Volume 7 Chapter 3 Part 2


Translation by burnt.marshmallows
Editing by Team Foxsunes


「Let’s have tea after we’re done here. By the way, Edi passed you a new book last night, right? How was it?」

「I’m reading it bit by bit. ……Hey, Filmina」

「What is it?」

Although he was the one who called me, he mumbled, moving his mouth as if he found it hard to continue for some reason. He didn’t need to rush to answer. As I gazed at that handsome face of his, that never allowed his expressions to show, I waited for his words without rushing him. After a few moments, he finally opened his mouth.

「After drinking tea, could you accompany me in my reading and writing practice. Since Suzette gave me a notebook to use for practice yesterday. That’s why……」

Just a while will do. He continued softly. I deepened my smile. What a trivial wish that was. It might even be stretching it to call that a wish. Yet, this boy appeared as apologetic as one would be expected to look if one were making a huge wish. 

Now that I think about it, even though I had read together with Noct, I hadn’t actually seen him read or write. No matter how good he got at reading, it was different from becoming able to write. 

I was sure that not being able to read and write was a sort of complex for this young man. That was why I tried not to bring it up as much as possible, but that must have been the wrong approach. What my wet nurse took was the correct approach. She must have given him the notebook to help him overcome his complex. What he wanted to do after that was left up to no one else but himself. 

And we reached today. When this young man finally took the first step. I was ecstatic at his courage. Unable to hide the smile that welled up in me, I nodded deeply. 

「Of course, I don’t mind. But I’m quite strict you know?」

「Probably not as bad as Agedilus」

「Ah, I’ll have you know I’m quite serious when I get down to it」

It was my dear mother who taught me how important it was to use the carrot and stick method. Hehehe, as I started to laugh, Noct turned his head away from me and continued to fold the laundry. Seeing him do so out of the corner of my eye, I too continued to fold the laundry. With that, we finally finished folding the final piece. 

「Now, shall we have tea? Let’s go, Noct.」

「Yeah」

As I tried to get up, the young man very naturally reached his hand out for me. It was a very gentleman-like action indeed. Accepting his kind gesture, I got up with his support and headed for the living room. 

As we reached the living room, I scanned the room, but my wet nurse was nowhere to be found. It seemed that my wet nurse had yet to return home. I stood in front of the table that enshrined the plate on which my wet nurse beautifully arranged the confectionaries. Let’s do this. We were going to get busy.

「I’ll go take the tea set. It’s been a while but I’ll brew the tea myself today. In case my skills become dull.」

Recently, the symptoms of my morning sickness had worsened, and I hadn’t gotten many chances to brew tea myself. Whenever I tried to brew tea myself, I had to brace myself for my wet nurse or that man appearing out of nowhere. And whenever neither of them were around, Noct would appear instead. He would prepare the hot water, albeit with unsteady hands, so there were almost no chances for me to do anything. But that man was in the castle for work today, and my wet nurse was still out shopping. The only one left was Noct. If I didn’t showcase my abilities now, then what other better chance would there be?

「……Are you alright?」

「What do you mean by that?」

I couldn’t help but give a wry smile to Noct as he looked truly worried. Thinking about it, Noct hasn’t had any of my personally made tea ー any of the herbal tea that that man gave me as a present. I myself could not believe that I hadn’t made tea myself for an entire week. 

I had always enjoyed the tea parties that the princess would sometimes invite me to at the Red Rose Court. But ever since that celebration party, it seemed that the princess had become busy as well, so that was another reason we hadn’t been able to have tea parties with just the two of us for quite a while. Of course, a more important reason for the princess not inviting me over was probably because of the baby in my belly, so I couldn’t complain either. But after all this while, I really wanted to have a leisurely chat with the princess. It might be good to contact her using the communication magic stone tonight too. 

But, leaving that aside, what I should be doing now is preparing the tea. The tea set was in the kitchen, so I should start by grabbing that. It had been a while since I last brewed herbal tea myself, but Noct was staring intently at me. 

I left the living room to go to the kitchen, with Noct’s eyes glued to my back, as if he were saying「I’m worried」. For some reason, it felt like it had been quite a long time since I last stepped into the kitchen, but I quickly started searching for the tea set. As I said before, because I had been leaving everything to my wet nurse and my husband, the tea set wasn’t where we usually placed it. It seemed that one of the two of them had moved it. I tried searching all around, but I sadly could not find it anywhere. Hmm, this was a problem. 

I guess the only places I could think of would be…… As I looked up, I realized. Oh yes, that man was brewing herbal tea the night before. And the one who cleaned up afterward was also that man. Being the tall man he was, he might have placed it in the top cabinet. If so, I wouldn’t be able to reach it unless I used the stepladder. 

I moved the stepladder that was placed at a corner of the kitchen, and climbed up carefully, one step at a time. When I reached my hand out, I could somewhat reach the door of the top cabinet, but it seemed easier if I went up another step. Holding up the hem of my skirt, up we go, I took another step up. It was then. 

「Filmina, I really think I should help……」

「What?」

Abruptly hearing a voice from behind me, I instinctively turned around as I usually did. It was then that my leg, that I was trying to bring up another step, slipped. My entire body was enveloped by a strange floating sensation. This is bad, I thought. But even as I instinctively reached my hand out, there was nothing I could hold on to, so I just trashed it around in the empty space. The stepladder was of a considerable height. I got a chill just thinking about what would happen if I fell on the floor like this. Unable to do anything, I bent my body greatly. Ah, I couldn’t help but feel like the small sigh I let out wasn’t my own. 

「Filmina!」

「!!」

My name was being called. I thought. When I realized that, my body was already being held in Noct’s arms. I could hear Noct’s rough breathing in my ears. Noct couldn’t have reached where I was climbing the stepladder in just two or three steps, judging from where he had been standing. Yet, Noct somehow rushed to reach me in a single leap, and caught me. He ended up falling on his backside, but I wasn’t affected in any way. I didn’t feel any impact at all. 

The moment I recognized what had happened, my entire body burst out in cold sweat all at once. The word「dangerous」couldn’t have begun to describe how dire the situation was. Was I too rash? Was I being careless? Unbelievable. I wasn’t able to rationalize what had just happened with words like those. I was fine now because of Noct, but what if he hadn’t been here, and my body had hit the ground? Just thinking about what would have happened to the child in my belly if that had happened, especially at this time, I started trembling. I instinctively grabbed Noct’s arm, as he held my body. As I did that, Noct started to tremble even harder than me and shouted as though he was about to cry. 

「S-sorry, I, It’s because I suddenly called out to you! What should I do, i-if something happened to the child.」

「I-it’s alright. Calm down, Noct. I was the one who made a mistake. Both the baby and I are safe because of you. There isn’t anything you need to apologize about.」

I didn’t know if the fast-paced heartbeat was mine or Noct’s. But seeing Noct getting much more flustered and agitated than me, I in turn felt calmer. I felt bad for Noct, but I was thankful for it. 


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