Eldred is currently three and a half years old.
Nevertheless, Ko started teaching Eldred letters.
“This is El’s name.”
He showed a piece of paper with Eldred written on it.
You only need your name after you humanized.
Before humanizing, I was never asked to write my name.
Even if I was asked because I was an Akinist, they would wait until I was humanized. Learning how to read and write my own name before appearing in formal situations was enough.
Before that, I needed to be able to ride a Sekisva.
Eldred stared at the paper with his name written on it, and after a while, he looked up.
“Mama, what’s your name?”
“Mine? …this is how Ko is written.”
This time he showed something with Ko’s name on it.
Eldred stared at it again.
After a while, he looked up again.
“What’s your name, Papa?”
“Papa’s name is Rodokiaus.”
It’s my name this time.
Like that, Eldred looked at the piece of paper with the names of all family members written on it.
The first thing you should remember is your family name…
Actually, I thought just learning the surname was fine.
(But come to think of it, when Ko learned the letters, his name, and my name came first.)
Was that why?
Then I’d rather not say anything.
For a half-Akinist, Eldred was a gentle and caring child.
When he was a baby, he was spoiled and obsessed with Ko, to the point where I thought he couldn’t become a soldier in the future.
But he actually cared about Ko, and because of that, he wouldn’t leave his side.
Also, it seemed that Ko’s desire to be spoiled was a factor.
…Eldred himself seemed to want to be spoiled by his parents.
However, in dealing with others, he just did what Ko wanted, and did not have the personality to wag his tail at everyone.
It’s nothing more than respecting Ko’s feelings of cherishing his family.
The same could be said for the other children.
“Would you like to finish today?”
The first day of study ended quickly.
It’s a big difference from when he was studying hard.
“Is that fine?”
“Yeah. Even if we cram it all at once, he wouldn’t be able to memorize it. The most important thing is that he doesn’t hate studying.”
Even though Ko could do more…
However, Ko must have his own ideas.
“Was it because you liked studying that Ko was so eager to learn?”
He used to study every day.
He was studying even when he was walking.
“Hn? I didn’t like studying. In my case, I was driven by necessity. Because I wanted to be able to communicate with Rodo as soon as possible…I studied hard.”
I was surprised by such a reply.
Even though he was studying so much…he “didn’t like it”?
“…but you also studied magic and healing arts as soon as you learned the words?”
“Because I wanted to know how to use my power. When something happened, I didn’t want to regret saying ‘I should have studied more’.”
Was that why he studied every day?
──even though he didn’t like it?
I couldn’t imagine that.
“Was that also the case when investigating the subordinate’s collar?”
He’d been looking into it for years.
When I was wandering around behind him wanting to help, he’d stop and give me a smile, I should have been nothing but a hindrance.
“That’s just to rule out any possibility. It’s said that there’s nothing that could subjugate Akinists and half-Akinists, but if it was created while I was conceited…thinking about it like that, I really needed to find out. If you wore it when you were a weak baby, it might function. Even if it didn’t exist now, it might be created in the future. ….that kind of anxiety wouldn’t go away. …I didn’t want to regret it, so I just studied and did research. Studying, which I didn’t like, wasn’t a pain if I thought it was to protect my family.”
Ko looked up at me and smiled cutely.
I love him so much that I hugged him unintentionally.
“For me. Even if I lived to the end of my life in the world where I used to live in, I would never have children. It wasn’t a world where men could give birth to children. …but I came to this world and met Rodokiaus…and came to like it. To be honest, I thought it would be fine if I didn’t have children. Akinists were said to have difficulty bearing children and I didn’t know if my life expectancy was still short…but I was blessed with beautiful children. There’s no reason not to love the children of the person I love. El, Cal, and Dee are equally lovable beings. My family is important. So I…I want to protect it no matter what. Even in exchange for someone’s life. …even if I know that Rodo would be sad, no matter what happened to me, my family’s safety is more important than mine.”
When he said it like that, I felt even more frustrated.
I knew that Ko would put family before himself, but…
More than my family, more than myself, Ko was the most important to me.
Even though I really wanted to die protecting Ko.
──even when I knew that Ko didn’t want that.
Ko should know what I’m thinking.
That’s why he didn’t say anything to me who was hugging him tightly.
“Rodokiaus, I’m sorry. I don’t want to see my family die in my lifetime. I don’t want to see Rodo get hurt while protecting me. …I know it’s selfish. I know that Rodo and the others would be sad if I got hurt. …but I couldn’t stand that kind of pain. I’m not strong enough to smile when my family got hurt. …actually, I couldn’t forgive anyone being hostile to Rodo and the others. Even if they didn’t attack you, just thinking that they were unkind to you, I didn’t want to forgive them. For me, it didn’t feel like ‘nothing happened’.”
Ko also hugged me and lined up his words while burying his face in my chest.
Even I would kill anyone who hurt Ko.
If a country was involved, I would destroy it.
It didn’t matter that Ko had healing abilities.
Even if the wound healed, even if it didn’t leave a scar, the opponent didn’t even deserve to live the moment they attacked Ko.
They were an enemy that must be eradicated.
I didn’t want to lose Ko.
But Ko didn’t want to lose me or my family either.
We had always been afraid of losing each other.
I thought my feelings were stronger, but I didn’t think that was the case now.
“And since I didn’t want to regret it, I just studied. It’s for my sake. …and that’s why I couldn’t force that on my children. …I guess they’d have to leave once they humanized…but could I accept that? I thought I’d go see them every day.”
He looked up from my arms with a feeble smile.
The strong eyes from before had disappeared.
Even though Eldred and the others were half-Akinists, they had a strong Akinist aura.
I wasn’t old enough to retire from the front lines yet, and once my children grew up to humanize, they’d leave to prevent influencing the surroundings.
…but if Ko didn’t like it, I thought he could ignore that rule.
That was just decided by the kings on their own.
There’s no reason for us to obey.
If they said people couldn’t live in the area, then just don’t live there.
Better live elsewhere.
No need to worry about the surroundings.
The reason I left home when I humanized was not because of such a rule, but because I wanted to work.
I just wanted to get out of the house that was full of flies.
Because I only recognized them as two unrelated people called parents.
Even now, I only had the perception that my parents were two people who could protect Ko, and that Ko didn’t feel uneasy even entrusting our children to them.
I had no interest in my family until I met Ko.
But Ko and his children were different.
They didn’t have to leave if he didn’t want them to go.
Regardless if the kids wanted to leave home. If they didn’t, I wanted to make Ko’s wish come true.
This…should be reported to His Majesty first.
If he opposed…then a threat.
─Rodokiaus side end─