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Chapter 119 – At the Temple of the Hermagne’s Capital

 

(Cherry’s PoV)

“It’s okay, don’t worry about it.” I said while gently caressing the princess’ hair.

“Yeah…” She replied… Goodness, I wonder if there is anything we can do for her right now. She’s been worrying about Hannes ever since he decided to stay behind to buy us time.

It was a bit scary when Rena decided to send her familiars after us, but we decided to use a teleportation item to quickly bring the princess back to Hermagne’s capital. It wasn’t cheap, but it was safer than trying to protect her while fighting the remaining monsters and her familiars.

She was still pretty worried about him though, so we decided to stay at the temple to wait for him instead of going to the castle right away.

“Eleanor, is the princess going to be alright?” I overheard Ryne whispering that.

“I think she’ll get better once her worries are eased.” Eleanor whispered back. I can understand his point, I mean, she stayed with the Genocider for a while, I’m sure she went through some pretty traumatic experiences.

“Do we really need to wait at this temple…?” Kellin complained.

“Stop whining.” Myra replied. It’s good that she is keeping him in check.

Still, to think that a simple quest to look for the whereabouts of the princess’ maid ended up letting us make contact with the royal family of Hermagne, and then having an epic quest related to the princess released at about the same time… What a day this one has been.

… Regardless of that, the princess was still restless. I suppose I should keep trying to calm her down, “It’s alright, we migrants aren’t in danger no matter what happens to us, so he’ll surely come back safely, okay?”

“… Could you stay with me until then?” She asked me after a small pause.

“Of course.” I told her while giving her the best smile I could. I wonder if this is how nursery teachers feel when trying to help a troubled child… Totally panicking on the inside, while trying to keep a calm façade outside to put the child at ease… This is hard, though not necessarily bad.

I wonder what happened to her though… Could her maid and father have been killed by Rena before she was kidnapped? She’d definitely be extremely fragilized if she lost such important people to her in such a short time frame…

And as I thought of that, we saw some people respawn. I thought it was Hannes that was taken care of at first, but color me amazed, he came together with Rena and Absolutely Inviolable Area… I knew he was going to die and respawn here, but I didn’t expect him to actually take them with him… He certainly fought hard.

… Though why are they making hostile gestures towards one another? They aren’t going to restart fighting here, will they!?

“Could this be… The temple of Hermagne’s capital? I suppose I dragged the monsters from here to the Empire, so I ended up respawning here.” Rena said.

“And I chased after that monster swarm from here too.” Absolutely Inviolable Area commented.

“We also chased you all the way from this capital to that one…” Hannes told them. That’s kinda amazing, to think they just fought until the three of them died and now they’re just chit-chatting as if nothing happened? I certainly didn’t expect Hannes of all people to be able to so naturally talk to Rena like that.

“Ha… Hannes?” The princess shily spoke while getting up from my lap.

“Oh? What is it?” He replied.

“A-are you okay!?” She asked him while taking a few steps in his direction, with worry clearly evident in how much her voice trembled.

Hannes seemed to be unable to believe the words he just heard, as he replied by saying, “What!? Of course I am! What would make you think I’m not!?” That idiot… She hid behind my back after hearing him shout… Does he have no common sense at all? How can he shout to a clearly worried child like that!?

“Seems like you’ve escaped safely.” Rena suddenly said, making the princess get even more startled… She seemed on the verge of crying even.

Hannes positioned himself between Rena and the princess and said, “You wanna go for a second round?” I guess he can be a bit heroic at times like this at least… That doesn’t excuse the shouting from before though!

“I’m not really against it?” Rena simply replied… Dangerous, that’s really dangerous.

“Look, I won’t forgive you if you try going after the princess again!” Hannes exclaimed.

“Is that so…?” Rena seemed to be a bit bothered by that statement for some reason, “Well, I’ll give the victory to you this time around. You can keep your prize.”

“… I don’t like you putting it like that.” Hannes replied. It was somewhat infuriating to hear the princess being treated as a thing like that… And yet, the princess herself seemed to not mind it much… Perhaps because of the time she spent with Rena, this must not look like a big deal to her.

“Is that so…? Well, I’ll be going now either way.” Rena replied.

“Seriously… Isn’t there anyone that ever calls you out on this kind of behavior!?” Hannes called Rena out on the way she’s been treating the princess.

Rena, who was already at the temple’s doorstep, turned around to reply to him, “There is no such person.” She plainly said… I think he probably went a bit too far there, but considering how scared the princess seems to be, saying this much might be alright.

“In that case, I’ll be the one to scold you if you do this kind of atrocity again, you got that!?” Hannes shouted… That was… A very bold statement of his.

As soon as Hannes said that, everyone else in our party just opened their mouths wide in disbelief… That was pretty crazy alright. Ryne in particular seemed to be panicking hard and desperately trying to think of a way to make Hannes shut up.

Rena, however, after staying still for a second, seemed to give him a gentle, pure and lovely smile, one that could make basically anyone fall for her… Such a cheap trick!

And then, she giggled, “Alright then, I’ll look forward to the next time.”

“O-o-o-oh! O-okay! N-n-next time then!” Hannes replied while being obviously embarrassed. He was not only extremely red, but he was not even able to look at her anymore… What a hopeless guy.

“Have you found the spring of your youth!?” Kellin said while slapping Hannes’ back.

“Shut up, you madman!” Hannes replied.

“Ouch, you’ll hurt my feelings like this.” Kellin replied with a laugh.

Meanwhile, at some point, Absolutely Inviolable Area seemed to have moved closer to Rena and said, “Well, Rena, you’ve probably been called too, haven’t you? I guess I’ll see you at the venue then?”

“Oh, yeah… I guess I’ll see you at that time.” She replied… Do they know each other outside of the game or something? I was a bit curious, but they both left the temple together, so there wasn’t much way for me to keep on hearing… And I suppose it was none of my business too.

In any case, let’s turn to the more important things, “So, Hannes.” I called him out.

“What is it?” He asked me.

“Can we say that we won this time?” I asked back… I mean, we saved the princess and we’re going to clear the epic quest now… That’s definitely a win, right? We can be proud of this much.

“Ah, well… Sorry, but I really won’t be satisfied until I get a complete victory over her.” He replied honestly…

“Mmmm… Alright.” I said. I mean, this was just like him after all.

“I suppose it can’t be helped.” Everyone else said at once while sighing… They were really in sync this time around, though I guess everyone expected this reply of his. He really is way too short-sighted, but that’s part of the fun of being around him.

“I’ll keep following you, then!” I told him.

“Well, I’d be worried if we let her loose for too long anyways.” Ryne followed suit.

“I’ll shoot through her head next time!” Myra exclaimed.

“Why is Myra’s motivation so different?” Kellin commented… But well, she is pretty fun like this too, and it’s good that she is clear at what she wants.

“Oh, right!” Hannes suddenly said.

“… What is it?” We asked him.

“… Thanks.” He said… That was it? Really, he’s saying this now?

“Come on, we all wanted to beat her, remember? We’re a team here!” I told him. Why would he need to thank us for that!?

Let’s just get this quest completed, we did great today!

As we moved towards the castle, Hannes ruffled the princess’ hair while cheering her on. Her face was beet red at that point… Goodness, just what am I even seeing here?

 

 

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