Thank you mysteriousways143 for your kind donation~! Your donation came in just as we were wrapping up today’s release so this chapter is dedicated to you.
And to everyone else, no matter how busy I am, I will always come back to this story <3 Though I might put up a schedule soon so I can walk people through an expected time frame release for both Happy Life and Maid Mother. All my IRL issues has made releases super sporadic that I’ve been eaten up with guilt for not being able to put out as much as I should.
P.S. Be warned. This chapter is full of fluffs… and rolls into the next with lots of sweetness. I’ll try my best to get the next out soon as I’m already swooning from all the sugar.
10 Years Old: Chapter 46 – The Start of Their Romance
Editors: Nahct, Me3 & Wafflez
First published on Ainushi
Grandfather’s departure meant that one problem was reasonably resolved, but there were still other matters that required attention. There was the aforementioned matter with His Highness and the abbott.
Even if I set aside the matter with the abbott for the time being, the issue with His Highness was still looming over my head at the moment.
I’ve said it many times already, I do not dislike His Highness. I just don’t see him in a romantic light.
His Highness is a man that I will serve in the future, a friend. I have no feelings for him as one might have towards the opposite sex. Even if my heart beats quickly, it won’t last for long.
If I had someone I desired, I would decline him right away. It’s precisely because I didn’t that I’m troubling over it.
「You’ll never give in to His Highness, will you, Liz?」
“It’s not like you actually dislike him, right?”, Mother said as she inclined her head while combing my hair. I smiled bitterly as I looked at her and nodded my head.
Not particularly, I thought. Speaking based off of human nature, he is someone desirable. Well, he does overdo his display of courtesy a wee bit much and is also aware that I have a hard time dealing with him.
I’m somewhat weak to pressure, but when he overdoes it, it’s sort of unpleasant. I don’t hate assertive people, it’s simply bothersome once the situation involves love. Perhaps I should say it would be best if it was well-tempered?
「I regard His Highness as an important friend and nothing more」
「My, my! If His Highness heard that, he would weep」
「….. It’s difficult for me to have feelings of love」
It’s impossible for me to fall in love with His Highness, who is now semi-matured, when he was much cuter back when he was younger. I suppose he is quite a catch, but I have no feelings for him.
When we first met, he was childish. Extremely so. As a result, I’m can’t overwrite my first impression of him. Even if he has matured to an extent, I can’t regard him as anything but a child. Therefore, I’m unable to accept his feelings for me.
His Highness is physically older than me, but I personally prefer men who are much older. Not to the extent of chasing after old men, but I’m fine if they’re a dandy too.
「….. Mother, why did you fall in love with Father?」
Not expecting the conversation would steer towards her, Mother raised her voice in surprise. “Hmm, well…”, Mother, sporting a pensive look on her face with an index finger against her red lips, looked like she was still brimming with youthfulness.
Just once, I would like to hear about it. How was Mother attracted to Father? How did she come to like him?
Father and Mother had always been on good terms with each other; they’ve been close even before I was born. Even now, my parents are intimate with each other. If they’re careless, she’ll likely give birth to another child from their dalliance.
What did Mother like about Father?
「Let’s see, it’ll probably be a long story」
「That’s fine. If you can, please speak about your ardent love for Father moderately. You’re always full of it」
「Mou~ I wasn’t going to say such things even if I thought of them」
Though it was slightly my fault for telling her off, Mother didn’t take it to heart and seemed amused.
「Hmm, how about I start by telling you how we first fell in love? I did not come from a good lineage; it was honestly the lowest rank」
「That was why Grandfather made a huge fuss, right?」
「Fufu, that’s right. Isn’t it odd that a person like me can have a relationship with Welf who hails from a Marquis household?」
In noble society, one fundamentally does not associate with other others outside of their own rank or above them. Even though there were cases of people from the upper ranks drawing close to those beneath them, they usually wanted nothing to do with them, with the exception of their retainers. It goes without saying, they thoroughly looked down upon those from the lower ranks. There are exceptions amongst them, though.
Well, that sort of mindset came about when the nation was first founded. This type of mindset would be more prevalent if it was a Marquis household that has a history. On top of it all, Grandfather was the head of the family back then. It was certainly a disgusting lineage.
「You see, when I was slightly older than you, Liz, I started working at the Magic Institution. Unlike my family, I had a superfluous amount of magic. Well, it was the reason I was driven out anyway」
「….. Driven out?」
「I believe you understand. If you stand out a little, it’s unbelievably easy to be off-putting to others」
I bit my lips as Mother gave a slightly forlorn smile.
Because I also had such an experience, I vaguely understood the situation that Mother had been placed in. If you were excellent, you would be admired, but on the other hand, it would also breed jealousy. Mother faced that from her family, didn’t she?
「Well, I was a poor noble, and as the youngest in the family, I would be a nuisance either way. I’m glad though, because it was due to being driven out that I met Welf」
「You met Father at the Magic Institution, didn’t you?」
「Yup. Even in the Magic Institution, I was subtly alienated because of my rank. However, Welf treated me as his equal. I entered the institution because of my abilities, so there was no distinction between us」
「That’s just like Father」
「Fufu, did you know that he was cold to me in the beginning? Or perhaps I should say, he was touchy because of his family problems」
Father was at odds with Grandfather when he met Mother. Well, even though he was brought up by a horrible role model, he was completely different from him and was also right in the midst of his rebellious phase.
It’s hard to imagine it now, but Father used to be cold and blunt. Why, he was just like Cecil!
This might be why Father was concerned about Cecil-kun. He could see his former self in him.
「And then one day, Welf had a huge quarrel with his father. Because of that, Welf suffered serious injuries. Fufu, your grandfather was very immature too, getting worked up by a child」
「That’s no laughing matter, Mother」
「You are right, though. Anyway, the reason for their fight was because of me. When we worked, we were always together one way or another, and just as he began to open up to me in his own way, your grandfather said, “Are you associating yourself with this person of low-birth?”」
「That’s easy for him to say, isn’t it?」
「So Welf got angry when your grandfather started going off about the people he was associating with. He was a teenager back then, and your grandfather was also at his prime, so he was seriously injured from the fight. Since I was there, I forcibly stopped your grandfather, and while crying, I healed Welf, who was wounded」
She said just now that she had stopped him by force, but wasn’t that an opponent that Father lost to?
….. It’s that, isn’t it? She gained an upper hand on Grandfather who had exhausted himself. I dare say he didn’t expect to be downright shut down. Scary, my opinions of Mother being the strongest have been elevated to another level.
….. This must also be the cause for why Grandfather hates Mother.
「As you can imagine, his back was covered with gaping wounds. It took an entire night for me to heal it with healing magic, but I somehow healed it. You might say that I was still inexperienced back then; he was wounded so badly that there are still faint scars on his back」
「….. I didn’t know」
「Well, it’s on his back and they are faint ….. To stick up for me, Welf sustained such wounds. If he hadn’t, he would not have to bear those wounds. That entire night, I kept crying and apologizing. It was because of me. And then, Welf said,『It’s impossible for me to not get angry when the woman I love is being insulted right in front of me. It’s natural to protect the one I love after all』」
「….. Father said that?」
「Fufu, he was probably showing off, but I fell in love with that Welf」
Absorbed, Mother blushed like a dreamy maiden yearning for him. It was an expression that you wouldn’t expect from a mother of two kids — youthful, beautiful, and happily content.
Mother seemed very happy right now. She gave birth to me and Ruby and remains intimate with Father. A world filled with happiness and tranquility. In the centre of it all was Mother with her charming smile.
….. How nice, I honestly thought to myself.
Undoubtedly, Mother was somehow able to encounter her destined partner. I don’t really believe in fate, but I’m sure Father and Mother were destined to be together. That was all it took for the both of them to pass the days in happiness.
「….. Will such a person appear for me too?」
A person who will protect me, and someone that I can protect too. Someone who will become upset for my sake.
「I’m sure he will. No, he probably already has ….. Right, Welf and Gilles?」
Mother gently caressed my cheeks while directing her gaze behind my back, revealing a mischievous smile. Just as I suspected, when I turned around, Father and Gilles were there.
How long have they been listening? I mean, Father looks quite embarrassed and Gilles’s face was slightly red as well. I didn’t notice, but given how awkward they looked, they must have heard the story from the start.
「Selen, you didn’t have to tell Liz so much about my pathetic affairs」
「Oh my! You were not pathetic when you were injured defending me. Or do you regret protecting me?」
Softly smiling, Mother let go of my hand. Leaving me be, she walked away and shifted towards Father. I thought it would be inappropriate if I disturbed them.
Gilles, having heard of how fondly Mother spoke of their romance, subtly looked awkward. I left the room, taking him with me. After all, those who disturb the love of others will be kicked by a horse*.
「Do you prefer a man like Welf-sama, Liz-sama?」
After keeping silent while walking beside me for some time, Gilles started up a conversation.
「Well, I do love Father, but in terms of preference….. Mmm」
「Then, what sort of guy do you like?」
「Is it necessary for me to say it?」
「Very much so」
「Y–You’re very pushy today, Gilles….. What type I like, huh?」
There’s nothing I can do when I hear him say such things. It was just like Gilles. Although he looked like he was only being slightly attentive, I dare say he looked unusually serious ….. as though he was trying to pry something out of me.
For a moment, my imagination jumped to an impossible conclusion, but there’s no way it’s ‘that’, so I dismissed it from my mind. ….. I am a child and I’m only ten years old. Gilles has also stated that he has no interest in little girls.
「….. Well, the main points would be that he must be faithful and affectionate with me ….. Of course, he should be someone I can rely on」
「That you can rely on…..？」
「Ah, but it won’t be one-sided. Rather, I wish for him to rely on me too. It’ll be nice to have someone who I can lean on to support one another. And also, someone who can be frank with me when I’m in the wrong」
It’s not like I want to act spoiled towards those that I don’t approve of, but on the other hand, I also tend to behave spoiled towards those that I trust. It would be nice to have someone who can accept me for who I am. I want to love and be loved; I want to rely on others and be relied upon. It would be nice to have a companion that is supportive, someone that can develop a mutual understanding.
「Lastly, it’ll be nice if he can best Father….. Father seems to strongly object any mention of marriage」
「….. That……was more than I had imagined」
「If necessary, I’ll fight or flee the country. ….. That is why I do not like people who’re captivated by my social standing. I would like a person who loves me even if I do not have wealth or fame」
“Is this selfish of me?”, I looked up at Gilles. He shook his head and stopped in his tracks. Caught up in the moment, I also stopped and found myself next to him. Suddenly, Gilles propped his hand against my cheeks while smiling tenderly.
It was a very passionate look that was filled with affection.
「If you do not find such a person, I will take you away」
His gentle, moist emerald eyes held only me in its reflections. Only, he wasn’t gazing at me directly with dimmed eyes.
My back trembled. What I felt wasn’t hatred, it was something unexplainable. Looking into his crystal clear eyes nearly made me forget to breathe.
It was obviously an expression and look that he shouldn’t have towards a child. That can’t be, an alarm rang in my head. I felt that this situation was drifting away from the reality that I held in my heart.
….. No, that can’t be it. This was surely nothing more than excessive reverence.
「….. If that’s the case, my future will be secure either way」
My heart was beating so fast that it hurts. I wondered if Gilles could feel my heightened heart rate through my cheeks.
I pretended to seem calm as I didn’t want him to notice that I was disturbed. I just wished that Gilles couldn’t notice my burning cheeks.
「Therefore, it’s alright even if you marry late, Liz-sama」
「….. I’ll make an effort so that doesn’t happen」
Leaving it at that, I turned away from Gilles and walked away.
It might have been short, but I held my hand against my flat chest anyway. It was impossible — even for me — to consider that my heart was beating faster earlier….. No, this was all because of Gilles’s suggestive actions. I was just surprised, that’s all.
Gilles isn’t into little girls. Even if he loves me, it’s only with a deep affection of reverence. There’s no way his intentions would be filled with lust. After all, we’ve been together for a long time, and his attitude towards me has hardly changed.
Telling myself that it wasn’t so, I held onto that sense of reality, driving away those excessive thoughts as I shook my head and held my cheeks.
My fever had yet to cool down.
- Those who disturb the love of others will be kicked by a horse – Japanese saying.