I woke up comfortably
“In any case, thank you. For looking after her. I’m sorry that you had to stay up late yet again.”
“Not at all. This is my job. Besides, I do enjoy taking care of children.”
I thanked Ms. Lyra, and apologized for the trouble.
Leo also barked quietly and bowed her head.
After everything I had said to Deam, it seemed like Leo thought of Liza as a daughter even more than before.
Ms. Lyra smiled and said it was no trouble at all. She had very gentle eyes when looking at Liza. There was something motherly about her as well.
“I feel like a mother when taking care of her…. And it brings back memories of the orphanage. …Oh, I’m sorry. I’m just rambling now…”
“No, I think that Liza would be happy that you feel that way.”
She had taken care of smaller children a lot at the orphanage, so Ms. Lyra was used to this kind of thing.
As I was not Liza, I could not say for sure, but it was clear that she was fond of Ms. Lyra. So I thought that she’d be happy to know how Ms. Lyra felt.
She was the closest with Ms. Lyra, after me and Leo.
“Well then… Please excuse me.”
“Thank you. Please rest well.”
And then Ms. Lyra left the room.
“Well…I’m tired. So we should go to sleep as well.”
Now that Ms. Lyra was gone, I moved over to the bed in order to go to sleep.
Leo moved next to me, and I could smell the dampness of her fur…
It wasn’t a terrible smell… But it was pretty strong.
I hadn’t noticed it before. But Leo had not taken a bath since she came out of the rain.
And while the maids and butlers had wiped her with towels, the smell had remained.
It was like when we would go out for a walk in the rain, and Leo would come back wet. The smell of rain and beast.
Even if I was used to it…it was probably too strong for Ms. Claire and the others.
I hadn’t noticed it before, because the dining hall was filled with the smell of sausages.
As Leo looked at me with a puzzled expression, I made up my mind.
“Alright, you’re taking a bath first thing in the morning.”
Leo was surprised by those words.
She could not believe her ears, but was kind enough to keep her voice low, so as not to wake up Liza.
But even though Leo did not like it, it could not be helped.
“Liza might…say that you smell bad too, you know? You wouldn’t want that, would you?”
Leo looked disappointed that all her hard work was being rewarded in such a way. But she nodded in resignation, as she did not want Liza to think that she smelled bad.
It was too late to bathe Leo tonight.
And I felt bad for giving her the bad news right before bed, but I had already made the decision as soon as we stepped out into the rain.
There had been mud as well, and her fur had lost its sheen.
Leo had such beautiful fur, and it should be kept clean and without stench.
To console herself, Leo rested her head close to Liza and closed her eyes. And I too got into bed in order to sleep. But before I closed my eyes, I thought that I saw Liza smile as her nose twitched.
Perhaps she sensed that we had returned, and felt relieved…
Was I dreaming…? I felt something fluffy against my face.
And then I heard two familiar voices.
Liza and Leo?
“Ah, did you wake up, papa?”
As I wondered who it was, my consciousness returned fully from sleep.
And then I heard Liza and Leo’s reaction.
Was it morning?
And so I opened my eyes, but it was dark.
Well…it seemed more like my vision was blocked?
I raised my voice and grabbed whatever it was that was blocking my vision.
It was soft and fluffy, and made me want to go back to sleep.
“Haha! That tickles…”
“Good morning, papa!”
I sat up, and something fell off of my face.
Next to me, I saw Liza with her back turned to me, and Leo, who had her head resting on the bed.
“…Good morning. Was that your tail?”
“Yes! Mama said you might enjoy it! And it was easier than putting my ears on your face!”
“I see… Uh, huh… Thanks.”
Apparently, it was Liza’s tail that had been blocking my vision.
While it was different from Leo’s fur, it was definitely quite fluffy.