Sorry for the delays. Tbh I’ve been playing(with a lot of salt) Fire Emblem: heroes, and that’s been sucking away my time lol. Also, just haven’t been very motivated Hopefully, I can get that back.
Ryouriban update: it’s on 20%-ish now. Around 1.5uchimusu chapters
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Youth, A certain 『Walking Corpse-like』 Day.
It’s already been five days since Latina has been going out to 『The Alley’s Bakery』. You could also say that it has been five days since Dale and Latina has basically stopped talking.
During that time, Dale had thought countless times about going to 『The Alley’s Bakery』 in the Eastern district to check up on her, but he didn’t act upon it, feeling that he might end up seriously hated by her if he was to get caught and questioned by her.
It’s was a fear greater than any gigantic monster he had ever faced off against.
Latina’s very existence, was 『Healing』 for Dale.
Seeing her smile, talking to her, spending a quiet, yet intimate time with each other — All of that, became his energy for everyday life, and was a joyous time.
Having suddenly lost that, he was thin — It wasn’t that he lost weight, but he had lost his vigor — looking like a crippled person, being covered in dust, in a corner of the 『Dancing Ocelot’s』 guest seating.
“Latina…. Not enough Latina….”
It was the so called 『Terminal Illness』 as his 『friends』 would say.
— It was an extremely disappointing tale in a certain sense, but if this was a 『Battlefield』 then, even in this condition, he wouldn’t allow his combat power, nor judgement power to be lowered. It was precisely because he was able to cut away from his usual emotions and sustain a calm state of mind that, he is called the best of 『the best』 despite being so young.
However, that was on the battlefield. Right now, the youth who was being all clearly burnt out in the public eye, could only be seen as incredibly useless.
“Rita… when does a girl’s rebellious phase…. End…”
“If it was something that would end in just a few days then it wouldn’t be called a 『rebellious phase』.”
“Die…. I’m gonna die….Euarghhh…. Just how much punishment must the 『fathers』 of the world suffahhh…..”
“It’s all good then. Didn’t she say that 『She didn’t think of you as a father』?”
Not understanding the 『Thorn』 in Rita’s thorny words, Dale let out a tragic scream and prostrated at the table.
Seeing such a reaction from Dale, the smile on Rita, who was taking care of paperwork, unable to take a break, was becoming more and more irritated.
“Is that fine, over there?”
A regular, Gilbester, looks over at 『that thing (Dale)』 he was pointing at, and Kenneth let out a large sigh.
“….I plan to carefully look after him at least until Latina calms down but…”
“The girly is… *sigh*”
Gilbester makes a difficult face and folds his arms.
“It’s because she’s a smart kid that, sigh…. I feel like she’ll end up 『giving up』….”
It wasn’t just Dale who had watched Latina grow up, and loved her. Gilbester could also be said to be at the top of that list.
“I’m worried. I feel like the girly would rather hide behind the disguise of being a 『Good child』, rather than 『having nothing at all』.
Kenneth was also someone who had always been watching over Latina. Gilbester’s worries, he understood them well.
Kenneth had also noticed the fact that she had been 『Too good a child』 ever since she was young.
Latina is a smart child.
What it means for her to be so honestly obedient from the start was that, that was probably just how she was. However, it wasn’t just that. She had always understood her 『Own position』, ever since she was young. Which is exactly why it worries the adults around her, seeing that it was as if she was thinking that she had to be a 『Good child』.
Latina is that kind of person.
If not even such a blatant display of love, could be conveyed to the person she likes, then she might just take a deep breath, and end up smiling 『just like always』.
That child was handy and clever, so she would definitely be able to expertly execute even such a tough decision.
“The girly is truly a good kid after all…. I just wanna give him a good kick at the very least, you know?”
Even if it was a 『rejection』, they wanted her to get a proper 『answer』. Who cares about their comrade over there, transformed into the Living dead, though. The two men ponder over the girl’s mental state, and fold their arms together again as they let out a sigh.
“Dale…. How long do you plan on being like this?”
That was what Kenneth asked him that night, after hearing the faint footsteps of the stairs being climbed down by his 『Little brother』 who had a hateful look on his face.
Even though it was obvious that he was curious about when she was coming home and where she was, he didn’t have the courage to directly stand face to face with her. It was a pathetic sight.
“….Maybe…. Until Latina’s…. 『Rebellious phase』, ends….?”
“So you’re saying that it depends on Latina?”
Hearing Kenneth ask him that, Dale looked troubled from the bottom of his heart.
“I mean…. I, only have a little brother… and when a girl reaches this point in their lives, I really don’t know…. How to deal with them….”
Kenneth sighs, seeing that his 『Little Brother』 seems to actually be seriously saying that.
At this rate, it seems like it’ll end up progressing just as Gilbester’s worried. There’s no way that clever child, wouldn’t have noticed this guy’s 『Current condition』.
She would probably put a lid on her feelings and show him a smile just like he wishes her to. That’s the kind of girl she is.
If that was the case then, if he was to end up waiting until she was finally 『Ready』, it might be 『Too late』.
— However, even then, the reason why there would be some hesitant feelings left behind was because 『That』, was definitely not be an 『unhappy ending』.
It’s very likely that, if Latina chose 『That』 — To continue the current 『Relationship』 as it is — she would have to swallow down some painful thoughts.
However, she would be able to forever stay in this warm, sunshine filled 『Happiness』.
And then from here on, the two of them would be able to enjoy a quiet and gentle 『Happiness』.
That was also, a『choice』.
In that case, what he was trying to do, would be meddling, and might just be giving himself some self-satisfaction.
Even as Kenneth was thinking that, he poured an amber-coloured alcohol into two glasses with ice, and placed them in front of himself and his 『little brother』.
Seeing Kenneth settle himself down in front of him, Dale looked quizzically at him.
“…Most of the customers are gone now so, my jobs almost done too.”
Answering him with that, he moistens his lips with the contents of the glass.
“Dale, stop being so stupid and realise this yourself.”
“….What are you on about?”
“Latina had never thought of you as her 『Father』. That doesn’t mean that she only said it because she’s in puberty.”
“Kenneth…. What are you….?”
“Even if that child had thought of you as her 『Guardian』 since a long time ago, she had never thought of you as a replacement for her 『Father』.”
Seeing that Dale still had a stunned face on him, looking like he didn’t understand, even after all he said, Kenneth became thoroughly annoyed by his 『Little brother’s』 annoying qualities.
“Do you really not understand?”
“That’s why, I’m asking you. What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that, Latina has been thinking of you as a 『Man』 since a long time ago.”
Making an expression as if he was the very epitome of stupidity, Dale let out a strange voice, and after thinking about the meaning behind what Kenneth said — smiled bitterly.
“Wha…..What are you saying, Kenneth. Such a thing….”
“Could never happen? Why are you saying that?”
“I mean, Latina…. To me, she’s a cute 『kid』 and…. I mean of course…. We’re not connected by blood but….”
“Latina isn’t as much of a 『Child』 as you think she is. ….Although the 『Demon Race』 is one with a long lifespan, it won’t be long until that girl becomes an adult.”
“I know, that’s why, I’m always worried….”
Seeing that Dale truly didn’t seem to realise it, Kenneth brought the glass to his mouth once again, then interrupted him.
“Even though you saying that, you’ve always been treating Latina as a 『child』, right?.”
Seeing that Dale was trying to refute him, Kenneth didn’t not allow him to interject, and took a stab at Dale with that annoying aspect of his that he had noticed long ago.
“The reason for that, is because you want Latina to stay a 『child』.”
(TL: And thanks for people’s support with that interview. I’m not sure it went so well, but lessee what the response will be in 2 weeks ><)