Tak, the finger that was tapping on the desk stopped.
I thought I misheard the butler’s voice. I then stared at the door blankly.
“Keuhm, Penelope, I’m coming in.”
Kee-ik— I jumped up from my seat as soon as the door was opened.
It was the Duke and not the butler who’d came in.
‘Wha, what is it? Why are you here all of a sudden?’
He’d never visited my room before, or even in games, he never had found Penelope’s room.
“Keuhm. What were you doing?”
The Duke walked into the middle of the room while holding a bag behind him and with a very awkward face at that.
“I was just there…..what are you doing here, Father?”
“I have something to say, so come and sit down.”
The Duke walked to the table in front of the barrel window. Having to stand in front of my desk while awkwardly staring at him, I stumbled over to where the Duke was.
‘……what, did you come here to scold me for being rude at the dinner?’
My head was filled with questions. But it didn’t make sense. The guy who had been calling me to the Oval Office all the time unexpectedly had followed me to my room only to scold me?
I sat across from him with an unsettled feeling.
The Duke put something on the table. It was a thick paper bag with an Eckart pattern stamped in the center.
“This– what is this?”
I had no idea what it was. When I looked at the Duke with eyes full of wonder, he coughed and dodged his head.
“Open up and take it out.”
I was a little bit curious, so I opened the paper bag without a hitch. It was as soon as I had taken out the white paper inside, the Duke began to explain.
“It is a confirmation of the transfer of the emerald mine in the South East.”
The Duke spat that out. It was much like a ‘ I picked it up on the way’ tone that I doubted it.
“The mine transfer… confirmation letter?”
“Your name is written at the bottom, so check it out.”
My eyes glanced naturally to the bottom of the paper at the Duke’s words.
Assignee, Penelope Eckart
It was true. My mouth opened wide.
“Oh, Father. All, All of a sudden, this is……”
“It’s not a big deal.”
“Didn’t you say you want a private property?”
Rather, the Duke asked me again with a curious look having to see my reaction.
“Why. You don’t like it?”
“Oh, no. It’s not that I don’t like it…….”
I asked for some pocket money and you gave me the emerald mine instead. How can this not be absurd?
“……it’s too much for me, Father.”
I was stunned, and for a while, I answered with difficulty. The more I ate, the more I had an upset stomach. Besides, this was a completely different direction from what I wanted.
“I didn’t mean to say anything in hopes of this.”
“You used to like emeralds that resemble the color of your eyes.”
The Duke stopped me from refusing moderately.
“That’s what I was thinking of giving you when you got older anyway. It’s just a little early.”
I was stuped at what I had just heard.
[The Duke presented the entire Mana Stone Mine as a return gift for his only daughter.]
Suddenly a scene of the game came to mind. It was not long after [Option ON/OFF] function was achieved in normal mode.
The Duke, who first heard the sound of “father” from his only daughter [Name of Forgotten Father] quest, was dying of joy. So shortly after her foster daughter’s birthday, she handed over the mine to FL for no reason.
“Are you tired of Emerald now? So, do you want me to give you a mana Stone Mine? Have you become more interested in magical things these days?”
Just by staring at the peacock, he asked again with a little embarrassed face. My feelings were indescribable. Managing unnecessary emotions was harder than I thought.
“…..you don’t have to do this to me, Father.”
I slipped the paper envelope to the Duke, which was recited politely and put back the confirmation of the transfer. If the escape was successful anyway, it was all up to the “real princess.”
“I’ll thank you very much.”
The Duke’s face was distorted. It was understandable because I had just refused the favor he had given me first. But the mouth tasted bitter.
After a while, a cold silence fell in my room.
I rather wanted the Duke to leave the room even if I had to resort on a fit of rage, ‘Let’s be arrogant’ thing. But the Duke has been sitting silently for a long time now.
He suddenly broke the silence and made a cautious voice.
“Are you still angry?”
“About what happened during the hunting competition.”
“The hunting competition?”
The sudden subject fazed me. Then, the Duke hurriedly added.
“Penelope. I think you’re misunderstanding……”
“What are you…?
“I trusted you.”
“I trusted you wouldn’t have shot the noblemen with crossbows.”
Suddenly, the conversation changed rapidly. I couldn’t quite tell why he was bringing up the finished trial again.
However, the Duke continued to say that I had misunderstood something firmly. I don’t know if there’s something wrong with him.
“At first I thought you might have. But, you promised me so many times.”
“I told you to lure him to a place where no one’s around to shoot and kill him.”
“Wha, what do you mean by kill, Father?”
I was bewildered by the content of the promise which had become quite radical. The Duke, who was so excited that he said anything, also coughed awkwardly several times.
“Well, anyway! You seem quite mature these days, so I thought you wouldn’t do that in front of many people.”
“And with the Prince… that, that nonsense was a momentary wit.”
The Duke stammered heavily as if the word “shared the mutual feelings” could not be said.
“I had to talk to you in advance myself, but I was in a position where I could not move hastily as both the Crown Prince and the Second Prince were checking on me.”
To sum up, that was the word. He believed that I was falsely accused, but he sent Derick instead because he couldn’t come to prison himself.
After a long and long excuse, the most important thing finally came to pass.
It was fortunate that the Duke didn’t agree with what Derick did to me. But I didn’t feel any better.
“But my first brother didn’t think so.”
I answered in a desolate voice.
“Wasn’t his personality always a little out of character?”
Then the Duke took down Derick as if he had waited.
“He got a big scolding right after the trial. So, you can relax your heart now.”
“Father you… scolded first brother?”
“Yes! This is also for you without him knowing. Huh?”
The Duke slid the paper bag I had returned back towards me again.
“He’s like a new chick who’s finally got his hands on the mining business. He was afraid that I would lose money, so many people seemed to make a joint investment.”
“But aren’t you a decent mine-owner as of today? It’s way ahead of your brother.”
The whining was soothing to the child.
When I looked at the Duke, who was relentless in his efforts to undermine his eldest son and make me float, I could not help but expressed a stunning smile. Then the Duke smiled in unison and looked at me with blue eyes full of laughter.
“He’s such a pain, isn’t he? That guy.”
The Duke’s playfulness was quite unfamiliar and ridiculous.
In the end, I laughed off my cold expression.
“I’m giving it to you secretly, so you shouldn’t take it out of your mouth for a while.”
The Duke was aware that my mood had been lifted, and then he whispered to me more, secretly.
“Especially, Leonard! You have to keep your mouth shut in front of him. Do you understand? Huh?”
“…I understand, Father.”
I had no choice but to accept the paper bag he had put out. There was no harm in accepting it, nor was it pointless for him to stretch out to me this far.
“And… thank you. You gave me such a generous gift.”
I bowed gently and politely. I thought hard on how to roll this mine.
“……you were too good for me, Penelope.”
Suddenly the Duke muttered in a bitter voice.
“I’m stupid, I didn’t know that.”
I didn’t know exactly what his words meant. Were you regretting your past when you adopted Penelope recklessly? Or, were you sorry for me being the youngest daughter at the current age?
<SYSTEM> has gained +10 fame for his improved relationships with The Duke
Suddenly, however, when I looked at the white light, I felt devastated. The fact that it is not the true Penelope who was listening to this, and the fact that it was something that I have never heard from my real, biological father.
Thankfully, I managed to hold down the sudden churning in my stomach.