The Villainess Is Shy In Receiving Affection - Chapter 23
Translator and Editor: Bunny and Einna
It was in late autumn, and the Duke was busy with work – because it was harvest season. The Duke’s vassals would go to and from the capital almost everyday, so a mountain of papers had piled up on the Duke’s desk.
The Duke would always find time to talk to Loretta even in these busy times. It was as if he was trying to make up for the long period of time she has been raised away from the family. Thus, the Duke’s family was peaceful even though there were piles of work to be done.
Of course, that peace didn’t last long. It was because the other noble’s interest was focused on Loretta. Their concerns were mainly about ‘My child will be a great playmate for your dear daughter’. They would mention it to the Duke through a visit request or inviting her to a tea time. The Duke would send polite refusal letters to these invitations, but those kinds of requests didn’t diminish even after the passing of time.
It wouldn’t be a good thing to draw attention to Loretta since she was still adjusting to the Duke’s family. Even so, Loretta is at a curious age so she couldn’t be kept inside the mansion all the time. The child’s situation may be different had the Duchess been present at this time.
But it was pointless to feel sorry for the absence of someone who wasn’t here anymore, so Butler Higgins had a different idea for the Duke.
“Duke, a month or two would be fine, so how about calling the Big Young Master to the mansion? He also needs to meet the Young Lady.”
Loretta had been thinking hard about the biggest problem she had encountered since her birth. It was a secret worry that she couldn’t even tell her best friend, Melody.
Loretta thought about this serious problem whenever she had time to herself, while blowing on the window to fog them up and drawing circles on it.
Is it worrying that the concerns of a little child are this prolonged? A gentle maid approached her.
“Are you upset because the circles are not drawn beautifully?” The maid asked while looking at the circles Loretta had drawn on the window.
“No,” Loretta quickly shook her head.
“If there is a snack you want to eat, I will make it for you. Would you like some roasted peanuts?”
“Is it because you want to find some pretty fallen leaves? Would you like to go to the garden?”
“If not, what could have made our Young Lady like this? Are you worried because the Duke was too busy to see you today?”
Of course, that was one of the concerns because Loretta has been looking forward to talking with the Duke quite a bit.
“Dats fine, bekos fadaer also adors Loretta.”
Besides, there was another problem that Loretta was more worried about right now.
“Yu know, life is hawd for Loretta, I have tu much concen.”
Loretta leaned slightly on the window sill and sighed. Her plump cheeks swelled up a little out of dissatisfaction.
“Sigh, it is somewhat good that life has already been hard for our Young Lady since you will grow up very strong.”
The maid approached the window and bowed slightly. Staring at Loretta’s face with her pouting lips.
“Can I listen to your concerns, if it’s alright with you?”
“Um… but it’s a secret.”
“Of course, I will keep the Young Lady’s secret.”
Loretta barely opened her mouth after she asked the maid if she could really keep it a secret.
“Dat gwandfader in white in the temple.”
“The high priest?”
“He sed dat Fader and Loretta became family so he sed we should be together forever.”
“Is that what’s bothering you?”
Loretta shook her head at the maid’s question and answered, ‘Loretta wikes Fader’.
“Uhm, I wan to be wid Melody tu.”
The maid could now roughly guess Loretta’s worries.
“As my brother sed, Loretta and Melody are not family.”
“I want to live wid her as family… but he sed it cannot be, life is so hawd.” Loretta carefully spoke while clasping her hands together, “It wud be great if Fader gave birt to Melody.”
The maid, who dared to imagine the brusque Duke pregnant after hearing that cute complaint, had to bite her lip to hold back the laughter that almost came out.
“Um, so you’re saying you want Miss Melody to be part of the Valdwin family?”
“Hmm, it wud be great if she was family wid Loretta.”
“If that’s the case, there is another way for Melody to become part of your family without the Duke giving birth to her.”
“Really?!” Loretta raised her head with joy.
The maid thought that she couldn’t give her the answer she had thought up as she gazed into those innocent eyes. It was also a nonsensical question in the first place. What’s more, if Mrs. Higgins found that she said such a thing to the precious Young Lady, it would not be a light punishment.
“…Ah, um. Here’s the thing, so,” the maid took a step back.
Loretta looked at her with a look of anticipation, and she felt a little guilty.
“Wouldn’t it be okay if you cherish her as much… as you cherish your family?”
What was that? A clear look of disappointment appeared on Loretta’s face, but it was the best answer she could give as a maid.
At the same time, another maid knocked on the door, which was a great salvation. The maid apologized to Loretta and left for a moment.
“Why are you sweating so much in this cold weather?”
When the servant asked, she took out a handkerchief and wiped her face.
“I almost melted at the Young Lady’s cuteness and I almost said some nonsense. I would have been calculating my severance pay now if I had said it without resisting the temptation.”
“Nonsense? What is it?”
The servant asked curiously. What kind of nonsense did you almost say to the Young Lady?
“The Young Lady was wiggling her little hands as she said that she wanted Miss Melody to be part of the family.”
“…I see what you were thinking.”
“Right?! The word marriage came up in my throat subconsciously!”
“That’s really nonsense.”
Melody will never be able to form a special bond with the Duke’s son no matter how special she is – never. The maid clasped her hands together and prayed reverently to God. She said that she was relieved she didn’t make any mistake at the last moment and that she came back to her senses. Unfortunately, God wasn’t on her side.
Loretta had followed her quietly and heard all of their conversation.
The little girl put her finger near her lips and thought for a long time, then clapped her hands and giggled as if she had come up with a good solution.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Higgins was lying on her bed because the Elder had thrown her on the floor. Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt, but the doctor said she should rest for a while.
Melody actively volunteered to take care of the old woman. The little girl’s wish came true as it was in line with the busy Duke’s family. So she would stop by Mrs. Higgins room three times a day and help take care of her.
Of course, Melody’s wounds she got in the prison were in a healed state before she was able to help Mrs. Higgins. It was thanks to the maids who applied medicine every day and cared for them with utmost sincerity that she got better quickly.
“I already have a lot of scars, so adding one won’t change anything.”
Melody said one day as she watered a small flowerpot, Mrs. Higgins, who was lying on the bed, jumped up and screamed.
“This frustrating thing! How come you have made no progress!”
“I am not a frustrating thing, I am always changing. I recently learned how to walk gracefully. Look.”
Melody showed her the graceful walk she practiced – just like those Young Ladies in the capital.
“Hmph, you mean this inelegant girl who just said that five and six scars are the same?”
“Yes, they’re the same.”
“Oh, I’ve got it. I will take away one from your snacks in the future. Don’t complain that you’re missing one snack out of your six.” the Grandma said with a smirk.
Melody retorted ‘I was in the wrong! There’s a difference between having five and six!’ Unfortunately, Mrs. Higgins didn’t get the answer she was looking for. Melody was just smiling at her with a face that said ‘I’m glad I still have my snacks’.
“Aigoo, what to do with you really.”
Mrs. Higgins groaned in pain and threw herself back into the bed.
Even if it wasn’t like that, she felt sorry that she had to lie down while the Duke’s family was busy, but Melody was frustrating her even more to the point that she was more likely to die from her annoyance than anything having to do with her injuries.
“Maybe it’s good for that stupid sheep.”
It’s okay to be whoever she wants while the Duke is taking care of her, so she wished Melody would work hard for herself.
Mrs. Higgins stopped nagging Melody a little. She was actually feeling bad since she met Melody’s mother last time. She wondered if an old hag like her who had shown a temper towards the child, that had been hurt for such a long time by her Mother’s harsh words, had sprinkled more salt on her wounds.
Maybe I should change my tone a bit. The old woman thought so, but she couldn’t help but shout and scream when she saw Melody not taking good care of herself.
‘This kid needs to spend some time with a kinder person.’
Not a brusque Duke, a butler who doesn’t know how to look after children, or a grandmother who always curses.
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