“I like Juliano!”
It was true that I liked the Little Bear.
But of course, I liked Big Bear more.
Either way, the words made my face turn red.
But seeing Little Bear’s face twinkling, although I wasn’t sure at first, I thought it was good that I said it anyway.
I stretched out my hands and hugged the Little Bear.
The Little Bear smiled gently and then hugged me back.
“It looks like our Dia likes me a lot!”
But still, I won’t allow it.
You haven’t recovered yet.
Just riding in a carriage will be hard for you.”
“Let’s focus on recovery for now.
Eat, wash up, sleep a bit more, then get up.
That way you’ll be fine in a day or two, and if Father still doesn’t come back by then, we’ll go.
There was nothing wrong with the logic behind what Little Bear said.
Still, I felt something amiss.
I grumbled and waved my hands around.
“It’s going to be late soon.
Let go of me.”
“I’ll prepare the water in the tub for you.
Wait a minute.”
The Little Bear disappeared for a moment then came back a little later and took me to the bathroom.
“Huh? What’s this?”
White bubbles were blooming in the bathtub.
“It’s a bubble bath.
When you place some in hot water, it’ll bubble up.
It’s good to use during baths.”
“It’s my first time seeing something like this.”
“Do you want to touch it?”
I carefully stretched out my index finger and touched the foam.
It was neither hot nor cold.
As I took my finger back, a bubble as small as a nail was left on my finger.
I then opened my mouth and swallowed the foam.
“Hey! Dia! You can’t eat that! Quick, spit it out!”
The Little Bear grabbed my face and pried my mouth open.
I obediently let him do so.
After all, there was nothing to see.
I had already swallowed it.
“It doesn’t taste good.”
The Little Bear cried, “Why the hell would you eat that? Your stomach might hurt!”
“It doesn’t hurt.”
Come to think of it, even in my past life, I never had a stomach ache no matter what I ate.
‘Is it because I’m a warrior?’
“No matter what I eat, my stomach never hurts.”
“That’s a relief… Still, don’t ever eat things like this from now on, okay?”
The Little Bear only left the bathroom after receiving a promise stating that I would not eat such things again.
I slowly undressed and glided back in front of the bathtub.
The bubbles were now so large that they covered the entirety of the bathtub that could fit even Big Bear.
I went into the tub admiringly.
The water came up to my shoulders, but the foam came up to the tip of my nose.
It was itchy, but it felt quite nice.
It was like I was enjoying a luxury that I would have never expected to experience.
It wasn’t just because of the bubble bath.
But also Big Bear and Little Bear.
The more I spent time with the two bears, the more I knew of the thing called joy that I had never known before.
I was truly happy.
‘It feels like I’m finally alive…’
Before meeting the two bears I was desperate for survival.
Not as much as in my previous life, but I was lonely.
But now, I wasn’t anymore.
There were now two bears present by my side giving me warmth sincerely.
‘I’m… I’m now living.’
In my previous life, I learned that I couldn’t die even when in pain.
At that moment I felt it was better to just die.
In truth, I wanted to live.
I wanted to live a normal and happy life like everyone else.
‘…I thought it would be hard to accomplish this.’
But thanks to Big Bear and Little Bear, I started to enjoy life again, even if just a little bit.
‘But this joy won’t last forever…’
I had to leave three years later.
And if the situation changes when we arrive at the Duchy, I might have to leave even earlier.
It occurred to me that the hearts of the two bears for me would not change.
I didn’t know if this was because of my warrior’s intuition, and there was also no basis.
‘I could be wrong.’
I still couldn’t forget about the Cardinal and I could still vividly remember the pain.
But the pain was in the past, and right now was in the present.
‘Can’t I trust them a little more?’
For them who taught me how to live and what it meant to be happy.
I smiled and enjoyed the bubble bath comfortably.
After taking a bath, I went out in the new underwear and clothes that the Little Bear had prepared inside the bathroom.
“Although I did feed you soup for the three days you were asleep, it’s still not good to eat greasy or solid food all of a sudden.
Thus, let’s eat soup today.
Don’t worry, I brought one that has a lot of meat in it.”
The Little Bear laughed and said.
I choked up a little at how much thought he put in.
To not let his effort go to waste I smiled ear to ear and ate as much as I could.
After the meal, the Little Bear took out some dessert.
“It’s pudding that’s easy to digest! It’s new!”
I ate up the pudding graciously.
“It’s so delicious!”
“You want more, don’t you? They only sell a hundred of them a day at this territory’s Silver Fork.
I bought the last one.
Don’t worry, I’ll buy another one tomorrow.”
Even the Little Bear liked the sweets quite a bit.
‘But he didn’t eat any and gave it all to me!’
I stood up from my chair and bowed.
You don’t have to say that.
I’m just glad you ate well.”
The Little Bear smiled heartily.
He really did like me!
My heart was bursting with joy.
I hugged the Little Bear again.
The firm embrace was filled with happiness.
And the next day, I was even happier.
Just after breakfast, Big Bear came back.
The Big Bear approached me with a smile on his lips that most had never seen.
I jumped right out of my seat and ran towards him.
The Big Bear gave me a big hug.
One that wrapped around my entire body.
No matter what, it seemed to protect me perfectly.
‘…Oh, I see.’
The reason why I fell sick was because the tension in my body had been relieved.
Not only in my previous life but also in this one, my life was full of endless suffering.
Then, I suddenly met the two bears who made me feel safe and happy.
Unknowingly, the mountain-like caution and tension had been relieved.
‘This… isn’t good.’
If I constantly become sick because of the influence of the two bears.
It wasn’t good.
‘No, it’s not.
It will be fine as long as I don’t get sick again.’
Maintaining one’s health was not as easy as it sounded.
Even more so as there is no way to relieve anxiety and tension that is so heavy to the point of causing pain.
Once I arrive at the Castle, I’ll start to eat better, so naturally, my body will get stronger, right?
‘So, it’s not anything bad.’
I didn’t want to speculate anything bad about these two people.
“Father, Dia really missed you.”
The Little Bear said with a smile.
I was so shy that I had to cover my face with my hands before I nodded.
I heard the Big Bear laughing in his thick voice.
“I missed you too Dia.”
The Big Bear patted me sweetly on the back.
“I was worried that you would be in a lot of pain, but… is it alright now?”
“Show me your face.”
I was still embarrassed but I put my hands down.
If you excluded the three days I was asleep, Big Bear had technically only been away for a day.
But strangely, the Big Bear’s face seemed a little new.
It was very pleasing.
‘Because he missed me, huh…’
The Big Bear scanned my face with careful eyes.
“You seem to have lost some weight.
Did you eat breakfast?”
“Yes, we just finished.”
“What about dessert?”
“I brought something for you.”
The Big Bear placed me back on my chair, took something out of his subspace, and put it on the table.
It was a fountain, around the size of a human head, that was divided into four tiers.
Dark brown chocolate flowed from top to bottom as the center pillar spun around.
“W-What is this?”
They say it’s a new item for the Silver Fork at the Tagus branch.”
The Big Bear also took out a bowl full of marshmallows.
“Dip this in the chocolate.”
Wow~ Wow~! Wow~~~!!!”
I lost my composure.
The Big Bear smiled and pointed to the chair.
“Juliano, eat with us.
The Little Bear sat next to me, grabbed a marshmallow with a fork, and dipped it in the chocolate.
He then… stuck it towards me without taking a bite…?
I swallowed it with my mouth open.
In my mouth, the deep and rich taste of chocolate and the soft yet chewy texture of marshmallows held hands and danced happily.
My mouth was busy chewing so I cheered inwardly.
The Little Bear laughed loudly and fed me another marshmallow with chocolate.
It was the third time I tried one.
Big Bear stepped out.
In an instant, he had dipped a marshmallow in chocolate and placed it in front of my mouth.
I grinned at the Big Bear with gratitude and swallowed.
Before I could even turn over my neck, Little Bear already held out another marshmallow soaked in chocolate.
As soon as I put it in my mouth, Big Bear popped out again.
The Little Bear joined in.
This time he was holding not one, but two marshmallows dressed in chocolate.
One with each hand.
The two bears said nothing.
But it felt like they were both shouting at me with the look in their eyes.
‘Eat mine! Not anyone else’s.
A cold sweat broke down my back.
I chewed the marshmallow I currently had in my mouth slowly and began to agonize.
‘Which one should I eat?’
I ended up in desperate agony.
Even though I tried to chew as slowly as possible, the marshmallow in my mouth soon disappeared.
It was time to make a choice.
“I will eat by myself!”
The two bears looked both disappointed and not at the same time.
It was a relief.
I started eating the marshmallows at ease.
The Little Bear also began to take some into his mouth and talked to the Big Bear.
“I guess the situation was quite good seeing that you even had time to get this.”
The magicians of Tagus are quite outstanding.
It was the first time that two hydras had appeared at the same time, so there were several casualties in the beginning, but they were soon able to keep some line of defense behind them.”
“But they couldn’t attack right?”
“Yeah, they were just defending.
The Hydras were taken care of by me.
It was weird to see two of them in the city, so I also took the time to look around.”
The Big Bear caressed my hair gently.
“I’m sorry I was late.”
“No, it’s fine.”
I happened to have a new marshmallow in my mouth.
So when I opened my mouth to talk, chocolate dripped down my lips.
The Big Bear took a handkerchief out of his subspace and wiped my mouth.
As usual, my heart warmed.
It was the familiar friendly touch.
I wanted to wipe it off for her.”
The Little Bear grumbled.
I continued eating the marshmallows as if I was unaware.
“Do you know why the Hydra suddenly appeared then?”
“I don’t know yet.
But it’s definitely strange.
Two Hydras suddenly appearing and attacking people.”
“Isn’t a mutant then? One appears from time to time.”
“It might be.
It’s not like the Demon Lord has been re-appointed.”
I tried to ask lightly.
“Isn’t the Demon Lord dead?”
“Yes, he is.
The great warrior killed him! The Demon Lord is an existence that appears when there’s a lot of accumulated evil in the world.
The Demon Lord, who comes out every few hundred years, can’t come back for the next 16 years.”
“Juliano is right.
I don’t think the Demon Lord has returned just yet.
Even after the warrior defeated the Demon Lord, mutants still sometimes appeared.”
‘As expected, it was like that.’
But it didn’t feel very good.
I ended up frowning.
The Big Bear asked anxiously, “Are you feeling sick?”
“No, I’m all better! Let’s go!”
The Big Bear only continued after putting his hand on my forehead and confirming that I had no fever.
“Yes, let’s go.”
I’ll go buy the pudding at the Silver Fork here.
It’s something Dia likes.
It might take a while, so please wait here.”
“Okay, go ahead.
Dia, if you’re done eating, brush your teeth.”
After I brushed my teeth, the Big Bear hugged me, took me to the sofa, and sat down.
“I have something to tell you before we reach the Duchy.”
The Big Bear patted my hair and said, “When we reach the territory, I’ll be very busy and we’ll probably end up spending less time together.”
The Big Bear whispered affectionately, but before a deep regret close to sadness pressed me, he followed.
“But I’ll come running whenever you call me.
The Big Bear hugged me with warm arms.
It was the safest feeling in the world.
Suddenly, I had this thought.
‘Is this what a Father’s embrace is?’
I didn’t know if it was a question I could ever answer in the future.
I held in a heavy sigh and asked the Big Bear.
“Why are you so nice to me?”
No matter how clueless I was about relationships between people, I knew this.
The two bears were endlessly kind to me.
‘It’s true that my talents are something to covet.
It should be because they think I, no- my talent is something they must have.’
But they didn’t have to be this nice if it were just for that.
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