Chapter 10: If You Can Live Freely (Otou-sama’s POV)
“I know why you don’t want her to debut. It’s because she’ll be targeted, right?” Stan looked at Lei, but his words irritated me.
“I’d get engagement proposals from everywhere. Do you think I would let other people get ahold of our violet eyes? Hmph.”
“But, do you think that the Albans House is in good hands because you have Luke, who is known for being brilliant? Actually, there are some who think that a dispute would happen because two people have inherited this trait. And, there are some who would like the possibility of having light violet eyes in their lineage, even if it’s just small possibility.”
I clicked my tongue. Everyone in Kingdom had a massive celebration on a child’s first birthday. For nobles, this celebration became the child’s debut into noble society. But Leila didn’t have a debut for her birthday. Why? Because of the incident that had happened just before her first birthday.
We, nobles, have magic power from the time we are born, but it was very unstable when we are small; our magic grew more extensive and more stable the older we get.
Therefore, it wasn’t possible to start practising because it was challenging to handle magic until one was 10.
But, Sebas had been waiting for me when I came back from the castle at this time.
“Leila-sama put magic into the magic stones used for light,” he informed me.
“Lei what-! Is she alright?!” I asked because I felt like the blood was draining from my face. Although the magic stones that were used for light were small, it absorbed quite a bit of magic. Even children who start their magic circulation training start learning with half-used magic stones used for lights. Some people collapse if they use empty magic stones.
“She is fine. And, please have a look at this.”
What Sebas had presented to me was a magic stone which had been splendidly filled with magic.
“Lei filled this up by herself?”
“Yes. And she looked as if she could fill another 2 or 3 stones.”
If people knew that she also had this much power on top of being cute then greedy people would definitely flock around her. I heard that lower ranking nobles were getting kidnapped lately so I made my decision.
“I’m cancelling her debut.”
“Is this okay with you? It’s better for her not to have contact with the outside as much as possible.”
Sebas also nodded. She’s my beloved daughter. I decided that there was no need to show her to others just before her first birthday.
Nevertheless, Stan’s point was sickening.
“What would you do if the violet eyes get out if she becomes a bride? Instead of wealth and status, she’d be forced into a lifetime of servitude. Also, I’m sure that you, as a noble, know why we high-ranking nobles are so short-lived.”
“So you’re saying we should do something that will benefit our houses?”
“So we’re getting a tiny share of that?”
My first wife was like that. We only got married to balance our family status, and not because we liked each other. She got a stable position after Luke was born, even if she was a neglectful mother. We ended up getting divorced because we didn’t get along. Even so, she won’t experience any difficulty for the rest of her life.
“Forget about Diana. Her marriage wouldn’t have gone well no matter who she married.”
“I haven’t thought about her until now. On a different subject, what happened to your father’s bastard?”
Stan shook his head. Stan, from the Lisburn House, was one of my few best friends from the academy, but he had a nasty family situation.
“This wasn’t something he should have confessed on his deathbed.”
He shrugged his shoulders as if it were a hassle. About two years ago just before his father died, he finally confessed that he had an illegitimate child with the summery-blue eyes of the Lisburn House.
“We haven’t found him yet. Maybe he’s already left Kingdom since we haven’t found any clues to his whereabouts.”
“Don’t tell me… To Frontier!?”
Stan nodded slowly, “There are multiple reasons why we suspect this. It’s called Frontier, but it’s divided into many different regions, and their population is several times greater than ours.”
“Oh trust me, I’ve heard that it’s tough to live here in Kingdom. But, they’re able to produce magic stones in Frontier because of the lifestyle needed to live there and one could even argue that they could maintain the barrier.”
I understood even if he didn’t say it.
In this world, besides humans and normal living things, there are amorphous creatures known as Hollows. These creatures have hindered human prosperity since time immemorial. They can take the form of any race, but they mostly prefer humans. However, they think and live differently from humans and can maintain their appearance by sucking the life out of any other living thing.
Their bodies didn’t have meat even if you cut it up. They can only be slashed by a special metal, and their corpses shrink into magic stones. Energy was produced when people channelled their magic power into the stones, and it was used to power things.
Humans and Hollows have begrudgingly coexisted for a long time as pesky neighbours, even if the Hollows occasionally killed humans because they made life more convenient. However, at one point in time, the Hollows began to gradually increase their numbers and became a threat to humanity. Thus, humans developed a barrier to keep away the Hollows.
That barrier used the magic stones obtained from the Hollow’s corpses. They had an unpleasant relationship, but about 100 years after the development of the small barrier, humans finally succeeded in creating a barrier that covered the whole kingdom. However, even a tiny barrier needed a large amount of magic power.
“But that needs a large amount of magic power. Only the Royal Family, the Four Marquis Houses and those of noble rank have that much power.”
“Well, it’s about those who can’t enter the barrier and can only live on the outer edge of it. Also, how we still have to keep killing Hollows if we want to maintain the city’s facilities.”
It was a never-ending conflict. In addition to creating the barrier, the magic stones were too deeply ingrained in our lives. We didn’t just kill Hollows to protect ourselves, but also to live. That was how deep it went.
“I’ve never heard of Hollows having feelings or making communities. That is just a moving phenomenon. This has been clearly explained.”
“I guess so.”
At any rate, we, who live in the barrier, have never seen Hollows before.
Women and children, whom we should protect, and engineers lived inside the barrier and those with the power to hunt Hollows fought outside of the barrier. Then the world changed, and those who could maintain the barrier became the privileged and those without were chased out to the outer edges.
“History is interpreted favourably for those in power. I still doubt whether people should be given preferential treatment because they have magic power, but I also think it’s just as foolish to assume that this was alright in the olden days, Dean.”
I know. But there was no reason to believe that one would be happy just because they’re bound to the Royal Capital to protect the barrier.
“If possible, I want Luke and Lei to live their lives freely.”
“This country won’t ever let them go. Not my kids, nor my brother.”
Stan looked up at the sky which was covered by the invisible barrier.
“He’ll be happier if we don’t find him.”
“He’s a lot younger than your father’s grandson, Gille. Your father was really loose with women.”
“I’ve been taking care of everything as his son. But the one who inherited the Lisburn’s eyes is still missing.”
“His mother was probably smart.”
“She might have been. She did get away from my father after all.”
Stan and I watched our sons as they played with Lei in the garden. I’ve never had any attachments to life since I was born into a Marquis House. But now, I wish this scene would last forever.