Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Two weeks have passed since the succubus attacked, accompanied by Light Eaters.
「Shiki-sama, I have ordered a wedding ring sample; what do you think of it?」
「Y-You sure work fast.」
Our days have passed peacefully since then. There were various matters that needed to be settled, but as far as problems that demanded urgency, my marriage to the saint cancelled most of them.
The fact that the crisis over the saint losing her position to the royal capital bishop went away was especially huge. The bishop immediately returned to the royal capital afterwards, and submitted a proposal that the saint be divested of her archbishop rank in light of her mismanagement. But that will most likely end in failure. As long as she has a marriage relationship with me, the church can’t cut ties with the saint.
Accordingly, we’re currently in a room of the lord’s mansion, making arrangements for said marriage.
「Pretty, isn’t it…」
「How do I put it… it’s refined, huhhh.」
「M-Master, that’s a very pretty ring…」
Eris, Ruruka, and Yuel are looking at the ring held out by the saint and murmuring.
–That shocking engagement announcement from the saint. Eris and Ruruka both protested to the saint afterwards, but if my marriage to the saint falls through, the odds are high that she’ll lose her position, and I’ll lose my supporter on the church’s side for the sake of ensuring my own safety. Considering the future, now that we’ve allowed the succubus to escape, the saint and I need to get married at all costs. Once the saint explained that, Eris and Ruruka both understood the necessity of the marriage.
…But Eris and Ruruka both felt that the saint had no right to snatch me away. What the saint proposed in regards to their lingering resentment was — why don’t the two of them marry me as well? When the saint used her clever conversational arts to suggest that to them, it went in the direction that for the sake of getting along, I’ll get married to all of them.
What made the two of them give in relatively easily to bigamy when they seem opposed to it was, most likely, the fact that it started with me getting married to the saint. If Eris would be losing to Ruruka or vice versa, they might have given up, but the saint was a dark horse who wasn’t even on their radar. Maybe they hated the idea of it ending in me being stolen out from under them.
I wasn’t sure how to bring up the harem, but thanks to the saint, it seems like it’s going to happen now in this form. For the saint, who has slogged through the underbelly of the church, this too is most likely another one of her masterful strategies. As a result, the scene I wished for is right here. Who’d have thought that she’d be this dependable as a wingman?
「Will this be acceptable?」
「Yeah, looks good to me?」
「Very well, I shall have four of them prepared posthaste.」
The saint says, once she confirms our reactions. Four rings. One for me, Eris, Ruruka, and the saint.
Yuel bends one, two, three, four fingers as she looks at me, Eris, Ruruka, and the saint in turn. She’s making a terribly lonely expression.
…Sorry, Yuel, but there isn’t one for you. These are wedding rings. In the end, there’s no way I can marry a girl as young as Yuel. The fact that I’m the Sage notwithstanding, I’m not immune to criticism, and I myself am opposed to marrying a young girl like Yuel. No matter how much of a harem it is, that’s still going too far.
I feel sorry about Yuel’s dejection, but even if we do end up getting married, it would at least have to wait a few years.
「Four… so it truly is bigamy.」
…Though Eris reluctantly accepted bigamy, she occasionally gives off a feeling like this, of finding it intolerable. Most likely, she was picturing some kind of ideal monogamous married life, with two kids, back at that hospital.
「Y’know, I’m kinda starting to feel like I’m okay with it at this point.」
Ruruka replies like that to Eris’ mutterings. Eris must have thought that Ruruka shared her views; she makes a bit of a surprised expression. By some chance, is she going to lend support to my bigamy? That’s Ruruka for you. I knew I could count on her.
「I mean look, I’ve been thinking lately. Could I get married to Shiki, just the two of us? If I did, I bet Shiki would definitely go off somewhere and cheat on me behind my back. And I mean, Shiki’s incredibly lewd. And simple. And weak-minded enough to get tempted by the succubus. Plus whenever there are boobs in front of him, he never thinks of the consequences.」
「…T-That may be true. But how does that…!」
「Look, the point is, if it’s impossible alone then we can keep an eye on him with the two of us. Taking shifts, watching over Shiki so he doesn’t cheat, right?」
I thought a nice follow-up might be coming, but instead it was a rant. I’m not particularly simple. I-I’m just a little weak to boobs, that’s all. Also, please don’t say such things in front of Yuel. It’ll invite a misunderstanding.
「And besides, if he’s gonna get married to a single person, won’t it be Saint-sama, who already announced it in front of a bunch of people? I was like, “I can’t stand it ending like that.”」
Once Eris hears Ruruka’s speech, she lowers her eyes. Most likely, as far as those two are concerned, the fact that the saint acknowledged bigamy must have been the number one point after all. Although speaking of the saint in question, she’s watching the two of them and grinning. She’s too bold.
Eris sits with her face frozen in a contemplative expression.
…I wonder if she’s going to say that she can’t accept anything but monogamy after all? But my marriage to the saint is going to be rather seriously necessary from here on out. Also, it’s convenient for getting married to both Eris and Ruruka as well. It’ll be a problem if Eris refuses to marry me unless she’s my only wife.
…Because if she does that, I may very well end up choosing her.
However, Eris raises her head and speaks with an “oh well” attitude.
「…So long as you look at me properly, then alright. Because I really do love you.」
「Y-Yeah, that’s fine.」
Oh I’m gonna get a real good look. On the contrary, if there’s any place my eyes will reach, my eyes are pretty much drawn there already. There’s no point bringing it up now. Well, I doubt that Eris meant it in that way, though. But no matter how many other women there are, I doubt I would ever lose interest in Eris. I wanna get married already. No, we’re going to get married.
Perhaps sensing that the matter is settled, the saint puts away the ring and stands up. She can never sit still, so maybe she has something else to do after this.
「…Come to think of it, concerning the assassins, one of the slave merchants has finally coughed up some information. He has confessed their involvement in the crime, so I believe that the matter can be settled with this.」
The saint casually gives us a report as if she’s just mentioning it offhand.
「Confessed? …What sort of methods did you use?」
I was about to let it go, but drawing out a confession to being complicit in an assassination is impressive. I don’t know the details, though.
「I have not been doing anything special. It is merely that the type of people who would kill others for money will easily betray their organization once their own body comes under threat, that is all. With this, I ought to be able to annihilate this city’s Slave Merchant Union with certainty. And as D’arnaud’s exploitation is no more, henceforth the circulation of donations to this region’s welfare and social institutions can be greatly increased.
Seems like I’d be better off not asking what she did. Also, the Slave Merchant Union will be annihilated…? I thought it was a fairly huge organization, though. I don’t want to make an enemy of this saint, that much is crystal clear.
…Assuming I become the archbishop in charge of this area as D’arnaud’s successor, let’s be especially careful not to exploit it.
「That reminds me, what about the succubus? Still can’t find her?」
Hearing about the matter of the assassins reminded me. After that, I haven’t heard a word of news regarding the succubus. I haven’t heard any stories of her attacking some other church, nor any mention of succubus sightings anywhere. And I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a report yet of locating the petrified succubus.
「Indeed… by some possibility, she might have fallen to the bottom of a river or lake upon her petrification. In that contingency, locating her would be extraordinarily difficult.」
「I see. 」
As I was afraid, it seems she hasn’t been found. The saint holds a hand to her head, as if the subject has become a headache for her. But there’s nothing we can do about something we can’t find. About all we can do is spend a bunch of time and manpower searching all over.
「Well then, please excuse me. I believe one of my subordinates will come by later to size the rings, if you would. Ahh, and the two of you are to be measured for your dresses, so please ask her for that ahead of time.」
Then, giving us only a few informational messages, the saint leaves the room. Eris and Ruruka both leave the room as well to get that done.
The only one left behind in the room is Yuel, clutching her clothes tightly and hanging her head.
Ever since Eris and the others left, I’ve been reading the Bible. Outside of the war between the evil god and humanity, this Bible also contains the church’s precepts, and episodes dealing with its major figures. It’s fairly thick. I still haven’t read all the way to the end, but after all, it’s unthinkable for someone lauded as the Sage, someone who could become the archbishop of this area, not to have read this. As I’m concentrating on reading the Bible and trying to get through it quickly… by the time I notice, it’s gotten late into the night.
「Yuel, it’s about time for bed. And there’s nothing left to do today.」
Yuel has been somewhat absent-minded since earlier. I noticed it out of the corner of my eye while reading the Bible, but she’s been vacantly staring at the floor for quite a while. As I thought, the matter of the wedding is bothering her. And the way Yuel’s been treated lately, it’s like she’s the only one left out.
I do feel like I want to do something for her somehow… but after all, Yuel is too young. And besides, no matter how much a kid says “I love you”, as they grow up and their perspective expands, it’s possible they’ll no longer feel that way. When that happens, I don’t want Yuel to feel regret. To the young Yuel, I may be something of a father figure. Until Yuel herself becomes an adult, and can exercise proper judgment, considering such talk is probably impossible in the first place from an ethical standpoint.
…But be that as it may, seeing Yuel downtrodden is still heartbreaking. I want to give her some kind of pep talk. A feel-good talk, to subtly divert her attention so she won’t cry.
「Oh yeah, Yuel. I only read it in the Bible, but supposedly that cane wasn’t the only catalyst that the former Sage used for his magic. Seems like there’s a legendary magical sacred sword with the same level of effectiveness as that cane.」
「A magical sacred sword?」
「Yeah, that’s right. If Yuel really becomes strong enough to be called a Hero, let’s try asking the church to lend it to you. And you can already use a little magic, so someday I’m sure you can become a magnificent wizard as well as a swordswoman. I think it’d be just perfect for you to have.」
I don’t know whether or not the church would readily lend us a sword like that, but my priority here is to deflect Yuel’s feelings. And assuming Yuel does gain that level of ability, I’m sure she will already be an adult by that time. Even if they refuse to lend it to her, she probably won’t be that sad.
「As Master’s Hero…」
Yuel murmurs, as if ruminating on my words. But the mood she’s in is… dark. I figured that something like the cool sacred sword the Sage used to use would tickle her childish imagination a little, but looks like it’s hopeless.
Perhaps her head is full of thoughts about my marriage. And she was so happy before when I told her about the harem; I didn’t think she would be this crestfallen. But in the end, perhaps it was different when the reality that she’s the only one unable to get married yet was thrust in front of her face. It’s most likely not a rational thing. That alienation-like feeling that she’s the only different one, even if she convinced herself, she’d still end up feeling that way.
…Looks like my only option here is that.
「…Yuel, it’s once you grow up. You’re still young. Marriage and stuff, you can think about that after you become an adult. There’s not really any need to be impatient about it. Right?」
My sure-fire charm. “Once you grow up, okay?”.
By reciting this, I can misdirect Yuel using her future expectations. Nevertheless, although I’m saying something close to it, I’m not actually declaring “Let’s get married”. It’s an ambiguous approach to deal with Yuel’s potential change of heart in the several years before she becomes an adult. I’ve managed to postpone the matter of my relationship with her before using this same method. Knowing Yuel, if this will get her to focus on the happy future of “We can get married once I’m an adult”, I can get the fact that I’m currently marrying Eris and the others to vanish from her head.
Or so I thought,
but tears slowly and steadily gather in Yuel’s eyes. Her throat keeps making tiny noises like she can’t bear it, and she begins to tremble.
…T-This worked out before, though.
How come? Something is different now.
But what do I do? If this method is hopeless, what should I do?
And, as I’m racking my brain, a knocking sound at the door shatters the awkward atmosphere.
「Shiki-sama, may I spare a moment of your time?」
It’s the saint’s voice. And when the saint hears my reply, the door opens.
「My apologies for disturbing you so late at night. However… as I was able to put together a little available time, I thought that I ought to make amends to Shiki-sama for forcibly pressing you into the marriage.
…Have I interrupted you?」
The saint says as she enters the room. On the contrary, she saved me. I was already running out of ideas for how to comfort Yuel. “Once you grow up” worked last time, so I thought it would distract her this time too. In any event, she can steer the conversation elsewhere.
「I don’t really mind. What’s up? By “make amends”, you mean you’re giving me something?」
「Though it may be forward of me, I am thinking of providing you with night service.」
Steering it there is not good. Really not good. I wanna turn back already.
Look, Yuel is here and she’s still on the verge of tears. Ahh, ahh… I can tell right away from looking at Yuel that the proposal from the saint just now hit her pretty hard. The relationship between me and the saint, who’s already about to initiate night service, and my purely master-and-slave relationship with Yuel. Did the saint’s proposal make Yuel see things in a new light? Her expression rapidly saddens.
…I wonder if she thinks that even her presence here is a nuisance? Yuel starts to silently trudge out of the room. The usual Yuel would do something like ask “May I help?”, but it seems like she’s already completely disheartened. Past incidents aside, perhaps she’s thinking that it’s unacceptable for a slave to intrude on the intimate relationship between a husband and wife. We’re not particularly that intimate, though.
「A-Ahh, Philine. C-Can we do this some other time? N-Now is sorta… look, you understand, right?」
「I don’t mind if Yuel-chan joins.」
You should mind. I mind.
…Wait, didn’t this lady say something like it’s not good to put a child through something so outrageous? As insistent as she is that unreasonable treatment is no good, I wonder if that means it’s fine so long as there’s consent? And now that I think about it, she isn’t questioning me at all about having Yuel as a slave.
「M-Master, i-is it okay…?」
Look, Yuel reacted. No, I was going to hold Yuel back either way. Nor did I have any intention of throwing the mournful Yuel outside so the saint and I could get down to night service. Rather, I was planning on sending the saint away and comforting Yuel by petting her head, all night long if that’s what it took.
But what do I do about this situation? Yuel is looking at me like an abandoned puppy. If I tell her no here, it’ll end up looking like I’m rejecting her. In her current insecure condition, I absolutely can’t do that.
Even though I was trying not to make Yuel sad, why does she have to suffer so much?
–As I’m anguishing over it like that.
「S-Sage-sama! Saint-sama, is Saint-sama here!?」
The second I think I hear someone noisily running down the hallway, a knight’s voice calls out from in front of the room. How unusual, this late at night. He seems pretty frantic.
「Yes, I am indeed here, but… can it wait? We are currently in the middle of something.」
The saint dismisses the knight. However, the knight immediately retorts.
「It’s urgent business!!」
His rough voice seems desperate. Perhaps feeling the serious atmosphere, the saint approaches the door.
「…What sort of business would that be?」
Then she opens it. Over the saint’s shoulders, I can see the knight’s face. His expression is pallid. I can clearly tell that he’s quivering, and greatly shaken. Judging from the state this knight is in, it’s no doubt bad news.
–However, the knight’s report far exceeds my hypothesis.
「T-The royal capital, there has been word that the royal capital has fallen! T-The succubus has resurrected the evil god…!!!」