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Chapter 57

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Jed’s Point of View
I had a conversation with Elle while eating the cream buns.

“Where are you from, Elle?”
“I’m from the Ansanse Kingdom. What about you?”
“I’m from the Fall Empire.”

When Elle heard that I was from the Fall Empire, she looked surprised.
That’s not surprising. When you think about it, there’s no reason for someone from the Empire to be in the Principality.

“You didn’t think you would come across someone from the Empire here, right?”
“Indeed.”
“Anyone who knows the history of the two countries would think so, though.”

Elle nodded as if it was obvious.
I’m sure the commoners of the unrelated Ansanse Kingdom wouldn’t know about this, though.
I was having such thought, but decided not to say anything.

“Are you an adventurer, Mr. Jed?”
“I’m just a traveler. And you?”
“I’m also a traveler.”
“Eh? You are traveling alone?”

You are kidding, right?
Elle is a duke’s daughter and the fiancée of the Crown Prince.
There’s no way she would be traveling.

“Are you okay…?”
“There was no problem up until now.”

It’s not a matter of no problem or anything like that.
I’m really worried about what’s going on.

“Of course there’s a problem. I shouldn’t be saying this as you saved me, but you shouldn’t normally eat a meal together with a man you have just met.”
“That’s true, but weren’t you in trouble?”
“What would you do if I had bad intentions…”
“Eh? Do you?”
“I don’t, but let’s not deny the possibility…”

The Elle I know smiles more like this, softly and gently. It’s not this strong-minded look.
I couldn’t hide my confusion at the fact that Elle looked completely different from she three years ago.

“I will be just fine.”

I let out a big sigh as Elle gave me an affirming look.
I can’t leave her alone.
I can’t leave her alone because I like her too, but it’s too risky for a young lady who was once a sheltered girl to travel alone.
I don’t know why, but I’ve decided to become her bodyguard as she continues to travel alone.

“Alright, I have decided. I will be your guard as thanks for the food.”
“I don’t need a guard.”

Her answer was immediate. And she gave me a look of disapproval.

“No, but…”
“No need to thank me. This bread was given to me as a gift. It wasn’t bought with my money. If you want to thank me, you can go to the auntie from the bakery in the Portu village, over there.”

Elle stood up with her cheeks full of cream bun.
Is this that Elle?
Looking down at me who was in a state of confusion, Elle threw me off even more coldly.

“Besides, I’m traveling by horse. From the looks of it, you travel by foot, right? It’s impossible for us to travel together like this.”

She was right.
I’ve been traveling on foot, and I don’t have a horse.
No matter how hard I tried, I would limit her movements.

“Thank you for your concern. However, I will be fine by myself.”
“… I get it. I give up.”

Let’s just give up for now.
Elle smiled happily at my reply.
While wondering whether she likes traveling alone that much, I decided to make a promise for the next time we meet.

“Let me thank you properly if we meet again.”
“Yes, I will be looking forward to it.”

Her smile was clearly a social skill.
If it had been the old Elle, she would have smiled more innocently.

“Thank you for the buns. You saved me.”
“Please don’t collapse again.”
“I will be careful.”
“Well then, I will excuse myself here.”

She saddled her horse and I said my farewells to her, who was looking down at me.

“Let’s meet again, Elle.”
“Yeah.”

I watched dumbfounded as Elle galloped away as if she were used to it.

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