Reincarnated As A Villainess' Stepmother, And I Promise I Will Make My Daughter Happy. Whether They Be A Prince, A Knight, Or A Chancellor? I Won't Hand Over My Daughter To Any Of Them - 03 - Swaying the chair gently
Chapter 3: Swaying the chair gently
Without giving a second thought to the Lord’s word to stop me, I went to bed with Athy last night.
Apparently Athy had never slept with anyone before and was stiff in bed, wondering what to do.
Her Nanny said that she usually read books to her, so I told her every one of the fairy tales I had memorized since I had told them to my sisters so many times while I was sleeping with Athy.
At first, Athy was frozen and sticking next to me, but she gradually relaxed and began to squirm, and eventually fell fast asleep.
Athy, who unconsciously buried her face in my chest and hugged me, flooded my brain with endorphins or serotonin or some other happy brain chemical that I didn’t know about.
How cute! What an angel! There was an angel in my arms! Look how she was murmuring in her sleep!
Why was she so cute? Was this a crime? No, I was not a criminal, right? Even though we had just met, I was head over heels for her!!
I sniffed her hair as much as I could.
Her hair had a soft and fresh fragrance. Like the smell of clothes after they were dried in the sun.
It didn’t smell like sweat! Was this different from my ever so energetic monster sisters who ran around in fields and mountains all day long? Was this what the Daughter of the well to do family smelled like? What a wonderful smell!
I was immersed in such happiness for the next few days.
Before she became a villainess, Athy was really sweet.
She was shy, just a withdrawn three-year-old girl who preferred storybooks to running around outside.
How did this girl become a villainess?
I thought I understood a little.
The Marquis hardly ever came to see his daughter.
I knew he was busy at work.
In this world, physical distances could be far apart.
There was a phone, but it was a switchboard type, and the phone wasn’t in every location, so there was a time lag, and there were a lot of things you couldn’t do unless you were face-to-face, unless you were right there.
But even if he did come home, he wouldn’t even pet or cuddle her.
They ate separately and never spoke to each other.
Even if she had little to no contact with her father, if she was coldly rejected by the woman who became her stepmother, she would be lonely and her personality would be twisted. That would be complete child abandonment.
She was only three years old.
It was a time when they needed their parents’ love the most.
Anyways, why didn’t he come to see us, that Marquis?
He hadn’t even looked at me properly since I showed him my naked body.
I hardly saw my husband anymore, even though we were married, because he never came to see Athy, who was with me at all hours of the day.
Well, I didn’t mind. I showed him the wounds on my body because I knew it would happen. Rather, I was aiming for a bit. I thought that by doing so, I would be able to spend less time with my husband and more time with Athy. It turned out as I had hoped, but…
This was not good…
Love from me alone was not enough.
There was a limit to the amount of love I alone could give.
She needed her father’s love the most.
Because Athy was his own daughter.
One day, Athy and I were in the library looking for a new picture book.
There were not many picture books in the library, but there were a few older children’s books.
Perhaps it had been in this house for a long time. Maybe that marquis had read it too.
Athy seemed to have a good understanding, and although I thought she was not yet old enough to read, she seemed to be able to read simple words.
Such an amazing, genius, wonderful girl. I wondered what she was going to be, a doctor or a researcher?
— But the thing was,
In this world, a woman cannot be a doctor or a researcher. In this girl’s case, she was going to be the fiancée of a duke, so she needed to learn some history and economics, but she was not expected to… there was no place to put that knowledge to use. But she would be made to learn so that she didn’t embarrass herself as someone’s wife.
There was only one qualification required of the girls of noble families.
It was to give birth to a boy.
I guessed because of all these reasons, the villainess in the game would have been smart but empty inside.
That was not good.
You lose confidence in yourself because you have no value. And yet, you crave for approval from others and depend on others.
You shouldn’t just see the value in others!
You must see the value in yourself!!!!
This girl had tremendous charm just by being such an angel!
It was not just about looking pretty on the outside!
Of course that’s important, but she was so honest and lovable to begin with!
Still she had so many unlimited possibilities!!
Not to mention perfect on the outside too!!
Athy came tottering from the back of the room with a thick, dusty book.
“What a cute little doll!”
I ran over and picked up Athy with the book and rubbed her cheek. I also smelled her hair. It smelled so good. I was so happy. It was so good. I wanted to do this forever.
“Ah… mother, it hurts…”
“Aah! Sorry Athy! You were just so cute!”
I slowly lowered Athy, who was huffing painfully in my arms, to the floor.
“This book, please.”
Perhaps it was too heavy for her, Athy put the book down on the floor and looked up at me with her moist violet eyes.
“Yes, on it!”
I would read every inch of it already, even out of the columns!
I sat on the chair provided in the library with Athy in one arm and a book in the other.
I put her on my lap and opened the book so that she could look.
Then, swaying, I began to read that book for her.
As the time went by, I noticed that Athy’s head was tilted down.
She must have fallen asleep.
I put the book on the desk, lifted Athy’s body once and spun her around, then sat her down again so that we were facing each other and hugged her.
Through the close contact, I could hear Athy’s slow breathing and fast heartbeat.
I liked this fast and light heartbeat sound that was unique to children. It made me feel like they were living to the fullest in their little bodies. Oh, it was so cute. Didn’t you know, even a kid’s heartbeats could be so cute?
As I was still swaying, occasionally sniffing her hair while doing so, the armrest of my chair hit a book and it fell off the desk with a thud.
With my hand on Athy’s back, I reached down to pick up the book.
I noticed that a piece of paper had fallen from the book I had managed to pick up.
I put the book back on the desk and picked up that piece of paper that fell out.
I looked at the paper without thinking and my hand twitched nervously.
I guessed my movements must have gotten through to Athy.
Athy shook herself and opened her eyes.
“It’s nothing. I’m sorry I woke you up. You can still sleep.”
I swayed the chair again and patted Athy on the back. I quickly put the paper in my hand on the desk and slowly patted Athy’s head.
Athy looked up at me with a slightly worried look on her face, but she buried her face in my chest and gradually began to make little sleepy sounds again.
… My Angel!!
I kept thinking about what I had just seen and the events that might have been related to it as I swayed in my chair.