The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 4
The Duke of Braunhauer’s guesthouse offered three rooms. One would be for Maddie, one for Lily, and the other paladins, and one for me. However, I took notice that with our number, the room allotted to Lily’s group would be crowded, so I volunteered to sleep some place else.
“My apologies for the arrangement, Sir Kuro.” the Lady Hanna told me, “It’s just that, we didn’t expect Her Holiness to bring along a boy with her. And in a hurry as well…”
“No problem, Mam!” I reassured her, “I could sleep anywhere; even without pillows nor bedsheets.”
“Ara! That’d be rude of us!”
“I can perfectly understand. And I’m sure, Her Holiness too.”
The Lady Hanna pondered about my offer for a moment. And then she told me to follow her, “Well, if it’s alright with you, Sir Kuro, the only places that are vacant now are the main room and the private study room.”
“Ah, it’s both fine for me.”
“Anyway, then I’d recommend you sleep in the study room. It’s more private than sleeping here in the main living room.”
“Oh, sure! No problem!”
“Thank you for your graciousness, kind sir. I’ll have a maid bring a pillow and a blanket for you. You may take the chairs there to lay your head upon.”
“Thank you as well, Mam!” I bowed before the lady to show my gratitude.
The private study of the Braunhauer guesthouse was a relatively small room compared to the one where we had our talk earlier. It was a great place, at least for me, since the study had a private library full of books. If only I’m not tired, I’d be reading those.
“Sir Kuro? Lady Hanna has sent this pillow and blanket for you to use.” The maid who was ordered to bring me a pillow and a blanket finally arrived.
After she left, I took a cushioned chair and prepared it for my bed.
I heard someone knock at the door.
“It’s Lady Hanna.” said the voice on the other side.
I quickly opened it and let the lady in.
“Well, I came back to check if everything’s alright.”
“Ah, never been better. I’ll use that chair over there as a bed, so don’t worry, milady!” Honestly, using such a piece of high-quality furniture was a luxury for me. If I remember correctly, back on Earth, I could sleep on several small wooden chairs formed in line to function as a bed. Sometimes, I’d sleep on the chairs meant for eating, especially on nights that I needed to pull an all-nighter while doing the students’ grades…
“You really are what my daughters say you were, huh? So considerate, even with his words.”
“Well, my girls would always tell stories about you, Sir Kuro. They’d often say that your intelligent, kind, gentle and always listening to their problems.” Lady Hanna had a motherly smile drawn across her face, “Eris and Luisa would talk about you even before the dinner table every time they visit, that our husband would usually get tired and jealous of you. Especially Luisa; he thinks she’s much closer to you than he is.”
Madame, don’t you think it’s kind of overbearing and awkward for your elder daughter to be clingy to her father at that age?
“Pardon our husband, he’s just too doting on them. Those girls are our treasures, more than ever.” Lady Hanna told me, “You see, the Duke was reluctant to become the leader of the nobles, because he’s a good friend to the old king, and the prince was his godson. However, when news that certain influential ministers near the prince had been abusing their authority, all the doubts in himself vanished.”
I was silent the whole time Lady Hanna related her story to me. I didn’t know why she told me this, but anyway, if I could also help them with their personal problems, then why not? Besides, information such as this could also help in determining our correct course of action.
Especially when someone’s derailing our negotiation attempt.
“Haa…and to think, all that we wanted was to live in peace. I’m worried for Luisa, Sir Kuro.” Lady Hanna admitted to me, “That girl’s been distant ever since I came to this household. Though she’s not my own daughter, I loved her as if she’s from my womb, you know.”
“Well, Milady…” I finally found the words to say, “The Marquise may look delicate and weak, but she’s a brave person. I don’t think you should worry much about her. She knew her dreams, and would never hesitate to grab them when she had the chance. Even so, thank you for raising her to become the good noble she is right now.”
“Perhaps you were right…actually, I’m more concerned about Eris.” Lady Hanna sighed, “Luisa had the ambition and drive, more than my younger daughter.”
“Really?” Well, I didn’t know about those aspects of the personality of those two siblings. Back at the Holy Palatial Gardens, they both gave off the impression that the Marquise was the ‘knight’ being taken care of, while Eris was a ‘princess’ that needed protection. It’s like they really could rely on each other.
“Though Eris takes after her father in intelligence, she has no will of her own. She’d rather give way to others than to stand her ground. Sir Kuro, I believe you saw this side of hers when Her Royal Highness Princess Jessica bullied her before, requiring you to save her.”
Indeed, it happened. But back then, I thought that Eris’ passiveness was caused by her inexperience as a child, and not because of her low self-esteem. Looking back at those events, and witnessing how the young duchess was being treated at home, it’s no wonder why she’d grew up to be shy and unassertive.
Eris always gets compared to her older sister, no matter how much her parents try to avoid doing that.
Of course, I couldn’t blame them either. Just like in teaching, parenting was also rife with favoritism. The more a child performs well, the greater love and affection he/she would receive. The less-favored ones would be compared—deliberate, or not—and as a result, they’d grow to be adults lacking in confidence.
“Our husband, Johanna, and I don’t know what to do anymore. We tried everything we can to help Eris, but it seems ineffective. She would only focus on books and knowledge, and nothing else.” Lady Hanna admitted, “I’m worried that once Eris becomes the head of our house, she would fall for the villains aiming to control her.”
For that, I agree. In this world—no, in all words with human beings—self-serving individuals would always be on a hunt for people to control to serve their interests. In Eris’ case, being the daughter of a powerful noble house would make her a tempting prize.
I knew the Marquise of Monfort would always be there to stand by her sister’s side. But she’s got her own limitations as well; she couldn’t be with Eris all the time.
Not to mention, she’s also focused on her own goals to take care of her younger sister…
Eris had better learn to stand and defend herself soon, and for that to happen, she needed to build her confidence.
“Are you thinking of a solution now, Sir Kuro?” I heard the lady say. Her eyes had a highly expectant look, and she stared at me as if I could solve their problems in a bat of an eye.
Lady, it doesn’t work that way. Please lower your standards for me.
“Milady, allow me to spe—”
“Please do!” Lady Hanna really wanted me to help with their concern, enough to give me permission to speak even before I finished my sentence.
“Err…alright. So, if you’re looking to instill on Eris the drive to assert herself, your entire household has to change a few things on how she is treated.”
“What do you mean?”
“For example, stop comparing her to her sister.”
“Huh? Did we do that?”
“Well, observing how you treat her earlier, it’s a yes.” I pointed out, “When she imitated her sister’s introductions, you stopped her.”
“Oh? Is it wrong?”
“Yes, milady. You see, Lady Eris did that not because she has no mind of her own. In fact, it’s the opposite. Did you tell her to do that before?”
“No. She just did that on her own.”
“Exactly. At her age, Lady Eris considers the Marquise as someone worth emulating, so she did that. Children in that stage of their lives would always look for a person they idolize, and for her, it’s her sister.”
“But Sir Kuro, you said earlier that we need to stop comparing those two. I don’t see it in your points given.”
“Indeed. It’s not that clear, but it’s interconnected. You wanted Eris to assert herself, right?”
Lady Hanna nodded.
“If you aim for Eris to develop a character of her own, let her express and be herself to a certain degree. Balance giving praises to the Marquise and to her. Do not always nitpick on her mistakes, for she’d keep on thinking that everything she does is a mistake, so she’d stop trying in the end.”
The lady was silent. I wonder if she understood my suggestions.
“So you mean to say that we stop guiding her when she commits mistakes?”
“Not really, but keep it to a tolerable amount. For example, was her way of eating earlier that harmful?”
“Well…no, but it’s quite different from what we always do.”
“Is it bad to be different? Especially when it’s more orderly than the others?”
“It is indeed orderly, just like how you ate, Sir Kuro. Graceful and with dignity. Personally, I don’t think it’s something to be worried about.”
“Then let her be, if that’s the case. If others found it weird, it would be up to Eris to correct herself if she deems it is needed. Don’t protect her all the time; let her get wet so that she knows what the feeling is like.”
“Are you telling me we should have Eris feel pain so that she learns to endure in the end?”
“You could say that as well.”
“Ugh…well, I don’t doubt your words, Sir Kuro, but this would take our husband a bit of convincing.”
“Well, it’s difficult for a parent to let go of his child suddenly. It’s a process, but an important step one needs to take.”
I could see the doubts on Lady Hanna’s face, not because of my suggestions, but because of her husband’s attitude towards their children. It would surely take time; however, if the Duke was as wise as they claim him to be, he’d eventually see the reasons for such measures.
After all, it’s for the future of his daughters…
“Oh! Now that I remember, you need to sleep for now, Sir Kuro! I apologize for talking too much.”
“No, it’s perfectly fine, milady!” To be honest, it felt like I was talking to a parent during the grading card distribution, so I’m well-versed in handling such matters, even when I’m dead tired.
“Anyway, Sir Kuro…” the Lady Hanna bowed pleadingly before me, “Can I entrust my girls to you? I know my request could intimidate you, but you did the responsibility of a parent like me even though you’re a complete stranger—took care of my daughters.”
Honestly, I’m suspecting that there’s something in Lady Hanna’s request that had a connection about marriage (and bloody hell, why am I being confronted with such things lately?). However, I guess I should just take her word for its face value.
After all, I’m a stranger. And parents don’t quickly entrust to a stranger the lives of their children forever.
I must’ve been influenced by all this talk about marriage lately. Damn it, I really didn’t expect that being popular is this problematic…
Anyway, I’m getting the vibes that Lady Hanna was just that sort of a mother who just loves children, even if someone else’s kid. In fact, she’s very much like those mothers from the anime shows I watched before; the braided hair, gentle smile, the motherly air around her…
Yep, the only thing that wasn’t true to her was that she’s dead, like most anime mothers out there.
Oh Kuro, stop thinking of such dark things. This is a romantic-comedy story, for goodness’ sake.