Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 76

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All Might Magician Episode 076

Luina.

My only younger sister, who is four years younger than me, and now she has turned twelve.

The Luina I remember was a cute six-year-old who knew nothing but her brother.

“..Brother?”

It’s been already 6 years, and now she seems to have grown into a proper young lady.

Luina, having spotted me on the mansion terrace, startled and hurriedly ran down the stairs, kicking open the door to come out.

And then.

“Brother!”

She charged straight into my chest and hugged me tightly.

I gently caught her, careful not to hurt her, and gave a slight smile.

“Am I too late? Sorry.”

She might have grown taller, but her face and behavior were still the same Luina I remembered.

She’s still very much a child at heart.

At that moment, Faison, a local noble watching us, teased Luina.

“Miss, didn’t you say you would kick your brother in the shin when he returned?”

“What?’”

“Hehe, but seeing him now, it seems you have forgotten all about shins, haven’t you?”

“……That’s right!”

Luina, seeming to have remembered something, leaped out of my arms and landed on the ground, then kicked my shin with all her might, exclaiming.

“Idiot! Why did you only show up now? Without even a single letter in the meantime!”

“..!”

Crack!

I could have dodged it, of course, but I wondered how painful it might be, so I just stood still…

……That was a mistake.

Why does this hurt so much?

I grabbed my kicked leg and hopped on the spot, and Luina, still not having got over her anger, shouted.

“Do you know how worried I was!”

“……Uh, sorry. But Luina. It seems my bone… might be broken.”

“What? Really?”

“Yes. I can’t walk. Just how hard did you kick?”

“……Let me see.”

Worried by my claim of a broken bone, Luina stiffened her expression.

I straightened my hopping leg, leaped on the spot, and said.

“Just kidding.”

“..Brother!”

Furious, Luina charged at me, and I lightly dashed away, laughing.

Haha, right.

Luina has always been fun to tease like this.

She’s grown taller, but she’s still as gullible as ever, huh?

Luina grabbed me, and I got a good smack on the back, and just then, father came down and spoke to me.

“Luin. Why didn’t you send word you were coming back?”

“I wanted to return even a day earlier. Also, I wanted to surprise everyone.”

“Well, then it’s a success.”

Father, with a pleased smile, lightly hugged me and said.

“Luin, welcome back home.”

Hmm……

The familiar scent of home.

My heart already feels at ease.

The Ardel Family’s (家) dinners are usually simple, but.

Tonight was different.

There was a lavish dinner that I had never seen before.

Sweet pumpkin soup and corn salad with an aromatic kick.

Salty bacon and braised Kishong fish, caught only in the southern seas, were truly delicacies.

Of course, it wasn’t a feast, but still everything was delicious, filled with care and attention.

“Mmm. As ever, Banelli’s cooking skills are the same.”

It was a nostalgically delightful taste.

Banelli, who always prepared delicious meals to fill the void left by our mother who passed away early in our lives, smiled warmly and said.

“My cooking must be much better than what you had at the academy, right?”

“Absolutely. There’s no comparison.”

“Hehe, once you try my cooking, you can’t escape its taste.”

“Brother. You finished eating already?”

“No, I’m just getting started. Banelli, can I have another bowl please?”

“Hehe, of course.”

With that, I continued to devour another plateful of food.

“It’s unbelievable…… I still can’t believe Brother has returned.”

Luina stuck close to me, resting her chin on her hand and watching me eat as if it was the most curious thing.

I asked her.

“You’ve been learning sword fighting recently?”

“……Hmm? How did you know?”

“What don’t I know? You’re learning the sword to protect your frail brother. It’s quite touching?”

Frail.

It’s a word that doesn’t fit me anymore…

Nevertheless, it’s a touching thought.

“It’s nothing…”

Luina, blushing with embarrassment, prompted me to ask.

“Is it fun?”

“…O oh”

o •

“Hey, maybe you can show me some time?”

“I’ll, I’ll think about it.”

“Alright. I’ll be looking forward to it.”

Luina pouted her lips awkwardly.

It was not that there were no lady knights who trained with the sword, but considering it was still relatively rare.

She looked embarrassed for many reasons.

Still, it’s the age where rather than a sword, hairpins fit better.

Instead of an iron armor, a fancy dress seems more appropriate.

I emptied my plate and looked over to father.

It seemed like he had a lot he wanted to ask me…

He probably was waiting for me to finish my meal.

Therefore, I spoke first.

“Father.”

“Yes.”

“That day you came to visit me at the academy. Do you remember what I said to you?”

The words I had spoken.

To no longer keep waiting, to show results within the academic year.

Father obviously remembered it.

“Of course.”

“I have a lot I want to tell you about that.”

“The night is long, and we have plenty of tea, so don’t worry.”

“Perhaps not enough for just one night?”

“……Is it that much?”

Then, Luina hurriedly stood up and said.

“Banelli! I want to change into my pajamas!”

“Miss, all of a sudden?”

“Yeah! And bring pillows and blankets too. I’m sleeping next to Brother tonight!”

“Heh, haha…”

“You’re going to the reception room, right? Start a conversation without me, and I’ll really hit you!”

Luina dashed to her room, insisting we shouldn’t start talking until she returned.

Father and I remained seated, chuckling to ourselves.

After laughing for a while, Father took out a small letter from his pocket and asked,

“Does this have anything to do with it?”

The letter bore the royal seal of the Radiant Kingdom.

‘Dear Louin Ardel’s father. To Baron Delrin Ardel,’ it read.

“By any chance, did a letter from the prince arrive?”

“That’s right. Receiving a letter from the royal family for the first time.”

It seemed likely that seeing as they couldn’t win me over, the prince was trying to woo my father.

Given our remote location in the territory and limited access to information, it was understandable he wouldn’t know about this.

I wanted to be the first to bring the good news…

These damn princes.

They’re really of no help at all.

But that’s not the only issue.

“Lately, a countless number of letters have arrived at the territory. More than the total I’ve received in my lifetime.”

The closet was filled with letters from nobles interested in me, their offers creating a stacked pile.

Their goal was singular.

“Luin. You must have caused quite the stir.”

“Yes. I stirred things up quite a bit.”

I, Luin Ardel.

That’s when, smack!

Someone gave me a hearty slap on the back.

“Ah!”

“Weren’t you supposed to not talk without me?”

“Luina. You learned swordsmanship and all you increased was violence?”

“That’s what you get for leaving me out. I want to know about Brother too! Father didn’t tell me anything!”

“Haha, we didn’t discuss much. So, shall we stop arguing and move to the reception room?”

In the reception room, in addition to our family of three, there were the elders who supported our family and representatives of the territory.

My story.

It was a story that everyone in Ardel was curious about, and there was really nothing particular left to hide.

So I spoke of my ‘ability’s secret,’ except for.

The emotions I experienced in the academy over 6 years.

Luina sobbed as I talked about the five years I struggled as a failing student because I couldn’t overcome my outlet blockage.

But when I mentioned how I discovered a new way of magic and got stronger, and became the academy’s representative, she clenched her fist with pride.

And finally.

“Brother did?”

“Is it true that the young master won such a grand competition? Where there…did you even meet the crown prince of the empire?”

When I told them about winning the Grand Tournament, their astonishment turned into utter disbelief.

“My goodness… Our young master…”

Father, Luina.

The elders.

And the territory’s people.

Everyone gasped in awe.

Surprise.

Wonder.

Relief.

Various emotions swirled in the reception room.

These stories were far removed from their everyday ordinary lives.

But this wasn’t some adventurer’s fantastic tale.

This was the story of the head of this land.

“That’s why I returned. Now, I finally have the face to face all of you.”

I didn’t want to show them a failed version of myself.

Always, I wanted to show the territory’s people only the good in me – that was my story.

“……Young master. You are commendable.”

Then, the elder who was the second most influential person in the Ardel household after my father, and the executive Begins, said with a stern face.

“Lord. It’s time to tell the young master as well.”

“Begins. That’s a matter for later.”

“It’s right to tell him. It involves the young master, so naturally, he should know…”

“……Begins!”

Father raised his voice ever so slightly, and the executive Begins immediately silenced.

“What’s the matter?”

I asked Father, who hurriedly shook his head as if nothing was the matter.

There seems to be one secret he doesn’t want me to know about…

So I said to Father.

“If I end up hearing about this issue later from someone else, I’ll feel even more disappointed.”

“This is my problem. It’s not for you to worry about. You just need to focus on your studies, as you are…”

“Those studies were also for the sake of solving the territory’s problems. I too am part of Ardel.”

Father glared briefly at the outspoken executive Begins, but in the end, Father gave in.

“Alright. There’s a small problem.”

“……A problem?”

“As you know, recently a lot of letters have arrived in the territory. All of them are about you.”

Letters about me.

Questions about the Grand Tournament champion’s post-academy plans.

Or.

“Luin, there were those who wanted to use you as a pretext to heavily sponsor our territory. They offered to clear the troublesome wolf packs and expand the land, cultivate more fields, build ports and turn Ardel into a southern maritime trade hub with all those stories too.”

A ploy to lure Father with sweet promises.

But.

“Of course, I rejected everything. How could I sell my own son as a father?”

Father would never fall for such tricks.

After all, he has always taught me that my future is for me to decide.

That’s not the real problem.

If we reject their offers, we might receive backlashes, but it won’t cause us any direct harm.

The real problem lay elsewhere.

“Vilkos Monzo. He’s using you as an excuse to threaten us.”

“Threaten? Wait a minute. Monzo… you mean the trade city Monzo?”

“That’s right.”

The trade city of Monzo.

The only trade city near the Ardel territory, most of Ardel’s produced goods end up here, in the trade city ‘Monzo.’

Meaning, Ardel survives on the little money it makes from Monzo.

In essence.

“Ardel’s Kishong fish, wheat, and sweet potatoes are being undervalued at ridiculous prices.”

“Vilkos Monzo demands one thing only. For you to take on the role of Monzo’s guardian mage. Do that, and he promises to double the prices he had lowered as compensation.”

If they play dirty, we are utterly helpless.

“Did you consider other measures? Controlling the market price as one pleases is clearly problematic.”

“Yes, your point is valid. We have tried all possible methods. So don’t worry about this issue and leave it to me.”

Should I leave it to Father?

Or should I step in directly?

Of course, there’s no way I’ll become a trade city guardian mage just to solve this.

After having rejected the crown prince of the Raynack Empire’s proposal…

They should know their place.

Then, there’s only one way.

“Father. I have a good idea.”

“……A good idea?”

“Yes. Do you know this?”

I flashed a cunning smile and raised my fist.

“Bad guys need a good thrashing.”

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