Chapter 159 Part 2


Translator: Jiro Editor: Ryunakama


After I parted with everyone I headed home.

My heart swelled with nostalgia and a smidgeon of nervousness as the surrounding scenery became increasingly familiar.

Three whole years, huh…

I walked down the path between the rice fields, past the white wall, and eventually arrived at my home.

My house hadn’t changed at all, but it seemed to be a little smaller, perhaps due to my growing up.

A sweet scent wafted from the inside as the laundry was hung to dry outside.

Mom’s home it seems.

I swallowed my saliva and stood nervously in front of the door before knocking.

A dull sound echoed and immediately after that I heard my mom’s voice.

 

「I’m coming.」

 

Her nostalgic voice entered my ears. Followed by her hurried steps.

When the door opened, my mother stood in front of me, her brown hair tied behind her and an apron on, indicating that she was currently cooking.

 

「I’m…」

 

Seeing her I completely blanked out. Mom looked at me as I was pondering what to say.

There were some white hairs protruding from her head, and there were some wrinkles around her eyes.

She looked smaller due to me growing in height.

It really has been a while…

Mom brought her face closer to mine as I was being attacked by my emotions.

 

「Zeph… is it really you?」 she asked.

「Y-Yea…」 I replied sloppily.

 

My mother broke into a big smile right after that. And rushed in to hug me.

 

「Welcome back!!」

「I’m home…」

 

That’s right. What was I worried about? I didn’t need to say anything special. Just a simple “I’m home” was enough after all.

 

I quietly hugged my mom back.

 

「To think that you would come home so suddenly. I would have prepared something if you had contacted me, you know?」

「I’m sorry mom, it happened suddenly.」

 

After all, I was still in the North Continent this morning. There was nothing I could have done.

Despite this, my mother proceeded to cut vegetables while humming and smiling broadly.

 

「Should I help you?」

「I’m fine, so just sit down and wait. It’ll be done any minute now.」

「Okay…」

 

I slowly closed my eyes and just enjoyed the sound of mom cooking. It was truly calming.

My artificial arm made a squeaking noise as I moved my hands behind my back.

Come to think of it, mom still hasn’t asked me about my arm.

Lydia and Silverie had given me this artificial arm in place of the original arm which I had lost in that fight three years ago.

I’d grown used to it and it didn’t bother me anymore, but it didn’t alter the fact that strangers would sometimes cast odd glances my way, which wasn’t particularly friendly. There’s no way mom hasn’t noticed it.

「♪♪♪」

 

She probably hasn’t asked about it because she doesn’t want to bring up a difficult subject right after I returned. And it’ll be pretty rude if I were to bring it up myself.

 

「Sorry for the wait, Zeph. Here’s my special miso soup.」

「Nothing less from you mom. It’s delicious.」

「Fufu. Don’t bother flattering me. Hurry up and eat.」

「Thank you for the meal.」

 

As mom left the bowl with soup on the table, the delicious aroma tickled my nose.

As soon as I took a bit from the soup the nostalgic taste spread inside my mouth.

 

「So good…」

「There’s still more, so eat as much as you want.」 mom said with a smile as she watched me gobble down the soup.

「Mom, it’s hard to eat with you staring at me like that…」

「Let me be just this time. It’s been a while since I’ve watched my son eat so happily♪」

「Well okay then…」 I said, trying to mask my embarrassment by averting my gaze.

 

Mom simply smiled as she watched me.

 

「By the way Zeph. If I remembered correctly both you and Milly-chan left together, right? Did you split up mid-way?」 mom asked.

「…!!」

 

I was on the verge of spewing my soup, but I was able to keep it down.

W-What in the world is she asking so suddenly…

 

「… It’s just me today, but don’t worry we’re still traveling together. She’s in the town as well, but she had something else to do today so we separated.」

「Is that so? Well that’s fine. By the way, a pretty girl came by here not so long ago. She claimed to be one of your acquaintances. That’s why I thought that maybe you had moved on from Milly-chan.」

「Moved on… Mom you really are… That aside, could you tell me more about that girl.」

「She apologized non-stop, saying she had done something terrible to you… She told me about your arm and various other stuff.」

「… I see.」

 

So she must have told my mom how I lost my arm in my fight with Grain. It was probably Azalea. She did say she was going back after all. She’s the one who pulled me into the battle with Grain in the first place, so she probably came here to apologize for my arm. Well still, even if she didn’t ask me I probably would have still ended up going after Grain.

 

「So, what happened to that so-called beautiful girl.」

「She said that she had put my cute son through quite a bit of trouble, so I had her atone.」 Mom said, a devilish grin on her face.

 

I got goosebumps from the pressure she was exerting.

 

「… W-What in the world did you have her do?」 I asked.

「Fufufu. First, I gave her a cold-water-soaked cloth and instructed her to clean the floor for an extended period of time while maintaining poor posture.」

「…」

「Then I had her repeat the process, but this time with a dry cloth, while forcing her to take her time, that is. Then I had her stir the soup that I was cooking while also cutting the requisite ingredients on top of the cutting board, which was a dangerous job.」

「……」

「I then soaked her whole body in a white liquid and forced her to soak in a hot bath for a while, despite her hating it, after which I forced her to eat a brownish broth, and eventually I forced her to sleep in the room that had been collecting dust for years until the morning.」

「… So you just had her assist you with chores and then let her spend the night?! You also let her use my room!!!」

「Fufufu, aren’t I terrible?」 Mom asked with a devilish smile.

 

Seeing her like that I could only let out a sigh.

… So in the end mom just had her help her with chores, after which they ate together, took a bath and she stayed the night. Good grief. Mom’s way too kind.

 

「Well, she didn’t seem like such a bad girl, and there’s always the possibility that she’ll become your wife in the future, so I couldn’t make her do something difficult, could I?」 Mom asked.

「Cough?!! M-Mom?!」 

「First there’s Milly-chan, now there’s this girl as well. You really are quite popular, aren’t you Zeph? Just to let you know, cheating is not permitted.」 Mom said, a sly grin on her face.

 

To which I simply responded with a dry chuckle.

I dodged a bullet on this one. If I had brought everyone it would have become a mess.

 

「Take Milly-chan with you next time, okay? Shouldn’t she have grown up to be quite a beauty as well?」 Mom asked.

「I wonder about that… Well she is somewhat cute I guess.」

「You’re not exactly the truthful one yourself, are you?」

「I’ve gotten it from you.」

「I see the know-it-all part of you hasn’t changed.」

 

We both smiled as we looked at each other.

 

After washing the dishes, I went up to my room.

My room had remained just as I had left it. Just looking at it made me feel better.

… Come to think of it, it all started from here didn’t it?

I laid down on my bed and reached for the ceiling with my hand.

I slightly activated my magic power lines and cast Red Ball.

I stared at the ball of flames that appeared in front of my hand for a while.

It couldn’t be compared to what I was before.

The ball of flames died down as I cut off the supply of magical power, as if it had been cut off from its source of fuel.

I really have grown, haven’t I…

I slowly dozed off on top of the bed, losing consciousness as I was immersed in my thoughts.

 

 

「Zeph, it’s already morning. Wake up already.」 Mom said from the lower floor.

「Hm… Okay.」 

 

It seems like I overslept. Well I’m home after all. It’s fine for me to relax from time to time as well.

I stretched out and walked down the stairs with a big yawn.

 

「Morning, mom.」

「Morning. Breakfast’s ready.」

「Thank you for the meal.」

 

I started eating while still half-asleep when I heard a knock on the door.

Who is it so early…

A sense of deja vu suddenly washed over me.

Come to think of it, something similar to this happened before as well……

「ZEPHHH!!!」

 

Hearing Milly’s voice from the outside made me remember everything.

During holidays, she used to come here first thing in the morning.

 

「Oh my, if it isn’t Milly-chan. It’s been a while.」 Mom greeted her.

「It really has♪」 Milly said.

「… M-Mom! W-What are you doing?!」

 

This is bad. If it’s just Milly, I’ll be fine, but if Lydia and the others show up, I’m not sure how I’ll justify it to mom.

I quickly stuffed down my rice and jumped up, but it was already too late.

Milly, Lydia, Shirushu, and Silverie were already lined up when mom opened the door.

 

「It’s a pleasure to meet you, Zeph-chi has been taking great care of us.」 Lydia said.

「H-Hello! It’s a pleasure to meet you!! M-My name’s Shirushu!!」

「I’m Silverie. It’s been a pleasure to travel with, Zeph…-kun.」

「Oh my, oh my, oh my.」 Mom was ecstatic.

 

It’s over… I slapped my brow with my hands.

 

「Zeph. Could you please explain what all of this is about?」 Mom asked.  

「I’m sorry mom, I’ll explain some other time…」

 

I had no choice but to use Sleep Code on mom in order to get out of the situation.



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