We stood within the darkened forest.
Claude had an expression as if she was terrified by something.[Are you okay?] [Let’s hurry up and get back ok?]
Our concerned voices seemed like they didn’t even reach her ears.
Now that I think about it, she seemed like she was unusually unsettled during the fight with the kobold leader.
While you’re fighting it takes up most of your concentration, but once the fight finishes you remember any other tasks you might have.
Now she’s covered in cold sweat and her eyes are darting around nervously. She looks very flustered.[……Umm…….yeah…….let’s return now…..]
She finally squeezes out a response, but it seems quite unreliable at the moment.
We teleport back to the middle of Nanami town, but her mental condition doesn’t seem to be any better.
(I wonder what’s wrong with Claude?)
(I don’t know…. maybe there was some important business she had to take care of. I hope it’s nothing bad.)
Nanami Town[Ummm…. Thank you very much…..]
When I was thanked with such a pale face, I actually felt worried instead.[Did you have some business you needed to take care of? If you need any help just ask us.] [Claude, we’re comrades don’t you understand?] [Umm…. Thank you very much…. But it’ll be alright….]
It absolutely doesn’t look like it’ll be alright though.
It’d gotten completely dark by the time we saw Claude off. Once she had left Milly and I glanced at each other.[Claude….. I wonder if she’ll be alright……] [I don’t know…. let’s go check on her tomorrow, and now that I think about it hasn’t it gotten really late?] [I guess that’s so….] [Now then, I have to hurry home too or my mom’s going to yell at me. I’ll see you tomorrow] [Mm….. Bye then Zeph]
After I parted with Milly, I hastened my steps.
My destination was of course, Claude’s inn.
It was clear that Claude’s situation wasn’t a trivial matter.
I don’t know whether or not this is the trigger that causes Claude to change, but there’s absolutely no way I can leave it alone.
I reach the center of town and draw near the traveler’s inn, when I suddenly realize something.
Where does Claude actually live?
This is bad.
I came here without taking the time to think it through.
Now then what should I do, as I think that I see Kane exiting a run-down inn.
He seems to have come out of the cheapest and most run-down inn.
Claude is probably staying there.
He himself stays at the highest class in and his sister is left with the worst inn in town, good grief, it must be good to have a high social position.
He’s clutching some money in his right hand and he has a smirk on his face.
I understand now.
The reason that Claude was in such a hurry, that is.
I watch Kane as he disappears while casting glances all around, let’s go to Claude’s inn.
The run-down inn that Kane left, didn’t even have a proper reception counter for guests.
I saw Claude’s name on a wooden tag leaning on the counter, so I memorized it.
According to the tag Claude is staying in Room 5.[Welcome, this is the traveler’s I….. eh wait a second! You can’t just go back there! Kid!?]
I heard the receptionist yelling from the entrance, but I ignored him and continued on into the inn.
I walked down the crumbling hallway, the floor creaking with every step, looking at the numbers on each of the rooms. I soon found room number five and try to open the door.
There’s not even a lock, what kind of an inn this is.
As I enter the room I’m assaulted by a stench.
Inside the stinking room, Claude is cowering and sobbing.
It seems like she was beaten, I can see vivid bruises on her body.
That guy did his dirty business in private to keep his reputation clean it seems.[……Claude……!]
As soon as she hears my voice, she turns her tear stained and drool covered face towards me.[…. If it isn’t Zeph-kun. Do you need something?]
Quickly rubbing her face dry, she gives me an awkward and stiff smile that’s pitiful to look at.
I say nothing and rush over, I immediately begin removing her clothes to see the extent of the damage.[Wait….. Please stop now! Zeph-kun you pervert!!] [Shut up! Be silent!]
Overwhelmed by my intensity, Claude shuts her mouth and remains silent.
As soon as I take off her outer clothes, her shivering white skin is revealed, but so are the red marks left by the beatings.
Claude’s entire body is covered in horrible bruises and wounds. This is awful.
I was lost for words.
How many beatings did she receive to have become this battered….!
I immediately cast healing to try and heal Claude’s body, but my mental state is really unstable so I can’t do it as well as I usually do.[Damn it!!] […..Having my bare skin seen….it’s really embarrassing mou~…….] [That guy… when Kane left the inn he was clutching some money in his hand. So it was Claude’s money was it…..?] [Being a knight means dressing up, it’s their job to keep up appearances after all…..] [Keeping up appearances is their job you say?! His little sister is staying in such a run-down crappy inn! Like hell I can forgive him for having the gall to steal money from his sister too!!] [Run-down inn….. that’s mean of you to say…..]
*Ahaha* Claude laughs.
There isn’t a trace of the usual pretty boy smile to be seen.
With this kind of face, my face is actually better this time, shit!
I don’t want to have to see Claude with this kind of expression ever.
I take off my coat, and cover Claude with it, her shoulders begin to tremble as she cries, and I can’t find the right words to say.
I turn around and leave Claude’s room.
*Thud* it looks like something hit me in the shoulder.
It seems as though the receptionist has followed me and then bumped into me.[Oi Oi kid? You can’t just come in here willy nilly you know? This is the traveler’s…..]
Suddenly the receptionist stopped talking.
I had emitted some magic power.
He turned pale, shut his mouth, and stepped aside.
Now that the path was open, I walked forward as the floor creaked with every step.
I exit the inn and turn towards the Entertainment District, I begin to walk there directly.
It’s not a place for children, but that doesn’t stop me in the slightest.
On the way a drunk yelled at me, I just fired some magic at him and he sobered up in an instant.
There are lots of glowing magical lights, and I pass by many bars. I enter the biggest bar on the street.[Young master, this isn’t a place for widdle kids you know~?] [Did you come here for your Papa? Tell me his name and maybe I can go call him for you?]
Two men with frightening faces call out to me.
This might be useful in its own way.
They seem to be aware of the fact that I’m a mage, but they still called out to me.[It’s Kane. Kane Leonhardt. He’s wearing flashy knight armor, so please call him.]
I frankly reply.
Though it’s inefficient to go at this head on, my thinking is a little simplistic as my head is still burning with anger.[Sorry, but this is a high class establishment. People can’t just go in and out as they please. We’re here to make sure no undesirables get in.] [Kane-san is a rich guest here. It’d be bad for us if we let a kid like you ruin his good mood.]
I guess it won’t be so easy to get through here.
Yareyare. (TN Da-ze)
–High Class Bar, The Black Cat’s Tail
A woman is serving all the Knights here, and they’re all drinking together.
There are many empty and expensive sake bottles surrounding the red faced knights.
In the middle of all of them was Kane. He sat there with his arm wrapped around a woman’s shoulder.[Everyone! Good job on today’s expedition! Our visit here is a reward for all your hard work!]
It looked like Kane was in a great mood as he raised his glass, drained the sake in it, and brandished the empty glass.[Today’s drinks are on me! Enjoy yourselves all you want!] [OOOOOOOO~~!!!] [As expected of Kane-sama!] [Thank you very much!]
Suddenly everyone inside the bar heard an intense crashing boom.
The bodyguards from outside were violently flung into the back wall with enough force to shake the bar, everyone turned to look in my direction.
They should still be alive…
I walked forwards, and found Kane’s group of merrymakers. At the sight of them laughing and being carefree I felt my magic power boiling and surging even further.
I can’t control my rage.
This is pretty bad.
He’s Claude’s brother so it’d be bad to kill him. But going easy on such a scum seems to be getting harder to accomplish by the second.