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Chapter 62: Blessing
Two months after the Dragon God Festival.
The wedding between the Knight Sigurd and the Dragon’s Maiden took place with only their family as guests.
As discussed between me as his adoptive father and Jolga as his biological father, Sigurd’s family registration was transferred to the Oswein family and approved by Prime Minister Morino. With Julieta marrying into Sigurd’s family, the lineage of the Sage Asbal would cease with my generation. The country’s leaders lamented that result and suggested that I adopt Sigurd as a son-in-law into the Asbal family, but I shook my head.
The Asbal family would end with my generation.
This world had already been freed from the compulsion of the setting in the otome game [The Dragon and the Sacrificial Priestess], and it was moving towards a future of its own creation. Even so, the existence of Julieta and me, who should have been ruined by the end of the Dragon God Festival, was clearly heretical. Perhaps the influence of [the game] was fading from the world, but it was best not to let my guard down. Removing the Asbal family name from Julieta and Sigurd and giving them the Oswein family name was also one of my preventive measures.
Julieta appeared with her bridesmaid Venellope where I had been waiting, and gently linked her arms with mine at the entrance of the wedding aisle. Julieta, given the new nickname the goddess loved by the silver moon, wore a gorgeous, pure white wedding dress with a long train.
She looked up at me with jade green eyes covered by a veil and smiled softly at my similar-colored eyes.
My precious, only daughter whom I have loved more than anything, who has been by my side for these six months, I wish for you to build a blissful family, like the family [I] had in the fading memories of my previous life.
…To that end, there is something for which I must leave this country.
I entrusted Julieta to the arms of Sigurd, who was waiting in front of the altar, and stood with Jolga, quietly watching the couple receive their blessings from Head Priest Malacia.
The attendants comprised Jolga and I; Lutora and Malacia; Peragene who came to the shrine from the villa and her daughter Venellope; Prime Minister Morino and the twin ring boys, Cain and Abel; the Knight representative Amy and the elder butler Thomas who had served the Asbal family for years. The moment the newlywed couple exchanged their kiss of oath after receiving all the participants’ blessings, a particularly loud dragon’s roar could be heard from the direction of a hill west of the capital.
In response, small colorful lights burst into existence, dancing across the azure sky.
These were the lights of the spirits maintaining the Palcemith Kingdom’s abundance.
“It’s so pretty…”
All of us, as well as the residents of the capital, smiled while looking up at the sky, pointing at the lights.
It was likely a small blessing from the Ancient Dragon Kharis to the young couple who had made a vow of happiness.
The couple left the shrine to warm applause to begin their life as newlyweds in the mansion on a hill near the Ancient Dragon Kharis’s dwelling. Thomas, who had brought up the two youngsters, continued working as their butler in the mansion on the hill, so the couple’s life shouldn’t have any troubles. The mansion was renovated with a fence around the perimeter at the same time as the preparation of Ancient Dragon Kharis’s dwelling, making it easily defensible.
I had planned to either rent a house somewhere or temporarily stay in one of the Shrine’s guest rooms for nobility, but, at Jolga’s insistence, I ended up freeloading at the Oswein family’s mansion. The Oswein family’s mansion was close to the capital and it was certainly convenient for me, as someone Prime Minister Morino and his aide Venellope had begged to help with the country’s administration. However, living under the same roof as Jolga, well, that had its own set of issues. Generally, issues with my physical endurance.
Both Lutora and Sigurd had some inkling of the relationship between Jolga and I, and when they spotted us together they would immediately interrupt us, which was quite a blow. Especially…when it came to Jolga, it was rather amusing.
As always, Lutora, who should have been living in the Oswein family mansion, was a frequent visitor to the Shrine.
The belief that the citizens of Palcemith Kingdom had in the Dragon God had increased in intensity after they saw with their own eyes the existence of the Ancient Dragon Kharis, of whose presence in the underground lake they had only been vaguely aware. The number of people approaching Head Priest Malacia increased as well and it became a situation wherein Lutora would say, “As if I could just stay leisurely in the mansion!” It was definitely not for me to butt in, so I hoped he worked hard in his own way.
After the wedding an unofficial celebratory gift from King Vikram arrived at the couple’s new home.
I didn’t know what King Vikram felt about the marriage between his close friend and the woman who was once his fiancée, but something far more dreadful than such a trivial embarrassment was lying in wait for the Palcemith royalty.
Four months after the coronation of King Vikram.
Close to two months after the enthronement, news spread throughout the castle that Queen Nasha, who had been rumored to have “gotten fatter” and barely showed up for official duties, had gone into labor.
Morino, Venellope, and I were in the office in the midst of settling paperwork, and we looked at each other’s faces upon hearing the sudden reports.
“…So it was true.”
“My, you noticed it as well.”
“Yes. That stomach bulge could not be classified as [getting fat].”
“That’s true. Even though no one mentioned it, everyone should have noticed.”
“But if she went into labor at this time, wouldn’t it mean that right after pushing the responsibility of the Sacrificial Priestess onto Lady Julieta, Lady Nasha was already with His Highness?…His Majesty sure moves fast.”
In contrast to Venellope, who squinted her amethyst eyes in displeasure under her round glasses, Morino shook his head of messy blond hair and kept making small groans.
“Hmmm…I wonder…Is it really so…”
This time, it was Vanellope’s turn to tilt her head at the mumbling Morino.
“What’s the matter, Prime Minister? You’re slurring your words.”
“…If there’s something bothering you, say it quickly. It’ll be too late once nothing can be done.”
Emboldened by my comment, Morino raised his head and pointed at a large piece of paper with this year’s calendar written on it.
“I don’t mean to actively defend His Majesty, but the timing is strange. After Lady Nasha was established as His Majesty’s fiancée, in order to protect her chastity, he deliberately opened the Queen’s Chambers ahead of time. I heard that the two of them pledged their love on the balcony of the room prepared for the Sacrificial Priestess but, uh…they did not engage in any actions that would cause her to lose her virginity.”
“However, right after Melia was sentenced to Dona’s Penalty, while comforting the grieving Nasha, he…um.”
“In the end, they did it.”
Venellope heaved a sigh and I shrugged my shoulders.
“Even if she had conceived at that time, wouldn’t it only be about the seventh month now? It’s far too early to be going into labor.”
“…Is there a possibility that His Majesty is lying?”
“We can’t be sure of the truth of the matter, however, he had reported that he was unable to protect her chastity until their wedding ceremony, so there’s no need to lie and fudge the dates.”
I didn’t have any evidence of what was growing in her womb either.
For example, if she was pregnant with twins or more, it was possible that the growing children put pressure on her womb, causing her to go into labor in the seventh month.
In either case, the truth will soon be [born].
We continued processing the paperwork while waiting for new updates, and it was three hours later when a maid came running in alarm.
“Her Majesty gave birth to a [baby with animal ears and tail]!”
Well now, this was a newborn spark of mayhem.
May your life be blessed.
Welcome to this ludicrous world.