Chapter 14: Father and Daughter
Barberridge Burdnick. He was the current head of the Burdnick Family and Caria Burdnick’s father.
I heard that he was the one who lead the Burdnick House after it fell to the Knight Class. He was a person regarded with military esteem until his family downfall. People often said that he had an unusual but profound knowledge of arts and politics.
However, once I saw the war injury on his right eye, it made me think if all the information and bad rumors about him were actually true. However, most people thought that fighting in the front lines was the best way to live. Therefore, many people might have a grudge against him for not participating the last war. I also noticed the insignia of the governor of Fort Colliden on his clothes. The decoration of his scabbard and the insignia were actually well-matched designs.
Barberridge Burdnick pointed on my direction.
「Caria, is this your servant? 」
「Yes, father…Ah, I apologize for my imprudence, my Lord. Not quite actually, but he is something similar to that. 」
Did she not speak casually right now?
I stared at the cobblestone while I rolled my eyes. I wanted to pinch my mouth and correct that misinformation. No matter what happened between us, there hasn’t been any situation where I agreed to become Caria Burdnick’s follower.
Even so, I was not allowed to speak or raise my face because of my poor background. If common people like me were to stand up against a head of a Knight Class House, he would have permission to cut the offender’s neck. That was something that didn’t involve any kind of justice, emotion or interest. The Aristocratic society and the Knight society were far from the common people’s way of life. This country had a custom of a hierarchical procedure. And they made sure to remind every person of that system.
Barberridge made a big sigh and spoke to us, to be exact, mainly towards Caria.
「I’ve seen you pick shabby followers before, but I can see that you chose a seemingly good one right now. 」
What does that mean? This person threw a few random words abruptly that didn’t make any sense whatsoever. I wonder if it was because Caria Burdnick had a strange personality? In that case, only one explanation made sense. Right now, he asserted how she changed a bit, but at the same time, his words conveyed some sort of disapproval towards her.
His voice was authoritarian. I couldn’t imagine that a father would speak coldly and indifferent towards his daughter.
「I am here to say that the letter has been delivered safely. However, I am afraid to say, but it is not exactly intact because of a troublesome event. But, it’s not useless either.」
Caria Burdnick moved her body nervously and took the letter out of her pocket. It was badly wrinkled before. Yet, it looked way better than before. Maybe it was because of her efforts to remove those obvious wrinkles. It looked somehow neat now.
Was this the end of this quest? I was relieved to be honest. I spit an unnoticed sigh of relief. I looked slightly at Barberridge’s hand when he received that letter.
I thought that he would praise her for her hard work. However, when Barberridge received the letter, he looked closely at it as he noticed the stains of the red juice and threw it away.
「…Fa…Father!? What are you doing!? 」
「Such idiotic child. Did the Guild really told you to deliver this sort of letter? I don’t understand it…This is a fraudulent message. I thought you would be capable of distinguish these useless things. 」
She was terribly discouraged. Rather, it looked like the colored wax seal was an obvious hunch to determine the authenticity of the letter. It never crossed my mind since I was told that my job was only to take it to the fort. Barberridge spoke the following words.
「You’re my daughter, but you can’t even calculate this kind of thing. I don’t even know why I give you second chances. 」
「…So, this was not a quest from the Knights then…I’m truly sorry my Lord. 」
Caria Burdnick apologized to her father in a weak and trembling voice. She was getting excited to receive his approval. Instead, all she got was more sadness and frustrating feelings.
He started to judge her other actions. I wonder why he must go this far.
「I really don’t understand you at all. And I didn’t forget what you did the other day. You broke the Guild’s rules and entered the forbidden forest without any kind of consent. Idiotic daughter. You need to think about the Burdnick House. Our family has had enough prejudice before but you keep staining the family’s name. I hope you learn through this good “medicine” and remember where your place should be, Caria Burdnick. 」
I felt aggressive palpitations through my chest. Because of that, I felt a strong blood circulation flow from the tip of my feet to the end of my limb.
「Good “medicine”…My lord. We were attacked by thieves…Did you know that?」
Barberridge did not answer. No, his silence was the answer.
He knew it of course. I should have known that. We were attacked in an area near this fort. He, as the governor of this fort, should get regular reports about the surrounding security.
He should have understood our situation. She was his daughter. Assassins attacked her and she could’ve lost her life. Yet, he was unwavering. A cold shiver ran down my spine. It was as if my bone marrow was pierced by a sharp blade.
「…Let me tell you something, Caria. Don’t bring shame to the family name ever again. Every time you do unreasonable things, it will fall only on the House. Do you understand? Stop bothering me and stop pretending that you are able to do useful things. If you’re quiet and if you only listen to what other people say, you’ll be just fine.」
He really thought that he had a good for nothing daughter. When Barberridge stopped talking, we went away. It seemed that he didn’t have anything else to say.
I raised my face quickly to have a look at her. At first glance, Caria Burdnick looked very calm. I guess she was like that because of her prideful personality. Nevertheless, I thought that, in reality, it was only a façade in order to appear strong.
My body was stiff and my cheeks were blue.
I was not allowed to change my posture just yet. I was also not allowed to raise my face or speak to a higher ranked person. In addition, I could not stand up yet. I had to be on my knees until the governor was no longer in sight. I could feel the cobblestone pavement, which should’ve been cold, was strangely hot.
It was strange though. Strangely, the vision reflected in my eyes was clear, even though, I felt it was blurry before.
It was obvious.
Caria Burdnick also kept kneeling on the cobblestone. I realized why she was always so bitter. I’m sure she felt that she was an eyesore for her father. She never felt loved or cared for. Ever since she was a child, she must have been a “foreign object” to her emotionless father.
No, maybe it wasn’t really like that. Even if I gritted my teeth in denial, I thought that our first encounter was a bit strange. When we first arrived here, I noticed that her father was looking seriously at me. It all made sense now. Her father, who was not blessed with boys, praised me in a very bittersweet tone. Ah, I got it…Having a girl instead of a man might be the reason why he treated her as if she was nothing to him.
I was sure that my thoughts were true. I’m sure Caria understood that deeply. I guess she always tried her hardest to impress her father. She was innocent and reckless because of that. She was willing to attack the thieves with all her might even though she could get killed. She wanted to be recognized for her efforts, but it didn’t go as she expected.
I felt a bit pathetic as I watched Caria Burdnick on her knees. I felt pity for her. And even though there was a mountain of things I wanted to say, I couldn’t even profess a word.
Barberridge Burdnick’s hands were holding the handle of the chamber’s door.
On that moment, I felt a big breath that exhaled from behind my back. It was a weird sound. At the same time, a very large standing silhouette appeared on the edge of Caria Burdnick’s view.
Stay frosty ppl! See you next time.