Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Side Story: Secret Wedding
We finish the wedding ceremony at the church safely, and prepare to make our debut on the streets.
I’m sitting in a chair in the waiting room, when Eris and Ruruka approach me in their wedding dresses.
「Hey, Shiki, I was wondering about this during the entire wedding ceremony, but that ring that Yuel-chan has been cherishing… she definitely got it from you, right?」
「That must be a wedding ring for Yuel-chan, huh… it’s not like I don’t understand your feelings, but… but she’s still a kid, y’know?」
I break out in a cold sweat at their words.
…They found out.
…It’s been exposed instantly.
「H-, h-h-h-h, how did you know…!?」
「Well, you see…」
「…With Yuel fawning over a ring that much, anybody could tell.」
I didn’t notice since I was nervous about the wedding ceremony, but apparently Yuel has been admiring the ring this whole time.
No, I purposely handed it to her before the ceremony since I didn’t want her to be miserable about the wedding, so I guess that’s fine.
But I didn’t anticipate that Eris and Ruruka would notice.
「I-I’m sorry, Masterrr!」
Yuel, who was waiting nearby, makes a surprised face and apologizes.
She most likely didn’t realize that she wasn’t supposed to show it off in front of people.
「N-No, it’s fine for you to have that, Yuel. Don’t worry.」
But if I let Yuel worry about these things here, I’ll be putting the cart before the horse.
Since I let Yuel have that ring as a reward.
Just in case, I’ll pet her head.
「I don’t particularly intend to criticize you, either. And I’ve been feeling worried for Yuel-chan.」
「Yeah, she did seem kinda pitiful.」
Looks like neither of them plan to criticize me for handing over the ring.
Moreover, it seems they’ve been concerned for Yuel’s sake.
…Well, although we can’t get married since she’s a kid, anyone can plainly see that Yuel harbors affection for me.
There can’t be many people who could watch Yuel’s expression steadily become gloomier as the wedding preparations progressed, and not worry about her.
「B-Besides… that isn’t a wedding ring. It’s an engagement ring.」
Wedding rings and engagement rings.
There’s a big difference between the two. Though I did give Yuel, a young slave girl, an engagement ring to say “Let’s get married once you grow up”, it’s not like I gave her a ring to say we’re married right now while she’s still a young girl.
That’s where I draw the line, where my ethics absolutely will not yield.
I have to clear up this misunderstanding no matter what.
However, when Eris hears my statement, she looks surprised.
And she suggests this:
「Is that so? …But, if you intend to go that far, wouldn’t it have been better to have a wedding ceremony for Yuel-chan as well?」
A wedding ceremony with Yuel.
…No, wait, that would be quite tough, to say nothing of my standpoint as the Sage.
Besides, isn’t it good enough to conduct the ceremony once she grows up?
We’ll still be engaged and all.
「…M-My own wedding ceremony?」
However, Yuel latches onto those words.
「She’s right. If you’re gonna have one eventually, why not have it now?」
Moreover, Ruruka even endorses Eris’ proposal.
I wonder what’s going on?
…Wait, I wasn’t really looking at Yuel during the ceremony, but by some chance, she might have been making a bit of a lonely expression.
And Eris and Ruruka both seem concerned for Yuel.
Yuel’s face lights up when she receives Ruruka’s approval.
…Even if they hadn’t said anything, Yuel probably really wanted to have a wedding ceremony too.
However, Yuel seems to realize something, and her expression quickly darkens.
「B-But, I… I don’t have a dress. Besides, if we’re seen by other people, it will surely cause trouble for Master…」
Therein lies the problem.
I thought it would be fine to have my wedding ceremony with Yuel once she becomes an adult.
Of course, I couldn’t deny the possibility that Yuel would be saddened a little, but the reward I gave Yuel was purely in the form of an engagement.
Even if we hastily say “Let’s hold a wedding ceremony”, she doesn’t have a dress prepared, and the room hasn’t even been emptied.
If we started it now, today’s debut around town and the reception schedule would end up getting delayed.
「I’m sure it will be fine.」
However, Eris kneels down on her knees in front of Yuel and speaks to her tenderly while petting her head.
At the same time the saint, who had gone off somewhere before I noticed, comes into the waiting room.
「…At last, I have ushered the attendees out of the church. As the preparations are in order, shall we start over with Yuel-chan included?」
And as soon as the saint enters the room, she proposes that.
I wondered where she had gone, but apparently she was clearing everyone out of the church.
…And yet we only just got to the topic of doing a wedding ceremony for Yuel a moment ago.
Don’t tell me she predicted that things would take a turn this way when she saw my conduct and Yuel’s reaction?
…That’s the saint for you.
Having dodged her way through the church’s schemes, she demonstrates tremendous foresight.
「But… she doesn’t have a dress, huh.」
Looks like the saint has been working hard, but we’re missing something important.
A wedding dress is the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony.
If we end up having a ceremony without that, Yuel won’t be very pleased.
And yet, as soon as I say that, the saint takes something white out of her item box.
When Yuel sees it, she raises a delighted voice.
In the saint’s hands is a pure white wedding dress.
A dress rivaling the ones that Eris, Ruruka and the saint are currently wearing, and beautifully adorned. What’s more, the size is just right for Yuel.
Then, the saint smiles as she speaks to me.
「When Shiki-sama slipped out of the room before the ceremony, I ordered my subordinate to have this made with all haste. I roughly understood that it would end up this way.」
She’s way too perceptive.
With only Eris, Ruruka, and the saint in attendance, we enter the church’s place of worship.
Yuel and I stand before the priest.
「The two of you, exchange rings.」
Yuel bashfully carries out every little step of the Medine doctrine’s procedures in delight.
Even though my movements are still clumsy despite this already being my second time, Yuel’s are perfect.
Most likely, she paid close attention to Eris and Ruruka’s movements and scorched them into her memory.
Meanwhile, I’m so tense I can hardly even remember how it went.
Then, once the priest makes sure that Yuel and I exchange rings, he proceeds to the next step.
「…Very well, do you vow here to join your two hearts as one, to support each other with constant mutual respect, in times of joy, in times of sickness, from this day forward unto eternity, and form a happy family?」
「Yes, I vow it.」
「Yeah, I vow.」
Oh right, after the ring exchange comes the vows.
I’m pretty sure I did this part with Eris and the others too.
To make sure it goes smoothly, I try to dig up my memories from within all the tension.
–And then I remember something.
…After this… there’s another ritual we have to carry out.
No, with Eris, Ruruka, and the saint, it was fine.
But when it’s with Yuel, the ritual that should be coming up next will be extraordinarily problematic.
That is extremely bad.
…However, the priest makes the pronouncement indifferently.
「And now, to seal the vows with a kiss.」
「K-Kissss!? H-Hey, that’s… 」
「…You have properly carried it out with everyone else, have you not? This is a mandatory, sacrosanct tradition for a wedding in the Church of Medine.」
Filling the role of the priest is a bishop invited from Crusell, who’s famous for his sincere and rigid personality. He’s an acquaintance of the saint, and supposedly extremely tight-lipped.
…Looks like his personality is strict when it comes to the Church of Medine’s doctrine as well.
When I let out a surprised voice, the priest’s expression sharpens a little.
This wedding ceremony ritual is a traditional rite shared by all Medine believers.
I guess that even the Sage won’t be permitted to violate it.
「N-No, but still…」
Certainly, I did get engaged to Yuel, but that doesn’t mean I was planning to go so far as kissing her.
I had no intention to do such things with the still-young Yuel in the first place.
T-That’s why I stopped at getting engaged.
Look, before Yuel’s mind and body are both properly mature, there are a number of problems with physical contact.
However, the saint interjects.
「Shiki-sama, worry not. It is merely a formality.」
Don’t friggin’ talk to me like you’re a relative handing a sake cup to a child.
But it’s most likely exactly as the saint says, a ritual kiss is no problem, that’s just the values of this world.
And neither Eris nor Ruruka are particularly objecting.
…Yuel already has her eyes closed, tilting her chin up.
This is a wedding ceremony.
For Yuel, it’s her important wedding ceremony.
How could I possibly make Yuel cry by refusing to kiss her?
I-I guess I can only go through with it?
But is it really okay?
I feel like it’s not alright.
Really not alright.
Should I use “Once you’re an adult, okay”?
N-No, that’s all I’ve been using lately.
Besides, it’s not relevant for getting through this.
I can’t come up with any replacement scheme for kissing Yuel.
My gaze falls upon Yuel’s lips.
Her lips part slightly, inviting me.
Isn’t there anything I can do other than resolving myself to it?
No, I should keep racking my brain until the last second.
Think, what’s the best solution to break out of this situation…!
But I can’t come up with anything.
The time limit is fast approaching, moment by moment.
Kuh… w-what… what the heck do I do!?