I Listened to Ms. Claire’s Story
“Father… You are here to be away from your own father, Ms. Claire?”
“Yes. Our father is very fond of us, but… He keeps talking about how I need to get married.”
“Nearly every day, he talks about acquaintances and colleagues who are unmarried. On one of the worst days, he brought over five people… It was very tiring to have to turn them all down…”
“I see… He sounds very eccentric.”
I had no children, and wasn’t even married myself, so I didn’t know the feeling. But I always thought that fathers who doted on their daughters tended to not want them to marry.
Of course, I’m sure there were exceptions. Especially if the daughter remained unmarried for a very long time…
That being said, Ms. Claire was still quite young.
And everyone would agree that she was a great beauty.
So surely she wouldn’t have trouble finding someone, without a father busily trying to find a match.
…I had to admit, there was a slight pang in my chest when this subject was brought up, but I wouldn’t think about it.
That being said, it at least seemed like this wasn’t a matter of father and daughter not getting along.
I was glad to learn that it wasn’t so serious.
Well, perhaps it was very troublesome for Ms. Claire.
“And to make matters worse, he is already talking about matches for Tilura. And she has only just turned 10.”
I looked at the girl who was wrapped up in Leo. She looked back at me with a puzzled expression after hearing her name.
“Day after day, he would talk about marriage. I grew very tired of it and…and decided that I would leave and live in this mansion.”
“I see… Yes, I can imagine how that would get old very quickly.”
“Exactly! Mr. Takumi, listen to me! Father would…”
After that, Ms. Claire aired her grievances about her father for what seemed like half an hour.
Women were very intimidating when they became like this…
Well, I could only imagine how stressful it must have been to keep these emotions to herself for so long. She did not seem like the type to complain about others to servants.
I could see that even Sebastian and the maids were smiling awkwardly in the back.
“…Oh, forgive me.”
“No, I think that it’s very important to let it all out once in a while.”
After all, I knew what it was like to be worked to exhaustion and be overwhelmed by stress.
I wish that I had someone that I could complain to. But I had no one.
And so my only way of releasing that stress was to complain about work to Leo.
Whether Leo understood me or not, she always looked a little bewildered…
“…Umm… Oh, yes. About the townspeople.”
“Yes. They all called you Lady Claire. And the guards recognized you immediately…”
“Indeed… Well, that too is related to my father…”
Oh, were the grievances going to continue?
…But I was wrong.
From what she told me about her father, it was no surprise that he had a great mansion as this.
“My father has the rank of duke in this country. As the head of the house, the entire land surrounding this villa…which includes the town of Ractos, is governed by him.”
“…Duke… So you are all…nobles?”
“Yes. In this country, there are barons, viscounts, counts, margraves, marquis, dukes, and then royalty. So we are next after the royal family.”
They really were at the top of the upper class…
While it wasn’t something I thought about much in Japan, in medieval European society, they were the elite.
Perhaps it was similar to being a vice-shogun during the Edo period…maybe…maybe not…
I now felt as if I had been terribly rude towards them up until now… What if they had punishments for such insolence…?
“…Umm, well… I am aware that I’ve been terribly discourteous towards you up until now…I hope that you can forgive…”
“Oh, Mr. Takumi. I don’t recall anything of the sort. Besides, you saved my life. You really should just treat me the same way as you have. …And also…”
“You do talk to us with polite words. But it does not seem to come to you naturally. Am I right?”
“You seem the most natural when you are with Tilura. I only wish that you would be the same with me.”
“…Are you sure?”
This wasn’t just a question towards Ms. Claire, but to Sebastian and the maids as well.
But Sebastian grinned and nodded.
“If that is Lady Claire’s wish, then I do not mind. Besides…you, Mr. Takumi, are a person with the Gift, and command a Silver Fenrir. If anything, you could be seen as someone who is above even a duke.”
“Above a duke…really?”
I was taken aback by Sebastian’s answer.
It was confirmed that I indeed had the Gift, while we were in town, and combined with having a Silver Fenrir…being with Leo, I could be considered to be above a duke…
But only the royal family was above a duke.
“I will take it from here. Surely you have noticed how I and the people here treat the great Leo with such reverence.”
“Yes. Sometimes out of fear, and sometimes not.”
“Do you not think it odd…and I don’t mean to be rude, but for a duke’s family to treat a monster with such respect…”
“Yes, now that you mention it… Perhaps it is a little strange.”
“When I first met you, I said that the Silver Fenrir is used on the crest of the royle family. …Here it is.”
“Yes, it is…the fangs and claws…”
Ms. Claire had taken out a palm-sized relief carving.
There was engraved a standing wolf that looked just like Leo. Its mouth was opened, showing its fangs, and its front paws were raised so that its claws were visible.
It was made of silver. Probably to match the fur of the Silver Fenrir.