Chapter 8 - Shopping With Father
I dropped my fork at the unexpected question.
‘Why on earth is he asking this question?’
A servant in the dining room replaced my fork with a new one, but I was so shocked that I felt like I was going to drop it again.
“I’m just curious.”
Although it was a simple question, it didn’t make sense coming from him, considering how he had treated me these past 18 years.
‘He was never interested in me, so why is he asking this now?’
An uneasy thought suddenly occurred to me.
‘No way, is he trying to marry me off to someone else? He must really want a successor.’
It was a credible hypothesis. As his only child, I didn’t qualify as a successor to who he could pass down his title.
‘I’d rather have a stepmother and a half-brother than get married!’
After quickly thinking about what his question meant, I mentioned something that was probably impossible in this world.
“I’m not sure. Maybe a man stronger than you, Father?”
He murmured something to himself, then stared at me.
“Are you serious?” he asked in a cold voice.
Upon hearing his voice and meeting his icy eyes, I realized that I had made a mistake. There was no one stronger than my father in the empire. To not annoy him any further, I hurriedly changed my answer.
“… I mean, that would be nice, but there’s no such person in this world, right? Father is the strongest swordsman in the empire!”
His expression softened at my praise.
‘It’s really hard to please him…’
“So, what’s your final answer?”
I had hoped to move on to a different topic, but it seemed that he had no intention of doing so.
‘I need to mention someone with near-impossible conditions without annoying him.’
After all, no other family possessed higher prestige than the Floyen household. Even if he introduced a man for me to marry, I could just say that he doesn’t fit our family’s standards and dismiss him.
Having cleared up my thoughts, I looked at my father with a determined expression and said, “I’m not going to marry a man unless he has everything. I want the most wealthy, famous, and competent man there is.”
I snuck in the possibility that I wasn’t going to marry and observed his expression for any changes. His face stayed the same, making it hard for me to guess what he was thinking about.
After a long silence, he finally spoke.
It seemed like I had convinced him. I sighed in relief.
‘I’m so tired. Just a little while longer, then I can go back to my room.’
I felt uncomfortable spending time with my father, so I desperately waited for breakfast to end.
I was a little nervous about what he might say next. But this time, I was ready to answer.
‘No matter what you ask, I’ll answer it.’
His lips slowly parted.
“Let’s go somewhere together.”
I dropped my fork for the second time, startled by his out-of-the-blue question.
I searched through 18 years of Jubelian’s memories to see if I had ever accompanied my father anywhere, but nothing came up.
When I responded to his unexpected offer, he said calmly, “Just because.”
Bewildered by his brief answer, I felt a dull ache in my head.
‘Why are you doing this to me, Father?’
* * *
We ended up going to Arcade Street. There was a high-end shopping mall here, similar to modern shopping malls where several stores gather under one roof.
My father pointed to a strange-looking owl watch. The clerk guiding us called out to someone.
“Neil, add the owl watch!”
I sighed with frustration. My head throbbed, so I briefly closed my eyes.
‘I don’t understand. Why the hell is he doing this?’
When I opened my eyes, I tried to not let my gaze linger on any one object for too long. But as I walked past a myriad of stores, a porcelain rabbit caught my eyes.
‘That’s very expensive.’
In my previous life, ceramics were commonly used. But in this world, it was a high-quality item that only a few people could afford. That’s why ceramic figures in the form of animals, flowers, and people were envied by many people.
‘It’s a shame. I don’t think it looks that lovely…’
Around us, onlookers raved about its beauty. But the various pigments that colored the porcelain rabbit looked messy and bizarre.
‘I don’t understand why people would pay a lot of money for this.’
At that moment, I felt a burdensome gaze behind me and quickly directed my attention elsewhere.
‘Ugh, not again…’
Although I had been determined to not look at any one object for too long, I had been staring at this bizarre object for a while. As I dwelled on my mistake, I heard my father speak.
“That one as well.”
He pointed at the porcelain rabbit.
I frowned with frustration.
‘Why does he keep buying things I’m looking at?’
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