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7-5: It’s Only Natural to be Concerned (Part 1)

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Author: Natsuni Kotatsu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

The following day, Frank and I stood at the western gate to bid farewell to the escort unit, and I noticed Torsti rushing towards us.

“Miss Illya.”
“Yes, what is it?”

I was taken aback that he called me by my name for the first time and actually remembered it. Torsti looked at me, wearing a slightly embarrassed smile on his face, before tightening his expression and bowing deeply.

“I owe my ability to stand on my own two feet to you. I’d like to express my gratitude once again.”
“But I haven’t done anything. It was all your ideas and decisions, Mr. Torsti. I, on the other hand, went too far with my words yesterday. Please forgive me.”

Upon hearing my words, Torsti lifted his head and slowly shook it from side to side.

“…You even resorted to acting to cheer me up. Even if it’s not something you want to dwell on, I cannot simply ignore what happened.”

He was incredibly diligent, almost like a stickler for rules, and it seemed he placed great importance on his sense of honor even at the expense of his pride… It made me think of the samurai code and the warriors following it.

“Maybe it wasn’t an act?”
“At any rate, I did what I did for my own self.”

Cutting off Torsti’s persistent attempt to speak, I made a firm declaration. I truly act for my own sake, and it weighs heavily on me when my actions are misconstrued or interpreted favorably.

“Therefore, there is no need for you to feel grateful, and I have no deeper thoughts on the matter.”
“…I see.”

Torsti’s expression turned slightly sad for some reason.

However, it swiftly returned to a serious demeanor, and after a fleeting glance at Frank, he redirected his gaze toward me.

“I’m heading out.”
“Yes, please take care.”

And thus, surrounded by guild members serving as escorts and monitors, Torsti departed from Luneville.

As part of the guild’s strategy, it was deemed too risky to directly escort him to Orbwight, as it could potentially worsen the war situation. Instead, a plan was devised to stage a simulated attack en route and enter the Windia Federation, a neutral third nation, where his well-being could be verified from a fair standpoint.

The reason the guild master didn’t explain this when he spoke with Torsti yesterday was that he was unsure of Torsti’s reaction. If Torsti had remained in the same state as yesterday, he would have been treated merely as a tool.

However, when Torsti met us again today and declared his intention to take action to halt the Empire, with Frank vouching for his words, the guild master disclosed the plan and sought Torsti’s cooperation, which he agreed to.

I believe Torsti accepted the plan because he understood that it would be nearly impossible for him to reach the Empire on his own. Moreover, while there would be an entry into the third nation and escorts along the way provided by the guild, it only guarantee his safety until reaching the Empire.

Regardless of the choices and determination Torsti made, the journey beyond entering the third nation would remain perilous.

While watching Torsti’s back and hoping that he would at least have the opportunity to speak with the Emperor, I noticed Frank’s gaze directed at me. I turned towards him, silently asking what was the matter. However, he just shook his head, indicating that it was nothing, evading the question.

“Well then, shall we return?”

Following in Frank’s footsteps as he turned around, I started my journey back to the branch.

Despite feeling sorry for Torsti, his departure finally brought back the familiar atmosphere to the branch. Both the staff members and the guild members who came to the branch seemed to have some level of concern for the Empire, but due to the considerable distance between us around as big as between Japan and Europe, there was a lack of palpable tension.

It was more like, “I hope he’ll be alright” or “If that place falls, we won’t be able to enjoy their famous delicacies.” Even if there were worries, they were expressed in a casual manner.

Well, I chose this place precisely because it seemed detached from the turmoil of wars.

And so, I continued to spend my days as usual, fully engaged in my regular duties.

Then, one day…

“—Wishing you the best of luck.”
“Yeah! Let’s go, everyone!”

As I saw off the people leaving the branch, I bowed to the next person waiting for his turn.

“I apologize for the wait. The next person in line—”

Raising his hand and greeting me as if he were meeting an old friend from yesterday, I couldn’t believe my eyes for a moment.

“It’s been a while, Lass.”

With his vibrant red short hair and oval-shaped ears, topped with the pristine white horns of a cow, the ox beastman Orion stood before me. He was a rare God factor holder through mutation. His appearance, seemingly in his early twenties, remained unchanged since the last time I saw him.

My surprise didn’t stem from his physical appearance, but rather the fact that he was standing right in front of me.

“It’s been a while. What brings you here?”
“Heh. Well, I came to see you, of course?”

Orion’s grin remained unchanged, just like before.

His remark subtly shifted the atmosphere, but he seemed unfazed by it, displaying his usual carefree demeanor. It made me feel a sense of nostalgia.

“I’m happy to see you, but… Is it alright for you to be here?”
“Hahaha, of course it is. Don’t worry too much.”
“Hey, please stop!”

I protested as he vigorously tousled my hair, a gesture I hadn’t experienced in a while. Seriously, stop.

“Good grief… I’m working now, so please wait for a bit.”
“Hahah… Okay, okay. You’re still as uptight as ever. It makes this old man happy.”
“Hey, wait! …That’s enough!”

He ruffled my hair and headed out of the branch.

What was he even thinking? He didn’t say where he was headed or even ask when I was taking a break.

Orion’s tendency to go at his own pace in a negative sense was quite like Divine factor-holders.

As I combed my hair, I couldn’t help but feel exasperated, contemplating these thoughts. It was then that I noticed Cynthia wearing a subtle expression.

“Illya, who was that person just now?”
“Um, well, his name is Orion…”


Who is he to me?

My… special person’s, special person?

As I entertained that idea, it brought a slight blush to my cheeks, making my face relax.

“…Could he be the husband of one of your parent’s siblings?”

I couldn’t immediately comprehend what Cynthia was saying, leaving me unable to respond on the spot.

The husband of my parent’s sibling?

…Ah, she means my uncle.

“No, it’s not like that.”
“I-I knew it. He was too young to be a spouse of your parent’s siblings. Hmm…”

Cynthia seemed engrossed in solving a puzzle, and Lashelle and I exchanged a wry smile.

“Despite his youthful appearance, that man is actually over 60 years old.”
“Huh?… No way!”
“No way…”

Similar to Cynthia and Lashelle, murmurs of surprise could be heard here and there.

Since it was personal information, I couldn’t mention the God factor, but Orion’s statement of being a “relative uncle” seemed fitting for his age.

However, explaining the situation would become a bit complex.

As I contemplated how to explain it, Haku, who had just woken up from his nap, came running towards me. He embraced me and rubbed his face as if trying to dispel drowsiness, but then he abruptly stopped and looked up at me.

“There is a scent similar to Illya…”
“Illya’s father?”

The “scent” he referred to was undoubtedly related to the God factor.

While tidying up Haku’s tousled hair, I provided an answer.

“He’s not my father, but he was a lover of a person who became my mother.”

Perched atop the city walls that encircled Luneville, there were spacious walkways for people and supply transport, along with several watchtowers strategically placed for surveillance.

In one of those watchtowers, Orion sat at ease, gazing down upon the bustling streets of Luneville.

“…This is a splendid city, isn’t it?”
“Yes, indeed.”
“You’ve grown into a fine young woman.”
“Like Anna?”
“That’s still a long way off.”

After sharing a knowing chuckle, Orion finally directed his gaze toward me and noticed Haku, who stood beside me.

“…Haha. Looks like the young lady is at an age to bear children.”
“This child is the offspring of the Dragon God.”
“…Yet the resemblance is uncanny, isn’t it?”

As he gently caressed Haku’s head, eliciting a slightly displeased expression, Orion squinted his eyes with a nostalgic air.

“Haha. Given how tiny he is, it reminds me of the first time I met you, Lass.”
“I wasn’t this small, though.”

I mean, I was around 10 years old.

While gently caressing Haku’s once-again-tousled hair, I decided to inquire about Orion’s intentions.

“What brings you here?”
“Haha. You’re still as cautious as ever.”
“Given the circumstances of your departure from the forest, it’s only natural to be concerned.”

Orion stood up and directed his gaze in a different direction, away from the city of Luneville.

I knew that beyond that was the forest where that person slumbered.

Eventually, Orion turned back to me and provided a concise explanation of the situation with a serious expression.

“You know about the ongoing invasion of the Empire in Orbwight, right?”
“Well, as a consequence, Piscroza is also experiencing internal conflict.”

Piscroza Queendom was a small country near Orbwight, and its hereditary royal family, like Orion, consisted of ox beastmen with gentle temperaments. However, due to succumbing to the pressure from Orbwight in diplomatic matters, the royal family’s influence had declined over time.


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