I Became The Stepmother Of An Irrevocable Dark Family - Chapter 24
Translator and Editor: Maru and Aki
The Duke, who clearly expressed his displeasure towards Astra, briefly swerved his gaze towards Astra and I alternately.
“Princess Astra. Remember, you are my wife. So, you just need to stay by my side.”
Astra, who put an expression as if his words were hard to believe, soon smiled and nodded her head.
“That’s right. I’m your rightful wife. Unlike a certain someone.”
Astra stretched her shoulder and crossed her arms as if she had become a winner.
“Then, we should have a nice meal together. Let’s just leave someone here.”
There was no answer. They just went into the castle. And Rere, who looked at them for a long time, got up from her seat and clung to me.
“Should I change my daddy?”
I was surprised by Rere’s sudden bombshell declaration.
“What did you just say?”
“I think…I want to change my daddy.”
“That’s right. Luca is more like a daddy!” After making a conclusion alone, Rere smiled broadly.
But wait. He looked exactly like Duke Ian except for his ruby eyes and shitty personality. Nevertheless, Rere bounced her little head up and down.
“Luca loves me so much. Every time he came to visit me, his eyes went ‘poof’ and he spoke sweetly to me. Anyway, I don’t think ‘that’ is my daddy.”
Did you just call him ‘that’?
Meanwhile, the Duke who was downgraded from daddy to ‘that’ had already gone inside.
Well, I hope Rere could heal the wounds she received from the Duke or Astra by thinking this way….even though it didn’t seem right. Even now, she was trying to hide her wounds by exaggerating.
“Mom, you like Luca, don’t you?”
“I don’t like him!”
“No! Rere saw it. The way you looked at Luca was very unusual. That’s why let’s become family! The three of us! Luca, mom, and Rere!”
The smiling child happily grabbed my hand.
“Let’s go in now.”
“Mom, what do you think of Luca?”
If I had to choose, Luca might be a better option. However, my life was hard enough, so I didn’t have the luxury to choose someone, let alone date. Because of that, I glossed over the end of my words.
“Mom, you like him too, right? But you know what, Rere has been so strange lately!”
“Why is that?”
I walked slowly, holding the tired-looking child in my arms.
“Daddy…no, ‘that’ never asks me about what I wanted. I just want daddy to pat my head and praise me, no, I just want him to stay with me…. But, he didn’t do that either.”
“Not only that! Daddy never came to Rere’s birthday, not even once.”
“A real daddy won’t do that. I read in the book that…. fathers valued their children’s birthday more than anyone else’s. So ‘that’ wasn’t my daddy.”
“If Rere says so, then it must be right.”
“Hngg…Rere is right…Rere…Daddy…that…I hate that so much…”
Rere mumbled for a long time, perhaps exhausted. She then fell asleep in my arms. Of course, she was busy listing out the reason why Duke Ian was not her daddy until she fell asleep. Still, because she played all day long, Rere didn’t wake up until I put her in bed.
The nanny, who was gently wiping the child’s body with a warm towel, stroked Rere’s hair with a sad voice.
“Our poor miss…How hurt you must have been…”
“All this time, Rere was so soft-hearted that she probably didn’t want to reveal that side of her, so she was constantly making thorns. Sadly, that was her way to protect herself.”
“That’s how adults raised this little girl. Especially ‘that’.”
The nanny laughed and moved her hand more busily.
“I’m sure he had his own reasons. But in fact, I hate my master, too. Why did he have to leave his child unattended?”
“It’s so upsetting and cruel. What’s so hard about spending a little time with the child?”
“Even when the miss was younger, miss asked him quietly if he could play with her, but master said that he was busy and firmly said no.”
The maids next to her only nodded eagerly.
It was when my lips were about to let out a terrible curse…
“What a piece of tr-”
…Did I hear someone knocking on the door. Just in case Rere woke up, a maid rushed outside and then came back.
“Madam. That trash- oh no, I mean, master says he’s looking for you.”
I smirked at the news and got up from my seat.
“I’ll be right back.”
“Please come back safely.”
The nanny and the maids looked at me with a worried look.
“Don’t worry! I’ll be right back.”
They were laughing at my words and nodded. Then, I came out and walked with the servant. It’s been a long time since he called me privately, so I felt nervous. Because of that, I quickly arrived in his room.
When I arrived, the servant who accompanied me knocked on the Duke’s luxurious door. I’ve seen him in the drawing-room, but it was my first time going to his room.
“Please come in.” The servant opened the door as soon as he heard the answer.
As soon as I entered, I could easily breathe in a strong smell of alcohol. As expected, there were several bottles of alcohol in his big table, and the Duke sat by the window and looked at me with a dissatisfied look.
“What did you call me for?”
“You played sand with my child, didn’t you?”
“Children are supposed to grow up doing things like that. It’s good for her development.”
I wondered why he called me separately. He was busy nitpicking at me again as always.
“Development, huh? She’s a princess.”
“Is there a law that says a princess shouldn’t do that?”
“You always talk back, huh?”
“I’m not really wrong, am I? You would hate whatever I do for the child’s sake no matter what, right?”
There was no answer to my remark. He gritted his teeth and glared at me as if I was a thorn in his flesh.
“I hate you so much. If only you didn’t cross the line just like everyone else….!”
I felt the same way. Did you think I like you either?
“What exactly is the line I shouldn’t cross according to you? Just let it be? To turn my back on the child and just enjoy my luxurious life?”
“Or do you want me to become a Duchess in name only and live like a wicked person?”
“If you’re going to do that, why do you even need a mother figure?”
“Are you trying to lecture me?”
“No. I’m only asking. Is that what you think a mother is like? Is that what a father is like?”
The Duke, whose voice sounded a little more diminished than before, looked out the window without saying a word.
Somewhat, he looked a little lonely. Just like a man who was notified by his girlfriend for 10 years to break up.
‘As if you were the only one hurt. I don’t like how you sound. As if you were the only one carrying all the wounds in the world. You have no idea how cruel you are to your child.’
It sounded like I overlooked his wounds, but for me, the wound that Rere received was more important than him. Because it broke my heart more. So, I took a step closer to the Duke.
“Have you ever asked the child what she wanted?”
“What does the child like? What games does she enjoy?”
“…I’ve been informed about all that.”
“Have you ever seen it in person?”
The Duke, who was mumbling his words, looked at me with an uncomfortable look. However, as if my words hit the spot, he was unable to retort.
“She doesn’t feel happy just because you gave her expensive and nice stuff. What’s so important about petty toys?”
For a five-year-old girl, it’s important to have a father who always showed his face or a father who looked at her instead of giving her a lot of toys, but he didn’t know that.
‘More like you don’t want to know that.’
“I didn’t ask you here to get advice from you.”
“I don’t understand. Then, why did you call me? Didn’t you call for me because you were curious about Rere?”
Just listen and eat it up. I wanted to say bad words, but my survival instinct prevented me from doing so.
“What do you want me to listen to? Listen to you?”
“…Ha. Listen to Rere.”
“What does she want to do? What does she want?”
I gave him my sincerest advice. Perhaps it went through him since the color in his eyes came back.
“….Now I understand.”
“Right. Now that I think about it, I can see why you were different from other mothers.”
Was that a good thing, or a bad thing?
He grinned, got up from his seat, and moved past me.
“Yes, I don’t need you anymore. I finally figured it out.”
He looked determined as if he just made a big invention, but on the other hand, there was visible anxiety on his face. But the Duke who was sitting at his desk didn’t seem to care about me anymore, so I had to get out of there.
I told you to listen to the child, and you shouldn’t have made that expression.
“But that must be a good thing, right? I’m sure he understands. He was smart after all.”
When I sighed at those thoughts, a familiar person appeared in front of me.
“Did you have a good talk?”
“…Ah. It’s you.”
It was Luca.
The servant who brought me here a while ago nor the servant who was guarding the door couldn’t be found. Rather, Luca reached out his hand to me.
“May I take you to your room?”
“I saw you get lost a few times.” He strode forward to me with a grin.
Just when did you see me get lost in the way? I didn’t get lost that often, probably only four or five times.
I didn’t want to trouble May, so I got better because I worked hard to remember the way.
When did you see me?
When I couldn’t answer for a long time, Luca naturally reached out for her hand.
“So I’ll take you there.”
“Don’t worry, I already know the way to my room….”
It was then…
I definitely knew the way to the room because I remember coming here with Rere last time, but my head suddenly turned white.
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