Chapter 4-16 : The Current Atwood Family (part 1)
At the Atwood’s mansion, a cold atmosphere filled the dining room as usual when the family members were having dinner together.
The current lord, Aaron, his adopted son-in-law, Alex, the eldest daughter, Bonnie, the second daughter, Robin, and the pushover mother, Ella were eating their dinner in silence.
Only the clattery sound of forks and spoons could be heard.
The Atwood Family’s dinner tonight was poor as usual.
Aaron, who looked like the boss of a bandit group, stuck his fork into his grilled meat as he clicked his tongue.
He had been on a bad moon since the day Robin fell from the sky.
「…Dear… when are you going to quit hunting…? I think you better start doing something else…」(Ella)
「Quit hunting!? Never!」(Aaron)
「But, you barely get anything today as well… Sometimes you don’t get anything. Sometimes you only bring home a little rabbit. You can’t make money if you keep doing it.」(Ella)
「Khh!! I was just unlucky! I will bring home twoー No, five big deers tomorrow! You’ll see!」(Aaron)
「Hahh… You said the same thing two days ago… Dear, if you quit hunting, we can sell your hunting tools and pay the debt even for a little… If we’re not paying, a collector will come from the royal capital, right…?」(Ella)
Ella said with an expression as if she was sick of her husband’s stubbornness.
It had been decades since the last time she argued with Aaron.
She was afraid of Aaron and rarely talked to him first, but she couldn’t hold back her emotion any longer.
The debt of thirty gold coins which they had to pay to the stores that Robin had visited in the royal capital drove the pushover Ella to persuade Aaron to change and become more productive.
There was only one thing in Ella’s head: obey those who have power. She wouldn’t dare to go against Duke Griffith who was backing Mylia up.
The reputation of the Atwood Family has been tarnished since Robin cheated on her husband, and it got worse because Robin caused trouble to some people in the royal capital.
Ella was concerned about what people thought of her family. She didn’t want the Atwood Family’s name to be tarnished even more.
「…Have you noticed that the villagers have been looking at us with cold eyes lately…? Those eyes tell us that they no longer trust us as the noble house who governs this territory…」(Ella)
Ella let out a deep sigh.
The Atwood Territory was surrounded by monster territory, so rumors spread quickly there.
All the villagers now already know about the Atwood Family’s debt and Robin’s bad deeds in the royal capital. Of course, they didn’t think that Aaron would do something about it, knowing how incompetent he was.
Since Robin fell from the sky, the authority of the Atwood Family has been completely destroyed.
The villagers no longer recognized Aaron as their feudal lord. Now they put their hope in Chloe and Mylia, who had gone to the royal capital, and were looking forward to their return.
No matter how hard they were working, the villagers could barely survive in their current situation.
The villagers knew that Chloe and Mylia were excellent and talented children, unlike their incompetent father. They believed that both of them would be able to make their situation better.
「…Dear, don’t you think it’s time to change…? We can’t live like this forever… If you quit hunting and start doing something more productive, we canー」(Ella)
Aaron shouted at his wife and hit the table with all his strength.
Everyone’s soup spilled out more than half because the table was shaking so hard.
「I’m the head of this family! Stop telling me what to do! I won’t quit hunting no matter what! In the first place, it’s Robin’s debt, not ours! Why do we have to pay it!? Oi, Robin, it’s all your fault! You went on a spree in the royal capital and ended up creating debts! Duke Griffith has his eye on us also because of you, you useless daughter!」(Aaron)
Aaron pointed at Robin while talking so loudly.
Ever since Robin returned, Aaron felt irritated every time he saw Robin.
「Wait, I’ve done nothing wrong! It was a trap! Chloe and Mylia tricked me!」(Robin)
「Is that so? …Goddammit! Those ungrateful little pieces of shit!」(Aaron)
Aaron was a meathead. He couldn’t think straight and immediately believed what Robin said.
However, the son-in-law, Alex, shook his head as if denying Robin.
「No, Father, I don’t think it was a trap. Chloe and Mylia-chan wouldn’t have dared to say a Duke’s name if what they wanted was just tricking Robin. I can’t help but think that Robin-san was planning something bad but she made a careless mistake.」(Alex)
Robin always acted superior toward Alex, but ever since she returned, Alex had constantly been fighting her back.
「Shut your mouth! You don’t know what exactly happened, so don’t talk as if you know everything!」(Robin)
「Yeah, you’re right. I don’t know what exactly happened, but as I said before, if Chloe and Mylia-chan just wanted to trick you, they wouldn’t have used a Duke’s name. Using a noble’s name without permission, especially those with high ranks, is a big crime and can be put in jail immediately. Chloe is a smart girl. There’s no way she didn’t know about it.」(Alex)
「Y, You…!! I said shut your mouth!」(Robin)
「I won’t! Father, I think Robin was lying!」(Alex)
Alex smirked at Robin for a second and turned his gaze to Aaron.
When Robin saw Alex’s smirk, her face turned red in anger.
Thinking that what Alex said was reasonable, Aaron glared at Robin.
「How dare you lie to me!」(Aaron)
「Father, I didn’tー」(Robin)
「ーShut the hell up! Look. I’m not gonna pay your debt even for a single copper coin! You hear me!? You pay it yourself!」(Aaron)
「But you know I can’t make such a huge amount of money by myself, right!?」(Robin)
「Then I have no choice but to sell you to a slave trader or something!」(Aaron)
Robin shouted and hit the table.
While gritting her teeth, Robin thought for a moment, looking for a way out.
「Father, listen. Mylia has a lot of money! How about we summon her and take all her money!? 」(Robin)
「Don’t worry~ I’ll work out a plan for this! You won’t be able to do it without me!」(Robin)
「Hmm… Do you know how much money she has?」(Aaron)
「She should have more than a thousand gold in her pocket! I’m sure of it!」(Robin)
「Th, Thousaー….. Alright. We’ll make her pay her debt she owes me for raising her!」(Aaron)