□ □ □ □
I returned to the inn and collapsed on my bed.
In the evening, I had knocked on the south gate from the outside, which gave the guards quite the scare. But I was so distracted by my own thoughts that I walked passed them without saying anything. I wasn’t even sure if Mister Saragi was there.
As for the town. It all seemed so far away now.
“What to do…”
I said to no one in particular. Of course, Daniela was there to hear it.
“I think you should do it. Be her thrall.”
“I do not mind. In fact, I am worried that you seem to be so troubled by it.”
Daniela said as she climbed the steps with a cup of fruit water.
“You’re worried about me?”
“Aye. If you ask me, you have a habit of caring about the small things too much. This is not a world where you can let such things hold you back all of the time.”
“I’m sure you’re right…”
“Sometimes, I feel as if you are incapable of compromise. I am not telling you to go out and create a harem. She is nothing more than a friend.”
I accepted the cup from her and wet my lips.
“If it was Fiona. I would object. She had the face of an animal in heat.”
“Lauria did as well. And I had my suspicions about that prostitute in Alessa. Speaking of suspicious, those twins. Olive and Oregano.”
“Hey, hey. Now you’re starting to paint me like some kind of womanizer.”
“Oh? Were you ever anything else?”
I glared at her. She had to be kidding. As if…
I knew what it looked like from seeing Matsumoto. He was a real Hero. I wasn’t like that at all.
“And that is why this is nothing to me now. It is too late for you to try and change your reputation. Understand?”
Yes. Well, that wasn’t something I could accept so easily. This was all news to me.
“You still do not understand?”
“Yes. I don’t.”
“Then I shall make you. No matter what your inhibitions might be, you are not capable of bending for anyone. Except for me.”
“Uh, now, Daniela…”
Her lips covered my mouth as I began to protest. Ultimately, I would not have time for a rebuttal until morning.
□ □ □ □
I could never get used to these tired mornings. It reminded me of getting up for my night-shift. However, I wasn’t in low spirits, at least.
Daniela had persuaded and reminded me of a thing or two. And I was feeling a lot more positive about accepting Rachel’s proposition.
I woke Daniela up and we bathed together.
After that, we at breakfast and left a message before leaving the inn. We were headed to the south gate, just like yesterday.
Things had been shaken up a little due to my return the other day, and so heads immediately turned as we approached. But I had nothing to say now. And so I just kept walking.
Like yesterday, the path was covered in leaves and difficult to see. But it wasn’t a hard path to follow, and we easily made it to the abandoned village. Lehaty should be there unless something happened.
“I do not see why you should be?”
“I just am.”
I was going to turn into someone’s thrall. Of course, I’d be nervous. I hadn’t even been aware of what was happening with Beowulf. But this time, I knew.
The village had been abandoned due to people moving to Yukka. So it had nothing to do with monsters. Well, it was certainly a peaceful way to have something rot away.
Then again, perhaps someone returned occasionally, as the houses were surprisingly still standing and in decent condition. Well, it would have been before the Loup-garou arrived. There were still leaves and mud everywhere…
Lehaty called as she came out of one of the houses. Yes, yes. She looked like a great werewolf today as well.
“Morning. I’m sure you remember Daniela.”
“Hello. Thank you for helping us back in the carriage.”
“I only did what I had to.”
Lehaty chuckled pleasantly, but I still remembered seeing the bodies of those she fought. The limbs that were twisted in the wrong directions.
“Now, Rachel is waiting. And she does not like to wait.”
I glanced over to Daniela. She nodded and took out the key.
“Oh, I’m getting nervous…this is a legendary monster…”
“You are both nervous, now? …Asagi, you should toughen up.”
Daniela said as she slapped me on the back. It was surprisingly painful, and I coughed. When I looked up, the alley spread out before us.