Locke Senior and Tia had somehow caught wind of Locke’s decision, which shocked them out of their bedridden state. The old couple rushed to the prince consort’s mansion to lecture their wayward son.
The father took a long drag of his pipe. “What the hell are you thinking?! You’re going to leave again just after coming back?! You’re ridiculous!” The old man spat. He would’ve given his son a good knocking in the head if his height had allowed it.
“Yeah! You haven’t become a father either!” Tia screamed exasperatedly. She’d spent the last decade living lavishly, yet the mindset that stemmed from her humble farmer beginnings ran deep.
“You’re not leaving until you give us a grandkid!” Locke Senior moved to block the door with a huff, completely disregarding that his son was now the prince consort.
“Lia should just stay at home and spend some quality time together with you. I’m sure you’ll have a child that way,” suggested Tia from the side. Lia blushed violently at the implication.
Angelina was nowhere to be seen in the mansion so his parents were running their mouths without reservations.
“I’m going on a journey for your sake,” replied Locke helplessly. His motivations behind the expedition had been made clear to them but Locke Senior and Tia had refused to listen. They seemed incredibly intent on keeping their word, much to his chagrin.
They were growing impatient since they sensed that their end was near. Frankly speaking, Locke Senior and Tia would only live a few more years at best. While Locke wished to ease their mind, conceiving a child was almost impossible due to the wide gap in capabilities. If this were to continue, Angelina may perhaps consider letting a few female knights of his level into the harem.
Many of the princess’ subordinates had followed her to the prince consort’s mansion after marriage. One of the female guards was a mid-rank Knecht but Locke had never thought of approaching them. He didn’t wish to have a child with people with whom he didn't have a proper relationship.
“Can you step out for a minute? Let me talk to your parents.” Glace pulled on his arm at that moment.
Since Angelina had left for the Felorian palace to help secure more cultivation auxiliaries for him, Glace was the next woman with enough dominance to raise a case. The others were either too soft or unopinionated.
“I’m counting on you,” said Locke. It would be difficult to convince his parents but he had faith in Glace.
He sighed as soon as he was out of the parlour. He’d read into the secrets of the knightly bloodline, only to find out that high-rank Knechts were already the ceiling in the Kingdom of Faustian. Faustian had nearly thirty high-rank Knechts and the most typical approach to procure an heir was to recruit multiple partners of similar ranks or through continuous effort. Many direct descendants of prominent clans were conceived later in their lives so it was common for parenthood to begin later among the nobles.
Since successful pregnancies among the knights had only occurred around their middle ages, it was possibly permitted by the overall decline of their capabilities. This decline would likely happen in Locke’s late forties since he was currently a quasi-Ritter. However, his offspring might not inherit the best of his genes since Locke didn’t have a wide pool of viable partners. Aristocrats could afford to have dozens of children, thereby increasing their chances of raising an excellent heir out of the bunch. Locke had no qualms about being a parent only at fifty years old but this would mean that Locke Senior and Tia would not live to see their grandchildren.
Glace must’ve said something convincing enough to the old couple. When he’d finally returned to the parlour, Locke Senior and Tia were already fractions calmer, even going further to stay for dinner.
“Lia, have more of this. It’ll do you some good in the long run.”
“Finish these up, Glace. This was specially brought over for you.”
“You’re too thin, Kristin! Come on, have more snake stew.”
“Suzzane, you should look after your health more. Here, have some softshell turtle soup.”
Tia was going overboard across the dining table, to which Locke could only watch with helpless eyes. The dishes she’d brought were indeed nutritious, especially best to boost fertility. He wouldn’t have an issue if she was just targeting Glace and Lia’s plates but why was Kristin involved too?! Locke had never considered the young girl as a potential partner! The atmosphere in the dining hall was beginning to become unbearable. Locke quickly finished his meal and fled for the cultivation rooms.
“Hmph! All you ever think about is training!” Tia chided him for the first time in his life. This was unprecedented since she’d spoiled him rotten since young. As soon as her words fell and Kristin’s plate was overflowing with food, her attention was caught by a certain someone that sat at the very end of the table.
“Hello, you must be Laffey. Come here, come here.”
The young servant had served Glace and Kristin for decades. Since Laffey was an impetus practitioner, she’d grown into a woman with stronger features. Locke and the others had constantly pestered her to join them for meals but since she was of lowly status, Laffey had always sat furthest from the rest.
Laffey was surprised at Tia’s sudden display of friendliness, a bad feeling pricking at her conscience. She turned to look at Glace for help but her master had merely returned an encouraging gaze. She quickly turned to Kristin but soon realised that the young lady was too focused on her filled plate to care. Laffey strode over to Tia’s seat cautiously.
She’d braced herself for the possibility of being bedded ever since Glace had become Locke’s woman. Despite that, nothing had happened over the years, much to her surprise. Was today the turning point? She lifted her gaze to study Tia. Oh, no. There was definitely a glimmer of hope in the older woman’s eyes and Laffey could only relent.