Julius-sama looked refreshed after he was finished crying, as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He squeezed the handkerchief wet with tears in his hand and gave me one of his own handkerchiefs while thanking me. I accepted it for the time being and returned home.
My precious puppy dog was sitting at the front door as if he knew exactly when I was going to come home, his fluffy tail excitedly wagging back and forth behind him as he waited for me. I immediately hugged such an Alto, letting his healing properties wash over me.
[Allen]: “Rose-sama, it’s bad manners to do that right in front of the door.”
[Anna]: “I understand Alto is cute Mistress, but how about we change our clothes first?”
[Rose]: “But……I was lonely. I’m going to waste away if I don’t replenish my Alto reserves.”
[Anna]: “Summer vacation is coming up Mistress. You can spend as much time with Alto as you want then.”
[Rose]: “Oh yeah! Anna! After all this time I’m finally going to get a break. I can stay together with Alto for forever. Look forward to it Alto.”
Whether or not Alto could understand me is a mystery, but the way he is happily wagging his tail back and forth makes me want summer vacation to hurry up and get here all the more.
[Rickert]: “So you’re back Rose-chan.”
[Rose]: “Huh? What are you doing here Rickert-oniisama?”
My cousin Rickert is already eighteen, five years older than I am. He’s a gentle man with glasses gifted with both good looks and brains.
[Rickert]: “I’m taking lessons from Clifford-sama about territory management.”
[Rose]: “Clifford-niisama is taking over the Winsley family right?”
[Rickert]: “Yes, for the moment. I may be found lacking.”
[Rose]: “Nonsense. Rickert-oniisama is super smart, and you always have a handle on the situation around you. You also have good business skills, so I’m sure you’ll be great at managing the territory! With you taking over, I go off and act as a bride without any worries.”
[Rickert]: “I’m awfully happy to here you say all that Rose-chan, but you’re going to make me feel lonely if you keep talking about running off to be a bride. It’d be nice if you could stay here from now on.”
Rickert-oniisama really did look a little lonely as he patted my head.
(If a handsome guy like him tells me I’m fine to just keep living at home, then maybe I really will just stay here and drop the whole bride thing!!)
[Rose]: “Hahah, I really will be able to stay here forever if I were to get married to Rickert-oniisama.”
[Rickert]: “You’re right, that’s a good idea.”
(Hm? I was kidding? He does know I was kidding right? Huh? …….He’s joking too right?)
[Rose]: “R-Rickert-oniisama? You’re joking right…….?”
[Rickert]: “Huh? I’ve been thinking quite seriously about taking things in that direction, but is it no good?”
He had a gentle smile on his face, but the look in his eyes were completely serious. After that I frantically informed Rickert-oniisama that at the very least I was joking, and our marriage talks were put on hold.
[Rose]: “Haa, that was exhausting. Allen, tea please.”
[Allen]: “Good work out there. It looks like Rickert-sama will be here for the rest of the day. He is nothing if not efficient.”
[Rose]: “Huh, you think? Well, I guess it’s good to be efficient…… I just have no idea what Rickert-oniisama is thinking. That overprotectiveness of his is alive and well.”
[Allen]: “True, but wouldn’t you be pleased marrying Rickert-sama and becoming head of the family?”
[Rose]: “It would be nice……but if possible, I think it would be better for him to marry a woman with a social standing who could help the Winsley house flourish. Rickert-oniisama is kind and would make a great husband…..but there are certain places where he can be far too overprotective.”
[Allen]: “Well no matter who you decide to marry, I shall always stay by Rose-sama’s side as your personal butler.”
[Rose]: “Fufu, that’s reassuring. Oh, and Anna! Will you come with me too?”
[Anna]: “Of course.”
[Rose]: “But, I can’t help but be jealous whenever I see Mother and Father’s loving marriage. They chose each other, but a political marriage is one born from obligation…….”
[Anna]: “Mistress…..even if it is an arranged marriage, I’m sure you will have a wonderful husband and be able to make a loving family just like your parents! So please don’t give up, even if you do have an arranged marriage.”
[Rose]: “…..you’re right, it’s exactly as Anna says! Heheh, thanks.”