The Villainess Is Shy In Receiving Affection - Chapter 18
Translator and Editor: Bunny and Einna
It was one of the elders she saw at the dinner yesterday, but she had thought they all went to the temple together.
“She must’ve been the real daughter of the Duke.” He mumbled with a dissatisfied face.
However, that was very good news for Melody. Even though it was the natural result, her heart was joyful and she smiled.
“It’s good then. I am really happy for her.”
The Elder looked at Melody’s brightly smiling face and his expression distorted into an ugly sneer. He then answered her in a sarcastic tone.
“That’s right. Your hard work has finally paid off and now, you can leave the mansion safely with your money.”
Melody asked that question unconsciously.
“What are you asking while pretending not to know? You must’ve followed her here for that sole purpose from the beginning.”
“I-I didn’t bring Loretta – no – the Young Lady here to receive any money. I only intended to take care of her….”
“Taking care of the Duke’s daughter?”
“I can read children’s books very well, and I know the Young Lady better than anyone.”
When Melody answered straightforwardly, he laughed for a moment. It was clearly out of ridicule.
“Your stupidity is so pitiful. Do you think the Duke would entrust his daughter to the daughter of a criminal?”
Melody looked at the Elder in surprise. Now that she thought about it… he was right. Slave traders weren’t particularly well-thought of in the capital. They were treated as lower than the commoners, because they think of them as dirty criminals whom they don’t want to exist.
“Besides, you worked so hard to help your mother, didn’t you?”
“The Duke is a man who knows what is right from what is wrong.”
The Elder glanced around the splendid guest room given to Melody.
“Don’t tell me that you misunderstood and assumed that the Duke thought of you as a guest based on the fact that he didn’t allow you to wash a single plate?”
“Who among the capital nobles would use a plate washed with those dirty hands?”
Melody couldn’t retort. The Elder was right considering the structure of this society. That was the reason why Melody couldn’t talk about ‘her mother’ in this place.
“It is impossible for him to entrust his precious daughter to a child he can’t trust so much that he can’t even entrust a single plate to you.”
“But I-I know a lot of things. I will be of great help to the Duke….”
Before she could even finish her words, the Elder burst out laughing to the point that he was almost bending backwards, while saying ‘You? You’ll help the Duke with your knowledge?’ several times.
“I knew that you were brazen enough to have come all the way here, but I didn’t know it was to such a large degree.”
He managed to stop laughing and pulled the green ribbon from Melody’s hair. The soft ribbon gently untied and fell into the Elder’s hand.
“This is not something you can wear.”
“Please give it back! It was a gift from the Duke!”
“Maybe it was then, but things are different now.”
The Elder shoved the ribbon roughly into his pocket.
“How do you think I found out about your mother?”
Melody knew the answer he was looking for.
He wanted her to ask him ‘Did the Duke tell you?’ Theoretically, no one here knows about her mother except the Duke and Loretta. Fortunately, however, she was well acquainted with the Duke of Valdwin.
He wasn’t the type of person to go around and talk about other people’s weaknesses like that, even if he was in a difficult situation. So it was unlikely that he was the one who told the Elder about Melody’s childhood.
If there is an answer, maybe….
“You must have done a background check on me. You have a high position in the Duke’s family so you have that much power.”
At Melody’s reply, the Elder frowned his face slightly and corrected her words.
“The Duke informed me.”
Ah, yes, she badly wanted to correct him. Melody couldn’t answer him like ‘I know it’s a lie’, so she just shut her mouth.
“You must have been shocked.”
But he seems to think that Melody was hurt. With a sinister face, he continued to say everything that he wanted to say.
“Anyway, you helped the Duke find his daughter safely, so I’ll give you enough money in return as thanks.”
The Elder took a money bag from his pocket. He didn’t forget to gently open the inside and show it to Melody. It was full of shiny coins. It was a lot of money, which might be enough to live off of for a few years if Melody lived frugally.
“Don’t tell me, you would want to ask for more?”
He forced the pouch into Melody’s hand.
“You should be satisfied with that. That must be a lot more money than you thought you would get. Your mother, who is in prison now, will be very proud of you. That money can buy her innocence.”
Buy innocence – those were very strange words to Melody. Aren’t innocence and guilt determined by judges and the law? Not money?
“Alright. Fortunately, your mother’s punishment hasn’t been decided yet, so you will be able to save your mother with that amount of money. You are doing a great show of filial piety.”
“No, I – ”
“You, who took good care of the Duke’s daughter, would not pretend not to know about the struggles of your family and live well by yourself right?”
He smiled but it felt so fake, like he was wearing a mask, and he held out one hand.
“I’ll take you directly to the place where you can save your mother – as a last kindness from the Duke’s family.”
Melody quickly took a step back.
What will happen if I buy my mother’s innocence? Melody didn’t harbor the fleeting hope that ‘maybe my mother will thank me’. People don’t change. In particular, Melody’s bad luck didn’t even change.
Melody’s mother may ask her to bring more money. She might send her to beg more to the Duke’s family. No, she will definitely do that. That was because she was the most shameless person in the world. It was obvious that she would be forced to go back (to the Duke’s family) if Melody said she would not go back and beg.
「Then, I should make you want to go. 」
Melody shook her head. Knowing that there would be only despair and pain, no one would ever set foot in that place, so naturally, she took another step back.
“This shameless thing!”
But she soon came back to her senses as she heard an ominous voice.
“I wonder just how much of a bad influence this wicked child was on the Duke’s daughter…!”
His anger was strangely similar to that of her mother. It was because that person was spitting out words at Melody without even listening to her. Was it because of that? His voice seemed to overlap with her mother’s from her memories.
“Are you going to abandon your mother and live alone?”
“I-It’s not… th-that’s not like that!”
Melody was begging him just like how she used to beg her mother.
“Whether your only mother dies or not, your sole intention must be to live alone off of the Duke family’s money – full and comfortable!!”
Those words completely broke Melody’s heart in an instant.
The girl completely let go of her strong heart. There was nothing she could do. The fear of her mother was firmly engraved in Melody’s heart and had never faded.
“I was wrong. P-please forgive me!”
Tears flowed naturally and fell nonstop down her cheeks and neck.
“Now, you’re telling the truth. You dare to use the Duke’s family?!”
“Spare me. I was wrong. P-please…!”
She was out of breath as she pleaded with him while crying, but he was relentless.
“Follow me! Right now!”
At his command-like words, Melody’s feet moved abruptly and followed him. Maybe because her hands were so weak from fear that she dropped the pouch of money on the floor, but she didn’t even notice it.
After going through the hallway and entering the front hall, she saw a shabby carriage through the wide opened door. He led Melody to where the carriage was waiting.
Then, at that moment.
“Are you crazy, you old man?!”
Mrs. Higgins rushed out and blocked the front of the carriage.
“This child is the Duke’s guest. Do you think you will be safe even if you do something like this?!”
The Higgins family had the highest rank among the Duke’s entourage. Therefore, there was no one within the Duke family who could ignore someone from the Higgins family if they wanted to share their opinion – even if it was the Duke.
Among them, Mrs. Higgins of this generation had the loudest voice than anyone else. It was the case in reality, and it was the same in terms of the ability and authority she had.
“If you want to grow old, grow old gracefully like me! What do you think you are doing to such a tiny child who is like our granddaughter?!”
The woman pulled Melody away from the Elder.
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