(I, I got to hug hiiimmmmm!!!)
Rosa circled her arms tightly around her younger brother's thin waist.
(Ngghyaaa! So thin! It fits comfortably in my arms! I can't stand this!!! He even has the ideal waist, how amazing!)
Rosa inwardly squealed and rolled in agony. But she immediately returned to reality and straightened herself up.
"Please calm down, Father."
Rosa knew that she was the one who should calm herself.
However, Rosa ignored that fact and turned to Count Langheim with a frosty gaze.
"I can't believe you're going as far as treating a child who's a lot younger than you like that. Moreover, he has our blood running in his veins. Could you please learn to have some shame?"
"This bright blond hair and light blue eyes. You couldn't just ignore his features that only appear within nobles with high status. The Count family should take responsibility for raising him."
Rosa flatly cut Count Langheim's words, making him reply with a frustrated sneer. "Hah. You say it so casually, but do you know how much money and labor it'll take to support a child? If I raise him since he's a baby, I can expect him to be my successor, but he has been living in the downtown area for thirteen years. Who in their right mind will pick that kind of rat?"
Still protecting Bernard on her back, Rosa could hear the boy holding his breath.
When she turned around, Bernard was looking at her with surprised innocent eyes. Rosa smiled, full of tenderness.
(I don't have any ulterior motives, I promise. I'm not a dangerous person. Not at all. It's okay, everything will be alright.)
It's believed that humans would repeat the same word twice when they lied.
Rosa, who was eager to watch her favorite character's growth up close, tried to hide her ulterior motives as much as she could. But she couldn't resist to stroke Bernard's blonde hair.
It's like a cat's fur. Cute.
"Your name is Bernard, right? I am Rosa, your elder sister. I sincerely send you my condolences about your mother. I will take responsibility for her funeral fee."
"I heard she died of illness. I'm sure you haven't paid for the medicine, have you? If that's the case, then I will pay that as well."
Rosa spoke calmly to make her appear like a proper human as much as possible. Bernard looked up at her without saying anything.
There, Rosa was convinced.
This child had terrific eyes, conveying his strong sense of purpose—what a genius.
"You are still thirteen years old. You wouldn't be able to live without the protection of adults. You may not want to live with us now, but please bear with it. Let's live together here. Learn enough knowledge and skill. When you are old enough to live on your own, you can choose which path you'll take in your life."
"T-that's…" Bernard muttered, his innocent eyes wavering. "You don't have to go that far…"
"From the beginning, this is something you should have received. It's late, but I'm handing it back to you."
After having his timid refusal silenced, Bernard's big eyes were wet with tears.
"Call me 'Sister.'"
Rosa was going to scream out the moment she heard that, but she endured it with all of her strength.
Rosa tried to straighten her expression using a lot of effort, but it turned scary instead. Taking advantage of that, Rosa glared at her father.
She couldn't afford to lose this match if she wanted to fulfill her wish of rotting the whole world.
The rotten force was welling up within her whole body, filling her eyes with determination.
"As I said, I will take all responsibility in raising Bernard. Don't worry about the money and labor, Father. I don't have any intention to rely on you."
"Hah! You talk big—"
"I am serious," Rosa imposingly said, cutting his words again.
Upon hearing her firm declaration, Count Langheim shut his mouth.
His daughter in front of her was a fourteen-year-old girl, who was wet with liquor. But the aura she exuded was overwhelmingly powerful, reminiscent of a king.
(Especially her eyes…)
Noticing that he unconsciously broke into a cold sweat, Count Langheim clicked his tongue.
Rosa's purple eyes. They usually had a faint color, but the color deepened thanks to some kind of force when she was filled with emotion. Anyone who looked into those eyes would feel restless.
It made him feel as if she saw his ugliness and incompetence.
Count Langheim heard that in the family line of his wife who died from illness, people with the 'eyes of truth' would occasionally appear.
Perhaps his daughter was blessed with that phenomenon.
(No, don't be fooled. She's just a cheeky girl. There's no way that kind of amazing ability dwells in her. She's looking down on me… Just like her mother, she's corrupted to the core. How sickening.)
His feelings toward his daughter was a problem, but the facts he pointed out weren't wrong.
For better or worse, no one in this room other than Rosa knew that.
In fact, all the servants watched Rosa with tears as she hugged her brother, who had a different mother from her. Rosa didn't even seem to care about getting her dress dirty, taking the splash of liquor for the boy. And now, she declared that she would raise her brother on behalf of her father.
At the same time, Count Langheim faintly realized that his servants' hostility towards him grew even more.
"Hmph… Do as you wish! You rotten woman!"
In the end, Count Langheim spat those words at Rosa and left the room with rough footsteps.
"What the hell… Ah, I mean… I'm sorry—"
"It's fine, Bernard. It's not your fault. And what Father said is right."
Bernard's face turned pale at the series of development, but Rosa only smiled gently.
Her father was a useless man, but only his observing eyes to detect rotten roots were sharp.
"I have to work harder." At least until her father couldn't see through her pretense.
When Rosa muttered so, the servants covered their face and groaned for some reason. "Uhh…"
They would always reflexively get stimulated when Rosa said, "work hard" or "make an effort."
Maybe because Rosa had nurtured their 'seme' attribute too much, their body overproduced male hormones.
Rosa hurriedly clapped her hands to change the atmosphere.
"Come on! For now, you have to take a bath first. Please rest for today. We'll work hard together tomorrow."
Bell-tan, taking a bath.
Full of wicked thoughts, Rose unconsciously voiced it out. Fortunately, the people around them didn't seem to notice anything amiss.
Patting her chest in relief, Rosa pondered about the future and left the drawing room.
"Hey, did you hear that? What Miss Rosa just said…"
"Yeah… Her father abused her that unreasonably, yet she's still going to work hard to receive her father's recognition… I, I can't take this anymore…"
"You idiot! See how Miss Rosa is that strong-willed. We can't cry here!"
So of course, she couldn't hear the voices of servants sobbing while sticking their forehead to the room's wall.
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