Duke’s Daughter 216
Father and Child
“So you told her then…”
My son muttered with a deep sigh. I suddenly wanted to leave.
“No, I mean…uh, Mary practically realized it on her own.”
“I know you well enough, father. You probably said something connected to it in your carelessness.”
Parkes, my son and the current lord of the Anderson house, gave me a cold stare. I felt more uncomfortable than ever.
Surely there was no need to feel like this against your own son.
Calm and cold… Parkes looked a lot like my wife. And unlike Louis, who was said to look like a Demon Lord, he had soft features. But then again, those two were much alike in the inside.
In fact, it was as if the sweetness of his face made the horror of what was within him so much more frightening.
“…Well, she is sensitive to the smell of battle. Perhaps it was something felt through the skin. Perhaps there was no use hiding it in the beginning.”
“Indeed! …I do not see why I should be blamed.”
“That’s not the point. In the first place, I am not blaming you, father. After all, she has a beastlike instinct when it comes to fighting.”
How was he not blaming me?
…Then what was all of that visible irritation about? I could not help but wonder.
“Oh… Well, yes. If anything, the real problem is how she will act based on having some vague information. She would always run out every time something happened when she was a child. I became so worried every time.”
“…And even when she is an adult, that trait has hardly changed.”
“Indeed. Considering all of that, it would be better for me to tell her everything I know, instead of having her know only some of it. Information is life. Misunderstandings can lead to mistakes. But grasping it well will increase your chances of survival. I do not want more things to worry about.”
“I know that. …I know, but I have a feeling that she will get more and more involved now that she knows.”
I chuckled with understanding.
Well, he would get angry if I did it visibly, so it was only in my heart that I laughed.
My son was worried…about Mary.
Now that I think about it, Parkes always was very soft on Mary.
“…By the way, father. If there is going to be a war with the other country, are you going to fight?”
“I don’t know. It’s the one thing I am not sure of. However…well, the chances are high. I know the land and well, I don’t mean to boast, but I believe that I could help raise morale. Especially if you consider the state of this country’s personnel…”
“One saving grace is that His Highness engages with the soldiers as ‘Dean,’ and has a grasp on all those who are important. The less confusion, the better.”
“Yes. …Are you going to join?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it. I hate fighting.”
“Do you really?”
Parkes didn’t say anything. He just smiled.
I was sure that if he went on the battlefield, he would make more corpses out of men than I ever could.
That’s what tacticians did.
As for if he actually fought, he could go up against me and Mary…and probably those of the Knights Order as well.
“…Well, that is fine. We may have you stay here in case of an emergency.”
“Also, take care of Mary.”
“…I cannot imagine her needing any help.”
But you were worried. I chuckled.
“Well, don’t say that. There is no harm in having extra hands in case something happens. Yes, she is strong… And it’s because of that that we need soldiers who are fit to follow her. I have trained some of those from the duke’s lands, but it’s different if they will be led by her.”
“I see… That may be true. Still, father. You are too soft on Mary.”
“You’re one to talk. In fact, you’re the only person to ever say that to me, you know? Both Kreuz and Shure say that my method of raising children was much too harsh.”
My son laughed without denying or accepting this.
“It cannot be helped that they would think that way after all of that training… But that’s not what I meant. I mean you care so much about her even after she’s gone to marry into a different house.”
“And why shouldn’t I? Her going off to marry does not change the fact that she is of my blood. …Does it matter so much to you?”
“No. …Of course, she is a blood-relative and my adorable younger sister. That has not changed.”
“I see. …Then, I will leave everything to you.”