Chapter 209: Back to Peace (2)

Milton immediately dismounted and greeted his wives.

“I’m back. And as you can see, I’m perfectly fine.”

He first hugged and kissed Queen Leila, then Sophia, and finally, Violet. Then, he lifted Elizabeth, who had been fidgeting with shyness, high up into the air.

“It’s been a while, Elizabeth. Did you forget your dad’s face?”

She was a bit heavier than before; he realized that she had grown a lot in his absence. But more than that…

“Wel...come back, Father.”

What surprised Milton the most was that Elizabeth was speaking clearly now.

“Bess. You’re… talking now.”

“Are you surprised?”

“Ha… hahaha…”

While Milton was fighting on the battlefields, Elizabeth had begun to talk. Before he had left, she was only babbling, now that she was speaking properly, Milton was both surprised and happy. But the surprises didn’t stop there.

***

“You must be tired, but there’s something I want to show you.”

The first thing Sophia showed Milton after they entered the castle was a baby being cared for by the maids. 

When he thought about how close Sophia had been to her due date before he left… It was clear whose child this was.

“Is this child my son?”

“Yes. He’s the next in line to become the Grand Duke Forrest. We haven’t named him yet.”

“......”

As Milton stood there in a daze, Sophia carefully held her child out to him. 

“Why don’t you hold him.”

Milton carefully took his child and held him close. 

‘He’s my son.’

As previously promised to Queen Leila, this child’s last name would be Forrest, not Lester. In other words, he was to be the heir to the title Grand Duke Forrest.

Looking at his baby yawning and clenching his little hands non-stop, Milton thought he was going to cry. He had killed and almost been killed on the battlefield until he was tired of it, but holding his own flesh and blood, Milton realized how futile war was.

‘Forget being a war hero or whatever. I’d be happy enough with just this bit of happiness…’

Regrets that he thought had been put to rest came to the forefront of his mind. Milton knew very well that the times were getting more tumultuous and that he was at the very center of the chaos of this age. There was no way his silver spoon life would be happening. Without seeing an end to this turbulent era, the peace Milton wanted would never come. 

‘At the very least, I won’t pass it onto you.’

Milton made an oath to his son as he held him close.

***

William Forrest. That was the name Milton gave to his son.

“Willam. It’s a good name.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

Milton smiled when he saw Sophia smiling. Elizabeth walked up to her brother and laughed as she looked at him.

“William. Heehee…”

When Milton saw Elizabeth giggling, he turned to speak to Sophia in a low voice.

“I’m guessing she likes her younger brother?”

“Yes, we’ve been constantly telling her to love him.”

“I’m glad. I want you to keep watching. I want them to have a good relationship.”

“Don’t worry, we will.”

“We’ll make sure of that.”

Milton was being serious and his wives were equally serious. With the exception of Sophia, both Queen Leila and Violet had been born into royalty and knew very well what siblings meant within a royal family - they were rivals and competitors with the same blood running through their veins.

Could there be a royal family in this world where they didn’t have a history of internecine? Both William and Elizabeth were naive children now, but who knew whether they’d grow up to become greedy for power?

It might not matter if it was a couple of generations in the future, but there was no way Milton and his wives were going to allow such a tragedy as fratricide to happen in their children’s generation. While Queen Leila had tried to create safeguards to prevent that from happening by separating the royal family and the Grand Duchy, who knew what would happen in the future.

Currently, the Grand Duchy Forrest and the Lester Royal Family were governing the country in perfect harmony, but it was usually difficult for a monarch to tolerate someone to have an equal amount of power as them. It was possible that in the future, the Royal Family and the Grand Duke may be at odds with each other and turn hostile.

‘I can’t take responsibility for that though.’

In order to avoid that, the children had to get along as much as possible.

***

Milton was a hero. Although he had lost on the battlefield before, the Lester Kingdom’s citizens continued to argue that he was a living legend that boasted of a myth of having been undefeated. He was considered to be a great monarch who has enlarged the country by several times and strengthened the national power of the country. The people had fantasies of Milton and wondered what his daily life was like. 

However, part of Grand Duke Forrest’s daily routine consisted of... 

“No! I don’t want to eat it!”

“Bess, you have to eat your vegetables, alright?”

Struggling to get his picky daughter to eat.

When her father had returned from war, she had been a bit awkward with him at first. After all, she only had vague memories of him. But as they spent more time together, the awkwardness faded and she got closer to her father. However, the intimacy between the two of them had some side effects, such as…

“I hate vegetables! I’m not gonna eat them!”

“No, don’t say that, you have to eat them. Bess…”

She began to see her father as a pushover. 

Elizabeth was a princess but just because she was one didn’t mean that she could act like a spoiled child. Rather, it was common for children of royal families to receive education and strict etiquette lessons from an early age. Not to mention, Leila wasn’t the type of woman to pamper her own daughter. Sophia and Violet didn’t disagree with Leila’s educational policy, so, while they loved and adored Elizabeth very much, neither of them went against the way Leila was educating their daughter. 

But Milton was different. He had finally returned home after a long time and his cute daughter had only become cuter once she started talking. She was so cute and adorable that he did everything she requested and bought everything she wanted.

“Hehehe… Dad’s the best.”

Elizabeth quickly became closer to Milton and as soon as she realized that her father would forgive any mistakes she made, the intelligent young princess began to use it to her advantage. In other words, she found out her dad was an easy mark and the result was the current situation.

“No! I’m not gonna eat it! I hate vegetables! Wahwahh!”

She was a princess of a country and yet, was throwing a tantrum on the floor because she didn’t want to eat her vegetables. Seeing that, Milton was cowed by his own daughter. In a way, his daughter was a stronger opponent than Siegfried as she cried and screamed on the floor.

“Bess, don’t do that.”

Concerned, Sophia paused eating and tried to help Milton out from the other end of the table but… 

“Leave them alone, Sophia.”

Leila stopped Sophia.

“But Your Majesty…”

“Leave them alone. This is all part of learning…”

Knowing that there was nothing more she could do, Sophia continued to sit still. She realized that the person learning something here wasn’t just their young daughter. Leila was taking this opportunity to correct Milton’s soft attitude towards their daughter. 

‘Do whatever you want as much as you want.’

It was understandable that he loved their daughter, but her personality might be ruined by him if Milton continued to say yes to everything Elizabeth wanted. That was why Leila was going to take this opportunity to correct Milton’s attitude. 

***

The war-like mealtime was finally over. In the end, Elizabeth succeeded in leaving her vegetables still on her plate while still getting to eat a slice of cake for dessert before going out to the garden. 

“Push me, dad.”

She sat on the swing in the garden and asked Milton to push her.

“Alright, alright, I’ll push you.”

He was a Master, how hard would it be to push her on the swing? He believed that he could push her all day if she wanted it.

“Zooooom!”[1]

“Kyaaaaaa!!”

Her maids had pushed her gently, but when Milton pushed her dynamically[2] Elizabeth burst out laughing.

“Hold on tight, Bess. Here we go! 360-degree rotation!”

“Kyaaaaa!!”

Milton got excited as his daughter responded enthusiastically and pushed the swing harder and harder. He was pushing it so hard that Sophia, who had designed the swing, was beginning to question whether the swing could hold up.

“Ahh… What if she gets hurt…”

“Shouldn’t we stop them?”

Sophia and Violet were anxious as they watched the father and daughter playing.

“Leave them alone. He’s a Master. He’ll figure it out if it gets dangerous.”

They might be anxious, but Leila, Elizabeth’s mother by blood, was calm and leisurely sipped her tea.

***

What should you do after playing all you’ve wanted? Well, Elizabeth was covered in dirt after running around the garden and it was now time for a bath.

“Bess, it’s time for a snack now.”

“I like snacks.”

“Good. Then let’s wash before eating.”

He approached the idea of washing up logically; after all, Milton had once logically argued with a king of a country. However…

“I hate baths.”

It was no use to a child who didn’t understand logic. She crossed her arms. She was determined not to wash up.

Milton spoke as if he was in a dilemma.

“But Bess, if you don’t wash up, you won’t be able to eat any snacks. Today’s snack is your favorite. It’s strawberry ice cream.”

“I like ice cream. Bess wants to eat.”

“Then let's have some after washing?”

“No.”

At that moment, Milton felt like something was about to snap inside of him. His daughter was loveable. She was so loveable that just looking at her made him feel happy. [3]

But…

‘I want to smack[4]her, just once… No. What am I thinking right now…’

Disregarding parental love, parenting was unavoidably stressful. If she didn’t wash up and ate while she was still covered in dirt, then it definitely wouldn’t be sanitary. If he cared about his daughter, then she had to wash. But his daughter was adamantly refusing to wash up. Every parent would agree that this contradictory situation was annoying.

“Bess, let’s wash up first and then eat. Alright?”

“No. No washing.”

“Even though you won’t get any snacks?”

“W… Wahhhh…”

Bess clutched her dress with her adorable hand as tears began to well up in her eyes.

“What are you going to do, Bess? You don’t want to have any snacks?”

Milton was trying to get Bess to voluntarily pick washing up between the two options. However…

“W… Wahhhh!!”

Who said kids always did what adults wanted? In the end, Bess burst out into tears. She plopped down onto the ground and started kicking and screaming like nothing else in the entire world could be more unfair than this.

“Wahhhh!! I hate you! Wahhhh!!”

“Bess, no, what did I do…”

“Waahh!! I hate you. Go away!”

Milton tried to coax her, but she struggled and refused to be held by him.

Queen Leila smirked as she watched Milton floundering.

‘He’ll be reaching his limit soon.’

She spoke to him.

“Shall I do it?”

When he heard those words, he was so thankful that it brought him to tears.

“Ah… well, it’d be nice if you helped…”

But he didn’t want to seem like an incompetent parent who couldn’t deal with his own child and pretended to be nonchalant in the face of her offer.

“If you don’t need it, that’s fine.”

“No. I need help. Please help me.”

His stubbornness and faked nonchalance all disappeared in a blink of an eye. 


1. The original sfx in the raw was 부우우우웅 which I believe is meant for a vehicle?airplane? sound

2. I would have used ‘energetically,’ but because the author used an English word, I kept it as it was in the raws

3. The DT was 너무너무 사랑스러워서 눈에 넣어도 안 아프다는 말이 진짜 실감이 날 정 도였다 - It didn’t hurt to put her in his eyes. I translated the context of it.

4. The DT said 꿀밤 which means to lightly hit someone on the head with their fists

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