Chapter 37 : It’s Irreplaceable (Alejandro’s POV)

I’ll go see Natalia tomorrow or the day after.

Alejandro’s leisurely thoughts were blown away by an unexpected early morning visitor.

“Nora.”

“I’m sorry… the young lady has noticed…”

The person bowing deeply was the maid of the Viscount Olsen family, whom he had bribed.

He had ordered her to try to steal the letter from Leopold, but was instead tricked into a trap.

That Natalia…?

He was more conscious of Natalia’s improbable change than his own pawn’s blunder.

Alejandro’s cute little toy who accepted what was given to her as it was, like a doll, never doubting, giving up on everything, and allowing herself to be swept away.

“…did you talk to her?”

“Hii… N-no.”

The maid, who was caught by his angry glare and fell flat in front of him, let out a small scream as if frightened.

“I ran away the moment I was found.
Young lady Natalia has not yet done anything…”

“I see.”

Alejandro kneeled down and gently patted Nora’s head.

“Well done, Nora.
You’ve done well.”

“Alejandro-sama…”

“You can’t go back there.
I’ll give you another job.
I’d like to keep you close to me, but that can’t be done.
Natalia would find me out.”

“…yes.”

“I’ll tell Zacharias to show you around.
Wait here for a moment.”

“Ah, thank you very much.”

Relieved, Alejandro left the room, leaving the maid tearful and grateful.

He left Zacharias, who just appeared, whispering to him as they passed each other, “Deal with her at the place where you would take her.”

Then he quickly walked to his room.

Right now, Alejandro had only one thing on his mind.

Natalia.

Natalia, Natalia, Natalia.

My, my Natalia.

My lovely toy, carefully handcrafted over a decade.

You’re a puppet, you’re not supposed to set a trap for me.

Natalia should have just waited, trembling and frightened, without noticing anything, until they finished hunting down and killing that man.

Did the opposite happen and she trapped Nora instead?

That’s funny.

Because that’s just like…

It’s just like what a human being would do.

“…I don’t know what’s going on.
Something is wrong.”

Last time, the reason why Natalia didn’t move as he expected was because that woman, Beatrice, had sidetracked her.

No way, not this time again?

No, it can’t be.
I have had regular reports about that woman.
I have not received any reports of Beatrice approaching Natalia.
First of all, I’ve seen it with my own eyes at the academy.

“Then it’s the other guy…? No, not even Leopold.
First of all, I haven’t even seen Leopold for the last two months.”

That Leopold has been holed up in the Reinalpha mansion.

Reportedly, though, he was helping his father with his affairs and trying to reduce his debts.

Something is not right.
There is something strange about both Leopold and Natalia.

But what?

Alejandro’s brow wrinkles as he feels discomfort but does not know what it is.

“…”

Maybe I am missing something.

Also.

Could it be that something precious is slipping through my hands again?

“…Milch…”

 

He found himself saying the name of his dead sister.

“Milch… Milch, Milch…”

A sister who died without ever smiling at anyone.

Alienated by her own mother, despised by the servants, and never once seeing her father’s face, the poor child lost her place in the world.

She wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, she wanted to appeal to someone, but she can’t even utter a single word.

There was no room for her to live except in clinging to the kindness that her brother would show her on a whim.

I loved Milch’s crying face.
Milch’s tears healed me.

But then I realized at the last, last moment.

Milch’s smile, which I saw only for a moment, was as beautiful as a dream.

No, maybe that was really a dream.
Milch was a child who never laughed.

I couldn’t grab it, I couldn’t reach it, I didn’t have enough power.

I could only watch in amazement as Milch slowly fell away.

After the sound of water in the distance.

The world once again becomes black and white.

Tears rolled down Alejandro’s cheeks as he came to a sudden realization.

Money, possessions, and the heir position.

He could only get what he didn’t need.

What he really wanted, only what he really wanted, always overflowed and fell out of his hands.

No, no.

Not this time.

When Milch died, he found Natalia, Milch’s replacement.
But he was so afraid of losing it again, so he put it in an ambiguous position.

He can reach it right away.
But he won’t seize it in his arms.

He put it by his side.
But let the person choose it.
Make it the only choice.

I kept it by my side, but did not try to get it.

But I was happy with that.
I was satisfied.

It was a perfect world.

Yes.
Until Leopold, the prince on a white horse, showed up.

He has no such power or ability, but he was a cunning man who deceived Natalia as her prince just because of his good looks.

How can you protect my precious toy, when he only knows how to whisper love at ease.
He was bold enough to say that he will protect her.

You can’t do it.

“Yes… no time to stand still here.”

Alejandro got up and prepared himself.

There is much work to be done.

He doesn’t have time to stumble around here.

That’s my toy.

This time, I will take good care of it, cherish it, and carefully build it into something that is irreplaceable.

I don’t want to lose Milch/Natalia again.

I’d rather than lose her once.

That’s right, just once.

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