Reina seemed to have the penchant of saying the opposite of things.
“What do you think about getting engaged to Fran Carter?”
This was the line that was flung to her as soon as she entered her father’s study, which smelled like ink and paper.
“…Huh? All of a sudden?”
She faced Viscount Ruzest with a bewildered expression.
He took off his glasses and walked closer to his daughter and sat down.
“I heard that you’ve been running around, hitting on Ethan these days.”
“What do you mean hitting on…”
What he said was right, but the choice of words was unbefitting of his status at all.
‘Mother has a, um, very spectacular vocabulary, too.’
Instead of answering, Reina’s eyebrows were raised high, and she meekly lifted the teacup that had been set before her.
“But I also heard that it doesn’t seem to have any effect on him.”
Reina had been sipping her tea quietly while listening to her father’s biting words, but she eventually choked.
“What do you mean there’s no effect? It does!”
Well, it was at the rate of a crawling snail, but still.
“When he looks at me, he smiles at me now, you know.”
When the family’s youngest daughter straightened her posture and spoke coyly, the viscount widened his eyes in surprise.
“…That kid smiled?”
And it was re~eally wide.”
The modifier wasn’t entirely right, but it’s still true that he kinda smiled.
Parents didn’t have to know all the details of their child’s love life anyway, did they? So Reina just said what she needed to say.
“Ethan and I are getting along well.”
Her father’s expression changed strangely.
“When I went to the Imperial Palace last time, Ethan even escorted me.”
“The Imperial Palace?”
He held my hand while he accompanied me to the palace gates.”
As her father listened, he slowly crossed his arms and leaned back on his seat.
“Escorting aside, was that the time our youngest daughter was asked by my beautiful wife to go on an errand to deliver a packed lunch to this father, who’s been toiling away and doing his best at work, but then went back straight home from the palace without even doing the errand?”
“Yes, yes, that’s ri—”
Reina responded enthusiastically at first, but then she belatedly noticed the sarcasm lacing her father’s words.
Shutting her lips right away, she carefully gauged her father’s mood.
“That time when this father waited so long for his lunch to come, but instead starved all day long?”
She already apologized about it earlier, but her father still seemed to be sulking about it.
“Yeah, it’s not a big deal.
It’s just that my life flashed before my eyes, my vision turned blank, and I got so dizzy, but you know, this father is fine.”
“…Skipping just one meal won’t make anyone feel all that though…”
When the daughter muttered under her breath and tried to refute his words, the viscount’s eyes grew wide.
I won’t do it again.”
Reina apologized one more time, then she quickly changed the subject.
“By the way, what’s with the engagement with Fran, Father? House Carter and House Chantra aren’t exactly friendly with each other.”
When the topic of engagement was brought up, Viscount Ruzest put away the expression he had as a father and replaced it with the expression he used as the next household head of Chantra.
“Fran’s former fiancée, Lynna Masen, has been revealed to have divine power on the same level of a saintess.”
Divine power and magic were essentially the same.
However, when one’s magic would go beyond a certain threshold, it would then be classified as ‘divine power’ from then on.
And when a case like that were to happen, it’s a custom in the empire for that individual to turn to religion.
‘Of course, it’s possible to refuse, but…’
The members of the nine major households were expected to hold high leadership positions, so it was essentially impossible to reject the sainthood.
“But Lynna Masen isn’t a member of the nine houses yet.
She doesn’t have to be a saintess… Don’t tell me she’s willingly turning to religion?”
As if Reina hit it right on the mark, the viscount nodded after he sipped his tea.
“Mm… Then House Carter can’t say anything about it either.”
She was annulling the engagement as a saintess, so who’d be able to stop her?
That’s why they’re being pressured now.
And we’re also…”
Trailing off, the viscount glanced at his youngest daughter, who was drinking her cup of floral tea, sitting in front of him.
“The elder council’s nagging is getting worse by the day.
Your grandmother and I won’t be able to divert them for long anymore.”
This was a fact that she also knew well.
After all, wasn’t that why she’s been working so hard at flirting with Ethan?
“So if you’re not too attached to Ethan, why don’t you just proceed with an engagement with Fran Carter?”
Since the adults were considering an engagement even with House Carter, the pressure they’re getting from the elder council must be worse than Reina initially thought.
“Unlike Ethan, the family lineages won’t be as complicated.”
Her father was right.
Ethan Liam was the eldest son of House Liam.
And apart from that, he was the most powerful descendant of the household since its founding.
To put it into perspective, he manifested the power of all five gods, but as if that’s not enough, the mastery he had with each divine power was at least on the papal level to boot.
Perhaps that’s why each pontificate failed to bring him into the church.
He was practically a national treasure, so who could possibly force him into anything?
At the same time, his family was a mage family anyway, so House Liam had absolutely no intention to give him away.
That’s why he ended up being a unique individual who was hard to touch in many ways.
“As expected, since we’re talking about power, you have to be so powerful that you reach the point that you’re untouchable…”
Murmuring to herself, Reina silently stared at the ripples in the middle of her teacup.
“Of course, your choice comes first.”
Hearing this, Reina’s brows furrowed as she made a serious expression.
Objectively speaking, she could at least converse with Fran Carter, so he was safe.
‘But Ethan and I are getting closer now…’
Besides, Fran Carter was also one of the sub male leads.
Compared to a sub seme like Douglas, Fran’s presence was much weaker, but… he’s still uncomfortable to be around.
‘Do I get engaged to Ethan or with Fran… There’s not much difference there.’
Of course, based on the original novel, Fran was supposed to be in Lehman’s posse right about now.
But maybe something or another went wrong, because he didn’t seem to be showing any interest in Lehman.
‘So maybe Fran’s a better route compared to Ethan…’
And in his perspective as well, he’s got no other choice either.
Going with this engagement would be the easier choice.
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