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“It’s a pleasure to welcome to my humble home, Duke Fall.”
“No no, the pleasure is all mine… if anything, I should be thankful for you obliging my sudden visit like this.”
The man in front of me was Marquis Taurus Victaire, head of the Victaire family. And right now, I’m being introduced into his home… but, just why am I here, you ask? Well, that’s because I couldn’t simply accept the information I had heard from my father lying down.
“So… if I may ask, what brings you here today, Duke Fall?”
After exchanging pleasantries, Marquis Victaire asked me a straight ball question, so I did my best to wear a gentle mask as I answered him.
“Ah, well, I heard that you were very close to my father, the previous Duke Fall, so I definitely wanted to meet such a man for myself.”
“I am very grateful to hear that, though I am sure you are much closer to the previous Duke Fall than I could ever hope to be.”
I’m still getting used to this, but there was something in the way that Marquis Victaire chose his words that almost seemed like a slight, but… well, I’m not really one for roundabout conversations like this, so I cut straight to the matter at hand.
“I also heard from my father that you have asked about the matter of my daughter’s engagement, Marquis Victaire.”
“Then, you’re here to accept our offer?”
Absolutely not. Well, that’s what I wanted to say, but I managed to choke those words down as I wore a fake smile.
“I cannot agree so readily since I have to consider every option when it comes to my daughter’s future. However, I did hear that your son is quite close in age to my daughter, Marquis Victaire, so I do hope that they can get along, especially since it can be quite hard to find suitable playmates amongst nobility.”
Honestly, when I heard that the Victaire family had contacted my father about potentially matching Laurier with their son, I didn’t know just what I’d end up doing, but… for now, I decided to at least take a relatively peaceful approach.
If the time came where I couldn’t avoid matching Laurier with a fiancée anymore, it would be good to build positive relationships with as many likely houses as I could so that Laurier and I could decide together who would be the best match for her.
Of course, the very idea of anyone taking my daughter as their fiancée twisted a knot in my gut, but… it was important that there was someone who Laurier could rely on in the future, like Sasha can rely on me.
Being her father, I couldn’t realistically support Laurier for her entire life… or rather, I don’t want to ruin my bond with Laurier as father and child… so, it was important that there was someone there who I felt could support Laurier in the future, so that I never felt the urge to interfere in her life and potentially make her hate me.
Besides, I already have Sasha. If I cling to Laurier too much and don’t let her ever leave the nest, I can see her potentially getting jealous.
As strong as Sasha and Laurier are, there’s no way they can always stand alone, so it’s important that they both have someone who they can rely on when times are tough.
Well, I don’t know if the perfect guy that’s worthy of her actually exists out there, but… I’m not going to make any compromises when it comes to Laurier’s happiness.
“Well, of course, we wish for the same thing. By all means, it would be excellent to have my son meet your daughter…”
“Before that… I’d like to meet your son, if at all possible, is he free today?”
As I said that, Marquis Victaire’s courteous smile twitched slightly, as he cast a glance to the butler that stood behind him.
“Yes… that should be fine, but… it may take some a few days to prepare my son to meet your daughter, so perhaps if we can schedule that meeting between them for another date…”
Marquis Victaire seems almost obsessive in trying to bring his son and my daughter together. It wouldn’t be such an unusual thing, but… just what is this strange feeling I’ve had for a little while now?
“Even if I may have to wait a while, I would like to meet him today by all means… would I be imposing upon you too much?”
“No… it’s just, it would be unthinkable to keep a man like Duke Fall waiting like that…”
Hmm… yeah, there’s definitely something up. There’s something strange about how he really wants to keep me from seeing his son today. Rather, to be honest, it feels like he’s hiding something.
Honestly, I wish I could just go home as well, but… I don’t want my father to be bothered with these engagement proposals anymore, so it would be best to wrap this all up as fast as I can. Even if I plan on refusing the offer, I want to see the boy’s face at least once… what’s more, if this house really is full of landmines like my intuition is telling me, then I can easily cross it off the list for Laurier.
If I discover any pitfalls or skeletons in the closet, I can use them as grounds to decline, and if I find any exploitable weaknesses I can use them to force the Victaire house to withdraw their offer using whatever means I see fit.
With those kinds of dark thoughts in my mind, I played along with Marquis Victaire.
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