ally placed in front.

Contrary to Cedric’s conflict, the door opened very easily.

In the familiar and quiet resting room, there was a young girl who carefully put down a teacup that could barely be covered with both palms.
The girl’s hair, which might be only ten years old, was brown, and her eyes looked similar.

A completely different appearance from the children who had visited Cedric so far.
The moment Cedric’s face showed disappointment, the girl saw the door open a beat later and stood up.

“Hello, Your Excellency.”

It was a very good pronunciation and speech for a child.
Perhaps even though it was too early to lose baby fat, the skinny cheeks seemed to make the girl look more mature.
Is that really the right age?

Cedric furrowed his brow and involuntarily turned his back to the door and took one step closer to the girl.

I also didn’t forget to kneel on one knee and look at each other.
The child was not familiar with it, but I thought he would have that much consideration because he had met impersonators recently.

Cedric’s voice came out with a slight tremor.

“You said you were my daughter.”

“Yes, my name is Lillian.”

“Yes, Lillian.
Do you have anything to show me, too?”

“I am… I am from an orphanage.
So there aren’t many things I can show you, but when I entered the orphanage, there was something I brought with me.”

The girl said so and opened her small hand.

She had been holding it so tightly that in her reddened palm was a small locket-shaped pendant with a golden rope hanging from it.

A locket embossed with the magnolia, the symbol of the Maynard family.

When opened, a portrait of a married couple was revealed.
The male side had black hair and green eyes, and the female side had blonde hair and a well-rounded face.
Despite the small size, the portrait was drawn quite elaborately.

Cedric’s hand, which received the locket, trembled slightly.

How can I forget this thing? This was Cedric’s last gift to his dead wife before he left for the battlefield.

An item that was commissioned by the most famous painter of the time to draw elaborate pictures inside a small locket, and which could not be found anymore with the disappearance of the child.

“… Your Excellency, that.”


Cedric replied to Stefan’s words in a choked voice.

Stefan’s voice was also locked.
In fact, he also desperately wanted to open the pendant the girl brought.

“I was half in doubt because the child came out so strongly that I couldn’t show until the Duke came… It was a relic of the madam….”

The reason Stefan didn’t say anything was that he, the butler, couldn’t check the belongings by forcing the child who claimed to be the daughter of the duke.
Of course, the surface of the pendant the child showed off seemed to have the Maynard family’s seal engraved on it, but the possibility that it was a counterfeit could not be ignored.

Above all, the biggest reason was that the child did not seem to have much resemblance to the Duke.

However, now that the portrait inside the pendant has been confirmed, Stefan’s reason to hold back his words has disappeared.

“Congratulations, sir… !”

With Stefan’s choking words, Cedric unconsciously hugged the child.
The girl blinked her eyes, evidently taken aback, as if the sight of two large adult men unable to control their emotions was unfamiliar, and then carefully lowered her arms, which had been raised as if to wrap Cedric’s back.

Thus, the lost princess of the Maynard family returned.
Amid the employees who heard the story through Stefan belatedly, each of them cheered and shed tears.

Lillian, the person in charge, was welcoming the unfamiliar hospitality like the scorching midwinter sun.

It was natural.
Lillian, because the girl wasn’t really Cedric’s daughter.

The only problem was that the real protagonist had already died and left the world, so she could not come to this place.

‘Swan, originally you were supposed to be here.’

Lillian quietly lowered her eyes.
The smile of the one she could no longer see flashed through her mind.

A friend who smiled brighter than Freesia, sitting in the spring sun.

And a friend who gave me everything.

In Cedric’s arms, Lillian struggled to raise her mouth, then put it back down.
Her hazel-colored eyes in the sunlight were cold.

It would be strange if she was sad alone while everyone was happy, but Lillian couldn’t smile at this unfamiliar hospitality.

I just wanted to see my friend.

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