Translators: Cloudlys Translations [Comissioned]
Editor: A s h e s
There was a mix up on my end regarding what I needed done, so we got a redone chapter!
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end of story
Grayle = Grail
Chief = Captain
Deputy = vice-captain
The blizzard stopped.
The thick clouds that covered the sky had cleared up and warm sunlight shined down onto the earth. The freezing temperature that plagued them all began to rise. With Snowlea’s anger calmed, the snow had stopped falling. Grail unexpectedly was promised a favor from Snowlea to help when in need. Such an event should have been celebrated, but…
Grail’s expression was dark on the way back from the altar. Cromwell’s and the other knights were visibly in poor spirits as well. Mil, the white fox that appeared two weeks ago, turned out to be the child of a Snow spirit. Mil was an existence that healed the Knights’ hearts at the fort, but she wasn’t there anymore. She had returned back home with her mother to the top of the mountain.
They were planning on returning Mil to the wilderness sooner or later, but it was better that she was with her mother rather than at the fort. Mil should be happier with her mother back home. Even though they thought this, it still was a depressing event.
That lovely white furball would never be hovering around their feet anymore. It wouldn’t be there to eat jerky from their hands, nor would they see it running around the snow in the field having fun. Even when Grail returned back to his dorm room, he’d be alone. Mil’s basket would have to be moved.
Grail sighed as he scolded his depressed self.
Get a hold of yourself… Mil only went back to her mother, get over it…
“Eh, come on! Then, Mil-chan didn’t return!?”
Tina cried out when they returned. The Knights had to explain everything that happened at the altar, the other knights who stayed behind also had dark expressions.
“My healing has~!”
“The fun of patting that fur has been lost……”
“The healing here, other than the hot spring, is gone now.”
It had been only 2 weeks since, but Mil’s existence was that important.
“Don’t feel so down. It’s not like it’s the final farewell. If she feels like it, she might come and visit again.”
Grail tried comforting the others, but…
“Again… When would that be exactly?”
“Spirit’s have long lifespans you know… It’s possible that our sense of time is different…”
“It’s possible that her next visit will be 10 years from now…”
The atmosphere in the room darkened immediately. All due to Mil no longer being there, the well-aged men with huge bodies were wrapped up in the depressing mood. It was so bad that if an enemy were to attack the fort that moment, they wouldn’t be able to fight back properly.
So when one thought about it, Mil was a tremendous existence to all of them. Not even a beautiful female spy could reduce the fort’s war potential this much. Cromwell, who had been stubbornly hiding his affection for animals until now, no longer bothered with that and boarded himself inside his room the moment they returned…
Tina sadly covered her eyes. Though no one died, the lounge’s atmosphere was so heavy, it felt like they were conducting a funeral. Kix, who was usually lively, was sulking like someone had taken away his favorite toy. For that day, Grail planned on turning a blind eye towards their missing energy, but if they were still in that state the next day, he’d have to put the spirit back into them.
Therefore, he was also going to get his feelings in order. Although he couldn’t force down the sense of loss of losing Mil, he couldn’t show such a pathetic face to the other knights as well.
Grail left the lounge silently with these thoughts.
The next day, the depressing atmosphere still hadn’t left the fort. Despite the sun shining on the fort, the Knights’ faces were still dark. Even the head chef was depressed, thus the breakfast that morning was the worst.
Despite resolving himself yesterday, his feelings couldn’t change. His head hung when he saw that empty basket when he woke up. Depressed that Mil wasn’t going to watch him training in the morning. Depressed that he would be eating alone. He couldn’t reprimand his subordinates about it either today…
Earlier he saw Cronwell burying his emotional scars while hugging his favorite horse. Grail wondered whether the fort would be okay or not.
Right now, Grail was in his office working on paperwork by himself. He was leaving a record of the events that had happened recently. At the same time, he was writing a letter to the Knight Captain in the Capital. He was reporting that Snowlea had a child and it had been living in the fort. Even though she didn’t want to make it public, something as important as this had to be reported to the kingdom.
Grail had asked Cromwell to write a letter to the king, but the latter was probably still in the barn…
“I should probably go check on him…”
The Vice-Captain muttered. Troubled, he left his seat.
——A sudden yell rang out, Grail stopped his movements immediately and checked his feet. Before he knew it, there was a small fox beneath him. He had stepped on its fluffy white tail, although it was mostly made up of fur, he stepped on its tailbone. Grail lifted his leg in a panic.
“Sorry, Mil. That must’ve hurt.”
He crouched as he looked over her body. He was normally aware of Mil and when she was around his feet. He was always careful to not hit her with a chair or step on her, but…
Mil’s eyes became slightly teary.
“My bad, are you okay…?”
Grail felt guilty, but Mil shook her lovely tail and snuggled up to his feet. Then she looked up at him with big round eyes and said in a clumsy tone,
“No problem, I’m fine!”
Grail suddenly began to think.
He observed the small fox before him. He reached out with his hand, feeling the softness of her fur. He confirmed that it was actually Mil there. His mouth opened in surprise. It wasn’t a dream.
“…Why are you here?”
Him feeling her there was unbelievably great, but when he spoke, his voice was low.
The lovely fox who had stolen all of their hearts, including his, should have been at the mountain summit with her mother. He had resigned never to meet Mil for a while… Or possibly for eternity.
Yet, Mil was right here now.
“I’m sorry… I c-came back, am I being a bother?”
Bewildered by the unexpected situation, his brows furrowed without any intentions involved. Mil slightly trembled as she looked up at him though. Seeing this, Grail tried to make an as gentle expression as possible. Mil, relieved, gently brushed her head against his hand.
“Impossible, there’s no such thing. I was only slightly surprised. I’m happy that I got to meet you again. Though, how did you get here?”
When he asked, Mil probably swayed her tail as she answered.
“I used that movement magic thing! The same one I used yesterday! I came here from home in an instant!”
“I see. That’s amazing.”
Mil gave off an expression of wanting to be praised. So her rubbed her both her cheeks with his hands. He also petted her chest and tail, feeling their fluffiness and all its wonderfulness. while praising her “Sugoi, sugoi.” [ T/N: Sugoi = Amazing ]
“But what about your mother? Did she give you permission to come here? You didn’t come here without saying anything… Right?”
It would be bad if another snowstorm broke out again, so he gave Mil a warning more or less. Though they were empty words, reason being, Mil came to visit even when she was with her mother. Grail was happy with her choice. His true feelings were, How admirable that you came.
“I properly asked! I told mother I wanted to come and visit the fort. She told me that once in a while is fine. So, I’ll be coming by for a bit every day!”
Grail laughed and said ” I see.” to Mil whose tail swayed side to side. Grail thought, Is this the feeling of a father who meets his child who normally lives with their divorced wife?
“Well then, let’s go tell the other guys that you came to play. We got to do something about this depressing atmosphere floating around. Let’s hurry since the Captain needs your help.”
“Vice-Captain, what’s wrong?”
Mil, who didn’t understand the meaning, bet her ears down with concern.
“You’ll understand when you see.”
He laughed sarcastically as he gently held Mil in his arms. He quickly headed towards the door to leave the office. Mil looked up at Grail, bewildered. She was perplexed with Grail’s sudden attitude change. To be exact, she was surprised that she was being held in his arms.
“I changed my training plans.”
Laughing as he said that.
Mil wasn’t a wild animal, but a spirit. She would never be living hunting prey alone out in the wild. As such, there wasn’t a need to be standoffish to her anymore. Grail didn’t have to take into consideration that Mil may become dependent on humans too much. Before, he had to hold back wanting to hold her and sleep with her. He even thought that he’d be using a mouse to teach her to hunt.
From now on though, he didn’t have to. He’d pamper Mil to his heart’s content. It was good that she was a spirit, that she wasn’t a wild animal he’d have to let go eventually. He was glad from the bottom of his heart.
While grail was immersed in his thoughts happily, he carried the small fox. The upper half of its body on his shoulder. Mil, facing backward, was restlessly swaying her tail and it kept smacking his cheek. However, he thought it was cute.
“Why are you smiling ?”
Mil turned her head and spoke. Grail was probably making a sloppy face. When he opened the door and walked into the hallway, but he ran into some of the other knights.
“Ah, Vice-Captain. Thanks to you the——……eh?”
“……V-Vice chief that’s! Mil!? What!?”
——The specialties of the northern fort are its hot springs, a great amount of snow, and Gara’s sorry knights.
And, from now on, a white small fox coming over to play “for a bit” every day had been added to it.