I then stopped at a patisserie on Third Avenue to buy a large amount of pudding as a souvenir and immediately headed to the Duke’s house.
When I arrived, I was greeted at the door by the head servant, Jeffrey himself.
Welcome home, Alice-sama, Hayato-sama. It’s good to see you again. Everyone is waiting for you.
First of all, Alice-sama, please go to your room and change your clothes.
“Huh? Can’t we just leave it like this? I came here intending to leave as soon as we were done talking.”
“My master told me to make Alice-sama look like a proper lady before meeting him, so I’m afraid we can’t have a compromise on this.
Marry Ann, Florina, if you would?
And, Hayato-sama, please come this way.”
Before he could say anything, Jeffrey urged Hayato to go somewhere.
As expected, Hayato was panicked because he couldn’t read this development, and he was taken away quietly while turning his face, confused.
…what this all about, I’m getting a little scared.
“Well, young lady, I will start. My hands are itching!”
Seeing that Mary Ann seems to be having a good time, whatever this is, it should not be something bad.
Still, I’m curious.
I headed to my room while glancing at the door of the guest’s room where Hayato was brought in.
“We will prepare the hot water right away! Shall I comb your hair first?”
“Thank you. … But why? I just came here today to talk to my father, mother, and Lav.”
“I don’t know, but my master seems to have been in a great hurry to get his hands on something this morning after receiving a call from you. He also hurriedly call a tailor. Come to think of it. They also arrived just now.”
So Hayato is meeting with a tailor now.
What! What is happening?
“That said, Lav-sama brother is something else… I’m got fascinated every time I see him.”
While I’m distracted, I got undressed, soaked in hot water, and then two people work together to polish my entire body.
They then rubbed my skin with jasmine essential oil to make it soft and shiny, and then quickly dried my hair and put it in a loose curl.
While I was puzzled by the sensation of being taken care of for the first time in a while, I was dressed in a simple pale blue dress and had simple make-up applied to complete the process. It takes about an hour and a half.
They were both fantastic.
However, this process sure took a long time to accomplish its purpose.
What on earth was the purpose of having me change?
When I was wondering, I was led into the guest room. My father and Hayato were already there. The expression on Hayato’s face is tense.
“Oh? Only you two, where’s everyone else?”
“Yes, there’s something I want to talk to you. But first, it’s good to see you, Alice. I think your expression becomes brighter now.”
“Is that so? … or rather, I’m more curious about the topic you were talking about behind me.”
“I’ll tell Alice about that now, but you’ll need to wait until I hear Hayato’s reply first…
So, what do you think? I know you have a lot on your mind, but you see, Alice is not basically like this. This is for Alice’s sake, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
What is this feeling?
Hayato slumped down with a hard look on his face, and after a moment, he turned his gaze straight to my father.
“… I understand. I’ll take it.”
I look alternately at my father and Hayato, who nodded in satisfaction.
Um, I think it’s time for you to get me involved in the conversation.
My father glanced at me and said.
“We were just talking about the knighthood. I’ve already lobbied the council and obtained His majesty’s approval. The only thing left to do is for me to recommend it formally, and it will pass.”
“Really? Since when father started working on this?”
“I started making arrangements as soon as Alice left. It was easy because the royal family now owes us a lot of favor.
But you guys took so long to get engaged, and I was worried that I might have wasted my time.”
It seemed that Father had already been informed of our engagement.
That tailor, too, he already predicted this outcome from the beginning. I feel like we both were dancing on the palm of my father’s hand.
Hayato muttered with his head as he listened to our conversation.
“…then, my worry is…?”
“That said, I’m not the first person who offers you this, right? though I heard you’ve rejected their offer.”
“That’s true, but…”
So it was like that?
But it’s true that sometimes we hear of nobles who want to take advantage of some influential citizen and recommend him or her for knighthood. They were called as first-generation nobleman.
I might not be surprised to hear one or two such stories happen to Hayato.
It’s a bit too early to be newly ordained in your mid-teens, but in this country, it’s common for noble children to be treated as adults from that age, partly because the age of graduation from school is 15, and they are treated as adults from that point.
Naturally, it would take years to stand on your own, so there is a tradition to train under the backing family for a while, though.
Typically, the parents’ family would take on the role of backing, or in Hayato’s case, it’s our family.
“…Hayato, are you sure you want to do this? That means you’re at the mercy of our ……of Stuart family. It will inconvenience you in many ways, and you should think a little more about—”
“If this were offered by any other family of any other nobles or aristocrats, I wouldn’t take it. …… but it’s okay. I’ve already decided.”
You have the power to live freely, but he says he willing to be collared.
Hayato looked straight at me and smiled gently.
“That’s the spirit, and goodness, Alice, I swear won’t do anything bad. I swear in the name of goddess Minerva.
So, let’s move on. Can you tell Aklys in detail later on where and how you got that lot of pudding out of that pocket?”
And that’s just like my father. He is too quick to change his atmosphere. It won’t hurt him to hold the talk about business for a while.
Thus, with the help of my father’s pushy attitude, the Stuarts dragged Hayato into the noble society by giving him a small portion of our fiefdom, albeit in a remote area. Hayato, who had no family name, was named after the place he was given as his name, which was to be the Viscount Hayato Riddil.
All that left was to wait for official news of an official engagement between Stuarts and the Riddil family.