Mushoku Tensei (LN) - Volume 23 - Chapter 4.2

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I THINK I GOT TRAPPED in my own head.

I worried all on my own, convinced myself I had to solve it all on my own, and overwhelmed myself into a sort of paralysis… But had I thought about it, I would’ve realized that I wasn’t alone anymore. I had a family I could rely on. Rudy might have been half-joking at the time, but he did say something about “looking out for each other like siblings.”

I never had siblings, but Sieg did. Lucie was doing her best to be a reliable big sister. It was hard to say I relied on her, she was still just a child, but I had the feeling she would grow up into someone I could trust. Knowing she had my blood in her made me doubt that a little, though…

Arus and Lara would grow up someday, too. Sieg wouldn’t be alone.

I had support outside of my family. Nanahoshi told me that if I had any worries, I could talk about them with her. I didn’t expect to hear something like that from her, so I was a little surprised. If I asked Queen Ariel, or Luke, or Zanoba, or Cliff, they’d likely lend me an ear, too.

I always thought that the way my hair color changed was a cowardly way out, and some part of me thought that people like Queen Ariel or Luke wouldn’t have befriended me if my hair had stayed green, but now, I knew that none of that was true, that they surely would have befriended me all the same. Just like Rudy did all those years ago.

Well, sure, they might have been a bit more shaken at first. Maybe they would have caused a fuss about my hair, about my demon heritage, about how I had to be a Superd. I felt that despite it all, we surely would have reached the same relationships we had now.

Surely, Sieg could make those same sorts of friends. The way I made friends when Rudy taught me how back in my childhood. That was why I had to stop letting myself get bogged down in those worries. I’d teach Sieg those things myself.

As I had that thought, I looked up to see Rudy’s back as he hiked in front of me.


For whatever reason, I decided to grab the hem of his sleeve.

Rudy turned around. He had the same look as ever; gentle, yet a tiny bit apologetic and concerned. I guess I inspired that in him.


When I called his name, he looked around, signaling the others to go on ahead with his eyes. Everyone left, and once we were alone, Rudy wrapped his arms around my shoulders and held me. Softly, gently, so as to not crush Sieg, Rudy’s slender, yet muscular body enveloped mine. His armor made him feel a bit stiff, but it comforted me.

“Rudy… I’m sorry, I think. It looks like I made you worry. I saw his green hair, and I remembered it, my past. I thought about it, about where it’d all lead. I thought that maybe this child wouldn’t have a place in this world…”

“It’s not your fault. Everyone gets worried sometimes. And hey, it’s on me for forgetting to think up a name.”

“Yeah… But also, you’ve been traveling with just Roxy and Eris lately, right? I got the idea that I’d have to protect the children all by myself…”

“That’s not true at all!”

The strength of his denial startled me a little, but I should have expected it. Rudy would say that, wouldn’t he?

“Yeah. I know. I knew, but I forgot. Sorry.”

“Er, no. You don’t have to apologize.”

“I had a moment of weakness.”

I patted Sieg’s head. He’d been asleep for a while now. When had he dozed off?

This journey got me thinking—Sieg, he wasn’t as fragile as I thought. Not in terms of his power or his health. More like, his spirit was so strong.

“It’s okay now. I think looking at you on the journey—it comforted me. It made me remember that you really would protect us.”

Rudy chuckled. His face looked doubtful, as though in disbelief that any aspect of him could be comforting. But Rudy took things as they came. When Sieg had green hair, he didn’t lose his cool or anything. He’d even stared down Lord Perugius with courage. I was sure he’d have done the same if any other child faced that same kind of danger.

“Well… Sylphiette.”

Sometimes, Rudy would call me by my full name. He usually did this for one of two reasons: either he wanted to ask for something naughty, or he wanted to apologize.

“What is it, Rudeus?”

“You know, you can be mad at me for forgetting to name the baby. Okay?”

“Huh? But I wasn’t really mad, though… If I had to say, I was more disappointed and unnerved…”

I started getting flustered as I responded. I mean, when I heard that Rudy had forgotten to think of a name, all I thought of it was that my child might not be loved by Rudy or anyone else in the world. When I explained that to Rudy, he turned white as a sheet. It was a huge shock… Oh, but that’s right. That made sense. Being disappointed without being mad must have been even harder on him.

“Oh… I see. Got it, I’ll be angry next time. Don’t forget about me or our children ever again, buster!”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Rudeus nodded. He looked a little sheepish.

Rudy was so cute at times like these. He was also like this back when he took my clothes off while still thinking I was a boy… Ooh, remembering that made me feel so embarrassed! I know, we were kids back then, and we’d seen each other naked so many times since, but still…

“Let’s get going. You’ve gotta help Nanahoshi out, right?”

“Yeah… By the way, what was it she told you?”

It was nothing major. Just that she’d listen if I needed to talk. People say it to one another all the time.

“It’s a secret.”

I’d keep it close to my heart. I felt happy that Nanahoshi chose my ear to whisper in, not Rudy’s.

I smiled. When I did, Rudy smiled back.

“Hey, Rudy,” I said, unable to contain my joy. “I was kind of out of it for this trip, and I made everyone worry. When the kids are all grown up, and once things settle down for you… Well, that’s a pretty long time from now. But when it happens, let’s all go on another trip together.”

“Yeah,” Rudy answered with a firm nod.

We stayed together for a while, just gazing into each other’s eyes. I closed my eyes on a whim, and Rudy took the opportunity to give me a gentle kiss. When I opened them again, I felt so embarrassed, yet also so happy, that my lips curled into an involuntary smile.

“Let’s get going.”


I nodded, and I bounded along to catch up with the others. Right beside Rudy.

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