Rather Than The Son, I’ll Take The Father - Chapter 26
Translator and Editor: Effe and Tide
Prokeon became excited at the mention of another name pointing to the North.
“Aren’t you surprised? It’s a real emerald jewel in the middle of the gate.”
The gateway was embedded with light turquoise stones and emerald, a crystal of luxury.
Apart from maintenance and upkeep, installation costs alone would have been astronomical.
But there were three more gates like this in the north: the ruby gate in the northwest, the amber gate in the northeast, and the crystal gate at the northernmost point.
The four gates built by the first Grand Duke Kallakis became the landmark of the north.
However, no one knew why the first Grand Duke had put the jewels in the gate.
I glanced up at the Emerald Gate. The emerald carved into the shape of the sun was the size of my head.
Such jewels weren’t just a show of money.
Prokeon was a little bit upset by my rather indifferent reaction.
“Hey, it’s not just a novelty! It’s on the road to the center of the north! The population is massive, and yet, it’s never been stolen. Isn’t that amazing?”
A cold breeze came into the carriage, along with the sound of Prokeon’s raspy voice.
‘It’s cold. Shall I put on another coat?’
Suddenly, I caught sight of Prokeon’s clothing, which was not much different from the warm capital city’s fashion.
‘Where did he get it?’ He even wore a straw hat suitable for the holiday season.
It was a little cheeky.
“Sir Prokeon, I have to close your window.”
“Well, then who am I going to talk to—”
I cut off his words by closing the window with a thud. But I could still hear the sounds of Prokeon’s sniffles through the window.
I raised Aedis’ arm and wrapped it around myself like a scarf. He said nothing.
As we neared the Grand Castle, Aedis grew quiet.
Although he would answer my question, he would never initiate.
I thought I knew why, but I also didn’t. After a while, the carriage passed through the Emerald Gate without slowing down.
Knights guarded the entrance, standing still while holding a sword. They didn’t dare to move from their posts until the carriage passed by.
The Kallakis estate, which included the entire northern region, had a pretty name. Esmerelda. More than half of it was covered in glaciers that did not melt.
Rumor had it that if you crossed the Crystal Gate, you would see all sorts of interesting fish and wild beasts the size of a house.
However, not everyone could enter because there was a large beast population there.
The beasts of this continent were large and strong, unlike the others. There were even demons that harbored troublesome powers.
Fortunately, they did not frequently leave the area because of natural disasters. That was as long as no one bothered them first…
The environment outside the realm of the beasts, that is, the home of man was much better.
There was a large forest with sprawling grasslands and granaries, which were not abundant, but enough for livestock.
Slowly, the Grand Castle began to appear over the horizon.
The old castle, Cyclamen, was named after the gorgeous flowers that bloomed in the winter. They were the pride of the Esmeralda estate.
Excited, I waited for the Cyclamen Castle to grow closer.
‘What a wonderful, grand, old castle I will live in…or not.’
“Am I dreaming?” I mumbled in a daze.
Cyclamen Castle? If you name it after a flower, it should resemble a flower, right?
I was told that when the Cyclamen Castle had been completed, its roof was red as if sprinkled with pollen.
It was supposed to be something right out of a painting, full of jewelry.
But now, uh, the Devil’s Castle seemed like a better name for it.
The roof was black, and so were all the walls.
(What do you expect from a man whose wardrobe is all black! (*´ー｀*) )
I struggled to call the Cyclamen Castle beautiful and elegant.
I could hardly accept reality. I turned around to take a look at the Emerald Gate that had grown minuscule in the distance.
If the constructors tried just half as hard as they did on the gate, the Castle wouldn’t have looked like that.
The jewels which used to adorn the Cyclamen Castle seemed to have disappeared.
In addition, the exteriors of the castle were not just discolored. It was as black as fresh ink.
Have the walls not been cleaned in over 500 years? How could the castle named after a flower look like that?
If I rubbed it with my palm, I was sure a stain would come out.
No matter how close it was to the territory of the beast, I found it strange to live in such a place that seemed to scrape away my aesthetic sense and sensibility.
‘Hey, apologize to the real cyclamen flowers.’
I could see why Rehan wore a blue blouse and yellow vest, and green pants.
Animals were more easily affected by the environment, but this was a bit…
The thought of having to renovate the Grand Castle, which was in such a bad state, made a shocked sigh escape from my mouth.
“Wow, I, it’s just, wow.”
There were few windows, so I wondered if the ventilation would be adequate.
If I could, I would bring out all the beasts living under the glaciers beyond the Crystal Gate and have them clean this place.
Watching the gloomy, ink-colored castle made me feel a little depressed myself.
Oh, this is hopeless…
I missed the Morgana Manor, which sparkled under the spring sunlight.
‘Whoa. Cheer up, Maevia. You can do it!’
I scanned the castle and made up a plan: more windows, re-raise the spire, rip off the roof, fix the paint, right?
I need to fix it as much as possible, or I could just build a new one.
‘There’s a lot of empty lands here, right?’
“Aedis. Aedis? Hey.”
Only then did Aedis look at me.
“…Ah, did you call me?”
I waved my finger in front of his watery eyes, which were full of different thoughts.
‘Are you even paying attention?’
“What do you think?”
After a long silence, Aedis slowly approached the subject.
“I just wondered if it was a good thing to bring my wife here.”
Hmm? I didn’t know Aedis very well, but I felt his thoughts were rather weird.
I put aside my thought about the shocking ink prison, no, the Grand Castle, and focused on Aedis.
“Why do you think that?”
Aedis turned his head as we approached.
“Doesn’t it seem like we’re going through a rough patch?”
‘So, you realized.’
“I’ve never seen such a structure before. Maybe the great octopus demon appeared. Did you sprinkle ink on the castle?”
Aedis was shocked at my words and suddenly lowered his chin. He looked lost in thought.
“It’s hard to guarantee that the inside is better, so what do I have to do to comfort you?”
“What’s wrong with the castle when the gate is flashy like that?”
‘Hey, what’s up with that answer?’
While I was speechless, the castle door opened, and the carriage stopped.
Either way, my expectations had completely collapsed.
My teeth ached from the biting cold.
While being escorted by Aedis, I got off the magic carriage and heard a cat cry.
‘Huh?’ I lowered my head reflexively.
Three cats, dressed in clothes with bells and even hats, were wandering around Aedis’ feet.
Their fur was sleek and glossy, and their stomachs were plump. It seemed that they were taken good care of.
“Aedis, did the previous Grand Duke like cats?”
Then, who was raising them?
I was sure it was not Gilbert.
The cats circled around me while guarding Aedis.
Cheese Tabby, whose body stretches like glutinous rice cake, looked up at me and made my pupils tremble. ‘Why did you do that?’
Prokeon, who approached me, greeted the cats in a friendly way.
“Maximus! How are you?”
I thought for a moment before remembering that Maximus was the current emperor’s name. The cat, named after a member of the royal family, glance at Prokeon.
Perhaps saying hello was not enough. Prokeon reached out his hand and bowed.
Maximus kept his tail and mandible straight.
It clearly meant not to hug him.
“…That’s okay. I’m fine. Hic… ”
I wondered if he would need my consolation, so I left the wounded Prokeon and went into the castle.
The first thing that greeted me was a cheese-colored rug.
“Isn’t this similar to the color of the cat we saw earlier?”
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