Youth, Telling the young girl.
Wendelgard was a 『Reki』 — Those who leave Tisroh and concern themselves with the outside world for their clan — known through the lands, and she had invited a high priest of 『Ahmar (The yellow god)』, Cornelio Cacache to the village.
He was someone who held authority in the field of cultural anthropology. Wendelgard decided, having heard that he was interested in the peculiar culture of 『Tisroh』, to invite him to the village. Normally, Tisroh didn’t allow outsiders to be a part of 『the clan』. — That didn’t mean they were reluctant to accept people into their 『clan』. They just didn’t want immigrants to be welcomed into their colony. —
Cornelio was a priest who held quite an influential voice even to the core shrine members in the capital.
Wendelgard was able to establish contact with Duke Eldishtett, the one with the highest authority within Raband, through Cornelio and 『Ahmar’s』 shrine.
For the sake of that, the one sent to them from 『Tisroh』 was the eldest son of the head family, Dale.
With the influence of the 『Demon Kings』 increasing, as well as the 『Seventh Demon Lord』 and the 『Second Demon Lord』 getting stronger by the day, he was someone that the people in power were longing for.
『Someone favoured by the gods』 — Having not just one 『Divine Protection』, a 『Divine existence』 who possesses 『Divine Protections』 from numerous gods.
The only 『Existence』 that can harm the 『Demon Lord』 — Basically, he was one who had the powers of what people called, a 『Hero』.
Someone being called a 『Divine Existence』 was a rare occurence, but a 『Hero』 was not limited to one person. However, those who had the ability to be called a 『Hero』, were not limited to soldiers who were used to the battlefield.
For Raband who wished to fight against the threat of the 『Demon Lords』 who loved war and held dangerous thoughts, a hero who especially had 『strength』 like Dale, was an irreplaceable necessity for them.
Dale definitely had the 『Strength』.
His 『Divine Protection』, worked well in battle. His 『Divine Protection』 which was given to him by 『The Orange God (Korumozei)』, being more connected to the god than the rest of the clan, was 『A protection for magic related to the earth』. When Dale uses Earth magic, he uses hardly any mana.
Furthermore, as the excellent hunter he is, he even excelled at using weapons.
Studying under Cornelio, his academics didn’t pale in comparison to the city people, and he gathered up his experience as an adventurer, by the side of another young and excellent adventurer.
It was certainly true that Dale was an excellent warrior.
Dale headed towards the back of the waterfall, as he lead Latina out for a stroll.
Latina chants a light magic spell and a gentle ball of light, like her personality, started floating in front of her. They walked side by side on the path lit up by that light.
Finally reaching the waterfall, several lanterns in the surroundings were lighting the area up.
The light reflects off the surface of the water and, countless lights were reflecting off the surroundings. Together with the originally secretive area, it was an otherworldly sight.
“They’re here ’cause York and Freeta came here earlier for the ceremony.”
The final ceremony was the duty of the groom and bride. Since Latina was waiting in the manor, she didn’t get to come here. He had thought that it would be nice if she got to see it.
In front of a small shrine worshipping Korumozei, a mountain of flowers had been offered. Just the amount of flowers there, was evidence of the blessings that had been brought to them.
“…York… will definitely become a good clan head.”
Latina looked up at Dale, a complex shadow cast from the shaking lantern fell onto her face, showing her in the midst of thinking about something. Reading the mood that she was feeling like she wanted to become an adult in one step, Dale was going to try and rough her hair around a little — but instead he touched it gently so that her hair which had been styled nicely for this special occasion, wouldn’t be all messed up.
It’s true that Dale can 『fight』.
However, up till then, the only times he had taken a weapon into his hands within his hometown was only for the sake of hunting for food, and to protect the village from foreign enemies.
He never used it to, take a 『Person’s』 life.
It probably wouldn’t have been so painful if Demons weren’t able to morph into all kinds of animals.
The followers of the Demon Lords didn’t look any different from normal, even once they turned into Demons. The Demon Race which made up for a large amount of Demons, didn’t look any different from 『The Human Race (us)』 apart from their horns.
He doesn’t regret fighting the followers of the 『Seventh Demon Lord』 who had invaded the country in order to initiate conflict within the 『Human race』.
And the followers of the 『Second Demon Lord』, morphed into grotesque beings you couldn’t believe were still alive, raise and they plead — Although their words were not understandable, their groans portrayed such — with such deep resentment, that the ones who robbed such lives from them, may even be doing a favour for them.
Nevertheless, killing a 『Person』 — just that act of taking a life, had been wearing down his heart.
Dale’s true essense was 『Tisroh’s Clan Head』 — Someone who would spare no efforts to protect the clan. For the sake of 『The things he should protect』, he would be able to demonstrate his powers.
In a land far away from the hometown 『he should be protecting』, despite being told it was for the sake of the country, for the sake of the people, the only thing he did was 『Kill』. Even with his hometown being so far away, and him not feeling like he was 『protecting』 anything, he couldn’t escape since he still 『wanted to protect them』.
Neither fame nor large sums of reward money could 『save』 him. He couldn’t rely on that to support his heart, his beliefs.
Killing his emotions, and accepting it as just his 『Job』, he looked for a way to get used to the 『Killing』. But that was a decision squeezing at his heart, what defines him, to death.
At that time, he met a little girl.
A little girl he had 『saved』.
He watched as that weak, unreliable existence who looked like she would fall apart, grow up healthily by the day under his protection.
Looking peaceful and relieved within his arms, smiling happily at him.
— This child was 『someone he had to protect』.
It was for the sake of someone he didn’t know, but he decided to fight for her.
It was in a city where she didn’t know anyone, but it had become a place where she could rest in peace.
Finding a clear 『Person to protect』, he gained the necessary motivation to fight.
If it is for the sake of her happiness then, he could 『fight』.
Despite that, it was this small girl who would provide him the words to 『save』 him when he felt like his heart would break.
Looking at the path ahead, her words would give him a lot of power, so that he would be able to keep up his bluff as her 『Parent』.
“My happiness, is all thanks to Dale, nano.”
Those words of hers, that smile she gives him, were the very things that motivates him.
Even though she was so small, she was a girl kinder than anyone. He prays for her to grow up like this, with this beautiful heart of hers.
“….I’m being saved by you.”
Hearing those words, her large, grey pupils twinkle with puzzlement.
He wonders, if it’s fine to blurt out some weak-hearted words every now and then. Making the alcohol he rarely drinks to be the reason, he considers it fine.
“Latina, you always say that, you’re 『Happy to have met me』, but it’s the same for me.”
He wonders, what he would be like right now if he had never met her. He wonders, if he would be able to smile properly.
He wonders, if he would be able to properly say “Congratulations” to his little brother.
He wonders, if he would have lost his belief, towards the place that he should’ve wanted to protect.
“I’m glad I met you, Latina.”
“….I’m glad as well, to have met Dale.”
He hugs her, who softly smiled at him. Even though it was the same distance as usual where they could feel each other’s body temperatures, it felt just a little bit different to normal for him.
“Latina is…. happy…. for being helpful to Dale.”
Listening to her gentle voice, he wonders what kind of adult she would become.
He wonders if she would, one day, smile happily like this at the side of someone other than him.
–And until that time comes, protecting her is without a doubt, 『A parent’s』 duty.
“However, I’m not gonna let some random dumbass off the streets marry my Latina.”
“IF HE WANTS LATINA THEN, HE’LL HAVE TO DEFEAT ME! I WON’T LOSE!”
Returning back to the banquet and sitting down, Dale went back to normal in a jiffy. The pace he was drinking at with Wenn-baa was so fast that Latina couldn’t even see it.
“Fuehh…. Are you alright?”
“ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ME?! YOU’RE SO KIND LATINA!”
He caught her in his arms.
He was clearly drunk.
“AHHH, LATINA IS SUCH A GOOD GIRL, AND SO CUTE! I WON’T ALLOW IT! I WON’T LET YOU BE A BRIDE!”
Dale wasn’t particularly weak to drinking, but as one would expect, drinking at a barrel-emptying pace together with Wenn-baa, he was dead drunk.
Latina only knew of Dale who normally drank diluted wine, and wouldn’t go crazy. She didn’t know what to do in this time of crisis.
Getting hugged all of the sudden, and having her cheek rubbed together with his, guriguriguriguri, it was definitely a first for her.
A weird noise came out of Latina, but it only made the two drunks in front of her even happier.
“Latina-chan. If you want to get married then, tell me. I’ll go find a good person to beat the hell out of this dumb grandson of mine.”
“DON’T! With your connections, you’ll really find someone!”
Nevertheless, they were laughing like usual.
They both smiled at each other.
(TL: who remembers the difference between demons, demon race and the demon lords lol)