DON’T REMEMBER ME
~ 4. 43 ~
“Rosé, aren’t you coming with us?”
When Flitta had held her father’s hand and took sew steps forward, she looked back at Rosé. She looked at them with a happy expression and waved her hand in surprise.
“No, I am fine.”
She had no intention of intervening to their walk alone. The moment she was in a hurry to decline, the man behind Flitta spoke to her.
“Let’s go for a walk together.”
“It would be better if you do so, Miss Rosé. What are you doing? His Highness and Princess are waiting for you.”
Rosé blinked in bewilderment, but Pedwin came over and agreed with her words.
In a daze, as if pushed, she approached them. Then, Flitta quickly reached out her hand towards her, and Rosé took her hand involuntarily.
The child held Haven’s and Rosé’s hands in each hand and stomped her feet excitedly. But on the contrary, Rosé’s gait was extremely stiff.
She couldn’t have imagined. To think that he and the child would walk hand in hand with them like this.
‘… It looks like a happy family.’
Her heart thumped uncontrollably. Rosé now had no sense of where he was going. He didn’t even have time to look around. All my senses were occupied only by the small hands of the child holding each other and the footsteps of the man walking with the child in between.
“Oh? It’s a rabbit!”
Just then, Flitta shouted excitedly. Three or four steps ahead, she saw a brown rabbit across them. Flitta quickly let go of the two’s hands, and she ran towards the rabbit. Since the main character of the children’s book, she enjoy listening to rabbit stories, and it seems to have attracted the child’s attention.
The moment Rosé was surprised to see Flitta running away from her hand and tried to grab her, Haven stopped her.
“Just leave her for a while. I don’t think there’s any danger.”
Rosé hesitated at his words and bit pursed her lip. Because he blocked her, she had no choice but to stay in place, but her gaze was still fixed on Flitta. She looked like she was ready to protect her if something happens.
Seeing this, Haven made a strange expression. It was because his heart tickled at the sight of a woman who cared about his child more than he does. And it was not an act just to look good in front of him, on top of that.
He laughed at her, then spoke to her in a joking tone.
“Why do I look like an incompetent father who can’t even protect his child?”
“Oh, no! Not like that, Your Highness.”
Rosé was startled and hurriedly shook her head. Then she realized he was joking with her when he saw the smile on his lips.
Rosé’s green eyes widened. At the same time, a sudden gust of wind blew the hem of her skirt.
Startled, she grabbed the hem of her skirt. Her face turned red.
Then she heard him cleared his throat. Rosé held on to her skirt until the wind subsided, then inadvertently raised her head. It caught her eyes that he was looking away.
… Even the nape of his neck was very slightly red.
At that moment, she suddenly realized that she was alone with him. Of course, they were not literally alone. Although far away, there were dozens of people who came with them to accompany him anyway. Also, a few steps away, Flitta was playing with a rabbit.
Nevertheless, Rosé felt Haven’s presence so great that she hurriedly turned around. It was awkward to see him turn around with his hands together. But she couldn’t blame him for that.
Haven also turned to the other side in a similar way to Rosé.
However, although both of them turned slightly, they did not try to distance themselves from each other or leave their seats.
When the rabbit Flitta was playing with hopped and hid in the bushes, she quickly pouted her mouth, as if she was sad to see that the rabbit was gone without saying hello. She then just quickly shook off her regrets and stood up. She then saw the two people she loved most in the world.
Flitta ran towards the two standing there, as if waiting for her. But when she stood in front of Rosé and Haven, she tilted her head.
“What is the problem, Flitta?”
To shake off the awkward atmosphere, he asked Flitta. Then Flitta tilted her head again and looked up at him, asking a question instead of an answer.
“Dad, did you fight with Rosé?”
Haven and Rosé asked at the same time in an absurd tone at Flitta’s sudden question. Flitta continued after looking at them alternately.
“Dad and Rosé are looking at opposite sides of each other… Besides, both of your faces are red. Aren’t you blushing with anger? When my nanny gets mad at me, her face just changes like that.”
(TN: Ehem, I see Flitta you see it like that. Ehem,)
As Flitta spoke, she sulked, looking like she was really mad. The two looked at each other, unsure of who to blame first. Of course, they did not forget explaining to Flitta.
“It’s not like that.”
“… But why are your faces red?”
Flitta asked Rosé with her puzzled eyes. Rosé made a puzzled expression when she met Flitta’s eyes.
But what should she answer? She looked at Haven, unable to find words to answer Flitta. It was her earnest look, wanting him to speak for her.
The moment Haven, who couldn’t look away from her gaze, drew his child’s attention with his eyes closed, and was about to speak out, Pedwin approached.
“Your Highness, we are now ready to depart again. What should I do?”
It was just fortunate. Haven hurriedly nodded at Pedwin’s words.
“Let’s leave right now. … Let’s go, Flitta.”
He thought this was an opportunity and quickly changed his mind. Flitta took Rosé’s hand in a daze, and she moved her steps along the Haven toward their carriage.
Heyburn waited for them to come in without getting in first. Then he took his child and put her in the carriage, then turned around and gave his hand.
Rosé’s face turned red again. But this time, she obediently put her hand on his.
The corner of Haven’s mouth went up slightly at the sight. But he, too, did not express himself, helped her get into her carriage, and sat across from her.
The carriage door closed, and Pedwin’s voice was heard from outside announcing departure. Then the carriage seemed to shake, and then it began to move.
… For some reason, the sound of horses hooves made Rosé’s heart beat at a similar beat.
* * *
“Welcome, Grand Duke. It is an honor to have such a visit.”
It was Count Burel, the lord of Middlepoin and a vassal of the Grand Duke, greeted Haven’s party.
“It’s been a while, Count.”
He shook his hand and greeted him in a low voice. Then, Count Burel repeatedly bowed his head to express his respect, and then moved his gaze to see Flitta standing next to Haven and opened his mouth.
“Ohh! This is the princess! You are such a lovely and pretty child. Isn’t that right, Dear?”
“That’s true. Princess, hello.”
The Countess took a step forward and greeted Flitta with a slight bow.
However, instead of being delighted with their fuss, Flitta grabbed the hem of Rosé’s skirt with a frightened expression and hid behind her. The atmosphere was strangely subdued by the wind.
The Countess’ expression also hardened awkwardly. Count Burel, seeing his wife like that, hurriedly clapped his hands and changed the topic.
“Come to think of it, you all must be tired, but I’ve been holding on to His Highness and the Princess for too long. Haha! Hey, Jayden. Please escort His Highness and the Princess to the guest room.”
At the Count’s command, the butler politely bowed and approached. Haven walked into his mansion, guided by him. But Flitta stood still and refused to move, clutching the hem of Rosé’s skirt.
Despite Rosé’s call, Flitta couldn’t easily take a step forward. Small whispers were heard among the employees who were standing in line at the child’s actions.
Haven, who was about to enter the hall on the first floor, stopped and looked back.
He didn’t scold the child. He just called the child in a calm tone.
But at the sound of that voice, Flitta took a deep breath, and slowly got off her feet. Rosé looked behind her and hurriedly followed. After confirming that Flitta was entering the mansion, he turned his head and walked away.
“This is the guest room where the princess will stay.”
Just as Flitta was about to follow her father, a middle-aged woman who appeared to be the head maid of honor approached. The child was stunned and stopped there, turning her head to look at Rosé. Rosé smiled quietly and nodded her head. Then, as if relieved a little, Flitta turned her around to follow the head maid’s words.
The guest room the head maid showed them was on the west side of the second floor. Rosé took the bag containing Flitta’s clothes and went into the room. Flitta was standing in the middle of the room, and as soon as Rosé entered, the head maid immediately approached Flitta’s side.
“… Would you like to take a bath? Or, since you’re hungry, let’s prepare a light dessert first?”