Chapter 14 You May Seem Straightforward at First, But
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
There is a legend that the Green Dragon possessed high intelligence. Despite being a dragon, it spoke human language fluently and was said to have borne children with humans for the first time.
Its power was known to shatter mountains with its roars and create valleys with a swing of its tail, and many tales of the Green Dragon’s aggressive nature could be found among the legends of dragons.
…Now, A draconia called Fiine, believed to be a descendant of the Green Dragon, appeared in the empire.
From what I’ve heard, she seems to be somewhere between a juvenile and an adult, but her intelligence seems to be on par with that of humans, just as the legends say.
Her personality is curious and friendly. Initially, she appeared to have come to find her younger brother who had been taken away by Marcato, but she didn’t show much reaction when I mentioned it. Instead,
’It’s alright if he’s with a female. Oratorio is naive, so I came to check on things, but it’s not a problem if it’s with female!’ Fiine declared, perhaps due to her own naivety or her confidence that mere humans couldn’t harm Draconia. In any case, she seemed satisfied with just having found hos whereabouts for now.
…However, how should I take in the reality that she is interested in me? Despite the fact that I have been troubled by Frau’s aggressive advances recently, on top of that, there is a confession from Draconia.
Although it is an honor to be regarded highly by someone like her, but I can’t even respond satisfactorily to an ordinary woman. So, There is no way I can give a proper reaction to Frau, who I have treated like a daughter, or to Fiine, who is Draconia.
…Besides, no matter what answer I give to the two of them, first I must focus on Viola. I must not deviate from my purpose. My current desire is Viola’s happiness. I must not prioritize myself.”
* * *
”Alto-sama, I have brought you tea.”
In one of Kanon-sama’s mansion rooms, a room that is usually not used, Alto-sama, Viola-sama’s big sister, is currently staying.
”Oh, Beth-san, you don’t need to worry. You don’t have to be considerate.”
With silver hair sparkling in the sunlight, beautiful deep red eyes, well-proportioned facial features based on the golden ratio, and a slender and supple body with a tall stature.
The figure, as if it had encapsulated all the beauty of this world, bore a striking resemblance to Viola-sama. Yet, it exuded a charm that seem slightly more mature and alluring.
The only things missing from her were her left eye and left arm, lost in the previous great war. Aside from that, one might wonder if everything else resided within her.
”Do you not find it disheartening to confine yourself to your room for so long? There is no danger within the estate. Would you like to take a leisurely stroll in Kanon-sama’s garden? If you wish, I can also guide you through the capital city, as I did the other day.”
Alto-sama possesses more than just beauty. Viola-sama, known as the Sword Princess of the Raging Fire, was highly talked about, and in the past, it was her younger sister who garnered people’s attention. However, it should be said that it was Alto-sama who had firmly established her position within the knights’ order.
The position of Knight Commander of the Third Knights Order was not solely due to the fame of her father, who had been the commander-in-chief.
”No, I’ve always been more of an indoor person. Viola was the active one, always playing outside since we were kids. I, on the other hand, would lose myself in books indoors. Just like now.”
”Those books… Alto-sama, are you interested in Draconia?”
Spread out before her were various documents related to dragons and Draconia, ranging from children’s fairy tales to rare materials about their ecology. They must have all been borrowed from Kanon-sama’s library.
”Yes. It’s a field I haven’t explored much before, so it’s quite intriguing. I’ve also become more interested in the ancestors other than dragons. I had only heard rumors about them, but it seems they manipulate something called ‘bloodline magic.’ It’s no wonder, considering Kanon-sama is the top Apoithakarah-class mage in the Empire. I can’t get enough of reading about it.”
There was nothing suspicious in Alto-sama’s smile.
”…Did you become interested because you overheard Kanon-sama and Lute-sama talking about it?”
”Overheard? What conversation are you referring to?”
However, a sense of unease lingered.
In that smile.
”The other night when Lute-sama visited, you were outside the room, right? I felt Alto-sama’s presence.”
”No, I went to sleep right away that night.”
”…I see. It seems I misunderstood. I apologize.”
”No, it’s fine… By the way, Beth-san, do you have any knowledge of martial arts or something?”
Why would there be a need to lie? Just say that you overheard out of pure curiosity. Well, if I was in Alto-sama’s position, I would want any information about the Empire because it’s natural.
”…It’s been a while since I retired, so I’ve become a bit rusty in various aspects.”
”I see… If it’s not too much trouble, may I ask which unit you belonged to?”
”…I was a part of the Divine Princess Guard.”
”The Divine Princess Guard!?”
Alto-sama… is different from Viola-sama.
”To be that young… and not just any elite, but the elite among the elites…”
”No, I was just unlucky.”
”…Unlucky, or rather lucky, wouldn’t you say?”
”I see, you have various circumstances, huh?”
I understand that Viola-sama is just very straightforward. It’s not your fault, Alto-sama.
”But still, it’s a shame. I wish I had met you back when the kingdom was still thriving. I would have definitely recruited you as a subordinate. …No, if you could join the Divine Princess Guard at such a young age, you would probably be at the level of a captain in the future.”
”You must be joking. I wouldn’t be of any use.”
”If it’s alright with you, may I ask why you left the Divine Princess Guard?”
”…It’s Bottleneck Syndrome.”
”…I see. So, you were originally a candidate for the Divine Princess?”
”…You’ve figured it out.”
I’m sure she hasn’t been completely freed from the shackles of her hometown. Behind this smile, the flames of resentment from that great war still smolder.
”Thank you for the tea. I’ll gladly accept it. I apologize for the impertinent question.”
”No, please don’t worry about it. It’s already a resolved matter. Well then, I’ll take my leave.”
Within my heart,
half of it is the feeling that she can do as shr please.
But please, don’t cause any trouble for Kanon-sama and Lute-sama, that’s half of what I think.
* * *
”Lute! What is your answer!?”
”No, well, you see, I just told you to wait a bit…”
”What… not yet… but I got it!! Fiine will wait!!”
”Ah, sorry about that”
”Will you tell me after dinner!?”
”……Hmm. I don’t think I can answer yet”
”I see… it takes a long time… but it’s okay!! I’ll wait!!”
”Ah, thanks Fiine”
”Huh? …Yeah!! Ehe, ehehe♡”
What is this kid.
She’s cute, but.
No, this is not the time to say she’s cute.
She looks and acts cute, but the answer she’s asking from Lute is not cute at all.
”Lute, you’re so kind~♡ We’ll make a good mate!~♡”
”Uh, yeah? … Is that so?”
What she wants from Lute is his seed.
”Please make up your mind and mate with me! I’ll wait!”
And she doesn’t hesitate to say that straight to his face.
Recent Frau has been intense, but it’s not as straightforward as her. It’s a new approach. The effect seems to be remarkable, maybe I should take it into consideration as well.
Now, Lute and Frau are in the kitchen preparing dinner. Fiine from Draconia is floating in the air, hugging Lute’s neck and happily wagging her lizard-like tail.
With Fiine in front of her, Frau, who has been touchy-feely during cooking lately, seems to have no chance to cling to Lute. She was staring at Fiine, who was acting spoiled towards Lute with a resentful expression on her face.
According to Lute, Fiine has been alive longer than me or Frau, but it seems awkward for Frau to take Lute away from Fiine, who looks like she’s only 12 or so.
In that case, Frau starts advising Fiine without any hesitation, but well… it doesn’t go well at all.
”Oh, um … Fiine-chan. It’s not good to… you know… mate, I think.”
”…? Why not?”
”Why is it… is it indecent?”
”Indecent? Why is that?”
”…Talking about such things openly isn’t really something people do, you know?”
”Hmm… Are humans averse to mating?”
”It’s not that they dislike it, but… humans do like mating, maybe?”
Frau, you’re talking quite openly about sensitive matters right now. You might not have noticed, but Lute next to you has turned into a stone statue.
”Why can’t we talk about it if humans like it?”
”Well… it’s more like keeping such things a secret between two people in love…”
”Oh… so, humans only mate when they’re in love? Fiine and the others aren’t like that… Mama and Papa are lovey-dovey, though.”
”Well, it’s not necessarily like that…”
”…I don’t really understand.”
”So, in other words… if Fiine likes Lute, it’s okay to mate as long as they keep it a secret, right?”
”No, it’s not.”
”…It’s not allowed?”
Looking at Frau, who firmly declared this, Fiine coiled her tail between her legs and looked down with a disappointed expression.
I’m not sure if this kid’s understanding is a good thing or a bad thing.
She listens carefully and doesn’t make fun of me or Frau, even though we’re just humans.
Still, I wonder if she’s making an effort to understand human better because she likes Lute. If that’s the case, it’s a nice story. Honestly, she’s so cute that I wish I could replace Lute’s position.
”Lute… is Lute upset about being asked to mate…?”
”…Yes, I agree with Frau that it’s not something to discuss openly.”
”I see… I guess it’s not a good idea after all…”
Fiine landed on the ground with a thud, looking completely downcast.
I somehow wants to hug her.
”Maybe… you’ve started disliking Fiine…? Mating… oh… uh…”
I wonders for a moment if I’d feel this way if I was a child.
”Do you hate doing something secretive with Fiine?”
However, it’s strange how trying to hide something only makes it more questionable.
But I remember how annoyed I was when the guys in the knight order used to talk nonsense like “It’s more erotic when you can’t see it clearly”. But for some reason, I can recall that scene very clearly now.
Maybe if I was there now, I could join the conversation and say “I know, right?” or something.
”……I won’t ever hate you, Fiine”
”Do you like me!!?”
”Huh? Oh…well…I don’t like you in the way that you mean, like a mate”
”……Is that so”
”But, I do like you as a human. Fiine is a good kid, you know”
”……Fiine isn’t a human, you know?”
”I mean, like…how can I say it……I like your heart, Fiine. Do you understand that?”
”Heart…… how is that different from liking me as a mate? Can we do secret things if you like me that way?”
This kind of endless questioning from Fiine that left me speechless became our daily routine for the past few days.
But anyway, Lute’s surroundings have become much more lively than they were at first.
At first, thinking about how I hadn’t even met Beth, I feel a mix of happiness and sadness as more and more people come to visit the house, including Frau, Beth, Kanon-san, Alto-oneesama, Fiine, and even Aria and Forte, who, although we haven’t met face to face.
I mean, my alone time with Lute hasn’t had much of that lately.
Even when it comes to treating my arm, I can’t really take my time because Frau is helping me… well, sort of.
”Alright, it’s done. Let’s make dinner.”
”Oh, food!! I love the food that Lute makes!”
”…Well, I’m also making it, you know.”
”What’s for dinner today!?”
”It’s beef stew. I also baked bread. There’s cheese too.”
”Fiine-chan, do you like cheese?”
”I love it!”
Even when we were eating dinner just the two of us, it was happy, but it’s also fun to have four people gathering around the table like this.
”What’s up? Viola, you seem to be having fun?”
”Really? I’m just normal.”
”Does Viola like cheese too?”
”Yeah, it’s delicious, isn’t it? I like it when I’m with Fiine.”
It reminds me of the days when I was in the Knight Order. Surrounded by a bunch of friends, always sharing a meal while chuckling at silly stories.
”Oh, it looks so delicious!”
”Fiine, today let’s eat all the vegetables, okay?”
”I don’t want to!”
”But Lute-sama worked so hard to make it!”
”Okay, I’ll eat!”
I never thought the day would come when I could sit at a table as happy as this.
Lute, sitting next to me, as usual, scooped a spoonful of the meal to my mouth.
”How is it?”
”I see. That’s good.”
I wonder when he started naturally wearing that gentle smile. It makes me quite happy.
At first, even when he smiled, he would quickly return to a stern expression. But now, he seems happy all the time.
”Um… don’t… stare at me… eating so much…”
”Ah!!? Lute! Fiine wants too! Please!!!!!!!”
Honestly, I wonder what Lute thinks of me. He used to treat Frau like a daughter, and with Fiine, it’s like the warmth you have with a mischievous neighbor’s kid…
As for Beth… I’m not sure. It’s a bit delicate. He seems to treat her more like an adult compared to Frau, but there’s also a line she doesn’t cross with him…
And I honestly don’t understand the relationship between Kanon-san and Lute. I’ve never heard anything about them. Besides, I haven’t had much interaction with Kanon-san myself.
And that Aria, the Divine Princess who came the other day… I feel like she’s also dangerous. She was treated with the same respect as Beth…
Well, maybe I’m worrying too much.
But it would be troublesome if rivals suddenly appeared.
In the first place, it’s strange for two Divine Princesses, symbols of the Empire, to visit at the same time… I wonder what position Lute really holds in this country.
Important person, no doubt about it, but even his family is just average citizens, not wealthy, and he doesn’t even have formal maids…
One thing that bothers me is that he doesn’t seem to have a title of nobility.
I don’t mean to bring up his family background, but considering Lute’s achievements, it’s not strange for him to have received a title… I wonder if there’s some reason behind it.
Maybe he’s in a more complicated position than expected. And there are rumors about the famous young queen, Serenade, who is known as the heart of the empire, popping up here and there.
”What’s wrong, Viola?”
”Huh? Oh, it’s nothing.”
”Is that so? Still want to eat?”
It was the moment when Lute brought the spoon to his mouth and I opened my mouth with a “Ah~…”
Right after the sound of knocking on the front door.
”Good evening. Lute-sama, are you here?”
Seeing Lute’s face turn pale upon hearing that voice, and having gotten used to these kinds of incidents, I thought to myself, “Ah, another troublesome person has come.”
* * *
”It has been a long time. I apologize for the sudden visit.”
”…I recall declining a meeting.”
”Well, that’s why I came here uninvited.”
As Lute-sama and Divine Princess Marcato-sama settled in the guest room, I carefully placed cups of tea in front of them.
It was Divine Princess, whom Lute-sama had previously declined to visit.
I wondered why Lute-sama declined Marcato-sama’s visit, even though he accepted visits from Aria-sama and Forte-sama… I somehow understand what Lute-sama was thinking.
Even though Marcato-sama suddenly comes without any prior arrangement, and even when tea is served in front of her, she doesn’t even bother to acknowledge my presence in her peripheral vision.
Aria-sama and Forte-sama thanked me, but this person seems to only have interest in Lute-sama, remaining indifferent.
”Frau, thank you.”
In that aspect, as always, Lute-sama kindly smiles at me.
Humans, indeed, are judged by their inner selves.
Marcato-sama looks nice, but I don’t think I’d want to follow someone like this.
When Marcato-sama saw Lute-sama thanking me and looked at the cup placed in front of her, she quickly lost interest and didn’t touch the cup.
”The lady who was on the moving chair earlier?”
”She’s in a different room. She’s shy around new people.”
”I see. If it’s not too much trouble, could you call her again? I’d like to talk to her.”
”Well, she’s a slave, so I’m sorry.”
”Oh, I see. She looked quite beautiful with her hair. I didn’t think she was a slave. My apologies.”
Earlier, when Marcato-sama knocked on the door, Fiine-chan quickly flew up to the second floor, just as we had agreed.
At first, I was worried about what would happen, but Fiine-chan always follows what Lute-sama says, and she listens to me and Viola-sama as well.
The humans are not used to Draconia.
We tried to hide her existence by making some lame excuses, but Fiine-chan agreed to our painful excuse to hide her existence, saying “Okay!” without any hesitation.
But, it seems that Viola-sama was seen for a moment by Marcato-sama, who opened the door and entered the house without permission.
Lute-sama and I tried to block her sight with our bodies, but maybe she saw her over my short head.
…Will it be okay?
I can only hope that Aria-sama and Forte-sama have not leaked any information about Viola-sama.
”So… what brings you here today?”
Lute-sama must be worried about that too.
He looked a bit tense as he asked Marcato-sama that question, and I felt more nervous too.
”I have a request about Draconia.”
Is it not about Alto-sama or Viola-sama…?
Either way, it’s too timely a topic for us right now.
”Do you already know that I have obtained a young draconia?”
”Yes, I have heard.”
”Thank you for getting straight to the point. The request is… I would like you to create a magic tool that can control the mana in Draconia and a tool that can neutralize it.”
Saying that, Marcato-sama looked at Lute-sama and gently smiled, brushing back her vertical rolled golden hair.
”A mana control device and a neutralization device…?”
”Yes, I tried using ones that could be used by humans, but the effects were not very promising. I thought Lute-sama might be able to create them, so I came here.”
On the other hand, Lute-sama had an obviously displeased expression.
It’s rare to see Lute-sama with such a disgusted face.
I wonder if he’s not fond of Marcato-sama.
”I don’t have much knowledge about Draconia. If the ones used by humans cannot be used, then either the nature of mana itself is different, or the mechanism of using mana is different… In any case, it will take quite a long time for development.”
”How long do you estimate it will take?”
”At the very least, one year. And that’s if everything goes smoothly. If there are obstacles, it will take more than two years.”
”It’s alright, I don’t mind. But are you sure you can do it?”
I wonder if Lute-sama is indirectly saying it’s impossible…
After all, he is busy.
But why does she think that Lute-sama would clear his schedules for her for the next two years?
”To be frank, it’s impossible. I don’t have much time right now.”
”I understand that you’re busy. Please try to do something about it.”
”…Why is it necessary to restrain and neutralize Mana to that extent? Is it such a big problem in the current situation?”
Saying that, Lute-sama frowned suspiciously, and Marcato-sama crossed her arms in front of her chest, snorted, and raised her chin.
Why does this person act so superior?
Well, there’s no doubt that she is superior in terms of status, but that doesn’t mean she looks like someone who comes to ask others for favors.
”In the current situation, I won’t leave Oratorio if there are any issues. I’m just looking ahead. Even though we’ve defeated the Kingdom, there are still the Empire and the Holy Kingdom to the north of our Imperial Kingdom. It’s only natural to want to strengthen our country’s foundation, don’t you think?”
”…Are you planning to use magic devices to subjugate Draconia, who is supposed to wake up from Divine Princess’s mana intoxication in the future, and cause further war?”
”No, not at all.”
I can’t help but think that this person’s mind revolves around themselves and nothing else. Maybe that just shows how narrow-minded I am.
”Draconias are the symbol of the Imperial Kingdom. They become the anchor for the hearts of our Imperial Kingdom’s people.”
In the end, Lute-sama and Marcato-sama’s conversation continued to be at an impasse.
However, Lute-sama finally yielded to Marcato-sama’s persistent insistence, promising to visit Marcato-sama’s mansion to see Oratorio, when their schedules allowed.
Although we didn’t know what would happen next,
”Should we kill her?”
Fiine-chan said that, because she felt bad about what Marcato-sama did and said. She was listening to the talk secretly.
Well, that’s why we couldn’t think clearly about what Marcato-sama was thinking then.
She was tricky, and we didn’t notice that she was always obsessed with the back of Viola-sama that she saw first. She acted simple, but she was not.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.