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    Here’s the start of Vol.2! Enjoy!

    “Well then, first off, let’s raise a toast to the Azrael family’s new home, which is finally, finally complete!”

    Philly, the fourth son and organizer of this celebratory gathering, thrust his glass towards the heavens. With a chorus of “Cheers!” and “Kanpai!”, the brothers gathered around the dining table—the members of the Azrael family—raised their glasses and cups in unison.

    However, at that moment, a voice rang out, “But wait!” The one who spoke was none other than Philly, who had just led the toast. Guile and Shan, the eighth and ninth sons who were about to clink their apple juice-filled cups together, lurched forward with an “Oops!” Guile, narrowly avoiding a collision of cups, looked up and blinked his eyes.

    “Eh~ Why aren’t we toasting?”

    Guile tilted his head adorably, and Philly flashed a grin in response.

    “Well, there’s actually one more thing to celebrate!”

    The other brothers exchanged glances and muttered, “What is it?” as they watched Philly raise his index finger on the hand opposite the one holding his glass. Amidst the puzzled brothers, Fang, the eldest son seated at the far end of the table, closed his eyes with his arms crossed, while Cain, the third son seated directly across from him, shrugged his shoulders with a “Good grief,” as if he knew something.

    And then, one more person—Rinda, the second son sandwiched between Guile and Shan—exclaimed, “Ah!”

    “Could this be about me, perhaps?”

    Philly scrunched his nose exaggeratedly and whined, “That’s right~” at Rinda, who spoke in a flabbergasted voice. He grumbled under his breath about how the person in question could forget.

    “Eh? What happened with Rinda? What’s the celebration for?”

    Shan tugged on Rinda’s shirt hem from the seat next to him, and Rinda smiled gently, saying, “Ah, well, you see,” as he fumbled for words.

    “Okay, okay. So, Rinda, please share the news with everyone.”

    Under Philly’s gaze, Rinda bashfully placed his hand on the back of his neck. Then, he slowly began speaking, “Ah, um…”

    Vilda, the fifth son, whined, “Hurry up~ I’m starving,” as Rinda was hesitating to get to the point. The twins, Alex and Rody, the sixth and seventh sons, tilted their heads to the right in unison as if to say, “What’s the matter?”

    “Uh, well… Thanks to all of you, I… passed the Holy Knight exam.”

    For a moment, the dining table fell completely silent. In the painfully quiet atmosphere, Rinda corrected himself, saying, “I mean, I did it. I passed,” and then, blinking repeatedly with embarrassment, he bowed his head.

    “For real?!”

    With Vilda’s words as the cue, the room erupted with a resounding “Wow!”

    “Congratulations, Rinda~!”

    “That’s great, Rinda-nii!”

    The twins, who were the first to offer their congratulations, clapped their hands in applause together. Guile and Shan tugged on Rinda’s right and left arms, giggling and asking, “Rinda, you’re going to become a Holy Knight? Really?” and “That’s amazing!”

    “Awesome. But hey, you should’ve told us earlier~ I couldn’t bring myself to ask, ‘How did it go?’ after the exam. I was really curious, you know.”

    Vilda said this with his arms folded behind his head, and finally flashed a beaming smile, adding, “Congratulations.”

    “Ah… Thank you.”

    “It’s only natural that you passed, considering I helped you study for the exam.”

    As Rinda was bowing his head repeatedly in embarrassment, Cain sat back with his arms crossed and snorted. Philly commented, “You took care of him the most and worried about him the most,” causing Cain to glare at him sternly.

    “You worked hard, Rinda.”

    Lastly, Fang, the eldest son, spoke in a solemn tone. When Rinda turned to face him, Fang looked directly at him.

    “However, you’ve only just reached the starting line as a Holy Knight. This is only the beginning.”

    “…Yeah.”

    Those words, not simply joining in the celebration, were just like Fang. Rinda nodded firmly, feeling a renewed sense of determination.

    “Hey, can we toast now? I’m so hungry I might pass out.”

    Vilda pleaded, his eyes fixed on the food on the table. The older brothers exchanged glances, the younger brothers laughed, and they all held out their glasses and cups.

    “Well then, once more…”

    Philly then raised his glass once more and cleared his throat.

    “To celebrate the completion of the Azrael family’s new home and Rinda’s passing of the Holy Knight exam… Cheers!”

    “Cheers!”

    Everyone clinked their glasses and cups at varying heights in time with Philly’s lead.

    With his glass wedged between the cups extended from either side, Rinda gazed around at his family’s faces and said, “Now, let’s all enjoy the feast.”

    Rinda Azrael, twenty-one years old. The second son of the Azrael family. After graduating from the academy, he had single-handedly taken on the household chores of the Azrael family until last year. The Azrael family’s parents had already passed away, so it was necessary for one of the adults to look after the young brothers.

    The eldest son Fang, the third son Cain, and the fourth son Philly worked as Holy Knights, protecting the city. The fifth son Vilda, the sixth son Alex, and the seventh son Rody were students. They energetically attended school every day while complaining, “There’s too much homework!”

    Rinda had dreamed of becoming a Holy Knight since he was young, but he also knew it might not come true. Because Rinda had absolutely no magical power.

    Holy Knights are the “pride of the Valenzale Kingdom,” a title bestowed only upon those with exceptional talent in swordsmanship and magic, as well as wisdom. One can somehow make up for swordsmanship and studies through hard work, but the same cannot be said for magic. Innate talent is necessary.

    So, while hiding his true desire to become a Holy Knight, Rinda had been working hard on household chores and child-rearing for the sake of his family. However… in the early autumn of the year before last, a certain fact came to light. Somehow, Rinda was the only one among the brothers who was not related to them by blood. That’s right, Rinda was the adopted child of the Azrael family.

    Rinda was an orphan entrusted to his Holy Knight father by a fellow Holy Knight. The only ones who knew about this were Fang and Cain. However, neither of them had any intention of telling Rinda. They had been interacting with him and spending their days without any distinction from their other brothers.

    Unaware of his brothers’ consideration, Rinda had been living carefree, but he eventually came to learn the truth. And he learned it through his own body. Rinda had awakened to the “blood of a succubus.”

    Rinda’s birth mother was a succubus, and Rinda had strongly inherited that blood. That’s right, it wasn’t that Rinda had no magical power, but rather, his magical power had been sealed away along with his succubus powers.

    Since then, various things have happened. Rinda was attacked by classmates enchanted by his succubus powers, targeted by demons seeking his blood, and because of that, their house was reduced to a half-destroyed state, forcing them to rebuild. A lot… truly a lot of things had occurred. From the autumn to the winter of the year before last, it was a series of incidents upon incidents that made one want to clutch their head just remembering it.

    (It was truly an unbelievable year…)

    In his new room, Rinda closed his diary with a sigh. Since the contents were a bit troublesome if they were seen by others, he thoroughly locked it with magical power so that no one else could open it.

    After properly storing the diary in his desk drawer, Rinda looked around the room.

    “It’s gotten spacious, huh.”

    The Azrael family had taken over a year—no, the construction work had started at the beginning of last year, and now it was spring, so it had undergone a rebuilding process for a full year. The previous house wasn’t so narrow as to be called “cramped,” but it certainly couldn’t be said that there was ample space for eight men to live in. However, when rebuilding the house this time, it was reborn with plenty of room. Because Fang had purchased the vacant lot next to the Azrael family’s property.

    Rinda was startled that they were even buying land, but when told, “I’ll cover all the expenses, so don’t worry about a thing,” he couldn’t complain.

    Incidentally, along with the renovation, Fang, who had been living alone near the Holy Knight’s quarters, also returned to the Azrael family home. With eight people, it was already tight, and if the number increased further, it surely would have become even more cramped unless they added more floors like a second or third story.

    (But seriously, to think he’d use such a forceful method.)

    Previously, Rinda, Cain, and Philly each had their own rooms, while Vilda, Alex, and Rody shared a room for three, and Guile and Shan shared a room for two. However, with this renovation, each person was allocated their own room. Guile and Shan insisted, “Ehh~ We want to be in the same room,” so for the time being, they would be spending time together in Guile’s room, but eventually, they would likely separate.

    The school-age brothers seemed to have been wanting their own rooms for a while, so they were each greatly delighted.

    “I mean, I couldn’t tell if our family had money or not, so I couldn’t selfishly say, ‘I want my own room.’ Ahh~ It sure is great to have a rich older brother who’s a Holy Knight. From now on, I won’t hold back and I’ll make more requests.”

    Vilda, who made that comment that left one unsure whether he was being reserved or greedy, had his head flicked by Cain, who told him, “Don’t get carried away.”

    Rinda, recalling that scene, let out a chuckle. Then, he heard a modest knocking sound, “Knock knock,” reaching his ears.

    “Ah, yes.”

    Rinda raised his face and looked towards the door. Along with the question, “May I come in?” Cain peeked his face inside.

    “Cain… Pfft.”

    Remembering the scene he had just been thinking about, Rinda unintentionally burst into laughter. Cain furrowed his brow in displeasure at being laughed at the moment he showed his face.

    “Huh?”

    “Nah, sorry. Just laughing at a memory.”

    Cain snorted as if uninterested and entered the room, closing the door behind him. Then, he quickly scanned the interior.

    “The stuff in your room hasn’t changed much from before.”

    “Huh? Ah, yeah. I haven’t really added any new things.”

    The room had certainly become more spacious, but the items inside remained the same. The desk he had been using since enrolling in the academy, the bed, the bookshelf… Those were the only large pieces of furniture. The wardrobe was disposed of since it was replaced by a closet. Philly and Cain seemed to have bought new furniture with their own money, but Rinda was using the things he brought from the previous house.

    “Even though I said I’d pay for it if you wanted something new.”

    “Huh? Cain would? Why?”

    The younger brother who said such things while looking away was probably earning a decent amount as a Holy Knight. Rinda felt an itchy sensation at his brother’s kindness in looking out for him and expressed his gratitude, saying, “Well, thanks.”

    “Nii-san said something similar to me, but I’m perfectly content with what I’m using now.”

    As Rinda said this, Cain turned his face towards him. Rinda tilted his head, feeling like the furrow between Cain’s brows had deepened.

    “What’s up?”

    “Nii-san too? …Tsk, we’re thinking the same thing, huh?”

    Cain clicked his tongue, and Rinda blinked in surprise. The latter half was muttered under his breath, so Rinda couldn’t hear it clearly, but it seemed Cain had some dissatisfaction with Fang.

    “What’s going on? Did something happen with Nii-san?”

    “…It’s nothing.”

    “Hmm?”

    Rinda knew from experience that no answer would come from prying further into Cain’s “It’s nothing.” Understanding the right balance, Rinda changed the subject, saying, “Well, whatever.”

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