Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
The sound of her quiet sleeping breath permeates the room. Perhaps because it’s late at night as well, Yuel quickly fell into a deep slumber. I guess she’s still a child after all.
…Children should get a good night’s sleep.
I slip out of the futon, being careful not to wake Yuel. And, trying to the best of my ability not to make any noise, I slowly open the door to the room.
「Master, where are you going?」
Instantly, there’s a voice from behind me.
…Did I wake her up when I was sneaking out of the futon? Although, this is a little awkward. There’s no way I can take Yuel with me. For now, I’ll mislead her.
「A-Ahh… to the bathroom.」
「Master, please take me with you.」
…And what exactly do you plan to do when we get to the bathroom together, I wonder? I’d prefer to decline.
「I-I really don’t think that going to the bathroom together would be… Yuel, wait in the room for me for a little while.」
However, Yuel circles around between me and the door and stares steadily into my eyes.
「Master, if you are leaving this mansion, please take me with you.」
Then, gazing straight at me, she states it plainly.
…Apparently Yuel has unmasked my thoughts.
Now that I think about it, when I look closely, Yuel’s expression shows no signs of her being half-asleep.
…I wonder if she’s been awake the whole time? B-But I made sure to confirm her sleeping breath and everything. Perhaps she was even feigning sleep?
Feigning sleep… that would mean that Yuel was convinced that I was lying…
「Master, I, I’ve realized lately that Master has been lying to me a lot.」
Then, some shocking words are fired from Yuel’s mouth. H-How long ago is ‘lately’? Which lies has she exposed? W-What exactly has happened to the image of me now inside Yuel’s head?
–Yuel has become aware of the lies I’ve been telling her thus far.
I was about to go face the evil god alone in order to defeat him, but such things instantly vanish from my head. Is Yuel going to tell me “I hate this lying, dirty Master”? Oh crap. It’s impossible. I can’t bear it.
But if she really has noticed my lies, that would be only natural. Because Yuel loved the honest, pure, totally kind, ideal master. Yuel wasn’t looking past the facade that I had built out of lies.
「…Y-Yuel… that’s, I’m sorry. I’m not the respectable master that you thought I was.」
Most likely, there’s no point in trying to mislead her. Until now, she was deceived because she never doubted me. And my lies are all sloppy ones that you’ll immediately see through if you just think about it calmly afterwards.
I knew she would find out someday, but it looks like that day has finally arrived. Well, it’s a miracle that she didn’t notice even for a short period. And… if she knows what kind of person I really am, Yuel will surely spurn me.
I can’t look Yuel straight in the eye.
「No, my Master is a respectable one.」
However, Yuel’s clear voice resounds in my ears. I look at Yuel’s face in astonishment. When I do, Yuel gazes fixedly into my eyes and continues.
「Up until now, there were lots of things that I thought were strange. So, so very many of them.
…But I’m sure that unconsciously, I told myself that Master wouldn’t tell lies, and tried to believe in you.」
So, so very many, huh?
Like what, for example?
That I was silent about the reason Eris threw me out of the hospital?
That I was rubbing Ruruka’s breasts and giving her price discounts?
Or else that I kept silent about being able to use the Appraisal skill?
Or wait, maybe that time when I went off to the bathroom and slipped out to watch the beauty contest.
Honestly, I can come up with any number of them.
「But then, I realized.
…That Master really, truly loves big-boobed women, more than anything.」
「I-I wish you hadn’t realized that.」
…Well, I’ve been together with both Eris and Ruruka a lot lately. And I think I was really ogling them pretty heavily in the bath. On the contrary, there’s no way that Yuel wouldn’t notice.
「…With that in mind, somehow I was able to understand what Master was always thinking about, and what you wanted to do.」
What I was always thinking about, huh? In other words, tits. I get the feeling I’m habitually gazing at tits, and thinking about things like how I should rub them. This is hopeless. Yuel said that her master is respectable, but how exactly is that respectable?
「Y-Yuel… it’s true, I’m that type of person.
…Well, if you hate it, I can release you from being my slave. And I’m sure that someone like Fran would hire you for a high salary at this point.」
After this, there’s no way that Yuel can love me anymore. If Yuel hates me now, I should respect her will. And the whole reason I kept her by my side as a slave was because she didn’t seem to feel the slightest bit of dissatisfaction towards that. Now that my monetary problems have been resolved, there’s no need to keep her at my service against her will.
…I would regret it, though.
「I don’t hate you, Master. There is no way I could come to hate you.
…Because when I realized that Master was lying, I was very, very happy.」
However, Yuel’s words are different from what I imagined. She smiles at me as she speaks.
「Certainly, Master was lying to me. But… the lies that Master told me, to keep me from being sad, to stop me from crying, to prevent me from getting hurt… they were all kind lies, I believe.」
–Kind lies. That wasn’t my intention. The fact that I was lying to Yuel, of course it was also for the sake of not making her sad. But if I had to say why I lied, it was to conceal my shortcomings, or to prevent Yuel from finding out the things I wanted to do, those sorts of self-centered reasons.
「Healing my face for me, letting me eat delicious food, letting me sleep in a fluffy bed, and making me incredibly happy… I think I selfishly pushed my own ideals onto Master. But Master avoided shattering those ideals for me. For the sake of a mere slave like me, Master was trying to be a kind, respectable Master.」
Apparently that’s how Yuel interpreted it. Acting out Yuel’s ideals, it sounds nice if you put it that way, but I just enjoyed showing off in front of her.
…There might have been a little of that aspect to it as well, though.
「Master may not be a flawless person. But even so, Master was always being considerate of me, all the time. Whenever you found me about to cry, you always petted my head and comforted me.
…I really love that side of Master. Brave, cool, and kind. That’s the Master I am in love with.」
…But as for Yuel, it seems like she doesn’t care about my faults. It’s true that I’ve been thinking about Yuel a lot. Not wanting to lose Yuel’s respect, not wanting to make her sad, covering up every time I do something that’s out of character for her master. Trying to carry out the appropriate conduct for Yuel’s master has even reshaped my own habitual behavior, countless times.
「I absolutely don’t want Master to face any danger. I want to be together with Master no matter what happens.」
…Yuel seems grateful towards me, but I feel the same way towards her.
If you say that I’ve been behaving as Yuel’s ideal master for her sake, that also means that I wouldn’t have been able to behave like that ideal master if Yuel wasn’t there.
If Yuel wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have been able to repair my relationship with Eris.
If Yuel wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have even saved the city with Area Heal.
If that never happened, I absolutely never would have been lauded as the Sage like this.
If Yuel wasn’t there, by this point I might even have become a minor villain in those circumstances.
「I am Master’s Hero. No matter what happens, I will protect Master without fail… so please, take me with you.」
Then Yuel repeats it again.
…Thinking it over, I understand clearly. It seems that for me, Yuel really is a precious existence. Yuel told me she always wants us to be together, but I feel the same way now. That’s why I’ll answer her like this.
「I understand. With Yuel protecting me, I can safely fight even the evil god.
…Let’s go together, Yuel.」
「…Y-Yes! As Master’s Hero, I will definitely protect you! Whatever happens, I won’t let a single attack get through, just watch!」
Once I answer, Yuel’s expression brightens in a flash. She seems really happy about being able to go together. With this much enthusiasm, she’s practically hopping up and down. It’s incredibly cute.
「As expected of Yuel. You’re so reliable.」
Just like that, I rub her head all over. With one hand– my left hand, I hug Yuel’s head close to me, continuing to pet her.
Whether she’s happy over getting to go with me or getting petted, Yuel’s voice leaks out a little.
–And, unaware of my “lie”, Yuel delightedly nuzzles her head against me.
Yuel was saying she noticed my lies, but with this mood, she probably hasn’t noticed all of them. To the extent that she realized a few of the lies I’ve told, I bet she still hasn’t realized half of them? Well, I think she’ll come to notice them naturally when she becomes an adult. And my lies are all sloppy ones that you’ll immediately see through if you just think about it calmly afterwards.
–As I’m hugging Yuel with my left hand like that, I insert my right hand into my item box.
Then I take out the sleeping powder. The fast-acting sleep medication I received from Astel, which supposedly has few side-effects. And, I sprinkle it over Yuel’s head.
Immediately, I cast Dis-Poison on myself alone.
It seemed useful so I insisted on asking for some… but it really is useful, this medicine. Even the agile, vigilant Yuel is completely shut down with this. Although I never imagined that Yuel would be the first one I’d use this on.
Perhaps noticing the odd smell, Yuel stares at me, then at the small bottle in my hand. She makes a surprised expression, but only for a moment. The strength quickly drains from Yuel’s body, and she falls against me.
「I-I will… pro… Mas…」
Trying to resist her sleepiness, Yuel tries to tell me something. But in the end, this isn’t something she can do anything about through willpower.
…Yuel slowly closes her eyes, and starts making gentle sleeping breaths.
…I love you too.」
Of course I don’t mean that in a romantic way, though. I mean like, y’know, a family member.
I tentatively try stretching Yuel’s cheeks, but there’s not a single reaction from her. Looks like this time for sure, she’s asleep. I softly transport the sleeping Yuel onto the bed.
–Yuel was telling me that “precisely because you’re my beloved Master, I don’t want you to face any danger”. But the same goes for me. Precisely because she adores me so much, I absolutely cannot subject Yuel to this danger.
I’m definitely going to make this strategy succeed. And when I return, that’s when I’ll look after Yuel with all my energy.
Having decided that, I step out of the room.