The Villainess Is Shy In Receiving Affection - Chapter 21
Translator and Editor: Bunny and Einna
Surprised to see his face, which he had only seen in portraits, the guard remained motionless with his foot still on Melody’s back. The Duke, whom he hadn’t seen before came forward, grabbed the collar of his uniform and yanked him away. He came back to his senses after being thrown to the floor and falling flat in front of the Duke.
He was scared. He was just trying to deal with the sinner a while ago, so he only thought that the daughter should also be punished.
“Aigoo, my lamb!”
Mrs. Higgins ran out from the crowd that followed behind the Duke, limping with her legs. She was obviously hurt after being pushed by the Elder. She still refused to receive treatment and ran all the way here. She immediately helped Melody get up and began to point at the Elder.
“Do you know that your inspiration will go away if you do something like this to someone else’s precious sheep?!”
“Precious?” However, the Elder laughed at the old woman’s words and refused to give in. “See that filthy criminal standing over there?”
Following the Elder’s words, the people looked at Melody’s mother, who was in a miserable state.
“She is a slave trader – this brat’s mother.”
He understands this, right? He raised his head slightly with a smug expression on his face. Everyone must’ve felt a sense of surprise and betrayal since the Duke didn’t tell anyone about Melody’s background. Maybe, he could even use it as the Duke’s weakness.
“Hah….” Mrs. Higgins was soon at loss of words with her mouth half-opened.
The Elder smiled bitterly, “Can you believe it? That the Duke brought someone like this and called her guest – ”
“No, you there, sinner. What on earth did you eat to have such a cute daughter like her? I wanted to know a little bit.” (e/n: Lol she subtly insulted Melody’s Mom by saying that Melody looks too cute to be related to her.)
Mrs. Higgins was marveled while looking alternately at Melody’s face and her mother’s beyond the prison bars. She said, ‘It’s hard for mother and child to not look alike, but this is amazing’.
“Mrs. Higgins,” The Duke calmly called her.
Understanding his meaning to stop making a fuss, she bowed her head and wrapped her arms around Melody. It meant she was intent on taking her home.
“Let the child go.”
However, the Duke did not allow Mrs. Higgins to take the child.
Mrs. Higgins immediately objected but he also didn’t retract his order. Mrs. Higgins could not do anything since it was the Master’s order so she had no choice but to retreat and leave Melody in that place.
The Duke carefully examined Melody’s condition. There were scratches on her arms and knees; the slightly swollen areas would probably become blue bruises by tomorrow.
He first apologized as her ‘temporary guardian’. This wasn’t something that a child can bear. Melody immediately shook her head, along with the words ‘It’s alright’.
“And I brought what you left behind.”
He put a pretty hat with lace on Melody’s head and handed her a heavy coin purse full of money.
“This is a money bag.”
“That’s right, a lump of money.”
He knelt down on one knee in front of Melody. The hat’s brim was wide so the child’s face couldn’t be properly seen.
“Melody, you can go away from this place with your mother if you want. This money will help you.”
“If I… wish?”
“Yes, if you wish.”
Melody stopped herself from saying ‘That’s illegal’. Perhaps, he would turn a blind eye for Melody’s sake – because he was such a kind person.
… what do I do? Melody pursed her lips full of worries, but the Duke continued and it seemed like he had another proposal left for her.
“But, if you want it.”
The Duke reached out his hand to her. He didn’t say anything specific but Melody understood it right away. It means choosing him as her guardian. This was a very simple matter – a brusque but friendly Duke and a mother who doesn’t recognize Melody.
Anyone who understood the situation would know that Melody should choose the Duke, but she was scared.
“What is it?”
“I might ruin everything.”
“I’m telling the truth. What I am saying is, the Duke and Loretta will have a great amount of happiness in the distant future. That….”
“I am not very interested in the distant future. Without you, my daughter will start crying tonight from now on. She will not stop crying when it starts to rain.”
He sighed a little.
“Without my daughter, you would start crying tonight too, wouldn’t you?”
“That… I think I would.”
“The Higgins couple might become depressed too.”
“I don’t think I would be in a very good mood either. So no matter how I look at it, I don’t think any great happiness would come without you.”
Having said that, Melody had nothing to say.
“Duke, I – ”
The moment Melody was about to say something, a desperate voice echoed from inside the dark prison.
“Melody! You’re not going to leave me, are you?”
She approached the bars again. But she couldn’t come out even though the door was open out of fear.
“We can live happily with that money. I will quit slave trading! I didn’t do it because I wanted to do those bad things? I had no choice since I had no money and I had to feed, dress, and raise you.”
The Duke raised his arms and tried to stop her with the knights as she drew closer to Melody.
“It’s alright, Duke.”
Stopping him, Melody turned to face her mother. She ignored the Duke’s hand which was outstretched to her. A happy smile hung on her mother’s face.
“My daughter! My treasure! I knew you would come to rescue me.”
“Yes, how much was in that coin bag, huh? Did you count it?”
Melody shook her head, and she immediately frowned.
“Anyway, since you were young… No, no. That’s what this mother should do. Bring that bag over to me. With that, we will live very happily.”
Her mother proudly held out one hand, and Melody stared at it.
When she said the words ‘my dear daughter’, she was only staring towards the purse of money.
“All right,” Melody answered and lifted the bag of money slightly. “Have a happy life with your beloved daughter.”
She then closed her eyes tightly and threw the heavy pocket of money with all her strength. Gold coins poured out from the slightly opened purse of money that fad opened wide in the air. The sound of the falling coins filled the entire prison.
“Uh, uh, my money!”
Her mother hastily screamed and approached her with outstretched arms. But instead of grabbing the pouch, a coin just painfully hit her on the bridge of her nose.
While holding her sore nose, she quickly grabbed the coin that had fallen. After holding the coin in her hand preciously, she instinctively screamed at Melody.
“Are you crazy?! You, huh?!”
Her screams, fortunately, didn’t last long because she was soon obsessed with collecting all the coins that had fallen to the floor.
“Crazy bitch, you know how much this is and you threw it away like that! My goodness, look at this shiny thing. Isn’t this a gold coin?”
A happy smile blossomed on her face after collecting a bunch of the coins, although her nose was constantly dripping with blood. Melody looked at her mother who was no longer paying attention to her, then turned to the Duke again.
“Today, my mother seemed to have found her real daughter – just like the Duke.”
“She’ll soon lose her daughter to the guard since she cannot have private property inside the prison.”
As soon as the Duke’s words fell, the guard took away her money and locked the prison door. Immediately being deprived of her money, her mother looked around with a dismayed face and began to shout at Melody again. Stupid, pathetic, simple-minded – Melody reddened as there were only vulgar curse words coming out of her mouth. She was ashamed.
Soon after, the jailer threatened her to stop her screaming.
The Duke frowned. Though he wasn’t a kind father to his children, he never said anything like that to them. He somehow felt uncomfortable while thinking about Melody having to grow up listening to those kinds of words.
But Melody only shook her head gently with a smile on her face.
“I know that I’m not stupid, Duke.”
“I know that.”
“I’m also not foolish enough to make a pathetic decision in a situation like this.”
“I know that too.”
Melody hesitated for a moment, thinking about the original novel.
She was still afraid of causing an ending that will be different from the original, but she became scared thinking about the lonely Loretta who would try to find her tonight.
Maybe Melody would miss Loretta for a long time too. Besides, she was sure that she would miss the other people she met at the Duke’s mansion.
As Melody licked her lips, the Duke raised his hand again and asked – a familiar question.
“I asked, what do you think – will you go back to the Duke’s house or not?”
It was the same question he asked when she first met him, which might be a sign that he also wants the same answer.
‘It’s not… impossible.’
Regardless, she decided to think about his question that way for now. Otherwise, she was afraid she’d just foolishly stand there without saying anything.
Melody recalled the answers she had given that day one by one.
“I want to go.”
Without missing a breath between the words – everything.
“If the Duke allows it.”
As soon as she finished her answer, the Duke faintly laughed. It was a smile she had never seen before – a somewhat gentle smile as he stroked her hair and said ‘very good’.
“It has been decided. Let’s go back.”
He gave the answer just as last time and held Melody’s small hand tightly. The brusque Duke’s hand was big and warm, and all her anxieties melted away. Melody followed him a few steps further and asked one more time for no reason at all – while being slightly afraid.
“Duke, is it really okay?”
“I heard you are smart.”
Oh my God. The Duke is being cheap. I can’t believe you’re answering the same way as our old conversation. Melody slightly pouted her lips and walked forward a little more so they were walking side by side.
“Of course I am smart!”
In response, he nodded his head, with a face that seemed to say, ‘I know’.
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