Fatherhood — Part 2
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Well, I guess this means we’ve reached an agreement. Lyuu’s mine now.”
Vergillus turned his gaze on the other man and examined him. He looked at his expression, observed the extent of his perspiration, and stared into his eyes. Each of the aspects he scrutinized only served to solidify his understanding of the demon lord’s sincerity.
Assuming his nature had been a great folly.
Equally of note was his daughter’s attraction to the man. The way she continued to steal glances at him with her cheeks dyed in red only served to further evidence that she would find herself happy with him by her side.
He had always assumed that his daughter would have suffered nothing but abuse whilst kept within the demon lord’s domain. But reality was often stranger than fiction. The twist was one that the warwolf had trouble understanding, one that almost filled him with the urge to sigh and lament over the futility of his own actions. Never once had he imagined that the sole reason his daughter had never returned was simply because she hadn’t wanted to. Not even in his wildest dreams.
He had always known that Lyuu wished to see the outside world, that she hated the small, isolated community that was the warwolf village. But the world was not so kind as to allow a young woman to wander about by herself, let alone one who had yet to be wed. He had always thought that keeping her caged was for none other than her own sake. But seeing the dungeon and the demon lord that governed it led him to reconsider.
Defying Vergillus’ expectations came so naturally to the demon lord that he almost couldn’t believe it. Every single one of his calculations had been thrown to the winds and cast away. He didn’t know that it was possible for a demon lord to know the meaning of virtue. Of course, Yuki was not entirely virtuous. His desire to be waited upon by an entire unit of women was quite demon-lord like in nature. But that was the only aspect of his kind that he appeared to demonstrate. Unlike the others, he had even failed to become corrupted by his own might despite bearing more than enough to crush an entire army of warwolves. Yuki understood morality and abided by logic. And most importantly, the women who attended to him weren’t captives. They clearly trusted him and only remained by his side of their own free will.
He was more akin to any other man than he was any other dark overlord. And he was sure to treat Lyuu well, to appreciate her for who she was.
The choice to be made was obvious. No good would come of refusing it.
“I understand. I will speak to Lynaut, and all the others, and ensure that they accept this decision. Our decision. I’ve already said this to that husband of yours, but I will come again to check on you in a year. Do your best to make sure you grow into your new role by the time that comes to pass.”
Hearing Vergillus’ consent caused Lyuu’s face to come into bloom. A beautiful smile came to adorn it as would a flower underneath the morning sun. Mixed feelings assailed the father. It was the first time he had ever seen his daughter beam so brilliantly. He was proud of his decision and happy for her. And yet, his heart ached with loneliness.
But such was what it meant for a father to see off a bride.
＊ ＊ ＊
While Vergillus had never before seen an inn constructed in the style of the one he and his men currently occupied, he felt it was still constructed in good taste. The soft, straw-like floor-coverings paired well with its simplistic and yet luxurious wood and paper-based design. His men were happily washing their weariness away with his son in law’s liquor stores while he and the man in question sat outside on the veranda.
His gaze naturally fell on the demon lord’s home, his daughter’s home. The looming castle before him was as ominous as it was magnificent. Its dark material blended into the night sky and almost appeared act as a curtain that obscured the stars themselves. It was a wondrous scene, one that paired especially well with the rice-based wine he had spent most of the night drinking.
“I have a question, demon lord.” he spoke as he kept his eyes on the castle and his hands on his cup.
“What is it that you like about my daughter?”
“Wow, going for that right off the bat, are we?” He smiled in an awkward, boyish manner. “Lots of things, honestly. But if I had to pick out the most important one, I’d probably say that it’s her easygoing attitude.”
“Being around Lyuu makes it easy for me to relax,” he elaborated. “We always end up messing around and getting ourselves into all sorts of silly situations. It’s so much fun being around her that it almost makes me feel like a kid again. And if you ask me, I’d say that’s probably one of the most important parts of a long-term relationship. It means you can be yourself instead of having to worry about stepping on the other person’s toes.”
The warwolf craned his neck and looked over at his daughter as the demon lord described her. She was happily serving all the other warwolves their food and drink while casually conversing with them and catching up on everything she had missed over the course of the last year. It was clear that she had grown, and the somewhat boastful smile that remained on her face throughout the process indicated she was well aware of it—and trying to show it off.
Lyuuin had always been a tomboy. Her nature contrasted the taste of the average warwolf; most warwolf men preferred women of a much more effeminate disposition. However, there were still individuals who felt otherwise, as tastes and preferences were bound to vary. The demon lord’s statement had only served to further this point. His sensibilities were not what warwolves considered the norm.
It appears that my daughter has found herself quite the partner. Vergillus entertained a thought that caused him to smile before posing a question. “What is Lyuu’s life like here?”
“Hmmm… Where do I start? Oh, I know. You see that maid over there? The one that looks perfectly at ease? That’s Leila. She and Lyuu started as maids at about the same time. Well, kinda,” he said. “They’re honestly only maids in name. They help out with some of the housework, but that’s pretty much it. Though, in Lyuu’s case, I’m not really sure help is always the right word. She’s gotten better about it now, but honestly, she’s a bit of a klutz.”
“I’m sorry. That would be my fault,” Vergillus chuckled. “I didn’t intend to spoil her, but as the chief’s daughter, she never did end up having too many household responsibilities.”
“I don’t mind.” The demon lord replied with a laugh of his own. “Everyone’s got strengths and weaknesses. Lyuu might not be all that useful when it comes to doing housework, but she’s pretty good at spreading all that excess energy of hers. Having her around keeps everyone else happy and invigorated.”
“…I’m glad to hear it.”
“You should be. It means you’ve raised her well, and that’s something worth being proud of.” The demon lord spoke as he refilled the warwolf’s cup. “Oh, right. You mind telling me what Lyuu was like before she left the village?”
“Thank you.” Vergillus drained its contents in one gulp. “She’s never told you?”
“I mean, she’s tried, but she’s not all that great at telling old tales, so I honestly haven’t learned all that much at all. And I’ve always wondered about the kind of life she used to live, you know?”
“Lyuu was always a bit of a peculiar girl.” The chief started to speak in a slow, nostalgic tone. “She was much more interested in a life outside of our village than one within its borders.”
Vergillus began recounting story after story. He told the demon lord of her many mishaps and exploits, as well as various moments he considered her most important. He likely would have continued, had a certain embarrassed maid not run over to stop him.