The day we arrived at the Luminous castle—
In the end, I didn’t meet with Father.
“I’ve received word from the marquis. He asks that you use today to allieviate the fatigue of your trip, and that he wishes to set aside time tomorrow at noon.”
Sebastian explained our schedule.
I had no objections.
As a result, I decided to relax and spend this first day freely.
If I were to explain what we did, then Laura’s narration had that covered.
“AAAALBERT! I GOT LOST ON THE R-R-R-ROAD… Or should I say house? Or castle? ANYWAY IM LOOOOOOOST!”
“There’s this sweet candy I’ve never had before! It’s delicious!”
“Is it alright for me to have such an extravagant meal!? Ah, there’s so many forks and spoons!? How do I use these properly!?”
“The bath is so spacious! But I got surprised when some servants came in with me and washed my body with a liquid I didn’t know… I-It was embarrassing… But now my hair is so silky, and my skin is smooth!”
Laura was astonished by every little thing and excitedly reported every little thing to me.
It seemed like the life of a marquis went way beyond her wildest dreams, and she was extremely surprised.
Laura spoke with an apologetic tone.
“Sorry… I came to be Albert’s pillar of support, but it feels like all I’m doing is making a racket… I must be a burden…”
“That’s not true at all.”
I shook my head.
Laura cheerfully doing this and that alleviated my heart. If I were by myself, then I’d probably be quietly spending my time shut away in my room and gloomily thinking about tomorrow.
Bringing Laura along was the right move.
“Your presence is reassuring. Just act like you always do.”
“I’m… happy to hear you say that.”
Laura gave me a shy-looking smile.
Time continued to flow as we peacefully talked back and forth, and tomorrow came before long.
The next day.
It happened when Laura and I finished eating lunch at the cafeteria.
Sebastian, who never came near me as long as I didn’t call for him, stood right beside me.
“Your Father, Marquis Luminous, is calling for you. He says that he wants to talk now. Is this a good time for you?”
“…I don’t mind.”
I slowly stood up.
Laura, who was sitting in front of me, gave me an anxious look. I gave her a smile to ease her worries.
“It’ll be fine. We’ll just be talking.”
After saying that, I left the cafeteria with Sebastian.
After we walked for some time—
We arrived at a room, and Sebastian knocked on the door.
“It’s Sebastian. I’ve brought along Lord Albert.”
I heard Father’s voice from the other side of the door.
Sebastian opened the door and urged me to enter.
This was Father’s main office.
At the other end of his large work desk, Father was sitting on a chair.
Nothing has changed in the slightest since 10 years ago; Both the furniture arrangement and the smell of the air were the same—except for Father’s aged appearance.
“I shall now take my leave.”
Sebastian spoke, then closed the door after bowing.
Father and me.
Only he and I remained in the closed room.
The silence didn’t last for long.
“Thank you for coming, Albert.”
Father’s voice was calm. The astonishment from when we reunited before the King was nowhere to be seen.
“It’s a pleasure to see you, Father.”
After I said that, I bowed my head.
I felt the same calmness as him. After all, we both came here after steeling ourselves, preparing for this day.
Father extended his hand to the sofa meant for guests.
I did as he said and sat down. Father remained seated at his work desk.
The sofa I sat on was diagonally in front of the work desk. I saw him in the corner of my eye, and he saw me in the corner of his eye.
Our eyes would never meet as long as we never made a conscious effort to do so.
In other words, that was—
the sense of distance that Father established for me.
That feeling of distance was comforting for me as well. Just like Father, I couldn’t figure out how far apart we were from each other.
“Albert, I was surprised when we reunited in front of the King.”
“I always thought you were still living in that house. When did you leave?”
“No, it wasn’t that long ago. I re-entered the magic academy this year—I left after that.”
After Father nodded in agreement, he spoke.
“…I see. Sorry, but won’t you tell me everything that’s happened these past 10 years?”
I explained from start to finish.
Although I say that, before I met Laura, the majority of it was shutting myself in my room and constantly reading Magic Arrow spellbooks.
Compared to the rest of the time I spent, the few months after I met Laura were truly dense.
We exterminated the goblins at Laura’s village, defeated the Water Spirit with the water quality investigation squad, participated in the battle at Glicia Marsh per Carlyle’s request—
Father, who had been silently listening until then, interjected with a panicked look.
“…Carlyle? That Royal Court Magician Carlyle?”
“Yes, that person.”
A look of some sort of respect burned in Father’s eyes.
…That Royal Court Magician sure is an amazing guy…
“Why is Sir Carlyle interested in you?”
“…I’m not too sure myself, but I had the chance to shoot my Magic Arrow at him. He might be paying attention to me because of that.”
“…I see. I don’t really know too much about magic, but if your power is being of use to the kingdom, then I’m glad—both as a noble and as your father.”
Then, he muttered to himself.
“It’s been 10 years since then, huh… Albert… you’ve also become a pillar that supports the kingdom…”
It didn’t feel like he intentionally said that for me to hear—
but rather, it felt like the words unconsciously spilled from his mouth.
Father cleared his throat.
“Continue your story.”
“…No, the story is over. I participated in that battle, and now I’ve come here.”
“Is that so… I guess you’re right…”
A silence continued for a little while.
Then, Father brought up another topic.
“Albert. Won’t you listen to the 10 years of the Luminous household?”
“…Although I say that, there really isn’t much meaning in talking about it anymore. Everything revolved around Alencia these past 10 years. Alencia, Alencia, Alencia—that was all.”
Father continued with a slightly lonely-looking face.
“Those 10 years vanished along with Alencia’s death. That was how my 10 years went.”
I wasn’t able to respond with anything.
When I thought of the anguish Father felt, all of the words I could possibly say felt superficial.
Father let out a deep breath.
“…Alencia is dead. You know this as well.”
“After you left, Alencia was supposed to inherit the household. However, that future is gone now.”
So it’s come—
I thought to myself.
Father was attempting to touch on the main subject. He was trying to say the reason why he called me here today.
I silently waited for what Father would say.
“Albert. You’re the only person who can inherit this household. I’m fully aware that I’m the one who told you to leave, and that I have no right to ask such a thing, but… Please, I want you to come back as the inheritor to this household.”
Today’s first chapter. I’ll post the next chapter later today, and it’ll be the first chapter of the other wn I picked up. I’m thinking of doing 1 magic arrow chapter then 1 chapter of the other one, then repeating that until Saturday and Sunday, where I’ll do one magic arrow chap on sat and then a chap of the other on Sunday to give myself a break so I don’t burn out. Lmk if you guys want something different, like 2 a day of magic arrow and 2 of the other wn the next day or something like that. Anyway that’s all, see you guys later.