Chapter 50

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A few hours have passed since we started looking for Cosette’s mother.
It was evening, and Cosette looked like she was about to cry, as she was getting anxious.

“Do you think it’s time to return to the patrol guard station?”

I asked Jed, and he replied shortly, “Yeah”. The moment we were about to head toward the patrol guard station,

“Cosette!”

I hear a young woman’s voice behind me.
I turned around to see a young woman gasping for breath and a young man with an impatient look on his face.

“Mom! Dad!”

Cosette’s voice told me that those two were her parents.
I’m glad we found them.
As I was thinking this, Cosette slipped out of Jed’s arms and ran at once to the young man and woman.

“We should go over, too. Let’s explain the situation.”
“Yeah.”

We went to the parents, who were hugging Cosette, and explained the situation to them.

“I’m sorry for the trouble we have caused you. I’m really sorry.”
“No, please don’t worry about it.”

The mother told us that she had contacted the father and they had been looking for her together. That’s when I finally understood why the parents were together.

“That stuffed animal…”

When her mother saw Cosette showing off the stuffed animal to her father, she muttered to herself.

“Cosette wanted it, so I bought it.”
“I’m sorry for our selfishness…”

After Jed’s explanation, I hurriedly apologized, thinking that she would get angry, but the mother sadly muttered, “No, I’m the one who should apologize.”

“Our family can’t afford to spare the money, so… we always have to force that child to endure… she always wanted a stuffed animal, but we couldn’t quite get it for her. We are useless parents, aren’t we?”
“… That’s not true at all.”
“Eh?”
“You can’t be a bad parent if you have been running around town looking for your missing child.”

You are not of the same kind as my father who got charmed by magic, used violence against his daughter, and then kicked her out of the house.
The mother’s sorrowful expression relaxed.

“Do you think so?”
“Yes. Cosette’s love for you is the biggest proof of that.”

I said while looking at Cosette, who looked concerned about her mother’s condition.
I hope that they can continue to be a happy family since they have such a good parent-child relationship.

“Thank you very much. Ah, but we will pay you back for the stuffed animal.”
“I don’t need it. I only have one favor.”
“A favor?”
“Please don’t make Cosette feel lonely until she’s self-reliant at the very least.”

Jed’s face looked a little sad as he asked Cosette’s mother and father for a favor.

“U, understood.”
“Of course we will take care of her. But, to receive a stuffed animal for that…”
“I bought the stuffed animal of my own accord because I wanted Cosette to smile. Don’t mind it, please.”
Jed smiled, and the parents bowed their heads in understanding, “Thank you very much.”
Cosette who saw them, quickly bowed her head too.

“Cosette, you cannot get lost again.”
“Yeah!”
“Treasure the stuffed animal.”
“I will!”

After saying goodbye to Cosette, her parents bowed lightly and walked away, taking her by the hand. The back view of the parents and daughter, so close to each other, seemed to go on forever.
I felt a little jealous of the ideal family picture.

“Elle?”

I was looking at them blankly when a voice called out to me from behind. When I turned around, I saw Jed with a worried look on his face, “What’s wrong?” he asked, but I shook my head.

“I see…”

Jed muttered and looked at Cosette and her parents who were about to disappear from the view. I couldn’t say anything as he gave off a somewhat envious, forlorn look.

“Elle. Would you like to have dinner with me?”

Jed, who had turned around to look at me, called out to me.
I nodded my head because I was feeling lonely after seeing how close the family seemed to be.

“Sure.”
“I thought you would refuse.”
“I guess.”

I wasn’t in the mood to be alone right now.

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