Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 80

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Mightiest Melee Magician

Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 80: A Surprise Visitor in the Quiet Countryside Domain of Ardel

Ardel, a quiet countryside domain where any traveler is hard to come by after a thorough search.

An utterly unexpected visitor has arrived.

No, perhaps I had been slightly expecting it…

“…Lady Irene?”

My guest.

Irene Prius.

She really came…

“Um, don’t feel too pressured just because you arrived later than I did. Today’s also just my arrival.”

She stood next to her father and Luina, giving me a playful smile.

As I exchanged looks between Irene and me, Luina pouted her lips slightly and asked,

“Brother. Can you please explain what’s happening now?”

Father, too, nodded in a way that suggested he expected an explanation, showing an expression I had never seen on him before.

Not even when I mentioned winning the Grand Tournament.

Now, it looked as though he’s thinking,

‘This lad has really grown up, hasn’t he?’

Similar to a grandfather’s proud smile upon seeing his grandson.

No, what exactly is he thinking?

We’re just friends, that’s all.

♦ ♦ ♦

“…So, you’re saying you’re just friends?”

Luina seemed discontent about something, puffing out her cheeks as she sat glued beside me.

“You’re certain, right? Not lovers or anything like that?”

Her tone, probing into my relationship with Irene, echoed that of a detective interrogating a suspect.

Even I, their relative, find this rather uncomfortable.

“Pfft… Yes. Right. Friends.”

Irene couldn’t help herself but laugh at the sight.

But Luina seemed displeased even by that.

“Sister. Do I amuse you? Why do you keep laughing?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Pfft. You’re just too cute.”

“I’m already twelve, okay? Could you please not treat me as cute anymore?”

Oh, I see.

Luina, now twelve years old, hands on her waist, boldly requested, “Please don’t treat me as cute!”

Irene burst into laughter once more.

“Ah… I wish I had a sister like her.”

It was kind to be adored by someone even to the point of tears as my sister, but…

I am still struggling to adjust to such an atmosphere.

Father seems to be in the same boat.

He appears to be enjoying the situation nonetheless.

“Did you say Prius?”

“Yes. Irene Prius.”

“Luina isn’t a disrespectful child. I suppose seeing her brother after six years makes her feel like she’s being robbed by a friend… She’ll get over it soon.”

“Of course. I understand. It’s rather wonderful to see such a family…”

Father seemed quite pleased with Irene’s polite first impression, smiling contentedly.

“Then, Luina, could you show Miss Prius around the domain? Dad has some remaining matters to discuss with your brother alone.”

“Me? Why?”

“Well, if you don’t want to, it can’t be helped. Later, your brother would have to do it himself.”

“Brother doing it…?”

Ah, what a strategy.

Luina, trapped in Father’s snare, quickly declared,

“No, no! I’ll do it. I’ll go.”

With the quickest movement than ever before, she rose and took Irene’s hand, saying,

“Follow me. I’ll be your guide.”

“Thank you, Miss Luina.”

“Sister. Could you not call me that? It feels like you’re teasing me.”

“I’m sorry. Then, what should I call you?”

“Just Luina. Luina.”

“Hehe, okay.”

Irene wiped away the tears of laughter collected at the corners of her eyes.

It seems Irene genuinely took a liking to Luina, regardless of the latter’s intent to push her away.

“Then, see you a bit later.”

And with that, Irene and Luina left Father’s office, leaving the two of us alone.

Father, as man to man, candidly inquired,

“Really not your girlfriend?”

“I told you, no.”

“…That’s a pity.”

I wonder why he feels it’s a pity.

Anyhow, our personal father-son conversation ended there.

Starting with how to use the 10,000 gold from the Grand Tournament prize.

To the 36,000 gold I brought from Monzo.

There was a lot of impending official business to attend to.

“Beginns, come in.”

Father called in Beginns, the secretary waiting outside the office.

Beginns entered with the box containing 10,000 gold coins I had handed to him earlier.

Upon receiving the box, Father returned it to me saying,

“I can’t take this money.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s Ruin’s money, not Ardel’s.”

Stubbornness like Father’s…

And his integrity…

As someone who respected him more than anyone, I could understand his intention, but at the same time,

“Am I not a member of Ardel?”

It felt like he always excluded me from discussions about the estate’s matters.

However, Father replied even more resolutely,

“Even if anyone disagrees, the fact that you, Ruin, are the center of Ardel is undeniable. But,

don’t you still have many things left to do outside Ardel?”

“No. I think differently. It’s my money, so it’s also Ardel’s money. So, I’ll use it as I see fit, just like Father did.”

“Just like I did.”

Hearing those words, Father glanced at Beginns, who awkwardly scratched his head.

“Ha… It seems I’ve spoken out of turn again. The Lord has been sustaining Ardel with personal funds. I decided you should be informed. My apologies.”

“Before making such decisions in the future, I’d appreciate if you discussed them with me first.”

“Yes, My Lord. I’ll bear it in mind.”

Nevertheless, Father remained firm, seemingly not planning on reversing his decision this time.

“Even if it’s what you want, I can’t accept it. I have no intention of burdening you with the responsibilities of Ardel.”

Father showed me the bundle of 36,000 gold coins he received from Monzo, smiling faintly.

“I have here 3,600 gold. Isn’t this money enough? Though it was originally what we should have received, now that we’ve reclaimed it, I feel like I’ve found a forgotten emergency fund.”

Wait, 3,600 gold?

Not 36,000?

Come to think of it, the bundle that should contain 36,000 gold coins is noticeably small.

What’s going on?

Upon opening the chest, I confirmed the remaining 32,400 gold, apart from the principle sum of 3,600 gold, together with the 10,000 gold.

“I won’t ask how you managed to obtain ten times the principal amount from Bilcos Monzo. I have an idea.”

“I won’t suggest you return the money to Bilcos Monzo. But I also cannot accept it carelessly. It’s not Ardel’s money after all.”

He would never accept money that he considered unjust, no matter the circumstances.

Looking at Father intently,

Would I have been able to refuse such a large amount of money if placed in Father’s shoes?

I’m not sure.

It’s not an easy decision.

But one thing’s for sure,

“Ardel may not be affluent, but it’s not lacking either. So use that money however you wish. As you desire.”

With that understanding of Father’s intentions,

I turned to Beginns and asked,

“Did you relay our previous conversation to Father?”

About how to utilize the 10,000 gold for subjugation and expanding the territory.

But Beginns shook his head,

“No. Since the Lord refused to accept the gold coins, I couldn’t broach the topic.”

“I see.”

Perhaps that’s for the better.

The 10,000 gold tournament prize and the 32,400 gold obtained from Monzo,

I asked Father again,

“Father. This 42,400 gold. You assured me that I may use it as I desire, correct?”

“Yes.”

“…Understood. I will do so.”

Without the aid of the Lord or the secretary, Beginns,

I will act as I wish.

Following my own desires.

The head of the Ardel family.

Ruin Ardel’s will.

Yes.

I can do it ‘myself’.

I immediately headed for the terrace.

If I were to name a single advantage of Ardel, it would be the broad view from here, overlooking the hillside village.

Below, I could see the figures of Irene and Luina returning to the mansion.

While I couldn’t know what they were talking about, the atmosphere looked very different from earlier.

Luina took Irene’s hand and acted more assertively.

She even smiled brightly,

Sometimes blushing in embarrassment, although the reason soon became clear,

“Don’t tell your brother about the boyfriend.”

“…Boyfriend?”

“Yikes! Brother?”

Luina, surprised at my sudden appearance, hurriedly hid behind Irene.

I narrowed my eyes, looking towards Luina.

“What’s this, Luina? Already have a boyfriend?”

“No! I d-don’t! What boyfriend? Right, sister?”

Yep, that’s right.

This kid, already at twelve, got herself a boyfriend.

While her sixteen-year-old brother hasn’t even properly held a hand yet.

Kids these days sure are fast, huh?

“What kind of kid is he? Men should be judged by men, after all. Since it’s come up, I’d like to meet him myself…”

“Enough! Why are you eavesdropping on others’ conversations? Hmph!”

“Others? I’m your brother, I’m a bit hurt…”

“Sister, please take care of him. And tomorrow, let’s play again!”

“Hehe, sure.”

A bemused Luina left me, entrusting Irene with me and hastily retreated into the mansion.

Speaking of tomorrow, they seem to have grown close quickly.

Isn’t that so?

Irene, looking affectionately after Luina, her eyes shaped like crescent moons, remarked,

“Luina is just so cute, isn’t she?”

“Uh, yes. She’s cute. But she was cuter in the past. These days she’s become a bit violent… Always hitting my back first…”

“Violent? She’s learning the sword to protect her weak brother. How commendable is that?”

“…Yes, you’re right. Can’t argue with that.”

Irene breathed deeply, taking in the scent of dense Ardel forest,

“It’s very different from Reberdain.”

“Uncomfortable for you?”

“Not at all. I really like it. It’s beautiful and modest. I understand why you’re proud of your hometown and feel responsible for protecting it.”

My hometown…

But what kind of family is the Prius family?

I realized belatedly that I had never heard stories about ‘Prius.’

And I missed the timing to ask about it.

“Do you have plans for this break?”

I smiled and replied,

“Yes.”

“May I ask?”

“To protect my territory.”

Although there might not be many things I can do alone without Father’s help right now,

I’ll start with small steps.

Very slowly.

The first thing to do is…

Growing money.

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