Chapter 242: If You Don’t Give Up
Last chapter of the Kingdom Arc /o/
Jude struggled to keep serious while he was smiling slightly as he led me to the kitchen of the mansion where there was a large square cake decorated with cream was prepared on the table.
“Lei-sama, your important job is to right happy birthday on this cake.”
When I saw the cake up close, I saw that the edges had been decorated with fruit, but the centre was pure white. I wrote a big ‘Happy’ with coloured cream. My hands were shaking a little, but it definitely said ‘Happy’. But it was a little too big.
“There’s no room to write birthday anymore,” Jude said while sounding a bit troubled.
“Nico and I will write it. We write a lot better than Lei.”
“Hmm. We’ll just have to write it small.”
It’s a little annoying that they’re better than me at this, but I can leave what I can’t do to them. We all struggled with the cream, but everyone worked on writing ‘Happy Birthday’. The chef carefully placed the cake onto a cart. Underneath the cart was a paper crown that Nii-sama and I made together. When Jude heard that the crown is to be placed on Otou-sama’s head, he looked conflicted.
Chris and Nico pushed the cart while Jude watched over them worriedly. Why aren’t I pushing it? I can’t reach, so I did my best cheering them on.
“I’m shorry I couwdn’th hewp.”
“You have the important task of putting that crown on his head.”
“Leave pushing the cart to us big ones.”
They’re both good kids. When I thought about it, I realised that I was using the Prince to do something like this, and Lam-ojisama, his Otou-sama, will see, but it’s okay. Otou-sama is the star of the show today.
Jude opened the door wide, and we pushed the cart slowly into the room and up to the table.
“Otou-syama shith down on thhe chair. Righth here.”
“Ai! Nii-syama!” I got Otou-sama to sit down on the table with the cake and called Nii-sama over, and we put the crown on his head together.
“Lei and Luke, this is…”
“Ith’sh a crown for thhe birthhday boy.”
Nii-sama explained what I had said since Otou-sama didn’t understand a word I was saying as I puffed my chest out in pride.
“This means that Otou-sama is the King for the day. I’m sorry Your Highness.”
He even paid attention to this slip in the presence of the Princes. Nii-sama is great.
“This distorted congratulations is…” Otou-sama quickly rephrased his words, “This heartfelt congratulations is…”
“Lei wrothe ‘Happy’.”
“I wrote ‘Birth’.”
“And I wrote ‘day’.”
Chris and Nico went back to their respective guardians, but they reported their achievements.”
“What a wonderful way to wish me a happy birthday. I haven’t seen such a delicious cake since Claire made one for me. Yes, she did.”
Otou-sama was surprised.
“You’re right, Otou-sama. The three of us celebrated your birthday together when Claire-okaasama was here.”
Nii-sama looked as if he had finally remembered this.
“You’re right Luke. Yes. We were happy.”
Maybe Otou-sama didn’t think about Nii-sama at that time. But they had spent time together as a family.
“Then I’ll cut the cake.”
Nii-sama eagerly cut the cake with the knife as if he was breaking off Otou-sama’s sentiments. Then, he put the first slice of cake onto a plate and brought it to Otou-sama.
“Now it’s Lei’s turn.”
I stuck the fork into the part of the cake that had lots of fruits on it. I carefully brought the cake to Otou-sama’s mouth as Nii-sama held the plate.
“Lei, isn’t that a bit too much?”
“Ith’sh fine, here ith comesh.”
It’s not proper manners for a noble to eat cake with their mouth wide open. But I can’t carefully feed him cake if I only scoop a little at a time onto the fork. I pushed the fork into Otou-sama’s reluctant mouth. He had no choice but to open his mouth.
Nii-sama laughed while chiding me, “You’re being unreasonable Lei. Otou-sama’s mouth is still full of cake.”
When Otou-sama finally swallowed the cake, he faintly lifted the edge of his mouth, which still had cream on it. It was a sign that he was in a good mood.
“It was delicious. Thank you, Lei and Luke. I want to thank Prince Nicholas and Chris too.”
“It’s a good birthday,” Prince Lambert said, and a round of applause and congratulations filled the room. Jude finally stepped forward and quietly announced, “I will now cut the cake and serve it to everyone.”
“Hmm. Thanks. Oh, what’s the matter Stan?”
I stretched my hand out with a napkin to wipe Otou-sama’s mouth, but he suddenly looked across the table and widened his eyes in surprise.
“It’s nothing,” Stan-ojisama’s voice was a little shaky as he covered his eyes with one hand.
“It’s not nothing. What’s wrong with you?”
“You’re right, Dean. Even though you’ve never cared about whether I was sick or not before.”
Otou-sama tilted his head in confusion since he didn’t know what Stan-ojisama was on about.
“You were always a restless person who always looks as if your mind is occupied elsewhere. You didn’t understand your own feelings nor those of others. I couldn’t take my eyes off you because I was so worried.”
I’m sure Stan-ojisama is the only person who can say this to Otou-sama, who is a head of one of the Four Marquis Houses and is involved in national politics and channelling magic into the magic stones for the barrier since he is Otou-sama’s best friend.
“I never imagined that I would see you smiling and caring about children and me like a normal person.”
Him looking at Otou-sama and saying this while smiling is indeed a sign of their long friendship. Most people would think Otou-sama has a poker face.
“You’re finally able to live in this world with your feet on the ground. Today is like your real birthday.”
“Today is my real birthday, you say?” Otou-sama repeated what Stan-ojisama had said. Then, he looked at me, who was still clutching the napkin, then at Nii-sama and smiled.
“I’m deeply grateful that I was born into a better world.”
“Otou-syama, your mouthh.”
“Ah, please wipe it for me.”
“Otou-sama is surprisingly careless.”
Laughter filled the room.
Seeing Otou-sama like this reminded me of when we had first met. I thought I had bad luck when I was born into this world and believed that I could get away from the Marquise House and quickly become independent. But I’m living happily every day now which made those days seem like an illusion.
When I look up, Otou-sama is there, and Nii-sama and next to me.
When I look back, I see Nico and Chris smiling. Mark raised his eyebrows as if to say, “Don’t forget about me,” and Felicia was clutching her hands in a worried manner. And as if he understood everything, Gill watched over us like his father, Stan-ojisama.
Then there’s Natalie, Hans and everyone’s families were here.
“Thish ish bwishsh.” (This is bliss)
Good things will happen if you don’t give up.
I gripped my hands. It’s my turn to be a lady. But I have something important to do before that.
“Lei wiww eath cawe thoo.”
And so my days go on.