Edit: Forgot to say. There’s a possible scammer on the loose (hopefully no longer) on patreon. I tried contacting them but no response, and so uh. Don’t pay money when you can have the free stuff? Especially not $200. Like oh my god. $2? Sure go have fun, but $200? Jesus christ. ANyway. Stay aware to be aware. (Are we even real)
So this is the
an unedited version. Thanks for all the applicants, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to submit and edit 🙂 And check out the manga if you haven’t.
My editor went to sleep so :v I'll have to have them intro themselves next week. In the meantime they'll be editing chapters 100-102, so look forward to some changes :PBtw, there may not be chapters next week due to ryouriban release and uni work getting busy. Blue is either being as lazy as me or bogged by uni work so he isn't releasing that second chapter. Alright. Get to reading :P
Youth, Recuperating. Second.
Dale hesitated, but he recited back to his friend a simplified version of the current affairs.
There was nothing else he could do, and no matter how much he rolled it around, it would occupy his head. If Gregor wanted him to spit it out then, that’s exactly what he’ll do.
“Has been thinking, of me, you know… as someone of the opposite sex, somehow… and confessed to me.”
“You sure are casual about this.”
“Well, it’s not really that uncommon a matter.”
Hearing Gregor’s disinterested response, Dale made a difficult face as he kept on talking.
“And I was shaken by that, so to cool off my head a bit… I rushed out here.”
“Are you a kid?”
“I’m reflecting on it…”
Even Dale himself, thought that he shouldn’t have done that. He was shocked and had impulsively rushed out of there. By the time an entire day had passed and his head had cooled, he had come to the realization that he never should have done that, no matter what, but it was already too late. Be that as it may, there was no way he could return to Kroix at all sulking like that, so he headed to the Royal Capital as originally planned.
“I realized… after being asked how I wanted to proceed with Latina from here on, I’ve never even tried to think about that until now.”
Gregor, sensing that Dale’s story was going to be long, called for the maid to prepare tea. He brought a chair next to Dale’s bed and sat down.
“…And that’s when I realized it once again, you know.”
Dale then made a truly difficult expression.
“Me and Latina. We’re only separated by a mere 10 years.”
“You’re realizing this now?”
It really was a late revelation, seeing that it was such basic information.
“Look, I mean, Latina was so small in the beginning. She would always be smiling at me, sitting on my knees, so that’s the strongest impression I have of her. But…. Now that I think about it, we would at most be siblings separated by a large age difference…. We are no way near the age difference of that of a parent and child….”
“…. It was only the other day when I first met her, but… she really was as small a child as you described so… I was surprised.”
Gregor recalled the figure of Latina who he had met in Kroix the other day. The Latina who he had witnessed, still had the look of immaturity in her eyes, but even all with that, she left you with the impression of a mature young girl with a calm demeanor.
“That’s true. Latina, is cute, right?”
The one who had loosened into a lovey-dovey expression, was a Dale, who was still no different from before.
“So, I was thinking and like…. It’s not that rare for couples to be that far apart, age wise….” Dale says, and going back to looking serious.
His 『older brother』, Kenneth, and his wife Rita, were a couple who were separated by about that much, also. Even when they were younger, they had thought that it was a big difference, but they didn’t mind an age gap like that as they grew up.
“She was way too young when I first met her, you know…. That’s why, I had been prolonging it but…. Latina is almost, not a 『child』 anymore.”
With a sigh, Dale let his gaze swim.
“Even as her 『guardian』, the fact that a 『man』, someone like me, is always together with Latina… isn’t a good thing, right?”
“…. No matter where you are, there will be people who hold doubtful thoughts, after all.”
“That’s true. It was something that I should have thought about, as Latina’s 『guardian』….”
While he was thinking about what Kenneth had pushed onto him, 『Either accept Latina’s feelings, or make it clear to her』; in the back of his mind, at the same time, Dale had reached the conclusion that even if 『he didn’t accept her feelings, he would make his standpoint clear』.
If he was to choose to continue being her 『Guardian』 then, it would also mean that he would have to draw a clear boundary.
Before she becomes an 『adult』, he had to define a clear and unmistakable 『distance』. He had to nip that in the bud, before others have any ill assumptions directed towards her.
A man, such as himself, wouldn’t mind any sort of vulgar rumors directed at him. However, a 『girl』, like her, couldn’t have such things directed towards her.
“For Latina and I, it’s normal for us to stick next to each other.”
“From an objective point of view, we probably look…. like that sort of relationship.”
He was always 『treating her like a child』, and when he thought about it, it was probably true. It was true that he would, without thinking about it, share the same blanket with her, and quietly sleep next to her.
It wasn’t something you do, with a 『girl』 of her age.
“So? What do you want to do?”
Gregor brings the teacup that the maid had prepared towards his lips, and looks to his side, at Dale who was carefully choosing his words.
“I… probably…. want to be with Latina…. right? If Latina became…. someone else’s, I wouldn’t like that either, and I think I want her to continue staying by my side.”
That was, probably, the simplest answer he had inside of him.
It was a desire, that even those around him could clearly see.
It was the one and only desire 『He』, who had accepted the 『fact that he’ll die at any time』, and didn’t try to wish for anything had. And that only desire was Latina.
Even now 『the fact that he would one day leave her behind』, makes his heart bleed. However, if he could accept even that then — Even though it would only be within the limited time he had, maybe she would accompany him along with his selfishness? Maybe she would stay by his side, smile happily, 『healing』 him.
“In that case, the easiest thing to do is just to 『go for it』, right….?”
Having the question directed towards him, he ended up realizing something.
An older version of her, a little bit more grown up than she was now — if she could smile happily by his side then — how happy a future would that be?
If the one to provide that, 『happiness』 to her, was none other than him then, nothing would need to change.
He realized that, it would be nice if the person to give happiness to that young girl, whom he wanted to be happier than anyone else, could be he himself.
“Originally, you know, I… had thought that I would be part of a political marriage.”
Gregor knew about the unique 『clan』 that was Tisroh. 『Tisroh』 is a 『clan』 that possesses a much greater power than some of the lower ranking nobles of the Raband Kingdom. As a member of the Duke’s family, Gregor is supposed to exercise some caution.
Dale, as the next clan head, never had any problems with accepting a political marriage for the sake of establishing a connection with another clan that would bring them benefits.
Naturally, things like age and appearance, and depending on the circumstances, would normally be left up to fate for the two people who were meeting for the first time, and getting married.
“Leaving aside my feelings, I had thought that no matter who the other person was, I would be sincere to them. Naturally, I wouldn’t have minded even if they were younger than Latina.”
“If it’s a political marriage then, it isn’t that rare a matter.”
He yielded the position of the next clan head to his little brother, and had escaped from such obligations, but he had never thought of looking for his 『wife』.
“That’s why the option to be able to be with 『my precious Latina』 would make me feel extremely 『blessed』.”
He could imagine what others have been so noisy about, and that it was probably what he was worried about as well.
Latina was someone of the 『Demon race』.
She was someone who had a much longer lifespan than those of the 『Human race』. It’s a fact that, watching over that girl’s happiness was his own happiness. If they kept spending time together then, gradually, the 『differences in time』 would appear.
(Before I’ve realized it, I would become an old man after all….)
The thought of 『her staying young and sacrificing her own happiness for him, as he grew older』 was something that seemed to be easy for those around them to imagine.
It’s grounds for worry.
If he thought about it calmly, that was the only future that he could personally imagine.
“But, in any case, let’s leave that for now.”
Dale’s tone changed. Upon hearing that, Gregor asked for an explanation with a look of surprise, to which Dale answered with his usual easygoing attitude.
“Well, that’s something for the 『future』.”
“…. You think so?”
“I mean, Latina is still a 『child』 after all.”
Dale threw his hands up in the air, making a gentle curve. Gregor too, didn’t question what that mostly meaningless gesture meant.
“As for seriously considering 『what I should do』, that would be after Latina grows up a little bit more.”
Dale didn’t have a liking for 『young girls』.
Considering that, the smile that Dale had on his hopeless looking face, had a look that seemed it was half embarrassed, and, truly, half bitter.
That’s when, they heard a knock.
A single maid came into the room hearing Gregor’s response, giving forth a sense of panic; unbecoming of a servant in this mansion.
Even Gregor who heard that quiet report, changed, with a look of surprise on his face.
Before Dale could ask for the reason, 『that reason』 came into the room.
Gregor stood up straight in response, but Dale who was on the bed, didn’t have time to fix himself up.
The other party, seeing Dale trying to get up and greet him, stopped him with one hand.
The one who Gregor said that to, was a distinguished individual who was starting to grow a full head of white hair. He had a tidy appearance, as expected from Gregor’s father.
He was a man who had an air about him that would make his surroundings straighten themselves out with just his presence. This didn’t mean that he had a frightening face. If one had to describe him, he would probably seem to look more calm than not. However, it was also clear that that was not all there was to him.
The man who was shouldering the family name of Eldishtett. The man, who in this kingdom, was second in authority only to the king.
Such a man was purposefully walking up next to Dale, who couldn’t help but wonder as to the reason why. Yet, as Dale was worrying, in the next instant — those worries were blown away.
Trying to hide behind the shadow of the Duke, was a young girl with a head of silver hair, looking right at him.