The Return of the Lord
“Ohhh, you’re awake. That is good, quite gooood.” The tall man with long, dark blue hair running down his back let that out cheerfully as he looked at Subaru.
He was a tall man. His height surpassed Reinhard’s at around six feet tall. He had a slender body, as if he never did any sort of physical labor in his life, and it was not so much slender as it was delicate. He had different colored eyes, with yellow and blue on either side, and they matched his ghastly pale skin that made him look like a sick person.
His appearance was beautiful, as far as beauty standards were concerned. However, no matter how beautiful he was, if he got too close it would surely make anyone feel uncomfortable. “Your face is too close!”
“Sorry, soooooorry. You seeee, the first time I saw you was when you were deaaaathly pale, covered in blood, and on the verge of deaaath. I’m deeeeeply moooved to see you walking around like this.”
He patted Subaru’s shoulders in a friendly manner and bent down to look at him at close range once again—this was the owner of the mansion named Roswaal.
Subaru thought he looked to be in his mid-twenties and gave him the impression of a ‘prodigal son’ based on his appearance alone.
“No no, even like this, I’m sure you’re a pretty sharp guy…”
“Is that sooooo, that’s a nice assessment. Stare at me to your hearts conteeeeeeent. Do I look shaaarp? Weeeellll?”
Posing in front of Subaru, he spun around and stood as a model. The imposing manner in which he stood caused Subaru to be astonished when his own feet took a few steps back.
“N-no way…have I been outmatched here?! It’s not normal for someone to be more of a character than me… Isn’t that a hindrance in your daily life?!”
“Well, it reaaally doesn’t matter to me, either way.” A sigh arrived from behind them, and Emilia stepped forward as Subaru stepped back in shock. She turned to face Roswaal and said, “Welcome back. How have you been?”
“I’m fiiiiiine. I feel quite pleeaaaased. It’s been four days, 3 hours, and 19 minutes since we last spoooooke. I’ll have to write it down in my notebook.”
Roswaal was handed his notebook and a pen to write with by the pink and light blue-haired maids who had been standing to his right and left. They bowed reverently while doing so. With the notebook and pen he had just been handed, he began to write furiously, and—
“On the fifteenth day of the month of Tadmus. —Lady Emilia spoke to me herself. I am very happy. I feel like we are starting to get along, and…”
Roswaal closed the notebook with a look of satisfaction on his face, handed it to the maid, and then turned around. He was then greeted by Emilia who had a slight smile on her face, and—
“No, seriously…that was just…CRINGE.” After a quick side glance at Roswaal’s notebook that was in her hand—well, more like a planner—Subaru could see that it was well-used, and almost half of its pages had been filled with the same type of content he had just written down not too long ago. If it were filled with similar things, it would be the notebook of nightmares.
Roswaal slapped his knees at such an answer, which even overpowered Subaru’s response. “Cringe! It’s a nice woooord. This is my first time heaaaaring it, and I loooove it! Mmmm, the feeling of not being able to understand a different sensibility… oh, it’s woooonderful.”
“Wow, I hate that I can kinda sympathize a bit. Hey, did you really say I could get along with this?”
In front of the weirdo who was grabbing his shoulders in a strange way, Subaru waved the subject with frustration to Emilia with, “Am I regarded as the same thing as this!?”
She put a finger to her lips and let out a slightly annoyed “Hmmm.”
“As expected, not even you are a match for this country’s top pervert, Subaru…or are you?”
“Not even close! Is it really that fine a line?! With that?!”
“One man’s fault is another man’s lesson,” or so they say, but being put on the same level as the weirdo in front of him was a real disappointment for Subaru. From now on, he was intent on being careful about what he said and did.
“Anyways, come back, come back. Now let me thank you. Thanks for causing me so much trouble, and thanks for letting me use your bed. Sincerely, Subaru.”
“Oh, it’s sooo messed up already…”
Subaru was too prideful to show real gratitude, but Roswaal didn’t seem to care about that and simply whistled in response. Emilia, who was sandwiched in between the two of them, held her head in her hands. By the way, the twins chose to quietly refrain from getting involved, as if they had no intention of intruding in the first place, and Puck was still hiding in Emilia’s hair without making a sound.
Roswaal sullenly looked at Subaru from top to bottom after he had returned in an extremely awkward way. He frowned at him, who was uncomfortable. “You loo00ok like a normal person. And that’s a bit disappointiiing.”
“Hey, hold up, you think I’m just a normal guy? Normal is neither good nor bad… That evaluation is insulting to me! Take back what you said!”
“Why get angry about something like that, I suppose…” Beatrice commented.
He responded to the question with defiance.
It was a line that could not be crossed for Subaru. Due to his courageous attitude, Roswaal waved his hand with a “Aaaaahhh, sorry, sorry.”
“I meaaaaaaan ‘normal’ in the ‘racial’ sense. You seeeee, I’m a perveeerted nobleman with ‘Demi-human Tastes’.”
“You must be pretty devilish to be able to say that about yourself, huh? Oh, man, I’m starting to like you a little bit, but I hate myself for that!”
Roswaal looked amusedly at Subaru, who had his head in his hands, and then hugged the shoulders of the twin maids standing on either side of him. “The same is true of these children, and is also the reason why we support Lady Emilia. Weeeelll, I feel like we are birds of a feaaather, which makes you suspicious, doooesn’t it?”
Roswaal stroked the chins of the twins he had been embracing with his fingers, and at the same time created a strangely immoral-ish atmosphere. The twins did what they were told, and their faces turned bright red, as if they had already been bitten by his poisonous fangs. Subaru couldn’t help but look at Emilia with a bad feeling in his gut.
Perhaps sensing the intent of Subaru’s gaze, she hurriedly waved her hands. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the type of person who is attracted to perverts.”
“Normal is A-OK. When I graduate from high school, I will go to college, and once I graduate I will find a job and work to take care of my family like everyone else does.”
Subaru reversed his previous opinion and thought about the typical normal life. However, he was reminded of the fact that fathers who lived a normal life in the world all had a hard time.
Then Subaru suddenly picked up on a disturbing part of Roswaal’s statement. “I mean, what do you mean by supporting Emilia-tan? That’s why I don’t understand the relationship between the two in the first place.”
“Oooh, you don’t know what’s going on? Hmmmm, that’s straaaaange.” Roswaal released the twins and walked up to Subaru with his hands behind his back. He once again looked down at him from up close, but this time he didn’t back down and just stared at him.
Their gazes clashed and sparks began to fly—it was uncomfortable to be peered at purely as if to explore his intentions. However, looking away was also irritating because it was akin to admitting defeat. In response to the gaze that seemed to be looking through him, Subaru, too, was prepared to fight back resolutely.
They stared intently at each other, and the distance between them gradually shrunk. Don’t lose, don’t you dare lose. With that kind of feeling, he put his eye strength into it, *glare*, *glare*—
“Hoagyahhhhhh!” Subaru couldn’t help but release a reflexive uppercut at the tall man who had accidentally kissed his forehead.
The tall man was blown away by his unrelenting blow, and the twin maids hurriedly attempted to catch him as he fell. Subaru, not seeing the result, rubbed his forehead as hard as he could. “Wha-what the hell, this…what is this really abooooout?!”
“Aaaaaahh, it huuuurts, it huuuurts. —Weeeelll, I can’t help but notice that you’re looking at me with the innooooocent eyes of a treeeeembling maiden, and it makes me a bit aroooooooused.”
“I can’t help but clench my butt! Stop looking at me with that eye! Seriously!”
His forehead felt as if it had been burned, and then he made a fist with the hand that had rubbed it and stood in front of Roswaal, but he was intercepted by the twins, who looked at him with animosity in their eyes.
As one would expect, they would never laugh at their employer if he were beaten up. Seeing their clear animosity, Subaru reflexively took a step back, but then Roswaal intercepted them with a “Stooooooooop, stop, Ram and Rem. It was my baaaaaaad joke. He’s not at fault, I guess it’s my fault for being toooooo girly.”
“If you’re treating me like a maiden because of the way I look at you, your eyesight is failing, nobleman. I was pretty as a flower until kindergarten, but from that point on the hair on the back of my head was cut off.”
Subaru didn’t want to be mistaken for a girl, and the answer his parents gave him was simply to have a shaved head. Nowadays he would only feel comfortable as long as the back of his head felt jarring to the touch, but back then it made him cry a lot.
—Subaru’s parents had a strong influence on the development of his personality. His mother influenced him by never listening to others, and his father influenced him by being a complete go-getter.
Although disgruntled by the treatment of their lord, the twins took a step back. And then, while rubbing the jaw that had been struck, Roswaal stood up. “I apolooooogize for that just now, I was the one at fault. On top of that, to show my apology in a real way, how aboooout we have breakfast together? My treaaaat?
“Let me warn you, I’m not gonna work for it. If it’s free, I’ll make sure to eat to my heart’s content.”
“That’s a gooooood thing. Eaaaaating well is connected to liiiiving well. Hmmm, that was a pretty good ooooone. I’ll have to put it in my notebook.” The twins gave the notebook and a pen to Roswaal, who was holding out his hand, once more.
Seeing how he had begun to write smoothly and expertly, it appeared that the contents of the notebook did not contain the weird writings of the ‘Diary of Love with Emilia-tan’.
“If you were to write about your daily liiiife, wouldn’t it be something like a collection of poems? I feel like I’ll agoniiiiiize over it if I read it aaaall again in the future, buuuuut if I’m stiiiiill going on at that aaaaage, then there will be no hope of recovering from iiiiiiit.”
The inhabitants of a flower garden would not think it sad that they were in a flower garden. Subaru convinced himself of this, and then gave an answer to the breakfast invitation he had previously received.
“Anyway, I accept the invitation to breakfast. I haven’t eaten anything since before noon yesterday, let alone breakfast.”
“That’s splendid. Weeeeellll then, I’ll have them show you aroooound. Ram, Rem, take care of it.”
““You can count on us, Master Roswaal.”” The twins responded in perfect sync whilst moving to both sides of Subaru. Then they each took charge of one arm, keeping him tightly restrained.
“Hey hey, what’s with the atmosphere of being escorted away? Even if you don’t do that, I won’t run away, and neither will the dining table… Hey, hey, that hurts a little.”
“So, let me show you around, dear guest.”
“Well, let me show you around, dear guest.”
“Hey, listen, that’s as far as my elbows can go… So you guys still haven’t forgiven me for that uppercut earlier at all?! But no matter how much I think about that thing from before, that guy was the one in the wron-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow. My elbows! My elbooows! You two, they don’t go that way, hey!” Causing a racket with all of his “ow’s,” Subaru was dragged to the dining table with his arms held in a joint lock.
Emilia watched them go with pitying eyes, and when the three of them were out of her sight, Roswaal asked, “Weeelll, hoooow was it reaaaally, Lady Emilia?”
The question was spoken in his usual way of speaking, but gave off a different feeling. Emilia accepted the change without a hint of surprise. “It’s the same as yours. Puck has the same opinion. Right?”
At her request for consent, the cat nodded, with only his face peeking out from behind her silver hair. Roswaal’s eyes narrowed as if satisfied with the answer, and Emilia gently held her own chest in slight guilt.
With his face sticking out from under her silver hair, the cat nodded, seeing that she was looking for his agreement. Satisfied with that answer, Roswaal narrowed his eyes, and Emilia pressed her hands to her chest, feeling slightly guilty. “I’m reaaaally not sure if I should be suspicious of my benefactor. —I know it concerns me, but it’s just awful.”
She spilled that out as if ridiculing herself.