Extra 01: Blessing Song
The sky was so clear as if it was suggesting that today was a blessing from the heavens, and His Highness was smiling at me carefreely. I wondered if I was being disrespectful for wanting to slander him by calling him a ‘greenhorn’.
“I’ve finally reached you after eight years.”
I didn’t get sloppy just because I received a single hit from him. In fact, I had also grazed his cheek because I hadn’t gone easy on him.
Even so, he was able to get a hit on me.
Although I’ve felt myself decline from my golden days, I still understand how strong I am ――― to the extent that I didn’t lose that much, not even against an active knight.
As a retainer, I’m happy that His Highness has gotten stronger.
But, I’m not in the mood to congratulate him.
“What’s the point of being happy about winning against an old man?”
I’m not going to say that it was a coincidencet, and I’m not going to make excuses about him accurately exploiting the opportunity that had been presented to him. However, this might be immature of me, but I’m not wasted away enough for him to use the same method twice.
“Of course, I’m not quite there yet. But I think it means a lot for me to be able to get a hit on you today. Elvis, you must be worried about giving your daughter to a very weak man.”
Today, does he mean the ceremony?
If so, then I would like to keep my win as it has been instead of worshipping His Highness’s growth.
I’m not opposed to this marriage. However, I don’t want it either.
The only reason I accepted was because Cordelia wanted it. I would have wished for this if it was 20 years ago, but ――― I don’t wish for it anymore and didn’t think about it either, so it was hard to express my feelings when the conversation took a turn in that direction.
“Father-in-law, please continue to guide me.”
“… Don’t call me that in public.”
“Unfortunately, I understand that well. Please forgive me for calling you that.”
I couldn’t say anything further because His Highness looked apologetic. I wasn’t sure what to say about this because I had already agreed to it.
Even though I thought that, I still couldn’t believe that His Highness had asked Cordelia to marry him.
When I first heard His Highness’s proposal, I thought it was nothing more than a joke.
It’s not surprising for Cordelia to have met His Highness at the castle, but I’ve never heard her mention him before. However, even if his proposal to persuade her was surprising, Cordelia’s reaction to him was as if they were old friends.
If I think about it that way, I felt like I had suffered more damage, but ―――.
“Please listen to my declaration. I think I will put Cordelia through many hardships because of my position. But I will do my best to make her feel glad that she’s with me no matter what happens.”
It doesn’t feel bad that my daughter is important enough to him that he had to go out of his way to tell me this. As His Highness said, it could be more troublesome for her to marry him rather than have her marry into another family or have her take over the Weltoria House. His words told of his inexperience, but I noticed from how he handled his sword today that he didn’t plan on leaving that as a pipedream.
Although, I had already thought that marrying her to the royal family wasn’t an option anymore, if he feels that strongly about this, then it’s unlikely that it would end badly for Cordelia even if I don’t feel like it would benefit the Pameradia House much.
However, I don’t have any undue concerns either.
Because it’s Cordelia who is getting married.
Even if the outcome is different from what I had imagined, I don’t think that girl will just grieve and not do something about it.
“Your Highness, please don’t get too worked up about it.”
“Are you cheering for me as my father-in-law?”
“No, there is something called divorce in this world.”
So, when I told him that Cordelia shouldn’t be overwhelmed, His Highness widened his eyes for a moment, but quickly shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
“That’s the biggest advice the father of the bride can give me on the day. I’ll try my best not to let Cordelia say that you are better, Father-in-law.”
Then, His Highness left.
I supposed he had called me out because his preparations were done for the most part, but there’s no spare time for the male lead today. However, if he had arranged this meeting even though he had no time, then it would be a good start for His Highness.
However, I was reminded of how quickly people grow up.
Before I knew it, the little boy had grown so much that I could picture him becoming the next king. I couldn’t help but think that I was getting older and realised that Cordelia had reached the age where she was going to get married.
Honestly, I still don’t understand why Cordelia suddenly grew emotionally attached to me.
Until that day, Cordelia had been a ‘pawn’ in my mind and not a ‘person’. I decided on the day that I walked through the doors of the Pameradia House that I would spend my life trying to bring myself closer to the centre of the government by using my pawns and trying to make the world less unreasonable than I had felt it was when I was a child.
Therefore, Cordelia didn’t have any special feelings towards me either. ――― I saw that she had many interests, so I did want to let her do what she wanted to do. However, I was truly surprised that she had even met my mother without me knowing about it.
But I found out once again that she was trying to please people even if it wouldn’t benefit her.
My rational views were quite different from Cordelia’s principle of conduct. However, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
She can just do what she wants.
Even if there is something wrong with her actions, it’s something based on her beliefs so if there’s something that needs correcting it’s the process and not the idea. She has always been a cautious and honest girl who sought the opinions of those around her, so she won’t make any mistakes that cannot be correct.
Still, in the past, I hadn’t abandoned the possibility of making Cordelia the Prince’s Queen even after ‘that day’. However, I didn’t feel the need to rush it either. In terms of power, I was able to get what I needed through my own actions. We’re stable enough now that I’ve regained what was lost in the previous generations, and on the contrary, if we were to gain more power, then we will need to be more vigilant and it would be a bad move. Therefore, I was thinking of getting Countess Weltoria to adopt her or find a House where she could have more freedom to marry her into ――― but as it turns out, she’s going to marry into the royal family.
I feared that His Highness’s remark may have caused his family to make plans for his marriage, or cause them to hasten the marriage, so I did say a few words to him. I didn’t educate my daughter to marry into the royal family in the first place either, and a troublesome situation may occur.
However, His Highness refuted by saying that I was worrying too much. Leonard even said something that wasn’t even funny, 『I understand it’s disappointing to marry her off. If you’re that worried, then how about marrying her to Vernoux?』
Needless to say, I ignored what Leonard had said, but I won’t say that I don’t want to marry her off. However, His Highness left Cordelia with a choice. I decided to let Cordelia decide since he had shown that attitude even though I was in a position to say no. But we needed to discuss the circumstances concerning the Pameradia House in a timely manner.
I decided to leave this place as well when His Highness’s back was out of sight.
I also have the role of 『Father of the Bride』today. Someone might search for me if I stay in a place like this.
On my way back, I saw a familiar face from in front of me. It was Flantheim’s son, and he seemed to be looking for someone. I’m sure he’s looking for His Highness, but I didn’t dare call out to him.
However, he couldn’t ignore me as soon as he saw me.
“I’m sorry for troubling you at such a short notice, but have you seen His Highness?”
So, I was right, I thought as I told him, “He already went back,” and Leonard’s son sighed in relief. If he was able to outsmart even his close aids in the midst of a packed schedule, then His Highness might become big in the future.
However, Leonard’s son seemed to have helped His Highness sneak out for the forest incident as well, so perhaps it wasn’t hard at all.
Needless to say, the Flanheim House is a prominent House. But other than their outward achievements, they have been known to use their abilities to substitute for the royal family in the past.
And there is something I want to confirm with this man.
“Were you the one who arranged for Cordelia and His Highness to meet?”
“It’s hard to confirm that when you’re glaring at me like that… but I can’t deny it.”
I wasn’t surprised since I was almost certain of this, but I felt like I had been outsmarted, just like what had happened with His Highness.
I knew that this man had been visiting my house since he was a child, and Leonard, who can’t keep quiet about his love life, hadn’t said anything about his son’s visits either, so I thought it was something that I didn’t have to care much about. I thought that Leonard would tease me if there was something going on between his son and my daughter, and if nothing happened, then it would be convenient back then since Cordelia had few chances to talk to children in the same age group as her. I never even imagined that would cause Cordelia to be involved with His Highness.
I don’t know how long they’ve been getting along. They had clearly interacted with each other after the competition but considering that the roses that grew in our greenhouse was the same as the ones that grew in the royal palace greenhouse, they might have interacted much earlier.
I could question this man more, but I can’t do anything about it even if I find these things out, so I didn’t dare ask. In this first place, I wasn’t good at this kind of talk.
“I have also seen how serious His Highness is about her. You can be rest assured.”
“I don’t need you to tell me that.”
I answered straight away, and he had the same expression on his face as Leonard. I thought that his son was calmer but seeing this expression on his face made me consider that they were father and son after all, and both had decent personalities.
“What? Are you going to recognise this?”
“No, I won’t say any more than this.”
“… I’m sure I wouldn’t have been surprised if a marriage proposal had come from the Flantheim House.”
“Oh, you were going to make me your son?”
I won’t deny that the chances weren’t zero, but it was just that it was infinitely impossible.
“Then I’d like to joke about one thing. Please don’t say this is a good opportunity for you to retire.”
“What are you talking about?”
Considering my age, I should retire soon, but I’ve never thought about it.
“Also, if you hide in your fief, then you would have less opportunities to see your grandchildren.”
“… I’m sorry, I didn’t expect you to look so conflicted.”
Leonard’s son wasn’t joking when he had apologised, but it was hard to react. I already have grandchildren from Cyrus and Malvina, and nothing is resolved from him stating that. But even if he hadn’t mentioned grandchildren, I don’t intend on leaving the royal capital for a while.
“His Highness has asked me to continue guiding him. I can’t retire that easily.”
“I see. His Highness must have been relieved when you agreed. Of course, Princess Cordelia will be relieved to have her father nearby.”
What does he mean?
However, I don’t plan on talking to him for a long time. I broke off the conversation and turned my heel, and then Leonard’s son also headed back where he came from. Our footsteps grew more distant to each other.
The ceremony will begin soon.
It would be nice if I gave a toast to them at a time like this, but unfortunately, nothing comes to mind. I’ve never been troubled by the fact that I wasn’t talkative, but I can’t help but wonder if I had made a mistake for not putting more effort into it.
In retrospect, I’ve lived my life to my satisfaction. Some of the things I couldn’t accomplish on my own, and some of them were because of Cordelia.
That’s why I hope that my daughter can continue to follow the path that will satisfy her.