Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
It’s the next morning after receiving the Krankheit Turtle subjugation request from the knight brigade.
「We’re off, Eris-san!」
In front of the hospital’s gate, Yuel calls out to Eris in a chipper voice. In contrast, Eris has worn a complicated expression ever since yesterday.
Even during meals and before going to sleep, Eris has been casting worried glances in my direction. She can say whatever she wants, but I think she can’t help but be worried about me.
Looking at Yuel as she slept with her arms around my waist, or at the matching bracelets on both of our wrists, Eris was making a critical face. Is she possibly concerned that I might actually put my hands on Yuel?
「Have a safe journey, Yuel-chan. And… please try your best to be careful.
…You too, Shiki.」
Woah. Apparently Eris is honestly worried for my safety. That’s great. She didn’t label me as a lolicon for wearing matching bracelets with Yuel.
Then Eris’ face turns serious as she continues.
「If you do anything like sexually harassing a knight, you won’t be able to pass it off as a joke. And you certainly won’t get off with just a severe warning. I’d hate to have to go to the knights’ station to bail you out, got it?」
Oh, that. That’s what it was? Well sure, that Marietta-san knight was pretty cute. But even I wouldn’t do something like sexual harassment without considering the consequences. I’m at least mindful of my self-preservation.
Also, I wish you would stop saying things in front of Yuel that could invite a misunderstanding.
「I-I wouldn’t do something like sexual harassment…! W-Well then, we should get going.」
As I hastily put an end the conversation, Eris looks at me and giggles. Oh, she was teasing me?
Then, Eris takes a step towards me. A light thud reverberates through my chest.
As if she’s trying to reaffirm my body warmth, Eris grips my clothes and lets her head fall onto my chest.
Her breasts are almost touching me. No, only a little bit but they are.
What in the world is going on? It’s unusual for Eris to let her guard down and stick so close to me. Even though she usually avoids physical contact with me so that I can’t take advantage of it. Has she gone dere? Don’t tell me she actually went dere on me? I only agreed to this request because I couldn’t refuse it in front of the reverent Yuel, but maybe Eris is hugging me because I’m sincerely working for the sake of the city?
「I know somebody has to do it, so I can’t tell you not to go, I understand that… but… please, make sure you come back safely.」
Then, looking up at me, Eris says that.
I realize when I look into her eyes.
This is different.
Her eyes tell me she’s seriously anxious about my safety. There’s some bitterness in there too.
…That reminds me, Eris told me that her parents died in an accident. I didn’t ask her what happened, but no doubt they left one day saying they’d be back and then never returned. I don’t think this time will be that dangerous since I’ll be protected by the knight brigade, but for Eris it might not feel that way.
And yet, with Eris’ level of healing magic ability she’d only be a hindrance. There’s no certainty that she’d be able to defend herself from monsters, either. So she can’t even come along with the subjugation party. Because of that, how powerless must Eris be feeling right now?
I set my hand on Eris’ as… I mean, on her head. Come on, I’m not so insensitive as to rub her ass when the mood is like this. To be honest, I want to keep hugging Eris to get my fill of the sensation of her breasts, but we’re in front of Yuel.
「It will be fine, I’ll protect Master no matter what!」
Then, looking at Eris, Yuel says something so reliable.
「So, when we get back, please teach me how to make those delicious cookies!」
But Yuel-san, that’s what they call a death flag.
Leaving the hospital, we head to the city gate to meet up with the knight brigade. Apparently Yuel has completely recovered from yesterday’s “Eris chest button shock”; she’s beaming while she walks beside me.
As we’re walking, I observe Yuel, when suddenly her attention shifts.
Yuel briefly glances at my bracelet. Next, she gazes at her own bracelet and softly strokes it. With a satisfied sigh, she looks back at my bracelet again. Then, perhaps realizing that I’m watching her, she bashfully claps her hands over her cheeks in embarrassment. Adorable.
Yuel seems extremely pleased with her bracelet. She’s certainly happy that we match.
However, if these accessories activate, they’ll supposedly break. I ended up buying the same magic item as Yuel on impulse, but maybe a normal accessory would have been better.
It’s great that Yuel likes it, but will she be alright if it activates and gets destroyed? I have a feeling she’d cry.
She shouldn’t receive any lethal attacks, so I doubt it will activate. But in case it does end up activating, I’ll put some thought into how to comfort her in that scenario.
While I’m mulling it over, we arrive at the meeting place. Looking around the area, I see knights in armor as well as wizards and healers wearing uniform robes bearing the knight brigade emblem. Scattered among them are other healers like me. There are about 50 members of the knight brigade, and no more than 10 of my fellow healers. Seems a bit low, but I suppose you could call us the select few.
While I’m absent-mindedly looking out over the group, a red-haired girl in light armor pushes through the crowd as she approaches while waving her hands.
「Good morning, Shiki. Thanks for the day before yesterday. So they called on you too for the Krankheit Turtle subjugation, huh?」
It’s Ruruka. She has her usual adventuring equipment. Why is she here? I thought that only the knight brigade and a few excellent healers would be coming.
「…Why are you here?」
「Ehehe, you wanna know?」
When I ask, Ruruka responds in a bit of a boastful tone.
「Nah, not really.」
Well, it’s not like I can’t guess. Ruruka’s party took damage from the Krankheit Turtle, so the reason they’re here is most likely related to that. Like to serve as guides, for instance.
「W-Why not, ask me! The truth is, We’re the ones who confirmed the location of the Krankheit Turtle. That’s why we’re here as guides for the knight brigade. Aren’t we awesome? You surprised?」
Yep, they’re guides. But, rather than confirming its location, didn’t they just happen to run into the mist by accident? At least that’s what I remember Ruruka telling me earlier. Like, “we got rained on and then a fog rolled in and it was almost a disaster” or something.
I look at Ruruka with cold eyes, and perhaps remembering that, she quickly averts her gaze.
「H-Hey, what’s with that bracelet?」
Then, Ruruka takes a glance at my bracelet.
「Oh, this? Actually, Yuel…」
Although, how should I explain it at a time like this? If I just honestly say “Yuel bought it for me” I’ll look like a total deadbeat. And I feel that saying “Yuel and I got them as presents for each other” would go over even worse.
「Master said that it was a present from someone he’s always taking care of.」
As I’m hesitating, Yuel gives that explanation. Then, in a whisper, she mumbles as she strokes her bracelet.
「Master and I match.」
She sighs contentedly, with a completely, utterly happy expression.
Did Ruruka hear what Yuel said, or not? Looking at my bracelet, then at Yuel’s, then back at mine again… she becomes solemn.
Yeah, she’s not pleased about me and Yuel matching after all. It may not be a pair of rings, but it’s still a pair of accessories. It wouldn’t be strange if she called me a lolicon and backed away.
「H-Hey, in that case, what about me?」
While I’m thinking about it, Ruruka blurts that out, somewhat nervously.
“In that case” must be referring to what Yuel said earlier about taking care of people. But that was just a pretext for Yuel since she’s so reserved. As for Eight and Geyser who’ve been reasonably helpful to me, I have absolutely no intention of gifting them anything at this point.
「As for Ruruka… nothing?」
You could say that Ruruka has taken care of me in a way, but I don’t feel like I can give her a present. It would be unwise to set that precedent. If Ruruka pressed her chest against me and asked “will you buy it?” I’m confident that my wallet would end up empty.
「W-Why… b-but, but, it’s a good opportunity, so I’m giving you this.」
Saying that, Ruruka removes one of the earrings she’s wearing. It’s set with a red gem and looks fairly expensive.
「L-Look, it’s to thank you for treating Fran and Sera, okay?」
No, even if you say it’s a gift, it’s troublesome if you only hand over a single earring.
Ignoring my thoughts, Ruruka quickly attaches the earring to my ear.
「N-Now we match, right?」
Then, lifting her hair, she shows off the earring on her other ear.
My heart skips a beat. What was that? I wonder if she got jealous over Yuel and that got her competitive spirit burning? No no, hold on, she might just be flirting. Remember, how many times has she created misunderstandings so far by getting me to reduce the treatment fee?
Also, if this is just a performance, how expensive of a return gift is she going to demand from me?