A Home to Return To
Galarc Castle. In the mansion bestowed to Rio by King Francois, shortly after Charlotte and Satsuki began to live there as well...
The two had their own rooms in the main castle, but after finding it to be a pain to go to and from the mansion every day, they had rooms within the mansion prepared for them.
However, Charlotte still had to go to the castle for her official duties. Today was another such day.
“I will be returning to the mansion now,” she said, announcing her departure after completing her usual report.
“Very well,” Francois agreed with a nod, but—
“How has living at the mansion been?” he asked her after she had turned around.
“It’s very fun. Everyone treats me well,” Charlotte immediately replied with a smile.
“I see. You may go now.” Sensing that her words were genuine, Francois chuckled.
“Right. If you would excuse me.”
Charlotte left her father’s office and made her way out of the castle, walking towards the mansion where Rio and the others lived.
But on the way...
What a fresh feeling.
The mansion where everyone lived was located on the same grounds as the castle. She was just moving through the castle, yet the scenery she saw felt so different. Was it because she lived somewhere else now? For some reason, that feeling filled her with joy. Charlotte smiled softly.
Better get going.
She had been so lost in her emotions, she had stopped walking to enjoy the scenery. Charlotte resumed her journey to the mansion.
Once she reached the mansion and walked through the front door, she heard lively voices coming from the direction of the kitchen and dining room. It seemed like everyone was gathered in the kitchen. Charlotte proceeded down the corridor in that direction.
“Welcome home, Char,” Satsuki said, noticing her presence first. The others around her echoed her greeting with “Welcome home, Princess Charlotte.”
“...” Charlotte blinked,
“Something wrong, Char? What are you just standing there for?”
“Oh... I’m just not used to hearing ‘Welcome home’ like this.”
“Oh, I see. Embarrassed?” Satsuki asked with a grin.
“Yes. But I’m also pleased. It’s nice to hear that from other people.”
Charlotte had a sharp, observational eye. That was why she knew that the “welcome home” everyone said to her was because they truly thought it was natural for her to return to this mansion—which was what made her so pleased.
“I see. But it’d be even nicer if we got to hear some words from you too, Char. Words that should be said in response to someone welcoming you home...” Satsuki continued with a suggestive tone.
“I’m happy to be home.” Charlotte immediately answered.
“Yup, it’s great to have you back.” This time, Satsuki was the one to respond shyly. The others also smiled bashfully as they repeated their sentiments.
“That aside, what are you all gathered in the kitchen for?”
“We’re making a snack. Everyone was waiting for your return, Char. It just finished cooking, so let’s wash up and eat together.”
“My, that sounds lovely. I would love to.”
It was just another day at the mansion.