This is the year 1297 and my 4th son will turn 3 years old in the 2nd month.
Even so, he looks like a 5-years old child. After his growth spurt into a 3-year old body when he was 6 months old, he has grown little by little since that point.
From a half-year-old with a 3-years old body into a 3 years old with a 5-years old body, the gap between his actual age and physical age seemed to be gradually smaller. I wonder if this gap would disappear altogether when he reaches 10 years old.
Both my wife and I breathed a sigh of relief.
All of the older sons, Belhart, Chester, and David, are exceptional, so I was prepared to some extent for my 4th one.
When Julia told me that Ed had started to use magic when he was 6 months old, I couldn’t believe my ears but muttered 「Ah so he as well…」 at the same time.
I knew she must have felt anxious since it’s concerning her first child, so I hopped on my fastest horse and rushed back to my residence. Contrary to my thoughts, she was uneasy but far from frightened. In fact, she looked relatively normal. Kanan, my previous wife, was overly protective of her children and she was the type to panic when something occurred to any of our children. On the other hand, Julia was very calm and in fact, she was the one who calmed me instead.
However, even when being compared to his brothers, Edgar is seriously outside the norm.
Using 【Telekinesis Magic】 freely at 6-months old and beating a leader of the mercenary group 〈Black Wolf Fang〉 in a man-to-man fight.
And that was not all. Being kidnapped by an assassination group 〈Yatagarasu〉 and confined their headquarter, Crow’s Nest. Rather than feeling helpless, he devoured the organization from the inside and beat the leader, Gazaine Myunzer, also in a man-to-man fight.
Both organizations were aiming to usurp the Santamana Kingdom’s throne, so to the Kingdom, Ed was referred to as a hero. But since there’s no way that the public could stomach the truth, the whole achievements were shoved to me, his father. Resulting in me being raised as a hero and being granted the title of Lord Protector.
Obviously, I’m having a guilty conscience towards Ed. I’m more worried about my guilty conscience rather than the wave of nobles who were disagreeing with the idea of “noble half-elf” out of jealousy but still maintaining lip-service.
When you overlook his outstanding magic and skills, overlook his social standing as my son, he looked just like any other fast-growing boy. A bit hard headed, stubborn perhaps, but there’s nothing really wrong with the child. He’s pretty much a good-natured and considerate child.
Rather than that, my 3 older sons were even much weirder than him. Belhart’s personality is quite heroic and he has a strong sense of justice, but he was also known as the neighborhood bully. On the contrary, Chester prefers being alone and seemed to enjoy polishing his archery skills outside. In the end, both of them became the Imperial Guard’s 《Young Falcon》 and the Adventurer Guild’s 《No Second Arrow》 respectively.
Both of them were relatively better. The weirdest one is my third son, David. David is a quick thinker and his memorization ability is second to none. He managed to learn magic by the age of 5, devoured every book in my library by the age of 10, and he has probably memorized half of them anyway. He’s indeed a prodigy. As soon as he hit 12 years old, he was granted a position as an assistant librarian from the royal library.
David took interest in reading all of the books in my library, but unlike Ed, he didn’t look like a prodigy from a first glance.
Ed’s strength is in his flexible judgment towards different situations, something that came from an adult’s way of thinking and experience. He mastered magic at a faster rate than David, he even set his foot earlier than David. But unlike David who was genuinely talented in that field, all of Ed’s achievements came from his experiences in his previous life.
Edgar has his memories from his previous life.
That is the reason he is so knowledgeable despite his age, and that doesn’t include his knowledge from another world.
That knowledge from another world proves to be useful in this world. Those who try to invent something new tend to be eccentric, even detached from the regular world. But when Ed was talking about things from his previous life, he didn’t sound weird or detached from this world.
When I heard that he had his memories from his previous life, rather than surprise, it feels like I finally understand something.
Ed was the type to prefer individual work than group work, perhaps his way of thinking may possibly be formed from the way he lived back in his previous world. Even though he may have known a lot of people in his previous life, I really doubt that he had knitted a close person-to-person relationship to any of them, at least that was my guess.
Looking at me who was lost in my own thoughts, Ed stopped his spear and asked.
Ed had raised his 【Spear Techniques】 to level 7.
Frankly, I’m almost running out of things to teach to him…
Last year when he asked me to teach him spear, I was so happy that I can finally act like a father. Thanks to the skill that Goddess-sama gave him, the amount of exercise he did couldn’t be compared to ordinary people and he caught up with me in no time.
Furthermore, his experience with a thing called “Fighting Games” that he did in previous life, his strategy and sense were comparable to a veteran.
「It’s just… you’re starting to catching up these days」
「Ah no, based on spear techniques alone, I think father is still stronger」
or so he said. Even though as he raised his 【Spear Techniques】 level, mine has grown as well. At this point, I don’t know who is teaching who.
Or rather, does Ed really need spear skills?
As his father, I’m starting to question why would he ask me to teach him.
「Even so, I feel like we are repeating the same things in our spar these days」
「Then should I use Master level magic in our sparing matches from now on?」
By the way, it seems that even when other people see us using Master Class level skills, it won’t really cause much of an uproar.
「That’s fine. I haven’t used my frost magic since my 【Spear Techniques】 leveled up considerably」
As the prize of Ed’s previous achievements, I gained an ownership of a dungeon called the Abandoned Ancient Firedrake Nest. The dungeon was avoided by adventurers since there are many humanoid monsters, but it’s an ideal place to train the knights. I went there personally with my knights to raise our level and skill level.
Thanks to that, I had gained 5 levels. All of my subordinates had also gained the minimum HP to mitigate the instant kill effects of 【Assassination Skills】 which is 40 HP.
According to Ed’s 【Appraisal】, my subordinate knights, the Chrebl’s Knight Order, is now comparable to the best men of the Imperial Guard’s Knights Order. Since the other nobles will take this information as a sign of rebellion, Ed had emphasized to make sure to never disclose this information.
Regarding the Royal Guards which I lead, they are not my private soldiers so I can’t order them to participate in this training. However, a knight needs to be high leveled and have high skill levels to join the Royal Guard in the first place, so they must have some sort of self-discipline. Even though no one is forcing them to grow, they are surrounded by strong people left and right which in turn will make them more competitive with each other.
「Tousan, shall we go?」
As soon as I nodded, Ed clad his spear in 【Lightning Magic】 and closed in.
Using the metallic spear, anything it touches will receive an electric shock and suffer an abnormal condition.
I clad my spear in 【Wind Magic】 and diverted the attack while paying attention not to touch the spear directly. At the same time, I made a mist with 【Water Magic】 and cooled it down with 【Wind Spirit Magic】.
However, Ed noticed it and scattered my mist with his own wind.
After his【Wind Spirit Magic】 I used ∃-Erase that I just learned from Julia to scatter his mana.
That caught him off-guard.
Using that gap I chanted,
「O spirit of the earth, bind this enemy of mine!」
I used spirit magic to restrain Ed’s foot.
Of course, he can easily break the bind in no time, but for me, that delay was enough.
I clad my spear in frost and wind and secure Ed’s spear, then I pointed my spear at the defenseless Ed.
He said while raising both of his hands.
「Obviously. Did you learn that from Julia-kaasan?」
「Of course. I need to throw in a secret move once in a while to keep you from being bored」
「I don’t know what else tousan will throw at me, but I will definitely not get bored.
Ah, but 【Spirit Magic】 is Legendary-class, so you broke the rules」
I can’t believe I just made a foul play.
Ed gave off an impish laugh as he was teasing me for my blunder.
That was mean, but it wasn’t such a bad smile.
(TL: I think everyone with high enough level can learn [element] spirit magic but the real spirit magic can only be learned naturally by elf descendants)
He seemed to regained his energy. Ever since he came back from 〈Yatagarasu〉, he looked visibly depressed.
I asked him once about it which he answered 「Just thinking about death」.
That is not something a 2-years old should worry about.
Ed appears normal on the outside, but despite everything, I still worried about him.
It’s impossible to deny that living nearly 4 months with a group of assassins had left a deep impact on him.
No, I think it had started since he killed the leader of 〈Black Wolf Fang〉 back in Ranzrack fortress.
To which extent those experiences affected him is the real question.
Furthermore, Ed has his memories from his previous life.
Even when those memories granted him the experience he needed to overcome the fight in Ranzrack and Yatagarasu, I’m not sure if I should thank the goddess Atrazenec for it.
However, Ed’s case was too unique, no one can imagine being in his place.
Regarding ups and downs in life, as a noble, I have my own share of troubles as I grew. But Ed’s case was too unique, no one in this world can really relate to him.
In hope to try understanding him, I tried applying my own experience, anything similar to relate to his mind.
Thinking about death……
I remembered the event 5 years ago…
It was the time before I met Julia. My whole life was a mess. I didn’t think my life could get even worse after that point.
Unfortunately for me, I faced another wave of troubles 6 months after Julia gave birth, but you know the story.
But at that time, roughly speaking.
It was when I just lost my beloved wife to a sickness.
At that time, Belhart and David were just leaving our residence in Corbette village, just starting their apprenticeship in Knight’s Order and Royal Library respectively.
Chester, who was just started working as an adventurer, came back to see the situation every now and then. One day, I was just reaching our residence but the quietness felt amiss.
At times like this, some men will try to find something to do to escape the emptiness. However, I don’t have the willpower to do anything.
Apart from doing necessary decisions to manage my territory, I always withdrew myself into my room. I couldn’t sleep at night and I kept having a terrible headache as I woke up.
One day, a letter came from His Majesty the King.
We were forming an army near the Ranzrack Fortress to prepare to “poke” at the Sonorat Kingdom. The army was led by the famous general, Marquis Fergusson, and his Majesty appointed me as his aide.
Marquis Fergusson was known as a cheerful conservative in the military, but on the battlefield, he’s known to flip off and go berserk.
Based on the letter sent by his Majesty, I assumed that my role was to stop Marquis Fergusson when needed.
I didn’t have the motivation, but I couldn’t refuse his Majesty either.
Besides, I had the feeling that his Majesty was trying to push me forward.
Visgard and I studied at the same year back in the military academy. Back then, we were so close that we used 「Ore-Omae」 instead of 「Boku-Kimi」 in everyday conversation.
We seemed to grow distant after he was crowned as the King, but I am glad that he still cared about my situation even now.
Even though I should be grateful, I felt more annoyed for the consideration.
But I must keep my true feelings silent for now.
During a break.
「How did Alfred-tousan and Julia-kaasan met?」
Ed seemed interested in how we met.
To be honest, it’s unlikely for a noble like me and an adventurer like Julia to have many points of contact.
Even though it’s quite a mature thought for a 3 years old… or is it normal to wonder about how your parents met?
I decided to tell him the event that happened 5 years ago.
「It was 5 years before now. I think about 2 years before you were born.
There was a rumor that the feudal lords of southern-part of Sonorat were forming an alliance to attack us from Ranzrack. Since the battle happened in Golhatta, it was known as Golhatta Campaign」
「This is the Sonorat which were currently in a civil war? They were going to attack Santamana? And why is it only the southern feudal lords?」
「In that year, the harvest of starch crops in the southern part of Sonorat was drastically declined. Meanwhile, my territory in the north-western part of the Santamana Kingdom was having a good harvest due to the innovation in the agricultural technology. The Sonorat soldiers were too starved to keep the southern frontlines in check, so the feudal lords set aside their past grudges and attempted to invade Santamana」
Marquis Chrebl’s Territory ー at that time, it was a viscount’s territory. The crops yield were increased significantly after my rule. I just enrich the farmland as much as possible, thanks to the teaching from my elven mother.
However, fortune and misfortune are just like the sides of a coin, the good harvest caused war.
「Their southern feudal lords alliance intended to dig a narrow pass through the ridge passing the Ranzrack Fortress and send in their massive army. As they built a fort at the base behind the ridge and combining their troops, they used the war prisoners to dig through the ridge. The project was almost finished when the Santamana Kingdom noticed the movements from the other side and gathered the soldiers together.
However, they didn’t appear to be prepared to move soon. Not their supply squad, not their soldiers, not even their makeshift base were prepared to move.
We still don’t know the reasons, but this seemed like a good opportunity. If their alliance couldn’t move because of their insufficient weapons, we can hit them here and stop their movements altogether. And so, Marquis Fergusson, the general trusted by the Santamana Kingdom for the task, decided to preempt the first strike against Sonorat…」
(TL: I’m not used to reading war novels so there may be inconsistencies in terminologies like soldiers/troops/knights and general/commander)
The Santamana Kingdom prepared 30 thousand men for this campaign. The knights numbered 10 thousand, which was a quarter of knights in the Kingdom back then. The other 20 thousand were recruited soldiers.
I, myself, enlisted about 200 of both knights and soldiers from my own territory to add the manpower.
Based on our information, the Sonorat’s Southern Feudal Lord Union army numbered about 10-12 thousand men. They were staying in a makeshift fortress. However, the fort was made to invade the Santamana Kingdom, but it still couldn’t perform sufficient function as a fort yet. The outside walls were made of stone, but the insides were still made of wood. Furthermore, it was said that some part of the walls still remained open from the lack of materials due to transport speed.
To the Santamana Kingdom, it’s like they are offering themselves on a silver platter.
No matter how you look at it…
No matter how incompetent their general is, anyone would know that being open in that position would be bad for their lives.
If that’s the case, this is probably a trap.
General Fergusson ignored me and announced the start of the campaign.
This time, the enemy soldiers start leaving the fortress, probably taking their positiーeven the soldiers from the other side of the fort are leaving?
It’s strange no matter how you think of it.
Especially since their enemy’s soldier were taking the initiative and coming over to them. They shoot fire arrows, and insults, and they specifically insult General Fergusson personally.
「Sir, I think we should wait and see」
General Fergusson was furious after hearing my remark.
「What is there to see!? The enemy army has given up their fort to desperately fight a defensive battle on the field. Looking at these situation, what the hell are you thinking!?」
「Of course, we outnumbered them by a great margin. but, our geographical advantage on the other hand」
I fixed my eyes on his while saying so.
「fuun… Are you scared, half-elf?
If you are so worried, you can take the scout units. Scout around all you want and relieve your concern」
「Then…… I’ll gladly take up that offer」
It was past mid-noon when I said so.
I led 40 men from scout units and led them to spy on the main force.
Of course, I went into the forest for precaution and taking pathless road, which only known by woodcutters. For that purpose, I hired adventurers and peddlers as guides.
The adventurer was Julia Lancelot.
She was known for her high MP pool and powerful fire magic, but my first impression of her was that she was an “Elusive and Happy-go-lucky woman”.
And the peddler was Bill Poporus. He was a young and energetic merchant who was seeking big profits in trading, like dancing on the war.
Like the adventurer, Julia, Poporus-san was tough-footed as well.
We went through the forest without much problem.
After a while, we found a group that looked like an enemy ambush reinforcements.
“As I expected” I thought.
It was probably their strategy to ambush us from this location…
Suddenly, I noticed enemy scouts were approaching.
We quickly withdrew and took a big detour from the ambush squad.
We need to rush back quickly, but at that time, our main Santamana army had reached the valley of the ridge, ready to be ambushed.
General Fergusson didn’t wait for me from my reconnaissance and carried out an attack to the enemy’s main units.
The enemy soldiers panicked and threw away their formation and quickly ran back into the fort.
General Fergusson took this opportunー He was caught in an ambush from his left and right side of the ridge!
Looking at that situation, their previously running frontline came back into formation, trapping the Santamana Kingdom’s army even further.
That day, 30 thousand soldiers of Santamana Kingdom’s army vanished in an instant.