Chapter 23

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Noah is my son.
“It’s yummy!”
“Right?”

The three of us sat on the picnic sheet in a circle with sandwiches and beverage we brought from the mansion, and the freshly caught fish we grilled over the open fire.
Noah wasn’t paying attention to the sandwich and instead reached out for the fish without hesitation.
Fii smiled when he saw that.

“It’s so much more delicious when you catch it yourself, right?”
“Yeah. Mother, try it too. Here, here. The fish is very delicious.”
“Let me see. Yes, it’s delicious. It’s even better because you caught it, Noah.”

Noah recommended the fish eagerly. He was excited about eating the fish he caught himself. I know it’s delicious. Moreover, it’s the first fish Noah caught in his life, so there’s no way it wouldn’t taste good.

“You ate it, Mother.”
“It’s a fish you caught, Noah. Of course I will gladly eat it.”
“Eat more, Mother.”
“Okay. I won’t hold back then.”

Noah raised his voice happily. When I finished eating one and reached for another skewer, “I’m glad” he muttered and wiped the corners of his eyes with his sleeves.

“What’s the matter, Noah?”
“Yuri. I hear you weren’t eating properly recently?”

Noah seemed as if he was going to cry, so when I reached his small body to hug him, I heard his voice from below. “Ah, Uncle.” he tried to stop Fii from talking.

“Noah is worried about you. The fishing this time was planned by Noah and the servants of the mansion.”
“Noah…”
“Uncle, you are bad. Even though I told you to keep it secret.”
“Sorry, Noah. I couldn’t stay silent. You did all of this for Yuri’s sake, so I wanted her to know about it.”

Noah wanted to keep it secret so he sulked and Fii apologized over and over again. Fii exposed the plan Noah and the servants came up with for me. It made me realize how considerate everyone was.
Fii said that I have been having a dark complexion lately and that I wasn’t eating properly.
Because of that, Noah was worried whether I wouldn’t collapse one day.

I had no idea people looked at me like that. I thought I was behaving normally, but people apparently saw through me.
I failed as Noah’s mother. Not only that, I even caused the servants to worry.

“Sorry, Noah. I was wrong.”
“…!”

Noah burst into tears. Noah is a very good boy, but he never hides his emotions. His usual honesty makes me want to spoil him even more. But, I felt that he was different recently. He must have been enduring a lot, right?

“Come up, Noah.”
“Mother.”

Noah clung to my chest. The mansion was under Father-in-law’s gag order, so nobody was able to tell Noah about his father. Everyone told him that his Father was working far away.
I believe that lying is bad, but everyone is hesitating to tell the young Noah the truth. However, does he perhaps have a vague idea that something happened?
As Noah sobbed, he asked me “You won’t go anywhere, will you?” He was fearing that I would leave the mansion.

“Noah. Everything’s fine. I won’t leave anywhere.”
“Re… rea… ly?”
“Really. I love you, Noah. I will stay by your side even if you say you don’t like me anymore.”
“Promise…?”
“Of course. If I’m to leave this mansion, I will be bringing you with me. No matter what anyone else might say.”

I don’t have any intentions of parting with you, when I said that, Noah closed his eyes in relief. There seem to be many thoughts a six-year-old has on his mind. I ruffled through Noah’s hair and when I dropped a kiss on top of his head, “I also love you very much, Mother.” he replied to me.

There’s no way I’m going to let go of this precious boy. Noah is my child. I don’t care about something like blood ties. Noah Garland is my son. I thought so strongly.

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