𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟎: 𝐎𝐰𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐚, 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐭
A week after that night.
A familiar mother and daughter visited the castle of Heyerdahl.
Owenna, with her long black hair and vibrant lips, and her daughter Anne, who greeted with a shrunken demeanor.
In contrast to Owenna, who was plump from drinking, Anne was thin and looked unwell. Even though there was food, the nutrition was probably unbalanced.
When Owenna saw me, she opened her big eyes, made a face as if she was a close friend, and opened her arms to hug me.
“Chloe-san! I was worried about you because you moved to such a countryside. I was lonely without any greetings or divorce.”
“Owenna-san, we’re in public. . .”
Despite the presence of knights and maids, and various people around, she didn’t seem to notice. When I pulled away, she shrugged her shoulders in exaggerated dissatisfaction.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you like me? You always have a sulky face, you’re so childish. So, where is Theodore-sama? I want to greet him. Show him this child.”
She pulled her daughter Anne’s hand and made a bright smile.
I turned my eyes to the knight. He bowed politely and said,
“Theodore-sama is inspecting the magic stone mine all day today. I will guide Countess Strelitzi and the young lady. This way, we have prepared a room.”
“What? It would have been nice if he had taken the day off because I was coming. Right? Chloe-san.”
I’m at a loss when she turns to me.
Not only me, but Anne also seemed troubled, bowing her head to the people around her from a position where her mother couldn’t see. She understands how rude her mother is being. It must be embarrassing. My heart ached.
I called out to Owenna, who was moving ahead.
“May I borrow your daughter? I will be working as a tutor from now on, and since she is close in age to Theodore-sama’s adopted children, I thought it would be nice if they could deepen their friendship. What do you think?”
Deepen their friendship. At those words, Owenna’s ambitious eyes sparkled.
She immediately pushed her daughter’s back with delight and sent her off.
“Go on. Get along as much as you can.”
“. . .Yes.”
Anne followed me, looking apologetic.
When we were alone in the hallway, I smiled at her.
“I’m sorry for inviting you without asking. If you’re tired, I can show you to a room where you can rest alone.”
“No. . .I’m fine. Thank you. Um. . .Chloe-sama. I’m sorry for my mother.”
“You don’t have to apologize for your parent. It’s not your role to take responsibility. Instead, look forward to it. Theodore-sama’s children are all very fun and kind.”
When we headed to the room I always use for lessons, they looked at the girl I brought with me and their eyes sparkled.
“Teacher, is that the girl Lord Father was talking about?”
As Serio stood up, I put up my finger. It’s sensei mode.
“Yes. Today, let’s start by giving a polite greeting to the Count of Strelitzi’s daughter, Anne-ojousama. I understand the feeling of forgetting the manners of a gentleman or lady in front of a cute girl, but let’s show Anne-ojousama. your cool side.”
They look at each other and laugh, then switch their mood and straighten their backs.
I looked at Anne next to me. I could feel her eyes filled with excitement and anticipation.
(I hope that while she’s here, she can be. . . freed from taking care of her mother.)
From that day on, Owenna lived in the castle and was treated as a guest.
It was clear that she was actively participating in dinner parties and luncheons, trying to connect with the nobles of the Margrave Heyerdahl territory.
She seemed to be doing something rude or causing trouble with the commoners in the town, but every night, Theodore-sama would pour his wine and say to me, who was nervous,
“It’s all part of the plan.”
He just smiled.
“Don’t worry. I’ve told my subjects about her, and I’m also covering for her with the people of the territory. It will be tough for a while, but I want you to let her do as she pleases.”
“If Theodore-sama. . . says so.”
I didn’t understand what Theodore-sama’s plan was, but I nodded, trusting him.
I must believe in him, who told me with serious eyes that he wanted me to trust him.
『”𝐀𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬.𝐜𝐨𝐦” – 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 i𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 “𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬” 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 “𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬”.』