Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou No Sho / Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Volume 2 Chapter 3 part6

Huh, there really are people who’re this unbearably clumsy.

“Yo pops, we aren’t gonna make it in half a day at this rate. It’ll take us double that.”

“Ain’t that the truth. Well… can’t say I didn’t see this comin’.”

Whatever.

I walked toward Ria, who had fallen butt-first into a stream and was trying to get up with the Father’s help. Ignoring the Father’s clear look of disgust, I pulled her up, then hoisted her up on a shoulder.

“Ah! S-sir Mercenary?!”

“I’ll carry ya. It’ll be faster this way.”

“You—how dare you show the Saint such disrespect!”

“Then are you gonna carry her? Can you walk faster than I can while doin’ it? Ain’t the lord’s son gonna die if we waste any more time on the road? I’m just doin’ my job here.”

The Father ground his teeth like an angry child, but no retort escaped from his jaws.

“I might not smell so good, but bear with me for a bit. Grab onto my neck so ya don’t fall.”

This I said to Ria. She had been struggling in my arms for a while, but now she nodded and settled down.

“…So fluffy,” Ria whispered as she timidly wrapped her arms around my neck. “So warm.”

There was a little strength in the thin arms that hugged me. Zero was very picky about her sleeping conditions, so she had been fussing over my grooming lately. It seemed that the Saint also took pleasure in it.

Just then, I felt someone looking at me from the side. As I turned, wondering who it was, I saw Zero’s unhappy face gazing at me.

“…What? Somethin’ up?”

“When I asked for a ride, you told me no…”

“‘Course. You can walk on your own.”

“But…”

She hesitated. A rare occurrence for the usually-headstrong Zero.

“But you’re my Mercenary…?”

“Yeah…so?”

“So…! No, so… but no… still… in other words…”

“In other words?”

Silence.

Zero scowled with increasing amounts of frustration, then suddenly turned and walked away.

“…Nothing.”

She didn’t answer my question, or rather, it seemed that she couldn’t answer. —It was like what happened last night, but stopping in the middle of talking and being unable to answer questions wasn’t like Zero at all.

I suppose Zero understood that the best I could do in this situation was carry Ria to our destination—she must have taken that as the reason why I didn’t offer her a ride instead.

Her grumbling was just her usual attempt to play a practical joke. Although I hadn’t been with her that long, I was with her twenty-four hours a day since meeting her. I could at least distinguish when she was joking from when she was being serious.

Even so, she was acting very weirdly.

“Pops…you’re a cruel man…”

“What?”

Without even waiting for my question, Theo had already left to chase Zero.

I stood there stock-still until the Father became impatient, saying “don’t just sit there, hurry up and get going” as he kicked me in the ass.

—I wasn’t gonna take this.

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