This is another sponsored chapter~!
Special thanks for Stephen M!
And for patrons: Patrick F, Ayesha, salamon a, Jason S!
TL & ED : LynneSuzuran and Senhiro
In the next release, we will enter chapter 11! Chapter 11’s large chunk will be split into 3 parts~
Bertia 16 Years Old (4)
“Father, would you happen to know anything about [the fated girl]?”
The day after I gave up obtaining any information from Bertia and Baroness Heronia, I adjusted my schedule and returned to the royal palace in order to gather information about the phrase that somehow strangely got stuck in my head.
Since I didn’t obtain the information that I wanted from the library, I thought that I might find some information about it among the intelligence passed down from successive rulers or any tradition related with [me]–the royalty. In order to confirm that, I paid a visit to my father.
I bought some baked sweets from my mother’s favorite confectionery shop, which was located on my way back to the royal palace from Halm Academy, and prepared material that my father needed for his current government affairs as well as a summary of the information that I dearly desired.
Although my father was very busy as the king, once I curried my mother’s favour by bringing what she liked and told father that I have some information that can help in advancing his government affairs smoothly, he quickly made a time for me with pleasure.
“[The fated girl]? You’ve taken an interest in something quite romantic, huh?”
After personally handing over the offering for my mother to the grand chamberlain with great care, my father who held the materials I brought with a beaming expression, widened his eyes a little and unexpectedly stared at me.
“It is a phrase that came up as a keyword in a matter that I’m personally investigating, but I’m troubled because I can’t really grasp the original meaning behind those words.”
“So even you have something that you can’t understand to the extent that you’re troubled by it. Have you tried to look it up in the library?”
I smiled at my father who was looking at me as if he was looking at a rare animal.
“I have looked it up there, but I couldn’t find it. No, to be more accurate, there are a lot of stories in which the similar phrase came up, but honestly, I couldn’t judge if any of them were relevant.”
“Then, why would you ask me?”
“It seems that it is something related to the royalty. If that is the case, I think that it won’t be unthinkable for father to know it if it’s an important existence.”
I constantly smiled despite my father giving me a doubtful expression as he shrewdly raised his eyebrows.
Truthfully, I don’t really understand whether it is something that’s related to the royalty or if it’s something that’s only related to me, but I purposely asserted that it is something that’s [related to the royalty].
In case that the matter turned out to be a top secret related to the royalty, my father will handle the judgement from his position as a king first before his position as my father, whether or not he could give me the information.
In this case, the popular excuse such as [since my son pestered me] won’t work, so it would be better for me to operate by showing hints of holding some information to a certain extent in order to draw more information out from the superior.
We exchanged glances at each other while probing into the other party’s attitude.
My father squinted a little as he tried to probe into my real intention. On the other hand, I remained smiling without any change in my expression.
The one who yielded first was my father.
“Despite being my son, your smile was like an impregnable fortress. I thought I would like to probe into your real reason for asking that question, but I don’t feel like I can pull out any information from you, whose expression doesn’t change even once.”
“There is no more information. I just thought that I might as well investigate it as I was slightly interested because a certain person thoughtlessly predicted that it was something indispensable to me.”
“I’m telling the truth. …So, does father happen to have a clue about it?”
In response to my words, Father gazed at an empty space as if he was recalling something and raised his voice, “U-n,” as if he was groaning.
“… Unfortunately, there is nothing coming to mind. Since our country is a big country with a long history, there are various types of prophecy related to the royalty that has been handed down, stories told by oracles concerning the royalty, the legend of the saint, the folklore of the war maiden, and many other stories. However, I can’t think of anything that’s closely related to your story. On the other hand, if we were to draw the category of [the thing that has any resemblance to it in some respects], the results are way too many that I don’t know which one you are seeking.”
“Yes, that’s the truth.”
This time, I squinted my eyes slightly and turned to face my father as if I was trying to probe into him.
My father stared back at me as if saying with his gaze, “I don’t have anything like that.”
I watched him intently so that I won’t overlook any slight movement such as his pupils dilation, his eye movements, his breathing, and his cheek muscles’ movements… and then I loosened my gaze with a sigh.
It is most likely that my father doesn’t lie.
“…Is that so. If even Father doesn’t know about it, perhaps it is only a lie or just some random speech, right?”
“You are still not giving up on it, huh?”
“It’s because I understood that Father didn’t speak any lies. If even Father doesn’t know about it, then it’s certainly not an important affair, or it’s something that doesn’t even exist. …Since there shouldn’t be any important matters related to the royalty that Father, who is the king, wouldn’t know.”
When I shrugged my shoulders, Father gave me a sarcastic laugh as if saying, “You’re overestimating me too much.”
“In addition, even if I was interested in it to the extent that I asked you under the premise that if you knew, there might be some helpful information, but if you don’t know about it, then there’s no problem at all if it remains unknown.”
“Is that all right? Isn’t it a [prophecy] that made you demonstrate an apparent interest?”
“It’s [thoughtless remarks that look like a prophecy]. After all, I have a fiancée named Lady Bertia. In truth, if such a person really appeared, then she would be nothing but a nuisance. If it becomes troublesome to deal with her, then the most I can do is to leave her as she is. If she’s good, then she can be used as a pawn if possible.”
“Was it the [fated] girl?”
Towards my father who grinned broadly as if he was teasing me, I smiled in my astonishment.
“After all, I have Lady Bertia. Wasn’t it what you decided yourself, Father?”
I tried to give a slight emphasis when I mentioned Bertia’s name, and Father showed a slightly surprised expression before smiling warmly as if he was feeling relieved.
“I see. That’s right. …Hey, Cecil.”
“What is it?”
“Is your life fun right now?”
I tilted my head reflexively towards the sudden question because I couldn’t understand his intention.
However, even if I couldn’t understand his intention, I have decided the answer to that question even without thinking.
“Yes, it’s fun. After all, my fiancée is always so amusing.”
“Then, that’s good. …It means that my eyes didn’t fail me when I decided on her as your fiancée.”
“Would you like it if I were to say, [as expected of Father!] here?”
“Isn’t it fine to praise me more?”
“I will leave that role for Mother. Wouldn’t you be happier that way too, Father?”
When I said it in a slightly jesting tone, Father stared blankly for a moment before letting out his voice and laughed, “Hahaha.”
“That is certainly true. It would be better for me to report this matter to Olivia and have her praise me while we’re in bed. I would surely be very delighted that way, don’t you think so?”
“Father, Mother is not that young anymore, so can you please keep it at a moderate amount?”
“Hm? What are you referring at?”
“Don’t play stupid. To think that I won’t understand your implication, I’m not a child anymore, you know? Also, please refrain from bringing up such a delicate subject in front of your own son.”
“I don’t really understand the meaning behind your words.”
“…If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be a problem if I were to go to Bertia right away to do the thing that Father’s trying to do to Mother, right? Of course, if someone were to question it, I will answer confidently that [His Majesty, the King permitted me.]”
“Stop that!! At least until your wedding ceremony!! I would be killed by the Prime Minister and Olivia who’s taken a liking to her!!”
“It won’t be a problem as I was just going to have her praise me, right?”
“…It was my bad. I’m begging you, please keep your relationship moderate as a good crown prince until your marriage.”
Towards my sulky father whose lips pouted as he scratched his head boisterously, I showed my bitter smile and grumbled, “It can’t be helped.”
As the king of this country, I think that he’s a good and dignified king from my point of view, but… Once he was separated from the affairs of the state, his face as just a father looked quite miserable.
Still, I unexpectedly don’t hate that side of my father, too.
…I feel like it’s fun watching him like this, but not to the extent as the amusement I got from Bertia.
“Well then, it’s about time I should be taking my leave.”
Though I couldn’t find the answer that I was looking for, I heard everything I needed to, so I should take my leave now. I greeted my father as I headed towards the exit.
My father reminded me again, “keep your relationship moderate,” but I just ignored it with a smile.
…Naturally, I’m not willing to do something that can hurt Bertia, but it’s fun seeing my father’s face turning pale, so I just went with it.
As I finished my greetings and walked towards the door, suddenly I heard a voice calling me to halt my steps from behind.
I turned around only halfway and faced my father while wondering if he might still have something he wanted to tell me.
Then, to my surprise, I saw my father with his serious expression.
“…Cecil, you’re a very excellent son that I can boast about. However, just because you’re excellent, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have any worries. In fact, because you’re excellent, you are bound to have some worries. I may be unreliable, but if you’re troubled, then come here and discuss it with me at any time.”
I don’t understand why would Father say that kind of thing so abruptly.
However, when I witnessed that face of a [father], and the moment I heard his words, I strangely acquired a sense of relief.
Then, I suddenly realized.
Deep inside me, the emotion known as [anxiety] that I hadn’t experienced up until now was quietly lying down there.
When I decided on the [scenario] hereafter, there wasn’t any element of anxiety.
There is certainly a feeling that I would be able to manage it somehow, and I arranged the preparations by believing that alone.
It’s troublesome to have something to do with spirits, but the moment I remembered Bertia thought that magic didn’t exist in this world midway, I speculated that it wasn’t necessarily the work of an unknown big force that we couldn’t manipulate.
Moreover, in the worst case where such power was exercised, we have two superior spirits named Zeno and Kuro by our side. It couldn’t be that big of a threat.
Logically thinking, there shouldn’t be any element of anxiety.
That’s why, I thought that I wasn’t anxious at all.
However, when I felt relieved due to my father’s words, I realized for the first time that there existed a small quantity of [baseless anxiety].
Aah, how pathetic.
“Thank you very much, Father. At that time, I will depend on you mercilessly, so please be prepared.”
“Yeah, leave it to me. Accompanying you to worry about a matter is something your father is capable of doing.”
“Didn’t you just talk big, asking me to leave everything to you?”
“Parents of an extraordinarily excellent son are modest.”
“I think that’s each to their own.”
“I think so, too.”
After grinning and exchanging glances at each other, I pretended not to see him this time and turned around to go towards the door.
Before going out from the door, I upheld my manners by saying, “Excuse me.” And when I glanced at my father’s figure, he has already returned to his usual expression as a king, focusing his attention to the documents I presented.
Towards that father of mine, I muttered a small [thank you] in my mind.
I have only one comment… Cecil, you’re a precious little one QvQ/ and LOL Cecil consulting about [the fated girl] to his father, thinking that it might be some sort of a secret related to royalty!!