Chapter 174: Okaa-sama
“I see. So, it’s true that there’s a Four Marquis girl who has survived Wester,” the boy who had his hand on his chin and was looking at me in amusement wasn’t the boy with the iron fist. Like Gill, his height alone was close to that of an adult’s, but he looked fragile and still had a young face.
Nii-sama stepped out in front of me to protect me.
“Excuse me. I’m Lloyd Stingler. This is my brother, Jeff. Our fief borders Wester.”
Nii-sama raised his eyebrows, I think. I can only see his back, but it seems like something he would do. I quietly poked my face out from behind Nii-sama.
“I see. So Farland received information that there was a Four Marquis girl in Lentforce.”
I felt like the cold air got even colder.
“Hey, hey, we’re just greeting each other. You don’t have to take it so seriously.”
“Haha,” he laughed. I don’t think he’s the type of person Nii-sama doesn’t like. Another pair of brothers came forward in a hurry, probably because they could read the mood. To be exact, the older brother came forward while dragging his little brother along with him.
“I’m Jasper Grayson. This is my brother, Lawk. Our fief is on the northern end of Farland, or the most northern part of this continent.”
I pictured the map of the continent. If I recall correctly, the northern end was pointed and surrounded by the sea. So that means, “Lothsh of fish,” the fish in the southern port town in Wester was delicious. I’m sure the fishes from their fief will be delicious too.
“That’s right. Fishing is great in the northern fiefs. That’s impressive. You’ve studied a lot.”
Jasper-kun and his brother smiled admiringly. They have black hair and green eyes. Somehow, they look like they’re Gill and Alistair’s siblings.
“And this is Sienna Helford. She’s the young lady of the fief that borders Neville. And this is…” Prince Al probably thought he should finish the introductions for now. He interrupted and introduced the two women on the side.
“Tessa Farland. She’s the youngest princess of the Farland royal family.”
I looked at the two of them, a little surprised. Even though his matchmaking partner was from Farland, I thought that she would be a noble, not royalty since we came here carefreely. Nii-sama and the others don’t seem fazed at all.
The lady named Tessa had black hair like the Greyson brothers, and her eyes were a dark blue and looked black. It could be said that she resembled the Lisburns, but those were colours you didn’t see often in Kingdom. Her dark hair and eyes highlighted her white skin and she looked beautiful. Her familiar dark hair and eyes made me feel nostalgic since they were colours, I saw a lot in my previous world.
“Haha! The calmness in your faces doesn’t change even when you hear she’s from the royal family. As expected of the Four Marquises!” But she sounded hearty when she opened her mouth and Nii-sama and Gill pulled back a little.
“And it’s lovely to see that you’re clearly surprised. Leila, was it?” Tessa looked at me while I was still hiding behind Nii-sama and smiled.
“I’m Leiwa Awbansh,” I greeted her in a small voice. Why can I deal with a crass boy, but get shy because of a beautiful Onee-san?
“You’re small, but you listen carefully. You don’t hide your expression as well as your Nii-sama and the others. You’re probably wondering why a member of the royal family came here, right?”
That’s true, but I’m troubled when you ask me that. I put on a face that said I had no idea what to say.
“The Farland Princess is a chaperon,” Prince Al explained in a tone that made it clear that she wasn’t here for the matchmaking. Not just to me, but so that everyone could hear. Which meant that the silent woman was his partner. However, before I could get a good look at her, Oji-sama said, “Now, let’s go inside the mansion since we’ve all met. You’re cold, right?” so I couldn’t get a good look at her since I went into the mansion. That’s a shame.
When we entered the mansion, we went through a room that looked like the hall, but we quickly passed through it to an even bigger room. This seemed like the real hall. It was much bigger than the one at the Albans mansion.
“It was designed so that a lot of people can gather here in times of emergency,” Oji-sama explained. What could that time be?
“The barrier around Kingdom has shaken in the past. When that happens, this is a safe place for those within the vicinity.”
“We had fought with Farland in the past.” I was secretly told the other reason afterwards.
We decided to go our separate ways for now in the hall since we had to clean up after our trip first, before the warm reception. I loved new places and new people, but I’ve anxiously wanted to see Okaa-sama’s portrait since we entered the mansion and kept looking towards the stairs.
“Come on, why don’t you go see Claire with me?”
Ojii-sama took my hand and led me up the stairs. The walls up the stairs were filled with old and new family pictures and I didn’t know when they were painted. Among them, housed a brightly coloured frame with Okaa-sama’s picture on it and it could be seen whenever one went up to the second floor.
There was a young woman sitting on a chair among white flowers in the early spring when it was still cold and there were young green leaves visible among the withered grass. Her wavy, light brown hair was swaying in the wind, and in her hands, she was holding a bundle of the white flowers she picked from near her feet. She had a warm coat on, and she was also wrapped in several shawls. She didn’t look fashionable or anything, and looked like a village girl, and yet, she was smiling with joy from being outside.
“I think she was a little over twenty here. She had gotten pretty healthy at that age, but she still fell ill during the cold season. She was finally able to go in spring, so this picture was painted when she went to the prairie out back.”
Ojii-sama picked me up while I was looking up and brought me just a little closer to Okaa-sama.
“If you weep puththing thhoshe on me thhen I won’th be abwe tho move.” (If you keep putting those on me then I won’t be able to move)
I’m sure Okaa-sama would have pouted while saying that. The words that had spilt out of my mouth made Ojii-sama twitch.
“You won’t keep still no matter how much we put on.” I heard Oji-sama’s voice from behind.
“I said to Claire who pouted as everyone came up to her and tried to put more shawls on her. Maybe we cared about her too much, but she was still like a child no matter how old she got.”
“But she was hardly selfish. That’s why we let her do whatever she wanted to do.”
I understood that that was why they had let her go to where Otou-sama was.
“The shun, thhish famiwy and thhe fwowersh are aww warm. I’m shure Okaa-syama woved everyone.” (The sun, this family, and the flowers are all warm. I’m sure Okaa-sama loved everyone)
I reached out for Okaa-sama’s portrait. I’m sure she would smile at me and reach out to me as well.
“Lei also woves Okaa-syama.”
I’m glad I came to the northern fief.