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2. Under the Sunshine
There were two ways for Rubenio to become Duke and gain power.
Firstly by naturally inheriting the position after the death of the current Duke.
Secondly by pushing out the current Duke and taking his place with the approval of the Senate.
But in reality, he had only one way out.
This was because the Duke that Rubenio knew was a person who would not stop unless he was dead.
Rubenio was prepared to kill the duke.
The Duke noticed his son’s defiance immediately.
And a certain threat was ready.
Refusing to give Rubenio any more chances, the Duke gave an order to activate the assassination magic on his granddaughter.
「All existing assassination magic has been removed. I’ll keep a good eye on her in the future.」
This was the content of the first letter Caesar had sent.
It would have been much quicker if Rubenio had told Caesar to kill the Duke instead of protecting Nineina.
However, everything would have gone in vain if Nineina was killed by the assassination magic instead.
In that sense, Rubenio’s gamble began successfully.
But it was only the beginning. There must be a long battle to completely win victory.
Rubenio’s heart, which had been racing non-stop for several days, only calmed down after seeing Caesar’s short letter.
Rubenio lived with the letter in his arms for a few days.
There was no record of how Nineina was doing or what she did, but Rubenio used his sole imagination.
How is that young baby growing up and doing now?
The Duke’s threats no longer worked.
However, no matter how Rubenio behaves, he will still continue to try and kill Nineina.
Once the reins were released, I became eager.
I felt like I could touch her if I stretched out my hand.
“My baby, you’ve always been far away, but now you are so… so close.”
Rubenio wanted to see his daughter right now.
But he couldn’t be absent at this crucial point.
Even if it was a long-term battle, I had to be careful with each and every step.
If Caesar’s response is delayed for even an hour, it may be out of his control, but in the midst of this, it’s impossible to go to a faraway villa.
However, he couldn’t ask his sick daughter to come all the way here either.
There is nothing he could do about it, even if his heartache stretched like a spider’s web.
“Is this also due to my lack of courage?”
He remained alone and mumbled to himself.
In the end, even if he had the courage to visit his child’s location, the results wouldn’t change.
Rubenio was also afraid that it was because of his greed that he wanted to visit Nineina in this situation.
‘If a father, who had never shown his face to a child that is doing well, appeared after 20 years and offered to hug them…. There’s no way they would like it.’
Rubenio was content with no hugs.
If I could at least hold her hands, no, if I could see my child growing up with my own eyes, that would be enough.
However, Rubenio was afraid that even his small wish seemed to be selfish greed.
“Why don’t you try writing letters again?”
The butler, who could no longer bear to see his gloomy expression, cautiously suggested.
“Yes. Hasn’t it been a while since you’ve sent one?”
Even when Nineina was young and unable to read, Rubenio would send letters every day like clockwork.
But as she grew older and was capable enough to read them, the number of letters gradually decreased.
It wasn’t due to the fact that Nineina wouldn’t read much of them. But because it broke Rubenio’s heart.
Rubenio couldn’t bear the reports that mentioned his daughter’s bad expressions whenever she received his letters.
He didn’t send any more letters, in fear that what he had written with all his heart would be poisonous to his child.
Even if it’s painfully suffocating to send his child nothing.
“Would she welcome a letter? Oh, that’s just ridiculous.”
“A letter every time instead of a face. I’ve already committed too many sins against her.”
Perhaps I’ll never be forgiven for the rest of my life.
He thought this and made up his own determination.
“I wanted to raise a child with lots of love.”
“A child who receives and knows how to be loved greatly. That’s why I said I wanted to raise her as a child……. who is loved everywhere.”
Back when it was an innocent time and I knew nothing.
At that time, I lived contentedly with the fact that I belonged to the Duchy.
I welcomed the woman whom the Duke had introduced as my wife without any complaints and fell in love with her.
I had a child at a young age, but I had no fears.
I did not hesitate to exclaim loudly in front of my wife that the baby would grow up to be a lovely child.
Like an ordinary couple, I would pat her tummy in expectation for the baby to be born.
I made children’s shoes by hand, picked a cradle for the baby and bought all the toys that even a newborn baby couldn’t use yet.
Those days were as warm as the spring sun and as soft as a feather.
There were times when he was so immature and happy.
So he couldn’t forgive him. The one who took everything away from him, which he regarded as the greatest and most precious thing in the world.
Rubenio’s jaw trembled.
His eyes, which were blood red from tears, were clouded with 20-year-old resentment.
Rubenio’s butler, who had to watch him wake up frustrated and cry repeatedly for the past 20 years, felt sad rather than afraid of Rubenio’s eyes brimming with anger.
The butler took a step closer and held out a quill and a piece of paper from Rubenio’s desk.
“But let’s still try sending one.”
The butler knew. Rubenio would handpick a letter to send to Nineina, leave it on the other side of the desk and then suffer alone because he couldn’t send it.
“It is said that longing is reaching out.”
The eyes that reflected the white paper trembled vaguely. They were blue eyes, shaded by dark clouds.
Blue eyes that resembled Nineina’s.
Recently Caesar has become more involved in my diet.
That’s because he promised to bring foods that were good for my health.
After leaving for about half a day, he returned with heavy objects in his hand.
It’s already been seven days. Whatever he caught would always come up in my meal.
“Ah..the crab roe is popping out…”
I tilted my head as I stirred the thin soup with a spoon.
There was one rule between the two of us.
Caesar is only to tell me the ingredients of the food after I finish eating it.
Of course, it was a rule that I set myself.
Caesar would have won by a landslide if I had dealt with him physically rather than with words. However, this wasn’t appropriate in many ways so he always had to lose to me.
This body’s meal time was just three times longer than others.
It’s a tedious time to sit back and watch me, but he never rushed me.
“I think it tastes good… Did you manage to get lots of this?”
The long mealtime was partially due to my constant chatter.
If I eat while talking, I feel like I can digest better.
“Use all your energy for your mouth.”
“I’m in the middle of digesting.”
He gave me a strange look.
“If it’s the same amount you’re eating right now, I have enough for you to eat it two more times.”
“No. I’m not talking about myself, I mean you. Why don’t you give it a try? I feel guilty eating all this myself.”
That being said, I never asked him to dine with me.
Because I knew he couldn’t stand eating with other people.
What I meant to say was that Caesar should try this food later on by himself.
He didn’t answer, as if it was a particularly useless comment.
I also didn’t mind his long silence.
Rather than that, I was curious about what I’m currently eating.
It tasted pretty delicious.
“What is this?”
“What is it?”
He still kept my tacit yet inconvenient rule.
It was so he would not put me off my food by telling me what it is that I’m eating with all my might.
“What was the ingredient this time?”
After I finished eating, I put the spoon down flat.
I was happy to finally solve my curiosity.
But that feeling didn’t last long.
“It’s a bladder where the essence of the lactation sinuses are concentrated.”