“It has been a while, Father, Mother.”
“You’ve had me worried, Herbert. Has it been since you’ve started school that you’ve last met with us?”
“I…I’m sorry for that. I’ve been living such an indulgent life, leaving late at night and returning only in the early morning, yet not making any effort to meet with you until now.”
Maxim haven’t seen Herbert in a while and immediately noticed the weight his son has gained. Maxim couldn’t remember the last time he gave Herbert a proper look. After all, he would intentionally avert his eyes from his son, and even deliberately decreased the opportunities for the two of them to meet within their residence.
But while Herbert did grow thicker, he undeniably grew taller as well. And imagining the weight behind the attacks his body could make, Maxim couldn’t help but be convinced that Herbert won that duel.
“So, what does my son who has been living an indulgent life want from me? In case you’ve forgotten, I am a duke in the kingdom, thus my time is limited.”
“Hold on, Maxim, why are you talking like—”
“No, it’s alright, Mother. I’ve done so much, after all.”
Herbert mumbled so as he looked at Maxim. And then, to Maxim’s surprise, Herbert bowed his head with force. Seeing his father taken aback like that, Herbert decided to press on. He was going to follow Rodeo’s advice.
“I…deeply apologize! I’ve caused a lot of trouble to you, Father and Mother! I’m truly sorry!”
Maxim knew Herbert’s personality well. Even when Herbert knew he was wrong, his pride would have prevented him from apologizing voluntarily. So, what was happening now? Herbert didn’t just stop at bowing his head, he was even posturing to kneel down.
Was this really the Herbert that Maxim knew? Or was this just a body double who just looked and sounded a lot like Herbert? At this point, Maxim couldn’t refute even something as bizarre as that.
“Herbert, you don’t have to bow your head like that. Not for your mother—”
“No. I can’t raise my head that easily! I…I’ve done so many things that can’t be undone! Even though I’m seeking forgiveness, I know full well that it can’t be granted! I know that, but even so, let me express my remorse for now!”
Johanna approached Herbert and tried to get him to stand up. However, Herbert stubbornly refused to move and instead insisted on kneeling down.
For the first interaction in a long while between mother and child…this was certainly a little unusual.
What in the world has happened to Herbert?
Maxim didn’t believe Herbert would change no matter what was said so to him, so he couldn’t help but be perplexed by the dramatic changes in Herbert. He had assumed that Herbert, with his son’s arrogance, would give only a passable, superficial apology.
Yet, when it came to it, what Herbert did was this vigorous apology.
Maxim had warned Johanna in advance not to be soft with Herbert, but with this development, all his prior thoughts were now meaningless.
“Herbert, rise. This conversation won’t go anywhere if you keep kneeling like that.”
In accordance to Maxim’s frank words, Herbert raised his head. When Maxim saw Herbert’s face, Herbert’s face when he was still a child somehow overlapped with his current one.
…no, that’s impossible. I must be hallucinating.
Maxim thought so as he shook his head.
At any rate, they moved the conversation to a nearby table. From that point on, it was crucial more than ever for Maxim to figure out what Herbert was thinking.
“Herbert, Rodeo has reported that you’ve learned how to use spacetime magic. Is there any truth to that? If there isn’t…”
“It’s true, Father. Accelerate!”
When Herbert said the spell’s name, a field of mana surrounded his body.
Maxim, being an excellent mage himself, immediately sensed that some kind of magic was at work. He raised his guard and wondered what would happen, but even then, he was dumbfounded by what he saw next.
Herbert suddenly began moving so quickly yet it was in a choppy, uneven fashion.
“This is a beginner-level spacetime spell called Accelerate. As you might guess, it speeds up the target. By the way, even though all of my movement is increased right now, my voice should sound normal. I think it’s related to how magical energy is transformed, just like how a magically conjured piece of earth do not vanish later, but…”
Maxim exclaimed so as he held his palm out. He made his mind work at high-speeds, but his thoughts just went in circles.
He just saw a spell he didn’t know of before. Moreover, it was a spell that didn’t belonged to any of the four elements. In other words, it was an unorthodox magic spell.
At the moment, there were only two unorthodox magic users in the kingdom. Maxim had met both of them and he could tell that what Herbert used was different from what those two could. Maxim thus concluded that not only did Herbert realize that he had talent for unorthodox magic, he even managed to learn it all by himself. Moreover, if Herbert’s explanation was to be believed, he could use spacetime magic, the same unorthodox magic as the sage Merlin.
But setting aside whether Maxim could bring himself to believe that was spacetime magic or not, he had confirmed with his own eyes that Herbert could use unorthodox magic.
While watching his son move so eerily because of the spell, Maxim let out a wry smile.
Being bombarded by so many unbelievable things, even Maxim couldn’t keep his facade of being a stern duke.
“Calm yourself, Herbert. Don’t be a fool who runs inside the mansion.”
In order to continue having a proper talk with Herbert as well as calm his mind, Maxim decided to call for a break.
TL note: Don’t know if magical energy (魔法エネルギー) is just another way of saying mana(魔力).
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“Maxim haven’t seen” >>> hadn’t*