It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (56/90), enjoy~
Two days after asking Mouton to make a sword for him.
Finally, the second investigation into the former Demon Lord’s territory was decided, and Ain was enthusiastic, but unfortunately, it ended in vain.
At the inn, in a room they had rented for discussions.
“Oh, why would I be staying at the inn?”
Then Lloyd says with a wry smile and a soothing tone.
“The results are good enough already… After all, knowing that the Red Fox had crossed the sea from the port city of Magna, the investigation of the Red Fox can be said to have achieved a certain amount of success.”
“Even so, what about the investigation of the monsterization?”
“In addition to myself and Dill, the royal knights will go. It’s dangerous for Ain-sama to go too.”
“…You mean about Marco?”
“Yes. We still don’t know what’s out there, so I don’t think you should go any further.”
Ain was weak when he said that. There is no way to avoid the danger, and the only way is to agree to it.
“In other words, Ain-sama, Dill and I will not be by your side. So the royal knights will stay by your side, but please refrain from going out unnecessarily.”
“Ah, that’s right… Yeah, I guess I have no choice.”
“Please do the work that you can do at the inn with Lady Krone. It may be boring to deal with the guild with all those documents, but please bear with it this time.”
He had no choice but to nod his head in agreement.
He had been so busy lately that he hadn’t fully recovered from his fatigue. He thought of it as a vacation and decided to stay quietly at the inn.
A little while later, the place shifted to Ain’s room.
Krone was working on some paperwork at the table, and Ain was watching her.
“Yes? What is it?”
The look in Krone’s eyes showed that she was a little tired.
“What do you think it means to be a vessel?”
“I think it means something other than, for example, containing something?”
“I think so. In my case, I think it means a vessel for the king or something like that.”
This has been a bit of a problem for him lately.
In the case of the Upashikamui, he was told that he might have the capacity to surpass the first king, and Marco was told that he didn’t have enough capacity yet.
“What is the capacity of a king?”
“To be able to lead the people and serve the future of the country. I think there are so many more important things…”
She couldn’t find a clear answer either and smiled bitterly.
“I don’t know if that’s the case… I guess I just came out with something strange all of a sudden.”
“It’s okay. I’m your assistant, after all.”
“You’ve been a great help, really.”
“Fufu… Yeah. I do my best to take care of you.”
Then Ain’s hand reached out unconsciously.
The direction of it was Krone’s head. Ain stroked her hair gently, half-conscious.
His eyes widened in surprise, but he quickly narrowed them in an affectionate way.
“Oh, I…I’m sorry. You seemed like you wanted a compliment.”
This is an excuse for not being able to say that he was spaced out.
“…Is that a reward?”
“A reward, huh… I guess so.”
Smiling happily, Krone folded her hands between her legs and squeezed them tightly.
It can be seen that she is getting embarrassed as her neck is gradually blushing. Her eyelids seemed to be getting heavier and heavier, and Ain’s heart began to beat faster as he watched her.
“Y-yes, that’s it!”
She had hair that was pleasing to the touch, almost silky to the touch. Her breath could be heard too, and it was almost mentally dangerous, so Ain pulled his hand away a little too forcefully.
Krone looked surprised for a moment, but the next moment she looked unsatisfied.
“Your face looks unhappy.”
“Yes, because I’m not happy.”
Is it because he suddenly pulled his hand away and startled her? Or was it because he was touching her without permission in the first place?
When Ain was at a loss for words, Krone decided to help him out.
“If it’s a reward… it’s not enough.”
Does she want him to do something else? He tried to predict that, but Ain’s predictions for today were all wrong. This was an opportunity for him to realize that he should learn such subtleties.
As Ain continues to think about it, Krone once again gives him a helping hand.
“As I said… If it’s a reward, you should do more than that…!”
When he saw her sad face, Ain finally understood what she wanted. It’s not difficult to understand what she wanted. She just wanted him to stroke her head more.
“Sorry, if that’s what you mean.”
Ain reached out his hand as he said this.
Krone gently closes the distance between them so that it is easier for Ain to pat her.
“…You said it was a reward, but you just escaped. Don’t you think that’s unfair?”
“As you say… Yes.”
He suddenly pulled his hand away, overwhelmed by the atmosphere. That was indeed an escape, as Krone had mentioned.
Ain breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that her mood had improved a bit.
“I don’t want you to stop before I tell you to, okay?”
“…As you wish, Princess.”
After enjoying it for a while, she went back to her work, humming to herself.
◇ ◇ ◇
How much time had passed?
Before she knew it, Krone was lying down on the sofa.
What time is it?
For a moment, she didn’t know what she was doing, but she managed to get her foggy mind to work and moved her brain frantically to check the current situation.
As she recalled, she had made a pot of tea while Ain was out of the office for a bit when she was done with her work. Drowsiness overtook her, and she must have tried to take a short nap, but it was already pitch black outside the window in her vision.
Suddenly, Ain’s voice reached Krone’s ears.
“This one is here… Alright.”
In her ear… was Ain’s voice coming from above her. When she opened her eyes, she saw a boy dressed roughly in a shirt and pants. She couldn’t understand the current situation at all, but it was easy to see his face a few dozen centimeters away.
“Helping grandmother has come in handy, I guess. Hey, now that I think about it, is this okay with my signature? …Of course, it’s okay, right?”
Krone was lying with her right cheek down, and her left ear was facing up.
She could feel the warmth on her right cheek. She was delighted with the exquisite height and firmness of it as if it was purposely made for her.
At this point, she finally realized that she had been lap-pillowed by Ain.
“If I made a mistake, I could just say I did it on my own. There’s no problem… I can do it.”
He smiled cheerfully.
She wanted to listen to his voice for a long time, and she didn’t want to leave this place. But more importantly, she felt obligated to get up, and her brain demanded a clear awakening.
“I’m sorry. What time is it…?”
“Oh. Are you awake? I think it’s about one o’clock at night.”
When Krone tried to sit up, he was stopped by Ain’s free arm.
A blanket was draped over her lower body before she even realized it, and she was upset that she had slept for so long.
“I suppose I should really take you to your room, but I’m not going into your room without permission.”
Laughing in embarrassment, Ain reached out and patted Krone’s head. The rhythm was so soothing that she felt as if she could fall asleep at any moment if she weren’t careful.
When she looked at the table, she saw that the pile of papers was almost gone.
“My work… C-could it be that Ain did it?”
“I’ve finished it in a reasonable amount of time. There is still some left, but I think it will be done soon.”
She was about to get up, but Ain gently held her down again. He told her in a whisper to lie down a little longer, and the tone of his voice was too gentle to resist.
Ain’s murmur echoes in Krone’s mind, and her heart begins to beat faster. She wriggled her body to disguise her heartbeat, hoping that Ain would not notice. He has a good intuition, so he might already know.
But she definitely can’t let him see her face. She must have a disheveled expression on her face.
“Hmm? What’s up?”
“…Can I stay like this just a little longer?”
So, today, she was determined to be straightforward.
He answered, “Sure,” and asserted her presence on his lap like a kitten.