When we arrived at the garden that was the pride of the Avi family, Ricardo-sama and I headed straight for our positions in the corner of the garden.
I asked Ricardo-sama to sit on the chair first, and I started preparing the tea without sitting down.
By the way, what I was taking things out of was the interspatial storage bag that I was so glad to have.
It was a cute pochette with white lace on it. It went with today’s outfit very nicely!
From inside the pochette, I took out a pot of iced tea and a glass that had been cooled during the trip.
“…Is that an interspatial storage bag?”
“Yes, it is. It was given to me by Margrave Myuuhen.”
I filled a clear glass with ice and poured the iced tea into it.
“From the Margrave?”
“I had some business with his grandson…and that’s why he gave it to me.”
It was difficult to say that it was a payment for helping Silas with his revenge.
“His grandson…Silas? Did you meet him as well?”
“Yes. Are you acquainted with Silas, Ricardo-sama? I met him for the first time in Royal Capital when I followed my brother there.”
“We’re the same age. It’s not that we’re particularly close, but we do interact.”
With wrinkles between his eyebrows, Ricardo-sama looked to be in thought.
Is it possible that…he’s curious?
After finishing pouring the iced tea into the glass, I floated a few petals of the Sheelah flowers that I had soaked in syrup on top of it.
After presenting the finished iced tea to Ricardo-sama, I sat down in front of him.
I also talked about the oven Lotte, and using it to make the pound cake with dried fruits, and also some Armas Cookies as opposed to raisin cookies.
It was really a coincidence, but I was glad that I baked them this morning!
“I made them myself. Please have some.”
I recommended it to Ricardo-sama.
Ricardo-sama took the pound cake in his hand.
“The fillings…this is the popular dried fruits…was this also Charlotte’s work?”
“Yes. Thanks to that, there was a lot of trouble…”
I smiled bitterly as I picked up an Armas cookie and put it in my mouth.
Mmmm. Crunchy and delicious.
The chopped Armas added a nice accent.
Ricardo-sama took a bite of the pound cake.
I cut it into small pieces so that it would be easy to eat, but to be able to eat it in one bite, he’s definitely a growing boy.
I was impressed.
His blue-gray eyes widened.
Ricarco-sama’s ears stood up and his tail swayed as if in a good mood.
“Please have the iced tea while it’s cold.”
I’m glad you smiled.
I guess it’s thanks to Lotte for making it so tasty.
I thanked Lotte in my heart.
“Charlotte is amazing.”
Ricardo-sama murmured to himself.
Ricardo-sama smiled wryly as he saw me.
“You have a great creativity to invent new things. And you are able to act on them without even thinking about it.”
I’m sorry…but it’s only thanks to Izumi’s knowledge and Cheat-san.
“I’m envy Charlotte. I couldn’t help but think so over the past month. The Sheelah juice that you introduced to me has already spread throughout the Aker territory faster than I thought it would. It was from those days that I realized the difference between us.”
Wait a minute…I think it’s…dangerous to go further.
“I like Charlotte. Every time I see you, I’m drawn to your charms and I find myself liking you more and more. But…I’m no good.”
Ricardo-sama squeezed his eyes shut and turned his beautiful, clear blue-gray eyes towards me.
“I’m not good enough for you the way I am now.”
-Thump, thump, thump-
My heart hurt.
…I see…I am…being rejected?
It’s not easy to faint, I thought to myself calmly.
Even though I hadn’t expressed my feelings properly to him yet…
I tried my best to hold back the tears that threatened to well up.
Ah…‘I (Charlotte)’ hadn’t thought that there would be problems if I responded to his feelings.
Wouldn’t that have been nice?
So just smile. Don’t show your tears.
As I was trying to hold back my tears and smile…
“Izumi, you’ve never shown your tears to me. You’re strong even without me, so you’ll be fine, right? Let’s break up.”
Izumi’s memories flashed back to me.
It was the last thing her boyfriend had said to her.
“…I see. I understand.”
I smiled and answered him.
In truth, I still loved him so much that I really wanted to cry and hang on to him.
But…I desperately tried to hold back my tears.
I could cry in front of my parents and friends, but only in front of the person I loved…I couldn’t cry.
I had been crying in the shadows…trying to be strong and put on a smile.
Because…if I cried, people would think I was a nuisance, right?
It would bother me. I just didn’t want to do that.
…I was never strong.
After my breakup with him, I became addicted to otome games. I was tired of the real world of real life, so I stuck to the unreal world of unreal life, which was kind to me.
I had been reborn as Charlotte, but would I have to do the same thing all over again?
I was in a daze when a warm hand touched my cheek.
Before I knew it, Ricardo-sama had moved next to me.
In front of me is Ricardo-sama had a pained look on his face.
I stared at Ricardo-sama with a dumbfounded look on my face.
“So that’s why…can you give me a little more time, just half a year?”
“I know it’s pathetic and selfish, but I don’t want to let you go. I want to stand next to you after I’ve accomplished something so that I can properly stand next to you.”
“So until then…will you wait for me?”
Ricardo-sama was staring at me while holding my hands.
…So I wasn’t rejected.
I felt too much relief to the point tears were about to overflow once again.
“Are you okay with me…?”
“Of course. My instincts tell me that my number one mate is Charlotte. Also, it seems that you didn’t know, but I can only let my mate touch my tail as I get older. I don’t even let my immediate family touch it.”
Ricardo-sama smiled at me.
I finally understood the meaning of my brother’s words at that time.
It’s no wonder that there was guilty conscience between Ricardo-sama and I when it came to the meaning of his words.
“I love you too, Ricardo-sama.”
I hugged Ricardo-sama tightly.
“And me as well…After I do the things I have to do, I’d like to stand next to you.”
Ricardo-sama gently stroked my head without letting me go.
“I will tell you everything at that time…so please listen then.”
“Yes. I understand.”
Ricardo-sama dropped a kiss on my head and then gently pulled away.
“Charlotte. Take this…”
Ricardo-sama took out a small silver box from his hip pocket.
He opened the lid with a snap and what was inside was…
“Yes. I want you to remember me even when I’m not around.”
‘Even if that’s not the case, Charlotte has a lot of men by her side who like her…’
Ricardo-sama muttered something to himself and shook his tail in a sullen mood.
I was too distracted by the necklace in front of me to notice it at all.
“Is this…a Sheelah?”
It was a small necklace with a Sheelah flower pendant. In the center of the flower was a jewel of the same color as Ricardo-sama’s eyes.
“I’m so happy…”
When I looked up at Ricardo-sama with a sly smile, he averted his gaze and said,
With a slightly red face, he helped put the necklace on my neck.
“Does it suit me?”
“…Yes. It’s so pretty.
Ricardo-sama smiled, and I smiled, too.
“I’ll do my best for the next six months.”
“I’ll do my best too…Can I write you a letter?”
“Yes, I’ll write one too. Speaking of which, I’ve been wondering why Charlotte smells like Sheelahs…”
“Oh. I made a perfume concoction with Sheelahs.”
“I see. Is it different from ordinary perfume?”
“Yes. It doesn’t have as harsh of a scent, but has a gentle fragrance that still lasts. It’s made by mixing it with Nāna.”
“So it’s a paste perfume…”
Ricardo-sama put his hand on his chin and pretended to be thinking about it.
Suddenly, a sense of mischief began to grow inside me.
Softly, I walked behind Ricardo-sama…
With a pounce, I captured his tail with a force that wasn’t too strong.
Fufufu. I caught it.
I rubbed his tail against my face.
“Charlotte…!? What are you—!?”
I didn’t care if Ricardo-sama was panicking, I kept rubbing at this tail.
“I made a paste perfume because I wanted to be close to Ricardo-sama’s scent, but as expected, the real thing is the best.”
Mofumofu is the best…
“Agh…Do as you please…”
Ricardo covered his reddened face with his hands and seemed to let me do what I wanted for a while.
It’s not a dream…I’m so glad.
Wiping the tears from the corners of my eyes, I continued to enjoy the half a year’s worth of mofumofu for when I was unable to see him.
As we parted, we looked at each other in the entrance hall.
“Well then, see you later.”
We said our farewells with a smile.
It would be half a year before we could meet again.
I promised myself that I would do my best to meet him again with a smile.
I swore it to my heart.
“Did you say it?”
“Yes, I did.”
Lucas and Ricardo confronted each other.
“I’m sorry, but I’ll have your precious sister.”
Lucas smiled with narrowed eyes.
This was the kind of smile that Charlotte would call the smile of a demon lord, but Ricardo did not retreat one step.
“Hmm. So you’re serious…?”
“I wouldn’t joke about something like this with Lucas Avi.”
“Well, half a year, huh? Good luck at best. You’ll never know if someone will take Charlotte away from in the meantime, right?”
He shrugged his shoulders and gave Lucas a stunned look.
“I’ll just do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Besides…if anything happens, you can always tell me, right? Dear Brother.”
Ricardo gave a wry smile.
“I’ll leave it to you. Lucas.”
“If you make her cry…I’ll kill you.”
“…Even though you made her cry today. Charlotte doesn’t know anything about it, but it’s obvious. I can see it all on her face.”
“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t say things very well.”
Lucas sighed as Ricardo bowed obediently.
“…This is such an unpleasant role. I’m not sure how I feel about having my important sister being taken away by someone…but I want Charlotte to be happy, so I’ll help her.”
“I’m sorry. Thank you.”
Ricardo raised his right hand in a fist. Lucas silently matched his fist with his own.
“So long. See you.”
Lucas watched Ricardo until he was out of sight after he got into the carriage and left.
“I’ll let things go for today, but it’s not so easy to stay attached, right? Will those two be able to endure?”
Lucas smiled with a huff on his beautiful face.
T/N: Sorry Lucas, you gotta be a good bro and let the Ricarlotte ship sail~
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