Chapter 3-7 : The Fourth Daughter, Jasmine – Ⅱ
That night, as usual, there was a heavy atmosphere at the dining table of the Atwood Family when they were having dinner.
There was the lord of the house, Aaron; the lady of the house, Ella; the eldest daughter, Bonnie; the son-in-law, Alex; the second daughter, Robin; and the fourth daughter, Jasmine surrounding the table.
They had never had a fun dinner before, but the dining table of the Atwood Family had become much quieter and more gloomy since Mylia left.
Aaron was in a bad mood because his hunt didn’t go well today. He bit the venison in his hand and roughly chewed it while frowning.
Ella and Bonnie rarely spoke while Robin looked irritated somehow. She felt annoyed from imagining Mylia eating good food in the royal capital.
Meanwhile, Jasmine ate her hard black bread while trying her best not to make eye contact with anyone.
「We barely caught anything today. I bet it was because the mountain breeze contained a lot of moisture.」(Alex)
Unable to withstand the heavy air in the dining room, Alex tried to start a conversation.
「Huh? Does it have anything to do with hunting?」(Aaron)
Aaron glared at Alex while biting the venison.
Aaron was the type of person who never tried to think about things from multiple angles. Although he was a lord, he couldn’t even read letters and do calculations.
He was more like a bandit group leader than a lord who governs a territory.
「Yes. It’s because the longhorn deers usually stay in their nest when the air in the forest is humid. I think the other animals are staying in their nests too, that’s why we couldn’t find many of them.」(Alex)
「Hmph. I’ve never heard of such a stupid idea.」(Aaron)
「A, Ahaha… I just heard about it somewhere, so it might be not completely true, but…」(Alex)
Seeing Aaron’s face that didn’t show interest at all, Alex’s voice became quieter.
「…But don’t you think that theory makes sense?」(Alex)
「Shut up! You’re talking like you’re smarter than me. Now be quiet, finish your meal and go to sleep. We’ll go hunting early tomorrow.」(Aaron)
Aaron wouldn’t hear people out no matter what they said when he was in a bad mood.
Alex looked down and glanced at the chair where Mylia usually sat.
Thinking that he might not be able to see Mylia again, Alex frowned. He then turned his gaze toward Jasmine and stared at her waistline while taking a bite of the venison in his hand.
Seeing her husband’s behavior, Bonnie’s eyes looked like they lost their light.
Jasmine somehow noticed that Alex was secretly staring at her body.
Now that she was the youngest female in the mansion, she needed to be careful of him. That’s why she always tried to avoid him as much as possible.
She knew that he was after Mylia and Chloe when they were still living in the mansion. She remembered that Chloe once told her that Alex always tried to hug her while they were harvesting lavender together.
Back then, Alex also often tried to hug Mylia from behind because Mylia was absent-minded and defenseless, but Jasmine noticed that for some reason, Mylia got better at avoiding Alex after she turned eight.
While the family members were eating dinner silently, suddenly they heard someone calling from the front door.
「I’m sorry for disturbing at this hourー Is this the Atwood Family’s mansionー?」(man)
As soon as the voice of a man was heard, everyone stopped eating.
It was certain that the people who came at this hour and asked about the Atwood’s mansion were people from outside the territory.
It was a rural village that had nothing but lavender fields, so people from the outside were very rare.
「Please waitー I will open the doorー」(Ella)
Ella shouted toward the entrance, fixed her hair, and quickly left the dining room to open the door.
After the voice of Ella and the man talking with each other was heard from the entrance, a man dressed as a knight came into the dining hall and bowed to Aaron.
The man’s robe and clothes were a bit dirty, proving that he passed through the road in the monster territory.
「I’m sorry for interrupting your mealtime. My name is Will. I’m a knight of Baronet Darelias.」(Will)
「Baronet Darelias…? What do you want?」(Aaron)
Aaron replied impolitely as if he was a bandit or something.
The knight, Will, was taken aback by Aaron’s rudeness.
Even though Aaron was an aristocrat, he shouldn’t treat a baronet’s knight like that. It was still understandable if Aaron was a count or marquis, but he was just a low-ranked aristocrat.
Will cleared his throat while thinking that the reason why Aaron behaved like that was probably that he lived in the countryside.
「…Ahem. I came on behalf of Gilbert-sama, the second son of the Darelias Family. He said he wanted to propose to your daughter. This is the letter he entrusted to me. I would appreciate it if you would read it.」(Will)
While saying that, Will took out the letter from his pocket. Ella then received it while bowing to him and handed it to Aaron.
For some reason, Robin stared at the letter with interest while remaining silent.
「I see. So? What will I get? Land? Gold? Honestly, I prefer land where I can hunt animals.」(Aaron)
Hearing Aaron’s straight question, Will couldn’t help but smile bitterly.
「I’m very sorry, but I would appreciate it if we could talk more about it tomorrow. My subordinates and I had been traveling without taking a break. I will be happy if you want to read the letter first while we are resting.」(Will)
You need to pass through monster territory to enter Atwood Territory. Will and his subordinates had been traveling without resting to avoid monsters.
Will tried to stand straight and kept his posture but he couldn’t hide his tired face. He looked like he would collapse at any moment.
「You can take a rest here. Please wait a minute, I will prepare hot water for you to wipe your body.」(Ella)
「Thank you for your kindness.」(Will)
Ella glanced at Bonnie once and then left the dining room to prepare hot water. Bonnie then stood up and followed her mother.
Will bowed to Aaron once and joined his men who were waiting outside.
Now there were only Aaron, Alex, Robin, and Jasmine in the dining room.
「Robin, go help your mother.」(Aaron)
「Tsk. You’re such a useless daughter.」(Aaron)
「How dare you call your most smart and beautiful daughter ‘useless’! …Forget it. More importantly, Father, can I see that letter? You can’t read it anyway, so I will read it for you.」(Robin)
Aaron passed the letter to Robin, and then Robin started reading it right away.
Although Robin couldn’t read some difficult words, she could pretty much tell the meaning of sentences she read. She could write, but she wasn’t that good at it.
Jasmine actually wanted Robin to read it aloud but she didn’t have the courage to ask.
She thought that the letter might be addressed to her. She was hoping that someone would take her away from that house.
Robin wrinkled her eyebrows as she read the letter, and after she finished reading it, she threw the letter on the floor and shouted.
「ーーMYLIA IS A DRAGON SLAYER!?!? WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT IS THIS!!??」(Robin)
Her shout was so loud that it even shook the walls of the mansion.