Translator: Jiro Editor: Ryunakama
…She’s a mess. I need to let her rest as soon as we get back.
As I stroked her head she narrowed her eyes as if she liked it.
Still, she did end up seeing quite the spectacle… We thankfully somehow managed to take care of Kane and Grain but I ended up completely destroying the whole dungeon in the process. …Azalea will yell at me again… It’s a hassle to speak to her, so I guess I’ll just reject her Telepathy for now. She might still be busy with the case of Grain escaping and not even have time to deal with me, but I’ll still cut her off just in case.
「Don’t mind me, it’s nothing. Well then I guess everyone must be worried about us, so let’s head back.」
「Okay… Oh…」 said Claude as she tried to move her foot forward, however her feet still refused to support her body so I immediately jumped in to help.
「Ahahaha… I’m sorry…」
I guess she still hasn’t recovered from that shock. Well I can’t blame her. It was a cruel sight after all.
I supported Claude and proceeded to lift her up.
「Didn’t I tell you not to push yourself? It’s fine to get spoiled once in a while you know.」
「But you spoiled me way too much just a while ago…」
「Don’t worry about that.」
「Okay…」 Claude said quietly as she lowered her head.
The monsters around here are mostly small fry so I should be able to handle bringing us back somehow.
Afterwards, Claude tried to escape from me a couple of times by saying that she could walk by herself, however I never let go of her.
Around the half-way mark it looked like she had completely given up as she lowered her head down and didn’t say anything.
「Should I let you go about here?」
「Yes… I’ve been telling you I can walk on my own for a while now…」
I let go of Claude at the woods that were in front of our inn, however she still looked like she was staggering a little.
From here on out there’ll be people as well. I guess I’ll let her walk to the inn.
When we finally got to the inn and entered inside, just before I could open the door from my side, the door opened itself.
From the inside Milly jumped out.
「AH! Zeph, Claude!!」
「When I woke up both of you weren’t here so I ended up searching for you! I couldn’t even contact you with Telepathy.」
I guess that must be because I held onto Claude until now.
Even until now it had been hard to reach Claude with Telepathy, so now that she experienced that kind of thing it must have impacted her Screen Point in a strange way, and completely blocked off communication.
「Are the others still sleeping?」
「Uh, yea… They were looking after Shirushu until early morning, so they must be quite tired.」
「Doesn’t that go for you as well Milly-san?」
「Well… As you can see I’m still sleepy as well…」 said Milly with a huge yawn while rubbing her eyes.
「Shirushu should be fine already. Her beastfolk regenerating abilities are amazing you see! Even though it was such a deep wound, it almost completely healed and she’s even sleeping peacefully right now. But that out of the way, where did you two go so early?」 asked Milly with a carefree face.
She got me here. What should I say?
「… I’ll tell her. That’s the least I can do.」
As I was wondering what to do Claude stepped before me and began to tell what had happened.
She told everything about her family, her brother, about Grain, and about our fight and how we ended up killing them… Milly just glared with a serious expression as Claude was telling the story in a traumatic manner, as if she was repenting about something.
「… And so I…」
「Hmm. It really must have been tough Claude.」 saying that Milly completely embraced Claude.
Burying her head within Milly’s small chest, Claude’s tears flowed once more.
Look at her, acting like a proper leader.
As I let out a sigh of admiration I noticed that Milly was beckoning me while holding onto Claude.
It seems like she wants something.
Thinking that I went next to Milly just to have her pull on my cheek.
「W-What are you boing!!」
「That’s my line!!」
Pulling my cheek even more, she dragged my face closer to hers.
She narrowed her eyes and bore her fangs at me.
What is she so angry about?
「Zeph!! You’re our co-guildmaster so it’s your responsibility to stop Claude from doing anything reckless!!」
「I bid tby do sdob har bat!」
「I don’t want to hear excuses!! Furthermore!! You should tell us about things like this!! Aren’t you the one who told us not to do anything selfish?!」
She’s right. But I couldn’t just let Milly and the others witness something like that…
As I didn’t say anything else, Milly let go of my cheek.
She then grabbed my hand and pulled it next to her chest similar to Claude.
A small bulge hit my face, and I could feel Milly’s body trembling.
She must have been quite worried.
「You idiot. You should trust us more.」
「… I’m sorry.」
Afterwards I didn’t say anything else and just continued to be embraced by Milly.
A long time passed like that. The dizziness, fatigue, and drowsiness suddenly rushed at me like waves.
It seems like I’ve also reached both my mental and physical limits. It must be because I stayed up almost all night to cast recovery magic on Shirushu. On top of that there was that fierce battle just a bit ago.
I let go of myself, leaving Milly to support my weight, as I collapsed.
「Zeph?!!Are you okay?!!Zeph?!!」
Both Milly and Claude’s voices got further and further away as my consciousness drowned into darkness.
Both of them desperately shook my body, however I couldn’t muster up the strength to tell them that I was going to be okay, and just like that I lost consciousness.
◆ ◆ ◆
Within the darkness I could hear Kane continuously swearing at Claude.
It mostly consisted of the things he said before his death.
「Claude, you will definitely betray your friends! Your so-called precious friends!」
「I’ll never do something like that!! I’ll never betray anyone!!」 replied desperately Claude, however Kane just laughed as he looked down on her.
「Hmph… I wonder about that. That may be true for now. However, you will surely one day betray them.」
「That day won’t come! I’ll never… betray… anyone…」
As abuses were constantly sent her way Claude broke down crying.
After laughing while seeing Claude like that Kane shifted his gaze to me.
「Don’t you think so too Zeph.」
Hearing his words, a memory from my future popped into my mind.
It was the memory of the Scout Scope scroll which caused me to lose the Flame of Flame title back then.
In the future, it was Claude who brought the scroll, which Milly’s father had left her, to the Magician Association.
The continuous flashbacks forced me to take a deep breath.
「See Zeph? Claude will definitely betray you. You should know that more than anyone else.」
「… Something like that won’t happen. That’s because I believe her.」
「Kuku. Even though you say that your face shows otherwise…」
Kane ignored my words and disappeared alongside his laughter.
After saying that I silently walked next to Claude. There’s no way something like that will happen.
Is what I wanted to say to her, but before I could do that I noticed that Claude, who’s eyes only showed void within them, was holding onto a sword.
And from the sword, drops of blood were constantly dripping down.
Claude’s feet were dyed bright red with blood, and within that pool of blood beneath her there was a familiar girl’s body.
The girl’s chest had been pierced through. That girl was Milly.
I woke up.
I looked around trying to calm my breathing down, but the whole area was pitch black.
Did I fall asleep back then? I must have been quite tired it seems.
「Ha…Ha… That damn Kane…」
Due to sweating in my dream my clothes had gotten sticky and gross.
It’s because he said those things that I ended up having that strange dream. There’s no way Claude will kill Milly…
When I looked around, while holding onto my aching head, I noticed that everyone was sleeping soundly.
However, I couldn’t spot neither Milly, nor Claude.
My heart suddenly began to beat faster and burst out in cold sweat.
It can’t be… But…
I grew worried and stood up in order to look for them, however my body wouldn’t listen to me.
Now that I think about it, the area below my waist feels quite heavy. It feels almost like there’s something clinging to me. Hm…? It can’t be…
When I turned over my blanket I saw that Claude and Milly had at some point snuck into my bed.
These two. Their sleeping posture is terrible…
The two of them mutter out my name in their sleep, as they held onto each other’s hands.
Looking at both of them I ended up letting out a smile.
「…Haha. Good grief.」
If by some chance these two end up fighting I’ll definitely stop them.
As I decided that inside my head I spread my arms and hugged both of them.