They were close in age and became friends quickly.
And so Eric took the princesses and returned to the palace.
While we waited, Tama and Grulf were sniffing at each other.
“Philly, I have just enough time to show you around the house.”
“I am most grateful for this honor.”
As we began to walk, Tama and Grulf followed.
“Where does Tama usually go for his toilet?”
“Oh, when we go out for his walks. He is a very smart dog… But what about Grulf?”
“Grulf and Lord Gerberga use our human toilet.”
“They must be very smart indeed.”
Grulf looked proud. Tama stared at him.
“Here is the toilet…”
Once I showed them where it was, Tama went inside and sat on the seat.
“Ta-tama? What are you doing?”
He barked. Then he finished his business on the toilet.
He looked up at his master proudly. His tail was wagging.
Grulf was just a puppy, and Tama would not be upstaged by a mere puppy.
At least, that’s what it looked like he was saying.
“Tama, that’s amazing!”
“You have done very well.”
Philly and I praised him for his accomplishment.
Then we went up to the second floor.
“You can take your pick of the empty rooms.”
“Are you speaking with absolute certainty?”
“Sure. This is my room and that one is Milka’s. Luchila and Lord Gerberga use that room. Nia and Shia are over there and Serulis and Goran usually use this room.”
And there were still quite a few rooms left.
Once she decided, we returned to the drawing room.
“This is such a vast mansion, and yet you have only a single servant?”
“No, I don’t have any servants at all. Milka is an apprentice.”
“I understand. How unforgivably rude of me.”
“…Philly. I don’t remember you talking like this before?”
“…You are the Grand Duke and representative of His Royal Majesty… I must of course, show the appropriate degree of respect.”
I was hiding my identity. Talking like this would only help to expose me.
And so she should try and talk as she always had.
When I finished, she smiled.
“What a relief! Father and mother scolded me about it, you know?”
“Over how you talked to me?”
In any case, it was good to see her cheerful again.