Chapter 3 - The Squirrel-Like Saintess
A complicated expression appeared within the golden gaze looking down at me. His eyebrows wrinkled, and his hands and shoulders became frozen as if they didn’t know what to do with me.
Everything about him was lovable.
‘God! I think this is why people fan over things.’
I couldn’t suppress my excitement over seeing my favorite character in the flesh.
“Hehe, it’s my dad! Daddy!”
‘I don’t need anything else! I just need my favorite with me!’
I squeezed Miltiades closer to me.
‘This is the embrace I could only dream about!’
I didn’t know when this chance would come again, so I had to enjoy it while I could.
Miltiades didn’t know what I was thinking, and the expression on his face also became complicated.
I instinctively knew what kind of emotions he was feeling just at a glance.
He was troubled.
It appeared as though he didn’t know how to handle me.
‘That’s what I want!’
The best time to allure Miltiades was when he didn’t know how to act around me.
‘How should I go about it. There is only one way, right? Go in without thinking!’
“Who are you calling your dad?”
His cold, deep voice seemed to freeze me in place. I felt surprise and fear, but these emotions quickly disappeared.
“I haven’t accepted you as my daughter.”
A red-haired male looked in surprise as I stared. The redhead, Callian, squeezed his fists as if to ask what was going on. “Your Majesty, how could you say that so obviously? The Saintess is still young—”
“Does that mean you love me?” I interrupted Callian who was protecting me and stuck onto Miltiades.
I smiled at Miltiades, who looked at me with an incredulous expression.
‘Dad, you’re looking down on this daughter of yours.’
There was no way I was going to be discouraged, especially since I knew of his stubborn personality.
It was actually thrilling! He was always changing!
“You don’t accept me as your daughter, but you already love me this much.”
I laughed and fell back into Miltiades’s embrace.
It was surprising that someone who hated human contact was holding me like this. Well, I was forcefully holding onto him, but he didn’t let me go!
‘Is this that so-called thing where he says he hates it but his body tells the truth.’
“Who are you saying loves you?”
As I giggled, Miltiades incredulously laughed. There was only one way to break through his barrier—go in without looking back!
“I didn’t know you loved me this much!”
“Don’t worry, Daddy. I’ve already accepted you.”
“I adopted you!”
‘Did I do well?’
I tilted my head while laughing as Miltiades scoffed.
‘His eyes don’t look like they’re laughing.’
It seemed like he was egging me on.
‘Fine. I’ve been acting like this, so let’s see how much more I can do.’
“This is a secret, but the grandpas seem to hate you. They say you don’t have the qualifications to be my Daddy.”
“Pft.” Callian started laughing.
Miltiades glared at him, but it was of no use.
“But it’s fine! I’m stronger than them.”
I hit my chest a few times as if I were telling him to trust in me. Callian responded while holding in his laughter.
“It must be nice to have such a dependable daughter, Your Majesty.”
“Do you want to die today?”
Miltiades looked at me after shutting up Callian. He looked so cool even when threatening people. I was so enamored that nothing could shake my resolve for him.
It was a shame that I couldn’t save this scene with a camera.
‘My favorite character’s adolescence! It’s super ultra rare!’
I held my hands together because I wanted to share this moment.
Miltiades stared at me. Unlike his previously warm voice, his voice was now cold.
“I’m agreeing with those old men for once. I’m not qualified to be your dad,” Miltiades said.
“So go back.”
As I stared at him with my wide eyes, Callian stared at me with a panicked expression.
Miltiades stood up and went into his bedroom, without sparing me another glance.
Callian was taken aback but he followed behind him.
Luciana and I blinked at each other, alone in the drawing-room.
This wasn’t supposed to happen!
* * *
‘What happened to him all of a sudden?’
“Is he going senile…?”
He was a bit young to be going senile, but there was no other explanation. If he just stood there silently, he would have had the Saintess on his side and a way to go against the Pope!
“I don’t understand!”
No matter how you looked at it, I was someone to be sought after. How could he just kick me away?
‘There’s no way my favorite character is this stupid!’
“Ah! What’s going on?”Luciana sighed and opened her mouth after seeing me frustrated. “Do you think he’s worried about you?”
“…Worried about me?”
“Yes. There’s no other reason he would let go of such a great position.”
“Why would he be worried?”
‘If he were really worried for me, he should have taken me away.’
Luciana shrugged at my opposition. “I’m not sure…maybe he feels some sort of responsibility?”
“He might think he can’t raise you well, or something like that.”
I had never even thought about it.
‘Miltiades has those kinds of thoughts? It’s possible, but my favorite character isn’t that kind.’
Luciana’s words made sense, but Miltiades wasn’t that kind of person. There had to be something else.
Miltiades didn’t have that sense of responsibility.
‘Maybe he doesn’t want a family.’
He hated dealing with family and love. How was I going to solve this problem?
“There’s nothing else I can do if he rejects me like this.”
‘Does he know what I had to do to shut up the Pope and the elders?’
I was seriously thinking of going back, holding onto his clothes, and telling him that I could help him since I know everything about the future. But then, I heard a noise near the door and a servant appeared.
“Saintess, His Holiness is looking for you.”
An uncomfortable feeling filled the air.
* * *
It was a frosty day.
Miltiades remembered the first day he had arrived in the Vios Empire. He was once again spending the night unable to sleep.
‘This is so tiring.’
Someone had said that he was suffering from a curse, but his doctor had simply diagnosed him with insomnia.
The name of his ailment didn’t matter.
It was important to calm down his sensitive nerves. Which was why he went out on a walk.
He was holding onto his throbbing head when it happened.
Hearing a whining noise as if a small animal was caught in a trap, he walked toward the direction of the sound.
When he got there, he saw a strange sight.
A little child was struggling while holding onto a window curtain.
‘Why is there a child here? Is it a training apprentice for a priest?’
Miltiades suddenly became interested and stared at the child. The child let go of the curtain she was holding onto.
She was screaming too loudly for someone trying to run away.
Maybe he was half amused. Maybe it was an impulse. Maybe it was because the pain he was feeling disappeared when he found the child. Whatever the reason was, he saved the child. The child curled up in his arms.
‘She looks like a squirrel.’
The little kid opened her eyes, thinking she had fallen. Miltiades had never seen such clean, red eyes before.
“Oh, thank you!”
He placed the child on the ground, and she bowed to him.
Miltiades thought the child was scared when she found out who he was. He was used to it. Yet, when he saw the child he saved act like this, he felt saddened. However, he soon realized that he was mistaken.
The child shook in excitement after fearlessly calling his name.
“Who are you?”
Was he amazed at the arrogant behavior of the child who didn’t run away after recognizing him?
“I asked you who you are.”
The trembling child didn’t answer him.
Miltiades thought that the child was going to beg for forgiveness after realizing who he was, but…
A word he didn’t imagine came out of the child’s mouth.
It was the first time he had been so panicked.
The warmth he felt was unfamiliar. It was a suffocating warmth as unfamiliar as the happy child in front of him.
The fact that he wasn’t rejecting the feeling was unfamiliar too.
“…Who are you calling your dad?”
It didn’t make sense. The child was so shameless that Miltiades had to seriously think about whether she was his actual child.
The child, who held on even though Miltiades was trying to let go, suddenly played her trump card.
“Daddy, wait for me. I’ll take you away!”
‘Take who away? Me?’
The smiling child went inside the room with a shout.
Miltiades was unaware at the time how those words would come true later.
* * *
‘That’s what happened.’
How could he have predicted that a saintess would choose him as her father?
Miltiades woke up from his thoughts and looked at the twelve elders and Pope Raphael, who were sitting across the huge table.
Sitting next to Raphael was a timid little child.
‘Arrogant little thing.’
Before, she was laughing and brightly talking, but now she was just sitting there and avoiding him.
“So, Emperor Miltiades.”
One of the elders opened his mouth.
“We heard that you told the saintess herself that you did not have the qualifications to be her guardian,” Elder Roquel’s solemn voice rang out in the hall. “Is this true?”
The tearful child looked at Miltiades when another elder suddenly raised his voice.
“We should have chosen a different person to be the saintess’s guardian from the beginning!”