Chapter 7

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You haven’t changed at all.
If a war against another country broke out, Father-in-law would be the first one to lead the troops to the battle. My Father-in-law, who has survived many battles says that his soldiers are hired based on their abilities, not their origin or status, so for Fii to be part of those troops, he must possess considerable ability himself.

“Mother, do you know this Uncle?”
“Yes. He was my playmate when I was little.”
“Heeh, so is it fine to go inside?”
“Sure. Behave well, this Uncle is also acquaintanced with your Grandfather, so make sure not to be rude.”
“I know.”

Noah climbed the treehouse’s staircase. I was waiting downstairs, looking at Noah, but Fii beckoned me from up the treehouse.

“Uncle, sorry for intruding.”
“Welcome, Yuri come in as well.”

Fii patted Noah’s head after he climbed on top. Noah looked ticklish but happy. They seemed to be close, even though this was supposed to be their first time meeting.

“Mother, come up too. The view is really nice.”
“Really?”

Meeting my childhood friend Fii, my curiosity was stimulated too. As I started climbing the staircase while lifting the hem of my dress, Fii who was waiting up extended his hand towards me. Fii stared at my face fixedly.

“What is it? Is something on my face?”
“I was just thinking that you grew up prettily. You were always cute when you were little, but you have become a beauty.”

I got embarrassed by Fii’s words.

“You become honey mouthed, Fii. I am startled how wonderful of a man you have become.”
“I do not need flattery.”
“Whoah, I can see the lake from up here.”

An excited voice escaped from the treehouse’s room. Noah was sitting on a chair by the window, gazing at the scenery. There was a bed, a table, and chairs inside. I could even see something resembling a kitchen further back.

“Was all of this made by you?”
“Yeah.”
“Uncle, that’s amazing. Can I come again?”
“If your mother allows it. It’s just that I work during the day and return here late at night, so it would be best if you contacted me beforehand.”
“Really? Can I? Mother?”

Noah seemed to like this treehouse and was eager to come again.

“It can’t be helped, but Noah. You have to do well in your studies too.”
“Okay.”
“I will make some tea. Sit down.”
“Thank you.”

Fii seemed accustomed to brewing tea. He poured hot milk for Noah and a milk tea with plenty of milk to me. Along with that, he took out some dried fruits and nuts he was storing in a wicker basket.

“Here, have some.”
“Yay, thank you, Uncle.”

Noah tasted the dried berries and nuts while saying “Tasty.”

“Fii, you have not changed at all.”
“Have I not grown?”
“I didn’t mean it like that, I mean that you are not putting on airs.”
“I see.”

When he laughed, his scholarly-like face collapsed. I felt that my heavy heart loosened up with the reunion with my childhood friend.

“How many years has it been, Fii?”
“Let’s see, about eleven years? I heard you married Noah’s father three years ago.”
“How do you know? Did you hear it from Father-in-law?”
“Well, yes.”

Noah was quietly drinking his hot milk on the side as we had our exciting reunion. Fii was well-informed about me. Although I would be vigilant if it was anyone else, he was Father-in-law’s subordinate, so I completely let my guard down.

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