As I watched Minoa-san who went to take Genjirou’s reins in a hurry, I walked up to Taiga-san. He was wearing a soft white mantle, and when I looked at him like this, I felt like he was a prince.
‘Even in here, your breath turns white when it’s cold,’ as I thought something that was a bit off at this moment, I looked up at Taiga-san.
“Seiren-sama, are you all right?”
“Eh, ah… yup.”
Taiga-san asked that as he took my hand with a greatly worried face.
As I nodded, I finally realized. That’s right, I wrote a letter that I was being targeted by the evil spirits, but as for the letter that detailed its resolution… I completely forgooottttt! Whoa, seriously, I’m sorry.
“Ah, right. I’m sorry, it was settled yesterday thanks to my ancestors and everyone’s help.”
“No problem. It’s fine as long as you’re all right. I see, thank goodness…”
Whoa, I was being embraced so closely. No, wait a second, the fief population were all looking here so fixedly, weren’t they? Wait, wait, wait.
No, eh, uh-m, as expected, it was warm in this kind of position, but… wait, that’s not what I should be thinking, right?
“Uhm, wait, Taiga-san, we’re in front of people…”
[Ooh, aren’t you Seiren’s future husband?] [Hee, the young head of the Shikino family, huh?] “Eh…”
My saviors (in a sense), or rather, the ancestor couple who couldn’t read the atmosphere suddenly turned up. Taiga-san who was called opened his eyes wide, and after a short moment that his gaze was in line with the couple who seemed to be having fun right in front of his eyes, his body stiffened.
“…Ah, c-could it be, Seiren-sama’s…?”
“Ah, yup. They are the ancestors who saved me.”
[I’m Shiiya Sumeragi Mikoto. Pleased to meet you.] [Shiiya Koyata. Nice to meet you.]
Since the people over here are supposed to know that the ancestors are coming during this period, once I properly told him, he should quickly understand, right? The two of them also introduced themselves… Taiga-san moved away from me in a fluster.
Yup, it’s not good to be lovey-dovey in front of the ancestors without even giving a greeting. Still, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to be lovey-dovey after greeting them, though.
“P-please forgive my impoliteness. I’m Shikino Taiga. I’m so sorry for arriving so suddenly and for being so rude on top of it.”
[It’s fine. You flew here because you were worried for Seiren, right?]
As expected that it won’t be good if Taiga-san were to kneel at this place, so he only bowed deeply as he put his hand on his chest. In response to it, Mikoto-san also stopped laughing, or should I say as expected of my ancestor? No, really, you can’t help but be serious at this kind of situation, right?[For you know, when I stayed in bed due to an illness, my darling also felt uneasy that he brought his work with him. Despite me saying that it was unreasonable of him and shouted at him for doing his work on my floor, really.] [Isn’t it a matter of course, Honey? Wouldn’t I feel uneasy if my precious wife stayed in bed due to an illness?]
Eei, stop making out and being lovey-dovey right in front of your descendants. Look, Taiga-san went blank with his hand still on his chest, didn’t he?
“…U-uhm, Seiren-sama. These people are…”
“One is the husband who pushed forward to marry his wife who was from the royal family, and likewise. As you can see, they’re still lovey-dovey even up to now.”
“Y-yeah… I-it’s good that they’re on good terms…”
“Just resign to it, Taiga-sama. Ah, I’ve put Genjirou in the stable.”
Minoa-san called out to Taiga-san who was having a cold sweat. Ah, thanks for your hard work. Genjirou, too, it must have been hard for him to suddenly have to travel quite a long distance.
“Ah, yeah, sorry for the trouble.”
“Taiga-sama-, we have finished preparing for the guestroom, so please stay over tonight-.”
“Eh, ah, thank you.”
Oriza-san, since when? No, well, it’s not like he can just go home like this right now, right? However.
“Whoa, the preparation was finished like that? That was so quick.”
“It’s natural for a maid of the Shiiya family-. Or rather, it would be very tiring for the horse if you were to fly home right away, too-.”
“S-sorry. I’m much obliged.”
I guess so, right-? Really, this person can’t see his surroundings at times.
Well, while we were chattering happily like this, suddenly there was a crowd forming near us. Then, amidst all of it, a courageous auntie raised her voice. No matter in which world it is, aunties are strong.
“Oh my, oh my, the young Shikino lord, I know that you’re worried for the princess, but is it okay for you to leave your territory?”
“There’s no need to worry. I’ve properly finished my End-of-the-Year greeting. And then, I ran full speed here right after that.”
His reply to that auntie as he clapped his chest and grinned was extremely childish. Or rather, he really resembled Saryuu. Well, it’s natural since they are biological brothers, though.
Well, leaving that aside…
“Please don’t overwork Genjirou like that. It must be hard for him.”
“Eh, ah, yeah. H-however, it’s Genjirou’s job to let me ride on him…”
“Even if he’s a horse, he can still get tired. Oriza-san also said that earlier, right?”
“Yes-. It must have been hard for him to accompany his master like this, right-?”
Good grief. Horses are also living beings, so isn’t it obvious that they will get tired if you rush it excessively like that? Even though you’ll be able to understand it once you think a little bit about it…
Now then, what should I do about this person? He’s come all the way here after all, yosh.
“…Yosh. Since you’ve gone through the trouble of coming here, Taiga-san, please help us out in distributing the snacks.”
“That’s right-. Since you’ll be sleeping over tonight, you will have quite a time to spare-.”
“Look look, his hands are empty too, after all.”
“I’ve brought the cookies.”
It wasn’t just me, but Oriza-san and Minoa-san, also Alica-san who just arrived with the additional cookies were also smiling, and Taiga-san surely couldn’t refuse with this.
In addition, there was another thing that made him unable to refuse.
“Princess-, can I have some snacks, please?”
There were already lots of children gathering here. They saw Alica-san as she brought out the cookies, after all. ‘Now, you can’t escape anymore-,’ as I grinned, I began to distribute some of the cookies to the children.
“Okay, here you go.”
“Ya-y, thank you so much, Princess-!”
“Now, now, Taiga-sama too, please.”
Taiga-san unintentionally received the cookies that Alica-san handed, and he darted his eyes about. Even so, when he noticed the little girl in front of him was looking at him fixedly, he still managed to properly smile and I dropped my back.1
“H-here you go.”
“Shankk youu-, Pyince-!”2
Hee, when I looked at Taiga-san who was looking pleasantly as he distributed the cookies and was being addressed as ‘Prince’, Taiga-san made a somewhat complicated expression. Well, since he was being addresed as ‘Prince’… No, well, when you think of ‘Prince’, the current prince is Leo-san, though, uhm?
“What’s the matter, Taiga-sama?”
“’Uncle’, huh? I’m already old, after all…”3
“Isn’t it ‘Prince’? Since Seiren-sama is the princess.”
How did you mishear it? No matter how I listened to everyone, it was ‘Prince’, right? Or rather, do you mind for being old?
“Haa, I see… No, I don’t have any right to succeed the throne, though.”
“If it’s just this, even Leo-sama would surely just laugh it off, so it’s fine-.”
Perhaps that’s not where you should comment about, so I think… For once, he;s a feudal lord, but since he’s also my fiance and I have the right to throne succession, well, it’s fine to call him as a prince, then, so I think. Nah, it was based on my intuition, so things might be different here, though.
When I realized that there was something that fell right in front of my face, I looked up to the sky. Falling down from the dark sky was—just like what I’ve seen many times before in the other world—ice crystal.
“…Ah, it’s snowing.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Taiga-san, the maids, and also the fief population were all looking up to the sky. The children quickly began to be noisy. Haha, it was a common reaction no matter where it was.
After looking up to the sky for a while, Taiga-san asked me.
“Does snow also fall in the world where Seiren-sama was raised in?”
“Yes. Well, they mostly fall during the end of the year, though.”
‘Is that your only reaction?’ so I thought, but oh well. I wonder how long has it been since I last gazed at the sky leisurely like this?
As I was thinking about it as I looked over to my surrounding, uhm…
“Ane-sama and Nii-sama are so close, huh? Just wait for it, I will also find a nice person one day and…”
No, Saryuu, I can hear it well, okay? Or rather, please do your best.
“Oh my, oh my. Hey, Dear, how enviable, right?”
“Well, isn’t it good? They will eventually marry, so it’s best if they are this close to each other.”
Kaa-san, Tou-san, I think that it’s also good that you two are so close to each other. You two have also taught various things to me who didn’t know about a parent up until this year’s spring.[Hmm. Mondo and Maya, they seem to be unaware that their daughter and her future husband mirrored them a lot, right, Darling?] [That’s right, Honey. However, isn’t it true what Mondo said, that it’s good as long as they are close? Just like us.]
My ancestors, please don’t decide it on your own convenience. Or rather, if you can become a close pair even after you’ve become ancestors like this, that would be good.
…I wonder if Taiga-san and I will also be able to be like that?
‘Ah-, how warm,’ as I thought so, I leaned my head towards Taiga-san’s chest.
-End of Arc 4: Winter of the Ancestors-
- Dropping her back here is a comical reaction that one usually makes during when one sees something unexpected. ↩
- The girl wants to say “Thank you, Prince,” but she is still lisping. I guess the little girl here is really “little” or young, haha. ↩
- In Japanese, Prince is “Ouji-sama,” and Uncle is “Oji-sama”. Quite similar, right? ↩