Round Little Toddler, Playing with the youth.
Theodore was irritated.
Since the 『store』 had been busy lately, he couldn’t play with his beloved big sister. Not just that, but saying that it was 『practice』, she would do nothing but talk to the 『customers』 in the store.
It’s not fair that even though she wouldn’t play with me, she has time to talk with the customers. In that case, wouldn’t it be fine if she just came to play with me. Was how he thought.
It was fun playing with Wind, but Theo wanted to be spoiled more by his 『beloved bigger sister』.
“No Dale, Neene is better”
“Sorry, it’s just me.”
As a result, Theo was resisting, throwing his four small limbs around, making a scene for himself.
Currently, Ahmar’s festival was nearing Kroix and the travelers were gathering. The people known as adventurers were also increasing, and as a result, there tended to be a relatively lack of work. This was a fleeting, annual event. Because of that, the adventurers who were more famous, would restrain themselves from taking ridiculously easy jobs and would take jobs that required experience or money first. This unspoken rule was also a kind of mutual aid for the adventurers.
Dale, someone classified as 『a person with some leeway』, could be seen looking bored once again, wasting time at the 『Ocelot』.
These few years, after living with Latina for so long, Dale had been 『having fun』 sticking onto Latina whenever he felt bored like this. As a result, he never realised that he was 『bored』.
Despite his boredom, this time around, Latina was catching up with the day’s work, and was also further spending her time, busying herself with magic studies.
The current Latina, didn’t have any time to be with Dale.
Even though he should feel happy that she’s growing up, for some reason, he would sometimes feel like crying.
And of course, the job of looking after Theo, who had way too much free time, came to him. However, it was Theodore, who was puffing his cheeks out, dissatisfied. Every time Dale would see that, he would really think that Latina was honest, cute and just such a good child.
“Well, this is just how kids are after all.”
There’s a limit as well to catching Theodore, who would be trying to chase after Latina inside the store. There was no point in interfering with Latina’s work.
“Wind, do you want to go for a walk?”
Carrying Theo in one arm — although rather than carry, it was more like transporting — he walks out, as he calls out to the cub who was slumped down, rolling on the floor.
“Latina probably won’t be going out anymore today, so it should be fine even if you aren’t here.”
Wind won’t listen to any 『orders』 other than Latina’s. And it wasn’t like Latina was 『ordering』 him, but since Wind would basically only comply with 『Latina’s wishes』, it’s become similar to orders as a result.
However, Wind, in his own way, seemed to respect Dale and Kenneth. The reason being that, he saw Latina showing respect to them, as well as the fact that they were 『stronger individuals』 than him. In the 『hierarchy』 of canines like Wind, there were also stronger existences like them.
However, in Wind’s hierarchy, the existence that comes after Latina in the 『Ocelot』 was Rita. He wouldn’t follow her 『orders』, but you would be able to see, every now and then, the sight of Wind obediently listening to Rita’s scoldings.
The place where Dale, accompanied by the cub, headed towards as he carried the toddler between his armpits, was the center plaza of Kroix. Today too, there were a lot of citizens who were resting as they saw fit, passing time away.
In the open area, the gray cub swung its black tail happily, pomf, pomf. Dale, seeing the amount of people, reminded him ahead of time.
“Wind, don’t use magic. Also, don’t dig up the ground recklessly.”
“I’ll definitely tell Latina if you do, ok.”
Good response. Dale felt like it didn’t really care for its words very much, but if he set his mind to that then he would lose something.
Once Dale put Theo down, Theo immediately ran off.
Dale had a slight smile on his face as he glanced at that toddler. Pondering some matters.
“….Speaking of which, I heard that York has a second one coming along…. Maybe I should send them a gift”
It seems his little brother were happy together with his wife Freeda. The letters that he exchanges with his hometown at set intervals, not only conveyed their respective situations, but was also as a report to his hometown about the worldly issues. It annoyed him when his misspelled, or misused words were underlined and highlighted then sent back. The one who did that, was usually his grandmother.
Wind came carrying a stick it picked up from somewhere, so Dale casually tossed it. Wind catches the stick in front of Theo, looks triumphant and waved his tail at him. As someone who hates losing, Theo puffs his cheeks out and made a motivated face.
(….Is this really okay….)
What kind of education would it be, to compete with a 『dog』?
However, it would probably suffice as exercise to play with a Mythical beast every day.
(Well, it’s not like his parents stopped him from doing this or anything…. Should be fine)
As he looked on at the child and animal competing over the stick that he threw again, Dale took a glance at the peaceful scenery.
It was when Dale was bringing a tired, nodding off Theo to the shade of the tree for some rest when he heard a voice and looked up.
Since he had seen Wind running to welcome someone, he had thought that Latina was probably coming here.
“Are you finished with work?”
“There’s no way I would be working that much.”
Saying that and smiling, Latina was carrying a wisteria basket. With a plunk, she sits down next to Dale, and smiles at the sleeping Theo as she looks at him.
“I brought over some snacks for Theo, but I can’t wake him up when he looks so peaceful.”
“Latina, you used to fall asleep all over the place as well.”
“….I don’t anymore, mon.”
Latina puffed out her cheeks a little hearing Dale’s words, not because she was pouty, but rather because she was embarrassed. Even though one could say that she’s mostly grown up already, such actions makes him feel her childish side and, fills his heart with an indescribably heartwarming feeling.
“….You really are so cute, Latina….”
“I really thought so while I took care of Theo. You really do try your best for everything, all the time.”
Patting her head like he would when she was younger, Latina made a face like she was slightly troubled. It might not be something you do to a girl her age anymore.
Before long, maybe she’ll come to hate living with her 『parent』, him.
Maybe he was the only one who felt this desolation.
Children are like that, they would leave behind such adult’s sentiments, and continue to grow up.
With her grey pupils, Latina curiously stares at me, who had that internal monologue.
“….Are your plans for the night festival finished already?”
“Yes. We’ll meet at Chloe’s house. We’ll be coming home late, so I’ll come home after sending Chloe and Silvia home.”
“!?…. You’ll be sending them back?”
“Letting the two of them go back at such a late hour is dangerous, mon. Lately I’ve learnt some magic for self-protection, and there’ll also be the kind guards, and lots of adventurers who took up requests for protection, so it’ll be fine.”
She wasn’t wrong. When it came down to singular combat strength, Latina was definitely miles above her friends. However, her sense of danger was not all too prevalent now, was it?
“I, I think, I should still go with you”
“It’ll be alright. I’m not a small child anymore.”
Which is exactly why, he’s worried. However, for some reason, she doesn’t realise it.
Be that as it may, he was also hesitating to easily speak of the dangers of men. If he was also to be seen as something dirty then, he would never recover.
Compared to Dale who muttered that unintentionally, Latina tilted her head in absolute confusion. Nevertheless, he was thinking that he wanted to raise her like this, pure and honest.
“No, look, it seems Theo woken up.”
“Yes, Theo, are you awake?”
In order to fool her, he diverted her attention to Theo who was squirming about, waking up just in time.
Theo wakes up and noticing that Latina was here, immediately stretched out his arms towards Latina and badgered her to carry him. Latina seemed happy to spoil Theo in her own way.
Theo doesn’t reply and simply laughed happily, ehehe.
Seeing Dale look at the two of them, Wind rubs his head against him, grinding against him.
“It’s not like I’m jealous of a kid like Theo.”
As he scratches the grey beast, who was sending him a gaze as if he understood him, with his finger, Dale concerned himself about how he was to be from now on. Even if he couldn’t think of an answer.