The Doting Parents’ Mortal Combat…?
As those violent auras clashed, the whole building rumbled and quaked.
A huge rupture ran up one of the castle’s walls, every window shattered, the lawn outside was torn up and all the bricks in the path they had walked cracked.
In the once clear sky outside, clouds had begun to gather into a dark swirl whilst all the birds and small animals scurried away as fast as they could, petrified of the imminent natural disaster.
And around the two people that were the cause of this soon-to-be catastrophe, a whirlwind raged around them, blustering so strongly that it was all that Kyle and the others could do to stay on their feet as they shielded their faces. The nearby guards and servants could barely stay upright either.
“…Did I hear that correctly? Right now, I must have imagined that I heard something utterly ridiculous.”
“All I did was speak the truth.”
The Demon King, Zector and the Demonic White Sword, Shirley. As their naked murderous auras slammed against and intertwined with one another, the dreadful atmosphere between the strongest demon and the strongest human felt like the last gasp before an unspeakable calamity.
“It is already a fact that my daughter is the cutest in the world.”
“No, my daughters are clearly the best in the world.”
…..So long as you completely ignored what they were saying, it really did feel like the end of the world.
“Fuu… Oh dear. I understand you must dearly love your children, but how can you hope to be a good parent if you rail against undeniable truths?”
“That’s what I wanted to say. If you had ever laid eyes on my daughters, you wouldn’t be acting so high and mighty.”
None of these apocalyptic descriptions are metaphors at all, as both of their magical energies raged completely unrestrained as they glared unblinkingly into each others’ eyes.
“Sh-Shirley-san…! Don’t do it, he’s the Demon King…!”
“The same goes for you, Your Majesty. I would ask you to desist from showing such an unsightly side of yourself to our guests.”
The ruler of both this land and its people. And the adventurer he himself had requested to come. Neither of them had expected to meet the other this way, but right now the two of them were far from their usually calm selves.
Originally, Shirley had planned on greeting him with all the noble courtesies she had learned long ago. However, would she truly be Shirley, the strongest and most doting mother in the world, if she let even an indirect insult to her daughters go unchallenged? It seems the same goes for Zector also.
To put it bluntly, the blood had completely rushed to their heads and they had lost themselves fully to their passions.
(What… Actually, maybe this turn of events was…)
(Yeah. It actually might have been inevitable.)
It was common for arguments to break out in everyday life about whether this thing someone held dear or that thing someone loved was better or worse than the other. You could hear such stupid quarrels all the time at the guild, at restaurants and in the school yard.
And so when two parents clash in such a way, both declaring ‘My child is the greatest, and I won’t rest until everyone here admits it’, it became the height of meaningless and futile squabbles.
“Then, I have no choice. Even though my opponent may be a foreigner, it is my duty as their liege to lead my subjects towards the light of truth.”
However, when you consider just who it was that was having this stupid fight, it suddenly became a lot more serious.
“Take a long hard look. I will show you just how wide the chasm between them truly is.”
Scattering silver lights swirled around, illuminated with a burst of magic. Although it was a different colour, it was similar to the spatial magic that Canary uses.
Kyle, thinking that he was about to pull out some kind of horrible weapon, yelled out to try and warn Shirley as he dashed forward.
“Once you see this, you will realize it. That my daughter is the cutest in the entire world.”
…..But, when Kyle saw what he pulled out of that magical space, he tripped and fell head first to the floor.
Bookshelves upon bookshelves stretched out behind Zector. As the endless bookshelves stretched out impossibly like some sort of ancient library, all the massive tomes were numbered and ordered immaculately row by row, with names such as ‘Grimhilda’s Growth Album’ and ‘Grimhilda Observation Diary’ embossed on their spines in beautiful calligraphy.
“In these memorial books, I have been making records since the very day she came into this world. Now, shall I show you something truly special?”
Zector had a nostalgic smile on his face as he pulled one of those leatherbound albums off the wall and opened it to a specific page, then turning around to show it to Shirley.
On the page was an image of a silver-haired infant holding a wooden block, her big eyes looking directly at the camera.
“Behold, a picture of my daughter’s first time playing with building blocks. With but a single piece, this match has been decided.”
Indeed, she was an awesomely adorable child. It wasn’t just Kyle, Cudd and Leia who thought that, even Shirley herself had to admit it.
Of course, any girl as young and cute as her would evoke deep feelings of wanting to protect and cherish her, but she also gave off an outstanding aura of being the true heir to the throne of the Demon King.
Yet, she didn’t let that impression show on her face. With a dismissive sound, Shirley reached into her own Hero’s Toolbox.
“Ohh!? Shirley-san has a bunch of bookshelves too!?”
“Oi oi oi! Are you really gonna fight him like this!?”
Just like Zector before her, endless bookshelves now stretched out around her.
On those bookshelves were albums and growth records, neatly labeled and organized as to whether they related to Sophie or Tio alone, or the two of them together.
“Here is a commemorative photo of the first time that Sophie and Tio walked on their own.”
Taking it from the shelf, Shirley boastfully thrust an open photo album towards Zector.
The image on the page showed Sophie and Tio at a young age, hand in hand and midway through a big, awkward step without bending their knees at all.
Shirley could remember the event like it was yesterday. When she saw the two of them stand up and support each other as they walked and held hands, she could barely stop herself from crying out in happiness for her daughters as the tears rolled down her face.
By the way, Martha had taken that photo, since Shirley was crying too much to hold the camera steady.
“…..So, you still won’t admit it?”
“I will say it as many times as I have to. My daughters are the greatest.”
Could any nation’s leader be this defiant? Shirley, who at this point had completely shed her normal calm and cool attitude, stood tall with a towering sense of pride.
Magic popped and flashed between the two of them, as a burning passion flared up in their eyes.
“Then, feast your eyes on this! This was taken the day of her first tea party!”
“Here are my daughters wearing traditional dresses during the Kingdom’s summer solstice festival. As you can see, they have daringly worn matching designs… Do you understand what that means?”
“It’s twice as lovely…! But, it is not a match for my daughter wearing a pure white dress in the castle of Olympos, standing afore a stunning ocean view! Does she not look like an angel that has descended to earth?”
“On their first day of school, this is a picture of the three of us standing beside the school gate.”
“Muooooo…! A picture that only a commoner would be in the position to take… How envious, I wish to have a memory side by side with my daughter like that as well…!”
There were certain privileges afforded to commoners that nobles did not have. Whilst Zektor was envious of those things that a member of the royal family wasn’t free to do, Shirley felt a sense of envy herself.
The sparks flying between them only intensified as the daughter battle became more and more heated… An embarrassing struggle between grown adults that was really little more than a brag-off continued on.
“This is a photo of Grimhilda having an accident in bed at six years old! My daughter crying as she’s being comforted by a maid is undeniably cute!”
“This is an image of the same thing happening to Sophie at six years old. But this time, it was her younger sister Tio that was comforting her.”
“Isn’t this getting a little out of control now!?”
“Umm… Is it actually okay to show stuff like that in public?”
If the girls in question found out about this, there would be hell to pay. As the back and forth became faster and faster, with each of those ludicrously proud parents showing off hundreds of photos one after the other in a blur of motion, it seemed like they would keep going into the thousands.
“Haa…. Haa…. Muuooooo…! You really are a stubborn woman…! Even though I have shown you so much of my precious collection of Grimhilda volumes, you still do not give in…!?”
“Haa…. Haa… When are you going to stop hiding from the truth…?”
“Oh, it seems like it’s finally over?”
The sun had already begun to dip towards the horizon. After getting tired of watching the brag-off that seemed to be going on forever, Kyle, Cudd and Leia had been invited by the chamberlain to tour the castle and have some snacks and tea to kill time, but they seemed to come back to the scene with perfect timing.
“Hey, Shirley-san. Are you done with your fight? We only came here to receive a request, right?”
“I hate to agree with the little brat, but is it really fine to keep this argument going forever? Don’t you have to get back to your daughters soon?”
“That goes for you too, Your Majesty. You are the Demon King, so please at least act the part.”
With the names of Sophie and Tio invoked, Shirley finally started to calm down a little. But, although the chamberlain admonished the Demon King as well, Zector murmured something just loud enough for Shirley to hear.
“Hmph… My daughter is so cute she even says things like ‘I want to marry father when I grow up’…”
The words slammed into Shirley with such power it was like she had been hit with a hammer.
“Shirley-san!? You look like you’re going to spit blood, are you really okay!?”
Shirley, the woman who had never faltered in front of any foe in the heat of battle, fell to one knee as she began to sweat profusely, trying to hold down the pain rising in her gut as she clutched her chest… She fell into a deep coughing fit as well.
Jealousy. That was the only way to describe the feelings raging in Shirley’s heart.
It’s legally impossible for a father and daughter to get married, but as a mother she wasn’t envious of any reality, but the theory itself.
Just pure and utter jealousy. She hadn’t ever heard those words said to her. So shaken by that attack, she didn’t think about the words that came from her mouth next, they were pure instinct.
“I… Even I…”
“Even I… Take a bath with my daughters almost every day.”
Zector was blown away by this unforeseen counterattack. It wasn’t a metaphor, he was literally knocked towards the ceiling as if he had been uppercut with a giant fist.
As a father, how many years had gone by since the last time he bathed with his daughter? Because of their relationship as father and daughter, it was only natural that they take separate baths, but emotion far surpassed reason at this point and Zector took some time to recover from the blow.
“Gah…. Uggaaaah!? Haa…. Haaaaa…. It seems that just by arguing… It’s impossible to get through to you. In the end, there’s no choice but to decide who has the greater strength to protect their child, a mother or a father.”
“Exactly what I wanted to say…! I swear on my sword that I will prove to you that my daughters are the best…!”
As he once more lost himself to passion, the Demon King ignited searing flames in both his palms, and when he clapped them together a great curved sword appeared in his hands.
They would clash within mere seconds. The sensation that they would die if they didn’t get out of the path of these two ran through the rookie adventurers’ bodies like a bolt of electricity.
“Everyone, get out of h-!?”
There was a crash.
The destructive waves of magic smashed through brick and mortar, tearing up the floor and blowing everyone nearby away.
The chamberlain was blown all the way into the moat outside the wall and Leia smashed into a nearby pillar. When the wave hit Cudd, it blew him spread-eagled into a nearby wall.
Kyle, who was the only one who managed to stay conscious, echoed out a mournful cry as he watched those two pass the point after which no mere mortal could hope to intercede between them.
“Why… Why are you going this far over boasting about your daughters!?”
And so, the story finds its way back to the beginning.
“Just what on earth are they doing? Those fools.”
That was the first thing Canary said as she entered the castle after finishing her errands, assuming that the talks with the Demon King would have been long over by now. Her expression wasn’t one of disgust or contempt, merely something closer to pity.
“Guild Master…! T-The truth is…!”
Shouting over the din of the deafening battle still raging on, Kyle explained what was going on to Canary, then pleaded for her to stop them.
“Ho ho, I seeee~. Well, I suppose it would be troublesome should this charade stretch on. But, before that…”
With a flick of her wrist, Canary pulled out a camera magic tool from a sudden flurry of golden spatial magic. Wearing a sly grin, her face had an expression of utmost debauched pleasure.
“Before that, I shall have to immortalize these fools’ farcical behaviour, hm~?”
When she was confronted with evidence of just what she did about five minutes after she finally calmed down, Shirley fainted from the shame.
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