Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 125

𝐄𝐝𝐠𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐨’𝐬 𝐏𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝟏

. . .My heart is racing.

The sound carrying tension throughout my body is unusually loud, and my extremities are cold.

“Edgardo, it’s okay. If anything happens, I’ll punch them for you.”

Rolf’s attempt to cheer me up is appreciated, yet my nerves won’t ease.

. . .Finally, I confronted my father.

The same father who has imposed upon me the image of my grandfather, demanding I follow suit since my childhood.

I think. . . my father doesn’t not love me. Going to the Fourth Knight Order, I’ve come to understand a bit.

Despite my desire to defy him, I lacked the courage, but he once said something to me.

“Become like Grion. By doing so, you will not be disappointed. Words aimed at piercing Edgardo’s heart will not fly like arrows. His Majesty’s favor will likely follow.”

I didn’t fully understand back then, but I think that’s how my father was hurt.

Expected to work like Grion, faced with disappointment, stubborn in his ways without change, he imposed his life onto me. I wish he would stop. Yet, I learned in the Fourth Knight Order that it’s common for parents to decide their children’s paths.

What I found unpleasant was my father’s way of showing love.

Spending time in the Fourth Knight Order, my father no longer seemed as fearsome. I realized that it wasn’t hatred towards my father, but fear.

“. . .Thank you, Rolf. If it comes down to it, let’s go into battle together.”

“You’ve become assertive.”

After a moment of surprise, Rolf smiled happily.

“It’s about the Valka domain. I have to be strong.”

I love the Valka domain. I hope for the happiness of the servants who supported me and the people.

Despite how much I feared my father, my resolve to inherit the Valka house never wavered. Perhaps, that was my first true act of will.

As soon as Rolf and I descended, Alice and Miss Telhar came down.

Today, only I and Prince Linus will go to the Valka house. My grandfather brought two transformation magic tools.

Such valuable items, I am thankful for what we have.

To request support from my father, Prince Linus expressed his wish to go personally. And then there’s me, well-acquainted with the estate.

“Then, I’m off. Everyone, I leave the house in your care.”

“Prince Linus’s protection is entrusted to me. Although we’ll act separately, I can rush over immediately if it’s within the estate.”

“I’ll also bring the security magic tool. I am on my way.”

The three of us ride in a carriage towards the Valka house. We plan to separate at a hideout in the city and take different carriages.

Upon arriving at the Valka house, I want to speak with my father in a place where there are no people around.

“Don’t be so nervous. Didn’t Rolf say that if you don’t look closely, you won’t even realize it’s Edgardo? By the time they become suspicious, I’ll have already informed Ian about the meeting. If anything, realizing it’s Edgardo will convey the seriousness of the discussion to Ian.”

Prince Linus tries to ease my tension, but just the thought of facing my father makes me break out in a cold sweat. Before going to the Fourth Knight Order, this was my daily life.

Since joining the Fourth Knight Order, I’ve changed a great deal. Of my own will, I vowed to stop imitating Grion Valka. I wanted to be of help to Prince Linus.

 ㅤ

Yet, the reason for my fear is. . . because I’ve eaten too much sweet stuff.

To the point where I can’t make excuses.

This morning, I indulged in pancakes with lots of syrup and whipped cream. They were delicious. I also ate a chocolate muffin. It was delicious. And I drank cocoa. Indeed, when it comes to drinks, it has to be cocoa.

Despite wanting to live as Edgardo Valka, casting aside my father’s teachings, the fear of getting caught for the “bad things” I’ve been doing since childhood is terrifying.

Recently, even Alice told me, “You’re having a bit too much sugar, let’s make something with less sweetness.”

Rolf agreed with her, so my cocoa this morning had neither marshmallows nor whipped cream on top! How shocking that was. . .!

It’s because I feel guilty that I’m afraid to meet my father. But, I must overcome this fear.

“. . .Going to the Fourth Knight Order, I realized that I am myself, which is something fundamental. I hope my father can understand that too.”

Ultimately, that’s what it boils down to.

My father has his own will, and I have mine. The same goes for my grandfather, and for everyone.

So, while I don’t think we can understand each other, I hope we can at least respect each other. . . that’s my wish.

The time when Prince Linus and I arrived at the Valka residence was just right.

Every year, the Valka family entertains visitors who come to honor my grandmother at a tea party. It’s traditionally the duty of the mother, the head’s wife, but the father is the host.

My mother went to a distant villa when I was young, and I haven’t seen her since.

I have a memory of being a little lonely, but that feeling faded quickly. I didn’t talk much with my mother, and she didn’t pay much attention to me.

The only thing I clearly understood was that my mother was not getting along with my father and that she didn’t think very highly of me.

“Let’s go. Edgardo. Grion has already gone ahead and will help us if anything happens. Of course, I have expectations for you as well.”

“. . .Yes. I will live up to your expectations.”

“I am glad to have you with me, Edgardo.”

Prince Linus offered me words too generous for someone like me and alighted from the carriage. I followed him, fumbling.

I’m disguised not only with a changed face but also with clothes wrapped around my body to appear more corpulent. This makes it incredibly difficult to move.

As I enter the Valka house after a long time, a familiar servant greets me. It doesn’t seem like he recognizes me.

Today the weather is nice, and the tea party is in the greenhouse. Just before we reach the greenhouse, I see my father. . . Ian Valka, welcoming the guests.

“Let’s go.”

“. . .Yes.”

The guests enter the greenhouse, and my father’s face turns toward us. His eyes catch us.

We are nobles attending this tea party for the first time. I have thoroughly prepared for this charade.

. . .And yet.

“. . .Edgardo.”

The name that came from my father’s lips was my own.

“What are you doing, Edgardo.”

“Edgardo? That’s the name of your son, isn’t it? You must be mistaken.”

Prince Linus steps forward to deny it, but my father seems convinced, his expression and breathing unchanged.

This magic tool can change my appearance, but not my voice. Prince Linus speaks in a higher pitch than usual, denying it once more.

“I remember your son not having such a face or stature.”

“. . .No. It’s Edgardo.”

 ㅤ

My father’s gaze pierced through me.

“A parent who doesn’t understand their own child does not exist. At least, I am convinced that the young man is Edgardo.”

In the unbearable tension where even breathing felt difficult, my father casually eased the strained atmosphere.

My father’s body is not suited for martial arts, but he has trained like my grandfather. It was a feeling of witnessing that with my own eyes.

“Your visit suggests you have something to discuss? Please wait in the room I will prepare for you, or would you join the tea party? I don’t mind either way.”

“. . .Then, I shall wait in the room.”

Recognizing the identity from Prince Linus’s voice, my father widened his eyes slightly before nodding lightly.

“I will visit in the evening. . . Our guest seems to be feeling unwell from the long journey. Please show them to the guest room.”

“Understood.”

The servant who led us here has been serving the Valka family since before I was born. I often played and received comfort secretly.

So as not to be noticed by my father, strictly “secretly,” many servants “secretly” did various things for me, thanks to which I was able to avoid becoming cynical.

“You have grown up.”

A whisper soft enough to be missed tickled my ear on the wind. Before facing my father, I felt a little courage bestowed upon me.

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