My Mom Got A Contract Marriage - Chapter 39
Just as Pi was about to bend down, Lauv stepped up.
“I’ll do it.”
He scooped Lilica up quickly. Now, he could hold her in a secure manner.
Pi also added something that would help Atil in passing.
“If you’re curious about what conversations we had with the people at Sky Palace, you can ask His Highness.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
Soon, the party arrived in front of the Black Dragon Chamber.
The shiny black dragon that was carved on the door was a delicate craft out of obsidian.
“You can let me down now.”
While Lauv lowered Lilica to the ground, Pi opened the door personally.
The foyer’s door was already open.
Brann came out to meet her with swift steps.
“Welcome, my princess.”
After saying hello, Lilica gave a curtsey.
“Greetings, my prince.”
Atil’s eyebrows shot up at that term of address.
But he didn’t say anything immediately. It’s because he was guilty of committing a crime.
When Lilica sat down, Brann soon served ice cream in a long glass.
Raspberries that were preserved in sugar filled the spaces between vanilla ice cream.
A raspberry-shaped candy made of sugar topped the entire dessert.
Lilica couldn’t help but let out a sigh of admiration.
Relief flashed past Atil’s face. He held out a long silver spoon.
“Here you go.”
After Lilica accepted the silver spoon, Atil explained.
“You can eat it after breaking the candy on the top lightly.”
At those words, Lilica tapped the raspberry-shaped candy with her spoon, and red syrup flowed out of the broken candy.
Lilica let out another sigh of admiration.
The weather was still blazingly hot, so the lemon sherbet’s chill quickly disappeared.
She’d even broken out in sweat while walking over.
Lilica enjoyed the vanilla ice cream with raspberry syrup.
“It’s very delicious.”
Lilica’s exclamations caused Atil to bite his lip gently.
“I knew it.”
Lilica looked at Atil.
As expected, from his expression, he was holding back his laughter.
When their eyes met, it turned into a soft smile.
“Is it yummy?”
Lilica answered obediently.
It’s because delicious things are delicious!
“Please take your time, my princess.”
Brann spoke from the side, worried that she might have a stomachache.
Lilica’s hands slowed down. She would also get stomachaches, too.
“Has the blood stopped now?”
Lilica nodded. She looked back at Lauv and said.
“Sir Lauv threw the tooth onto the roof.”
Atil thought that that was a superstition, but he didn’t bother to voice it.
He dismissed it because his sister, who was diligently eating the ice cream, looked too cute.
He glanced at Brann.
Brann was the one that prepared this ice cream.
His trust in his confidants naturally rose.
When Pi sat down, Brann served two cups of cold tea.
“Aren’t you going to eat ice cream, Your Highness?”
“It’s fine. You can have more.”
At his words, Lilica tilted her head and scooped up a spoonful of ice cream.
“Even so, here.”
Atil was flustered upon seeing the ice cream that was suddenly beside his lips, but he still opened his mouth meekly.
Atil wiped the corner of his mouth and commented briefly.
“It’s not bad.”
“It’s yummy, isn’t it?”
At that, her missing front tooth was revealed so starkly that Atil laughed.
He barely managed to hold back his laughter, but his shoulders continued trembling.
Lilica asked flusteredly.
“Huh? Your Highness, did you choke because you heard that? Are you alright?”
Atil shook his head.
If he burst into laughter here, it might end up badly. He coughed a few times before the urge to laugh calmed down.
“No, I’m fine. Ahem, ahem.”
While clearing his throat, Atil saw Lilica’s worried expression.
He glanced back down at the glass bowl and said.
“It’s alright, so continue eating.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
At those final words, Atil finally asked.
“Are you going to continue calling me that?”
“What do you mean, Your Highness?”
“Calling me ‘Your Highness’.”
“But if a princess of my background doesn’t call you Your Highness, what would that make you, Your Highness?”
‘What’s the point of just addressing me in that manner?’
Atil’s eyebrows knitted together before he let out an exhale.
He has to give a good answer here.
After much contemplation, he spoke.
“Regardless of her origins, my sister is still my sister.”
Lilica stared straight at Atil, causing him to become restless with anxiety.
After a while, Lilica nodded.
“If that’s what Atil thinks.”
Atil clenched his fist under the table and gave a faint smile.
Once the first problem between the both of them was resolved, Pi opened his mouth.
“By the way, I heard that the princess allowed Fjord Barat to stay in the cabin.”
Lilica nodded quietly, and Pi shook his head.
“No, I’m not trying to interrogate you, but I’m just wondering why you did that.”
“That’s because Fjord wasn’t feeling very well.”
Lilica muttered and looked up.
“When I met him in the garden, he suddenly collapsed. He was also running a high fever. But I couldn’t just leave him in the garden, and I thought that my presence there shouldn’t be known, so that’s the only place that I could think of.”
It would be an unfavourable story for both sides if it was known that Fjord Barat collapsed right after meeting the princess.
The princess’s judgement to hide it was right.
The problem was why did that have to be the hiding place, of all places.
“Why did he collapse?”
Lilica averted her eyes while answering Pi’s question.
“He wasn’t feeling well.”
She didn’t want to tell him about his serious injuries.
That seemed to be a matter of Fjord’s pride.
Wasn’t it a little odd for her to talk about it in detail when everyone was present, even though she too was unaware?
Instead, Lilica was surprised by his quick response.
Pi answered softly.
“It could happen if he wasn’t feeling well. So, is he alright now?”
“Yes, so I sent him home.”
Her tone made it sound like she treated an injured animal and released it back into the wild.
Pi glanced at Atil.
Pi and Atil had heard about the rumours circulating the Barat ducal family.
Atil folded his arms.
Pi asked Lilica.
“Will you continue interacting with him?”
Lilica nodded and said, “Ah!”
“I’ve also got permission from Mother. I’ll have to end my friendship with him if any bad rumours about Fjord start to circulate around, and I said okay.”
Pi nodded and stole another glance at Atil again.
Lilica also looked at Atil.
The current topic of Fjord seemed like Pi was asking questions on Atil’s behalf.
“If Aunt said so, she must have her own reason.”
As long as it concerned Lilica, his aunt would be the first to shoot blue flames out of her eyes.
If his aunt gave permission, he wouldn’t be a threat to Lilica.
Then the only thing that remained was his personal feelings.
The corners of Atil’s mouth became twisted.
“Isn’t it virtuous of me to show generosity to a future subject of mine?”
After the incident earlier, it felt like he was behaving too agitatedly.
And that was when he’s in front of Fjord Barat.
Fjord looked much more relaxed than he was.
It got on Atil’s nerves.
In that case, he also didn’t have a reason not to show leniency.
It’s annoying, but.
He propped up his chin and said.
“Do as you please.”
Lilica jumped up from her seat, “Really?”
“I won’t say it twice.”
At Atil’s words, Lilica ran over and gave him a hug.
Atil squished her cheek and said.
“But don’t forget, that punk’s a stranger.”
We’re a family, we’re connected together.
Unlike that guy, who was completely outside the family tree.
Only with that could he make things clear.
Lilica nodded her head.
“Yes, Atil always comes first.”
At Lilica’s blatant words, Atil nodded brazenly, “It’s fine then, since you know that.”
She laughed and was about to get out of his arms, but Atil said, “What’s wrong?”, before picking her up and sitting her on his lap.
Brann, who was standing at a side, quickly brought the glass and spoon in front of Lilica.
When Lilica turned her head around and looked up at Atil, Atil lifted the spoon and asked.
“Do you need me to feed you?”
“No, I don’t.”
Lilica quickly snatched back the spoon.
The sound of the silver spoon hitting against the glass made a clattering sound.
“By the way, Atil.”
“Don’t you go to the Sky Palace often? What do you talk to the people you meet about?”
“What do you mean, what do we talk about? We just talk.”
Lilica frowned when Atil answered reluctantly.
Her small heel tapped Atil’s shin lightly.
“Geez, it’s not like that. What do you really talk about? When I see someone that greets me, I want to return their greetings, but then we’ll have to talk, won’t we?”
“Is it necessary to return their greetings back?”
“If you continue to ignore them, won’t your reputation worsen?”
“Rather than dealing with them perfunctorily, it’s better to not deal with them at all. You’ll have to deal with them when you’ve reached ten years old anyways.”
At Atil’s insensitive words, Lilica nodded after much consideration.
Atil was right.
Given her current self, she might get swept away with an, “Uhhh.”
‘I’ll study hard for the next two years.’
When she turns ten, she’ll have to participate in public events, whether she likes it or not.
‘I’ll make sure that I don’t make any mistakes then.’
She felt apologetic when children of my age give me sparkling eyes, but she should stay like this for the time being.
‘Because there’s Diare and Fjord. Even so, she wouldn’t be bored.’
The thought of Diare made her happy.
Diare, who was always honest, clumsy and yet considerate of her, was very cute.
Above all, anyone would love that rich, pink hair colour of hers.
Of course, if they reach out their hands thinking that she looks cute just based on her appearance, they’ll get bitten.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Is she bothering you?”
Lilica burst into laughter at Atil’s words.
“No, she isn’t.”
Lilica leaned against his chest, and said.
“Even so, it feels good to have someone that’ll take my side if I’m bullied.”
“You’d mentioned it before. That you were jealous of that. So if you are bullied by someone, call me. Do you understand?
Though there’s no one that would bully her in the palace.
* * *
A few days later, just as her mother had mentioned, Uva returned.
The ships, filled with items that he’d returned with, caused quite a stir.
Uva brought along some plants and rare items and visited Lilica first.
Lilica ran towards him with a big smile.
Uva, who was kneeling on the floor while waiting, smiled and greeted her after taking off his hat.
The feathers on his hat were still big and extravagant.
“I greet the Princess.”
“Yes, I’m also very happy to see you again! I’m glad that you’re okay.”
At Lilica’s words, Uva stretched out his hands in an attempt to lift her up, but he was stopped by Lauv.
His blue-grey eyes were rather fierce-looking.
Lilica spoke flusteredly, like an owner that forgot to mention that she had a fierce dog in her house.
“Lauv, it’s alright. Uva, this is my escort, Lauv. This is Uva, the adventurer that I’ve invested in.”
Lauv blinked once slowly, before greeting with a faint smile.
“I’m Lauv Wolfe.”
The confused Uva also greeted back.
“My name is Uva.”
‘Ah, there’s that sense of incompatibility again.’
She felt another sense of heterogeneity from Lauv’s face again.
As it was hard for her to put her finger on, Lilica decided to observe for another period of time.
“It should be done by your escort. When my identity has become clearer in the future, then.”
Uva lowered his hand disappointedly and bowed his head.
A polite tone rang out.
“I’ve come to the princess, who’d made a huge investment, first. Please be the first to select an item.”
“Me? Not Mother?”
“I’ll visit the empress right afterwards, so please don’t worry.”
When Uva stood up and sent an eye signal, the servants quickly lined up the goods.
There were plants in small pots, minerals in boxes, and berries from trees etc.
“I couldn’t bring all of them in, so here’s a catalogue.”
Brynn took the catalogue from Uva and unfolded it for Lilica.
Lilica looked at the catalogue with amazement and turned her gaze towards the real thing.
“This is really pretty.”
Uva pointed to a mineral that glistened like a snowball and said.
“Apparently, when you light it on fire, you’ll get a beautiful blue flame. It’s rather bright and lasts for a long period of time.”
After placing a finger on the stone, Lilica gave up.
It was only right for something amazing and wonderful to go to her mother.
Lilica pointed towards the most modest plant that only had leaves.
“There’s a large, radish-like root beneath this, and it’s very sweet.”
Lilica looked at the plant quietly.
This was neither fancy nor pretty, so it’ll be alright for her to choose this, wouldn’t it?
If she planted this around the cabin, she’d be able to eat a lot of sweet things.
And she can replant it again when she buys a house in the future.
“Then I’ll take this.”
Uva gave a happy smile. Lilica looked at him and said.
“Actually, I wanted to hear about the stories of your adventure, but you’re going over to Mother, right?”
“Yes, if you invite me again later, I’ll bring over all the sweet radishes on the ship.”
After another loud greeting, Uva walked away.
Lilica looked at the plant in the pot.
“Will it be very sweet? Does Brynn know anything about sweet plants?”
“From what I know, sugar is made from the sugarcanes that are grown in the south.”
“Sugar comes from a plant?”
Lilica asked in astonishment, and Brynn nodded.
“Yes, if you’re curious about it, would you like to look it up in the encyclopedia?”
“Yes, let’s go, let’s go.”
While Lilica was preparing to head to the library, Uva met Her Majesty the Empress.
All the items that filled the three ships he’d brought back with him were of high value.
Ludia smiled happily as she looked over the items one by one.
But the more she looked, the dimmer her expression became.
‘There’s no sugar radish?’
One of the most profitable items that could be gained from this voyage was the sugar radish.
Sugarcanes in the south, and sugar radishes in the north.
Thanks to this, the price of sugar became much cheaper than it was now, and demand grew explosively.
Thanks to that, the northern territories also gained a speciality.
‘And those foolish humans would only grow sugar radishes instead of wheat and rye. Great job.’
However, the plan couldn’t be implemented unless sugar radish was discovered and brought back from the Sea of Trees.
‘Should I just be satisfied with coffee? Perhaps the story has changed due to my intervention. It’ll probably be brought back on the next voyage.’
“You did a great job, Uva. Other than the items that I want, let’s split the profits as per the contract.”
“This is all possible because of Her Majesty the Empress’s assistance.”
Uva gave a deep bow.