A Quarrel with the Family
Before sunset, I returned to the mansion, and when I passed the salon, I saw my family chatting over tea.
“I’m back. Father. Mother. Brother.”
“Welcome back, Rio. Come here.”
Invited by my father, I entered the salon and sat down on my favorite window chair. Leon sat on my lap and curled up. Even if I carelessly stroke my back, I can still feel the beautiful, soft sensation.
“Rio, I’ve heard that lately, you’ve frequently been going for walks. It’s good to be healthy, but you’re not venturing into the woods, right?”
I’m surprised at what my mother pointed out.
“I’m going on a picnic with Marie and Leon to my favorite place.”
I spoke the truth while omitting a lot of parts. Technically, I go to the woods, but I do indeed have a tea party every day like a picnic.
“Oh? The book Rio has is ‘How to make bricks’. Isn’t it interesting? I asked him to put it in the library.”
What! This book was Brother’s choice?
“Is Brother interested in making bricks?”
“Brick-making uses material such as shale, clay, and silica. I recently found out that I can get these items in our territory. Wouldn’t it be profitable to get into this industry?”
It’s terrifying that a nine-year-old is already thinking about his own monetary interests. You can see what they call a child prodigy.
“I’m happy to have such a reliable successor. It may not be long before I relinquish the Marquis position.”
“If we transfer our March to Sieg, should we retire to a villa in the south?”
No, no. It’s too early to talk about that. My brother is only 9 years old!
“If Rio becomes the fiancée of His Royal Highness, it’s not a bad idea to live in a townhouse in the royal capital.”
What did you say!?
“Father! Did the Crown Prince ask you for an engagement?”
“No, but there are rumors that the Crown Prince was traveling to the territory of each aristocrat this time looking for a fiancée.”
“His Highness seemed to like Rio.”
Because I was just faking a smile and laughing? I took an unfriendly attitude! What part of me does he like!?
“Father. If you have an engagement consultation, please decline.”
“Even though I also don’t want to marry Rio away, it’s hard to turn down an engagement from the royal family.”
“Please refuse with a reason, such as the unexplained fever that I had when I was little, that made your child unable to grow.”
Father turns his face to Mother. Father had a pale and solemn expression.
“Is that true?”
Mom glances at me and makes me sick. I was treated as a child. I was 7 years old.
“There is no such fact! You can’t lie to the royal family. Doesn’t Rio want to be the Crown Princess?”
“I don’t want to be! I’d rather be God’s bride rather than a princess!”
“Are you choosing to be a nun?”
Charlotte should be the fiancée. She is a Baron, but she can use light magic. Thanks to that, my engagement was nulled, and I was executed for crimes I never committed.
I don’t want that to happen again. If I don’t get engaged from the beginning, I will have a different fate.
“…I just need to live peacefully with my family.”
Tears start to fill my eyes, blocking my vision. Before I realized it, I had run out of the salon and locked myself shut in my room.
* * * * *
It was midnight when I woke up. It seems that I had unknowingly cried myself to sleep.
“Did you get up? How are you feeling?”
As usual, Leon was next to me.
“My eyes are swollen and hurting… and my throat feels clogged up..”
“It’s because you were crying so badly.”
“Did Leon stay with me the whole time?”
“I was here when you ran into the room because you were holding me tightly when you ran and shut yourself in here. It was hard for us. Do you know? Your family has been desperately knocking on the door and calling you.”
Did everyone worry about me? Well, let’s apologize in the morning.
“Marie has calmed everyone down. You should thank her.”
Marie? Speaking of which, I should have slipped into the bed in a dress, but I’m wearing nightwear. Did Marie change my clothes?
The master key should only be owned by the butler, so I’m sure she borrowed it.
“I’ll thank her in the morning, and I will also apologize to my family.”
“It would be a good idea to do so. Marie has prepared a jug and a washbasin. First, moisten your throat, and then cool your eyes.”
Leon directed my gaze to a low table in front of the sofa. A jug, a glass, and a washbasin are placed on the table.
Did you know, Marie, that I would wake up in the middle of the night?
I poured water into a glass and gulped it down. I was still thirsty, so I poured another cup and drank slowly this time.
When I looked into the washbasin, I found a towel soaked in water inside. It was cool and comfortable. In the same way as the iced tea Marie makes, she must have used magic to keep it cool.
“Rio, did you say you would be God’s bride? If you were to get engaged to the Crown Prince, would you be willing to do it?”
“Of course! But… It’d be lonely to leave Leon…”
Leon props his head up in his lion form and declares, “Wherever you go, I’ll follow. So, rest assured, I’ll always be with you.”
That night I slept wrapped in Leon’s mofumofu.
* * * * *
When I woke up in the morning, I saw Marie opening the curtains. Looking at the bedside, Leon is sleeping comfortably. I’m sure he stayed up until I fell asleep again. I want to fluff, but let’s leave it alone for when he wakes up.
“Good morning, Young Lady. How are you feeling?”
Perhaps she saw what happened, but Marie greeted me in the morning with her usual smile while opening the curtains on the canopy bed.
“Good morning, Marie. I’m sorry for everything yesterday. I couldn’t keep my promise to learn color schemes using ribbons from you.”
“You can study colors at any time. Instead, make up with your parents. They’ve been worried since Young Lady shut herself up in the room and didn’t leave your room till just recently.”
Is that so? By the way, Leon said the same thing. I’m worried. Let’s apologize at the breakfast table. I’m going to the dining hall. I have to apologize to my parents.”
“Yes. I’m sure everyone will be seated early.”
I have a dance lesson in the morning today, so Marie puts me in a cute pink dress.
“What? Is it already morning? Please, tie me a ribbon, the same color as Rio.”
Leon, who seems to have been awakened by the noise, comes to me and sits on the mirror stand.
“Leon. You can still sleep some more. Didn’t you stay up late yesterday?”
“No. I’ll eat rice together. The rice here is delicious.”
“You’re such a glutton, Leon-sama.”
Marie picks up Leon and puts him on the mirror stand. Marie’s face was loose when she picked him up. It seems that Mofumofu defeated her.
When I finished brushing my hair, I saw Leon posing in the mirror with a ribbon that matches me as usual.
My voice overlaps with Marie. Well, anyway, mofumofu is justice!
When I entered the cafeteria, my parents were already seated. But when they saw me, all three of them stood up all at once and came to me.
Seeing them like this, I felt guilty and bowed my head and finally managed to say, “Good morning… Father. Mother. Brother. Yesterday… I’m sorry for worrying you.”
When I bowed down, three people hugged me tightly.
“It’s okay. As long as Rio is alright, Dad will be happy.”
“Mother was wrong. I spoke without thinking about Rio’s feelings… I’m sorry.”
“Rio, I was worried.”
It’s always been this way. My family is so kind. Yet, I never considered what would happen to my family if I declined my engagement. This time, I can’t let my loved ones see the same things as in my previous life.
Even so, it’s painful. The power of this hug is… *hyuk* too strong.
“Everyone, if you do that, Miss Katariona will suffocate.”
The head butler clears his throat with an “ahem”. He stepped in at the right time. As expected of Marie’s father. Good job!
“Did I hurt you, Rio?”
Thanks to the butler’s timely interference, the stunned family finally separated.
“Now, let’s have breakfast. This morning I had Rio’s favorite strawberry dessert prepared.”
When I got to my seat, Leon sat in the chair next to me as usual. It is a custom-made chair that Leon made eating in his animal form easier.
Leon eats the same as us. Since it is not clear what the phantom beasts and holy beasts eat, it seems that other aristocrats are feeding them human food as well.
Leon said, “They are omnivores.” Well, Leon is a god.
Soup, salad, and bread. After that, we have the intestinal filling and eggs separated on one plate. Since he is 7 years old, he has a small stomach allowance.
I chatted with my parents as I ate the delicious breakfast. Yesterday, because of a devil prince’s presence, the food didn’t taste nearly as good.
“The long-awaited dessert has arrived.”
The dessert was strawberry bavarois. It has a sweet and sour strawberry scent. The cream is fluffy and delicious, and the bavarois is exquisite. When you take a bite, the strawberry flavor spreads throughout your mouth.
“Mhmm. It’s delicious.”
“You can eat Father’s portion, too.”
“I can’t eat that much, Father.”
I suddenly telepathically contacted Leon.
“Leon. Can strawberries grow in the forest?”
“Strawberries are also plants, so it should be possible. ”
Then it’s decided! Let’s create strawberry seedlings today. Hopefully, I can eat strawberries all year round.
TL Note: Hey guys, I decided to revert her name to Katariona. I had previously changed it to Katarina, but it seems that this is quite confusing as her nickname is Rio. Don’t worry, I have gone back and edited previous chapters, just giving a heads up. : )