The Archduke, and the future.
Archduke Augusto’s mansion, a grand mansion like no other in the capital.
Right now, in this place a presentation of the heavyweights for the future of the country was being held.
It was purely to make them more widely known.
Without doubt, there was a lot of speculation flying around.
This annual presentation party also doubled as a social gathering for impromptu matchmaking.
Those from a lower rank of nobility had the chance to form bonds with the upper ranks.
……So, it became a familiar sight to talk about engagements as they enjoyed the food.
“Oh my, oh my, it’s been a long time, Lord Logas.”
“Ohh, long time no see Ricardo, it seems you’ve been faring well.”
Archduke Augusto couldn’t stand the children getting caught in the greed and schemes of their parents.
For him, that didn’t make sense.
However, once in a while he had to put up with such a show, therefore, he had to keep his true emotions in check.
“The one who approached was Ricardo…… Viscount Ricardo Lance. From what I heard, Earl Roundhart has been looking after him. It’s great to see he has grown as a disciple.”
Listening to the voices of the two speaking near him, Archduke Augusto continued to enjoy his drink.
Even now, being over the age of 60, Archduke Augusto rather than waning, seemed to be growing stronger.
And currently, he had only one thing he worried about.
His extremely cute granddaughter, whom he doted on so much to the point of valuing her oven more than a whole city.
Although she had only become nine years-old this year, as a noble this was not an early age to finalize talks of engagement.
Just a little while ago… The third prince of the Heim Kingdom, Tigule, had expressed his desire of getting engaged to her.
But when he brought up the topic to his granddaughter Krone, she immediately changed the subject saying she didn’t want it.
Fortunately, since he didn’t officially sign any engagement document, it didn’t become a big deal, but the prince refused to accept the fact he was declined.
“No matter how much I worry about that, the problem won’t just go away, old man.”
“Hahaha, seeing master like this reminds me he’s just a human being.”
Next to him was a butler he friendly called as ‘old man’…… His name was Alfredo.
He was ten years older than Archduke Augusto, yet he was still serving as the Head Steward even with that age.
He was the most trusted subordinate of the Archduke, to the point where he even knew things the Archduke didn’t share with his family.
“C’mon Levine, say hello. Once you serve in the military, you’ll be under Grint-sama.”
“Nice to meet you, Grint-sama! My name is Levine! ”
“I’m Grint, nice to meet you, Levine.”
“Ohh, so this is your child, Ricardo…… what a nice kid.”
Seeing the children give their greetings surely made the Archduke smile, but he couldn’t help to notice there were already ranks in their relationship.
“Is there something wrong, master?”
Suddenly, the Archduke began to think there was something giving him a slight sense of discomfort, but he couldn’t immediately tell what it was.
“Ahh…… I see. Alfredo.”
“What can I do for you? ”
“I heard the kid the Roundharts would bring was of brown hair.”
“Yes, that is certainly true.”
“I’m sorry to be bothering you, Archduke Augusto, but there’s something I’ll like to consult with Alfredo-sama.”
“……Please excuse me for a bit, Archduke.”
“It’s alright, you can talk here.”
Seeing this unusual situation, Archduke Augusto thought he might as well listen to this.
“Yes…… The lady of the Roundhart family, Olivia, and her son, ask if they could be allowed into the garden.”
“What are you talking about? This is a party organized by me, the Archduke, did Olivia-dono said that despite knowing this? ”
“N-No, the one who asked was Ain-sama.”
“……Wait, there’s something weird. If I remember correctly, Ain is the eldest son, why isn’t he here in the venue? Rather, even the wife Olivia-dono isn’t here…… Alfredo.”
“Since you, the Archduke decided to only have one child come today, the Roundhart family decided that the next heir, the younger brother would be the one in attendance.”
“Ho? Then, why are they at the back of the venue? They should’ve known that only the wife and her child were allowed.”
Archduke Augusto send a sharp glance at Alfredo, asking if there was something wrong? Did he do something rude? Or was the other party the ones being rude? He thought along those lines.
However, the Archduke knew the woman named Olivia, and he knew she wasn’t such a rude person.
“That’s something even I’m not aware of…… Could you please continue with the explanation? ”
“Yes! ……About the invitation, no…… the notification department seems to have made a blunder.”
The Archduke’s gaze and presence became more intense, Archduke Augusto was said to be the most rigorous and strict against injustice in the whole Kingdom.
Needless to say, he was also the strictest with regards to himself.
But even then, there were parts of him that were too lenient with regards of his granddaughter, but that was something he would rather not speak of.
“……The invitation arrived, but it seems that somehow they forgot to attach the note stating that only one child would be allowed to attend the presentation. That’s why Earl Roundhart brought his two children as it was scheduled.”
“……Then, why isn’t the eldest son in here? ”
“Alfredo-sama. Would it be okay if I tell the conversation as it happened? ”
“That would be better. It’s an order from the Lord Archduke.”
“Then, let me start from the beginning…… Earl Roundhart became aware of this fact at the reception and was troubled about what to do, but he heard that the natural choice was to give priority to the son of the second wife…… therefore the son, Grint-sama was chosen since he would be the one appointed to be the next head of the family.”
After hearing this, Archduke Augusto understood.
“Then, as the mother of the eldest son…… Olivia-done would surely refuse to enter together with them.”
Olivia, the first wife of the Roundhart family was as gentle as an angel, and was a woman said to be the saint of the port town, which made it easier to understand why Krone would admire her.
“I see. So, did lady Olivia said she wanted to see the Archduke’s garden? ”