“What’s the matter?”
“There’s something over there.”
In the direction Noah pointed to, there was something like a log-house with a triangular roof on top of the branches of a large tree. It looked like a cute house built of blocks from distance. There was a balcony in front of the building and a staircase spreading down to the ground. The treehouse of my memories flashed through my mind.
“What is it? Let’s go take a look.”
“Noah. Wait a moment.”
Noah pulled on my arm and began to run. This is a forest owned by the Garland family. It should be off-limits for the common folk, so why is there a treehouse? An intruder?
While hesitating whether to call the guards, Noah pulled my arm to the very front of the treehouse.
“Wait, Noah. It could be dangerous.”
“It will be fine, Mother. Oh, there’s a person over there. Hello.”
Noah found a man who came out of the treehouse and waved at him. For a moment, I thought it was my husband, Anton, because of his stature, but it was a different person.
“Yo. I thought who it was…”
“Uncle? Did you built this house yourself?”
“That’s right. I built it in three days.”
“Heeh, that’s amazing. Can I take a look at your house?”
“I don’t mind. Only if you get permission from your mother, though.”
Noah was talking with the stranger with a smile on his face. It was unusual for Noah who was usually wary of strangers. When I looked at the man while thinking such, his tall figure and graceful looks came to my sight. My eyes met with his.
“Yuri? Long time no see.”
“Eh? You are…?”
The man had marigold-colored hair and brown eyes. I was not familiar with his voice, but I felt like this wasn’t my first time meeting him. Where did I see him before? At the same time while thinking that, the smile he was looking at me with overlapped with the boy of my memories.
“Are you Fii?”
“So it’s you, Yurika.”
“Why are you here?”
“I got permission from the General to live here. Yuri, have you been well?”
The boy from my memories has become a dignified young man. Looking at his carefree smile, I felt like time had turned back. Fii got permission from the owner of this forest, General Count Garland, to live here. When it comes to General, he’s my Father-in-law. I was curious about his relationship with my Father-in-law.
“I am well. Fii, you are acquaintance with General Garland?”
“It’s a subordinate, rather than an acquaintance.”
“Oh my, that’s incredible.”
I was impressed. Anton is in charge of the Imperial Guards, while Father-in-law is focused on the soldiers. The Imperial Guards are naturally good and they consist of other noble sons, but from Father-in-law’s perspective, they are a group of “Naive little children.”
Father-in-law’s soldiers hold the real power, they are the true warriors, so being General’s subordinate means belonging to that very unit.