35. What’s With These Children?
“But… I can’t get down from here.”
“The branch is about to break too.”
“—Say that sooner!”
Phil’s complexion changed.
He quickly removed his sword and then took off his ornate coat.
He ran under the branch with the child called Al and held out his arms—
“—Jump! I will catch you!”
“…Are you sure?”
“You can jump, Al. Believe in a knight.”
Phil was smiling the entire time. However, there were some tension.
The branch shook, and at the same time, a small body fell. I held my breath as I saw Phil calmly catch him.
“Alright, there aren’t any injuries… Lucia, I’m sorry, but can you look after him?”
“To have that older sister hold your hand, I envy you, Al.”
Phil muttered something under his breath, but I was too distracted by the child who had just fallen.
While I was feeling relieved for the boy, Al gently took my hand.
“You’re next, Lida. Can you come down by yourself?” He said.
“But I want you to catch me, too!”
“…If you value my life, climb down a bit more. Then I will catch you.”
Another child came down from the tree.
On the way down, she put her foot on a branch and jumped off.
Phil caught her with ease and carefully lowered her to the ground before finally sighing out.
“…What are you doing?”
“We merely climbed a tree.”
“I know the two of you love climbing trees, but please refrain from doing so at night as that’ll make it hard to find you. Do you understand?”
“…But we especially climbed that tree so no one could find us.”
Phil scooped up his messy bangs and pushed another child towards me.
“Lucia-chan, would you mind keeping an eye on these two? There might be some people looking for these them—I’ll go search. As there’s no one around right now, you staying here with them would help a lot.”
“Y, yes, that’s alright, but…”
I saw Lida, the gilr that Phil had just caught.
She seemed to be stronger than Al. At the same time, the cute girl looked just like Al.
I wondered if I’d be able to handle such energetic children at the same time?
…Perhaps, it’d be okay as long as I held their hands?
I was confident in my grip strength.
However, Lida obediently took my hand.
“I want to talk to older sister, so Phil may go now. To be frank, Phil is in the way.”
“What a cheeky monkey! Don’t say anything unnecessary… Lucia-chan, I’ll be back soon!”
Phil picked up his coat and sword in no time, and then ran off.
As usual, he was fast.
Except, his destination wasn’t the central building where the ball was held. Moreover, he seemed to be going through the courtyard…
“Hey, older sister.”
While I was seeing him off, I was called.
—that was right.
I was to watch over these children…
“May I call you Lucia?”
“Then, Lucia… Lucia’s hand sure are different.”
I was shocked by the child’s frankness.
As the child’s hair was a little long… could this one be Lida? She was staring at my hand. Al was also looking at my hand on my other side.
“…Uhm, perhaps because I do field work?”
“Hmm, that’s right… your hands look like a gardener’s.”
“Aren’t they more like a knight’s?”
“They aren’t similar at all! The thickness is completely different!”
The kids started saying whatever they wanted.
…Isn’t this nostalgic?
While that was certainly better than the two of them crying or throwing a tantrum, the gradual and heart-wrenching feelings were still both raw and damaging…
“Also, Lucia is tall, isn’t she?”
“She’s very tall! She’s like our father!”
“Our father is taller, though!”
“As I thought, she looks like a knight!”
…I have to apologize—
—I was a humble woman. I wasn’t a knight.
As my gaze turned distant, someone approached from the ball venue.
“…Lucia, is that you?”
It was Alves.
That was right—I had left my brother behind.
“I saw you head out, so I chased after. Even with the tight security, it’s still dangerous to wander around the royal palace.”
Alves seemed to have finally realized that I wasn’t alone.
He slowed down and stared at the children.
As he stopped in front of us, he looked confused.
“Lucia, what’s with those children?”
I turned towards the children.
Al and Lida had similar facial features. They seemed to be of the same age. Therefore, they were probably twins.
I thought that it was unusual. Then, I noticed that their hair color was lighter than when they were on the tree.
…They had silver hair.
The color of their eyes were purple. I realized that they looked similar to Phil.
…Could it be, these children…?
***T/N: OooOOOOooo who could they beeeee!?
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