Chapter 164: At the Royal Capital (Felicia’s POV)
After dinner, Chris came to my room and sat on the couch. She dangled her legs around while pouting.
“Nee-sama, it’s boring.”
“Chris, you shouldn’t put it that way. But…” I rebuked, but I knew how she felt.
“You’re right, it’s boring.”
I sat down next to Chris and gently put my arms around her waist, and she clung to me too.
Only a month ago, Chris was living like this too. She managed to spend time alone in the mansion when I went to the Academy or to the royal castle with mother. However, she seemed to be enjoying her time since she started going to the castle as one of Prince Nicholas’s playmates.
At least in the evenings, I tried to spend time with her like this after dinner, but she had a sudden change from her unhappy days and started talking about the fun she had every day.
“You’re still studying even though Prince Nicholas and Lei are away, aren’t you?”
As an heiress of the Four Marquises, I had a proper tutor by the time I was five. There were times when I thought it was boring, but I took it seriously as it was something I had to do. Chris isn’t the heiress, so she doesn’t have to study a lot, but that doesn’t mean that it’s alright for her to not study.
Chris used to skip her studies a lot, but she has been diligent lately. However, I don’t think I can force her to find it interesting.
“At least I have a day off tomorrow, so I can play with you.”
“Really? Nee-sama, let’s climb trees.”
“Climb trees?! Well, Nee-sama will watch you.”
Chris bounced happily on the sofa.
Of course, I knew it wasn’t proper mannerism, but she was cute so I couldn’t help but laugh. She started showing childish gestures like this after she started playing, no, studying with Lei and His Highness, and it was really cute. I know I should scold her for misbehaving, but well whatever.
I wondered if I should tell her about the marriage interview while I was chatting with her. In the first place, Chris’s fiancé shouldn’t be decided yet since mine hadn’t been, and she was too young. Even if it’s just formalities, it could affect her future interactions.
Having said that, I couldn’t just take her place. What is mother thinking?
Normally, the head of the family should give her a proper explanation. But I wonder if she would tell Chris properly. I think she would only tell Chris to behave herself since they were deciding on her future husband. If that’s so, then I think I should tell Chris to prepare her for it.
The marriage interview is five days away. Worriedly, I decided to postpone it just a little bit and talk to her about it while we’re playing tomorrow.
“Ah, look out!”
“It’s fine. Even if I take my hands off like this.”
“It’s fine as long as my other hand and feet are firmly holding on. That’s what Lei taught me,” Chris said as she steadily climbed up the tree, and it was hard to believe that she was a noble child. I did allow her to climb the tree, and the fact that her maid wasn’t worried meant that she always climbed trees like this.
“But Lei can’t climb a tree by herself. She said she could climb herself, but she ends up needing the help of Hans or Gill to climb. And yet, she acts happy as if she had climbed the tree herself,” Chris said after she had settled down on a large branch and laughed.
Hans is probably Lei’s guard. I can’t believe that Chris bothered to remember the name of someone’s guard when she had never cared about those around her before. Besides, I can feel that she liked it when Lei was happy even though she was making fun of her.
I’m glad I let her go to the castle.
“Say, Chris. Nee-sama has something I would like to talk to you about.”
“What is it?”
“Let’s talk over a cup of tea.”
There was a greenhouse at the Remington’s too. When I instructed for tea to be prepared in the greenhouse, Chris happily climbed down from the tree and grabbed my hand.
“Lei can’t climb down on her own, you know?” She said while looking forward to the snacks more than the tea.
“Chris, I wonder if you know that a noble from Easter will be coming here?”
There’s no way she would know. She probably didn’t even know what Easter was.
“I know. They’re here for a marriage interview with me, right?”
“Chris! Why do you…”
“The maids said it. They said that they couldn’t believe that I was being set up for a marriage interview when I’m only five. They said… hmm… that the blood of the Four Marquises will get mixed.”
I looked at the maid and she shook her head while looking pale. This was probably gossip coming from those not directly under her control. I think the Remingtons have lost some quality too.
“The maids wouldn’t answer my question even if I asked, so I asked the old man at the stable what a marriage interview is.”
“Oh my, Chris…”
“He said I was at that age, even though I wasn’t, and he told me what it was. It’s to decide on my future husband.”
I didn’t know what to say. But that wasn’t the only surprise.
“I heard that he’s someone from Easter. You know, I also studied geography when I went to study at the castle. Since Lei has been to Wester, Odds-sensei said we should learn about the countries surrounding Kingdom.”
Chris was growing up a lot smarter than I thought she would. Her selfishness had hidden this part of her, but since when did she learn to look at things so carefully?
“It made me think a lot. Your future husband hasn’t been decided yet, right Nee-sama?”
“Yes, not yet.”
“Why me? Sometimes, I hear about the responsibilities of a royal and about the responsibilities of the Four Marquises at the castle. But Lei only takes them half-heartedly and said 『Bothh Lei and Chrish are wiwe exthrash, sho we can do whath we wanth.』” (Both Lei and Chris are like extras, so we can do what we want)
“But, you know, I think that mother would use an extra child if they were useful to her.” Chris’s eyes as she spoke were the same lonely eyes she used to watch mother.