Haven’s face turned dark while the Duchess saw his indifference and coldness as a joke, yet goosebumps slithered inside.

Realizing that she had done a mistake due to lack of self-control and not knowing her boundaries, her expression turned stiff and raised her voice to explain what her concerns were.

“Duke, you must have misunderstood my concerns.
After all, since this mansion has no Duchess to manage the employees, I am worried that there might be employees who acts recklessly.”

“Ah, is that so?”

His laugh for the Duchess was a natural laugh.

“Ah, so that was why the Duchess personally showed how one acts recklessly even without minding her behavior.”

“Wh, what?”

The Duchess’s face flushed at what he said.
It was natural to hear her nephew to her face.
Haven looked away from her and looked back at Rosé, who was patting Flitta’s back.
Their eyes met which made her body flinch unconsciously.

“Rosé, take the child and go back to her room.”

“… Yes, Your Highness.”

Rosé bowed her head at his words.
And when she turned around, this time no one stopped her.
The butler stepped aside and opened the door for her.

“Thank you, butler.”

“I’ll have the princess’s meal served in her room.”

The butler accepted her greeting with a simple nod, then spoke in a low voice.
Rosé patted Flitta on the back, bowed politely to him, and headed out.


As soon as the door closed behind her, Rosé took a deep breath.
That place was suffocating.
The three were not strangers, yet in a way, they can be considered a family….

Involuntarily, she lookrf to the closed door.

A colorful dining table.

And the shattered wine glasses.

… For some reason, it feels utterly bitter.

* * *

Isabella’s gold eyes followed Rosé’s figure to the extent that it seemed tenacious.
Then, after Rosé went outside with Flitta in her arms, she looked away.

‘… Rosé.’

Isabella thoughtlessly muttered the name into her mouth and bit her lip.
Like the name of her humble maid, she raised the glass of water in front of her as if she was thirsty.

She was a cheeky maid.

She remembered the maid who had just taken the child out with her.
Her actions were unusual for Isabella, who couldn’t remember even her maids below her.

That must mean that the maid was an annoyance to her.

Since the princess injured her leg, I offered to carry her on her back.’

It was ridiculous.
She thought she had forgotten that memory since it was no big deal, yet it came to her mind vividly.
Adding to the fact that the look on Rosé’s face that time was clearly remembered.

Isabella sighed and drank the water.
Then, as if nothing had happened, she smiled and opened her mouth.

“I was surprised.”

Haven’s blue eyes turned to her.
Isabella glanced at the maids as they removed the broken wine glass and went away, then she smiled again and continued her words.

“I never imagined you would be a caring owner to your employees.”


Haven’s eyebrows furrowed slightly at the sudden change of topic.
It was also because it was hard to comprehend her words.
The Duchess had also tilted her head, feeling likewise.

“A caring owner?”

“Yes, Duchess.”

“Are we both talking about the same person right now?”

The Duchess glanced at Haven and smiled.
She nodded her head as Isabella smiled at her.

“Of course, I’m sure the Duchess heard it.
… How the Duke called his maid Rosé.”

Haven raised the wine glass in front of him again but hesitated involuntarily at the name Isabella had added.
Isabella didn’t miss his small action.

A sense of inferiority dwelled deep in her golden eyes.
However, as if she couldn’t tolerate herself like that, she closed and opened her eyes and continued her words with a relaxed expression.

“To remember and call the owner of the name correctly.”

‘That happened twice.’

Isabella shoved her afterword deep into her throat.
She even pointed that out, and when she noticed it, she felt miserable.
However, the Duchess opened her eyes wide as if she noticed Isabella’s jealousy and inferiority, despite Isabella’s efforts of hiding it.

“… Oh my, did you? I didn’t notice at all…  Well, since she’s the child’s maid, he must have had more contact than his other employees.
Is she an exclusive maid of your child?”

At first, the Duchess’s reply was bewildered but after a while, she strike a question and looked at Haven.
On another hand, he just looked at her with a calm expression and a nod of his head.

Isabella, who was watching him, hurriedly opened her mouth.

“Come to think of it, I remembered her.
She was the woman who saved Flitta back then, right? She took credit for what she did, and therefore became a dedicated maid.”

“That’s right.”

Haven turned her eyes from the Duchess to Isabella.
His tone was as casual as usual.
As if responding to a story about something that he has no interest into.

But why?

… Why does she feel so uncomfortable?

“She’s a lucky one.
Thanks to that, she became the grand duke’s maid.
Moreover, she earned her honored position as the princess’ exclusive maid so easily.”

Isabella smiled, struggling to shake off the feeling of filth towards Rosé.
She was just a mere maid so it’s absurd to feel that way toward such a person.


‘It’s all because she’s similar to that child.’

Those green eyes.
Although her eyes were darker in color than Flitta, they both had same eyes resembling greenery.
So, the maid must have offended her.

Besides, she has a history of arrogantly looking straight into her eyes and defending that child.

“Saving Flitta?”

At that moment, the Duchess intervened in the conversation.
Since she was not in the capital at the time, it seemed that she had not even heard of the incident.
Isabella looked back at the Duchess, raising the corners of her mouth as if it was nothing.

“It wasn’t that great.
There was a bit of an accident during the memorial service for His Majesty the King…”

It was she who saved the child’s life and she reduced that importance to an insignificant, natural occurrence.
Haven sneered at the former queen’s pettiness.
Then he cast a glance toward the door.


His fingers tapped on the table.
Lightly enough that he doesn’t even realize it himself.

* * *

“I don’t like my aunt….”

Flitta whimpered while being held in Rose’s arms.
After carrying the child away, Rosé wiped Flitta’s wet eyes.
Upon returning to her room, Flitta’s eyes were wet from crying.

“At this rate, my princess, your eyes will be of a frog.”

“Huh… Frog?”

Flitta rubbed her eyes and tried to cry again, but she showed curiosity at Rosé’s words.
Rosé burst into laughter at that childlike appearance and then fumbled around the child’s eyes with her finger.
Flitta squinted her eyes as if bitterly looking at her.

But even so, the child obediently left her face in Rosé’s hands.
Rather, she even pulled Rosé’s arm with her little hand, seemingly wanted Rosé to hold her tighter.

Rosé’s heart broke at that innocent gesture of wanting someone’s warmth and affection.

Her child’s wishes were not so great.
A warm word, a kind gaze, that would have been enough.
But even those little things have not been received until now.

She recalled the cold stares people had cast upon her child.
Earlier, when the butler had come to deliver Haven’s order, she also remembered Flitta’s behavior.

「 “To, together? With my Aunt… the big Aunt?” 」

She was a kid who laughed loudly, saying that eating alone with Rosé was so exciting.
However, Flitta was frightened by the butler’s message and stuttered her words.
She couldn’t disobey her father’s words, so even as she went downstairs, Flitta trembled the whole time.

What it said was clear.

That their coldness wasn’t once or twice.
She knew that Flitta lived with such treatment among those under the name of ‘Guinters’.

“I can’t be a frog….”

Flitta murmured, pressing her eyes with both hands.
She was so cute and lovely.

‘Such a pretty child.’

Rosé laughed as if she would cry and hugged Flitta.
Flitta asked worriedly while rubbing her nose against Rosé’s nape of neck.

“Am I a frog?”

Is there such a pretty frog?”

“But… I’m going to become a frog…”

“If you keep crying, your eyes will swell.
Like a frog, a frog.”

“Th, that can’t be!”

Flitta’s eyes widened.
The child whimpered and rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand.
Rosé looked at her child and smiled.

“You’re fine now, Princess.”

“I am not a frog?”

Umm…  Actually, the princess would be cute even if she became a frog.”

“No! I won’t be a frog! If I become like that, dad will hate me..”

Flitta was startled by Rosé’s playful words and said while waving her hands, then slurred her words.
Seeing that, Rosé once again looked at her child with anxious eyes.

“Is my dad mad at me? He must be ashamed of me.”

No way.
Why would he be embarrassed because of the princess?”

“I… Because I acted like an idiot.”

Flitta quickly became sullen.
Rosé opened her mouth to appease the child, but she heard a knock on the door before him.
Rosé and Flitta’s heads turned towards the door at the same time.

“Wait a minute, princess.”

Rosé got up from her seat and approached the door.
She wondered if the nanny had returned, but the moment she opened the door, her eyes widened.

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