While having the charge cows wait together with the Ryokus in the meadows, filled with grass they’d likely eat, we entered the town at the same time as the gate opened up. What greeted us on the other side were bleary-eyed adults who had been waiting for the gate’s opening. As we entered, they all immediately looked our way.
“…Yep, just as expected.” Sword sighed and headed over to the guildmaster.
He’s probably going to explain the situation.
The crybaby huddled up behind me.
The stall boy and a woman, who seemed to be their mother, rushed over.
“Just where have you been!?!? Do you know how much I worried when you didn’t return last night!?!”
I’m sure it’s been just as she said.
Going by Serge’s behavior, it was plain obvious that he had hid in the mountains (in spite of it having been prohibited) with the single-minded intent of wanting to join us.
Among the men who had gathered up first thing in the morning, many looked rather annoyed by all the trouble than relieved over the boy’s safety.
Well, that only makes sense.
The stall boy hit Serge’s head with a fist after getting close.
“You’ve given the esteemed S-Rank adventurers so much trouble…! And not just that! You caused a lot of trouble for everyone! It’s about time you stopped this make-believe adventurer game!”
The crybaby put on the expression of a child who didn’t want to listen while throwing a tantrum.
“He’s right! You are almost the same age as Indra, so why can’t you get your act together! Take an example of Indra and be more like an adult!”
Hmm, yeah, that’d be the typical sermon in this situation, but…
“The boy won’t listen to this kind of sermon, you know?”
When I muttered, they all looked at me simultaneously. Especially the crybaby glared my way with tears in his eyes. There wasn’t a shred of remorse to be found on his face.
“Look, that’s a face that shows how he has no intention of reflecting on his wrongdoings whatsoever. It’s the face of someone crying around while throwing a tantrum. …Well, whatever. The boy’s failures are to be blamed on his parents. In other words, your way of bringing him up is the problem here.”
As I looked straight at the mother, she became confused.
“It’s your fault. You pampered him, you forgave his every whim as long as he cried and acted up a bit, you didn’t even teach him that he ought to help out, instead you taught him that it was only natural for him to let the adults do everything for him, and you didn’t teach him that he should consider what kind of troubles he causes to others when willfully doing as he pleases without listening to anything, including rules. All of this stems from his wrong upbringing. …So? How do you plan to settle this uproar as his parent?”
The mother became white like a sheet.
“…I-I’m terribly sorry!”
She bowed her head. The stall boy as well.
“…Is this how you apologize to others? Do you think that this brat is going to fully understand how wrong he was after seeing you apologize so half-heartedly? Is that an attitude everyone, whom he kept up all night long with his shenanigans, would be able to accept?”
As soon as I finished speaking, they fell prostrate in front of me. So dogeza does exist in this world as well, huh?
Sword ran up to us, but I stopped him with a wind blow from my palm.
“Stay away. This is part of his education.”
“Also, since I’m the type of woman who can’t forgive pampered kids and the parents who spoil them, feel free to take it as envy. Now then…” I turned back to the other two.
“Please find it in yourself to forgive my son for his misconduct on this occasion. As his mother I beg your pardon while feeling deeply ashamed.”
“…My younger brother has caused you a lot of trouble. Please allow me to apologize on his behalf.”
As I towered over them dauntingly…
“Oi…stop it! Hey! Why are you acting so bossy!? Mom and bro haven’t done anything wrong, have they!?” The crybaby screamed in rage.
I stared at him coldly, “You’re right, it’s all your fault. But, they’re to blame for having raised you to be such a brat. That’s why I’m having them apologize for their failure. …So? Are you going to just throw tantrums? I haven’t heard a single apology or thanks from you since yesterday.”
The crybaby started to tremble furiously, and then dashed away.
Okay, this guy’s a lost cause. Pretty obviously.
I brought the little play to an end, allowing his mother and brother to stand up again.
“…Oh well, whatever. Unfortunately, the boy ran off after throwing a tantrum. With this it’s over.”
The mother and her older son exchanged a look.
“Don’t worry, I was talking to myself. After『giving up』, I’ll go around to apologize to the town’s residents. Well, I don’t know whether it’ll be over with that, though. Goodbye. We’ll never meet again.”
When I turned on my heels, I was baffled as Sword was nowhere to be seen. And here I’ve pulled this whole thing off so stylishly.