Chapter 33: Gramps, Returning Home.
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Grandfather is returning to his country tomorrow. So dinner today was the last.
After dinner, the three of us were spending a nice time, but then grandfather said before, “I want to have a talk with you.”
I could only get bad vibes from that. Because he asked if we were getting along well. He probably wants to hear the detailed story.
He might notice that we are a temporary couple because we do not have a sweet mood like newlyweds.
It was a nice time after our meal, but since grandfather looks sleepy I should speak up now.
“Grandfather wants to talk to me a little bit, just the two of us.”
Sieg tersely replied yes and curtsied to grandfather that she’ll be resting first.
At this rate, the fact that we are a temporary couple will be found out. Panicking, I did something that I normally would not do.
I stood up and escorted Sieg to the door while holding her hand.
Then I bid her good night.
“Sieg, sweet dreams.”
Then I gently hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. I felt relieved that we would be believed as a real couple now.
When I looked at Sieg to apologise for that sudden action, which was to fool grandfather, for some reason she was blushing.
“——Eh!? Ah, s-sorry!!”
She curtsied to grandfather once more and sped out of the living room with quick footsteps.
Before, even if I kissed her on the cheek, she just kept a straight face, yet today she blushed.
“Look at me you idiot!”
Hanging my head down, I turned towards grandfather.
“Why is a fully grown adult blushing like that!!”
“……No, Sieg is always like that.”
“I’m talking about you!”
What does he mean. I couldn’t imagine that I was the one blushing from embarrassment. I deeply repented that I should not attempt anything out of the ordinary.
“You know the story.”
“I did not even have to pry.”
The fact that I was in a temporary relationship was found out almost refreshingly.
I regretted that I should have regularly done good night kisses at least. However, it’s too late now.
In the end, I told grandfather the whole thing.
“I see, so this marriage was an attractive proposition for her as well.”
“Really, what are you doing.”
“I have nothing to say.”
However, unlike Sieg, I was serious about it. Even if she asked that we break up after a year, I don’t think I’ll want to marry any other woman.
“To think that a head of a house, a count no less, is not trying to carry on his lineage!”
“But, I can’t imagine getting anyone else as a wife.”
In addition, for the couples from this village, the birth rate is very low. There is a high possibility that children will not be born even if we wanted them.
“You have foreign blood mixed in you. It’s too early to give up.”
Still, we are but a temporary couple. We can’t rashly make children.
“For now, she said that she’ll be living here even after the tentative contract is over.”
“Realise it already!!”
“……No, it’s fine.”
Grandfather gave me tips to not make my wife run away.
“First and foremost, keep trying to win her heart over.”
“Not ‘Eh?’! Do you really think that your feelings will get across even if you don’t say anything?”
I don’t want Sieg to be troubled. That was restricting physical contact with her.
“You’re not getting closer because you keep refraining.”
“But still, isn’t it unpleasant to hear stuff like that from someone she doesn’t consider to be of much importance?”
“Then act as a poor and pitiful man.”
Grandfather explained. Women are weak to emotions.
If a woman discovers that a poor creature can’t live without her, she’ll definitely stay with him.
“That’s how it is, got that?”
Also, I was to never forget gratitude. I was to remember anniversaries like birthdays, and give gifts. He gave me various tips on wooing women.
He said that it’s not enough to just act as a poor and pitiful man.
“That thing before was fine too. That was rather good.”
It was embarrassing to just imagine it. Why did I do such a thing in front of others.
“Anyhow, if you keep refraining, she’ll be gone in a blink!”
“I’m going to sleep now!!”
Like so, grandfather’s interrogation ended.
I was worried if I could return to my normal life with Sieg.
Grandfather’s boat back home was scheduled early, so we had to part even before the sun rose.
“Grandfather, this, Ruruporon made it for you.”
Ruruporon prepared food that could be eaten on the boat. I handed it over to the servants so that everyone can eat it.
“Ritzhard, thanks for taking care of me.”
“No no, I haven’t done anything that fancy.”
“Sieglinde-san, I’d like to ask you to take care of my immodest grandson.”
……Grandfather, he’s troubling Sieg again.
When I was about to say something adequate to relieve the situation, Sieg spoke up.
“Yes, don’t worry, grandfather-in-law.”
My heart was caught by Sieg’s words that seemed to promise the future. She’s the ‘Crimson Eagle’ indeed. She clutches people’s hearts with her claws and never lets them go.
“Ritzhard, I’ll be coming again!”
“Uwa, I’m happy.”
Grandfather scowled once and went his way.
I wanted to at least accompany him to the village front gate, but he rejected the offer.
Thus, the guest that came like a storm went back to his country.
Also, the temporary couple life with Sieg resumed.
“Shall we go inside.”
Though it’s almost summer, mornings are still cold, especially before sunrise. Today, it was cold enough to light the fireplace.
My breath quickly turned white and then disappeared. Having confirmed the chill with my eyes, I decided to go back inside.
When we went to the living room, Miruporon was already lighting the fireplace. Even my frozen heart seemed to melt.
Sieg went to the kitchen and brought out a kettle. Then she brought out two kuksas from the shelf and took out the can that had coffee beans.
It seemed that she was going to brew coffee.
Then, without talking, we spent the time staring at the fireplace.
Only the sound of burning firewood and the vibration of the metal lid reverberated throughout the room.
Now that the water was boiling, Sieg stood up to fetch the kettle. Since the handle is hot, she used a thick cloth glove to grab it.
When I tried to help her before, I was scolded not to because it was dangerous, so this time I obediently watched her brew coffee.
It’s Sieg’s hobby to grind the roasted coffee beans and brew the drink through a filter.
In the wooden cup, there was sugar and milk as well.
Sieg had remembered the taste.
When I enjoyed the scent and took a sip, I could only think that it was the best coffee in the world.
We made our usual exchange and then fell silent again.
When I emptied my cup, Sieg offered to brew another cup.
I was really thirsty for some reason. Since I drank it all without taking the time to enjoy the taste, I gladly accepted her offer.
Sieg poured more coffee.
I liked watching her make coffee.
However, I am not in any situation to enjoy that leisure.
I have to explain about that thing yesterday, and I have to execute grandfather’s tips.
Sieg will be here even after our tentative contract. I thought that it was good enough to stay as good friends.
That won’t do.
I’ll definitely regret it.
As I received coffee from Sieg, I mustered up my courage.