Chapter 80: The End of Daily Life
A month had passed since Wilhelm-sama left.
There were no reports or incidents in particular, and my daily life passed by without a change. On weekdays, I had lectures at the Order; on days off, I had a tea party with Lilia. Life truly went on unchanged.
If nothing else, I might have gotten better at knitting. I was free in the morning, so I use that time to knit. I also had more opportunities to ask Chris to teach me how to cook, as the new cooks seemed to have relatively improved.
And with the weekdays over, today was a day off.
「I am up」
U~n, I rose with a stretch.
I was making the same documents last night, so my shoulders were stiff. Shall I get Natalia to give me a massage?
Well, I worked hard last night, so I did not have to do it today. That alone would help. I shall take it easy tonight.
「Good morning, Ojou-sama」
「Good morning, Natalia」
「Here are your clothes」
How unusual. Natalia arrived before I changed into my clothes. It seemed I really was a little bit tired.
By the way, I just remembered Lilia inviting me last week to go out for a while on our next day off. We always talk over tea at the manor, but it might be good to do other things like going shopping sometimes.
In that case, I must change into clothes which were not embarrassing to go out in.
「There, you are pretty today as well, Ojou-sama」
「Thank you very much」
「Well then, let us go to the dining room」
I let Natalia choose my clothes, and she picked a nice outfit.
Unexpectedly, Natalia seemed to have a good sense of style. I am envious. If it was me, I would take an eternity to decide.
Well, I shall head over for breakfast for now.
We left my room, went down the stairs, and in the entrance lobby on the way to the dining room.
There my father was, in some kind of a fluster.
「Huh? Good morning, Father」
「Yes! G-Good morning, Carol」
「What happened? 」
「H-Hmm……I must go to the royal palace for a while. Forgive me, but have your breakfast first」
「This early? 」
It was not unusual for my father to be summoned to the palace, but it was unusual for it to be this early in the morning.
Was there some big trouble? If there was, it might be better to refrain from going out today.
My father put on his hat, left the manor, and then boarded the carriage.
「What could have happened……」
「I do not know……」
Even Natalia was wondering, but I knew nothing myself.
No matter, off to breakfast!
When I opened the door to the dining room, only my mother was there.
「Good morning, Carol」
「Good morning, Mother」
「Gilliam was summoned to the palace. Let us have breakfast together」
When I took a seat, Chris carried in the meal and placed it down on the table.
Originally, my father and elder brother were seated with us on the dining table, so it felt too spacious today. But then, my brother had gone to the battlefield with Wilhelm-sama, so he was not around for about a month now.
As usual, I talked with my mother as we ate Chris’s delicious breakfast.
「Mother, Lilia invited me to go out today」
「That is wonderful. Have fun」
「Yes. I think we will do some shopping…」
「I shall leave some money to Natalia. Have Natalia come to Mother’s room to collect it later」
My mother spoke fast. It seemed much too fast to be candid.
But it seemed going out was all right. So, my father received a summons for a different matter?
I could not form a conjecture, and there was no use thinking about it.
「Thank you for the meal」
Finished with breakfast, I rose from my seat.
Afterwards, shall I knit to kill time until Lilia comes?
Suddenly, my mother called out to me.
Did she have a request for me?
I turned back around, but my mother was looking away from me.
Even though she called out to me, she did not say anything. What could the matter be?
「……Carol. Stay strong」
「That is the only advice mother can give」
The problem with my mother was that she would leave out her train of thought and would only say the conclusion. It left me confused.
Nonetheless, if my mother said so, I shall bear it in mind.
「Very good. My dear Carol, Mother is always here」
「Thank you very much」
My mother wiped her mouth with a napkin and stood up. It seemed she would go back to her room.
I shall go back to mine.
Natalia also had a strange look at my mother’s behavior. As expected, it really was strange. I thought so, too.
「Now then, what to do……」
「Your knitting project right now is……」
Together with Natalia, I walked to the entrance lobby on the way back to my room.
And when I was about to climb up the stairs, it was then that I heard the door knocker’s resounding bang bang. It seemed we had a guest.
It was nothing but unusual for my father to leave early in the morning, and for us to have a visitor this early. Was it going to rain? I shall remember to carry an umbrella.
「Excuse me, Ojou-sama」
Passing through the side where Natalia and I were standing, Richard went to answer the door.
It had been more than a month; the bandages on his head were already removed. So, he could now receive the guests.
As Richard was heading to the door, the bang bang of the knocker continued to sound again and again.
「Yes, who might they be……」
「Is Carol there!? 」
「Oh, it is Lilia-sama……」
Apparently, the visitor was Lilia. She came much earlier than usual.
I was just about to return to my room, so we could go there together. Also, how about having a cup of tea, and then leaving together?
I am looking forward to—.
「Good morning, Lilia」
「Listen! You know what! Calm down and listen, got it!? You must never be hasty! 」
「What is it? 」
That Lilia gripped my shoulders with a frantic look. Did she have very important news to tell me?
「A-A while ago, it seems that the Order has made a triumphal return……! 」
「Is that so! 」
「However, Wilhelm-sama was……! 」
No, no, no.
It was a lie.
That could not happen.
It was a complete lie.
「They said that…Wilhelm-sama was……killed in battle……! 」
Because—he promised me.