Flanked by Flowers
Even after I found out about Serena’s memories of her previous life, it seemed like the relationship between Laurier and the Princess remained good. I was a little worried about just how many times they were having tea parties lately, but… Laurier told me herself that they had gotten so close that it’s as if Serena was her older sister.
Well, as a father, I should be happy about my daughter making friends, and I was, but… considering just who that friend was, I couldn’t afford to completely let my guard down.
With those thoughts on my mind, I swung my sword over and over again. If you asked me why… I guess it was just because I had a sword to swing. Well, alright, it’s nothing as philosophical as that, like saying a mountaineer only climbs because there are mountains to be scaled, the truth is I just wanted to move my body around a bit.
The nobles I rub shoulders with all consider themselves to be learned and cultured men… even if all that learning typically goes towards managing their lands or the nation’s military instead of art or poetry… and I thought it might be a good idea to strengthen myself in case I ever find myself leading knights and men as well. Well, I don’t really mind working in either a bookish or more physical capacity, but… my view could change quite a lot depending on the realities of this world. If there really is magic in this world, then that would complicate things, but… for now, all I can do is believe in the strength of my own hands.
Well, I guess there are certain elements of fantasy here and there, but… that isn’t too important right now.
From what I understand, the nobility of this world is typically split between those nobles who are more studious and bookish, and those who have more involvement in military affairs.
Should I say they’re about evenly split down the middle…? As an example, my family, the House of Fall, have been an exceptionally studious family all throughout the years, with many of the former heads of the house having been appointed Prime Minister by previous kings.
On the other hand, the families that favoured military prowess passed down their titles as knights and generals down the family line, forming the backbone of the kingdom’s martial might.
That being said, it does make me wonder… despite coming from a family famed for their bookish intellect, just why was Callis someone who favoured the sword over the pen? Well, maybe that was just part of Callis’ weird personality…? I didn’t want to dig too deep in case I discovered something I’d rather have left unearthed, but going from my addled memories, Callis had been a member of this country’s Order of Knights for some time.
I suppose it’s all just muscle memory…? After inheriting the body of a man once famed amongst the Order as a ‘Sword Demon’, I didn’t feel like I was doing too much discredit to that name as I swung his blade.
Well, at any rate, swinging a sword like this was a good way to get the blood pumping after a day of doing paperwork.
I must have swung that sword hundreds upon hundreds of times, but… my body didn’t feel anywhere near as tired as I thought it’d be. The fact that I felt like I could do that all over again was a testament to Callis’ specs, but… just looking from the outside, Callis was a handsome man, blessed with power, strength and a beautiful wife and daughter, so anyone must have thought his life was truly blissful, but… I suppose that just goes to show that not everyone derived happiness from the same things.
As I lowered my sword and regained my breath, I suddenly heard a small clapping sound from nearby ーーー looking in that direction, I saw my beloved wife, Sasha and my dear daughter, Laurier, watching me from just a short distance away.
“You two were watching?”
“I heard from Zeke that my Lord was here, so…”
As I wiped the sweat off my brow, Laurier quickly dashed over to me and tugged on my sleeve… looking down, I saw her staring up at me, her eyes shining.
“Father, so cool!”
“Is that so? What did you think, Sasha?”
After tussling Laurier’s hair, I looked over to Sasha, who still watched from a distance. Fidgeting on her own, she answered slowly.
“Um… I thought you looked wonderful…”
“Is that so… to tell you the truth, I really would like to hug the both of you right now, but as you can see I’m covered in sweat. Once I’ve washed up, would that be fine?”
Sasha nodded with modest decorum, but Laurier seemed disappointed.
“Father, hugging is no good?”
“I wouldn’t say that, but… Laurier, you wouldn’t want to touch your father when he’s all sweaty, would you?”
“Not true! Father, can I hug… please?”
As those words slammed into me like a boulder, I scooped up Laurier in my arms and hugged her. I couldn’t bear to betray my daughter’s expectations… How should I put it, maybe it’s because Laurier seems to be more attached to me recently, but lately I’ve been getting even more opportunities to spoil her like this?
As I held Laurier close and she nuzzled against my cheek, I suddenly noticed another slight tugging on my sleeve… Sasha struggled to get the words out as she stood awkwardly.
“I… Even if my Lord just finished exercising, I too… like Laurier… I…”
As I almost died in agony as Sasha looked up at me, desperately trying to voice what she wanted, I kept Laurier close to me with one arm and brought Sasha into a hug with my other.
“Will this be alright?”
“Um… if you like… you could do it more strongly…”
“Wow, father! So strong!”
A beautiful wife who smiled bashfully as I strengthened my hug around her waist, and an angelic daughter who laughed happily as I held her up on my shoulder with one arm… I’d challenge anyone who’d dare claim I wasn’t the happiest man in the world.
As I enjoyed the flowers that bloomed either side of me, I decided that I’d make afternoon exercise a more regular part of my schedule.