I Don’t Care About the Story, I Want a Cat ～Transmigrated into an Otome Game～ - Chapter 13
- All Mangas
- I Don’t Care About the Story, I Want a Cat ～Transmigrated into an Otome Game～
- Chapter 13 - Back at the Stables
Back at the Stables
The Royal Palace boasted of large riding grounds, and the stable alongside those was equally large. It didn’t just have stalls for the horse but also had rooms built in to house the grooms and caretakers who looked after the horse. There were also sitting rooms built for nobles and other Royal guests who would often visit the grounds for tours or riding.
Isabel was currently sitting in one of those rooms feeling very much at home. She had been given a quick tour of the place after Amy and the others had left, and then had been led to this room where she was currently talking with the Third Prince’s head maid, Hannah, who also used to be Isabel’s governess when she was a young girl.
“I’m glad to see you haven’t changed much, Miss Hannah.”
“I should be the one saying that, Isabel. It was your idea to fatten her, right?”
Isabel blinked at her former governess with an innocent expression on her face. Looking at her right now, no one would be able to guess she was a mother of a teenage boy.
“Fat? What are you saying……? She finally looks like a healthy girl of her age.”
Isabel muttered out innocently. But then, her face fell and she let out a long sigh.
“Actually, I think I have failed with her.”
“What, so from now on_”
“_She has always been a beautiful child. Sometimes I can’t even believe I gave birth to her. And now, after she gained weight, it just added to her loveliness… my daughter is just so cute it’s unfair!”
That was a bit overrated, Hannah thought. However, Isabel seemed to sincerely believe it. Hannah was a bit taken aback by her vehemence.
Ignoring the maid, Isabel began gushing about her daughter, “Just look at the roundness of her plump cheeks! Or the softness of her chubby hands! Even her firm upper arms, so full of vitality, have their charm! And it’s all because she has been giving careful consideration to her health and weight, keeping a balance between diet and exercise. Thanks to that her skin and hair has become so luscious! But she’s currently in her growth period, and her metabolism is pretty good too. She might suddenly grow taller and end up losing all of the plumpiness we have worked so hard for. It’s really difficult to maintain that weight and physique, you know. She really likes to stay on her feet though; even at home, she’s always running around in the garden with her cat. Ah, but exercise is important too. It won’t be good for her health if she just puts on weight but doesn’t move much. Moreover, practicing magic also consumes a lot of calories but, well, the truth is that Amy also takes the initiative to cooperate so she’s somehow managed to maintain her current weight. Still, to be honest, I feel like she should gain at least 3 kg more. Yes, I know very well that the end goal is not for her to gain weight, but I feel a lot more at ease now; she’s so small, if she was also thin on top of that then she would be so easy to kidnap! What’s more_”
“_I-Isabel! Calm down!”
“But, Miss Hannah, you saw for yourself too, didn’t you? Her round cheeks! Doesn’t it make you want to squeeze her cute little face?”
“Well I did want to… ah, no, that’s not it.”
Her soft round cheeks did look like they would be nice to touch. And even though her face was a little chubby, it didn’t hide any of her beauty. She still had the graceful features of her family.
But that wasn’t the problem.
“I don’t know what a ‘kalorie’ is, but I did understand that it takes a lot of effort for her to maintain that physique. If it’s that difficult then why did you go out of your way to make her purposely gain weight?”
“Yes, you’re right. It does take a lot of effort but, Miss Hannah, you know how fickle beauty standards are. The ideal of beauty can change unexpectedly like wind changing direction. I don’t want my daughter to be caught up in it and become so obsessed with appearance that she loses sight of what’s really important.”
Isabel stared unwaveringly at her former governess, her eyes the same golden colour as her daughter’s. Hannah knew that look very well. She had known, even two decades ago, that once Isabel made that look while saying something, she had already made up her mind about it.
“…… His Highness is a good person.”
“I have no objection to that. But it doesn’t matter to me whether the other person is an aristocrat or a bard. What I really wish for is the happiness of my children. That’s the only thing I care about.”
Isabel finished her speech with finality.
“But even if you say so…”
“I think it’s very useful for getting rid of shallow people who only care about appearances. Besides, it helps with her magic as well.”
Hannah knew that Isabel’s daughter, Amy, had a strong background in magic. She had also recently heard that her daughter had started learning magic.
“Using magic is great, but don’t you think it’s too early for her to start learning magic?”
“We had our reasons. It’s not like I’m forcing her and, besides, it was her own wish to start learning magic.”
It was all because she wanted to adopt a cat. Isabel chuckled as she thought of it. It was a matter of utmost priority for her daughter, but she knew other people would be skeptical to find that this was the reason for her to learn magic.
In fact, Isabel was also surprised at her daughter’s determination when she excelled in magic at a speed that went far beyond their expectations.
“Well, since it’s you we’re talking about, I can believe that you’re not forcing her. Who did you hire to teach her, by the way?”
“Right now Sir Dion is teaching her at her father’s request. He speaks quite highly of my daughter, he says she has high potential.”
When Isabel mentioned the name it wasn’t just Hannah, but the other maids in the room also gaped their mouths open in wonder.
Lord Dion… he was a Grand Magician in the Palace until his retirement a few years ago. Even now his magical prowess was unrivaled within the kingdom, but he was known to be stubborn, cold and reticent, and incredibly strict when teaching.
The knights present in the room could also recall the lessons they had attended under Lord Dion, their backs straightening involuntarily at the memory.
“He is a great teacher, and he seems to get along well with Amy. She’s also shy like him. She even calls him ‘Grandpa’ sometimes, and loves to hug him.”
“I can’t believe it. That difficult old man…” Hannah said with a perplexed expression but was interrupted by a ringing sound coming from her pocket. “Ah, I beg your pardon.”
This bell-like ringing sound came from the magical tool used for communication. She glanced at Isabel for permission, and getting the go ahead, got up from her seat to accept the call.
Although this tool couldn’t be used to call long distance, it worked as long as the other receiver was within the vicinity of the Palace. It was a godsend for the head servants such as the head maid or the knights in charge of security.
“Yes. Oh, Darius, what’s wrong… Oh my, that’s quite… I understand. Please be careful.”
There was still some time left before Amy and the others were supposed to return. Isabel couldn’t hear what they were talking about but she could tell the call was made by the knight who had escorted them. Judging from what she’d heard, something unexpected must have occurred. However, looking at Hannah’s bewildered face, she guessed that while it was unexpected, it wasn’t something bad.
It doesn’t look like an emergency situation, Isabel decided. With that, she calmly took a sip of the tea in her hands before asking, “… did something happen to Amy and the others?”
“They said they’re coming back to the stables. It looks like they found a royal messenger bird, injured in the woods.”
Amy and the others returned soon after that, arriving just as the caretaker of birds also arrived.
Edward was riding the same black horse he had left on, while Amy was still on the brown mare with Marvin behind her. The only difference was that this time Amy was cradling a lump of cloth in her arms.
She was the only one whose hands were free since both Edward and Marvin had reins in theirs, so she got the duty of holding the bird as they rode back. Isabel was also waiting outside the stables with the caretaker. As soon as the horses stopped, she went to her daughter.
“Oh, is that the injured bird?” She asked.
“Yes, mom. It’s like a white owl, they call it a roodle.”
“I heard that you cast some healing magic for it, my lady. I had been worried since this morning when it didn’t come back from its recent delivery. Thank you very much for saving its life.”
The caretaker thanked her from the bottom of his heart. Amy became a bit flustered at his sincerity, not knowing how to react.
“Ah, yes. But this was my first time casting healing magic on a bird… I think you should have a look at it too.”
Amy moved her arm so she could hand over the bird to the caretaker but the roodle, who had been nesting quietly in the cloth until now, gave a loud cry and began to resist.
“Eh, w-what’s wrong, roodle?”
Worried that she might drop it, she quickly brought it back to her chest in a hug, and the bird immediately became calm again.
“…… Have you calmed down now? There you go, it’s your caretaker. You know him, right?”
Saying so, she tried to hand it over again but, once again, the bird began crying out in resistance. She tried it once again but the same thing happened. Finally, Marvin got down from the horse and picked up Amy, who was still holding the bird, and got her down from the horse.
“Oh! Th-thank you!”
“I think the bird wants to stay with the lady who healed it. But even so, we should have it looked at properly……”
Marvin had a feeling that the healing magic had worked. But still, the worry in his heart won’t go away until a vet has given the okay.
“Roodle, is it ok to have a doctor look at you? I want you to get better quickly.”
Amy asked the bird but, just like before, it squirmed unhappily in the cloth letting out cries of disagreement. Worried, Amy looked at Edward for help who had come to stand next to her.
“Amy, you’re going to come see the roodle again, right?”
Amy nodded, leaning down to the cloth and whispering to the bird. “Yeah. Hey, roodle, I’ll come visit you again very soon. So just for now have a doctor look at you.”
The bird’s cries settled down a bit. Taking the opportunity, she quickly passed the bundle of cloth to the caretaker only to have the roodle start to let out painful cries again.
A sense of emptiness lingered in her arms which had now become lighter… the roodle’s voice sounded like it was calling out to Amy. It made her heart clench and, without any warning, tears began to pool in her eyes.
“Amy’s healing magic is great. Even I can feel the warmth from your energy just by getting close to you. So don;t worry, I’m sure the roodle is healed properly.”
“I really hope so……”
“So don’t cry.”
Saying so, Edward brought his hand up to wipe the edges of her eyes. Amy was startled at the feel of his fingers on her skin, and the fact that he had been so close to her until now and she hadn’t even noticed.
She was so shocked, her tears stopped altogether and instead her face turned bright red. Seeing her tears stopped, Edward seemed relieved and he gave her a smile.
“Ah, I, um, that is….. ah”
“I invited you to the palace and then made you cry. If Alex finds out about this I’ll be in trouble.”
She had no idea why Alexander was brought up, but she could feel the stares of the others around them.
Her mind was still reeling from the shock of what Edward did that it took her a while to realise that she had ended up making plans to visit the Palace frequently by agreeing to Edward when he said she would ‘some to visit the roodle again’.