Author: alyalia

“Why is father here…?”

 

Charteron rubbed her eyes, thinking that she was seeing an illusion.

 

She ran out in a panic when she parted with Luensir, finding this and that looking delicious. Miraculously, she made a promise with Luensir to meet at the fountain in case they got separated, so she was on her way there. However, she was puzzled no matter how far she went. She kept returning to the same place, so she looked closely and realized she was spinning in circles.

 

Her leg was hurting, and she wanted to ask where the fountain was. So she spoke to a nearby merchant. The moment she learned the way to the fountain from the kind merchant, a sweet scent emanated from somewhere. When she turned her head, she saw the store selling fruit skewers.

 

Charteron, who listened to the merchant’s words, bought Luensir’s share of fruit skewers and held them in both hands. She then realized that she was lost again. While wondering which way to take, she saw someone who looked similar to her father in the distance.

 

There was no way her father, who was supposed to be in Duchy Marsetta, would be here, so she thought maybe that person looked like him. She dismissed it like that until her father ran up to her and hugged her tightly.

 

“…Charon.” Arensis held Charteron for a long time. He was so surprised that he thought something might go wrong with her, and he felt like she would disappear again if he didn’t keep her in his arms.

 

On nights when he woke up earlier than Charelize, Arensis would always put his finger under her nose with a trembling hand. Only after it was confirmed that she was breathing was he finally able to say good morning and asked if she had slept well.

 

Charelize and their children had become everything to Arensis from a very long time ago. He would give his life if someone asked him to give his life for them. That’s why their absence was unimaginable. The thought of never being able to see them again was terrifying.

 

Arensis looked at Charteron’s ankle, which looked slightly swollen.  “…I thought you were gone… How surprised I was…”

 

“That… so…”

 

“What if… something had happened?”

 

When Arensis, who had never raised his voice, got angry, Charteron hiccupped.

 

“I… just… bought… a present… and was… going to… return… right away…”

 

Charteron, who was muttering as if she was being unfairly treated, soon had tears in her eyes.

 

“Never… don’t ever sneak out again…”

 

“…”

 

When Arensis sighed and tried to hug her, Charteron, frightened by his appearance just now, hesitated for a moment. It shocked Arensis.

 

“Your Majesty…?”

 

After delivering Charteron to the Isla Palace, he didn’t turn back at the cautious call. He just walked with a blank look.

 

When Charteron, dejected, went inside, she found Luensir wandering around restlessly.

 

“Charon! Where have you been? I was worried.”

 

During the emotional reunion with Luensir, Charelize came in with sweat on her forehead, as if she had been running.

 

“…Babies.”

 

Charelize, with a stern expression, extended her hand to come closer. Seeing her children’s hesitation, she approached them first, bent her knees, and hugged them tightly.

 

“Your Majesty Mother…”

 

“It’s a good thing Lur left a note behind… Do you know how surprised I was when I heard from Viscountess Blanche?”

 

“…Sorry.”

 

“Sorry…”

 

“It’s okay because you came back safely. But you know you can’t sneak out again.”   

 

Charelize, who came briefly during the break, quickly returned to resume the meeting.

 

“You know… His Majesty… I guess he’s really angry with me… What should I do…”

 

As Charteron, who thought Arensis was still angry with her, continued to be depressed, Luensir asked carefully.

 

“What about the brooch? Did you buy it?”

 

“…Right. The brooch!”

 

“That’s… the reason we sneak out to buy it.”

 

Luensir, who was dejected at the startled appearance of Charteron, patted her head and then turned his head.

 

Brooch. That was precisely the reason why this incident occurred.

 

* * *

It was a week ago.

 

“Viscountess Rael, a letter has arrived from Baron Thebes.”

 

“Ah, thank you.”

 

Charteron put aside the task she was working on and sat beside Martin, who opened the letter. “Martin, what is that?”

 

“This is the symbol of my maternal family, Baron Thebes. It’s a white deer with three horns. But… What’s going on…?”

 

Martin’s expression as she was reading down the content gradually hardened.

 

“Martin…? What’s wrong?”

 

“…It is said that my cousin is sick.”

 

Even after that, Martin continued to be preoccupied with the worries of Lady Thebes.

 

Concerned about Martin’s condition, Charteron asked Luensir. “Lur, do you know why Martin is being like that?”

 

“Roughly. Martin’s aunt, Baroness Thebes, died in childbirth, and the Baron… has been missing for a long time.”

 

“…Ah.”

 

“The previous Viscountess Rael has passed away, so Martin is her only blood relative left behind.”

 

“Umm… Lur, come here.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I wish Martin could take a short vacation. Look at her now. She has already hit the corner five times.”

 

“I don’t care about it… as long as you’re okay with it.” Luensir nodded his head in understanding.

 

“It’s an honor to serve Royal Prince Luensir and Royal Princess Charteron, the shining stars of the Elioter Empire.”

 

So, instead of Martin, who went to Barony Thebes, they ended up being taken care of by Viscountess Blanche.

 

Charteron, who came back from the swordsmanship class with a flushed face, said she had created a small gap in the corner of the training ground.

 

They heard that a craftsman came to commemorate the festival and that if you brought flowers, they would put them in a brooch and craft them for you. It was almost impossible to sneak out from Martin, who knew them best, so they quickly gave up. However, now that Martin is not here, the perfect sneak-out would have been possible if no one had come in during nap time.

 

“Lur, please.”

 

“…”

 

“Martin is coming tomorrow, so we can only do it today.”

 

“…”

 

“Brother, please? Mother has a meeting today, and father is in the Duchy Marsetta! A day like today is rare.”

 

Although she managed to complete the handkerchief with Luensir’s help, the handkerchief was still ugly. Charteron, who decided that a brooch decorated with the birth flower would be better, worked hard to persuade Luensir.

 

“…You call me older brother only in a situation like this.” Luensir, who flicked his finger on Charteron’s forehead, smiled slightly.

 

Knowing that this meant acceptance, Charteron expressed her affection by kissing Luensir on the cheek. “Really? Is it real? You can’t back down! If you do, you, your children, and your grandchildren will all suffer from baldness.”

 

“Even if I’m like that, what is the sin of my unborn children and grandchildren?”

 

“The sin of having a bald father and grandfather.”

 

“But hair loss is hereditary, so if I’m like that, you’ll lose your hair too,” said Luensir, holding a handful of Charteron’s hair in his hand, smiling mischievously.

 

 

“…Ta-take back what you just said.”

 

It was around the time that Charteron, who had been working so hard to grow out her hair recently, was shocked by the reality that Luensir reminded her. Viscountess Blanche, who was outside, knocked on the door.

 

“May I come in?”

 

“Yes,” replied Luensir, who was smiling at Charteron, who was busy protecting her hair.

 

“It’s almost time for a nap. Would you like some warm milk?”

 

“It’s okay.”

 

“Yes? Why?”

 

“We sleep well even if we don’t drink that. As long as we have a pillow, we will fall asleep right away.”

 

Even while reciting the spell to fight off her hair loss, the gluttonous Charteron steadily responded to ‘milk.’ “…What are you saying! Lur, I’m a sensitive person in bed. How can you say something like that?”

 

“Just say you want to drink it.”

 

“I want to drink it. If possible, cocoa.”

 

“Yes, of course.”

 

After listening to their conversations several times, Viscountess Blanche smiled softly.

 

“Your Royal Highness, are you really not going to drink?’

 

“Sorry for bothering you. Please just bring me milk.” Luensir, who thought it was not polite to reject her continued sincerity, asked politely.

 

“Lur, quickly ask for cocoa again. So I can have two drinks.” Whispered Charteron in his ear when Luensir said milk was enough,

 

“I’m sorry, but I can hear everything, Your Royal Highness. And before Viscountess Rael left, she told me to only give drink one drink a day.”

 

Tsk…

 

Viscountess Blanche spoke firmly and quickly brought warm cocoa and milk.

 

“Before they wake up, I’ll have to change the water first…” In case the eyes were blinded by the sun, Viscountess Blanche, who drew the curtains, mumbled while looking at the slightly withered flowers in the vase.

 

“I can’t sleep well at night, so I’m going to take a nap a little longer today.”

 

“Ah, yes, Her Royal Highness. Sleep comfortably. His Royal Highness too.”

 

Viscountess Blanche watched the children lie under the covers and went out.

 

“Lur, Lur! Wake up!”

 

“I’m not sleeping, so stop shaking me.”

 

Charteron, who had bought a little more time by yawning awkwardly on purpose, looked around her and jumped up to shake Luensir’s body.

 

“You’re really bad at acting.”

 

“It’s noisy, let’s go. We don’t have time.”

 

“Wait a minute.”

 

Luensir, who wrote something on paper, folded it and put it in a vase.

 

“What did you do?”

 

“We’ll be back soon, but if we don’t, we’ll be in big trouble. I need to let them know that we’re not gone. Viscountess Blanche said earlier that she needed to change the vase’s water so she would look at the vase before entering the bedroom.”

 

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