The Villainess Is Shy In Receiving Affection - Chapter 20
Translator and Editor: Bunny and Einna
“You aren’t thinking of tearing up a healthy mother and daughter relationship in order to make that child the Young Lady’s playmate, do you?”
The Duke couldn’t bear to answer. He was wondering if a part of him had such a terrible idea.
“You don’t have to worry about children making friends as they make new ones quickly. The Young Lady would sooner forget that sinful child as soon as she sees my granddaughter.”
That moment the Elder chuckled and said so, they heard a proud voice from beyond the open door shouting, ‘Loretta is here!’ Without asking for anyone’s permission, the child slowly walked in between the Duke and the Elder before lifting her head – with a stubborn expression.
“What the hell is this…?!”
While the Elder spoke in embarrassment, the maid that followed the child became contemplative as she begged her, ‘Young Lady, you will offend the Duke if you enter without asking for permission!’ but she didn’t listen to her – no, she acted more proudly on the contrary.
That’s because she had to do something. That is, the clever Loretta would give the correct answer to an adult who says strange things.
The prison on the outskirts of the capital had a strange fishy smell, even though it seemed like they weren’t neglecting their duties to clean.
Melody slightly frowned, but the Elder who brought her just smirked. He told her that ‘it was a wonder that even sinners can smell the scent of sin’. She didn’t say anything and just followed the prison officer.
The hallway was getting darker. The large windows got smaller and they eventually arrived at a place where there were no windows at all. They had to go through a locked door twice opened with a large key, and finally arrived at the place where large iron bars stretched along one side. The fishy smell in the hallway was more intense at this place.
“Here it is, Elder.”
The prison officer soon pointed to a cell and lit a candle in front of it. A small light went down the bumpy floor and gradually penetrated into the darkness. Melody lifted her head following the trail of light and looked beyond the darkness, and there she found something black and round in a corner where the light couldn’t reach completely. It was stiff like a stone and standing still.
Tang! Tang! The guard tapped the grate twice with his palm, then the shadow moved as if responding to this. The shadow probably shook its head when it saw those two blue eyes looking towards it.
Melody instinctively tried to take a step back as soon as she felt their eyes meet, but the Elder put his hand on her shoulder to keep her in place.
The little girl stiffened.
“My daughter is very kind. Did this child extort money from the Duke’s family to save her mother?”
Sitting far away from the guard, her mother jumped up from where she was sitting and began to approach Melody. She felt more frightened at the sound of stomping getting closer.
“Melody, is that……” there was a strange mixed emotion in that hoarse voice, “Is that really you?”
Her misery was finally revealed. She was even dirty from not washing for a long time and there were deep scars on her body at first glance. It seems like she didn’t receive any proper treatment.
It made Melody frown – with a sad heart. Although she wasn’t exactly a good mother, she still felt sympathy for her to have seen her in such a state of mess.
“Were you really looking for money to save me? Really?”
Her mother asked her again while clinging to the grate when the little girl didn’t respond.
“I knew it. I knew my daughter would be like this. Look here, Prison Officer. While this kid here doesn’t know how to read and write, she is very talented.”
I know how to read, how many times have I told you that? Melody swallowed the words that came up her throat. Anyway, that didn’t matter now.
“I can see now that my daughter is going to be a talented con artist. I saw in prison that they were treated better than slave merchants. They also got along well with the guards.”
“I-I don’t want to be a scammer, Mother.”
Melody couldn’t stand it anymore and lightly refuted her words. The mother looked at the child with a very familiar gaze, but it didn’t last long. Now that Melody has money, she probably thought that she shouldn’t look hatefully at her.
“It’s a relief that you’ve reunited again with your mother. After all, blood relatives should stay together, don’t you think so?” The Elder patted her on the shoulder from behind and spoke encouragingly.
“Of course, of course. That old man is right.”
Her mother nodded her head at the Elder’s words.
“There is no time to spare. Since we had to go through a complicated procedure to get you here, give the jailer half of the money you have.”
Melody looked back at the elder with wide eyes, “The money I have?”
“Yes, the pocket of money I gave you at the mansion. Weren’t you holding it in your arms?”
“Uh, uh… if it’s that money, in the hallway of the mansion……”
I dropped it. Her word just came out when,
“What?! You dropped the money I gave you?!”
“You told me to follow you right away. I dropped it at that time and there were other people to pick it up for me.”
“You should have told me! God knows that amount of money isn’t common!”
The Elder panicked as he rummaged through his clothes to see if there was anything worth enough as pay. It turned out that he too didn’t have any jewels on him because he was in a hurry.
“You! Everything is ruined because of you. Do you want your mother to rot in prison for the rest of her life?!”
The moment Elder shouted at Melody, a slender arm reached out from the gaps between the grates and grabbed her arm, “Don’t lie, Melody! It must be a lie that you will leave your mother here and get that money for your own! Right?!”
She shook her body as if she was going crazy.
“Give it to me quickly! That’s my money!”
“I really lost it – ”
“Don’t make me laugh! I had so much trouble while raising you up and what, you lost the money?!”
Her mother tightened the hand holding Melody’s arm. It would’ve been much worse if there was no grate between them.
“I would have been one of the greatest merchant hostesses if I hadn’t been pregnant with you! I would have lived a well-off life! Do you know who made me live a life like a beggar?!”
Her voice was hoarse as she screamed at her while running out of breath. Still, confronting Melody with such slander towards her didn’t stop there, “You don’t know about favor nor your limits! You’re such a bad and useless daughter!”
The Elder looked at her while frowning and clicked his tongue. He firmly believed that a man’s origin determined his nobility. A person who was never indulged in beautiful things in life couldn’t understand the feeling of suddenly seeing something precious.
“There’s no other way. Jailer, put this little thing inside with her mother.”
“The mother and daughter duo worked so hard to capture the precious daughter of the Duke. Selling her as a slave at that.”
The Elder pointed at the messy mother and daughter with his chin. It seemed like the jailer just missed the opportunity to win a lot of money.
“Things have gotten worse, tsk.”
“People are a bother. That’s right, leading the sinners to the right path.”
“Yes, that’s the way it is. Hey, woman! Stick to the wall!”
When her mother screamed that it couldn’t be done, the jailer said that she was too noisy and harshly pounded on the grate.
“Can’t you stand still! If you keep on being noisy, I’ll send your daughter to the place where she should be!”
The jailer’s words sounded like words about heaven. It was probably because of the words ‘the place where she should be’. Melody would have probably been punished in the prison now if it was the original Melody.
‘If I go back to the original…’
Loretta and the Duke will be able to live smoothly as in the original story – towards a certain happiness in the distant future.
‘That would be great.’
Melody recalled how her mother shouted at her ‘you don’t know about receiving grace’ earlier, but that was wrong. Melody definitely knows what receiving grace means. That’s why, if both Loretta and the Duke can live happily in return to the special memories they had given her, she can go back walking to the original path.
Melody imagined what would possibly happen to her. She was unsure of her future, but she thought that she might be able to go through it. Just like how she protected Loretta by changing the original path, Melody will only be protecting herself this time.
The jailer soon opened the door of the prison. Creak, she could clearly see her mother standing far away though it was dark. Her eyes were like a beast waiting for its prey.
“Go in. Don’t stand still.” The guard said as he pushed Melody’s body inside. The little girl staggered and fumbled on the rough floor.
“Ah, this little thing is really annoying me.”
The guard was probably a little embarrassed so he frowned and tapped Melody with his shoe. It meant she needed to get up quickly.
“Guard, I will cut off that foot if you don’t move that away right this instant.”
At that moment, a chilling voice came from behind the guard – with a presence that made the surrounding air heavier.
The guard looked back hastily.
Confirming the identity of his opponent, the guard was frozen. Standing there was the Duke of Valdwin.
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