Chapter 74: Return (2)


[Physis' POV]

 

Upon hearing the news of our return, Duke Johannes and Duchess Claudia welcomed us very warmly.

 

“You've returned.”

 

“We've returned, Father, Mother.”

 

“We've returned.”

 

“Yes.
Did anything happen at Ortaire?”

 

“No.
We had a peaceful rest.”

 

“That's good to hear.”

 

Adilun hugged the two of them once and then came next to me.

 

“Did Physis have a good rest too?”

 

“Yes.”

 

I replied with a smile, and Duke Johannes, who had just seen Adilun's expression brightens, looked at me with a satisfied look.

 

“Have both of you had your meals?”

 

As Duchess Claudia brought up the topic of meals, we both nodded our heads.

 

“Yes, we ate in Ortaire.”

 

“Then there's no need to prepare a meal.
Alright, let's save the stories for dinner later.
Oh, Adilun.”

 

“Yes, Mother?”

 

“Let's talk for a moment.”

 

“Yes.”

 

After Adilun and Duchess Claudia left their seats, I faced Duke Johannes, who was looking at me.

 

“By the way, I have something to say…
I feel a little sorry for bringing up this matter to someone who just came back from vacation, but I’m saying it because it’s necessary.”

 

“Please go ahead.”

 


“Physis, can you take charge of training our knights?”

 

“What?”

 

“I've been hearing rumors that the appearance of monsters near the Frozen Wall has increased recently.
That's why I sent Lucas to the vicinity of the Frozen Wall.
He'll probably come back soon and explain the situation to me…
but strangely, I can't shake off this feeling of unease.”

 

'The Frozen Wall and Monsters…'

 

I was momentarily surprised that the time had already come, but I didn't show it.

 

“…I see.
But isn't it too early for me to take charge of training the knights?”

 

“Well, all the knights here already know your skills.
And since you've always trained with the knights of Rodenov, the knights won't have any trouble following your orders.
Besides, if Adilun is going to succeed me, you'll eventually have to take charge of the knights as well, right?”

 

“That's true.
Um…
I understand for now.
So, when should I start?”

 

“From tomorrow.
And if the situation worsens, we'll prepare a separate subjugation party.
We should stop the monsters from gathering before they become a bigger threat.”

 

“I understand, Your Excellency.”

 

“Good.
That's all for now.
Oh, wait, there's one more thing I wanted to ask…”

 

“Ah, what is it?”

 

“When would be a good time for your wedding? Once this matter is over, it wouldn't be a bad idea to start preparing for the ceremony.”

 

“That, already… … I mean…?”

 

“Already? It's been a year and a half since the two of you got engaged.
Other families would have already held the ceremony and moved on.
I hope you don't dislike the idea.”

 

“I would never.”

 

“Well, then give it some serious thought.
I noticed Adilun's expression brightened…
and when I saw you, I had a strong feeling of trust.
If that's the case, it's likely that a certain level of trust has formed.”

 

“…That's true.
I understand.”

 

After nodding my head, I returned to my room.

 

'Marriage.
Marriage…
Marriage…'

 

Seeing everyone talking about it like this, definitely meant that the relationship between Adilun and me looked quite good to others.
It was something to be happy about.

 

Moreover, it was not even six months away now.
We should start preparing soon.

 

Of course, after resolving the Northern Monster Invasion.


 

* * *

[Adilun's POV]

 

“Adilun, did you have a good rest in Ortaire?”

 

“Yes, Mother.”

 

“Will you tell me what you saw? I'm curious to hear.”

 

My mother asked about my time in Ortaire.
Perhaps because I haven't been away from Rodenov for such a long time before, she wanted to know my impressions.

 

“First…
the wheat field was beautiful.
It felt like waves of golden color, as if a golden river had unfolded.
And…”

 

“The wheat field? Ah, I know it well.
You see, Physis' mother showed it to me when I was young.”

 

“Oh, did you already know the Countess?”

 

“Didn’t I tell you? That was the main reason you and Physis got engaged.”

 

“Really?”

 

“We made a promise a long time ago.
If she had two children, she would marry the second one to my family.
Physis was a boy, and you were a girl, so in the end, you both got engaged.”

 

“But…
originally, didn't you want to compete with other noble families and didn't like him much?”

 

“That's true.
Physis had such a bad reputation.
And in the past year…
um, I don't want to think about that.
It's because he has become so wonderful now, but before that…”

 

“Ahahaha, that's true.”

 

Indeed, last year's Physis and this year's Physis were completely different people…
I understood why Mother had been so worried.

 

“Well…
Since His Majesty stopped paying attention to the provinces and we have to find a way to live together, we resorted to this kind of strategy, but it can be said that you two were destined to be together from the beginning.”

 

“I see…”

 

“Anyway, so you've had enough sightseeing in Ortaire?”

 

“Yes.
We traveled around here and there, but staying in the castle was still the best.”

 

“The castle?”

 

“Yes.
You know I don't really enjoy wandering around.”

 

“That's true.
But spending a month in the castle must have been quite boring, right? There wasn't even your magical workshop there.”


 

“Well…”

 

I couldn't help feeling a little embarrassed to admit that I simply enjoyed being with Physis.
Unconsciously, my face turned red, and Mother looked at me attentively, then glanced at my neck, with her eyes widening.

 

“Oh my.
What's that on your neck?”

 

“Oh, this? It's…”

 

I was momentarily speechless.
I didn't want to come up with a lame excuse like it was a bug bite.
It was a kind of evidence that Physis and I had formed a relationship.

 

Of course, it wasn't a proper relationship, after all, we didn't cross the line.

 

“It seems like you had a great time with Physis.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

I said with a hint of regret, but my mother didn't seem to notice that, and she gave me a slightly mischievous smile.

 

“Hehe.
I'm glad to hear that.
I was worried when you two didn't get along…
I even considered breaking off the engagement.
I thought maybe we were just tying together children who weren't a good match because of our greed.
But seeing it turn out like this…
maybe it was fate.”

 

“Fate…”

 

“By the way, if you had such a good time together…
it's about time to start preparing for the wedding.”

 

Mother smiled at me and added another word.

 

“Wedding preparations, huh?”

 

“Yes.
It's been a year and a half since you got engaged…
It's about time to finalize the wedding.
You have overcome the crisis of breaking off the engagement, and now it's obvious to everyone that you two are a lovely couple who support each other.”

 

“That…
Yes.”

 

“What about you? Do you want to date him a little longer?”

 

“…Yes.
But still, I think getting married would be better.”

 

“Oh my, why is that?”

 

“When I visited Ortaire this time, there were hundreds of letters from noble ladies addressed to Physis.”

 

“What?”

 

“It seems they were impressed by his good behavior during the National Foundation Day…
And perhaps because of his natural good looks, such attention came his way.”


 

“My goodness.
I never expected him to be that popular.”

 

“Neither did I.
So I was surprised and burned all those letters.
Did I do something wrong?”

 

At my words, my mother shook her head.

 

“No, you did the right thing, Adilun.
Whenever there are people clinging to him, you should get rid of them.
You can't deceive your instincts, and I know it because I did the same thing.”

 

“Anyway, seeing that there are many people aiming for Physis…
I think it's better to quickly confirm the relationship by getting married.”

 

“When would you like to have the wedding?”

 

“Six months later.”

 

“Six months later… … Alright.
Let's take it slow and start preparing accordingly.
It's a bit chaotic in the northern region these days, so it might be difficult to do it right away.”

 

“Chaotic?”

 

“Oh, right.
I forgot to mention this.
It seems that the monsters beyond the Frozen Wall are gradually revealing themselves.
They must have grown by feeding on people's negative emotions.
As soon as Lucas returns from inspecting the Frozen Wall, your father plans to organize a subjugation force to subjugate them.”

 

“Monsters? Isn't that dangerous?”

 

“It's too early to determine the exact scale…
but it appears to be a problem that needs to be addressed swiftly.
Reports from near the Frozen Wall indicate that it is on a larger scale than before…
It's a bit unsettling.”

 

“It's a big problem…
Could I be of any help?”

 

“It seems that this time you also need to step forward.
It's not enough to just be enthusiastic and our daughter.
There will be many responsibilities that you will have to bear in the future.
It wouldn't be bad for you to face those responsibilities on this occasion.
So be prepared.”

 

“Yes, Mother.”

 

“Of course, you and Physis will always be together, so you can be reassured about that.”

 

“Yes…”

 

The monsters in the northern region…
I felt a little melancholy knowing that our peace would be disrupted for a while.
However, at the same time, I felt relieved that I could protect the place I love with Physis.

 

I have never clearly determined the extent of my own magic…
but at least in Rodenov, there was no mage stronger than me, so I could probably be quite helpful.

 

Looking back, I was glad I didn't cross the line with him in Ortaire.
After all, I wouldn't be able to deal with the northern monsters if I was pregnant.

 

“Well, go now.
You probably have things to discuss with Physis.
Let's talk more at dinner.”

 

“Yes, Mother.”

 

I stepped out into the winter garden and headed straight for Physis' room.
I felt like there were some things I needed to talk to him about.

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