The situation turned into something similar to a boyfriend visiting his girlfriend’s parents’ house to say hello without his girlfriend.
No, it wasn’t like that.
It wasn’t like they were just awake, it was clear that the whole family had woken up as soon as they’d heard that I was there.
The Grand Duke had seen me once, but it seemed like the other family members also wanted to see my face at least once.
“My sweetie talks about you so much. At first it seemed like you two didn’t get along at all, but now it seems like you have gotten very close.”
The lady wore a subtle smile as she looked at me.
I didn’t know her name, but I believed her to be Harriet’s mother. If Harriet grew older, she might end up looking like that as well.
Yeah, she just had to grow up a bit more. Of course, I didn’t know if she would be as gentle as her.
And young men one, two, and three…
I guessed that they were the brothers Harriet talked about from time to time.
“Your face does look like you’re always pretending like you’re not up to something. Now I see it.”
The first of her presumed brothers seemed a little mischievous.
“No, it’s even more interesting that he doesn’t care about our status at all? Is he that thick-skinned?”
The second presumed brother seemed to be strangely blunt with his words.
“No, it’s not that, but I heard he’s quite skilled, right?”
No, why did it seem like those guys were asking for a show or something all of a sudden?
I went there to talk about the warp gate prioritization, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything because the ducal family was making so much noise.
I’d thought that it was a lonely place, but the owners of Arnaria were like…
“Try this, Reinhardt, it’s delicious.”
No, I didn’t mean that in a bad way.
They were a bit like puppies. I was a strange sight to them, so it seemed like they were wagging their tails at me, crowding around me and trying to sniff me.
They seemed like very friendly puppies.
What was that? I was supposed to be a beggar.
I didn’t feel any sort of prejudice from those people at all. What the hell?
Even those people…
They seemed to be completely convinced that Harriet and I weren’t just friends but were actually dating.
They didn’t even ask if we were dating..
Well, of course they’re dating, is there any problem with that?
It felt like they were thinking like that.
I couldn’t even tell them that it wasn’t the case because they didn’t ask
What was with that?
If I were her first boyfriend, shouldn’t they hate my guts? Why didn’t they hate me? I think I would definitely hate me, though.
Ah. The Grand Duke seemed to have that kind of expression.
His expression seemed to represent ‘dissatisfaction’ itself.
“Ah. Erm, Yes… It… it’s very delicious…”
I nodded with a stiff expression on my face as Mrs. Saint-Owan forced me to eat a cookie.
The Saint-Owan brothers only talked a bit, but they didn’t seem to show any reluctance towards me. The Grand Duke was silent while the others were asking me questions.
“You’re a supernatural power user, right? Can you show it to me once?”
“Well, it’s a skill that can’t be really shown, though…”
“Oh yeah? What kind of power is it?”
“It’s called self-suggestion… It’s a bit like physical strengthening. Well, I’m not actually sure if I’m the only one who actually feels the effect.”
“I heard you were able to strengthen yourself with mana last time. All on your own?”
“Really? Reinhardt, you’re a genius!”
Did she tell her family everything she knew about me…?
I was able to punch anyone in their face who tried to start something with me, but I felt helpless because they were clinging to me like pet dogs.
I was weak against those kinds of things.
In the end, I suffered through their interrogation for a long time.
The Grand Duke coughed slightly and pointed to the stairs using his chin.
“Once you’re done talking, go back to your bedrooms.”
Perhaps thinking that the curiosity of his family members had been sufficiently sated, the Grand Duke seemed to try to cut them off.
Mrs. Saint-Owan took my hand.
“I’d really like to talk a bit more with you. Can’t you sleep over? It’s very late.”
That older version of Harriet…
Her personality was totally different from hers, so I couldn’t seem to get used to it!
“Ah, n-no. I have to get back to Temple by morning…”
“What a shame… Do come to see me often later with Harriet.”
Eventually, after saying that, she moved her mouth closer to the side of my head.
“By the way…”
“Don’t make my sweetie cry anymore, my dear.”
“How many times did you do that already?”
“Be careful from now on, okay?”
“She is a lot more vulnerable than you think.”
A chill ran down my spine. The look in the eyes of Mrs. Saint-Owan and the three brothers as she said those things to me seemed to change slightly.
A family crazy for its only daughter…
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If I made Harriet sad, they would kill me in the world’s most painful way.
I had already made Harriet cry a few times; probably around the beginning of the first semester.
The Grand Duke and his family had opened up the gates of the White Palace and welcomed a commoner who showed up at dawn out of nowhere.
They favored me because I was friends with Harriet. However, there seemed to have been a misunderstanding.
If I were to make Harriet sad, the undeserving favor that they showed me would turn into disproportionate hatred and revenge.
Is really scary…
Regardless of whether I was discovered as the Demon Prince or not, I believed I would be killed by her family first…
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The Grand Duke’s family didn’t ask me why I was in Arnaca.
They were just very curious about what kind of person I was, so all of them had woken up when I’d showed up at their doorstep out of nowhere and asked me various questions before going back to their rooms at the Grand Duke’s order to stop and go back to sleep, seeming disappointed.
It was just me and the Grand Duke left in the reception room.
The others had made quite the fuss about me, however the Grand Duke was the only one who’d watched me calmly.
“Priority to use the super-large warpgate… Indeed, I can give you something of that degree.”
He wrote up a document on the spot and handed it to me as if it wasn’t really a difficult request.
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
The Grand Duke didn’t ask me why I was there that late. Was it that he didn’t think that anything special had happened?
I was more or less sure that he simply wasn’t curious about what someone of low status like me was up to.
I could go back since I was done with my business, but it would be incredibly rude if I got up first before he told me that I could go.
I had already shown him great disrespect, and yet he’d met me with favor.
I couldn’t be even ruder to the Grand Duke.
While I didn’t really have a reason to leave a good impression, I certainly didn’t want to leave a bad one.
What the hell was I doing? I wasn’t her boyfriend!
But I didn’t have to be rude towards him just because I wasn’t, right? Just what was I supposed to do?
The Grand Duke rose from his seat, and I followed behind him. When I first met him, he’d said something like “You don’t like Harriet? Is there something wrong with your eyes?”
The Grand Duke at that moment looked a lot more serious than he did back then.
The Grand Duke and I walked through the Arnaria gardens.
“I heard you created a magic research group.”
“I heard you plan on making some crazy things.”
The Grand Duke of Saint-Owan walked quietly through the silent garden. It seemed like he wanted to talk to me. He didn’t ask me why I was there and only asked some things about Temple.
“It’ll be impossible.”
The Grand Duke had refused when Harriet asked him to invest in us. It looked like they’d fought because of that.
The Grand Duke of Saint-Owan, an archmage… If someone like that said something was impossible, then it was impossible.
Generally speaking, that was true.
I was the only one who knew that they would create those things in the future, so the Grand Duke’s prediction was wrong. With his back still turned towards me, the Grand Duke kept on talking.
“You don’t know anything about magic. People who don’t know the theory behind magic think that anything is possible with magic, so they ask for a lot of things. You don’t know what mana is composed of, how to draw magic circles, or what magic circles can and cannot be carved into magic stones. You think everything can just be solved with this thing called magic. People like that are generally known as magic all-roundists. “
His words were filled with criticism directed towards me, however, it sounded a bit different somehow.
It felt like a battle between a head of a development team and a head of a planning team.
‘Make something like this.’
‘How the hell are we supposed to make that?’
‘You will manage somehow. You guys are good with computers, right? Isn’t that what you are getting paid to do?’
‘No, you should research first before you speak about these things. This isn’t as easy as it seems.’
‘Last time you also said that you wouldn’t be able to do it, but you still somehow made it. Just do it like that again.’
No! This is different from that, right?
Or was it actually a version of that?
However, the Grand Duke didn’t seem like he was complaining.
“By the way…”
“All world-changing inventions actually started off with the opinion of an outsider like that.”
The Grand Duke quietly walked forward.
“Emperor Regnet de Gradias ordered the creation of a uniform and universal large-scale means of transportation using magic because of the constant traffic jams and accidents due to the sheer number of carriages driving around in the Imperial Capital. The Emperor had not an inkling about magic. It was impossible. Everyone said it was utterly impossible to create something like that. They ridiculed the Emperor’s judgment and criticized him, calling him a magic all-roundist who was completely ignorant of magic.”
“But today, there are mana trains driving through the Imperial Capital.”
“And another 150 years earlier, Emperor Organtia de Gradias said that teleportation magic was much too rare compared to its usefulness, so he said that we should connect each region by applying dimensional doors used in the field of summoning to create permanent dimensional doors. However if they were supposed to be permanent portals and spread across the entire continent like a spider web, how would we supply the stones needed to power them? Cost problems, technological problems, implementation problems… everything from start to finish was filled with problems. It was a ridiculous thing to suggest. Everyone criticized the idea and called it impossible. They lamented the impending ruin of the Empire.”
“However at present, the warp gate system has been established over the whole continent.”
“It was thanks to the warp gates that we managed to win the Demon World War.”
The words of outsiders that everyone thought to be ridiculous…
All world-changing inventions started with them. The Grand Duke turned to look at me. He was looking down on me, as he was very tall.
I felt overwhelmed.
“Reinhardt, what do you think I’m trying to say?”
The ridiculous words of an outsider… Did he mean that we would end up making things that would change the world? Was he complimenting me?
However, if that were the case, the Grand Duke should have just invested in us.
He’d even gotten into a huge fight with his beloved daughter.
The intent of his statement was more than clear.
“You mean to say that one needs to become an emperor to realize the ramblings of an outsider.”
“I’m not that stupid.”
“If you took it as a compliment, I would have kicked you out.”
What the Grand Duke said to me wasn’t to be seen as a compliment, it was sheer sarcasm.
‘Even the emperors were criticized heavily by the public for realizing their words, so what are you even going to do with a few students?’
That was why he thought that my plans would end in failure.
“It was possible for them because they were emperors. However, even though they were emperors who could rule and exert influence over all of mankind, those were great turning points of history. They stood before crossroads that could decide the rise or fall of the Imperial power.”
“Of course, the things you plan on making aren’t anywhere close to the mana train or the warp gates. However, an item that would enable one to use external magical power like one’s inert magical power, and an item that could make one easily reach the level of a superhuman…”
“One would open a new chapter in the history of magic, and the other would be a turning point in the history of superhumans. In short, they would eventually bring change to how wars are fought.”
“In my opinion, those two inventions would be comparable, if not even more impressive, than the mana train and the warp gates.”
“You’re not an emperor, and the students of your research group aren’t part of the Magic Association or some secret magic society nor are they members of the Temple research laboratories.”
“Do you really think it’s possible to create those things with your conditions?”
The Grand Duke asked me as if he was trying to interrogate me.
There was only one answer I could give him.
That was how I answered without the shadow of a doubt. The Grand Duke seemed a bit surprised by my nonchalant answer.
“Why do you think so?”
“Even if it isn’t possible, I’ll still make it happen.”
In the end, the only answer I could give him was that vague one.
“If we don’t have enough money, we can just make some, if our abilities are lacking, we’ll just get it. After all, weren’t the emperors like that as well?”
“If it doesn’t work, I’ll just make it work.”
“’Anyway, just do it. I’ll grant you unlimited support, so just do it until it works.’ Something like that, right?”
The Grand Duke’s expression became somewhat strange at my words.
“I don’t know anything about magic. I really have no clue, but I’ll make it possible for them to make those things. I’ll do anything in my power to get them everything they need to do it. That’s all.”
The emperors knew nothing about magic.
—I was the same.
The emperors promised ‘unlimited support’.
I did as well.
What made me different from the emperors? Faced with my conviction, the Grand Duke seemed to feel rather weird.
“Fine. Although it is impossible, let’s say you manage to do that. The ones who would receive all that support are still just mere students.”
Even if I were to promise them unlimited support like the emperors, the researchers weren’t even close to being the best wizards in the world. The difference between the applicant and the researchers wasn’t resolved.
“No, I don’t think that’s the case.”
I dared to object to the Grand Duke’s words.
“I’m fully convinced that Harriet de Saint-Owan will be the world’s greatest wizard. No, the greatest wizard in human history.”
The Grand Duke’s face twisted slightly at my words. It seemed like he didn’t expect I would say that.
“Would it be that surprising for a wizard like that to make something that could flip the world upside down in their childhood?”
Harriet would be the greatest wizard in human history.
In fact, the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan also believed that. Why would it be impossible for Harriet to make something that went against common sense? The mere existence of such geniuses was already absurd, after all.
It was only natural for such absurd existences to achieve the impossible.
“Geniuses have their own way of doing things, which is something that most ordinary, common people wouldn’t understand. Isn’t it weird to judge what is or isn’t possible for a genius just because it’s impossible from the perspective of such ordinary people?”
The Grand Duke might be offended by those words that declared both him and me to be bums. However, I could see his lips twitch slightly.
If he, who’s a fool for his daughter, didn’t bite after I praised her so much, I’d believe he wasn’t human.
‘Really? My daughter will become incomparably stronger than me in the future?!’
‘To the point that I’d seem ordinary?’
‘Why, of course! That’s how it should be! Yes!’
‘My daughter’s the best!’
‘You seem to be a bit insightful, huh?’
He was probably screaming stuff like that on the inside at the moment.
“Don’t you think it would be more strange if it didn’t work out?”
The Grand Duke pretended to cough a few times before continuing to speak, his fist before his mouth, perhaps trying to cover it.
“Yes, well, I guess I indeed lacked some faith.”
“I fully understand your concerns. I know the path to her future will be brilliant, but you want her to take a safer route.”
“Well… yes, that was my intention.”
He worried so much about Harriet because he had faith in her; that was why it was unavoidable for the Grand Duke to hold some distrust even though he trusted her.
He wasn’t cooperating with the Magic Research Society’s plans because he feared she would vainly struggle with a task she had no way of solving.
He didn’t have to invest in us, he could have just given us the money, but he hadn’t.
Money wasn’t the problem, he was just afraid that his daughter would break down while trying to cling to some impossible task.
So that was why the Grand Duke decided to meet up with me when I suddenly showed up at his doorstep.
Originally, he probably just wanted to tell me to get rid of the Magic Research Society’s current research interests.
However, it seemed like he ended up impressed with my ridiculous trust in Harriet’s ability instead.
In fact, he himself, who should know best just how absurd his daughter’s talent was, didn’t trust in her as much as me, an outsider.
The Grand Duke seemed to feel a strange sense of shame because of that.
“And, erm, this might be a bit off topic…”
“Well… Did you, perchance, have a fight with Harriet?”
The Grand Duke’s eyes widened at those words.
After she’d asked him to invest in us, Harriet seemed to have had a big fight with the Grand Duke, it looked like she held a long lasting grudge.
It was more than clear that he didn’t only tell her that he wouldn’t give us any money, but he’d also said that she shouldn’t be part of the Magic Research Society either.
That fight didn’t happen because he wasn’t willing to give us any money. The fight must have broken out because the father told her not to do something while the daughter absolutely wanted to do it, so the Grand Duke probably ended up telling her not to waste her time on useless things.
Perhaps even then the cold war between Harriet and the Grand Duke was still ongoing, saying things like “Hmpf! I hate you, daddy! I hate you!”
He obviously felt restless.
“When I get back, I’ll talk to her a little. I’ll tell her that His Highness the Grand Duke said those things because he was worried that she might get hurt, not because she asked for an investment.”
“Well… Hm. Ehem. Y-you don’t have to do that.”
The situation was quite tense, but I would put in a good word for him.
The Grand Duke’s face lit up at those words.
The mother was quite tender…
So, looking at her dad, I could tell…
“Hm, well, You don’t have… You don’t have to worry about this. It’s my job. Yes. This is quite common between a father and a daughter…”
Harriet’s personality resembled her father’s.
I could tell just by listening to him.
That uncle, the Grand Duke, who was also an archwizard… wasn’t him talking like that strangely cute?
“Ah, well. But well… if you could clear up the misunderstanding… Ehem, that would be good.”
His daughter was awesome.
That was a bit weird.
Anyway, things turned out fine.
That was just how far the Grand Duke’s favoritism went.
MAX achievement reached.