Fathers in All Times and Places [Part 1]
The three siblings and Joshua had already returned to the Stuart family mansion before the academy could inform the house of each student about the commotion.
“Emma—! What happened?! Are you alright? Are you injured?”
Leonard immediately rushed over after seeing Emma come back while being carried by George.
“We’re home, Father.
A commotion happened at the academy earlier, so there will be no classes today.”
Although Leonard nodded at William’s explanation, his full attention was on George, who was in the middle of slowly putting Emma down.
He stretched his hand over worriedly to help Emma stand.
“Father! Something wonderful fell at the academy! Look—”
When Emma lifted the hem of her skirt a little, everyone could see a crowd of Tanzanian giant tailless whip scorpions relaxing inside.
“!!!! Are those… Tanzanian giant tailless whip scorpions…?!” Leonard exclaimed upon seeing them.
“Ehh? Father, you know about this insect?” It seemed like William didn’t expect Leonard to recognize them.
“Really?! When even Emma didn’t know about them until a year ago?! Ah, has Father seen them before (in our previous world)?” George asked curiously.
For some reason, Leonard knew the name of this insect, which was a rare species in this country.
“Huh? Oh, yeah yeah.
This insect is considered rare because it doesn’t live within the barrier.
It’s normal for Emma to not know about it.
This insect prefers a quiet environment with a lot of greenery rather than here, where humans live.”
“Father! So you know about them! Can I keep these children at home? Can I make them a house in our mansion’s garden?” Emma pleaded with Leonard excitedly.
Leonard’s face immediately softened after hearing his daughter’s request which came for the first time in a while.
“Of course! Emma, you can do anything you want.
But why were there tailless whip scorpions in the academy? And that many at that… Oh, Joshua.
Sorry, but can I leave the construction of the shed for these tailless whip scorpions?”
While moving his daughter behind his body to hide her, Leonard called out to Joshua, who had been writhing in agony since Emma lifted her skirt.
“…Emma-sama… thank you… for the two blessings… Yes… Leonard-sama.
I have already finished preparing the insect shed.
It’s a movable model like the ones for the silkworms and spiders.
I also have a rough idea of where to place it in the garden.”
On the way back from school, Emma made a passionate speech about tailless whip scorpions while being carried by George.
Joshua listened attentively without missing a single word, and before they realized, had acted upon it to fulfill Emma’s wish.
He had long memorized the blueprint of the Stuarts’ mansion in the royal capital.
Thus, he could instantly determine the most suitable place for the tailless whip scorpions in the large garden.
All he needed to do next was bring over and set up the movable insect shed he had prepared in advance for the time Emma’s insect collection increased.
“As expected of Joshua.” Emma smiled cheerfully.
“…Ugh… urgh… ugh… SO CUTE!!!”
Joshua was relishing that moment of supreme bliss.
Saying that he lived for this moment was no exaggeration.
Koumei appeared after he had sensed Emma’s presence in the house.
“I’m home, Koumei-san! There’s no school today, so let’s play to our hearts’ content!”
Koumei expressed his joy by licking Emma’s face.
…And as the cat did so,
the tailless whip scorpions crawled out of Emma’s skirt and gathered on the floor all at once.
“Eh? What’s wrong with everyone?”
Koumei sniffed the tailless whip scorpions and meowed.
At that one word from Koumei, the tailless whip scorpions started moving into a neat formation.
They lined up orderly while staying completely in sync, just like an army.
“What just happened?!”
“Kyaa— How cute—!!! It’s so easy to count them!!! Kyaa—”
Koumei meowed again proudly after seeing Emma bubble with joy.
The tailless whip scorpions moved to the right in unison without breaking their formation.
“Hehe♪ They formed a line when Koumei-san said “Line up.” and moved to the right when she said ‘Go right~!!!”
While Emma was super excited and Koumei was feeling super proud, Leonard, George, and William stood agape without understanding what was going on.
Joshua, on the hand, didn’t think of it much.
He was happy as long as Emma was happy.
“Wait, wait, wait… Uh? Which one should I retort first?” William was greatly perplexed.
Thus was the great birth of the army of ants… no, the army of tailless whip scorpions.
“You mean… the tailless whip scorpions…(?) have a mind of their own… and are following Koumei-san‘s orders…?”
Leonard looked back and forth between Emma, Koumei, and the tailless whip scorpions with an incredulous face.
“My daughter… is a genius? My cat… is a genius?”
After witnessing behavior of both the girl and cat, which could even make them look like a demon’s familiars or monsters if they were seen by the wrong people, this doting father accepted the whole thing with only one word as the conclusion, ‘genius.’
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