[I never thought of wearing these clothes ever again.] (Kunon)
Kunon is now currently inside a carriage passing by the gates of the Gurion estate.
[Life really works in mysterious ways.] (K)
Kunon is now currently wearing the clothes Tinaliza especially arranged for his first day attending the aristocratic school. With the matching cute bow tie, of course.
It’s just Kunon already graduated without any issue and he has no parties to attend so he thought he’d never wear these clothes anymore.
As a nine year old, he expects to have his growth spurt and is expecting to outgrow the clothes before he could have any other chance of outfitting them.
That’s the reason why he never thought of wearing the same clothes again.
But not anymore now that he’s about to go to the royal castle.
It is a place where formal attire is basically required.
As said before, Kunon didn’t have to wear formal clothes on his first day of attending the school. He never thought he’d actually have any need for them in the first place. But now that he’s going to the royal castle, he can only applaud his mother’s foresight as if this is something she predicted.
On the other side of him seated is Arson, his father, who is also dressed in formal attire himself.
Well, in Arson’s case, it’s basically nothing more than just his work clothes as he reports to the castle everyday.
[That’s true. In my case, I never thought that there would come a day that I’d go to the royal castle with you.] (Arson)
‘–I thought that maybe it could happen once. But never did I think it would be this fast.’ (A)
Arson thought that the only times Kunon would be going to the castle would either be to greet the King before he marries Milika, or… When he personally needs to testify and sign his divorce papers to have their engagement annulled.
After all, there is nothing else that could be related to Kunon in the royal castle other than his fiancée.
But who would have thought that Kunon would exceed his father’s expectations?
Just the other day, Kunon asked for him to get the child introduced to a royal mage, and when he pessimistically tried to discuss is with his majesty about it —
His request was immediately granted.
Apparently, the royal mages themselves expressed their interest in meeting his youngest.
He never had to pull anything in the first place. With both parties interested, it’s just bound to happen.
[What a mystery, indeed.] (A)
Arson is a civil official and his job doesn’t have any relation with the royal mages which explains his lack of knowledge about magic.
However, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t realize that this meeting is an exceptional circumstance.
After all, right now… He currently has the exceptional in his hands…
The very magic that allowed this exceptional circumstance.
[Why don’t you get a real one instead, Father? With your wealth and power, there shouldn’t be any problems about it, no?] (K)
[No. I can’t. I won’t be able to do any work back home if we have something like this.] (A)
Contrary to Arson’s refusal, his hands didn’t stop from petting and playing with the ‘water cat’ that’s sitting on his knees.
Or maybe it’s actually an affirmation that his hands won’t be able to do anything else but pet a cat thus resulting in him neglecting his duties.
[Father, considering your wealth and power as a Marquis, I think it wouldn’t be impossible for you to collect all the cutest cats in the whole world.] (K)
[Don’t speak such nonsense… Tina’s a dog person. How could she allow a cat wandering in our home.] (A)
Living cats tend to cling on people’s shins and feet.
‘They may cause Kunon to lose his step and fall.’ (A)
Due to such reasons, they decided not to keep a pet. In fact, they didn’t even talk about wanting to keep a pet.
[Is that so? Her highness Milika and Iko said that nobles having cats reflect their power and status, though?] (K)
[Power and status?] (A)
[They said there’s something about a noble taking care of a pussycat outside his yard. I am actually thinking that wouldn’t it be better to have them in your home instead? It would only cause chaos if they’re brought home though, they said.] (K)
‘Rather than a cat, aren’t you guys actually talking about mistresses?’ (A)
Or so Arson would like to ask but he’s afraid of actually discussing such matters to a nine year old child.
‘They’re still too young for that!’ (A)
‘It isn’t just Iko though, even her highness Milika said so too. So perhaps they’re talking about cats literally.’
‘But if it was just Iko… I swear I’d cut her pay and make sure to give her an earful.’
–What Arson didn’t know, however, is that Iko’s thoughts and words influence Kunon, and on the same vein, Kunon’s thoughts and words also influence Milika.
[…But… Taking care of a cat outside, huh…] (A)
Those words struck a chord with Arson, though.
‘I didn’t do anything but study when I was still a child, and work everyday when I grew up.’ (A)
Arson doesn’t have any activity he usually does that could actually be called a hobby. He lived his life as serious as can be. And when fears and insecurities about Kunon’s future haunted him, he devoted himself to work as a form of escapism.
But before he knew it, Kunon has already grown to the point that even a royal mage wanted to meet him.
It seemed like Arson’s worries and anxieties had been nothing but a pipe dream.
‘–Will I be allowed to do so? Perhaps I could indeed keep a cat outside. It’s not that I’m actually cheating. I have enough power and money to keep a cat in the first place.’ (A)
‘It’s been a long time since I actually touched a cat but… this actually gives me peace… I’d be fine if I could spend even just a little bit of my time doing nothing but pet and play with a cat…’ (A)
Arson’s probably exhausted.
Both physically and mentally.
To the point that he’d practically crave for a day off if he has a cat to play with.
But this exhaustion actually ignited something within Arson’s chest.
Unaware of what’s running inside his father’s head, Kunon continues his ramblings as Arson continues to pet the water cat while he listens to his youngest’s stories.
And before they knew it, the carriage has now arrived in the royal castle.
[We’ve arrived, Father.]
[Wait. Just for a moment.]
[Just keep at it on our way home. I swear I’ll give you the cat again.]
[But that would be a different kitten from this one, right? A DIFFERENT KITTEN, RIGHT?]
[Father… it’s not like the cat you’re currently holding is actually a living creature…]
[That’s why it feels more regretful… Once you dispel your magic, this child will cease to exist… It’s only now that I can feel its warmth and fluff on me… Why does it have to be when we just got close and be happy… How tragic…]
[…I personally don’t mind accompanying you, Father. But… I think we’re keeping the palace personnel waiting too long.]
[—Oh, then let’s hurry.]
The driver is actually waiting outside the carriage, confused as to why Arson is still not giving him the signal to open the door. Never did he expect that the person he’s waiting abruptly switched gears and opened the door on his own.
[Greetings, Marquis Gurion.] (?)
[*Shocked* Lesha-sama!] (A)
Though it wasn’t long, the fact remains that Arson made people wait. Upon noticing who’s actually the one welcoming them, he hurriedly gets off the carriage and greets the girl in front of him.
–The girl that’s been waiting for them is wearing a black robe that signifies her post as one of the kingdom’s royal mages.
What’s more… She is a princess. The second princess of this kingdom, Lesha Yuguria.
[Ara, so you have brought a cat with you? What a cute black kitten.] (Lesha)
[Oh, please don’t pay it no mind. It’s my son’s magic.] (A)
As Lesha got momentarily confused from what she just heard, Arson puts down the cat in front of her and then –
It transformed and became just plain wet water.
[…That was magic… you say?] (L)
Lesha heard a lot of interesting stuff about the Marquis’ son’s magic before. However…
‘That cat… you’re telling me that isn’t a real cat?’ (L)
‘It’s not even watery transparent. It’s actually a cat.’
‘I did not think for a second that the cat was actually made of water. It was so detailed and refined…’
[It’s nice meeting you—]
As Lesha stares dumbfoundedly on the wet ground where the water had splashed, a young boy follows the marquis from the carriage and sends her his greetings.
Along with a cane and an eyepatch that covers half of his face, a young boy descends that could be no more than ten years of age.
[I am Kunon Gurion. I would like to give my thanks and appreciation for giving me the opportunity to meet with you today.]
- I miss my pets 🙁 They do unconditionally love you and it’s so rewarding to be with them. Like the warmth! Ah, Gosh! I miss hugging them!
- Arson, as long as we’re talking about a real kitten, you go do your thing, man! xD
- Images below —
a. Arson and his black kitten
b. Tinaliza as a dog person
c. Arson changing gears
d. Meeting Lesha