Bischoff greeted them as the representative of the Ogent family.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Bischoff Ogent, the family head.”
Klumph and Rai did not come, but instead, Rian and Reina accompanied him.
Rian bravely stepped forward.
“Hello, father! I am Rian, Shirone’s sword. In time, I will become the best swordsman in the world. Hahaha!”
“I’m Reina, Rian’s older sister. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
After staring blankly for a while, Vincent quickly realized the situation and lowered his head.
“Hello! I’m Shirone’s father. Why are such important people, such as yourselves, here…?”
“Oh my, did you not hear from Shirone?”
“Yes? What do you mean?”
The only thing that came to Vincent’s mind was his son’s nonsensical story.
“So you’re saying the story is true?”
“Oh, I see. We should have come sooner. Anyways, what Shirone said is true. My little brother, Rian, and Shirone are bonded together due to the knight’s oath. That’s why we called for you two.”
When Vincent became aware that the whole story was true, his heart skipped a beat.
His joy was brief as fear rushed in, quickly replacing it. How could his innocent son cause this much trouble? What was he thinking?
“First of all, let’s eat. We can talk about the details after.”
Bischoff turned around after their short conversation.
Bischoff was not particularly friendly, so Rian could only imagine how uncomfortable Shirone’s parents felt.
Even after the rest of the Ogent family left, Vincent could not leave his spot for a while. Only when Shirone slightly pulled him by his shirt did he come back to his senses. Once that happened, he headed for the living room.
‘Is this real? Our Shirone? Staying with the Ogent family?’
Everything confused him, and Olina, still terrified of the situation, grabbed onto her husband’s arm tightly. But little did Olina know that even Vincent was terrified. His legs were shaking as if they were leaves being ravaged by the wind. He couldn’t even walk properly.
Vincent shook his head.
If Shirone’s words were true, he could not show any weakness. For his son, he had to stay strong.
Various delicacies were placed on the square dining table. Even Vincent, who was a hunter, saw foods he had never seen before. The ingredients were transported from the royal palace by Reina.
As for the seating arrangement, it went according to one’s rank. Lord of the house, Bischoff, sat at the head of the table, on his left sat Klumph, while Reina was at his right.
Seated at the very end of the table, Vincent was finally snapped out of his stupor when he saw the delicacies in front of him. Head butler, Louis, and deputy butler, Temuran, unconsciously puffed out their chest in pride.
But Vincent couldn’t openly show his enthusiasm. He had to save face for his son. He had to finish the meal quietly, but his eyes couldn’t help it. When he saw over seven different dishes around him, his eyes twinkled.
Most commoners were able to eat whole boars with just a fork. However, the dishes in front of Vincent were all of different sizes. There were even foods in shapes he had never seen before.
Although the Vincent family could not take their first bite, the butlers and maids made no move to help them. This was because acting rashly in this unprecedented situation will only harm them.
Of course, such a decision was also mixed with a little contempt for the Vincent family.
Bischoff placed down his tableware and spoke.
“Eat comfortably. You do not have to follow the formalities of the nobility.”
“Formality is just a discipline necessary to put respect into action. Seeing as how you are having a hard time, and considering my family and I can sense enough of your respect and consideration, please eat comfortably.”
Vincent slightly shuddered.
Whether it was true sincerity or the pride of a noble, from the family’s perspective, his words showed great kindness and favor.
Then the maids’ faces turned pale.
The Ogent family’s feelings toward Shirone were genuine. They were really thinking of accepting Shirone.
The bewildered maids hurriedly taught the Vincent family how to use the tableware.
In fact, it only looked complicated, but in reality, how could using utensils and eating be complicated? The Vincent family, who now had an inkling on how to use the utensils, finally ate comfortably.
After all that trouble, Vincent was worried about his son this time. What was this family going to do to Shirone?
He had heard an explanation of what the knight’s oath was, but that made no difference to what Vincent was thinking.
Shirone was still the son of a mountaineer, and aside from the fact he was brilliant, his future was not guaranteed.
Did they perhaps have something else up their sleeves?
He didn’t want to doubt the people who did his child a favor. But he did not want to risk anything in regards to his son.
“I’m grateful that you are thinking of him in a good light, but at the same time, I can’t say I’m not worried. Isn’t the Ogent family one of the most prestigious ones in Creas? And I still can’t believe that a young master of such a family made a knight’s oath to Shirone.”
“Haha! You don’t have to worry. Shirone and I…”
Bischoff cut Rian off.
“If I am to speak honestly, it is a little unpleasant.”
The room suddenly became quiet at Bischoff’s statement, But Bischoff continued to eat with the knife in his hand.
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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“But it’s a knight’s oath. A knight’s oath is a sacred thing, especially in a family like ours. It binds people together for life. If I were to keep holding on to these unpleasant feelings just because the only difference between us is status, that would tarnish Rian’s pride. So don’t be too uncomfortable by it as we will continue to use honorifics in the future.”
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Bischoff was a cold and cruel man. A man cold and cruel enough to demand the execution of a commoner… But only for the sake of his family. His loyalty towards his family was beyond imagination.
‘Fighting for their beliefs. That is nobility.’
Now that he couldn’t choose an easy path, all he had to do was fight against the world.
‘There will be innumerable difficulties and criticisms… But I’m not afraid.’
This, too, was the pride of the Ogent.
Klumph spoke while chuckling.
“It has been quite a bit since our family head has said something right. But won’t you die of loneliness if you send your last son away just like that? Why not just spend another year before doing that?”
Bischoff was not provoked.
“Rai has unlocked Schema as well as learned the swordsmanship of Ogent. Hence why he is more than likely to win official approval. On the other hand, Rian has yet to unlock his Schema. I have no choice but to enroll him in this Kaizen Swordsmanship Academy.
“It sounds like you’re subtly taking the black-haired approach. However, we blue-hairs have passion, and that passion never withers away. If you look down at our burning passion, you will be in for a rude awakening.”
While munching on a lamb, Rian sent a thumbs up to his grandfather.
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Bischoff snorted. His father’s playfulness was nothing new.
“Hair color does not matter to me. As long as they have the same blood flowing in their veins, they are family. And that family is…”
Sitting up straight in their chairs, all the family members placed down their utensils and spoke in union.
After the meal, everyone returned to the living room and sat down.
They began to discuss Shirone’s situation.
Reina broke the news that Shirone was interested in learning magic, which everyone agreed was alright. Due to his physique and his tendencies, Shirone would eventually reach a ceiling in terms of swordsmanship.
Unlike the friendly atmosphere Klumph had during the meal, he told Vincent with a serious expression.
“As you know, our family intends to support Shirone. It sounds like he wants to become a mage, so we’re thinking of sending him to Alpheas Magic Academy. The academy is also one of the top five prestigious academies in the Kingdom of Tormia. The Headmaster, Headmaster Alpheas, is also an old friend of mine. It’s an institution appointed by the kingdom, so if one graduates from there, they will receive an unofficial license… Which means they can become a mage.”
Mages were symbols of intelligence, so needless to say, most were nobles. However, it was a very unique occupation as, due to the ability-based nature of it, status did not dictate how far one could reach. And once they earned their license, they were highly sought after everywhere.
In the world, there were country bumpkins who realized magic on their own. There were also commoners who learned magic by learning under a mage.
Those kinds of people typically became mercenaries. However, there was also the alternative of getting a job in an association and obtaining a mage’s license that way.
Though, of course, those cases were extremely rare. And so for commoners, becoming a mage was merely a fantasy.
But it wasn’t merely a fantasy for Shirone… And as such, the offer wasn’t something Vincent could refuse.
As Olina was moved to tears, Shirone embraced his mother.
It was a warm sight, but unexpectedly, Klumph’s face was gloomy.
Clearly, the fastest way to become a mage was to enter a magic academy… But the problem was status.
Unlike other routes, a magic academy strictly allowed only nobility to enter for the most part. And despite the fact there was special admission for exceptional talents, to cut past that standard was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Trying to achieve this was not easy, even for the Ogent family who was the 2nd-class noble in the kingdom.
In fact, the magic academy also regularly got enrollment requests from the 1st-class family.
“As you may already know, Shirone’s current status does not qualify him for the magic academy. Even if we do aid him in terms of school materials, fees, and other such expenses, there will still be problems with getting him accepted.”
Vincent snapped out of his dream.
“Ah, of course… I know. Yes… That’s right.”
Disappointment and shame tinged Vincent’s voice.
‘My son was acknowledged by a noble family… But he can’t enter the academy because of my status…’
“There is one way. No, it’s actually the only way.”
Vincent’s head snapped up. Shirone, too, paid close attention as it was his first time hearing this.
“I would like to adopt Shirone into our family.”
Silence ruled the living room.
Klumph’s proposal sounded wrong… But in actuality, it was not a bad proposal.
To be the child of a mountaineer… Or a child of the Ogent… It was a no-brainer which one was better.
Nevertheless, the reason why Vincent felt reluctant to speak was none other than the problem with bloodline.
Vincent studied Shirone.
His son’s expression, while a little obnoxious, was still calm.
He couldn’t figure out whether his son’s expression was like that because he thought his father would obviously accept the proposal, or because he thought the proposal was too preposterous.
Bischoff continued after Klumph.
“We discussed this between ourselves, and we concluded that this was the best option. I have a cousin who does not have any children yet. If he registers as part of my cousin’s family, Shirone will become a noble and will be able to enter the academy. It’s merely a matter of paperwork, so nothing much will change.”
‘Merely a matter of paperwork… Is it really that simple? Everything in the world is a matter of paperwork.’
To be honest, Vincent was not confident.
‘Am I confident enough to say that I won’t be sad if I see Shirone registered as a son of another family?’
‘Shirone, say something. What choice does this dad have to make? What do you really want?’
Vincent looked back miserably at his son.
Then Shirone’s brows furrowed. Vincent had a hunch that it was because he was frustrated that his father had no answer.
As this was a sensitive issue, everyone was careful with their words. It was Reina who broke the ice as she came forward and asked Shirone.
“Shirone, what do you think? It’s just paperwork. You will get to achieve your dream and become a nobleman on top of that. Of course, your parents will still be your parents. Nothing will change.”
His frown deepened. And as if he could not understand all this, he said…