"I'm telling you to decide on your consort before the coronation ceremony."
"No. What's the point of coronation ceremony anyway. After all this time."
"Do you listen to the words coming out of your mouth?! It's the birth of the unification king on this continent for the first time in recorded history. We must hold the grandest ceremony attended by lords from all nations on this continent. The preparations take some time, thus the date has to be set on the second half of next year, but this coronation ceremony will definitely happen."
"You take the crown."
"Are you still going on with that."
Ten years ago, Lecan and Boudo descended in an unfamiliar land in their original world.
The area was undergoing a rebellion due to the tyranny perpetrated by the lord here. The two fell in the rebels' base.
Entreated by the young leader of the rebels, Faz, the two tilted the tide of the combat to their side in exchange for little reward. They freed Faz's captive lover, killed the lord and brought victory to the rebels.
The two were about to go on their way afterward, but then a neighboring lord saw this chance to send an army to invade the territory. Having no choice, the two helped to repulse this army. Then another lord tried to do the same, and then another, over and over again.
Refugees who got their farmlands and property seized would flock to them seeking protection. Faz granted these refugees food and places to live, relying on Lecan and Boudo's might. More and more people flooded in as the rumor spread.
Their birth continent was undergoing a chaotic era of strife. Disputes that either end in destroying or getting destroyed, abided or abiding like slaves would spontaneously break out all over the continent. Lecan and Boudo had been thrust in the middle of this vortex. Even Narum Kingdom had been split after the death of the king, with the lords going against each other's throat.
Faz who was nothing more than a peasant farmer possessed a talent in politics. His visage is refined as well, Lecan believes that he's probably an abandoned son of some noble. With the support of Faz's talent, Lecan who got set up as a lord before he knew it spent all his time fighting together with Boudo.
Boudo fully demonstrated his ingenuity as a commander. Leading farmers and workmen who were amateur in battlefield, he would lead knights, soldiers and mercenaries by their noses, entrap them and destroying their armies. Their enemies were equipped with powerful weapons, with mighty warriors and mages under them but Lecan and Boudo had weapons and equipment amassed from another world on them.
At first, Lecan's group had no money, and only got people who needed supports flocking. While their adversaries were affluent and hired mighty adventurers.
But Lecan and Boudo would also go on to find reliable allies in adventurers as they kept crushing prominent adventurers coming their way. These adventurers' reasoning was that they could always expect payment later and most importantly, working too hard for their clients would only end with them getting crushed by Lecan or Boudo.
As months and years passed by, Lecan found himself as the king of the continent's unified nation. It was done out necessity as a formality, but the fact that he was an adopted son of Narum King being found out didn't help.
Boudo had passed away during a battle. However he managed to lure a huge portion of the enemy's army and dealt a hugely devastating blow that opened the path to victory for Lecan during an important cross point.
Boudo left behind a wife and two children. They're under Lecan's protection.
"The war is over. I'm going back to wandering life. You be the king."
Prime Minister Faz got seriously angry to hear Lecan's excuse.
"Get with it already! The continent may be unified now, but there are a lot of uninhabited lands still! Not an insignificant number of people ran there. Bandits who won't submit to people laws are also proliferating in mountain depths, deserts, and forests. Also, there have been many outbreaks of magic beasts all over the places while humans were busy fighting with one another, we've seen a huge increase of areas humans cannot enter all over the continent. The battle from here on is vital for the sake of keeping our peaceful life."
"Fine, I'll fight, so you rule."
"That won't do! The name <Lecan the Liberator> is the hope and support to many people today. Lords everywhere submit to your might and fame, not to kingdoms or royalties. And most importantly, the mystique of being a Returnee from beyond <Black Hole> is simply overwhelming. None can take your place."
"So you're telling me to become the king and a general?"
"That's the issue. Your presence is necessary in many front lines still. But you are still a human, so dying isn't outside the realm of possibility. Those who have gathered under your flag, including influential lords everywhere even said that it's all over if you died. That's the unstable factor. Thus, we need your heir by any means necessary. You must pick a consort before the coronation ceremony at least."
"You've got three sons, yeah? You be the king."
"Have you been listening at all?! Nothing can proceed unless you're the king! Just get married and make a son already!"
"The only wives I have are Eda and Norma. I've got Horus, Klas and Ryudo as my sons."
"Fine then, get Prince Horus here stat!"
"That's impossible. If it were, I'd have gone th... Get away, Faz!"
"The ceiling! Something's... What? A <Black Hole>? On the ceiling? Hold on! Something... Something's coming!"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Once Horus and Yuna got into the <Black Hole>, the hole immediately turned smaller before swiftly vanishing. Even then, Eda and Norma kept staring at where the <Black Hole> was for quite some time. Same with other people. Nike and Jiza have put away their wands.
Eventually Klas walked to a corner of the room to pick up something on the ground there and gave it to Norma.
"Mother. This object was thrown in."
A small object plunged out of the <Black Hole> right before it vanished. Eda noticed it but her mind was fully occupied with expectations of the possibility Lecan coming out of the <Black Hole>, she just didn't have the leeway.
Norma took and gazed at it.
Since Lecan's disappearance, Norma and Eda would often talk to each other about Lecan. Thus Norma immediately realized what the object was.
Norma handed it over to Eda.
Eda opened her eyes wide in surprise.
It was a bunch of pebbles.
Small pebbles with nothing remarkable to them at all.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white colored, they have their charm but they're ultimately pebbles you can find plenty on roadsides. No one would even pay for them.
And yet, to Eda, these are special pebbles.
They were passed down to her from her parents as a good luck charm, which she then gave to Lecan, <Rainbow Pebbles of Happiness> filled with wishes.
Eda wrapped those pebbles in both her palms.
Then she pushed her palms on her lips, knelt down and lowered her head down.
Tears streamed down her shut eyes, falling to the floor.
Her pose is not unlike a prayer.
([Wolves Don't Sleep] Fin.)
Thank you for reading!