“That’s fine.
The Dive Report that I will be submitting to the Adventurer’s Guild will follow the same content.”

 The adult’s conversation had ended, but Yuika was evidently displeased.

 Nuuk mentioned that he had important matters pertaining to the labyrinth exploration to talk about, so she had reluctantly brought him along, but she didn’t think that it would be such a pathetic conversation.

 To make things worse, he frightened Mariete.

“Now, the talk is over.
Rowe, sorry to disturb you while you were preparing to head out.”

“No, it’s not a problem.”

 After leaving, Yuika made Nuuk wait at the gate and immediately turned on her heels. 

 Then, she stared at Rowe who had seen them off at the front door. 

“…?”

 She smiled at Mariete who was standing beside him, and spitefully looked at Rowe again. 

“…Ah~”

 Rowe scratched the back of his head while asking Yuika. 

“Your body’s condition, how is it?”

“I’m in great shape.”

 Yuika grinned and laughed.

“If you happen to have some time available, would you perhaps like to come with us to pick some Gaj?”

“–I’ll go!”

 The gleeful Yuika chased Nuuk away.

“I’m sorry for earlier, Rowe.”

 Along the way to their destination, Yuika, who was holding hands with Marin, struck up a conversation with Rowe. 

“About what thing?”

“Nuuk’s talk.
Were you not disappointed with ‘Twilight’s Sword’?”

 The incident about comparing and adjusting the Dive Report. 

 If you were a child who looked up to Adventurers, such feelings might be born, but Rowe was someone who worked professionally as a Sherpa.

“That’s not the case at all.
If our respective Dive Reports failed to match too much, we will be requested by the Guild to verify discrepancies on some later day.
We haven’t faked anything this time, we just omitted certain things and changed the wording a bit, well, there shouldn’t be any problems.” 

“It’s like that huh.”

 They arrived at their destination, the forest.

 Many short shrubs grew here, and much sunlight shined through.
With the presence of a spring and flower fields, it was one of Mariete’s favourite places. 

“Last time, when I was looking at flowers, Mr.
Rabbit came.”

“Hou, was he cute?”

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“Yea.
He was white, long ears, fluffy… but when I tried to catch him, he ran.”

“Catch? Why?”

“Mr.
Rabbit is expensive, you know.”

“-Oi, Rowe”

 Feeling a glare, Rowe’s cheeks twitched.

“I’ve thought about this before, but let’s talk a little about how you’ve planned to educate Marin.”

“No, that, well…”

 Even if I did raise her to be independent to prepare for any accidents in the labyrinth that would leave me unable to return, in the end, I might have gone a bit too far.

 I will change the subject. 

“Oh, Marin.
There’s a Gaj tree over there.”

“Really! Sister, quickly Gaj!”

“Ah, hang on Marin.
If you run like that you’ll fall over.”

 The Gaj fruit was about the size of the tip of a little finger, and turned a bright yellow when ripe.
Wearing aprons tied to their waists with a big pocket, they stored the Gaj inside. 

 By noon, they had rounded up their work, found a flat place in the shade of a tree, and laid down a large cloth. 

 After having Rowe’s homemade lunch, just like that, the three of them took an afternoon nap side by side.

“Brother.
Story.”

“Hm~mm, what would be good I wonder?” 

 Rowe’s choice was the story of an Adventurer betrayed by friends in the labyrinth, and this Adventurer who had been left behind, mustered all of their wisdom and courage to return to the surface alive.
At the exit of the labyrinth was the lover they had promised to marry, the two of them hugged and lived happily together — that kind of promised happy end. 

 When he was stroking the hair of Mariete, who had dozed off in the middle of the story, he suddenly felt a gaze. 

“Is there something?”

“No, I just thought when Rowe is with Marin, he’s got a good face.”

 Yuika was lying with her elbows propping up her cheeks. 

“It’s the same with Yuika, you know.”

 Compared to when they had first met, she had started to show various expressions. 

“Hnn, is that so?”

“Please sleep too, Yuika.
Aren’t you still tired?”

 Yuika could’t sleep while using the Gift [Phantasmagoric Needle].
The one who had told him this was Magikan.
He heard this after transporting Yuika to the clinic.

“…This time, will you be gone?”

“Gone from where?”

“When I woke up at the clinic, an old man like a Skeleton Soldier was staring at me.”

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 With a bitter smile, Rowe apologized, “I’m sorry.”

 He had a promise with Mariete that he would go to her as soon as possible after his Sherpa work was over. 

“Doctor Canop is a good Magician.
In addition, he’s also the one who taught me about pharmacy.
He has a scary face, is hot-tempered, overcharges for his treatment, and he drinks while at work, but he’s a reliable person.” 

“Doesn’t sound like there’s anything good about him.”

 Rowe took out a blanket and placed it over Yuika and Mariete.

“Now, please take a rest.
I’ll wake you up together with Marin.”

“……okay.”

 After all, she had yet to recover from her sleep-deprivation.
Yuika closed her eyes, and soon her breathing started to slow as she entered sleep. 

 Rowe stared absentmindedly at that sleeping face.

‘Do you need a reason to help someone you like?’

 Why did I say something like that?

 I had wanted to give Yuika, severely poisoned and fighting with all her strength, even if only just that one bit more to her will to survive – that kind of motivation had been present. 

 Regardless of her response, without being able to reply, there was no way she could just die in good conscience after being confessed to by someone from the opposite gender.

 But that question had ended up being a terrible mistake. 

 Although I hadn’t thought that these were heartfelt words, I was quickly convinced otherwise.

 Objectively speaking, Yuika is a beautiful woman.

 Her face is well-proportioned, and her hair is long and lustrous.
Her slender style fits my type, and her skin is light and clear. 

 I also like her personality of valuing efficiency, and being able to boldly make decisions.

 Looking at her playing with Mariete, it’s also easy to see that she likes children.
Her attachment to Mariete is another huge point in her favour. 

 And also, that tenacious force of will she showed in Tyros Labyrinth.

 While poison was circulating in her own body beyond her control, Yuika managed to use recovery magic on everyone without being defeated by the poison in her body. 

 The differences in our social standings –  the so-called social class divide may be a big problem, but that and my feelings are an entirely different thing altogether. 

“What I said in the labyrinth…”

 Under his breath, Rowe muttered.

 The leaves rustled and made a gentle noise. 

“It wasn’t a lie.”

 It felt like a small knot in his heart had been refreshingly untied. 

 As he unthinkingly said out what he realised about his feelings, the black-haired Hero who should have been sleeping suddenly got up.

 Taking him aback, she forcibly grabbed him by the collar and pulled him towards her. 

“–Are you sure?”

 Like she was interrogating him.

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