Chapter 6

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Feeling a little short of sleep, I got up from the mattress that smelled a bit of dust, and when I checked the time on the clock on the bedside table I put there yesterday, it was already past noon.
Maybe I’m tired because I haven’t slept well for the past week.
I stretched out and got up, making my way from the living room to the bathroom while playing with my bed hair, as was my habit.

I rinsed my mouth and washed my face while feeling irritated by the reflection of my bed hair in the mirror.
Just as I was feeling refreshed and finished fixing my hair with my favorite hair water and comb that I was using even during my stay at the castle, I noticed knocking on the front door, so I hurried out of the bathroom.
I looked out the peephole and saw Klaus, dressed in casual civilian clothes and knocking on the door while yawning, so I opened the door after quickly checking my hair to make sure it didn’t look weird.

“Sorry, I just woke up and didn’t notice the knocking.”

“Don’t mind it. I have no idea what happened, but you must have been busy, right? You had dark circles under your eyes yesterday.”

“Eh.”

I wore make-up to conceal the dark circles, but to think I would get exposed?
Klaus laughed at me when I turned my gaze away.

“I don’t know whether it’s because of all the monsters I killed, but my observation powers are at quite a high level now. Do you think ordinary make-up would deceive me?”

“And why did it level up your bad character points too?”

I wonder where the crying, cute little Klaus from eight years ago has gone.
He laughed and, as if remembering something, reached into his pocket, took out a familiar pinky-sized stuffed animal, and held it out to me.

“Remember this? It’s the one you gave me when we parted.”

“… You remember it well.”

It was the ugly stuffed animal I gave Klaus on the last day before my departure, trying to calm him down after he started crying.
I guess I forced him to stop crying by telling him to wait for the day when I’d come back for it.
I received it while feeling something agonizing, but Klaus seemed to be trying to distract me from the painful subject.

“Well, let’s take a little walk around town, shall we? Things have developed over here fairly well while you were studying in the castle.”

As Klaus turned his back to me to hide his slightly reddened eyes, I naturally felt a sense of relief.
——That crybaby nature of his hasn’t changed from the past.

As Klaus had said, the town was much more developed than before I left.
It’s not just that there were hardly any restaurants in the past, but fashionable shops were popping up here and there, and newspaper shops that reported on the Capital and surrounding towns were all over the place.
There were twice as many shops and facilities in the Capital, but with this kind of growth rate, I’m sure the two towns will be on par sooner than anyone could expect.

While feeling pleased about the development of Henschel from a small hill we often came to play at when young, I was enjoying a sandwich Klaus has bought along the way.

“Oh, I forgot to mention it, but was it called a wardstone? It’s like the new thing, so monsters cannot come in at all. Thanks to that, we don’t hear about the monsters causing damage as we used to see on a daily basis in the past.”

“How did this town make enough money to purchase a wardstone?”

“Who knows? They said something about having a good relationship with the neighboring country, Fosch, it could have been lent to us by them, no?”

From Klaus’s point of view, it didn’t really matter to him, so he returned a very appropriate reply.
Wardstones of good quality get ridiculously expensive even for a town on the scale of Henschel.
I’m not sure anyone would give something like that as a gift just because they have a good relationship.

I slapped myself on the cheeks to escape the useless swamp of thoughts I was about to enter.
Thinking carefully, there’s nothing a shut-in like myself can do about it.
And Klaus, who has finished his sandwich, turned to me with some nervousness.

”Well, it’s about time I asked you why you were dismissed, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I don’t mind, but… it only leaves a bad taste in mouth, you know?”

“It’s fine, just say it. I’ll laugh at you if you just did something stupid.”

Feeling reliance on Klaus, who gave me a vigorous thumbs-up, I told him what I had explained to my parents before.
It wasn’t long before Klaus turned red in the face, drew his sword, and started saying he was going to kill them all.

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