The Female Mercenary (Part 3)
The store’s interior fell so silent, one could hear a pin drop.
Leontaine felt everyone’s eyes gather on her.
Gazes of pity, sympathy, and even curiosity.
Although there were various expressions directed at her, the feeling coming from Leontaine’s chest wasn’t one of a broken heart.
Helmina worriedly looked at Leontaine, who had suddenly burst out with laughter. She thought that Leontaine’s mind had become strange from the shock of having her heart broken.
「No, no. Everything is fine, Helmina. That’s perfectly alright. It was a story from many years ago. It’s probably been as long as the time between when I was still a small, childish lass and when I had grown up to become an excellent mercenary. It isn’t strange for that stupidly strong [Demon] to settle down and start a family.」
「On the contrary, I’m happy. The fact that he didn’t end up as a corpse lying on a battlefield somewhere.」
Leontaine drank the contents of her mug in one gulp and lifted the empty mug up to the sky.
「This is to commemorate my heartbreak! Today is my treat, so drink up!」
A commotion arose and after that, order after order came in quick succession.
Even though Leontaine thought that a heartbreak commemoration was a strange excuse, she couldn’t make noise if she didn’t do it that night.
Helmina and the other waitress, as well as the dishwasher girl, were busy taking a rapidly increasing number of orders.
「Leo, Leontaine-san…a-are you really alright?」
Helmina asked anxiously, while carrying three mugs of ‘Toriaezu Nama’ in both hands.
The tips of Leontaine’s eyebrows drooped down, as if she was going to burst into tears at any moment.
Leontaine held back her desire to cry out loud, and she slapped Helmina’s back with her palm.
They gave up on taking individual orders. The chef served large plates of appetizers, one after another; the customers would take whichever ones they liked and put them onto their own plate.
There were some dishes among the colourful array that Leontaine had never seen before, but all of them were delicious and went well with alcohol.
When she was staring at the drunken people, who were drinking alcohol together and enjoying the treats without reserve, the sound of the glass door being pulled open abruptly resounded through the store.
「Hey, hey, what’s the commotion about?」
The moment she heard that voice, Leontaine felt her heart throb, like that of a pure maiden.
She couldn’t forget it. That voice, it was the [Demon].
It was the voice of that [Demon] that she had heard in her dreams for many, many years.
When she turned around and looked at the door, she was sure that it was the man standing there.
「A-are you the [Demon]?」
Through the self-control that she had forged on the battlefield, Leontaine managed to keep herself from reflexively running up to him. The [Demon] was confused. It was similar to how he had looked when he was showing Leontaine mercy during that battle.
「Err, you are…?」
The other party did not recognise Leontaine. It was to be expected. It would be impossible to remember an opponent who had crossed blades with him on that battlefield so many years ago.
「By any chance, are you the mercenary with that squid helm?」
Her heart throbbed again. It shouldn’t have been possible. He shouldn’t have remembered her.
She remembered the battle as if had happened yesterday, but it was supposed to just be a common battlefield for him.
「It’s you, after all. Judging by your physique, I’m not mistaken.」
It was impossible.
She had crossed many other battlefields since then, but she had never encountered him again.
How strange of a coincidence was it for the [Demon] to still remember her?
The [Demon] scratched his left arm with his index finger and gave an awkward smile.
「That’s because it’s rare for a woman to be a mercenary.」
Leontaine couldn’t see his face properly when he said those words, since he hurriedly picked up a bowl of ushiojiru and drank it to hide his face.
The saltiness of the soup was comforting for a worn-out body.
「[Demon], it is my treat today. You should drink with your wife.」
「Is that alright, [Squid Helm]?」
「I don’t mind. I’m doing quite well now.」
Leontaine had secretly made a decision when she saw the [Demon]’s smiling face.
Tomorrow, she would leave the Old Capital. If she saw this smile one more time, she might not be able to give it up again.
The [Demon] currently had a wonderful wife named Helmina.
She would leave this town before her regrets deepened.
However, tonight, just for tonight, she wanted to continue liking the [Demon].
When she thought about that while drinking the ushiojiru, she felt that the soup tasted a little too salty.