Doting Parent Deterioration
Our setting changes and brings us to the school grounds.
“At the end of this month, the second year students will leave for a three-night, four-day class trip to the Holy City, capital of the Holy Land.”¹
“Class trip? What’s that?”
It was the classroom Sophie and Tio did most of their learning in. After the teacher made an announcement, one of the other students parroted back what she just said.
“Simply put, it is a traditional school event that will see you all taking a tour through a foreign country so you can see how people live in other lands.”
More than half the class released a unified, displeased groan, and Tio involuntarily frowned. It’s like being told you’re going to have to spend your whole night studying when classes alone are causing you enough stress. The teacher let slip a wry smile as her students gave the reaction she had been expecting to come.
“But it won’t be that much work. Most of your time there will be free time, so you can think of it as a sightseeing vacation to a historic capital.”
Boys and girls should learn about the world.
That was the reason Canary gave when she instituted the class trip event. Even today, after years have passed since the last war broke out on the continent, there are still a surprisingly high number of adults who have never visited another country. These kinds of people tend to be more distrusting of foreigners and strangers which can lead to a breakdown in foreign relations.
This event should also help improve the students’ aesthetic senses by exposing them to foreign nations and broaden their understanding of foreign values and ways of living……..or so Canary explained.
The problem comes from the fact that the person proposing this is fundamentally a hedonist. It’s always possible that she just wants the excuse to go on a trip.
“Our destination is a popular tourist spot that you would not normally be able to visit so easily. We stop there every year, and the people there are already clued in on the details of our school trip. That’s why I hope everyone can relax and enjoy yourselves.”
After the teacher was finished explaining things, the room quickly became overflowing with energy in stark contrast to the previous response. It is only natural after hearing that the school trip, which they had originally associated with some kind of study camp, was actually an extended sightseeing trip.
“Then in a second, I want you to form groups of five people. You will be eating and sleeping with your groupmates throughout the trip, so talk it over and choose well.”
The students got up and out of their chairs, and groups began forming here and there. In front of Sophie and Tio’s desks, there was the usual trio of Lisa, Chelsea, and Mira.
“Our group would look something like this.”
“Right. We get along well enough.”
Glancing around, you could see several other groups already formed together, and some of the other surplus students were moving together to form their own groups as well.
“Although, are we really going to spend four days away from home?”
“Sophie, Tio, will your mom be okay with that?”
“Huh? Mama? Why wouldn’t she be?”
Is that transcendentally doting parent known as Shirley really going to be okay with her daughters being away from her for four whole days?
Lisa swallowed those words before she could say something she would regret. Shirley’s status as an extreme doting parent was something Sophie and Tio hadn’t fully realized yet, and if that fact was carelessly leaked to them, it could cause a strain in their relationship.
“Well, she might get worried. Mom tends to get easily worried about things.”
“I can already imagine her charging into the Chairman’s house, objecting to her daughters leaving the country.”
“Ahahahaha! Obviously she isn’t going to do that! It’s just a normal school event. There’s no way Mama would object to that.”
Once again the setting changes, moving its focus to Canary’s mansion at the heart of the remote town.
“What is your purpose in sending my daughters abroad?”
“Kukuku……I figured it was around time for you to appear Shirley”
Shirley had rushed straight over to Canary in order to protest the class trip.
“I have never heard of a school visiting a foreign country as a yearly trip before…….and for four whole days too. Another excuse of yours to romp around.”
“Romp around? How so? How is giving children the opportunity to expand their borders, to give them a global sensibility and sense bad education? ……..Oh, unless you”
Shirley was glaring down on her with obvious anger, but her rage rolled off Canary uselessly. She calmly sipped her hot chocolate, deliberately making an expression as if she had just solved some impossible puzzle.
“You are opposed to your daughters having such a valuable experience because you don’t want to be away from them for four days? But that couldn’t be the case right?”
The truth stabbed through Shirley’s heart and caused her to take a step back.
…….Shirley already knew everything Canary said to be true. Arguing that the school trip did not make any sense in itself did not make any sense.
However leaving her daughters alone for four whole days……this is a life and death matter for a semi-immortal like Shirley and was not something she could simply let pass by.
“……..I will be coming along this class trip……..”
“Obviously that won’t be allowed”
Shirley assumed there was no way it was going to work, and it was dismissed as naturally as she expected.
School is meant to be a place where kids temporarily leave their parents behind so they can learn in an environment outside their home. This class trip is an extension of that, and having parents attend would defeat the whole purpose in a way.
“You won’t die from being apart for only a couple days. As long as you keep that photo on you, you can avoid the convulsions right? In fact, you spent almost that amount of time away from them during your duel with the Black Saintly Spear anyway.”
“…….to be honest, ever since that battle, I’ve only spent a day away from the inn once before because of a request……..by the time it was finished, my whole body was shaking, and I almost fainted from the dizziness……”
“What the hell…….your doting nature actually got worse.”
Her withdrawal symptoms didn’t abate even after looking at her daughters’ picture, and it turned into a very troublesome situation. She kept getting shaken off Rangitz the Dragon Wagon on her way home and chewed on by the monsters that ended up attacking her afterwards.
“I knew I couldn’t carry on like this, so I underwent some excruciating rehabilitation to improve my condition…..but my limit is still only two days. After that, even their photo isn’t enough to help me…….”
“Suffering these kinds of harmful effects just from being away from your daughters for too long…….you’ve already become a hopeless addict.”
Like this, Shirley’s soul might end up vacating her body and ascending to a higher realm by the time Sophie and Tio return from their trip. In fact, she was a hair’s breath away of having that very thing happen to her during her rehabilitation. She lost consciousness after a day and a half, and just as she was about to pass on, someone passing by kindly carried her over to a church for treatment.
Obviously she was worried about her daughters being alone in a foreign country for a couple days, but Shirley was also concerned over whether or not her withdrawal symptoms would be enough to kill her. This class trip is literally a life and death problem.
“Well, whatever the case, I figured you would come grumbling to me eventually. That is why I had an extra special request made just for you.”
Canary handed over the quest form as she spoke.
“…….An escort? Is this for the students going on the class trip?”
“Mmhmm. We send a couple escort requests to some skilled adventurers every year to have them act as chaperones for the class trip. The reward is five times the amount of what a normal escort request would give, and it is a highly competitive job opportunity. There are a select number of these jobs available, and I saved one of them for you out of the goodness of my heart. It’s fine for you to kneel before me and pledge your lifelong allegiance?”
Shirley looked over the request while ignoring Canary’s self-important aggrandizement.
Her eyes never even registered the cash reward. She instead read the details of the request again and again to make sure everything was as stated. Incidentally, she had noticed that the other adventurers would always kick up a fuss in the guild around this time of year, but it was only now that she understood it was because they were fighting over these requests.
“Of course, this is still a class trip. Not a sightseeing vacation for you and your daughters. You will be expected to eliminate any threats your daughters or any of the other students may face while remaining in the shadows and out of their notice. As long as you can agree to those terms――――”
“I figured you’d say yes immediately.”
Although there was a tricky condition that she had to keep herself to the shadows, Shirley would be able to suppress her withdrawal symptoms by watching her real daughters from afar instead of having to rely on a flimsy photo. Plus, she would be able to protect the two of them from any unknown threats they may encounter while abroad. What kind of overly doting parent wouldn’t take a deal like this? So Shirley took on the request without a second thought.
From there, things moved ahead quickly with Shirley and Canary cementing their schedules.
“Travel there and back will be done on a lavish airship pulled by four large flying dragons…….the airship will arrive on school grounds the morning of the students’ departure. The adventurer chaperones are to board in advance and act as crew members.”
“Correct. Since the kids know your face, you will have to be disguised…….by the way, this is a list of the other chaperones you will be working with.”
Shirley quickly read through the list of names she was given, her frown deepening the further down she read.
“The Illusionary Butterfly……Grania will be coming along? Aside from her…….the Eight-Span Owl, the Imp Bunch, Heaven’s Hammer, and Silver Flame…….aren’t these all S-rank adventurers?”
The Eight-Span Owl is an adventurer famous for having destroyed an order of assassins that had hidden itself in the continent’s seedy underbelly since ancient times, and the Imp Bunch is a group of three adventurers known far and wide as a group who managed to push back a tsunami of monsters during a monster stampede to protect their client.
Heaven’s Hammer is said to have the ability to crush entire mountains with a single swing of his warhammer, and Silver Flame’s fire magic apparently wiped out a large scale sea serpent known as the Leviathan along with the rest of the sea that surrounded it. Then with the Illusionary Butterfly Grania, you have the youngest person to ever achieve S-rank after she traversed four ancient dungeons that were said to be impregnable beforehand.
The other adventurers listed further down were all S-ranked as well. Shirley never paid any attention to the achievements of other adventurers, but even she had somehow or other learned about these people’s incredible feats.
“To gather all these people……is there something present in the Holy City?”
“No, nothing of note.”
Canary’s answer was immediate and coupled with a completely straight face. Any other time like this, Canary would be practically screaming that she was planning something malicious and draw Shirley’s suspicion, but……after a few seconds, Shirley clapped her hands together convinced.
“Now that I think about it, your granddaughter will be going on this class trip as well, won’t she? Perhaps――――”
“Oops, I would recommend you think before you speak. Do not forget that it is I who gets to decide who can and cannot act as a chaperone for this trip.”
Shirley’s mouth snapped shut faster than a snake pouncing on its prey. She instead turned her attention to a couple of documents strewn across Canary’s desk and noticed something particularly interesting scrawled across one of them.
“Provisional school nurse……Hermes? Could this be referring to Hermes-sensei?”
“It is. That nature’s breath semi-immortal, none other than the Saint of Nirvana Hermes. Why, do you have a problem with that?”
“No, unlike a certain somebody else I know, I trust Hermes-sensei, and I am happy to hear they will be coming along……will it be okay though?”
“I will save confirming who exactly this ‘somebody else’ you’re talking about is for later……I more or less understand your concerns though, and I will keep an eye on things.”
It was a casual conversation, but if anyone else were to hear them, their eyes would have opened wide in shock. Shirley is the type of person who cares little for the people around her other than her daughters, so for this teacher to be someone worthy of her respect, they must certainly be someone to take note of.
The Saint of Nirvana is a semi-immortal who stands side by side with other legendary monsters like the Golden Witch, Demonic White Sword, Grand Dragon, and Phantom Thief…….however
“That person is kind of…….strong-willed, for better or worse. Mostly for the worse.”
1. A very creative people.