I’m glad that you guys are liking this series! I will post 4 more chapters of this series, so expect that! And this chapter is kinda short, but enjoy~
ED: clover, eristol
At the reception hall of Spring Palace, we awaited House Hafan’s arrival.
The agenda of this visit seems to be the conversation about the development of the silver veins at the boundary between Aurelia territory and Hafan territory and the surrounding forest resources.
My father, Duke of Aurelia, is in his forties.
His brushed back golden hair has some white hairs mixed within.
He has a short beard on his jawline.
His looks and personality are similar to that of Eduard.
He is very sweet to his family, but he is also a proud military man with many achievements.
My older brother and I lined up next to him in fully formal attire.
Soon, Duke Hafan and his wife along with their two children appeared before us.
The Duke of Hafan is younger than my father.
He is only in his thirties and possesses beautiful and youthful features. He gave off a sharp impression with his black hair and grey eyes, which matched the mage’s formal attire, a loose pale grey robe.
At first glance the clothing may seem plain and simple, but upon closer inspection, it is a very tasteful attire with intricate silver embroidery.
The Duchess is a bit young, being in her late twenties.
She is a woman who seems energetic and refreshing.
She wore an unadorned, light-blue dress, with her black hair in a simple up-do. Her eyes were a rich shade of azure in color.
She is a woman with a countenance blessed with both high-class beauty and endearing charm.
Then came Klaus, the firstborn child and Ann, his younger sister.
Claus wore a black extravagant mage’s formal wear with decorations of silver thread, while Ann wore a neat white dress adorned with silver embroidery.
Both of them are similar to their father in terms of facial expressions, while their hair and eyes are similar in color to their mother.
Straight black hair like silk and vivid blue eyes accompanied with beautiful faces gave off an impressive impression.
Klaus especially stands out with the transformation from his dark impression in the game to a bright, child-like expression suitable for his age.
He looks like a healthy boy with plenty of confidence.
I hope he can grow up into a refreshing, healthy young man as he is right now.
After exchanging greetings and other formalities, Duke Hafan and my father moved to discuss the subject of today’s agenda.
The Duchess of Hafan decided to take a look around inside the Spring Palace, accompanied by my older brother.
Then I, Erica Aurelia, along with the Hafan siblings, were told to play in the palace’s extensive garden.
During this season, Spring Palace, as implied by its name, livens up as flowers all over the palace bloom with radiance.
And the most beautiful place in the palace is the ornamental flower garden1, a large garden of hundreds of flowers consisting of a knot garden, a parterre garden, and three gardens of roses.
“Well, please allow me to show you around our garden.”
“Oi, woman. I have absolutely no intention of getting along with you.”
—Does this person have a personality like this?
I mean, why is a ten-year-old boy calling a girl who is younger than him by two years with the term ‘woman’?
No, that is right, the game’s Klaus wasn’t any better.
Klaus Hafan was not only cold and gloomy, but also pompous and sadistic. I forgot about that because of his refreshing boyish looks.
“I didn’t even want to be here in the first place! I don’t understand why my father has to come all the way out here to talk with some newbies of the west.”
Even if you tell me such a thing.
The reason this discussion is taking place in the Spring Palace of Aurelia is because there are many transfer gates installed that lead to various parts of the western region. As such, it is the ideal place for observing the surrounding mines and forest … that is how it is.
Besides, Aurelia’s 〈Visitor’s Clan〉 arrived on this continent about six hundred years ago, so it is troubling to be called a newcomer.
“Hmph, I have no interest in such a place. Flowers are crap.”
“Onii-sama, please refrain from behaving spoiled like that. You are being rude to Erica-sama.”
While I was thinking for a matter of seconds about how to counter that in a friendly way, help came while I was silent.
Ann, who helped me, is a year younger than me.
“That was such a rude thing to say to Erica-sama who is taking her time to guide us through the gardens of Spring Palace, you should feel honored.”
“I don’t want to be seen with you either, Ann. If I am with you I will catch your weakness.”
Well, I guess he is this kind of person, yeah.
As expected, opposite sex should be limited to 2D.
However, it is slightly surprising that he took this kind of tone with his sister.
Even though he had a terrible sister-complex in the game.
“I see. Well then, Klaus-sama, feel free to do whatever you like. I will show Ann-sama around.”
“I will do exactly that.”
And thus, Klaus left us behind and quickly went back to the palace.
Even so, I wonder what he is going to do in someone else’s home on his own.
I should entertain Ann right now.
Today’s mission is to maintain her safety, not to take care of Klaus’ mood.
I absolutely wouldn’t even get close to Aurelia’s most dangerous territory, the Ruins of Visitor!
“I apologize, Erica-sama. My older brother has done you terrible discourtesy.”
“I don’t mind it. Thank you for your consideration, Ann-sama.”
“I should be the one thanking you, Erica-sama.”
Even though she is younger than Klaus, Ann is prim and polite.
Her favorability rating within me rose steadily.
Also, one of my concerns were resolved.
As a result of meeting Klaus and Ann, Erica Aurelia, the villainous lady who was sleeping within me, was awakened!
…Nothing like that happened, I am still me.
“I was looking forward to this very much. I heard about it from the rumors. It is said that this garden is so large that you can’t see everything at once. Is it true?”
“Oh my, is this your first time seeing a garden?”
“Yes. The east has no gardens with trees trimmed so low. So it is very unusual. I can see our cultural differences showing in our taste for gardens– ah, those flowers are—?”
In Hafan, trees are considered sacred. As such, there are plenty of natural havens. Aurelians, on the other hand, prefer well-planned, artificial beauty. Ann could tell the cultural difference simply just from the layout of a garden. Despite being only seven years old, she certainly appeared to be very intelligent.
She possessed a lively, child-like curiosity.
After looking around the Knot Garden, which consists solely of evergreens, we moved on to the parterre garden with its wide variety of blooming flowers.
Each one seemed to be a delight for her eyes.
“These are dwarf lavenders. It is an improved form of the original, so the flowers are larger.”
“Their pale purple colors are very beautiful…ah, what is that white, layered flower?”
“It is one of our original breeds of roses. If you like it, I will tell the gardener to pluck some of those for you.”
“…Would that be alright?”
“Yes. Have as many as you like.”
It isn’t bothersome to listen to a little girl’s request.
I believe that being nice to children is the basic way to bond with them.
“Is it really alright?”
“Of course, Ann-sama is my precious guest.”
I flashed her an elegant smile.
Ann’s face turned as red as poppies.
“…Thank you very much…”
Unlike her brother, she is very honest and cute.
Well, Klaus was not honest because that is, or was, his selling point, so it can’t be helped.
There was a demand for that in the world of my previous life.
The world where Ann had died resurfaced in my mind.
(That kind of thing absolutely must not happen. I don’t want this child to die.)
Of course, it is not just for my survival, there is also her cuteness.
I sincerely feel bad that she would be cursed and killed by an evil spirit.
1 Actually written as a parterre (パーテア), which is an ornamental garden with paths between the flower beds.
The dwarf lavender here is actually English lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia. (source)
…And no, there is no yuri here.