“Wake up, my Miko-san. I am Remn, the God of Darkness.”
“You got the wrong person.”
The whole space was pitch black, and a floating black-haired boy was giving me a friendly smile.
He seems to have mistaken me for a shrine maiden. Well, we all share the same image of innocence, it’s not hard to mistake us.
“No, no, no, onee-san is not a miko.”
What? I have a little holiness in me. When I unite this continent, I’m gonna name my country Holy.
“The Holy Dolknes Empire?”
I wake up in my familiar bed with a mysterious country’s name on the tip of my tongue. That’s a nice name, but where did the Holy come from?
Hmm, I feel like I was having some kind of strange dream. A strange dream where I was having a conversation with someone important… This is useless. The more I try to remember my dream, the hazier the memories become.
It seems like I woke up earlier than usual. After I finished getting ready by myself, I went for a walk.
It’s not unusual for me to forget my dreams. But for some reason, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the one that I just had.
“Someone important, someone greater than a king. So, an emperor? Empire?”
I don’t even know the difference between a kingdom and an empire. Or the difference in rank between a king and an emperor.
They must have been someone much more important than the country’s head because the image was so vivid.
“The only thing I can think of is God.”
My dream was an oracle from God. Nope, that’s impossible.
I’m not religious enough to receive a divine oracle, I don’t even believe in their existence. It was probably just a strange dream.
Besides, saying that you heard God’s voice is like a major death flag. Most of the people who claim as such have been executed by crucifixion.
I was thinking about using some time I had before breakfast to finish the work I didn’t finish yesterday when Eleanora walked in from across the hall. She always slept late in the morning, so it was unusual for her to be up at this hour.
When Eleanora spotted me, she came running up to me excitedly.
“Yumiela-san, I heard God’s voice!”
The death flag has been raised for the fallen young lady.
Duke Hillrose’s plans for rebellion had come to light and the Duke house is no more. She was no longer a noble or anything like that now.
Although Eleanora was acting cheerful, she may have been suffering inside. She couldn’t bear the overwhelming stress and asked a non-existent God’s voice for help.
If only I had been more considerate to her…. I shouldn’t have brushed it off as something silly. It was her own SOS.
To cheer up the poor girl, I muster up my cheerful voice.
“Miss Eleanora, why don’t we visit the capital? I’ll buy you a dress, jewelry, or anything you want!”
“Wow! Yumiela has suddenly become very kind to me! I guess even God makes mistakes.”
“What do you mean?”
“God told me to be careful of you!”
Is God wary of me? Or does she subconsciously hate me?
There’s no point in dwelling on Eleanora’s auditory hallucinations. I shall try to entertain her as much as possible.
“Since we’re going to the capital, how about we visit Prince Edwin? I’m sure he’s worried about you.”
“Mhm. Prince Edwin that you like!”
Up until now, Eleanora had been utterly smitten when I mentioned his name. That’s why I mentioned his name to bring out that reaction—the fallen daughter and the second prince, whose name shall never be linked.
Eleanora speaks plainly, her expression slightly clouded.
“That won’t be happening. I’m not a noble anymore and Edwin-sama comes from the royal family. If I tell him about my feelings, it will only embarrass him.”
“But it’s okay! I’m enjoying the life I have with Yumiela and Patrick!”
Then Eleanora smiled bravely.
Ah, this is gonna make me cry. It’s kinda hard to watch since she’s such a good girl. She even sets aside her feelings out of concern for the person she loves.
Should I do everything in my power to bring them together?
I can imagine his expression in my mind… I’m not going to let you take my little Eleanora! You have no right to call me father!
“Miss Eleanora, I’ll provide for you for the rest of your life! I’ll even marry you!”
“Huh? Aren’t you going to marry Patrick?”
“Then I’ll leave him. It’s a popular way to break off an engagement.”
“What are you talking about?”
I’ll break up with Patrick. There’s no other way, I’ll do it for Eleanora-chan.
Elanora covered her mouth with her hands in disbelief, then suddenly held her head and groaned. She then looked around warily.
“Did you hear something just now, Yumiela-san?”
I didn’t hear anything. And my hearing ability is better than hers, it was probably her auditory hallucination. As expected, she’s mentally exhausted, isn’t she?
From the sound of it, Eleanora heard a voice saying, “I object, I’m coming over there right now.” The person who opposes our marriage… didn’t that sound like her overprotective father?
“It’s not the Duke but I’ll have to go see someone who looks exactly like Miss Eleanora’s father.”
“Yay! Let’s go meet father!”
He’s only a look-alike. Duke Hillrose is already dead. All sides have resented him. If the matter about his survival is exposed, it will cause a lot of trouble.
Will he meet… no, it’s better if I’m the one approaching him. That precious daughter of yours is mine. Muahahaha.
I carried Eleanora on my shoulder and ran out of the house. On my way out, I ran into Ryuu, who was asleep in the garden.
“Kyaa! I can walk by myself! Put me down!”
◆ ◆ ◆
After an hour we had arrived in the village that we had established a few months ago.
Why an hour? Because it took fifty-five minutes to wake Ryuu and five minutes to fly here. In hindsight, it was faster to run.
The slightly cold autumn morning was now getting warmer as the sun rose.
We walked together to a house we had visited several times and I knocked on the door violently.
“Come on out, the Lord is here to have an audience.”
“Shut up! Why do you keep doing things I don’t like… Eleanora! It’s nice to see you, come inside. I’ll fix you some tea.”
A grumpy old man came out of the house but as soon as he saw Eleanora, his expression changed completely. The father and daughter pair exchanged a hug and walked inside, hand in hand. Girl, you’re nineteen years old. Aren’t you too clingy?
I tried to follow them inside but he glared at me before his expression turned into a grin.
“Your presence isn’t welcomed here. Get the hell out.”
“I’m here to tell you I’m getting married.”
“Marriage? You and that frontier count’s son? I am already aware and I’m not going to congratulate you.”
“No, it’s between Miss Eleanora and me.”
“Hey! What the hell is going on?! Eleanora is getting married?! Who is it? Who is the guy who dares to propose to my daughter?!”
He yells at me as he hides Eleanora behind his back. Ah, he thought his daughter found a man. Don’t worry, she’s gonna marry me.
“I already said it was me.”
“Didn’t I already say it was her and me?”
“No, I don’t approve of this marriage!”
My father-in-law said, shaking and trembling in rage.
As I thought, he’s not going to acknowledge it? Maybe Eleanora’s auditory hallucinations were caused by his intense thoughts.
But I don’t need his acknowledgment. I can’t let someone who can’t even leave this village stand in the way of our true love.
“I don’t need your approval. I could just elope and you wouldn’t know.”
“You are not worthy of my daughter and are a bad influence! I’ll separate you from her myself from now on!”
He grabbed a hoe that was leaning against the doorway and began to stand ready to fight. Is he going to fight me? Fine, I’ll take the bride by force.
As we both got eager to fight, Eleanora chimed in a timid voice.
“A-ano… father, Yumiela-san? The marriage will never happen.”
Are you kidding me?! We broke out of our fighting stance and properly looked at her.
“I like Yumiela-san, but not like that.”
“Are you sure?! Did she do something unspeakable to you?!”
“No, of course not!”
Eleanora blushes as she denies her father’s accusation. Am I… getting dumped?
The former Duke looked in my direction and smiled in amusement. How annoying.
“Hahaha, your actions don’t fit your station.”
“Grrr… Miss Eleanora, why don’t we go on a trip? Let’s go somewhere where we can see the ocean. I know it’s autumn, but as long as we don’t swim in the sea it’s ok.”
“Yayy! I’ve only been to the sea twice!”
Eleanora comes running up to me. Fufufu, I look at the former Duke with a triumphant expression.
He can’t leave this village easily. He’ll have to stay and imagine us enjoying the seafood.
His face scrunched with hatred before quickly returned to a kind expression and said.
“Eleanora, you must stay here for the night.”
“It’s sleepover time!”
He got me. Eleanora left me and went over to the enemy. I can’t use the same card since we live together.
But I do have a card with a similar effect. Draw!
“Miss Elanora, would you like to have a pajama party tonight?”
“Sure! And we can talk until morning!”
“Let’s cook our dinner together tonight. I’ve been practicing and somewhat able to do that since living here.”
“I can’t wait to cook together with my father.”
She keeps alternating between her father and me.
This has become an endurance battle. There is a limit to the number of cards we can play, but we’ll lose immediately if we’re stingy with our cards. We need to keep choosing the strongest cards in our hands.
“Miss Eleanora, would you like to host a hot pot party?”
“Okay… wait, what is imonikai?”
“It’s like having a hot pot but outdoors, it’s really good.”
“Um, I’m good.”
I lost. I should’ve asked her for a BBQ. It was nothing but miso soup.
Eleanora returns to her father’s side and is excited about the sleepover. Have you decided who to invite?
What does she like…?
“So, you will stay overnight? I’ll be home alone with Patrick and we’ll feed each other and stuff.”
“Oh! I don’t think I will stay over, I will go home later. And of course, I won’t interfere, so you and Patrick can feed each other. I swear I will never ever peek at you.”
I won. She’s a big fan of romance. Sometimes I catch her hiding behind the pillar, peeking at us with sparkling eyes.
As usual, that was the most excited expression I’ve seen on her face.
“Eleanora, Papa will feed you at dinner.”
Someone who can’t admit defeat makes a desperate last offer. Why is he asking for something like that? I’ve prepared the best bait, my love life, and yet she dared to betray me….
“Horray! I can’t wait for tonight’s dinner.”
She changed her side again. Seriously, I can’t understand her values at all.
Then, my next plan is—
We were competing for Eleanora’s attention and ended up dueling.
I don’t even remember how we ended up in a duel. That’s what war is all about. The events that trigger it are trivial. But the war already happened, and we had come to the point of no return.
The moment we arrived here, it was probably already decided that we would end up in a duel. No matter how many times we start over, this fate cannot be reversed.
“Are you ready to lose?”
“Hmph, get off your high horse. You’ll get hurt.”
The winner will get Eleanora. That’s simple, right? The arguments we’ve had so far seem pointless and futile.
We stand in front of the house facing each other. My hands were empty, but he had a sword.
Eleanora said she was bored, so she’s off exploring the village.
The distance between us was probably ten steps. With my physical abilities, it only takes a split second to close the gap and I’m ready to unleash the world’s strongest attack the moment this duel starts.
“We start the moment this stone touches the ground.”
“And that’s where you’ll end up.”
I throw a palm-sized stone high in the sky.
“Miss Eleanora is my friend.”
“So? She’s my daughter.”
Neither of us pays any attention to the stone. We just stare at each other, dead in the eyes.
“My victory is guaranteed.”
“Hmph, you can bark all you want while you can.”
It’s about time. Why does it feel like it takes a long time for the stone to drop? The match was about to begin in a few tenths of a second.
“…Where is the stone?”
Both of us looked up at the sky, but there’s no sign of the stone I had thrown up. Huh? I’m pretty sure I did throw the stone.
While looking for a new stone to start a new countdown, I was called from behind. When I turned around, I saw Patrick.
“Huh? What are you doing here?”
“Haa— what did you do this time?”
“I was going to fight with the Du— no, him.”
Why? He looks at me, looking confused like he’s wondering what’s happening. I should explain this to him, didn’t I? Where do we start….
“Well… I’m going to marry Miss Eleanora. I’ve decided to break off my engagement with Patrick.”
“You’re breaking off our engagement without even asking me?”
“I’m here to deliver the news to her father but she ended up dumping me. So I figured if I didn’t say anything about the broken engagement, it would be like it never happened.”
“And we are back together without my knowledge.”
“We ended up fighting over Miss Eleanora and couldn’t settle it so we decided to duel.”
Miss Eleanora is taking a stroll in the village. The situation made no sense, I thought to myself.
But how did Patrick know where we were? When I was wondering if he had a tracker on me, he explained why.
“Ryuu came to me a while ago. He figured that he couldn’t handle you alone.”
Right behind him was Ryuu, who looked a little tired after traveling back and forth between the estate and the village. Ryuu-kun is too clever. For sure, if Patrick hadn’t come, it could have turned into a gruesome killing spree.
The former Duke lowered the sword he was holding and spat.
“Tch, dragons are more intelligent than you, aren’t they?”
“Oh no, please don’t praise him so much. He’s still a handful, you know?”
He complimented me on how clever Ryuu is. It’s nice to hear it from someone else’s mouth.
He turned to Patrick with a scowl on his face.
“You’re the one in charge of this girl, aren’t you? Why don’t you keep a more responsible eye on her?”
“No, I’m not— I’m sorry.”
Patrick said apologetically. You don’t need to apologize. It was pretty much my fault, wasn’t it?
For a while after that, the former Duke kept complaining that I was a bad influence on Eleanora.
It was late in the afternoon when we were freed from the persistent old man.
The three of us went home and had lunch after resting.
Eleanora watches me with a sparkling gaze as I stuff the piping hot soup into Patrick’s mouth.
“Stop it! It’s hot!”
I want to sleep peacefully tonight. So let’s move the pajama party until sometime tomorrow.