I was locked in my room for three days.
I ordered an attendant and ate in a separate room.
I wanted to eat separately until then because we would have to eat together all the time if we went outside.
Then the three of them would eat together except me, and they would quickly get close to each other and quickly forget the existence of a wizard wearing a robe like me.
Of course, there was also a reason I wanted to try eating in bed.
Like a lazy rich man.
Like someone who didn’t have to be in a hurry.
Even though I was just lying in bed, stuffing food into my mouth, I felt good.
A spring breeze wafted in through the open window.
I wasn’t wearing a hood, so my hair ruffled in the breeze.
I loved the fluttering curtains, the clear sky, the food in my mouth, and the soft bedding.
Sometimes he could hear the sound of the warrior training outside the window, which was romantic in its own fantasy way.
The servant who brought me the food told me that, the warrior’s martial arts were three-star, while mediocre, must be a prodigy.
As usual with fantasy protagonists.
It would be great if it wasn’t for me being part of a warrior’s party and going to be forced out on a limb with him.
It kept nagging at me that this momentary luxury was akin to giving a pig a handful of tasty fodder before it was slaughtered.
This is all because of the professor.
My professor, who was constantly asking me, ‘How can a person live without thinking?’ was the reason I kept having these silly thoughts.
I’m scared of graduate school.
Even though he had been dead for more than 20 years, I still remembered the slap in the face.
“Phew, that was good.”
It’s times like these that I need to stay positive.
For example, the idea that a pig that has eaten better food is better than a pig that hasn’t, even if it’s about to be slaughtered.
The day of departure was sunny.
I deliberately stood at the back of the group and slowly followed along.
As planned, the three of them had become quite close and were having a conversation I couldn’t understand.
“So, Reg, how did you get that crab porridge?”
As I eavesdropped on Herrin and Reg’s conversation, the warrior slowed his pace and came up beside me.
“Hale, have you been feeling unwell?”
“Oh, I was worried when I didn’t see you for three days.”
Well, he was being a dick.
Nobles were supposed to make their social debuts when they reached a certain age, so he seemed accustomed to speaking in terms of the other person’s mood.
His words sounded sweet, even though what he really meant was, ‘Why haven’t you been mingling with your peers?’
“Because I like to stay in my room.”
You know, just like that.
I thought of my grand plan, which you could never imagine.
The warrior nodded and continued to speak.
I wondered if it bothered him that he was the leader of the party.
“Um, where does Hale have his mark? Herrin said hers was on the back of her hand, and Legs said his was on his ankle.”
“Mine is on my collarbone.”
The warrior’s eyes seemed to search the inside of his robes, and he opened his breastplate himself.
It was something I had become accustomed to as a gatekeeper.
He had changed into a laced shirt for this occasion.
The warrior’s face flushed as I showed him the familiar collarbone.
“Oh, no, I didn’t mean to ask you to show me… I didn’t….”
Perhaps he was looking too much at the inside of his robe…? But I decided to forgive his embarrassment because he was handsome.
As I’m slowly sorting through my clothes, the warrior who’s still with me asks another question.
“…Why does Hale wear robes?”
In the fantasy world, a robe is a small presence.
In a previous life, I had seen a webtoon of a popular fantasy novel, and the extra wizards, extra villains, and extra black henchmen all wore drab robes.
But I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud without feeling awkward.
“…because I’m shy.”
Lying about having scars on your face is sewage.
They’d find out at some point.
And even if I did get caught, it wouldn’t just be caught.
I knew I’d get a lot of attention from the main character, like, ‘What’s the story behind her lying about having a scar and hiding her face?’ It’s better to tell a little bit of the truth.
“So if you’re not going to cover your face, will you take off your robe?”
“There’s a difference between being unmasked by your mates and being unmasked by the sun.”
“…The sun, the sun, um, you mean that thing in the sky.”
I nodded dutifully.
In retrospect, the warrior wasn’t that tanned.
His skin was pearly white from running around in the sun every day.
Compared to the milk chocolate coloured skin of the leg in front of me.
I thought, ‘There’s no sunscreen here, but he’s not tanned.’
I wonder if they’ve invented sunscreen by now?
As soon as we left the capital, we were on a forest road.
I missed the magic of space travel.
There was no way a warrior who was supposed to be building his reputation by dealing with the chaos of his people along the way, would agree, so I kept my mouth shut.
My legs were beginning to ache.
I hadn’t walked this long in a while.
Isn’t there such a thing as a moving walk?
Then I had a flash of an idea.
‘I’m lazy, why am I walking honestly, I could just use wind magic to float through the air!’
I felt like shouting, ‘Eureka!’ I decided to stay about five millimetres away from the ground because it would be noticeable if I openly floated in the air, and then I would walk again when my magic power decreased by half, and float again when my magic power increased again.
I executed the spell, ignoring the fact that the warrior was next to me.
My legs were too sore to pay attention to my surroundings.
Okay, should I just follow him around like a balloon? Maybe I could secretly tie my magic to his ankle?
The annoying pain pounding through my brain urged me on, and I had the conscience to pull out a very thin thread of magic and send it flying at the warrior’s ankle.
It wouldn’t be noticed unless you were a five-star swordsman, and he was a three-star swordsman.
My legs tingled under the spray, his battered soles throbbing.
A researcher wasn’t supposed to be a physical person, so to be able to walk this far was a feat in itself, and very, very commendable.
“Hm, Hale, are your legs hurting?”
Did I get caught? I don’t think he’s noticed the magic thread tied to his ankle, and did he notice my height that was only 5 millimeters taller? Is this the eye of a 3-star Auror user?
But my magic is mine to use….
You don’t think I’m going to waste it on a sore leg, do you?
Despite my frustration, my mouth was already making excuses.
“… I’m a researcher.”
After a moment of silence, the warrior called the two ahead of him to a halt.
He stopped walking, and so did my body.
I was nervous, not knowing what he was going to say.
My palms were sweaty and I kept wiping them on my robes.
“Shall we take a break here?”
Heh, a true leader.
I nodded coldly and dismissed the spell.
He glanced up at the distant sky, where the sun had yet to set, and caught sight of Herrin and Regs opening their mouths in question.
With a quick blast of magic, I covered their mouths so they couldn’t refuse.
I watched for a moment as they stammered through the magic, then asked.
“Herrin and Regs are good, right?”
They exchanged glances and nodded, and I untied their mouths.
With their mouths free, I quickly dragged the warrior and hid behind a large tree in case they were angry with me.
Huff, huff, huff.
I crouched down, letting my robes sink as far into the shadows of the trees as I could.
The warrior standing beside me hesitantly crouched down beside me and asked.
“…Is there something here?”
I just dragged you here because I’d be noticed if I ran away alone.”
Can you stay with me then?”
The hood slipped back at the rough nod.
Earlier, I would have been annoyed, trying to think of a spell to fix the hood, but now I just felt good.
I couldn’t stop smiling, even with the hood on.
The honeyed relaxation was too much for me.
The warrior stayed by his side until he found Herrin and Regs, who were resting dazedly outside.
As we set off again, I levitated myself with magic and linked the magic thread to his ankle.
For some reason, I felt like he kept glancing at me.
I must have attracted too much attention.
In my sleepy head, I realized I had acted too impulsively with my sore leg.
I’ll be more careful in the future.
Now that I’d figured out how to keep my leg from hurting, I decided to go back to being a quiet presence.
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