SIDE: The Beginning of the Story

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When he first heard about it, Gilbert felt annoyed rather than mad.

It all started a few days ago. Being summoned to his house for the first time in a while, he thought it is a good time to take a rest so he applied for a longer leave of absence and returned home…… Although it was good, Gilbert was tired to face his relatives who kept on talking about his marriage day and night.

He was certainly grateful that he has allowed to attend the academy for six years. However, he is not a child anymore for them to discuss his future after his graduation, and he is not naive or weak as to obey their wishes.

Listening to the flow of conversation, this time they were planning to host an evening party for noble ladies of marriageable age in which he will be forced to attend. He did not have the right to veto ever since he got home.

He came home to rest but this matter happened. Upon seeing his pale face at the mirror, Gilbert started to seriously worry whether he should stay at the academy without graduating or not.

That was when a person with a certain [premonition] appeared in the mansion.

……Foolishness. If that is true, then what was I doing until now?

Since this person―an elderly man who was the fortune-teller hired by the Kralvane family was welcomed, my parents and my few “magician” relatives kept on talking to him. Recognizing the “happiness” in their expression and their voice, Gilbert became even more annoyed.

It was said that there exist a woman “who will strengthen him just by *embracing her, and the children she will bear out of their union will possess exceptional talents”. [T/N: A double entendre? Do I have to elaborate?]

It is true that there are still unsolved mysteries regarding the frequency of the use of magic. Since this is the flourishing magical kingdom “Rosevita”, there are still many things to be clarified.

―It may be true, but does such convenient person exists?

If such person exists, one can do everything even without having to make an effort.

……Me, having children?

As what the fortune-teller said, it seems that only a handful of people, including Gilbert, will be “able to use” that woman. Even the strongest and famous “Founder of Rosevita” who is still unmarried. Whether such a person exists or not, he does not really want to be involved with such a strong person.

He knew that in his head, but something just tugged on his heart. There is “a person” who can enhance all his talents and endeavor. And his relatives wants him to use her. Even his parents, who is his closest kin.

“……If you feel that it is not what you expected, then you are wrong, Gilbert-sama.”

At the deep voice, Gilbert who was leaning against the wall straightened. A man who is somewhat shorter than him stood in front of him. In contrast to Gilbert, he gently smiled while stroking his beard that has the same white color as his hair due to aging.

“All she can do is increase the upper limit. Unless you naturally reach the limit of your abilities through experience, you will not feel the benefit at all.”

“……Even if that’s the case, you’re telling me that I will become stronger through the power of others, not mine, right? Recommending it to my parents is foul play. I want to feel disgruntled.”

“Haha. Well, is that so?”

Even now, his relatives were still talking about rewards. When Gilbert asked, “Is it okay for them to know?”, the man gave him a sardonic smile and stood next to him.

“I thought it was necessary for the Kralvane family to prosper, so I came to tell what I could see. However, it was all about you. It is necessary for you, Gilbert-sama…… I decided to reveal to you another result I’ve ‘seen’.”

“Another? Does it have anything to do with me?”

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Like a “cunning old man” that is peculiar to this noble family, the man smiled and replied to Gilbert in a relaxed tone.

“I have lived my life through this profession. Among the things I could see, I only tell the others after I have carefully selected the things that I am confident in. But the vision I am going to tell you . . . is what I have seen clearly for a long time.”

“Stop beating around the bush. What on earth did you see? Or are you perhaps going to ask for an extra charge?”

It seems like he wasn’t lying. In a hurry, with misty eyes as if looking at his grandchild, the man nodded then took the Gilbert’s right hand with his dry hands.

“Gilbert-sama, please face her sincerely. Do not lie to her or trick her. Please tell her honestly.”

“Y-Yeah……?”

It was as if it diffused through him. The hand wrapped tightly around his right hand was warm and the man’s words carried a certain emphasis.

“She is not a tool. Regardless of her constitution, she is an ordinary woman. Please treasure her carefully.”

“I-I understand. What will happen then? Will it improve her efficiency?”

“I wonder. What I could only see is――the result of your treatment of her. I saw clearly that ‘there is something you want to obtain the most’.”

Clearly, he said. But at the ambiguous answer, the nicely shaped, silver eyebrows were drawn together in a frown. Besides the apparent expression, he could hear the man’s snicker.

“…What is the thing that I want the most?”

“Well, I do not know. However, I can confidently say that you are going to be happy.”

“Become happy, huh.”

Hearing the far-fetched words, he unconsciously heaved a sigh.

What will make him happy? Is it okay for him not to marry those noble ladies who reeked of perfumes? Will he become a great magician?

Anyway, I want to return to the academy as soon as possible. To be honest, I want to avoid those women for now.

With a fed up expression, he ignored the dubious words of the man as well as the expectations of his relatives. Whatever happens, what cannot be changed will not change.

The academy is the last thing he could rely upon――is what Gilbert, who still did not know, thought.

The sweet time he is going to spend with the “woman of the prophecy”, Meryl Foster, whom he met at a later time. How precious their bond will be. The happy life that they will create together.

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What is it that will make him happy the most?

It all started with her.

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