Hestia opened her eyes. It was just dawn.
I looked back carefully. Kaelus, who has been in the same bed as her for 10 years, had been lying with his back turned. Between the long silver hair of the long hanging man, the delicate curved back muscles were beautiful.
Hestia grinned. One day she said casually. “Kael looks the best when he takes his shirt off.” After hearing that by chance, Kaelus had developed a habit of not wearing pajamas even at night.
Just then, silver hair shook with a low moan.
Hestia sprang up as Kaelus showed signs of awakening. Then she picked up a long, full-length one-piece pajama set aside by the bed, and quickly threaded both arms first.
“Are you up, Kael?”
As soon as she asked, Hestia picked up his gown that had fallen on the floor and hung it roughly on the back of the sofa.
Kaelus sat up with a groan. Maybe he was not fully awake yet, but he stayed for a long time with his head bent down.
Hestia murmured inwardly, pleased. Alas, the guy is a real sight to behold. Even the disheveled bones were enchanting.
At last he lifted his head slowly.
“What are you doing, Hess…?”
“Oh, it’s just… Art appreciation…?”
Kaelus started laughing. His beloved wife had a knack for saying these shy things casually. Of course, not at all to anyone else, only towards Kaelus.
“…… What a joke.”
“Oh, you finally use the words you learned, Kael!”
Hestia looked as proud as ever. A husband who uses what she taught carefully, even if she saw it every day for 10 years, she never got tired of it.
A voice filled with laughter came out.
“It’s almost time for the kids to come running. Hurry up and put on your gown first.”
Only then did Kaelus wriggle out of bed. When Hestia found the gown over the sofa, he wore it in slow motion.
And at that exact moment.
The three siblings came running into the room with a bang on the door. Unlike Kaelus, who flinched slightly, Hestia greeted the children with a relaxed face.
“You woke up early, guys.”
Each of the three children answered a word.
“I’m so excited!”
“Because the sun is up.”
“Are you sleeping?”
Creos, who frequently said sweet things overshadowing his seven-year-old age, Deucalyon, who was very plain in everything for a five-year-old child, and Charis, who barely copied what her brothers said because she couldn’t speak well yet.
As each of the three children had different personalities, the appearance was also clearly distinguished.
Creos has black hair that resembles his mother and purple eyes that resemble his father.
And the Deucalyon, whose name is long, was called Leon, was also a boy with jewel-like silver hair and purple eyes, whose personality and appearance were cut off from Kaelus’.
Finally, Charis, the only daughter of the duchess, was completely identical to her mother, and Emperor Helios often jokingly said, ‘Cess seems to have been born by the duchess herself.’
Anyway, there was a reason why the children were exceptionally noisy this day.
“When are we leaving for Attica, mom?”
Creos’ eyes were full of expectations. Hestia replied with a grin.
“We’re going to get in the carriage after breakfast. But you don’t have to hurry. We’re ready.”
Meanwhile, Kaelus held Charis lightly.
“Did you sleep well, Cess?”
The young daughter had just passed three years old. Even if her pronunciation was not as accurate as her brothers’, she was quite open-minded, and the her cuteness was monopolized by the duke.
Instead of being cute to his parents, only Deucalyon, the calmest of the three siblings, quietly sat on the sofa and looked up at the adults.
“Are you really going with us? Is that okay?”
“Of course, that’s why I got a vacation from his majesty.”
Kaelus put Cess down and sat next to Leon. He poured cold water into a glass that was room temperature.
“Are you worried, Leon?”
“Well, a little…?”
With so many people saying in front of him that the country would not work without Duke Kaelus, young Leon was worried that such a father would leave the state alone for a month and go play with them.
Kaelus kissed his son on the forehead.
“There’s nothing to worry about. His majesty will survive for about a month.”
“Sure. His majesty has many other competent subjects.”
Next to the other side of Kaelus talking to Leon, Creos sat down.
“His Highness Jupiter was very envious. He said he wanted to go to Attica, too.”
Hestia lifted Cess up and sat on the opposite sofa, and she sat next to her.
“The crown prince has been begging the empress for a long time. But it didn’t work this time.”
“I heard that her majesty’s hometown is also on the border. Then why is she saying no?”
“It’s not because it’s different, but because there are so many things to prepare for the royal family’s outing.”
Hestia answered Creos’s question with sincerity.
Jupiter, whom Cree mentioned, was the son of Emperor Helios and Empress Yuno. Although he was a year younger than Cree, he hung out with his three siblings without difficulty. Not long ago, he was officially crowned as the crown prince and was given the title “his highness.”
The Emperor and Empress had Benus in addition to Jupiter. She was a cute four-year-old, and she was quite an older sister in front of Charis, so she was the child who brought the most laughter from adults.
Leon said very anxiously.
“While we’re in Attica, his highness and Empress Yuno will be very lonely, right?”
Hestia smiled at her second son.
“Instead, it will be very nice to see them again in a month. Wouldn’t it be an opportunity to realize the importance of friends?”
“Well… I guess so.”
Leon was soon convinced and answered in a distinctive calm tone.
When the noisy morning greeting was somewhat over, Kaelus took the children’s hands and stood up.
“Shall we go to the dining hall now? We have to finish our meals diligently so that our departure will be faster.”
The three siblings jumped off the sofa in a hurry.
The couple took the children to the dining hall. Even in the early morning, diligent servants were already setting the table.
“Eat a hearty breakfast to make it less difficult in the carriage, guys.”
Hestia said very strictly. Instead of answering, the three siblings played with their spoons.
Kaelus heard a brief report from the butler Uross.
“The attendants at the maid’s house, Clarice, and others, are also ready to depart.”
“That’s great. I’ll be out soon after my family’s meal.”
As the five family members were going a long way at once, Uross is more thorough than ever in preparing for the trip. Not only food and clothes, but also toys that will soothe children’s boredom in the carriage were packed.
Suddenly, Creos’ eyes glistened while eating.
“Can I ride a horse while everyone is in the carriage?”
“Yes, but you can’t ride it alone.” Kaelus added with a nod.
Fortunately, Cree was satisfied with this. Although there is a condition that you have to ride a horse with adults, it was something!
Only Leon sulked next to him.
“I envy you.”
Five years old was an age where he wanted to copy everything his older brother did. Even though he knew he couldn’t ride a horse because his body hasn’t grown yet
Creos was so elated that he said aloud as if he was purposely listening to Leon.
“How nice it feels to be on a horse! I feel like I’m at the top of a high mountain.”
Hestia laughed in vain. It’s the sound of a little boy who’s never actually climbed to the top of the mountain.
Still, it was enough to tease Leon. Leon’s face slowly heated up, and a voice of complaint broke out.
“…I will ride faster than the wind if I ride a horse!”
“Hmph, so when are you going to ride it?”
The two brothers, who were only two years apart, always quarreled in this way. Leon was usually very calm, but when Cree provoked him like this, he couldn’t help it.
Leon was caught.
Hestia shook her head.
“A child is a child…”
Indeed, before the breakfast table turned into a fight, she cut in quickly.
“Ok, fine. I’ll have to find a good horse so Leon can run like the wind. At that time, Cree would have to be nervous. He rode a horse first, but that means he has to practice a lot.”
“It means I have to practice.”
When the mother stepped forward, it was a sign that they should no longer fight. The two sons glared at each other and muttered a couple of times, and soon calmed down.
Kaelus smiled with satisfaction.
“Well, if you’re done eating, let’s get up. I’ll go to the room, change my clothes, and come out.”
“Phew, all right.”
The hands and mouths of the sons became busy again. The leftover food in the bowl quickly disappeared.
Hestia helped Charis’ eat until the end.
“You have a spoonful left, Cess. Just eat this and it’s over!”
Cess emptied the plate with her mother’s help.
Everyone finished eating almost at the same time. The servants followed behind the children who were busy leaving the dining hall. It was to help them change clothes.
So when all the preparations for the outing were complete, the duke’s family climbed into the big carriage.
At the signal of Kaelus, the journey finally began.