Lara showed a face of extreme annoyance.
Even though I went to such lengths to leave unnoticed, I was found out at the very last moment…
A face like that.
Maybe she pulled off something strange again.
Something that would get her a spanking from Eris.
[Are you going somewhere?]
[Yeah, for a bit.]
As Lara said that, Leo circled around in front of Lara, lowered his waist and growled in a voice that he didn’t usually use.
[Uh, alright. I get it already…]
Such an unusual sight.
Leo is seriously angry at Lara.
Did our daughter do something bad?
If that’s the case, then this is definitely her trying to get away under the cover of darkness.
Lara has the habit of escaping when she causes trouble.
Although that was when she was much younger.
Even though she pulled pranks, she was afraid of the Eris’ spankings.
I keep telling her, “You should be prepared to receive punishment if you do something wrong.”
Well, if she could learn her lesson just from me telling her, she wouldn’t be doing it again and again.
As they got older, our kids received fewer spankings from Eris, but Lara was the exception.
Apparently it got so painful that she couldn’t even sleep facing up.
I wonder what she did this time.
Could it be that she broke Sylphy’s favorite porcelain ware?
No, it couldn’t be something as trivial as that.
Even when she left a mysterious threatening letter on Orsted’s desk and ran around in town, she didn’t try to escape at night like this…
Lara had a pitiable expression, but immediately changed to a calm one to face us. She then raised her hand.
[I will be going on a journey for a bit.]
And so she declared.
So going out “for a bit” turned into going “on a journey”.
[I saw a particularly strange future, so… here and there.]
We turned our faces to meet each other.
Lara was a prankster that always did outrageous things for her own amusement.
So much so that there was a time where we thought she might actually end up becoming the leader of a gang of rascals and bullies.
She somehow mellowed out over the years, and before we realized it, she mellowed so much that she was just one step short of becoming an eccentric, divination-loving shut-in.
It’s not like we were particularly fussy about how we wanted our kids to turn out. After all, it looked like Lara was having fun spending her days in her own way.
But to find out that she was trying to sneak off on a journey by herself is also worrying.
[What happened all of a sudden? Did you do something so bad you had to run away this time?]
[I didn’t do anything.]
[…Explaining… is a pain.]
[Hey now, don’t be like that.]
Reluctantly swayed by my words, Lara let out a sigh in frustration.
As if she was saying, even if I tell Papa…
Hey hey, why not tell us about the matter without making that kinda face?
We might be able to help somehow, right?
[As it is now, I will lose.]
Who exactly will she lose to?
Is she competing with someone?
Is it Lily? Or even Sieg?
Lara’s expressions were never easy to read. Perhaps she could sense impending danger somehow?
[The next time I come home, it will be with a guy.]
Ah, maybe she heard about how Chris will be getting married from somewhere.
News reaches her really fast. Even though Lara looks like that, she has an independent intelligence network of her own.
Maybe she got anxious after she heard about what happened in the party.
So that’s the case…
That Lara is anxiously leaving on a journey for marriage.
She has matured…
She has, right?
I would like to think that she has.
[That, you can’t do that somewhere close to home?]
[Impossible. The density here isn’t optimal.]
[Density? You mean mana density?]
Ah, I see.
After all, depending on the environment’s mana density, a man could grow up differently.
A man who grew up in places of high mana density would be reliable, have green hair, hold a white spear and love children.
But that’s Norn’s husband, so you can’t go for him.
[And also, various experiments.]
Experiments… meaning her goal is not just finding a guy.
If those experiments are dependent on mana density, then it makes sense that they can’t be done here.
Eh? Wasn’t she just going boyfriend hunting?
You’re not making sense here, my daughter.
[In other words Lara, you divined your own fate using astrology and saw a disconcerting future. Thinking that it cannot go on like this, you plan to continue your research in a faraway land, and at the same time find a marriage partner. Is that right?]
Roxy summarized the contents of the conversation.
Straightforward and easy to understand.
As expected of Sensei.
Pros do indeed do things differently.
[Ah…… I guess, that’s not far off from the truth.]
Though Lara wasn’t totally satisfied with the answer, it looks like Roxy generally got it right.
However, I can’t help but think that something is fundamentally wrong here.
It doesn’t make sense, does it?
I don’t know what kind of future Lara saw in her visions, but just because you’re performing experiments in a foreign land, it doesn’t mean you can get a guy, does it?
A more surefire way would be for me to find one for her.
[…No need to worry. I’ll definitely bring him back.]
It seems like we don’t have to worry, but I’m worried.
For the guy that will get caught by this weird daughter of mine.
Well, even so.
If it’s something that she is interested in and determined to do…
I am not one to stop her.
Wait and see just what kind of guy Lara will bring back.
With long necks.
[White Mama and Blue Mama can look forward to it.]
[What about Papa?]
[Papa is already dead.]1
Hey, hey, don’t say something straight out of Fist of the North St*r.
But what’s going on?
Would I be killed just by meeting him?
Or is it just that she doesn’t want to let me meet him?
Could it be, that I am actually already dead, and am currently a wandering spirit?
No way. Though it’s true that I retained memories from my past life and died once, I’m not dead now.
Why isn’t she going to let me meet him?
Up until now, being against any of the marriages that my children planned to have… I wouldn’t say I haven’t done that.
But just hours ago, I allowed the relationship between Chris and the Weird Prince!
That’s why, I want to at least meet him.
[It’s impossible for Red Mama too.]
[… Why is that?]
Eris asked the reason for me.
[Finding him is not easy. It would take time.]
[Time… Ahh. I see, so that’s why. It’s regrettable that I would never get to see Lara’s husband.]
Eris seems convinced.
I also understood the reason why.
It takes time.
It is impossible for Eris too.
That would mean… about more than 50 years later.
Around that time, Eris and me, would probably have passed on.
Huh? Just to find one guy, it takes 50 years?
Wait, if it’s her, then maybe it wouldn’t be weird if it takes that long.
Or is it that the experiment that has a 50-year span?
[Wait, um, Lara-chan?]
As calmly as I could, I called out Lara’s name.
With my brain being close to punctured from Chris’ matter, talking with Lara here far exceeded my mental capacity.
It’s completely outside my realm of understanding.
That’s why I want to cool it down even more.
[There is no such thing as a perfect guy in the world. That’s why, you have to compromise, or feel it-]
Just as I was about to give a grand lecture about how to find guys, she heaved an exaggerated sigh.
What? At least listen till the end…
[Good grief, Papa is always like this…]
Lara took two steps towards me, opened up her arms and for some reason, prompted me for a hug.
And so, we hugged.
She has a small body like Roxy.
When she lets down her hair, her figure from the back looks exactly like Roxy’s.
I might have mixed them up maybe once or twice.
When I called out “Roxy”, and I got a reply from behind me, I had thoughts like “An afterimage!?!?”
[There, there. It’s about time to let go of your daughter, yeah.]
Lara patted me on the head.
I feel like she’s making a fool out of me.
As if I was throwing a tantrum because I don’t want Lara to leave.
[If that’s not how it is going to be, I’ll tell on you about the second time you mistook me for Mama.]
[Not that, please.]
I am really reflecting on that one.
Because of that mistake, I stopped sneaking up on and embracing Roxy from behind and started calling out her name instead, just to make sure it was her.
Lara was like “Well, things like this happen sometimes” and forgave me, but I couldn’t forgive myself.
I let her down on the floor.
She dusted off her clothes, smiled and imposingly put her bag on her shoulder.
[Don’t worry. Leave it to me. I won’t let Papa’s accomplishments go to waste.]
Then, striking her coolest pose and putting on her game face, she said:
[I’ll go change the future for a bit.]
My daughter is already past 20 now.
She’s not some 14 year-old boy.
…From a prankster, she became an eccentric, and she’s finally evolved into a chuunibyou.2
Nah, maybe this is just her way of manifesting her will.
That she should no longer be lazing around and living off her family in Sharia.
To leave one’s hometown, become independent and find someone nice to get married to.
Then, keeping that guy under her thumb and resume lazing around.
That might be what she is trying to say.
I don’t know.
[Erm, what do you think?]
Forcing those thoughts into my head, I turned to the wives for their opinion.
They were also making troubled faces.
Maybe more than troubled, they look like they were baffled.
Phew, so I wasn’t the only one that didn’t get what’s going on.
[Well, if she says she wants to go, there’s no reason to stop her…]
Sylphy was mumbling her words.
Though she was the one who looked after the children the most, it seems like she also did not understand Lara all that well.
It’s not like children are easy to understand, anyways.
Eris was the only exception. She looked like she understood everything.
[Isn’t that good? She should go on a journey while she’s young.]
Alas, she merely looked like she understood, meaning she did not actually understand what was going on. Her answer surfaced from reminiscing her own experiences. That’s why, even though the reasons are unknown, it is a good thing to go on a journey.
It’s nice that Eris is so easy to read.
[That’s right. Lara should go out and explore the world a little… Otherwise, letting her continue staying at home like this is hopeless in various senses of the word.]
Roxy agreed with Eris’s opinion.
Marriage might be hopeless for Lara. Such was the weight behind her words of agreement.
In fact, there were numerous occasion where Roxy tried to match make Lara.
But all of those attempts were smashed to pieces by Lara herself.
[… I see]
For now, it seems like no one here is going to stop her from leaving. Honestly, I still don’t understand what this trip is for. But if she is leaving, I should see her off.
[I understand. But if you don’t have the intentions of coming back for decades, then you should at least say goodbye to everyone in town.]
[I was told that by Leo as well. He got really mad when I said such farewells were unnecessary. Saying that I would definitely regret it and not allowing me to leave.]
Ah… So that’s why Leo was mad.
Good boy, you’ve done well stopping her.
I’ll give you some high grade meat later on.
No, Leo will be leaving as well, so there won’t be a later huh.
[Even though I told Lily, and even left a letter in the living room.]
[Lara might not know, but Papa really hates farewell letters. So if I saw that, I would have given chase immediately, at full speed. Don’t think you can run away from Papa.]
[… So you hated farewell letters. That’s something I didn’t know.]
I’ve had enough of receiving shocks from farewell letters.
While thinking that, I sneaked a glance at Eris and she was making a face like she was saying “I’d give chase too!”.
Your expression looks like you’ve got nothing to do with this, but do you know that the reason I came to hate farewell letters is because of you!?
Not like I am mad about it.
Well, leaving that aside.
[Lara, do you have anything you need?]
She says that, but she does not look like she is fully prepared.
Her backpack is fine, but her clothes aren’t well-suited for travelling.
Technically, she did try to prepare what she thought was needed for journey, but it’s lacking in various areas.
Then, perhaps I shall get some stuff ready for her.
No. She’ll figure out what she really needs while traveling on her own. I guess it’s fine then.
… From the way she’s phrasing things, it seems like this is my last farewell with Lara.
If that’s the case, then just a little, I want to give her something special.
Something to remind her of family every time she looks at it, even though she might be away for decades.
Looking at the wives with that in my mind, well, it seems like we are all thinking about the same thing.
[Wait here for a moment.]
Exchanging looks with Sylphy and Roxy, I made haste to the study.
If I leave her there for too long, there’s a good chance that Lara might just vanish right then and there.
She always had a habit of doing that.
On the surface, she looks honest and always in a daze, but somewhere inside her is a shrewd prankster.
Now we have Leo keeping an eye on her, so she probably won’t disappear.
[Oh, here it is.]
Holding the item I dug out from the study, I returned to the entrance.
Sylphy and Roxy also came back with their own gifts.
Eris was already there by the time we arrived. As expected of her speed.
[Lara. Here, take this with you.]
Saying that, Eris handed over a single knife.
[If it’s a knife, I have one too…]
[It’s something of a protective charm. Use it if you happen to fight beings like of Orsted. It will work if you hit their vital spots.]
[Understood. Though I won’t be fighting Orsted.]
Then, Roxy walked to the front.
In her hands was a worn out hat.
[I couldn’t prepare anything given the short notice, so I don’t have anything other than this…]
This hat was the one Roxy wore previously.
A hat that evokes many fond memories in me.
It’s probably made with really good materials. It has worn out considerably, but still looks very usable.
[It may not be significant in Sharia, but blue hair stands out in human-majority countries. To avoid unnecessary trouble, it would be good to always put on a hat.]
[Is that so? Understood.]
Saying that, Lara dusted off the hat and put it on.
[Erm, this is from me.]
Sylphy handed out a few stacks of paper.
[These are our home recipes. You are a girl, so if you are going to find a guy, you have to at least know how to cook.]
[Well, you have a point… Understood. I’ll practice.]
I’m the last.
I handed what I was holding over to Lara.
Seeing what she received, Lara was shocked with her eyes wide open.
[T-This… Could this be…?]
Saying that, she removed the grey cloth covering the top of the rod.
[Arrogant Water Dragon King, “Aqua Heartia”…!!]
With trembling hands, she gripped the staff tightly, and looked at me straight in the eyes again.
[People can tell with a single glance that it’s expensive, so make sure to always cover it with a cloth while carrying it.]
[Uuhh… Understood… Thank you!]
Fufu, looks like she likes my present the most.
She probably wanted to have it since a while back.
However, Lara was not looking at Aqua Heartia, but the grey cloth that I took from her.
Cloth… rather than that, it’s actually clothes.
Worn out clothes.
A grey robe.
Lara merely stared at it silently, and after awhile, put it on.
What she wore was a robe I wore long ago.
Naturally, it’s too baggy for her.
If she goes on walking like that, the hem will drag against the ground, and her hands can’t even be seen if the sleeves aren’t rolled up.
Pairing this with Roxy’s hat, she looks no more different from a child role-playing as a magician.
[Hey, Lara. That doesn’t seem to fit you. It has several holes as well.]
[I’ll patch it up later.]
[It hasn’t been washed in a while, doesn’t it smell?]
[Yes. It reeks of Papa. I’ll wash and sundry it later.]
Well, if she’s taken a liking to it, I don’t mind.
Lara took out another cloth from her bag, and wrapped the staff in it.
Then, she stood up and got on Leo.
[Then, I’ll be going.]
[Ah… Be careful of monsters.]
Just like that.
From the way she said it, it looks like I won’t see her again in my lifetime…
Well, it also feels like she might reappear at home after three days.
If it’s our last farewell, maybe I should say something.
Shouldn’t I leave her with some wise words?
[Be careful of scummy guys alright?]
[Remember to take baths.]
[Brush your teeth too.]
[And wash your face.]
[Do your homework.]
[Don’t want to.]
Because I started hosting the questions and answers corner before 9 pm, I was stopped by Eris.3
Oops, this isn’t good.
Just because I couldn’t think of witty things to say, I shouldn’t be spouting pointless stuff.
Let’s think a little more carefully, and give her my proper parting words. Yup, let’s do that.
As I take a step back, the wives stepped forward.
[Given how sudden it is, I couldn’t think of anything good to say… Uhm, remember to eat your meals okay? You tend to forget your meals when you aren’t careful.]
[Okay. I’ll remember to eat.]
[Lara, travelling is a surprisingly fun thing to do, but please do not let your guard down. Death comes in an instant.]
[Alright. I will be careful.]
A word from both Sylphy and Roxy.
The contents are… relatively light.
They have long lifespans… so they are probably thinking that they would meet Lara again.
Lastly, it is Eris’ turn.
If what Lara says is true, this would also be Eris’ last time seeing Lara.
I wonder what Eris would say.
[I don’t really understand it, but you found your path in life right?]
[Yup, I found it.]
[Then there’s nothing more for me to say. Do your best.]
[Un, I’ll do my best.]
As expected of Eris, so cool!!
I want to be cool like that as well.
“Then I have nothing more to say” I want to say something to the effect of that.
Isn’t there something like that?
Finally, Eris turned towards Leo and said.
[Leo, we are leaving Lara in your hands.]
Leo barked with pride.
Like he was saying that he’s finally able to fulfill his duty.
The straight, disciplined look of a soldier.
Somehow, Lara’s dreamy-eyed face also looked tenser than usual.
Seeing that look, it somehow came to me.
There’s definitely something she set out to accomplish in this journey.
I don’t know what that is, but it’s significant enough that Hitogami wanted to kill her.
Which means that whatever she’s trying to do would be vital key in defeating Hitogami.
That is why this journey is necessary.
…Is what I would like to think.
Since she is being targeted by Hitogami, maybe it might be better to not let her do as she pleases and keep her close for her own safety.
But that might stop her from doing what she’s is supposed to do in the future, and everything I did till now might be for naught.
If she is just someone who’s living her life, it is unlikely that Hitogami would do something to her.
I wonder what it is, though.
That’s why, I shouldn’t think like that.
Lara has a destiny she was born to fulfill.
She is being targeted by Hitogami and protected by Orsted.
But, Lara isn’t a mere tool to be used in defeating Hitogami.
At the very least, I should not treat her like one.
With those thoughts, once again, I stepped in front of Lara.
[Lara. What you’re thinking, honestly, I still have absolutely no idea… but it is your life. So live it your way till the end.]
[Yes… I understand.]
Her reply was in a rare formal tone, while she meekly nodded.
Seems like I was able to say something useful.
It may have overlapped with what Eris said a bit, but they are my true thoughts.
Well, for now, let’s see her off.
Then let’s go meet and explain the situation to Orsted tomorrow, and if there’s anything we should do, we’ll do it.
Maybe secretly assigning some guards to follow her might be good as well.
[Then, have a safe trip.]
Lara replied in her usual absent-minded tone and stepped out of the door riding on Leo.
Leo slowly walked paw by paw towards the gate of the estate.
Then, he stopped and Lara turned her head around…
For several seconds, she glanced at us and the house.
Her expression, as usual, was in a daze and you can never tell what she is thinking about.
But after awhile, she got off Leo.
And facing us, she bowed her head deeply…
[Thank you for taking care of me until now.]
With that, Lara Greyrat left on her journey.
An hour later.
We were in the living room.
In the comfortable heat of the furnace, the four of us were cuddling and enjoying some warm tea.
It was already late at night, but none of us felt like sleeping.
We were ready to go all out drinking, but that urge has also died down.
[Somehow, it all came so suddenly.]
Sylphy blurted out alone.
Chris’ graduation, employment and engagement.
Followed by Lara’s journey.
Especially the latter, it was so sudden that I understood none of it and am still somewhat shocked.
[That child, she didn’t have to leave this late into the night… Could she be using the teleportation circles?]
[At this time, the town gates should be closed, so that’s probably it.]
[It’s worrying… I wonder if we should go and take a look at her?]
Since Lara’s departure, Roxy has been repeatedly glancing at the window worriedly.
In all these years, the one that worried about Lara the most was her, after all.
For this child that had always been incomprehensible, Roxy would set her up in matchmaking sessions or even introduce jobs to her.
Although, those efforts didn’t seem to have had an effect on Lara.
[She’ll be fine. Something was different about her today. I felt some sort of determination from her, after all.]
[Thing is, that determination is what she usually lacks.]
Conversely, Eris and Sylphy weren’t all that worried.
To be frank, I am not that worried as well.
Lara might have the vibes of a shut-in, but her way of being shut-in was fundamentally different from how I was in my previous life.
With all that said and done, she is an observant person, capable of understanding everything happening around her.
Yet, she still possesses strong curiosity and loves doing experiments.
Ever since she was a brat, she loved to pull pranks. And perhaps due to how often she got reprimanded, her body could somehow sense when it wasn’t okay to cross the line.
She lived as she pleased, while making sure not to cross that line.
That’s how I saw her.
So no matter where she goes, I think she will do well.
Maybe not everything will go her way at first, but since she obtained the ability to see where her boundaries lie…
She will take some time and maybe make some mistakes, but it will all work in her favor in the end.
I’d like to think about it that way.
Speaking of which, her actions this time round are quite unusual for what she’d been doing in recently.
Her divination must have been considerably strange for her to take such drastic actions.
Regarding her divination research, it’s so out of my depth that I have absolutely no idea how it works…
[At any rate, it looks like everyone has left home.]
Such lonely words escaped Sylphy’s mouth.
Lucy got married and moved to the Holy Milis Kingdom.
Ars was taken in as Orsted’s subordinate and is travelling the world with Aisha.
To come to the aid of his friend, Sieg became a knight in the Dragon King Kingdom.
Lily is under full-time employment of the Zanoba Company as a magic tool researcher. She’s nearby but she tends to coop herself up in her personal workshop and doesn’t come home often.
Then, Chris found employment in the Asura Kingdom, and most likely her marriage partner.
And with Lara leaving on her journey…
Our home no longer has any children staying here.
[It feels like the house somehow got spacious.]
Again, we were speechless in response to those words.
Sounds of the bonfire.
Without even winds blowing outside, everything is dead silent.
Within the house too, it feels kinda lifeless and still.
Just not too long ago, this house was filled with people and even felt a little cramped.
That… has reduced to only the people here.
Going up to the second floor, there’s also Lilia and Zenith, but even that adds up to only six people.
As expected, it feels a little lonely now.
[What shall we do from now on, then?]
Sylphy muttered alone again.
What to do… Those words – I guess it is only because it’s her that she can say it.
As Orsted’s subordinate, I still have to go around the world doing the missions he assigns me.
Eris often comes along as my escort on these missions. She also serves as an instructor for the Rude Mercenary Company.
Roxy is a school teacher. And she was boasting about how she got promoted to a position responsible for an entire year’s students.
With everyone working on various things, Sylphy was the only one specializing in raising children. She basically stays at home for all of us.
With all the children leaving the nest, she is left with nothing to do.
[Do you have anything in mind?]
[That, I can’t really think of anything right now. I probably had several things in mind… but for now I will continue the housework. Lilia-san’s age too… she would get mad if I say that but I can’t be leaving it all to her now.]
[If Sylphy says that, we are really grateful for that.]
Talking strictly about taking care of the children, that had already stopped several years ago.
Since we are talking about Sylphy here, if she has free time, she’ll probably start something of her own.
While she appears meek and obedient, she is unexpectedly curious and active after all.
But, I guess that’s the case.
I had children.
And they became independent, got married and even gave birth to grandchildren.
I’ve already come this far huh….
Thinking back, I really feel like I’ve come a long way.
When I first reincarnated into this world and decided to take life seriously this time round, I never would’ve thought that this would happen.
Nah, even at that time, I believed I would be able to live a decent life.
However, reality indeed turned out really different.
There were times where everything was smooth sailing, and times where it wasn’t.
Times of convenience, times of trouble.
I’ve been forgiven for things that I thought were unforgivable, and the converse as well.
I tried my best at the time, and maybe occasionally slacked off.
And it ended up the way it did.
Three wives and six children.
Working hard at my job and taking care of my parents.
If my past self saw this, he might quip about how unexpectedly shabby my situation now is.
He may think about things like how I could’ve gone further and reached for greater heights.
But I’m am satisfied as I am now.
Studying, travelling, making friends, creating art, researching, falling in love, marrying, raising children, working, fighting- to win, to be defeated, to gain, to lose, and to gain again, and while doing that, slowly building up experiences and things.
I never thought that I’d be able to live like a proper person like this.
I thought about living life seriously, but I had absolutely no idea where to even begin going about doing that. Yet, I’ve done well.
Nah… this is just the beginning huh.
As the kids have become independent, we have more room to breathe now.
So now, we can start something new again.
[Me too, I think I’ll start something new.]
[Rudy too? Then let’s do it together. What will we be doing?]
[Ah, me too, please let me participate in that too.]
[Naturally, I will be part of that!]
The wives drew closer and we started thinking.
What we would be doing next.
Not what we should do, but what we want to do.
Maybe there’s nothing much that we really want to do, but something that’ll be interesting once we start would be good.
My life will still go on for awhile.
How many years of age will I live to be, I still have no clue…
But I’ll continue working hard as I do now.
[That’s right, then let’s…]
If I do that, then this time round, I will die peacefully, having lived a satisfying life.
Some translator notes:
1. Omae wa mou shinderu. NANI
2. Eighth Grade Syndrome. A condition where people truly believe they are the chosen one. Sample video.
3. I have absolutely no idea where this reference is from. Probably some variety show in Japan.