Gagail fell right on his butt, holding his face, which now spurted blood. That was in spite of my efforts to hold back my strength, but a knee to the face is still a knee to the face. Of course it’s going to hurt.
“Y… y-you bastard!”
Gagail went into a rage and swung his Divine Treasure around wildly. His attacks were easy to dodge as it was because he was too angry to move as he intended. I just punched and kicked him occasionally; his defense was full of openings.
“I’m also a customer of your inn, bastard! Do you think you can do this to me?”
“If you’re going to bother the employees, then you’re not a customer.”
He was starting to make me mad, so I directed a kick into his stomach, staggering him.
Ristina-san’s voice resonated from a distance. I glanced over to see she brought three Knights with her.
“Ris-Ristina-san! You called people to help me!”
Gagail looked at her with a weird smile, as if he actually expected her to ever do something for his sake. What kind of fantasy world is he living in? I kind of want to see the inside of his head just once.
“Who would want to help you! Please, Sir Knight! As I explained earlier!”
Ristina-san had informed the Knights of the situation well, and they restrained Gagail’s arms.
“Wha― let me go! I was fighting to save Ristina-san!”
Gagail’s delusions were still running rampant, but the Knight wrenched his sword away and knocked him out. I sighed with relief after seeing such excellent skills. The Knight came over to me, and I bowed to him with respect.
“Thank you very much, you’ve saved me.”
“Don’t worry about it, this is our job. I’ve heard the situation briefly from this lady, but I’d like to hear the details on your side of things. Can you come to the guard station?”
“Certainly, it’s no problem.”
“Thank you for your cooperation.”
The Knight returned a quick bow and started walking. One of them carried Gagail while another spoke to witnesses. It seemed they were diligently confirming the situation from other people who were around to see everything. Ristina-san finally came over to me with tears in her eyes.
“S-senpai, are you alright!?”
“I am. You called the Knights over here more quickly than I expected, so that’s why. Thank you.”
I bowed to Ristina-san in thanks, but she was still shaking even though the danger had passed. Maybe that’s why she didn’t let go of my arm until we reached the guard station.
◆ ◆ ◆
Once we got there, I was questioned by the knights. Since Ristina-san had already explained most of the situation when she called the Knights, the questioning was only to the extent of confirming her story point by point.
“You live in the [Migratory Bird Inn], right? Got it. If I need to ask you anything else, I might come find you there. I hope you’ll be able to spare some time in that case.”
“I understand. Thank you very much for the help.”
“Certainly, thank you as well for cooperating.”
After the investigation, we left the guard station. In the end, I ended up being questioned until the sun went down. It was dark out, and the magic stones in the streetlights started lighting up as I walked down the road with Ristina-san.
“Ristina-san. You don’t need to feel like this was your fault.”
“But… I didn’t think it would go this far.”
“Eh, you can’t predict what a crazy person will do.”
That guy was delusional to the point of insanity. It’s impossible to imagine how someone like that thinks.
“Besides that, I’ve caused you trouble, senpai.”
“It’s not a bother at all,” I told her. “You already asked me to protect you if something happened, right?”
She was silent.
“Please keep doing what you’ve been doing. You have the kind of charm that really cheers up our customers, and I don’t want to lose that. If something happens again, I’ll help you again.”
She nodded and smiled, wiping the tears out of her eyes. The smile seemed forced, but somehow it was also her most beautiful smile.
“Okay, then! From now on, I’ll continue to make fun of senpai!”
“No, that’s one thing you should stop.”
“I’ll never stop.”
She grinned and walked ahead of me.
Geez. I’d like you to grow up a little more about that.
“Even so, I didn’t expect you to be so strong, Relius-senpai! That was a big surprise!”
“Well, you did know I worked as an adventurer with Mear-san a few times, right?”
“Oh yeah, you did. That was so cool, wasn’t it?”
Cool, huh…? It’s kind of embarrassing to be told that right to my face.
“I thought you asked me because you already knew I could fight like that?”
“That wasn’t it. Uh, I mean… I didn’t expect you to accept, and then go so far. I thought I’d just get turned down.”
“Is that so? Well, don’t be shy. If you ever need me for anything, you can count on my help.”
“Thanks,” she said after a pause.
She bowed her head gently and smiled… and then she took on a sinister look.
What the ― are you planning something again? I barely had time to think about it before she’d wrapped her arm around mine. I could feel something soft pressing up against me and tried to pull my arm away on reflex, but she held on tight, refusing to let go!
“Wh-what are you doing all of a sudden?”
“I… j-just want to express my gratitude, you know? I’m being thankful.”
“Express your gratitude, huh? But if you’re gonna be all over me like this, people will misunderstand the situation…”
“Excuse me! I wouldn’t do this to… to just anyone, you know?”
She was feeling shocked instinctively hearing that and her eyes began to moistens.
“Not just anyone? Is that right?”
“I’m just saying, I’d only do this with someone I like. Do I look like a cheap woman to you?”
“Oh? W-wait, uh, you… you mean…?”
She suddenly relaxed while I was too flabbergasted to form a proper sentence, retorting, “It’s just a jo~ke, senpai! This is what real teasing looks like!”
She was a little red, herself. Honestly, you shouldn’t make fun of people to the point you’re even ashamed of yourself ― or so I was thinking, but I was too embarrassed to come out and say it.
I also needed to buy that pair of underwear after parting ways with Ristina-san. I had to hurry back to the inn just so I could immediately leave again. When I started to pick up the pace, Ristina-san grabbed my clothes modestly. Looking back at her, she was still red in the face, but this time she actually seemed shy.
“Can I, um, can I ask you something, Relius-senpai?”
“N-next time… can we go out again, just like this?”
I took a breath and nodded.
“Of course. Please rely on me whenever you’re in trouble.”
“Thank you,” Ristina-san replied with a sigh of relief.
After we arrived at the inn, I headed out again to buy that pair of underwear.