Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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5. Father, Dad, and Capiko
While waiting for the end of the dreary dinner, I was called away by my father. Father was always very busy so he ate separately at various times. And there were lots of days when I never even got to see him. But to call me so soon after I returned meant, without a doubt, that he had already heard about the cancellation of my engagement.
Feeling the tension from my baptism in the font of over-spiciness decrease, I went to Father’s office.
“It seems you have done something outrageous.”
I was greeted by a baritone voice that sounded as if it had come from hell’s ninth circle. One wouldn’t think that he would direct such a deep, intimidating tone at his own daughter, but—alas!—that was my father.
The Duke of Gramwell and the head of the family was Gardosia Gramwell.
His name gave a powerful impression, and his face, as the strong name suggested, was quite fierce. I thought that, speaking objectively, his moustachioed features were quite well-organized. However, it was the kind of beauty that put people in awe and under pressure, or, in other words, a making-children-cry type of beauty.
While I was sorry for my father, I was glad that I took after my late mother in appearance. My father and I had purple eyes in common, but I inherited the rest of my features and blond hair from my mother. It wasn’t only his visage, but his eyes were constantly too sharp and his aspect was very lofty. Even I, his own daughter, was honestly a bit scared; he wasn’t the kind of person one could easily talk to.
“Leticia, are you listening? Do you understand what you did today?”
“…My apologies, father. I’m truly sorry about the engagement annulment and the exilement.”
Although it was the best option at the time, listening to the Crown Prince’s ridiculous demands had tarnished the Duke’s reputation. So it was a given that my father would be angry, and since the underlying cause was the discord between the Crown Prince and me, I had no choice but to apologize.
Father’s silence prompted me to continue telling him in detail what had occurred today. As the conversation progressed, the wrinkles in his brow deepened, and it was as if I could see a dark aura being emitted from his whole body.
“So, in short, your position as His Highness’s fiancée was snatched from you by a little girl who is a so-called saint?”
“…That’s true. I’m terribly sorry for the annulment of the engagement for which Father worked so hard.”
I bowed my head as I felt a sharp pain in my chest.
It was first for my father that I had worked so hard to be an adequate fiancée to the Crown Prince. As the future Crown Princess, I unabashedly acquired knowledge, cultivated myself, and tried to deepen my relationship with Fritz.
For five years, I had foolhardily undergone the Crown Princess-to-be training in hopes of meeting my father’s expectations and earning his praise. For me, my father’s disappointment and admonishment were more painful than being confronted by the Crown Prince to break off our engagement.
“Raise your head, Leticia. You are the daughter of a duke. Stand firm and proud.”
“As the exilement is no longer reversible, I have to find a suitable country where you can go. I’m sure it will be hectic from now on, so I probably won’t have a chance to talk to you for a while.”
“I’m sincerely sorry for causing so much trouble…”
The apology I gave to my father was from the bottom of my heart. It was because of his eyes. They had been glinting sharply before, but now they looked bloodshot and strained. His face was even more intense because of that. It was a sign of overwork. Now that I remember my corporate life where my colleagues looked about with the same with deathly pale faces, I was certain.
“…It is given that I would go to that extent. I can’t have my daughter looking shabby. Now that you’ve lost His Highness Fritz’s favour, you can no longer show your face at the Academy anymore, do you understand? It would be best for you to stay here until we can figure out where you’re going.”
“I understand. I’ll do as you say.”
“…You don’t have to do any more Crown Princess training. If there are any books that catch your eye, I’ll order them. Do you desire for anything to help you pass the time?”
“Do I want anything…?”
I pondered for a bit.
…Let’s ask earnestly, and if he rejects it, so be it.
“Father, would you allow me to use the kitchens, please?”
“The kitchen? What are you going to do?”
“I want to cook. Of course, I know this is an absurd request, but…may I?”
Basically, aristocratic ladies in this country weren’t allowed in the kitchen. Aside from making tea and teacakes, few ladies cooked. That’s why I needed to ask for what I wanted, even if it came to nought.
“All right, I permit it.”
He approved it so easily that I couldn’t help but let out a sound of disbelief.
“Father? Are you sure about that?”
“What? Was it just a whim, weren’t you serious?”
“…No, of course not. I’ve really wanted to try cooking, so I’m very happy.”
“You’re happy, huh.…It’s fine to get carried away at home, but be careful not to be seen by outsiders. Although any injuries from fire or cutlery are out of the question. You can amuse yourself however you like, but be cautious.”
I expressed my heartfelt gratitude toward my father then took my leave. My father would get busy from then on, so I wanted to refrain from staying too long. Lucian was waiting outside the door to accompany me back to my room as I let my thoughts out .
“I can’t believe that I got permission…”
Given my relationship with my father, I felt disbelief and happiness at the same time. What a curious turn of events.
“Could he have been worried about me because of the engagement cancellation?”
He frowned all the time and he had a stiff way of speaking, but if I were to translate his words, things like, “be careful not to hurt yourself,” came out from time to time, showing a bit of sympathy.
“…That’s impossible, right?”
At any rate, my father wasn’t one to smile. Even now, I realized that I had never seen my father smile at all. I’d heard that, by nature, my father rarely smiled.
Still, he must have smiled at my three older brothers every once in a while when they were little. But the reason why he didn’t smile at me was because of my late mother.
In this household, there were a total of four siblings; I was the youngest and only daughter. While my father and my mother had only married for political reasons like every other aristocrat, they had a harmonious relationship…or so I had heard. I didn’t remember my mother, and had only seen her in portraits.
My mother’s recovery after giving birth to me didn’t go well, and she passed shortly thereafter. Because of me, my father’s beloved wife had died. That was also why I have given up hope that my father might ever have loved me.
I had never been mistreated or yelled at, but there was very little parent-child interaction and there was always a sense of distance between us.
My father was busy of course, and he didn’t have enough time to get involved with me. Even if that had been the case, I had never once seen him smile, so I could assume that he didn’t love me. I had respect for him as a public figure and an aristocrat, but there was a wall between us as a parent and child. Although his words to me were sympathetic, I assumed they came from a sense of duty as the head of the house.
“Compared to my dad from my previous life, he’s different in lots of ways…”
To distinguish them, I call my father from this world Father and the one from my previous life Dad.
My dad used to complain about his work and was a bit pathetic, but since I was a kid, he had always taken me with him to various places to play. Thus, we had a favourable relationship when I grew up.
…I wondered if Dad was still on his diet, or if he had a bit of a belly.
I was worried about my dog, Jiro, who I had left behind at the scene of the accident, but I was also concerned for my parents’ health.
I knew that there was nothing I could do now that I had been reincarnated, but that didn’t stop me from worrying. In my previous life, I had had a reliable younger brother, Tomoya, so I could only pray that he had taken good care of our parents.
I felt a bit of discomfort.
But why? Where was it coming from?
My younger brother, Tomoya?
Brother? Why was I bothered by it?
“That’s not right……”
I suddenly realized what it was.
It was his name.
I remembered my brother’s first name, my parents’, my best friend’s, and even my homeroom teacher from elementary school. Yet…
“What was my name…?”
I felt like I had just been drenched in ice-cold water. I couldn’t remember my name from my previous life, though it should have been familiar to me. The fact that I wasn’t aware of this limitation until now gave me chills. It was as if my mind had gone blank. I could remember neither my first nor my last name.
“What is this…? Was this a side-effect from reincarnating…?”
A truck hit me, and I was reincarnated before I knew it. I didn’t remember meeting God or anything like that, nor being given a special mission or anything. The only thing I could think of that might be causing this blankness was probably the reincarnation. Once I noticed it, I saw what an unnatural situation it was. I racked my brain to remember my name.
Remember, remember, remember.
What was my nickname?
I’d had a nickname throughout elementary, middle, and high school. I couldn’t remember it, though, perhaps because if I could it might be a clue to my real name.
Remember, remember, remember ― ― ― ― ― ― ―
― ― ― ― ― ― ― Capybara.
I froze at the word that popped into my mind out of nowhere. Then, I remembered my time in the lower grades of elementary school.
“Doesn’t 〇〇 seem like a capybara with how carefree and laidback she is?”
“Aren’t capybaras the ones who are usually lazy, but when they want to do something, they’re super quick?”
“Capiko!” I remembered my classmates calling me that. I resembled a capybara, so they called me Capiko. When I wanted to do something, I did it quickly, like a capybara.
“Ha, what’s with that…?”
It sounded so stupid that a bitter smile formed on my face. In my previous life, I was “Capiko,” huh…
As soon as I recalled it, I felt at ease and my shoulders sagged. I couldn’t remember my real name, just this silly nickname.…I guess it’s no use worrying about it. I was concerned about lots of things, such as the circumstances of my reincarnation, but there was nothing I could do about them now.
Anyhow, the me that had gone by Capiko was the office lady that lived at her own pace. But in my life as a Lady, I had to think about my country’s future and worry about my relationship with my father.
As I had thought, it was in my nature to seriously face my worries head-on, both as an office lady from Japan and as a Lady from a different world. Despite having a different, noble personality, I maintained my sense of conviction. I may only have recalled my memories today, but I felt that, personality-wise, in essentials, I was very much what I ever was.
Maybe I could relax a little more now. As the Crown Princess and a Lady, I had needed to be constantly cautious about everything I did. I hoped that now I could live as I liked, a bit more freely.
“….I’ll go to sleep for now.”
Many things had happened today.
Sleep well and rest my body.―
―Then, make delicious food.
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