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Published at 21st of May 2020 10:17:40 PM


Chapter 12

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Chapter 12




「Mm…… Woam Oppa shaid he’d buy a tasty cwake, he twold me to wait here pwatienwy while he wen and gwot the cake but. Hnng. 」

「Wh, where was ‘here’?」

「I dunno. Hwaniel did a gwood job waiting, bwut oppa didn’t cwome so I gwot sho scwared I fowwowed the bwack birds and cwame to Wake Wand.」

「What, how irresponsible!」

What are you doing just leaving the kid in the middle of nowhere!

Just when I thought the magician brother was at least a bit better…turns out everyone in the tyrant bloodline is the same. 

“Wait and I’ll come back for you” is what everyone says before abandoning children. 

What was so necessary about feeding Haniel a cake that he abandoned her and created this whole predicament? I could barely stop the curse words from coming out of my mouth.  

「Mommwy– no, Bwek Swan-ning…」

「Shh, don’t cry! There’s no more fish.」

Hiccup.

The baby swan hiccuped in alarm after seeing my stern face for the first time. 

But there was no time to soothe her. 

The golden time for finding lost children is 72 hours, and so I waited, my eyes showing renewed determination as I saw the sun rise over the window.

「Alright then, let’s set off, shall we. 」

◇ ◆ ◇

「Your Ladyship, are you really going to go out looking by yourself?」

“Then what should I do? Do you want to go?”

「Why-why would I…」

Tap tap. 

I shifted back into my human form as the moon disappeared. I brushed out the lower ends of my dress and turned to face Selene, who had backed away in fear. Like most of the lake inhabitants, Selene believed that leaving the lake spells death.

「Why don’t you just wait here a little more?」

“You can’t just think people are going to find you if you wait, don’t we all have families? They’re not coming, anyone can see they’re not!” 

I didn’t want to give a reality check at a time like this, but I was certain everyone in the lake had some sort of family or friend back at home. 

And yet for years, no one even started investigating. They either assumed their loved ones were dead or were too afraid for their safety to pry. 


“What will change if we stay here? We should leave today to at least try to find Haniel’s brother before it gets too late.”

「But there aren’t any clues to start with…didn’t you say she doesn’t even know where she got lost? And Your Ladyship’s state of mind hasn’t fully recovered.」

……Ugh. 

That little. 

I turned to glare at Selene with balled fists. But because of what I’d said previously, I had to restrain myself from grabbing and twisting her beak around. 

“She said her brother left to get her some cake. We just have to go to a cake shop. They might know something.” 

「But there will probably be a number of cake shops if it’s in the city. Are you going to go to all of them?」

“I probably can’t do that even if I wanted to, right?”

I understood Selene’s worries.

At this time of the year, I could only stay in a human body until 6 in the evening. Thus, I didn’t have much time if I wanted to return before then. 

“So hurry up and hand me the stuff I told you to get.”

「Your Ladyship, you shouldn’t say that so lightly. I risked my life to hide this while bringing it to you today. If I had been caught, I would have been been on someone’s dinner table….」

“It’s alright with this, right?”

「Heu Uck!」

*Turn*

Selene opened her mouth as I threw her a snack. I picked up the brown parchment paper she had dropped from her beak and unfurled it. 

“This is the map of the city, right?”

「Mm om nom mm, yes. I snuck into the kitchen using the rear exit and picked this up…oh my, how is this so delicious?? I didn’t use to like fish that much, I wonder how it’s so good now, omnomnom.」

“Eat first and then talk, just eat.” 

*Munch Munch.*

Entranced by the food, Selene lowered her head. 

I shook my head at Selene, who was the picture of unreliability as she ate the dried fish snack with fascination. But since she was the only one who knew the layout of the duke’s residence, Selene was the perfect one to go on missions to take certain items. 

「Your Ladyship, what’s the secret to your dried fish? It’s totally different from eating it raw!!」

“Of course it is.”

I worked with animal feed for 10 years straight in my past life, so I was a pro at matching the taste preferences of animals.


Since I’d figured out all the subtle differences in taste buds from species to species, if it was this much, I had a Michelan five star guide for making animal food. 

「Please, Your Ladyship.」

“If you’re so curious, why don’t you try living as half human and half animal.”

In addition, I was able to use my hands during the day, unlike the other lake inhabitants. 

While Selene was looking after the others to see if they were dead or living well, I was becoming more of an expert in making animal feed. 

Goodbye, bland animal food. 

Sizzling, stir-frying, kneading, baking. While others had buffs while learning skills and had their future laid out before them, why was I, even after coming here, working with animal food……

“Whew.”

Read this on littleajummas or I will cut a bish. 

But at least I had this kind of skill and could make food that I could easily carry and feed the kid on our way. 

Though I was an experienced zookeeper, I wasn’t in touch with what was happening in this world, so I took a look at the map with resignation. 

“The city’s bigger than I thought.”

「Of course. It’s the only way through to the Levant Kingdom, so there are bound to be many trading posts around it.」

“……………Ah, ah…….”

I remember now. The Levant Empire! 

The male protagonist in the novel was the successor to the throne of this exact kingdom. 

The things I had forgotten were slowly coming back to me one by one after I realized what novel I was in.

‘That’s why Haniel met the Levant prince.’

I had learned why she’d turned into a swan and thought it made sense, but I had wondered exactly how she’d met the prince in the middle of nowhere within the course of the novel. 

Since Haniel was around three or four years old, that prince should be around ten.

I thought of the cute love story of the two protagonists who persevered despite their struggles. 

“……I better quickly return her back to where she should be.”

Thinking about how angry the little prince would be in the future, I had to quickly get Haniel off my hands

To be honest, I’d even considered taking care of both Haniel and the prince, but right now Haniel was too young to be meeting the prince away from home. 

back


Even if I had met her when she was around sixteen years old, I’d have had to hide her for a bit before matchmaking the two together, all Maleficent-style, but I’d have to wait many years before they could even meet. 

“Fat chance that’s going to even happen.”

I wasn’t confident to be able to successfully live in hiding from the tyrant after playing matchmaker. 

“Do you know where the dessert shops are?”

「Please wait a moment. At least the places I remember are…….」

Having finished eating the dried fish, Selene pointed to certain spots on the map with her beak. She pointed to over ten different places, a sure sign of how large the city was. 

「This place and this place are very popular, and ah, there’s also one on Risent Street. Hm, do you really think you’ll be okay? It’ll take time to even get there……Ah ah, are you going to try going to the one that’s closest to you?」

“Mm…….Nope.”

Of course not. 

As I vacantly stared at the map before hovering over a spot, slightly smiling.

“I’ll be going there.”

「Huh? But that’s the farthest one. Though it is a very famous place, there are many others that are closer……」

“The child definitely said that she followed a bunch of black birds. There are only a small handful of bird species in the area that migrate, so I looked at the direction in which she came from. The only path that has a place to rest for them is this area so that’s probably where she was dropped off at. Plus, there needed to be an area for the baby swan to hide in, and that place has a marsh, so it makes sense.” 

「Woah, you’re amazing, Your Ladyship!」

“…………It’s nothing, really.”

Selene looked at me with respect in her eyes as I rolled up the map. 

I couldn’t say it was due to experience with survival, because it wasn’t, but this feeling of admiration and expectation on my shoulders wasn’t so bad.

“I’ll quickly go and return. We’ll have to leave before it gets too late.”

「What are you going to do if Rania looks for you?」

“Are you kidding? Rania doesn’t think of me as a human being and Rebecca, she might treat me better when she’s, what, 30? 40? They won’t look for me.”

I placed a black hat on my head and tightened the string around it to secure it in place at the end to cover my face in case of an emergency. 

Afraid this wasn’t enough, I even wrapped a robe around my body. 

Though it wouldn’t be able to block the moonlight, it might help slow down my transformation process a little. 

“Selene, take care of the kid while I’m gone.”

「Hm……Honestly, I’m a little surprised. I thought Your Ladyship would take in the baby swan.」


“Oh my. Why would I?”

Are you talking about me, who only has one life left to live?

I snorted after hearing the ridiculous words. 

Afraid that Haniel would have expectations after hearing Selene’s words, I raised my voice a little.

“She already has a family, so she should return to them, does it make sense for her to be raised by a black swan she met by mere chance? Who am I to the kid?”

「Your, Your Ladyship. There’s no need to speak like that, it sounds as if you’re reading from a script……. 」

“Don’t say such nonsense! That kid and I are strangers! People who have nothing to do with each other! Don’t worry about what’s going to happen to the kid!” 

「…….」

“What? What is it?”

What are you going to do by looking at me with those eyes?

“……….”

There was an awkward pause for a few moments. 

But just because Selene was looking at me awkwardly didn’t mean I was going to change. The more she did that the more I had to draw a firm line on what the facts were. 

I lifted my chin and looked at her as I spoke.

“Selene, you know me, I have my hands full living as a half human and half animal creature. I won’t even blink if something happens to just a baby swa– Oh no no no Sweetieeee?!”

Look at this child! Does she not have any fear?! In contrast to the arrogant words I’d just said my two legs had already headed towards the lake. 

*Splash splash.*

I caught and lifted the Haniel who had gotten a little too deep into the lake while playing around in the water.

“Whew. Do you know how scared I was?! You have to be careful. It gets a lot deeper here……” 

「…………Um, Your Ladyship…?」

“Wha, what?”

I let out a breath at the baby swan struggling in my hands before slowly turning to look behind me. 

Isn’t this too different from what you just said. 

Facing Selene’s gaze that said it all, I quickly set Haniel down and pushed her far away from me as I dusted off my hands. 

“No, this. This is just a display of universal human empathy.” 



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