Chapter 29.2: Ogre Subjugation (4) |
T/L: Lore_Temple (foxaholic)
She scooped out about half of the remaining soup and transferred it to her bowl.
She didn't take all of the left over soup even if her turn was the last.
She will get into trouble later when someone wants to eat more. Eri wasn't stupid enough to do what she had already done once.
Eri grabbed her bowl and stood up.
They were just two meters away, eating with their fellow party members, laughing and chatting, but she walked towards the other side.
She sat with her back on a suitable tree and savored her soup slowly.
Her meals were always like this.
It was very hurtful at the start, but once she got used to it, it felt bearable. Just focus on one spoonful at a time.
‘The meat is delicious.’
Still, she was able to eat boiled meat today, so she was satisfied.
After finishing her meal, Eri raised her head.
In her eyes, Frillite and Cloud were chatting and enjoying their meals.
Eri saw her past in that scene.
She, Cloud, Neria and Ophelia were on adventures together.
When it was time to eat, Neria gathered firewood needed for bonfire.
Then Eri made a fire and Cloud cooked the food.
Before they ate, they did their prayers at Ophelia's initiative. After the prayer, she inserted her spoon into the meat soup faster than anyone else.
Neria, the knight, was not so keen on meat, but the nun, Ophelia, loved meat just as much.
Sometimes they even quarreled for the last piece of meat.
Cloud just smiled awkwardly when he saw them bickering.
As she recalled her happy past, a faint smile appeared on Eri's face. But only for a while. Her chest soon started to pound and she felt the bitter pain in her heart.
‘Why did I do that…’
She had a chance to be happy.
She was living her life with a smile, surrounded by people who recognized and respected her.
If only she hadn't been greedy.
She was too greedy.
Honor, recognition, friends, family.
She tried to get them all.
She struggled to get everything with her two hands, but lost even what she had.
‘I'm an idiot…'
Until she lost it, she even thought she was a very smart person.
But in reality, she was just a desperate gambler, who only knew how to throw away the things in her hands without any regret in order to get what she desired.
But, like any gambler, she was just a loser who mistook herself for a gambling master.
‘I want to go back.’
When she woke up from her sleep, she had to admonish Neria, who sweated buckets because of her morning workout.
After which she woke up the weak Ophelia in the morning on the subject of a faithful nun by shaking her to and fro.
When she went downstairs with everyone, Cloud, who had the meal prepared for everyone, smiled gently at her.
What broke Eri's vague thoughts was a short word that didn't even make a sentence. Eri stopped reminiscing on her past and turned her head to the side.
Lorraine's gaze was fixed on her.
"… water, it's in the water bag behind—"
"Hm? I'm sorry, I didn't hear you clearly."
Lorraine smiled at her and tilted her head innocently.
A lie. She obviously heard.
Eri turned her head to the other side.
Cloud and Frillite stopped eating and looked at their side.
Eri understood Lorraine's intentions.
By showing Lorraine ordering Eri, they meant to insult Cloud and Eri, both of them together.
Eri bit her lips tightly.
Normally she would have obeyed, but this time, she didn't want to follow her words even if it meant she would die. She didn't want to show this side of her to Cloud.
“Water is behind…”
It was the moment Eri was about to turn down Lorraine's request again.
A low-pitched voice sliced her words like a blunt knife. Eri's gaze turned to Lorraine's side.
Lorian was looking at her with his distinctively kind smile.
“I am thirsty too. Can you please bring me some water?”
Eri, who was about to disobey Lorraine's words, had no choice but to obey Lorian's. He was the one who usually neglected Eri as if she didn't even exist. Now, he mentioned her. If she ignores it, she may face retaliation later, making her future more hellish.
Eri had no choice but to comply with the request of the royal siblings. She took out a water bag from the bag just 3 meters behind the party members and handed it to Lorian.
Eri, who handed the water bottle, tried to leave her seat as it was. But Lorian grabbed her wrist.
“Sit next to me.”
"Huh? No, I'm fine…”
"Sit down, please."
Eri meekly sat down next to Lorian. Because his voice was plain serious, or more like a threat. As soon as she sat down, he said in a voice low enough to make her feel eerie.
“Eri. This was just a very simple request that can be made between party members, just to bring water, right?”
“Then why did you refuse? Making people uncomfortable? If Ms. Eri does that, how will other people see us? Haven't you thought about that?"
“From now on, think then act. And, Lorraine?”
“After dinner, you and I should talk to each other, got it?"
Lorraine bowed her head. At first glance she looked like an obedient little sister, but Eri knew.
Behind that reflection, Lorraine must be grinding her teeth. Later, she may have to face Lorraine's harsh actions.
And as expected, late at night, Eri was called by Lorraine.
Lorraine, who had dragged Eri quite a distance from the campsite, hollered.
“Hey, are you kidding me? I got scolded, and that by my older brother, just because of you! Did I had to be scolded by my brother for a worthless mongrel like you?”
Lorraine knew that Eri was a half noble. So when she insulted her, she used to call her a lowly mongrel .
Eri bit her lips.
She knew from the past experiences that any response would only increase the time for which she would get insulted.
“What? Don't wanna answer? Huh… Don't turn your head around… Hey, look at me, straight. Here."
Perhaps she didn't like how Eri acted, Lorraine grabbed her by hair and pulled her up.
Lorraine asked while making eye contact with Eri.
"What? You don't like seeing me? Normally, when I say something, you follow it, right?”
"So why? Cloud, meeting that commoner bastard after a long time, does it remind you of the past? Nostalgia came up, uh? Do you think you can go back to that time? Hahaha, when you guys traveled with a silly smile?”
Strength entered her face to hold back the distortion of her expression.
Noticing that, Lorraine opened her eyes wide as if amused and burst into laughter.
"Wow, really. Could that be real? Ah ha ha ha! Not only are you a lowly but also a crazy mongrel as well. How are you going to do that? My goodness, you even thought about something like that? Don't you remember what you did?"
Laughing loud with her hands on her stomach, Lorraine suddenly thought of something and she pushed her face close to Eri. She pressed their foreheads together and she met Eri with her eyes.
“It was declared in the public eye, and not anywhere else, but in the Imperial Social Banquet. You declared that you wanted to get out of Cloud's party and come to my brother's party. After making Cloud, politically, an asshole like that, you nurture thoughts like that?”
“That was you guys..!”
Eri's eyes fluttered aimlessly. Lorraine contorted her eyes finely.
“Yeah, we did. But, what? It was you who said you wanted that. It was you who actually did it, and it was also you who drove the deepest nail into Cloud's chest. Am I wrong?"
No.. it's not….
Eri, she who knew the truth better than anyone else—knew that Lorraine was right. So she couldn't object. She just bowed her head and clenched her tightened fists with more strength.
“Isn't that your humble wish? Becoming a member of the Hero Party that defeats the Demon King and getting the approval of your family. Right?"
"Yes or no. Answer me."
“Then you have to act nicely, right? Now you don't even have else where to go. Isn't it so?"
Lorraine said as she pressed her finger against Eri's forehead.
"What? You won't answer to me? Do you want to get kicked out of the party? I'll let you go right away if you want so, Eri."
"…no. I'll do it right. Please forgive me this once.”
“Woh… It would have been good if you had acted like that from the start. I'll leave you just this one time. So, do better next time, got it?"
“Throw away any useless hopes of going back to the past.”
Lorraine tapped Eri's cheek with the palm of her hand.
Eri gritted her teeth and answered in a broken tone.
"Great! If you are a pet, you should listen carefully to the owner. Hah… I'm sleepy, tsk, wasted my time on you. Just see what trouble I'm having in the middle of the night because of you. Don't dare to do something like that next time. Then I'll be going.”
After she finished speaking, Lorraine returned to the camp.
Eri stood there for a while. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and her clenched fists trembled in indignation.
 A slang for half-blooded.
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