Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 4: The Ballad of Mother and Son
When Leorino’s rebellion began, the once peaceful and serene territory of the Count of Brungwurth became chaotic, as if calm days from the past were nothing but lies.
“I will not dress myself in girl’s clothing anymore!” Leorino said in defiance.
That night, he finally discarded all of the frilly-fluttery clothes inside his wardrobe, tossing them into the hallway. He then, sneakily, found his eldest brother’s clothing from when they were around eight years old and wore those instead. All the while, the pleading screams of Maia and her servants, who refused to stop calling Leorino their “adorable angel,” was heard all throughout the halls.
But it was not just within Brungwurth Castle bemoaning this sudden change. Even their subjects residing within the territory were living their days in great distress upon hearing about the situation.
Both the Cashew family and their servants were torn on whose side to take.
Leorino’s arguments were reasonable. Needless to say, the fact that a boy who would soon be old enough to enter secondary school, and a legitimate son of a noble family still wore feminine clothing was indeed strange. Neither the young boy’s request nor his arguments were outlandish at all.
However, when Leorino, whose appearance was much more angelic, graceful, and ladylike than any other young lady in Brungwurth, and who, without a doubt, looked most stunning in frills, lace, and ribbons, well… to suddenly switch to men’s clothing while still standing out with his obvious beauty, Leorino ended up looking as though he were merely a lovely young lady who purposely dressed as a man to cause mischief. In any case, since his ethereal appearance was one that transcended gender, everyone hoped that Lady Maia would agree to allow Leorino to dress in the way that suited him best.
Both sides of the argument were reasonable.
In the end, it was left up to the Patriarch of Brungwurth, Augustus, to decide on whose side to take.
“Dad… no, Father! Please tell Mother how strange it is for someone my age to wear dresses with ruffles and lace!” the calm and gentle Leorino cried as he stomped his feet in irritation.
“!!!!!” The people who witnessed Leorino stomp his feet for the first time gasp in unison and were left astound.
What a terrible thing rebellion is!
Leorino’s family and servants were all bewildered, but despite the apparent shock of the others around him, Leorino continued.
“It’s been so long! It’s been twelve years since I was born, but I’m still being dressed like this!
“No, that’s not it… Age has nothing to do with this.”
“First and foremost, I am a boy! I’m supposed to wear clothes like a boy. Don’t you think so too, Father?”
“Fa–Father, Rino… that is, ‘Dad’, thinks…,” Augustus was unable to speak properly due to the relentless attacks from his youngest son, whom he adored so much.
“Now is not the time to care whether I call you, Dad or Father. We’re talking about the clothes I want to wear from now on! And call me ‘Leo’, not ‘Rino.’”
“Nonsense!” Maia retorted while squeezing the handkerchief she was clutching to her chest. “You all tell Rino, my little angel, exactly what isn’t wrong about him wearing the clothes that I think suit him best. Oriano, look! Do you really think that black shirt and blue waistcoat, that plain and tasteless clothing suits Rino?”
“It is… a little plain and dull for someone like him…” Maia’s eldest mumbled.
“Ma–Mother! Please call me ‘Leo’ not ‘Rino’!”
But before Maia could argue back, her eldest son Oriano suddenly reached up and held onto his chest as if he were having difficulty breathing.
With that, the argument itself lasted about two more weeks. In the end, Leorino won using both common sense and reason.
However, it was not a complete victory. As a result of Augustus’ cajoling to get the grieving Maia to concede, and with persistent negotiations between both sides through Maia’s personal maid Hannah and Leorino’s chamberlain Hundert acting as mediators, a ceasefire treaty that satisfied both sides was made. With that, the first period of the angel’s rebellion came to an end.
“Young Master Leorino, your tea is ready.”
Uh-huh, thanks…!?2 Hundert was surprised at how his master spoke to him, “Y-yes, Young Master?”
“What’s wrong Hundert?” the young boy asked in return, confused at his chamberlain’s sudden hesitancy.
The chamberlain glanced twice at his master. Ever since the Leorino-Maia war had come to a ceasefire and Leorino had stopped wearing dresses, he began to look a little more like a man. But with a frilly-fluttery shirt, as the condition of the truce, accentuating his beautiful, angelic features combined with the way he daintily3 drank his tea, still made him look as elegant and graceful as ever.
“N–no, it’s nothing.” Unconsciously, Hundert swallowed heavily and let out a deep breath as he bowed his head in concession.
“Strange,” Leorino muttered.
Hundert, who seemed calm on the surface began to put away the tea utensil like usual, shook his head in confusion internally.
“As I thought, Hundert. I want to attend the school for the secondary grade students in the royal capital.” Leorino stated all of a sudden.
Upon hearing his master’s words, Hundert the chamberlain, suddenly dropped the tea utensils he had been tidying up. He was so shocked that his normally peaceful composure was greatly shaken, enough so for him to make his first ever mistake as a full-time attendant.
Certainly, all sons of the Cashew family, even dating back to past generations, attended school in the royal capital when they turned twelve. However, the Count’s overprotective nature towards his youngest son, Leorino, and his wife’s doting love for the child were well known. Furthermore, it had already been decided a year ago that they would bring in a private tutor from the royal capital to provide Leorino’s education within the Brungwurth instead.
Up until now, Leorino had never complained about that decision out of consideration for his parents.
“B-but Young Master… Has it not been determined that both the Master and the Mistress decided that you, Master Leorino, will be educated here, inside Brungwurth Castle instead?”
Leorino grinned at Hundert’s obvious apprehension at his answer, and the poor chamberlain was caught completely dumbfounded by that very same smile.
With a pleased look plastered on his face, Leorino loudly proclaimed the beginning of the second round of his rebellion.4