The Things a Mother Can Do
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— Frenda —
The first time I met my husband was a few years ago, and… that was in the forest away from the village.
On that day, I couldn’t really find the edible wild plants that I usually got. Then, when I got far away from the village… I met five people.
I was told to run away immediate if I met Human, but I became scared by the greedy look of the Human who I felt for the first time and I fell down on the spot. It took me a lot of time and effort to escape by flying away.
Taking that opportunity, the Human shot arrows. I reflexively closed my eyes, but it was strange that there was no pain.
[Guh!? What are you guys doing!?] (??)
On that spur of that moment, one of the Human jumped out before me. He was protecting me with his body.
Even when he received arrows at the foot and on the flank, the one who yelled to the rest of the Human was… my husband, Beat.
I was told this later, but Beat was the escort and the guide hired for the other four. So, he really weren’t their acquaintance.
Beat merely wanted to meet winged people, but the other Human, who saw me, made a move due to lust.
As they ignored Beat’s call, they set up their bow again to catch me, but… Asrad-sama came to rescue.
Asrad-sama burned the people down and at the same time, he descended from the sky. Subsequently, he approached Beat who fell down because of paralytic poison painted on the arrow.
Usually, the human, who arbitrarily entered the Dragonkin’s territory, would be annihilated.
But… I couldn’t let Beat died because he protected me.
Because of that, I came closer, thinking to stop Asrad-sama, but he just took notice and overlooked Beat.
[What a strange person. Why are you smiling in this situation?] (Asrad)
[A voice? I see… so you are the high rank dragon who protects the winged people.] (Beat)
[Yes. Then, answer me. Why are you smiling?] (Asrad)
[Why… it is… because she is safe. If I know that… then, it’s enough.] (Beat)
Since Beat was smiling in satisfaction even if he was stared by a Dragonkin, that itself made Asrad-sama became interested.
After that, when I approached Beat to pull out the stabbed arrow, he was looking at me with an earnest relieved look.
[Aah, I’m glad… that you were safe.] (Beat)
[Thank you for protecting me. Uhmm, why did you help me? If you didn’t do that, you wouldn’t have gone through such a painful situation.] (Frenda)
[I… just wanted to see winged people. But… I didn’t think that the winged people was… so beautiful…] (Beat)
With those words, Beat fainted.
It wasn’t only because of my appeal, but Asrad-sama was also concerned himself. So, it was decided to bring him back to the village.
Of course, it became a considerable dispute to bring back a Human.
Ultimately, Asrad-sama said that he would take the responsibility, so Beat was permitted to stay in the village on the condition that he stayed at my house. I remembered that made me so relieved.
Kaa-san also thought similarly with everyone else regarding Beat, but because of the fact that he saved my life, she allowed beat to stay at our house.
In this way, it was decided for Beat to live in my house, and while he was in a place a distance away from the surroundings, the knowledge he gained from travelling made our life easier.
For me who lost my father when I was young and had been staying only with Kaa-san, the life of having a man like Beat was refreshing.
The most fun thing was when I listened to the stories of the travelling from Beat.
[People who lived there had their own unique customs. That’s why, if you listen to its meaning, it is really like a strange story…] (Beat)
His appearance of telling the story was as if he was really absorbed into it, and he was completely cute like a child…
[When I met you for the first time, I felt like meeting an angel. Not because of your wings, I just thought that you were really beautiful. That’s why I am happy to be next to you.] (Beat)
When I thought about it, I was starting to be attracted to Beat who conveyed his feelings openly.
After six months later, when Beat began to be recognized around… I was pregnant with Karen.
Beat and Asrad-sama were happy. I felt blessed even though Kaa-san had mixed feeling. I thought that happy time would continue, but… Beat’s health started to deteriorate.
Healing magic had no effect on the disease of unknown cause, so Beat, who spent most of the time in bed, began to write books.
Although it was difficult even to write letters, it was even harder for me to look at Beat who kept writing, but…
[You know… let alone raising up our child, I couldn’t even see the face. But, I don’t like the fact that I can’t do anything to my own child. That’s why I want to leave a proof that I was here so that the child won’t feel lonely… even just a little bit.] (Beat)
Beat, who kept writing as if shaving his own life… calmly took his last breath in the middle of the third book.
The time we spent together wasn’t very long, but I had no regret being tied to Beat.
I was prepared for it. Plus, I had Karen.
She was the most important existence brought by Beat.
For that person’s sake, I promised to watch her grew up.
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“My daughter… Karen… I would like you to take her to your journey.” (Frenda)
I thought that it was normal for Sirius-kun to make such a complicated expression because of my words.
It was because as a mother, I said that I wanted to him to take care of my daughter even though she was still young.
Although it couldn’t be helped to think of this as abandoning my own child, I had decided for that and it wasn’t easy to say it with my own mouth.
When I didn’t look away, Sirius-kun let out a long breath as if he given in.
“Let’s talk whether I should take her in or anything. Does Karen know that?” (Sirius)
“Not yet. But, I suppose that girl also wants to go together with you. At least, I don’t think she will object it plainly.” (Frenda)
“I certainly have that feeling. In that case, could you explain the reason for that conclusion… if you care about Karen?” (Sirius)
“…Her curiosity is very strong, and you also know that well, right?” (Frenda)
“Indeed, I am. She is interested in the outside world, even if people look at her with cruel eyes. As for me, she is a child who is worth to teach.” (Sirius)
“Hehe, she is a curious child who smiles instinctively, right? But, even though I am the mother of that girl, there aren’t many things that I can teach her.” (Frenda)
Even magic… or outside world… I had never been out of this village and that became a limitation.
At my current capability, I could only bring Karen to a river that was a little away from the village, and that was the best that I could do to satisfy her curiosity even a little.
No, that wasn’t the best.
Because of that, I was attacked. Far from protecting Karen, I wasn’t able to protect myself too. I was about to lose her forever.
“However, Sirius-kun has similar attribute with Karen, and you can teach her magic more. You also can satisfy her curiosity because you are familiar with the outside world. Besides, I am well aware of your strength.” (Frenda)
At the time when Sirius-kun fought Mejia-san, even though it was said to be impossible feat, but thanks to that, I could understand about his strength.
His disciples were also very strong. The Hundred Wolves which was called legend was also nearby. So, I thought that Karen would be safe with them.
At that time, when I wanted to know about his character, I heard the stories from the children who adored him.
[Sirius-sama is a wonderful person. He didn’t only save me and Reus when we became slave, but he also taught us how to live.] (Emilia)
[Aniki? He is the man of aspiration!] (Reus)
[Yeah… it’s a feeling like having a mother or father. Sometimes he is strict, but he is kind and reliable.] (Reese)
[I love him, but he is a great man. He has a strong sense of duty and takes good care of people, and he will do anything to fight against anyone if it’s for people he cares about.] (Fia)
Everyone longed for Sirius-kun. I myself wanted Karen to be together with him and I wanted her to be happy.
It was only half a month, but as a result of associating with Karen, I was convinced that Sirius-kun was a trustworthy person.
He didn’t only saved us, but he also taught Karen various knowledge. He also scolded her like a father for doing something dangerous.
Giving an affection to Karen even though she was supposed to be treated like other person, if it were these people who took care of her that much…
“If it’s Sirius-kun, I can leave Karen to you without worries. I believe… you will protect that girl and show her the outside world.” (Frenda)
There was also another basis why he could be trusted.
Emilia and Reus, who were raised and saved since they were young, were strong, and they became upright people.
Although he was younger than me, he was good at taking care of children as if he was experienced with that. It was hard to admit, but I thought that he was better than me.
To entrust Karen to him… I was really a cowardly mother.
I hadn’t repaid the favor of saving us, and I was trying to take advantage of Sirius-kun’s kindness.
Even with this self-loathing feeling, Sirius-kun continued to listen to my explanation with a keen look.
As expected, he was angry, wasn’t it?
But of course, it was obvious to get angry. It was a sudden and unilateral proposition.
“Are you really sure about this?” (Sirius)
However… Sirius-kun wasn’t angry. For some reason, he had a sad expression when looking at me.
When I tilted my neck because I didn’t expect that response, Sirius0kun talked to me with a gentle voice as if to admonish me.
“For a child, parents are more necessary than anything else. Although you can see again, you both will be separated.” (Sirius)
“If you say that straightforwardly, I think that I don’t mind to let Karen accompany me on the journey. However, I’m not sure what will happen during the journey. Let say that I am caught in an unexpected incident and I am not able to protect Karen, then, there is also a possibility of losing your daughter this time, you know? It may be temporary, but you should understand because you have experienced it before.” (Sirius)
“Yes, I understand that.” (Frenda)
As expected, Sirius-kun was a kind person.
Rather than worrying himself, he worried more about us for being separated.
Obviously, I didn’t want to be separated from Karen.
But… when I thought about her, I…
“But, I don’t want to waste her talent.” (Frenda)
Previously, Sirius-kun told me this.
The childhood experience was very important because it had a big influence even when people had grown up.
Therefore, it was necessary for Karen to have a good teacher nearby when she was told that she had talents in magic even though she was a non attribute.
“Besides, I think that this village is too small for Karen.” (Frenda)
She didn’t seem to be discouraged even though she was enslaved. Even if I left that alone, she would make a trip away from this village someday.
And if Beat was still alive, I believed he wouldn’t stop Karen from going out on a journey.
[Say, Beat. What if one day this child read the books your wrote and says to you that she wants to travel?] (Frenda)
[Well. At that time… I want to send her out. There are many dangerous things, but there are lots of fun things and fateful encounters on the travel. Just how you and I have met.] (Beat)
[But, the outside world is still…] (Frenda)
[Of course, I’m not just sending her out like that. It will be only after when she got the corresponding knowledge and strength. I will leave the necessary knowledge in these books. If she says that she wants to go on a journey, I want you to teach her magic and make her strong. To be honest, if you can find a trustworthy person who is used to traveling, it is fine, but… am I asking too much?] (Beat)
Although this place was a place that outside wouldn’t come thoughtlessly, the wish that Beat said in front of me seemed like a joke.
Since we were the parents, we didn’t want to make mistake for our child’s turning point.
And it was completely like a miracle that a worthy person who I could entrust Karen appeared.
“I heard from your wives that you dream to be a teacher who teaches various things. Based on your opinion, is there nothing else could be taught to Karen?” (Frenda)
“No. As I told you earlier, I have a lot of things I still want to teach her.” (Sirius)
“In that case, I want Sirius-kun to teach her the way you like. Karen is surely looking forward to be taught by you.” (Frenda)
Although it felt sad… this wasn’t an eternal farewell.
It I could stand it, Sirius-kun and Karen would be satisfied as well.
Leaving that aside, what were the things I gave in return to Sirius-kun and the rest?
Their burden would definitely increase by leaving Karen to them. I would like to thank you for taking care of her for me, but I didn’t have anything to give in return.
I didn’t have the money of the outside world, and… I was sorry about that, but I’d discuss about this with Asrad-sama later.
When I was considering about such a thing, Sirius-kun suddenly stood up and turned around.
“It would be better for us to talk about this with our family at once. Frenda-san, please tell this to Karen, while I’ll tell to everyone.” (Sirius)
“Right. It’s no good to decide on my own without listening to that girl’s feeling.” (Frenda)
After saying that, Sirius-kun left the room, but I noticed that I was tired more than I expected.
It was probably because of tension. When I stood up because I felt thirst, Kaa-san, who was waiting in the next room, came at the same time, and she offered me a cup of water.
“Thank you, Kaa-san.” (Frenda)
“Should I say, good job… in this situation?” (Debra)
“…I don’t know. Kaa-san… it’s going to be sad if Karen leave, right?” (Frenda)
I had explained this matter to Kaa-san beforehand.
When Kaa-san heard my explanation, she had a mixed feeling just like Sirius-kun, but she respected my will.
Even so, Kaa-san hit me on the shoulder with an astonished expression because of my words and sigh that came out spontaneously.
“What’s with that sigh? Do you want me to refuse you?” (Debra)
“That’s not it–… yeah, that’s not it, I guess.” (Frenda)
“Well, whatever it is, my answer will not change. It’s sad if the granddaughter leaves me, but I also can understand your point.” (Debra)
While I still couldn’t calm myself down even after drinking the cup of water, Karen, who had heard the explanation from Sirius-kun, came into the room.
“What’s this, Okaa-san? Even though I was working hard to learn magic…” (Karen)
“I’m sorry, Karen. But, I have something important to tell you from now on, so please listen to me.” (Frenda)
While being stared by Karen’s pure and intractable eyes, I talked about her go for travel with Sirius-kun.
“…That’s why. If it’s Sirius-kun, I’m sure he will protect you. So, if you travel with everyone, you will be able to see lots of things.” (Frenda)
“Is it alright!?” (Karen)
“As long as you want to go. Besides, you also like them and everyone else, right?” (Frenda)
As expected, Karen seemed to have thought about going on a journey.
If it was like this, I was sure…
“I like Onii-sans, Onee-chans, and Hokuto too… just how I love Okaa-san!” (Karen)
“…Yeah. If you are with everyone, you’ll be fine even if I’m not there.” (Frenda)
“Eh? Okaa-san… is not going?” (Karen)
I thought about it once, but my strength was nothing but a burden.
Although I was entrusting Karen who was still a child, it was too much for them to take care of me since I was an adult.
“I’m sorry. I can’t go on a journey.” (Frenda)
“But why…” (Karen)
Karen’s eyes were shining when she heard that she could travel, but she became depressed when she learned that I wouldn’t go.
I could go back if I did it now.
[It feels sad, but let see everyone off with a smile.] (Debra)
[I’m sure she will come back here again, and at that time, she will show and shock us with her amazing magic.] (Frenda)
If I said so, I was sure…
But then, that was no good.
“…I’m fine. You want to travel with everyone, am I right?” (Frenda)
“Y-yes. But, Okaa-san…” (Karen)
I felt only despair when Karen fell into the river and became separated, and then, I felt alive when I saw how she grew up under the care of Sirius-kun.
I relied on her more than she relied on me.
What I could do at present was… softly pushed her back.
“I’m waiting here for you to come back. Please tell me a lot about your journey at that time.” (Frenda)
“Okaa-san wants to hear my stories?” (Karen)
“Yes. I loved to hear stories about the journey from your Otou-san. That’s why I want to hear it from Karen.” (Frenda)
It was just that her appearance being immersed while telling the things taught by Sirius-kun was completely looked like Beat.
“Alright… I will go! I want to tell you a lot Okaa-san! Besides, I…” (Karen)
After that, I listened to her dream which she secretly wished for and I hugged my dear daughter.
— Sirius —
I was surprised by Frenda-san’s proposal, but it was also something that I wanted.
I wasn’t really thinking about having successor. I was purely interested in how much non-attribute people other than me grew.
However, as the number of subjects to protect increased, the danger that came with it would also increase.
Since I couldn’t decide this matter by myself, I tried to discuss with everyone immediately, but…
“I have no reason to object. So, I will follow Sirius-sama’s judgment.” (Emilia)
“I agree. Oh yeah… before we listened about this matter of Sirius-san and us, we were trying to figure out a way to say farewell to Karen-chan.” (Reese)
“It’s going to be hard from now, but you have to tell a lot to everyone.” (Fia)
“Ouh! I will protect her!” (Reus)
It was basically within my expectation.
Apparently, they didn’t object to have Karen as our companion. It seemed that they were having similar thought as mine.
“We are fine with it, but how are Karen-chan and Frenda-san?” (Emilia)
“Frankly speaking, I don’t feel good to separate a mother and a daughter who are that close.” (Reese)
“I think Karen should be fine because she is curious, but this may be about Frenda. Her husband had left her, so it would be good if we don’t make her sad anymore than that.” (Fia)
“Say, Aniki. Can we bring them together?” (Reus)
“No, Frenda-san thinks that she will not be able to travel. She had been attacked twice already, so I think she won’t feel relieve in the outside world.” (Sirius)
It might be harsh, but I had to make proper consideration.
Besides, Frenda-san was the one who said that herself, so she probably had been prepared for this.
I was also prepared to respond to that determination…
“Actually, I have been thinking about this matter, but would you hear me?” (Sirius)
My idea was probably excessive, and it might be rude to Emilia and others.
Nevertheless, whether I was right or wrong, everyone nodded while showing a bitter smile.
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That night… we were gathering at Karen’s house.
In the room which became a bit cramp when all of us were there, Karen’s family members were sitting on the opposite side of the table.
With the air of a bit tense, we informed the result of the discussion with each other. Karen happily flapped her wings while Frenda-san seemed to be relieved.
“However, I have conditions to take care of Karen.” (Sirius)
“Conditions? If I can do it…” (Frenda)
“Will you let Karen to call me as her father?” (Sirius)
“Is that… because you are adopting Karen?” (Frenda)
“No, it’s not that kind of matter. I am thinking that Karen’s loneliness can be softened if she thinks of me as a father during the journey.” (Sirius)
Even if I adopted her, I didn’t need to marry Frenda-san.
I wanted to treat Karen as a family member, at least through the way of calling.
Karen, who didn’t know her father’s face, still required the presence of a father, and I was also concerned about this too.
When I explained that this was for the sake of appearance, Frenda, who was anxious, became relieved, but Karen was merely wondering.
“If you have been thinking until that far, I think Beat also will allow it. I don’t really mind, but what do you think, Karen?” (Frenda)
“…Onii-san is Otou-san? But, my Otou-san is…?” (Karen)
“I won’t be your real parent, so you don’t have to worry about it now. Anyhow, I want you to think of me like a father starting from today. Well, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t like it.–…” (Sirius)
“Alright. Onii-san is… Otou-san. My Otou-san!” (Karen)
It might be because she didn’t have a father since she was born, she accepted easily.
I felt sorry for Beat, but I wanted them to be relieved.
I would take responsibility for their daughter, raised and protected her.
“It’s easy for her to accept Aniki as Tou-chan, isn’t’ it?” (Reus)
“Well, this is something to be remembered since we came to this village…” (Fia)
“I… think I can understand the feeling. When I first met Sirius-san, I thought that he was like a father.” (Reese)
“It is natural in a sense because Sirius-sama’s back is very big.” (Emilia)
Nevertheless, the ladies, who became my wives, probably had mixed feelings because I took custody of a girl and asked her to call me as a father.
Of course, I firmly apologized when I told this, but they were a bit different.
“By the way, if Aniki is Tou-chan, wouldn’t it better to call Nee-chans as Kaa-chan?” (Reus)
“That sounds tempting, but it’s fine to call us Onee-chan.” (Emilia)
“Yup. Karen-chan’s Okaa-san is Frenda-san.” (Reese)
“We only want to be called Okaa-san by our own children.” (Fia)
I didn’t think I could look at the ladies for a while.
I felt bad even if they didn’t mind, so I had to make up with something soon.
When I was planning for the future while watching the excited Karen, who was nearby, Frenda-san called her daughter as if to reprove, with a gentle smile.
“Karen. It’s alright to be excited, but since they will take care of you from now, you should treat them politely. You told me a while ago that your dream is to be with them too.” (Frenda)
Then, Karen turned to us with a full smile, and bowed her head deeply.
“I’d like to see a lot of things and write books someday like Otou-san. So, please take care of me!” (Karen)
In this way, Karen joined us on our journey.
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- The author is well aware that parents who entrust children to others have their own problem. So, please treat this like a homestay in a foreign country or entrusting them to a trusted teacher.
- The original setting for this story was Frenda was supposed to die a few day before Karen came back to the village. Karen stayed at Frenda’s grave and since Debra wasn’t in the original setting, Sirius and others watched her in turn. After a while, Sirius told her that he would be his father and invited her to travel together. As Karen remembered her mother’s last word by this invitation, she slightly recovered and went to travel with Sirius.
- The original setting where a mother died had been done before. Some may think it would be better that way, but because the author likes fun and boisterous setting, the original setting was cancelled to avoid trouble with the future settings.