“…”


 

“Honestly, I hated you and His Excellency so much back then, but now I don’t think much about it.
As you can see, I have a bigger problem.”

 

“…”

 

“Anyway, if you’re doing this because of it, then you can stop worrying about it.
Coming to the orphanage was a very difficult decision.”

 

At those words, Stella was taken aback and her eyes trembled.

 

“Don’t make this harder than it already is.”

 

Stella’s grip on my arm slowly drained her strength.
Tuk, when she let go of me and dropped her hand weakly, I continued.

 

“But you don’t have to worry too much.
I’m going to do everything I can to avoid death.”

 

“…”

 

Stella, who lowered her gaze, remained silent.
I didn’t see it that way, but it seemed that she was worried about me a lot.

 

“You don’t deny that you were worried?”

 

As I giggled, Stella shot lasers from her eyes.

 

“Thank you for worrying about me.
I’m going in now.
I can’t afford to miss any scammers while I’m out.”

 

“Hey…!”

 

“I am leaving? See you later.”

 

“Hey! Mae! Hey!!!”

 

Afterward, Stella called me a few times, but I ignored her and went inside the building.
I didn’t want to talk any longer because I felt like my desire to run away was growing stronger.

 

It’s not time to run away yet.
For now, I have to let the scammers adopt me.

 

That way, no child will suffer instead of me.

 

As I was thinking that, a strange shadow walked towards me, passing by other children.
Besides the shadow was the shadow of a teacher.

 

The two shadows stood in front of me.
The strange shadow crouched down as if trying to meet my gaze.


 

He was a middle-aged man who was strangely uncomfortable.

 

“You’re really pretty.
What’s your name?”

 

I froze and couldn’t respond to the unfamiliar voice, so the teacher answered for me.

 

“She’s shy around strangers.
Her name is May.”

 

“I see.
May.”

 

The man raised his mouth in displeasure.

 

“Come with me, May.”

 

Bad feelings always come true.
I don’t know why.
Even if good feelings are wrong, bad feelings hit the target every time, as if they were aimed at my head.

 

And now, I had a very bad feeling that the man who was talking to me and standing in front of me was the scammer who had adopted the original May and sold her as a slave.

 

“Don’t you want to come with me? Why aren’t you saying anything? If you come with me, I’ll buy you lots of delicious things.”

 

Isn’t this something a kidnapper would say? Now I understand why my nanny warned me to be careful of people who ask children to follow them, saying they will buy them delicious things.

 

It’s not because they’re idiots that they all lure with the same catchphrase.
There’s no better way to lure you than this simple catchphrase, “I’ll buy you something delicious,” because kids like to eat.

 

I took a deep breath and thawed my frozen body, then smiled falsely and innocently, and asked, “What delicious thing? I like steak, hehe.
Medium-well done.”

 

“Med, medium, what?”

 

As expected, the man’s face showed confusion.

 

No wonder he’s confused.
Would someone who’s considering selling a girl as a slave have money to buy her steak? Well, even if he did, he probably never intended to buy it in the first place.

 

“I’m just kidding.
I like everything if it’s delicious.”

 

“Is that so? Haha…”

 

The man awkwardly laughed and asked persistently, “Maya, do you want to come with me? You don’t want to live in an orphanage for the rest of your life, do you?”

 

They say it as if they won’t be able to meet their new family for the rest of their life if they don’t follow themselves now and live in an orphanage. 

They must have enticed Mai with this kind of anxiety too.


 

The more I saw the scammer, the more I got angry, but I tried hard not to show it.

 

“Okay, sir.
But not today, in three days.”

 

“Why in three days?”

 

Three days were enough time for me to send a letter to Persis asking him to come here and for him to come here after reading the letter.

 

If they knew that I had Persis as my backup, they would definitely be hesitant to mess with me.

 

Having Persis come and prevent this scammer from even approaching the orphanage was the best scenario I had come up with.

 

If Persis breaks his promise and doesn’t come, or if the scammer tries to manipulate me to the end and adopts me, then I’ll have to come up with a different scenario.

 

Anyway, getting three days is important right now.

 

“If I follow you, I won’t be able to see my friends, so I want to make some lasting memories.”

 

Creating imaginary friends made me feel pathetic.

 

Still, I couldn’t refuse such a request… or so I thought.

“Haven’t you already made a lot of memories? Three days are too late, let’s go tomorrow, May.”

 

“No! At least three days…!”

 

“What’s the problem? Then I can come back tomorrow, May.”

 

“Sir…!”

 

The damn scammer completely ruined my plan and disappeared.

 

***

 

After the scammer left, I quickly ran up the stairs to the director’s office on the second floor.

 

There was no time to hesitate.
I had to send the letter as soon as possible, even if it meant the adoption would happen tomorrow or the letter would arrive late.
I had to do everything I could do right now.

 

I knocked strongly on the door of the office where Viscount Tiber was.

 

“Bang!” 


 

The orphanage director, Viscount Tiber, who was leisurely reading a book, was startled by the sound.

 

“Oh, you scared me… May, you should open the door gently…”

 

Viscount Tiber, a middle-aged man with a kind aura, was slightly overweight.

 

“I’m sorry.
It’s urgent… Anyway, Director!”

 

As I called out loudly, the Viscount was surprised again and flinched.

 

“M, May… If you call out like that, the director will be startled.”

 

“I’m sorry.
I’m in a hurry… I have to send a letter right away!”

 

“A letter? Ah, the one you asked for before?”

 

The silver lining in the misfortune was that Viscount Tiber treated the children quite well.

 

If I asked him to send the letter as quickly as possible, he would send it like a bullet.

 

It was also the order of Persis, so he couldn’t refuse.

 

Since I didn’t have time to plead with the letter in detail, I simply wrote one line asking him to send it quickly and handed it to the Viscount.

 

“I’ll make sure it’s delivered quickly!”

 

The Viscount handed the letter to the knight who was next to him.

 

The knight took the letter and went out of the director’s office.

 

“The knight who just left is good with words and has fast feet, so it’s said to arrive today.”

 

“Really? Will it arrive today?”

 

“The director guarantees it.”

 

How reassuring were these words were.
If the letter arrived today, I could meet with the swindler tomorrow.

 

While I was happy, the Viscount asked me.


 

“But May, is there a special reason why you need to see the Duke of Flotina?”

 

I hesitated whether, to tell the truth about the person who wanted to adopt me being a fraud who might sell me as a slave.

 

But then, the Earl would never hand me over to a scammer.

 

After a few seconds of contemplation, I decided to give up.

 

“I promised to meet the Duke before proceeding with the adoption.
That’s all.”

 

If I gave him any reason to change his mind, he might consider adopting another child or even spread rumors that the orphanage discriminates against people, which could damage their reputation.

 

The best way to get rid of him was to make him angry by introducing him to Persis.

 

If I pretended to be friendly with Persis, he wouldn’t dare sell me as a slave.
However, it would be strange for him to suddenly adopt another child instead of me.

 

In the end, nobody would adopt me, and I would run away.

 

However, the next day, the damn fraudster who wouldn’t obey my wishes came to the orphanage.

 

“May, don’t you want to become a family with the man and his family? Why do you keep delaying adoption?”

 

He came to the orphanage in the morning, which was too early even for dinner.
I was going crazy.

 

“If you don’t want to, just say so.
If May doesn’t want to be with the man, we’ll look for another child.”

 

The man turned to the other children, showing me his fake sadness.
I tried hard to swallow the curses rising up in my throat.
He talks about being a family, but he’s going to sell me into slavery…!

 

“I don’t mind becoming a family with you, but I want to spend more time with my friends.
Can’t you come back tomorrow?”

 

“If you keep postponing, I’ll be upset.
You should also think about how I feel.”

 

Ah! I almost couldn’t control myself and punched the man in front of me.
He looked at me as if he could see through me holding in my anger and eventually laughed wickedly.
Seeing his expression made me flinch.

 

Why is this scammer like this? Why is he laughing like that? It’s so unpleasant…

 

He soon lowered his voice so that only I could hear him.

 

“Do you know what kind of person I am?”

 

“!”

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