Chapter 100: The Current State of Duke McGallen’s Household (Part 4) ― Extra edition
Leah was eagerly leaning forward, wanting to hear more about the love between the princess and Daniel. But she couldn’t help but recoil at the words he muttered.
“Listen, Leah. Don’t think about 〝trying hard〟 when it comes to love or affection.”
The atmosphere in the room grew a little colder. Klaus threw a glance at his daughter that seemed to say, “That’s not what I meant.”
“No matter how hard you try or how much you wish for it, there are things that won’t come true. There will come a time when you have to learn how to ‘give up’ on something, no matter how much you want it.”
For twelve-year-old Leah, those were heavy words to take in.
“There are things that are impossible no matter what you do. Like standing up against a whole nation alone, changing your gender, becoming a different species, or changing someone’s feelings… Those things are absolutely impossible with just your own power.”
“You’ll understand someday.”
Being admonished like that, Leah thought to herself.
(…I don’t want to understand.)
Leah was still young. She wanted to stubbornly believe that if she worked hard, good results would always come, that if she polished herself, she would shine, and that if she stayed alive, good things would always happen.
She looked into the distance with a distant gaze, shifting her eyes to the flower garden. At that moment…
From beyond the hill, she saw several women walking towards them.
All of them were carrying baskets filled with flowers.
Leah was captivated by the sight, and then she noticed that one red-haired woman was waving at them.
“Who is that…?”
“Oh, that’s Diana! Over here, Diana!”
Sofia called out to the woman as if she had returned to her childhood.
The redhead woman was carrying a baby. Leah looked at them and felt a twinge of envy. Leah was an only child and had never seen a baby up close before.
The woman called Diana naturally took the baby off her back and handed him over to a man named Daniel. She quickly sat down on a chair.
“Sofia-sama! I apologize for not being able to visit the villa.”
“It’s alright. Diana must be busy every day.”
Daniel happily played with the baby. Surprisingly, it seemed that he liked children.
“Oh, that’s right. Long time no see, Leah!”
Leah didn’t know much about Diana, as Sofia explained.
“Leah, Diana-san is the wife of Leon, the owner of this land.”
The wife of the landlord, it seemed. Leah stood up and greeted her.
“Oh, long time…no see.”
“Leah, you’ve become such a beautiful Onee-san. Gain various experiences here and come back. It will surely be a wonderful experience.”
She was an oddly assertive woman. Leah hadn’t seen many forward women like her in the noble society.
“Thank you. The edible flowers I received yesterday, you…?”
“Yes, that’s right. These flowers in the flower field are edible flowers. I initially planted seeds in a small plot like this table, but it grew into such a large field. Now I supply them to various restaurants.”
So she was a large-scale farmer. But why was she connected to Leah’s mother like this? Sensing that, Sofia explained to her daughter.
“Leah, Diana was the daughter of Heinz Trading Company. But due to the war, the money they lent to the royal family went up in smoke… They were driven out of their land by the war and started a farm here. That’s how it became the flower field you see now.”
Leah’s eyes widened. Heinz Trading Company was once a wealthy family. But they fell from grace due to the war. It was a well-known story in this area, and Leah was aware of it. Saying they fell from grace was easy, but she didn’t know what happened to their family. She never expected to come face to face with one of the parties involved in a place like this.
As Leah struggled to find the right words, Diana spoke.
“I imagine it must be terrifying to hear that a girl like you has fallen from grace, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Even if you lose everything, there are things you can gain again. What I happened to grab in the midst of the war was a bag of flower seeds. It was the only thing left in the stable. But when I scattered them, look…such a beautiful flower field.”
Leah looked at the flower field. It was certainly beautiful, but was it really more than just a balm for the wounds of falling from grace?
(She’s just putting on a brave face)
To be honest, that’s what Leah thought. Going from a noble daughter to a farmer’s wife was nothing short of unfortunate. Being a farmer’s wife meant working tirelessly and not being able to wear beautiful clothes. If Leah were in the same position, it would have been unbearable.
Taking into account what Daniel said earlier, Leah thinks to herself.
Adults must surely give up various things as they grow up.
(But I won’t be like that.)
With the all-knowing thinking unique to adolescence, Leah came to that conclusion when Diana asked her a question.
“Hey, Leah, what are you going to do after this?”
Startled, Leah looked up. For a moment, she thought she was being asked about her future plans, but…
“You went fishing yesterday, right? And today you’re going hunting… Aren’t you tired?”
It seemed Diana was asking about her plans for the day. For some reason, Leah quickly glanced at Daniel, who was soothing the baby, and then looked into Diana’s eyes.
“Well, um, yes. I want to take it easy.”
Leah, who had been moving as her parents told her, was indeed tired. Besides, she was more interested in Daniel’s splendid “love history” than the “training” in the countryside.
Diana stared at Leah and then asked Sofia with a knowing look.
“Sofia-sama, may I borrow Leah-sama?”
Sofia blinked her eyes and then exchanged glances with Klaus before nodding.
“Sure, but why?”
“We came all the way to the countryside, so it would be more fun for her to go out freely, don’t you think? Hey, Leah-sama, being with your parents all the time can be suffocating, right?”
Leah nodded with a slightly excited expression. Now that it was mentioned, Leah, the only daughter, had rarely been out of her parents’ sight.
“Leave Leah-sama to me. Hey, Daniel, are you free in the afternoon?”
Leah was surprised when Diana suddenly invited Daniel. He responded as if talking to the baby.
“I thought so.”
“…You thought that way?”
“What’s wrong with that? Let’s take a stroll around the area.”
While listening to the somewhat silly conversation between the two, Leah stood up, slightly curious about their relationship. Diana, with Daniel’s help, strapped the baby to her back with a baby carrier and said,
“Shall we pick some flowers?”
And with Leah and Daniel in tow, they began walking towards the spring mountains.
TL: Unfortunately this is the last chapter in the webnovel