“It was my mistake to trust him, even if I didn’t have the time.”
“I mean, a secret of my birth at this time of my life? What is this, a tv show? A movie? Do you have any idea how much I’ve suffered because I refused to accept help from that man? And where do you think you’re going? Get back here and kneel!”
Irei tried to sneak out, but one shout sent her running back to Ivel. She knelt and raised her arms.
“You said both you and Ike knew! So why didn’t you tell me?!”
“Ike oppa said you’d gain valuable experience if you didn’t know… that it would be helpful in the long run…”
“And where is Ike?!”
“Hiing! This is why he said ‘I’m off’ and ran away. He knew this was going to happen. So mean.”
“I can say the same to you, young lady! I bet you kept your mouth shut because it seemed funny to you!”
Ivel knuckled her forehead. Irei moaned and looked down. Now, it was Rivelia who was at mercy of Ivel’s enraged eyes.
“You too, mother. How could you not send a single letter to me, let alone any contact?”
“I have received routine reports on your well…”
“So you’ve been secretly watching me all this time?! Did you not feel something was off in all those reports? I understand that being a Duchess is tiresome. But was it really that difficult to spare a fraction of an hour for me?”
All of the pent-up frustration Ivel had built up since his youth had burst forward. He listed everything that was wrong, had hurt him, or had been just plain unfair. Any who knew of Rivelia would say that Ivel’s actions now were a spitting image of Rivelia when she was young.
Isaac sat leisurely as he threw a line into the lake overlooking New Port City. Far up in the Minolen mountains, he enjoyed the view of New Port City with a cigarette in his mouth. It was the same place Laila and Rizzly had been kidnapped to when New Port City was set aflame in the past. The mansion had been burnt to ashes, but there was still impeccable scenery to behold.
Suddenly, Isaac sensed someone behind him. He turned to see Kunette in her human form approach him with a chair. She unfolded it and sat next to Isaac.
As Isaac looked at his fishing rod silently, Kunette leaned her head on Isaac’s shoulder and spoke.
“Rivelia found out.”
“Hm. That’s going to be a ruckus for a while.”
“You’re so mean.”
“What about Ike?”
“He’s gone to see the Old One. He will lead the Directorate of Surveillance in my stead from now on.”
“Tsk. I told him to enjoy himself for a while at least, but he just refuses to stop for even a moment. I don’t know who he takes after.”
Isaack clucked his tongue. Kunette transformed into her bear form and climbed onto Isaac’s knees. There was a look of pride on Kunette’s face, which only made her that much cuter. Isaac patted Kunette’s head.
Kunette enjoyed Isaac’s embrace like a puppy before speaking.
“Reisha said she’ll be finished soon. She’s on her way.”
“Does that mean there’s nothing we need to take care of?”
“This is the first time all of us went travelling together.”
“It’s a late honeymoon, but I guess that doesn’t matter.”
“… Thank you.”
Kunette said hesitantly. Isaac smirked. He had his suspicions from the beginning. That Rivelia’s successor issue and having children was just an excuse to tie Isaac to this world, perhaps to grow affectionate for this world.
Isaac knew, but he didn’t refuse them. He knew he wasn’t going to grow attached to this life from just that anyway. But he was going to let them do as they wished. It was the least he could do for those who stood by his side from start to finish.
Rivelia was different from Kunette and Reisha, but she had been a victim—abused and kept in the dark—in too many of his past schemes.
“Are you not going to see Ivel?”
“It was fun to tease him in the past, but it’s just stale now that he’s all grown up.”
“… Are you sure you don’t want to tell your children? You asked the Old One not to tell Ike as well.”
“Humans tend to get shocked when they find out who their ancestors are. They’ll carry on with a sense of pride if it’s a hero from the past. But being a descendant of a villain, demon, or just an asshole will cause them to loathe themselves. I’m sure Ike’s already figured it out, but he’ll be fine with that perfectionist attitude of his. Irei probably wouldn’t care, what with her personality. But Ivel is like Rivelia in his stubbornness. It’d be a pain if he found out. It’s already become a running joke against me. Cordnell said it was the happiest moment of his life.”
Isaac clicked his tongue remembering Cordnell’s laughter, while Kunette snickered. During Ivel’s interview in New Port City, Isaac and Kunette were also hiding inside the room. They had all heard what Ivel said from start to finish; Isaac was the only silent one in a room of laughter.
“How is it? Isn’t he beautiful? I did put in some extra effort.”
Isaac let out his smoke as he watched the dragon descend with a basket in his mouth. In this fantasy world… The dragon truly did bring you babies.
“This is my…”
Rivelia watched the sleeping baby, the emotions welling up from inside. Isaac spoke apathetically.
“But who’s going to raise this kid?”
“Don’t worry about it! We’ve already made the preparations. Nanny!”
Reisha cried out, and a plump, homely looking woman stepped out with a smile.
“Ohohoho. How pretty you are. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything.”
“And what are you going with for the name?”
“A name? Just make up whatever you want.”
“We can’t do that. Only those who gave the fragment of the soul can name the baby made by the dragon. Otherwise, it goes against the contract.”
“Why’s it so complicated? And it wasn’t me who signed the contract…”
Isaac grumbled, but he saw Rivelia completely absorbed in her baby. He spoke.
“We’ll combine Isaac and Rivelia and name him Ivel.”
“Hm… Rather lazy, but I understand. Then will you do the same to your second and third child?”
“Hm? What do you mean second and third?”
Isaac was dumbfounded by the dragon’s question. The dragon silently pointed at Reisha and Kunette who were busy looking at the baby along with Rivelia.
“… Was it one Yeo-ui ju per child?”
“Whose is the second?”
“It was the North Bear lady over there who gave the other half of the soul. She wanted a boy. And the elf there wanted a daughter who was just like her.”
“You can even choose the gender? This fantasy world, I swear… Tsk. Second will be Ike and third will be Irei.”
“Fitting. Then I’ll proceed with that.”
“… Ivel called me an old lady.”
“… Ike is the same.”
“Hehe. Irei called me unnie.”
The reality of their children’s perceptions were sinking in for Rivelia and Kunette. Reisha, however, was content. Isaac looked at them and replied.
“Why are you so surprised? Of course they would think of their nanny as their mother, when their real mothers haven’t even stayed with them for more than 6 months combined.”
“Then what do we do?”
“It’s too late already. Those kids think their nanny is their mother now. Telling them that you are their mother will only cause confusion. Especially if all three of you come out to them at the same time.”
“Hiing! Then what do we do?!”
“Hm. We need a solution immediately.”
“Isaac, what are you going to do?!”
Reisha whined. Rivelia contemplated, and Kunette complained to Isaac. Isaac sighed briefly, once again lamenting why he needed to be the one to fix their problems
“Look for a magical artefact that can transform your appearance. When they get older, tell them you were just trying to protect them by hiding your identity. I’m sure they’ll be open to it.”
“Then how do we play with our children?!”
“… You can send the nanny off for holidays and play with the children for a few days.”
“Ah, we could do that!”
“Is it really you, Lord Isaac?”
“Are you really Isaac?”
“It is. It definitely is! How could this be!”
Isaac clicked his tongue, annoyed by Cordnell’s pedantic questioning. Cordnell immediately hopped on that as evidence, loudly exclaiming about the resemblance. Giving him an annoyed look, he found Risha kneeling in a corner with her arms up in a surrender. Isaac asked Rivelia.
“How did they find out?”
“After the wedding ceremony had finished, we gathered here and were talking about you, when Reisha, in her drunken stupor…”
“Hiing… I’m never going to drink again.”
“And what about Kunette?”
Isaac asked, seeing a teddy bear kneeling and raising her arms next to Reisha. Rivelia frowned as she answered.
“We could have laughed off Reisha’s slip up as just some drunken mumbling, but Kunette fell for all of Laila’s questions.”
“But Laila insulted Isaac!”
Kunette tried to defend herself, but one cold glare from Rivelia sent Kunette into an immediate retreat to the corner, eyes still looking down at the floor. Isaac then looked at Laila, who was still staring at him in pure disbelief. Rizzly, however, seemed to accept the truth as easily as eating honey. Isaac spoke to the two.
“First of all, let me congratulate you on your marriage.”
“… Are you really Lord Isaac?”
“Hm. Take her to the Old One. It’s too much of a hassle to explain everything. It’s a secret only the chieftains of each race know, but this brat—actually—I can’t even call you that anymore. Laila has the right to know.”
“Hehe. Sir Isaac, it’s been a while.”
Rizzly finally stepped out with an awkward smile. But Isaac replied with a cold look.
“You go to that corner and kneel too.”
“Huh? Why me?”
“You dare go after my daughter? I can’t really voice my objections to this marriage now, but I can be a father-in-law from hell. Go now.”
Rizzly stumbled over to the corner in sadness, and Laila rushed toward Isaac. She threw herself at Isaac, sobbing into his chest.
“It’s our third mother.”
Ike said. Isaac, who was standing next to Ike as they watched the nanny play with Irei, looked down at him in utter surprise.
“How did you figure it out?”
“Our mothers exhibit completely different personalities on certain occasions. So after careful observation, I have found our usual mother looks after us with affection, but at the tip of her fingers, there is respect. Meanwhile, the three different personalities I sometimes see… there is a warm, tender love there. Those three different personalities look after us sincerely, but have discrepancies in how long she looks at me, my brother, and Irei. Therefore, we have three mothers, and each one of us siblings has a mother of our own.”
It was frightening to hear this from a child who was just nine years old.
“But it seems this is an odd occasion. All of our mothers have come here today.”
Ike said, and Isaac turned to see Rivelia and Kunette in her human form approach them.
“Wow! They’re pretty ladies!”
Irei exclaimed, and Reisha, who was disguised as the nanny, stomped her feet in frustration.
“Reisha, get rid of your disguise.”
Reisha, Rivelia and Kunette looked at Isaac in confusion. Isaac nudged Ike’s head with his finger and continued.
“This brat figured it out.”