The Princess Too…?
After my chat with the young boy in the royal palace’s smaller garden, I made my way to the courtyard where Laurier was having her tea party. It was a fine day and the sun was shining, and in the courtyard, Princess Serena was having tea with several noble girls that she had invited.
Amongst them, one stood out was a girl with strikingly silver hair… I spotted my beloved daughter Laurier immediately, who was already a beauty despite her young age. Laurier seemed to be chatting happily with the other children, but… the moment she noticed me, she suddenly stood up and ran towards me.
“Oh, easy now…”
As I gently held Laurier, who ran full force into my arms, I spoke softly into her ear as I stroked her head.
“Is the tea party over?”
“Yes! Father’s work too?”
“I finished early as well, I suppose? More importantly… did you have fun?”
Laurier answered my question with a cheerful smile… Yeah, thank goodness. It seemed like she really enjoyed herself. As we had our moment as father and daughter, I heard footsteps approaching. When I looked to see who it was, I bowed deeply.
“Serena-sama. Thank you very much for extending an invitation to my daughter today.”
Standing there was Serena, the girl who had invited Laurier to the palace and the Second Princess of the royal family. Serena seemed to find something amusing about my hugging Laurier.
“It’s good to see you again, Duke Fall… For my part, I too enjoyed my time with Miss Laurier today.”
As she said that, I felt a sense of relief, but also an unmistakable feeling of discomfort. Her speech and manners were just too elegant, was Serena really only a five-year-old girl?
“Is that so… I’m happy to hear that.”
“Oh, and by the way… the sweets that Duke Fall made were truly delicious. Were they really made by you, Duke Fall?”
“They were, but… were they really to your liking?”
When she heard that, Serena nodded convincingly, flashing me a smile.
“I’m not flattering you, they really were very tasty… if it’s not too much of a bother, could we meet again sometime?”
“Of course, whenever you wish.”
“Then, next week I shall impose upon your hospitality, Duke Fall. I hope I can eat something so delicious again.”
…Was there a diplomatic way I could back out of what I had just said? But, realizing she had trapped me with my words and her status, I agreed with a grimace.
“Then, we shall be waiting warmly for you.”
“Yes, well then… Miss Laurier, I shall see you again next week?”
“Yes! For today, thank you. Serena-sama.”
As I smiled happily seeing my daughter talk to a Princess with perfect manners, Serena-sama took a step closer and whispered something in my ear so that only I could hear.
“Next week, I’d like to discuss things with you in detail, so please make some time for me… Duke Fall. Or rather… the Mister Traveler-From-Another-World who holds his memories.”
After saying that, Serena-sama turned and left… Just what was that? Had she seen through me?
“Father, are you feeling sick?”
As I looked after the Princess, my face running slightly pale, Laurier looked at me anxiously. No good, no good… If I make my daughter worry about me, I’m a failure as a father. Stiff upper lip!
“I’m fine. By the way, Laurier, did you get along with Serena-sama?”
“Yes! We talked lots!”
“Is that so… then, I’m glad.”
I was still perturbed about the words I’d heard just a few moments ago… but, for now, Laurier’s happiness was more important, so I pushed that doubt to the corner of my mind.
“She seems eager to join us at our home next week… just what exactly did the two of you talk about?”
“Huh? Um… About how friendly father is to mother? And about the sweets.”
…I see. Whilst I’m curious about just how Laurier sees the relationship between Sasha and myself, I’m actually a little afraid to ask… but, well, at any rate, Laurier and Serena seem to be getting along well.
“I see… well, in that case, I’ll make sure that the sweets for next time are even better.
Laurier beamed happily at me… Yeah, I’m still worried about what Serena said, but this girl’s smile is the best medicine to put me at ease.
As I thought that, Laurier and I made our way home.