I pulled out the book I will read for the next class and stretched out on the table.
“Hmm, I want to go on a train trip. But can I do it without permission from Persis?”
It was frustrating that I had to give up if Persis didn’t allow it.
“Ugh, if I had a foolish dad, I would have left for a trip right away.”
Why is my dad Persis?
As I sighed and slumped my shoulders, someone appeared next to me as I moved from the library.
“I’ll try to get permission. Come with me.”
When I raised my head towards the voice, I saw Floa smiling lazily.
I looked at him, puzzled.
“Aren’t we supposed to have swordsmanship class today?”
There was no class, so I wondered why he came.
Floa playfully tilted his head to the side along with me.
“That’s a shame. That’s why it feels like we can only meet during class.”
Well, we don’t have to meet only during class, but I guess he’s trying to keep his promise to be on my side, as he smiled down at me.
“Will my dad allow me to go on a train trip?”
“He will allow it. No parent can win against their child.”
Although I wondered if those words applied to Persis as well, I decided to take it positively.
At least I got a promise from Persis that he wouldn’t kick me out!
Floa reached out his hand to me as if telling me to take it.
“Are you going to get permission now?”
I stared at his hand for a moment, then shook my head.
“I’ll do it later. I have somewhere to go right now.”
“Where are you going?”
I smiled at him.
“I’m going to meet a friend.”
After May left home to meet a friend, she arrived at none other than Nazet’s place. In the reception room, May, who was waiting for someone, was enjoying the chocolate chip cookies brought by the maids.
She was so engrossed in eating the cookies that her mouth was covered in cookie crumbs. Just as she was drinking milk, an uncivilized girl rushed in.
As May wiped the milk off her face and placed her glass down, the uncivilized girl, Stella, burst into the reception room with a fierce expression.
Stella stared at May and gasped for breath before approaching her.
Up close, her expression was not all that fierce; rather, it was the expression of someone who was deeply worried about someone.
Stella exclaimed loudly, “Are you crazy? What if you get into trouble by following a scammer!!!”
May’s eyes widened in surprise. The sound was loud enough to make her ears hurt, but she wasn’t that surprised.
“How did you know I followed the scammer? Did Dad tell the marquis?”
“I went to the orphanage again and found out. What else could I do?”
“You came again? You really worried about me a lot, didn’t you?”
As if touched, Stella asked, clenching her fists tightly and trembling. Her eyes became red in no time.
“Why did I meet a fool like you… because of you…”
The voice that had been getting smaller and smaller suddenly became surprisingly loud.
“You messed up my life because of you!!!”
Stella continued to glare at May with determination. Her eyes turned red and May wondered if she was going to cry, but she didn’t.
“Messed up? It’s not messed up yet… is it…?”
Even as she spoke, her voice trailed off uncertainly because she knew that for Stella, the existence of May was a huge obstacle that prevented her from living her original life.
“It’s already messed up.”
Stella recounted what had happened with Persis.
She had gone to apologize to May for something that had happened before, and heard these words from her:
Don’t come to the palace again. Try not to catch my eye.”
“So I never have to see a brat like you again.”
“How could I be a fool like that? You messed up my life!”
Stella stomped her foot in frustration and sat down on the sofa opposite.
As May buried her face in Stella’s lap, she asked worriedly, “Are you okay?”
Then Stella burst out again.
“How can you be okay?”
May sighed as she looked at Stella.
Persis was a really strange person. He knew that she had done nothing wrong, yet he kept making her apology. Wasn’t it something that Stella should be grateful for, since he had given her a reason to torment her?
Or maybe he just liked to torment others, but didn’t like it when he was tormented?
He really was a strange person.
To cheer up Stella, May moved to her side and tilted her head to look at Stella’s face.
“Do you want to cry?”
Stella still had her face hidden as she thrust her hand strongly into the air.
“Go away! I don’t want to see you!”
I took a step back, thinking her hand would hurt quite a bit if it hit me.
Stella hugged her legs again, and after a brief silence, she spoke up.
“… The fact that you’re here and alive means that the Duke accepted you, right?”
“Not as his daughter, but as his son. He claims to see me as his child, but I guess he still doesn’t think he needs a daughter.”
May looked at Stella and scratched her head before speaking.
“I feel like I’ve put you in a difficult position. Should I try to make things right for you? I can arrange for you to talk to your dad.”
Stella finally looked up, tears brimming in her eyes.
“What can you do?”
“I’ll try my best. Remember, a child can’t lose to their parent.”
Stella frowned as if she couldn’t stand to look at May, who was grinning.
Still, she didn’t miss the opportunity, judging that May’s words were beneficial to her.
“Make it possible for me to have a meal alone with the Duke.”
“Okay, I’ll try my best.”
“Why do you ask?”
Stella looked like she didn’t understand. After all, May was the girl who had behaved badly towards her, yet she was trying to create an opportunity for her and even putting in the effort.
She wore a look that said, “Is she for real?”
May stood up from her seat after seeing Stella’s mood improve.
“I will send you a letter if I ask for permission. Then see you later.”
May waved her hand cheerfully and left the reception room. Stella, who was left alone, stared blankly at where the girl had left.
She was undoubtedly foolish. If she were that girl, she would never have gone this far to create an opportunity to have a meal alone with her potential adoptive father.
“What does she expect to gain?” Stella muttered to herself, feeling angry that the girl had tried so hard when she hadn’t even apologized to her yet.
As soon as she arrived at the Duke’s estate, the first thing she heard from Persis in his office was, “No.”
It was a response that seemed to leave no room for consideration. She clasped her hands together and raised her right index finger, imploring him desperately.
“Just once…please meet with Stella just once, okay? I’m begging you. Please.
“I said no.”
She began to doubt why she was putting in so much effort for Stella, but what could she do? He had already made a promise, and even if she hadn’t, she would have felt sorry for her if she wasn’t adopted.
“Stella was the friend I was worried about when I was at the orphanage. She’s my friend. I don’t like it when my first friend and my father don’t get along.”
“Tsk. You really have no eye for friends.”
Her efforts were futile with Persis. He continued to work, ignoring her.
I secretly glared at him, puffing up my cheeks before eventually giving up and lowering my head.
“I feel sad.”
It’s sad to grow up as a boy and have to constantly watch out for your dad. I think if I was born into a different family if I had a different family, I wouldn’t have suffered like this.
“I promised I wouldn’t hate you, so why won’t you grant me this one simple thing? Do you still hate me?”
“May, I won’t break my promise. I don’t hate you.”
“Then if I said I wanted to go on a train trip right now, would you let me?”
Persis was taken aback by the sudden request for a train trip.
“Of course not. What kind of train trip is it for a young kid like you?”
“See? You hate me and don’t want to do anything for me.”
Persis frustratingly brushed his perfectly fine hair back.
“That’s not it.”
I intentionally provoked his feelings to persuade him to grant my request.
“I can’t just know if you don’t tell me. If you hate me, all I can hear is that you don’t hate me. I can’t see it through your actions.”
And the persuasion worked perfectly.
“… Just have a meal with the kid, right?”
I sighed, as if asking when I was ever depressed.
“You should also allow the train trip.”
He seemed to dislike me, but it didn’t matter. I just wanted to get a meal with Stella and the train trip!
“… I’ll try to make time.”
That’s when it happened.
“There’s no need to make time.”
Floa appeared next to me and hugged me. It was the first time I had ever hugged Floa.
“I’ll accompany you.”
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