A laugh was heard.

Haven was listening to Pedwin’s report when a laugh of a child was heard.
He cast his gaze to the direction of the laughter and it seemed that while on a break, Flitta and Rosé were playing house under a bush.

“Princess has really brightened up a lot compared to before.”

Then, Pedwin followed Haven’s gaze, turned his head, and opened his mouth in a heartwarming tone.
Haven stared at Flitta and Rosé, then glanced back at his escort driver, but he didn’t really respond.

They always say silence is affirmation.

Pedwin continued, not paying attention to his master’s silence.

“It was just that exclusive maid is the only one in charge of serving the Princess.
That change is really amazing, isn’t it, Your Highness? Not to mention that the maid has a great relationship with the princess.
Starting from the fact that she saved the Princess’s life…”

Pedwin was rather chatty, and muttering as if he had just remembered it.
He then spewed,

“Besides, the maid and the Princess look alike.”

“… You’re saying they look similar?”

Haven asked a beat late.
Pedwin replied with a nod of his head.

“Yes, their eye color is the same.
No, even if you exclude that, what can I say….
Probably because of the mood they both exude? It feels similar to that; like a mother-daughter pair.
It feels strange.”

Haven listened indifferently to Pedwin’s words and looked again at Flitta and her maid.
The funny thing was that Flitta was having so much fun- clapping, laughing, and even squatting.

… As Pedwin said, there was no doubt that Flitta had brightened a lot.

Uncharacteristically for her, she was always timid, and always hid her bright smile.
She looked like a usual child of her age.

Then his blue eyes turned to the smiling woman who was squatting in a similar shape across from Flitta.
She seemed to have made something out of a flower, and he saw her putting what she was holding in her hand over his child’s head.

It was then.
A blurry figure of someone appeared in front of his eyes.

「 “… Oh, what is this?” 」

「 “A present for you.” 」

「 “Isn’t this a flower crown? You know how to make things like this? Oh, my God, it’s so pretty!” 」

The voice of someone who was happily lingered in his ears and soon dispersed with the wind.

It was a blurry afterimage related to someone.
Perhaps it was the woman who gave birth to Flitta, who had disappeared from his memory.
No, it was definitely an afterimage of the woman.

‘You can’t miss it.
Think of her a little more!’


Haven instinctively tried to grab hold of the afterimages of his memories.
He knew that sooner that memory would vanish but somehow he wanted to find out more about that woman.


However, a severe headache gnawed through his head as if to prevent him from remembering.
In the wind, Haven stumbled as he placed one hand on his forehead.

“Your Highness!”

Pedwin, who was looking at Flitta with a please expression, hurriedly supported Haven who was grunting from pain.
But Haven refused his help and straightened his body.

“Are you okay, Your Highness? Why all of a sudden… Shall I call the doctor?”

Pedwin turned around as if he was going to drag the attending physician by the collar at any moment.
Contrary to Pedwin’s wants, Haven stopped him with a wave of his hand.

“Don’t make a fuss, Pedwin.
I just had a passing headache.”


The moment Pedwin tried to open his mouth again with a worried look on his face, Flitta, who had been playing at a distance, jumped up and came straight to Haven.

“Don’t let the child be scared.
If you looked at me with that face, Flitta will burst into tears.”

Haven sighed as if the headache had subsided a little, and even added a light joke.
Only then did Pedwin smile, as if relieved, and he spoke in a low voice.

“But you should see the doctor, Your Highness.
You seem to have frequent headaches lately.”

“I’ll figure it out.”

Haven briefly responded to his words, then cast a glance at Flitta, who was approaching me.
Flitta ran as if in a hurry, but when her father met her eyes, she hesitated and then stopped.

“Why is that, Flitta?”

Seeing the hesitant child, Haven opened his mouth.
However, Flitta made a small whimper and just put her gaze downward.
Seeing that, Haven’s eyebrows narrowed.

“…  Flitta?”

His expression hardened as he wondered what the hell was going on.
He could see that the child was hiding something, with both hands behind her back.
As Haven was about to take a step towards Flitta, the child rolled her eyes and glanced back.
Then she immediately opened her mouth in admiration.


Haven’s gaze followed the child’s voice and headed behind it.
Rosé approached from behind Flitta and met Haven’s eyes.
He also hesitated and stopped.

In a child-like manner.

Moreover, since both of them made and wore garlands, their hair were disheveled.

If the nanny saw me now, she’d be freaking out.
I’m glad I left her at the mansion.’

While Haven was thinking that to herself, Rosé and Flitta whispered something to each other, and the child approached him again.
He just stared down at the child who hesitated for a long time even after she came close to him.

“… Um, this.”

And after a while, the child presented him with a crown of flowers.
She put her hands behind her back and seemed to have been trying to hide the crown.

‘… But, a flower crown?’

He narrowed his eyes, suddenly got puzzled.
Then Flitta hesitated, took a deep breath, looked up at him and said clearly.

“Dad, this is a gift.”

“… What?”

“I want Dad to wear this on his head, along with us.”

Pedwin, who had been backing away, seemed to be suppressing his laughter which may burst anytime.
At the same time, Haven’s face twisted.
It happened without a moment to hide his expression.

“Wh, what…”

“Hah! Try it out, Your Highness, Grand Duke.
Your Highness is naturally beautiful, so I think you would look good wearing a garland.”

While Haven couldn’t control his absurd mind and couldn’t speak, Pedwin quickly came to his side and opened his mouth in a deliberately serious tone.
But his face was full of mischievous laughter.


Haven just stared at his young daughter, unable to refute his escort’s blasphemous jokes.
The child just stared at him with both hands holding the flower crown as if she would wait until he accepts it.

He was speechless at the sight and turned to look behind her back.
Rosé seemed to be laughing with an expression hard to explain, but when she met his eyes, she immediately lowered her head.

She wasn’t the only one.
Even the knights, soldiers, and attendants who were taking a break from a distance were watching this situation with interest.

In all those gazes, Haven felt bleak.
He felt emotions he had never felt in front of anyone else, in front of his young daughter’s clear eyes.

It was unbelievable.

He couldn’t believe wearing this flower crown.

As a grand duke, he wondered if he was near being a clown.

It was something he just had to refuse.
Had the nanny been present, she would hastily scolded the princess and taught her manners.
Rather than behaving like that maid who instigated the child to make a flower crown together and set up this trick.

But …

“… Hooh.”

He let out a deep sigh involuntarily.
Then Flitta flinched and lowered her hand holding while holding the flower crown.
The image of the child who hesitated for a while overlapped with the sight in front o

As a child, she must have had great courage.
She was a child who had never given him such a gift.
He had never seen her with expectant eyes.

So, it was.

“… Of course, thank you.”

He couldn’t get rid of her small hand while holding it.

He replied awkwardly, extending his hand to receive the garland.
Unexpectedly, however, Flitta shook her head and gave strength to the hand holding the crown.

“I will put it on you.”

Again, his brow crumpled.
However, after sighing again, he pretended to be calm and kept his expression on his face, then bowed toward the child.
Then Flitta looked at Haven’s eyes and soon put a crown on him with a bright face.
Even though he bent his back, she was on tiptoe because she was short.

The flower crown was placed on top of his head.
The size doesn’t fit, no, he might have to say it’s fortunate that it doesn’t fit.
Anyway, Haven spoke to Flitta in a calm tone, trying hard not to notice the crown of flowers on his head.

“I have some time before we start again, so let’s go for a walk together.”

“Oh… yes!”

Flitta stared blankly at her father’s flower crown, then she nodded her head in response to his question.
She then reached out her hand toward him.


Haven’s eyes turned to the small hand that was reaching out to him.
His blue eyes trembled with inexplicable emotion.
However, he soon took the child’s small hand and went for a walk.

Rosé stood behind them, staring from a distance, and smiled happily without even realizing it.

Their relationship isn’t perfect.
Sometimes, they’ll see each other with awkwardness but little by little, a change was taking place.

They’re reaching out to each other, little by little, and that’s why it’s so…

“Rosé, aren’t you coming with us?”

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