Owkay….I have no idea what to say to you to forgive me ><
Even I didn’t expect that my break would end up being this long…
But if there are things I learned from this time’s “journey” is that life is too short to waste it on shit and too unpredictable to have the time to feel sorry about it later…(rip, fallen soul…)
And on a brighter note, I promise you now that I will work hard these days to upload all the chapters that I’ve missed the past two weeks.
And so, today you’ll have two chapters, followed by another two chapters tomorrow, until I clear my ‘debt’…
Sorry again and ENJOY! ^^
Chapter 42: Greetings to my Mother-in-law
I looked at the ‘young’ maid in front of me.
She had black eyes and black hair…….She looked like a smart but somewhat strict woman….. I see, she is similar to ….the young lady.
I restrained my trembling body and voice.
“I’m pleased to meet you…..or that’s how we should start, right, mother? I am Zest.”
I somehow managed to say these words without my voice going all over the place.
“Nice to meet you too, Zest. Haha, are you surprised?”
She smiled like she had just succeeded to prank me; in fact, she did succeed…
“I never thought my mother-in-law would wear a maid’s uniform…..It’s natural to feel surprised.”
It was an honest answer.
“Haha, forgive me, okay? I was also surprised by your actions in the bathroom, you know. Sonia, hold back your killing intent! I already explained you, right?”
She hit my master with her folded fan in the head.
…… Are you all right? It sounded like it might have hurt.
“Actually, his Majesty asked me to test you. But don’t get angry, okay?”
She leaned her head to one side and glared at me with shiny, upturned eyes….. She wanted to charm me, this old…..’young’ woman….But she’s my mother-in-law after all.
“I won’t get angry, mother.”
I smiled and decided to confront the matter.
“It was a trial to test my humanity, to see whether I can be used as a noble and to verify whether I have bad feelings towards the empire, am I right? Mother, are you perhaps the 4th Rank Imperial Mage?”
The kind smile she showed me until now disappeared completely, with the malicious Frontier Count-like smile taking its place instead.
“Well, well, what makes you think that?”
Her aura is definitely not that of a maid’s.
She releases the pressure of being a member of a great noble family….that holds the title “Frontier Count”.
“First, you were present during the secret meeting with his Majesty. At that moment, I thought that you were no ordinary maid, that you perhaps had a connection to our talk or something. Next, you appeared in the bathroom too, even though the maids in charge of bath activities are always the same. Moreover, it was very unnatural for a maid to be allowed to take part to a secret meeting with the Emperor.”
I paused for a few moments to sip some black tea.
“From that point, I decided I must be vigilant, thinking that you were under some sort of a secret mission from the Emperor in order to test me out. From my current position, it’s really easy to understand the reasons for this test…..A man who showed up unexpectedly, and he even achieved spiritification. The Frontier Count’s Household is pleased with him, but is he loyalty towards the empire? Can he be used, as a noble? What can we offer him in order to be able to control him?”
Haha, I really am a suspicious guy…..
“Therefore, I had to be tested, right?”
I asked with a grin.
“It’s good you understand your place. And then?”
“Yes, now that your magical power isn’t concealed, I can clearly feel it. You are no ordinary mage, so I thought that you might be an Imperial Mage….However, offering the 1st Rank to someone from the Frontier Count’s Household means too much political power in the hands of the Frontier Count. Then, what about the 2nd and 3rd Rank? This was impossible too, for the first 3 Ranks are supposed to take turns to participate in wars, so they would be too cruel to offer a young woman such a seat…..In that case”
“You thought that the 4th Rank was the most appropriate answer.”
We both drank some tea.
I didn’t think I was mistaken.
I glanced at my mother-in-law, and saw her face turn red and her eyes filled with fascination.
What’s wrong, are you all right?
“Sonia….We can’t let go of this child. He’s too cute…..It’s really worth training him.”
“Right? I already taught him basic magic. Do you feel like training him too?”
……..Please stop. I’m gonna die.
Being incompetent means sure death, but why is the opposite situation dangerous as well?
“His magical powers are strong, so there’s no problem here, and he even achieved spiritification. He has enough knowledge to not fall into other nobles’ traps, and he is a light attribute user…..Ah! He’s perfect for being Bea’s husband! Sonia, I’m coming to the wedding too!”
“I know, Lamia. It’s our cute Bea’s wedding, after all.”
Urm, will you please stop?
It’s good that you both feel excited, but try to at least keep it moderate.
They grasped each other’s hands and looked into each other’s eyes. I took my eyes off the couple and was about to drink some tea….when I realized there was no tea left in my cup.
I’ll just go pour some myself.
I already finished my second cup.
My mother-in-law finally decided to leave their own world and started to talk in a rushed manner.
“Yes, Zest. I, Lamia, the 4th Rank Imperial Mage, recognize you. The test is over and you passed it. You can feel at ease for I will report this to his Majesty.”
“Thank you, mother.”
I sighed. I was in the clear for the moment.
Well, his Majesty was worried, I guess.
A man shows up all of a sudden and becomes a husband in the Frontier Count’s Household. He even successfully achieves spiritification.
The Emperor could only accept his merits, but what if this man turns out to be a traitor?
What if this man is a big idiot who won’t adapt to the world of nobles?
It’s normal to doubt such an ‘unclear’ man.
Promoting him without confirming his personality, might affect the Emperor as well.
I can relax now and enjoy the imperial capital, without being forced to leave.
I let out a sigh of relief and ate some sweets.
Yes, they were rather delicious.
“However, this will be a problem….He’s too excellent…..”
“I fear so too……In this case……..Right?”
They agreed with each other, then frowned.
What is it?
Why are you unsatisfied?
I’m too excellent?…..
That ‘too’ is troubling me…..
Ah, I see now.
This is indeed troubling.
“Is it that, the Frontier Count’s Household might attain too much political power?”
This should be it.
Such an amazing achievement like spiritification is not something anyone can ignore.
For that reason, it was made known in the empire and the surrounding countries that I would become the 1st Rank Imperial Mage.
However, the Frontier Count will have two Imperial Mages under his ‘control’.
The Count is reliable, but the Emperor must keep the power balance in place.
This was the situation.
“That’s right….It’s bad for the Frontier Count’s Household to have four Imperial Mages….”
“Mother, are they really four?”
Did I mishear?
“Yes. My father, the Frontier Count, was the former 1st Rank, now he’s the 2nd Rank. Sonia was the former 2nd Rank, now he’s the 3rd. Yet, there were many complaints addressed against us until now. ‘The Frontier Count’s Household has three Imperial Mages under its command’ and the likes.”
‘This is troublesome’ was the expression on my mother-in-law’s face when she looked at my master and smiled.
Isn’t this a very bad situation?
I will start complaining, you know…
“And this time, there will be four people. We will monopolize the first four Ranks. This is bad. Will everything be all right?……”
Mother, I don’t think it will be.
After all, you also think this way; that’s why you tried to drink tea from an empty cup.
Something like monopolizing the four strongest battle powers……
This sure is stressing the Emperor out.
Master was the one to interrupt the silence.
“Zest……It might be impossible for you to become Bea’s husband after all……”
My master said, his face pained……..
I silently stared at him……..
DA BEST (among the worst): Mockii