Chapter Six: Do You Think You’re My Mom?

After hastily covering Theodore with the blanket that had been on me, I shouted, “T-This is a misunderstanding…!”

As I was about to explain the situation, several maids came rushing in from behind Selphius to serve us for the morning.

Seeing that, Theodore grabbed my waist as I was about to stand and pulled me back down.
Tenderly holding me in his arms, he said, “You should wash up first since you’re sticky from sweating all night.”

With a shocked expression, I buried my face in Theodore’s chest before frantically waving my hands at Selphius.

‘This crazy bastard, this isn’t something you should be showing to a child!’

The unfamiliar scene unfolding in front of Selphius’ eyes caused his jaw to drop, before his expression hardened.

‘No! Nothing happened!’ I tried mouthing to Selphius.
But before I could deliver this message, the butler covered both of Selphius’ eyes with his hands.

After I made eye contact with the butler, he gave a sly but pleased smile.

“Young Master, come this way.
I’ve prepared milk with honey.”

After winking at the two of us, the butler took Selphius and left the bedroom.

“I’ll come again once the day breaks, huhu.”

You guys are going where? Come back! I’m telling you, it’s not what you think! Come back!

* * *

Breakfast felt like I was sitting on thorns.
The only sound was the sound of tableware clinking on the table.

Theodore must have finished eating, as he wiped his mouth with a napkin before telling Selphius, “I’ll have them prepare the carriage for you, so return to the place you used to be.”

“…If it’s because I entered your room without knocking this morning, I apologize.
I won’t do that again,” Selphius apologized obediently, so that it’d be difficult to tell him to return.
He probably did not want to return to the countryside, where he had previously stayed.

But Theodore was firm.

“It’s unrelated to that.
This is not the place you’ll be living at.”

I glanced at the two people, who had a strange atmosphere to them.

‘I’m going to have indigestion at this rate.’

Does Theodore dislike Selphius? Is Theodore sending him away because he doesn’t even want to see him? Then what was the point of adopting Selphius and appointing him as his heir?

Although I was curious, this wasn’t something I could presumptuously ask about.

‘The Lapileons will handle Lapileon affairs.’

I’m going to be leaving in one year anyway.

Sighing, I picked at the salad on my plate.

“…ant to,” Selphius mumbled quietly, head bent.


“…I don’t want to.”

Selphius lifted his head, eyes full of poison.

“Well, I guess you want to enjoy your honeymoon period and not see someone like me.”

No, we don’t have a honeymoon period to enjoy.

Don’t get us wrong.

“Since Your Excellency the Grand Duke didn’t like me anyway.”

“Don’t act like a child, Selphi.”

If he’s nine years old, he is a child.

Talking back to them in my head, I quietly put my fork down.
In this kind of situation, even drinking water would give me indigestion.

Selphius, who got angry at Theodore’s calm reaction, pushed his chair back and stood up.

“If you were going to throw me away, why did you bring me?”

Selphius’ voice was shaking.
Looking closer, his tightly clenched fist was shaking as well.

“If you didn’t like me, you shouldn’t have appointed me as your heir.”

Looking carefully, it wasn’t poison in his eyes but tears.

“I, too…”


“I, too, want to live here!” Selphius shouted, before stomping off to the second floor.


The sound of Selphius’ bedroom door slamming closed rang through the residence.

Silently looking at the shaking chandelier, I turned my head.
Then, I reprimanded Theodore, who was holding his forehead with an annoyed expression.
“You could’ve talked to him after the meal.
He didn’t even eat yesterday’s dinner properly.”

“It’s best if Selphi goes to the villa as soon as possible.”

Theodore expressed the same sentiment shortly, before standing up.

“I need to go to the royal guard examination as a judge, so…”

“Why are you in such a hurry to send Selphius off?”

At my question, Theodore stopped mid-sentence and clenched his lips.

“It’s fine if he stays a bit longer, but it’s probably been a while since he met his family, too.”

Theodore swept his neat hair towards the back.
Clucking his tongue, he straightforwardly said, “Selphius possesses the strongest poison in our family.
Maybe it’s because he’s still young, but depending on the condition of his body, there will be a big influence.”

“…what kind of influence?”

“If he’s in bad condition, it will start hurting and he’ll suffer because of the poison in his body.”

Sighing, Theodore stood up from the chair.
Then, he firmly spoke in a manner as if there was nothing more to be said.
“For Selphi, he needs the fresh air and a countryside villa where there aren’t many people.”

Ah, so the rumour that he was a barbarian who sent Selphius to the countryside without taking care of him was false.

Although his words were a bit cold, Theodore’s expression was softer than usual.

“I see you care for Selphius.”

“…Tsk, what nonsense.”

“You can just explain it to Selphius that way.
It seems that he thinks you dislike him.”

Theodore lowered his gaze.
There were several emotions in his eyes you could see through his eyelashes.

“Just let him hate me.
That would be better.”


“It’s better than hating himself for having the curse.”

After he finished speaking, Theodore turned his body.
Then, he left for his study with the butler to prepare to leave the residence.

In a second, I was left alone in the dining room.
I looked towards the second floor’s stairs, which Selphius had gone up from, and the study, which Theodore had gone into.

‘If he plays the role of being hated, then I’ll probably have to play the role of comforting him.’

After all, he’s still a young child.
Even if I leave the Lapileon affairs to the Lapileons, I can’t leave him with such a scar.

Getting up, I started towards the second floor.

As I started up the stairs, I heard the very loud noise of something shattering.

‘Argh, seems like he’s going at it.
He’s exactly the same as that ill-tempered Theodore.’

Letting out a sigh, I went up the stairs before noticing the trembling maids standing in front of Selphius’ bedroom.

“Were you chased out?”

At my question, the trembling maids nodded.

“The Young Master… hurt himself while throwing the ornaments on the table.”

“T-the Young Master’s hand is bleeding quite a bit… but he started yelling at us to leave.”

“We came out without treating him.”

His hand’s bleeding?

Staring at the firmly closed bedroom door, I told the maids trembling in fear, “Go bring me some cold water, medicine, and bandages.”

At my order, the maids snuck glances at each other.
But as if they thought this was their chance, they hurried down the stairs without another word.

Shortly after, a maid came with bandages, medicine, and a glass of water.
Receiving these things, I ordered the maid to leave before standing in front of the door.

Knock knock.


There was no response.

“If you don’t open the door, I’m going to kick it open like last time.”

Still no response.

“I might even break it? …Although it might be my foot that breaks.”


“Are you crazy? You can break the door, but why would you break your innocent foot?”

As soon as I finished speaking, Selphius quickly opened the door with a dumbfounded expression.

How cute.

“My foot is innocent, but so is the door.
And I was joking.
I don’t plan on breaking anything.”

After saying that, I pushed my way through the crack of the door, then Selphius frowned.

“Get out.
I’m not in the mood to joke.”

“I heard you hurt your hand and that it’s bleeding a lot.”

The bedroom was turned upside down.
It seemed that he had broken a glass cup, as there were pieces of glass littering the floor, splattered with red blood.

I looked at Selphius’ hand as he wrinkled his eyes.

Feeling my gaze, Selphius quickly hid his bleeding hand behind his back, then hid his face as he grinded his bottom lip.


Seeing the mess he had made of his room, it seemed that he was very hurt by what happened earlier.

Although I understood Theodore, I also completely understood Selphius’ perspective.

Selphius was still only nine years old.
It’s obvious that a nine-year-old child would want to rely on and stay with their guardian, even when staying away would be better for them.

…Although it seemed that Theodore was oblivious to this truth.

Putting the tray down on the table, I offered a cup of water.


Frowning, Selphius unconsciously took the cup.

“What is this?”


Taking a sip, Selphius’ face crumpled.

“It’s cold, right?”


“I wanted you to get a grip after drinking cold water.
Have you gotten a hold of yourself now?”

Taking the cup from Selphius’ hand, I put it back onto the tray.

“If you don’t say your thoughts directly, no one will know.
Nothing will change by throwing a tantrum like this.”


“If what you want is to stay here, then say it.
I will also talk to His Excellency and…”

“Who are you to ask him for me?”

Selphius’ voice was sharp.
He glared hostilely at me.

“Do you think you’re my mom?”

I didn’t know what to say for a second.

Since Theodore adopted Selphius, he was legally his father.

And since I married Theodore, I was legally Selphius’ mother.

However, I couldn’t reply to Selphius’ question.

As if knowing that I wouldn’t be able to reply, Selphius laughed emptily.

“You don’t think of me like that either.
So why are you so interested in me, when we’re total strangers?”

Who would be able to say that he wasn’t the heir of the Lapileon family? Making people speechless was truly their specialty.

“Worry about yourself, who has to stay in this residence.
Don’t worry about someone like me.”

Selphius, who spoke in an incredulous tone, turned his body away from me.

‘Should I smack the back of his head?’

Holding back my rage, I gulped down the cold water that Selphius had drank earlier.

Let’s drink cold water and get a grip.
Calm down, your opponent is a child.

Downing it all in one go, I grabbed Selphius’ bleeding hand without hesitation.

Selphius froze like a statue.


“Do I have to be someone to you to interfere?”

Horrified, Selphius tried to pull his hand from my grip, but I didn’t let go.

“Isn’t it enough if I want to treat you?”

Taking a handkerchief out, I wiped Selphius’ bloody hand by force.

Fortunately, it didn’t seem like there was any glass stuck in his hand.

“I just want to be on your side, so can’t I?”

Squeezing some medicine onto my finger, I spread it onto Selphius’ wound.
In case it might sting, I didn’t forget to gently blow onto it.

As soon as my breath touched his wound, Selphius’ squirming stopped like magic.

“…but why are you trying to be on my side?”

With a sinking voice, Selphius stared at his hand, which now had medicine spread onto it.

“Like you said, I’m an outsider, so I’m not allowed to interfere.”


“But I still want you to be happy for every moment.
So that’s why I’m doing this much at least.”


After spreading the medicine thoroughly, I wrapped Selphius’ hand with some bandages.
Although it was done a little messily, it was better than nothing.

“Don’t do this in the future.
There’s nothing you can gain from hurting yourself,” I said firmly.

“Breaking things because you’re angry is a bad habit.”

“…Who’s the one who tried breaking the door?”

“You broke things, but I didn’t.”

Up close, his face was filled with many complicated emotions.
It was an expression that seemed unsure of whether he should laugh or cry.

“Oh? Your lips are bleeding.
Biting your lips is also a bad habit.”

I should tell Theodore to be careful of his actions in front of the child.

After applying medicine on my pinky finger, I tapped Selphius’ lips carefully.

“Don’t you know what my blood is?”

“I told you I know everything.”

“So how can you act like this?”

Selphius quietly looked down.

“How can you see my blood and not run away?”

I suddenly thought about the words Theodore told me last night.

The words saying that Sercia liked me because I didn’t do anything.
That people usually tried to run away, and that there was no one who only just sat still.

It seemed like Selphius was thinking the same.

“Aren’t you disgusted by this curse?”

“All wounds are like that.
Not disgusting, but painful.”

That’s all.

I just honestly said what I felt, but Selphius’ lips started trembling.

“And I’m…”

Someone who won’t die even if I drink the blood.

Was what I was about to say, when…


I suddenly felt something weird in my body, and my legs began to give way.
In order not to fall, I grabbed Selphius’ shoulder tightly.

“Wh-what’s going on?”

I couldn’t even hear Selphius’ panicked voice properly.

This feeling.

I knew it all too well.

Since I’ve already experienced it twice!

With pain in my heart so strong that it felt like I would soon die, I looked from Selphius’ bleeding lips to the cup of water.


It seemed that earlier when Selphius drank from the glass, the blood on his lips got mixed into the water.
And I drank that.

‘Why would you foolishly drink that water?! Rather than getting a grip on your mind from drinking the water, you’re actually going to lose your mind by drinking that water!’

My vision became blurry.

‘I was so cool earlier! Dying like this is so embarrassing! I can’t! Don’t die! Don’t collapse!’

Although I tried to get a grip on myself, I had already lost control of my body.

“W-why are you acting like this?! Hello?!”

No, don’t be shocked.
I’m going to wake up soon, okay?

Although I tried to say that, I couldn’t say anything because of the pain in my throat.
I felt waves of pain spreading throughout my body.

My body, which had lost all strength, fell onto the floor past Selphius.

“Y-Your Highness the Grand Duchess!!”

I could feel Selphius tearing up and shaking my body.

“D-don’t die! Please don’t die!”

No, I won’t die.

“Go… The… Theodo…”

Go bring Theodore here.

I won’t die!

I tried opening my mouth but the only sounds that came out were sounds of agony.

“Your Highness the Grand Duchess!”

And listening to Selphius’ wails, I died again.

…No, I fainted as if I was dying.


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