Ellen seemed to somewhat believe what I told her about the criminal organization stuff, but when I started talking about demons and being the world’s creator, she felt like I was making fun of her.
As she became rather angry and thought I was joking with her, Ellen went back to treating me like usual.
Ellen didn’t go to train with Loyar every day. Sometimes, she would come to the training room and spar with me.
Of course, since I had been practicing with Cliffman a lot those days, things had changed a bit.
“Hey, you two should try sparring.”
Ellen and Cliffman usually ignored each other in the training room, but because I was on somewhat better terms with Cliffman, I tried to serve as a middle man so that they could talk with each other.
Ellen’s attitude was confident, while Cliffman seemed rather nervous.
He had given me that impression ever since I had been sparring with him. He didn’t really talk much to anyone, and he was a bit awkward, even when facing me.
However, his opponent would be Ellen.
She was Ellen Artorius, who more than deserved the title of the most beautiful girl of the region.
Of course, someone who wasn’t good with people wouldn’t be any better with someone of the opposite sex. Cliffman couldn’t even properly look Ellen in her eyes as they faced each other.
Could someone who even acted so awkwardly properly fight with Ellen?
Wouldn’t he end up feeling so nauseous that he might throw up?
‘Maybe I shouldn’t have proposed this…’
They hadn’t even started, but Cliffman seemed so nervous that I could see his eyes swimming.
Ellen jumped forward.
Cliffman was beaten before he could even react to the training sword coming down on his head.
Ellen stared at Cliffman with her usual expressionless face.
No, she wasn’t expressionless, actually.
She looked very confused.
Ah, that reminded me of the first time I had sparred with Ellen.
I didn’t lose because I was nervous that time, though; I had just lost because I was totally inexperienced. Ellen blankly stared down at Cliffman, who she overpowered in a single blow.
“What should I do?”
Ellen looked towards me and muttered. It was as clear as day that she was really perplexed.
“Let’s go to the priest on duty…”
Ellen and I had to fully support the fainted Cliffman from both sides as we took him to the priest.
* * *
Fortunately, he didn’t get seriously injured and quickly came back to his senses after the priest cast a recovery spell on him.
Cliffman’s face was red; he felt so embarrassed that he got knocked out after getting hit on his head with a training sword that he couldn’t even open his mouth.
“Why didn’t you block?”
Ellen saw him train as well, so she knew that Cliffman was quite the talented fighter. However, he didn’t even manage to block, parry, or avoid her first move but got hit right on the head as he was spacing out.
I knew to some extent what happened, but Ellen didn’t seem to understand why he had frozen up.
Well, I didn’t know if everyone was like that, but definitely knew that there were a truckload of people who would get so nervous they wouldn’t manage to get even a single word out in front of a girl like her.
Unfortunately, Cliffman was one of them.
Cliffman was so flustered that he even began to stutter because he couldn’t possibly tell her the reason.
They were the original two outsiders of Class A:
Ellen, and Cliffman.
They both, in their own ways, had serious problems maintaining interpersonal relationships.
“You did just fine against Reinhardt.”
“…Can you only say that?”
“That’s…! Th-that’s not it…”
There was nothing as crazy as watching those two with their poor interpersonal skills trying to communicate with each other.
* * *
Due to Cliffman fainting, our evening practice came to quite an early end. He wasn’t seriously injured, so he left the priest’s office and went back to the dormitory.
“I’m going to eat something. Do you want to come with me?”
When I asked Cliffman this, his face turned red again, and he shook his head.
“N-no! I-it’s okay! I’m full! Yeah!”
He had probably already used up all his social energy for the day, so if he stayed close to Ellen even a bit longer, he might actually start crying and vomiting before finally collapsing.
Was he that much of an outsider? It seemed like it was especially bad when he was confronted with girls.
“I-I’m off then!”
Cliffman took off at full speed and disappeared into his room.
“He’s a weirdo.”
How serious was it to be treated by Ellen as a weirdo? Of course, Ellen immediately walked towards the dining room, completely forgetting all matters concerning Cliffman.
“I want to eat steak.”
“That isn’t what one calls a snack, though?”
“Stew. With beef.”
“Are you doing this on purpose?”
Ellen looked at me and nodded her head.
It felt pretty nice that she had gone back to her normal self.
It was a good sign.
“Then how about you make it, huh?”
“I don’t know how to.”
Ellen seemed to have realized that treating me like she normally would was for the best. Maybe it was because she realized I wasn’t easily hurt or something.
“Since I don’t know how to make it, you do it once. I’ll cook next time.”
Why did she seem more brazen than usual, though?
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Eventually, I made some beef stew in the middle of the night.
-Munch, munch, munch
“I must have gotten your habits wrong.”
Since we had been eating like that almost daily, I ended up getting tired of things I could easily make. If one ate fried eggs or sausages every day, one would get sick of that, eventually.
So, sometimes, I made more complicated food, but that girl remembered all the meals I made.
Of course, she had stopped asking me to cook for a bit because she felt so conscious of me, but she immediately turned into a hungry swarm of locusts again when she returned to her usual self.
She had also seen me make that dish before, so she should know how to make it to a certain extent, but what others made always tasted more delicious.
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Yeah, even noodles tasted better if someone else cooked them, so it should also be true for other foods, right?
“Where did you learn this?” Ellen asked curiously.
If it had been just the previous day, she wouldn’t have asked, but she decided to not be so conscious of me anymore and just said what came to mind.
Of course, I had learned to cook by watching Youtube videos. You just had to search what you’d like to make, and you would get millions of results.
“What do you mean with ‘learn’? I read some cookbooks, that’s it.”
Of course, I didn’t just remember all these recipes; I had actually bought a cookbook and thoroughly read it. I bought it to check if I remembered the recipes right, rather than learn how to make them. However, there were many dishes in there I didn’t originally know how to make; one of them was beef stew. I learned it from the book.
Ellen was a little surprised when she heard that I had bought a cookbook.
“What? Are you impressed? I didn’t buy it because of you, though.”
That was like the standard phrase of a Tsundere.
I seriously wanted to turn back the time a minute.
I had bought the book so that I could make those meals, but I don’t actually cook when I’m alone!
In a way, I had bought it because of her. There was no one else who would make those meals for you her, after all!
“I didn’t say anything.”
“…Could you just hit me, please?”
“You won’t be able to cook.”
She refused to hit me.
Ellen was really eager to eat that stew.
I had something to ask her now that she had returned to normal.
“Hey. Why did you want to go to the Darklands?”
Money couldn’t have been her goal. If her goal was money, she should have just sold those Teleportation Scrolls that she was supposed to get from Temple.
“Yes. Last time I felt like I didn’t have any practical experience when I was fighting.”
Ellen wasn’t the most conceited person. However, as she lost to Loyar, it seemed to have been a huge shock to her.
It was a grave reminder that she didn’t have any practical experience. Of course, she wasn’t intimidated or nervous when it came to sparring, but one could only find the real danger of death in actual battles.
Ellen was shocked by her defeat, but it seemed that it ended up being a big stimulus to her. Not much time had passed since then, but it seemed like she had already improved tremendously.
She was terrifyingly strong, to begin with, but the speed of her improvement was even more terrifying.
“Isn’t it a little much to head there because you want some practical experience? And why would you even take that risk to get stronger? The Demon World War is over.”
I was training so strictly because I knew that the Gate Incident would happen later on. Ellen becoming stronger was a good thing, though, if I thought about what would happen in the future.
However, Ellen had no reason to be in such a rush to get stronger. What if she died for nothing while fighting with someone in the Darklands in order to gain practical experience?
“There are many reasons to become strong; that reason doesn’t have to be something like the Demon World War.”
Ellen only said that, but I could guess the meaning behind those words.
She didn’t want to feel helpless and lacking in strength when it mattered. Eventually, she became stronger, but there wasn’t a place where she could use that strength freely.
“And I heard that there are many dungeons and hidden treasures in the Darklands other than the Demon King’s Castle.”
I didn’t know how adventurers made a living, but the Darklands weren’t completely calm yet; people probably went there to explore and look for treasures.
Ellen seemed to look for something like a powerful magical item that might hide there. I had no idea about that place because I never set it up properly. There were parts in which Ludwig went to explore some dungeons, but they were in the Human Realm, not in the Darklands.
Anyway, the job description of an adventurer wasn’t part of the main story. I didn’t even know what adventurers did for a living.
At the moment, their main target seemed to be the treasures of the Darklands. Ellen seemed fascinated by them as well.
“…Isn’t Lament enough?”
Even if she went there and sacked everything she could find there, nothing would be as good as her sword Lament. That sword was a crazy cheat item with the added passive skill of being abnormally sharp—it was something one could call a trope of fantasy novels.
Loyar, who was able to block Lament with her bare hands, was just incredibly strong; it wasn’t that the sword was weak.
“There’s nothing wrong with getting more. Right?”
Ellen’s longing for power seemed to have spread to her martial belongings as well. Ellen wanted to find the Darklands’ treasures, even though she had no idea what they would be.
Of course, finding treasure was only secondary; she wanted to get stronger and gain some practical experience in the Darklands. If things got dangerous, she had planned to just run away by using the Teleport Scroll.
“I’m not going, anyway.”
I told Ellen not to go, so no matter what her reasons might have been, it seemed like she changed her mind and decided not to go anymore.
I didn’t know whether I could call her obedient or not.
There were many powerful magical items in this world I had never actually set up.
An example of that was Sarkegaar’s ring and the Flame of Tuesday that I wore.
Going to the Darklands might not be as bad as I thought.
“I’ll go with you.”
It would be dangerous if she went there alone, but I was sure that things would be far less dangerous if I went with her.
I finally decided what I wanted to do for my vacation.
As I was already drawing out the plans in my head, Ellen resolutely shook her head.
“You can’t fight.”
Were we really that different? Didn’t she know that I could help her with various things?
I mean, she was right, so I couldn’t retort…
But wasn’t that just too much!?
“…Sorry, but that’s the truth.”
I felt the strong urge for a drink.