“Thirty-two! ….. Thirty-three!”
It was the afternoon of a day off.
Alea’s voice resonated in the garden of our home.
She was swinging a wooden sword.
“! …… Forty-nine! …… Fifty!”
“Alright, you did well. You can rest.”
The one who roughly stroked Alea’s head when she replied energetically was a lightly armored one-armed man.
“Alea, good work. Thank you as well, Rod-sama.”
“Yeah, no worries.”
I said to the both of them from the terrace while I was preparing tea and snacks to put on top of the table.
The one who nonchalantly nodded back to me was none other than Rod-sama, who had previously made the decision to leave the royal family.
After abandoning his right to the throne, he became the head of the military, and would sometimes take advantage of his position as an ordinary citizen and much like today, come over and play.
“Rei-okaasama, did you see me!?”
“I was watching. You gave it your best, didn’t you?”
“I did fifty swings today!”
Alea excitedly exclaimed as she ran up to me while being slightly out of breath. I wiped the sweat off of my beloved, hard-working daughter.
While looking slightly like she was being tickled, she appeared to be very proud of herself.
“As expected of your child. She’s a real natural.”
Rod-sama skillfully lifted Alea with one hand, gradually bringing her higher and higher.
Alea squealed with delight.
“We’re not actually blood-related, though.”
“That may be so, but it’s almost hard to believe that you aren’t blood-related. I can tell this one’s really got a natural feel for combat.”
Rod-sama’s words made both me and Alea happy to hear.
Rod-sama was teaching Alea how to use a sword.
In a world where threats of monsters exist, Alea, who is unable to use magic, had to find another way to protect herself.
I don’t think there’s as much of a risk as long as we lived in Bauer, but it seemed that demons existed all over the world.
When I tried to consult Rod-sama about ways for Alea to defend herself, he offered to train her himself.
Rod-sama used to be a magic-based fighter, but after being appointed head of the military, it seems that he poured his energy towards learning how to wield a sword.
Originally, the princes were taught basic melee-combat techniques for the sake of being able to defend themselves anyway.
In any case, I was just thankful to be able to ask Rod-sama for his help.
Speaking of demons.
They were a species that I had only ever read about in the game’s manual, but if we’re to be living in this world, I wonder if we’ll ever run into them one day?
In that case, I’ll have to come up with some countermeasures.
“Am I suited for sword fighting?”
“Yeah. You’ll probably end up being stronger than me. If you try hard enough, you might even catch up to the God of the Sword.”
“God of the Sword?”
Upon hearing an unfamiliar term, Alea tilted her head.
“That’s what we refer to the strongest swordsman as. More specifically, that would be the empress of the Naa Empire.”
“Is the empress strong?”
“I’m not sure how much of the rumors are true, but from what I’ve heard, she’s said to have destroyed an entire battalion from Sousa with just a sword.”
A battalion is a type of unit in the military, said to be made up of anywhere between three hundred to about a thousand troops.
With a rumor like that where one person is said to have taken down that many people with just a sword, one would expect it to be fake; however, I knew that it was true.
I’ll elaborate more on that some other time.
“Just how strong is the empress?”
“Let’s see, probably the strongest in the world?”
“Even stronger than Rod-sama?”
“Hate to admit it, but yeah.”
“Is she even stronger than Claire-okaasama and Rei-okaasama?”
“If magic isn’t involved, yeah.”
“Is she stronger than Manaria-oneesama!?”
“I heard Manaria is pretty devastating with a sword, actually.”
Alea’s eyes were sparkling.
The light that dwelled in her eyes was what you could call a sense of yearning.
“If I tried my best, will I also become a God of the Sword?”
“You bet you can. But that’s only if you give it your all.”
Right after saying that, Alea went back to swinging her sword again.
Rod-sama and I smiled as we watched over her.
“…… It’s unfair that only Alea gets to have fun.”
Said Mei, whose cheeks were puffed up.
Mei was sitting in the garden with her eyes closed tight.
“Mei, you are in the middle of training, you know?”
Claire-sama smiled wryly at Mei, who looked like she was about to throw a temper tantrum at any moment.
Mei was currently in the middle of the first phase of her magic training.
The most difficult part about using magic was trying to develop a sense for it.
This isn’t a line from a manga that I read a long time ago, but it’s been said that a person who has not developed a sense for something will never be able to do it.1
No matter how proficient Mei was in the four attributes, unless she could overcome this first hurdle, she wouldn’t be able to use magic.
After Claire-sama said that, Mei went back to meditating.
For someone who loved to move her body around, this was probably considered torture for Mei.
“Do you feel anything heating up within you?”
“Hmm…. I dunno……”
“There is no need to rush. Be patient, take your time, and go at your own pace, Mei.”
The sense of magic is something very abstract.
It might have helped if she had a bigger vocabulary, but Mei was only six years old.
It was pointless to just tell her to understand.
“A sense for magic…. Hmm. It might be similar to how you feel whenever you are happy, Mei.”
“Whenever I’m happy?”
“Yes. Whenever your heart gets excited, or when your chest flutters – that kind of feeling.”
On that note, Claire-sama wasn’t the type to give up easily.
Ever since she started teaching magic at the academy, her teaching style has become even better than before.
After she studied formal theory and stopped relying on her intuition alone, she started thinking of easier ways to teach those things to other people.
With Claire-sama, who was very intelligent to begin with, Mei being able to use magic was probably something that could happen not too far into the future.
“….. I don’t get it!!”
However, today was not that day.
As Mei yelled out, she fell over on her back and spread her arms out.
“This is not something that can be learned in a single day, so it cannot be helped.”
Claire-sama went and picked Mei up while she was sulking, and brought her over to the terrace.
“Good work, Mei. Claire-sama as well.”
“….. I can’t use magic.”
“Not right away, at least. Let’s just take our time with it, okay?”
“Ahaha! Looks like the world’s second ever quad-caster still has a long way to go!”
Rod-sama laughed heartily.
Upon hearing his voice, Mei looked slightly irritated.
“I’ll be able to use it soon!”
“Oh? Is that so?”
“Rod-sama, you favor Alea too much, so I don’t like you!”
“Mei, we are the ones who asked Rod-sama to teach Alea, though?”
“I don’t care!”
Mei was completely bent out of shape.
“Ahaha! I’ve become disliked! That’s fine. Once you learn how to use magic, be sure come at me first with all you’ve got.”
“I don’t wanna!”
Rod-sama took Mei’s badmouthing in stride and laughed.
As usual, he was quite the broad-minded person.
“Rod-sama, how have you been lately?”
“I’ve begun practical testing of the large-scale technique that I mentioned before, so I’ve been quite busy.”
The large-scale technique in question seemed to be a new kind of magic that he has been developing.
As for the reason behind it, “I won’t lose to Manaria again”, is what he said.
“Also, recently, there’s been a strange string of earthquakes, so we’re trying to prepare some countermeasures for that. The citizens of the kingdom are still traumatized.”
“Ahh, those are still ongoing, I see.”
Going by my previous knowledge, there were no aftershocks related to the eruption of the Sassal Volcano, but the amount of earthquakes in these past few months has been high.
The eruption of the Sassal Volcano was the catalyst for triggering the revolution, so it’s a particularly traumatic memory for the citizens of the kingdom, and now with the recent events, lots of people seem anxious that something like that will happen again.
On that note, as I mentioned once before, earthquake preparedness was something that we struggled with even in 21st century Japan.
Right now, it seemed like there was only so much the kingdom could do, which caused Rod-sama to be at a loss for ideas.
“Besides that, we’ve been getting involved with various things related to diplomacy.”
“The military is getting involved with diplomacy? ….. Doesn’t that sound dangerous?”
Claire-sama’s face looked worried after Rod-sama muttered his words out.
After the reform and stabilization of the government in the kingdom, Claire-sama and I bowed out of the political scene completely.
All we know about the diplomacy within the kingdom nowadays are just the things that we’ve read about in the newspaper.
“Well…. Kinda. We may end up causing you two trouble again by asking for your assistance, but I’ll try to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
“Please don’t. I don’t want you interrupting my and Claire-sama’s lovey-dovey everyday life.”
While I had an extremely annoyed look on my face, Claire-sama remonstrated me.
“Ahaha! You two sure look happy. Well, I’m glad for you. Although, if it ever gets complicated, I’m always waiting for you, Rei.”
“Nobody likes a man that’s too persistent.”
He laughed it off.
Actually, has he seriously not given up yet?
“Well, jokes aside, after the revolution happened, we want to do all we can so that nothing else can threaten the happiness of the citizens.”
Said Rod-sama, who sipped on his tea while making an unusually complicated face.
Claire-sama and I looked at each other, both of us skeptical of the cloudy skies that were ahead of us.
1) Supposedly a line from a manga about a famous RPG. I couldn’t find the source for this though, unfortunately.↵