Mommy Villainess Chapter 14
14 Mini Family
"TILLY, how do you feel?"
"I'm okay now, Father," Tilly assured her father with a smile. "My body temperature is back to normal."
Currently, they were having tea in the "family room." Her father heard about her dispute with the Belington Siblings. He wanted to hear her side so she gave him a full report. But when she told the duke that she used her Mana to protect herself, her father's mood suddenly changed.
She couldn't decide if he was worried or upset that she used her Mana.
"Tilly, don't use your Mana like that again," her father said in a stern voice. "You don't have to fight to protect yourself. That's the job of our knights. And you're engaged with the strongest captain in the empire. How many times do I have to say that your Mana isn't fit for combat?"
She couldn't really understand why the duke was so strict when it came to that.
In her past life, she didn't question her father because like any other noble lady, she relied too much on her knights to protect her. But now, she found it weird that the duke was almost banning her from using her Mana.
[This is suspicious.]
"Father, I know that my Mana isn't strong enough to use in a battle," she said carefully. "But why shouldn't I use it to protect myself if the situation calls for it? I can rise my temperature to the point that the assailant may get burnt by simply touching me. Aside from the uncomfortable feeling of my body burning, I don't receive any external injury or pain. Please tell me why you sound so opposed to my using my magical ability, Father."
The duke looked like he was taken aback by everything she just said.
[Well, I can't blame my father. In my previous life, I never questioned why he was so against my use of my own Mana. And back then, I didn't find the use for it.]
But now, she was so curious about her magical ability.
"I just didn't want you to end up like your mother, Tilly," the duke said with a solemn look on his face.
Her forehead knotted in confusion. "Father, I thought my mother died in an accident?"
"Yes, that's true," he confirmed. "But before that, your mother used to be sick. The doctors and the priests never found the source of her illness. But they believed that it was because of your mother's Mana."
"Mother's Mana killed her?"
He nodded before he spoke again. "When your mother was still alive, her Mana was a small fire inside her heart. Each she used her Mana, the fire grew bigger and bigger until it finally burnt her heart and made her physically ill. The day Marianna got into the accident that took her life, she was supposed to go to the Saint's temple to recuperate there."
She blinked a few times before everything sank in. "Father, why are you only telling me this?" She placed a hand on her chest. "What if my Mana has been literally burning inside my heart all these years without my knowing?"
"Your Mana is different from your mother," her father said. "When you were born, I summoned all the best doctors and priests in the empire to check your Mana. According to them, your Mana is inside your heart but it isn't burning. Thankfully, it manifested in a form of a tiny red diamond. The doctors and the priests assured me that your Mana would never burn the way your mother's Mana did. But of course, they advised me supervise your use of your magical ability." He let out a deep sigh while gently shaking his head. "You never cared about your Mana when you were a kid. Why are you suddenly interested in it now?"
"I just want to be strong enough to protect myself, Father."
"You're not a female knight you don't need to be strong," her father said sternly. "You're a lady, Tilly. And now that you're about to get married, I want you to focus on your family instead of wasting your time on learning about your Mana."
It didn't sit well with her but she had to remind herself that in this world, people think that women were only meant to be a wife and a mother. But fortunately, in this time, there were progressive women across the empire dominating various fields that men used to monopolize.
[I'll be one of those progressive women in this world.]
"I understand, Father," Tilly lied just so the discussion would end. After all, she was supposed to meet Kiho in the afternoon. "I'll keep your advice in mind."
TILLY was sitting on the sofa in their mansion's pavilion while watching Kiho feed the koi fishes in the pond with the little fishes that he brought. Apparently, he got those fishes from a lake when he accompanied the emperor in fishing yesterday.
[Yes, instead of flowers, he brought food for me and my koi fishes.]
The captain brought a variety of meat for her: beef, venison, lamb, and tuna. Kiho was probably the only man in the empire who would bring food to his fiance instead of flowers or jewelries.
She wasn't complaining. In fact, she found it cute. And practical.
[Being practical is a good trait.]
"Tilly, your pets eat well like you do," Kiho said when he turned around to face her. His face was as stoic as usual but his eyes were sparkling. Despite his built and reputation as a "monster," she couldn't see him anything other than a "cinnamon roll" that she wanted to protect at all cost. "In time, your fishes will get big enough for you to eat."
"I won't eat them," Tilly complained with a pout. "Stop picking on my koi fishes. They are my children."
His eyes widened in obvious shock. "Y-Your children? How? Were the children cursed by an evil mage and turned them into koi fishes?"
She stifled a laugh at his adorable wholesomeness.
Well, she couldn't blame him if he often took her words too literally. As far as she knew, he grew up in isolation. He never had friends to joke around with. When he became a captain, his personality became more serious because now, his knights' lives were in his hands.
"It was just an expression, Kiho," Tilly explained with a smile. "How can you even think that I already have a children?"
He blinked in confusion. "Ah, right. Blake often tell me that I'm slow when it comes to "jokes.""
"But you thought I was serious and didn't care if I already have children that I hid from you?"
"It's fine with me even if it was true," he said in a casual yet sincere voice. "I'm willing to accept everything about you, Tilly."
She tried to hide her smile by pretending to cough. Then, she changed the subject. Her heart wasn't ready yet to confront his feelings for her.
"What I mean with what I said earlier is that I treat my pets like they're my own children." She playfully glared at him. "They're now your children, too. So don't even talk about eating them ever again."
He looked pleasantly surprised for some reason. "I'm their father now?"
"Of course," she said. "If you want to marry me, you should accept my children as well."
"Okay," he agreed in a more cheerful voice than usual. Then, he turned around to face the pond again. Much to her surprise, he bowed to the fishes. "Hello, children. My name is Kiho and from now on, I am your father. Let's take care of each other."
She covered her mouth with her hands when she gasped from so much cuteness.
[OMG! He's so cute! If I could go back to the time I was being mean to him in my first life, I would beat myself to death!]
"Are you okay, Tilly?" Kiho asked when he found her frozen in her seat when he turned around to face her. "Are you crying?"
She might have been a little teary-eyed but she didn't want to make a big issue out of it.
Tilly pulled her hands away from her mouth. "I'm okay," she assured him. Then, she tapped the space next to her. "Come here and have some tea."
The captain nodded, then he sat beside her. As usual, he left a decent space between us. See? He didn't have noble bloodline but he was far more decent than some of the nobles she knew.
She poured some tea for the handsome gentleman.
"Thank you," Kiho said when she was done. "Are you feeling better now?"
"Hmm?" she asked while slicing a chocolate cake with a fork.
"You seemed to be in a bad mood when I arrived," he said. "But now, you're back to your usual happy disposition."
To be honest, she didn't expect him to notice that she was in a bad mood a while ago. But she was glad that he did. That meant he was paying attention to her.
"Can I share my troubles with you, captain?"
"Actually, I had a little argument with my father a while ago," she said, then ate the slice of cake in her fork before she continued. She wanted to tell him about her mother's sickness but she held back. Kiho was about to leave for his mission tomorrow. She didn't want him to worry about her. So she just told him the "tip of the iceberg." "He practically banned me from using my Mana again."
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