24. Where I Belong
‘I want you to look at me.’
I gazed at Grave as he said that.
I couldn’t organize my feelings, but I was truly happy.
The warmth of my grasped hands, and my blushing cheeks—they were all comfortable and new.
But, as I thought, it was embarrassing.
I could feel the gazes of everyone.
…They were warm…
That was when we noticed.
It seemed that we had been absorbed in our own world. How could I forget that we were surrounded by people?
While enduring embarrassment, we gently turned to everyone.
Then, as expected, everyone was grinning at us.
“Oi, oi, oi~ you got guts to be lovey-dovey in front of everyone~”
“Ah, youth~ how wonderful it is! Uncle almost got heartburn…~”
Rigard was the first to make fun of us.
Grave, who was enduring shame, turned red.
Rigard laughed boisterously and spoke to Teresia.
“Hey, Teresia! What did I say on the day he brought Liliana home? Turns out that I was right!”
“Haa… it seems so.”
The day I was helped.
As soon as I entered the building, everyone started a commotion.
I remembered thinking how lively and bright the place was.
“Grave, think a little more about the place, just saying. You’re a smooth lad, but Liliana is embarrassed, you see.”
“S, sorry… I acted off on pure emotion…”
“Grave is too fixated on Liliana. He’s blind to his surroundings!”
Anna said that while grinning.
After approaching me, Anna whispered.
“Good for you!”
Anna laughed happily.
It made me smile, too.
“Alright, let’s have a feast today!”
“Are we celebrating something?”
“We’re congratulating you, remember? Besides, I’m happy—that alone is enough reason to celebrate!”
“Is that so… older sister, can’t you do something about him?”
“Well, today’s indeed a good day.”
For some reason, Teresia, who was usually strict, was lenient that day.
In contrast to Grave, who was appalled, Rigard and his friends started to get noisy.
“Alright, we’ve received Teresia’s permission! I won’t hold back anymore!”
“Guys, give it up, already…”
Grave was quite perplexed.
“Hey, let’s go!”
The day was very exciting. I drank until morning.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
It was so noisy, Teresia ended up getting angry…
The next day, during the afternoon.
In the guild master’s room, Rigard was sitting in a chair while clutching his head.
“Ugh… I have a nasty headache…”
“That’s because you drank too much. Have some self-control, Boss.”
“It can’t be helped~ I was having too much fun~”
Unsurprisingly, Rigard had a hangover.
Everyone drank a lot yesterday. No self-control could be found in the room.
“So, Liliana, what is it you want to talk about?”
“Before anything else, let me set this straight—there’s no need for you to express your gratitude over yesterday. Grave stepped in on his own.”
“I know, but still… I want to thank you, uh…”
As expected, I was behaving awkwardly.
I wasn’t good at expressing my feelings.
It was probably because I used to be alone and blacksmithed all the time.
…It was my way of avoiding getting to deeply involved with anyone.
“—Mr. Rigard, can you please register me with this guild!?”
I had decided to leave that behind.
I wanted to get involved.
I wanted to know more about Grave and everyone.
Above all, I wanted to properly repay my debt to everyone.
I knew what I wanted to do now.
“Do you want to join my guild? Is that it? Do you want to become an official member instead of helping for a limited time?”
“Hmm, then let me ask you this—why do you want to join the guild?”
While remembering yesterday’s event, I answered Rigard’s question.
“Yesterday, Mr. Rigard said that he’d gladly give his life for his friends, right? I’m truly glad that you consider someone like me a friend. Hence why, I want to be of help so that I can be friends with everyone.”
“I see. That’s a good answer.” Then, Rigard turned to look at Grave. “I honestly thought you wanted to join because you wanted to be with this guy.”
“T, that’s not it…”
“That’s not it? A shame for you, Grave.”
Grave was clearly depressed. Or, rather, lonely.
“I, it’s actually part of the reason why! I want to be with Grave! I want to talk about various things with him!”
“Good for you, Grave~”
“It seems that with the two of you around, I’ll never lack entertainment. Therefore, from now on, please continue to amuse me.”
Grave sighed after being teased by Rigard.
Since yesterday, Rigard had been like that. Maybe, in the future, too…
“From now on…?”
“Indeed! Welcome aboard, the blacksmith of the Sword of the Blue Sky!”
Thus, I officially became a member of the guild.
***T/N: With this, the first arc has ended, folks! Can’t wait to see what that hero, or more like, hemorrhoid, planning in the second arc!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!