Mr. Ekenhart also apologized to Mr. Haines
“You can stand back now, Anneliese.”
“Really? But I haven’t done anything yet…”
“Anne, it’s enough. Besides, I think your presence here is just confusing Mr. Haines.”
Ms. Anne seemed like she hadn’t had enough yet, but she somberly got to her feet and exited the drawing room with one of the maids.
I suppose she was still confused as well.
She had bowed on the floor but felt like she hadn’t done anything.
It showed how desperate she had been.
“Ah, thank you.”
Sebastian then entered the room, and a different maid poured everyone some tea.
We were sitting at the table now, with Mr. Ekenhart and Ms. Claire facing Mr. Haines.
Sebastian stood next to Mr. Ekenhart, while Leo and Rosalie played a short distance away.
Now that things had calmed down, Mr. Haines tried to call Rosalie over to sit with him, but Mr. Ekenhart stopped him.
He saw that Leo was having fun, and thought that it was wrong to disturb her.
I didn’t know what he was thinking, but it wasn’t like Leo would get mad over such a thing. But I suppose it was also in his best interest to treat Leo with reverence, because she was a Silver Fenrir…
I suppose Leo being special gave him more authority…
When Leo and I had gone to the village before, the people had not really been afraid of her. But I suppose it was necessary to occasionally make her look important.
“In regards to Anneliese, I am taking full responsibility over her. Do you have any objections?”
“No. If Your Grace is keeping his eye on her, I could not ask for more.”
So Mr. Haines was satisfied.
That was how much he trusted Mr. Ekenhart.
“However, it is true that I failed to realize what the count was doing, which caused great harm to Range village. And so as the lord who governs these lands, I apologize.”
“No, no, not at all! There is no need for…please raise your head!”
“Mmm. Thank you.”
Mr. Ekenhart had clearly never dreamed of something like this happening, and he was terribly shocked by it.
Someone who would not hesitate to bow to others… I suppose it was because she was raised by such a father, that Ms. Claire was not arrogant about being from a noble house.
“Now, about the wine…”
“Yes, Your Grace. We people of Range Village have been thinking about quitting wine production altogether.”
Mr. Haines said with a shake of his head.
“Hmm. And is this because you can no longer trust the people that you used to buy from?”
“That is one reason. But not the main one…”
“Ah, the children then?”
Mr. Haines nodded and then turned to look at Rosalie, who was playing with Leo.
He had gentle eyes and seemed happy to see her like this.
“Yes. Up until now, the village was so busy that the children were often neglected. And while I thought it was necessary for our survival… I am not sure it was the only way. After all, if we fail in the raising of the children, then what future will the village have in the end?”
“Indeed… If your children all leave, then the village’s fate will be sealed. It is a difficult problem…but one that cannot be ignored.”
Even when in front of the duke, Mr. Haines was able to say his opinion clearly and show how much he understood the situation in the village. He really was a good chief.
Mr. Ekenhart listened to this and nodded with a conflicted expression.
There was a saying about how children grew even without parents… But when it came to the village’s survival, they would have to do better than that.
Children with few good memories were unlikely to care about the village once they were adults.
It was a common thing in Japan. The young would leave villages and go to the city.
“By the way, chief. How were the village children with good Leo?”
Mr. Ekenhart suddenly changed the subject.
Leo heard her name and barked with a puzzled expression.
It’s nothing. You can keep playing with Rosalie.