… Within the Jewel.
On the area extending across the round table room, Miranda was blown off, and rolled across the ground.
She caught herself, and stood, before her eyes, Milleia expressionlessly pointing her gun, and pulling the trigger.
Bending her body to avoid the bullet, She wrapped threads around Milleia’s arm, and used brute force to throw her against the wall. But flying through the air, Milleia used the bayonet on her gun to sever the thread, and in her dress, she touched her feet to the wall, and ran down it.
Pulling a gun from her frilly sleeve, she fired a round at Miranda, and discarded the handgun. Those guns that required a shell exchange after every shot all had bayonets attached, making her capable of close-quarter-combat.
Miranda ran forward, and tried avoiding the shot, but her thigh was pierced, and she fell flat on the spot.
Stooping over in fear, Shannon tried to use her Demon eyes to see a weakness in Milleia, but with the gunpoint turned to her…
… She cried, and averted her eyes. When Milleia’s bullet embedded itself near her feet, Shannon fell back onto her bottom.
Miranda’s injuries recovered, and trying to stand, she made a golem with magic.
That doll of mud blocked the way between her and Milleia. Milleia reloaded shells into her guns as she walked forward, heading straight for the large golem whose height exceeded three meters.
The golem looked to be at an overwhelming advantage, but even so, Miranda knew it was nothing more than a means to buy time.
From Miranda’s point of view, she saw the large golem’s back as it slammed its large fist into Milleia. Right after, it was violently torn up, the golem crumbling away, and returning to the soil.
Beyond the crumbling golem, stood Milleia with two guns. Her grinning feature was accompanied by a sweat across Miranda’s face.
“… It really is unbelievable.”
Her opponent was her own ancestor, and someone related to the Walt House, she was told, but this was definitely out of the norm.
To Miranda, Milleia spoke.
『What’s with you, looking at someone as if they’re some sort of monster. That’s downright rude.』
Putting away her guns, Milleia stroked her hair, and looked around. Seeing Shannon still curled up on the ground, she let out a sigh.
『Shannon. Your eyes are capable of at least this much. Good grief, fixating on nothing but interfering with others’ minds. Look at the Mana flow a bit, and try searching for where you have to prick to break them.』
While Miranda wiped her sweat, Shannon was on the verge of tears.
“It’s impossible! In a situation like that, I can’t see that much!”
Tears pooling in her eyes as she shook her head. Milleia looked at Shannon, and dropped her shoulders. Lately, they had been entering the Jewel to receive instruction from Milleia. But not a single one of the Walt House ancestors would pop their faces out.
Among them, only Milleia was assertively involved with the sisters.
『You really are uselessly cute, Shannon.』
Fed up, Milleia headed for Shannon, and lent her a hand to stand her up. And she used a hand to brush away the dirt on her clothing. If left alone, that dirt would fade away, so Miranda thought it a pointless act.
“Shannon, help out a bit more. Fighting her alone is difficult.”
When Miranda complained, Milleia touched a hand to her mouth.
『If you can’t beat me alone, then I can’t imagine how you’ll fare in what’s to come, Miranda. You must properly understand what it means to be a woman of the Walt House. Among the House Heads’ wives, and daughters, there are a number of them stronger than me.』
Hearing that, Miranda felt her head was starting to hurt. She didn’t think herself weak, but she was reminded there was always someone stronger. And it felt she was she was being shown a lesson by the out-of-the-norm clan called the Walt House.
“You mean to say the current me is not worthy?”
On Miranda’s words, Milleia made an intrigued expression.
『Whether you’re worthy or not… in the end, the one to decide is Lyle, Miranda.』
Milleia brought the two of them close, and slowly began to speak.
『I’m counting on the two of you. That you’ll support Lyle up. But you see, at the same time, I want you both to be happy. Miranda who resembles me, and Shannon who inherited my eyes. You’re both my cute descendants.』
Milleia embraced them, and spoke. Miranda was a little embarrassed, while Shannon timidly gripped Milleia’s clothing before returning the embrace.
Shannon didn’t remember much about her mother, so the shadow of her sister and mother likely overlapped with Milleia for her.
『… Once upon a time. When I was young, I mean. My eyes wouldn’t see. A physical disability was a heavy burden on a noble. A failure, a disgrace… my brothers, and sisters said it too. Among the retainers were those prejudice against me as well. Just by being there, I was a drawback to the Walt House, they said.』
Milleia continued reciting the tale.
『But you see. The eldest brother was kind. He was awkward, but as he was, he rebelled at the ways of the Walt House, and always opposed my father. Perhaps I was the cause of that, but he really treasured me. And my father would treat me the same as he would my brothers and sisters. He wouldn’t permit my lack of sight being used as an excuse. Everyone called him a cold person, but being treated normally was an extremely joyous thing to me. There are plenty of awkward people out there. Weak, and getting lonely easily. The Walt House is shouldered by nothing but those sorts… so you have to support it up.』
Milleia turned a smile to Miranda and Shannon. And with that smile.
『And you see. Men of the Walt House are quite good at rolling around on their women’s palms.』
… Shannon was dumbfounded.
“… I thought it would turn into a nice story along the way.”
She looked severely disappointed. As she thought, Milleia was Miranda. Miranda reaffirmed it as well.
But Milleia spoke.
『Hmm? You don’t look so pleased. Good grief, this is why children are… you listening? Now I’m going to teach you something extremely important. You could even call it the trick to get a Walt man dancing on the palm of your hand.』
Miranda reacted a bit, and raised her head.
Shannon looked at her.
“Sis… you don’t have to bite on so hard.”
Milleia embraced the two of them again, and whispered in their ears…
『The trick is…』
Inside the prepared horse-drawn wagon, Metal lump Porter was letting off some conspicuous colors.
It was early in the morning, around, the working Valkyries briskly pushing along preparations.
Within all that, I took out the list I’d gotten from Novem.
“Lyle-sama, all the preparations are in order. For Fortress Redant, Adele-san and Maksim-san led along the Valkyries that finished up work first, and entered Bahnseim. We will be entering other countries by sea, before heading in the direction of Bahnseim.”
Nodding, I looked at Porter.
Loaded with cargo, and after everything was in order, Monica carried out a final check. Clara accompanied her, similarly checking off packages.
I looked at the list.
“I get Aria and Clara. I’m thankful you were able to send Monica around to this side. But why is Shannon with me too? We’re heading through Cartaffs to Bahnseim, and Faunbeux, right?”
While we had the Fourth’s Skill… Speed… our distance to travel was extremely long. And we were relatively short on time, so we needed to get Faunbeux’s agreement on assistance.
But the members assigned to me were Aria, Clara, and Monica and Shannon.
I got Aria. She was a valuable war potential.
Clara was needed to operate Porter.
Monica… asserted she would stick with me, and it’s more that we approved it.
But couldn’t Shannon just hold down the fort? Or so I thought.
Novem sat on a wooden crate, and kicked her legs up and down as she sent a glance to Shannon. The reason Shannon was just staring at the busily moving Valkyries was because she knew she would get in the way if she tried to help.
“Shannon-chan volunteered. Miranda-san also acknowledged it. My side has me, Miranda-san, Eva-san, and May-chan. We’re taking along Marina-san on top of that.”
I was reluctant to leave South Beim wide open, but Fidel-san had already come in to take command.
The Guild personnel from Beim had already started their work, and the adventurers were collecting Magic Stones and materials in the Labyrinth.
“… Rauno-san and Innis-san migrated to South Beim as well. It seems Rauno-san will be heading for Cartaffs alongside you. It’s already been explained to Vera-san, so he only has to board the ship. It’s your first boat trip in a while.”
She said first in a while, but what she meant was first trip with Vera in a while. I averted my eyes from Novem’s words.
“That was a joke. It really was a joke to rile him up…”
Novem laughed a bit.
“Fidel-san really was looking forward to it, it seems. When he heard it was a joke after-the-fact he was making an extremely conflicted face. But… if it really was your firstborn, that would be a little troublesome. If male, there comes the possibility he would be your successor, and the Trēs House would achieve the position of having the legitimate heir. The Trēs House has its current standing, and if possible, it would be best if the firstborn be with the legal wife. All things considered, the ones who must be excluded from candidacy are Eva-san, May-chan, and Clara-san, perhaps? Because it’s easier for one of noble lineage to be recognized as successor.”
Novem was all smiles. Her tone was gentle. And yet, the fact I felt so cornered must be because it was my responsibility.
In order to rile Fidel-san, I had Vera play out a lie of pregnancy. As a result, Aria who was there at the time… I kissed Aria to form a line, and from it, Monica was also informed.
By the time I returned, Monica had prepared the goods to raise a child, and I was promptly surrounded by the female camp.
I was unlucky. From Galleria, Rusworth, and Cartaffs, Gracia-san, Elza-san, and Ludmilla-san were present as well.
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I don’t want to recall the events of that day anymore.”
I apologized to Novem, and she as well.
“I humbly apologize. I just… found myself a little jealous. It’s your problem as well, and I will abide your decision. But if you could take my words as a single opinion on the matter.”
I didn’t want to remember. I pushed the happenings of that day back to the past, and heard Novem’s apology, as I watched preparations go on.
“… I want to end it before Bahnseim floods into Beim.”
After Bahnseim issued a declaration of war, Beim had become quite panicked.
I stowed Porter away into the Seventh’s Box, and taking Aria, Clara, Monica, Shannon… and Rauno-san along, I boarded the Trēs House vessel, the Vera Trēs.
My comrades had come to see us off from the port.
Novem, Miranda, Eva, May. Beside her, the one who’d gotten to working alongside her, Marina-san also saw us off.
Without his overcoat, in a dress shirt, Fidel-san boarded the ship.
Atop the deck, Vera talked to him.
“We’ll be off, father.”
“… Yeah, you must be careful. Since it’s you, I’ve little to worry, but this time, you have that god of misfortune on board. When your chastity is in danger, make sure to aim straight, and pull the trigger.”
Didn’t he sound relatively serious there? As I thought that, Fidel-san directed hostility at me.
Vera sighed, and spoke.
“Good grief, give it up already. I’ve no intent to find a man besides Lyle. If Lyle’s gone… you’ll never get to see the cute face of your grandchildren. There’s no saying you’ll ever get to meet Gina’s.”
Fidel-san held his head.
“Dammit! Jokes about grandchildren are just going too far… each and every one of them, they’re snatching my daughters away! I hate every man who’ll lay a hand on my girls! They should just leave a grandchild behind, and disappear!”
While I watched Fidel-san’s distress, the Third laughed in the Jewel.
『Fidel-kun is in peak condition today.』
The Seventh sounded satisfied.
『He’s quite a talent. The more you work him up, the brighter he shines.』
When Fidel-san disembarked, he was glaring at me. And when he was down, the gangplank was unfastened, and Vera came to my side.
“Lyle, we’ll be heading straight for Galleria and Rusworth. We’ll be set for Cartaffs right after, but after that, you’ll be taking a land route, right? Do you have everything you need together?”
To her worry, I spoke.
“Don’t worry. Clara and Monica confirmed it. And if we don’t have enough, we can buy along the way.”
I had ceased being an adventurer, but the Guilds across the lands would still buy off monster materials from me.
If we couldn’t avoid monster battles, defeating them, and collecting their drops… selling them off was a possible way to procure funds.
Monica spoke to Vera.
“This Monica is beside him, so your worries are unfounded. And just when I thought I could look after this liar… chicken dickwad’s dear chicks.
Vera gave a bitter smile. Monica was relatively delighted when she heard I had a child, it seems.
“You know as well as I that Lyle’s doomed a virgin, right? Then how do you misunderstand him having children? Are you sure you aren’t broken after all?”
On Aria’s words, Monica shook up her twin tails.
“But the chicken took flight in the wars of Galleria and Rusworth, did he not!? There’s the surprisingly high possibility he was getting busy!”
Aria’s gaze pierced into me.
“… So you really think I’m that skillful?”
There, Aria nodded satisfactorily.
“That’s right. It’s Lyle after all, so that isn’t happening. I mean, he’s a virgin.”
Laughed at by Aria, as I was coming to terms with it, Clara quietly.
“Though Aria-san isn’t any better.”
The air turned awkward, and Clara alone produced a book from her bag, and began reading through it.
Shannon watched as the ship began to move.
“… I’m quite nervous with these members.”