I, Lucia, was born a child of Viscount Ragulen.
My only remaining family was my older brother, Alves.
My father, Viscount Ragulen, died five years ago. My mother died when I was a little, and I had few memories of her.
The territory of the Ragulen family was quite close to the royal capital. It could be reach after only a day’s travel, even on a slow moving carriage.
Apparently, aristocrats often came to our territory from the royal capital to play in the past. We had a very large mansion near a scenic forest, one where it was customary for us to entertain aristocrats. I heard that our family had once even welcomed His Majesty the King.
However, it was around then that it became impossible to enjoy such gorgeous and lavish days.
During my grandfather’s generation, the financial situation had deteriorated considerably. Even so, my grandfather, who didn’t want to break his connections with the aristocrats of the royal capital, kept partying relentlessly.
—on a stormy day, the luxurious mansion burned down.
It was just after it had been renovated to be more luxurious, too.
In the ended, everything was lost.
All that remained was a mountain of burnt residue, rubble, and a huge debt.
My grandfather collapsed from overwork and died shortly thereafter.
The fall of the Ragulen family had only progressed since then.
The new viscount—my father, ended the luxurious way of life and began to stay in the territory. He worked on fields that were damaged by unreasonable development and proceeded growing crops. At the same time, he sold various things to pay off the debt.
By the time I became aware, we had turned into low ranking aristocrats. Afterwards, we moved to our former winter residence.
While it was small, we were still a viscount family. As such, we had a drawing room for welcoming guests. There were also several rooms where people could stay. A small number of servants sufficed for cleaning the entire house.
Then, Alves joined the imperial knights and took on an active role as a knight. From time to time, guests would arrive from the royal capital.
The only luxurious item we had left was a portrait of the king. It was given to my brother during his time as a knight. Despite being aristocrats, we led a reasonable life within our means.
It was around that time that I got engaged.
…But that peaceful life abruptly ended when I turned thirteen.
It was while I on my way to the fields, I was making my daily routine look around the waterways.
Five years had passed since my father had died.
Due to the unprecedented heavy rain, the area had been soaked in water for a long time. Many of the aqueducts broke despite having been completely drained.
For a rich harvest, a waterway that could supply water to the field was necessary. Their repairs were our highest priority, but we weren’t even ready to start.
If we weren’t careful, the fields would be ransacked by wild animals.
The turnips were in the season of their peak growth. I had to concentrate on looking after the fields.
I cut the overgrown grass with a sickle and removed the fallen leaves that had accumulated in the waterways.
As I continued along, I found a horse under a tree near the field.
Its body was huge, and it had a glossy coat. The mane was neatly trimmed. A fine saddle had been placed on its back.
As the horse turned towards me, it didn’t look particularly scared. In fact, it was leisurely eating grass.
I stopped and looked around.
There was a small open space near the field where the harvested crops were being temporarily stored. Soil was placed into its waterway to keep water away from it so that the crops could be packed into wooden boxes to be sold at the market.
There was a person lying flat on his back in the open grassland.
He looked as if he had fallen over. Alternatively, he also looked like a statue from a temple somewhere that had been left unattended.
The person had a good-looking face. His long locks of hair, which flowed over the grass, were like frigid silver thread.
I wasn’t worried.
I had been familiar with that person’s appearance for a long time. As such, I knew he wasn’t in any kind of dire situations.
“What are you doing in a place like this? Do you want to get stepped on?”
When I went to his side and called out to him, he opened his eyes.
Deep blue eyes looked up at me from under those silver eyelashes.
From my footsteps and voice, he had probably already guessed who I was. He wasn’t surprised to see me. Then, he finally raised his upper body.
“I’m merely killing time.”
He spoke while propping himself up with his hand. I rolled my eyes and frowned.
“I was waiting for the guests to leave your house. I saw fresh carriage tracks when I came. The visitor was your fiancé, right? As such, I decided to pass the time here.”
Is it so rare for us to receive guests?
“Has the guest returned already?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m dressed like this.”
I lightly raised the basket I had in my hand.
After I said my parting words to Gorman, I immediately removed that embarrassing-viscount’s-daughter’s-dress. The hem of my current skirt was long, but it didn’t matter even if it were to get soiled. I liked to wear clothes that were easy to wash. That way, I could peacefully enter the fields.
Conversely, my present appearance wasn’t one that could welcome a guest.
I wondered why that person still couldn’t guess the answer, then.
***T/N: I’m loving this medieval ver. of Li Ziqi’s channel so far.