18. Snow Rabbit

TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


Just handing it over is difficult.

Lydia was worried.
She had a feeling of gratitude, and with the white four leaf clovers, she made pressed flowers. She made a bookmark, and for people like her parents or Katherine-san, she was able to hand it over, unaffected. Because they accepted it with pleasure, she was very happy.
However, there is one person she can’t hand it over to as she likes.
Because he doesn’t have books, a bookmark is no good, and so she tried to prepare something different, but a good idea wasn’t coming to mind.
She motionlessly stares at the small glass case on top of the study desk.
Therein, is the pressed white four leaf clover.
What should she do, for the gardener’s apprentice to accept it?
Something that won’t become a hindrance or be showy. She’s certain he absolutely won’t accept something expensive. Nothing coming to mind, Lydia put her head on the desk. It’s unusual for her, but because now it’s before the time the maids are also going to bed, no one is looking.  [T/N: Literally “fell prostrate at the desk”]

「What is something good, I completely don’t understand…」

With her voice, a mood of despair spreads.
Recently, she came to understand a little, but regarding him, she didn’t know what he wants. Although he listened to her, practiced with her, he not once asked for a reward. Although he frankly states things he thought, it was curious.
She also worried about something similar before. That time she lost her patience without understanding, she asked the person themselves directly. The answer she came to receive…..

—If Ojou is smiling, I’m happy.

「!?」

The words he said to her with a slovenly smiling face came to mind, and Lydia’s cheeks blush. She remembered something unnecessary. In her own room, alone she was fainting in agony.
He, why did he say something surprising, she wonders. He says something that resembles the meaning of words from her father’s way of speaking, but it’s different. However, that is something called commenting on his love, and although it’s a little embarrassing, she can accept it without issue. But, him praising her or him congratulating her, this type of intention is not there, he is only saying what he thought. Furthermore, if you look at his facial expression, because it’s obvious there is no lie, naturally his disposition is bad for her. [T/N: Literally just “bad”, but it comes off as weird otherwise]

If there are few things that make her shy, then things that make her calm……!

Every time, because she felt like she lost at something, she’s annoyed. She’s annoyed for a short time, she suddenly realized. According to what he said, he likes to make people happy.
Because he also seems to listen to her stories, he also makes other people happy. Certainly, including the time she told him the story of how the prince praised the garden, he was thinking of his father and smiling proudly.
It’s good she noticed what he likes, but it’s worrying. He doesn’t want physical things. If that’s the case, she thought of daily items, but he is already working, so necessary things, he can already buy for himself

「Zack, you idiot…..」

With bitterness at how it became a deadlock, she mumbles. Although he wants something, there is nothing she can do. With that kind of frustration in her chest, that day Lydia fell asleep.
While nothing had been decided, Lydia’s birthday came. She received a rainbow from him, and she was extremely moved, but she felt like she was always only receiving. For the tea party her mother, Octavia, held for her birthday, she was given a chance with the female friends she made.
As for Octavia, she feels regretful at how because Lydia’s tea party debut was late, it became that her debut was the first prince’s birthday party. Again, for sure because it was the period for selecting the prince’s fiance candidates, she was thinking she can plan the other party’s true intentions.

「Dia, because you’re one step closer to being a woman, I’ll tell you.」

「Yes?」

「The time of your debut, you shouldn’t face stronger girls. For this reason, while you can, you should determine their strength. For the prince’s fiance candidate, you should think of a good basis for judgment.」

Octavia makes her gentle pink pupils narrow and cheerfully talks. At her mother’s words, Lydia remembered Prince Roy told her to use him. Her mother says to apply the viewpoint of a fiance candidate to the basis of making sure the other person is a friend you can trust. She felt as if she was catching a glimpse of one side of her gentle mother.

「I understand.」

When she understands her mother’s intentions and looks out at the tea party, Lydia says she sees, comprehending it. Each of the girls her age give their congratulations, but the words of people looking at her with envious gazes, and those keeping other fiance candidates in check, and those standing in a line hoping to curry favor are varied.

「Lydia-sama, congratulations on your birthday!」

「Terese-sama, will you please come?.」

「Yes, I want to exchange stories with Lydia-sama again.」

「I also want to.」

In the middle of that, things like matters about the prince came out, and Terese, the daughter of the vice leader of a chivalric order, showed an honest smile. Out of all the other daughters, who at every opportunity talk about the prince, with her consideration, Lydia was happy.

「Um…… with my birthday being next month, perhaps, if it’s fine with you, is it okay to invite you?」

「I would be glad if you ask. Not only for your birthday, but I would like to meet with you again.」

At Terese, shyly asking, with an immediate reply of a smile, when she answers, Terese happily softens her expression.

「Then, here on after as well, you’ll be fine with an invitation from me……?」

「Yes. I’ll also invite you.」

Because the marquis’ house is lower than the dukes in social class, inviting at a moment’s notice is difficult. For this reason, the acknowledgement of Lydia who belongs to a superior house is necessary, but Terese has the courage to wish for that. She is made to think of something like a light brown rabbit that her father previously commented on with that softening, smiling face. Precisely because she is from a knight’s house, she seems to be a girl who tightly holds onto her wishes.

「I will ask something unrelated, but for Terese-sama, what kind of present would you give a man……?」

「A man? Are you giving Geordo-sama something?」

「Eh!? Ehh……」

Just wanting to grasp at straws with her memories, after asking, Lydia became panicked. At her age, outside of family members and a fiance, she realizes that having friends of the opposite gender is rare. Terese-sama gave the explanation that her father was the other person and she was saved.

「The other day, I made a present for my father, but…… if the other person is Geordo-sama, I won’t be a good reference, I think.」

「What did you give?」

「A plain silver necklace. Because my father wields a sword, he can’t use rings, and because he dislikes it if it isn’t good enough to get damaged, I chose something from a jeweler with a wide clientele.」

Because he uses cotton gloves, he doesn’t use a ring, she thinks. Certainly, if it’s a necklace, it won’t become a hindrance to his work. A wide clientele, that is to say, the expectation is they also handle goods for commoners.

「Terese-sama, is it fine to please graciously instruct me about this store?」 [T/N: Ojou uses formal tense here, tried to convey it.]

「It’s fine, you know.」

「Thank you very much.」

Overwhelmed with happiness of there finally being hope that there is something she can give, Lydia takes Terese’s hand in both of her own in gratitude. Terese’s eyes went completely wide, and she smiles at Lydia’s happy appearance.

「If I was able to be helpful, I am glad.」

Several days later, she ordered from the shock she heard of from Terese, and bought an inexpensive locket pendant. Because it was something unbecoming of a noble daughter to buy, she received assistance from the maid, Katherine, who bought it. For who, she wasn’t saying, but because they prepared the wrapping of the present together, perhaps Katherine had become aware.
Lydia, incidentally, as she neatly holds the locket that the four leaf clover that was inserted into the glass case, suddenly realizes it. He doesn’t have a reason to receive it, does he? Even if he normally conveys his thanks, again, he pays it back. In that case, there’s no point. Is it fine to forcefully give it to him?
Anyways, it’s only a little, but regarding nonchalantly handing it over, it would be inexcusable for Katherine, who gave her help, as she would have given it without wrapping.
From there, several times, she had tea with the gardener’s apprentice in the greenhouse and talked. However, every time, she missed the timing to give him the locket concealed in her sleeve. Why, when she missed one opportunity, did it rapidly become harder to give it to him?
Lydia, lying on top of her bed before going to sleep, was crushed by herself.

Why can’t she give it……!?

Bofuri, goes her head into the pillow as she held onto the locket. Lifting her head a little and turning it horizontally, the glass door to the terrace is there, and the rabbit made of snow sitting on top of the table on the other side comes into her view. Covered with a glass-shaped dome, it will not be struck by the influence of driving winds and rain. She requested it from her father, and because she received the divine protection of snow spirit, until spring comes, she would have what she received from him.
The round red eyes are cute, and are Lydia’s favorite. Next time, she thinks she should show it to Terese. The reason it was wanted is that at the moment she saw it, because she remembered Terese, and wanted to show her. Since she said she liked things like stuffed animals, she would understand the snow rabbit’s cuteness, right?

「Rabbit-san, what do you think is good?」

Perhaps because of the blessing, the red eyes that haven’t lost their liveliness seem to come to life. Unconsciously, Lydia was asking the rabbit of snow. The rabbit for sure, didn’t talk, but immediately after Lydia asked, gently the white thing floated.
Her attention attracted by the floating white thing, Lydia approaches the glass door to the terrace. Excitedly, the snow was falling. When she put her hand to the glass door, a cold feeling was transmitted, and it seems that tonight she should properly close the curtains.

「The Holy Night Festival is close, isn’t it?」

From the time of the Holy Night Festival, when it comes to the new year, it’s easy for snow to fall. Mumbling that truth, Lydia finds her words and realizes. The Holy Night Festival is a blessed day, and hymns of thanks are offered to God, and parents pray for their children’s blessing, and give gifts. However, there are children, who for their parents, and then also their friends, give presents. At least, it seems so in the Ernest house.
That is to say, if it’s with using the pretext of the Holy Night Festival, it’s expected he’ll receive it. Then, it will also be easy for Lydia to give it. Towards the snow rabbit that became a reason she thought of a reason to give it to him, Lydia puts her thanks into her smile.

「Good night, Rabbit-san.」

Calling out with her voice, Lydia closed the curtains.
The next day, because the afternoon was when she could do it, enthusiastically, Lydia goes to the side of the gardener’s apprentice.

「Ohh, Ojou. How are you today?」

It’s the speech of the boy who always greets her with a smile. She accidentally depends on that deeply relieving smile just after her talk with Roy, and then she began to speak.
Because Lydia, assuming that she thinks Roy is a splendid person and prince, unconsciously gets passionate about speeches.
The other day, it seems she listened to such stories such as how he visited the army headquarters, and with the city vigilante patrol and local government association, picked up how they cooperated. He, as far as public order is concerned, already has thoughts on it, and so Lydia also understands, gives her a simple summary. Her father also, towards the young Lydia, so she’ll understand, gives her talks about his work, but Lydia realized that being able to talk about those things is amazing.
During the time of Roy’s birthday party he went around to say hello to everyone, and more than half the parents who gave him a greeting had a position they would be proud of, but he explained it so it would be easy not for himself to understand, but for Lydia. Her private tutors, because they did not do that, it was a chance for Lydia to realize she was surrounded by many blessings. There are others around her age, but Roy, who is talking so she can understand him, is amazing.
She wants him to understand that talk, but the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, sometimes replies with a sometimes bored response. As for how she reflexively scolds him with that, Lydia reflected on how he is still a child, on how he seemed to not be very nice and was always behind.
Not talking in a way like her father or Roy so she easily understands, why did he, to the end, talk with her? Each time she reflected, she became curious.

「I’m glad I met Ojou.」

It was sudden. How did he say that with that kind of smile?
At those words without any logical connection to what she was in the middle of saying, Lydia’s thoughts come to a stop in a single moment.
That was an interesting answer to what Lydia was curiously thinking. Why did he say only to her who couldn’t return anything? At that unasked question, the answer of a complete affirmation happens suddenly.
What should she do? Reaching an understanding, something like happiness or embarrassment jumble together, and the emotion she felt, in one go, descended on her, and then her face got hot.

「……again, were you not listening to me talking!?」

Ultimately, she can only scold him.
Afterwards, to calm her down, she intently talked about her sister who is the most soothing, recently.
Talking while remembering exchanging gifts with her sister, little by little she calmed down.
Anyways, today, for sure, would she be able to give the locket? If she misses today, being able to meet him will only come after the Holy Night Festival.
Lydia resolves herself, and at parting, takes out the locket, and gives it to the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice.

「Zack, here.」

Because it was close to the Holy Night Festival, she intended to explain, but those words ended up not coming straightforwardly out successfully. However, was the intention transmitted, she wondered, as the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice accepted it. She was turning her gaze away, but because when he checked the insides, the sound of the locket being opened reached her ears, and her nervousness ran.

「It’s small like Ojou, and cute.」

When she was waiting motionlessly for a reply from the other person, a kind voice arrived. She was drawn in by that voice, and turned towards that gentleman, and Lydia regretted not looking.
Sometimes, there was a smile that was bad for her heart when she looks. There was the locket with the four leaf clover, and because it’s embarrassing, she feels like running away.
When her words shyly become nonexistent, she looked towards those copper colored eyes.

「……why did you say that unnecessary thing!?」

She unconsciously objects. Why does she usually receive these things?
While confused at Lydia’s objections, he thinks about it, and comes up with an alternative plan.

「Um, then, I’ll only think it.」

「For Zack, because it shows up on his face, it’s the same!!」

「Ehh—」

Talking more with facial expressions like just now is the most troubling thing.

「……I, is it better if I am not with Ojou?」

And then, she hears an idea she isn’t even thinking of, and instantly her heart tightened.

「T, that…… that is disagreeable……」

That much is absolutely unpleasant. Dealing with him troubles her, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be with him. Rather than think, the feelings came out of her mouth first.

「I see.」

His face is entirely relieved. The proposal just now is something that worries Lydia, his real intentions visible and understood.

「So, that! ……it’s already fine.」

Even if she feels happiness and relief at his reply, Lydia can’t honestly reply. She thinks she wants him to at least hold back, but for herself who cannot be honest even if she protests more than this, she gave up pressing him.

「And so, this, is it Ojou’s?」

Because he received it, contrary to expectations, he doesn’t understand her intentions, and the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice wasn’t noticing. Lydia freezes. With that being called her wish, if she doesn’t willingly say it’s a present, it’s no good, isn’t it? After his statement, it’s extremely hard to say. Only a little separate intention seemed to be granted.
The beginning purpose was to convey her thanks, she doesn’t have other ulterior motives. Then, in addition, although she gave it, it isn’t that she isn’t just excluding him. Lydia herself tells him that, somehow putting it into words.

「…………It’s Zack’s.」

「Eh?」

「I gave my parents bookmarks with pressed flowers, but Zach doesn’t have books, right? So, I substituted it.」

Because he stared blankly, before he misunderstood, she properly explains. However, there is no response. Perhaps he isn’t pleased with it? He doesn’t want an accessory of a nobleman, but male commoners are strange, aren’t they? More or less, she intended to choose a design that seemed to suit him. Or, he realizes the price and finds it hard to accept?

「It’s not something expensive! Because it’s cheap!」

Making sure, she adds a few words to say it’s properly cheap. She worries with nobles about if the price isn’t as high. Becoming worried about the complete opposite, Lydia, until she met him, didn’t even have these thoughts.

「Thank you. I’ll treasure it.」

At the boy who smiled with a happy-seeming facial expression, Lydia is relieved deep down. Because somehow his gaze is too warm, she accidentally noticed something unnecessary, but because she achieved her aims, she should be happy.
Afterwards, because he apologized for nothing having a gift prepared, she gets her revenge for what he did before. Truly, because that rabbit of snow is her favorite, she conveys her true feelings.
At the facial expression of the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice being attacked when he is unguarded, Lydia is satisfied. Normally, she is the one surprised, however occasionally, if she makes him surprised, it’s fine, right?
For a moment, somehow he burst into laughter.
Not understanding what in the world is so funny, Lydia’s eyes go wide as she looks at the that garden.
The boy who laughed for a while, seeming amused, smiles while holding up his index finger.

「Then, something extra.」

Something extra? At a word she isn’t used to hearing, Lydia tilts her head.

「If there’s a guy who makes you cry, tell me. Because I’ll punch him.」

「Why are you suddenly saying that kind of dangerous thing……」

By no means does he look like he will exercise violence on someone. Because the contents of his words and his facial expression don’t match up, even more so.

「It’s fine, just remember it.」

She feels a certain determination in that calm voice, and Lydia, while not understanding, nodded her head.

「I… understand…」

Even if he makes her angry, this unusual him, she doesn’t understand why those things came out of his mouth. However, it seems vague, but something he absolutely has to do, she felt.
He’s smiling.

Lydia wasn’t aware of it. Afterwards, for a while, each time she seems that four leaf clover locket, she would remember the words he said and feel a little embarrassed……


Awwww, I like these chapters. They’re the stuff we come here for. Next chapter is the final chapter of Volume 1, and oh boy, do look forward to it, it is downright hilarious.

If you enjoyed the translation, consider dropping a comment or a like! Or, if you’d like to help keep the site funded, the Ko-Fi for the website can be found here.

See you all next chapter!


Published by Toasty Wind

Novice JP to EN translator for Web Novels, mostly just translate stuff that I find amusing.

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