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The three of us walked through the dark and mysterious forest.
The path was so dark that it felt as if there had never been light since the beginning of time.
The path was an animal trail, used by the clans that lived in this forest, such as the Elves and the Dolls, so it was very simple.
If it hadn’t been for Chloe, who was familiar with this forest, we would have been lost for sure.
It was a good thing I brought Chloe along.
As I stared at her with that thought in mind, I noticed Princess Sicily’s gaze.
She seemed to be in a bit of a foul mood.
As I wondered why a light bulb clicked and lit up.
“Princess, is this the bathroom? I’m sorry, but there is no bathroom here. If you’d like to do your business there, you can go to…”
I noticed that Chloe was staring at me with an extremely furious glare.
I remembered the word “delicacy” and cleared my throat, but I still didn’t understand the princess’s intentions.
When I was puzzled, Chloe walked up beside me and gave me an earful.
“That’s because you’ve been staring at me all day.” (Chloe)
“I just thought that Chloe was amazing because you didn’t make a single mistake.”
“It seems that you were too enthusiastic at staring.” (Chloe)
I wonder if this is also because of my charm, but I decide to take the princess’s mood.
Flowers and sweets would be a good way to get a woman in a good mood.
With that in mind, I announced that we would take a break.
Chloe says, “As you wish,” and spreads out a tablecloth on a stump.
I pluck a few small flowers that have grown in the light between the trees. I put them in a cup.
The practical tablecloth seems to have taken on a gorgeous glow.
Chloe compliments me on it.
“That’s quite an accomplishment for a man who is only interested in books, Leon-sama.” (Chloe)
“I’m flattered if you don’t mind.”
“Thank you for your help.” (Chloe)
When I thanked her, Sicily smiled cheerfully.
“Leon-sama is a gentleman among gentlemen. Isn’t he?” (Sicily)
I was embarrassed to hear her say that, but I didn’t show it on my face and enjoyed my tea.
Fortunately, I had some clean water in my canteen. If I boil it, we should be able to make a nice cup of tea.
I looked from Chloe to Sicily, thinking that the details of steeping and pouring should be left to the professional maids.
She’s as cute as ever, but I can’t help but feel self-conscious when our eyes meet.
I can’t help but flush, but I don’t let her know it, so I let her change the subject.
“Princess, I know you’ve been out a lot since you became a soldier, but have you ever been in the woods?”
Sicily shakes her head, saying “No.”
“I grew up in downtown Royal City as a child, and I haven’t traveled that far since I became a soldier.” (Sicily)
“When the Princess was only a princess, we would still be sitting back in the palace.” (Chloe)
“Yes, that’s why I’m really excited.” (Sicily)
“When I come to the forest, I remember picnics and hiking.” (Sicily)
“I see, of course.”
Pouring tea and drinking it slowly and relaxed is like a picnic.
“You can see the beautiful flowers and feel the breath of the trees. You can feel the breath of life all around you.” (Sicily)
When she closes her eyes, she takes in the pulsing of life.
“…It’s a feeling you can’t get in the city. It’s a precious experience.” (Sicily)
“I see. That’s one way to look at it.”
For me, an academic and a book lover, there is no difference between the forest and the city, but if I were as sentimental as she is, I would probably come to that conclusion.
I sipped the tea that Chloe had prepared, thinking about something that would be helpful, and a grimace suddenly crossed my face.
“Maybe it was too bitter?” (Chloe)
Chloe asks apologetically, but Sicily denies it.
“It was a very delicious tea.” (Sicily)
“I agree. It’s the most delicious tea I’ve tasted.”
“I’m thankful for your enjoyment.” (Chloe)
“The reason for my grimace was that there was an unpleasant sound in the distance. The sound of bowstrings being squeezed, of flesh being torn, of trees being destroyed.”
“Is there such a sound?” (Sicily)
Sicily put her hands over her ears, but could not hear anything.
“It’s a sound that can only be heard with the use of [Hearing Enhancement] magic. So, it’s pretty far away.”
“Will you ignore them?”
“Our purpose is to get in touch with the Doll tribe. I don’t want to cross any trouble before that…”
I grumbled, but the princess seemed to know exactly what I was thinking.
“–you don’t want to cross trouble, but you can’t ignore the trouble. Leon-sama is kind.” (Sicily)
“The fact that you made a sullen face is the best proof of that. You may be traveling in a hurry, but you can still find time to help others. Please, Leon-sama, do as you wish.” (Sicily)
I let out a chuckle, which meant that I could stick my face in some more trouble.
“I can’t tell which of us is the military strategist in this one.”
Chloe also smiles when he says so.
“That’s right. In living life, your Highness may be the more reliable military strategist. I’m not much of a strategist, but I know what a good life looks like on a subconscious level.” (Chloe)
“No doubt. I’d rather get some light exercise and a good night’s sleep than abandon them here and have a bad dream tonight.”
Then we headed in the direction of “sound” leaving our luggage as it was.
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