Chapter 18: It was a night that seemed to have come to an end, but hadn’t at all (Part 2)
“You’ve improved, boy.”
Weiss stepped forward.
Behind him, several of his subordinate knights were in tow.
“The young man was able to defeat the young lady who was using sacred magic.“
“…… It’s nothing like that.”
“Huh… You seem dissatisfied.”
I will not say that’s not the case.
But it was natural for me to be dissatisfied when I found out that they had been given permission to be present without my knowledge.
“We were surprised, too!”
“I have worked in the imperial capital for some time, and I have never seen a boy as strong as Ren-dono!”
“Mm! He‘ll become a symbol of the Clausel family and other factions in the future!”
After the knights’ astonishment and praise.
“I have told you, Ren-dono is truly strong.”
The knight stationed in the village recently said happily.
“I’m sorry, boy. As these men have said, you’re strong. I wanted the young lady to understand that strength better.”
After all, the Ashtons are a family that serves the Clausel family.
When told that it was for that young lady, Ren had nothing to reply with.
“Now, my lady, you understand the strength of this boy to the core of your bones.”
“You’re very strong my lady. But the boy became stronger under less favorable circumstances compared to you. With more effort, the young miss may be able to catch up to him.”
(Not that she will catch up with him, but she will easily overtake him.)
“If you understand, you should work harder than ever after you return to the residence.”
“Yes….. I know.”
Lithia looks at Ren.
“I’m sorry to have come on such short notice, but it’s been a great experience.”
“Ah….. it’s been a great experience for me too.”
“Come to —- Clausel and we’ll do it every day, okay?”
“Unfortunately, that’s a different story.”
Lithia’s cheeks crinkled as she looked at Ren, who still didn’t relent. Then she turned her back on him and went back to the house.
As she had said before the duel, she’ll now take a hot bath and rest.
“I’m really sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll certainly let the master know that the Ashton family has taken good care of us.”
“I didn’t do anything much.”
“Hmm… is that so?”
Weiss shook his head and spoke to his men.
“I think it was a good stimulus for the young lady.”
“Yes, it seemed boring to train against us.”
“Boy, it’s just as these men said. —-I would have stayed a few more days if I could and I would have liked you to stay with the young lady……”
(I’d like to refrain from doing so.)
“But we have to leave tomorrow morning.”
The departure was earlier than he had imagined.
Ren was surprised and pleased at the same time.
“You’re busy, aren’t you?”
“Um. Though the young lady convinced the master to allow her to come to this village. She has other work to do apart from talking to the Ashtons about the reward. She has to go around the surrounding villages and suppress the unrest caused by the recent disturbances.”
It was the duty of the Lord’s family.
Lithia had a purpose to meet with Ren, but in return, she offered Baron Clausel a rewarding job in exchange.
(Really, she’s a good, honest girl with admirable roots.)
It had been a day of unexpected defeat.
“Let me thank you again tomorrow morning.”
Weiss bowed in a butler-like manner and left Ren’s place with his men—- but returned with Lithia, who should have left earlier.
“Hey, can I come to your room with Weiss later?”
Ren asked, surprised at the abruptness of the situation.
“I’d like to ask you what kind of training you usually do. Weiss-san is also curious, so I was wondering if you would stay up late with me for a while.”
Ren said, “Sure,” without hesitation.
I have that stuff in my room, but I just have to take care of it before she gets there.
Having already made up his mind about it, Ren answered without hesitation and went back inside the mansion with a relaxed attitude.
On his way back to his room, he parted from Lithia and Weiss, and after they were out of sight, he rushed into his room.
Ren takes the wooden box in his hand, opens the lid and looks at the fireplace, which is still lit.
Without hesitation and without letting his guard down, he moved to burn the contents of the crate.
“Ren, you’re back, right? I’m coming in.』\
Shortly thereafter, Roy’s voice reaches me from outside the room.
Roy was still unable to move from his bed, but with the help of a third party, he was able to move around the mansion in a simple wheelchair.
It seems that’s how he has moved this time as well and the unexpected voice took Ren’s breath away.
But the determination in Ren’s heart was unwavering.
He could no longer linger.
Instantly determined, Ren swung his arms wide —-
(This whole crate ……!)
He threw the wooden box into the fireplace.
The box was thrown vigorously into the flames with a dry crackling sound of wood splitting.
The crate was instantly engulfed in flames and buried in wood chips and ashes.
Ren saw this and was convinced of victory. When he responded to Roy a few seconds later, he had a winning smile on his face.
“I heard you’re going to talk to Weiss-sama and the others! They called me too, so Mireille brought me!”
Soon after, Ren replied and greeted Roy, who had been pushed in his wheelchair by Mireille.
Mireille tells Ren.
“I’ll get you a warm drink, can you help me a bit?”
“Okay, I will. Then, let’s have your father welcome Weiss-san.”
“Oh! Leave it to me!”
Ren left his room.
He went to the kitchen and together with Mireille, prepared tea for a simple evening’s chat, and also prepared a small amount of food for the evening.
After Ren and Mireille had taken the tea and food to the room, Mireille suddenly looked apologetic and said.
“I’m sorry, I forgot the knife.”
“Oh, I’ll go get it!”
Ren stumbled back to the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Mireille remained in Ren’s room, but she suddenly turned on her nose.
Then she walks toward the fireplace and fishes out the fireplace with a pair of fire scissors in her hand.
Then she pulled out the wooden box that Ren must have thrown away.
“Oh dear…… He must have been playing with it and put it in the fireplace.”
The box, which had been wrapped in the fire, was mysteriously covered in a reddish-brown dripping liquid.
It touched the outside air and enveloped the entire box as if it had been hardened with wax.
“Hey, I don’t think Ren would play with a box like that, will he?”
“I wonder. You used to throw little boar bones from your desk when you were little.”
“If you ask me, it’s similar. It’s fun when you can throw them where you want, you know.”
“Yes. But not this box.”
“Yeah, I heard that the fumes from the paint they use when it burns aren’t good for health. I’m told it makes it less flammable instead.”
Mireille nodded back.
She approached the door holding the wooden box at the end of a pair of fire scissors.
“I’ll take it to the warehouse.”
“I’ll scold Ren, or at any rate, I’ll fix it when I can move. In the meantime you can put it in the back of the warehouse.”
“Yes, we can’t show them that we have this kind of paint.”
So Mireille took the box that Ren thought had been burnt to the warehouse.
Ren didn’t pass Mireille in the hallway, and when he returns to his room, he is puzzled to find that Roy is the only one there.
When he asked Roy why, he was told only, “She had to run some errands,” and he didn’t feel like mentioning anything in particular.
(I know it’s early, but has it burned down yet?)
Ren looked toward the fireplace and was relieved that he couldn’t see the wooden box.
It would surely be a while before he would learn that …… it had not burned.
—- A few minutes later, Weiss entered and Lithia followed a little later.
The pleasantries that began after these two stepped in kept Ren from thinking about the wooden box any longer.