“So in other words, you’re wanting that cute Ojou-san to have a fiance that can be cut off at any time to keep an evil bloodsucker away?”
Von O’doll nodded in satisfaction.
That’s how the story turned out.
Thanks to the recent discovery of a certain tunnel, Pavuera’s feudal lord grew interested in having his son marry Mai O’doll. However, the rumors about his son weren’t too good. He wanted to refuse the offer, but he needed a reason to do so.
And so he decided that he would prefer getting her a fiance, allowing him to refuse the engagement.
So it’s not a fake marriage so much as it is a feigned betrothal.
“It wouldn’t have been too hard of a thing to refuse if she was already engaged, but now that he’s already started to show interest in her, I needed the man to have some prestige. On that point, Kehma-dono, as the one to discover that tunnel, as the one to first retrieve a magic sword from [Cave of Desires] after its transition phase, and as the one who has governed Golen Village in its development, you have quite a record.”
Hearing it like that and setting aside what actually happened, it really does sound like I’m excellent.
Moreover, I’m not a lolicon. In other words, I’m the most suitable marriage candidate.
“However, there is one matter that troubles me, this thing about you preferring young girls… is it true?”
“No, it isn’t.”
“But that Kuroinu-dono you bring with you, isn’t her name… Meat?”
“Kuro is a beloved member of my family. There are various matters concerning her name.”
Unexpectedly, I felt something soft beating against my waist. When I took a look, it was Meat’s tail wagging back and forth b.u.mping against me. How cute.
“Alright. But I intend for my daughter to be clean until her marriage, do you understand?”
“Excuse me, but it sounds to me as though this is advanced with the assumption that I’ve agreed. Is that my imagination?”
“I wonder. With your excellence, you should know how to maneuver this to your advantage, right? I’ve, naturally, prepared a reward for you. How about it? You’re an adventurer, so you could just think of this as a commission.”
“I’m not exactly troubled in my finances, so I would still like to refuse. I have my own circumstances.”
“Right, how about some information on a Godly Treasure? It would be about the Godly Pillow, a divine tool.”
“… Nn? W-well, maybe I can hear you out?”
A lord’s power for information gathering is frightening. Did he know it was something I want… Wait, come to think of it, didn’t I tell the Adventurer Guild that I would buy any and all information about the Godly Beddings… maybe he learned about it from them?
But… it’s information about a new piece of the set. Not another duplicate. I want it.
It was hard to refuse Von O’doll’s coerciveness after behaving so modestly, but if it’s about that, I’m prepared to let him keep the initiative for a bit longer.
“What, it’s not too serious. Just let me use your name for around a month.”
“Yeah. That’s all I’ll need to refuse him. So how about it? Just a month.”
With that, Maid-san knocked at the door, came in, and whispered into Von O’doll’s ear.
He nodded with a sigh.
“Kehma-dono. We’ve prepared a guest room for you to use, so please, stay the night
. Having you return right back to Golen Village the same day after expressly calling you here myself would disgrace my name as the lord… Ah, I suppose you would arrive in the middle of the night if you left now?”
Oi. This is one of those [You can’t refuse my hospitality, now can you?] moments, isn’t it? I could’ve sworn that I’d come at a time that would allow me to leave immediately… was I waiting for him longer than I thought I did?
What should I do? Wozuma told me to not offend him…
I guess I should just accept it… I want information on the beddings, anyways.
“I’ll accept your hospitality, then.”
“That’s great. It’s such a rare event, so please tell my daughter about some of your adventuring stories later. That girl loves to hear about things like that.”
I guess I’m alright with accepting this feigned betrothal if it’s only going to be for a month.
Biting onto the Godly Beddings bait dangling in front of me, that’s what I felt.
Arriving in the room prepared for me, Meat followed in behind me and whispered to me.
“… We’re being watched.”
Meat secretly pointed to the wall. She did so in a way that wouldn’t allow them to watch from the other side of the wall.
… We’re being monitored? Well, it’s almost definitely better for him to have more information on the person that would be his daughter’s fiance, but it doesn’t feel so good for me.
Let’s play a prank.
I sat down on the soft sofa that was in the guest room. I sat in such a way that my back was to the wall.
“Meat, come here.”
Guessing my intention, Meat sat in the same position as me.
She sat down using my front to lean back against, fitting snugly in front of me.
This was due to her being so used to this after being a hug pillow night after night.
“Nn… haah, Goshujin-sama.”
“Good girl, good girl.”
I stroked Meat on the head, mixing in some occasional skinship.
Each time, Meat’s voice would come out with a [Aah] or [Huuu].
… Huh? This is a bit different than I’d imagined. How should I put it… I was wanting to make the one monitoring us feel absurd for looking at someone petting their pet.
“No no no, it needs to look like a parent and child… Right, you and I are family. So it’s alright!”
“… Parent, child… Otou, san?”
Hoooh! My child is so cute. Let’s pet her some more.
… Is doing this what’s caused the suspicions about me being a lolicon to spread so much? Eh, whatever. My child is cute and cuteness is my child. Huh? She didn’t change into a Succubus, right?
Meat starting rubbing her body against me. She really is like a dog. Good girl.
We can’t even really talk about anything right now since we’re being watched. Just as I started to think that I’d just continue loving on Meat until someone called for me, I heard a knock at the door.
“Kehma-sama, it’s Mai O’Doll. Could I come in?”
“—Ah, one moment… alright, you can come in.”
Having Meat sit to my side, I invited Mai O’Doll in.
Opening the door slowly and gracefully, Mai O’Doll came in together with a maid. She looks serious. Mai O’Doll sat down on the sofa facing mine, but the maid remained standing to the side behind her.
“Now then, how can I help you, Mai O’Doll-sama. Oh, did you want to hear about my adventures?”
“Yes, I’d like to hear more about you, Kehma-sama… Umm, could you please call me Mai?”
“There’s no way I could, I’m just an average, humble adventurer, after all.”
Mai O’Doll spoke with her hand placed against her chest. Is that it? Is she one of those people that prefers to be called more intimately?
“You’re my fiance—I mean, you’re a candidate to be my fiance, so we are connected like that. So…”
“… I’ll call you Mai-sama, then.”
“Could you not add on that ‘-sama’?”
“You add ‘-sama’ to my name as well, Mai-sama. Now we’re equal.”
Refuse once, then come to a compromise. Yep, that much should be alright.
Now then, time to talk about my adventures—is what I thought, but… now that I think of it, I haven’t really done anything as an adventurer that could be called an adventure.
I’ve just done toilet cleaning, deliveries, rabbit hunting, and information on the dungeon. I can’t even tell anyone more than half of what I do.
“To be honest, I haven’t done much adventurer-like adventuring, less that I could talk about. I do know stories I’ve heard from other adventurers though, would you like to hear one of those?”
It appeared that my abridged story about Momotaro pleased Mai. Footnotes: Momotaro, ‘Peach Boy’, is a popular hero of j.a.panese folklore. Information about Momotaro can be found here.