The Baron Who Returned Wants to Live a Quiet Life – Chapter 5.1

𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞 (1)

𝘚𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘩━

Ayr slowly lowered himself into the water, wisps of steam rising. The warmth of the water slowly enveloped his body. He wanted to close his eyes but he didn’t. A faint scent emanated from the wooden bathtub, as if it was made from basswood.  

The bathwater maintained its warmth for about thirty minutes. But Ayr stayed in the tub for thirty minutes more. His body didn’t seem as dirty as it looked – the water wasn’t too murky.  

𝘋𝘳𝘪𝘱━ 𝘋𝘳𝘪𝘱━

Leaving the dripping water as it was, Ayr began shaving his bearded face with the razor Helen had prepared. He wanted to look as tidy as possible when meeting his master.  

As he quickly groomed, his real face was revealed.  

Thick eyebrows and a prominent nose bridge, below which sat rugged features that fully conveyed his masculinity.  

He stroked his chin, now free of beard. His reflected face looked unfamiliar. It had been a while since Ayr had seen his own face. Although he had spent a long time there, at some point he had stopped aging.  

𝘚𝘩𝘪━ 𝘚𝘩𝘪━

While he was at it, he used the razor to cut his hair as well. Having cut his own hair in the Demon Realm, his hands worked deftly. Soon, his previously long hair piled up on the floor.  

After drying off the moisture on his body, he put on the clothes Helen had brought. She had good taste━the clothes fit perfectly. His hand automatically went to his armor but he stopped himself.  

“Let’s leave this behind.”  

He felt a sense of loss without his wrist guards, but rather enjoyed that feeling of loss. From now on, he would have to slowly get rid of this feeling of loss as he lived.  

However, unlike his armor, he strapped his sword to his back once more.  

To show his master.  

The sword he had crafted himself.  

Once all preparations were complete, Ayr opened the door and exited. Two soldiers were standing guard at the door. Familiar faces━the soldiers he had met outside the outer castle that afternoon. Seeing Ayr, the two were momentarily startled.  

“Young Master. . .?”  

“It’s me.”  

“Ah, apologies. The governor said to escort the heir to the ancestral tomb but. . .”  

“No need. I’ll go alone.”  

Instead, Ayr only asked for detailed directions to the tomb. And that place was where he had expected it to be.  

𝘚𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩━ 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩━

The sound of dry leaves being stepped on spread through the mountain. Ayr had left the outer castle and entered Mount Felin. After leaving the inner castle, he had been walking slowly without rushing. There was no hurry. 

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to see his master quickly, but the brief time for Ayr, who had lived a hard life in the Demon Realm, did not make him feel pressed for time. It would be fine if he could just settle his own feelings now that his master had passed away.

And so instead he enjoyed the present moment.  

As Ayr climbed the mountain, he looked all around. It was a road he used to flutter up and down every day in the past. On the rocks and trees along the path were traces that only he among others would know. Some places had faded faintly while some remained the same.

As each of them came into view, the road to his master grew more abundant.  

Around the time several autumn breezes had brushed by his face, he arrived at his destination. It was a courtyard, not too big or small. And behind the courtyard was a cliff. If one did not climb that cliff, this courtyard would be the peak of the mountain. Ayr’s gaze was fixed in one place.

“. . .”

Ayr slowly walked towards the cliff. In front of that cliff was a house, and next to it was his master. Everything in this courtyard was the same, except that his master was lying there.  

Strangely, his previously unhurried steps began to falter. If his subordinates had seen this, they would have been surprised. Not once in the Demon Realm had he hesitated like he did now.  

After several such pauses, he arrived in front of his master. The heart that had headed here had changed a little.

The tidy grave had a tombstone. Not a speck of dust was on the tombstone. 

He stared at it for a long time.

His master’s name and titles, year of birth, and year of passing were on it.  

Below that was an inscription.  

[You who commit the death of God, accept its meaning.]

As expected, he had left words meant for him.  

It was the last thing he had heard before leaving, and the first time he had defied his master.

𝘚𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩━

He raised his hand and stroked the tombstone. Having met the autumn breeze, the tombstone was full of cold. It was different from his last memory of his master. His master had always been hot and passionate.  

[Have you come?]

But his master asked in the same voice as then,

“I have returned.”  

And the disciple answered in a different voice than before.

Then,  

Words that he had not been able to say for countless years flowed out of the disciple’s mouth, where the past and present had collapsed.

“I’m sorry. For being so late.”

Thus sorrow was completely soaked at the bottom of the fragmented and connected emotions.  

And only then did he realize.  

That the sense of longing that had been swelling up was here all along.

And so the continent’s hero became a passionate man, an innocent disciple, and eventually a young boy who cried silently.

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