Claire let out a breath, her eyes still closed, “I kind of regret coming to see him.”
And then Claire fell silent.
Him? Scholar Camille? Jean was confused.
Claire was frustrated. Now that she knew the truth, was it good or bad?
Why did she feel there was an invisible net closing over her, and then slowly tightening, tightening……
“Claire, don’t be so fretful. Things will sort themselves out. Don’t forget, there’s a reason why Duke Gordon could hold up the Hill clan for so many years. Plus neither your father nor your brothers are idiots.” Walter conforted Claire.
Father? Brothers? Claire felt amazed. These two words were so unfamiliar to her. Now that Walter brought it up, Claire remembered. She did have a father and two brothers, but it seems like none of them were fond of her. Also, it’s been a long time since she first came to this world, yet she has never seen them. The only time was when the institutes of the two countries competed; she saw her second brother there. The young man that was already captain of the Griffin Squad.
The next day, Claire and Lashia went to class together. Before leaving, she made sure that the maids would take good care of Summer and dragon Ben. She also told the two again and again not to get into trouble.
But Claire could only have a peaceful morning at school. At noon, someone hurriedly came to tell Claire that there was commotion at the Hill castle, and that she need to go back immediately, for if she didn’t, the man in black that she brought back would flip the castle upside down.
“What happened?” Claire got into the carriage, anger tinting her voice. She had just told that uncivilized dragon before leaving. Did that idiot dragon forget everything?! Only a morning had passed and things were already out of hand.
“The, the marquess has returned.” The servant answered cautiously.
“The marquess?” Claire was confused.
“He’s your father, Miss.” The servant was also confused.
“Oh, what does this have to do with Ben making a scene?” Claire didn’t understand. Well, let him return. In her memory, that man seemed to not like Claire at all. Even disliking her.
“Because…… Because his lordship spoke unwell of you, Miss. So, so the guests you brought back got mad.” The servant answered in an extra careful manner.
“Well, what did he say?” Claire raised her brows and laughed coldly. Spoke unwell of her? It probably wasn’t so simple.
“Give some details.” Jean added coldly.
“Yes, yes.” Swallowing, the servant continued: “His lordship returned, but the Duke his grace wasn’t there, so master Emery received him. He told his lordship that mister Ben was your friend, Miss. Then his lordship said, said……”
The servant dared not say what happened next.
“Did he say, how is it that a handsome-male chasing idiot also have friends?” Claire said lightly, her face turning even colder.
The servant kept silent. His face paled, revealing that Claire had guessed correctly.
“And then Ben got mad?” Claire asked.
“Before mister Ben did anything, miss Summer refuted. Then, then……” The servants voice became lower and lower, “Then his lordship’s words became a little ugly, and then it turned into this mess now.”
Claire closed her eyes slowly, and didn’t speak again.
“Coachman, please hurry!” Jean instructed for the coachman to pick up some speed. Looking at the silent Claire, Jean felt bad for her for some reason. Her family belittling her, while outsiders defended her……
Chaos had already taken over the Hill castle.
“Apologize! Take back what you said.” Hands on her hips and her face red, Summer yelled at Claire’s father, Marquess Leger.
“What does what I have to say about my daughter have anything to do with you outsiders?” Marquess Leger replied disdainfully. But he wondered in his heart. Since when did his useless daughter have friends that would defend her like this? Not to mention that she even had friends? Everybody tried to avoid her. Even though rumor goes that she did some remarkable things in the near past, it probably wasn’t by her own strength, but Duke Gordon helping her.
“Claire is so sad to have a father like you! Not only do you not know your daughter, but you even insult your daughter.” Summer was bursting with anger. At times of life and death, Claire didn’t abandon them to run away herself, but instead stood before them. Even though Claire can be really mean sometimes, she was very trustable. If it was someone else who insulted Claire like this, she wouldn’t be so mad. But it was Claire’s own father insulting Claire!
“I know my daughter the best. Since when is it you outsiders’ turn to tell me this?” Marquess Leger said impatiently. But he didn’t dare have a worse attitude, for the threatening aura from the man in black plus Emery’s hinting winks, told Marquess Leger that this man was not an ordinary man.
“You despicable guy, what qualifications do you have to insult Claire like this!” Summer was determined to argue till the end, “You must take back your words today, and you must apologize.”
“Nonsense!” Marquess Leger finally couldn’t hold his temper anymore. He was a marquess! Since when could a little girl yell like him like that, and in his own house too!
“I did not try to argue with you due to the fact that you are Claire’s friends. But you are a little too rude. So uncivilized! You are with Claire, and does that mean like attracts like?”
“You bastard man! Who do you think you are? Do you think you have manners? Saying you own daughter is a handsome-male chasing idiot, but as her father what are you?” Summer was furious, loudly scolding Marquess Leger.
Marquess Leger’s face turned green. Claire had always been a thorn in his heart. Now that he heard Claire had done something good, he wanted to come back and see for himself. Considering her usual behavior, rumors were not so credible, so obviously he needed to see with his own eyes. Yet he didn’t expect to be confronted and scolded like this.
“You, you dare curse me!” Marquess Leger was now in a rage. A marquess being called a bastard by a little girl, and in the Hill castle!
“What’s wrong with me cursing you? You are a bastard. I’ve never seen a more bastard father than you. Some people are born without fathers, without a father’s love. Claire has a father but is even more miserable than those who don’t!” Summer seemed to be really upset, as if her soft spot was poked. Her eyes widened, and something seemed to be flashing in her eyes.
“You!” Marquess Leger was trembling with anger. He pointed at Summer: “Arrest her.”
Two voices sounded at the same time.
One was dragon Ben, and the other was Claire, who had just arrived at the door.
Marquess Leger turned his head to see Claire standing coldly at the door. Even though she was silent, she had an indescribable boldness about her, making all the people behind Marquess Leger not dare to move.
“Claire.” Seeing Claire, Summer rushed up and took up Claire’s hand, “You’re back.”
“Yes.” Claire smiled at Summer, and said in a low voice: “I heard all your words. Thank you.”
“What I said was all true.” Remembering the argument, Summer started huffing again, “What kind of father is this! So despicable.”
“Claire! What kind of friends have you been making?! So rude and uncivilized!” Seeing Claire, Marquess Leger thundered. In his memory, every time he raged at Claire, Claire would get very scared, then Katherine would come out to shield this useless child.
Yet Claire’s reaction was completely unexpected. “I believe that what kind of friends I make has nothing to do with you. You have never asked about my life, not in the past, I don’t need you to now, and I forbid you to do so in the future!” Claire said coldly, “As a marquess, isn’t arguing with a little girl who has not yet turned fifteen, a little too undignified, a little too much of a disgrace to the Hill clan’s name?”
Emery’s expression changed. By saying these words, Claire would only make the situation worse. Thinking this, Emery tried to hint at Claire, but Claire ignored him. She had her own plans.
Marquess Leger was totally stunned. Was this the Claire they were all fed up with? Was this the Claire that had been afraid of him like a mouse would of a cat? Was this his illusion? Why did he feel that this Claire was so bold and domineering?
“Are you talking to me? Are you talking to your father?” His face darkening, Marquess Leger asked coldly. Whatever the case, a father’s authority shall not be challenged. No matter how capable his children were, this will not be allowed!
“How many fathers do I have? If I weren’t talking to you, does that mean I have another father?” Claire replied cynically. In her memory, all this father did was scold Claire. Everyone in the hall was shocked. Miss dared to confront the marquess like this!
“You!! How dare you!” Marquess Leger’s face darkened even more. How dare Claire speak such outrageous words. Contradicting him like this!
“Who was the one that never saw me as a daughter, but now coming out to pretend to be a father? Don’t you think it’s ridiculous?” Looking at Marquess Leger, Claire mockingly satirized, “That day when I fell off a horse and almost died, did you even come to look at me before leaving the house? If I never woke up, would you see me as I am now? To you, whether you see it or not doesn’t matter. Because in your heart, you have long ago declared me as unworthy to be your daughter. So why are you pretending to be my father now?”
Now, Emery and everyone else in the hall were conflicted. It was true that Marquess Leger never showed enough affection or care towards Miss Claire. To be exact, he never did at all. What Claire was saying seemed to have some reason in it.
“You, you–!” Marquess Leger felt a little dizzy. Was this direct and sharp person in front of him really that useless daughter of his? Denouncing him in front of a crowd like this.
“If your lordship doesn’t have anything else to say, please excuse me.” Claire sneered. Pulling Summer over, she turned to dragon Ben, “Let’s go.”
Dragon Ben came over with a sly expression on his face: “Do you want me to get rid of him for you?”
“No, Mother would be sad if you did.” Claire said casually.
The conversation between the two was heard clearly by Marquess Leger. He became so angry that his lungs almost exploded.
“Stop right there! Where do you think you are going?” Marquess Leger thundered.
“What does that have to do with you? Your lordship, I do believe that you still have a lot of business to attend to. Also, if you want to attempt to stop me, I believe none of you here have the ability to stop my friend!” Spitting out these words coldly, Claire left with Summer and dragon Ben.
“Jean! Stay here, and tell me what is going on?” Outraged, Marquess Leger turned to Jean.
Jean lowered his head slightly, “ Your lordship, I am Miss’s guardian knight, so I can’t stay here. As for what is going on, you will understand when the Duke returns.” After saying these words, Jean followed Claire out.
The people left in the hall looked at each other. Emery was silent. Even though Marquess Leger had been so rudely confronted, for some reason he felt a small pleasure in his heart. As a matter of fact, Marquess Leger’s strength was plain for all to see: he was not talented, but not stupid either — just average. In addition, his biggest weakness was that he was impulsive and couldn’t learn to act according to the situation. Therefore the Duke arranged for him to work on the borders. Emery sighed. This time, how would the Duke deal with this?
“Outrageous, this is all so outrageous!” Marquess Leger continued thundering. Even if Claire could offend him like this, how dare a lowly knight disobey his orders.
As Claire and her friends exited the castle, Summer tilted her head and asked, “Claire, what do we do now? Looks like I’ve dragged you into this mess, and you can’t even go home now.”
“There is this one place that we could go to.” Claire raised her eyebrows and started laughing.
“What place?” Summer widened her eyes in curiosity.
“Follow me.” Claire led the three onto the streets.