IAWWMSP Chapter 464 – The Eldest and Second Elder Brother.
“And.. we’re done..” I said as I finished piling up the last mask I molded with my 【Modeling】skill. There were various designs of masks to choose from, but in the end, I chose the classic “domino mask” that covers only the upper half of your face. It’s the kind of mask usually worn by retro phantom thieves and dominatrixes1[Also known as SM queens or sadomasochistic women.].
The name “domino” from the popular domino game was apparently derived from these “domino masks.” I, for one, am unconcerned about such trifling matters, though.
I took out my phone and searched for different masks, making a few of the ones I came across. I made some that looked like cats, birds or other animals, some adorned with feather decorations, some were blindingly flashy, and some that were just simple and monochrome.
Of course, it is not just your regular mask. I made it so that the mask had a function that inhibits facial recognition, making it difficult for the other person to grasp the identity and features of the wearer’s face. However, if you’re familiar with each other, you can readily recognize the person only by listening to their voice, even if they were wearing a mask. Realizing that, I made sure to also put a voice changing function so that the wearer could change their voice.
In addition, I also had Dr. Babylon create ears and tails that are available for those who wish to borrow them, making it difficult to determine whether a person is a genuine beastmen or not.
It’s slowly changing into an anonymous ball rather than a masquerade ball.. Well, it’s more interesting that way so I think it’s fine.
I placed all the masks in my【Storage】and headed off to join the others who were busy preparing for the ball tomorrow. When I arrived, I found several tailors from “Fashion King Zanack” making final adjustments to the tuxedos and other formal attires that the people from Brunhild wouldn’t normally wear.
“Ah, Grand Duke. I’ve finished whipping up the men, instilled good manners and some basic etiquette into their thick skulls, so they should at least be able to behave well enough.” said the Vice-Commander of the Knights of Brunhild, Nikola-san as he approached me. He came from one of Mismeed’s most powerful mercantile families, therefore he was used to this kind of event. It was, however, his first time at a masquerade, though. He looked great in his black tux, and his foxy ears were kept a little more neatly than usual.
Attendees from Brunhild, especially from the male side, had a lot of participants so it was kinda rough. For that reason, I had Nikola-san attend in order to keep them in place. I personally can’t partake this time around like I did during the Knights Recruitment Exam, after all.
Anyway, Nikola-san sure is amazingly tough huh.. He’s treating the ball like it was some kind of battlefield.. In a sense, viewing it like that may not be wrong though.
“It would be nice if Nikola-san can find a good partner during the ball tomorrow..”
“Haha… I’m trying hard not to think of anything like that… However, right now, I’m trying to focus my everything into making sure that Brunhild wouldn’t be viewed as disgraceful for tomorrow’s ball.”
Nikola-san is quite popular in the castle. He’s always been manly and reliable, furthermore, he also holds the title of Vice-Commander. The only downside is that he’s a bit too serious and doesn’t smile very often, but apparently, this side of him also seemed to be charming and cool.
“How are the girls doing?”
“They seem to be doing fine. Just a moment ago, Norue sent this to me.” Nikola-san took out his smartphone and showed me an email with a photo attached. What’s shown in the photo was Commander Rein in a white party dress with the text, “Be mesmerized with Rein-chan’s cuteness!” She looked like a cute white bunny.
“What the hell are they doing… Now I’m worried if they’ll try and do something weird at the party..”
“W-well.. I’m sure it’d be fine.. You should go and keep a close eye on them during the party, at least if you do recognize them.. I’ll be on the lookout as well.”
The masks had a function that inhibits facial recognition, so as long as you remember what the person’s clothes were beforehand, you would be able to recognize them. At the very least, the attendees of the same country should be able to figure out who is who.
By the way, the female participants from Brunhild include Rein, Norue, the head guardswoman, Rebecca, the three Kunoichi members of the intelligence team, Homura, Shizuku and Nagi, and the Alraune demonkin, Rakshe.
I hope that everyone would have a good time, asides from finding marriage prospects.
The only thing is.. what if they’d really marry someone!? They might leave Brunhild and go to another country! Though, if it was the second or third child of a lower noble family, we would be able to drag them over here..
It’d be sad to see them go, but if it’s what makes them happy, I guess I should send them off with a smile.
Welp, we’re all set and ready to go. Now we just have to hope it all works out and nothing wrong happens.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Woaaaaah! The ballroom’s so big, desune!” Linze sighed as she looked down the enormous ballroom from the second floor. Glittering decorations are scattered all over the place, and a gigantic chandelier hangs from the ceiling. Is that a dwarf-made chandelier that has been enchanted with【Light】? Uwah… I wonder how much did it cost.
From where we were standing, we could see a wide balcony at the end of the second floor corridor of the ballroom, and from there we could overlook the stunning shore of Refreese. The deep blue water and blue sky adorned with white clouds and white townscape. The scene was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist snapping a photo with my phone’s camera.
“It’s just like the Mediterrainean Sea we’ve visited from when we were on our honeymoon.”
“I also thought of the same thing the first time I went to Refreese.” With a chuckle, I responded to Leen’s words. It’s nice to be able to discuss little topics like these. It was all the usual sights, but I’m glad I got to tour them all around Earth.
“There’s a garden below, degozaruna..” Yae was looking over below from the balcony railing, so I leaned forward in the same way.
There was a flower bed filled with flowers blooming magnificently beneath the balcony, which was just adjacent to the ballroom, a brick path with a huge fountain, benches, and tables stretched through it. There was also a lush green lawn that appeared to be a wonderful spot for a picnic. Hilda, who was next to me seemed to think so, too, and looked at the garden below with an expression filled with admiration.
“This place seemed to be set up with the idea of finding a partner at the ball and going out here to have some romantic private talk..”
“Well, that would be ideal, that is, if you can find a partner.”
And, since everyone would be wearing a mask, I don’t suppose people would flock to someone beautiful or someone of higher status; nonetheless, I hadn’t considered the issue of clothing. I think that fancily dressed people would certainly be the center of attention. Considering this fact, people would immediately know that they were someone of wealthy origin, especially if what they’re wearing were something gorgeous.
So, once we’ve left such people alone, they will most likely reveal their personalities, allowing us to discern their real intentions.
While I was busy thinking such things, Sue came up to me while darting her eyes around the place.
“Touya, do you know where Lu went off to noja?”
“Hmm? Oh, if you’re looking for her, she should be in the kitchen helping the head chef of Refreese prepare food for the guests.”
“She’s even helping another country prepare their own food? Mou.. even though she’s already one of Brunhild’s Grand Duchesses.. This is quite the problem jano..” Sue sighs and shakes her head, as if to say, “Oh dear…”2[Raw: やれやれ/yare yare~] No, she’s doing it because she had a good reason of her own.
Lu publishes a variety of recipes every week in the form of a blog on an app called 【Cooking Recipes】3[【お料理レシピ】, literally translated as “Cooking Recipes.”] that’s been installed on everyone’s phones. Additionally, the blog also includes pictures of delicious food and sweets, which immediately grabbed the hearts of the Royalties that owned a smartphone.
And naturally, the information for these recipes has been passed to the royal chefs, resulting in many of them somewhat idolizing Lu as a legendary chef.
Refreese’s head chef was also an avid fan of her blog. With the Emperor aware of this fact, he directly appealed to me to see if I could ask Lu to assist their kitchen staff in preparing wonderful meals.
“Lu’s cooking is deliciously excellent, so it’s no surprise that people would get crazy over it.”
“That’s also a problem of its own..”
Sakura had a point, if people would be too absorbed in eating these deliciously made meals and wouldn’t even pay attention to the others, then what’s the point of this event? Would be nice if they at least get along with each other through sharing their own opinions of the food though.
Suddenly, Yumina clapped her hands, causing me to reflexively jump for a moment.
“Now, now.. It’s time for us to get ready since today is the first time we’ll be attending an event with Touya as his wives and as the Grand Duchesses of Brunhild!”
“Uhmm.. Yumina, do we really have to do this?” Elze replied to Yumina’s speech with a bitter look on her face. Likewise, Linze, Yae and Sakura also had the same troubled expressions.
In addition to the ongoing blind matchmaking party, another party was held on the second floor, where many royalties and nobles from other countries that already had partners themselves, as well as their princes and princesses who were still too young to be in a relationship, were gathered. Naturally, my wives and I would be there as well.
From our side, the Prime Minister, Kosaka-san, the Head of Construction, old man Naito, would also be joining us here. Although I’m a bit reluctant, my sisters Karen and Moroha will be attending the event as well since they’re technically royalties, posing as my sisters and all. But as expected, Tokie-obaachan4[Obaachan = Grandma/Grandmother] would be staying home.
Because royalties coming from the east and west continents will be assembled here, this event is actually more important than the blind date being held downstairs. Naturally, security is tight, and due to this fact, Refreese asked me a few days ago to help assist with strengthening the security.
And, since this was going to be a formal event, there was of course, a dress code you had to follow. Going around with your usual adventurer getup wouldn’t cut it.
When it came to attending this kind of party, my wives were naturally divided into different types: some of them were enthusiastic and some were a little bit reluctant. Well, I guess this was inevitable. Yumina, Lu, Hilda, Leen, and Sue were already used to behaving in such formal occasions, but the others were not. It’s no surprise that they were a little uncomfortable.
Though, I just wondered what really made them so concerned. All they had to do was to greet and chat with royalties and nobles from various countries in order to deepen their friendship, and then move to the next. Rinse and repeat. Since they’ve already met them many times before, it’s surprising that they were still worried. But maybe because they’ve met, not in a formal event like this, but casually, the idea of having to meet them as “Grand Duchesses”, were a little uncomfortable for them.
“Well, we’re not the ones hosting the event this time, so just go with your own pace and try to enjoy this event as much as possible. Just do it that way and you’ll get used to it in no time.”
“Easy for you to say.. Ah, I wished I was instead placed as a guard for security..” Said Elze while sighing. Right now though, you are already a grand duchess, so please give up that thought of yours..
Yae, who was smiling bitterly next to Elze, craned her neck as if she spotted something over my shoulder. Eh, what now?
“Sakura-dono, isn’t that his Majesty, the Demon Lord, is it not?”
“Ughhhhh…” Sakura lets out a disgusted sound.
As I looked around, I spotted the Demon Lord of Xenoahs walking through the second floor of the ballroom venue. He spotted us from the gallery and headed towards our direction, walking behind him were few of his demonkin knights acting as bodyguards.
I found a familiar looking dark elf man among them. It was Sirius-san. His daughter, Spica, was one of the members of our knight order, and was also Sakura’s personal guard. He looked as young as ever. Well, that’s an obvious fact, given that he’s a dark elf. The Demon Lord also looked like he was still in his twenties, with his actual age being more than a hundred years old. Hmm? Other than the guards, there were also two well-dressed young men with them. Eh, who are those people?
“Sup, Grand Duke of Brunhild? I see you’ve already arrived here, huh.” His Majesty, the Demon Lord raised one hand while addressing me. However, his gaze wasn’t locked on to mine, but on his daughter Sakura. Look at me if I’m the one you’re talking to, meathead.
Yesterday, I went to each of the invited nations to set up a 【Gate】 so that when the appointed time comes, those who have been authorized to pass would be able to arrive here easily and safely. It seems that the first party to arrive were the attendees from the Demon Kingdom of Xenoahs.
The Demon Lord smiled and called out to Sakura.
“Err, uhmm.. How’s my Farnese doing these days..?”
“How’s your married life? Are you content? Any problems?”
“I’m very contented with it, your worries are not needed.”
“I-is that so..”
How awkward… It wasn’t what you would call a father-daughter conversation. It felt like Sakura was answering him properly, but curtly.
Sirius, who seemed to be troubled by something, whispered with a small voice to the Demon Lord.
“..Your Majesty, the introductions..”
“Ah! T-that’s right! I remember I had some people I needed to introduce to you. Hey, both of you, c’mere!” When the Demon Lord called out, the two well-dressed young men before came forward. One of them is a dark-skinned young man who stands over 180 cm tall, with well-developed muscles visible on his neck and arms. He had long, fiery red hair, eyes burning with passion, and a fearless smirk on his face. The other one was a thin young man about my height, wearing round glasses. In contrast to the other young man with an intense gaze, he was looking at me with sleepy, bored eyes. He had the same red hair as the first young man, but his was a tad paler. He had a bit of a nerdy vibe around him.
But what caught most of my attention were.. the silver horns sprouting from either sides of their head. The same kind of horns the Demon Lord have.. Those horns were proof that they were related to the royal family of the Demon Kingdom of Xenoahs, in other words…
“They are my sons, Faron and Fares. Farnese, they might not share the same mother with you, but they’re still your elder brothers nonetheless.”
Just as I thought. They’re the first and second princes of the Demon Kingdom of Xenoahs, and Sakura’s elder brothers so.. that means they would also be my brothers-in-law? I sure do have a lot of brothers-in-law, huh? From Yae’s side, there’s Jutaro-niisan, from Hilde’s side, there’s Reinhardt-niisan, and although I had a little impression on him, there was also Lu’s little brother, Lux. And then, these two would join in the fray as well?
Though, it’s just natural considering that I had a lot of wives.5[Bruh, I can’t even imagine having 9 wives. Lol]
Prince Faron walked up in front of Sakura and made eye contact with her, but because of the difference in height, the prince had to crouch down a little bit to be able to meet her in the eyes. For some reason, he also put his hands on his hips and made a flashy pose like he was some kind of big shot.
“This is the first time we’ve met in person, but it’s me, Faron, your elder brother!”
“You seem like an idiot, though.”
“What’s up with you and your sharp tongue!?!?”
Sakura just blurted out the thoughts I just had a moment ago. Not holding anything back and being blunt at your brother right at the start, huh.. Though, maybe she’s like that because she doesn’t quite see him as her brother or a part of her family. Makes sense, since they haven’t even known each other the moment they were born and had just met each other now.
“No, well, I thought the same thing too, Nii-san. It was such an idiotic way of introducing one’s self.”
“You think so too, Fares!?”
Faron was dejected as he was sandwiched with attacks by both his little brother and little sister. Ah, like father like son. He had exactly the same look the Demon Lord would have whenever Sakura’s giving him a cold treatment.
With Prince Faron frozen by the shock of being treated as an idiot, the four-eyed Prince Fares went and introduced himself in front Sakura.
“I’m Fares, the second Prince of the Demon Kingdom of Xenoahs.. although I am the second Prince, I had forfeited my rights of becoming a successor to the throne… Uhmm.. This may be late but, I humbly ask you for the forgiveness of the problems my mother’s brother had caused you.. Although, it’s not the kind of thing that can ever be forgiven, I still wanted to apologize to you.” Fares then bowed deeply to Sakura whose eyes turned wide with the sudden apology. I don’t know what he was apologizing for but.. before long, I remembered what it was.
Sakura’s life had been threatened once by people with malicious intentions in the past. Since the one who holds the same horn as the Demon Lord’s and had the highest magical power becomes the next ruler in Xenoahs, Sakura, who’s horns never manifested, was raised as the illegitimate child of the Demon Lord. However, by the time she grew up, the horns had suddenly appeared along with a great increase of her magical prowess. If left alone, Sakura would without a doubt be the next Demon Lord. So as to not let this happen, the little brother of the second prince’s mother, had thought of using a merchant as a means of contact to hire an assassin from Yulong to target Sakura. As a result of this scheme, Sakura had almost lost her life and incurred a memory loss. Though, now that her memory has returned, the culprit was tracked, identified, and was decapitated, unravelling the whole incident. While the second prince, Fares, was not directly involved with this case, it was, however true that Sakura almost had her life taken away by the scheme of his mother’s little brother, and it seemed that he also felt quite responsible for it.
“Don’t mind it.. Honestly, if that thing never happened, I might not have met the Grand Duke or the others.”
“I see.. You’ve got quite the strong heart, huh.”
“Mhm.” Sakura nods while somewhat agreeing at the smiling Fares’ evaluation of her. I wonder if Sakura inadvertently addressing her elder brother like that, without honorifics, rude? Then again, back on earth, it was quite normal for foreigners to be conversing like that, so I think it’s fine.. Though, there was one person nearby who was quite bothered by it.
“Hey, hey! Aren’t you two being too familiar with each other? You’re both too relaxed! Hey, what about me, Farnese?!”
“Father… don’t get too worked up, and calm down for a bit, will you?”
“Hmph.. you’re annoying.”
“You’re both already perfectly in sync!?!” The Demon Lord was shocked by the pincer-attack that came from both his son and daughter. He looked pathetic..
“Uh, Demon Lord? Your sons will be attending the party, right?”
“Hmm? Ah, yes, that’s right.. Neither of them has a wife yet after all.”
“Heh. That’s unusual. They’re not even engaged?”
“They’re too picky, you know. It’s pathetic, even though they’re already that age, they still don’t have partners. I hope they could learn a thing or two from you, Grand Duke.” The hell are you talking about? One of my wives is your daughter, you know!
“N-no… It’s just that my ideals are too high… If I wanted, I could just get a wife or two, no sweat…”
“Typical loser reasons.. You just couldn’t.”
Sakura completely shoved those words to Faron without hesitation. The sight of her poor brother was what you’d exactly see when Sakura treats her Father harshly.
I thought that he was already married to someone because he was a prince. But apparently, it’s different in Xenoahs. Demonkin naturally had longer lifespans, so there was no real reason for them to get worked up when finding partners. Furthermore, it also seemed that they have a custom of freely choosing a partner of their own liking, completely rejecting your typical arranged marriage trope.
“How about you, Fares?”
“Well, I don’t really have any interest in marrying someone. I was just simply forced to attend and was dragged by my idiotic brother here. Then again, I was also quite interested in visiting Refreese, and finding a partner here doesn’t seem to sound that bad.”
“Mhm. Just take it easy and do your best. Eventually, you’d be able to find a good partner for yourself, I’m sure.”
“Hey.. aren’t you treating him better than me..?” Unlike when Sakura was throwing words laced with contempt at Faron, she was evidently encouraging and supporting Fares. Hmm.. but I guess, Faron’s personality, while not as much, is quite similar to the Demon Lord. And with Sakura seeing that he quite resembled her annoying father, she’s also treating him the same.
And while I was pondering such things, Prince Fares suddenly called out to me.
“By the way, Grand Duke. My father told me that there was quite a large library in Brunhild..”
“Eh? Ah, yes, there is. Since I could use teleportation magic, I’ve collected various books from various countries and placed them at the castle library.”
For a moment I thought he was talking about the library located in Babylon, but he wasn’t. He was referring to the library that was in Brunhild’s castle.
I’ve already shown the library to the world leaders after a world alliance meeting once. And it seems, the Demon Lord had probably mentioned it to him.
Most of the books in the library of Babylon were written in ancient script and had forbidden knowledge best left alone. However, as most of them were useful, we’ve revised them and wrote them in the language of this world and placed them at the library in the castle. I also had other rare books that I collected from all over the world at the request of Fam, the manager gynoid of the library.
“May I be allowed to visit the Brunhild library next time? I’ve been very curious about it since the time my father brought it up.”
“Are you a bibliophile?”6[A book lover/bookworm.]
“Yes, I am. Sometimes, I even forget to eat my meals since I’ve been so engrossed in reading. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to read books and learn something at the same time, after all.” Heh.. Compared to his meathead brother, he’s quite an intellectual. But.. if he’s into books, he might be able to get along with Princess Ririel… Eh, no, scratch that.. That girl’s into BL books, and it’d be hard for Fares to adapt into her tastes..
Well.. there were no problems for Prince Fares to visit the library, so I gave him an OK.
After that, the Xenoahs party went off to prepare and change into their formal outfits for the ball. The Demon Lord tried to stay behind to talk to Sakura but, since we also had to prepare, he was dragged away by his companions before long.
Well, I’d better get ready and get changed too. Man, I sure haven’t worn my tuxedo ever since my wedding day, huh.. After parting with Yumina and the others, I headed off to the changing room reserved for Brunhild’s men.
- 1[Also known as SM queens or sadomasochistic women.]
- 2[Raw: やれやれ/yare yare~]
- 3[【お料理レシピ】, literally translated as “Cooking Recipes.”]
- 4[Obaachan = Grandma/Grandmother]
- 5[Bruh, I can’t even imagine having 9 wives. Lol]
- 6[A book lover/bookworm.]