The Gyroll Clan — Part 3
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
“Please excuse my behaviour, I’m terribly sorry for reacting the way I did.” Lyuu’s father was situated before me with his head bowed. He sat on his legs with his knees jutting forward at an outward angle and his fists placed knuckle-down on the floor in front of him. “I was not aware that you did so much for my daughter.”
It was a very warrior-like approach to apologizing. While I certainly did notice that he had gone out of his way to perform the exaggerated gesture, and I understood that it was authentic, I didn’t particularly care all that much for formalities, so I dismissed it with a shrug.
“Don’t worry about it. What’s done is done.”
“I can’t apologize enough for profiling you and assuming the worst. It shames us to know that we attacked you over nothing but a misunderstanding despite you having saved Lyuu’s life.” However, the warwolf was far more fixated on etiquette, so he continued regardless. “Our actions were unjust. By all means, you deserve to be fuming with rage. But you aren’t, and for that, I thank you. I know I’ve said it many, many times already, but I must thank you. I know now that all the fault lies with the imbecile I call my daughter.”
He followed up his final statement by drilling his fist into the back of Lyuu’s head.
“Ow!” The maid whimpered in pain as she placed both hands on the point of impact. “That hurt, dad…”
“Shut up, you idiot! Do you know how much trouble you’ve caused? Do you know how many of our men nearly died because of what you put them through? We could have been completely obliterated if we had just made one mistake!”
“I know, I know already! And I’m real sorry I made everyone come all the way out here just to see me! But this ain’t my fault! It’s yours! I never would’ve run away from home if you didn’t keep goin’ on and on about some dumb marriage!”
“Dumb? Dumb!? There is nothing dumb about it! Lynaut is a man well worth your hand!”
“First of all, I never wanted to get married! Secondly, Lynaut’s the last person I’d ever marry! Why the heck would I wanna marry a creep ten years older than me!?”
“That’s what you find wrong with him? His age!? Open your eyes, Lyuu! Do you not see how strong and dependable he is? Lynaut has a bright future ahead of him!”
“What the heck!? You can’t be serious! He’s nothing but a stuck-up snob!”
Hearing the two of them shout at each other led me to smile in a half-amused, half-exasperated manner. “Alright, you two. That’s enough. This isn’t the place for it.”
I used my chin to gesture at the warwolves situated behind the two VIPs. All the men within the group were making awkward expressions that served to indicate that they had no idea what to think, do, or say.
We were currently situated within one of the inn’s reception halls. While the room was certainly on the larger side, the warwolves had chosen not to flood it with bodies. Most of them had been assigned to stand by in another room whilst those higher up the social ladder joined Lyuu and her father. Going to sidetrack a little bit. Man, building this inn was the best choice I’ve ever made. It’s gotten mileage every single time I’ve had to entertain a guest. Worth/10. Would build again.
Unfortunately, practicing escapism failed to end the argument between the parent and child. In fact, neglecting them and allowing my mind to drift had only seemed to make things worse—the pair had somehow gotten even further away from reaching a compromise.
“Lynaut ain’t all that strong either! Master crushed all o’ you at the same time even though he was tryin’ not to hurt anyone!”
The warwolf chief grimaced as he clutched his chest in a display of agony. His daughter’s attack on his psyche had been so precise that it had apparently managed to do him physical harm.
“Hey, Lyuu? You mind doing me a favour and not dragging me into this?”
“While I must admit that Yuki is certainly a splendid warrior, your point isn’t of any relevance.” My plea fell on deaf ears. Even her father continued to include me in the conversation.
“No it’s not!”
“Yes, it is! Unlike Lynaut, Yuki is not your fiance! Nor are you romantically involved with him!”
This time, it was Lyuu who winced in the face of the other party’s argument. Come on, guys… Do I really need to be brought into this? Because it feels like I don’t.
“Whatever the case, you’re coming home. I can not let you impose on Yuki any more than you already have, and everyone that has stayed behind in the village is still worried about you.”
“No way! I don’t want to leave! I want to stay here, with all my friends!”
“Stop acting like such a spoiled brat! You can’t have everything you want!”
“I’m not acting like a brat! It’s my life dad, not yours!”
God fucking damn it… It didn’t seem like they were going to stop anytime soon, so I decided to step in after heaving a heavy sigh. The first person I turned towards was Lyuu’s father.
“I said that’s enough. Stop screaming already, for fuck’s sake. Did you really come all the way here just to get into some silly argument?”
“…I apologize. That was an unsightly display we should have kept behind closed doors.”
The warwolf chief finally seemed to realize how rude he was being, as he once again bowed his head in apology after correcting his posture.
“And that goes for you too, Lyuu.” After dealing with her dad, I directed my gaze at the maid. “You were going on and on about how you weren’t at fault, but you totally are. None of this would’ve happened if you told me the truth from the start.”
“Erk…. I-I’m sorry, Master.” Lyuu wasn’t able to come up with any sort of argument, so she reluctantly ended up apologizing.
I turned to face her father again after breathing the yet another sigh.
“Alright, so I’m totally sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong right now, but whatever,” I said. “I know I just said that this whole incident is Lyuu’s fault, but her opinion matters a lot more to me than yours does, so I’m going to be taking her side. By that, I mean I’m not going to let you drag her home against her will.”
“What…?” The chief’s eyes narrowed into a glare, but I ignored him and kept talking.
“She really should’ve at least popped in to say hi and show everyone that she was still alright. Hell, I was planning on making her visit whether she liked it or not. But that’s it. If she wants to stay here, then I’m going to have her do exactly that. Stay. I’m not going to force her to leave just because her old man decided to come a knocking. Not unless it’s what she wants.”
“I knew you’d understand, Master.”
Apparently, my declaration had moved Lyuu to the verge of tears. The gaze she directed at me was filled with trust.
“I mean, it just wouldn’t make any sense for me to let her go. She’s finally started figuring this whole maid thing out. If she leaves now, we’ll have nothing to show for all the time we wasted onboarding her.”
Plus, she’s only been here at Demon Lord Inc. for about a year. This is her first job, so it’d probably be best for her to stay at least three. As far as Japanese companies go, most hiring managers assume that anyone that leaves their first job before they get three years of experience is probably incompetent. Leaving now will probably hurt her future prospects.
“C-come on, Master! Why do you always gotta make fun of me!?”
“Why? Because bullying you is hilarious, of course.”
“W-what the heck!?” Her jaw dropped. See, that’s exactly what I mean.
“I was just messing with you,” I said with a shiteating grin. “Don’t worry, Lyuu, you’re just as important to me as everyone else that lives here.”
After chuckling a bit more, I turned towards her father. “Oh, and just so we’re clear, that whole me keeping her here thing wasn’t a part of the joke.”
“…Are you telling me that you won’t allow a course of action as natural as allowing a child to return to her parents’ home?”
“More or less, yeah. Because I’d definitely miss her. Hell, it’s not just me. Everyone else that lives here would miss her too,” I said. “Besides, she’s already made her intentions clear. She said that she wanted to stay, so I’m going to make it happen no matter what you say.”
The opposite was true too. I would have let Lyuu go if that was what she wanted, even if it meant that the dungeon would feel like it was missing something without her.
“Lyuu’s already old enough to make her own decisions, isn’t she? What’s wrong with letting her make her own decisions?”
“That is not the warwolf way. Our people have thrived by trusting in their parents’ decisions even well into adulthood,” he said. “Lyuu is unwed. It is only right for us to dictate her future—and choose her partner. I have no intention of letting her go simply because she is no longer a child. I will be taking her home.”
What the fuck? And here I thought I was a self-serving prick. But this guy? He takes the whole goddamn cake.
“You think I give a shit about your stupid culture?” I scoffed and rolled my eyes. “I don’t care about your, or any, tribe’s customs. Your dumb traditions can go eat shit for all I care.”
Apparently, he didn’t like how blunt I was. His face twitched in annoyance.
“I respect you Yuki. You’ve saved my daughter’s life. My people and I owe you an irreparable debt. But this is something I can and will not yield on. Please understand.”
“Debt, shebt. I never cared about that shit to begin with. You think I saved you because I wanted you to owe me? Fuck no. I only did it because you’re Lyuu’s people. I probably would’ve just sat around and watched you die if you weren’t. Because, honestly, your dumb ass deserves it,” I spat, venomously. “I don’t care what you think. I wasn’t trying to suggest anything or give you any ideas. I was just telling you how this was going to go. You’re not having her back.”
Tension filled the air as we stared each other down in silence. It was a contest, a demonstration of our will.
And he was the first to break.
“…I see.” The chief of the warwolves closed his eyes and slowly breathed in and out before reopening them. “If neither of us is willing to compromise, then we have no choice but to butt heads.”
Again, he paused and took a breath. One that dripped with resolve.
“We shall settle this matter through single combat!”