A woman getting married meant settling down in a house.
It would become their duty to manage said house. Any thoughts of advancing in society would become nothing more than a dream. Within this space, women would only be able to operate within a small space with other women, they will have no opportunity to change this society that favored men so much. In order for women to become independent and achieve positions in society, it is necessary for more doors to be opened that allowed them to work in broader fields. In this way, Mariwa says that she is a pioneer. Expressing with herself how a single woman might live.
“I see, I see. Mariwa.”
I nodded after she had said all of this to us.
To be quite honest, this had nothing to do with me. I had already been engaged to Charles two years ago, and if I did not marry, then our most esteemed Noir line would end. And Mariwa’s ‘woman can do just fine without marriage’ theory had no importance or necessity for me, if anything, it was a threat.
And so all of this was not directly related to me. This was true without question, but…
“In other words, if put into practice, does this mean that there is no reason for Mishuli to get married?”
“That’s a very shrewd observation, my lady. It is exactly as you say.”
“Oh, good! In that case, as a child of the house of Noir, I will use all of my influence to make this theory spread throughout all of high society–”
“Are you being brainwashed!?”
Leon shook my shoulder and I returned to myself.
“Uh, that’s right. Leon Nardo. Are you alright, Christina?”
“Of-of course I am. I am not so hopeless a wreck as to need your concern… I mean, have I even done anything deserving of concern–”
“But, ever since Miss Mariwa started to talk, you’ve looked stranger and stranger. In the end, your eyes were like off in a different world, you know?”
“Tha-, that’s a lie. A genius like me would never…no. I, what was I saying just now…?”
I recalled my own words as a cold sweat ran down my forehead. It was only yesterday that I had declared that I would become independent of my sister. But then a theory had presented itself that justified Mishuli not getting married, and I had nearly jumped on it.
No, while it was true that this bait had been dangled before me, this theory was most strange.
If Mariwa’s radical beliefs were to be known and popularized, it was likely to cause such a social phenomenon as an increase in demand for jobs and lowered birth rate. It was a most heinous theory…! In the first place, if noble women decided to become independent and walk their own paths, it would destroy long-running traditions. Regardless if I was a noble and heir, this sort of thing could cut me off from my family. And yet, in spite of all my pride as the eldest daughter of House Noir, I had been about to accept this theory–
“–Mariwa. Did you just tsk,right now?”
Her expression was as serious as her back was straight, it was not the appearance of someone who could commit an act so unbecoming of a woman of the upper class.
Perhaps, I had just imagined it. I good-naturedly admit my own mistake.
“But now that I think of it, it is quite unusual for you to speak of your own views.”
“When I am acting as your private teacher, my job is to educate. It is not acceptable for a teacher to bring their own opinions in as part of a students education. Education is about creating the foundation for thought. It would be nothing short of brainwashing to dye such a pure student into your own colors.”
She was right. That made sense. I was quite satisfied with this answer, but Leon was looking at Mariwa with a most horrified expression.
“Um, what about what you were just…?”
“This is a private conversation.”
It was a smooth answer, but for some reason it made Leon sit up straight.
“More importantly, my lady Chris. We have now reached the main street.”
“Ohh, so we have… My, there are a lot of people here.”
We were out of the plaza and on the main street now, but there were so many people here. As far as density, it was much worse than the market in the plaza. The tide of people was thick and it was difficult to walk around.
I assumed everyone here would be after the food, but it seems like that was not the case. Loud cheering erupted as the throng of people shook.
“Is there some kind of performance happening?”
“No, it seems…that we have arrived just in time for the royal family parade.”
Upon hearing that it was the royal parade, I tried jumping up. But there were so many people blocking the way, and I could not see anything at all.
I narrowed my eyebrows angrily and looked up at Mariwa.
“Mariwa, carry me now!”
“I don’t want to.”
It was a brusque reply.
“I’m not so young anymore, and such physical labor as picking up a heavy object such as yourself is out of the question.”
She rejected me with her crone-like excuses without hesitation. I ground my teeth in anger. It was most inconceivable for her to address a lady such as myself as a heavy object, but it seemed like she would not back down. She left no room for anyone to take advantage of her when she was on the job, and while Mariwa looked more relaxed now, there was clearly something bad that had been added after something else was removed. I resented her, but I could still not beat her.
Well then, I think as I spin around.
“…Uh, Christina. Why do I have a bad feeling about this…”
“Just do it!”
I repeat myself with more force. Leon sighed in resignation and crouched. From the looks of him, Leon did not seem particularly interested in the royal parade. And I so I didn’t feel bad for him when I straddled his shoulders.
“I thought you would…”
“Shut up and stand up!”
“Woah, this is lame. I mean, do you really want to watch it so bad?”
In spite of all the grumbling, Leon stood up with me on top of his shoulders. I was now only slightly below Mariwa’s level as I answered him with an excited smile on my face.
This was most unexpected, but the royal parade meant that Charles would be there.
My friend, my fiance’s big moment. It would be one thing if I hadn’t known and missed it. But this was a chance encounter. How could I not watch when I happened to be here?
“I will watch it!”
I said decisively, all the while feeling my own cheeks turning slightly red. Perhaps it was the heat from the crowd.