid the child on the bed prepared for Thiel, and immediately ordered the chief physician of the Asterian family to be called.
The maids, who had been sweating profusely while searching every corner of the mansion for Thiel, scattered at Cassius’s command.
Thus, the room was left silent, with everyone gone.
After letting out a brief sigh, Cassius hesitated for a moment before placing his thick hand under the child’s small nose.
“Fortunately, the child is breathing properly.”
Relieved to feel the faint breath at his fingertips and see the child’s small chest rising and falling regularly, Cassius closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again.
The child he had just cradled in his arms seemed so fragile and faint that he feared she might disappear at any moment.
He gently stroked the small, tear-stained cheek for comfort, listening to the faint sound of breathing.
‘What on earth did they do to this child in that wretched place, Nestian?’
‘Grandfather…? My, my ability isn’t coming out, I don’t have any abilities…’ As I recalled the child begging and crouching, my entire body chilled with blood.
At the same time, a massive anger boiled inside him, so intense that it was indescribable.
The first was anger towards Cassius himself, who had no idea about his daughter’s life and death until it had reached that point.
The second was anger towards those who had pushed his daughter to this point.
I still haven’t investigated exactly how the child was treated by the Nestian family…
‘I don’t need to see it to know.’
From what the child said a moment ago, it can be inferred that Thiel probably did not manifest their ability properly in Nestein.
And Nestein’s head of the family, Zender Nestein, was a person with excessive ambition.
So Zender could not tolerate the fact that Lena and Cassius’s daughter did not manifest her ability.
Cassius recalled what Thiel had shown them in the hallway a moment ago, where the light had swelled up as if it would swallow the child whole, taking the shape of a fish or a leopard, before dissipating with a gust of wind.
“And if my guess is correct, that was undoubtedly…”
At that moment, the tightly closed door opened suddenly, and Alpheus, the head of the Asterian family, burst in, forgetting to compose himself.
It was already the second time today.
“You found the child? Is she okay?”
Alpheus jumped in with a face that seemed to have a lot to ask Cassius and headed straight to Thiel, who was lying on the bed.
Even when he saw his granddaughter lying on the huge bed, she looked extremely small, thin, and… small again.
Thiel was so small and tiny that it was even possible for the servants not to find her.
Alpheus’ gaze lingered on Thiel’s face.
When he heard that the child had disappeared, his heart, which had been devastated, melted like snow when he saw Thiel’s small face.
When he first heard that the child had disappeared, he was so shocked that he thought she had lost his granddaughter again, who had been found with great difficulty.
Alpheus unconsciously reached out to Thiel. Just before his fingertips touched Thiel’s cheek, Cassius stopped Alpheus’ hand.
“Easy, the child is sleeping, Father.”
“What? No, but don’t we need to make sure the child is okay?”
“I’ve checked, so it’s okay. She’s just sleeping.”
“Really? Then we should call the doctor right away…”
“I called a little while ago, and they’ll be here soon. It’s better for the child to rest for a while.”
After a moment of hesitation, he added, “I also have something to tell you.”
At his son’s firm words, Alpheus looked at his precious granddaughter with a wistful gaze.
He wanted to see the child a little longer. No, if he thought about the emptiness he had felt all this time, he could have watched her all day and still not have enough.
But he also didn’t want to wake the peacefully sleeping child, so he obediently nodded his head.
“… Right. But we can’t leave the child alone. Call for a maid.”
When Thiel first arrived at the mansion, Cassius ordered for the maid Lia, who had taken care of Thiel before, to be brought in.
Since Thiel seemed to be very reserved, it seemed better to have someone who already knew the child to take care of them until a dedicated maid was assigned.
Not long after, Lia arrived, the same maid who had taken care of Thiel before. She was also drenched in sweat, as if she had been searching for Thiel throughout the mansion.
Cassius pointed to Thiel, who was sound asleep over his shoulder, and said, “Take good care of the child and make sure she doesn’t disappear again.”
Lia nodded her head, promising to never let go of the child’s side.
After Cassius and Alpheus took one last look at Thiel’s face, they left the room where the child was sleeping.
Thiel blinked her eyes drowsily at the gentle touch that was shaking her.
She wanted to sleep a little longer.
As she turned her body, her soft cheek pressed firmly against the pillow. As her cheek was pressed, her eyelids naturally lifted.
But everything was blurry in front of her.
It was as if there was a transparent film over her pupils, making it difficult to see properly. It felt like someone was pressing down on her from above, making her body heavy.
Thiel raised herself up cautiously, puzzled.
Then, she heard a strange voice.
Startled, Thiel turned her head at the unfamiliar voice and met the gaze of the strange man sitting by her bed. She flinched and quickly hid herself under the soft blanket.
Her ears perked up in surprise, and her heart raced with the feeling of being abruptly awakened from her sleep. ‘Who is he?’ she wondered, trying to grasp the situation.
Moreover, why was she here? After learning that the people of Asteria despised her, she remembered running away. Thiel wriggled in the blankets, trying to recall her vague memories.
Then she remembered overhearing the conversation between Cassius and Alpheus before running into the basement and crying in the long, seemingly endless hallway. But the problem was, what did she do next?
At that moment, Thiel’s thought process about what she was doing in the dark corridor finally came to a stop. And soon, she opened her round eyes widely and jumped out of the soft bed.
Thiel looked down at her scarred and wounded palms as if she didn’t care about the strangers in front of her.
Then, she clearly saw that on her palm…
‘A fish on my palm…!’
While Thiel was frantically examining her palm, a large and warm hand touched her shoulder.
Thiel was startled and looked up.
The owner of the warm touch was Cassius. Thiel instinctively shrunk her body and rolled his eyes, forgetting even the fact that she had just examined her palm, partly because Cassius was frightening, but also because she had never heard the affectionate and kind term “baby” before.
… No, maybe she had heard it before…
“Baby, come here.”
At that moment, Thiel’s ears perked up as she recalled Cassius’s gentle and soft voice calling him in the basement. Despite being in a panic state at the time, Thiel vividly remembered the situation, Cassius’s warm tone, and the sense of security she felt in Cassius’s arms.
‘… It’s strange, he seemed to hate me so much…’
Didn’t he say he had to kill her immediately in that corridor?
“… I need to kill this bastard right now..!”
Thiel trembled at the memory of the Duke’s enraged voice.
Yes, he definitely said that.
So Thiel ran for her life.
She didn’t want to die, so he wanted to live.
But then… why did Cassius call him as if he was the most precious thing in the world?
Thus, Thiel was confused, but she didn’t avoid or refuse Cassius’s touch.
Cassius was relieved to see Thiel like that. He was worried about what would happen if the child panicked and refused treatment again.
He stroked the child’s tousled hair and spoke calmly.
“Sorry for surprising you, but it’ll be better for you to finish quickly and rest.”
“Here is Kaid, the chief physician of Asterian who will take care of your health from now on.”
At Cassius’s words, Thiel cautiously turned her head and looked at Kaid.
A middle-aged man in a white gown was looking at Thiel with a cheerful smile.
“Hello, miss. I am Kaid Lester, the chief physician of the Asterian family. Please feel free to call me Kaid.”
Thiel looked at him for a moment.
Given the atmosphere, I felt like I had to say something to Kaid, but I couldn’t think of what to say.
‘An Asterian physician?’
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