Chapter 26: Great Self-Reflection
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Having realised my sin, I headed home with heavy footsteps.
Just for days like this, my wife greeted my return on the porch.
“Yes. I, just arrived. I’m sorry it became this late.”
This time, even Sieg did not feign ignorance. Her grey eyes pierced me with a denouncing gaze.
She told me to come to the living room since it was cold outside. The water that was being boiled on the fireplace seemed to be done, with the cap rattling.
Sieg brewed some coffee. She put three sugar cubes in and handed it to me.
Sieg’s coffee is the best in the world. Even though I told her my usual impression, she replied, “I see,” with a cold voice as if she were talking to a stranger.
I was afraid that Sieg was going to scold me for the incident at noon, but Sieg did not say anything.
When I stole a glance, she too seemed to be looking at me too so I turned my eyes away.
Nothing came out after that.
Even though it was a meal that we were having together after a long time, we ate in silence. I felt like I would suffocate from the heavy atmosphere.
But since I couldn’t let it go like this, I uttered out an excuse.
“Sieg, about that thing during daytime.”
Sieg was still ignoring me, but I proceeded anyway.
“I think I behaved weirdly because I did not spend enough time with you.”
If I were to name this phenomenon, it would be ‘Sieglinde deficiency’. It occurs from not having enough Sieglinde.
When I said that, she looked dumbfounded.
“It’s as you say.”
As Sieg said, it really was a stupid thought. I admitted that.
“I admit that it was done on impulse, but I was not doing it casually.”
Still, one-sided love is only annoying for the partner. I apologised for that.
“Hey, can I tell you something that’s on my mind?”
“Things like that, it’s a problem that you’re keeping it all in.”
“Thank you, Sieg.”
If I stopped here, I would just end up as a flippant man, so I said what was on my mind.
My heart was quaking like it never did before.
I breathed in and out deeply, and said it.
“Sieglinde-san, please become my true wife.”
Ah, should I have said that I love her? No, actually, adding that sounds more flippant.
Regretting it immediately, I simpered. I agonised that it might even be worse than my first proposal.
When I slowly turned my gaze toward Sieg, I found her making a surprised expression.
“Sorry, I couldn’t wait until the appointed date.”
The contract was that we will get to know each other well for a year then think about marriage.
Even as I broke our promise, I proposed to her.
I am conscious of the fact that I did it arbitrarily. It’s been a few months since Sieg came. I felt sorry that there were times when she couldn’t rest properly.
However, she already became an existence that I could not live without.
Just by being separated for a while, I longed for her.
If someone asked what part of her I liked, or how I fell for her, there are so many things, but for some reason I don’t think I can reply.
Sieglinde, I really love you. Or so I want to say honestly, but because I was afraid of getting rejected my heart shut itself up tightly.
When I looked at Sieg again, she was making a troubled expression.
It was the face she had when I showed her affection.
I stopped her, wanting her to reply later.
“Unlike at the ball, I want you to think this thoroughly.”
“I still want to spend the rest of the time pleasantly.”
The spring that turned everything green did not come yet.
Neither the refreshing summer nor the short autumn did not come yet.
If possible, I want to spend those seasons pleasantly with Sieg as a temporary couple.
So I wanted her to reply later.
“Thank you, and,”
“Do you still have something?”
I asked her to hit me at full force if I did anything she didn’t like.
I am trying to be as gentlemanly as possible in front of her, but living with the person I like, there’s no telling what might happen. I can’t say with confidence that things like today will not happen.
Fortunately, Sieg knows how to protect herself. I predict that it will be very easy for her to beat up a grown man.
“I got that too.”
“Sorry. Thank you.”
“But still, I don’t think I’ll be raising my fists anytime.”
……So it’s the legs instead of the fists, Sieglinde-san.
Recalling her roundhouse kick, I shivered.
Emmerich, being a soldier, might have been able to reduce the impact from taking a defensive action, but I might never be able to stand up again if I received Sieg’s kick.
I decided on that day that I will create the right mood before touching Sieg.
Somehow, we were able to survive the tourist season. Since aurora’s have the highest chance of appearing during that period, there are tourists more during that season.
This year, thanks to Sieglinde effect, there were many more tourists so the days were unpredictable.
However, that did not mean guests stopped coming.
And today a special guest visited us.
“Long time no see! Hasn’t been that long actually, has it?”
“I didn’t think you’d be back so soon, I’m happy, Emmerich.”
The guest is Sieg’s former colleague from the army, Emmerich David.
While we were exchanging letters, a letter that he’ll be coming came two weeks ago. The letter telling that he will be arriving today came just yesterday. It was an amazing speed.
I offered him a room in my house, but this time he declined saying that he already booked a place.
And since he had said on his letter that he had something he wanted to talk about, we gathered at my house to talk.
Well, though I’m not sure what it is he wants to talk about.
I thought it was something between men, but he coolly let Sieg sit in.
Emmerich looked nervous as Sieg and I looked at him.
“——So, what is it that you want to talk about?”
Since he showed no signs of speaking, I ended up asking him.
Urged to speak, Emmerich started talking slowly in the foreign language.
“What I wanted to talk about is——“
He started off by saying that it was embarrassing to ask over the letter, and ended by saying that he has someone he likes in the village. That was the end.
Since Emmerich did not say anything more, silence fell.
“No, isn’t it more embarrassing to say it in person?”
Sieg carelessly pointed that out.
Hearing that, Emmerich hung his head down.
He, Emmerich David, looks as though he has a refreshing and friendly personality, but in truth he is gentle and sensitive. Though Sieg, being used to him, can talk casually with him, I can’t yet talk to him like that.
From the words before, young man Emmerich became teary-eyed, but I pretended to have not seen it.
To that crestfallen man, it was again Sieg that delivered the final blow.
“I’ll tell you this in advance, but the women in this village cannot move out. If you want to fulfill that love, you have to move into this village.”
Emmerich turned pale with surprise.
“Just who is it that you like.”
“We won’t know unless you tell us.”
“……White hair, blue eyes.”
Sieg looked at me. No, it’s not me. I shook my head.
Most of the villagers here, regardless of sex or age, had white hair and blue eyes.
“Tell me more details.”
Sieg looked at me again. No no, really, it’s not me. I shook my hand in denial.
Most of the villagers braid their hair. It’s a part of the Spirit worship.
Sieg looked over here again…… wait what. I told her that I’m not applicable because I’m not cute. To that, Sieg frowned and murmured, “Is that so.”
There was surprisingly little information on the girl Emmerich liked.
“Unfortunately, you’ll have to give up.”
I did have an idea of who Emmerich was looking for, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to tell him.