Chapter 99

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Giselle’s Point of View
After escaping the Duke Olivier’s residence, I headed for my house in the castle town.
Fortunately, the distance between the Duke’s residence and the castle town was not too far, and even a child like me could reach it by nightfall.
The only problem was that I hadn’t eaten anything and had come out barefoot. I was able to sate my hunger with some edible weeds, and when I finally reached my house while feeling a throbbing pain, I was in for a surprise.

“Mom?”

The corpse of my mother, which had been lying on the bed until this morning, had disappeared.
Dead people don’t come back to life, and they don’t walk. It was obvious that someone had taken the corpse.
I wondered where my mother had been taken.
With nowhere to turn, I stood there alone, dumbfounded.

 

 

As the night wore on and the sun rose, I continued to stare at the place where my mother had been.
I wanted to put her in the same grave as my father, but that was not going to happen.

“I have to work…”

I wondered if there were any places that would hire a child. Even if there were not, I had to find one somehow.
I need to live until I can repay Lady Elle for her help.
I wobbled to my feet and left the house. I continued walking through the back alleys looking for a place to work, but they wouldn’t take a kid.

 

 

“We finally found ya.”

It was just after noon when the debt collectors who had chased me yesterday appeared in front of me.
Their bloodshot eyes were sharp and their expressions distorted. The aura they wore was filled with anger.
My body cowered and tears welled up in my eyes.

“W, where did you take my Mom!”

The debt collectors looked at each other and tilted their heads when I asked about my mother, who suddenly popped into my head.

“Dunno.”

The leader of the group replied.
If these people didn’t know, then where had my mother’s corpse disappeared to?
The debt collectors, who didn’t care about my agitation, raised their voices.

“You little shit, you ran away!”
“Don’t give us any more trouble.”
“We will make sure you pay us the debt back.”

Then, the three evil men extended their hands toward me.

“Noo…! Stop it!”

A damp hand touched my arm and my whole body shivered. The difference in power between a child and an adult was obvious, and even when I tried to shake it off, it wouldn’t budge.

“Oi, hold her down.”
“Why is she wearing such nice clothes?”
“We can sell them for a lot of money.”

What I was wearing was a nightdress provided to me by the Duke’s family.
It was so expensive that even a child could recognize it.
It was a garment that I was planning to return one day.
But this is no good. I have to return it to Lady Elle. I can’t let them take it from me. However, I’m powerless to do anything about it.
One of the debt collectors pushed me down and straddled me.

“Stay obedient.”

The three of them held me by the limbs, making me unable to move.
I closed my eyes and thought it’s over. Then, the face of my benefactor flashed past my mind.
Lady Elle…!
That’s when one of them tried to take off my clothes.

“Can you please not touch the girl?”

A dignified voice sounded.
The hands of the trio stopped. When I moved my face, which was the only thing I could move, I was surprised to see a person in my field of vision.
Her slender white hair swayed in the wind, her red eyes were sharp and freezing cold.

“Lady Elle…”

What I saw in my field of vision was a quietly angry Lady Elle.
Why?
The dirty alleyway was a place that the Duke’s daughter had little to do with.
I couldn’t understand why Lady Elle was here.

“I was looking for you, Giselle.”

Lady Elle looked at me and smiled gently.
It was tears of relief, not fear, that flooded my eyes.

“Stay away from that child.”

Lady Elle’s gaze shifted to the debt collectors, and she once again showed her anger. Her small body was full of powerful intimidation, making her seem larger than she was. I don’t know why, but my whole body shuddered.

“W, who are ya.”

The leader of the group asked, and Lady Elle curtsied gracefully.

“I’m Gabrielle from Duke Olivier’s family.”

The moment she said her name, the faces of the debt collectors paled.
Anyone would feel fear if confronted by a member of the Ducal household.
Their reaction was the right one.

“W, why would a person from the Duke’s family…”
“Oi, watch your mouth. This personage is the Crown Prince’s fiancée.”

The Crown Prince’s fiancée?
Lady Elle is such an important person?
When feeling shaken, a tremendous gust of wind blew from Lady Elle’s direction and sent the debt collectors flying.

“It’s your fault for not getting away from her when I told you to.”

Lady Elle muttered quietly as she glared at the debt collectors groaning in the distance.
She walked slowly, then crouched down in front of me and lowered her eyebrows sadly.

“I wish I had found you a little sooner…”

Lady Elle gently stroked my cheek as she helped me up.
Did she come all the way to my place?
I don’t know why the young miss of Ducal family had come to such a dirty place for me.

“I’m sorry for letting you experience something this scary.”

Why is Lady Elle apologizing?
She did nothing wrong, and it should be me who should be apologizing for the trouble I caused.
I opened my mouth to apologize, but what came out was a sob.

“Everything is all right now.”

The gentle voice seeped into my heart, the hand caressing my head was gentle, the body wrapped around me was warm, and I couldn’t stop crying.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for causing you trouble…”

Every time I apologized, Lady Elle patted my head and said, “Don’t worry about it.”

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