Chapter 23 Clark’s Visit
It was my first day off since I was in charge of Master Clark’s language studies.
Lessons are five days a week. I have weekends off. Nonna and I cleaned the house and did the laundry, and just as I said to Nonna, “Let’s start embroidering. I’ll teach you how to do it.”, there was a knock on the door.
“Yes. Who is it?”
“It’s me, Clark Anderson.”
Surprised, I immediately opened the door and found Master Clark standing there on his own.
“Oh, Master Clark, how can I help you?”
“I wanted to see teacher again today.”
Does he enjoy the classes that much? That’s great.
“Oh my. That’s. Well, please come in.”
Master Clark glanced around the room with interest, but somehow he seemed embarrassed.
“Would you like some tea?”
“Yes, I would love to.”
Nonna prepared the tea utensils, I boiled the water, and cut a slice of the walnut and dried fig cake that I had baked last night. Master Clark, who was restless, took a bite of the cake and made a surprised face with a ‘Mmm!’.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes. Very much. Which store’s cake is this?”
“Vicky baked it.”
“That’s right. Last night, Nonna helped me bake it.”
Master Clark, who suddenly turned red after accidentally making a cute voice, is cute.
“I have more. Please eat slowly.”
“Thank you. Teacher is capable of everything.”
“I can’t do everything.”
“No! Great Uncle Bernard is always boasting about teacher. You’re fluent in four languages, good at cooking and cleaning, and good at sorting documents. And aren’t you good at physical activities too?”
Nonna said, ‘Exactly!’. It was heartwarming to see her proud expression.
“I grew up in an environment where I had to do anything I could. I left my parent’s house at the age of eight and had to do whatever I was told. I learned foreign languages at first because I had to learn them, but I found it fun when I tried it.”
“You had fun?”
Master Clark gave a look of surprise.
“Yes. I had never traveled before. This is my first time entering this country on my own. I used to read a lot of books about countries and was looking forward to visiting them. I had a lot of books at my previous workplace, but they were all in foreign languages, so at first I couldn’t read them, just stare at the illustrations. After a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore so I studied to be able to read them.”
“If there were such books, did you work at a noble house?”
“Yes, at that time it was a noble house.”
When Master Clark finished eating the second helping of the cake,
“I guess it was a luxury to say that I’m not good at studying.”
He muttered dejectedly.
“I will do my best. Teacher’s classes are really fun, and I can memorize more and more words.”
“Well, I’m happy to teach you. Please continue to do your best.”
When I said that, Nonna
“I want to study today too!”
She said with sparkling eyes. When I look, Master Clark’s eyes were also sparkling. I couldn’t say no when two children had such high expectations of me.
“All right. Shall we study something today that we can’t do at the mansion?”
“Climb a tree!”
“Nonna, climbing a tree for Master Clark is…”
“I want to do it! Please teach me how to climb trees!”
“Fufufu. Let’s study while climbing trees then.”
Nonna and I changed clothes, left the house, and walked a short distance to the place where I fought the prince. There are many big trees here, so it’s perfect for practicing climbing trees.
“Shall we use this tree? Before you climb a tree, make sure that it’s alive. If you climb a dead tree without leaves, even a thick branch will break suddenly and cause serious injury. You could die from hitting your head. Trees with leaves are alive. In winter, when the leaves have fallen, you can tell by breaking off a twig. Avoid trees that snap off easily.”
“I see. I will remember that.”
“Then I will demonstrate climbing first, so please take note of which branch I chose and in what order I stepped on it.”
I took off my shoes and climbed the tree in my socks while receiving the respectful gazes of the two.
After I smoothly climbed to a high position and then got off in the reverse order, Nonna, who seemed to be unable to endure it, climbed the tree with practiced movements in her socks. When she got to where I had climbed to, she sat down on the branch and waved.
“Alright! Me too!”
Saying that, Master Clark imitated Nonna, took off his shoes, and struggled to climb the tree. Master Clark took many times longer than Nonna to sit down on a branch near the one where Nonna was sitting, but he laughed pleasantly when he did so.
When I raised my voice and conveyed the language of the two countries, the two of them imitated me.
“Climb” “Climb”, “Climb a tree” “Climb a tree”, “High branch” “High branch”, “Descend” “Descend”.
Their lovely voices recited after me.
“Climb a tall tree and descend” “Climb a tall tree and descend”.
“Both of you are wonderful! Come on down, Nonna first.”
Descending from a tree is far more dangerous than climbing. After Nonna safely descended, I climbed up to Master Clark and wrapped the string I brought up around his body. After the string was wrapped around his torso below his armpits twice, I held the end of the string and we descended together. On the way, I noticed the Commander watching from a distance.
When we safely landed on the ground, the Commander approached us.
“Clark, that was amazing.”
“Hello, Uncle Jeff. I’ve never climbed a tree that high before!”
“Did you have fun?”
I felt extremely embarrassed when the Commander looked at me with laughter in his eyes. I wonder what kind of tomboy he thinks I am now, and how he felt about letting the precious Anderson’s only son climb a tree. And I ended up recalling the last time we hugged.
“I taught the precious Master unnecessary things.”
“No, it’s fine. It’s the first time I’ve seen Clark having so much fun being mischievous. I’ve always thought it was not good for him to be so well-behaved. I’m sorry that you had to do this during your day off today.”
“No, I enjoyed it too.”
While we were talking, the two children were chasing each other while shouting new Randalian words such as ‘branch’, ‘climb’ and ‘high’ while moving their bodies. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. For more than an hour, the two of them played happily together without getting bored.
“I’ll send Clark home soon. May I invite the two of you to dinner afterward?”
“Thank you. But isn’t this too often?”
“Even with this, I’ve been holding myself back quite a lot from inviting you.”
I felt a sense of affection toward the large man who said that and averted his gaze.
“It’s a casual shop, so please dress casually.”
Commander, who spoke with embarrassment, looked like a clumsy big silver bear.
Master Clark looked disappointed, but when I asked him to come to play again, he nodded happily and went home with the Commander.
“Nonna, the three of us are going out to eat together tonight, with Commander.”
“Vicky, do you want to dress up?”
“Just a little bit. He mentioned that it’s a shop where we don’t have to dress up.”
“Are there shops that we have to dress up and shops that we don’t?”
“Yes. Nonna should gradually learn about them.”
I changed into a pale green dress, and Nonna changed into a navy one, and we tied matching wine-colored ribbons.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“Yeah! Climbing trees with Master Clark was fun too! I also learned ‘climbing tall trees’!”
“Amazing. Nonna has a talent for learning foreign languages!”
I crouched down and hugged Nonna, who jumped at me, and inhaled Nonna’s childlike scent to my heart’s content. I love this peaceful scent.