Splendidly updating his infirmary hospitalization records, Rudel gazed out the window of the sickroom.
The sons of the Three Lords were all gathered in that extravagant sickroom, and Aleist was there as well. There were many who ruined their health in this individuals’ tournament that was on a different scale than ever before, and securing sickrooms had become a trial, so he had been pushed in.
The four of them had suffered heavy injury and mana loss and were still undergoing treatment. But there was no way they would keep quiet…
“Please mewwy me!”
“Hmm, that one was quite close.”
“Give it a rest already, you bastards!”
His face bright red, Aleist glared at Eunius and Luecke lying in the beds beside him, half in tears.
They were teasing him over his unprecedented confession in the middle of a match. Luecke graded Eunius’ impression, and that same exchange had been repeated a number of times.
The individuals’ tournament had concluded, and with the load off their shoulders, everyone was in a lax state. The academy was busy cleaning up after the event, but the four who had been hospitalized had nothing but free time on their hands.
In that case, it was only natural they teased the subject of conversation. Eunius laughed as he continued teasing Aleist in the bed across from Luecke.
“No, no, we’re really praising you here. On top of soiling a sacred tournament, when the royal line was bringing up talks of engagement, you boldly professed love before them… I’ll be using this joke for the rest of your life.”
“You’re just mocking me after all! I-I couldn’t’ help it. If I didn’t resolve the misunderstanding, I’d never be able to move forwards…”
Luecke denied Aleist’s excuse with a straight face.
“Misunderstanding? The talks of your engagement to those five have been going smoothly, and when there are even talks of your marriage to Princess Aileen, you call it a misunderstanding? Aren’t you misunderstanding what it means to be engaged? Rudel, you tell him something too.”
As Luecke waved the conversation towards him, all eyes gathered on Rudel.
“… Engagement is a problem between Aleist and his fiancé(s), but I do get the feeling he has a few too many. If he keeps increasing them like this, he’ll be in the double digits in a few years. Aleist, look out for your body. Speaking seriously, there are loads of knights who’ve ruined themselves with women.”
Rather than knights, in this case, they were nobles. Once their life in the academy was over, the students would be treated as adults. Naturally, the nobles would be married through talks between houses. Among Counts like Aleist, there really were many cases where an earnest young man was swallowed up by a woman.
While it was a different case, Rudel’s father surrounded himself with women, and he wouldn’t do any work. Among the four gathered, he was the one who understood best what result that would bring in.
“W-what are you talking about!? M-Millia is my one and only…”
As Aleist mumbled, Eunius grinned as he muttered he heard something interesting.
“Then if Millia’s all you want, cut off the others. You want me to put in a word?”
On Eunius’ teasing words, Aleist’s face went pale as he screamed for him to stop. His serious face somewhat surprised Luecke and Eunius.
“Seriously, stop it! Those girls, well… t-their expressions of love are downright abnormal. When they act as if it’s only natural I get cut up or smacked, if I bring up talks of breaking up, there’s no telling what they’ll…”
The actions he could laugh off when he played the game, in reality, they were no laughing matter. Aleist had experienced them with his body. Being smacked to hide their embarrassment, and being smashed through walls, he shook as he recalled the true terror he felt.
“Well, I get that you have it hard, but you better take responsibility. Izumi told me that not taking responsibility is the worst thing a man can do.”
As Aleist cowered, Rudel told him what Izumi had said. But from Aleist’s point of view, he had suddenly received five wives. He looked at Rudel’s freedom with envy.
“You say responsibility, but can’t you say that because you don’t have any engagements? If you had a violent girlfriend, I don’t think you’d be able to say something like that.”
“Really? Marty-sama’s girlfriend’s expressions of love were extreme, but he overcame them, apparently.”
“Marty’s the petting guy, right? I get the feeling he’d love his dragon over his wife.”
The picture Aleist’s mind drew of Marty was that of an oddball who loved dragons more than his family. Luecke thought the same.
“Right. I must offer the same opinion as Aleist. Looking through the book, there wasn’t a single mention of his family, but there was a lengthy declaration of love for a dragon.”
As Luecke made a tired face, Eunius shook his head to say he couldn’t understand it. But there, Rudel informed them of a surprising new fact.
“… What are you talking about? Marty-sama’s girlfriend was the water dragon ‘Mystith’. At first, she would smack water balls into him to hide her embarrassment, but through mastering petting, at the end, she…”
“Wait a second! Then what’s that, this Marty guy was never married?”
Eunius stopped Rudel, confirming what had to be asked. Dragoons were Courtois’ elites, and a target of aspiration.
Even knights of common origin were often welcomed into noble houses. The only reason one wouldn’t marry lay in the individual.
“? No, he was married. There was Mystith-sama, and… who was it again? The name isn’t coming out, but I get the feeling he was married.”
Rudel had once seriously investigated into Marty, but Marty’s family was already one of the past, and he couldn’t’ find much detail about his descendants. And Rudel was on the more knowledgeable side.
“Isn’t that strange!? A marriage between a dragon and a human? Then he couldn’t have children, right? And isn’t Marty’s treatment of his human wife just terrible?”
As Aleist held his head, Rudel made gentle eyes as he gave an enlightened explanation.
“Yeah, but it was a result both sides agreed to. This isn’t something strangers like us can stick our mouths into. And dragons lack the concept of marriage itself. To be more precise, perhaps it was something different from marriage.”
“Why are you talking about it as if it’s only natural? I definitely don’t accept this, you hear!”
Aleist gave a protest that he couldn’t’ accept it, but here, Eunius grew interested in Rudel’s new technique.
“Well, just put that on hold for now. More importantly, you learned a new petting, didn’t you, Rudel? Teach me something.”
“Recently, I learned embracing and massage, but because Izumi said they were no good, I sealed them. Right now, I’m trying to do something with my magic eyes.”
Rudel’s eyes were the eyes of the black bird, capable of inflicting negative statuses. After Rudel lost both his eyes in the fight with the undead dragon, he had received new ones from the black bird.
“… Rudel, is your head on fine?”
As Luecke looked at Rudel with worry, Rudel and Aleist tilted his head. Eunius couldn’t believe it, but if it was something Rudel said, then he couldn’t deny the possibility it might be true.
‘No! I’m going to see Rudel!’
In the dragons’ dwellings, Sakuya’s large build lay across the ground, flapping around her arms and legs as she protested to Mystith. But Mystith could only decline.
‘Give it a rest, Sakuya! You can’t properly fly through the sky, and you haven’t even learned how to properly fight as a dragon. At this rate, you’ll only bring shame to Rudel.’
‘I don’t want that eittthhhhererr!!’
While Sakuya was twice the size of Mystith, she raised her body, and reluctantly swung her arms. Mystith was teaching her how to fight.
‘And I’m telling you that’s not good enough!!’
Taking a turn of her body, Mystith used her tail to swipe Sakuya’s feet and send her rolling. Falling face up, Sakuya gave a similar scream as before.
‘I don’t want this anymorrrree!! I’m going to see Rudel!!’
‘Hah, when you can’t even fire a proper breath, what are you saying?’
‘I-I can fire one! I can fire a big one!!’
‘Yeah, yeah, you can fire a big one and a strong one. But it will be fatal if you can’t fire a normal one.’
‘It’s fine as long as I can fire a big one…’
Growing timid with her large, white form, Sakuya was a child transmigrated as a dragon. While her specs were high, she wasn’t able to use them.
Breath attacks were generally the same among dragons, and if she held back to fire one, the fireball would burst along the way, scattering smaller fireballs around. If she fired a big one, the earth was gouged out, and the ground that rose would form a pillar. It was difficult to find a place for her powerful attacks to be of use.
Sakuya was generally a dragon that was difficult to handle. She held the body of a gaia dragon subspecies, and on top of being hard to handle, she was slow in the air. Even if her power and thick skin was peerless on ground, a dragon’s value lay in attacks from the sky.
Attacks that gouged out the earth made it difficult to put her to use in the dragoons that specialized in defensive battles. One would hesitate to lay waste to the land of their own country.
Therefore, there were many dragons who said to keep their breath at a ‘normal’ level. And Sakuya still couldn’t fire a breath imbued with an element like Mystith could.
In contrast with her frame, Sakuya’s value as a dragon was low. It was for that sake that Mystith was looking after her, but…
‘Hah, I’ll bring him here next time, so make sure you get better at firing your breath.’
Mystith planned to use Lilim’s dragon to call Rudel over. There, Sakuya showed a little motivation, launching an attack on Mystith.
Biting into Sakuya’s neck, she used the tenets of a shoulder throw to utilize her momentum and throw her. Because of Sakuya, the dragons’ dwellings were gradually growing rougher.
Sakuya’s large build soared, and as she slammed into the ground, the area took a large shake.
‘Uuuurrrgh, nno more.’
Before Sakuya’s frequent complaints, Mystith breathed out a sigh.
“I’m telling you, it’s for real!”
“No, but even if you tell me you have magic eyes…”
“You experienced them in our wilderness training during the fundamental curriculum, didn’t you!? Now I’ve become capable of using them. And if I do, I can make someone feel good without having to touch them!”
While Rudel desperately tried to explain his magic eyes, Luecke couldn’t accept it. Aleist was also a bit taken aback by Rudel’s thoughts to use his magic eyes and make people feel good.
But Eunius determined it would be fun to test out, and made a proposal.
“Then Rudel, test it out on the girls who come to visit. If they see it put to practice before their eyes, then I’m sure everyone here will believe it.”
“… Very well. I’ll show you my seriousness.”
Having been denied so many times, Rudel said he would get serious and closed his eyes. The sickroom fell into a moment of silence, but Luecke whispered over to Eunius.
“What are you thinking? If he’s telling the truth, we’ll have victims on our hands.”
“Fool, the only girl who’d come to this room is Izumi, right? Then while we’re at it, I thought we could use this opportunity to get her and Rudel hitched already.”
“I see. Well, I’d like to think the magic eye part is a joke, but…”
As the two of them discussed in whispers, a knock came at the door. Time-wise, it wasn’t a nurse, so Rudel opened his eyes, and the remaining three braced themselves to see if a girl had come.
A girl had definitely come, but it wasn’t Izumi. With Fina at the lead, Sophina and Mii had come to pay their respects.
“How are you all feeling?”
Sophina held a get-well package, and she left a basket of fruits in the room. Besides Rudel, who she often found herself around, Mii had never spoken to any of the others before.
She nervously hid behind Fina’s back.
Fina was expressionless, but she had no reason to go on a rampage here, and after leaving her get-well package, she intended to be off. But Rudel called out.
“Perfect. Fina, come over here.”
The reason Rudel dropped the honorific was because Fina was his apprentice. Those in question accepted that, but the others saw it differently.
“… Since when were you two in that sort of relationship? This is bad, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, let’s just pray Izumi doesn’t come here.”
Eunius and Luecke exchanged a look, praying that this land didn’t become a land of carnage. Aleist alone didn’t seem to notice, and he was the only one excited to confirm the effects of the magic eyes.
“Fina, look into my eyes.”
“Sure… (Why do I have to look into his eyes? Is this some new type of game… hah, if someone saw the scene of us staring at once another, I’d be able to spread rumors, and fill in the outer moat).”
Scheming inside, Fina looked into Rudel’s eyes. She instantly felt a sensation as if she was being sucked in. It became difficult for her to stand, and be that as it may, her chest felt tight… and sorrowful. As she crumbled to her knees, still expressionless, her face turned red.
“Hah!? (W-what is the meaning of this!? I never thought I’d be stared at so seriously, so longingly… i-it couldn’t be master is lusting for me? This is bad. I didn’t wear my lucky panties today. Well, they’re still white, so will I be able to appeal to my innocence?)”
“A-are you alright, princess!?”
As Sophina and Mii drew close, Rudel averted his eyes and turned to the three men.
“Did you see it, the power of these eyes?”
Eunius was unable to believe what he had seen, and Luecke was the same. Aleist alone was averting his eyes from Rudel.
“… No way.”
“No, that’s impossible.”
“… Don’t look this way.”
Her heart hurting, Fina sat as she extended her hand towards Rudel. But Rudel was curt.
“Ah, good work. With this, my magic eyes have been proven. You can go now.”
This time, the two women made faces as if they couldn’t understand. Fina alone was the same as usual.
“Rudel-sama, that one was too cruel.”
“… Master. (W-what’s with that!? Treating me so crudely… I’m really feeling it.)”
Receiving Mii’s words, Rudel realized that wasn’t the attitude to take towards the people who came to wish him well, so he gave his thanks. He had grown accustomed to dealing with Fina in her enlightened form, and he unintentionally ended up treating her like a miscellaneous object. Feeling apologetic, he took a repentant attitude.
But the effects of his magic eyes continued on.
“You’re right, I’m sorry. I’ve done something bad to the people who came to see us. I’ll have to do something to thank you.”
After he apologized, Rudel smiled, and the faces of the three went red.
And with terrible timing, it was then that another knock came at the door, and the guests who had come to visit them entered the sickroom.