Chapter 4

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My dad once told me to refrain from riding a stagecoach on an empty stomach because it made him feel sick, which usually lasted for hours.
Although I had no other choice this time, it felt like hell being nauseated for more than six hours. If I have to ride in a stagecoach again, I’ll make sure to eat well before I get on.

Taking a deep breath and calming my pulse, I put my rucksack back on and started walking down the cobblestone streets, looking at the nostalgic streets of Henschel.
Compared to the royal capital, there are fewer houses standing in a row and the streets are narrower, so it still feels like it’s still developing.
But for some reason, I don’t know why, but the air feels fresh and I feel more comfortable here without all the noise.

“Emi?”

When I was suddenly called by my nostalgic nickname and looked back, I saw my childhood friend I saw for the first time in eight years——Klaus was wafting with a somewhat happy mood, and he had a surprised expression on his face.
However, his physique was much tougher-looking than the poorly built one he had when I left here, and he had what looked like a scratch mark on his face, as if it had been done by a monster.
I held out my hand, feeling that the speed of the time flow by was merciless.

“It’s nice to see you again, Klaus.”

“Ou, welcome home.”

I clasped back the large hand that matched his size which seemed to ve exuding a vaguely happy mood.
The sword-rugged palm of his hand had no trace of the old days, and the thought of recognizing the wrong person crossed my mind.
I shook those thoughts away and decided to ask him something that had been bothering me a bit.

“You were so tiny and like a little brother to me when I moved out, what the hell happened to you? Was your body taken over by a demon or something?”

“Don’t take me for a demon, alright? My pops talked me into becoming an adventurer, so I naturally grew muscular.”

An Adventurer is the title of the people who are members of the global organization called the Adventurer’s Guild, that acts as the middleman for providing jobs.

“Heh… is that how you got the scar on your face then?”

“Ah, no. This was just done by my pet. Rather than that, you are heading to your parents’ home, right? I’m free, let me take your luggage.”

After saying such a manly thing, Klaus took my rucksack all of sudden and said “Let’s go” while promptly setting off.
Klaus who walked next to me muttered, “That reminds me.” and looked at me.

“Have you come back for a vacation? You weren’t coming back until now, so I was wondering if you weren’t given those.”

“No, well we were given vacations, but… this is not it.”

In case you are wondering, the Royal Magicians were given three days off every ten days.
But, well, there was no time at all to rest due to the heaps of work that was forced upon me, and the actual vacation I would be given was about two days every thirty days.
Klaus, who seems to have figured something out, patted me on the back.

“You must have it tough. But, you can forget about the work and get some much-needed rest while you are here.”

“… I was dismissed so there’s no need to think about work anymore.”

“Rea… huh?”

Klaus’ eyes widened as I unintentionally told him the truth, but he quickly reacted and calmed down.

“I, is that so? So you were dismissed? Well, let me hear the details next time I see you.”

“Yeah, next time.”

We arrived at the house while we were talking and Klaus handed me my rucksack and left with a quick wave of his hand.
I waved back until I couldn’t see him, and took another look at the front door of my parents’ house, which didn’t look any different from before I left. I took a few deep breaths, and knocked on the door.
Immediately I heard a reply, which I assumed was my mother’s, and the door was opened.

“Oh my, it has been a long time. Did you finally get a vacation?”

“N, no… I was dismissed.”

“… Come in first. I will hear what you have to say.”

I walked inside the house, feeling a little scared by my mother’s stern face.
My father, who seemed to have already finished his work was in the living room, and he looked at me in surprise. When my mother explained to him about what I told her, his eyes widened in surprise.
My father told me to take a seat across from him and I sat down in the chair I always used to sit in.

“Now, tell me honestly what happened. If you did something wrong, I’ll go lower my head down with you.”
I told my father, the nervous-looking man, everything that had happened.
I told him that things were fine when I was a trainee, but when I became an official Royal Magician, my colleagues and superiors forced me to do their jobs because I was a commoner, and gradually, I was forced to maintain barrier on my own and even train soldiers in magic. I told him that eventually, I was forced to do the jobs of the Knights Order and other departments too…

When the story was over, I realized that tears were trickling down my face.
My mother was also in tears, and my father’s face was so red and veiny that he looked like he was about to explode.
However, my father took hold of my hands and spoke in a calm tone.

“Dad is sorry that I couldn’t be there for you. You don’t need to think about work, just go out and play as much as you want to get rid of the fatigue you collected until now. Dad will give you the money.”

“… Thank you.”

I truly have a really good father.

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