~ Chapter 30: My daughter's request ~
[Reynald's point of view]
The most frightening thing in the world?
If someone were to have asked me this several years ago, I would have answered: To face a dragon in a battle!
Now, I would answer: To see my wife and children in harm's way.
Even if I didn't often show it, either on account of my own shyness or because of me acting stiff all the time, I did, still do, and will always love my family quite a lot. And this was a truth well established within my heart and soul.
When Melissa was found to be pregnant, I nearly fainted from excitement. When she gave birth to our twins, I couldn't wait to hold both of them in my arms and snuggle them all day long!
Leonidas took after his mother. He had firm blue eyes and auburn hair. His mighty grip was certainly from my side of the family. As for Cassandra, she was a splitting image of her mother. Actually, it felt like I was the one who was left behind when it came down to good looks! Melissa's side was just too unfair!
Given the fact that we were a family of nobles with some rather powerful connections, I expected my children at one point to steer in the direction of egoism and greed, to ask to be spoiled and request all sort of expensive items from us, their parents. Fortunately, this fear of mine never came to be true.
Even when they had the opportunity for their birthday to ask of us for anything their little hearts desired, even after meeting other children of their ages, who should have sparked the desire to compete materialistically, my two children never asked for anything absurd or unneeded.
Actually, what they requested were only boring things from a child's perspective such as books and... tailoring kits?
I, who worried at first about my two children asking for too many expensive and flashy items, couldn't have been more wrong about it...
But seeing how diligent and focused the two of them were with their own training routines, even if by some chance they asked something, I would have certainly did my best in order to offer it to them.
And so, their birthday came. At nine years old, both of them came forth with some rather unique requests.
“Father, mother, as a gift, I don't want to attend the academy when I am 10! I want to become an adventurer and travel!” asked Cassandra.
I looked at my wife and she looked back at me. Both of us were at a loss of words. Of all the things she could have asked of us, this was one thing we didn't expect of her. Worse of all, it was the one thing we couldn't grant her because she was a special human who carried the Blessings of not one but three gods.
If the nobles in the capital heard of this, the king himself might end up sending out the order to drag her off to the academy. It would have been such a waste if she didn't attend, or so many believed. I had confidence she could make it out as an adventurer as well, but school presented a rather unique possibility: socializing with people around one's age and with similar interests.
“I'm sorry, Cassy, but that can't be done... The royal decree states that all blessed children like you have to go to that academy and study well under the best of the best tutors this country has to offer. It's such a special special place in which your older brother can only hope to get in.” I told her in a soft tone of voice, hoping she would understand.
“Can't we just say I have a tummy ache and can't go?” she pouted.
My little daughter was so cute, I could barely abstain from hugging her, but no matter how adorable she was, I knew that we couldn't lie about something like this. It was just... too absurd.
“I'm sorry, but it will be for your own safety as well.” Melissa tried to appeal to her.
“But I am strong! I can take down any enemy who tries to come close!” she pushed her chest forward and placed her hands on her hips.
“Eliza...” Melissa looked up at her younger sister for help.
“It's as she said, Cassandra. I'm only an Emperor Rank, but you can't even defeat me as you are now. However, there are Godlikes and Supremes above me out there. Each of them can easily defeat me, while the latter can stand up against armed battalions of people like me. If they want, some of them would see no harm in wiping out the whole town of Briston just to get to you.” she explained as she walked over and placed her hands on Cassandra's shoulders.
“But...” she looked with begging eyes at her aunt, but it was useless.
We all wanted what was best for her. She was going to be just ten years old. Even if she had the strength of a god, I still would have refused to let her go off on a journey on her own as an adventurer. Who knew what sort of vile men and beasts were out there just waiting to aim for precious daughter?
“I can't protect you against these types of enemies and even if it's not true, children up to the age of 15 are believed to be easily manipulated. For this, foreign countries and even Dark Guilds will try to get their hands o you. Can you fight off against all of them? Do you know how to spot through their manipulation attempts?” he asked and showed her a soft smile.
Cassandra looked down at the floor and clenched her little fists.
Despite this not being what she wanted, she was an incredibly bright child for her given age, so she understood what sister-in-law's words meant. Basically, Cassandra was too weak to protect herself and too young to officially state her opinion about where she stood. It was a fact, after all, that many adults ignored children of a certain age even when they were absolutely right. Merchants often tried to cheat them out of their money and scoundrels to kidnap them and hold them for ransoms.
In front of an adult, in this Kingdom, a child's words were of no use.
With a short glance, she looked at Leonidas and said “Brother is lucky...”
Unlike her, he held only one Blessing. Nobody would go through the trouble of getting their hands on him because those like him were found everywhere. At best, they would try to get him to get to her or us, their parents.
“In that case.... I want more magic books.” she changed her request.
“That we can offer you, my sweet daughter.” I said and showed her a smile.
Then came Leonidas' request.
In my heart, I was hoping he wasn't going to request something that was equally impossible to offer. As a father, I didn't want to see their disappointed expressions on their birthday and know that they looked at me with those sad eyes because I was far too weak as a parent to be able to offer them what they desired the most.
May Sapherya have mercy on me... I thought as I saw him step forward.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
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