𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟗: 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐈’𝐦 𝐚 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝!
If Luke was living happily somewhere far away, I thought I wouldn’t mind.
Our paths have diverged, and we probably won’t cross again.
I no longer intend to hold a grudge for being expelled twice.
The story ended with the disappearance of the Gold-lined Butterflies and Luke, who committed a crime, being imprisoned.
That’s what I thought.
“So, it was a mistake to ask General Kytes for a pardon after all. . .”
I mutter to myself.
This is the result of the operation I carried out, even offering up all my remaining assets.
Luke has returned to Gaillia, killed Fīna, and is even infiltrating the underworld to build a new power.
If his power continues to expand, it won’t just be a civil war within the thieves’ guild.
It could lead to a conflict between Luke’s forces and the adventurer’s guild, and if we’re not careful, it could cause chaos throughout Gaillia.
If that happens, the kingdom will undoubtedly intervene.
They will send in regular troops under the pretext of maintaining public order and effectively control the city. The kingdom’s government wants to whittle down the power of the local lords as much as possible.
I don’t care who rules, but if it comes to a civil war, it’s the general public who will suffer.
It will result in the production of many orphans, like Asuka and me.
I have to defeat Luke before that happens.
“It’s my responsibility.”
Because I let the beast loose in the wild.
The poor strategist who couldn’t foresee this must stop him with his own hands and take responsibility.
I stare at the fire, where the logs are cracking and popping.
In front of the clan’s cabin.
With a cup of ale in my hand, I sit alone under the starry sky.
The girls should be asleep by now.
Early to bed, early to rise is the secret to health and beauty.
I sip my drink and think. Not about the three girls, but about the fight with Luke.
“I’ve never lost, but. . .”
I’ve never won either.
The many fights we’ve had always ended in a draw.
Luke is a “hero” and a swordsman. I’m a “strategist” and a swordsman.
In terms of sheer strength and speed, he’s superior, but I have foresight and tactical vision.
That’s why the game is never decided.
But this time, I can’t afford to be so lenient.
“I have to defeat him, even if it kills me.”
“That’s not okay! It’s obviously wrong!”
Surprised by the sudden loud voice, I turn around to see Asuka looking down at me from the open wooden window on the second floor.
It seems Miliaria and Meisha are also behind her.
“What are you guys doing?”
“We were worried because you’ve been acting strange since you got back, so we thought you might be cheating on us and we were watching you!”
What a reason.
Don’t just assume I’m cheating.
I’m a bona fide bachelor. I don’t have a wife or a girlfriend.
“And then! You were mumbling with a serious face! So!”
For some reason, Asuka jumps down with all her might.
“I don’t understand!”
Where in this flow was there a need to dive?
I rush to the landing point and catch her, killing her momentum with a martial arts move and landing her on her feet.
“When the mom is risking her life to do something! Where is the daughter who just watches silently!”
She pats my stomach.
She seems angry.
“Talk to us properly! We’re comrades, aren’t we! Don’t underestimate us because we’re kids!”
Her face is bright red.
For some reason, she’s holding back tears in her eyes.
That’s right. I shouldn’t decide things on my own.
I myself have lectured Luke not to make decisions on his own.
“I understand. I’m sorry. Actually, I have something to discuss with you guys.”
As I stroke her red hair, I bow my head.
The hideout of the Hawk Blade is in a corner of the slums.
Well, it would be more surprising if it was in the noble district or the high-end residential area, but when it comes to somewhere in the slums, it’s not so easy to figure out.
It’s cleverly concealed.
Of course, there’s no sign, and even if you ask the locals, they won’t know.
Rather, the information that someone is looking for it will be passed on to the other party in no time. And before you know it, you’re surrounded by assassins in an alley. That’s the punchline.
The reason why that doesn’t happen is because Meg is guiding us.
In name, we are positioned as informants hired by us who are pursuing the murderer of Fīna.
We smoothly pass through the grimy alley and enter the depths of the slums.
Eventually, we arrive at a mansion that is out of place in its grandeur.
No, it should be said that it was a mansion.
The outer walls are peeling off here and there, only the frames remain where there were windows, and the gate and fence are about to collapse.
“It seems it was a noble’s mansion a long time ago. Before this place became a slum.”
With a slight nod, we entered the premises.
There is no more tension than necessary on the faces of Asuka, Miliaria, and Meisha.
Because I explained it properly to them.
The circumstances between Luke and me.
Everything, including why it has come to this.
I got really scolded though.
They told me not to carry everything on my own.
Really, they are daughters who are too much for me.
With a deep breath, I kick open the front door. It’s not a scene to knock on the door.
But I say it in a joking tone.
“Welcome. There’s nothing here, but come in.”
The words that came back were also joking.
The one who greeted us was Luke, standing alone in the hall.
There are no followers around.
“Everyone. Be on guard in all directions.”
I give instructions to the three girls. To be wary of ambushes.
“You don’t have to worry, it’s just me. Lionel.”
Luke, who laughed out of place, drew his sword.
“Now, let’s settle this.”
The discarded sheath makes a clanging sound.