The maid’s name was about to be called again by him and the butler slightly raised an eyebrow by that fact.
But the head maid, on the other hand, calmly nodded her head in response.

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“… Must be.”

He then belatedly put his teacup down, as if displeased.

Tok, tok.

Haven, who had tapped the desk with his fingertips a couple of times, shook his head and he changed the subject.

“By the way, are the preparations for the inspection going well?”

“Ah! Yes, Your Highness.
It is progressing without a hitch.
Troops for escort too…”

The butler reported as if he had been waiting.
The head maid stood beside him, waiting for the butler’s report to be finished, and as soon as he finished speaking, she opened her mouth.

“Your Highness, may I tell you something?”

“Of course.”

Haven turned to the head maid, nodding his head.
She hesitated for a while despite that he had given his consent.
When he was puzzled at her unusual characteristic, she cautiously brought what she wanted to say.

“How about taking the Princess along with you on this visit?”

“… Flitta?”

Haven narrowed his brows at the unexpected words.
The butler also looked at the head maid with eyes wide open.
The head maid continued her words despite the gaze of the two of them.

“Yes, Your Highness.
You’ve never been on trip with the Princess, have you? I am saying this because it seems like she is too confined within the Grand Duke’s residence where she needs to see, hear, feel, and experience in various ways.”

“… I never instructed the child to be locked up.”

Haven narrowed his eyes as he listened to the maid’s words.
He must have been offended by her remarks about being ‘locked up’.
The head maid smiled and nodded her head.

“Of course.
Moreover, who would dare to imprison the princess?”

That was right.
The butler in the sidelines agreed on her with a nod of his head.
The head maid glimpsed at her and added,


“… But?”

Haven’s gaze turned to the head maid.

“The princess is young.
She is not allowed to go outside without the permission of an adult guardian.
No, it is not possible to go out without permission and accompanied by an adult.”

“Isn’t that normal? Flitta is not an ordinary child.”

She is the Grand Duke’s daughter.
She had a father closest to the throne, so she would have to be protected as much.
All sorts of people will approach his child if not protected well.
Whether for the purpose of seeing his virtue, or for the purpose of keeping him in check.

“So, it’s something she have to endure.
She is not an exception just because she is young.”

Haven, who had said that, swallowed a bitter smile.
It was because he suddenly remembered what his parents told him, who was rebelling against his desire to live freely.

「 “Since you were born as a child of the king, you have the blood of Guinters flowing in your body.
You have responsibilities and obligations to protect.
How can you not know that you cannot either abandon or escape from it?” 」

This is what his mother said, scolding her immature son who had sneaked out of the palace to look outside and has just returned.
He had enough of her words that he went out.

But even if he compares himself to his parents, weren’t they the same now? However, unlike him, his daughter is calmer, and gentler.

The head maid also nodded her head as if acknowledging Flitta.

“Even though I know that she is indeed a young child, she has never complained as a Princess.
But she, Your Highness, haven’t you lately that Princess has become a little more like a child?”


Haven’s mouth was tightly shut.
That’s why he couldn’t deny the maid’s words.

After the head maid smiled softly, she continued.

“Since Rosé became the exclusive maid of the Princess, she became more like a child to her.
She has also become more curious and shows interest in stories from the outside world.
When her nanny saw that kind of attitude in her, she said that she was colored by her lowly maid, and she held on to me and complained… Well, personally, I don’t think that was unnecessarily bad.”


“Isn’t Your Highness experiencing the change yourself? If you hadn’t liked the visible changes, you wouldn’t have rushed your schedules or delayed some just to have dinner with the princess.”

Haven frowned and was silent for a moment, unable to think of anything to refute to the head maid’s words.
As if driving a wedge into him, the head maid added again.

“I was informed that a festival is being held in Middlepion where you are going to visit under the purpose of inspection coincidentally.
It is a large festival so people living in nearby cities will come to watch.”


“There are also street performances that children likes from time to time.”

At the words of the maid, Haven sighed.
A smile spread across the lips of the head maid as she watched her troubled master with her eyebrows narrowed.
The butler also looked at her master and smiled quietly.

It was because he looked like a troubled young father with a young daughter, and not a grand duke this time.

A young father who is clumsy and awkward with everything.


After a while, Haven stroked his chin awkwardly and looked at the head maid.

“You seem to know quite a bit about the festival.
As if you had decided for me.”

“I do not dare, Your Highness.”

The head maid flinched momentarily, but she replied with a calm expression.
Seeing that, Haven smiled and nodded.

“So, what… Let’s do what the head maid says.
Let’s go with Flitta.
It won’t be a problem to take another child with us, won’t it?”

“I understand, Your Highness.”

“And as for the person to take care of Flitta, only the child’s maid will be taken.”

“… Will it be the nanny to take care of her?”

As the head maid listened to Haven’s instructions, she asked with a puzzled expression.
Haven nodded.

“I don’t think she needs to go with her nanny.
The nanny was away yesterday too, and Flitta didn’t seem to be particularly bothered.”

She even thought that she seemed to like the child more when she was with Rosé than when she was with the nanny.
When the head maid heard him, she respectfully bowed her head.

“I will, Your Highness.”

“After the guests have gone, make arrangements for departure the very next day.”

Haven’s expression as he gave instructions to the butler and the head maid somehow changed a little.
Even though it was an inspection that he left regularly.

* * *

“It would have been nice if the Grand Duke would have been with us.”

The Duchess opened her mouth, putting down the teacup.
Then she sighed as if Isabella had been waiting for her, and she replied helplessly with a sad expression.

“I know.
Otherwise, I would have told the maid to deliver the message before teatime…….”

“He declined again.”

Seeing Isabella slurring her words, the Duchess clicked her tongue and shook her head.

“No matter how great a duke he is, how could he be so rude to Your Majesty? I was so angry and embarrassed, so I didn’t know what to do.
Except for last night’s dinner, I didn’t even see his face.
No, that rudeness even at dinner…”

“Don’t do that, Duchess.
It must be because I am far from lacking in the eyes of the Grand Duke.”

Isabella sighed again and raised the corners of her mouth as if forced into a smile.
Seeing that, the Duchess shook her head and retorted.

“What is Your Majesty lacking? You are a very beautiful and confident woman.
The Grand Duke, no, Haven this time is just being stubborn; his heart is.
Loyalty between the brothers has vanished.
Moreover, his older brother who is already dead…”

“Duchess, hold on.”

Isabella listened to the Duchess’ words, then pressed one hand to the top of her chest, then took out a handkerchief and pressed it to her eyes.
She then rolled up her handkerchief again and smiled sadly.

“I hope you don’t talk about His Majesty the King.
It’s because I haven’t completely shaken off my sadness yet.”

“Ah, I made a mistake.”

The Duchess hastily apologized for Isabella’s words.
As she responded appropriately, Isabella’s mouth quivered as she wiped her eyes with her handkerchief a couple more times.


She didn’t want to talk about her own husband, whom she had killed with her own hands.
There was no way the dead could do anything to the living, but she didn’t want to talk about him or anything about him.

Isabella smiled again and tried to correct her expression, pretending nothing was wrong, but she glanced at Rosé as the Duchess served her tea and showed her interest.

“Oh, you’re the princess’s exclusive maid?”

“Yes? Ah, yes, I am.”

Rosé stood quietly while serving their tea, and was taken aback by a sudden question, but answered in a low voice.
The Duchess looked at Rosé with her curious gaze, and then she opened her mouth again.

“I was told you saved the princess.”

“… Yes.”

“You did a great job.
Even though she is only half-blood-royal, she is still of a Guinters blood, and she could have been dead by that incident.”

By the words of the Duchess, it was evident that she holds contempt for that child.
At that moment, Rosé slightly pressed her lips more.
And Isabella didn’t miss that look.
The corners of her mouth twitched and hurriedly interjected.

If I was in that situation, I would have hard time doing the same.
You did a really great job.
Your name… was it Rosé?”

“… Yes.”

Rosé opened her eyes wide in embarrassment at the queen’s question, then answered with a lowered expression.
She wondered how the late queen would know her name, and her heart raced like crazy.
Her mind was complicated by the thought that she might have recognized me.

At that moment, the Duchess spoke to Isabella in surprise.

“Do you even remember the name of the maid? Besides, she’s not even a maid in the palace.”

“She’s the benefactor who saved Flitta’s life and her exclusive maid.
You need to know the basics.”

“Oh my… I mean, Haven should understand the feelings of Your Majesty.”

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