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Chapter 162

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Atonement.
I finished talking with Ravioli-san, so I went to find Mikelle.

“Ei! Yah!”

“Eat this!”

“You still have a long way to go!”

“How about this!”

“Your aim is good, but your speech is a mess.”

She was apparently teaching the kids swordsmanship with wooden swords. What happened to showing Mikelle around?

“Ah!?”

Mikelle panicked and straightened her back. No, it really is fine? You seem to have fitted right in.

“U, umm… pardon me. When I told the kids I liked to practice sword, they wanted me to teach them.”

“Yea! Teacher Mikelle is super strong!”

“Her teaching method is good too!”

“She’s better at teaching than you, Rosarin Oneechan!”

It can’t be helped, teaching is best taught from experience. Manya is a musclehead, you know?

“No, that’s not true at all!”

“You don’t have to comfort me. You learned swordsmanship?”

“Y, yes. It’s common for women in Wolfanea to learn some form of martial arts for protection, so…”

“Oneechan, prepare yourself!”

The three kids who learned swordsmanship from Mikelle suddenly started rushing towards me.

“Too naive!”

I changed my ring into a pair of wooden swords, and lightly struck them.

“Kyan!”
“Ow!”
“I got done~”

The kids looked vexed. Wahaha, I won’t lose easily.
N? Mikelle stared blankly. Then, she got fidgety.

“So Rosarin-sama can use swords too.”

“Yeah. Well, reasonably well.”

“Won’t you have a match with me?”

Mikelle looked straight into my eyes. There didn’t seem to be any malice in her words.

“Sure. Come at me anytime.”

I took one of the wooden swords the kids dropped and took a stance.

“Yah!”

Mikelle’s hit came down on me. It’s heavy!? Wildcat beastmen delicate-looking, so I thought she would be the speed type.

“Wah! There!”

Although I was surprised, she wasn’t as good as the Hero, so there weren’t any problems. I thought I would be practicing with someone who received a young lady’s training, but she’s quite skilled. Her style is similar to Hero’s. Is it Wolfanea’s style?

“Haah!”

Mikelle attacked from above, but too slow! I took a moment’s chance and drove a blow into her abdomen.

“Kuha!?”

Mikelle fell to her knees. I didn’t hit her that strongly. Mikelle smiled.

“It’s my complete defeat.”

I lent her a hand to get up. As I brushed the dust off from her skirt, Mikelle looked at me with sparkling eyes.

“To be this skilled at your age… do you have a secret of getting strong?”

“I compete with those stronger than me.”

“I see… can we spare again another time?”

“Sure.”

The kids applauded. Why?

“Teacher Mikelle, you are so cool!”

“You have lost, but to be able to exchange blows with Oneechan that much is amazing!”

“Oh dear, both of you have some wonderful skills.”

Ravioli-san addressed us while smiling.

“However, you really made our kids open their hearts to you even though they are so hard to please.”

“Eh? I think everyone here is a good, well-behaved child.”

Mikelle tilted her head. One of the kids told Mikelle playfully.

“You see, Rosarin Oneechan told us to drive the bad people out!”

It got silent all of a sudden. No, well… I did say that.
They remember well.

“Ojousama, what is this about?”

“I taught the children a method to distinct bad people.”

“… I see.”

“Children have discerning eyes, you know? They are observing the staff on a regular basis, and they are sensitive to malice.”

“Teacher Mikelle talks while looking into our eyes.”

“She listens to us properly, too.”

As I thought, Mikelle isn’t a bad person at heart. The children recognized she isn’t their enemy. You could say that her straightforward personality was easier to accept for the kids. Well, it’s just as I expected, though.

“Now then, I should return home.”

I try not to come to the orphanage very often.

“Eh? No way, no way, super no way!”

“Odeejaan, bon’t weaaave!!”

This is the reason. It’s the chorus of the kids who don’t want to let me leave. It’s very hard to leave. It makes me feel guilty as if I was abandoning stray puppies.

“Oh, I have some pickled meat for you as a souvenir, okay!”

I took out lots of meat I pickled in Wolfanea. The kids quickly grabbed them, but didn’t stop crying. Hmm, so meat is not enough, huh. What do I do?

“Will sleep, with not crying children.”

Mofumaru who couldn’t just watch got down from my shoulder and spoke to the kids. The kindhearted Mofumaru promised to stay a night with the crying kids. Thank you as always, Mofumaru. What a thoughtful magic beast he is! The kids instantly got interested and ran off. I feel like I am relying on Mofumaru every single time.

 

The streets were still bright, so when I thought of returning alone, Mikelle wanted to send me home. After walking for a while, we came across Gator.

“Huh? What’s up, Gator. What about Niisama?”

“He’s teaching that dog beastman. It looks like it will still take some time, so I came to get you.”

“I see.”

It’s not worth worrying about, but Mikelle is frightened. Don’t glare… no, looking carefully, he isn’t glaring. Is he brooding over something?

“Say, Ojousama.”

Gator spoke to me. He seemed to be serious.

“What is it?”

“You have told me ’If you committed wrongdoing, you don’t just die, you make up for it, so the victim doesn’t suffer all his life. Nothing will change with your death. Nothing but your self-satisfaction.’ before, right? Do you think I am making up for it enough?”

“Can I be honest with you?”

“Yeah.”

“I think you are overdoing it. Spending all your salary on the orphanage is too much.”

“… That’s not true. I am not starving and I’m happy with my environment.”

“Then, what are you going to do after that? What are you going to do after your manual labor punishment is over? Rabisha is already looking ahead. She might become a diplomat in the future.”

“I…”

“This goes for Mikelle too, but you should take the time during this punishment to look back on what you have done and think about the future. Gator, aren’t there other methods of helping lots of people rather than sacrificing yourself to atone for your sins?”

“For example?”

“You can study under Niisama to become a physician or pharmacist, you could use Ark’s connections to establish a new welfare department, you could also become a merchant like Ravioli-san and open a new orphanage.”

“……… I see. I will think about it. Ojousama, how am I supposed to repay you? I will never be able to repay the debt that I owe you.”

“I don’t really expect to be paid back, but… let’s see. I will be quite satisfied if you live happily. It would show that I wasn’t wrong about you.”

Gator sighed.

“Somehow, for all your acting tough, you are quite a good person yourself, Ojousama.”

“… No, it’s not like good people can’t sin, you know? Besides, I couldn’t abandon you after Jend asked me to help.”

“No, you probably wouldn’t either way.”

“Indeed.”

Gator and Mikelle laughed. You guys see me in too good of a light.

“Please think carefully whether you could abandon someone.”

I tried thinking as Mikelle said. I tried, but…

“I wouldn’t be able to abandon the current you, but even if Jend didn’t ask me that time, I probably wouldn’t be able to win against Rabisha-chan’s tears.”

“See?”
“As expected.”

Stop grinning! Even though Mikelle is frightened by Gator!

“Anyhow! Although you guys have been used, it means there was a chance to use you! Don’t just support everyone who asks, make sure to find people you truly can rely in the future!”

“”Yes.””

Well, since I went my way to save them, I wish them happiness in whatever they decide to do in the future.

Mikelle and Gator became friends over this incident, since they were close in age. One person seemed jealous, but let’s pretend I didn’t see it.

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