Why Are You So Obsessed With Rejecting Affection? - Chapter 4
The boy was staring at my worn-out dress. I sewed it up with torn patches of clothes several times that some of the patches were dangling.
It’s obvious that as someone who is part of the grand duke’s family, this kid must have only seen healthy people rather than skinny ones.
‘I don’t mind. It’s a good sign that he’s showing an interest.’
It’s a golden opportunity that he’s curious about me.
In any case, my tiny figure was a far cry from the grand duke’s.
However, a squalid but coy girl, who grew up in a miserable environment, would have a charming effect.
It would be advantageous if I looked as cute as I can be.
“What is pwetty Bwother’s name?”
(What is pretty Brother’s name?)
I’ll decide how to act towards him once I know his identity.
I crossed my fingers and stared up at the boy with sparkling eyes.
Wyndy? Who was Wyndy again……? Then an idea popped up.
It’s him, without a doubt.
The future second male lead, Wyndert Willaim de Vailot! He would become the grand duke in the future.
If I calculate his age based on the original work, he must be eleven years old right now. He’s incredibly tall for an eleven-year-old.
‘I see, he is still a child in this story.’
In the novel, Wyndert falls into despair when he fails to make Azuela, the heroine, fall for him.
Then plenty of bad rumors surrounding him turned his character into a villain.
And now, long before the beginning of the original story…… is his father’s time as a grand duke.
‘I…… called him pretty.’
I can’t believe I said I like him just because he’s very pretty……!
After letting my excitement get the best of me, I came to my senses when I saw Wyndert and the grand duke’s cold stares.
“Bwother, youw name is Indy?”
(Brother, your name is Windy?)
T/N: It’s a wordplay. Wyndy’s name is spelled as the english/romanized ‘windy’ (윈디), and Shuelina asked if his name is ‘baram’ (바람), which is the Korean word for ‘wind/windy’.
“Brother ‘Yndy’ is blocking the wind.”
(Brother ‘Wyndy’ is blocking the wind.)
I grinned, recalling a wind spirit, which existed in ancient times, before folding my trembling arms.
It was as cold as the director, who neglected and abused the orphans despite their cries.
It was still autumn, but the thin material of my clothes caused me to shiver even with the slightest wind.
The grand duke, who saw my trembling arms, closed the orphanage doors with a thump.
I felt better when the wind was gone.
I almost jumped up and said to the grand duke, ‘Thank you for breathing!’
“What a wonder.”
The grand duke looked at me and murmured.
Then he stared at me with expressionless eyes.
It’s a persistently cold look as if he’s in a staring contest.
He raised an eyebrow.
“You, aren’t you scared? Anyone else would cry or faint at this point.”
Wyndert asked in amazement.
Only then did I realize why the grand duke wondered about me.
I’m just a child, but I overcame the cursed grand duke’s gaze.
Everyone feels afraid when meeting the grand duke’s eyes because of their bloodline’s curse, but I don’t.
‘It’s because of the spirit.’
The spirits take after nature and protect the royal family.
So wouldn’t I be protected from the fear that stems from the grand duke’s curse?
‘Everyone but the imperial family, excluding the empress, would still be affected.’
Because of that, the grand duke became the center of rumors.
There are three rumored curses floating around the grand duke.
Anyone who meets his eyes will instinctively feel frightened.
For unknown reasons, all of those who became the Grand Duke of Vailot had short lives.
Everyone uses mana but he uses a foreign energy called ‘Gi’ instead.
‘That’s why he is called the demon grand duke.’
He has the blood of a monster. He is cursed. There were all sorts of ugly rumors circulating.
Some rumors said that the previous grand duke might have been killed by the current grand duke.
There were also rumors that he accumulated his endless wealth by committing villainous acts.
At first, it simply started out as a way of rejecting the Vailot’s foreign qualities, but it ended up settling down like a string of truths.
Thanks to this, the grand duke’s family had both wealth and abilities, but it was a family without honor.
So, to renew that image, they took an orphan, sponsored her, and spread it to newspapers to promote their image.
“Is Bwother scwared?”
(Is Brother scared?)
When I stared and asked Wyndert, he closed his mouth.
As if he had never seen anyone like me in his entire life, Wyndert stared at me with confusion and shook his head.
‘A demon? A monster? Nothing is scarier than poverty and hunger.’
Abuse and misery in the orphanage.
The empress’s errand boy who visits regularly and drains my spirit.
I’m more afraid of people than demons or monsters.
“You don’t feel scared when you’re still very young? No, wait……”
“How old are you?”
On my right side, Wyndert was in a turmoil, while the grand duke looked down at me and asked how old I am.
“Swix yeas owd. I’m awmost seven now.”
(Six years old. I’m almost seven now.)
“Six years old?”
Wyndert asked in surprise as he looked at me from head to toe.
The grand duke’s eyes also narrowed as he looked at me carefully.
“You look like you’re barely three or four years old.”
Since I’m scrawny from hunger, it’s only natural that I look younger than my real age.
I looked up at the two of them.
I opened my eyes wider.
‘Please pity me!’
This child looks so pitiful, so please take this child. It would be perfect for a newspaper if you give me a meal and have me washed up!
As I was thinking, the faces of the grand duke and Wyndert crumpled.
“The director should be keeping……”
“……a ledger for donations……”
The two whispered quietly. They seemed to have noticed the director’s bad management, so a small part of my heart was satisfied.
“This is an owphanage. Awe you hewe to donate money?”
(This is an orphanage. Are you here to donate money?)
“Well, I’m not sure about that.”
Wyndert murmured with an expressionless face.
I jumped up and down.
“Thwank you! Uncle is gwiving us potatoes, and Bwother is gwiving us cabbwages.”
(Thank you! Uncle is giving us potatoes, while Brother is giving cabbages.)
“The diwecto said we could have a haty mwea if we have good donors!”
(The director said we could have a hearty meal if we have good donors!)
Wyndert’s face hardened as he grabbed his sleeves.
He looked upset, but I am absolutely sure that he’s not.
Because that is how Wyndert and Azuela first met.
Wyndert falls for Azuela, the first person to let him know what warmth is.
This situation is a bit embarrassing, but it’s not bad.
‘It’s not that I hate people. It’s just that I’m hurt.’
As soon as I looked at them with glistening eyes, the grand duke fell into a fit of laughter. He reached out and held my wrist.
“You haven’t had donations for the meantime, have you?”
“You look like you’ve never eaten in your whole life.”
I blinked and my mouth fell open.
So right now…… Are you kidding me? You think I’m skinny because I’m starved?
I widened my eyes and shook my head, not knowing how to react.
“That’s not it!”
“Then you’re picky.”
“No. Cabbwage soup and potatoes awe delicious. I can’t eat thwem because I don’t hab thwem.”
(No. Cabbage soup and potatoes are delicious. I can’t eat them because I don’t have them.)
“You can’t eat cabbage soup and potatoes? That’s not the only thing you eat, right?”
“That’s awll! That’s what the diwecto gwives us.”
(That’s all! That’s what the director gives us.)
Wyndert’s face crumpled as I spoke innocently.
The grand duke also raised his eyebrows with an unpleasant look. He’s clearly thinking that the director is a mad child abuser.
“What’s youw nwame? I won’t get in twouble if I twell the diwecto in advance.”
(What’s your name? I won’t get in trouble if I tell the director in advance.)
“She will know who we are if you say Vailot.”
“Okay, Shueli will twell the diwecto. It’s a piece of cwake!”
Since the grand duke was holding my wrist, I slipped my hand and gently held his finger.
I’ve done enough. I’m lucky enough that the grand duke is letting me go as far as holding his finger.
I knocked on the director’s office and a voice replied sharply.
“Who is it?!”
I jolted at her sharp voice.
It was my body that reacted on its own. It was because of the traces of long abuse left in this body.
I purposely attached myself to the grand duke to make myself look more pitiful, and informed the director of the guests’ arrival.
“Oh, my dear Shu. Thank you for guiding them here.”
The director opened the door and made a ten-degree curtsy.
Her curtsy was so stiff and fussy that it looked distorted.
“It’s Uncle Vaiwot.”
“Wh-What?! It’s the Grand Duke of Vailot! Shuelina, you can’t call the grand duke an uncle!”
The director gave me a light reproach with a look of expectation.
“I’m looking for a child to sponsor for a month.”
The grand duke ignored the director’s fuss. He went to the sofa and sat cross-legged before telling her to sit down.
Then he put me on his lap.
Wh-What?! I can’t believe I’m suddenly sitting on the grand duke’s lap!
Struggling, I whispered, ‘Let me down!’, but Wyndert, who sat beside the grand duke, shook his head.
The director, on the other hand, has her mouth trembling as if she just had an ominous foreboding.
“I’ll take this child.”
“Pardon……? You will take Shuelina?”
The director, who searched for the list of orphans when she heard that he was looking for a child, jumped out of her seat. Her face paled.
‘The director realized that a high-ranking person knows she’s abusing me. That’s why she’s scared.’
My heart is pounding too.
Is this for real? Am I really going to be free?
“N-No you can’t! She’s a liar and a thief! She will only be a nuisance to you, Grand Duke!”
The director, who looked like she’s about to faint, shouted.
But the grand duke and Wyndert only snorted and ignored her words.
“The baby is as small as a cup, why should we trust a person who starves someone like this?”
Wyndert said coldly.
The director flopped back down to her seat, unable to say anything with her trembling lips.
She seemed to be unable to make any more complaints in fear of Wyndert, who was trying to hold himself back.
“Will you come with me?”
The eyes of the grand duke, who asked me a question, glistened like amethyst.
I can see my reflection in his eyes…… Though it was a small and insignificant question, I smiled and nodded happily.
The grand duke carried me in his arms.
I’m just a commoner orphan. I thought it would be unpleasant for him to hold me in his arms.
But his expression remained calm the whole time.
I felt warmth on my hand so I looked at it. Then I saw Wyndert holding my hand.
My hand was rough from all the cleaning I did, but it didn’t bother him at all.
Somehow, I felt my heart ache, as if it had been pricked.
‘How can such kind people be villains?’
How can this be the actions of villains?
I bit my lip to stop myself from tearing up.
‘If such people are villains, then I prefer villains.’
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