Father continued to be silent as he stared at me . I’d like to believe that his eyes weren’t just completely filled with things that would terrify me if I took a peek .
The silence continued . This probably went on for at most thirty seconds, but it sure felt more like an hour or two to me .
My facial muscles were cramping up and cold sweat started dripping down my back .
Though, I continued to keep up my act, Father eventually gave a snort .
“…Fine . ”
I totally thought I was gonna be rejected . Well, I wasn’t planning on giving up even if he turned me down once or twice, but it wasn’t a total lie to say I was desperate .
“I guess your proposal isn’t half bad . ”
I wanted to jump in the air and rejoice, but considering I was still in front of Father, I summoned my own three little cheers in my heart instead . I disciplined my twitching hands firmly, but my mouth must have been drawing an arch without my knowledge .
“But do know that this will take some time . Even if we rush this matter, I think we’re looking at at least five years . But realistically, it would take ten just for everything to fall into place . ”
“I agree, but I still think it’s something worth doing, even if it takes us a hundred years . ”
As I said so with a nod, my Father’s eyes glinted .
When he studied my face so seriously, I had no other choice but to avert my eyes and look awkwardly at my feet .
“You’re truly an odd one . ”
My eyes were now wide .
I wasn’t angry at him or anything, in fact, I was getting used to people saying rude things to me at this point .
“I honestly thought you would object if I had said something like five or ten years, but to think you’re looking a whole hundred years ahead… Despite being an immature little girl, you sometimes remind me of your grandfather; incomprehensibly believing that something so undefined and unprecedented will have any value . Your explanation, as well, was quite lacking . And despite the fact that you have not conveyed the details properly, you speak as if you can see the end result . It’s as if you’ve seen the real thing . ”
Only one word popped up in my head .
I could see my brain firing neurons faster than ever before . However, within my hollow, stupefied skull, I couldn’t find myself any good excuses .
What now? What should I do?
I doubt he’ll believe me if I spill the beans, and he’s the last person I wanna do that to . It’s all too risky . I hate this . After all this time, I still don’t know what goes on in my father’s head, and honestly, I’m not good at this stuff .
But this wasn’t the time to be worrying about such things .
What should I do if I have to confess, regardless of my intentions?
But whether or not he had noticed my fears, he still hadn’t asked me, ‘Why?’
“Well, this isn’t the first time you’ve told me a story that didn’t quite add up . ”
As he said that, Father stood up from his side of the sofa .
His actions told me the conversation has ended and left me confused . I raised my head with my face full of embarrassment, but Father only spared me a brief glance . He then signalled for me to follow him with his eyes .
When I stood up without being none the wiser, I noticed my father was heading for a smaller room adjacent to the one we were currently in . This was the place where books pertaining to the Demon Lord were kept .
Is he changing location to interrogate me more thoroughly?
Thinking like that, my feet remained planted to the floor . But there was no point stopping here . Nothing would change even if I ran away . I would be thoroughly cross-examined in the future regardless of what I did .
When I stood up, Father threw a glance back my way . As he unlocked the door and placed his hand on the door knob, his eyes said everything; Did you think you could escape?
A retro game scenario played out in my head .
Rosemarie tries to escape…
But alas! She was surrounded!
Normally, one can’t escape a boss during a boss fight anyway, right?
Throwing a silent half-hearted jab at him, I feigned a smile and started dragging my feet forward .
The room I had entered for the first time in a while was still plainly decorated, but it was slightly different from when I last saw it . There were various books stacked up on top of each other with one left open on a table .
I knew my father wasn’t the tidiest of people, but this was lazy, even for his standards . Maybe he was studying the book before I came over .
Father sat on a couch and pointed to the cushion besides his .
Sitting down next to him, I caught a glimpse of the open pages of the book that had been singled out from the rest . What I saw were not only written words, but also drawings… they looked like magic circles .
“Was that the magical seal placed on the Demon Lord?”
When I asked him that with my eyes still on the book, he slowly shook his head .
“No, it’s not . It’s for something else . It’s still in the prototype stages, however . ”
For something else?
Before I could ask him, he had already closed the book .
“More importantly, let’s get to the meat of the matter . ”
It’s here! The true trial commences!!
I stretched my shoulders back and propped my spine straight .
Neither closing nor averting my eyes away from his, I desperately waited for him to open his mouth .
“Regarding the Demon Lord…”
The topic he brought up was different from what I thought .
“The seal in place has not yet shown any signs of weakening, but no one knows how long it will truly last . Whether it be an accident or intentional sabotage, either way, some day, the seal will break . ”
I couldn’t properly grasp the flow of this conversation, so I just nodded along .
It’s too naïve to believe that nothing bad will never happen just because the present is fine . Concepts like “eternity” and “perfection” cannot be achieved by human hands .
“Unfortunately, the previous kings of bygone generations turned away from the existence known as the ‘Demon Lord . ’ Perhaps they didn’t want to disturb a sleeping lion, but I’m afraid we couldn’t afford to play such leisurely attitude any longer . ”
“…What do you mean by that?”
This conversation was heading somewhere absolutely unsettling .
To my interjection, my father answered .
“A Raptor spy was wandering around our country’s borders . ”
The Raptor Kingdom, located northeast from where we are, was set up as an enemy country in the game . It might be a stretch to say we have good relations, but at the very least, we have no open conflicts .
“They are looking for something . ”
If you say ‘looking for something’, I would question what that something is .
And listening to everything so far, the answer is none other than the ‘Demon Lord . ’
Then, the next order of things one should ask would be, “Why?”
“Don’t know . ”
Father exhaled a sigh with an uninterested look .
“Maybe they are foolishly thinking to control it, or perhaps find another use for it . Whatever the case, the reason is not important . What’s most crucial is that we find it before they do and take appropriate measures . ”
“Yes . ”
I don’t know what Raptor’s business is, trying to find the Demon Lord, but in the unlikely event that they do, it could spell trouble for all of us .
“But the Demon Lord’s location remains unknown . Even if you flip this whole place upside down, you wouldn’t find it written anywhere . ”
Were you afraid a method to break the seal was described somewhere in these books?
Or perhaps there was a book with that information, but it was lost in time .
Either way, the situation didn’t seem to favour us .
While thinking through, I felt a gaze on me . Looking up, my line of sight met with Father’s .
…Why is he looking at me?
I have nothing but bad feelings about this .
“…What is it?”
“Nothing . I have just remembered a daughter who used Leonhard as a means to sneak around our borders herself . ”
T-That was just-!!
You knew everything and brought the topic up yourself, so what’s with that, ‘Oh, I’ve just noticed it,’ attitude!?
“I won’t ask you the reason . ”
Thanks for that . Though, I don’t really want to thank you at all .
Because I know for certain it would not be not enough . I wonder what price I have to pay this time for him to overlook this…
My father narrowed his eyes and looked at me, who was on full guard mode, completely and utterly vigilant .
“But in return, go find what I’m looking for and bring it back home . ”
My father demanded the Demon Lord as compensation .
He’s as much a demon himself, this guy .