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But how do I keep the buttons?

 

It was precious, so it was clear that if I left it carelessly, I would lose it.

 

There was also a way to ask the maids to keep it, but—.

 

‘No, I can’t.’

 

I shook my head with my beak closed.

 

‘When I get kicked out later, I have to hold the button and go out.’

 

If I leave it to the maids, it will be difficult to carry it secretly.

 

So the safest way was to hide it well in a place I only knew.

 

‘Then the question is where to hide—’

 

I pondered for a moment.

 

I couldn’t leave it in the room.

 

My room was cleaned by maids every day, and there was no place to hide because it was open.

 

Uhm, I can’t think of any place.

 

I rolled my head again with a button wrapped in wings.

 

Is there no suitable place?

 

Except for my room and Arsene’s room, I have to find a suitable place in the mansion.

 

There were always people coming and going in and out of our room.

 

And it’s impossible to hide it in the room.

 

‘Place where the maids don’t clean it well—, It’s hidden enough that people don’t see it—.’

 

I had to find a place like that.

 

For my precious little button!

 

All right, I can do it.

 

Isn’t there a place like that in this big mansion?

 

There must be a couple of places like that. I’m sure. 

 

‘Let’s go out and find a place to hide the buttons.’

 

I spread my wings in a roar.

 

I was thinking of going out for a walk as an excuse to find a place where I could make a nest.

 

It just so happened that Betty was away for a while, so it was the right time.

 

A button hidden underneath my fluffy hair popped out as I sprang to my feet.

 

“Chirp!”

 

‘Oh, right. I have to hide it before I go out—’

 

This button was given to me by Chloe, and there was no way Chloe would take it back.

 

But. 

 

‘Cause the other maids might take it back without knowing it—’

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It was quite possible since Chloe and Betty weren’t the only ones coming into my room.

 

As expected, it’s safe to hide it.

 

After making my decision, I bit the button with my beak. 

 

And jumped off the bed.

 

“Chirp!”

 

A soft pink carpet was spread under the bed.

 

I put the button down next to me.

 

And I pulled the carpet with my beak. 

 

“C, chirp! Chirp…!”

 

Then I lifted the corner of the heavy carpet slightly.

 

‘Phew. I did it.’

 

If I could only release the bird form, lifting the carpet this far would have been nothing.

 

It was very difficult to lift the carpet with the body of a small bird.

 

I took a deep breath and bit the button. 

 

And I immediately put it inside the carpet and put the carpet back to its original state.

 

The carpet is thick, so it doesn’t even show that there are buttons inside.

 

All right, this is great.

 

“Chirp!”

 

I sighed in satisfaction, then flew straight away.

 

I was going to hurry up and look at the mansion when Betty was away.

 

‘Shall I take a look through the second floor first?’

 

I heard from Betty last time that there are some empty rooms on the second floor.

 

It would be easy to hide the button if it was a room where servants didn’t come in and out often. 

 

I flew slowly down the long corridor.

 

I also thought that it would be better to walk to find a place to hide the buttons.

 

‘No, as expected no.’

 

In this state, my legs were extremely short.

 

Because of this, I have to walk a minute for a distance that can be reached in ten seconds by flying.

 

In addition,

 

‘I don’t know if they might step on me—’

 

I glanced back at the servants walking around the corridor.

 

The servants who made eye contact with me greeted me with a smile.

 

Most of the people in the mansion were kind to me, but—.

 

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The problem is I’m too small.

 

I would be in trouble if the busy servants accidentally stepped on me.

 

After imagining the terrible scene, I shuddered.

 

As expected, it’s better just to fly around, and the servants would also find it easier to avoid me.

 

Instead, I flapped my wings as slowly as possible to reduce its speed.

 

When I reached the end of the hallway on the second floor, I heard a rumbling sound from somewhere.

 

“Chirp?”

 

‘Huh?’

 

I checked that there were no servants in the hallway and landed lightly.

 

The sound of conversation was coming from somewhere.

 

As I stepped closer to the sound out of curiosity, the sound became clearer.

 

The conversation came from a sunny room at the far end of the second-floor hallway.

 

I jumped up to the door.

 

‘Huh? This room—’

 

It’s the drawing-room on the second floor.

 

The Yeckhart mansion had two drawing rooms.

 

One on the first floor and one on the second floor.

 

It was said that previous heads of the family often used the drawing-room on the second floor to treat their precious guests.

 

In other words, it means that it’s a place that Kendrick rarely uses. 

 

I remembered what Betty had said as she showed me the mansion.

 

‘The master rarely uses the drawing-room on the second floor. So most of the guests are greeted on the first floor.’

 

Betty said, opening the door to the second-floor drawing-room.

 

But why is the sound of conversation coming from that room?

 

‘Is there a precious guest?’

 

I flew away out of curiosity and sat on the doorknob.

  

 

I looked around, but the servants were nowhere to be seen.

 

‘Ah, it’s cold!

 

The metal handle was very cold to stand on.

 

Thanks to this, I had to stand on the handle with one foot.

 

I hid one foot in soft wheat-colored feathers and listened to the conversation that flowed out. 

 

A familiar voice came from the room.

 

“…So… Are you saying you’re here because of that?”

 

It was Kendrick’s voice.

 

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But, perhaps because he was angry, his voice was stiff, unlike usual.

 

Are they talking about something bad?

 

I overheard the conversation in the room, forgetting to breathe for a moment.

 

“…we are also in trouble. Raniero has requested a mediation, so we can’t ignore it. Please attend and…”

 

Raniero? 

 

I blinked slowly at the familiar word.

 

Why is Raniero here? 

 

While I was puzzled, the conversation continued.

 

“How many times have I told you I didn’t bring her by force, but she followed me with her own will.”

 

“Of course, we believe what you say, but we can’t ignore Raniero’s request to the temple.”

 

Huh. 

 

I closed my beak with my wings.

 

‘It’s the temple?’

 

Temple of Knut.

 

The temple of Knut had no interest in anything other than worshiping God and managing the nine holy relics.

 

They don’t even carelessly engage in territorial disputes among the clans.

 

The temple comes forward only when there is a problem with God or when the safety of the holy relics becomes dangerous.

 

But did Raniero ask the temple for mediation?

 

I swallowed my saliva and held my ears close to the door.

 

“So, it seems like you have to return Raniero’s child. Without Raniero’s will, the temple can’t even agree to child marriage.”

 

I could hear a strange voice clearly outside the door.

 

‘Return…what?’

 

I pondered the word return in my mouth,

 

So, it meant that my father asked for mediation at the temple in order to get me back.

 

‘N, no way!’

 

I really didn’t expect him to go to the temple.

 

Because Raniero was in a situation where he had no choice but to accept Yeckhart’s arranged marriage.

 

I thought that it was a matter that the two clans were able to coordinate and put an end to.

 

If they go to the temple, they can’t stop it.

 

Because Yeckhart will have no reason to keep me with the temple. 

 

They’ll gladly accept if Raniero says they’ll give them another daughter.

 

‘I, I haven’t been able to prove my ability yet.’

 

For a moment, memories of a past life quickly passed through my head.

 

After the red feathers, my father and brothers completely turned a blind eye to me.

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After the red feathers, my father and brothers completely turned a blind eye to me.

 

A terrifying series of neglect. 

 

Their eyes were pointing at the cursed object.

 

I sometimes wish they’d hit me.

 

Then at least, I’ll know I’m alive.

 

If I were forced to return to Raniero, I would repeat the same life again.

 

It could even happen as soon as I return because the red feathers have already come out.

 

I didn’t even want to die.

 

For a moment, as my eyes turned white, I felt like I had returned to my previous life.

 

‘My room,’ where no one looks into it unless it’s the one who feeds me. 

 

‘I, I don’t want to.’

 

I instinctively stepped back.

 

The problem is that where I was sitting was on the doorknob.

 

‘H, huh!’

 

“C, chirp!”

 

As my foot slipped, I fell to the floor as it was.

 

At that moment.

 

Pong—!

 

A cloud of smoke rose up and wrapped around me. 

 

Naturally, the field of vision rose, and instead of the feathers that were wrapped around my body, the hem of the dress was visible.

 

‘The bird form is lifted!’

 

And at this time! 

 

The surrounding objects slowly moved out of sight as if time had stopped.

 

I shut my eyes tightly in anticipation of the shock to come.

 

I heard a loud noise, hitting my buttocks on the floor with the bird form lifted. 

 

“A, ah—”

 

It would have hurt less if it had been a bird form, but it hurt more because the bird form was lifted at this time.

 

At that moment. 

 

I noticed that the sound of conversation in the room was suddenly cut off.

 

‘A, ah.’

 

I can’t let go of my bird form at this time!

 

I was on the verge of being caught eavesdropping just as I turned my head to escape. 

 

Gulp. 

 

The heavy oak door opened.

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