༺ You’re Welcome ༻
“Young Master? Where are you going?”
“…For a walk.”
The request was sudden, but I think I have to go on a walk with Clana.
Ideally, I would have liked to end my tiring day with a nice rest, but it couldn’t be helped.
Because Clana’s hands were shaking while she made that request.
It was just like a few weeks ago.
“Kania, how long do you think we have before Clana’s memory returns completely?”
“In the state she’s currently in, her memories could come back at any moment.”
Kania’s face was ashen as she replied to my question.
After staring at her for a while, I immediately sighed and answered.
“I’m nervous because the quest ‘Liberation of the Slave Market’ might overlap with her memory recovery. If all those slaves were to end up like how they did in the previous regression…”
“Young Master, are you planning on getting caught?”
I tried to deny Kania’s words, but I could only sigh in reply.
I had been considering temporary measures to prevent Clana’s memory from returning, but nothing seemed game-changing.
“Just prepare for now, Kania. I refuse to make mistakes that could be prevented.”
In the end, Kania, who was biting on her lips, answered with difficulty.
“Then, I’ll be back…”
“I have a question.”
As I tapped Kania on her shoulder and prepared to leave, she grabbed onto me and asked a question.
“…Isn’t it about time for the Third Ordeal?”
“How did you know about that?”
“I could tell just by looking at the Young Master’s face.”
Kania looked at me sorrowfully.
“What on earth is this ordeal? Irina is feeling anxious again. To prevent her from losing her mind from stress you should…”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
As I answered calmly, Kania asked back with a panicked look on her face.
“I really don’t know what will happen.”
However, in this case, I couldn’t help it.
Because the Third Ordeal would change depending on the partner selected.
Therefore, I was trying hard to target a certain person, but things went wrong when I ended up with Ferloche.
“Then… are you saying that you have no idea what will happen during this ordeal?”
Kania began to pace the room with a nervous look on her face.
“Don’t worry. The Third Ordeal is still a test of mental strength. At the very least, I’m confident in that…”
“We’ve received the results from when you wore ‘The Robe of Deception’ and received a pre diagnosis.”
I tried to reassure her, but Kania sat down in a chair, opened a notebook, and started mumbling.
“To begin with, there is definitely something wrong with your mental state.”
“Me? No way. Do you know what my mental strength level is?”
Currently, my mental strength figure was at 9.5 while under the partner buff. This meant that Kania would be hard pressed to find someone stronger than me mentally in the entire world.
And she was saying that there’s something wrong with my mind? I couldn’t understand her at all.
“You have this obsession that you are always feeling alright.”
As I was about to voice my thoughts Kania started speaking to me in a serious voice.
“I thought about that too but… it’s not an obsession, it’s just true. If I wait a little bit, my mind will clear up again. I’ve been through most things, so I don’t feel much emotion…”
“That’s not normal. It’s just that your high level of mental strength is forcing your mind to recover and clear any negative emotions.”
As I tried to answer, the dormitory door suddenly opened.
“…Irina, you said you’d only listen.”
“I just can’t stand it. I’m sorry, Kania.”
Soon after, Irina entered my room and started talking as she approached me.
“What would happen if I tape or glue back any pottery that I broke earlier? Eventually, water will leak out little by little.”
When I heard Irina begin to speak, I sighed and began to refute her statements.
“…there wouldn’t be an issue if you use restoration magic to fix it perfectly. It is the same with my mental state.”
“Even if that’s the case, you can’t erase the moment when it actually broke. It might not matter for pottery, but it’s not pottery that’s being broken here, it’s your mind.”
When I heard that, I closed my mouth, and Irina spoke with a prepared look on her face.
“So, no matter what you say, I’ll interfere in this ordeal.”
“Yes, I don’t think I can bear to watch you break and stitch your mind back together again anymore.”
I sighed and replied to Irina, who had a determined expression on her face.
“I am really grateful. But you can’t interfere, Irina. Of course, that includes you too, Kania.”
“Last time, you guys tried to interfere with my ordeal. But you failed. Don’t you know what that means?”
When I asked them that, the two women just tilted their heads.
“The system hates cheats.”
“Then, is there really no way to deceive the system? Serena’s current condition right now…”
When I heard that…
“Serena is a special case.”
I answered with a bitter smile and left.
“…it would be impossible for anyone except her.”
Leaving the two women biting their lips behind me, a large corridor came into my sight.
Looking around the corridor, I soon began to quietly walk forward.
“Yo-Young Master Frey. How are you?”
“…Where is Clana?”
After walking for a long time, I came across Clana’s maid and asked a question.
“Oh, that’s… she went outside.”
Apparently, she had left before me.
Why was she rushing to go outside?
“Has she been acting strange lately?”
“Th-That’s… I apologize, it’s confidential.”
Noticing the unnatural tone of the maid, I inquired further and the maid replied in a trembling voice.
“These days, the time she spends talking to herself has increased significantly. She used to talk to herself a lot, but… recently, it’s almost like she’s deranged…”
After a quick assessment of the situation, I left the maid who bowed her head and made my way out of the building.
When I left the dormitory building after walking for a long time, Clana was there, wandering around, biting her nails.
As I carefully called out to her, Clana looked at me calmly for a moment.
“You’re very late. I guess you didn’t think the promise with me was important?”
“…I was getting ready.”
I blurted out the words that first popped into my head causing Clana to cough quietly.
“Hmm, hmm. Anyway, let’s walk a little.”
“With no plan?”
Saying that, Clana soon began to slowly walk forward.
“Yes, I understand.”
I suppose I should give in to Clana’s whims this time. Although her expression was calm, her hands were still trembling.
‘Should I hold her hand?’
I thought of taking hold of her trembling hands, but soon shook my head.
As Kania said earlier, Clana was in a situation in which even a very small trigger could bring back her memories.
Therefore, I would be wise to not provoke her recklessly.
With that in mind, I spoke to her carefully.
“But I think it’s better to decide on the destination now.”
“Oh, there’s a cat.”
However, she suddenly pointed to the grass in the Academy’s backyard, not giving any indication of whether she had heard me or not.
“It’s a cat that inhabits this area. They would come right up to you if you stand still; they’re all quite fearless.”
Naturally, I knew that cats lived here, but I pretended not to and opened my eyes wide. Then, coughing faintly, Clana resumed speaking.
“Hmm, can you wait here for a moment?”
“All of a sudden?”
“Yes, I got an important call. I’ll be right back.”
After saying that, Clana started walking somewhere with a crystal ball that had started to flash golden.
I eyed Clana’s figure suspiciously and heard a cat meowing at my feet, causing me to look down.
“You’re doing this again, you guys.”
I muttered to the felines, who were nuzzling their heads against my legs.
“Do you want to come with me? I can be good to you.”
“I’ll feed you a lot, too. For real.”
But despite my attempts to befriend them, the kittens turned their heads away coldly, and I smacked my lips in defeat.
My penalty didn’t apply because they were animals, but, if I could tame those guys, they would be of considerable help to me during the ‘Academy Siege’ quest in the future.
While pondering how I could win them over, a canary flew towards me from a nearby tree, tweeting excitedly.
This canary, judging from what happened during the birthday party, was probably being controlled by Clana.
So, why was it pecking me relentlessly on my cheek?
Is this how Clana was resolving her grudge against me?
“You didn’t do anything bad to the cats, did you? The same goes for the canary.”
“…Do you think I commit evil deeds every moment I breathe?”
As the canary perched on my shoulder for a long time, I started getting injured from its constant pecks. However, when Clana approached, I managed to compose myself and respond calmly.
“I don’t care much about animals.”
“…I see. That’s a relief.”
Clana’s meaningful expression suggested otherwise, as she quietly took hold of my arm and led me somewhere, with the canary still on my shoulder.
– Crunch, crunch.
It was when Frey was being dragged somewhere by Clana with an expression of bewilderment on his face.
– Crunch, crunch.
Irina screamed at Kania, who had been pacing around the room since Frey left, biting on her nails.
Kania looked at Irina with narrowed eyes and tilted her head.
“What’s been bothering you since earlier? What’s going on?”
Upon hearing Irina’s inquiry, Kania strode toward the door with a resolute expression.
“I think I’ll have to follow the Young Master today.”
Hearing that, Irina thought that Kania had finally gone insane.
“There is a chance that Princess Clana may regain her memory completely in the next few days, perhaps even earlier.”
But after hearing what Kania said, Irina froze.
“Perhaps there was some kind of trigger, but her subconscious realm that I sealed has begun to blend with her memory of the ordeal rapidly.”
“Yes, if this continues, a penalty is sure to come.”
Irina bit her lip upon hearing Kania’s warning.
“We have to do something. He hasn’t even made it to the Third Ordeal yet, and we can’t just sit here and do nothing knowing that there’s going to be a penalty.”
“Somehow… even if I have to use my lifespan…”
“…There’s a way.”
Kania was taken aback by Irina’s calm response and couldn’t help but bite her lip so hard that blood began to flow.
“Wh, what do you mean?”
Ignoring the pain in her lip, Kania pressed on.
“It’s impossible for anyone to deceive the system except for Serena?”
Irina clenched her fists and muttered to herself before turning her back on Kania,
On Irina’s body, there was a magic circle that looked exactly like the one in the scroll she had given to Frey a couple of weeks ago.
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