Episode 30

Sullen Black-haired Busty Maiden (5)
1 week ago
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I took Idwild down to the inn.

Since she wasn’t wearing shoes, I had no choice but to seat her in front of the saddle.

She kept trying to press her back against my chest.

Due to her body type, Idwild wasn’t exactly light, so the horse struggled a bit.

With her in front and me holding the reins, her chest rested on my forearms, making my arms hurt quite a bit from supporting them.

They’re so heavy…

I wonder if her back or shoulders are okay with carrying such heavy things.

When we arrived at the inn, Idwild’s face was filled with amazement.

Through her falling black hair, her black eyes scanned the inn.

“Where is this…?”

“My inn.”

“Bertrand’s inn?”

When Idwild twisted to look at me, the horse got extremely irritated.

It was already struggling with her weight, and her movements must have pushed it to the limit.

“Hey. Get off quickly. The horse is getting angry.”

I put the horse in the stable, gave it feed and water, and calmed it down.

When I returned, Kali was nowhere to be seen.

Even when sleeping, she usually darts out the moment she hears me approaching…

When I checked the doghouse under the stairs, she was curled up inside, shivering.

“Kali. What’s wrong? I’m here.”

When I forcibly pulled her out, she struggled but eventually leapt into my arms.

I held her and went to Idwild.

“A dog…?”

When Idwild reached out, Kali twisted and struggled, then jumped out of my arms.

Then she dashed back to the doghouse as if her tail was on fire.

“Do I smell…?”

Idwild sniffed her robe’s hem with her nose.

“It’s because you’re a dark and ominous magician. Dogs are sensitive.”

“Is that it… I’m not welcomed anywhere…”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get inside.”

I pushed Idwild’s back and went into the inn.

As we entered the hall, she let out a low exclamation, looking at the high ceiling of the loft.

“This is Bertrand’s inn…? It’s… so nice…”

She looked around in wonder and then spotted the troll’s skull on the wall.

“A troll? Why is that here…”

“I don’t know. It was here when I bought the place. That’s why it’s called ‘The Crossroads Troll’.”

“I see… Bertrand as an innkeeper…”

Idwild looked at me with a newfound expression.

“The ruthless and fearless warrior…”

“I was only ruthless to bad people like you.”

“Bad people…”

Idwild lowered her gaze sullenly.

“Sit here. I’ll make you a meal.”

“Can I light the fireplace…?”

“Do as you like.”

With a flick of her fingers, flames ignited the fireplace’s logs.

Magic is indeed a useful skill.

I wish I could use magic too.

Or having a magician at the inn wouldn’t be bad either.

A skilled magician can do all sorts of tasks very easily.

But their wages are extremely high.

And they’re not common.

Of course, I could get Idwild cheaply…

But she’s a dark magician… I just don’t feel right about it…

Dark magicians need to be born with a body that can handle dark magic well.

Dark magic inherently withers and kills living things, so an ordinary person who learns dark magic will be consumed and die from it.

The talisman of misfortune, Sansa, operates on that principle, eventually killing its owner.

“It’s warm… nice…”

Watching Idwild crouching in front of the fireplace, resting her chest on her knees and warming her hands, I felt a bit sorry for her.

She probably wasn’t born with a body suited for dark magic by choice.

Though I haven’t asked in detail, Idwild’s parents probably died young due to the influence of dark magic.

And she must have lived alone without any family or friends until now.

In her dark workshop, drying and shrinking human heads to make talismans, and boiling monster bones in a cauldron.

I went into the kitchen and made a simple dish with the leftover ingredients from making the dinner menu.

There were a few boiled potatoes, so I mashed them and mixed in flour and eggs to make dough.

I lightly boiled the potato dough, cut it into thumb-sized pieces, let them cool, and then stir-fried some vegetables in a pan.

I seasoned the stir-fried vegetables with milk, cheese, and pepper, then added the cooled potato dough and boiled it all together.

This is gnocchi, a warm dish that’s great for a cold day.

The golden and thick broth-soaked potato dough looked very appetizing.

“Eat.”

“Wow… Bertrand cooked… for me…”

Idwild picked the spoon up and licked her dry lips with a dark smile.

My god, people can actually smile in such a gloomy manner.

“Thank you for the meal…”

Idwild scooped up the potato dough with the broth and put it in her mouth.

She chewed silently, then put the spoon down without a word.

Huh? Is it not tasty…? That can’t be…

“Why. Is it not good…?”

“No… it’s delicious…”

Surprisingly, Idwild was shedding tears.

“It’s so… delicious… it’s making me cry…”

“No… do you really have to cry because it’s good…”

“It’s been… so long since I’ve had warm food…”

Idwild sobbed, trying to hold back her cries.

Seeing her shoulders shake as she covered her mouth and cried was truly pitiful.

A barefoot dark magician in a shabby robe, crying because it’s been so long since she had warm food.

It’s a rare and extraordinary sight.

“Eat more… I’ll get you something to drink too. Do you drink alcohol…?”

“No… I can’t drink alcohol…”

“Okay… I’ll give you milk…”

When I brought her milk in a pewter cup, Idwild gulped it down.

“Sob…”

Even while crying, she licked the milk off her lips with her tongue.

Why is her tongue so long? It’s creepy.

Idwild seasoned the gnocchi with her tears, stuffing her mouth full.

Dark, cries a lot, pitiful… kills people well… she’s a really peculiar woman.

As I watched this pitiful dark magician eat, Hildeba entered through the inn’s door.

“Whew… I’m tired… my feet are killing me.”

Hildeba took off her low-heeled shoes and entered the hall barefoot, then saw Idwild and me.

“Bertrand? You’re still up?”

“You’re just getting back? Why so late?”

“I had a lot of work… but weren’t you meeting someone?”

Idwild, with a spoon half in her mouth, looked at Hildeba, who was nervously glancing between us.

“Is she the one you were meeting?”

“Ah, yes. She’s… an old friend. I invited her because she lives nearby.”

“Ah… hello. I’m Hildeba, an Administrator in Rosens.”

As Hildeba brightly greeted her at the table, Idwild shrank as if under the light of the Holy Sword.

Indeed, compared to the dark and damp Idwild, Hildeba shone brightly like sunlight in spring.

“Ah… I’m… Idwild…”

“Nice to meet you, Idwild.”

“Y… yes…”

Hildeba seemed to quickly understand Idwild’s shy and introverted nature and didn’t bother her further.

Instead, she turned to me and asked,

“You said you’d give me a snack. Where is it?”

“Sit down. I’ll bring it to you.”

I took the boiled potatoes Della had covered with a cloth on the bar and went into the kitchen.

I put the potatoes in the pan that was heated earlier for the gnocchi, rolled them around to crisp the outside, cut a big piece of butter, and brought it out on a plate.

“Spread the butter on the potatoes and eat.”

“Hehe. Looks delicious.”

Hildeba scooped a large amount of butter with a knife and spread it on the steaming hot potatoes.

The butter sizzled and melted into the surface of the potatoes.

“Hehe!”

Hildeba made a weird noise as she happily bit into it.

“Hey. Eat more. It’s okay.”

“Okay…”

Completely overwhelmed by Hildeba’s radiance, Idwild moved her spoon slowly.

Hildeba, out of consideration for Idwild, didn’t talk much and focused on spreading butter on her potatoes.

So, I leisurely watched the contrast between the gloomy, large-breasted dark magician and the brightly glowing, sleek Administrator.

After finishing the meal, Hildeba brought her plate and Idwild’s to the kitchen, barefoot.

I followed with the milk cup and put it in the sink, asking,

“Why are you walking around barefoot? The floor is cold.”

“They’re uncomfortable because they don’t fit. I bought them but wore them for the first time today… Oh, right.”

Hildeba looked at me as if she remembered something important.

“Idwild is barefoot, why? Her feet are black like she’s been walking outside barefoot.”

“She says she doesn’t have shoes. Her old ones tore, and she doesn’t have money.”

“No money…? She doesn’t have money for shoes…? And so?”

“And so what? Just that.”

“Aren’t you friends?”

Hildeba, looking at me as if she didn’t understand, offered her own shoes.

“If they fit her feet, at least have her wear these.”

“These are your shoes, Hildeba.”

“Are you going to let her walk around barefoot?”

“Got it.”

I took her shoes.

They were shiny, quite luxurious leather shoes.

Hildeba returned to the table from the kitchen and spoke to Idwild.

“Then I’ll go up first. Good night, Idwild.”

She smiled enchantingly and greeted her.

“Oh… you too, Hildeba…”

When Hildeba went up the stairs, Idwild finally let out a long, almost inaudible sigh.

“Wow… she’s so pretty… and lively…”

“Why are you so intimidated? Hildeba isn’t a saint who uses holy power.”

“Just… she’s so bright that I felt miserable in comparison…”

“Sigh.”

I sighed and handed her Hildeba’s shoes.

“See if they fit.”

“Why… why are you giving me this…?”

“Try them on.”

Idwild hesitated but took the shoes and put them on.

“Yeah… they fit perfectly…”

“Then you wear them.”

“Huh…?! Me? I’ve never done anything to deserve this…”

“Just wear them.”

Then Idwild started crying again.

She shed big teardrops one after another, as if her tear ducts never dried.

I went behind her, put my hands under her armpits, and forced her up.

“And you need to wash. I’ll get you some warm water. You were sweating a lot when we came.”

While riding, my forearms were soaked with sweat from being pressed under her chest.

“Th… that was because I was excited and nervous riding with you…”

“Okay. Go wash and sleep in the bed. Sleep in till morning.”

“But… if I don’t even do the dishes…”

“Ah! Just go! Please!”

I yelled and roughly pushed her away.

But Idwild persisted, so I had to move her by force.

I grabbed her waist, threw her over my shoulder, and she kicked her legs, asking to be put down.

I raised my hand and slapped her plump buttocks hard enough to make a sound.

“Stay still!”

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