Summary of the last chapter ⇒ I was told by Laura’s father to make his daughter my bride.
“HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!? W-WAIT A SECOND, FATHER! WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!?”
I was utterly dumbfounded, so Laura vehemently objected in my place.
Placing his hand on his chin, Laura’s father tilted his head.
“Hm? All I asked was for Albert to make you his bride?”
“You’re speaking as if this is totally normal, but I have no clue what you’re saying, you know!?”
Afterward, Laura turned to me with a frantic look.
“I’m sorry, Albert! My father seems to be a little drunk! It’s a joke! He’s just joking, so please don’t get upset!”
Unable to follow the situation whatsoever, I gave a half-hearted reply.
Laura’s father shook his head.
“Laura. I’m dead serious.”
“Your follow-up isn’t helping at all, Father!”
“Albert is truly a magnificent person. It’s my duty as a parent to entrust my daughter to someone reliable. Or do you actually dislike Albert?”
“No, I don’t dislike him, but… I also respect him, but… What does this have to do with marrying him!? That was cowardly, Father!”
“What about you, Albert?”
“Uh, no, well…”
As usual, I couldn’t keep up with the conversation at all.
By the way, what Laura’s father was proposing wasn’t all that absurd.
The concept of free love doesn’t really exist in this world. Marriage is something negotiated between two households, so the parents arranging everything isn’t all that uncommon. Before I was banished by my parents, I also thought getting married to some random lady my parents decided on was the norm.
This is the kind of world we live in, so promoting your daughter to a man you see potential in could certainly be seen as ‘A parents duty’.
…Though there really wasn’t much of a future for me, so there must be something wrong with his eyes.
Laura would only suffer if she ended up with a human being like myself. I had no choice but to decline his offer here.
“I believe we are moving a little too quickly. Everything has an order to follow.”
“I see. So you’re saying you’re fine with it if we go step-by-step?”
…He’s quite the staunch advocate of this.
I wonder what I should say. Feeling distressed, I turned my gaze to Laura. Her face was bright red, and she was giving out a low groan.
“Laura seems to be troubled as well, so—”
Laura’s father broke me off mid-sentence and waved his hands.
“I am very much aware that this was all quite sudden. Marriage binds the relationship of two households together, but the feelings of the betrothed are also important. Fortunately, both of you are going to be studying at the same academy together. Won’t you consider my offer in the meantime?”
If he puts it like that, it’d be rude to just flat out refuse.
“…Haah, I understand.”
I gave him a lifeless reply.
It would take a bare minimum of three years to graduate. He’ll probably end up forgetting about this agreement during then…
I was naive for thinking it would end at that.
It seemed like Laura’s father preferred waging his wars in decisive battles.
To my amazement, I was staying in Laura’s room. Not staying in Laura’s house—but her room.
In her room.
“I-I’m sorry… this room of mine is so cramped…”
“N-No… I don’t really mind…”
Laura’s face was completely red. This was unbelievably awkward.
If you’re wondering how in the world it ended up like this—
I planned on staying at the mayor’s house tonight as well. The banquet ended, and when I tried returning to the room allotted to me, the mayor stopped me.
“Sorry to tell you, but there aren’t any open rooms today, Albert.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, yes. There have been talks about allotting another person the room from yesterday for a while now. Sorry, but could I have you move to another house?”
…It looked to me like there were several free rooms when I walked down the hallway, but…
“Understood. I just need to move to another house, right?”
“Yeah. Go to Lydias—Laura’s father’s house. He said he’d look after you.”
After the mayor told me that, I headed to Laura’s house.
Then, Laura’s father told me so:
“Stay in my daughter’s room.”
This is why I’m currently in the same room as Laura.
The atmosphere here was very awkward.
…It’s all because Laura’s dad said, “Marry my daughter.” earlier. If it weren’t for that, we’d be able to act a lot more normally…
That’s why I decided to make a suggestion.
“Let’s sleep. I’m worn out already.”
In more ways than one…
“You’re right! I think it’d be best to do that too!”
Laura agreed with my opinion, speaking rapidly without pause.
We turned off the light and went to bed.
Just so you know, Laura was sleeping in her own bed as usual. I was sleeping on the floor with a bedsheet I received. Laura said that she’d sleep on the floor instead since I’m a guest and that I could sleep on her bed, but I firmly refused.
I wasn’t lying when I said I was worn out.
I went all the way to a goblin cave, and I participated in a banquet I wasn’t used to. I thought I could quickly fall asleep, but—
A strange sense of restlessness stuck firmly to the inside of my mind, and I didn’t feel sleepy.
—I want you to make Laura your bride.
Those words stuck to my head like glue.
From what I could tell, Laura seemed to be thinking the same. I could hear the rustling sound of her tossing and turning from her bed.
“…What is it?”
“Please don’t pay much heed to what my father said today. S-Someone like myself wouldn’t go well with Albert in the slightest.”
“I… suppose so.”
After an awkward silence persisted, Laura began speaking again.
“I don’t know what’ll end up happening between you and me, but… Um, I want to get along as friends first…!”
“I feel the same.”
Naturally, I had no objection to being friends.
However, something small weighed on my mind.
“…I’ll just tell you in advance, but don’t hesitate to cut ties with me.”
“I’m almost 26. Including you, there’s nearly a ten-year age gap between the rest of the students and me. You’ll probably make a bunch of friends the same age as you. When that time comes, don’t hesitate to jump over to their circle. Got it?”
Laura responded weakly.
For some reason, her voice had a ring of sadness to it.
“Don’t worry. I probably won’t be able to make any friends.”
“…I seriously doubt that’s true?”
Laura had a great personality. I haven’t known her for long, but I was confident in that. Despite that, she wouldn’t make any friends?
After giving it some thought, she proceeded to speak as if she resolved herself.
“Are you aware of the Witch Of Calamity?”
Chapter is a bit late today since I mindblocked. This one wasn’t really up to my standards so I apologize if it’s hard to read. Next chap coming later today.