< — Damian — > (3)
TN: Here’s another chapter I just love love and love.
Damian thought he’d slept for a long time but when he got up, it was still bright outside.
Damian’s bedroom was located in one of the buildings connected to the central tower. It was a room originally built to be a nursery for the Duke’s children.
It was considerably wide, ranging from the bedroom to the study room, big enough for up to ten children to stay in.
When Damian looked outside the window from the second floor of the bedroom that had been his until he left for boarding school, he could see the garden that was covered with colorful flowers.
‘Is this the work of the Duchess…’
He’d thought that flowers were unsuitable for the dreary Ducal House but surprisingly, they didn’t look out of place and the scent of the flowers filled the air.
He didn’t usually feel any sort of love or hate towards flowers but he thought it would be good to see the garden that was full of flowers.
And so, Damian went down to the garden. The scent that filled his nose was much more intense.
It was first time the boy realized that his name could be said so sweetly. He stopped abruptly and turned to look at the approaching Duchess. As Damian laid his eyes on the Duchess who looked extremely happy, he tilted his head.
‘Why is she happy?’
“Did you sleep well? You woke up pretty early. Aren’t you hungry?”
It was a soft and clear voice. Her pleasant voice was filled with goodwill. Damian pulled the reins of his cautiousness tighter. What an incredible actress.
“…I’m okay for now.”
“Have I perhaps interrupted you?”
Damian had no memory of his birth mother and whether it was his professors or the students at the academy, they were all male. The women that worked in the kitchen or did the chores were all middle-aged women.
He’d never conversed with a young woman that he wasn’t in an employment relationship with, so he was extremely awkward.
“I thought the garden looked great so I came here.” (Damian)
“I just planted a bunch of flowers but I’m glad you think it’s nice.” (Lucia)
“You can speak more comfortably.” (Damian) (TN: She’d been using formal speech)
“Mm…Sure? I don’t really care much but…would that be more comfortable for you?”
“Alright. If you’re taking a walk, would you like to take a short walk with me?” (TN: She’s switched to informal)
As they silently walked through the path in the garden, Lucia continued to sneak glances at the boy.
The more she looked, the more amazed she got. It seemed like her heart that had been wanting to see him could be satisfied by looking at Damian for some time.
Even the boy’s stiff and polite tone somehow resembled him.
“I heard you were at boarding school. Is this a vacation?”
“…There are no vacations but an outing is possible. His Grace asked me to come so I came. He also asked me to give my greetings to the Duchess.”
Damian was definitely keeping a distance from her. She could feel it.
‘Although truthfully, if he’d called me mother once…mm….it may have been a tad creepy…’
When noble children reach the age of discretion, they would oftentimes become obsessed with a sense of entitlement and become arrogant and impudent.
There were also cases where they remain the same even after they matured, but still, when they grew older, they learnt how to keep what they really thought inside and pretend on the outside.
Damian was now eight years old but was as disciplined as a knight. But even so, she could only see him as the child he was.
‘Is this the power of boarding schools? Then it would be nice to send all noble children to boarding schools.’
The fact that she was not in a position high enough to enforce such a thought was the fortune of all noble children.
“Damian, honestly speaking, right now, it is hard for me to think of you as a son .”
So direct—! Damian paused in surprise and looked at Lucia.
“You too, right? It’s hard for you to think of me as your mother.”
I didn’t expect this kind of method! Damian chose his words carefully.
“…I apologize. Did I make a mistake…”
“No. I’m not blaming you, I’m just saying it’s natural. We’ve just met, we don’t know each other so it’s only natural to be unfamiliar.”
Red eyes much smaller than his (Hugo’s) looked at Lucia. He evoked in Lucia the image of a young animal that had just learned about the world. He lifted his eyebrows adorably, searching her like she was the first existence he’d ever seen.
To the Lucia who had gotten accustomed to the predatory gaze of the gigantic beast called Hugo, Damian’s sharp gaze was merely just that.
‘So cute. So cute!’
Her hands were fidgeting. She wanted to pinch his cheeks a little or even pat his head.
Lucia restrained herself from doing so as that would make him more vigilant.
“We only differ in age by ten years. If I had a ten year old child at my age, then your father becomes a criminal.” (Lucia) (1)
Damian quickly suppressed the huge smile that was about to break out on his face.
“So, I want us to try and get a little bit closer to each other. Instead of being so formal and calling me ‘Duchess’, call me by my name, Lucia. It’s my childhood name.”
“Let’s get along from now on, Damian.”
Lucia had been influenced in various ways from hanging out with Kate. It would be hard to change her fundamental character but she liked Kate’s straightforward way of speaking so she was trying to be more like that.
She stretched out her hand to ask for a handshake while Damian stared blankly at her hand. He couldn’t make out what the Duchess wanted.
Why would she want to do such a troublesome thing? Damian was definitely the weaker party between him and the Duchess. He was young in age and an illegitimate child.
When the Duchess gives birth to a child in the future, he would be an obstacle. There was no reason for the Duchess to try and improve their relationship.
“Is that difficult?” (Lucia)
Damian grabbed the Duchess’s hand in front of him.
‘I don’t know what her true motive is but…since I can’t read my opponent yet, I have no choice but to accept.’
Although Damian was young, he wasn’t an idiot that would reveal his aggression to an opponent whose intentions he couldn’t grasp.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. If she hid a knife behind her smile, he would do the same too. He was still young and did not have any power.
It was a time where he definitely could not upset anyone.
‘Seems like it will be hard to get close.’ (Lucia)
Damian thought he was hiding his thoughts but to the Lucia that had experienced a lot in life, the vigilance of a young child was obvious to her.
Even if she said that she wasn’t his enemy, he wouldn’t believe her.
With his position as an illegitimate child without a mother around to embrace him and a father that did not give him warm care and attention, no matter who it was, they would be disillusioned.
‘After some time, it will be okay. My sincerity will definitely be seen someday.’
Lucia knew that she would love his son just as much as she loved him.
1. I’m not sure if the joke came across well(sorry) but she’s saying that if she’s the biological mother of a 10 year old child at her age (she’s 18 i think), then his father becomes a criminal (cuz she would have to have given birth at 8 years old for that to happen).
*Ah fluff. Fluff is good for my heart ❤
Advance releases available on Patreon!