Today was the day the Lord of the Grand Duchy will return.
I remained glued to my room’s window, staring out. They said he would first meet the emperor before returning to the castle.
It appears that they will receive a reward for defeating the monsters, but wouldn’t it be preferable to send them home right away so they can rest rather than giving them the reward?
“The Grand Duke appears to be running late.”
Rex brought me a blanket, which he draped across my shoulder. He seems to have sensed what’s inside my heart, which makes me feel ashamed.
Actually, I could have waited in the garden, but I opted to wait by my room window instead because I thought it would be embarrassing to be seen waiting like that.
“Anyway, I don’t like the men in the imperial family….”
As I was thinking about the Emperor and Cameron, Rex asked me, his blue eyes twinkling: Demimore is also a member of the imperial family.
Rex nodded in agreement as though he already knew.
I thought Rex was naive for asking that.
It was funny for no reason, so I stroked Rex’s fine-grained hair.
“You’re treating me like a child again.”
“No, it’s just that your hair is lovely. I want to touch it.”
Rex once more turned to look out the window.
I was absorbed in patting Rex on the head, when he shouted in a delighted voice.
“The Grand Duke is coming!”
It was true.
A carriage drawn by six black horses passed through the gate, so I threw the blanket over my shoulder and ran out of the room, just as Bonita arrived to pick me up.
“The Grand Duke is here!”
I nodded at Bonita, who spoke brightly as we met face to face, and continued on my way. It was impolite behavior, but Bonita would understand. Perhaps my brothers and the other castle staff members were also waiting for my father in addition to me.
“You came rushing here again, didn’t you?”
Gilbert pinched my cheek as I rushed over, catching my breath. I chuckled modestly.
Gilbert didn’t say anything about me laughing to disguise my rudeness as he would have if he were acting normally. Instead, he continued to pinch my cheek, seeming pleased that my father was finally returning home after such a long absence.
The carriage, which was running at a slow speed, stopped in front of us. Running quickly, the butler unlocked the carriage door.
Grand Duke Estin and Lucas descended with an uninterested expression. As he turned to face us, who were waiting for him, Grand Duke Estin’s expression slightly softened.
“It’s been a while.”
As he walked up, Grand Duke Estin picked me up. It was a little embarrassing to be held like this considering that I’m no longer a child.
I still gave Grand Duke Estin a tight neck hug. The scent of my father, which I hadn’t smelled in so long, tickled my nostrils.
“So, how have you been? Your letters were full of excuses and no greetings.”
At the words of Grand Duke Estin, I raised my body and looked into his eyes.
“Did you read my letter?”
“Don’t even ask. He took good care of them to prevent further wrinkles while traveling.”
Lucas, who was standing behind Grand Duke Estin, stated.
It’s always Gilbert’s job to write to Grand Duke Estin whenever he’s on a mission, it was my first time to send one so it was surprising to know he took good care of it.
Due to rumors that he becomes sensitive during the subjugation of monsters, I didn’t anticipate him reading my letters. I should follow up with another letter.
Grand Duke Estin put me back on the floor and hugged Gilbert, who was next to me.
“Thank you for protecting the Grand Duchy while I was away, Gilbert.”
“I’m the Lord of this place while father is away.”
I’m proud of Gilbert, who’s become more mature, but Grand Duke Estin is probably even more proud.
By comparison, those two…….
“Why didn’t you two return to the academy?”
“We thought it would be better if we could see Father before we went to the academy.”
In a rather brazen voice, Aiden responded. Estin the Grand Duke laughed.
I wanted them to be scolded more. Then Grand Duke Estin stroked Rex’s head.
“I’m glad you returned” Rex said quietly while flashing a bright smile.
He then exchanged warm glances with Cheroke and shook hands.
After such a brief greeting, we headed back to the drawing room. Huge desserts were already present in the drawing room.
If the desserts are this good, I wonder how good the dinner will be. I was already looking forward to it.
Actually, it was the first time the entire family had been present in a long time. If only one more person were present, everything would be ideal…
“This time, the Emperor has given us tremendous gifts.”
Lucas exclaimed in a happy tone. He claimed that the gifts included precious flowers and herbs. Lucas had a genuine interest in that area so it was only natural for him to be excited.
“That’s not all. He promised a month-long vacation.”
They never give the Grand Duke a vacation, no matter how many errands they give, including taming monsters. Yet now…
The main trading route with the Larvian empire being free of monsters may be the cause of this.
As Grand Duke Estin was talking about what to do at the unexpected long-term vacation for the first time, a familiar voice was heard.
I stood up from my chair and moved quickly toward the hallway.
Hestia was extending her arms in my direction, the face I was sorely missing. I ran and clung to Hestia’s waist.
“Hestia, I miss you so much!”
“Me too. I believed I was going crazy because I was so eager to see our Miss Kitty.
Hestia picked me up and headed into the drawing room. Of course, I missed Grand Duke Estin the most, but I missed Hestia just as much.
“You didn’t greet me like that earlier.”
I was sitting next to Hestia and holding her hand tightly when Lucas murmured.
Of course, I also miss Lucas. But still, isn’t it obvious that I like Hestia more? Hestia and I just smiled at each other.
“That’s right. You seem more excited to see Hestia than me.”
“From now on, Hestia will come a day later.”
“Then, I should do that, lest I become envious and arrive on the same day as Hestia.”
Lucas was taken aback by Estin, the Grand Duke, mentioning jealousy like that.
Naturally, I assumed it was a joke, but when I noticed his solemn expression, I questioned whether or not I had welcomed Hestia too warmly.
“Oh, Miss Mary, have you heard what monsters the Grand Duke has faced?”
Hestia shifted the conversation. I gave a slow head shake. I was intrigued because I had only heard that the monster they were dealing with was difficult to deal with.
“You have no idea how great the Grand Duke was. The beast we were dealing with this time had a leader who was as large as a bear and nearly as intelligent as a human. Grand Duke Estin simply defeated it with one blow, despite it being a very tough foe!”
I had heard it was challenging, but I had no idea how much. The size of a bear in human intelligence! I cast a glimmering glance at Grand Duke Estin.
Grand Duke Estin coughed a lot as I turned to face him with glistening eyes.
“Yes, I see why Mary likes Hestia so much.”
Hestia smiled at me when she heard that. The atmosphere became lively. I now felt that we were truly a complete family.
The recent occurrence of strange monsters has me concerned. Some monsters even leave curses even after they die.”
“Ah, speaking of monsters, I have something to say.”
Lucas was talking anxiously, and suddenly Cheroke raised his hand.
“The reason why I had to rush to the Grand Duchy.”
Was it not simply the case that his vacation was over and he had to return?
Cheroke said the following. A monster appeared out of nowhere in Tahata, a peaceful location where Cheroke stayed.
Although he returned after strengthening the barrier, he was still worried about the appearance of a monster in the peaceful place, so he rushed to report to Grand Duke Estin after finishing his vacation.
As Cheroke tried to say something more, Gilbert stopped him.
“I’ll tell you the details separately.”
“Oh, you’re leaving us out again.”
Theodore said with a discontented look. I was very curious, but Gilbert’s will was firm, and Grand Duke Estin respected Gilbert.
Estin, who was drinking tea, spoke in a low voice.
“Then, shall we go on vacation?”
“We have been given a month off, so let’s go to Tahata as a side trip.”