Education is Something any Parent Would Worry About
He was an ordinary student. The kind you would find anywhere; born in a peaceful country in a peaceful world. Such a fortunate man was naturally surrounded by friends, family, and enjoyed a rich life without the slightest inconvenience.
However if there is one truth to whatever world you may find yourself in, it would be how unfair it can be, and it was no exaggeration to say that the student now found himself in the middle of the greatest disaster of his life.
It happened during an ordinary day when he was in the middle of his everyday, ordinary classes. A magic circle-like thing appeared on the ceiling of his classroom, and a bright light swallowed him whole. By the time he came to, he found himself and his thirty classmates resting on a large pedestal sitting in the middle of a large room that looked like a temple built out of shiny white marble.
“Well met, Heroes.”
“W-Who are you!?”
Suddenly the teacher who had been in class with them at the time raised their voice from in front of the pedestal. Standing before him was…….a beautiful blonde-haired man wearing the kind of clothes you would only expect to see some royal from an ancient kingdom wearing. Several other men wearing gaudy robes were there as well, all giving heartfelt, welcoming smiles.
“I am the emperor of the Empire you now find yourselves in, Albert Ragdoll. I have summoned you heroes chosen by the Goddess to ask something of you.”
The blonde beauty……Albert, bowed his head reverently with his right hand over his chest, and his expression morphed into something indescribable as he petitioned(demanded) their help.
“I want you to defeat the evil witch who is leading this world to turmoil and help me to regain my wife and children who have been taken from me.”
A sharp cracking noise cut through the air as the handle of the mug Shirley was holding snapped right off. At supersonic speeds Shirley grabbed the bottom of the mug and scooped up all the falling liquid before setting it down on her desk.
“……was it worn out?”
It is supposed to be an ominous omen when tableware breaks, a procession of black cats crosses your path, or when your shoelaces suddenly snap without warning.
That being said, it’s all superstition. Shirley almost immediately wrote it off as nothing and felt silly for seriously worrying something unpleasant would happen for even a second as she handed her mug back to the store clerk.
“This mug appears to have deteriorated some. Could I have it replaced?”
“Ah, sorry. Did your clothes get wet?”
“No, everything is fine.”
While on her way to the kitchen with the broken mug, the clerk was stopped by an adventurer who was requesting a flagon of mead and a cut of meat in the middle of the day. She immediately pulled out a slip of paper and a pencil from her pocket and began writing down the order.
This was a tavern annexed by the Adventurer’s Guild. Shirley would almost always eat at the inn, but because she only wanted to order cold drinks today, she took the unusual move of eating here today. The reason for that was very simple….hydration.
“My back…..My back hurts so much…..!”
“E-ever since our rank went up…….it almost feels like…..Shirley’s gotten even tougher…..during our training…..”
There was a plaza on the premises that served as a training grounds for the adventurers. With autumn fully underway, the three-man party of Kyle, Cudd, and Leia were rolling around some dry grass that was looking almost as dead as them.
“I-I jumped at the chance when Shirley invited us to train out of nowhere……but this is awful……”
“Anyone who wishes to grow their abilities must do so little by little. If I didn’t make things at least this hard, you would never learn anything.”
Practice through simulated combat. The three young adventurers went into battle with their usual formation of Kyle acting as the advance guard with his magic strengthening his body while Cudd and Leia supported him through long range attacks. Shirley meanwhile gave them a handicap by fighting them with only her bear hands. The end result was a one-sided, overwhelming defeat for the three rookies.
That result stayed the same no matter how many times they repeated the process. This particular time Shirley had dove into Kyle’s blind spot, kicking Cudd in the gut and blowing him away before picking up Leia and throwing her back into a nearby tree. By the time Kyle and turned around, Shirley was back in his face, driving an upwards palm into his chin.
“Shirley……you’re impossibly strong even without a sword.”
“It’s only natural to train for a situation where you’ve been disarmed.”
The type of people who think Shirley is just a delicate woman without her sword are the same kinds of fools who think they can take on an ogre when it doesn’t have its club.
An ogre is an ogre, with or without its club, and Shirley is still a demonic mother goddess, sword or no. She isn’t the type of person a bunch of youngsters can catch up to by twiddling their thumbs all day.
“But it’s strange. You never join us for training. Although we more than welcome the company.”
“……I have, also been a tad concerned over my training recently.”
“Um……could this have something to do with Sophie and Tio……?”
Kyle hurriedly added on, “I saw you three at the weapons store by chance,” when he saw how surprised Shirley was.
“……Out of consideration for this monster-ridden world and in lieu of everything that has happened this past year, I am teaching the girls how to fight…….for that, I need to be strict with them, but I find it impossible for me to do so.”
As a mother, Shirley intended to thoroughly teach her daughters without giving them any quarter, just like how they wanted. There is no sweet way to teach someone how to fight.
However her instinct as a semi-immortal completely rejects that way of thinking. To the point where she was having trouble eating or sleeping……no, it was like her entire body and being were rejecting the very idea.
“My body was changed once before in a quest for revenge, and it changed a second time when my daughters were born. This isn’t a matter of me being averse to it. It is biologically impossible for me to hurt Sophie and Tio.”
Canary’s temperament morphed into that of an evil tyrant when she became a semi-immortal, and the only reason why she’s able to partake in even the occasional good deed is because she repeatedly indulges in small vices. She’s managed to make adjustments to her behavior so that she can live with proper society, but that method won’t work on Shirley’s doting parent inclinations because she gives less than a single iota of a damn for what other people think.
Even if she’s capable of intentionally stopping her automatic nerves and removing her body’s limiter to push herself beyond her limits, her very soul would prevent her from hurting Sophie and Tio, even if it was just for training…….that is what it means for Shirley to be a semi-immortal.
“There is nothing more dangerous than fragmented knowledge. It brings about a foolish feeling of pride. That’s why I think I must do something about this……”
Someone other than her daughters……Shirley thought maybe she would figure something out if she trained with Kyle and the others, but she was as clueless as ever. If felt as if she were feeling around for a grain of sand in the middle of the night.
“Isn’t that fine though……?”
Kyle muttered his thoughts aloud while blankly staring at the grey sky from on his back.
“Ah, no um…..I’m not making light of your concerns. We’ve managed to survive as long as we have all because of your and Asterios’s rigorous training.”
“Then what did you mean?”
“…….Do you remember what I said when summer started?”
The time when spring had just begun bleeding into summer. That would have been the time when the Empire first began conspiring to get their clutches on Sophie and Tio.
“If I have any problems, I should put in a request……was it?”
“That! I know a kid like me might seem unreliable…….but there are all kinds of people in the guild who are good at teaching. Saying ‘the right person for the right job’ might not be quite accurate……but if you use money to hire a more rigid taskmaster, then you can both teach them together.”
“That’s why I don’t think it’s really necessary for you to go hard on them. The results probably aren’t going to be that great if you try and force it anyhow, and it would let you teach them as you have been until now……..what do you think?”
It was like a veil had been lifted from her eyes. Hire someone to teach the kids what the parents cannot……it’s the solution you’d naturally come up with if you thought about it for even a little bit.
“…….I suppose I was thinking too much on my own again.”
It would be no different than with school. Children learn interpersonal skills there that parent’s just can’t teach them. The fact that Shirley didn’t notice that is probably because of her bad habit.
Immediately after she gave birth, she had held a strong belief that she had to raise her daughters on her own, and that is a belief that still roots itself at her center. However if she thought about it calmly, such a method is pointless if it means her daughters’ well-being becomes compromised as a direct result.
Until now, she has had Martha and many others there to help her. The reason why she forgot that fact for even a moment must be because of just how major a change these self-defense lessons were from her usual education policy. She had gotten herself so worked up that it had narrowed her view.
“I cannot believe I needed a boy half my age to admonish me before I noticed…….”
“What!? Ah, um……I’m sorry. I must’ve sounded cheeky, and…….”
“Why are you apologizing? I’m very grateful.”
Would you call this serious and reserved, or cowardly and servile…..Shirley found herself unintentionally smiling at Kyle as he repeatedly and meaninglessly bowed his head.
“You saved me. I will take what you’ve said into serious consideration.”
Shirley began running calculations through her head.
In addition to her usual request rewards, Shirley often received personal requests directly from Canary because of their close relationship in exchange for a large some of money. That goes for the dragon campaign and the Phantom Thief incident as well.
Thanks to this continuous flow of income, the number of gold coins she had saved up for her daughters’ sake had already risen to the hundreds of millions. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to break open the emergency safe.
(I will have to find someone excellent with the ability, personality, and leadership qualities necessary to teach Sophie and Tio……)
Despite the vast fortune she had saved up, Shirley had always lived a modest lifestyle in town. Because of this, she never thought too much about money, but it was during times like these that she was forced to accept just how much power it held. Even with only a few tens of thousands of coins at your disposal you could make most of your wishes in human society come true.
(Although, the thought of leaving my daughters’ education up to somebody else is already making me feel jealous……but I’m not going to act irresponsibly because of that.)
Even if she were to hire a mentor, she would continue to pass on all her knowledge and skills. Shirley once again reaffirmed her resolve.
“If what I said helps, then I’m glad. If you have any other problems, please feel free to tell us about them.”
“……Thank you. Someday I may ask to have you three serve as training partners for Sophie and Tio.”
“Those two……they both seem like bundles of talent, so I feel like I might lose confidence if I spar with them.”
Kyle answered without any particular concern over something that really didn’t sound like a joke. Smiling quietly, Shirley used magic to relieve his pain before moving on to Cudd and Leia who had yet to move from their spots as well.
“Let’s take a break. I will prepare some drinks.”
Receiving a fatigue relief potion that Shirley pulled out from her Hero’s Toolbox, the three young adventurers downed the potion in one huge gulp.
It used to be that potions like these were reviled because of their bitter taste and strong, medicinal odor, but the recent ones have been incorporating honey into the formula to make them much sweeter. These days they’re more popular than fruit juice, and sometimes people will buy them purely for the flavor rather than any kind of physical benefit.
“By the way, isn’t it around that time for the school?”
“Huh? ……..Oh yeah, that event should already be around the corner.”
Shirley’s eyes changed sharply when she overheard Cudd and Leia mention some kind of event for the school.
“Shirley, you’re too eager. What are you already pulling out your camera for?”
“Ahahaha……..I’m afraid your camera might not get a chance to shine here though.”
Cudd scratched the back of his head, astonished by the way a camera had just magically appeared in Shirley’s hands.
“You’ll probably receive the notice yourself soon enough. We’re talking about the field trips second and third years take every fall.”