this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
by tyler m who bought me a kofi! ଘ(੭´꒳`)°* ੈ‧₊˚
When I returned to the mansion, I was completely exhausted. It was fatigue that wouldn’t go away, even if I stretched.
Just like those days when I had been on the battlefield the whole day in my previous life, it felt as if my whole body was drained of energy.
Only then did I realise that I had been too anxious in front of the Duke.
It was only natural.
In an instant, all the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, so how would I be able to remain calm?
Then, I heard a knock on the door.
Rottier put me down on the bed and asked.
“Should I open the door? It’s Delphiro.”
I didn’t think you’d be able to see through the door just by having magic eyes.
I looked out the door and nodded, as if I were confirming the result.
Sir Rottier gestured to someone at my words.
“Open the door.”
As soon as he spoke, the door swung open.
And there was Delphiro, who expressed the words ‘I’m furious!’ with his whole body, looking down at me with his hands on his hips.
“If you don’t rest from now on, then…!”
After stopping by my room for three consecutive days, he looked very angry.
Ack! It’s the doctor’s nagging! I guess I can’t avoid it in this life either!
“I’m going to add some very bitter herbs in your porridge!”
However, what he said was a little different from the nagging I had heard in my previous life.
Delphiro left behind such a threatening statement and left in a huff.
Though of course, I saw his expression change into a smile as he turned the corner in the hallway.
Well, it’s easier to be a child at times like this.
Still, I decided to keep the doctor’s word in mind. If it wasn’t for that magic circle, I wouldn’t have gone out in the first place anyway.
You can only live a long life if you listen to the doctor. …There’ll be no use if you get caught for being a mage.
“Delphiro must have been very angry!”
Azelta, who was always bright, had a very pompous expression on her face with both arms outstretched.
Her brown wavy hair fluttered gently as she said with a smirk.
“You have to rest from now on. I’ve tried that herbal porridge and, urgh!”
She frowned and wrapped her hands around her shoulders.
“It’s bitter, isn’t it?”
Azelta said as she shivered, acting as if she couldn’t even begin to imagine the intensity of it.
“So you understand, right? You shouldn’t go out!”
At Azelta’s words, I nodded my head again and again.
I hate porridge, but I hate bitter porridge even more!
It looked like I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.
As Duke Ether said, if monsters were going to appear in the area called the Sea of Fog, then… Then nothing good would come out of meeting those monsters in my present state.
“These monsters will appear right beside you without you even realising it, and will approach you in a more familiar form than you think.”
I had no intention of ignoring that chilly warning.
“I know, Azelta.”
As if Azelta couldn’t feel at ease, she had to get my confirmation several times before going to arrange my bed.
“Mm, it’s been a long day…”
I muttered as I heard the sound of the lights go out.
In the dark, I blinked my eyes for no reason.
In my previous life, whenever I couldn’t sleep, I’d use magic to make a light and play with it until I went to sleep, but if I did that now, I’d only face a refreshing death penalty.
‘…But if being a mage automatically makes you face the death penalty, what on earth am I supposed to do to make a living then?’
I, who had become an honest and hard working five year old child who was currently worrying over my future career path, quickly fell asleep.
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
After going out for a rather long time.
Nassia did nothing but sleep for two days.
For Nassia, who was still young and had been confined to a room for a long time already, this brief ‘trip’ seemed to have been too arduous for her.
Ain glanced down at Nassia, who was sleeping. He, who wasn’t able to approach any closer to the child when her sparkling brown eyes scanned her surroundings warily.
When he had first made eye contact with the eyes of the child who had come in a carriage.
That gaze that looked up at him. That gaze which was only filled with defenses.
This child, which had matured and become an adult prematurely, seemed to have a vague idea of what happened to him.
Having been in a mansion with only adversaries, then being sold into another enemy household again as well.
So the child didn’t trust anyone in this place. Even Azelta, who treated the child tenderly and intentionally attached herself to her, didn’t manage to melt her heart.
Ain narrowed his eyes.
The child would also need time as well. When Nassia herself, and no one else, thinks this is a safe place for her to be, only then will the child release her hold on her defenses.
But before that happened, the child’s vigilance would only increase if he tried to intentionally approach her.
The reason why he was so sure of the fact was simple.
Since he himself, Ain von Ether, was also like that when he was younger.
Ain set down the cloth pouch he was holding next to the child. The thing that he had prepared to ensure that the sand wouldn’t fly away was a ‘gift’ he had prepared to give to Nassia personally.
He looked at the gift.
He didn’t know if Nassia would like it or not. His childhood wasn’t one of childish innocence, and he had few chances to see a child in this land of monsters.
What’s more, he, whose duty was to sweep the battlefield, had no idea how to deal with a child since he never had the chance to.
…At least that was the case, until a few days ago. Before he had impulsively decided to take Nassia in as his adopted daughter.
—Huu, huu. (the sound of deep breathing).
The eyes of Nassia, who was sleeping, would occasionally quiver. It was such a pitifully small movement.
Ain reached out to the child unconsciously.
At that time, Nassia tossed and turned in the bed.
Perhaps she was having nightmares. The child was curled up on her side. Like a hedgehog who curled its body into a ball and bared its thorns.
Those thorns weren’t sharp enough to hurt people yet. Rather, that thorn would prick its owner, Nassia, instead, if it breaks.
So Ain withdrew his hand that was about to reach her.
Today was not the time either, not yet.
It would be fine to talk to her when she fully understood that he was her ally.
Thinking so, Ain took a step away from Nassia.
Then, he suddenly recalled Delphiro’s words.
“It seems as if her time at the Barony was even more painful than we thought.”
A child who wasn’t used to having things of their own. There mustn’t have been anything that was made solely for a child in the Barony.
Something a child might like… He looked back at the sleeping Nassia, who was barely managing to hug a pillow the size of himself and turned around.
He closed the door silently and gestured to the knight with his head bowed.
“I want a stuffed toy to be made.”
At his words, the knight’s eyes widened.
“If it’s a stuffed toy, then…”
A bigger one would be better.
He had heard that the children of the aristocrats in high society had something called a stuffed animal.
The stuffed animal that the child carried around throughout their childhood also represented just how much the child was loved by the family.
Thus, there were also cases where the stuffed animal was inlaid with a bunch of jewels.
Such a toy shouldn’t be too small. He looked back toward the room where Nassia was sleeping and said.
“In the shape of a hedgehog.”
“A hedgehog… you said?”
The knight blinked.
Why a hedgehog so suddenly out of the blue?
First of all, no one even knew what a hedgehog looked like in this sea of fog.
They only knew that there were a countless number of thorns, like a sea urchin.
“I’ll review the drafts myself when they’re brought to me.”
However, since it was the head of the household’s order, he’d have to collect as much data as possible.
“I’ll prepare them as soon as possible.”
The knight’s expression became serious. Ain turned away from the knight upon hearing that answer.
The knight thought that the head’s face seemed to look brighter when he turned around. That face, which was always so cold.
…Was it just an illusion?
I overslept since two days of sleep wasn’t sufficient enough for me.
No one woke me up until the sun was already high up in the sky.
“You slept so soundly that I couldn’t wake you up.”
Azelta said as she opened the window wide late into the morning.
The translucent white curtains fluttered with the wind outside.
As I stared blankly at it, I saw an unfamiliar object in the new chest of drawers that was made according to my height.
I pointed toward it. I rubbed my blurry eyes since I just woke up, and when I looked at it again, it was some kind of clam or shell.
Of course, it wasn’t a big clam like the clam house.
The shiny clams were the size of my palm.
There seemed to be dozens of shells, each holding a few grains of white sand.
It shone brightly as soon as the midday sun touched it. The shiny pastel shells were very pretty.
But was the fog still not near the mansion yet?
Taking a glance out of the window, the sky seemed to be much clearer than yesterday.
Although it was much darker than the sky I had seen in my previous life, it was extremely clear according to this town’s standards.
The area near the Sea of Fog seemed to be dense with fog, so did all the fog go over there?
I tilted my head slightly and picked up the clams. Azelta smiled widely.
“It was brought to you by the Duke while you were sleeping.”
At those words, the strength in my hand slackened. A seashell fell on to my duvet.
Pardon? Who did you say brought it?
“His Grace, the Duke.”
Azelta said it once more, not a crack in her smiling face.
Why is that person doing such a meticulous and considerate thing?
I recalled his cold gaze from last night. My heart turned cold once again.
…Did he really not notice that I was a mage?
“Yesterday, he told me to tell you that he was sorry for entering the Young Miss’s space without permission.”
Then Azelta told me quietly.
“He picked these up himself!”
Those words really made my body falter.
It was extremely difficult to imagine Duke Ether searching through the white sand near the sea of fog and rummaging for shells.
Next to them were also elixir herbs that hadn’t yet dried up.
After touching it a few times, the vitality in the leaves was conveyed vividly to me.
A gift, since he didn’t think his apology was sufficient.
It was also a much better gift than the shield candy this time.
This white sand and elixir herbs weren’t something that would reveal that I was a mage, rather, it was just something a little kid would have liked. Especially since the shiny shells were really pretty.
“It’s really pretty!”
An excited voice automatically came out of me. I was in a good mood already.
It really didn’t seem as if I had been caught as a mage yet.
In addition, although the pretty shells I received this morning wasn’t a magical item, it was pretty enough to be made into a collection.
When I started to become restless on the bed, even the duvet, pillows, and shells that had fallen on my legs started to jump up and down.
Several grains of white sand that were in the shell flew away and glistened in the morning sun.
“Do you like it?”
Azelta, who seemed to be in a good mood, asked while organising my surroundings. I nodded.
Then, I spied a piece of candy in her uniform pocket when she leaned over.
Come to think of it…
“Hang on, Azelta.”
I stretched out my hands to her. And sneakily dragged over the elixir herbs toward me.
When I was young, I seemed to have been able to weave such long grass into string.
One by one.
Perhaps because of my small hands, it wasn’t an easy task.
If my hands were an adult’s, then I would’ve been able to weave it much more successfully, but with my tiny hands, I was only able to, at best, create a string that barely connected.
Still, it seemed quite satisfying to me since I had worked so hard on it. I carefully hung the seashells in the middle of the string.
Gifts are meant to be exchanged!
Since I had been given such a pretty thing, how about giving one to Duke Ether?
Then I frowned, trying to imagine him wearing a shell necklace around his neck.
…Would it really be alright?
However, I couldn’t ignore him since I had been given a gift.
Although that ignorantly large candy was rather troubling, it was more worrying that I had already wiped my mouth1 after receiving a gift before.
“Then, don’t stay for too long.”
He didn’t seem to be a bad person.
I got up as I remembered what Duke Ether had said yesterday.
Although I still couldn’t quite trust that they didn’t want anything from me, I still wanted to accept his goodwill in expressing his sincerity to a five year old child.
So I should show you some goodwill too!
“Azelta! Let’s go!”
I jumped out of bed proudly like a general. My shoes were, of course, my teddy bear slippers.
Azelta’s eyes widened at my words. Regardless, I had diligently gotten out of bed and stood up already.
Although I didn’t like the way I toddled around, I was walking like a general in my own way.
“Where should I take you?”
Oh, I forgot to tell you where I was headed to.
Realising that I was getting too ahead of myself, I told Azelta.
Realizing that my motivation was ahead of me later, I told Azelta.
“To the Duke!”
At times like this, should I call you dad? However, it was still a word that didn’t seem to belong in my mouth.
Sir Rottier followed behind me naturally as I moved. He seemed to be following me since he was in charge of escorting me.
Sir Rottier had been suffering in front of my door all day and was now my accomplice (?), so should I give him a necklace too?
I looked down at the necklace in my hand. The shell part was carefully supported with my other hand.
Perhaps because of my small hands, no matter how well I twisted the elixir herbs, the string just didn’t seem to be strong enough.
When I stealthily glanced back, I saw Sir Rottier’s neat appearance. As my steps slowed down, so did his as well.
Although it didn’t look like I could hang it around his neck, perhaps I could put it on top of his head, like a coronet?
My eyes were on Sir Rottier’s head. Looking at his shining hair in the light of the hallway, I made eye contact with Sir Rottier.
I turned around again.
I could see Sir Rottier tilting his head, as if he had unintentionally heard my inner thoughts.
Although I had slipped up, I still steadfastly kept walking.
Even cold water should be served first to one’s elders2.
It would be better to give one to Duke Ether first.
Between a junior and senior, it had been Duke Ether who had given the shells and elixir herbs as gifts, so wouldn’t it be more courteous to give it to him first?
“Young Miss, you’re going to fall!”
As my excited steps had sped up, Azelta followed me anxiously. I shook my head.
My stamina and physical condition had improved a lot since the start, so I wouldn’t fall at this speed. Moreover, it was a carpet so soft you wouldn’t even be able to hear the thud of my fall if I did.
Now, after passing this hallway, it would be Duke Ether’s office.
It was when I turned the corner thinking that.
Something large and black in front of me collided into me. It was like a wall or a pillar.
Why was there a pillar sticking out in the middle of the hallway?
I clutched my forehead and looked up. And made eye contact with a man.
His blonde hair was much darker than that of Duke Ether.
If Duke Ether had clear blue eyes, like that of the open sea, then this one was a bit more murky overall.
Especially his eyes.
Blue eyes, as bottomless as the deep sea, that seemed as if they could devour people, looked down at me.
…Their faces were extremely similar. If it weren’t for their eyes, I would’ve suspected that Duke Ether had dyed his hair.
However, his expression was different.
How could a face look so cunning?
He was a man who had a face that resembled an older Duke Ether, one that had gone down the wrong path.
It wasn’t as if he was originally ugly, rather, he was still quite good-looking.
However, my preference still leaned towards the bright blond hair of Duke Ether. And for some reason, facing this person was extremely uncomfortable.
Why was that?
I discovered the answer before I even had to wrack my brains that hard, as I watched him raise the corners of his mouth. That forced smile was exactly the same as that of Layton, who had betrayed me in my previous life.
—The exact moment I had that thought in my mind.
“I heard that I had a new niece.”
The man suddenly bowed his head towards me.
The silhouette of the tall, grown man obscured the lights and covered my entire body with his shadow.
Unlike the Duke’s, it was an ominous and dark shadow, like storm clouds.
I unconsciously stepped back. It was because of my instinctive fear. This man really seemed to be capable of harming me.
It was the moment his breath brushed against me slightly.
I sensed a strange smell in that unpleasant and damp breath.
…The smell of mana?
In a world where magic is forbidden, a mage…?
My eyes widened.
Don’t tell me…?
One of the necklaces I was holding lost its shell. The iridescent shells that had fallen were dyed in the man’s shadow and lost their pastel hues.
Oh, it was the biggest clam that I had been saving for Duke Ether…
As I stepped back, the man took another step closer toward me. The shell shattered underneath his large black shoes with a crack.
“My niece doesn’t seem very happy to see me.”
It was when the man laughed like a snake.
Sir Rottier’s sword blocked the gap between the man and me.
“Young Miss is uncomfortable.”
Sir Rottier’s scarlet magic eyes shone. The man looked into those eyes and showed his undisguised displeasure.
“Where are those beast’s eyes of yours looking?”
What do you mean beast? Do you know just how pretty Sir Rottier’s eyes are?!
It was when I was about to lose my temper.
Somewhere behind him, the door to the office swung open. It was Duke Ether who came out of the room.
“Rottier. Don’t sheath your sword yet.”
The Duke, who had a colder expression than I had ever seen before, stared at the man in front of me.
It was the second time I had ever seen such a chilling look.
The first time had been when he had seen the knights from Baron Lebouire the day I had been sold.
And the second time, right now.
“I thought you were a monster since you approached us covered in fog.”
Duke Ether paused for a moment before continuing.
As if he was very reluctant to call him that.
I opened my eyes wide.
This man is Duke Ether’s older brother?
 refers to when you merely wipe your mouth after a meal; rude and inconsiderate.
 there is a proper order to everything, respect your elders.
ayo i know ain’s brother is meant to be evil but like,,,, why’d the artist do him so good,,, hOW DO YOU EXPECT ME NOT TO SIMP WHEN ANTAGONISTS ARE DRAWN SO MF FINEEEEE IM BARKING LIKE IM FERAL RN BARK ARF WOOF WOOF ARF ugh im down bad rn #pray4mio
also i love how nassia didn’t even get mad when her (now) uncle made her drop the shell she saved for ain, but the MINUTE he brings up rottier’s magic eyes, she’s ready to unleash HELLFIRE on him AHAHAHAHA
the way it’s magic eyes > ain rn LMAOOOOOO
also delphiro is just the biggest sweetheart, SO MF SWEET he’s so genuinely concerned about nassia he even went as far as to threaten to add bitter herbs into her porridge AHHHHHH
2 thoughts on “IBSGAD Ch 9 — Exchanging Gifts”
Waaaaah run away!
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