Cuteness = Greatness
『There’s no father that can refuse the request of their adorable daughter after all, so I’m sure it’ll be okay! Plus, this is the kind of work a general is supposed to do anyway!』
『In the first place, the person most in danger is his beloved daughter, Liselotte. Even from my knowledge of the game, he was a very affectionate person, so there’s no reason to be worried.』
The Gods Endo and Kobayashi were trying to pump up and encourage me, but I couldn’t stop quivering. In the first place, were they really Gods? When I hear the voices of these two they talk to me like I’m just one of their friends…
“Are you alright, Finne?”
Bard-senpai, who stared anxiously at my face, didn’t seem to be fretting about this situation as much as I was.
To meet with Marquis Riefenstahl today in the royal palace, I asked Bard-senpai to take me to his office since he often came here as a knight apprentice.
“I think I’m okay. Maybe. I know that I shouldn’t be scared. But even so, meeting with a real nobleman, especially a big general, it’s hard not to be nervous…”
Right, I couldn’t help but be tense about this. As we kept walking down that long corridor, I took a deep breath.
Since the Marquis spent almost all of his time at the palace even if he did come home after work, which wasn’t so often, it was always late at night. Bard-senpai told me that the Marquis preferred to do all of his work here since it was more convenient than working from his office at home, so I came here to talk with him.
But the hallways leading to his office in the palace was so long and glittery that I was regretting not just staying up late to see him at home.
“Don’t worry. My Lord Uncle is always sweet on children.”
I felt a little disturbed by the words he spoke with such a serious face as he walked next to me.
Children? Well, of course, that makes sense if you compared me to Liselotte Onee-sama, but despite that, I was still at the age where I should be considered a bit more grown up. I was going to be making my social debut soon as well.
Seeing my annoyed pout, Bard-senpai hurriedly continued.
“Ah, no, I mean, I’d never say this to Liselotte, but everyone in the Riefenstahl family are weak to anything small and cute. How should I put this… everyone in the family is tall and well-built, so for them, everyday life is suffering. So when someone perfectly adorable and cute like Finne comes into their life, they’ll obsess over you so much that they won’t even be able to stay calm around you. Just by watching Liese, I’m sure you know what I mean?”
Even if he said that, I didn’t say a word. I was too focused on trying not to tear the hem of my dress by stepping on it.
By the way, just what was he saying with such a serious voice…!?
『I sort of had this feeling before, but this guy really doesn’t have a filter at all…!?』
『As expected of Baldur, he’s not the type to mince words.』
It seems even the Gods were surprised. Why was Liselotte Onee-sama so shy and Bard-senpai so shameless? I wonder if it would be better to add both of them together and then divide them by two.
“In other words, it’ll be okay Finne, because you’re cute..”
As Bard-senpai told me that confidently, we finally arrived in front of the Marquis’ office.
Ahh, jeez! As much as I wanted to yell at Bard-senpai to shut up, I couldn’t say anything considering where we were. Thanks to him, I’d lost all the tension in my heart I’d been feeling making my way here, replaced by another weird throbbing instead.
Well, I guess it’s true that I’m small and childish…
Alright, let’s do it! Relaxing my shoulders, I got ready to open up the big double doors in front of me…
But, still feeling a little fidgety for a new reason, I decided to ask for one selfish thing.
As I held out my hand and muttered that, Bard-senpai just stared at it dumbly.
I’ll have to ask Onee-sama how to elegantly ask for an escort next time. For now, though, I’ll have to do it the commoner’s way.
“Hand. Give me it, please. It won’t be as scary if you do that.”
When I looked up at Bard-senpai, it seemed like he finally understood, as a slight blush spread across his cheeks.
“Please excuse us.”
Following Bard-senpai, who called out and bowed, I silently curtseyed with my hand in his, then stepped into the room.
Ahh, the carpet is really thick. I almost tripped on my heels. I’m glad I had him hold my hand.
The Marquis, who looked troubled as he was faced by a mountain of documents, put aside his quill as he raised his face to look at visitors.
For some reason, as soon as he saw us, he raised a surprised voice.
We did make an appointment in advance, and I’m fairly sure that we spoke to one of his subordinates who should have announced we were coming. What is he so surprised about?
“Is there something the matter, Your Excellency?”
Bard-senpai asked that Marquis in my place. Even if they were uncle and nephew by blood, he was still a Marquis and a general, so I guess he still showed him a lot of respect.
“Um, ummm, no, it’s just, uh… Then this is about that, then…?”
The Marquis’ eyes were firmly fixed on our joined hands as he said that.
About ‘that’…? …Ah.
Bard-senpai still looked confused, but the moment I understood I quickly pulled my hand away from his.
You’re wrong! We didn’t come to tell you that we’re getting married, okay!?
“Um, that’s not it! This is my first time coming to the royal palace, so I was just a little nervous, and uh, we’re not here to talk about marriage or anything like that!!”
“Oh… I see, then…?”
As I panicked trying to explain myself, the Marquis didn’t even try to hide his disappointment.
“Well, I will continue to exert my best efforts so that one day we are here to deliver such a report to you.”
What the hell are you saying!?
I glared daggers at Bard-senpai who delivered that report like a proper soldier, but he just smiled at me.
Ahhh, you really are already making an effort, aren’t you!?
“Is that so? Make sure to return with your shield or on it, then.”
“You needn’t even command me, Your Excellency.”
With deeply serious voices, the uncle and nephew, or rather the general and the knight apprentice, exchanged words.
“…Then, what was the reason that you came, Miss Finne? Are you facing some sort of inconvenience at home?”
As I was growing rigid with embarrassment, the Marquis turned to ask me that kindly.
“Inconveniences… That could never be true! Onee-sama is always looking after me, in fact, I’m worried that she’s the one being inconvenienced by me instead! And also, about my mama… I mean, mother, truly thank you very much for allowing her to live with me as well!!”
“I see, then I’m glad,” the Marquis said with a smile as I bowed in a panic.
That’s right, adopting me and even taking care of my mother, I really am indebted to the Riefenstahl family. I really did wonder if everything would be okay at first, but neither of us has been inconvenienced at all. Well, apart from being a little nervous at times. But even when it comes to that, I’m getting better.
“Umm… What I wanted to talk about today was, um, it was about Onee-sama.”
As soon as I said that last word, the Marquis’ gentle smile turned sharp and deadly. I could feel the atmosphere around us change.
Prince Siegward and I had both received a prophecy.
According to it, Onee-sama will be targeted by a villain known as the Ancient Witch.
Part of the proof of that are the nightmares that Liselotte Onee-sama has been having lately.
According to the Gods, apparently Onee-sama should be strong enough to not be taken over by it on herself, but it may still be necessary to protect her as well.
The time that the Ancient Witch is supposed to revive and attempt to possess Onee-sama was at the end of autumn. On the final day of the Thanksgiving Festival, which is a celebration for both the school and the whole country, dedicated to the Goddess Lilena. Before then, it’s important to make sure that there are people at the school just in case the witch really does come to life.
Prince Siegward is still going to make a formal request to rally the forces of the country, but I wanted to talk to Liselotte Onee-sama’s father the Marquis first.
Even though I still hadn’t really learned how to speak formally, I still have to do my best to try and convince the Marquis with my own words, no matter how clumsy they are.
“I… I want to protect Onee-sama. Somehow, your strength, can you please lend it to us?”
At the end of it, I lowered my head.
“Hm,” he mused as he heard my words, stepping forward. Was he thinking of some sort of compromise? Or was he going to flat out refuse?
“Consider it done. I swear that, with all the power that I have at my disposal, I shall protect both you and Liese as best I can.”
With a kind voice, he gave my head a light stroke.
Quickly raising my head, I thanked the Marquis.
“T-Thank you very much!”
『Now go for the critical hit, Finne! Call him ‘father’!!』
“Thank you… Fa… Father!”
Hearing the word of God, I blurted that out.
“Ehehe…” I couldn’t hold back my smile. Even though he had adopted me as his daughter, I was worried about how much respect I should show him, so I hadn’t called him ‘father’ yet. So, being able to finally say it was a relief.
The Marquis, whose face looked positively terrifying all of a sudden, called Baldur over with a serious voice.
Even though he was called out so suddenly, Bard-senpai snapped to attention straight away, waiting to receive the Marquis’ orders.
“What we discussed earlier, I’ve decided that it really is no good after all.”
Baldur and I reacted at the same time. Why was it suddenly no good now!?
As Baldur looked puzzled, I could feel an overwhelming war-like atmosphere pouring out of the Marquis.
“If you want to take this child away, you’ll have to defeat me first…!!”
What the hell is this person saying?
I thought that he was joking, but the Marquis looked dead serious as he took a stance and gripped the sword on his waist. Stop that. You’re destroying your dignity as a warrior.
“Your Excellency, please consider your surroundings. This isn’t the place to draw a sword.”
“Silence! I refuse to accept it! I can’t bear to see this child married away! In place of my brother, I shall protect her…!!”
Bard-senpai tried to calm the situation down, but some sort of strange switch had been flipped inside the Marquis and he wasn’t listening at all.
“Do you think I can accept such outrageous words…”
At the same time, Bard-senpai spat out an angry sigh and also lowered himself into a stance, his hand gripping his sword hilt.
“Well, if there’s anyone who dares stand between myself and marrying Finne, I’ll cut them down, even if its Your Excellency. I have no intention of ever giving up on her.”
There were now two warriors who were completely throwing away their dignity and pride in front of me.
As Bard-senpai and the Marquis kept spouting off ridiculous lines at each other, they sized each other up, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.
Wai… I… Huh… Um… What… What should I do!? Won’t they tear up the royal palace at this rate!?
Ah, this is bad.
I have to do something.
Just as I felt they were about to draw their swords, I…
Kicked the Marquis hard in the shin.
Then, taking advantage of that momentum, I bounced forward one step and span around.
And delivered a hard uppercut to Bard-senpai’s chin.
Having their duel interrupted by a third party, the two of them looked at me in a daze. Their hands fell from their swords as well. Good.
“When I marry and who I marry, I’m the one who’ll decide! Got that!?”
I shouted at them at the top of my lungs. Faced with that, the two men nodded sheepishly. At the very least, it seems like they understand.
But, when I caught Bard-senpai’s eyes, it seemed like he was enchanted by something as he looked at me… No, I must have rattled his brain with that uppercut, he must just be on the verge of tears… I think?
So this is how oyabakas are born?