Chapter 4 A Favor to You
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
In my desperate attempt to get her to like the wheelchair, I decided to ask her, “Is there anywhere you want to go?”
And the response I got from her was “the kitchen.”
I misunderstood and immediately took her to the kitchen, but her reaction was strange.
I asked her what was wrong, and it seems like she wanted to see me cooking.
Is she interested in cooking? Was cooking a hobby of hers back when she could walk on her own two feet?
Come to think of it, I really don’t know much about her.
Well, I can’t ask her about it anyway.
But still, there seems to be a big difference between the Royal Sword Princess of the Raging Fire and cooking. However, it would be rude to criticize someone’s interests.
Anyway, I decided that she should come to the kitchen when I cook from this evening onwards.
While I was cooking, she remained silent the whole time.
I had a faint hope that maybe I could get some advice, but it turned out to be a naive thought. Why do I always get carried away so easily…
In any case, starting tomorrow, I must be more attentive and dedicated to cooking than ever before.
I must make sure that she doesn’t lose her appetite while watching the cooking process.
I’m ashamed of myself.
I’m a coward.
I must have hurt her feelings during tonight’s bath.
Earlier today, Frau suddenly came to visit.
Frau, who has always been kind-hearted, must have come to make sure I’m not lonely and neglected at home.
Her gentle smile calmed my heart as always, and her warm words gave me courage.
However, I was unreasonably influenced by Frau’s words and started thinking about Viola.
I imagined myself in a romantic relationship with her.
It was an incredibly sweet imagination.
Viola would smile at me kindly, whisper love into my ears, and I would embrace her body.
That scene has been burned into my mind and won’t leave.
As a result, I must have unconsciously become aroused.
During the bath, I touched Viola in a lewd manner, making her feel very uncomfortable.
Her face, dyed red with embarrassment and shame, could not be forgotten, along with her occasional sultry breaths mixed with suppressing her teeth.
I can’t believe I let her make such a voice…
Though, I didn’t worship her as sacred and it’s not that her voice is bad.
However, at least I shouldn’t be allowed to hear it.
I wonder if I can apologize to her tomorrow. Will apologizing in a strange way become an insult to what she endured for me? Can someone please give me an answer? What should I do?
* * *
”Hey, lady. Are you some kind of witch or something?”
It was daytime on a day when it started getting colder. In the early morning rain, I sneaked out of Lute’s house and blended in with a merchant caravan heading towards my homeland on the road.
”Are you ignoring me… or can’t you speak? Or maybe you can’t hear?”
What I’m wearing is a cotton-filled robe that Lute let me wear last night.
I lied and said, “It’s been getting colder lately,” and he even let me pull the hood over my head.
”I don’t know what your purpose is… Do you want to follow this caravan? But there’s no way you can keep up with this speed.”
At the beginning of the morning, the long line of caravans that I had slipped into was now at the back.
Although I was once left behind, I somehow managed to catch up with the caravan during their break.
But soon, it might be impossible for me to continue parasitizing this caravan.
”If you have money, I can talk to the boss for you. Depending on the amount, they might even let you ride one of the wagons with that strange chair.”
The chair that rolls on its own, with red eyes.
The man who keeps calling out to the suspicious woman who is coming along alone without a sword must be a very kind person.
Being entrusted with the back of the caravan means that he is undoubtedly an excellent guard.
Surely, he keeps calling out to me like this because he genuinely cares about the my safety as mysterious woman. Otherwise, there is no reason for a hired escort who dislikes unnecessary trouble more than the reward to approach a woman like me.
However, I retaliated against that kindness with a glare filled with hostility. I was infuriated that someone called the wheelchair that Lute had made for me strange.
”What’s wrong? You’re scaring me, okay?”
Even though such rudeness was done to me, the escort did not get angry. Perhaps he is truly a kind-hearted person.
”…Those three people following you from behind, are they your acquaintances? Or are they targeting you?”
As I turned back with a troubled expression, I saw three men who persistently approached me when I was temporarily separated from the caravan.
”I won’t say anything bad, so why don’t you ask your husband? If you don’t have any money right now, you can write a contract or something. It’s cheap compared to your life.”
The disgusting men who touched my shoulder familiarly and sent lecherous gazes running through my body. Because of the guard at the end of the caravan occasionally glaring at them, nothing important happened, but if I continue to be separated like this, something is bound to happen.
”Or are you really a witch? Can you protect yourself?”
”…Well, you even sit in a chair like that. I guess it’s none of my business.”
When I glared at the guard’s face again, he sighed as if giving up.
”…I’m leaving, but I’m not far enough for your voice not to reach me. If you need help, call out with a loud voice, alright?”
Already, the end of the caravan was starting to move further away from me and the guard.
To the man who went out of his way to worry about me, I couldn’t even say a simple thank you.
But I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
Besides Lute, I didn’t want anyone to hear my voice.
I absolutely hated saying “Thank you” to a stranger.
I am truly amazed at how worthless I am. Is this what kind of person I am?
I am a child.
A sulky and tantrum-throwing child.
I know I’m making excuses.
Saying that I would be in the way of Lute and Frau is a big lie.
In fact, I was just shocked.
Seeing a woman who loves Lute.
Beautiful, unlike me, and able to freely embrace Lute unlike me.
I’m shocked, I’m feeling extremely sentimental, and I’m feeling desperate.
Before I knew it, I had made a mistake.
In this world, it’s just Lute and me.
He values me, and I can’t help but care about him.
I’m sure I’ll continue to fall in love like this, and someday Lute will respond to my feelings.
No, that’s not possible.
There’s no way that no one around him loves such a kind man.
He has been so patient with me, helping me. Without any hint of sarcasm,
Always thinking of me,
Always caring about me,
Cleansing my body with gentle touches that don’t make me feel uncomfortable,
Wiping away my dirt with eyes that show no trace of contempt,
Brushing my teeth with a serious expression,
Taking care of my hair nervously,
Cooking my meals while injuring their fingers,
Polishing the floor that seems like it doesn’t need cleaning every day,
Washing my clothes and underwear,
Changing the flowers in the vase every day,
Does he think I don’t notice?
Even though I haven’t called, he comes to check on me in front of my room door every few minutes.
Does he think I don’t know?
After I go to sleep, every night he quietly research something for me until late at night.
Does he think I don’t understand?
He has lost a lot of weight since he met me.
I can’t do anything for him.
I can’t repay him anything. At least if I could just satisfy his s*xual desire, I wouldn’t feel this miserable. But now, I am of no value.
He only pities me. Only unbelievably kind. His flushed face is just proof that he is a noble person. It is presumptuous for me to think that he cares about me.
But I didn’t want him to be taken. By Frau.
…No, that’s not it.
It was miserable to be compared.
With such a cute, kind, and wonderful woman.
Even if I could be by his side as a concubine, my pride in myself, which I thought was long gone, had somehow returned inside me.
That’s why I just ran away.
No matter what words, it’s not enough for me.
”Hey, why are you crying? Do you want me to comfort you?”
That’s why this is my punishment. A punishment for being a foolish woman.
”Hey, miss, are you free?”
It was a punishment from God to be targeted by men so filthy that they couldn’t possibly be the same as Lute.
”Ohhh! Look, I told you! She’s an amazing beauty! Never seen a woman this good-looking before!”
Even though I wanted the only person I thought was beautiful to see me that way, I could only show him my dirty self.
”Ouch! Let go of me!!”
”Hahaha!! What are you doing, idiot?”
”Shut up!! This girl bit me!!”
”Hey, you moron! Don’t hit her, she’s a rare beauty, okay? If you want to do something, do it after it’s over.”
”Take her to the woods!”
Even though I wanted the person I desired to desire me, he never once looked straight at my body.
”What’s with this chair? Are her limbs restrained? I can’t undress her like this, such a nuisance.”
”Just cut those bands!”
”Watch out! Dammit! Behave!”
”Hey! I told you not to hit her! I’ll hold her down, so cut the bands quickly!”
The wheelchair, even though I swore to take care of it, but now…
”What is this girl… falling without even defending herself… can’t move her limbs, huh?”
”Hey, look… what are these scars?”
”Okay, cover her mouth first, or she’ll bite again.”
”Huh? Shut her mouth? I want put it in her mouth.”
”You idiot. You’ll get bitten.”
I absolutely hate being touched by anyone other than Lute.
I absolutely hate being seen by anyone other than Lute.
Why did I run away?
What do I want?
I’m really stupid.
”This guy is a slave… Is this slave emblem working…?”
”Why are you alone in a place like this? Did you run away?”
”Haha! Then we’ll definitely comfort you ourselves!!”
I don’t understand.
What should I do?
”Haha, I don’t need to hold back if she can’t move her limbs. It’s easy!”
”Hey, don’t hit her. She’s really a good girl if she doesn’t care about the scars.”
”Huh? Even her body is top-notch.”
”Hey!! Spread your legs!!”
”She won’t spread them. We have to spread them ourselves.”
”Ugh…! So troublesome!”
”Hey, don’t hit her.”
I just got cleaned up nicely.
But it’s going to get dirty again.
”Oh! That’s good! It’s beautiful!”
”Wait, why are you the first?”
”Come to think of it, why are you the one?”
”Shut up! Right now!”
I’m so scared.
Truly, truly hate it from the bottom of my heart.
I was fine back then.
I didn’t even think it was a big deal back then.
I’m so frustrated.
Tears won’t stop.
I want to bite my tongue and die.
The moment that feeling solidified.
When I heard that voice.
I finally understood.
”What, what is it!?”
”He’s coming this way! Draw your sword! Hurry up! Who cares if you’re wearing pants!”
”What should we do!?”
”I don’t know! If he find out we’re raping in the capital, it’s a death sentence! Kill him!”
It was different.
The reason I ran away from Lute’s house wasn’t because of pride. It wasn’t because Frau and Lute.
”Violaaaaa!!!! Violaaaaa!!!! What the hell are you guys doing!!!!”
I wanted him to chase after me.
I wanted to test him.
Whether he would come after me or not.
”Ngghhh!!! Uuuuuuggghhhh!!!!! Puhahh!!!! Lute!! Don’t come!!!! Don’t comeeee!!!!”
”Shut up, woman!!!!”
”Agghhhh!!!! Lute, run away!!!! Run awayyyyy!!!!”
I am worth less than anyone in this world.
Even more so than those ugly men who tried to make me their plaything.
”He’s coming!! Surround him!! Don’t hesitate!? Kill him all at once!!”
”Stop it!!!! Please!!!! Stoppp!!!!”
”Just wait!!!! Viola!!!!”
Someone help me.
I can’t save him with who I am right now.
I’m fine. I will accept any punishment.
”I won’t forgive youuuuuu!!!!”
”Surround him, don’t let your guard down!”
Even if you gouge out my eyes, it doesn’t matter.
Even if you cut off my tongue, it doesn’t matter.
Even if you shave off my nose, it doesn’t matter.
”No! Nooooooo!! Luteeee!! Luteeee!!”
Please cut off my legs and arms.
I offer everything.
Because I offer, please keep his life… Please keep him safe.
At that moment, a voice rang out.
”Lute-sama, can you close your eyes for a moment?”
Always cheerful, with a slightly cute voice that sounds a little nasal, but now it sounded somewhat sad.
”W-What the hell are you… Ggh…”
”Huh…!? Hiii!! W-Wait!!! Wait!!! Who the hell are you?!”
In front of me, who was staring blankly, the person had slightly purplish fluffy hair tied in a single pigtail by the side of her head.
Her usually lively and sparkling big eyes were contracting their pupils, emitting a sharp aura of anger.
”My life! P-Please, forgive me!”
The spurting blood that swiftly sliced through the throats of the two men she held with her short sword, staining her navy maid uniform and pure white apron bright red.
”…Lute-sama? Didn’t I tell you to close your eyes?”
Beth said that and smiled at Lute, who crawled on the ground, blood flowing from him, looking up at Beth.
”Forgive… ah… ga…!”
Without any hesitation, with movements that I could barely keep up with even as I watched, she sliced through the throat of the third man.
”This is no good. I don’t want Lute-sama to see something like this.”
”I’m sorry… Beth…”
Swish! She wiped off the blood on her short sword and put it back in its sheath on her waist, making a slightly louder clanking sound. Although she is wearing a maid outfit, her movements give the impression of a skilled swordsman.
After staring at the empty space for a while, Beth turned to me and smiled slightly.
”Are you okay?”
She sighed in relief, and her feet were covered in mud up to her knees. She must have been running in the rain for a long time.
”Kanon-sama, I’m finished.”
I trembled and jumped at the sudden voice coming from right behind me. Until just now, I hadn’t felt any presence there, but now there was a person wearing a pure white robe with a hood covering her face.
”Oh, Lute, what a coincidence. Meeting here like this.”
”Kanon… You came… Thank you.”
”It’s not like I did anything. If you want to thank someone, thank Beth.”
As the woman called Kanon shook her chin, Beth dragged the dead body she had killed deeper into the forest.
”Well, I think it would be better to leave them alone for a while.”
That expression clearly seemed discouraged, as if the flowers had withered.
”I can’t believe you would make Beth feel that way… You really are useless, Lute.”
”Before apologizing, dress that girl first.”
Upon Kanon’s words, Lute hastily ran towards me and took off his clothes, putting them on me.
His warm hands, which must have held a sword for the first time today, touched me.
What enveloped me was Lute’s scent, which had always been by my side for the past few months.
His gentle eyes.
His body covered in mud.
Blood flowing down from his forehead.
”Please forgive me… I’m begging you…!”
Lute, who I thought would embrace me, lifted me and made me sit in a wheelchair, then immediately rubbed his forehead on the ground in front of me.
”I swear I will never hurt you again… Please… come back to me…!”
What misunderstanding was he having?
I should be the one apologizing.
I did something unforgivable, even if I apologize.
”Let’s go home…! I’ll do anything…”
I looked at Lute, whose face seemed like he was about to cry when he saw me crying, in a sorry state. Once again, he misunderstood and rubbed his forehead against the wet soil.
”Please forgive me…”
What are you forgiving? It’s me who wants to be forgiven. You have never hurt me even once. Not even once, really.
I have to say something. I have to tell him that it’s not true. The one at fault is me, Lute did nothing wrong.
”Please… I beg you…”
What are you begging for? It’s me who wants to beg. Please let me stay at your house. Please let me be by your side. I am a hopeless piece of trash, I am jealous, lacking in affection, and have no charm.
”Yeah yeah, can you stop with that? That girl is not in a mental state to cater to your ego. You really are useless, Lute.”
I can only scream even when the man I love is nearly killed, I can’t even argue back when the man I love is treated poorly.
Now, I hear the sound of a snap and a white-robed woman snaps her fingers, and a faint warm light envelops me. Suddenly, my completely chilled body starts to feel warm, and I gradually lose consciousness to an irresistible drowsiness.
Before completely losing consciousness, the face of Lute, who looks like he’s crying, desperately caught my gaze.
No, that’s not what I want to say.
”…Take me …home”
There are so many things I want to convey.
I believe in you,
Let me stay by your side,
There are so many things I want to convey,
Until the end,
Without knowing what I should say,
I lost consciousness.
* * *
In the end, neither I nor Lute brought up that day’s incident as a topic of conversation.
However, from that day on, when Lute combs my hair, he tries to wear gloves.
”No. Don’t wear gloves.”
After an argument that lasted for an hour, we were somehow able to prevent the gloves. But that’s not the only problem. He even made a device for brushing teeth. It’s supposed to be worn on the head for fixation.
”No, I want Lute to do it.”
Also, he is keeping his distance from me. He tries to keep a distance of about twice as much as before that day.
Even during bath time, he desperately try not to touch me directly.
”…Just one towel is enough.”
”Huh… ah… n-no… um…”
”Why are you wrapping your hands with a towel? I said I hate gloves.”
”This… this is… um… not gloves, but…”
”Then I hate towels too. Do it with your hands.”
”…It’s fine if it’s Lute’s hands.”
”I-I can’t do something like that…”
”…Then, just with one towel.”
”…Fine, I understand.”
But, because I suddenly started asking for various things, none of Lute’s attempts ended up working out.
”Starting tonight… c-can we sleep in the same bed?”
So, I blurted it out.
He is a serious person and cannot break promises.
I’ll do anything.
Because I said it.
”I… I understand.”
Lute’s face, nodding with a bright red face, was so precious, so precious, that I felt my head going crazy with joy.
I have never felt such joy even when my limbs moved.
I have never felt such peace.
His flustered face is so adorable. Lute’s body temperature filling the bed is warm and it makes me happy.
”Nothing… it’s nothing…”
From that day on, I started sleeping remarkably well.
I no longer have nightmares.
In exchange, I started having lovely dreams,
But what kind of dreams they are, that’s a secret.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.