Chapter 22

 

***

Gain access to 5 advanced chapters through our ko-fi shop.

https://ko-fi.com/s/4d14823560

***

 

The duchy was a duchy. 

 

My parents spared about two weeks on this trip, but still, they regretted that they could only visit half of the duchy. 

 

“Are we mainly going to the places you haven’t been to, two years ago?” 

 

“That’s right, you remember, Damian?” 

 

“Of course, it was only two years ago.” 

 

My brother said as if it would be more strange if he couldn’t remember. 

 

Then my sister looked as if she was going to cry. 

 

“Lara…….. doesn’t know though?” 

 

“Because Laurentia was still a baby back then.” 

 

My older brother stroked my older sister’s head with a friendly face and told her so. 

 

“Older brother also doesn’t even remember, when he was the same size as Anastasia.” 

 

“Is it normal not to remember when you were a baby?” 

 

“Of course, everyone is like that, that’s what’s written in the book.” 

 

Even though it would understandable to be embarrassed, but as expected my brother was my brother. 

 

Then, soon after, my sister’s face brightened. 

 

“A long long time ago Lara, met a person and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to say hello!” 

 

“You remember that one?” 

 

“Yes! Then they would be sad! Lara thinks they will also be upset if Lara is the only one who knows. Since Lara is no longer a baby, I’ll remember everything!” 

 

[tn– baby talk is a bit hard so basically it means: The person Lara met would be sad if she hadn’t remembered. And she also thinks that if she was the only one who remembered the encounter she would also be sad.] 

 

My older sister also became gloomy for her own reasons, but then smiled happily again. 

 

Then she turned her head towards me and talked as if saying to only believe in her. 

 

“Your sister will remember everything, Shasha! Because Shasha is (still) a baby!” 

 

And so, she didn’t forget to show her consideration for me. 

 

‘Even though I’ll remember everything.’ 

 

I had no intention of denying that pretty heart. 

 

* * * 

 

After a full day of driving from the duke’s residence, we arrived at a place with a dense forest and a large river. 

 

Upon entering the village, the village chief and residents welcomed our party. 

 

“Welcome. Duke. Madam, and the young master and young ladies.” 

 

The chief, who had a warm impression, gave his greetings with a bright smile. 

 

“It must’ve been hard since today is a very hot day, why did everyone come out and wait.” 

 

Wow, it looks like the weather really is hot. The people’s faces were all red. 

 

But contrary to the worries, the village chief spoke as if it was nothing. 

 

“It’s summer, so it’s only natural that it’s hot. Besides, where are the people you said waited in the scorching sun? Everyone rested and waited under the shade.” 

 

It was also like that. 

 

Maybe because it was late afternoon, everyone was catching their breath for a moment and eating snacks. 

 

“I guess we got the timing wrong.” 

 

As my mother beckoned with a smile, the knights and servants hurriedly put down what they had brought. 

 

It was lumps of ice with preservation magic and various food items. 

 

“Oh dear, all these precious things.” 

 

The village chief’s mouth was caught in his ear. 

 

[tn– means; grin from ear to ear] 

 

In particular, the ice cubes with preservation magic were very precious and necessary because they could last for a couple of months without melting. 

 

“I’m really just grateful every summer. Because thanks to you, none of us collapses from heat stroke.” 

 

“It is only natural. Because of you all, the Duchy is also supported.” 

 

After that, my father and mother looked at the people of their territory and meticulously checked to see if there was anything difficult or needed. 

 

[tn– the people of the village belong to the Duke’s territory] 

 

‘They really look like a lord.’ 

 

Among the lords I’ve seen so far, there were many who didn’t even look at the reports saying they were bothersome, and they raked in taxes again and again. 

 

To think that there are lords who say that there are things that you can miss just by listening (to the reports) so you have to listen to them (the people) yourself. 

 

Perhaps that was why, the faces of the people were all bright, and there was no sign of difficulty even with the visit of the duke. 

 

At the warm atmosphere, I began to find something to do. 

 

‘I will diligently walk!’ 

 

It was a perfect environment to practice. 

 

The duke’s mansion was all too organized. 

 

People should walk even in slightly rough places! 

 

To be dissatisfied because the environment was so good, I thought that I was acting all high and mighty. 

 

‘It could also be the reason why my progress has been slower.’ 

 

With talking and my body. 

 

I thought that it was a bit slower than before. 

 

Truthfully, in the past, I didn’t even count how many months had passed since I was born. 

 

By the way, why does your gaze keep on following me……? 

 

When I looked up, the mouths of the women who were gathered under a shade were drawing lines as if they were enjoying themselves. 

 

No, not only their mouths but also their cheekbones seem to have risen a bit….. 

 

“Oh dear, the youngest lady who was born last year is already walking around.” 

 

“Doesn’t it sound like there’s a ‘pong pong’ sound coming from under her feet? My, how can she toddle around like that?” 

 

“My lady, come here. I’ll give you something delicious.” 

 

And then, she waved her hand and enticed me. 

 

But I shouldn’t go because I don’t know them. 

 

‘My mother earnestly said it the other day when all three of us were together.’ 

 

The words; you shouldn’t follow people whom you don’t know. 

 

I didn’t intend to worry my parents, so I tried to focus on walking again. 

 

However. 

 

“Hoho, we have here some fruits and snacks that babies like.” 

 

“The youngest lady is still too young to be given snacks, don’t you think?” 

 

The ladies gestured towards me and burst into laughter as if something was so exciting. 

 

“Oh my, how can you resemble the madam

so much.” 

 

“Oh, look at her chubby cheeks. My lady, can I touch your cheeks just once?” 

 

“If we touch it once, My lady won’t have any cheeks left though?” 

 

I mean, I was just continuously walking. 

 

Why are you so interested like this? 

 

Besides… 

 

‘I feel like I’m going to get eaten.’ 

 

Everyone’s eyes were intense. 

 

To the point that I unknowingly stumbled back. 

 

However, their eyes bent again as if there was something good about that figure. 

 

“You scared the Lady.” 

 

“Stop being so silly. My lady, we’re not going to eat you. I’ll give you some fruit, here you go. Here.” 

 

It’s kind of weird to keep refusing. 

 

As I looked around, my mother nodded to mean “it’s okay” as if she had been continuously watching. 

 

If my mother says it’s okay, then it should be okay! 

 

But why…. am I scared to get close? 

 

They all had such nice expressions, but somehow I felt like I was approaching a wild beast with its mouth open. 

 

But I’m not shy or anything! 

 

As I approached cautiously for some reason and held out my hands, they burst into cheers again as if fascinated by something. 

 

“Did you see that just now?” 

 

“The youngest lady is just different no matter what.” 

 

“You’re still this small, yet you already  know how to say “give me”?” 

 

“I couldn’t even make my child say “give me”.” 

 

“Here you go, don’t hold it then swallow at once.” 

 

I started eating the watermelon slices that I received. 

 

It was sweet, cool and delicious. 

 

‘Did I walk too hard?’ 

 

It seemed that my throat was more dry than I thought. 

 

I forgot their gazes for a moment and stood there, focusing on the watermelon. 

 

“Oh my, you eat so well!” 

 

“Oh dear, look at those cheeks moving while she chews.” 

 

“Gosh, I want to keep seeing her. My lady, do you want to live here together?” 

 

“This person really, you’ve been making dangerous remarks since a while ago!” 

 

Saying that, they burst out laughing again. 

 

“Here, do you want another one?” 

 

“My lady please say “give me more”.” 

 

I felt conflicted for a moment. 

 

They said I shouldn’t eat too much fruit before meal time…. 

 

But those faces… 

 

‘I don’t think I should refuse since everyone is looking forward to it.’ 

 

Still, I was a little shy. 

 

Because they complimented me for something as trivial as sticking out my hands. 

 

But also, I don’t want to disappoint them since it’s something trivial. 

 

And It was just sticking out my hand once. 

 

I tilted my head to the side for a moment and thought about it, then for some reason, I heard another small cheer in my ear. 

 

‘Yeah, they like such trivial things.’ 

 

I cautiously–i still felt like I was going to get eaten– reached out my hand towards them. 

 

Then, instead of a watermelon, she wiped my hands clean first. 

 

“Here, we should clean it up first before eating again.” 

 

It’s going be dirty again though. 

 

Even though they knew it, they looked happy to work twice. 

 

Only after that, did they place another cool and juicy piece of watermelon on my hand. 

 

“Oh my, you’re eating well, but you should only eat up to this point.” 

 

“That’s right, if you eat too much your stomach will be in pain.” 

 

“Gosh, how can you chew so…. The Duke must be full even without eating!” 

 

I was just eating a watermelon though. 

 

Sounds of laughter burst out again. 

 

To think that other people, who are not family members, be so happy about such trivial things.. 

 

‘Have I really only lived in strange places until now?’ 

 

If its between 99 and 1, out of 100, of course the weird one would be the 1. 

 

Somehow, I wanted to believe that the 1 would be normal. 

 

Because even though it was a little burdensome, the emotions they expressed were all bright and warm.

 

* * * 

 

A little further inside the village we first arrived at, there was a house with a quiet atmosphere. 

 

It was made of logs and was not very big, but it was enough for the family, the knights who followed, and the employees. 

 

There was a river stream flowing right in front of the house surrounded by the forest, so it was decided that we would spend about roughly two days here. 

 

“Since it’s summer for our babies too, it would be good to play in the water.” 

 

“I even made a small boat to ride and play with.” 

 

For some reason, I think my parents are more excited….. 

 

“My babies, how can you be so cute in your water outfits?” 

 

My mother showed a satisfied expression towards us three siblings. 

 

“As expected of my wife, you have a great eye, it makes me so happy seeing our babies wearing matching clothes like this.” 

 

“Right? I thought about it a lot. About the design of the hat for playing in the water.” 

 

Each hat had something similar to an animal’s ear. 

 

My older sister had rabbit ears and my older brother had a hat with something that looked like deer antlers. 

 

And as for me…. 

 

‘Why a tiger…..?’ 

 

It was also a hat that looked just like the doll my brother gave me. 

 

‘Shouldn’t there definitely be a cat or puppy in this set?’ 

 

[tn— i think its because the tiger is the only scary looking animal in the set] 

 

I was very curious but. 

 

“Shasha is so cute, Shasha is a baby tiger.” 

 

“I know right, if Anastasia goes “roar”, its like big brother will get caught.” 

 

I thought that it was okay because my sister and brother liked it so much. 

 

To be honest, I thought that even if I wore swimwear, it would end with soaking my legs. 

 

However. 

 

“Come on, my babies. Dad will give you a ride on the play boat.” 

 

I blinked as I looked at the sight of boats floating on the river. 

 

‘Where else did you waste your talents and money like this…..’ 

 

On the river, there were boats that looked like they were matching with our water clothes. 

 

The boats were very elaborately carved in the shape of a cute rabbit, a deer and a tiger.