Fiance Arc – Chapter 3
Her first love interest is… an old gentleman?
And the meeting with the first yandere isn’t as expected… he had that kind of character?!
Just in case, I made an effort to avoid the situation.
When I visited my father for the second time, I resorted to playing the part of duke’s weak daughter with all my might. Saying things like: I don’t want to meet my fiancé, tomorrow’s meeting is way too soon, and『Rather than hate, I’m afraid of meeting him 』, I appealed with tear-filled eyes of which, weren’t part of the act.
「In any case, if you don’t meet the person, you wouldn’t know whether you’ll dislike him, right? Since I’ll be coming along, I’m sure it’ll be fine. For now, just go to sleep.」
That’s right. I’ll go back. This is what an adult does.(1)
And so on the next day, in a horse-drawn carriage that rocked to and fro, I headed to my fiancé’s residence, Duke Ranuncula’s mansion, to meet him.
I heard the trip would usually take around ten days or more with a carriage.
What played a big part in the shortened voyage was the teleportation tower. As a fairly large-scale magical tower, it was indispensable as a continental long-range transportation.
We jumped from the lone teleportation tower in the Dukedom of Lilia to the – similarly – only tower in the Dukedom of Ranuncula. With that, the ten-day trip was reduced to half a day.
That ten-day trip sounded nicer.
Moreover, if we arrived at the destination of a lifetime, it would’ve been even better.
That was my current state of mind.
Nevertheless, time was too cruel for being too quick, I thought, as I stepped out of my carriage and into the battlefield without so much as a plan.
（I screwed up……）
As I down on the soft chair at the reception area, regret swiftly overcame me.
Sitting beside me, my father, who noticed my terrible complexion, recommended a warm drink. However, feeling like it wouldn’t likely pass through my throat, I declined.
When I say “screw up”, I mean about the fact that from night till morning, I was anxious about various things and as a result, didn’t get any rest at all. I could’ve had some time to sleep in the quiet carriage, but instead, I had stared out the window in order to escape reality.
If the engagement doesn’t follow through, I can at least rest easy – It would be nice if my physical condition improves after I come back from this place.
No use crying over spilled milk, is the maxim I reflected on as I waited. Soon after, a knock resounded across the room.
In accordance, my father stood up and greeted the person who entered.
With hair mixed with white, the person who entered the room with brisk movement, was a good-natured old man. Next to him, with glossy black hair, was a young boy.
I intentionally cleared any expression from my gaze. It was the proper behavior for a lady when being introduced to another person. Although, it might not seem proper for a child.
When the gentleman finished exchanging greetings with my father, he immediately turned his gaze towards me.
「Let me introduce you, Duke Ranuncula. This is my daughter, Lycoris. Lycoris. This is his excellency, Duke Ranuncula」
Introducing the duke to me, and vise versa with very concise words, my father pulled me forward. Naturally, I ended up directly facing the gentleman.
「It is an honor meeting you. My name is Lycoris Radiata.」
After ending my bow, I spotted a gentle smile on his face. His eyes, which were very clear but in a shade similar to when peering into a deep deep ocean, crinkled in a smile.
Compared to my father, Duke Ranuncula was much older; he should be close to around fifty years old. His old age was evident from the visible wrinkles on his face and hands.
「Yes, it’s nice to meet you too – but having said that, I’ve already met you when you were a baby though」The duke said with a light-hearted tone before kissing the back of my hand. His white speckled grey mustached traced over my hand, tickling the thin skin.
When I mentioned that, the corners of the duke’s eye wrinkled even further. After sharing a good laugh together, our short conversation ended.
「You grew up to be quite charming that you surprised me. Although, you got the hair and eye color from your mother, you definitely inherited the shape of your eyes from your father」
With those words that voiced the similarity between my father and I, my father became a bit flustered and returned it with a “I’m often told that”.
As for me, I became unnerved for being called “charming”, a compliment that I was unaccustomed to hearing.
「But you don’t look so well. It seems like you’re exhausted from the long journey. Is it your first time riding a carriage for such a long distance? 」
Worry and sympathy filled his light blue eyes. Then he placed a warm hand on my shoulder and with a gentle voice said「It’s okay to sit down」, as he urged me to do so.
「I-I’m alright. It’s better if I stand or walk, at least I can get distracted…」
In vain, I stuttered an answer.
「As I thought, it was because I asked you to come here. I’m really sorry」
「No! Uhm… I like going to new places. It was refreshing to get to view the sea in a large town. And I got to see the windmills at the main roads, it was very interesting to get to see the sights for the first time… ah – no, what I mean is, today, I was incredibly happy to be invited here」
When I finished giving him nothing but greetings, I felt ashamed because it ended up turning into a weird babble. It was unusual for me to be jittery like this.
Thankfully, Duke Ranuncula looked happy as he smiled and laugh asking me to describe to him the shape of the windmills.
Seeing him listening to my story attentively, I was astonished from the bottom of my heart.
With a sincere smile on his face, this was our country’s prime minister.
This country was a monarchy – under the noble royal family stood five dukedoms. Among them were the Dukedom of Ranuncula and my very own, the Dukedom of Lilia, and so the standing of a prime minister was established within the nobility.
With that standing, and my bias that he was above all 『That yandere man’s father』, I didn’t expect that he would turn out to be a good-natured man. It was very rude of me. I shall reflect on it.
That Prime minister-sama(2), said「Your hunger for knowledge is truly a remarkable talent」with a smile that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but joy.
Honestly, I felt my heart throb.
How much did it throb? Well, it was so much that I momentarily forgot the existence of the yandere – I mean, my fiancé, next to him.
Father, who stood behind me, cleared his throat, and I finally recalled the purpose of this visit.
I sent a sidelong glance to the young boy next to Prime Minister-sama.
「I’m terrible sorry. Lycoris, let me introduce you to my son」
Prime Minister-sama’s big hands guided the ten-year old, Wolfgang Eisenhut to stand forward; the boy gave the barest of greeting,「Best regards」with his eyes on the floor.
With a「Same here」returned to him, our conversation was cut off.
The atmosphere in the room grew dead silent, causing the two adults to grow anxious.
「Our conversation will be complicated」
「Lycoris, why don’t you take my son to the gardens?」
With a sudden『Go take a stroll…』, the two ten-year old children were thrown out to the gardens.
This wasn’t what you’d expect from a scheme made by an appointed minister who supports a country – Honestly, this was a poor plan.
First of all, the two adults should’ve soften it up by bringing up a topic, the right thing to do would be give one or two common topics for the two of us to talk about. But as I began thinking, I felt like I was playing the role of a woman who did a lot of matchmaking in a drama. Even if a man could work for a living, he might be weak at playing as a matchmaker.
… realizing I went off track, I shook my head.
The young boy, who continued to walk together to with me to the garden, was a slender good-looking youth.
Whether it was unexpected or not, or maybe it was due to our age, but between the two of us who were in the same age, he was comparatively shorter.
(1) A bit ironic since she’s being sent to her room by her daddy…
(2) Really, I’ll stick to this translation until someone gives me a better one. Because god damn, that little lady has the hots for that gentleman…
(3) In here, he uses the pronoun (ore). It will be a detail later mentioned in chapter 4