A Stepmother’s Marchen - Chapter 40
Jeremy and Elias returned in the evening. As the twins rushed in shouting about a baby fox, Jeremy, who jumped off the horse, said, “Look, Shuri! I’ve got your fox scarf!”
So, the hunt was really successful. He caught three, not just one! Indeed, he was the strongest knight.
I’m so proud of him!
“I caught one!”
“Ha! Stop fooling around, brother.”
“Ah, that’s right, I caught it because I was there earlier.”
“Why isn’t there a baby fox? I told you to bring one for me and Leon!”
“Where would I find a baby fox in this season, you idiot!”
“Mom! My brothers didn’t keep their promises! My father said that a man must always do what he says!”
“I did keep my promise about the fox scarf!”
While the children mumbled among themselves and ran inside to change clothes, I greeted Prince Theowald who got off the horse with a polite smile, “You must be tired, so don’t go straight to the palace…”
“Haha, I have to say thank you for lending me your precious children.”
“Would you like to have dinner with us?”
“That’s a very welcoming invitation.”
Theobalt, who nodded softly, stood there with a slight frown on his soft golden eyes and looked down at me.
I felt like he had something to say, so I kept looking at him with a curious look on my face, and at the next moment, I heard something strange that I had never imagined I would hear.
“Madam, I hold affection for you.”
Oh! I couldn’t bring myself to reply. The prince’s face was hard to describe, and suddenly he blushed and began to stutter embarrassingly, “No, I mean, I’m sorry, I don’t know, I’m sorry.”
“Forgive me, for that, for being rude. I never meant to fool around with you. I mean, I’m perfectly serious, but, uh, I think I should probably get going.”
After talking, he suddenly turned around, then said, “I should go now.”
What the hell just happened?
“Shuri, I’m hungry!”
If it wasn’t for my eldest son, who ran down the stairs, and shouted like that, I would probably have stood there all night completely dazed.
I quickly came to my senses and shook my head.
Let’s calm down.
Calm down! I’m sure I’ve heard wrong, or it was just a slip of tongue. Well, I could interpret that in a lot of ways.
“Oh, why did Theo leave? He said he was feeling dead from hunger.”
“I kicked him out,” I replied without hesitation, and Jeremy’s sparkling emerald eyes immediately widened.
“Well, his Highness wanted to eat fox meat, but I said that the menu was already decided.”
“What? He didn’t catch anything by himself, but now he has become greedy?”
With my heartfelt condolences to the prince who became a greedy person that wanted to eat other people’s prey, I led the children to the dining room.
The twins had already had dinner, so only three people sat down at the table, including me.
Unlike me, who lost my appetite a while ago, my two sons devastated the food like animals.
“Hey, I caught one!”
“You’re repeating that?! I caught everything on my own. Shuri, you don’t have to listen to that guy…”
“Why is brother taking all the credit alone? You’re a mean person!”
“……It must have been a lot of fun.”
As I stepped in with a sigh, both of the kids, who were eating the dishes and arguing loudly, began to show off their merits with their glazed eyes.
“Don’t say that! It would have been fun if this guy and Theo weren’t there…”
“That’s funny, who roared at the fox and made him run away from the start!”
“Hey, when did I do that?”
The image of Jeremy, who was bursting with pride, roaring at the poor animal would have been something worth seeing.
In the end, Elias, who was hit on the head by his brother, suddenly looked at me, “Anyway, Shuri, next time I’ll take you with me…”
“Absolutely not!” Jeremy roared out of nowhere while dissecting the stuffed pie, so Elias dropped the fork loudly in fright. The maids who poured milk almost spilled it on the tablecloth.
“Oh, my gosh. Why are you screaming all of a sudden?!”
“It’s because you’re talking bullshit, you idiot! Anyway, no way. It’s dangerous.”
“Hey, it’s trendy for young girls to participate in hunting these days, you slow-witted human!”
“That’s a thing, and this is another thing!”
“What’s that and what’s this? I’ll protect her.”
“Oh, my God. Who’s the one who shot the arrow on the ground?”
Unlike Jeremy’s outspoken response, Elias had a point. To be exact, it was more trendy among the ladies, and rather than participating in the real hunt, they usually went to watch the boys hunt and enjoy a meal.
……But it was still a bit far from being completely trendy. Moreover, I was a woman who had just recently lost her husband.
“Well, let’s go together when you’re a little older.”
It goes without saying that both of them, who had been fighting each other with knives, immediately stopped.
Hahaha, how does it taste, guys? You still have a long way before you can protect me.
I tried to say that I was overreacting, but contrary to my opinion, Prince Theobalt must not have made a slip of the tongue that day, otherwise he wouldn’t have come to me on this good afternoon and sat with such a nervous face.
The window of the tightly closed parlor was steaming white. It was a time when the Amaryllis was in full bloom, and it was time to look forward to the upcoming Christmas.
Only after the maids, who had served hot tea and refreshments, completely withdrew, did Theobolt finally spoke hesitantly, “Lady Neuwanstein, I hope you’ll forgive me for my rudeness the other day. I know very well how many people are trying to approach you. I never meant to be like one of them.”
How should I respond to such words? Of course, there were a lot of people who approached me, the temporary head of the Neuwanstein family.
There were also people who literally flirted with me, regardless of their rank and age. That was why I hired a contacted lover.
Now, of course, I know those people and I’m ready to fight them off, but… after I ordered Robert to burn everything that looked like a love letter, he enthusiastically performed the mission.
The prince, who had been rambling with his head half down, finally raised his eyes.
The soft golden eyes, the symbol of the imperial family, stared at my face with a strange expression. He looked fond of something, as if he were drawing something, but as if he was somewhere far away.
“I’ve never been like this before, and I’m embarrassed… ..but when I look at the lady, I think of my late mother.”
“I mean it, you remind me of my late mother who I can’t remember her face clearly anymore. So when I’m with the lady, I feel warm.”
Should it be the family honor that I remind the crown prince of the late Empress…?
I don’t know what Empress Jeon looked like, but I know Elizabeth cared more about her stepson than her own son.
Of course that didn’t mean he could totally forget his biological mother……and it was the same for my children.
Huh, raising other people’s children wasn’t really easy…
Anyway, it was an embarrassing situation. The young eagle, the heir to the throne, who would be responsible for the future of the empire, was looking like a boy who fell in love at this point.
Why would I…?
It’d been so long that a corner of my heart had been strangely shaken.
“It’s my honor that I look like your mother. Your Highness, however… “
“Yes, you don’t have to say anything. I am also well aware that the lady will be in trouble if I act rashly. I just don’t– I mean, I don’t mean to impose anything on you. I just want you to know that I’m serious and sincere enough to die at this moment.”
It wasn’t a matter of whether he was sincere or not,
“Your Grace, I think you’re… With all due respect, I think you’re temporarily mistaken. I don’t know which part I resemble the late Empress, but the longing for a mother and the affection between a man and woman are completely different…”
“I’m not mistaken at all!”
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