Chapter 4-16 : The Current Atwood Family (part 2)
「Th, Thousaー….. Alright. We’ll make her pay her debt she owes me for raising her!」(Aaron)
Listening to the conversation between Aaron and Robin, Ella sighed and shook her head, while Alex smirked and stuck out his tongue a little when she heard Mylia’s name.
As for the eldest daughter, Bonnie, who had been silent so far, she raised her face and looked at her father, Aaron.
Bonnie had a pretty face and well-shaped eyes and nose, which were similar to Chloe’s.
She also loves reading books like Chloe. Even though she wasn’t as smart as Chloe, she was a quick learner.
Because of that, she once managed the finances of the Atwood Family.
However, after she married Alex, Aaron told her to stop doing that and focus on giving birth to a son.
Still, even after living her married life with Alex for a few years, she hasn’t been blessed with a child.
Aaron was mad because of that, and Bonnie had to listen to his heartless verbal abuse every day.
No one would be happy when their parents talked loudly at them, saying words that could hurt their heart.
That was the reason why Bonnie never had the courage to look Aaron in the eye. At least until now.
Everyone at the dining table held their breath when they saw Bonnie glaring at Aaron with sharp eyes.
They never thought that the timid Bonnie would ever do that.
「Father, do you still want to harm Mylia after all that has happened?」(Bonnie)
「Huh!? You heard your sister. She has money! And she should give it to me, her father who has raised her! Am I wrong!?」(Aaron)
Mylia wrote, “Since we are no longer part of your family, please stop thinking of us as your daughters, and don’t even think of asking us to send you money ‘cause we won’t listen to any of your requests ever again” at the end of the letter.
However, Aaron forgot about that because all he thought about was money.
Responding to what Aaron said, Bonnie shook her head.
「Father, did you forget about what happened when Mylia was about to leave this village? She used magic on us to temporarily blind us and immobilized Robin for a whole day. Not long ago, she also sent Robin back here from the royal capital with magic. You have to admit that she’s really a powerful magician. No matter what you do, I don’t think she will obey you.」(Bonnie)
While saying that, Bonnie recalled what happened at the church before Mylia left the village.
Back then, Mylia blinded the people gathered there with light magic like a flashbang, but then she immediately healed the eyes of people other than Robin and Aaron.
Bonnie remembered the warmth she felt when Mylia healed her eyes. At that moment, she realized that Mylia had become someone who couldn’t be reached by any of the Atwood Family members.
Listening to Bonnie, Aaron and Robin fell silent. They could only grit their teeth and clench their fists.
「Father, your attempt to marry Chloe to Baron Hansen two years ago was a mistake. There’s no doubt that you had incurred Mylia’s hatred at that moment. Besides, marrying Chloe to a lustful man such as Baron Hansen is the same as neglecting a talented child. Everything would be better if you leave the management of this territory to her.」(Bonnie)
Bonnie talked straightforwardly as if she was spitting out what she had been holding up until now.
「Father, I think you should do as mother said. Forget about hunting and start doing something productive to pay the debt.」(Bonnie)
「Bonnie… since when do you dare to talk to me like that, huh!?」(Aaron)
Aaron shouted at Bonnie, thinking that she would get scared, but she kept glaring at Aaron without flinching.
Seeing Bonnie’s sharp eyes, Aaron clicked his tongue and continued eating his grilled meat, trying to play dumb.
「Bonnie nee-sama, are you taking sides with Chloe and Mylia!?」(Robin)
Robin glared at Bonnie with an accusing look.
「Of course. Chloe did a great job helping with the family business when she was here. Mylia was quiet but she was a good girl, unlike someone who caused trouble to many people in the royal capital.」(Bonnie)
Robin’s eyebrow twitched as she listened to Bonnie’s remark.
「Onee-sama, I didn’t cause anyone trouble! I’ve done nothing wrong! Please believe me!」(Robin)
「If you have done nothing wrong, then how did you end up owing a huge debt?」(Bonnie)
「I said Mylia and Chloe tricked me!」(Robin)
「Even though they had to take a huge risk for using a duke’s name?」(Bonnie)
「That’s… There must have been some kind of mistake!」(Robin)
「Just like Alex said, using a duke’s name without permission is a crime. There’s no way a clever girl like Chloe would take that risk just to trick you.」(Bonnie)
「Th, Then Duke Griffith must have conspired with Mylia and Chloe! There’s no doubt about it!」(Robin)
「Really? That means you have turned Duke Griffith against you then. If not, there’s no way someone as great as him would conspire with Mylia and Chloe to trick you, right? What did you do to him?」(Bonnie)
「I… didn’t…. ugh…」(Robin)
Robin was lost for words. She was thinking as hard as she could but she wasn’t able to come up with something to keep up the ruse.
Meanwhile, Bonnie, who didn’t trust Robin from the very beginning, could only shake her head. She knew that all Robin said was lies.
Unable to keep her cool anymore, Robin stood up and slammed the table.
「AAAAAAAAARRGH!! Dammit! If only my plan went smoothly, I would have been married to a son of a rich noble by now! This is not right! This is not riiight! Dammit! Dammit! Dammiiiit!!!」(Robin)
She shouted, kicked her chair, and left the dining room.
The loud footsteps and the sound of the door being slammed were heard as she entered her room.
After Robin left, the dining room fell into silence again.
During the silence, Bonnie put her hand on her forehead and sighed. She thought that this house was slowly approaching its end.
She was happy for her sisters who had left the house.
The third daughter, Clara, and the fifth daughter, Penelope, had married good men. The fourth daughter, Jasmine, was betrothed to the second son of the Darelias Family. Chloe and Mylia left for the royal capital and had become nobles.
The only daughters left in the Atwood’s mansion were herself and the second daughter, Robin.
There was nothing much she could do but she wanted to fix her family’s situation.
「Father, I think we should bow our heads to the villagers and ask their help to develop this territory. We won’t be able to do it ourselves. If we can develop our territory, we can grow wheat and other crops. It will surely make the villagers and our lives easier.」(Bonnie)
「Bow our heads!? Do I have to do it too!?」(Aaron)
「Of course, you’re the head of our family.」(Bonnie)
「But I’m a noble!」(Aaron)
「Father, you know that we have lost the villagers’ trust, don’t you? Please forget about your pride for a moment. It’s for the sake of our territory and our family.」(Bonnie)
「Hah! A noble like me will never bow his head down to commoners! You hear me!?」(Aaron)
Aaron looked away from Bonnie and continued eating his grilled meat.
Bonnie actually blamed herself a little for not doing anything useful for the territory until now. That’s why she wanted to improve the situation even a little.
She tried to persuade her father to become a better man, but it didn’t seem to work.
Aaron was a prideful man even though he was only a poor knight and didn’t have much presence in the kingdom.
He didn’t realize that he would become a commoner soon when the queen’s heraldic officer arrived at the Atwood’s mansion and stripped him of his knighthood.