Chapter 15: The King and Queen
“Wait a minute, Leo-kun!”
In my room, the twins are happily playing.
It’s a familiar sight now, and I’ve learned to relax and enjoy myself.
The mind is at ease as well.
“His Majesty and the Queen—I wonder what they are like…”
You get used to it, and it loosens you up.
I let my mind wander to the words, not realizing two kids heard them.
The two small children who were playing have stopped and are staring at me.
I realized this and smiled deceptively.
“Has Phyllis-onesama met Otoo-sama and Okaa-sama?”
“Despite the fact that you’re my older brother’s wife?”
“Well, I’ve said hello to them. But I haven’t had a chance to properly speak with them. I’m supposed to have a tea party with them at noon today.”
These two are as in sync as they have ever been.
Didn’t His Highness inform them about the tea party?
They both respond well.
Yes, His Highness’ tea party will take place today at noon.
I was nervous for a few days, and the day came and went in an instant.
His Highness has been extremely busy since then, and we haven’t had much time to talk.
That’s why I’m still nervous.
The tea party hasn’t even begun.
I guess that’s one of the reasons it leaked into my voice.
“The tea party my brother was talking about was today!”
“Can we also take part?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know; could you please inquire of His Highness Rayne?”
“I’m sure my brother will say yes!”
If these two energetic kids could come to the tea party, it would help to calm my nerves.
Over the last few days, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten to know them even better.
I now address them both by their nicknames, and I believe our hearts have grown closer.”
“What do you think of His Majesty and the Queen, Leo-kun and Lena-chan?”
“Father, you have a beard!”
Leo-kun’s response exceeded my expectations.
I recall His Majesty’s having a magnificent beard on the chin and under the nose, but…
The first answer to a question about his father was a beard.
I was hoping to hear something more typical.
“Okaa-sama is a wonderful person!”
Lena-chan informed me.
Yes, that’s what I was hoping to hear.
“But she’s terrifying when she’s angry…”
That’s not what I was hoping to hear…
She must be terrifying.
Not only Lena-chan, but also Leo-kun, appeared terrified.
I’ll have to do everything I can to keep the queen happy.
“How does His Majesty appear?”
“… a beard, isn’t it?”
The two kids treated him like a beard. I feel a little sorry for the King.
Is that how much they adore their children?
On the plus side, His Majesty may have a good sense of humor and be a nice person.
I’d be grateful if that were the case.
His Majesty Rayne is sweet and friendly, and Leo-kun and Lena-chan are good kids.
Their parents must be good people.
That is what I tell myself as I wait for time to pass.
Then comes the afternoon.
Lunch is finished, and my stomach’s feeling of fullness has subsided.
Today, there are five of us on the terrace where His Highness and I usually meet.
His Highness and I are seated next to each other, with Leo-kun and Lena-chan on either side of us.
His Majesty Bergen Istonia, His Highness Rayne’s father, is seated across from me.
And the lady with the blond yellow hair sitting next to him is Queen Celsia Istonia.
His Majesty’s wife and mother of His Highness Rayne.
They appear to be very dignified together.
In particular, His Majesty… with his valiant beard and piercing blue eyes.
“I appreciate your coming, even if you are tired—Father and mother.”
“Oh, no worries.”
“Rayne, you look great.”
“There has been no change.”
His Highness and the two of them continue their conversation indifferently.
Is the air a little suffocating?
Leo-kun and Lena-chan, who are always full of energy and vitality, are seated quietly.
“Now that we’re on time, shall we begin?”
“Wait a minute, Rayne—Allow me to tell you something.”
His Majesty’s mouth opens.
He appeared to be about to deliver a sermon.
“It’s too difficult, Rayne. There’s a tea party going on. Can’t we talk more comfortably?”
“…Then do something about your solemn expression and beard, dear.”
“I can’t pull off the beard. I can’t help myself.”
“Can’t you at least try to smile a little more? Look. Phyllis-san is nervous now that you’ve arrived.”
In a gentle, calm tone, the Queen advises His Majesty.
His Majesty bows his head and apologizes.
“I apologize. I became nervous as well. This is the first time I’ve spoken with my son’s wife. I was trying to show some dignity as a father… Is it possible that it had the opposite effect?”
“Father, your face is terrifying!””
“Otoo-sama’s beard is growing again!”
“Darn it… Because the beard grows back the moment you shave it.”
Leo-kun and Lena-chan, who had been silent until now, begin to speak as well.
The terrace, which had previously been filled with tension and silence, now transforms into a bright and pleasant space.
I’m still the only one who is unable to keep up with the pace of change.
The change from the formal atmosphere at the start perplexes me.
Then His Highness says to me,
“Everything is fine as usual. They both welcome you.”
These words are encouraging to me.