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Owen, the head of the Primula family, was sitting in the study. He was looking at the list of items delivered this year.
‘That’s quite a lot.’
From generation to generation, the Primula family was in the business of supplying the items required by the High Temple to the temple headquarters and branches.
It wasn’t that difficult to procure the things the temple ordered. After all, most of them were daily necessities such as food, cloth, bedding, and tableware.
But since when? Gradually strange things began to mix with the High Temples’ orders.
At first, Owen, who did as asked without saying a word, couldn’t help but feel puzzled later.
“I dare not to question the will of God, but… … May I ask why you need these things and what they are for?”
When Owen asked, the high priest, with a cold smile, cut his questions short:
“It’s necessary for a ceremonial rite.”
“But I have been supplying ceremonial items for decades, these items have never—”
“Watch your tongue, Count Primula!”
After Owen asked the question again, the high priest in charge of the furnishings immediately burst out in anger.
“Do you dare say that you know all the ceremonies administered by the High Temple? Something I don’t even know? How dare you!!”
Ironically, because of the high priest’s reaction, Owen was convinced—the items he was delivering were not being used for religious rites.
“I am very disappointed in the Count. I can’t believe you distrust the doings of the High Temple!!”
“… … I’m sorry, High Priest. I was simply asking out of curiosity.”
He was very suspicious, but Owen had no choice but to bow his head. If his business relationship with the High Temple was cut off because he went against their will…… It was clear that it would be a big blow to his livelihood.
Owen couldn’t say anything as he thought of the family he was responsible for and his beloved daughter Damia.
However, the high priest seemed to think that this was not enough. Putting down the ledger, he got up from his seat and nodded at Owen.
“I don’t think this will work. Count, follow me for a moment.”
“Huh? Where are we going?”
Owen asked with an ominous foreboding. Then the high priest, with a mysterious sneer responded briefly:
“Since you don’t believe it, I will show it to you myself: God’s will.”
And after that… … .
Jolted from his old memory, Owen unknowingly grabbed his neck, panting. Although it was summer, he wore a cravat that covered his neck.
A burning pain pierced his neck like a bee sting under his sweat-soaked cloth. It was because of ‘God’s will’ shown by the High Temple.
Fortunately, the pain soon subsided. Taking his hand off his neck, Owen let out a weary sigh. Then he covered his sweat-drenched face with both hands.
Sometimes the weight he had to carry was too heavy. Even he, a man rich in years of experience, sometimes felt his legs tremble. But he had to somehow survive and endure for the family he had to protect and support.
Owen sometimes wondered: The burden on my shoulders or the family holding my hand— which one is heavier?
Fortunately, before he sank too deep into a gloomy despair, someone knocked on his study door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Dad.”
The door opened, and Damia entered through it. Then, with something hidden behind her back, she crept over and sat across from him.
A smile spread across Owen’s face when he saw this. He loved his family. But he was just a little tired.
Just the presence of his lovely daughter’s face brought spring to his darkened study. Owen asked with affection,
“What has brought you to my study, Damia? And what are you hiding behind your back?”
Damia smiled brightly at his question and held out her hand.
“I have a present I want to give to my father.”
“Yes. It’s not grand, but I made it myself.”
Was today his birthday? Owen was bewildered, but he delightfully unwrapped the box. And soon, he was admiring it.
Damia gifted him a stunning handkerchief she embroidered with her own two hands.
“It is so pretty. Did you make this for your father?”
Owen’s happy face, promising he would cherish it, came to life. Seeing this, Damia received a new comfort.
She should have been like this from the start. She should’ve given it to her family first, rather than giving a gift to a playboy like Akkard.
“By the way, why are you giving me a present? What’s going on? Is there something you would like to have?”
asked Owen, feeling a lot better. He was willing to get her daughter anything she wanted. However, her hidden intentions were different.
“Father, I… … .”
Damia paused and brought out her other hand that had been hidden. Then, unexpectedly, what was in her hand was a sweet cider.
“I wish we could spend a little more time together. If possible, with some alcohol.”
With a grin, Damia shook the cider. Owen hesitated for a moment at his daughters’ suggestion for a drink.
His work laid out on the desk is not yet finished. But since he received a precious gift, he wanted to make time for her request.
Owen roughly shoved his delivery list into his drawer. And he gladly accepted the glass that his daughter had offered him.
“Alright! As a father, I can’t lose to my daughter.”