Special thanks to all patrons~
[Casual Supporter: aureliaxangel, Diego R, Eli D, mjkj, SkVt, Greame K]
[Original Mania Level 1: Sami, ZeroDeviation, Kiradien, Ravenslock, Luke, Greg S]
[Original Mania Level 2: Bradford M, DJay, Goddess_hera, Katrion, N0VERCL0CKER, Sean D, Aria R]
[Original Mania Level 3: blizgerg, John D, sch, Mac, Tibb)(]
[Original Mania Level 4: Fox]
[Original Mania Level 5: Andrew M, Katherine, Kyle M, Dakota]
[Double Degree Level 1: e]
[Double Degree Level 2: Christopher]
[Double Degree Level 3: Browser]
[Library Lover: Erika S, Kaifen]
…and Gackt1 for always commenting! It’s always something I look forward to, so keep it coming! ^o^/
Naturally, due to the shocking nature of Celeste’s words, I slipped out. But apparently, I wasn’t the only one surprised.
As I gazed at my family’s reactions…
The twins were a bit clueless, but they seemed to be confused as the others were surprised.
My parents’ surprise didn’t seem to be as big as mine, but it was apparent from their expressions.
Meanwhile, the one who slipped out their voice and was as surprised as me was actually Alt-nii, the person who was supposed to know Celeste better than the rest of us here!
It seemed like… Celeste kept her mouth really tight that Alt-nii also had no clue at all?
I had a mixed feeling about this…
In my mind, someone who was having a special thing going on with their mutual romantic interest should share things between them, like little to no secrets between them? Especially such a big stuff like this… I guess?
But who am I to talk?
After all, I had zero experience in love and relationships. I merely built my view based on what I consumed in fictions, but everyone knew that fictions tended to be exaggerated and reality couldn’t work like fictions.
“Please let me see him, he’s my father!”
Seeing that none of us responded to her words—actually because we were still shocked, Celeste repeated her words.
Perhaps her voice brought us back to the main topic, as my parents were the first one to quickly recover.
“Calm down. First, can you elaborate more?” Mom asked.
Dad’s expression shifted in an instant into that of what I dubbed as his ‘working mode’ expression. Calm and unreadable, often giving off a cold vibe.
“First of all. We just talked about how your mother was a fallen nobility of the elven country, while your father was a human commoner from Riviera. How come you suddenly claimed that this refugee—the great general from Naraka empire… is your actual father?”
Contrary to his earlier warm reception, his words contained a cold vibe now. He was speaking very rationally, devoid of any emotions. He was totally in a working mode.
As expected of the trusted royal spy… I sometimes forgot that Dad was one, but this reminded me of the fact that Dad was awesome!
“Dad’s right. And it’s not like you to be this frantic…,” Alt-nii suddenly said; his face carried a myriad of expressions. From surprise, sadness, worry, confusion, and disappointment.
I guess… Alt-nii was sad and disappointed that Celeste never told him anything about this—for telling a lie to him?
Perhaps he thought she had trusted him enough, but with this sudden revelation, he felt as if he didn’t actually know her enough?
I could somehow sympathize with him…
Celeste seemed like she finally realized what she had done in a moment of impulse, as she quickly sat down and tried to calm herself.
“I apologize for my rudeness, I got too worked up… Where are my manners?”
“It’s alright. The most important thing right now is for you to explain your words. I will think whether or not we can grant your request after hearing what you have to say,” Dad said.
Celeste nodded at Dad’s words. Then, she glanced at Alt-nii and me before with what I perceived as a little guilt before she averted her gaze back to Dad.
“The person you just mentioned… The special refugee, the one who claimed himself to be the former great general of Naraka who ran away because of his differing opinion… I believe that he is my father, so I asked to see him so I could verify it…,” Celeste said.
“So you want to ask whether or not he’s your real father? Your ‘human father’ is actually your stepfather?” Dad asked with a probing tone.
“No… I know that he is my real father. Though I haven’t seen him for quite a long time, I still recall who my real father is. I just want to see if he is really him… In other words, my proposal actually can be beneficial to you. In a sense, I can discern whether or not he’s telling the truth. I can determine if he’s telling the truth or not,” Celeste earnestly said.
Dad tapped his fingers on the table, clearly he was thinking.
“Uhm, so you’re part-elf and part-Oni? But you don’t have any horn…,” I interjected.
This was what I was most interested in.
“Is your mother a pure-blooded elf, then? Or is she not? I guess your father is a pure-blooded Oni, if he’s indeed the former great general of Naraka,” I added, questioning her bloodline out of curiosity.
After all, I had never heard the case of a child born between a pure-blooded elf and a pure-blooded Oni.
“That’s right… I am half-elf, half-Oni,” Celeste said, affirming my guess.
“That’s awesome!” Freyja suddenly said. She also knew that there had never been a case of pure-blooded elf and pure-blooded Oni having a child together.
“But you only have an elf’s characteristic…,” Freyr repeated my question.
“Some of the Onis don’t have horns, right? Perhaps Celeste is a descendant of them?” Alt-nii added.
“I…,” Celeste hesitated.
She scanned all of us before she finally sighed and said, “I guess I shouldn’t lie and just say yes to what Alt said. And I think this will convince you more. I am actually using an artifact to hide my Oni characteristic. Let me show you.”
Then, she removed two small earrings from her pointy ears.
As soon as the small earrings which contained some kind of embedded jewels in them were removed, two small horns growing from the left and the right side of her forehead could be seen.
“Ah… Horns… It’s real!” I exclaimed in surprise.
To think that there was an item that could hide Oni characteristic…
“The reason why my pointy ears are smaller than the elves’ normal ears isn’t because of my part-human blood. It’s because of my part-Oni blood,” Celeste said.
“So you’re actually… Why didn’t you tell me?” Alt-nii asked.
“I… It’s complicated…,” Celeste avoided Alt-nii’s eyes and said in a low voice.
“Another question. We know that you can do [Light] magic. But since you claim to be half-Oni… Does that mean you can also use [Dark] magic or you can’t use it at all since your aptitude takes after your elven bloodline?” Mom asked.
This… is what I’m also curious of, too!
Celeste then put her palms upside before two magical balls appeared on them—on the left side was [Dark] magic ball, while [Light] magic ball was lit on her right palm.
“You’re right, Mrs. Hartmann. I can use both magic elements of the same proficiency,” Celeste said.
“Huh, but the magic test…,” Alt-nii suddenly muttered.
“These earrings of mine suppressed my Oni characteristic, including my [Dark] magic proficiency,” Celeste said as the two magical balls vanished, and she lifted the earrings she had taken off.
“I’ve never heard of such an artifact,” Mom added.
“Yes, you can say that it’s a hidden artifact… that not many know of,” Celeste said mysteriously, not revealing how the artifact came to be in her possession.
“Then… Do you believe me now? Can I see him…?” Celeste asked.
“It’s convincing enough, but we need to consult it with the others first,” Mom said.
“No problem. If there’s a possibility, I’m willing to wait,” Celeste said.
“But wait,” Dad suddenly interjected.
All eyes were now on him.
“There are still lots of blanks. If your real father is indeed the former great general of Naraka, how did your elf mother meet him? Why were you and your mother separated from him? …It can be a simple family matter, but since your background was proven a lie, I am starting to doubt if the ‘family’ you claimed to have is actually true. Your ‘commoner human father’ was proven to be fake, so don’t blame me for doubting other points, too. Doubt is like a seed, once planted, it will grow,” Dad said before adding.
“You have that mysterious artifact with you and you have been hiding your real identity for quite some time now. Is it done simply because you and your family are afraid of your half-Oni and half-elf bloodline will be exposed and you’ll be the center of attention? It is plausible, but I feel like there’s more to it.”
“Dad… It can be like what you said, right? Celeste’s biological parents separated, and her mother remarried here… Her Oni bloodline was covered so that she won’t have to be the highlight of the news or seen as marvellous specimen by the scientists… Besides, her biological father’s identity is quite special… If it’s known that Naraka’s former great general had a child with an elf, not only her father, but perhaps Celeste will also be targeted by the Naraka empire as well…?” Alt-nii argued.
That is plausible.
I nodded after hearing Alt-nii’s words.
“If so, then she shouldn’t have anything to hide. She can just reveal those points just fine. But judging from her words and demeanour, it seems like she has something else she’s still hiding,” Dad said as his sharp gaze scanned over Celeste.
As expected of the head of the royal spies…
“Even if she’s someone that you took a fancy on, Alt-nii, I won’t give her any special treatment as this issue is sensitive. We can’t overlook anything,” Dad sternly said to Alt-nii.
“…Yes,” Alt-nii said as he hung his head down.
“I understand,” Celeste said.
“Are you going to tell us the whole story now?” Dad asked.
“…I’m sorry, but I can’t do that right now. I need to verify things with my father first. We will tell our story after that,” Celeste said.
“Are you pressuring us to agree to your request?” Dad asked.
“…Yes,” Celeste firmly said after a moment of silent.
“How brave of you,” Dad said with a hint of amusement in his voice.
“This is just how desperate I am,” Celeste said, her fist slightly trembled.
“…Only if you promise to bring your so-called human father and elf mother with you,” Dad said.
“…!” Celeste quickly lifted her head and locked eyes with Dad.
“Y-yes, I promise,” Celeste said after getting over her surprise. Her voice contained a hint of happiness.
From where it was going, it seemed like the probability of Celeste’s request being granted was quite high. No wonder she was happy.
“I’d like to come as well!” Alt-nii quickly added.
“M-me too!” I followed suit.
The twins also raised their hands.
“Alt and Lyra can come. But Freyr and Freyja should stay,” Dad said.
Upon hearing his words, dejection was clearly written all over Freyr and Freyja’s expressions.
I guess Dad didn’t really want them to be involved in this issue… but he surprisingly agreed to allow me to come there as well.
Perhaps he already knew that I was going to do whatever it takes to tag along, thus to save the complications, he allowed me from the get-go?
Plus, I was an adult already.
“Are you alright with this arrangement, Celeste?” Mom asked Celeste.
“Yes… They have the right to know,” Celeste said as she glanced guiltily at both me and Alt-nii.
The peaceful dinner time that I envisioned turned out to be one full of very unexpected surprises.
Alt-nii seemed to be down after that dinner, but that was only natural.
Not too long after, Dad and Mom had already talked about this with their colleagues, including the king.
Celeste’s request—to see the special refugee that was detained in the royal castle for the time being—was approved.