to stare so hard.
Was I that suspicious? They didn’t seem to be the same color as Lady Adelaide’s gentle eyes.

This intimidation and stoutness.
If I hadn’t heard that he was an assistant prime minister, I would have definitely mistaken him for a military man.
What did I mean? I could tell from the aristocrat’s clothes that he’d got good muscles.
Not macho, but… lumpy.

I was somewhat annoyed when he looked at me as if inspecting, so I asked him to give me his hand with a careful sales smile.
The hand that was held out to me quizzically was so big and thick… Was this sword callus? Why not pen and paper’s? He was a soldier, wasn’t he? At least it was not the hands of a civilian.
What did an assistant prime minister do? Fighting?

I wrote a few words on his palm, and instead of replying, he got more wrinkles on his brow, so I gave him a better smile.
Fufun, did you have any idea how many years I’d been dealing with ‘troubling customers’? My sales smile, which I trained to be anywhere, anytime, to anyone, was still intact.

Grabbing the veggies and hat that I left downstairs, come on, Buddy.
Let’s go home.

“Eh, what’s that〜? What’s the matter with the young lady?”

“… Shut up.”

“He’s just being pushy again.
Hey, young lady, what did you write?”

Just a quick check.
‘Do you like cookies?’ Something like that.

“Welcome home, Margaret.
Did you have a good outing?”

As usual, I knocked three times from the kitchen door, and Lady Adelaide, who was kneading bread dough with her back to me, spoke to me without looking up.

I approached her to show her the vegetables I had picked and kissed her lightly on the cheek, and she looked up and rolled her eyes before she finally noticed her visitor.
Even so.


“Please forgive our rudeness in coming to you so suddenly from such a place.
I’m Hugh Townsend, a magician from the Academy of Magic.
We’ll be here for a while.”

“I’m Adelaide Dustin.
Welcome… And Walter too.”

“It’s been a while.”

What was that? His monotone, one-note greeting was worse than the one he gave me when he introduced himself.
Hugh stood beside me, saying ‘Good grief’.
He was playful, but he had normal senses, this one…But he was close.
It was hard to move when he was standing shoulder-to-shoulder away from me.

When I looked up at Hugh’s face to ask him to move away a little, I saw his green eyes looking down at me with an amused smile… Oh my god, the color of his eyes was really like emerald.
Wow, I’d never seen such a beautiful thing before.
As I recalled, they were pretty rare, I thought I heard they were less common than Blue Eyes.
I didn’t know if that was the case here.

“Miss, it’s really embarrassing to be stared at so closely.”

Oh, excuse me.
I ignored personal space because I wanted to get a better look.
What was it with people who stared at others but weren’t used to being stared at them?

“Ah, your eyesight is not so good, is it? How is it, are you satisfied?”

No, it was beautiful.
I just wanted to look at it some more… So, why was he embarrassed? He talked like he was used to it, yet he blushed so easily, his words and actions were so mismatched.
Was he actually a pure man?

“By the way, I heard you were coming here in the evening, is there a problem…?”

“Ah, no, not really.
We thought we’d at least say hello first.
We’ll go to the village chief after we put down our luggage.
Right, Walter?”

“… You decided that on your own.
I didn’t know.”

Ah, I got his longest response of the day.

At first, I asked them to bring me the luggage left in the front yard and showed them to the guest room on the second floor.

“Oh, so this is what it looks like inside.
It’s old, but you keep it clean.
It’s been well taken care of, and it looks like a nice place to live.”

Well, you were from this village, weren’t you, Hugh?

“Yeah, that’s why they sent me.
My family moved to the capital when I was fourteen, so it’s been, what, fifteen years? Maybe more.
I visited them when I came over, but there are still quite a few familiar faces here.”

Well, it was a rural area, and the hometown still had a lot of his classmates.

“When was the last time Walter was here? Was it around the end of the year vacations?”

I only stopped by for half a day once or twice as a child, eight years ago.”

My, what a waste.
The forest in the back looked like a good place for children to play.
You knew I’d never been here before, Lady Adelaide, and you leave me all alone with this big son of yours.

I was told that they could unpack by themselves, so I just showed them around and went back to the kitchen to stand beside Lady Adelaide and started rolling out the bread with her.

“Did they come directly to the backyard?”

‘Yes, I thought this had sprung up.
I was so surprised.’ I nodded my head and answered.

“I thought it would be a little later… But it was better than waiting and hoping for the best.”

That might be true.
The nervousness I had been feeling for the past few days was gone from Lady Adelaide, who seemed to have relaxed because the reunion, which would have been the most stressful, was so easy.
Now, I hoped we could have a pleasant talk together… I’d like to think that person’s attitude was because of my presence, a stranger.

“Isn’t that child unsociable? Weren’t you scared?”

I shook my head and denied Lady Adelaide’s question.
Although his expression was strong and the wrinkles between his eyebrows were the default, I didn’t find it scary because I didn’t feel any malice or harm.
I mean, I thought I was being intimidated, but was that normal mode? Lady Adelaide smiled at me as I wondered.

“… I felt he soften a little.
Isn’t that why you’re here, Margaret?”

Seriously! With that? … W-well, I guess it was okay, because Dr.
Daniel and Mark would be here in the evening and we would all have dinner together.

When we had finished rolling up the bread and covered it with cloth, they left, saying that they would go to the village then.

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