It was in the Jewel, the round table room.
The ancestors were troubling Lyle, raining him with their usual jeers.
『That’s why you’re no good!』
『I’ll have to agree. Why did you run away there?』
『I really wonder what that makes you as a man.』
『The worst. You’ve crossed zero into the negatives. The negatives!』
『Just sleep with her already. That’ll be the end of it.』
『Lyle, you need to understand a woman’s heart better.』
『Sixth, please repeat those words in front of a mirror. But Lyle, that really was pitiful.』
It all started in an inn in Dalien, where Lyle had managed to make a good atmosphere with Novem.
But Lyle himself failed to notice so, and fed up as she was, Novem dealt with him with a smile.
The problem was, having witnessed that, the ancestors dragged Lyle into the Jewel to find fault with him.
Lyle was made to kneel on the floor as he hung his head.
“But there’s no way I could understand that sort of atmosphere, or rather…”
The Fourth pushed up his glasses, letting the lenses eerily catch the light as he let out a low voice.
『An excuse eh… this is worse than I thought.』
Ever fussy when it came to the treatment of women, the Fourth had been dissatisfied with Lyle’s attitude towards Novem for a long time now.
『Listen well, Lyle! When things were going so rosy between you, not doing anything at all is a discourtesy to the woman.』
His socialization skills disastrous from the start, Lyle impatiently put up resistance against the Fourth.
“No, um… Novem’s face was definitely a little red, and her smile was a different one than usual, but… I didn’t really get what to do next or rather, in a situation where you’re all watching me, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do.”
The excuse Lyle gave was that he was unable to do anything in a situation where he was under constant surveillance from the ancestors in the Jewel.
But that was something the others agreed with as well.
The Fifth gave a light nod.
『Well, that’s definitely a problem. 』
The other ancestors held a similar opinion.
『Sure enough, I’d be troubled to respond if you suddenly embraced her. Well, if we just make it so we can’t interfere at those times alone…』
As everyone began to say something like that, Lyle found it in himself to question it a bit.
(They’re all just booing me, but generally speaking, what should I have done?)
That’s why he asked.
The First irritably looked at Lyle.
『What is it?』
“I still don’t get what I should have done. How would all of you have handled umm—‘What would you do when your wife shows you a different smile than usual’?”
The ancestors were more flustered than Lyle expected. They all tried imagining a scene where their wife would show them a different smile than usual.
… It happened.
Right after, Lyle sensed the large jewel embedded in the center of the round table let off a faint light.
(What is this? Did something just glow? Huh? Did the others see…)
Noticing something strange was going on, Lyle looked at his ancestors.
The First had broken into a clearly strange sweat as he held his head.
It was almost as if everyone was seeing an illusion of their wife before their eyes.
『T-that ain’t it, dear. So you don’t have to approach me with that smile. I’m begging you, forgive meeeeeeee!!』
The Second shook his head as he prepared to flee. While he usually dressed himself in a relatively taciturn air, he was now desperately calling out to his unseen wife.
『Just give me a moment. Yeah, could you give me just a bit of time to think? D-don’t come any closeeer!!』
The Third was smiling as per usual, but he was shedding a cold sweat.
With both his hands, he gestured for the other party to wait as he spoke.
『I got it, let’s talk things out. So for now, how about you stop spinning around the iron ball? Let’s start by clearing up our misunderstandings.』
(Iron ball!? Eh? He’s talking to his wife, right?)
Lyle looked at the cowering figures of his firm ancestors as he thought of just what sort of people his ancestors’ wives could be.
Meanwhile, the Fourth slipped under the round table, his body hunched over and quivering.
For a while, now, he was only repeating the same words.
『I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sor–』
The fifth alone wasn’t sweating. But with a straight face…
『… What are you planning?』
In a situation with his wife showing a different smile than usual, he could only hold doubt. Perhaps he wondered what lay beneath that smile, as he seemed deep in thought to probe it out.
(… What happened to everyone? Could it be they really are seeing illusions?)
They were in the Jewel. A space where it wouldn’t be strange if anything happened.
As he thought that, Lyle searched out the Sixth.
“Huh? The Sixth is gone?”
… The Sixth had fled long ago.
The Seventh was making a pale face, his back was straight, but he seemed somewhat fidgety.
『Zenoir, hear me out. You don’t have to approach me with that smile. Stop. You have to stop! I get it. It’s about that, right? About when I told Maizel that embarrassing story about you? Eh? That’s not it? That’s extra? Alright, first let’s take some distance from one another so we can discuss this. S-stop! Don’t point the gunpoint this way!』
(Gunpoint… grandmother was surprisingly extreme.)
Zenoir was Lyle’s grandmother. But Lyle only had the impression of her as a kind grandmother.
Perhaps seeing illusions, the ancestors tormented by their wives.
Lyle calmly looked at them and thought.
“… I wonder what sort of people the ancestors’ wives were.”