Child Rearing Journal of the Strongest Wiseman～About My Daughter Being the Cutest in the World～ Chapter 8
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Editor: Yuzuha(Yado Inn)
Proofer: Matty(Yado Inn)
TLC: Lox(Yado Inn)
We received a warm welcome at the Otto household over the course of a week.
Countess Otto asks me, "Won't you continue to stay in the mansion like this and become a private tutor for my children?"
「Of course, if I were to employ Wiseman sama, I'd aptly express my gratitude .」
The amount that the Countess presented was more than enough to make the eyes of the miserly maid, who was in charge of our household’s finances, sparkle.
She, while pulling my arm,
「Master, let us, without fail, serve the Otto house.」
repeatedly prodded me so.
「The money-minded maid as always, aren’t you?」
「It's because we can’t live without money. If Master doesn’t eat, Master would die, and Chloe too, would die, because the pseudo-philosopher’s Stone in my chest would not be periodically replaced. People in olden times used to say, not having money was the same as not having a head.」
「That's for certain.」
Saying so, I revealed a strained smile,
I ask Fiona too.
「Does Fiona like it here?」
Fiona gave a vigorous nod, saying 「Yes」, to the extent of swinging her blonde braids multiple times.
「I became friends with Eugene, Mia and Luna. Fiona wants to stay here.」
When I heard those words, my heart sunk.
Honestly, being a private tutor doesn’t suit me. Because I've lived a thousand years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach people many times, but I am well aware that being an educationist is not my cup of tea.
In the past, I served as a substitute lecturer at the sorcerer's academy in the Imperial Capital, on behalf of my master Seymour; but I ended up turning all the lessons into 『Self-Study』sessions and dropped the marks of the class I was in charge of, from the top ranks to the bottom-most ones.
While they were engaging in self-study, I immersed myself in research.
I was immediately fired; however, there was something I was told by the astounded Seymour.
「You are the finest wiseman I have raised, but it seems that being a lecturer at the sorcerer’s academy is not something you're suited for.」
After that, Seymour, who had returned, completely turned around the class’ results, so I think my master’s words were probably right.
I wonder if a person who was unfit to even be a temporary lecturer at the sorcerer's academy, would be an appropriate private tutor to youthful nobility.
No, it’s impossible.
I thought like that, but if my daughter still wishes to stay here, then I could probably depart from my principles. In other words, foregoing the number one rule of research might not be so bad.
Is what I thought.
But, the root cause that made my resolution waiver, was that for the past few days, Fiona was gazing more at Countess Otto than the children who were her friends.
That gaze and expression, clearly carried feelings of longing.
Until now, Fiona has never told me 「I want a mommy」, or the like.
Chloe jokingly tried saying, 「Chloe is Fiona-sama’s substitute for a mommy」, but she still didn’t react at that.
Of course, my daughter was familiar with the concept of a mother, and what sort of existence it was, but it was probably the first time she witnessed a true “mother” before her own eyes.
Such feelings may have budded, seeing Mrs. Otto being affectionate with her children.
「Why don’t I have a mommy?」
Such a doubt might have sprouted in her mind.
Of course, Fiona wouldn’t say such words.
Perhaps, if we stay here like this, those feelings might become stronger.
My thought process was something like that.
If I temporarily became a private tutor for the Otto house, “Eugene, Mia and Luna have a mother, but why don’t I have one?”
A day might come where she starts thinking like that.
No, such a day would most certainly come.
And for when that time comes, I wonder how I should answer my daughter.
「Fiona was a child born from a laboratory flask. You don’t have a father or mother related by blood」
I wonder if I should honestly tell her that.
Or, instead, I wonder if I should lie to her and tell her this:
「Fiona’s mother died while giving birth to Fiona. But, she loved you from the bottom of her heart」
I felt neither of those answers were appropriate, while both being correct.
However, I haven't had the courage to pick between the two.
In spite of having lived a thousand years, I cannot choose from the choices that I had to take someday.
I wonder if master would laugh, seeing this sorry figure.
「Even though you can chant incantation magic, you can’t even say the bare minimum of words required as a person.」
I might be rebuked for that.
While I was thinking that, I noticed a bird tapping at the splendid window of the Otto house.
An owl was tapping the window, going,「knock-knock」
Seeing that figure, the Countess said this.
「Oh my, it’s an owl. How unusual. Even though we don’t see much of them here in the countryside」
I was in doubt as to why the owl was here in broad daylight. Owls are nocturnal, and so sleep during the daytime.
Moreover, they don’t appear in human settlements like this and prod at windows.
If it were a normal owl, that is.
I instantly recognised that it was no ordinary owl.
When I said that, I gained permission from Countess Otto, and allowed the owl inside the room.
The owl perched on my shoulder as if it were natural.
And then, it started speaking in human tongue.
「Yo, ladies and gentlemen, y’all seem to be in good spirits.」
It’s almost like a fairy-tale.
Fiona was in high spirits. The children of the Otto house were, too, in high spirits.
However, Chloe and I were the only ones not laughing.
Because we had guessed that that owl was a familiar.
Moreover, that familiar belonged to a person I know very well.
「Kite-sama, this is－－」
Chloe spoke while pointing at the owl that spoke the human language.
I could guess at what she wanted to say.
「Probably, that familiar belongs to master」
「You’re right. I can feel the surging waves of Seymour-sama’s magical power」
「Ahh, moreover, that person liked turning owls into familiars」
It seems everything about it got along with that person’s nocturnal tendencies.
Or probably that person liked its carnivorous side.
Anyhow, it was certain that the owl in front of me was from my mentor, Seymour.
An elegant voice resounded from the familiar.
The owl spoke with a full voice like that of a singer.
「Yo Kite, long time no see」
Most likely, that person is seeing us through the familiar as a medium.
Uttering words with the familiar as an intermediary.
The quality of the voice was different, but that tone was exactly like master’s.
I bowed my head towards my mentor.
「It has been a long time.」
「Yeah, it’s certainly been long.」
Bowing your head at an owl made for a strange spectacle.
Moreover, what a self-important owl. In such a way, my master uttered the line like a person.
「The young girl there－－」
The owl said so. I could easily guess that ‘the young girl’ meant Countess Otto; Because the owl was staring at her.
Countess Otto, who was called a young girl, did not seem to take it badly,
「It's the first time since I married my husband that I have been called a young girl」
And she forgave the owl’s impoliteness.
She even forgave the owl's continued rudeness.
「Forgive me, young girl. I have to talk about something important with this man from here on. Could you leave this place?」
She, Countess Otto, looked at me.
“Is it alright if I follow the instructions?” She was making a face which seemed to ask that.
I, while making a face saying I’m sorry, implored her to withdraw.
She made an appearance that seemed to say she did not mind it the slightest, and spoke to her children.
「Eugene, Luna, Mia, let's go to the neighbouring room with mommy. I’ve prepared baked sweets for all of you.」
Her children, followed her behind, saying,「Yes, mother!」
En-route, she slightly looked back.
She gazed at Fiona. And subsequently gazed at me.
The countess displayed a face that seemed to say “Is it alright to also take Fiona along?”.
I subtly thanked her.
She said to Fiona quite smoothly.
「It’d be better if Fiona came to eat snacks too.」
Fiona at first seemed to disagree. The speaking 「Owl-san」did not seem to make her run out of curiosity as much as the baked sweets, however, she lost to her appetite in the end.
「Absolutely,let me pet and caress it afterwards!」
With those parting words, she left behind the Countess.
Only I and Chloe were left in this room.
When it became so, the owl turned to me, and greeted me again.
「It's been a long time, Kite」
I respectfully lowered my head.
「It has been a long time, master」
‘Arrogant Kite’ was the nickname I was given when I was in the sorcery academy, but I respected only my master, Seymour.
I will keep my head lowered until my master says, 「It’s fine to raise your head」 or ,「You don’t have to be so humble」. It was a customary ritual.
――Usually I’d be told those words almost immediately, but I didn't hear them today.
Rather, we suddenly got into the main issue at hand.
I wonder if it is that much of an urgent matter.
When I, without receiving my mentor’s permission, raised my head, I heard the owl’s words.
「Hey, Kite, the situation is urgent. At such a time, the exchange of useless pleasantries is unnecessary.」
The owl, with that introduction, let me know of the matter.
「It seems there is a sorcerer or a Wiseman who has committed a grave sin in Rowen Province, where you live」
「A grave sin, you say……?」
Because it was so sudden, I reflexively lied.
「Ahh, I see. Don’t they know that creating life is prohibited in this country?」
「Ehh, well, more or less……」
「Research in alchemy is somewhat restricted. If one is successful in turning the base metal into gold, then the value of gold would drop, and then society would be left in chaos. If we are successful in creating a life then the people of the church would cause an uproar. Saying, creation of life is the domain of god－－」
「Therefore, we sorcerers put some restrictions on our research」
「Exactly, but, that is only a facade. We sorcerers are constantly zealous, and day after day endeavour for the dreams of the Wisemen, creation of gold and creation of artificial life」
The owl laughs self-deprecatingly.
Along with it, I too laugh.
Certainly there were many sorcerers who broke the law of the country.
Regarding a being called "sorcerer", they would be called a Wiseman if they have exceptional ability. That’s why everyone who is learning sorcery also aims to unveil the truth behind it.
If they are a sorcerer, especially if they have the talent to be called a wise man, they aim towards the goal of unveiling the truth behind magic.
Everyone dreams of creating a life, and that research piles up.
It was the natural course of action for one who aspires for sorcery.
The country and the church knowing that, more or less as a facade, had imposed restrictions on the research of sorcery.
The church didn't allow the sorcerers to go out of control.
They asserted that they won’t do such research so they don't become feared by the masses.
With such logic, the both of them maintained a balance, but it seems that, somehow, there was a Wiseman who managed to throw it off balance.
Seymour explained that to me.
I reflexively felt a chill run down my spine, but I asked without changing my expression.
「In other words, what does teacher want to say?」
The owl indirectly answered.
「The Empire and the church don’t have the capability to create a life. I thought so, but someway or another, I got hold of information that a Wiseman had succeeded in doing just that.」
「Can that information be trusted?」
I asked while feigning ignorance, but the owl spoke the truth in a matter of fact manner.
「The ruler of this country is by no means imprudent. The sovereign made the Wiseman, Seymour, create a Homunculus detector. It is a magical device created in such a manner that it can sense the birth of a Homunculus, if it ever happens, the very moment it is born.」
「Master created such a device?」
「Ah, but that is because I’m the great Wiseman who holds the title of the Imperial Court Magician, you know.」
It was undeniable, and so master continued
「――Of course, I never thought the day would come when that device would be of any use. I only took it up as I thought it’d be an easy job that gave me a lavish budget, and all I had to do was create an interesting device. 」
「By the way, how accurate is that device?」
「Quite accurate. In fact, It can even detect the surging signal of a homunculus's birth.」
「Does it even record the time of it?」
「It does. But there’s a year in delay」
It was the answer I wanted to hear the most.
If it could accurately measure it, then I can’t play dumb any longer.
「That’s right. I only know to the extent that it is in Rowen Province. I don’t know anything more than that.」
If that’s so, then there’s no absolute proof that I succeeded in creating a Homunculus.
I wonder if this is the place where I should play dumb.
I thought so, but the owl beat me to the punch.
「Nevermind the top brass of the imperial Capital; I know of only one wiseman amongst the sorcerers living in Rowen Province, one who can master the truth of sorcery, and one who has enough capability to create a Homunculus, which is the ultimate dream of all sorcerers. And I have already confirmed that that person, is taking along an unfamiliar baby with him」
After the owl finished saying that, it was silent for quite a long time.
I wonder if it is giving me room to think.
A shrewd person as usual.
I’m sure that person, convicted that I had succeeded in creating a Homunclus, sent a familiar.
After remaining silent for a long time, the owl thrust an ultimatum onto me,
「Well, now that I have told you the story, I have something to ask you. My foolish disciple, do you have any explanation?」
Here, while smiling, that person said
This one phrase was able to pierce the silence..
However, to begin with, I had relied upon my master to set out on the journey.
If it’s master Seymour, we’d surely be given some good advice. Surely, me and Fiona would be guided on the right path. I left on the journey thinking that.
I didn’t harbour any doubts toward my mentor at this point in time.
I boldly confessed.
「That blonde haired girl is a Homunculus」
「Oh, as expected, I see. You were successful in creating a new life?」
The owl raised its voice in astonishment.
「About that… she was born from an accident. If you tell me to reproduce that again, then it’d be impossible for me.」
「What, Even if it’s a fluke, it’s still a hit」
「But, wouldn’t the top brass of the Empire and the church be searching for the Homunculus, and wishing for its reproduction?」
「Exactly. Those guys will surely try to snatch the method of creating a Homunculus by hook or crook. If the creator cannot reproduce it, then they’d kidnap the Homunculus itself, and tinker with it as an experiment」
「Then, I’ll have to protect her with all my strength」
I resolutely and justifiably insisted.
「Is it your obstinacy as a sorcerer? Or perhaps your pride as a Wiseman?」
The owl inquired that, but I slowly shook my head.
「You’re wrong. It’s my responsibility as that child’s father」
The owl, who heard my answer, gave off a feeling as if it was broadly grinning and had loosened its expression.
But then, owls don’t have facial muscles.
However, it seems master was satisfied with my answer.
「I get it. I just wanted to hear those lines. And because you have said those words, I’ll assist you with all my strength.」
After the owl declared so, it ordered me to head back towards my residence.
After I gave my thanks to my master again, the owl flew out of the window.
It flapped its wings to the other side of the blue sky.
1. As in shisho (Kite’s master, not what Chloe calls Kite)
2. Inability (or impaired ability) to understand or produce speech, as a result of brain damage.