The woman’s face was the first I’d seen, but the man’s face was instantly recognizable.

Rarely has anyone had such a strong impression?

The identity of the strange object, the newborn children who had flowed into the orphanage, and the disappearance of the child from Duke Maynard’s house, which had been heating the water for a while, were quickly put together in the director’s head.
The answer is not very difficult.

For some reason, the child who had disappeared from the Duke’s residence had flowed into the nursery school I run.

Although I wasn’t sure which child it came with, as the item fell on the floor, it didn’t matter too much.
The black hair had been the symbol of the Maynard’s family for quite some time, and there was only one black-haired girl in this room.

Since then, the director has devoted all his heart and soul to raising Swan.

He could have knocked on the Duke’s door a little earlier, but it was because the director’s goal was not to simply receive a reward and end it.
From extorting child support payments to raising Swan to making Duke Maynard the patron of the orphanage.

If a great aristocrat like Duke Maynard became the sponsor of the nursery school, and even if the princess who had disappeared grew up in this nursery school, it was clear that everyone would be anxious about not being able to sponsor the nursery school or adopt a child.

‘Goodbye to the situation where I have to wipe the old lady’s feet to get a few pennies like now.’

To do that, I had to have ‘Maynard’s missing daughter’ in my hands.

Whether it’s swans or not.

“… Yes, there is nothing we can do about a dead child.”

It was such a waste, but it was spilled.


One good thing was that the director had, as the teachers say, a few more girls with dark hair in case of this.
Of course, those children were more of a messy color, a bit darker and darker than gray, rather than completely black like Swan’s hair.

But what about it? As long as it matches the color of the hair, that’s enough.

If you show the locket to ignorant children and whisper that you are the missing daughter of the Duke, they will believe it.
Just like the dead Swan did.

After trying to catch his breath, the director opened his mouth with a calm and solemn face.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen the kids’ faces.
How many dark-haired girls are there?”

“There are three of them, sir.”

“Yes.
I’ll talk to them after the meal, so get ready…”

Suddenly, the director cut off his words.
The teacher, who had been bowing his head, raised his head in wonder.

For some reason, the director’s grim gaze was fixed on the door.

“Curtis.”

“Yes, yes?”

“What are the children doing now?”

“Yeah? Ah, it’s mealtime.
We have good control, so no children will escape the restaurant.”

Curtis, the teacher who was called, tried hard to explain, but the director’s shoes were already facing the door.

Tumble, tumble.



They heard several dull footsteps in the quiet room, and then the door was thrown open.

“…”

The dim hallway was dimly lit by the light from the room.
The director quietly looked around the hallway, where not even the footsteps of rats could be heard, and then closed the door.

When I said something that should never be leaked out, he seemed a little oversensitive.

Click.
The door closed behind him, and the director, who returned to his seat on the road, looked at the teachers with ferocious eyes and said,

“Prepare the dark-haired children.
When Duke Maynard returns, we will proceed as planned.
If this job is successful, we can all change our lives.
Get ready without a hitch.”

The best is gone, but there is still a second best.

Greed glistened viciously in the director’s eyes.

***

Tak-tak-tak, hasty steps climbed the stairs.
A person was running away from the light, covering her mouth with both hands for fear of making a sound.

Her short brown hair swayed around her cheeks, and small footsteps echoed through the hallway faster than her heartbeat.

‘As expected, the director knew!’

Tears dripping down my cheeks wet my dry cheeks without even having time to wipe them.

The person’s name was Lillian.

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