Chapter 8

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“I am…”



A face looking up with anticipated eyes, and with a slight tug at his sleeve.

The corners of her mouth were slightly raised in excitement.

After the punishment of the sinner, Kael always locked himself in his room and did not come out for a while.

Sitting by the window, he spent time looking up at the sky.

Even now, obviously, he was going to do that a little while ago.



“…….”



But why?

He couldn’t say no when Hyazelki asked him.



‘I’m not trying to run away from Albert.’



Kael made an excuse to himself and followed the child’s lead.

Pretty flowers bloomed, even though the weather was a little cold, the sky was blue.

Listening to the chatter, he felt a little refreshed as if there were no dark clouds hovering around him.

Kael often thought it would be okay to take a walk together.



‘It’s not bad.’



He came out to run from Albert, but it was pretty good.

He felt very comfortable for the first time.

More effective consolation than going back to his room after the punishment and looking up at the sky through the window.



‘Only she can give you what you want.’



Kael is now confused about what he wants.

But certainly, it occurred to him that he might need Hyazelki to refresh himself.

As the two walked through the garden, the passing maid or servant looked frightened.

Kael pretended not to see the faces, but Hyazelki tilted her head as if she did not know why.



“Are they bothering you?”



Kael felt a tug on his sleeve, which was being pulled by Hyazelki.



“…Oh, my God, my lord……?”



By the time he looked down at his sleeve that the child had grabbed with a discontented expression.

Yuri, who was passing by, looked at the two with a white face.



“Oh, Yuri!”



Hyazelki, who knew nothing, waved her hand as if she was glad to see her.



“Ah, ah, ah, Lady, how did you and the Master…….”



Unlike others who passed by with a scared expression on his face, Yuri approached while being worried not for herself, but for Hyazelki.

“We’re taking a walk together.”



In response to Hyazelki’s answer, Yuri peeked at Kael’s countenance.



“……well, that…….”



Yuri couldn’t even easily spit out the simple question of whether she was okay walking with the Master.

This is because when she was educated by the family, she taught that never ask ‘why’ to the Dragon of Judgement.



‘Oh, I’m worried.’



But contrary to Yuri’s concern, Kael was thinking about how to pull his sleeve out of Hyazelky’s hand.

He gently gripped her hand with his sleeve.

He felt a small hand in his hand.

It was astonishing how small it was.



“Let’s go.”

“Oh, yes!”

Kael and Hyazelki, who were walking hand in hand, only looked at Yuri with a glance.



* * *



Albert, who was staring blankly at the two people who wanted to take a walk, closed Kael’s door again.

Then he walked hastily to find his room.

Ever since Albert came to the castle as a butler, he has never seen Kael go for a walk after punishing the sinner.

He didn’t do anything like taking a walk other than looking out the window from his room.

There were no records anywhere from generation to generation in the family to have seen the Master walk.

So everyone who stays in the castle never themselves walk in the garden .

All of these people have been the Dragon of Judgement’s servant for generations.

Albert was educated by his family to serve the Dragon of Judgement, and when he was ready, he was sent to the castle.

So it wasn’t that he didn’t know that the Master never walked in the garden, but rather, he never saw him.

The butler carried a fountain pen and filled in a letter to Ciel immediately, and a note from Humphrey, the family that had served Kael for generations.



Lord Ciel.

As you said, the Lord is changing little by little.



Albert wrote in detail how Kael changed.

Then, as he had told him, he put the letter into the scales of the white dragon he had given in advance and threw it out of the window.

The scale rose into the sky in an instant and became invisible.



* * *



Tap. Tap.

Thud. Thud.

A small step followed the heavy sound of footsteps.



“………Papa.”



Reacting to Hyazelki’s small voice, Kael looked back.

“…….”



He looked down at the child without answering, and then turned his feet again to move.

Of course, Albert, who was walking with him, was the only one who was surprised by this small call.

The small foot, which was taking another step, stopped again.



“Papa.”



This time it was a little louder.

When Kael, who flinched his shoulders, turned around again, Hyazelki only looked up at him with round eyes.

Kael reached out to the child with a face that couldn’t hide all the confusion.

Only then did Hyazelki, who smiled brightly, walk holding his hand.

He looked back at the call ‘Papa’. Since he reached out, she naturally held his hand.

As she was full of things she had never experienced, it became increasingly better to stay in this castle.

Taking a walk holding hands with Kael, or staying in his study, reading and learning new things.

When she woke up in the middle of the night because of nightmare, someone held her hand and consoled her.

Hyazelki couldn’t be happier.

Although, in one corner, Kael’s words to give a dog the fate remained.

Fate. Curse.

Hyazelki had often been lost in thought since that day. And the conclusion is, the curse is the cause of her misfortune.



‘If that’s the case, shouldn’t it be just released in this life too?’



Of course, it won’t be easy, but it seemed that Hyazelki could completely shake off her unloved past.

Now that she is being loved like this much.

Hyazelki, who was staring at the big hand holding her hand, pursed her lips.

Suddenly, there was a little impulse.



“………Papa.”



Hyazelki, who had been biting her lips for a long time, eventually spat out the same word.

She wanted to call him Dad.

Should she call it? Would he look at her if she called him that?

That’s the question. No, maybe she just wanted to call it that.

But it was scary to call him that.

Because she never had a warm look back after calling that.



“Why do you keep calling me?”

“…….”



It seemed that there was a time when a similar answer like that came back.

But it was different. His voice, expression, and eyes.

Before coming to this castle, the parents of this life seemed a little different. Whether it was because of the curse or not.

It was a little different from the parents in the previous three lives. It’s just a little bit.

But in general, they were always bothered by her. Then, in the end, the emotion that always stood in that gaze was hatred that Hyazelki did not know why.

It was as close to disgust.



“……I like it here.”

Kael’s eyes, which stared at her who was still murmuring in a small voice, shone lightly.

He waited calmly for the child’s next words without giving any reply.



“I like everyone in the castle.”

“……is that so?”

“Yes, I like them all…”….”

“…….”

“Of course, I like Papa too.”

“Yes.”



It was a word that she brought up after thinking about whether to call him ‘Dad’ or ‘Papa’ as she called a while ago.

Albert’s expression, which was stained with surprise, gradually changed as the child’s words continued.

His expression loosened and he smiled, and then, it became a sad face.

Instead of returning a dull answer, Kael squeezed the child’s hand.



‘……God’s will.’



Even if it wasn’t, he thought he would protect her as long as she was by his side.

It was an excuse that Kael repeated to himself that God was a human being who did not love and drink.



* * *



Inside a castle towering on the barren land of the north.

Where the Dragon of Judgment lives in the service of a few humans.

A small child came to the castle and it had already been well over a year.



“Miss.”



Hyazelki, who was heading to the study, stopped walking at Yuri’s call.



“Yes?”



She will be six years old by the end of the year. At first, Yuri was a bit surprised how a child could live here, but now that’s gone.

Although she was consistently pretty from the first time she(Yuri) saw her.

Coral hair, that always shone like cherry blossoms in full bloom, as if spring had finally come to the cool north.

The eyes with shining golden pupils always left a gentle impression.

A golden apple on a cherry blossom tree, Hyazelky’s appearance left that impression to everyone who saw her.

Yuri, whose expression had been loosened for a moment by her beauty, shook her head to settle her thoughts.

Then she approached with a pretty serious face.



“You have to answer what I ask you properly.”

“Yes, Yuri.”



With a mature nod, Yuri asked with a stern face.



“Do you know when your birthday is?”

“Yes.”

“When is it?”

“It’s winter. The last day of the year.”



It is a pretty hot summer now. Of course, the summer in the northern land was not that hot, so it was just warm.

Yuri, who turned her head and looked at the weather outside the window, sighed deeply.

Yuri thought it was strange.

It was well over a year since Hyazelki came to the castle, and it was approaching close to two years.

However, she had never heard of the child saying that it was her birthday.

Yuri looked upset and felt like crying.

The fact that her birthday was in winter and the last day of the year has already ended means that the birthday she wanted to celebrate in this castle had passed without anyone knowing.



“Why didn’t you say it was your birthday? It’s my fault that I didn’t ask you beforehand, but…….”

“What? But…….”



Hyazelki was embarrassed by Yuri’s sullen attitude.



“You want to celebrate the day I was born?”

“That’s right. It’s a day to celebrate your birth together and congratulate you for growing up.”

“Congratulations? Isn’t it a day I just had to remember?”

Seeing the child with her eyes wide open and asking such a question, even Yuri was embarrassed.



“Have you never celebrated your birthday?”

“Is birthday something to be celebrated for?”



Yuri wasn’t sure what to say when she saw Hyazelki tilting her head and asking such a question.

As convinced, Hyazelki never had a memory of celebrating her birthday.

She didn’t know it was a day to celebrate, and remember.

She had three lives, and it was her fourth life, but no one ever celebrated her birthday.

Of course, Yuri didn’t know Hyazelki’s past lives. Where and how she lived before she came to the castle.

But not knowing what to do on such a day even though she remembered her birthday meant that the parents did not teach their child.



“You’re so pretty and young.”



What on earth was wrong with the parents that they didn’t teach their children this either?

Usually, It’s more exciting to congratulate their child on her birthday because she’s pretty.

Yuri sighed again and looked out the window.

It was summer now, so she had to wait another few months until winter.

Looking at the sullen Yuri, Hyazelki was worried.



‘Did I do something wrong?’



In that anxiety, she gently grabbed Yuri’s sleeve, and she clapped her hands.



“Ah! Then let’s do this.”

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