She and the Fight Between the Parent and Child
When the guard confirmed I arrived at the middle gate on time, he made an obviously relaxed face.
I lightly waved my hand at the guard who called out to me and went to his side.
Having run, I was breathing a little roughly.
“… I am sorry. But, I kept my promise. Let’s go home”
Saying so I passed through the middle gate, but the guard stayed back and looked all around.
“Milady, what about the man from before?”
I nodded aah to his words.
“There is no need to worry”
“No way, was he saved?”
Ignoring the guard who couldn’t hide his surprise I began walking.
I don’t plan on going into detail.
Sure enough, the guard who caught up with me began nosily inquiring, but I vaguely evaded. The guard who realized I didn’t feel like talking scowled, but I also evaded that by feigning ignorance.
“Please tell your father properly”
“I wonder? I cannot promise that”
The guard finally raised the white flag by saying that, but I only answered coldly.
I absolutely won’t tell Father about Delris-san and Cain.
It’d be different if Father was an ordinary person, but ultimately he’s the Prime Minister.
It’s very unlikely it’d stop at him listening.
I don’t feel like talking about her living in hiding by choice, nor like giving Cain who escaped inevitable death excessive worries.
Although I came back to the mansion like that, unfortunately Father has already returned from the castle and is waiting in the entrance hall.
… He’s angry.
At Father’s anger obvious from his daunting pose, I averted my eyes finding it troublesome.
I tried scowling at the source of that information leak, but he was gone already.
Tch, he ran away quickly.
Feeling defiant, I nonchalantly told Father I came home.
“I am home. Father certainly came back early today”
If I’m shameless, say so.
Thinking so, I bowed, but Father had a sour expression.
“When I’ve received the report, I hurried back. Lidi, I’ve heard the story from the guard I attached to you. The matter with Shanoire is fine. Well done. But, just what in the world did he mean that you picked up a cursed man”
I see. The main story is about Cain.
Having congratulated me with simply well done about the matter with marquis, Father brought up the real issue at hand, Cain.
“… You have sharp ears. Yeah, it’s as Father just said. I have nothing else to add”
At my words father raised one eyebrow with a twitch.
Perhaps the detailed report was sent while I went to Delris-san’s house.
I’m fed up with how overly excellent our intelligence service is.
“… Another troublesome thing. Lidi, do you understand. You will be marrying His Highness the Crown Prince. Won’t you think a little about changing that unrestrained behavior of yours”
“Even if I’m told that, it’s as I’ve told Mother, today I only went out to thank a person I’m indebted to. Everything else was a coincidence”
I strongly insisted that I didn’t do anything, but I was only met with a doubtful face.
Sad, is what Father said while unnaturally covering his face.
“To me it only seems like you’re poking your nose into trouble on purpose. Really, it can certainly be said older brother and younger sister are similar. You’re just like Alex”
“Being lumped together with Elder Brother is vexing”
I reflexively denied. I could tell my cheek twitched.
Say what you want, but don’t put me at the same level with Brother who manipulates his surroundings.
“And…? I’ve heard you picked up a man with a red eye, but is that true?”
With the tone of wanting to return to the subject, it felt like Father really wanted to ascertain what happened.
Truly the capable Prime Minister.
He seems to have investigated to a certain extent to know the man has a red eye.
Of course, he wouldn’t believe the rumors about the cursed clan.
He doesn’t know that Cain is an assassin or that he’s from Hiyuma clan.
However, I’ve decided not to talk about these matters even if I was pressured.
I’ve thought about it a little, but for now I affirmed Father’s words, while using a diversion.
“Yeah, it was a beautiful pigeon blood. But, I do not know where he is now”
I can’t hide the matter of his eye color as it was seen by the guard.
It’s meaningless to act dumb.
But, apart from that, what will happen will happen.
I prepared myself.
“Hm? What do you mean?”
I frivolously told Father who was making a suspicious face.
“The curse has been certainly dispelled thanks to an acquaintance. But, I have no idea what happened later. After all, I promised the guard to return right away. But surely, I think he already went somewhere”
I tried to not lie as much as possible.
Otherwise, I’d be exposed right away. Especially when the other party is Father.
Father looked me in the eyes with suspicion.
I undauntedly stared back in his deeply peering eyes.
For a while Father looked at me with suspicion, but eventually gave up and breathed out.
“… I understand. Then that matter is settled already. Then, next. Who’s the acquaintance who can dispel a curse. There shouldn’t be any new high-ranking magicians in the castle town”
To these words I returned a sweet smile.
“I am sorry, Father. I cannot explain it sufficiently. I said earlier that the curse could be dispelled thanks to an acquaintance, but I didn’t say that person dispelled it. Please do not misunderstand”
“Lidi! Stop joking! This is an important talk!”
Father got angry like a raging fire at me who evaded.
In any case, we’re having this talk because he wants to invite that magician to the castle.
The desire to employ an excellent magician is the same everywhere. A magician who can dispel curses is on the level of receiving an invitation from the castle.
I immediately understood Father surely wants to invite that magician to the castle.
I smiled relaxedly.
“Yeah, it may appear like that to you, Father. Nevertheless, the person who can actually remove the curse is not my acquaintance, it’s a different person. Moreover, I confess that I haven’t seen that person directly”
I didn’t say a lie. I’m the person who removed the curse, and I can’t see myself directly.
Because it’s something I don’t understand well myself, naturally I won’t mention my neutralization magic to Father. Surely the talk would get confusing. It’s better to keep it a secret for my continued peace.
When I stared challengingly at Father who looks like he wants to say something, he raised his eyebrows.
Don’t get so angry, Father. Your blood pressure will rise.
“You haven’t seen?”
“Yeah. That is why I cannot introduce you”
“… I understand, enough”
After the few exchanges, Father said so, tired.
I didn’t notice why he hadn’t questioned me more.
I was gloating on the inside that I’ve won, but I froze hearing Father’s next words.
“I understand the story well. Lidi. You are prohibited from leaving for a month. Obediently reflect in your room”
Seeing my complexion clearly change, Father said nastily.
“If there’s something you want to say, I’ll hear it… We can negotiate afterwards”
After all Father didn’t believe a thing I said.
My eyebrows moved with a twitch at him implicitly saying if you want to talk, I permit it.
Who would fall for that trick.
“… I understand. Then, I’ll do embroidery in my room”
“Right. You better do something appropriate of a lady of a ducal house a little. Otherwise, your faults will be exposed”
My feigned innocence is not that half-baked.
It’s perfect in public. Besides.
“I believe I’m better than Elder Brother”
I said my true feelings, but I was completely cut off.
“Don’t compare yourself with Alex. He’s a man. What are you doing being so mannish. If it weren’t for His Highness, there might have been nobody to take you as a bride”
It’s none of your business.
Feeling quite irritated, I shut out Father’s extolling Freed.
Honestly, Father’s evaluation of Freed is as high as ever.
He’s certainly excellent as the Crown Prince, but Father can only openly praise him because he’s not aware Freed is an unrivalled brute.
I was made to realize there’s nothing metaphorical about the expression being crushed in embrace.
I seriously wonder if there’s a woman who would go along with it.
I’ve reached the limit of disparaging Father in my mind for continuing praising Freed without knowing his true nature.
Then, I turned around.
“… I will return to my room”
“I understand. If you want to talk, come to my room anytime”
With my back turned to Father I answered.
“What I said earlier is everything. That being the case, per your instruction I will stay silent”
“I will excuse myself”
I ignored Father’s censuring words and went back to my room.
I ignored it.
I thought of ignoring it again but being glared at so much I reluctantly answered.
“… What is it, Father”
Two weeks have passed since I was banned from going out by Father.
Of course, I haven’t said anything about Cain, Delris-san, or my neutralization magic.
I basically don’t talk with Father. It’s a complete cold war.
Even now during breakfast the atmosphere is chilly.
“Lidi, won’t you cut it out”
Calmly yet firmly Father said, exposing his anger.
I looked straight at such Father and showed a faint smile.
“What might that be about. I am spending all my time doing embroidery confined to my room per Father’s orders. Is there any problem?”
Losing his cool, Father stood up, but I feigned ignorance and ate a pancake that I requested for breakfast yesterday.
The pancake with blueberries and plenty fresh cream is truly wonderful.
Father, with the whole face flushed bright red, scowled at me.
And his daughter calmly ignored it.
Mother, who saw us making no progress like this, told us to calm down.
“Lidi, do not inconvenience Father too much”
“… Even if I’m told that. I simply stay in my room as ordered. I don’t understand why Father is getting angry”
At my words Father’s low voice resounded.
Being aware I ignored him, Father heated up ever more.
Mother softly stopped him.
“Lidi is saying she does not know anything, right? In that case, is it not enough already. Especially, the precious meals are not enjoyable with such stiff atmosphere”
“That is… Sorry”
Having received Mother’s honest opinion, who until now hasn’t said anything, Father finally apologized a little.
Next, Mother faced me.
“Lidi, you too. Father would not believe you because you take such attitude. I understand you have been getting depressed being imprisoned in your room, but be a little more mature”
I’m aware I was being immature, so I obediently nodded.
It was mostly my stubbornness. I didn’t know how to stop.
The long-awaited reconciliation chance came from Mother. I must use it effectively.
I took a large breath and faced Father.
“Father, I am very sorry. It seems I have been a little stubborn”
With me breaking the ice, Father also apologized.
“… It seems I also lost my cool. I will listen to what Rosina said and stop. But, don’t do anything too dangerous. Everybody worries about you”
Thanks to Mother’s mediation, I reconciled with Father, albeit reluctantly, so I patted my chest in relief.
I didn’t feel like confessing anything, but it’s a fact I’ve become rather dispirited.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t told you yet, but the army dispatched this year safely defeated Tarim. His Highness will soon be triumphally returning”
I raised my face at Father telling me what he recalled.
For a moment I met the eyes of the same color as mine.
Seeing I took interest in it, Father told me more news.
“In this war, the most distinguished person was His Highness. As he annihilated about half the enemy by himself, the injuries could be kept to minimum. He’s dealing with the war’s aftermath, as soon he finishes, he’ll be returning”
I attentively listened to Father’s story. I see, Freed won.
I thought I’m glad, but at the same time, I became anxious whether he wasn’t injured.
“And injuries? Father, was His Highness injured anywhere?”
Hearing my words, Father told me as if he was recalling.
“His Highness’s name wasn’t on the list of injured people submitted to me, and I haven’t received any such report”
“Is… that so. I’m glad”
He seems uninjured. I deeply breathed in relief.
Father stared at such me in surprise. However, I truly don’t care about such impolite gaze anymore.
… Freed is coming back safely.
When that fact permeated inside me, I understood happiness steadily swelled inside me.
Suddenly I remembered his appearance.
The last time I saw Freed was when I said good bye as he left his room.
Thinking about it, I haven’t seen him for nearly a month since then.
Furthermore, until then it had only been five days since we had met.
It wouldn’t be strange if I forgot it, and yet strangely enough I can vividly recall his appearance.
Remembering it, for some reason I felt my chest painfully tighten.
I want to meet him――――.
Before I noticed, I was naturally thinking so.
“When His Highness returns, you should also go to the castle. It’s a natural duty of His Highness’s fiancée to welcome him”
I nodded right away to Father’s welcome words.
I want to confirm his safety with my own eyes.
“I’ll inform you as soon as the date is decided… Aren’t you glad, Lidi”
Since a while ago, completely different from before Father has been gently narrowing his eyes.
When I blinked my eyes not understanding the meaning of that change, Father laughed and raised his voice.
“What, you haven’t noticed… Wipe your tears. You are crying”
When Father pointed out I touched my cheeks.
I was bewildered by the unexpected sensation of cold liquid.
Seeing my state, Father nodded many times.
“… My expectations seem to not have been incorrect. You have nothing to worry about. You only have to think about His Highness”
“Eh? Umm, Father?”
Even though I didn’t understand and tried asking, Father had a face like he alone understood.
When I looked at Mother, she said how lovely with a friendly grin.
… I totally don’t get it.
Having given up on understanding, I finished breakfast and stood up.
I felt like I wouldn’t receive an answer no matter what.
Having forgotten something, Father called out to such me.
“Lidi. In a few days Alex will be coming back”
I stiffened at Father’s words. That stupid brother, is he really coming back.
Deciding not to ask, I returned to my room.
My face was magnificently twitching.