I'm only 12 years old.
Am I deaf already?
I asked Shannanet back, rubbed my ear with my fingers.
"I'll buy you time until you reach adulthood. So grow up and be the Matriarch."
Shannanet was sincere.
That's what I could tell right away from those eyes.
"......Auntie, too. What are you saying?...."
Make me feel guilty.
I tilted my head and said as if I didn't know what the hell I was talking about.
"You're such a smart kid."
But Shannanet continued to speak regardless of my efforts.
"That's a story everyone in the Lombardi family knows. My father even boasts of you to other nobles and His Majesty Yovanes whenever he has time."
No, and when did Grandpa get there?
"And you have an eye for talent. That's what Dr. Estira's example shows."
There was a slight smile on the eyes of strict Shannanet.
"You also know how to make people on your side. Is not it?"
This time I winced without realizing it.
There should be one or two people on my side.
It was clear that Shannanet had some sense of me.
However, it is not clear how far she know, so it is right to let go of the ignorance.
"Yes, Gillieu and Mairon, Larane, and not long ago, Cranney. Aren't you getting your cousins on your side one by one?"
"That's it. It's good to be close to each other."
I thought you were talking about Clarivan and Bate again.
I was surprised.
I secretly took a sip of the milk in front of me, sweeping my chest away.
"And Lord Pellet."
I almost sprayed milk through my nose.
Shannanet smiled softly as she lifted my throat and gently swept my squeaky back.
"I guess I was right."
"No, it's not that...Clarivan, no, Sir Clarivan says so."
"It's okay. You don't have to tell me everything."
Where the hell do you know?
As if to answer my question, Shannanet said.
"I don't know for sure what secrets you have. But I know you're a very special kid. And Tia, you're a child who loves Lombardi as much as I do."
Shannanet stroked my head as if it were really fun.
"So Tia. You be the next great Matriarch."
"What about Auntie? Shouldn't the next Matriarch be Aunt Shannanet, not me?"
When I asked, Shannanet opened her eyes slightly wide and smiled low.
"Well, I don't know what it sounds like to tell me to be a householder."
Shannanet looked at the twins, who were fighting with wooden swords in the middle of the battle.
"I don't want my children to live the same life as me."
"Like my aunt?"
"It was a life that I had to be on guard against my bloody desire to become a successor."
Shannanet's face saying so looked very sad.
As if recalling a moment in the past, the eyes were blurred.
"Hahaha! I won!"
"Do it again! Again!"
Then I heard the laughter of the twins.
Only then did Shannanet, who regained her smile, looked out at the courteousness.
"I wish they could always live brightly, honestly, and pursue what they want."
Shannanet said so and looked at me calmly.
"But the Lombardi position can be a more fascinating goal for anyone who wants it. How are you, Tia?"
My biggest weakness is me.
There's no one in the world in charge of a 12-year-old.
And what I needed more than anything else now was time.
By the way, Shannanet was now offering to solve both.
She would be my strongest ally and was to reach out her hand.
But I can't help but hold that hand.
Above all, Shannanet is reliable.
Maybe I'm the only person in Lombardi that she can trust completely except my father.
I said, picking up a piece of cookie instead of milk.
"If you buy me time, I'll repay you by being the best Matriarch in Lombardi's history."
"The greatest Matriarch in history?"
"Yes, I will make this family great. More than now."
Shannanet suddenly burst into laughter.
I've never seen a person smile like that before.
"Yes, Tia, it will be possible for you. If it is you."
Shannanet stroked my hair and said.
"Since you promised to trust me, I'll give you a present, too."
Shannanet tilted her head at my out of the blue.
"The orange roof house of Lombardi's 8th district, Burgien, on the second floor."
"If it's district 8... You mean the common residential area? What about Burgien, who lives there?"
"Yes, that's right. His personal information is a gift I give to my aunt."
"Tia, a man can't be a gift......."
"He's a cheque counterfeiter."
Shannanet's words were cut off.
"Auntie has a choice as a householder. We can catch Burgien and hand him over to the Guard to face justice, or......."
"You could get him a job at Lombardi to make a non-forgery check."
Shannanet looked at me with a slightly dazed eye and admired.
"The fact that he has created such a good counterfeit check obviously means that there's a great mastery in printing. It's a bit of a talent to just rot in a dungeon for years."
It's important to be punished by law, but if it's in Lombardi's interest, it's a good idea to make the most of it.
"And I think if it improves the security of Lombardi, it will definitely raise my aunt's reputation as a householder agent."
There was a counterfeit check once, and no one can guarantee that there will be no more than twice.
"Of course, because it's instead of being punished, he will have to bear the penalties that make him pay a little bit."
We've forgiven him for almost going to the dungeon, and he's not going to complain that much.
"......Yes, I'll use your gift well. But Tia."
"How do you know the identity of the forger?"
Shannanet asked with a face of pure curiosity.
At times like this, the answers I can give are fixed.
"It's a trade secret."
But Shannanet covers her mouth and laughs.
"Why are you laughing?"
You think I'm funny.
Shannanet couldn't stop laughing while answering like that.
It was then.
Someone was running across the middle, anxiously calling me.
Even the twins who were playing with knives were so surprised that they stopped.
I stood up in astonishment.
Are you a beggar?
My father, who had always thought he would look neat and tidy, had not washed properly for several days.
With a scruffy face, wrinkled clothes and a scruffy beard.
But my father didn't care about it and ran over and hugged me.
Of course, avoid where I'm hurt.
"I'm sorry your dad was late....... I was late coming back from work. I'm sorry, Tia."
"It's okay, it's okay."
I patted my father on the back.
"Is my daughter all right? Doesn't it hurt a lot?"
My father asked, looking carefully at my face and whole body with crying eyes.
"Oh, my shoulders are okay now! I untied the stitches last week!"
My father staggered for a while and soon said as if he had made up his mind.
"Yeah, it's okay now that your dad's here. I'll take care of what's good for you!"
Perhaps he was very worried.
As soon as he was done in the South, he was not sleeping, he was not resting, he was riding the carriage back to the mansion.
Even my father can't stop it.
I grinned face to face with my father.
"Oh, our Tia's face has become half while I haven't seen her......"
That's not about me, it's about my father.
Then, Shannanet, who was watching from the sidelines of the father and daughter's reunion, called my father.
"Go wash up. Unless you really want to make Tia sick."
Shannanet said so and gently dragged me away from my father.
"What? Oh, I see!"
My father quickly stepped back from me at Shannanet's words.
"Let's have dinner together when you get back from the shower. Say hello to our father first....yes, you ran right here without giving it."
"Ha ha. I'm in a hurry....."
"Then I'll call our father to join us for dinner."
"Yes, sister! Tia, I'm going to go wash up!"
We ate lunch after my father took a bath that I didn't know for a few days and returned to what I knew.
Shannanet also invited Laurels' family, who remained at the mansion, for dinner.
It was regrettable that Larane was not with him, but without Viege, Lombardi people sat around and frowned after a long time.
After such a tumultuous day.
When I came back to my room after getting ready to sleep, I saw a letter envelope on my desk.
It was a letter from Perez.
"He must have made it to the academy."
He said he would send a letter as soon as he arrived.
The distance between the Academy and Lombardi was so far that it was inevitable.
It's my first night at the Academy.
We were assigned a room one by one, but everyone is shouting that the room is too small.
But I'm fine.
It's very satisfying compared to the palace where I used to live alone.
Caitlin and Kylus were assigned the rooms on both sides of me because the academy was so considerate.
Maybe because it's in the mountains, it's very cold here.
I can barely see my breath in the morning and at night.
I'm glad it won't be cold where Tia is.
I'm going to start the sword department class next week.
I'd like to take a political class if I can afford it, but I don't know what will happen.
There are so many different people here.
And I think there are many people who are surprisingly friendly to me.
Maybe I can make friends here, too?
It's already this time.
It's time to turn off the lights.
I'll shorten this letter.
Don't get sick. Eat well.
I will wait for the reply.
I miss you. Perez.]
"What kind of letter did you send so long?"
One, two, three......?
Counting down, it was a long, long letter of six.
Just one thing I could see clearly in the small daily story of the guy filled with letters.
Perez is obviously adapting well to the Academy.
"If I don't write back immediately, he'll be upset again."
I picked up a pen right away and started writing back.
I'm glad you seem to be adjusting well to the academy.
I live as usual every day.
Have you made many new friends?
Sometimes tell me about your new friend.
I wonder what kind of people you're going to get along with.
Perez and I consistently exchanged letters.
I also had to prepare a large box to store my letters.
Later, even small gifts from Perez were gathered and they quickly filled them up.
As time went by, letters began to pile up.