The Goddam Chicks
“Those deteriorated defects… no matter how you think about it, looking after the chicks is my job as well. Oh, before those idiots get here, I’ll have to switch out the lock for that damn chicken’s bedroom.”
Producing a tool from space between her skirt and apron, Monica hummed as she dexterously switched out the lock to Lyle’s room.
Having misgivings at the Valkyries suddenly getting heated over looking after the chicks… Lyle’s children, she had made her move.
The exchange complete, she opened the door and offered a line.
“I’ve also installed iron plates in the door, so it won’t be breached so easily. If you force your way in, the chicken will be shocked awake, and the night crawling will end in failure… you fools, all of those goddam cute little chicks belong to me!”
After bursting into maniacal laughter, she tested the lock and iron plating installed on the inside of the door before closing it. She moved to hand Lyle his new key…
… The one clinging to the wall of Rhuvenns Castle was Valkyrie Unit Nine.
She had seen Monica’s relieved face at changing the lock from outside the window. On top of her black clothing, her form stuck to the wall looked like a suspicious intruder from all angles.
“… Covet what falls through your petty hands all you will. You may have the higher specs, but… you do not seem to understand our superiority in number. An important person of the past once said it. War is numbers, brother.”
(TL: This is a quote from Dozle Zabi, commander of Zeon’s space forces during the One Year War)
Unit nine, in an attempt to work on Lyle’s room’s lock, entered in through the window. But as the glass quietly opened, and she landed in the hall, the other Valkyries dressed in black appeared before the door as well.
One had climbed down from the ceiling, another appeared from the corner…
As Unit Nine stood and entered a battle stance, Unit Thirty Two took out the tools she planned to use on the lock as a weapon.
“It looks like we are all thinking the same. But I have already instigated Aria-san, so I cannot step down.”
Holding up her fists, Unit Fifty One said showed no signs of letting up either.
“I could say much the same. According to Unit Thirty Four, she’ll institute a rotation system with looking after the dear chicks… I cannot be standing down here!”
Unit Nine looked at the two of them, and offered a proposal.
“Wait a minute. Don’t you think we can work together? There is no meaning in us fighting amongst ourselves here. For everyone’s sake, let us join hands and…”
There, three maid-clothed Valkyries… rushed onto the scene.
“I will not let you!”
“What are you doing in front of our master’s room!?”
“Intruders. Eliminate. Even if they are sisters, they are strangers to me the moment they put on such strange attire. Rivals shall disappear.”
As the three units said such extreme things, the black-donning three went into negotiations.
“P-please wait. Can we all just… get along…”
There, the maid-clothed Valkyries spoke.
“… How unfortunate. We are on the Shannon ship. Even if the others gain chicks of their own, it will surely be in the distant future for us. That is why… we have determined you are merely in the way!”
“I shall not let the chance to obtain a uselessly cute chick slip away!”
“A chick that inherits Shannon-san’s uselessness… I think it is simply wonderful.”
“How cruel! Pulling down the others in your plight… I feel just a little mad that I am jealous of you.”
The automaton maids that were once supposed to be proficient were carrying on quite a disappointing conversation. Before the door, they stood stanced with their various pieces of hardware and cleaning tools without moving an inch.
The one watching them from afar was Lyle who’d finished his work. Seeing them at a distance, he silently turned towards his office.
“I guess I’m sleeping in the office tonight. Already have blankets and all.”
And with that, the Valkyries before the room to which Lyle would not return continued facing one another, holding their positions until morning came…
These days, you know.
I haven’t returned to my room. Monica handed me a new key, and there were Valkyries holding their weapons(?) and facing one another before the door.
Whenever I ask, they say something about chicks or something… rather, isn’t it strange that it’s already been set in stone my children will be called chicks? What’s this? Doesn’t that mean while they don’t say it, everyone’s already recognized me as a chicken dickwad?
From that day, I began sleeping in the office, or some other room. At times, I’d slept in General Blois’ office as well. After talking about work, he would let me sleep on his sofa.
“Why do I have to run around like this?”
As I gave some complaints, the Third laughed.
『Isn’t it cute? You know, chicks? Still, it’s true it’s a problem you can’t leave be. But right now, the timing’s too off.』
The Walt House had moved, and the inside of the castle was so frantic, and yet these Valkyries keep raising up unnecessary trouble… those cores were definitely influencing them in a strange way. As I thought that, I couldn’t help but feel the implacability of the creators who carved those cores out, those ancients.
In the palace courtyard, I looked over the knights and soldiers who’d finished preparing as I thought over such trivial things.
But the Seventh spoke seriously.
『… If possible, it would be best if you had at least one child. This coming war will influence what’s to come. In settling things with Bahnseim, you could call it the turning point.』
The Third cautioned me.
『In the fight with Bahnseim, that is. Celes is a separate problem, Lyle.』
Even if you asked me about children, with the embarrassment and all the various problems they would bring, I couldn’t give an answer. There, the Seventh spoke.
『Lyle, come to the Jewel tonight. We have to talk a bit. You were raised in a bit of a special environment. So it seems you don’t understand, but… to tie with blood is an extremely important thing.』
I could understand what he was trying to say. I gripped the Jewel to show my approval as I looked around.
We were ready to march, and the main members were gathered. The forces of North and South Beim had joined, and reinforcements from the alliance had come.
Cartaffs and Djanpear weren’t able to participate, but even so, we were ready.
Wearing my armor of blue and white, I held my helmet in my left hand as I looked up at the sky. The sparse white clouds flowed through the bright blue sky. The morning cold had let up a bit with the emergence of the sun. I could feel the warmth of the light of day.
Novem sauntered over to me.
“Lyle-sama, we are ready to march. There are some units who have already begun to move. We have to hurry. You need to give an address once we arrive.”
As Novem spoke of my schedule, I answered a little tiredly.
“I just gave an address yesterday. Well, that’s also my job… Novem, the Forxuz House is moving too. You don’t have to force yourself to…”
When I said that much, Novem shook her head to the side.
I tried to make her step back a few times, but it seems she had no such intent.
“From the moment I left the Weihs territory with you, I cut off all ties to my house. Even if they’re against me, I’m sure my father and brother won’t hesitate. Of course, I won’t be hesitating either.”
With eyes that didn’t show any wavering resolve, Novem looked at me. “I see,” I said and walked off. The main members around followed behind.
“… Fighting family sure is painful.”
I thought I had muttered it so no one could hear, but it seems Novem caught it. And the words she sent back were…
“I’m sure you’ll be able to overcome it, Lyle-sama. Please be more confident in yourself.”
Perhaps I should call them Novem-esque words. That’s what they were.
Carrying on memories, the Forxuz House that served the Walt. The tribe that carried the power of Novem, the one called an evil god.
There was much to think about, but before that… I needed to concentrate on my father, Maizel Walt.
Lying down in Porter’s loading tray, I sent my consciousness in to the Jewel.
I was called there by the Seventh, and I could somewhat understand the reason he called me over. If he wanted to talk, I only had to find a spot I could talk to him alone.
If that wasn’t the case, there was something he wanted me to see… it meant the time had come for him to show me his memory.
The Seventh waited across the table, the Third wasn’t anywhere around.
“Where’s the Third?”
『He left his seat. He probably thought it wasn’t necessary to watch over us. Of all else, the memory I’m going to show you is… it would be faster just to show you.』
Saying that, I chased after the Seventh as he walked towards his room, and followed into his room of memories.
There, the scene I saw was the Seventh in his younger days.
The young Seventh… Brod Walt was in tears.
It was the parlor of the Walt House mansion. Stopped near the door was an extravagant carriage, and a wagon for the luggage. The wagon had a roof strung over it as well. What’s more, there were knights accompanying the horses around.
It seems the wagon had something valuable loaded onto it, and the Sixth Generation Head Fiennes, and even the Fifth Generation Fredricks had come out.
Fiennes patted Brod’s head.
『Don’t look so sad. To Milleia, this offer was her last chance. It would be pitiful to see her alone forever, dammit.』
I looked at the Seventh standing beside me.
“Doesn’t the Sixth sound just a bit rude?”
The Seventh nodded.
『You’re right. Well, he’s the sort of person who can say such things and be forgiven.』
Milleia-san laughed. The Fifth, Fredricks had taken a bit of distance, not trying to add himself to the conversation.
『Brother, you make it sound as if I’m an old hag who missed her chance for marriage. Well, I won’t say you’re wrong. I do understand that this is my final chance. Well then, Brod-kun, I’ll be off.』
Milleia-san leaned over to match Brod’s eye level, her golden eyes gazing at the boy.
『You’ll find someone. Someone better than me… and be sure to avoid twisted people like me. Because you’re quite the earnest one, Brod-kun.』
As she laughed a bit, Fiennes came in from the side.
『What’s up? What are you two whispering about?』
As Fiennes sent a smile, Milleia-san smiled back and said, “It’s nothing.” How fitting of her, I guess.
And without looking at the Seventh’s face, I…
“… Could it be your first love was…”
『Probably my aunt. Though I didn’t understand at my age. When I was in the mansion, she was a conversation partner. Father was always busy, but more than that, the only one who ever understood my troubles was aunty.』
The surrounding scenery went grey, and once it faded away, a different scene took its place. In it, Milleia-san and Brod were doing something in the yard.
Preparing something like an enemy, Milleia-san was holding a gun that could only load one cartridge.
Regaining its color, the scene slowly began to move.
『It’s painful to be compared to my brothers? That’s a poser. I’m sure my brother is just pushing the halberd onto you because he’s eager to teach. I doubt he’s thinking as far as having you surpass him, or anything like that.』
Hanging his head, Brod raised his face a bit, and looked at Milleia-san’s gun for self defense.
『… Even if that’s how father feels, that’s not how the others will think. Um, could you teach me how to use a gun?』
Milleia-san looked a little surprised, trying to say something. But she stopped, shook her head, and gave Brod a smile.
『Well, there’s nothing to be lost in learning something new, so I’ll teach you. When you get to my level, you can even do something like this.』
Saying that, she took a stance without even looking at the target, and discharged a bullet right into its center. On the other side, the bullet embedded into the wall.
『T-this is it. If I have this, I can perform like my father!』
In regards to Brod’s joy, Milleia-san gave a bit of a troubled smile.
『I don’t think you have to be so mindful of it. Even my brother isn’t a perfect head, after all. I think it’s best you try to become the sort of Walt House head that suits you.』
But even hearing her words, Brod cast his eyes downwards.
『… I’m studying a lot. I’ve piled up loads of training. But everyone around simply keeps talking about how amazing my father was. I know he’s amazing. I’m proud to have him as my father. But I am not as strong as him.』
Milleia-san consoled him.
『The previous generation Fredricks was small-built, but even so, he used his own way to…』
『But he was still strong! Everyone says father and grandfather were amazing! Generation after generation, the Walt House… has always been a strong lineage. But I… I’m…』
I looked at the Seventh. There, he looked a little embarrassed.
『At the time, no matter what I did, I could only see my father and grandfather’s… the Sixth and Fifth’s backs. I thought of them as a large wall I’d never get passed. I mean, everyone around kept praising them to high heavens. And also. The Walt House continued to grow. I could feel it weighing down on me.』
I got the feeling I understood him a bit. My father Maizel Walt was the same. He pursued what it meant to be a noble.
Thinking back on it now, he pursued it too far. Different from me, who came into contact with the memories of the First through Seventh, and came to a conclusion from that.
Grown on the beautified hearsay of his ancestors, the Seventh stood within a great pressure.
『It grew heavier by the generation. We have to leave stories for the next one. And how are they going to speak of us? The obligations and responsibilities grew heavier the larger the house grew. The more my father won, the more the Walt House’s fame increased. But what about me? I often found myself thinking it.』
As I was listening seriously, the Seventh gave a purposeful clearing of his throat.
『Anyways, it’s that. If you’re asking what I want to say… I want to see my great grandchild’s face.』
After I opened my mouth and stared blankly a while…
“Eh? That? Just how was that related to the story? Rather, what are you even talking about?”
As I stared at him fixatedly, the Seventh tried justifying it. Throwing in hand gestures.
『No, I mean, right!? This and that happens when the generations pile up, but it isn’t all bad things. And also. If you don’t have children, the house falls to ruin.』
He does have a point. But when it was such a serious talk, who was to think it would suddenly turn to that?
There, the Seventh muttered.
『… Lyle, if you fight Maizel, there’s a chance one of you will die. No, I’m sure one of you will. And Maizel is Zenoire’s boy. Just as you were talented, Maizel was talented as well. So originally, I was just thinking it best you left a child before you go off to battle.』
I spoke to the Seventh.
“If we lose, everything’s lost regardless.”
『Even so. There’s a large problem. But if you don’t have any children, you’ve no one to carry it on. No matter how high you raise your enterprise, if there’s no one to succeed it, it only remains a mark in history. I’ll be blunt. Legal wives and factions, having all those problems is better than not having a child at all.』
As I stood unable to answer, he went on.
『… My honest feelings are so: I don’t want to see you and Maizel fight. But there’s no turning back.』
It seems my fight with my father had invited a sense of crisis onto the Seventh. From that, I could anticipate my father was definitely strong. Enough that the Seventh had misgivings about my victory…