Chapter 20.
The Well Raised Guy?! (1)

The boy, left alone in the large room, was sobbing and crying.
It must be sad to see him crying quietly, but there was no one there to comfort him.
Just then, the door opened, and a silver-haired man entered.



“Huhu… F-Father?”

“Oh my gosh, were you crying again?”


Aster flinched and looked up at him, wiping away tears.
A benevolent-looking man approached the boy.


“I have good news, Aster.
Do you want to listen to it?”

“Good news…! No way! C-Can I meet my mother now?”


The boy, who opened his eyes wide, unconsciously grabbed the man’s arms and shook them.


“Is she all better now? Is she not sick again? I can meet her now, right? Mother… I can meet mother—”


Yes, Father.”


The silver-haired man paused and sighed low.


“I have a favor to ask of you.”



His red eyes shimmered in wonder.


“You don’t have to be so nervous, Aster.
It’s a tiny thing to you.
All you have to do is stay still.”

“All I have to do… is stay still? I-Is that how I can meet my mother? Is my mother’s illness getting better? She doesn’t have to be sick anymore, right?”

“Yes, that’s right, Aster.
You can meet her soon if you help me a little bit.
Of course, Marian’s illness is getting better.”

“I will do it! I will do anything! So please, let me meet my mother.
Father, please!”

“Yes, let’s do that.”


The silver-haired man with a benevolent smile brushed Aster’s hair proudly.
Holding the boy’s hand tightly, they soon headed to the mansion’s basement, just like entering into the angler fish’s throat.


* * *


Blink. Astein opened his eyes, rubbing them.
The first thing he could see was the spacious space, a table with frayed edges and old chairs.

“So it’s… a dream.”

It was long ago, but his memory was as vivid as yesterday.
Astein smiled wryly as he checked his limbs.

The place he voluntarily walked into was the magic lab where the secret of Grand Duke Sestein was hidden.
And for seven years, he lived as his father’s test subject.

“It happened a long time ago.
But I’m still like this.”

Astein’s mouth twisted strangely as he clenched the Lisianthus necklace in his pocket as a habit.
It was then.

“As!” Elusiana shouted as she walked out of the kitchen with her hand draped around her waist.
Unlike her wealthy appearance ten years ago, she was neatly dressed in an old, faded apron.

Elusiana, who approached Astein with a thump, narrowed her eyes and intimidated him.

“You… What’s wrong with you these days? Why are you so distracted that you can’t hear what people say? Huh?”

Astein stared at her instead of answering.
When he saw her, his raging anger subsided. My Elusiana.

Seeing her face was red, she must have been furious. Does she know that her gentle, dropping eyes don’t match her angry look at all? Every time she curls her small lips, does she know how I feel when I look at it… Astein’s twisted mouth curved in a graceful curve.

“Did I do that?”

“Did youuuuuu? Ha!”

Elusiana glared at him with a sniffle.
Because of that, her light brown hair swayed.

But what about it? He could only laugh looking at her like that.
Astein quietly averted his gaze.
If he laughed, she would get really angry.

“Is there anything more you want me to do? Tell me if you have, Lusi.
I will help you with anything.”

Elusiana’s eyebrows wriggled once at Astein’s gentle tone.
There was no way she couldn’t recognize the meaning of his voice while smiling like that. You’re making fun of me? Ugh, what a sly fellow.
He wasn’t like that before, so when did he become so shameless?

Even though it was a polite and impeccable answer, Elusiana hated that noble’s way of talking very much.
She took a deep breath as if trying to get rid of her anger.

Elusiana, who took a deep breath as if to calm her anger, said coyly, “It’s almost time for Father to come.
So get out quickly.”

7 p.m.
Soon, it was time for Simon to return.

Elusiana turned around, trying her loose blue apron tightly behind her waist.
Then she heard a questioning voice behind her.

“Lusi, what about you? Aren’t you going out with me?”

He always met him, so Astein asked about it, but the answer came back like a knife.
Elusiana, who turned her head, stared fiercely with her eyes as if saying, ‘Are you asking that question right now?’

“I don’t have enough time to cook because of someone.”

“No way, is that ‘someone’ me?”


Suddenly, Elusiana took a couple of steps back in amazement at the sudden puffing of hot breath.
Astein, who was sitting in the chair, quickly approached her and smiled. T-This crazy man!

Astein was two inches taller than her, and it heightened his beauty.
His glossy black hair was belatedly disheveled and covered the front of his eyes.
Just looking at that man laughing wasn’t good for her heart.

Elusiana smacked Astein’s chest with a reddened face.
“Didn’t I tell you to move and welcome him? Don’t come too close…”

“Ah, sorry.
I made a mistake.
I will go to the entrance now.
Viscount will arrive soon.”

Astein threw a  eye smile, melting Elusiana as she nagged and quickly left the dining room.

“…Give me a warning before that… Ha!”

She huffed and fanned her red face.
She couldn’t adapt to his behavior, which had become sly lately.

Sometimes, there were times when she thought his actions were conspicuous, but they didn’t exceed the limit.
She narrowly kept that ‘line.’ Above all, she kept feeling ‘warned’ by what he did.

But if she looked at the recent Astein— It’s definitely strange.  As if he had let go of the reins he had held firmly.

Elusiana frowned unknowingly after Astein had completely disappeared.
Starting about a month ago, he suddenly went out at night and became very talkative.

“…and that eye smile, I don’t know where she learned it from.”

The finely curved eyes that swayed gently like a fox’s tail were so tempting, making her very nervous about it.

“Could it be that he has a girlfriend? Why is he suddenly doing something he hasn’t done before?”

At her first thought, Elusiana shook her head.
Aside from being insensitive, Astein had zero empathy, so he couldn’t share his heart with a woman. It’s something a passing dog would laugh at. It was Astein who didn’t even bother to say hello to her.

“Ah, I don’t know.
If it’s important, he will tell me.”

Still feeling awkward, Elusiana decided to ignore it for the time being.
Without knowing what kind of misfortune that complacent thought might bring later.


* * *


Just as she finished preparing the meal, Simon and Astein came into the dining room.


“Ooh, my daughter, Lusi.”

Simon extended his arms to both sides with a big smile.
Elusiana automatically snuggled into his arms.

“You worked hard today.”

“Is there any trouble? Are you okay with working at a flower shop? Wasn’t it difficult?”

“Of course! What’s the big deal about trimming and arranging flowers? After all, I’m a skilled professional now.” Elusiana smiled broadly and boasted about it.

Inwardly, she repeated the words she couldn’t bear to say. As long as my father doesn’t cause any accidents, there won’t be any problem.
So please, don’t do anything, Father.

Simon, who had no way of knowing that worry, saw his daughter’s flaws in his soft daughter’s hand.
Before long, tears welled up in his eyes.

“Those lovely hands… are messed up.”

“Eish, you’re doing it again.
Please sit down before the food becomes cold, Father.
I’m hungry.”

Elusiana, who quickly put Simon in a chair, sat across from him, glaring at Astein, who was sitting down.
Hard dry bread, stew with a glimpse of the ingredients, and some pieces of fruit.
As if they were accustomed to simple meals, the three of them quietly began to eat their share.

The flower shop Simon was talking about was Elusiana’s workplace.
The shop, named ‘Fragrant Garden,’ was famous for its harmonious decoration and had branches in the main street and commoner’s area on the island.

Of course, the real owner of those flower shops was Elusiana.
However, she couldn’t say proudly, ‘I’m the owner of those flower shops,’ as she was in a pitiful situation.

10 years.
It was short if it was short, and it was long enough to change fate.
The past decade had been a bitter time for her to experience what dreams and fantasies were.
To put it briefly, the Viscount Waieos’s family was completely ruined.

At some point, the fountains-like funds, which seemed to never dry, revealed their bottom.
Their prestige, which had been inflated in size, shrank like a deflated balloon.
They were in a state where their name was barely listed on the list of nobles.

Thinking back, the moment of the downfall was absurd.
As the cash on hand ran out, numerous mines and villas were sold.
At that time, there was no mercy from the greed of nobles.  The greedy nobles were incredibly quick and organized everything so neatly that their family couldn’t be touched again.
It was all over in a blink of an eye.

If only the butler hadn’t died in the accident then. Maybe they would live better than now? No, if only they could have noticed earlier something was going wrong— No.
It’s not like that.
Even so, it was very strange. 


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