“Sold as a slave … poor thing. He must be sad. Isyac, I think if LeBwaine is sold as a slave, I will be sad too ….” (Sold as a slave… poor thing. He must be sad. Isaac, I think if LeBlaine is sold as a swave, I will be sad too….)

“That’s… he’s weak, kid. That’s why the slave trader captures him. That’s what my ancestor used to say, ‘The strong will always suppressed the weak.’”

“Then, am I bad too?”

At my words, Isaac’s expression faltered.

“What are you saying!”

“I’m weak, too. I’m small and I’m not as strong as Henly and Isyac.” (I’m weak, too. I’m small and I’m not as strong as Henry and Isaac.)

The child’s expression immediately turned dejected at my words. Seeing his sad look, I tugged his sleeve forcefully.

“Are you still gwoing to buy Bwaine a slave?” (Are you still going to buy Blaine a slave?)

“I won’t buy it. I never bought a slave before. I just wanted to give you the best toys, and I heard that the nobles collect slaves as their toys these days. I wanted to buy you the best toys, that’s why I brought you here….”

“It’s okay then if that’s the case. I changed my mind, you’ we still the coowest!” (It’s okay then if that’s the case. I changed my mind, you’re still the coolest!)

Isaac’s disappointed face brightened with delight as he heard my statement. I sighed inwardly at his simple-mindedness.

‘It’s tough to discipline a kid.’

***

When the Duke returned to the castle, his temperament seemed to worsen. Because of his volatile temper, the employees and administrators were walking on a thin ice.

Lea and my maids were equally absent-minded. They were dozing off as they looked after me. But it was a good thing for me.

‘I’ll take this opportunity to look at the new administrators.’

I thought as I recalled the way to the room where there were new administrators were stationed. I had been eyeing their office under the pretext of doing my homework and looking for Nos.

“Lea, I want to gow to the administwatow’s woom.” (Lea, I want to go to the administrator’s room.)

“Administrator’s room…. Yuni, go with the baby.”
She ordered one of the stationed maids to accompany me.

I shook my head at Lea’s words.

“No, it’s ok! I can go by myswelf.” (No, it’s ok! I can go by myself.)

“Little miss, you must be careful when you meet a new person in the castle. Because the Duke accepts people regardless of their background and status, that’s why we need to be cautious. It’d be better for you if Yuni’s by your side.”

Lea patiently explained to me. I couldn’t refute her logic and decision, as I know there was indeed a criminal hiding within the estate and I was going to find out who he was…

“Okay….”

“That’s very nice of you.”

Lea kissed me gently on the crown of my head.

And that’s how Yuni and I ended up walking together towards the administrator’s room. When I was about to enter the room, a frustrated voice shouted from the room, startling Yuni and me.

“So? It’s too expensive! Radish seedlings are usually traded for only 40 francs!”

The new administrator, Seria, was in a scuffle with a supplier. Soon another administrator, Charlie, stepped in.

“It’s more than double the price on the market. At this amount, we could assume that someone pocketed the money.”

The accused person immediately denied the accusation.

“Wha-What are you talking about!” he shouted in indignance.

Charlie snorted.

“Seria, you don’t know because this is your first time, but the aristocracy deliberately brings things in at a low price. It was all done to show off their wealth.”

“However, this is too much…!”

“This is what commoners do.”

“What are you talking about? The rule of preliminary administration officers is not to share their identity- Little miss!”

As she was about to reprimand him, her eyes accidentally found me hiding behind the administrator office’s door, she immediately turned to face me.

“Oh my, it’s the lovely little miss… Greeting, little miss, my name is Seria.”

The man, who was spectating the fight between Charlie and Seria, bowed towards me straightaway.

“My-my name is Jacob.”

He was the one who called me “A kid.” on his first day. As a consequence, he was taken by Nos and was admonished because of the mistake. Weirdly enough, he didn’t seem to resent me. His eyes instead were glued to my hand which was holding onto Yuni’s skirt.

He suddenly whispered under his breath, “About nine centimeters… It’s small….”

Contrasting to both his co-workers, Charlie just stood there as if I didn’t exist. Seria stared at his weird behavior before elbowing him in the ribs.

“What are you doing?” he whispered harshly, annoyed at his co-worker’s nudging.

“Say hello to the little miss,” replied Seria in a low voice.

“Well, my name is Charlie Mayroll.”

He said nonchalantly as if my existence was just a simple kid and with the same standing as him. Seria and Jacob looked at him with a baffled look.

While my maid, Yuni’s face, was distorted into distaste.

“What a rude person!”

“Huh?”

Charlie looked up and down at Yuni as if she was crazy.

“An administrator dares to disrespect the little miss!” Yuni reprimanded him.

“What’s the problem, huh?”

“What’s your name? I’ll refer you to the punishment meeting.”

Punishment meeting was a trial for those who disrespect the order of aristocracy. The offender would be brought in front of the heads of each district’s stations to be judged. If more than half of the heads acknowledge his crime, the criminal would be punished. The sort of punishment he would face was diverse, from being fined or jailed to being hanged.

When Charlie heard the maid’s words, he was displeased. Feeling she was overreacting, he scratched his head in irritation. Fortunately, Seria managed to grab Charlie’s wrist before he escalated the problem any further.

“Stop it, Charlie. You were indeed disrespecting little miss.”

Charlie shook Seria’s hand and snapped off the sleeves that she held. He felt betrayed. How could she take the side of the little miss, who she didn’t even know, over him, her co-worker.

He clicked his tongue in annoyance, before walking towards the door. As soon as he passed me, I heard him muttering.

“It’s a good enough greeting for an orphan like you.”

Indeed, only a few believed that I was the real Child of Destiny.

In the temple, they had given me a plaque as a way to propagate the spirituality of God that they believed in.

But outside the temple, people’s treatment towards me varied. Many of the people didn’t believe I was the Child of Destiny, even the Empress didn’t wholly believe me either. That’s why when she looked for someone to adopt me, she excluded her own father, Duke of Marche, from the list.

Her action was one of the things that fueled people’s doubt. Faced with familiar feeling of condemnation, Charlie’s words weren’t foreign nor upsetting.

‘However…’

I grabbed his sleeve.

“Wha-what is it?” Charlie stopped in his tracks at my forceful tug.

“Gweet me propewy and go,” (Greet me properly and go.)

Hearing my order, Charlie burst out laughing.

“I did, kid. What I just did was a greeting.”

He stared down at me with a disparaging look in his eyes.

I then said with a smile, “I sayd hellow when I met you, I alwso gweeted you when I went. Awe you a fool with no mannew, siw?” (I said hello when I met you, I also greeted you when I went. Are you a fool with no manner, sir?)

“Huh…”

He was staring at me as if I was the fool and sneered.

“Yes, yes. Goodbye, have a good day,” with sarcasm laced in his words, he walked away from me.

Yet before he could take another step, I kicked his knee with all the strength I could muster.

“Aghh!”

His painful scream resounded through the administrator’s hall. I stared coldly as he rubbed the bruised knee, trying to ease the pain.

“Do it cowectly. When you say gwodbye, bent youw knees and bowed youw head to the floor. Now, do it again,” (Do it correctly. When you say goodbye, bend your knees and bow your head to the floor. Now, do it again.)

Charlie clenched his jaw in anger. All the administrators present were now looking at the commotion. Yuni who was standing beside me, was astounded at my sudden outburst.

‘It’d be hard for me if I let people disrespected as they want.’

I didn’t know better in my previous life and let myself be disrespected by everyone who didn’t believe I was the child of destiny. In the end, no one had respected me. Everyone treated me as if I was only a child with an honorary noble title on me—a fake.

Charlie was embarrassed and angry. Especially when he saw all the administrators were looking at the disturbance, at him being reprimanded by a little kid. Trying to salvage his pride, he shifted the attention to me.

“What the hell!”

I pretended not to hear his little whining and instead shook Yuni’s skirt.

“Yuni, Yuni.”

“Yes, little miss.”

“Lea said, everyone except the dyuke and my bwothews must say hellow to me, wight?” (Lea said, everyone except Duke and my brothers must say hello to me, right?)

“That’s true, little miss.”

“Then…how about the othews who down’t gweet me? Like this mistew.” (Then…how about the others who don’t greet me. Like this mister.)

Yuni looked down at Charlie and smiled gently at me.

“They will be punished by death with his throat cut.”

Then she asked, “Should I report this to Nos, little miss?” when Charlie heard the maid’s words his face couldn’t help but paled.

His arrogant demeanor from before was gone, he banged his forehead on the floor and begged for my mercy.

“I’ve been rude to you, little miss. Please forgive me!” his voice was filled with desperation.

I smiled broadly at his figure and stepped close to him.

“Don’t forget next time.” I whispered in his ear.

‘That I’m Dubbled’s little miss.’

Fearing I would change my mind, he gulped and nodded eagerly.

***

Seria and Jacob looked at me with rigid expressions. The previous incident was still fresh in their memories. Remembering what I did to Charlie, they couldn’t help but stiffen every time I passed their line of sight.

In the meantime, I sat with my chin in my hand and focused on my thoughts.

‘Today’s a terrible day.’

I didn’t manage to find out who the criminal was and I had to encounter an arrogant prick. I had hoped he was the wanted criminal, but that criminal single-handedly attacked the nobleman’s mansion and killed people without getting caught.

‘The criminal must be brilliant.’

Unfortunately, Charlie was a bit lacking in that department. The smartest one I know was Seria….

I didn’t think she was the one who committed a crime. Even my first impression of her was a very sincere and rational person

‘Is it Jacob?’

I glanced at Jacob. He was looking at my feet with a weird look. His eyes followed the direction of my feet swaying in the air, he murmured, “14 centimeters….”

‘He seems just like a fool who loves kids.’

An unexpected idea flashed through my mind, I hit the armchair with my fist in revelation at the sudden thought.

‘Why didn’t I think of that sooner! My money, no, the wanted criminal, is him.’