My deepest apologies for delay .
[What… did you say…?]
My vision started blinking rapidly between darkness and light in response to those words .
I am familiar with this feeling .
It’s a punch .
It feels just like how I lose consciousness whenever Eris punches me .
What a punch…
What does that mean… does that mean that I’ve been punched?
Furthermore, a punch so fast that it far exceeds my reaction speed .
Even though I wasn’t using my Foresight Eye… I should have gotten used to seeing Eris’ punches…
[Yes, up till just now, because I was engaged, I held back and only spent time with Chris in moderation… . But I will say it clearly with conviction here and now . I am in love with Chris . I won’t go as far as to have it now, but please allow me to go out with Chris with the intention of marriage . ]
This time it’s a body blow .
Right into my stomach .
I suddenly feel pain in my stomach .
[C-Chris… What do you think?]
I looked to Chris as if asking for help .
[Eeh? Even if you ask me what I think…]
She replied, covering her fully flush-red face with both hands while squirming .
There is no saving this .
It’s the pose she does when she truly falls in love .
The same pose she did around me when she was about five years old .
But it doesn’t count until you say it out loud!
[It seems like Chris hates you though?]
[Papa! Stop being mean! I like him too!]
It turns out there’s really no saving this .
When I hear it directly from Chris like this, somehow the damage dealt to me is insanely higher .
Like getting hit by a chair thrown by my cornerman…
Anyone… won’t anyone be my cornerman…?
As I looked around, I found a certain queen right beside Ed that could support me .
Help me, Ariel!
[Rudeus-sama . It goes without saying that, as I proposed before, the Asura house should form a connection with the Greyrat house . This too, would be a good opportunity, wouldn’t it?]
This isn’t good, she’s completely on the enemy’s side .
Her position is similar to that of a referee, but she’s the type that would pretend not to see when I get hit with a lethal weapon .
At the moment it looks like she has an emotionless mask pasted over her face, but if you look closely, you can see her mouth twitching .
Sylphy is… Ah… she’s part of the audience . She’s looking over here like she’s watching something interesting .
Eris is… happily wolfing down a piece of chicken nugget, completely oblivious to what is happening over here .
Roxy is… hidden within the large crowd and can’t be seen .
She mentioned that she would receive all sorts of comments on the color of her hair color when she’s alone, but does she always have to be so aggressive about it?1
I have no allies .
I’ve been driven into a corner .
… . No, this fight is one that I have to take on alone . If not, Dor*emon2 won’t be able to go home in peace .
Remember it! Wasn’t it always my dream? To say “I won’t hand over my daughter to someone like you!” to a hoodlum who says he wants to marry my daughter .
But in actuality, to do it in a situation like this requires a considerable amount of courage .
The courage to say “someone like you” to my colleague, Ariel’s son .
The courage to say “someone like you” to the person my daughter likes .
The courage to say that to this guy, who’s capable no matter which angle you look at him from – do I have it?
If it were some hooligan sporting a mohawk with nose piercings rampaging in the streets on his modified bike, then maybe…
But not to this serious and upright young man…
[That… I knew Papa would hate this way of doing things so I told him to take it step by step…]
[… No, it’s fine . ]
I know .
Long story short, part of the reason why Chris orchestrated the fall of Viola was due to her jealousy towards Viola’s engagement with Edward .
From what I heard, the one who struck first was Viola, but the annulment of the engagement was outside her expectations… .
Well I’m quite hazy about the details there .
But I suppose that’s fine .
This is the Asura Kingdom . Stuff like this happens all the time .
If you couldn’t at least do that, then you would be destroyed in an instant and sent fleeing from the country .
Numerous employees of our company were also Ex-Asuran Nobility .
If one is to live in the Asura Kingdom, one needs to be capable of that level of scheming, at the very least .
With regards to that, I would like to hear what Edward thinks .
[Edward-kun . ]
[Yes . ]
[Mere moments ago, you just annulled your engagement with Lady Viola . Despite that, you immediately turned around and announced that you are jumping ship to Chris . Isn’t that somewhat too frivolous of you?]
[Yes, I think so too . But, as it seemed like Lord Rudeus had guessed my intentions, I decided that instead of making up a half-baked lie, I should answer with my true feelings . Even though the situation may not be appropriate, I took the liberty to say it . ]
[… . I guessed at… what?]
[? Did you not probe my relationship with Chris exactly because you knew how I felt about her?]
How the hell would I know that!?
Yet, I see that’s how it is… It was me who started asking .
Well, of course .
Of course, it would appear to be that way from Edward’s perspective .
Thinking that at least for today, he should leave a good impression on me to seal the deal and feeling like he had been seen through… He merely stated his honest thoughts in response to that .
Well, isn’t that surprisingly manly?
[Furthermore, I am a royal that has come of age . If my engagement had been annulled, another partner would be chosen immediately after . Before that happens, I wanted to express my own will in this matter as soon as I could . Here, where Mother also happens to be present . ]
Marriage is a duty for royalty .
However, that duty did not include having feelings of love towards the marriage partner .
Having said that, he probably wanted to be married to someone he loves, if it was possible .
Since it has come to this, Ariel would probably pick Chris as Edward’s partner, even if she has to resort to somewhat forceful means .
Well, Edward wouldn’t know anything about that .
His engagement with Viola was probably decided without him knowing, because he didn’t particularly state his intention to be with anyone .
To prevent that from happening again, he probably judged that stepping up and clearly stating his wishes was the best thing to do .
Ahh, this is rough . The atmosphere is so tense that my stomach hurts . That body blow from before really did a number on me .
Why did I ask him something like that? Someone, please teach me time travel magic . I would return to a few minutes ago to punch myself right in the face to stop the question .
…Nah, there wouldn’t be a point . It’s only a matter of time . Even if it didn’t come to this today, Chris would’ve just brought him over to meet me on another day . If that happened, I would’ve probably met him without knowing what moves he’d make . Compared to that, being able to talk to him now would be considered lucky .
Do your best, me! Sylphy is watching!
[So you think you are a suitable partner to Chris?]
[Yes! … I don’t necessarily have the confidence to say so like that . But these three years, helping her, and learning so much from her, I have come to realise many things about myself . If it is with her, no matter for how many decades to come, helping each other, teaching each other, I am confident that we can live like that together . ]
Such a refreshing and perfect answer to my question . Would the me from twenty years ago have been able to deliver such a response?
[If, there is anything that you feel unhappy about me, then by all means, please test me however way you want until you are satisfied . ]
[Hou, well said . Then…]
Then, defeat me in battle! It would be cool if I said that . But even if he defeats me, it’s not like that would add points to his attractiveness to Chris .
Let’s say I was childish and beat him up in my Magic Armor, that would only make Chris hate me . It’s not like I have the hobby of beating up people Chris likes .
I merely wanted him to show me that he has the power to protect Chris . I wanted to see his resolve to make Chris happy .
It’s not that . It’s just that there are alarm bells ringing inside my head . That Chris is no longer that weak-willed crybaby that I’ve always known . In the raging maelstrom that is the Asuran aristocratic society, she has matured into an iron-willed woman that can take charge of the helm .
And Edward, recognising her abilities, wanted to share his life with her while helping each other out .
Living in the Asura Kingdom requires strength different from the ones used in fist fights . At the very least, Chris has that type of strength . And, just moments ago, she had shown me proof in front of my eyes . Ariel had also given her seal of approval .
It’s not appropriate to declare boldly right after his engagement was annulled… But I was the one who asked .
Edward merely gave his response to my question .
Like a man, boldly, and with sincerity .
Rather than saying, [Today’s not a good idea…] and sidestepping the issue, knowing full well that he would take blame and experience hardship due to what he said .
He sensed that I was stepping in to test him, and came on the counter offensive .
He’s handsome not just in looks alone . Even his actions are handsome .
If he didn’t have a fiancée mere moments ago, then this situation would have been perfect .
Damn it . What’s with kids nowadays . These kids left and right, all of them having such good looks that it’s creepy . If only they were more flimsy and weak-willed, I could have come on more firmly…!
Fu… Calm down Rudeus . This isn’t the first time you’re marrying off your daughter . I was also this distracted when it was Lucy’s time . That time, because I consulted with Nanahoshi, my mind was prepared and it went along great .
This time I didn’t have that mental preparation . Well, it’s fine . It’s fundamentally the same thing . Isn’t it?
What did I say that time? If I recall, it was [Date in moderation until you graduate from school] . And what did this guy say just now? [We have been dating in moderation up until now . ] And the graduation ceremony is today . Oof . I can’t use the same line I used before!
… Okay, I’ve calmed down .
In the first place, is this guy even an appropriate partner for Chris? If Chris is in trouble, would he lend his hand without feelings of it being bothersome? When push comes to shove, would he stand and fight beside Chris without running away? In the first place, just what kind of person is this guy? Let’s start from there .
[So, can you tell me more about yourself?]
In the end, that’s all I asked .
[Of course . ]
Looks like it’s gonna be a long story .
— After that, I had a long talk with Edward .
Not in the way you’d think . It wasn’t a threat disguised as a talk . I was merely questioning the origins of a person who said he wanted to date Chris to my face, and matters regarding their relationship . Questioning him may sound a little like I’m interrogating him, but I can’t not do that to someone who said something to the effect of “Please give me permission to marry Chris . ” If I know nothing about him, then there can be no permission to speak of .
It was a long, long conversation . I ended up hearing him out for the whole duration of the party . I felt bad towards him and other nobles that wanted to get close to him during this party .
As a result, I managed to get to know him pretty well . How they started to like each other . How he was always there to help out Chris . How at the very end, he fell short of being able to help her, but still tried to do so .
He was an exceedingly high-spec human being, but that doesn’t mean he was perfect all around .
Towards people he was interested in, he would go out of his way to approach them from the front; Towards people he wasn’t interested in, he couldn’t be bothered to care about them . He is such a callous person, and he admitted as much .
For example, it seems like he never really interacted seriously with his fiancée, Viola, at all .
That could have been one of the factors that incited this incident .
For a weakness, that callousness may seem inconsequential . But this might cause problems down the road . After all, he is a prince . There’s definitely no shortage of people vying for his attention .
But that is something that Chris already knows, and believes that she can help out with . Bringing out the good points of people Edward isn’t interested in, helping him get interested, keeping tabs on people in his place, becoming a buffer for him .
By knowing each other’s weaknesses and covering for one another, such weaknesses can be overcome…
He might be a cold person, but towards me, he was straightforward and sincere . Even though he was fully aware about how I and the people around Chris dote on her a lot . The talk after that, he didn’t try to dodge the topic, and I couldn’t feel any fear from him at all . He did not run away . At the very least, regarding this topic, I could feel his enthusiasm .
He isn’t a perfect person – a rather flawed one at that . A fellow that could say something like he wants to date another girl with intentions of marriage on the day he rejected his fiancée, I do not like that at all .
Of course, I’m not perfect too, myself . Despite telling Sylphy that I only loved her alone, over and over again, I was a good-for-nothing that married two more wives after that . I do not have the right to call others out on their shallowness .
Even so, I want my daughter to be perfectly protected, by a perfect guy and live in perfect happiness .
Alas, I understand . A perfect person does not exist . A seemingly perfect person is just someone who is really good at hiding his flaws . And whether it’s my son or daughter, even while dating that seemingly perfect person, they will have to protect themselves and become happy by their own efforts .
For now, after speaking with both Chris and Edward, I understand that their relationship isn’t simply a matter of “liking” each other . I understood that they were by each other’s sides when they needed each other most within this three year period .
In terms of ability, and personality, they are extremely compatible with each other .
With all these in mind, it isn’t all that bad .
Although I can’t just give him a giant seal of approval and say, [If it’s this guy, I can leave my daughter with him without worries!]
But he’s good enough .
That is why I allowed him to continue dating Chris . However, what lies beyond, is something that they will have to discuss and decide between themselves .
I let them know that if it was something decided after much discussion between themselves, I would not object to it .
And I hammered down the point that I would brutally murder Edward if he decides to be unfaithful towards Chris .
… Of course, it will probably never come to that .
After all, Chris isn’t all that well put-together as a person either . She always simple-mindedly goes wherever she’s able to reach, at the moment .
That’s what it means to be young .
To move on without hesitation .
It seems like the next time I step into the Asura Kingdom would be on Chris’ wedding day .
We are now on the way back home from the party . Not to the mansion we have in the Asura Kingdom, but to our home in Sharia .
[Somehow, it’s amazing . ]
All the while on the way home from the party, I kept mumbling these words . Maybe it’s already more than ten times .
The wives that nodded and gave their comments at first were all giving wry smiles and replied, [-Yeah] .
By the way, for missing the scene where I was stumped by Edward, Roxy is currently making an extremely regretful face .
[That Chris getting married, huh…]
I thought it would take awhile longer for Chris, but all of a sudden, and all at once, she became independent . A lightning fast pace .
Amongst my kids, there wasn’t one that matured that quickly from the Asura Royal Academy . Most of the time, right after they graduated from the Academy, there was a period of time where my kids wouldn’t know what to do .
In spite of all that, the one child that I thought had the worst compatibility with the Asura Royal Academy, when actually put into it, was the one best suited for it .
You never know what happens with children .
[Now, now, Rudy, that’s all you’ve been saying since just now . ]
Even if you tell me that, I just got a huge volume of information about Chris slammed right into my head . No matter what I do, I just can’t think straight .
Despite thinking about this and that, what came out in the end were still those words . It can’t be helped .
Once we get home, let’s drink the night away .
Whether this is an occasion to celebrate, or to wail over, or to continue arguing that I won’t hand over Chris unless that rascal transforms into a transcendent super life-form .
To make a correct judgement on that, I first need alcohol to cleanse my mind .
[Everyone, let’s drink when we get home . Who’s up for it?]
[Isn’t that nice, once in a while!]
[Ah, in that case let’s open the wine that we got today . ]
[That sweet wine I procured the other day is good . ]
It seems like everyone had indicated their interest in participation . Awesome, then the four of us shall drink after such a long time . Yup, just the four of us . All of the children had already become independent .
No, there’s still one remaining . While she’s doing research at the university, she always lazes at home on her off days and lives her days like a caterpillar . We still have one not-so-independent child at home, huh .
Well, we can take our time with that . Though we really don’t know what she’s thinking, Migurds have a long lifespan . Given enough time, it will work itself out .
Forget about that, let’s drink with Sylphy, sleep on Roxy’s lap and grope Eris’ breasts before getting beaten up tonight .
When I regain consciousness in the morning, it will be a great morning .
While having these thoughts, we’ve reached home .
Just as we were saying “We’re home” to Beet, who had coiled himself onto the gate, and “Let’s drink…”
[WAN WAN WAN! WAN WAN WAN! GRRR! WAN!]
We heard Leo’s loud barks from within the house . Furthermore, it was a very agitated and impatient kind of barking . Almost as if he was rushing us, who were outside to quickly come towards him .
After a moment of glancing at each other, we moved immediately . With Eris as the vanguard, Sylphy and me in the middle and Roxy as rearguard . Eris drew her sword and I activated my foresight eye . Upon Eris’ and my signal, Sylphy put her hand on the doorknob… And pushed open it .
Eris rushed in headfirst, with Sylphy following closely behind . I stuck to the sides, looking to do a wraparound…
[… What are you guys doing]
Upon hearing Eris’ monotone words, everything stood still .
There, stood Leo . And also Lara . Both of them were clutching onto a single bag, and froze in that position .
This isn’t a strange occurrence . Sure, Lara and Leo are close, but they do fight from time to time . Though, most of these fights end up with Leo backing down .
But there was just one thing I couldn’t understand . Lara Greyrat . My second daughter . A child who inherited the Migurd blood strongly, and looks like a 14 year old . The one that, just a moment ago, I wasn’t thinking too fondly of . An unreliable daughter .
She, for some reason, was carrying a huge backpack . One that would conjure up images of a long journey . One on her back, one on Leo’s and the one that they were fighting over, three backpacks in total .
Yes, that shut-in daughter of mine, was for some reason in travel attire .
[Lara… What’s with that getup?]
Towards Roxy who blurted out those words . Lara… Wore an extremely annoyed expression on her face .