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Chapter 063 – Ignorance is Bliss [A]
“So this is where you were hiding, Raizen.”
“You haven’t been acting like yourself for some time now… it’s just you, you know? Even though the war is over and done with, you’re still wearing such a complicated expression.”
“…Haa, isn’t it fine? I’m just a little tired because I’ve been so busy lately.”
“…Are you still thinking about him?”
“That guy is the worst kind of sinner. You should know just how much damage he’s caused… he can never be forgiven.”
“…I know. It’s not like I regret it either.”
“Then how about having a slightly more cheerful expression?”
“Just let me do as I please for that. Besides, I’m not the only one wearing a dark expression these days, right? Say it to the others too.”
“But you’re just so big that I can’t help but notice you.”
“Isn’t that discrimination?”
“It’s special treatment. You should also know that there are many of our comrades who were saved because of that enormous figure.”
“What is it?”
“…This will be the end of the war, right…?”
“…It should be. We’ve united the continent and the maou is defeated. —so the war is finally over. And it was all accomplished with our own hands, no less.”
“…Are you dissatisfied with that?”
“No… I’m just thinking that I’ve lost a worthy place to die, or something like that.”
“Don’t say such foolish things. You told me you’d follow my lead, so you’re gonna have to obey me for as long as you’re healthy.”
“Since we don’t have a lifespan, wouldn’t that mean I have to obey you forever? Don’t screw with me.”
“Hahahah! Well, you don’t have to say it like that. You’ll be free once I decide to retire and I’m no longer king. — Of course, you can always challenge my spot, you know?”
“…Well, I guess I won’t hold my breath.”
“But I don’t think there’ll be any wars for a while, and I don’t mind if you relax a bit.”
“Even though you’re saying that, didn’t you come here because of work? What is it this time?”
“It’s not a big deal… I just have somewhere I want you to investigate.”
“…Alright, I’ll get going right away. Where is it?”
“It is at—”
…They are quite late…
Some time had already passed since the two kalars had left the house and the sun was already high in the sky. It must have been about three hours since they left.
Outside the house, there was one presence which had barely moved all morning, but he couldn’t sense the other presence anywhere nearby. Perhaps she went somewhere? thought Leonhart. He was supposed to remain on the bed without moving much but,
…Maybe I should try swinging my sword for a bit…?
He thought he could get some light movement in, since he was bored. Even though he was injured, he was still worried his skills might get rusty if he didn’t keep up with his practice schedule. Regular training was essential.
Also, he wanted to try out the new technique he learned recently. It was important to get a good feel for it anyway,
…It should be alright if I just move lightly for a bit.
As Leonhart was about to get off the bed, the door to the house opened.
“I, I’m home.”
It was Kesselring and Pale. The two kalars returned along with greetings. He stopped moving when he saw them.
As he laid his body back on bed, he looked at the pair’s faces,
“…it’s late, did something happen?”
“Ah, you see… the reason we’re late… err…”
Pale’s words became more incoherent as she tried to continue.
But then Kesselring stepped forward,
“…I’m sorry. We went to get this.”
Leonhart’s eyes widened as he saw what was in Kesselring’s hands. It was a bloody mass, that was dark red in color,
“Yes, it’s venison. I went out and hunted for it… th, that’s—“
Kesselring’s words trailed off after having said that much.
As her cheek flushed a bright shade of vermillion, she averted her gaze and,
“—You said that you wanted to eat meat yesterday…”
“…Aah, I see.”
Leonhart felt strangely satisfied with this. She remembered what he said yesterday.
…So she was late because she went to hunt…
In that case, he could understand why she took such a long time. The forest would be full of edible creatures, but it takes time to hunt one.
Wild animals were sensitive to the presence of other creatures and they escaped quickly, making it hard for ordinary people to catch them.
Considering her strength, there shouldn’t be a problem with the hunting itself, but that strength would also cause her prey to immediately go into hiding, consuming a lot of time in tracking them.
From what he was seeing, the dismantling must have already been done outside and,
“…Sorry about that. You’ve gone through a lot of trouble because of my request.”
He made a light apology for her inconvenience. But Kesselring shook her head,
“It’s not a big deal… if this is something that will help make you feel better…”
“Tha-that’s right. If it’s for Leonhart-san, we-we’ll do anything!”
In contrast to Kesselring’s voice, which was getting progressively softer, Pale’s voice rose to a crescendo. Leonhart didn’t show any particular reaction to their words of devotion, and looked to Kesselring again,
“…So, Kesselring will make us lunch then?”
In response to his question, Kesselring nodded. Then she looked directly at him,
As Leonhart wondered what she was trying to say, Kesselring blurt it out in a single breath,
“…I’ll make it if it’s for you…”
She shyly said such words.
Leonhart fell silent for a moment. However, he thought it would be bad if he didn’t respond at all. He understood what Kesselring was saying and replied.
“…Aah, I’ll look forward to it.”
Then Kesselring’s body jerked in response and she silently left for the kitchen.
Pale made a subtle “aah…!” sound in reaction to Kesselring’s abrupt departure, but it seemed like she was impressed. She seems to have her own problems too, thought Leonhart and he spoke to the remaining girl.
“Don’t you have to help her?”
“Ah, yes… Kesselring-sama seemed so enthusiastic about making today’s food… a, also… whi, while we wait for the food to be ready…I, I thought I could take care of you or maybe just spend some time with you…”
Is that okay? Pale didn’t speak the words aloud, but her eyes asked the question for her.
After a moment of thought, Leonhart gave her an answer.
“…Just do what you like.”
“I, I understand… I, I’ll do. What I like—“
Pale cheeks became flushed, although they were not as flushed as Kesselring’s had been, and she sat on the side of the bed — right next to him. As Leonhart saw that, he closed one eye,
………What should I do about this?
He had mixed feelings about them.
In the kitchen, Kesselring felt like her heart was about to explode.
As she leaned on the wall and placed her hand on her chest, she could feel it pounding abnormally hard and fast,
…Tha-that was dangerous… just now.
She really thought it was dangerous. But it wasn’t a bad thing.
It was dangerous because it felt way too good.
Even though Kesselring was feeling awkward and embarrassed from telling Leonhart she would cook for him, he had still said that he was looking forward to it, which had struck an additional blow to her heart.
Just by seeing his wry smile and hearing his kind words, she felt her face might actually catch fire from the heat. She hurriedly evacuated to the kitchen before she could do anything strange.
She felt her emotions rise up even though he had just responded normally, which showed his mighty power over her.
Or maybe I just can’t resist him? thought Kesselring. It was her first time having this kind of feeling and she had never acted like this before.
Even so, Kesselring had to get a grip on herself, because there was still something she had to do.
…I have to cook for him…
She promised him that she would let him eat her food. Since he said he wanted to eat meat, she immediately went hunting after her conversation with Pale. Although it was her first time hunting and she was worried she might fail, she was lucky enough to catch some prey. But the real problem started now.
After all, she had never cooked before. She needed to make sure she fed him something decent, even if it was her first time.
…For the time being, Pale has taught me the basics, though…
Kesselring remembered what Pale taught her as she put the venison in her hand on the counter.
For the time being, it was all about grilling and seasoning it properly, but also not adding anything weird. It seemed the dish would be, at a minimum, decent as long as these steps were followed. It was none other than Pale, who was a good cook, who told her so. So all she needed to do was to follow those steps.
…I want to let him eat delicious food. And then—
She was determined and wanted to go beyond that.
She held the kitchen knife in her right hand, and held the ladle in her left. Her stance was that of someone who was ready to cook,
And Kesselring began her battle with the venison.
Pale felt eager, sitting in front of Leonhart.
…We, well… let’s do this…!
It was Pale’s turn to appeal to Leonhart while Kesselring did the cooking. Although Pale didn’t know how long it would actually take, she was guessing it would be around ten to thirty minutes.
Until then, Pale had to convince Leonhart of her and Kesselring’s good points, and try to persuade him in various other ways.
Although Pale had given a lot of advice to Kesselring when they were outside earlier, Pale didn’t know if she could actually do this. Pale was innocent, pure, and unfamiliar with men. Well, perhaps she couldn’t say she was familiar, but she at least knew a bit about it.
In Kesselring’s case, she might be a little too pure but she had one strong advantage, as she was capable of making a straightforward appeal.
And as for Pale’s advantage, she knew exactly what it must be.
…I have the knowledge I learned from books…!
There were lots of romance stories amongst the books she had read.
The content was wide-ranging, but some of them introduced the techniques a woman could use when trying to make a man fall for them.
…Now is the time to put it into practice…!
She had no doubt that her life as a shut-in, with her time spent reading all those books, was in preparation for this very moment.
Pale smiled sweetly at Leonhart, who sat beside her.
Then she recalled the contents of a certain book.
…There is a perfect book for our situation…! “How to Make a Handsome Blond Fall for You”…!
The author was Seiten Bishoujoou Lenolass-sensei. She was famous in the literary community that had developed over the years. It was actually rumored that it was because of this person that books could be distributed in the streets for the past few centuries. She was a legendary writer whom nobody had ever seen. 1
Although the pen name was painful to say, the content itself wasn’t that bad. Rather, she was an author whose works were very hit and miss, but the book she was referring to right now was definitely a hit. Since Pale read it several times, she could remember the content clearly. According to that book,
“What is it?”
She would say it, just like the book suggested,
“—Wha, what do you think of me, and Kesselring-sama?!”
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