Chapter 146: A Trap Called Custom
“Katalina, come with me. Meril, what will you do? Are you going back for now?”
“No, I have something to talk with you…..Could I wait here?”
“All right. I’ll be back as soon as the meeting with the sister ends, so you can take your time and relax until then.”
She sat right next to the still collapsed Albert; I took Katalina with me and went to the reception room.
Being alone with the sister in a locked room is kind of scary.
To say nothing of the fact that she’s he next Pope-sama……..I’m glad Katalina is here.
“We’ve kept you waiting. Sister……..You helped us a lot during Bea’s delivery.”
“Thank you for your consideration-nya.”
This was a proud way of talking but it can’t be helped for an archduke.
Instead, Katalina said an expression of thanks.
If I were to say it, it would’ve been all sorts of problematic.
“No, it was only natural since this was God’s intent. The trees in which small birds take shelter from rain don’t say anything. The same goes for the huge trees which look up at the clear sky. Also, the dark clouds let the rain fall above the ground evenly……..Your excellency, Archduke Zest, what do you think of this rain?”
I was confused by the junky talk just now.
Moreover, I was asked a question……I have no idea what to answer.
On the side, Katalina’s eyes were wide open. It seems that she didn’t understand either.
“Right. The rain?……It brings blessings, but, at the same time, it also brings calamity. In short, it has a bipolar meaning, right? Sister, do you have any word of advice for me?”
Shocked, Katalina turned around to look at me.
You get surprised too easily, you know? I just said this casually. I didn’t understand a thing the sister said, so don’t get your hopes too high.
“You are just like Pope-sama described you in the letter……This was a wonderful answer. A miracle born from God’s power.”
She said and made a praying pose.
It appears that my answer was correct…….Oi, understanding your words and giving you an answer turns this into a miracle?
Besides, did she receive a letter from that fridge?
“In a house where land beings and sea beings coexist, trials will often happen. The sea dwellers can’t always grant water. Also, it can’t be said that the sea people don’t need water!”
This….I can’t catch up with her words……
Still, she kind of seems different today, doesn’t she? She looks like she wants to convey something important to me, but I have no clue about the meaning.
“Trials, huh?……Katalina, what do you think?”
Maybe because the sister looked at her, wearing a rare serious expression on her face, or maybe because I suddenly brought her into this discussion, Katalina’s shoulders shook a little.
“Ri-right-nya. Let’s deal with them immediately, your excellency.”
“As expected from Katalina. Sister, please rest assured.”
“Aah! I feel like the first time when I entered a chapel. The wind which slides over the calm water surface and swings the trees’ leaves must feel this way too. In delight, the forest trees grow new buds. Even though it’s not necessary.”
At Katalina’s reply, the sister returned this, smiling and nodding.……She was probably very pleased…..Probably.
Is this something that we have to hurry to deal with? This I understood clearly.
Since lately, I am quite in close terms with the sister, she came to warn me, I wonder?
“So, what did she mean in the end? I didn’t understand a thing!”
“……Me too……I didn’t understand what she said-nya!”
Alone in the reception room, Katalina and I stared at each other without saying a word.
“I can’t criticize you since I didn’t understand either, but……..there must have been other ways to answer that question. The way you did, it seemed like we completely understood the situation, you know?”
“Forgive me-nya. She looked different than usual so I felt agitated……..”
We returned to my office, but the problem wasn’t resolved.
And I can’t go the sister to ask her about this again……This is troubling.
“Your excellency. You seem busy so we can talk another day if you want.”
Meril said in a low voice.
No, no. Since I’m going back to the country of elves, we have to talk now, otherwise I don’t know when we can do this again.
“It’s all right. We’ll do this now. This problem won’t get solved no matter how much we worry about it, so don’t mind it.”
“Understood. I said I wanted to consult with you, but in fact it is about me and Albert’s married couple’s business.”
Without thinking, I spurt out the tea inside my mouth.
Katalina coughed too.
Ma-married couple’s business…….What the heck is she trying to say……
“Your excellency, are you all right?”
“Listen, Meril. Are YOU all right? Talking about a married couple’s business, you know.”
“So this is what they call a natural airhead-nya! It’s scary-nya!”
She gapped at my and Katalina’s words, but she seemed to understand the meaning, because her face turned bright red.
Flustered, she kept waving her hands and she talked.
“It-it’s different! I wanted to say marital relationship.”
“Hm? How is this different? You two got married because you liked each other, didn’t you?”
“Yes. Since I am a human, I learned a little about the kemonobito people’s customs, for his sake. However, I can’t put up with this anymore.”
“Yeah. Many couples of humans and kemonobito on our territory don’t seem to get along too well-nya.”
Is that so? Well, there are many mixed couples on my territory.
Also, I got reports recently that this has started to give birth to all sorts of problems.
I never imagined that a noble like Meril would ever talk about this.
“Well, calm down now. Why do you think like this? Did Albert cheat on you? Should I cut off one of his arms?”
“No, it is my fault! He did nothing wrong!”
She cried as she took out the whip from her chest region.
As I said before, that place is not a container.
“This is the cause. I can’t put up with whipping him anymore. I hate it.”
“……Well, they have some frightening customs.”
“You didn’t seem happy before, your face looked rather hollow-nya.”
“Katalina, what will happen if you stop using the whip? From the kemonobito folk’s point of view?”
“That’s……Being all right while getting whipped is also for display-nya. It’s impossible not to do it-nya. But, if not a whip, then something painful is all right too-nya.”
“I see…..So you have to hit hard? You can’t do it lightly?”
“Among kemonobito, it is an unspoken agreement that they go easy on each other. However, since humans usually hit them hard, this result often turns out-nya.”
“Eeh!? You can hit them lightly too!?”
Surprised, Meril stood up and she shouted.
“That’s right-nya. Even though it looks like the partner hits hard, the agreement is that they go easy on the other-nya. Still, a kemonobito will never talk about this-nya. It’s……..because our race’s pride-nya.”
“I can’t believe this…..I thought that my affection for Albert will be perceived depending on how strong I hit him…….”
“Well, men want to honor such things-nya. It’s really a troublesome custom-nya.”
“Then, maybe if you’ll tell me more about it……”
“It’s prohibited for other people to talk about it-nya. This is a married couple’s talk, so, if I say more than a piece of advice, I’d be treated like I’m meddling into something that is none of my business-nya.”
Such a troublesome custom…..It’s full of traps……
We must do something, otherwise it might turn ugly.
“A display, huh?……For example, if we created something line this……..”
I explained my plan to both of them.
I folded a piece of paper and explained, and the girls sat down, listening to me.
Once I created and used that thing in practice, their excitement rose to a climax.
“This is amazing-nya! We must mass-produce this right away-nya!”
“This way I’ll be all right too! Thank you very much, your excellency!”
“I know I came up with this myself, but is this truly enough to solve this matter?”
Because they were kind of too happy, I pulled back a little. The girls’ tension was at a max level.
“This is a ground-breaking invention-nya. Your excellency, this means hope for all the mixed couples-nya!”
“If I had this from the beginning, we wouldn’t have come to this…..Your excellency, please give your permission for all couples on your dominion to use this thing!”
“Ah, yeah. I don’t mind. Everyone can use this to their heart’s content. Is this all? Then, I’d like to go to Bea and Whis’ place if you don’t mind……”
“We won’t let anyone intrude. Please take your time and relax.”
And so, I managed to spend the rest of my time here with my family. This refreshed my spirit.
The time spent with my wife and holding my baby in my arms…….In order to protect his happiness, I’ll have to deal with the country of elves quickly!
I thought about this again.
Several days later, by the time I left for the country of elves, the new item was announced in grand fashion all throughout my dominion.
At that time, the following announcement was spread and it addressed everyone in my name, causing a major uproar.
And……this is also connected to the incident that happened later…….
‘This is to inform all mixed couples
I know about the kemonobito folk’s custom to use a whip on the partner in order to show sincerity and bravery.
We must value this custom and we need to tell the future generations about it.
However, hitting the partner with a whip is halfhearted.
Since I prepared for you a new weapon from a different world, you will use it to show your affection even more.
This doesn’t mean you will cast aside tradition. This will become the new tradition and custom on my entire dominion. Therefore, worrying is useless.
Take the initiative and use this at your hearts’ content, as a custom in the Tarminal region.
However, be warned that during the use, loud voices will come out.
Grun Empire, Archduke, 1st Rank Imperial Mage, Zest-Gaiyus-Tarminal’
“Oi, this means the end of us!”
“Yeah, a weapon from a different world…….I’ll definitely die.”
“Until now we were close to that too…….What will happen from now on…….”
In order to confirm the use and strength of this new weapon, a few people were called and gathered in front of my mansion.
The one selected were all married kemonobito people.
They all had human wives and husbands.
They all stood in rows with pale faces.
In front of them, the fully armed black knights and war maidens prepared their weapons.
“Are you ready-nya? Then, start-nya!”
At Katalina’s order, they all wielded their weapons simultaneously.
These were trained elite soldiers……They couldn’t even compare to the wives and husbands of the people gathered here.
However, this was his excellency’s orders so no one could oppose this…….The participants quickly gritted their teeth.
A dry excellent sound drifted about the entire plaza.
The onlookers and the participants’ spouses covered their faces.
This sound…….sounded like nothing they’ve heard before.
The participants can’t possibly be all right after this……
“I-I am alive?”
“Eh? Did something happen just now?”
The black knights holding the weapons murmured to the blankly looking participants.
“This is the foreign weapon that his excellency created. There is no better thing to show one’s spirit other than this. Its power is precisely as you felt it. This is his excellency’s consideration towards you……From now on, this is what your partners will use.”
Dumbfounded, the participants received the new weapon and they started to slowly comprehend this unthinkable situation.
“This doesn’t hurt as much as the whip!”
“Aah, there’s not even a need to go easy on us!”
“This way we can protect our kemonobito pride!!”
“From now on the whip is banned-nya! This new weapon, the harisen 1, will be used for the kemonobito folk’s custom-nya!”
“ “ “ “Your excellency archduke Zest, banzai 2!!!!!!!!!!!!” “ “ “
The savior of mixed couples……If we are to get married, then we better go live on the archduke’s dominion!
Such rumors spread, which became the trigger of the explosive population growth on my territory; people started to immigrate here from many nations.
1. Here’s what a harisen looks like and how it’s used (I’m sure you’ve seen this before)
2. Celebratory cheer