𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟑: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐤𝐲
I packed the clothes Florenci and I prepared in advance into a bag.
In order not to appear as wealthy nobles, I chose clothes of inferior quality than what we usually wear.
Ga-chan spread out a small piece of cloth, and packed her favorite lump sugar in it. Everything was ready.
We left our luggage with Rachael’s servants. Apparently, they were going to send it to Binemöer in advance.
It’s about three days to Binemöer by boat.
The idea is that, other than three days’ worth of luggage, We can go with just ourselves.
It was truly helpful support
I felt relieved about our life in Binemöer.
However, I couldn’t let my guard down.
The magic circle spun from spider silk in my room moved slightly.
Someone with malicious intent was trying to break into the mansion.
I wonder how many times I’ve seen this reaction today alone.
According to Ga-chan, who went scouting for me, the visitors were not my uncle but men in black.
A journalist wouldn’t dress like that.
It must be the thugs sent by my uncle.
Are they planning to kidnap us and have their way with us?
I know their goal without asking. They want to take over the position and wealth of the Duke Mendoza family.
They must be planning to take over the funeral and make it their own accomplishment.
My father’s funeral is scheduled for tomorrow. We plan to hold it quietly, just Florenci and I, without inviting any relatives.
Of course, my uncle won’t agree, so we plan to hold a second funeral after we leave the royal capital.
I have already requested the undertaker, and my uncle will be the chief mourner.
My uncle will be happy to serve as the chief mourner without knowing it’s the second time.
The letter notifying him should be arriving soon.
A few hours later—the magic circle stopped responding.
The invaders who had been coming incessantly suddenly stopped coming.
My uncle must have received the letter safely.
He was planning to take me out of the mansion to persuade me about the funeral.
I turn around when called by Florenci.
Okaa-san refers to me.
We are going to move to Binemöer as a mother and son, so I have him practice calling me “Okaa-san” before we leave.
If we appear wealthy, we might be kidnapped for our property.
So, I asked him to call me “Okaa-san,” not as “Okaa-sama” a term not used by upper-class nobles, to subtly assert that we are nobles, but not that wealthy.
Florenci, surprisingly, doesn’t feel awkward calling me Okaa-san, and treats me like a real mother.
The one who might not be adapting is probably me.
Every time I’m called Okaa-san, I feel a bit startled inside.
“Florenci. . . . . .No, it was Ren, wasn’t it?”
“I’m sorry. I’m the one who’s not used to it.”
“It’s okay. Okaa-san is good when it counts.”
“I hope so.”
Even Florenci’s name, I get it wrong like this.
It’s absurd considering I’m the one who came up with this.
From now on, I have to live as Lara Dosa, and Florenci as Ren Dosa.
I need to get used to it before we leave. . . . . .
“Ren, what’s wrong?”
“I was wondering when Okaa-san is going to sleep since we have to get up early tomorrow.”
“Ah, that’s true.”
My father’s funeral is to be held early in the morning before the sun rises.
So, we have to sleep early tonight.
“Let’s go to bed soon.”
Although it’s earlier than planned, there’s nothing left to do, so Florenci and I get into the futon together.
I thought I might be too nervous to sleep, but as soon as I closed my eyes, my consciousness faded away.
Finally, the day of the funeral arrives.
At an hour that might still be considered night, my father’s body is laid in the coffin by the mortician.
Carried meticulously to the hearse, it begins to move as Florenci and I climb in.
Normally, the coffin would be carried to the chapel. However, since that is a place for the deceased to say farewell to those beyond family, we headed straight for the graveyard this time.
At the graveyard, the soil where my mother already rested was deeply excavated, ready to receive my father’s coffin.
There, we placed branches of oak that grew in our garden.
Oak has long been used as a material for shipbuilding, interpreting death as a new journey, and it seems to be a custom to plant it with the coffin for a grand departure.
Florenci sprinkles holy water on the coffin, praying to keep the devil away from our father.
Though I thought he might cry again today, he seems to be holding back.
I hug Florenci in such a state, resolving to live together from now on.
The coffin of my father was gradually buried by the hands of the mortician.
In front of such a scene, I talk to my father.
“Otou-sama, I will absolutely protect Florenci, so please watch over us with Okaa-sama.”
Cold rain started to fall, pitter-patter, on my hands offering prayers.
It seemed to be crying instead of us, who could not shed tears.
We left the cemetery before the rain became severe.
The mortician stayed behind to excavate the soil for the second funeral.
Already at the mansion, a dummy made to look like my father’s body has been placed. On the day, we will have it carried carefully and put into the coffin.
Now that the funeral is over, I sigh with relief.
The sun did not peek out even in the morning, and the sky was covered with dark clouds.
Florenci sneezes. Perhaps his body is cold from the rain. We have some time before the gathering, so I’ll let him take a bath before we leave.
. . . . . .I wonder if that wasn’t a good thought.
As we left the mansion to go to the place Rachael had specified, we ran into my uncle the moment we stepped out onto the main street.
My uncle approached with a face twisted in anger.