Chapter 81 – The Great Sage and the Sword Saint

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Author: Tsunose Bun Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3024 characters
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1151 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Some time had passed since Kena had brought the Goza into the room, and Astard was gradually sobering up thanks to Merc taking his drink.

“Hahaha. Estert became a young girl! Hahahaha!”
“……”

Gradually…

“Good grief. I told you already. My name is Merc. There are other people in the house as well, so call me Merc, would you!”
“You get angry at the strangest of things… Fine. Merc, could you pass me the Goza.”

Since a few minutes ago, Astard had gradually reverted to a more courteous tone, indicating that his drunkenness was fading. But, since he didn’t appear to realize that his hood had come off when he laughed so stupidly, it would take him some time to regain his equilibrium.

“Here you go… No. Actually wait.”

Merc abruptly stopped herself as she was about to hand Astard the plate with the Goza, a knife, and a fork.

In this situation, allowing Astard to use a fork, much alone a knife, seemed risky. Of course, one would not typically be wounded by such an action, but in this inebriated state, one never knew what could occur.

So Merc decided to peel the Goza for him.

“Argh… This is so annoying! If we were in a restaurant they would have peeled them for us…”

If the Goza were offered as dessert, the consumer was supposed to peel it themselves, just as Merc had done this morning. However, the Goza were pre-peeled at bars and taverns where they were given as appetizers.

The rationale for this was to prevent drunks from using knives. On the other hand, some restaurants served the Goza with the skin on in order to prevent customers from becoming too inebriated by requiring them to use knives. Such locations, though, were few and far between.

Kena may very well have assumed Merc wasn’t inebriated after chatting with her through the Magic Stone, which is why she had delivered the Goza without peeling them and instead focused on bringing them as quickly as possible.

This was generally the correct course of action. After all, Merc was in fact not drunk. If there was a downside, it would be that Merc was absolutely awful at peeling Goza.

“Urgh… You little! Don’t you run around!”
“Hahahaha! J-Just what are you doing? Are you playing? No, wait. It’s you who’s being played with! Ahahaha! Hilarious.”

Astard smiled heartily as he pointed at Merc, who was attempting to peel a Goza.

“Who do you think I’m peeling these for?!”
“Ahahaha! I-I apologize… But you really are clumsy. To think that you can’t even peel a Goza… Wait…”
“What’s wrong?”

Astard withdrew the sneer that had been on his face, as though he’d realized something from his own words. Not only that, but his eyes widened as if he had witnessed something extraordinary, and he gasped and gazed at Merc.

“What’s with that face? Is there something stuck on my face?”

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Astard let out a loud sigh that he had been holding once Merc set down the knife and fork and inquired.

“I see… So that’s it… Hahaha… So that’s it…”
“Huh? What are you going on about? Did you drink too much? I think you should go to bed.”

Merc became concerned about Astard as he mumbled that while looking down and stepped up to attempt to persuade him to go to bed.

“Iriem said it.”
“……?!”

Merc sat back down with a perplexed expression as the words unexpectedly tumbled out of Astard’s mouth.

His voice was far too clear for someone who was obviously inebriated.

“She told me when we disbanded the party that she was returning to the Kingdom of Aratan to see her brother. Thinking that this would be my final chance I decided to tell her how I felt.”
“I see…”

Astard’s unexpected love talk piqued Merc’s interest, so she chose to listen to his story.

Astard looked up, but his eyes were drawn to the ceiling rather than Merc. Astard’s eyes narrowed as if he were gazing back to that time. He then proceeded to recount his and Iriem’s brief conversation.


{I-Iriem. Is there someone waiting for you back home?}
{There is. My younger brother, my sole relative, will surely be waiting for me.}
{W-What about a lover, o-or maybe a fiancé?}
{Fufufu, there is no one like that waiting for me.}
{T-Then, is there someone you’re interested in, or someone you l-l-l-like?}
{What? Someone I like?}
{I-If you don’t… then I-I}
{I suppose there is one. Yes, one.}
{……}
{Huh? Is there something wrong, Astard?}
{N-No, it’s nothing. B-By the way, what is that person like? For you to think of him in that light, he must be a wonderful person. Haha! Hahaha…}
{Fufu! He’s quite hopeless when compared to you, Astard. He’s preachy, a sore loser, and completely helpless… Fufu!}
{Is there something wrong?}
{No, it’s nothing. Come to think of it, that person can’t even peel a single Goza…}


“The Saintess said that?” Merc inquired, her voice hoarse, while Astard kept his gaze fixed on the ceiling.

“I-I was a huge fool.” Astard returned his gaze to Merc, his moistened eyes fixed on her, and cried out in a shaky voice, “You liked her as well didn’t you. I can tell that much from your reaction just now…”

“…?! What? Don’t be stupid. You know I’m not a fan of small breasts.” It’s something Merc had always told Astard. Estert had always given the same answer to Astard when asked how he felt about Iriem.

Estert had always told Astard that there was no need for him to hold back, since was drawn to women with large breasts, and would never look at Iriem in that light. However, Estert had known…

He’d known those words were not really meant to convince Astard. They had been designed to help him persuade himself.

Estert had used those words to convince himself that he didn’t like Iriem in order to deny that he had been helplessly attracted to a woman over ten years younger than him.

“I knew. I knew that you liked her, and yet!”
“Astard…”
“W-Why did you hold yourself back…”
“Astard…”
“She loved you as well!”
“……”

It was easy to understand how agonizing it was for Astard to confess that the person he loved was interested in someone else. Merc couldn’t say anything, though, since she knew how Astard felt1.

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“… Iriem… I miss you! It doesn’t matter if you don’t like me. It makes no difference if you are in love with someone else. All that matters to me is that you’re well… Be alive, please!”

Astard collapsed face down on the table and sobbed, his voice stifled like a child’s. Merc stood up and patted his back, unable to bear seeing him like that. However, she couldn’t say anything. While Astard fell asleep with tears in his eyes, Merc remained silent.



References

  1. Robinxen: Oof. This author writes some twists.

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