After requesting for consent from other nobles, Frillite withdrew from the banquet with Cloud.

No matter how high-ranking these aristocrats were, no one dared to raise their voice against her, the heir of the Ducal Perdiac family and the Hero of the Empire.

Thanks to which, Cloud was able to easily get his leave from the imperial banquet.

After the two left, the banquet became noisy again.
However, the topics they discussed were very different from before.

– What were you saying? That he may also lose to the newly recruited knight in your house? The knights of your family are great, then.
Even a Hero would be so easily defeated.


Some simply admired the indifference and might shown by Cloud.

– Is that really the Incompetent Hero? What the hell happened in the last few months?

Some also wondered about what had happened in the past few months.

– Maybe… it’s just because it was a surprise attack? Besides, Hero Gis didn’t had any weapon.

– But, Hero Cloud wasn’t armed either, right?


– Uh, umh, so do you think Hero Cloud will be able to defeat Hero Gis if he fights properly, with his weapon? Has he shown anything like such in the past?

– He must have trained a lot with a sense of revenge.
I’ve seen plenty of cases like that.
A person who has the right motivation is a completely transformed being.

– Would you like to make a bet, then? I have heard that you recently bought a decent beast slave this time…

– …No, absolutely no.
That toy is mine.
No more mentioning it.

Some just thought it was an interesting gossip material.

The reason why these who had negative views on Cloud showed this attitude was simple.

This is because Frillite personally led Cloud to leave the imperial banquet.

Which means that there is a close relationship between Cloud and Frillite.

They wanted to avoid harming themselves by meaninglessly gossiping bad about Cloud for no actual gain.

While the nobles chattered, Lorian recalled the scene he had just seen.
Frillite took hold of Cloud’s arm and left the banquet together.

“I knew there was a friendship between the two,” he murmured.

But he didn’t knew that she would still help Cloud even in this situation.


‘Cloud… you’re ignoring my warning.’

After tricking Eri into bringing herself into his party, Lorian didn’t care anymore about Cloud.

Because he wasn’t worth it.

Cloud was simply no longer worth his attention.

‘The retribution on ignoring my warning…’

—will cost you a lot .Lorian vowed to himself.

Meanwhile, Lorian wasn’t the only one looking at the exit of the banquet from where Cloud and Frillite had left.

Eri and Neria were included too.

They were looking at the direction where Cloud had left from with empty expressions.

While looking at the exit, Ophelia sighed.

* * *

A bar with a tenebrous and chummy atmosphere.

At the long table in the center, a middle-aged bartender was wiping a wine glass, while a man and a woman with identical red hair were sitting in front of him.

“When I was entering inside the banquet hall, I suddenly heard a lot of noise coming from inside.
So, I wondered if Gis was making a riot again.
But I never thought, that you were the culprit.
Have to say, I was surprised in many ways.”

Among the two, the woman with her long hair tied in a ponytail said, it was Frillite.

She was wearing the same tailcoat she had worn at the previous imperial social banquet.

“Put aside how you managed to defeat Gis.
Because that’s not what’s important to me right now.”

Frillite’s crimson eyes turned to Cloud.

“What happened to you?”

“…Why do you think something happened?”

“It just seems so to me.”

“Well, uh… Man, you are too direct.”

Cloud smiled.

He twirled his wine glass and looked at the sparkling liquor inside.

“It’s just because I kept thinking about the past.”

“Thinking about the past?”

At times, it was really hard to the point of wanting to die, but looking back, I miss those times.”


“Perhaps, you would have heard of it before? When people close their eyes, they remember the glory of the past? I sympathize with them, and understand it too.
Because, maybe, I’m the same.
Even if I try not to think about it, I still think of it, and sometimes I dream.
A dream of overcoming dangers with teammates whom I can trust.”


“So let’s, just pretend to be good with something less, because it is something we will never forget for the rest of our lives.
But… even that didn’t go as well as I thought? So, well… I was a little disappointed, that’s all.”

Cloud shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, showing as if it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Frillite looked at him with hazy eyes.
What came to her mind was the past experience at the bar.
The sleep talk that Cloud, who was drunk and fell asleep, uttered.

– Sorry…

– If I had done a little better, even… a little bit better, you…

‘Yeah… you didn’t forget those three even back then.
The nostalgia seems to have gotten worse.’

Frillite’s mouth closed shut.

The hasty words of consolation seemed more pernicious.
But no matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t come up with effective words of comfort.

So, there was a moment of silence between the two.

It was Cloud who broke the silence.
He asked, glancing at Frillite.

“Frillite, can I ask you just one thing?”

“Ask anything.”

“Um… I mean.
I mean, if there’s something I need your help with.
But it’s very dangerous, so much that I can’t even guarantee that you will be able to save your life.
If I asked for help in such a situation, will you come?”

“Of course.”

An answer without even the slightest hesitation.

Cloud laughed.

“Yeah, you are a person like that.
Thanks for answering me.”

He looked away from Frillite and began pouring new wine into the glass.

Frillite tilted her head.

“You seem to be misunderstanding something.”


“Did you think that I would risk my life to help anyone?”

“No, not for anyone.
But, don’t you, as a knight, follow the knight’s code of chivalry? So…”

“As you said, I am a knight.
A knight and the only heir to the Duke of Perdiac, and a Hero of the Empire.
I know my position, my role, and my responsibilities.”

Cloud gave her a questionable gaze.

‘You still don’t understand…’

Frillite sighed and continued.

“I have never promised anyone that I would risk my life for them, to no one.
It’s the first time I have made such a promise.”

Cloud stared blankly at Frillite for a moment.
Then he burst out loud, suddenly laughing out loud like a madman.

Frillite blushed slightly at him.

“W-What! At best, I’m caring about my f-friend, so why are you laughing?! Are you kidding me?!”

Cloud grabbed his stomach and desperately tried to stop his laughter.
He said as he looked at Frillite with his smiling face.

“No, it’s just that I feel like I was an a**hole until now.
Something that was right next to me, I was finding it all over.
I’m really, haha.”

His expression, which was full of fits of laughter, gradually turned into a warm smile.

“Frillite, can I borrow your shoulder?”

“Shoulder? Well, it doesn’t matter.”

Why is he all of a sudden asking to have a shoulder-to-shoulder?

Frillite wondered to herself.

But she soon realized that she was wrong.



“..I thought it was shoulder-to-shoulder like last time, why are you leaning your head on me?”

Cloud rested his head on her shoulder instead of putting his arm around her shoulder.

“Did I ever say it was shoulder-to-shoulder?”

“Cloud, no matter how much I’m unknown to matter between friends, I know that this is what lovers do.”

“Well, is that so? Hell, who make that law! Besides, you agreed to lend me your shoulder earlier, didn’t you? Aren’t you both agreeing and disagreeing with the same mouth?”

“You sure do know how to play with words… Whoo, do whatever you want.”

In the end, Frillite left Cloud’s head resting on her shoulder.

Because she honestly didn’t mind it either.

It was when the “resigned” Frillite was sipping on her wine again.

“But there was one.”

Cloud muttered softly.

“What did you say?”

“Thank you.
And your shoulders are cozy.”

“Really? I thought it would be stiff because of my muscle training.”

“No, it’s very comfortable.
If I didn’t know it was your shoulder, maybe, I would have even fallen asleep like this?”

“I want to see how you will look like then, haha.
If that happens, I have to carry you to your bed, but I don’t know where your bed is.”

“Want me to show you?”

“Never mind.
Come on, have a drink.”


The two start drinking quietly again.

Cloud asked quietly when another bottle of wine was finished.

“Isn’t it difficult for me to travel with you?”

“It will be.
Regardless of whether you can keep up with my schedule, other kingdoms will protest.
It’s not about maintaining neutrality, it’s about their personal interests, they won’t want any other kingdom to solely receive another Hero’s favour, support, or anything like that.”

“Well, even if you didn’t have that intention, it would look that way.
Too bad.
I wanted to travel with you.”

“It’s just a trip.
It is also possible after defeating the Demon King.”

“After defeating the Demon King, you will have to take over your family.
Where will you have the time to travel?”

“Isn’t there a honeymoon? How about going around the continent at least once with a little grandeur?”

Cloud rolled his eyes.
Then he laughed.

“Wow, I didn’t expect that from you, Frillite.
You have improved a lot, too.”

“Really? Well, accompanying you, I have also picked one or two of your skills.
Rather than that, it appears that your difficulties with finding teammates is quite serious, seeing that you even want to travel with me.
How about it, as I mentioned last time, to have the talents of the Empire as your teammates?”

Cloud waved his hand.

“Never mind.
Because it seems like everyone here is the same, except for you.
I’ll just recruit my teammates from the guys I know.”

“You know?”

“Yeah, the people I’m well-informed about.
Ah, let’s talk on what we were talking about at the beginning.
Man, I was never so emotional type of guy.”

Cloud scratched his head.

“I’m glad that your energy is back.
And back to the beginning… What was your original intention?”

Cloud grinned at Frillite’s question.


Frillite’s brows speechlessly furrowed.

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