“It’s five letters today, Your Highness, the Princess.”
Rosina, who was wearing a bonnet made of silk and lace and studded with pearls, stretched out her hand.
With a stern face Rosina regarded the letters that Canillia had written.
Their contents weren’t special this time as well—simply about how Canillia had graduated late and that she misses her mom.
Rosina noted that the sentiments expressed were as upright as Canillia’s personality itself.
She sighed and gave them back.
“Send them back to him after a few days.”
“Sir Canillian really doesn’t know how to give up, does he”
“He’s probably that desperate,” came the reply from Baron Tenan, who was serving the Princess.
He took the letters and gave them to his servant.
“Desperate,” Rosina said to herself and started the car.
Her car passed by Canillia’s carriage parked in front of the library.
It’s been three years.
It was only coincidentally that she had found out that Canillia was planning on sending letters to Louvre.
Because one has to be inspected upon entering and leaving Louvre, the mail also undergoes an inspection.
Canillia’s mail was not exempt.
If Baron Tenan hadn’t quick-wittedly intercepted those letters and reported them to Rosina, Marquis Vale and his family might have been placed on the watchlist by the Police Department.
From that day forward, Rosina controlled Canillia’s mail.
She knew it was wrong.
Canillia could very well blame her for what she has done, if it ever comes to light.
But Rosina didn’t want to lose Canillia like this.
Louvre, out of all places.
No public servants ever came from Louvre.
Isn’t the position of duchess more or less the same as that of princess
A duchess who’s not only the bastard child of a Marquis, but also born in Louvre
The child that might have had to live as a man forever.
That child right now is favored by the Duke and has survived in the world of nobles—so far.
Rosina had no intention of sending Canillia back to Louvre.
No, she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
Rosina simply wanted her to live like she’s living right now, as a beautiful, elegant lady—albeit a bastard of the Marquis Gliad Vale.
“Now that the war is over, there will be marriage proposals aplenty for him.”
Baron Tenan, who was staring straight ahead, said by way of reply, “We are already choosing the candidates.”
“Tell me as soon as the candidates are chosen.
I’ll trust only you.”
Baron Tenan smiled casually as his sign of his loyalty.
Rosina touched the crucifix on her neck.
She knew that the sin she committed wasn’t minor.
God wouldn’t forgive her for severing the natural bond between a mother and her child.
For impeding Canillia herself.
“Let’s go to the chapel.
I need to pray.”
The hawk, looking stronger than before, flew in again today.
It sat on the windowsill and tapped its beak on the windowpane.
Lia was too terrified to open the window.
So, she and the hawk had another staring contest, this time for an hour.
That moment, Pepe brought in cocoa and looked at the hawk curiously while putting down the cup.
“Perhaps, it’s a domesticated hawk”
“Domesticated A hawk Isn’t it a bird of the East”
“I’m not sure, but a Mr.
Duncan whom I know, raises a bird.
He talks to it and trained it to send and receive letters too,” offered Pepe.
“Really Then why would a domesticated hawk fly here”
“Hm, who knows” Pepe replied.
Lia studied the hawk while sipping cocoa and saw a knot on the bird’s leg.
There was definitely a message tied there with a thick thread.
Pepe noticed it and stepped back in surprise.
Perhaps, it came to deliver a message to me
But, looking at that sharp beak and giant claws, Lia couldn’t summon the courage.
What if it scratches or pecks me
She shivered just thinking about it.
She was circling around trying to decide.
Eventually curiosity won.
Lia opened the window a smidgen and tentatively reached a finger toward the bird’s leg.
If it showed any aggression, she would quickly close the window.
She nervously touched the hawk’s leg.
As she did, the raptor shifted its eyes.
Then it rubbed its head on her finger.
She got goosebumps from its cold, smooth feathers.
But that wasn’t aggression.
Emboldened, she opened the window a little more and pulled at the string on the hawk’s leg.
The hawk let her.
It was as if it knew she was afraid and was being considerate.
“Birdie, I’m sorry.
I left you out in the cold for too long.
But, you’re giving me this, right Please don’t peck me or scratch me, okay”
It wasn’t like the hawk could understand human language, but she had to say something to make herself calm down.
Lia undid the knot with her shaky hands, removed the message, and quickly took a step back—knocking the cup of cocoa onto the carpet.
The spilled cocoa took both Lia and the raptor by surprise.
The hawk spread its strong wings and flapped away.
It had finished its job and continued through the night sky without lament.
Just what is happening
Lia picked up the cup, looked down at the short message and laughed.
Whatever it was, she felt like she had done something grand.
Lia opened the crumbled message with her trembling heart.
She was just as curious about the sender as she was about the message itself.
But the moment she opened the message, her mind went blank.
Just two words: “My Canillia.”
That was all there was on the old paper.
If it said Canillian, then it would’ve been harder to guess who had sent it.
But there weren’t many who knew the name Canillia.
Even so, only Claude’s name floated in her mind.
Why does she see Claude in that handwriting
Her heart briefly thumped with curiosity.
She put down the message and opened the window where the raptor had just been.
But there was no trace of it.
She was certain that the owner of the hawk sent the message.
It meant that she had another thing to do before leaving the Capital.