A Second Home
「Ara, welcome. We’ve been expecting the two of you」
When we rushed in Ergys-san’s home after escaping from the villagers, Fiona-san greeted us with a friendly grin that was much brighter than usual…No, I should say that it was more like a smirk.
「Thank you. Hello」
I bowed as I thought about just how many times I received those types of looks today.
Flora said with a bashful smile as she carefully closed the door.
「Un. Welcome home, Flora」
Fiona-san said as she nodded when she saw Flora.
Then, she took a glance at me and Flora before she continued with a look of disappointment on her face,
「You already let go of each other’s hand? I saw you two holding hands when you arrived at the village square, so I thought that you were going to come here while doing the same…」
It seems like she was watching us from the window of her house.
After we arrived at the village square, the villagers surrounded us and did not let us go easily, so in the end, I took Flora’s hand and escaped.
Perhaps the grandpa and grandma that we encountered back then were the best ones out of all of them.
「…So you saw us 」
「Yup, I was curious about what the big fuss outside of the window was about. It was really nice at the end when you took Flora’s hand and got her out of there」
Fiona-san said in admiration as she placed her hand on her cheek.
It makes me feel troubled how well the gestures that she makes suit her.
Her warm gaze that she’s directing at us was just making us shrink in embarrassment.
「Hey, what are we doing talking here? Come on in, let’s continue in the living room」
I would have loved it if she told us that before she teased us, but I can’t complain seeing how happy she looked when she was inviting us in.
Was that it? Because her daughter has finally brought home a lover instead of a friend?
When I thought of that, I started to feel nervous.
「Thanks for having me」
「Aldo-san, you’re being too stiff, you know? Isn’t my home your home as well?」
When I walked in being a little nervous, Flora teased me.
It seems to be payback from this morning. It looks like she did not forgive me even when I offered her the slippers as my apology.
「No, technically it isn’t yet. That’s why we’re here today to get their approval officially, right?」
「I have no~ clue what you’re saying」
Flora replied in a cute manner with her cheeks puffed up, as if she was annoyed from the way I was quibbling.
Even Fiona-san giggled quietly from seeing Flora’s cute side.
After we entered the living room, Ergys-san was there with a smile twice as bright as Fiona-san’s.
「I soon realized that you guys came when there was a big fuss outside, Flora and Aldo-san」
「Sorry for making such a scene」
Ah. I was already ashamed of it so I apologized.
「No, no, it was very good that you took Flora by the hand and broke through the surround of the villagers in the end」
「Father, you’ve been watching as well?!」
「Naturally. It was an important scene of my daughter and her lover. I really did not expect it to be that entertaining though」
Ergys-san flat-out answered Flora’s question when she asked him in a voice mixed with surprise and disbelief.
So that means that Ergys-san and Fiona-san were both watching us come here from the village square together through the window of their entrance. And then, he went back to sit in the living room when we arrived. That’s pretty cute of him if he did that.
While I was guessing the mischievous actions of Ergys-san, I heard Fiona-san’s voice from their kitchen.
「Dear, I know you want to talk a lot with them, but let them take a seat first」
「Ah, you’re right. Yes, please take a seat」
Ergys-san urged me and Flora to sit down. Of course, Flora sat next to me and Ergys-san sat down in front of me.
We sat like this when we had dinner together at this house before, but I’m feeling strangely nervous sitting like this today since the reason for why I’m here was different.
Even though I was nervous, Ergys-san had a big smile on his face. He has been nodding as he alternated looks between me and Flora for a while now.
「Father…you’re acting too effeminate」
「Oh? Is that so? I’m just happy that my daughter brought home her lover」
Ergys-san answered Flora while scratching his head, not even fazed by her voice of protest.
「Seriously. I want you to understand our feelings as well since we’ve always been watching you and wondered how much longer it was going to go on the way it was」
Fiona-san said as she came in the living room after she finished preparing the tea.
The sweet and refreshing smell of green apples drifted from the steaming hot cups of tea. Ohh, it’s apple mint tea.
「Every time you had him come eat here, we always wondered if you guys have moved on to the next stage」
Ergys-san said with deep emotion as Fiona-san placed the cups of tea quietly on the table.
Speaking of which, every time I came here for dinner, both of them would have somewhat of a restless look at first.
I thought it was because they were pleased that Flora brought home a male friend despite her shy personality. It turns out that it was because they were anticipating development in the relationship between me and Flora.
But in the end, it was thanks to them that we were able to move forward in our relationship, so there are feelings of gratitude towards them while feeling a bit apologetic as well.
After Fiona-san placed all our tea on the table and sat down, I took this timing and lowered my head.
「Um…how should I put it, I’m sorry for being such a wimp」
Then, Flora who was sitting next to me, stood up vigorously.
「You’re not a wimp, Aldo-san! It’s true that you are dense for not noticing my desperate advances I made towards you, and you didn’t pick up on any of the hints from my words or remember what happened nine years ago, but-」
Huh? Are you backing me up? Or are you dissing me?
「But, you cared deeply for me and you even fought the monster to save my life! So don’t call yourself a wimp!」
Flora directed those words with a powerful voice not only to her parents, but also to me.
She spoke in a loud voice that I don’t usually hear her use. From that, I became exceptionally happy because I understood that she was speaking from the bottom of her heart.
Ergys-san and Fiona-san were both surprised at Flora’s strong tone, but they both replied with a gentle smile on their faces,
「Even if you didn’t say it in such a loud voice, we knew this much from watching over you two for all this time」
「Yeah. There’s no way we would approve of your relationship if it was really with a person who is no good」
I was surprised from their words.
「Eeh? Ah, yes. I’m sorry for yelling」
Ergys-san and Fiona-san looked at her with a smile as Flora sat back down in embarrassment.
Flora made a painful expression for a second as she sat down. Did she forget about the pain she was feeling from last night and sat down too quickly?
「Ara, ara~ It looks like last night was a great success for you and we won’t need to ask about that」
Flora’s ears turned red when Fiona-san hinted out the cause of her pain.
She looked down with her fully red face and I made a bitter smile.
Oh please let us off on that.
In the middle of this silent and embarrassing atmosphere, Ergys-san, who was sitting across from me, cleared his throat with a cough to change the topic.
「In any case, we wanted to properly thank you for saving our daughter. If you weren’t here, Aldo-san, Flora might not be here anymore. Really, thank you」
「Thank you for rescuing our precious daughter」
Ergys-san and Fiona-san lowered their heads down to the table.
「No, oh no. It was only natural for me to save the person I love! Please raise your heads already!」
It felt really bad to see these two people, who I owed so much to, lowering their heads to me like that.
「Even if she is the person you like, there aren’t many people out there who would fight a monster with their life on the line like that」
「Yes. Someone who is able to do that is not a wimp. You’re just a late bloomer when it comes to love」
Fiona-san said in a mischievous tone in this calm atmosphere.
At this time, I thought that now was the time to say it, so I straightened my spine and opened my mouth
「Will you two approve us to be together officially?」
They were taken aback from my words, then they both laughed and said,
「Yes, I approve」
「Yes, you have my approval as well」
When they gave their answer as they nodded in satisfaction, tears started to come out from my eyes.
I suddenly turned to look at Flora, who was sitting beside me, and she was laughing happily as well.
However, that wasn’t the only thing that I wanted to ask them.
Flora nodded at me as she saw the determination in my eyes and understood what I wanted to do.
A subtle, tense feeling surfaced inside of me again.
But thanks to Flora holding on to my hand, I was able to bring my courage out.
Yup. This wasn’t just me alone but it’s what Flora wants as well.
「Ergys-san, Fiona-san! I want to get married with Flora. Please give us your approval!」
「Yes. Please go ahead and get married with our daughter」
「There’s no reason for us to oppose if it’s you, Aldo-san. Let’s announce your marriage at the harvest festival this year」
They answered us easily with their approval when we lowered our heads and asked.
I raised my head in surprise from it being so easy.
Aren’t they being too relaxed about it? Wouldn’t marriage be something that’s considered after they discuss about it more or after us living together for a longer period of time?
When I looked at Flora, she looked a bit surprised as well.
「When you two asked for approval to be together earlier, I thought you were going to bring up the talk of marriage instead」
「Yup. Since we planned on accepting your marriage at the start as well」
I-I see. So that’s why they were taken aback, huh? I guess I made them worry again about our relationship going into a stalemate again.
「From now on, you two better be living together」
「But that doesn’t mean you can’t come home at any time. We don’t live that far from each other so I want to see your faces frequently, okay?」
Ergys-san and Fiona-san told us with calm voices as they sipped on their tea.
And so, we hugged as we screamed out in joy since our marriage was accepted.