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Chapter 23

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Encounter (1)
Three hours have passed since I left the Portu village.
The place I’m aiming for now is a town called Meil.
It is the largest port town in the Principality of Agreable.
It’s a place I have wanted to visit since I was still a Duke’s daughter. I plan to enjoy it to the fullest when I arrive.
I have been thinking about what I’m going to do when I get to Meil, and as I was walking through the forest, I saw an object that looked like a person lying on the ground ahead of me.

“Ami, stop.”

The black horse I had received from Lord Gwenael was a female, so I named her Ami.
When I pulled on the reins with a little strength, Ami lifted her forelimbs in the air while letting out a loud neigh, and stopped.

“Wait for a moment, okay?”

I quickly jumped down and tied Ami to a nearby tree.
As I approached, I confirmed that the human-like object was indeed a person.
The gender was male. From the way he was dressed, he was either an adventurer or a traveler.
Since he was lying face down, I couldn’t see his face.
Just as I was about to look into his face to see if he was alive or dead, the man looked up at me with great force.

“Who is it!”

I was so startled by his sudden movement that I fell on my buttocks.
The man looked around, and when he saw me, he looked surprised for a moment. Even though I was the one who was surprised first.

“You are…?”
“I should be asking that…”

I returned his words with a frown on my face.
As I stood up and shook the dirt off my culottes, the man staggered to sit up and leaned against a nearby tree.
I wonder if he’s sick.

“I’m Jed. And you?”
“I’m Elle.”

This young man with jade eyes and long black hair that hadn’t been cut in a while, tied back in a bun, seemed to be named Jed.
He seems to be around twenty-five years old.
He has a sturdy physique so he must have been working out quite a bit, and despite his stern face, he was quite good-looking. I bet he’s popular among women.
However, I feel like I have seen this guy somewhere before…
I tried to remember, but it was impossible.

“Elle, huh…”
“Are you bothered by my name?”
“No, not at all.”

The name Elle is fairly common.
I wonder if it reminded him of an acquaintance with the same name.
Oh well, that doesn’t concern me.

“How did you end up collapsing here, Mr. Jed.”
“Ah~…”

When I asked the most important question of the moment, Jed scratched his head and looked uncomfortable saying it.
Is it something he doesn’t want to answer?
If so, I have done a bad thing.

“Actually…”
“Yes?”
“I’m starving so much I can’t move.”

That was the answer I needed to get my feelings of guilt returned to me.
I was stunned, wondering why he wasn’t carrying food with him.

“Elle, do you have anything to eat?”

Jed asked me as I gave him a dumbfounded look.

“I do…”

I have a lot of cream buns that I got from Auntie Anna at the bakery.
When I answered, Jed put his hands together and asked me for a favor.

“Please, share with me! I will thank you properly!”

I wasn’t surprised, as I had expected this from the moment I heard that he had been unable to move due to hunger.
I was getting hungry too, and it was impossible for me to eat the amount of food that was given to me by myself.
I couldn’t let the gift go bad and I couldn’t leave someone in trouble when I can help.

“I only have cream buns on me if you are alright with that.”
“Yeah, I have a sweet tooth, so I will gladly take it.”

I sat down next to Jed who showed me his teeth and laughed.
I took a paper bag of cream buns out of my bag and tilted it toward him.

“You can have as much as you like.”
“Eh? You are saying I can eat it all?”
“I will not share with someone who has the energy to say stupid things.”

When I glared at Mr. Jed who asked jokingly, he immediately apologized.

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