Although it would’ve been ideal to hold the tea party in the courtyard, but, despite this area usually being warm, it was a bit too chilly to have a tea party outside.
So it was decided the tea party would be held in the drawing room.
That’s why, at around 3 p.m. I headed to the drawing room with Sophia.
“Leon onii-chan, what are we going to do in the drawing room?”
“We’re having a tea party.”
“A tea party….then there will be other people?”
Sophia suddenly stopped walking while still holding onto my hand. I also stopped and turned to look her in the eyes.
“Sophia, are you scared to meet with other people?”
“Because….both Mother and Father thought Sophia was a monster…..so everyone else must feel the same way, right?”
“I don’t think so. Even the sweets we have for the tea party, why do you think everyone in the kitchen helped make them?”
“That’s just because they were helping Leon onii-chan.”
When Sophia still didn’t believe me, I playfully dishevelled her golden hair.
“Noo~….those people definitely weren’t afraid of Sophia. After all, I’m not afraid of Sophia.”
“Leon onii-chan is special.”
When Sophia suddenly killed her father I was scared.
But, that was only because Sophia felt the same sorrow and pain I had felt. I knew she was angry for me, so I’m no longer afraid.
In other words, I was scared because I didn’t know what Sophia was thinking at that time. And so, I feel Sophia’s parents would’ve felt the same way.
Still, it would be difficult for Sophia to understand that. So, I will proceed with the original plan.
“I know you’re feeling uneasy about this, but it will be fine. I’ve only invited one person you know you can trust.”
“……One person? Maybe, Claire onee-chan?”
Oh, so Sophia feels she can trust Claire. That’s good to know. I’ll make sure to invite Claire when I next have a tea party.
However, Claire was busy with work this time.
“I’m talking about Alistair….When I snuck into Sophia’s room, do you remember the girl that was with me?”
“Ah….right. That onee-san that was with you.”
“Right. That onee-san, you’re okay with her, right?”
She doesn’t seem to hate the idea. Although she doesn’t seem entirely against it, she’s definitely still uneasy about Alice being there. Then, let’s try one final push.
“In fact, Alice knows how to make many sweets. So there are many different sweets waiting for you at the tea party.”
“Many sweets….are they all delicious like that pudding?”
“They’re even more delicious.”
“Sweets that are more delicious than pudding…..”
“Yep, and there are three different kinds.”
“One of them is a shortcake, it has a soft, fluffy texture and is topped with strawberries and decorated with a sweet cream. Next, there’s a sweet, vanilla ice cream that will just melt in your mouth. It even has a richer flavour than pudding —”
“Yes? Is something wrong?”
“We must go to the tea party right now!”
……Wait, seriously, wasn’t that way too easy? I thought her trauma was quite serious, but if she’s like this, she could return to society immediately.
“Hey, Sophia. If you’re okay with it, maybe we can invite other people?”
“— Absolutely not!”
“Okay…..but, you’re fine with Alice?”
“When I read that onee-san’s mind, it was very nice. So, if it’s just that onee-san it should be fine.”
So, was it the combination of the sweets and the fact that she feels she can trust Alice? If Sophia doesn’t want it, I guess I can’t invite anyone else.
“I understand, only Alice will be there. Let’s enjoy tea with just the three of us.”
And so, the tea party with just us three began.
“Fuwaaaaa~, what is this sweet snack, it melts in my mouth!”
“Fufuun~,that’s called vanilla ice cream. Ah, try this cake as well.”
“Mmm~, it’s so sweet and really tasty! What is this, it’s amazing Alice onee-chan!”
Sophia was in pure ecstasy from the sweets. At first, she was wary of Alice, and her face was a bit stiff. But now, Alice has completely won her over with the sweets.
She’s not completely over her trauma, but with this, she’s no longer completely dependent on me.
—I continued to drink tea while thinking about this.
By the way, I never noticed, because I never had a hobby of brewing tea in my previous life, but the tea in this world isn’t very good.
But that has changed now that Alice is here…..No, that’s changed ever since I first drank Alice’s tea.
Anyway, to make good tea, there are many factors one needs to consider. Such as temperature, convection, and the water used.
First of all, use boiling water so that the water stays as hot as possible while brewing the tea. Also, make sure the water used is soft water and to brew the tea in a round container.
And this is how to make delicious tea……To start with, there is no tableware in this world capable of boiling water and then retaining that heat for a long period of time. And naturally, there is no pot that is designed with convection in mind.
Finally, I’m not sure whether or not the water in this area is soft water, but the well water we’ve been using is questionable.
So even if the tea leaves are of a good quality, it’s impossible to draw out the natural flavour of the black tea.
—Unless Alice uses her cheat.
She is able to keep the temperature high using spirits, and she can also use the spirits to increase convection. And so, the tea that Alice was able to make was of such a high quality, that even the Sfir family’s maids wanted to become her disciples.
Of course, I also like it a lot.
If the quality has improved so much, it may even be possible to sell it. So, I think it would be nice to open something similar to a cafe once I return to the Grances territory.
“Well then, Alice onee-chan is Leon onii-chan’s lover?”
“Not yet, but that is what I’m planning.”
…..Hey, what are you talking about while people are trying to enjoy tea.
“That must be nice……Sophia was supposed to marry Leon onii-chan, but not anymore.”
The atmosphere suddenly froze.
What kind of bomb did this child just drop? No, that certainly is true. Well, the marriage was for political reasons in the first place.
Rather, Alice has said some strange things to her. What is Sophia going to do?
Stay calm, cheer up — huh? No, this is bad. Maybe she thinks alice is saying, “Do you really think you can win against me?” Sophia might feel like Alice is provoking her.
So, for example…..Do you really think Leon can find someone better than me — hmm? That’s definitely not it. From Sophia’s point of view, that would sound like sarcasm.
Honestly, I think there’s no easy way out of this situation. No matter what anyone says now, they will likely be stepping on a landmine.
As I thought this, Alice began to speak while showing a big smile.
“Then, maybe I can work with Sophia-chan?” —hah?
…..Wh…what does she mean by that?
Does Alice intend to step down for Sophia? Or is she just joking? If so, she’ll hurt Sophia.
While I remained confused, these two continued their conversation.
“Alice onee-chan is that okay?”
“It’s like I said. I’m still planning. Leon wants to resist being with his younger sister. So, this way, I can start to weaken his morals by having him be with a sister-in-law.”
What kind of terrifying things are you saying!?!?
Rather, don’t just flatly say younger sister. Not everyone knows about our reincarnation.
“I don’t really understand…..but will it really be a good thing?”
“Of course, let’s capture Leon together!”
This is bad, I don’t fully understand what Alice is planning, but I definitely understood the bad parts. As I was contemplating escaping this room, there was a knock on the door.
“Please come in!”
I immediately call out to whoever is knocking.
Really, since Sophia is here, I should’ve left the room to speak to whoever is here.
But, I was rather frustrated and not thinking straight. Honestly, I thought by having someone come in, the conversation would hopefully end.
As a result, when a maid entered the room, Sophia’s expression immediately hardened. She then ran to me and hid behind my back.
“……Umm? May I speak?”
“Ah, sorry. Did you need Sophia for something?”
“Yes, Sophia ojou-sama, Patrick-sama is here.”
Sophia began to tremble as she hid behind my back.
I turned toward her and asked in a low voice.
“…I don’t want to see him, tell him to leave.”
“Is he a bad person?”
“…..He won’t listen to anything Sophia says, I hate him because he only thinks about himself.”
I see. This guy seems to have a rather unpleasant personality. I definitely don’t want her meeting with someone like that today.
“Sophia does not seem to want to meet with him. Can you come up with a reason for her not to see him?”
I told the maid this in place of Sophia.
“Does this person not easily take no for an answer?”
“…..Yes. Patrick-sama is a viscount from the Rodwell family. Originally they were of a lower rank than the Sfir family, but since he is related to the marquis of the Gramp family……”
Even worse, he is related to the marquis of Gramp. I don’t want to get involved with any of them now that I’ve cancelled Claire’s engagement.
“Do you know why he’s here?”
The maid glimpses at Sophia. Obviously, it has something to do with Sophia. I ask Sophia for permission to hear the reason.
“You have Sophia’s permission.”
And the maid revealed to me that Patrick had proposed to Sophia.
It seems after he heard Sophia had become engaged, he stopped pursuing her. But, he’s returned now that he knows that engagement was broken off.
By the way, I’ve been told he is four years older than me, so he’s fourteen years old. Sophia is seven, so he’s double her age. It seems this isn’t a political marriage, Patrick wants to marry Sophia.
It may not be my place to say anything, but if he truly likes her, that’s not a bad thing. But, if Sophia hates him, he’s out no matter what.
“Okay I understand, and Sophia, you don’t want to see him no matter what?”
“……Can I kill him?”
“I thought we already decided that is never an option!”
Making terrifying remarks with such a cute face, this kid….
More importantly, I don’t think she was joking. She was full of guilt after killing her father, but maybe she feels like it’s fine to kill people that she isn’t close with.
For now, they absolutely cannot meet.
“Tell him we’re sorry, but he’ll have to come back another day. If that doesn’t work, tell Eric-san about what’s happening.”
“Yes, I understand.”
The maid bowed and left the room.
I try to speak with her, but her expression remains stiff. Even though she had been cheerful until a moment ago, she’s now returned to how she was yesterday.
Hmm. This Patrick really has terrible timing.
“You don’t have to worry anymore. He’s been told to return home.”
“….But, he will definitely come back.”
That….is probably true. It was only the other day that I cancelled our engagement. So, he must have rushed over here immediately. He must be considerably devoted to Sophia.
Besides…..he is connected with the marquis of Gramp. Carlos has only recently died, and Eric is still rather young. Sophia may not be able to refuse Patrick’s proposal if he becomes more forceful.
It would be bad if I just left things as they are. I was unsure of what to do. I wanted Sophia to become less dependent on me, but if things are like this I don’t have much choice.
“Hey, Sophia, listen to me for a moment. Tomorrow, I plan on returning to the Grances territory.”
“Eh….Leon onii-chan, you’re going home? You’ll be back again soon, right?”
“No, I won’t be able to return for quite some time. There are many thing I need to take care of there.”
The moment I said this, Sophia was on the verge of crying. That’s why I continued with “So—”
“Will you become my little sister?”
“….Eh, what do you mean? You’re the head of the Grances family now, so you can’t be adopted into the Sfir family now, right?”
“That’s true. That’s why, Sophia can be adopted into the Grances family. Eric-san has given me permission as long as you want to. So, the decision is yours, Sophia.”
“….If I become your adopted sister, will I be together with Leon onii-chan forever?”
“Then I’ll become your little sister! I want to be Leon onii-chan’s little sister and stay together!”
“…..I understand. Well then, Sophia is now officially my adopted sister. If anything threatens Sophia I will protect you. I will never make Sophia sad.”
Now, to return to the Grances territory and help the children that were sold into slavery. I also need to prevent any more children from being sold.
Then, I will create an environment that will allow everyone in the Grances territory to live happily.
I swear on my life I will do it. I will improve the Grances territory enough so that even the marquis of Gramp can not touch Sophia. (TN: ‘I swear on my life I will do it’ is supposed to be a play on the title of the series. A more literal translation would be something like, “How can I have any self-respect,” but that sounds rather awkward.)
I will definitely get the happiness that I want.