Chapter 92 – The Freeloader and His Promise to Play with the Young Girls
92 – The Freeloader and His Promise to Play with the Young Girls
Eleanor and I were summoned to the audience chamber.
It was time for the kids to study along with Myuri.
「Let’s play later Mister Hero, ok?!」
「Play with me, too, Rain.」
Said the rabbit-eared Carro and the fox-eared Ur at the same time.
I thought about it a bit and then called out to the kids.
I called each of their names,「Carro」the rabbit-eared girl,「Ur」the fox-eared girl,「Nea」the cat-eared girl,「Hau」the dog-eared girl,「Yunin」the horse-eared girl, and「Komimi」the girl with feathered horns like that of a horned owl.
The six children who lost their homes and are under the protection of the Demon King Castle along with me.
They looked at me oddly as I hugged each of them.
They each reacted differently. Some were surprised, some were embarrassed, and some were happy.
「Thanks for teaching me all kinds of games. Because you guys roped me into your games like it was only natural, I was able to regain a lot of normal things.」
Carro and Ur grab onto the hem of my clothes.
Crap, I made them worry because I’m suddenly saying things like this.
I pat their heads to reassure them.
「We’ll see each other again later, then we’ll have some fun.」
「Today, I can join in with you guys too!」
Said Mika, smiling.
They all smiled and nodded back.
I leave the kids in Ferris’s care and leave the dining hall.
「…You scared me. It’s like you were saying goodbye.」
Mike poked me.
「Nah, that wasn’t my intention. I just thought I had to say that, that’s all.」
「Your daily life with those children shall continue.」
「Yeah. It’ll keep going cos we’ll win.」
Eleanor’s voice sounded a little down.
I walk beside her.
「Could it be that you feel burdened about me fighting as a Hero?」
Eleanor looked surprised, then bowed her head in shame.
「Despite present circumstances being what they are, we still had to request Sir Rain to work as a Hero, in the end… This is not why I chose to invite you to this country.」
「But you can’t separate me and being a Hero, right?」
「…! That’s… I… Yes, but…」
「It’s true that I wanted to be normal, wanted to quit the Saviors, and then became your freeloader.」
「Yes… Having to make the freeloader do work is a failure onthe part of the provider…」
Eleanor was depressed again.
Wait, can a freeloader not work…?
Nope, not the time.
「If I wasn’t a Hero, you and the other girls wouldn’t have been saved by me in the first place.」
「In the past, even when I saved someone, it ended with my thinking “I’m glad they’re safe.” I reunited with you and the others and spent time together with Carro and the kids. Those I saved in the past are now important people to me. That’s what I think.」
「If this power can help everyone, then maybe being a Hero ain’t so bad after all.」
Eleanor had mixed emotions written on her face.
「You’re the reason I think that, Eleanor.」
She looked my way.
「You made me realize what I’ve always wanted to run away from. You’re amazing.」
「It’s good to save people as a Hero, but I really do like my life here. So, let’s go save the world, and then…」
I could feel a tinge of embarrassment, but I resolved to tell Eleanor.
「Please support me again.」
Eleanor had tears in her eyes and then, after wiping them away, had the most extraordinary smile on her face.
「Yes! Of course!」
「I’m counting this as a heartwarming talk, but this kinda sounds like the conversation of a super hard-working woman supporting her freeloader man-thing.」
Said Mika, cutting in.
「Sir Rain is a first-rate freeloader, so there is no problem whatsoever!」
「There it is! The freeloader rating system! Been a while since I heard that one!」
Oh yeah, she did say something like that on the day we reunited.
That day seems so very distant.
That alone might be why the life I have now has become my new normal.
To fully enjoy that normal, I must win the battle ahead.
In the audience chamber, those that participated in the last meeting were gathered.
Among them, all of the Seven, the magic squadron led by the Bewitching Witch Mage, the mercenary group that Florence herself employed, and the intelligence officers under Vivi’s command will participate in the battle.
Leo, of the Big Four, and Mage’s father, commanding officer of the magic squadron, will remain in the country.
No matter how much the world is in crisis, the country’s defenses cannot be neglected.
「Has everyone looked over Sir War God’s written instructions that Lady Sage delivered?」
All of us nodded in response to Mage’s question.
「Though I loathe following the orders of an exploitative, black-hearted four-eyes, it must be done under current circumstances.」
Eleanor may not think highly of the other five Saviors, but she wouldn’t ignore a strategy because of that.
「Then, let us go… Ah, but first, would you like to do that?」
I tilted my head in confusion at Mage’s words.
Does the Demon King Army have some sort of ritual they do before battle?
Well, the others just stared blankly.
「I shall start, then. Uhm, ahem.」
Adjusting the tone of her voice, Mage clears her throat and then looks at me with tears in her eyes.
「I…shall marry Sir Hero when this battle is over!」
I could sense murderous intent surging from the Seven.
「Folks usually die when they say stuff like that on the battlefield, but you seem like the kinda gal who wouldn’t die even if you were killed. Also, I’m not letting you marry Rain.」
Mika played the straight man.
As if in agreement with the second half of that, the Seven all nodded vigorously.
「Mage’s jokes aside, expressing one’s resolution before we march into battle might be a good thing. After we have won this battle, I, Eleanor, shall ensure Sir Rain enjoys his life as a freeloa-」
「Oh, we’re out of time, let’s head off to battle.」
Mage smiled cheerfully at Eleanor’s yell.
Eleanor, Mage, Mika, and I, the four people here that can use Space Elemental magic, teleported each and every member.
Then, we teleported ourselves to the battlefield.