The room was adorned with a unique embroidered carpet that covered more than half of the floor, and on top of it, there was a small sofa and a tea table that perfectly fit the child’s body.
Thiel looked down at the carpet’s embroidery rather than heading toward the tea table.
Embroidered in gold was a pattern of a laurel leaf, symbolizing victory, with a depiction of a fierce beast’s fangs in the center.
Thiel crouched down and felt the embroidery with her fingertips. The embroidery was rough and bumpy.
‘I’m sure I’ve seen this somewhere before…’
It was a familiar pattern. Thiel narrowed her eyes, trying to recall where she had seen the pattern, when Parden approached and stood next to Thiel.
And at that moment, Thiel realized where she had seen the pattern.
‘It’s the pattern that was embossed on Mom’s locket!’
It was the pattern that had been deeply carved in relief on Mom’s locket.
Throughout the journey to Asterian, Thiel tightly held the locket in her hands, so the texture felt familiar.
Seeing Thiel carefully examining the embroidery for a while, Parden crouched down to Thiel’s eye level and spoke.
“This pattern represents the Asterian House. The border features a golden laurel leaf symbolizing victory, and in the center, there are fangs of a black leopard symbolizing the dark mark. The flames on the border represent the Asterian House’s ability user, ‘Flame.’”
Upon Parden’s kind explanation, Thiel nodded.
“Flame… It’s really impressive.”
In Nestian, the word “Flame” was almost forbidden. The flame was the ability of the Asterian.
But now, she could freely talk about it. Thiel thought that the ability to melt even frozen things, rather than freezing them like icy confinement, was much more impressive.
Thiel stood up with a gasp and carefully inspected the room once again.
The soft bedding and charming furniture all pleased them, but what they liked the most was…
‘It’s really beautiful.’
It was a sun catcher hanging in front of the window, reflecting sunlight in all directions.
As Thiel’s gaze was captivated by the sun catcher, she stood in front of it for a while, and Parden stood by Thiel’s side once again.
Unable to reach the sun catcher due to her small height, Parden lightly tapped it.
“It seems like you like this sun catcher, Miss. You have an eye for beauty.”
“Yes, it’s really beautiful.”
The light, which passed through the blue gem and turned blue, cast its glow over Thiel’s face.
Parden looked at that sight with satisfaction, then cleared his throat and spoke.
“This sun catcher is a masterpiece crafted by the renowned artisan Linat. He handpicked the finest diamonds available only in Dezmond to create this exquisite sun catcher. There’s only one in the world. It was a gift from Lord Cassius, who thought it would look beautiful in your room.”
Although Thiel was only seven years old, they knew that diamonds were very, very expensive.
And since the word “best” was mentioned twice, it meant that this sun catcher was even more valuable than other diamonds.
Parden nodded proudly.
Thiel looked up at Parden, her fists clenched as if she had made a decision.
“Um, Mister Parden.”
“Yes, please tell me, Miss.”
“I want to express my gratitude to Lord Cassius and Lord Alpheus for giving me this nice room and beautiful sun catcher. Can I meet them?”
Of course, Thiel was still a little scared of Alpheus, but it was proper etiquette to thank them for receiving such things.
Upon Thiel’s words, Parden nodded with a pleased expression.
“Of course. However, Lord is currently away due to urgent matters, so I will guide you to Lord Cassius.”
As Parden finished speaking, he reached out his hand to Thiel. Thiel lightly grasped Parden’s warm hand.
Parden adjusted his steps to match Thiel’s small strides, walking at about half of his usual pace.
Thanks to that, Thiel was able to hold onto the hand of an adult and move
The Astarian mansion was truly spacious. One could easily get lost inside the mansion.
Parden held Thiel’s hand and walked towards Cassius’s room, cautioning her, “The mansion is very large, and you could easily get lost. Whenever you go somewhere, make sure to have a maid accompany you.”
In particular, the basement was said to be so vast and complex that even the long-serving servants occasionally got lost.
While Thiel held Parden’s hand and made their way to Cassius’s room, she made up her mind not to wander alone.
‘I don’t want to cause any unnecessary worry by getting lost…’
To avoid inconveniencing the kind people in the Astarian mansion, Thiel paid even more attention to Parden’s words than usual.
After walking for what felt like a long time, Parden stopped in front of a massive door.
“This is where Lord Cassius resides.”
A gigantic door.
The door was so tall and wide that even a massive beast could enter. Thiel couldn’t muster the courage to open it alone.
Overwhelmed by the size of the door, Thiel stood there with her mouth slightly agape and her neck craned, only looking at the door. Parden smiled gently and lightly knocked on the door.
“Lord Cassius, Miss Thiel has arrived.”
After Parden finished speaking, it didn’t take long for the heavy door to slowly open.
And there he was.
Cassius revealed himself personally. Thiel showed a slight surprise at Cassius’s sudden appearance, but she didn’t shy away or hide.
She had already met Cassius separately before.
Moreover, that memory had left a rather pleasant impression on Thiel.
“Come in, little one.”
Cassius stepped aside slightly next to the door and spoke. Thiel glanced around for a moment and cautiously stepped into Cassius’s room.
“I will take my leave now.”
Parden, who confirmed Thiel entering Cassius’s room, bowed with proper etiquette. Cassius glanced at Thiel once, then at Parden, and nodded lightly.
Following that, the sound of the massive door closing was heard, and Cassius, who had walked ahead, gestured for Thiel to come over as he sat on the sofa.
“Thiel, come here.”
It was a gentle voice that, when heard, inexplicably brought comfort.
Just like that day when he had rescued Thiel, who was crying in the basement.
Just like that day when Cassius had whispered that she was a special child with special abilities…
The hand that had been clenched tightly due to nervousness loosened. Thiel blinked her eyes and stealthily approached Cassius. Then she stood in front of Cassius, clasping her hands together.
However, Cassius, as if not satisfied with something once again, lightly smiled and reached out his hand towards Thiel.
Confirming that the child no longer avoided his hand, Cassius, in a rough yet cautious manner, lifted Thiel and sat her on his knee.
Thiel’s eyes widened as she almost plopped down onto Cassius’s knee. Momentarily startled, Thiel’s body twitched.
“Be careful, Thiel. You might fall.”
Upon hearing that she might fall, Thiel became teary-eyed. Her body, which had been wriggling, became still, and Thiel blinked her eyes while placing her hands on Cassius’s rough knee.
‘Why on earth am I here…!’
I just came here to thank you for giving me a wonderful room.
When I was at Nestian Manor, I had never once sat on an adult’s knee. Holding hands was such a rare occurrence that I could count it on one hand, so it was natural.
But since coming to Asterian Manor, how many times have I already sat on someone else’s knee?
Moreover, Cassius’s knee was stiff and uncomfortable, unlike Lia’s knee, which was soft and stable.
Perhaps it was because Cassius had rarely held a child before, but Thiel was overwhelmed by that fact.
While Thiel tried to somehow change their uncomfortable posture by fidgeting, Cassius rang a bell on the side table.
The door opened, and a servant entered, bowing their head. Cassius lightly leaned his head against Thiel’s small head and spoke.
“Bring some snacks that the child can eat. And a cup of warm tea.”
Cassius briefly held Thiel’s small hand as if it were fascinating, then spoke again.
“No, since the child is young, juice or warm cocoa would be better than tea. Just like that time.”
The servant left the room with a brisk pace.
Thiel, still sitting on Cassius’s knee, blinked and then turned her head as if she suddenly remembered the purpose of coming to this room.
“Um, mister Cassius!”
“Yes, Thiel. What is it?”
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