* * *
‘Wow, if I was a little late, I would have become a traitor.’
Cadel, who managed to stop Lumen’s attack, swept his surprised heart.
Hyron, who was watching them through the crystal ball, removed the barrier as promised when they reached the exit. While waiting for the process, Cadel found two twin fairies. For a moment, he thought that it didn’t matter, as long as he didn’t get caught. Cadel was forced to show himself to his two subordinates, who had appeared out of nowhere.
“Leader! Are you…… Are you hurt? Are you okay?”
Lumen, who ran first, grabbed Cadel’s shoulders and turned him around. His eyes were scrutinizing every nook and cranny of Cadel’s body. Cadel, who was spinning around following Lumen’s strong grip, smiled awkwardly and tapped his arm.
“It’s okay. I’m dizzy, can you let me go?”
“What the hell were you thinking, doing such a dangerous thing? I’d rather die alone……!”
“Hey, hey, I’m totally fine. I’m even stronger, so stop nagging―”
Let’s stop and get the hell out of here. Cadel was about to say that.
The words were cut off by Van’s sudden embrace. Pushing away Lumen, Van hugged Cadel tightly and buried his head on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Commander. I’m sorry…….”
His muffled voice cracked, creating a hot echo. Van kept digging into Cadel’s arms, despite the discomfort of his bent back. It was like a large dog that didn’t know its size.
“Sorry……. I’m the one who should be apologizing, aren’t I? Sorry for dragging you into a strange place. You’ve been through a lot, Van.”
When Cadel finally reached out and patted his back, he felt a pitiful tremor. When he thought about Van who must have had a hard time after waking up, he felt a surge of guilt that he had momentarily forgotten.
‘When I go out, I’ll buy him something delicious.’
Lumen and Van deserved to be rewarded for their hard work. If he didn’t soothe their weary hearts…….
“By the way, Leader. What’s with this kid?”
“Ahaha! You forgot me already? I still remember you. Not as good as Cadel, but you were pretty fun.”
There was no telling what these two upset subordinates would do.
Cadel glanced at the twin fairies, who seemed to be still grasping the situation and lightly patted Van’s shoulders.
“Let’s get out of here.”
“What about those fairies? Should I kill them.…….”
“Um, no. You don’t have to kill them. Let’s get out of here.”
Van, who still hadn’t stopped his aura, Lumen, who still had his hand on his hilt, and Lydon, who didn’t seem to care. Cadel finally led the three men out of the forest.
The crisp night air brushed against the tip of his nose. Above Cadel’s happy, liberated face, a bright system window appeared.
「Congratulations. S-grade knight ‘Lydon’ has been recruited!」
「Current Knight Order Cost: 8/10」
Lumen stared at the boy standing in front of him.
He was a head shorter than Cadel, maybe a foot shorter, and of similar build to him, with fluffy blond hair, slightly droopy red eyes, and a smirk that flashed across his face.
The physique was quite different than he remembered, but the strangely eerie grin was the same…….
“Why do we have to accompany this bastard? Leader. Why don’t you explain a little bit.”
“I came out of the forest as Lydon’s guardian, so that’s all you need to know for now.”
“I’ll explain it slowly later.”
Lumen didn’t look at all convinced, Van was equally dismayed, and Cadel was no different.
As a result of running solely for survival, he took on the unplanned S-grade knight and the future of the Fairy Tribe. Since the knight could not do his job right away, it was difficult to be genuinely happy.
But what could he do? What was done is done.
“Cadel! Look at this.”
On the way back to town with the bitter subordinates, an overexcited Lydon trotted up to Cadel’s side.
Cadel was teased for being short at all times, so he changed Lydon’s appearance to a human boy smaller than himself. He expected Lydon to go on a rampage, but Lydon didn’t seem to mind at all. If anything, it made him more difficult to deal with.
“See, this block of ice? It’s only this big, even with all my mana. I must be filthy weak! Ahaha!”
“Is it fun to be weak?”
“Isn’t it thrilling to be able to die so easily? I can’t wait for the next battle!”
It was still hard to get a grip on what Lydon said or did. It was the same with him laughing like breathing.
However, the sentiment was different from watching a large man over 190cm act on his own and a young boy who was one inch smaller than himself acting like that. How should he put it…….
‘Is it because I’m his guardian? Why do I feel this…… needless protective instinct……?’
The life of an ignorant child depended on him, so he, as an elder, must manage and protect him. Such a terrible protective instinct bloomed.
Knowing the true nature of Lydon, Cadel was not pleased at all.
‘It’s all because Lydon’s face is like that.’
With his angelic face smiling like a ray of sunshine and his boyishly slender frame, it was inevitable that Cadel, who was weak towards his younger siblings in the original world, felt soft.
Cadel tried to ignore Lydon and accelerated his steps. He had a lot of work to do, except for the fact that he found the boy version of Lydon quite cute.