The luxurious bathhouse is filled with white steam. The walls are framed in gold, the floor in porcelain, and the bathtub in marble.
The bathtub's size was twice as large as that of Lucas's private room.
"How do you feel, my son-in-law? Doesn't it feel good?"
The hot water surely felt good, but it did not relax him.
Because when he glanced at the man right next to him, he saw his muscular body. However, Valerie's father is humming in a good mood.
"Why are you being so impolite? Why do you call me "Duke" at this point? You and I are already father and son."
"You can call me Papa or whatever you like. But I recommend Papi!"
"I can't call you Papi!"
Lucas realized that he had suddenly returned to his normal state of mind and raised his voice, and he shrank back.
"Hahaha, it's all right. It's okay. I'm taking you as my son-in-law based on my daughter's words that you are a trash, incompetent and useless. After all, I won't feel good if you keep wearing a mask."
Although the words "trash, incompetent, and useless" are a bit harsh, Lucas shrugs his shoulders as if he has come to terms with the situation.
"Ah, please.... To tell the truth, our family is rather carefree even though we are nobles, and our language is quite foul. In fact, we are a poor aristocrat. Please don't complain about it later."
"I said I don't mind."
The father nodded his head in agreement, and Lucas asked with a sigh.
"But why me? I'm sure there are many more suitable offers for the Commander."
"Because most of what she said was about you."
"A god of poverty who had been abandoned by luck, a low-life trash, a garbage with no talent... well, that's what she tells me every time she comes home, but she's never talked about men to that extent before. You see, in spite of her appearance, my daughter is a shy girl and she is also a shy person. So I think she is hiding her shyness and actually likes the man in the story. If that's the case, I think it's my duty as a parent to understand my daughter's feelings, don't you?"
"No... I don't think she is being shy... I think she is being completely honest. Besides, from the Duke-sama's point of view, a Viscount is a low rank. To give his daughter to such a family, I think anyone would think Duke-sama's a bit disturbed."
"Let them think so if they want to. If it's a love between different statuses, it's a path I've taken too."
"Is that so?"
"Yes, we even promised to run away together. But in the end, I couldn't abandon the Savignacs. I have no excuse now. I can apologize to her more than I should, but there's nothing I can do now. That's why. I can't possibly object to my daughter's love for someone of a different status."
Valerie's is not love, so the premise is wrong, but of course there is no way she can say such a thing.
"Besides. I've had my eye on you as a candidate for a son-in-law for almost ten years now. It wasn't yesterday or today. In fact, I was really surprised when your name came out of my daughter's mouth."
"...Ten years, why me?"
"In fact, I once crossed swords with your father in a tournament when I was a fighter. The result was my victory, an overwhelming victory, but my eyes are not blind. I assure you. Your father lost on purpose. Perhaps there's a difference in strength between me and him. It seems, no one but an overwhelmingly strong man could have defeated him so brilliantly. I don't know what his reasons are, but he hid his ability. And I suspect that you are the same."
(Father, stop screwing up! He knows!)
Lucas shrugs his shoulders in a gesture of exasperation as he scolds his father in his heart.
"Well, if you don't mind my saying, I think your eyes are a little blind..."
"Well, that's all right. If it's a blind eye, I don't mind that."
"I myself have lived my life with loyalty to the royal family as my highest priority and I've taught it to my daughter. But... You can laugh if you like. It wasn't until she became a knight on her own that I began to wonder if I was right."
"As her father, I suddenly became afraid that she might die in battle. I can't stand it. That's what I thought. I don't care if it's cowardly, I don't care if it's shameful, I want my daughter to live. That's why I thought the only man I couldn't beat, son, would protect her. You think I'm crazy, don't you?"
"I don't think you're crazy. I just think you're a big guy who worries about trivial things. It's natural. No father would be happy about his daughter's death."
The father smiled quietly without seeming to pay any attention to Lucas' words, even though they were quite impolite.
"Of course.... You are different from me and my daughter. Your father was the same way. He seems to live by a different set of values. That's why I'm asking you. As my daughter will continue to sacrifice herself for the royal family, please protect her, my daughter, your wife, all the way."
Then he bowed so low that his nose touched the hot water.
"Duke-sama, you're being unreasonable. And I don't have to protect the Commander..."
Lucas did not know how to respond to the father's continued bowing, and his brow wrinkled deeply.