—I want you to come back as the inheritor to this household.
Father said like so.
I knew he would ask me that.
That’s why I was constantly thinking—How should I respond? Where can we come to an agreement that’ll bring peace to my heart?
I didn’t respond immediately.
Father spoke, reading too far into my silence.
“Albert, I’m aware that you aren’t fond of this place. I’m partly to blame for that… I plan on making an effort to make this place more comfortable for you, even by a little. The people that bad-mouthed you—”
I raised my right hand.
“…Father. There’s no need to persuade me. I’ve resolved myself.”
I didn’t respond immediately because I was reaffirming my feelings for the last time.
Father stopped speaking midway like he was caught off guard. He had a stern look on his face. He wasn’t trying to coerce me, but rather, he probably just sensed the bleakness of the situation.
I banished my son from the household.
There was no way he’d come back after I tell him to—
I slowly broke the silence.
Father’s eyes opened wide with surprise.
Astonishment was written all over his face.
“I was born as a child of nobility—if I’m asked to take over the household, then I cannot refuse.”
It was the same reason I accepted Carlyle’s instructions to take part in the war.
The way a noble should think was hammered into me since childhood. In other words, that was Father’s teachings. If Father thought the household came first, then I could understand how he felt as well.
Besides, the fact remains that I’m the only child of his direct descent.
He didn’t have a choice but to bring this up to me.
“Really!? …Ooh, I give you my thanks, Albert!”
“—It’s a little too early to say that.”
“I have conditions.”
Father’s body shrunk back.
Without paying any heed to that, I continued.
“I understand Father’s circumstances. With that being the case, I want you to understand my circumstances as well. I’ve lived these past 10 years as simply Albert; That’s an inseparable part of me. I can no longer choose to live only as Albert Luminous.”
“…You have a point…”
“I will fulfill my duty as Albert Luminous—as the representative of the marquis of this household. That’s why I also want you to let me live as Albert, too.”
“Live as Albert?”
“I’ll continue to attend school just as I’ve always been. Also, I won’t be involved with any real work, such as the management of the territory.”
Father made a bitter face.
I didn’t blame him.
However, if I end up fully accepting his proposal, then I’ll be unable to live my life as Albert.
“Father. You’re missing something important.”
“What is it?”
“I’ve always been a ‘moron’, and in reality, I still don’t believe I’m particularly skilled at anything besides Magic Arrow. I have a 10-year gap in experience as a noble as well. I haven’t been learning anything. I’m not someone who you should entrust an important role to.”
Father tried to object, but he was at a loss for words.
Father, who was a brilliant noble, probably understood the validity of what I said deep down.
“…I can’t deny you’re lacking there…”
Father slumped his shoulders and let out a deep breath.
“…However, it’s not like I’ll be retiring right away. Take your time and continue to learn. If you do that, won’t you eventually become able to take over the household?”
“…I cannot fathom that.”
I shook my head.
I wasn’t angry at Father for banishing me from the household, as I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a moron.
It was true that I’m not a very bright person.
I didn’t think a person like myself was the best candidate to manage a territory.
I then conveyed the counter-proposal I came up with to Father.
“Wouldn’t it be fine to entrust the management to a different person?”
“A different person…?”
“Someone related to the Luminous household. You can hire them and entrust the marquis work to them. I’ll only show up when I’m needed as the marquis representative. What do you think?”
My plan also acted as insurance—
on the off-chance that something happened to me.
Recently, I couldn’t help but feel that I was in the middle of getting mixed up in something. The possibility that I’d die still remained.
If I died, there wouldn’t be any more direct heirs.
In that situation, Father would end up counting on another relative as a plan B, so he could just choose from the people currently entrusted to the work of the marquisate.
Father seemed like he was in deep thought.
Before long, he looked into my eyes and spoke.
“Don’t you have any interest in the work of nobles? Any lingering attachments? …You’d be supporting the country and guiding the people. It’s a job worth doing, you know?”
He must’ve said that as my father, rather than to convince me.
I want my son to inherit the work I hold pride in; I want to teach him the real thrill of it—Those feelings must’ve made him say that.
That’s exactly why I made myself clear.
“I have no interest.”
It was probably impossible for me to fully go back to being a noble.
That’s because I discovered the possibilities awaiting me. I’ve realized the world that I’m meant to be in.
I wanted to bring it to completion.
My Magic Arrow.
As well as the path I should follow.
Father let out a deep breath. He must’ve perceived the firmness of my will in my eyes.
“…I’m the one that abandoned you. Inside of you are the 10 years you’ve lived, as well as the things you’ve discovered in that time. I won’t ask for something unreasonable. Just becoming the family head as a direct descendant is enough. I’ll arrange things as you wish.”
“Thank you very much.”
I bowed my head.
“Albert, you may leave. You’ll be sojourning here for some time, right? Let’s talk again later.”
I shook my head.
“No, I’ll be going on a journey.”
“…!? A journey!? Where?”
“The Luminous territory—the territory that I’ll be taking over one day.”
That seemed to take him by surprise, as he was completely speechless.
I’ll be succeeding Father as a representative of the Luminous household. I wouldn’t be involved with any of the actual work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel a sense of responsibility.
“I believe I need to know more about the Luminous lands, as well as everybody that resides here.”
Father tightly pursed his lips and silently clenched his hands.
“…You’ve grown, Albert.”
“The old you was always so timid… I was shocked just by you clearly telling me your will. And now, the words you just said. You say you aren’t a noble anymore, but—you’re a splendid noble.”
“It must’ve been because you taught me well. Know your territory, know your people—Those are the words you’ve hammered into me since my childhood.”
Father’s body jumped in response to my words, and he gave an embarrassed-looking smile.
“…I see… that’s right…”
“Well then, I shall now excuse myself.”
When I tried to exit the room, Father called me to stop.
“What is it?”
“I’m glad I got to meet with you again after 10 years. It was oblivious of me to banish you 10 years ago. I should’ve grasped the hand which you so frantically held out as you drowned in the depths of despair, and I shouldn’t have casted you away. I believe wounding your heart was inexcusable of me. I apologize from the depths of my heart. Forgive me.”
Father stood up, bent his waist, and bowed to me.
An apology from Father.
An apology from the depths of his heart.
My prideful father apologized—
In that instant, I felt a passionate emotion travel throughout my chest. It felt like the heavy burdens that I’ve constantly been carrying in my heart since 10 years ago gently faded away.
“The things Father did back then were justified.”
I deeply bowed my head towards Father.
“I apologize for staining the family name with my actions. I also thank you for never abandoning someone like me and going as far as to kindly give me a house and allowance.”
I raised my head and looked at Father.
Father did the same and looked hard at me.
“There’s no need to regret these past 10 years. Precisely because of those 10 years, I’m the person I am now.”
Laura said the same. Flin said the same.
And more than anyone else, the current me thinks like so:
“Those 10 years didn’t go to waste.”
Phew, finally done. I tried to get this one to be perfect so it took a little while longer. Getting something right after blankly staring at it for half an hour is probably one of the more rewarding aspects of translating, or probably writing in general. Anyway that’s all, I’ll get the next chapter of recreator out later today, so see you guys then.