Good Grief, Reality Problems
For lunch, the entire family ate in the dining hall again, including Saryuu. Saryuu, I was supposed to inspire this guy’s change of heart, but was there anyway I could think of something? Consomme soup with a generous amount of vegetables, with a line up of freshly baked bread covered under a slab of ham and a side of egg salad. Dessert included some sort of dark purple strawberry-like fruit. Even in this world, it was also spring, so the fruits would be in season. I was surprised by the color, but still enjoyed it because of how deliciously sweet yet sour it was. Mother arrived with Kaya-san, who did glance my way briefly before leaving the dining hall. She didn’t have to worry, I didn’t have any particular intent onsnitching on her to mother.
“Kaya’s job can be very difficult, she is a very reliable maid. Still, she can be a little hard-headed at times.”
Oh, also mother’s perspective of Kaya-san. With a calm portion of sympathy, I worried about what sort of work from mother was so notably difficult. Even so, regardless.. I honestly had no intent on getting in Saryuu’s way. I wasn’t that type of person, even though she didn’t seem to believe me when I said such.
After lunch was finished, Minoa-san was replaced by Alica-san, who came over to pick me up and return me to my room. It seems it was important to have someone guide me for now, possibly so that I did not get lost. On the way, I noticed that Alica-san had a box ofshortbread in her hands. Nice, she brought me more.
“Is everything alright, Seiren-sama?”
Suddenly being asked such, I paused instead of sitting on the sofa. Well, what happened earlier wasn’t something I would want to talk about. Alica-san wasn’t there to see it anyway. However, it wasn’t the only thing to talk about.
“… So Alica-san, how was your work today?”
“Oh, yes. I was busy washing the clothes that you had when you first returned here. They should be finished after dinner.”
“Oh, you were washing that for me? Thank you so much.”
It was very surprising. Those clothes, I was shocked because I had suspected they were just thrown away. They were now much too large for me to wear, let alone being designed for a guy. But even so, to have it washed for me..
“Sorry. I worry about how well I had washed it, since I was not very familiar with the fabric.”
“Oh, it’s okay if they shrunk a little because I did so myself already. Really, thank you.”
With something like a kagaku-seni, it would only be expected. The details of the material should be written on the tag, however Alica-san probably couldn’t read the characters that came from the other world.
My high school uniform. In the future, I probably will never have an opportunity to ever wear it again. The only evidence “Shikino Seiren” ever existed, I wanted to be able to cherish it. When I get it back, I will have to make sure to have it securely placed deep in my closet.
“Well, it seems this was a pleasant distraction from what happened earlier.”
While being given a chance to daydreaming happily, Alica-san suddenly returned to the original story. The situation with Kaya, which was a rather sensitive story. It was something very difficult to discuss.
“Oh, about that. Alica-san, you know Kaya… Mother’s personal maid.”
“Ah yes, we are well acquainted. Minoa and Oriza as well, since Kaya was our senior maid when we got this job. What about her?”
“So she has a lot of experience as a maid. Then, mother depends on her greatly.”
So then, she was very well established as a maid. Being such an important maid to the wife of the family’s lord, it spoke highly of her merit and ability in its own way. So she wasn’t just a little experienced, she had quite a lot of experience. Compared to the rest of the staff, she would have a lot of influence.
“Well, it’s a difficult thing to talk about… A while ago, she told me that Saryuu would make a much better heir than me. I… did only just return not that long ago.”
“Oh. That would be due to Kaya-san being so close to Saryuu-sama as he grew up.”
So… maybe this was then just a family dispute? No, it was not yet something out of control. Alica-san gave a comforting nod, Kaya-san has simply been left to care for Saryuu at home for so long and so has thus started to support him, it made sense. The sudden return of their true daughter, it has simply made Kaya-san nervous. I’m certain, after supporting such a favorite child, it would simply be inevitable to be suspicious of their sudden rival. I recall such occurring too, back in grade school. When a student who was favored by a teacher got a high mark, cheating was suspected. I disliked this sort of troubling perspective. Having such strong support from all of the teachers and other staff, it was simply hard work that lead to good results. However, there was a lot of fuss over this at the principal’s office. The next year, the same teacher was suddenly transferred to another school. That teacher, I wonder how he was doing now. Hopefully after the student continued to do well in school, the teacher was allowed to return. He was a really good teacher after all. Everyone in the class got along well with him, with no other troubles.
….Saryuu too, he seems a lot like that guy. He came from the place of his birth to this home, and worked hard expecting to become a heir. Being still 14 years old, I would have expected he would have been more focused on going out to play or being interested in a girl, instead.
“I really don’t know him very well, having only met him this morning. Still, I think Saryuu would make a much better heir for the family. Saryuu himself seems to agree, as well.”
I quietly utter such words, admitting to my thoughts. However, Alica-san gave a tight crisp facial expression that gazed straight at me.
“Seiren-sama as you should know, the Shiya Family is a ryōshu of this region. That means the entitlement of being heir is based entirely on bloodline status.”
“About such, chihō ryōshu. Wouldn’t it still be bad to have a heir that wasn’t fit for the role?”
“Although not very deeply, your family does have some royal blood. While you might be a several dozen in line from it, this does even give you a right to the throne itself.”
Well then. Like it or not, I’m stuck with this sort of family issue. After all, this is a world of kings and nobles and such, I knew that there was no way I could somehow escape that. However, due to all the various marriages of state within this kingdom, I had somehow ended up with blood from the royal family and ties to the throne, which felt almost like a fairy tale. Considering what I’ve learned so far, it was like a kingdom from the 800s. Being so far from the throne, it couldn’t realistically be worth worrying about. Being several dozen away in line for the throne, it wouldn’t realistically happen in my lifetime.
“Well, that would require a large portion of the main royal family to be wiped out, it’s not very realistic.”
“Of course, however, your entitlement for being our heir stems from being this close to the bloodline of the royal family.”
“……………… I guess.”
“Conversely, the Duchess welcomed your brother-in-law from a further distant family of your bloodline, of a different household.”
“Oh, So then… regarding such, being welcomed from such a distant family, Kaya-san would have to consider that too.”
There was another thing, marriage. That would also be a problem. Jeez. Even the recently mentioned part about having this degree of blood of the royal family, it could very possibly raise some troublesome political issues I had not considered before. In circumstances such as this, arranged marriages would be commonplace.
“… ah, this royal linage stuff, mendokusai.”
“I’m sorry for having burdened you with such thoughts.”
Alica-san took a moment after hearing my complaints, and embraced me in a warm hug. I was worried for a moment, such a close expression of emotional comfort. Actually, no, it doesn’t matter because we are both women. …… I had forgotten that, for a moment. Considering my entire future, this marriage issue could be an even bigger problem. Such as, maybe Kaya-san was planning to have Saryuu inherit the right to become heir, by finding a way to arrange my marriage somewhere far away. I wasn’t exactly opposed to Saryuu becoming heir, in all due respect, but marriage… to a guy… uh, umm…
“An arranged marriage, how likely is that going to be imposed on me?”
“Arranged for Seiren-sama? I don’t know of any plans at present, but it might happen in the future. Seiren-sama is the eldest daughter of the Shiya Family, so she will need to be found a suitable marriage opportunity.”
“… oh, really?”
Alica-san answered with an admirable smile, though I was only capable of nodding at her in defeat.
Then, I suddenly considered.. This heir problem, wouldn’t this possibly have been a lot easier to deal with if I had returned here as a guy? Maybe not, considering the age period, an eldest biological son and adopted second son, it would have probably turned out the same way. However, I was completely certain that the glare I got from Kaya-san was strictly because I was also a woman. Well, in this case it is a woman that is up against the trained son-in-law, there is no changing that. After considering everything for a while, I think I would rather it not happen, Saryuu being heir of the family.
Still, it might be best to learn what Saryuu thinks of all of this before working further.
“Oh, Seiren-sama. I have some more of that shortbread from earlier, would you like to have some?”
“It’s okay. I just had plenty of shortbread this morning, don’t worry about it.”
Though it had no actual relevance, Alica-san bringing out the box of shortbread gave me some relief somehow, though I wasn’t sure why