Chapter 2 – Capital




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Imperial Calendar – Year 430, Beginning of November


Arided flopped down on her bed after returning to her own room. After finishing today’s work, she took a cold bath and ate dinner.

And as a normal rank and file soldier, she could have gone to sleep at this point, but unfortunately Arided was a centurion nowadays, so she had more work to do.

She had to head over to a meeting room in the marquis’s mansion and take lessons from Shion over there.

“Ugh, I wanna sleep all the way until morning.”

“I kinda understand that notion.”

Arided looked at her little sister Deneb who was sitting on the opposite bed. She was reading a picture book. It was a book Chrono had made with a technique called woodblock print. Having said that, the ones who actually made it were Goldi and his dwarves.

At first Chrono had made it himself, but soon he apparently noticed that there were limits to how much he could get done by himself.

But that stands to reason. You can easily reproduce the books if you use this method, but carving the drawings on wooden sheets takes time and effort. I like those somewhat silly parts of him, but it kinda depends on my mood at the moment whether I’d be fine to sleep with him.

“Even if we skip for a day, we kinda won’t get any complaints.”

“I’d applaud your audacity if you can say that same line even while having his eyes pierce you coldly.”

Arided shivered as Deneb turned the page. She had recalled Chrono’s look back then.

His eyes of looking at some worthless scumto be honest, I don’t want him to look at me with such eyes.

“I’d hate to be faced with that cold gaze, but I also want to play hooky! I wanna sleep! I wanna play around!” Arided flapped her arms and legs on her bed like a little kid.

Until just a little while ago she wouldn’t have been able to go out at night to have some fun. But, now it was different. Her wallet was bursting and her comrades, who had retired from active duty, were running a bar.

Even though I’m meeting all conditions which would allow me to play around, I’m not allowed to do so. Die, God! And in spite of her big sister suffering so much, Deneb is calmly reading a book.

Come to think of it, I feel like she’s been always reading picture books whenever we’re at the lodging house.

“Is it interesting?”

“Yeah,” Deneb curtly answered.

“Kinda what part?”

“The last part is fun.”

With those words, Deneb flipped through the pages.

“W-Why, Momotaro! E-Even though all we wanted was to lead a calm life! Slaying the ogres like a madman, he stole their treasures, but the only ones who became happy were his grandparents while Momotaro lived in fear until his death. That part.”

“You’ve kinda become quite good at reading aloud,” Arided turned to the side and clapped her hands.

“Si…what is it that you like?”

“We’re alone now, so you can kinda call me sis without any hesitation.”

“In the past you kinda always chopped my head whenever I did when we were alone.”

“Such times might have kinda existed too.”

“So, which do you kinda like?”

“I kinda love Straw Millionaire. I kinda look up to him rising in the world thanks to a single straw.”

“That has the punchline of even slurping thin porridge being a delicious bliss when you’re poor.”

“I’m slightly unhappy about that part since it sounds like a fishy preaching.”

“I’m kinda sure it wasn’t just items that got exchanged, yep.”

“That’d make it a horror story.”

Exchanging things other than items with the intent of bartering is way too scary.

“Hah,” Arided sighed lightly and got up.

“Did you kinda get in the mood to seriously study now?”

“I’m always studying seriously.”

Arided sat down at the bed’s edge and directed her eyes to the book on her desk. It was a book for herself that didn’t contain a single character yet. She was planning to write down evidence that she lived in this world, but――

“Somehow I can’t get motivated.”

“I think Ms. Shion’s way of teaching is good.”

“I know that much myself!”

Indeed, it’s just as Deneb says, Shion is good at teaching others. Besides, she’s very patient. Even if you show her something that’s somewhat lacking, she’ll politely teach you the right way without scolding or anything. But, but even so――

“What I need right now is…definitely! Ice cream!”

“You should ask the landlady then.”

“No! That’s not it! I meant mental ice cream, basically!”

“Is it OK for me to interpret it as you wanting a reward?”

“You’re kinda on the right track.”

Arided did a thumbs-up and then flopped back down on her bed.

“I’m sure Layla is having her ears stroked all the time.”

“Ah, that might be kinda enviable, true.”

We’ve known Layla for five years now ever since being assigned to the demi-human unit. I’m glad to see that she found her happiness. But, it’s also true that I’d like her to share some of her happiness with me.

“I kinda wonder where Lord Chrono and the others are right now.”

“They must have reached the capital by now,” Arided answered while looking up to the ceiling.



“Elena! Run!”

“I-I know!”

Chrono rushed behind the carriage while pulling Elena by the hand. Immediately following, a thunderous roar could be heard. A stone had flown over from the darkness and directly hit the carriage. At an abnormal speed and force.

They might be using a sling, Chrono guessed while peeking out on the main road from behind the carriage.

The road was blocked by mounted men. Layla and their other escorts were trying to make a breakthrough, but it didn’t seem to work out well. Just as he pondered how they’d be able to get through this, he heard a clicking. Once he looked next to him, he found Elena biting her thumbnail.

“W-Why have things turned out like this, in this place!? I-I haven’t even done anything wrong.”

“Yeah, I wonder why,” Chrono muttered seriously.

He remembered the events after they left the Erakis March. It had been a peaceful journey, filled with nothing but gazing at the landscape or napping. At least until noon today.

Their wheels getting stuck in mud was the first sign of the looming disaster. And although they managed to pull out the carriage, the sun had sunk by the time they were done, so they decided to pitch up a night camp, but――

“I certainly hadn’t expected for us to get attacked by bandits.”

“I-It’s my s-second time. W-Why must I g-get attacked by b-bandits twice?” Elena asked in response to Chrono’s muttered sighing while chewing on her nail.

They heard another bang. Another stone had hit the carriage.

“Lord Chrono, please stay behind the carriage!” Layla rushed over, probably having noticed that Chrono and Elena were under fire.

While shooting an arrow to restrain the enemy, she also hid behind the carriage while pushing Chrono back with his butt.

“Get beneath the carriage!” Layla yelled as she prepared the next arrow

“Got it!” Chrono answered.

But, he couldn’t afford to hide by himself.

“Elena!” He called out to Elena

But she kept mumbling, “Why, why, why――”, while chewing on her nail.

Chrono guessed that her brain got overloaded after experiencing an attack by bandits just when she had started to lower her resistance towards violence.

Setting aside the theoretical reasons, she’s going to get killed if she doesn’t snap out of it.



Upon Chrono shouting her name, Elena trembled with a start. Her eyes hectically moved around.

“Hurry up and get beneath the carriage.”

“Y-Yes, o-okay.”

Once Chrono and Elena had crawled under the carriage, Fay, Sub, Alba, Glov, and Gainer arrived. All of them seemed to be fine.

“What’s the situation?” Chrono asked.

“We have been surrounded!” Fay exclaimed.

“Four on the road! Several in the bushes along the road!” Layla specified.

“We’ll hold out here and crush them one-by-one!” Sub declared.

“Crush them one-by-one, huh? Alright, then――

“I will catch them all!”

Fay jumped out from behind the carriage before Chrono could finish his words. A stone came flying at her as if just having waited for that chance. But, the stone dropped to the ground after silver flashed.

Fay had drawn her sword and cut down the stone. It was a terrifying display of sword skill, but――

“Wai-! You are throwing too many!” Fay screamed after stones came flying at her from all directions.

She brandished her sword, but she couldn’t knock down all the stones.

A dull thud could be heard. One of the stones had hit her temple.


“I-It hurts!”

Immediately after Chrono’s yell, Fay held her temple with teary eyes. Something like black mist billowed up from her body.

Very likely she’s mitigated the damage by casting her divine art on the spur of the moment.

Stones flew at her from all directions again.

“Ouch! It hurts!” Fay screamed.

It was a situation with her life on the line, but somehow it lacked all tension.

“Be good boys and let me put you in ropes!”

Fay headed towards a thicket along the road. She knocked down a stone coming at her straight from the front, but――


A stone struck her temple. Fay glared to where it came from and headed in that direction. But, at that moment she got stuck by a stone from another direction.

“Only cowards would hide and throw stones! Take me on fair and square!”

The instant Fay shouted that while brandishing her sword, a lasso flew at her. It tightened down on her body, and Fay’s body immediately flew sideways as a bandit had spurred on his horse.

“I-I would like you to not pull meeeeeeee!”

“Big Siiiiiiis!”

Sub yelled after Fay who only left a dopplered voice behind as she got dragged away.

“Layla! Use your magic!”

“What should I target?”

“Any place that looks like a bandit could hide there! Blow it up, roots and all!”

“I understand! Flame Dance!”

Right after Layla brandished her arm, Chrono’s visual field turned crimson. An explosion roared while heat assailed him. A man, his body now a burning torch, jumped out of the bushes.


“Go on!”

Elena raised her voice in what sounded like a scream, but Chrono ignored her.

“Flame Dance! Flame Dance!”

As Layla kept launching her spell, huge pillars of flame illuminated the vicinity. She drew an arrow from her quiver, nocked it, and shot. A short squeal could be heard from one of the bushes.

Chrono couldn’t tell, but Layla’s eyes apparently were able to identify the hidden bandits.

Layla surveyed the area while readying her bow. After the pillars of flame died out, she breathed out in relief. Apparently the enemy had run away.

Then again, they couldn’t afford to feel relieved just yet. They had to rescue Fay. Chrono looked at Sub.


“Alba, Glov, follow me! Gainer, you stay here and protect Lord Chrono!”

Sub, Alba, and Glov got on their horses and galloped in the direction Fay had been kidnapped.

“It’d be great if she’s fine, but…”

Chrono crawled out from underneath the carriage and stood up.

“Lord Chrono, are you injured anywhere?”

“Not at all. You, Layla?”

“I am fine, too.”

“Good work.”

When Chrono stroked her ear, she looked ticklish, smiling.

Suddenly he stopped since Elena hadn’t come out yet. Once he peered underneath the carriage, Elena had curled up like a turtle.

“You alright down there?”

“Do I look like I’m alright?”

“As long as you can bite back like that, I suppose you’re okay.”

“Wait a sec!”

When Chrono tried to raise his body, Elena grabbed the hem of his pants.

A hand extending out from underneath a carriage looked pretty much like a scene out of a horror movie. He peered below once more.

“What’s wrong?”

“M-My knees gave in.”

“Haaah, no choice then,” Chrono grabbed Elena’s hand and pulled her out from beneath the carriage.



Chrono woke up, finding himself inside their carriage. He stretched his body while stifling a yawn, probably because he’d slept while seated. It caused his bones to creak.

“Good morning, Lord Chrono.”

“Morning,” he returned the greeting to Layla who was sitting next to him.

Meanwhile Elena stared at him with an astounded expression.

“You sure slept well after all that happened last night.”

“Last night?”

“Are you still half-asleep? Didn’t we get attacked by bandits last night?” Elena grimaced in obvious displeasure.

“Oh, right! The bandits were beautifully defeated by me.”

“I don’t even feel like retorting to that horsecrap.”

“Ah, Elena, you also wet your pants, didn’t you? I forgot about that part.”

“I did not!” Elena raised her voice, looking startled.

“See, you retorted after all.”

“Your smug face really pisses me off, you know? Tsk,” Elena clicked her tongue.

“Did we already reach the capital?”

“We passed the main gate just a little while ago.”

Chrono looked outside the window, just to meet Fay’s eyes as she was riding right next to the carriage. Fay awkwardly lowered her eyes and faded out of Chrono’s visual field.

Refocusing his sight on the scenery, Chrono’s eyes were greeted by a chaotic townscape sprawling wherever he looked. Many of the houses were brickworks with two stories. Some of them had been built on triangular plots of land, and he could occasionally spot open lots, too. Currently they were driving through the capital’s New Town.

The Imperial Capital Alfirk consisted of eight districts, which were referred to as New Town, and four districts called Old Town. In the middle of those twelve districts stood Castle Alfirk, the residence of the emperor. If you were to look at the city from above, you’d be able to see that the two towns were drawing concentric circles.

“It looks like Fay still feels depressed about it.”

“Why are you acting like it’s someone else’s problem? You’re the reason for her to feel down, aren’t you?” Elena spat out, directing a gaze full of blame at Chrono.

Last night Chrono had scolded Fay after Sub and his men had rescued her.

“Especially if you’re so naggy. You might not have noticed it yourself, but your anger is quite spiteful, Lord Chrono.”

“I scolded her, but I’m not angry with her.”

“It’s basically the same anyway, right? Isn’t it plenty if you sternly rebuke people, be it to scold them or because you’re angry. Yet, you persistently kept asking her 『Why did you go after the bandits by yourself?』 while staring at her like…oh, right…like a worthless bug. That’s plain spiteful, isn’t it?”

“I usually overlook it, if it’s a small blunder. But I won’t allow anyone to expose their comrades to danger just because they want to play the hero. Even Fay’s rescue was just possible because we had luck. As such, it’s indispensable for her to thoroughly reflect on her actions so that she won’t ever do something like that again.”

“I believe I understand your feelings on this, Lord Chrono.”

“You believe you understand, huh?”

Seemingly feeling offended by Chrono’s mutter, Elena put on a huffy look.

“Fay is trying to reinstate her house, isn’t she?”

“Good job on finding that out.”

“I’m not living under a rock, okay?”

Chrono was curious how she got her hands on that information, seeing how she basically lived like a social recluse, but since Fay wasn’t particularly making a secret out of it, Chrono guessed that she had naturally heard people talking about it.

“Isn’t she desperate to show off her good side because of that?”

Chrono silently stared at Elena.

“What is it?”

“I just hadn’t expected to hear you cover for someone else, Elena. Is it going to snow tomorrow?”

“Now listen, I’m no demon who would never cover for anyone,” Elena pouted, apparently sulking.

“I do feel sympathy for her, but her family situation has nothing to do with her endangering her comrades.”

“Lord Chrono, you’re relatively cold-hearted, aren’t you?”

And yet you called me spiteful just moments ago, Chrono returned to gazing out of the window

Now an orderly townscape entered his sight. They had apparently left New Town and entered the fourth block of Old Town. His foster father possessed a house in this block, but it should take them a little while longer to reach that place. The problem was――

“It’d be great if he isn’t away.”

“Didn’t you contact him in advance?”

“It slipped my mind.”

“You’re a lost case, seriously.”

“I think he’ll be present since he mentioned that he’d spend the slack season at the capital.”

“I’d hate to stay at a cheap inn.”

“Even if Dad and Mayla are not there, Ortho should be, so we don’t need to worry about that part.”

“Mayla? Ortho?” Elena lifted a brow quizzically.

“They’re servants of my family. Both seem to have hung out with my Dad since back during his days as a mercenary.”

“So you’re saying both are former mercenaries, right?”

“Currently they’re working as a maid and butler, though. By the way, Mayla is the maid, and Ortho the butler.”

“It’d be nicer if proper maids and butlers were present, too.”

“Their mercenary time dates back thirty years. Given that they’ve been serving our family as servants much longer than they worked as mercenaries, they’re perfect at their current job.”

“I’m just praying that my worries end up being unnecessary,” Elena sighed, suddenly looking next to Chrono.

Lured in by that, Chrono also looked at his side, just to find Layla brushing her hair with her hands.

Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I feel like she’s sitting somewhat straighter than usual.

“Why are you combing your hair?”

“Because my hair was a mess.”

“Hmm,” Elena replied conversationally without being all that interested, but her eyes remained fixed on Layla nonetheless.

It made Layla feel somewhat uncomfortable, and before long she couldn’t endure it any longer, and added, “It is because I am going to meet Lord Chrono’s father.”

“It’s not like you’re going to marry him, so why do you need to care anyway?”

“Well, you’re not wrong about that,” Layla groaned.

An awkward silence descended upon the carriage. Probably having realized that she had made a verbal gaffe, awkwardness also revealed itself on Elena’s face.

After some time, Layla timidly spoke up, “Umm, Lord Chrono, what kind of person is your father?”

“I’d say it’s difficult to describe him in a few words. Hmm,” hummed Chrono.

He has many aspects I can respect, but just as many or even more that I can’t respect at all. He’s not a man of character, nor a family guy. And because he’s a former mercenary, he’s estranged from acting like a noble as well.

“I think there’s nothing you really need to worry about, when it comes to him.”


This was his honest impression, but it only earned him silence from Layla. Apparently it wasn’t the answer she had sought.

“How about the part of you having taken a half elf like me as your lover?”

“I don’t think he’ll care. Rather, he’ll probably laugh at it. In the sense of telling me that he’s happy to find out about me being a proper guy, or that being surrounded by lovers indicated the resourcefulness of a guy.”

He could vividly remember the sight of his foster father laughing heartily.

“I see.”

“Are you still feeling uncertain?”

“How was she supposed to get any confidence out of what you said just now?” Elena butted in with a fed-up voice.

“Anyway, it’ll work out either way since he’s a man who doesn’t mind the small stuff.”

“Small stuff, huh?” Layla’s voice had turned totally gloomy.

Very likely my foster father would tell Layla to not be so narrow-minded, and laugh it off.

“Mayla is an elf, so it’ll be okay.”

“Oh, so Lady Mayla was an elf, huh?” Layla breathed out lightly.

Apparently it gave her a peace of mind to hear about an elf working as a servant at Chrono’s home.

As they seemed to be closing in on his foster father’s house, the carriage dropped its speed.



“About Fay, could you soothe her for me?”

“Wouldn’t it be better if you did it yourself, Lord Chrono?”

“Scolding her and then comforting her is a bit…”

“And why must I do it?”

“I took you with me to the capital, didn’t I?”

“I-I thanked you properly for that!” Elena cried out with her cheeks blushing, most likely out of shame.

Well, certainly, we did have a deal, but――

“That’s a request, you see? Meeting a request and that deal are two different pairs of shoes.”

“Putting it like that is unfair.”

“Well, you’re right about that,” Chrono admitted, causing Elena to look flabbergasted.

She likely hadn’t expected him to admit his own fault. This caused Chrono to feel slightly curious as to what she was taking him for.

“Come to think of it, I still haven’t received your thanks for having provided you with a dress, have I?”

“T-That is…” Elena was lost for words. “I-If you bring that up, the same can also be said for the half elf over there, no!?”

“Layla is accompanying me as a part of her work,” Chrono shrugged it off.

Elena reproachfully scowled at him. Feeling annoyed by her behavior, he placed his fingers on her collar. At once Elena’s attitude changed completely, her expression being one of fright. But, considering that, she was still restlessly rubbing her thighs against each other.

“So, what’s it gonna be? As far as I’m concerned, I don’t particularly mind you paying with your body.”

“W-With my body…” Elena audibly gulped.

Her eyes were sparkling as she was apparently getting aroused from the imagination. But, just when Chrono thought Elena might pick the sex, she suddenly looked at Layla.

Layla was expressionless, but Chrono suspected that Elena probably didn’t see it like that.

“N-No way! E-Even like this, I’m still a baronet after all!”

“Right now you’re my slave.”

“S-Stop! I beg you, please let go of my collar!” Elena entreated with tears in her eyes as soon as Chrono jolted her collar.

It’d be fine for you to not wear that collar if you hate it so much, you know…?

“So, what’s your answer?”

“I-I got it!”

“That’s music to my ears.”

Once Chrono let go of her collar, Elena became dumbstruck. She looked at Chrono’s fingers as if regretting their parting with her collar. She seemed to be rather unhappy with the whole course of events.

“…Until the ball begins, only.”

“That much is fine.”

The carriage came to a halt. Layla opened the door and stepped outside.

“This way please, Lord Chrono,” Layla offered Chrono to follow her.

Chrono thanked her and got out. As soon as he stretched himself to alleviate his muscles’ stiffness, he could hear cracking from all over his body.

“I guess it’s been half a year…no, around seven months since I came here last.”

Chrono looked up the mansion of House Chroford. It was a four-story building made out of bricks. The estates around were equipped with magnificent gardens, but this mansion had no such thing. All because Chrono’s foster father put priority on building a stable. Then again, since the distance from front gate to entrance way remained beneath ten meters, Chrono didn’t feel overly disgruntled over the lack of a garden.

As he was wondering what he should do next, the entrance door was flung open. The ones stepping out were Chrod Chroford and Mayla.

Chrono’s foster father had turned sixty this year, but he was two heads taller than Chrono and possessed a burly, muscled physique. Just as his belly still was as flat as a board, his stride was powerful and full of bounce. His hair was white, telling a tale of the many years of hardships he experienced. The outlines of his face were angular and looking for any delicacy in his facial features was bound to fail from the get-go. What stood out the most in his face were his eyes. They were endowed with a sharp glint so stabbing that only his gaze would already leave a lasting impression on anyone meeting them.

Mayla had an appearance causing most people to estimate her age to be around thirty. Her body, covered by a maid attire, was slim and would clearly remind anyone of a feline carnivore. Her facial features were aesthetic, giving off a certain elegance. The impression one would get from elves could be summed up as indifferent, but Mayla was wrapped up by an aura of coolness. Chrono suspected this to stem from her age, but he naturally couldn’t voice that out.

His foster father came out through the gate and planted himself in front of Chrono. The pressure was so incredible that any child would run away, crying. Then again, it seemed as though you’d be able to find some winsomeness in the old man, if only you looked closely enough.

Suddenly, Lord Chroford grabbed Chrono’s chin.

“Ah, so they got your right eye, huh?”

“Well, yeah. An injury of honor is what they call it.”

Chrono averted his eyes. It was an issue he had already come to terms with, but he still felt awkward having the matter with his right eye pointed out by his foster father as he didn’t know how to answer it.

“I see,” Lord Chroford sighed and let go of Chrono’s chin. “So far as it goes, I’ve heard the story.”

“And what did you hear?”

“That you fought against the folks of Argo, became Marquis Erakis, and so on.”

“You’re good to have obtained all that information while cooped up in the southern borderlands.”

“Well, that’s because I got plenty of acquaintances among the Empire’s upper echelons,” his foster father spat out with a bored tone. “But apart from that, I’d wish for you to be a good son and send at least a letter or two.”


Chrono scratched his head.

“So, what did you come here for?”

“A ball is being held, so――”

“What, so they sent a letter of invitation even all the way out to your place?” Chrod interrupted his son.

“That means you got one as well?”

“Yeah, I thought about skipping on it because it was so sudden, but I was told they’d treat me to booze and food, so there was no way I could have turned it down, right?”

“You’re rich enough yourself, and yet you act like a total miser.”

“You’d become a stingy bloke as well, if you had reclaimed land for more than twenty years, boy,” Chrod croaked. “Anyway, we’re digressing. Go on with what you were saying.”

“I thought we could stay over here since we’re scheduled to participate in the ball. If that’s not okay, we’ll pick a random inn and――”

“Don’t act like some stranger. We’re family, aren’t we?” Chrod interrupted Chrono once again.

“By the way, who are those girls over there?”

“It is a great honor for me to meet you, Baron Chroford,” Layla stepped forward and saluted when Chrod looked in her direction. “I am Lord Chrono’s subordinate and――”

“She’s my subordinate and lover. The name’s Layla.”

“Lord Chrono!” Layla cried out.



But without caring about that, Chrod shifted his eyes to Elena. Elena trembled with a start and hid behind Chrono.

“And what about the small one hiding behind you?”

“She’s my slave. Elena is her――”

“Wait a sec! I’m a baronet! A BA-RO-NET!!” Elena exclaimed loudly, repeatedly hitting Chrono’s back.

“She’s saying all that, but in the end she’s my slave. Of course, I’ve already enjoyed her body as well.”

“Hey! Why do you have to tell him!?”


Elena kicked up a fuss, but Chrono’s foster father didn’t say anything. He lowered his face, his shoulders trembling. This caused the area to fall silent.

The hustle and bustle around them almost felt like a part of a different world. Eventually――

“Gahahaha! So you’ve been cheeky enough to bring along your own women, eh!?” Chrod laughed out heartily.

This was the reaction Chrono had expected, but Layla became dumbfounded.

“I already started to think that you’ve got no interest in women!”

“Why even!?”

“Well, I mean you never spent any money on prostitutes or anything, even though I gave you a decent amount of pocket money for that very reason, did you?”

“I had no friends who would invite me over to a brothel, and using tax money on brothel visits seemed a bit inappropriate to me,” Chrono objected while being surprised over the reason why his pocket money had been so bountiful.

“Anyway, this gives me peace of mind.”

“I believed that the young master would certainly keep a pure body for another ten years since he is a late-bloomer,” Mayla agreed calmly while Chrod grinned broadly.

“Well, go at making those babies so that you don’t need to worry about what happens after you croak.”

“I’d be delighted if you could choose gentler words, seriously.”

“Hah? I was gentle, wasn’t I?”

“Like where?”

“I did provide you a just cause to screw them. Where else would you find a father so gentle and broadminded?”

“Well, if you put it like that, I feel like you could describe it as gentleness, in the widest sense.”

“Right. I see you got it,” Chrod nodded in satisfaction.

Layla spoke up, “E-Excuse me!”

“What’s up?”

“Are you truly okay with this?” Layla asked with upturned eyes.

She probably had asked whether it was alright for a half elf like her to be Chrono’s lover, but that apparently didn’t get passed on to Chrono’s foster father as he only tilted his head in confusion.

“What do――”

“Master,” Mayla interrupted Chrod.

“What is it?”

“…Look at her ears.”

Mayla stood on her tiptoes and whispered something in Chrod’s ear. After she separated from him, Chrod declared with a smile, “I don’t give a damn whether my son’s lover is a half elf.”

“…Master,” Mayla groaned.

Delicate matters were alien to this man.

“I’m looking forward to the birth of my grandchildren.”

“That’s way too hasty.”


Chrod scratched his head, turning his gaze towards Chrono’s carriage. Fay was staring their way from the carriage’s shadows. With the cowering attitude of a frightened squirrel.

“That one’s your lover too?”

“She’s a guard. A G-u-a-r-d.”


Hearing Chrono stress the guard part, Fay sank to the ground while holding her chest. He had only spoken the truth, so he wondered why she was so shocked about it.

“Together with me, our party has eight people. Will it be okay for all of us to stay here?”

“Lord Chrono, I do have some money on me, so――”

“No need to hold back,” Lord Chroford interrupted Layla and then looked at Mayla.

“It’ll be alright, won’t it?”

“If we assign one room per woman, the four male guards will need to share the remaining room, but…”

Mayla looked at Sub as if asking him what he thought about it. It seemed as though she’d immediately identified him as the actual guard leader.

“Wouldn’t it be fine to put Chrono and the three women into one room?”

“I cannot agree with that.”


“The young master does not have the capacity to take on three at once.”

“Oh yeah, you got a point there,” Chrod agreed with Mayla’s remark. “Then let us put the four guys into one room, I guess”

“As you wish.”

Once Mayla bowed respectfully, Chrod went back to the mansion.

“Gentlemen, please move the horses to the stable.”

“Gotcha. Come on, you gu…sis?” Sub tried to order his men, and directed a look at Fay, grimacing awkwardly.

He had likely noticed belatedly that he was about to order the men around as usual.

“I will leave it to you, Sir Sub.”

“Forgive me. You guys! Get the horses into the stable!” Sub yelled after apologizing.

Just as Chrono was absentmindedly staring into thin air, his foster father entered the dining room. He was holding a wine bottle in his right hand and two glasses in his left. You couldn’t sense any refinement from that man, but the bad-guy vibe he was giving off fit him in an odd way.

“Alcohol so early in the day?”

“Come on, boy. You don’t have to sound like Mayla, do you?” Chrod grumbled and sat down opposite of Chrono.

After placing one glass in front of Chrono and the other in front of himself, he poured wine into both. A faint mellow aroma spread.

“Come to think of it, where are your lovers?”

“Resting in their rooms.”

“Too bad. I wanted to drink together with them,” said the old baron, picking up his glass.

But, he didn’t bring it all the way to his lips. Instead, he quietly inclined the glass.

“Looks like all kinds of stuff happened to you, huh?”

“You could say so.”

“Don’t put it as if it’s someone else’s problem.”

“I simply couldn’t catch up with all that’s happened so far since it was one thing after the other,” Chrono picked up his glass, and imitated his foster father by also tilting it.

“You have…well, your scores at the military academy were shit, you didn’t have any friends, and you didn’t have fun with women either. To be honest, I thought you might croak rather quickly out there.”

“How’s that related to having friends or playing around with women?”

“You moron, I was worried about you as your father.”

“…Father, huh?” Chrono drank his wine.

He tried to recall the faces of his family, but it was all just a vague blur by now.

My parents are probably still looking for me. No, I’m sure they do. And yet, I love Chrod like a father. I’m really trash for abandoning my real parents like that.

Chrod drained down his wine and spat out a deep sigh, before refilling his empty glass.

“I think of you as my real son.”

“Thanks. It makes me happy to hear that.”

“That’s what I should say. I found a new purpose in life thanks to you.”

“Even though we’re not living together?”

“That’s not the issue here. I can pass on the territory, which I…we struggled to develop, to you as my son. I was worried that I’d need to hold out for much longer, so I’m really glad that you pulled through.”

“I survived, one way or another. I don’t think that I did anything…which would put you or Mom to shame either.”

Remembering how he was about to push the responsibility on Layla and the other elves, Chrono bit down on his lips. Although he didn’t do anything disgraceful, that was only the case because he stopped himself in time.

Chrod poured new wine into Chrono’s glass.

“…It seems like a lot has happened indeed.”


Chrono couldn’t reply anything at that.

“Unlike me, you’re ill-suited for battle. Since you’re a clever guy, I’m sure you’ve mulled it over. If I had to give you some advice, it’d be to laugh,” began Chrod and revealed a ferocious smile, “Whenever you’re about to piss your pants in front of the enemy, whenever you cut down an enemy, whenever you’re cornered, whenever you head for death so as to let your men get away, and whenever your men come back while being a tattered mess; laugh. Whatever you do, laugh. As long as you do that, you’ll feel like things are going to somehow work out.”

“Don’t be so unreasonable.”

“At least put it into practice only on the first three.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.”

Chrono toasted glasses with his foster father.



Elena placed her traveling bag on the table and took a look around the guest room.

“…What a tasteless room,” she mumbled her impression.

The room only had the least necessary amount of furniture. Usually, guest rooms would have decorations such as vases or paintings, but this custom didn’t seem to apply to the Chroford family. Of course, one could argue that this was only normal for neo-nobility with a short history.

I’m sure it’s a family tradition. This must follow the same logic as him cherishing his men and servants so much. Not like it matters to me, though, Elena flopped down on her bed. The mattress must have been aired just recently. It’s warm, soft, and feels great. At this rate, I’m going to fall asleep in no time.

“…Finally I made it all the way here,” she muttered with her eyes closed.

Begging Chrono was a terrible disgrace for her. Remembering it now caused her body to get all heated.

To be honest, I didn’t expect that it’d work. Even though our sexual relationship has taken a rather special form, I’ve spent quite a few nights with him by now. Maybe his wariness softened up because of that. Well, Chrono is a guy, and I did my best to cater to his needs. All that’s left is to pray that my uncle and Philip attend the ball.

“…Philip,” she whispered the name of her former fiancé.

He had been her emotional support during her time under the slave dealer. She had foolishly believed that he’d come to rescue her. Without knowing that he was one of the criminals who had killed her mother and discarded her into slavery.

“I’m going to kill you, no matter what.”

She opened her eyes and stared at her traveling bag. She had hidden a small dagger away within. A leather belt, too. She had done whatever she could to allow her to bring it to the ball’s venue, but in the end it was a gamble whether she’d be able to smuggle it in.

It might have been better for me to have chosen another method.

Just as she thought that, a clattering could be heard. It was the room’s door opening.

Elena leaped up, but then breathed out in relief. The one who had opened the door was Fay.

“Your room is next door.”


Apparently not having heard a word, Fay started to stagger over, before sinking to the floor next to the bed. She was mumbling something under her breath. A complete change in behavior, even though she had put up a brave front until just a little while ago.

The tension that kept her going must have run out after she finished the first part of her guard duty.

Elena got out of her bed, and knelt down next to Fay.

“Hey, do you hear me?”

“Goddess, Goddess, I am a failure as a knight. I was defeated. At this rate, the reinstatement of the Muhlifain family will remain a dream beyond reach.”

Big tears spilled out of Fay’s eyes. She had thought that it was fine since he had at least stayed alive, but even so, she had some confidence in her swordsmanship. A confidence that she’d be able to revive her family as long as she had her sword skills.

“All is lost by now. I will soon be discarded by Lord Chrono.”

“Hurry up and――”

――get out, were the words on the tip of her tongue, before she managed to stop herself in time. Chrono had told her to console Fay and Elena would feel guilty about kicking out Fay just like that.

As Elena pondered what she should tell her in this situation, Fay suddenly got back up.

“W-Wait a moment!” Elena yelled.

Fay started to take off her clothes. She flung off her military uniform. In the end, it didn’t take her long to stand there in her underwear.

Elena swallowed hard. Fay was a beauty. And just as Elena was wondering what Fay had done to have obtained such a trained body, Fay started to stagger towards the door.



Elena blocked Fay’s way with her arms spread, causing Fay to leap back with surprise written all over her face.

“Lady Elena? Why…are you here?”

“You waltzed in.”

“It is not very admirable to come in without knocking.”

“Listen, you waltzed into my room.”

“…Forgive me,” Fay dropped her shoulders in dejection.

“What are you going to do?”

“I was about to head out in order to apologize.”

“Like that?”

“Do I stink?” Fay lifted an arm and sniffed her armpit.

Elena sighed and sat down on her bed.

“I get that you want to show your sincerity after having made so many blunders.”

“It is a pleasure to hear that you understand my plight,” Fay breathed out in relief.

“But, even if you try to have him forgive you by sleeping with him, it won’t do you any good.”

“――nh! Then, what should I do to be forgiven?” Fay drew close to Elena, her breath bated.

Elena held out a hand, stopping her, “You can just apologize in a normal way.”

“That will not earn me Lord Chrono’s forgiveness! There is no other way but to offer my body to him!”

Fay knelt down, clinging to Elena’s legs. Seeing Fay act like that, Elena couldn’t feel anything but pity for her. Even though her mind was dominated by an explicable feeling when she knelt at Chrono’s feet herself.

“You sure talk about having sex with him easily. Sleeping with a man is a lot more difficult than you think.”

“I-Is it that difficult?”

“Of course!”

“Hiii!” Fay yelped when Elena raised her voice.

“At the very least, it’ll be beyond your capability if you go at it with a mindset like yours.”

“So you are saying I am not only a lost case as a knight, but also as a woman, right? Father, mother, I…it does not look likely that I will be able to rebuild the Muhlifain family,” Fay lowered her head powerlessly, starting to sob uncontrollably.

“Hey, don’t cry.”



“I-If I get discarded by L-Lord Chrono as well, it will…it will be the end. All will be over!”

“So that’s you’re at your wits’ end, huh?” Elena muttered seriously.

Her crying with her face being a soggy mess thanks to all the tears and nasal mucus wasn’t befitting for a knight, and it didn’t make Fay look like a woman beyond an age of twenty either. Elena thought that it’d be smarter to deal with the other woman while thinking of her as a child.

“Come on, be a good girl and stop crying, okay?”

“B-But, *hiccs* I will be forsaken *hiccs* Definitely.” Fay stammered while sobbing when Elena stroked her head.

“Lord Chrono isn’t an evil guy who would abandon his subordinates so easily.”

“Really?” Fay lifted her face.

Hope shone in her eyes.

She’s really just like a little kid.

“Really. I mean, he even told me to comfort you, you see? He did so because he was concerned about you, right? Don’t you think so too?”

“Why will he not forgive me then?”

“Lord Chrono isn’t angry because you made a mistake. He was upset over you ignoring orders to go after the bandits, resulting in you exposing your comrades to danger. Do you understand that?”


Fay fell silent.

What should I do if she says that she doesn’t understand? Such a worry welled up in Elena. Anyway, I’ll deal with that when I need to. I mean, I have no duty to even work on her comprehensive capability.

“…You are right. I ignored Lord Chrono’s orders.”

“Yes, well done. You got it totally right.”

As soon as Elena addressed her gently, Fay stood up, causing Elena to widen her eyes by Fay’s sudden action.

“What’s wrong?”

“I will apologize to Lord Chrono!”

With those words, Fay rushed out of the room.

“…That woman’s truly like a kid,” Elena sighed, only to notice Fay’s uniform strewn across the floor.

She picked it up in a hurry and chased after Fay. But, at that moment she could hear a bang from above. She guessed that Fay had probably opened the door to Chrono’s room just now.

That idiot! She cursed in her mind and raced upstairs.

Thanks to her lack of fitness, her legs immediately became sore from all the stair-climbing. After a while, she entered Chrono’s room.

Thereupon she spotted Fay kneeling at Chrono’s feet. Chrono looked at Elena, his face asking her what she’d done.

“Lord Chrono! I finally understood!”

“Okay, so what did you understand?”

Chrono looked down at Fay. With eyes as if he was looking at useless trash. And even though she wasn’t on the receiving end of that stare, Elena felt her body heating up. Seemingly experiencing the same, Fay cowered.

“The reason why you were angry with me, Lord Chrono.”

“Go on.”

Urged on by him, Fay timidly continued, “I ignored your orders, and on top of that, I exposed my comrades to danger.”

“I see that you understood the reason. So, why did you disregard my orders?”

“That is…” Fay faltered.

Elena cheered the other woman on in her mind.

“I became too high-spirited and ambitious. I am terribly sorry for having abandoned my post as your guard.”

“Okay, and what does that tell you for the future?” Chrono crossed his legs as he sat on his chair.

“I promise that I will never act on my accord again.”

“…I see,” Chrono nodded quietly and became silent. And then, after a long, long time, he spoke up once more, “I won’t tell you to not make any mistakes. But, it’s a different matter when it comes to you acting as you please while endangering your comrades. This time I’m going to forgive you, but make sure to never repeat this.”

“Yes! As you command, Lord Chrono!”

Yelling that, Fay stood up. And probably because all the pressure weighing down on her had been released, her face looked bright.


“Yes! What might it be?” Fay responded while straightening her back.

“Why are you only wearing underwear?”

“I planned to attend you at night in order to obtain your pardon, Lord Chrono.”

“I see,” Chrono remarked with a flat, dispassionate voice, but Elena didn’t miss the instant the corners of Chrono’s lips curved upwards.

“But, my thinking was too shallow! I shall pile up some training under Lady Elena first and then make a fresh start!”

“Oh, I see,” Chrono muttered while looking disappointed.




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Translation Notes:


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