That day, I returned to our mansion in the capital.
“Glad to see you home safely.”
Now I could finally greet my father, who had also returned home from the palace.
Although he looked healthier than before when he was confined to bed, he still looked quite pale. It seemed as though his weight hadn’t recovered either.
Of course my mother would worry about him, seeing him go to the palace and deal with a heavy workload like this.
“It’s thanks to everyone else.”
“No need to be modest. Really…I’m so happy you’re fine.”
My father embraced me gently.
The warmth warmed my heart too.
After a while, we moved apart.
“I’ve heard from Bern. You’re planning on inheriting the role of ruler, aren’t you?”
“Are you not opposed, Father?”
“Who could oppose that? Especially watching you come all this way and what the territory is currently looking like.”
My father’s words made my chest tight with pride and joy.
“Is that the case?”
“And Bern has discovered his own path too. No one can speak against that. Although it’s rather sudden, Iris. Bern has agreed to this too. You should go ahead and take on the role of leader tomorrow.”
“Well…this seems a little quick.”
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while. My body can’t handle as much work as it used to. I’ve already prepared the paperwork. In terms of actual work I don’t think there’s much overlap.”
“You don’t want to think about it a bit longer?”
“No. As long as we don’t promote the news too much it shouldn’t pose a problem for us.”
Father didn’t seem to mind my concern. Instead he smiled quietly, gently.
“Is that the case…”
His smile only made me more worried for his physical condition. But I couldn’t ask too much, so I just swallowed my words.
“Well then, how about it? Are you ready?”
“Yes. I’ve long been prepared to shoulder the responsibility of our people.”
“Is that so. I don’t want to instruct you about anything, but there’s something I must say. When you’re in pain, you must say so. We’re here for you, your family and everyone else.”
So the second day, I officially became the leader of our territory, and the official head of Duke Armenia’s family.
Father and Bern had prepared all the documentation, so I just signed off on everything.
Originally I was thinking there might be a ceremony of some kind. But the palace was too busy dealing with the aftermath of the war that they didn’t have any additional energy.
Without much emotional turmoil, the applications were completed.
It wasn’t a bad thing either.
The second day, I boarded the carriage to return to my territory.
“Milady, are we just going to go back now?”
Even Tanya was shocked enough to express her confusion.
“Yes. Although connections in the capital are important, the current situation over there…it’s more important. If I’m just going to be wasting time here, I might as well go home.”
“Yes. We’ll be busy from now on, Tanya.”
I smiled warmly.
My mood was like the sky outside the carriage, splendid and bright.
The wind that blew in from the open window caressed my cheek.
So much had happened.
I’d walked on a thorny path, experienced countless tears, countless torment.
But also countless laughter.
Obtained countless warmth.
From now on there would still be plenty of sadness, hesitation, bewilderment.
But I was prepared for all that.
I wanted to see the bright future where everyone could laugh together.
So I would move forward, with everyone by my side.