Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Side Story: Fran’s Recommendation
A day has passed since the succubus countermeasure meeting. As I’m petting Yuel’s head while she sits on my lap in the guest room provided to us by the lord, the door suddenly opens.
「I heard it. You, your mana was actually perfectly fine.」
The second I notice that Fran has entered the room, she abruptly asserts that.
I sense a hint of anger in her voice. Her expression is also giving off a sullen, offended feeling.
「A-Apologies for disturbing you so suddenly.」
I take a look, and Sera is with her as well. She enters the room chasing after Fran, and immediately bows her head to me.
「Because you did not tell the truth when I taught you about magic, I consequently misdiagnosed it as mana leakage disease, no? …Why did you not say anything!」
Fran glances at Yuel, but immediately returns her gaze to me, raising her voice at a constant rate.
…Oh yeah, Fran did teach me a little about attack magic before.
If I recall correctly, back then, she concluded from the large quantity of mana I was giving off that I didn’t have enough left to use attack magic.
Since I could potentially fix it with training, Fran also gave me a magic tool for measuring the mana concentration around myself at that time.
I stayed silent since I didn’t really want to reveal my true ability, but I’m pretty sure that for her part, Fran was feeling fairly sympathetic for me.
…Well yeah, no wonder she’s mad.
But it’s not like I hid it from her just for the heck of it. There was a good reason for that.
「My bad. But it’s not like I kept silent about it for no reason. I wanted to keep my ability hidden as much as I could unless absolutely necessary.」
「There was no need for that. What was the problem with letting me know!」
Fran brings her angry face increasingly closer. Looks like she finds it hard to stomach.
This distance is close.
Her face is close.
…This is dangerous, huh.
When this bitch gets angry the fists really come out.
No, rather than her fists, it’s magic that comes out.
Furthermore, since she has some halfway-decent ability, she can cast chantless (albeit unstable) magic.
She can’t very well shoot magic at me in this situation with Yuel on my lap, but it pretty much feels like she could lunge at me at any moment. My legs tense up.
Then, when I open my mouth to try and explain,
「Fran, I heard that Shiki-san’s EX Heal was what got him wrapped up in the recent plot by the archbishop… you also saw the shape he was in at that time, did you not?」
Sera preempts me with that.
Fran is at a loss for words.
Well, until I was able to borrow the baths at the lord’s mansion, I was completely covered in blood.
Thinking back on it, when we arrived at the lord’s mansion, I seem to recall Fran looking at my appearance in shock.
Most likely, Fran remembers that too.
「…B-But, I heard it from Father. That miracle from god during the time with the Krankheit Turtle. That was your work as well, was it not? To do such a thing when you are loath to stand out, is that not a contradiction!」
Nevertheless, Fran still won’t back down.
Most likely, she doesn’t know where she should vent her anger anymore.
…Maybe it’s because she was trying to teach me magic so earnestly.
But I can’t answer that question honestly. Yuel’s just quietly sitting on my lap getting her head petted, but she’s here.
「T-That was, you see… um, right… it was for the sake of the citizens.」
That’s what I told Yuel, but I was honestly just doing it to distract Yuel and comfort her when it seemed like she was going to break down in tears.
In front of Yuel, who’s still depressed about “I couldn’t protect you”, I can’t tell Fran that it was actually to comfort Yuel.
「…F-For the sake of the citizens? Y-You, you mean to say that it was for the sake of this very Merhatz…? You took on such a risk to rescue this city from a crisis…?」
However, Fran ends up being more shocked than I imagined.
…Oh right, Fran is the lord’s daughter.
In other words, you could say she’s the next lord.
I didn’t mean it that way, but I might have come off a bit patronizing.
Fran, who is all up in my face at this point, stops and looks at it.
Then she quickly takes her distance as her own face reddens.
…Flipping out about “Too close!” when she’s the one who approached me, it’s totally irrational.
「…I am going back to my room.」
After that, Fran turns her back to me in a somewhat despondent-looking mood.
And just like that, she leaves the room.
「Fufu, please excuse us, Shiki-san.」
Sera also exits the room with a somewhat pleased face after bowing to me.
…Finally, they left.
All of the tension while Fran was here, that she could lunge at me at any moment out of nowhere, drains from my legs.
Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but that girl has previously committed the offense of shooting attack magic into her marriage interview partner’s crotch. And it was only an attempt, but she did try to fire attack magic at me too.
…Although I more or less understand that Fran isn’t a total bitch.
But she’s the type where I never know when I’m going to step on a land mine and set her off.
Now that she’s gone, I can finally relax.
「Fran, whatever is the matter? …In a place like this.」
However, I hear voices from outside the room. The lord’s and Fran’s.
Sounds like she ran into the lord on her way out of this room.
「Fran, by some chance, d-did you consider our talk…?」
Instantly, I hear footsteps running away from the room.
The shunned lord’s saddened voice rings out.
…Fran appears to be in her difficult years. I don’t know what kind of talk they had, though.
…And yet I wonder what the lord came here to do?
This room is at the end of the hallway. He couldn’t have just happened to pass by.
I wonder if he’s going to hold another succubus countermeasure meeting?
As I’m pondering, there’s a knock on the door.
「Pardon me for coming unannounced.」
The lord enters the room and sits down on the nearby chair.
His complexion isn’t very good. Well, he’s probably busy with the succubus countermeasures and whatnot.
「So… what sort of discussion did you have with Fran?」
The lord asks, leaning forward and looking at me eagerly.
That expression kinda looks like he’s expecting something.
…It won’t make me happy when a middle-aged guy is the one giving me that expression, though.
「It was about my healing magic ability.」
I hesitate over how to answer, but I guess I don’t really need to tell him the details.
Judging from the fact that he went out of his way to come to this room, the main topic is most likely something else.
Besides, I’m busy petting Yuel’s head.
It’s not like I can’t spare a little time to talk to a middle-aged man, but only a little.
「…I see. Shiki-kun, no, Shiki-dono. What do you think of Fran?」
However, the lord brings up the subject of Fran again.
…That reminds me, this lord told me something to the tune of “please take care of Fran from now on as well” previously. By some chance, did the lord come to this room in order to…
Hunching down defensively, I continue the conversation.
「What do I think?」
「Look, I may be saying this as her father, but I think that Fran has a lovely face. I hear that Shiki-dono is unmarried. If you hold any special sentiments for Fran–」
「W-Wait, I am not asking you to make a decision immediately. Look, surely if you continue to live together, your feelings may cha–」
「I’ve got enough on my plate already.」
When I reply immediately, the lord’s face pales even further.
…This middle-aged lord is doing his best too, huh.
He must want to find a suitor for his daughter quite a lot if he’s searching for a marriage partner for her at a time like this when he’s busy dealing with the succubus.
I’m gradually starting to pity him, but seriously, I have enough on my plate.
Ruruka told me she loves me, and Eris’ reaction when she came into the bath yesterday while I was washing off the blood had me intrigued.
Also I don’t necessarily feel any urgency to get my hands on Fran. She’s flat-chested and all.
「B-But you know, even Fran has many good sides to her. L-Look, she has nice facial features… a-also, yes, she’s slender. Isn’t she slender?」
…Don’t just praise her outward appearance, Lord-san.
Most likely, he didn’t expect such an immediate reply and now he’s panicking.
However, the lord receives timely help from an unexpected place.
「Fran-san has taught me so much I never knew about history. Plus, she promised to teach me about offensive magic next time. Fran-san is… a nice person.」
It’s Yuel. Sitting on my lap, she mumbles that.
…Come to think of it, back when I was taking a bath, Fran was keeping Yuel company.
Besides, taking into account her attitude back when she was teaching me magic, she’s a surprisingly caring person.
But her lack of chest and her extremely short temper end up spoiling everything else.
「Indeed, that is true! She is surprisingly caring, that girl. Fran tends to go around in circles, but her sense of responsibility when it comes to protecting this city is twice as strong as anyone else’s. And while she may be a tad quick to fisticuffs on account of her impulsivity, she is truly a kind girl.」
The lord starts trying to sell me on Fran’s good points.
…Rather than quick to fisticuffs, she’s quick to hurl Fireballs.
More importantly, Fran is quite the man-hater.
The lord can say whatever he wants, but for her part, Fran would never approve a marriage.
「You truly won’t take her…? If Shiki-dono were her partner, I sincerely believe it would turn out well.」
The lord mutters in an imploring voice.
…Fran’s face isn’t bad. Besides, her attack magic is excellent, and she has her position as the lord’s daughter. I doubt he’d be completely unable to find a partner for her.
From the lord’s perspective, he must see me with my nonstandard healing magic as a superior article to some degree.
But I wish he’d ask someone else.
「At this rate, finding a suitor will truly be… with that personality, once she exceeds a marriageable age… ohh, what will I do…?」
The lord seems to shrink a little as he hangs his head.
It’s been ten-odd minutes since the lord said “Let us speak of this again” and left the room.
Once again, the door opens.
「My apologies for earlier.」
Immediately I assume the lord has come back, but Fran and Sera are the ones who enter my room.
Fran charges into the room and stands in front of me.
Then, averting her gaze slightly, she begins to speak.
「You saved not only my life, but the lives of the citizens that I will one day govern… that is to say, I am not unwilling to make myself available to you.」
Fran says, fidgeting a little.
But I don’t quite understand what she means.
What could that mean?
…Wait, based on what the lord was saying earlier,
「Don’t tell me you’re talking about marriage?」
「N-No! Where did you get that idea!?」
Well, considering Fran’s personality, there’s no way.
But then what did she mean?
「I-I meant… if anything were to happen again, do not hesitate to rely on me, that is what I meant to say.」
Looking down, Fran adds that.
Sera covers her mouth, letting out an awfully pleased voice.
「I-It is simply that as the lord’s daughter, I feel obligated to repay the debt for saving the city, that is all! T-That truly is the only reason!」
As if reacting to Sera’s voice, Fran starts to panic.
Somehow or other I understand.
…This is probably Fran trying her best to repay the favor out of obligation for my saving the city.
But she’s wasting her effort.
Fran is too impulsive, and if I ask her for something I can only imagine it turning sour.
But still, I’m not so twisted as to reject this wholehearted declaration from Fran.
「Well, I’ll consider it.」
When I answer like that, Fran puts her hand on her chest in relief.
She might have been anxious over whether or not I would accept. Although if she was that anxious about it, she may as well have just ignored the debt.
…I thought the same thing when she taught me magic, but she really is a conscientious person.
If only she didn’t have a quick temper, there would be tons of suitors after this side of her.
As I’m contemplating, Sera suddenly approaches me.
「Please consider an engagement to Fran as well, alright?」
Perhaps because it’s the same thing the lord was talking about earlier, I end up answering reflexively in no time.
But I only realize after the fact.
…Fran is currently right in front of me.
No matter how I look at it, denying it in no time was unwise.
Even Fran is a woman, more or less.
No matter how little she thinks of me, she still has her pride.
Fran’s face rapidly reddens.
This redness is undoubtedly not anything in the “shy” category.
Just from seeing her complexion, I can tell that her anger is amping up.
「I, I-I, I should be the one saying that!!!」
Then, a red light forms on the side of Fran’s face.
A chantless Fireball.
She slams it onto the stone floor.