My family has 11 people. I have a mom and a dad, five younger sisters, and three younger brothers.
My friends’ fathers either make a living by running a business or by working as civil servants, but my father is forever lazing around at home. All my friends’ fathers are working, so I’ve always wondered why my father never seems to be working.
My mom never says anything about it to my dad who stays at home all the time.
My mom is a beautiful lady. She is highly regarded in the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, my dad’s looks are ordinary, if I do say so myself. Still, my parents are very close. I have never seen them quarrel. Mom is always busy with housework such as cooking and laundry, while dad is always lounging around. But they get along well.
For some reason though, my dad is really popular. Sometimes, strange women come to see him, and he tells them off and kicks them out. And still they come. When I asked my dad about it, he said they are women from his past. When I asked my mom about it, she said it was okay because she had faith in my dad. And it seems like I’m getting another younger brother or sister again soon.
Dad sometimes calls mom a princess. From the stories they told me, he fell in love with her at first sight and fought fiercely to win her over. If you only listened to that, it might sound like a normal love story, but seeing how unequal their looks are in person, it seems strange to me that they are married.
One of my relatives is the commander of the Summoning Knights of the Golden Dragon, which is said to be the strongest military force in the kingdom. He is also known as the guardian deity of the kingdom.
Since long ago, he would come by pretty often to visit, and I didn’t think he was a hero until I learned about him in school.
Uncle is a strict man, and sometimes he would bring along his subordinates from the knights, and he would give them instructions in a stern voice. It may seem obvious since he’s a hero, but everyone looks up to him with respect.
Whenever this uncle of mine comes over, he will bring a bag full of gold coins. My uncle is kind to me, but he always looks grim when facing my dad. As he hands over the gold coins, my uncle always says to me, “Be good. Don’t get any strange ideas.”
Once, I asked my dad why uncle was giving me money. Dad said he did not know why. “Maybe he doesn’t need it and doesn’t know what to do with it,” he said. That doesn’t make any sense, but when I saw how my uncle pushed gold coins on me as if he was forcing them on me, I began to believe that my dad was telling the truth, and I didn’t know what to think about that.
There are many books in my dad’s study. His bookshelves are lined with hundreds of thick books, but I have never seen him read any of them.
Some of the books are written in foreign scripts that I cannot read. But there are also books which I can read.
When I asked my dad what the books were about, he told me they were books about summoning. My mom gently told me that some of those books were written by my dad. I was surprised, but dad didn’t seem to be proud of them, saying that he had only written them because he didn’t have any money. He doesn’t need the books anymore, but he keeps them around in case someone points out a typo in the text.
I asked my dad if he was a writer, and he said he was not. Then, with a troubled expression on his face, he said, “Being a writer is not profitable so it is better to quit. It’s much more profitable running a laundry service.”
People come to my house all the time.
Men and women of all ages, scholars with monocles, even knights. There were also bearded mages. The only thing these visitors had in common was that they were well-dressed, and when they come to the house, they bring gifts and ask for my father.
Dad dresses carelessly. He is usually in a shabby shirt, and since mom doesn’t say anything about it, he is still in his shabby shirt when visitors come.
Even so, everyone who asks for dad is always nervous. Only uncle seems unruffled when he comes to visit.
I don’t know what they talk about, but there are some who leave drenched in sweat. Only once did I get a pat on the head from a visiting older man. The uncle in a white coat patted me on the head and said, “Please try to help your dad out.”
My dad always seems troubled after a visitor leaves. Every time this happens, I find myself curious about it.
One day, my dad was assigned a guard detail. Moreover, the guards were members of the elite Summoning Knights of the Golden Dragon. Apparently, there were too many people coming over looking for him, so he asked uncle for help. My commander uncle said quietly to my dad, “I’ll give you an escort, so don’t come up with anything strange.”
Among the guards was a woman who would come looking for my father from time to time. I found out then that the woman used to be part of the order of summoning knights.
My mother is a beautiful woman, but this woman was also too beautiful for my father.
One day, I heard from the woman that my dad was a former Mage Summoner. A Mage Summoner was an elite among elites, and only those with the special talent for it could become one. She had been classmates with my dad when they were students, and they had even lived together at one point.
However, a Mage Summoner would normally always be accompanied by their vassals. My commander uncle always had his Dragon with him, and the other Mage Summoners also had their various types of vassals with them. In contrast, I have never seen my dad use any magic, nor have I seen him with any vassals he had summoned.
I was so curious that I asked my dad about it, and he replied reluctantly, “My vassal is a god. Even now, it is watching over us from the skies above.”
Even I understood what it meant for someone to ‘watch over us from the skies above’. There must be some sad story behind it. I stopped asking my dad about it after that.
Both my mother and father are kind to me. They rarely talk about the past, and when I pester them to talk about the past, they would smile uneasily.
I know that there was a big war back during my father and mother’s time. A major nation was destroyed, and a being known as the Demon King had appeared. It must have been a sad time. When I said as much to my dad, he patted me on the head and said that he wasn’t sad anymore because he had mom and I. Later on, I heard from mom that dad had retired from being a Mage Summoner when I was born, even though it had been something that had given his life meaning.
Being a Mage Summoner is a dangerous career. It’s peaceful these days, but I heard that Mage Summoners were sent to the front lines during the war. I’m sure my dad made the choice to retire so I wouldn’t end up alone. I was born the year the war ended, but I think it must have been very difficult for him to make the decision to stop being a Mage Summoner while the war was still ongoing. His friends must have viewed him as a traitor turning his back on them.
When I first learned about it, I felt somewhat sorry, but at the same time, it made me start to view my dad, whom I had never really respected, in a new light. I don’t think I would have been able to make such a decision for the sake of my own children.
After that, I started to learn even more about the situation from my mother.
That book on summoning that dad had written. The ex-classmate of his who is now a member of the Summoning Knights. Why my uncle, the commander of the knights, is looking out for him.
The great number of letters my dad receives. I have no idea what sort of events they are, but my dad sometimes get invited to perform at exhibitions and the like.
My dad is a man of many mysteries.
He doesn’t have a job, but there are many well-dressed people who come and pay their respects. My hero uncle cares about him, and even though there are also people who sometimes come to shout at him, my family and I are generally treated very well.
When I heard that he used to be a Mage Summoner, I became curious about Mage Summoners.
It was something my dad had lived for. I think it was amazing that my dad had quit being a Mage Summoner for me, and I dreamed of becoming a great Mage Summoner like my dad.
Then I would surely end up like him.
In the end… I asked my dad how I could become a great Mage Summoner, and he smiled a little and told me this.
“It’s all about probability. First, you should start by making some money…”