That evening, Elena knocked on her father’s door at Mirabelle’s request. Her father would only be at home for only a few days before leaving for the capital again. This time would likely be the same. Her heart was filled with longing for her father who she didn’t see often, but this was the first time she privately visited him since arriving back in the past because she found it difficult to talk to him. Even now, she felt like she couldn’t express her feelings honestly. If only she could a little bit more cute and charming like Mirabelle, or if she could live up to her father’s expectations like her brother…
She clenched and unclenched her hands nervously. The gruff voice of Alphord came from inside the room.
At his permission, Elena carefully open the door and stepped inside. Alphord was sitting at a large desk with a tall stack of papers to one side. She wasn’t the only one who had been busy. He probably had more paperwork than her since he was always gone for long periods.
He glanced up at Elena, who was standing there silently, then opened his mouth to speak first.
“What is it?”
She tried to recall what she had said to those familiar words, but could not find a greeting for her father. She had taken care of her family since she was young and grew up clever and quick-witted, but Alphord acted rather bluntly towards his family. She often felt mistreated about her father’s and brother’s behaviors, but somehow she ended up as the image of those two.
“I’m apologize if you’re busy. I came to ask you something. I want to take Mirabelle to the tea party hosted by Marchioness Holland.”
“Mirabelle? No matter how well she is doing this days, she may have another seizure if you strain her. Try to attend these social gatherings by yourself.”
As a family of prestigious knights, the Blaises valued power most. They tended to think little of the politics and gossip of society, and to him Elena’s life was merely children’s play. Of course, Elena understood that way of thinking having grown up in a knight’s family, but she did not approve of neglecting this aspect of society. They should never take gossip lightly. The value of it was better understood by Elena, who had already lived through a lifetime once.
“Mirabelle must eventually lead a social life as a countess. She said she wanted to go to the party herself. You know you can’t stop her from going out forever. I’ll bring her back safely, so you can leave her care to me.”
“Mirabelle is not healthy like you. You will put her at risk.”
“I’m worried about Mirabelle’s health too. But no matter how weak she is, you can’t raise her like a bird in a cage. I think you should listen to Mirabelle for once. We’ll be very careful to come back.”
Elena wasn’t careless about her sister’s health. She wasn’t doing this just as a favor to Mirabelle because she was mending her dress, but because it was what her sister really wanted.
Alphord stared silently at Elena as he ruminated over her words, then spoke to her with an inscrutable expression on his face.
“Elena, you’re not talking like yourself. Since when did you start challenging me?”
Elena felt shamed by her father’s scolding. She couldn’t remember what she was like to her father in the past. Did she say things like this to him back then?
Elena tried to explain with trembling eyes, but Alphord snapped at her.
“Alright. If you want her to go so much, she can go.”
“Ah…Thank you, Father.”
“If something happens to Mirabelle, you will be held responsible.”
“This is the last time. As I’ve told you before, try not to go outside as much as possible. A woman should keep an eye on the house until she gets married. “
“I wasn’t going to tell you this until I was sure, but you have a proposal from House Morris.”
The words flashed like lightning in her heard. Since she was born into nobility it was expected of her to marry someone chosen by her parents, but she hadn’t heard of this in her previous life. Elena questioned him in a slightly shaky voice.
“A marriage proposal for me?”
“Yes, that’s why I’m concerned. You are old enough to get married. In fact, you’re probably a little late because to your mother’s death. I’m going to decide your marriage before it’s too late.”
She wanted to ask him why he didn’t say this in his previous life, but she seemed to already know the answer. One year from now, House Blaise would be doomed. If so, chances were high that the matchmaking had failed. Moreover, the conversation revealed that her father must have never heard told her in the past because he didn’t mean to tell her from the start.
She didn’t know how other noblemen’s daughters reacted after being told that their parents had decided who they would marry. But weren’t there two main reactions? You wonder who your match is, or you cry and scream that you do not want to get married.
Elena also wondered about the family name Morris. However, she did not feel excitement, anxiety and grief like other ordinary noble children. She had already decided to marry for her the sake of her family anyway. She wished that her father would speak to her more warmly, but she had no objections to otherwise.
“I understand. I know that you will make a good choice, but I still want to marry to a position that would be the most beneficial to House Blaise.”
Alphord’s normally stern face flitted with surprise. He had thought she would be in tears at the thought of being separated from Mirabelle. He didn’t expect her to give such a rational answer. But the surprise did not end there.
“If possible, I want him to come from a family that’s a higher status than marquis. If he’s a knight want him to be at least as good as my brother in sword fighting, and if he’s a merchant I want him be one of the richest men in the empire. If not, then I want him high enough that he can have private conversations with His Majesty.”
“Is that what you wish?”
She wished her future husband would handsome, caring and gentle.
“Yes. I don’t care about appearance, age or personality at all. Old man, fat man. I hope that one of the conditions I mentioned will be met.”
Elena breathed a small sigh of relief at her father’s reply. The ideal man she wanted was someone who was handsome and had a good personality. It would be difficult if her father arbitrarily chose any man. At least she firmly gave her opinion, and it was better better than revealing her whole story. She would meet with Crown Prince Carlisle in a few days, but if that marriage failed then she would have to meet another man anyways.
‘…I don’t care if you don’t know. I’ll protect the Blaises, Father.’
She slowly turned to leave the room until her father spoke again.
“Unlike you, Mirabelle is a delicate child. No matter how far you go, come back safely.”
She paused, but then she stepped forward as if nothing had happened. Elena replied to him softly, closing the door without looking back.
“Good night, Father.”