n begging, it was a long shot to set foot in Maynard.
That’s why the director wished to attend the celebration and meet Cedric.

‘But…’

Just because I’m interfering, will the Duke listen to me?

Lillian immediately remembered what had happened yesterday.

The past few days, if short, but long.

Lillian tried to get even a little closer to Cedric.

It wasn’t just that she wanted to ask him about the night she was sick.
It was more like a struggle to survive.

While you still have the upper hand, you should keep your eyes on him as much as you can, so you can prepare for the situation.

If I failed this time, I would not be able to see Swan’s face.

But Cedric didn’t hug Lillian the way he did on the first day he met her or caress her as everyone else did.
Perhaps, if there was someone in the mansion who didn’t like Lillian the most, it would be Cedric.

When our eyes meet, he just stares at Lillian with a sad gaze.
He didn’t seem to particularly dislike her, but Cedric never tried to approach her first.

So one time, Lillian approached him first.



“I, Duke.”

“… yes.
What happened?”

“This, I made it.”

Lillian said so and held out a boutonniere made of turquoise and red branches used for decoration in winter.
It was made by a child, but it was quite stylish.

In winter, Lillian and Swan usually break the birch branches.
It was thanks to making various decorations and playing.

I do not have anything.
I wanted to give something better to Cedric, I wanted to show my sincerity.

“Because the garden trees are pretty.
The gardener told me that I could cut it a little, so…”

Lillian stayed up all night making this.

I made it quickly, but I didn’t like the corner of it, so I had to throw it away every time.

Eventually, even though I was a little tired, I found a result that I liked.

Would the Duke like this?

Lillian anticipated it without realizing it.
That is a cool, friendly voice to give a compliment.

“Is that why you didn’t sleep?”

However, what came back was not a compliment.
Rather, a snarky voice.

Lillian unknowingly asked back in surprise.

“Oh, how did you know I didn’t sleep?”

“Yes.
The light was on while I passed by, so I walked there once and heard something rustling.
It’s impossible not to know.”

In short, it is said that she was caught doing something without sleeping all night.

It wasn’t enough that I was caught not sleeping, and I even came to see him.

‘I should have been a little more careful.’

It felt so stupid to make a boutonniere without even knowing that Cedric had seen it all, and even hurt her hand to give him a surprise gift.



Just in time, Lillian felt Cedric’s gaze on her bandaged hand, so Lillian hurriedly hid her hand behind her back.

“Now that I see it, you hurt your hand, too.”

“…”

“Get proper treatment, and don’t do it from now on.
If you want something, ask the maid.”

The last words, he said, felt like a bruise.

“But I’ll take this.
Thank you.”

Cedric took the boutonniere from Lillian’s hand with a dry gesture.
And with the same hand, he brushed Lillian’s hair as if brushing it off.

A gesture as if it were hard to reach

Lillian then realized.

That Cedric would not take her side in any case.

He always spoke kindly to Lillian, but that was it.
He couldn’t even hide the dryness contained within.

Still, Lillian was a stranger to him.

‘It’s rather good.’

I’m not even a real daughter anyway, it’s more comfortable to be like this.
Come to think of it, even if Cedric regarded her as his real daughter and gave her excessive affection and attention, it would have been difficult for her to bear it because it would felt uncomfortable.

Maybe it could have been worse than being indifferent like now.
So this is better.

Lillian soothed herself and carelessly wiped her dry eyes with the back of her hand.
She didn’t cry, but it was her habit to come out whenever she felt like crying.

And then.

hee hee-

The carriage came to a halt with the light sound of a horse.
The coachman’s voice came from outside.

“Duke, we have arrived.”

It was the Imperial Palace.

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