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[N POV]

Sitting on the couch, Claude just tapped the table in front of him.

It was the VIP room of the Adventurer Guild, on another side of the table. Paul, that’s still unconscious, and Norn, along with Vera, takes care of Paul.

“You don’t need to look like that, Princess,” Claude said.

“I don’t talk to a bad person, humph!”

Norn is still mad at Claude because he beat her father. While it’s true that he’s the one who makes him unconscious, the perpetrator of the wound on his face still looks down while having Eris and Ruijerd beside him.

“Sigh… I’m just leaving like, half an hour and my teacher beat my other teacher… whoa… now, I’m taking the blame of something I did partially… sigh” Claude lamenting his misfortune, as he also took the blame on what happened to Paul’s face.

“Hey, you, exhibitionist over there… can you just use some robe or something? It’s dirtying my eyes…”

Claude said, pointing to Vera, which used the Bikini Armor. The Arbalest officers suddenly appeared beside her and gave her the robe.

“Uh… thanks?”

“I don’t need it. Just tell me why you guys act without cooperating with Arbalest again?”

Vera feels weird. The person, no, the kid before her, is actually acting so high and mighty while looking down at her. This is the first time she feels weird.

Never would she expect this kind of pressure from a child under 15. She even hopes that Claude is actually a dwarf.

But, she already knows him from Paul and Norn’s story about Paul’s disciple.

They said that he’s strong, but not stronger than Paul by this much.

She still remembers the moves he did to Paul.

‘There’s no way an Advanced Swordsman can do something like that… Was Paul lying to me that he was still a Middle Advanced Swordsman 1 year ago? Or was he getting stronger within the period?’

“Um… We actually just know about Arbalest being in charge of saving the people…” Vera said timidly.

“Is that so?” Claude said to the officer.

“It’s a lie, master Claude. They just don’t believe in Arbalest. But, we can’t help them that much in saving those that have already been sold by the slavers. So, we leave them be and clean up their mistakes…”

Said the man.

“That’s a lie! You don’t know we’re doing things behind your back!”

Then, the officer shares all the exploits Paul’s Militia does, leaving Vera stopped talking with her mouth opened slightly.

“Hmm, I see who’s lying now…” Claude said and stopped tapping the table.

As he stood, he approached Paul.

“Water ball,” he said as he pulled Norn away from Paul.

“Hey! What did you do to Father!” Norn shout.

Paul didn’t take long to wake up, as his face was poured with the water from the spell.

“Cough, what… what happened?”

“You’re awake now, Drunkard?”

Squinting his eyes, he can clearly see Claude.

It took him a while to load everything that had happened before and look down.

“I see… you’re also safe, huh…”

Paul said, without looking much.

“so, what’s wrong with you? Given up to save your wives and Aisha already?” Claude snide.

He already gave Norn to Rudeus, asking him to care for Norn for a while.

Paul glared at him.

“Don’t play with me, kid. If I’m not tired, you’d be beaten by me…” Paul snarl.

“Don’t joke around, Drunkard. Even without using my sword, I can defeat you dozen times already… Just look at your pathetic self. How can someone that can’t help himself can help others?”

“Grr… YOU!” Paul got mad and stood in anger.

Looking down at the child shorter than him.

“What me? Do you think you’re that great? Your son and daughter are already before you, safe and sound… you just need to gather yourself up and wait, either a death notice of the other in your family or taking care of yourself and your daughter so that when all your family is gathered, they can smile with you.”

Claude said, looking up at Paul’s eyes threateningly.

“What a child like you know!”

BAM!

Paul was mad and banged the table.

It didn’t break the table, but the things above the table became messy.

“More than you, C, give him the notice.”

As he said so, the Arbales office Claude called C gave a paper to Paul.

“that’s the name of those of Buena Village. Almost everyone is there, whether they are dead or alive. You can expect those that still missing or MIA is still alive since we, Arbalest, had the means to search for those getting caught up with the teleportation event. Now, do you read Zenith, Aisha, or Lilia’s name there?”

Claude said.

“There’s none…”

“You know what it means, so treat Norn better… You just need to cooperate with Arbalest, and you can know this too. You’re just so stupid that you actually think the Arbalest is an enemy…”

“I…”

“What makes you different from Rudeus? Wasting time playing victim…” Claude stopped talking and sat at the table. “Like father like son, what a nice relationship…” he added.

Paul can’t say anything.

It’s not a lie that he’s actually in despair at his powerlessness.

Despairing at his nightmare where he lost his family.

Rudeus, that hold Norn’s hand, grip his fist harder at Claude’s remark.

“Rudeus, you’re also at fault here. I’ve heard the story, so safe your excuse…”

“I’m sorry…”

As Rudeus said so, Eris looked at Ruijerd and said, “Hey! It’s not nice to blame Rudeus!”

“Do you also think the same, Ruijerd?” Claude said while ignoring Eris.

“No, I think you are right. He’s already a warrior. Ignoring one’s fault isn’t something commendable…”

Ruijerd said.

“Sigh… I’ll take a breather outside, C, let’s have a conversation in the office…”

“Please follow me, master Claude…” C nodded as he guided Claude outside the Room, leaving the others inside.

As they got out of the Room, the situation inside turned gloomy.

Rudeus is still looking down, and Norn tapping Paul’s face that’s still injured.

“Are you alright, Father?”

“Yeah, I’m okay… Have you greeted your brother, Norn?” Paul said while forcing himself to smile, patting Norn’s head.

Norn shakes her head, looking at the depressed Rudeus.

Paul looks at his son and feels guilty.

“Hey… Rudy…” He said, stuttering.

“What is it! Don’t you know your words hurt… umph!” Eris tried to say something but had her mouth stopped by Ruijerd.

“You must be Phillips daughter and the Demon race that saves my son… I can’t thank you enough for what you do… Thank you…”

Paul said, bowing his head to Ruijerd.

“No, I am also being helped by your son,” Ruijerd said.

Paul looks at Rudeus again.

“Hey, I’m sorry… Rudy…” Paul said.

While he already knows that he is also at fault, Rudeus feels his voice can’t get out of his throat. It gets stuck.

Paul looked sad at what he saw.

He realizes that this 11-year-old son is still small when he looks at his son.

‘how can I forget that he’s still a child, huh…’

Leaving the fact that Rudeus is actually Oldman inside, his body right now isn’t something tough like Claude.

Rudeus is a pampered child.

Someone that actually being protected all his life.

He never had an adventurer by himself and was always guarded by Paul and Zenith while still in Buena Village.

He still remembered that this child of his was still tiny and recollected their days in the village. Ruijerd suddenly shouted.

“Rudeus! A warrior is someone that accepts his fault and apologizes for his mistake!”

Rudeus look startled and stare at Paul.

“Fa… Father… I’m also… I… father…” Rudeus stuttering as he saying so, Paul that looking at the boy afraid of getting out of the house until he’s 3 years old approached along with Norn.

Paul hugs his son.

As Rudeus feels Paul’s warmth, he hugs his father hard and cries.

“I’m sorry, father…”

“Ah… Me too, Rudy…”

 

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 39: Arbalest [2]

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