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Serulis was frozen for quite some time.
Perhaps she was surprised that the Hero Ruck was still alive.
As she was like this, I had nothing to do, so I continued to eat my breakfast.
It would be best to allow her some time to settle from all of the confusion.
"This is delicious."
"Thank you for your kind compliment."
I thanked the butler.
"Being able to eat such good food…I feel like I should be thanking you."
"We are not worthy."
The freshly baked bread was so good.
The omelet was also cooked just right. There was melted cheese inside that was just divine.
I continued to eat as I asked the butler,
"Uh, did you know about my ident.i.ty?"
"I was not aware."
So Goran had kept it from him as well.
"Well, it's supposed to be a secret…"
"Indeed. And as butlers, we never allow any information acquired on duty to leak out into the world."
He said with a serious expression. It had to do with his pride as butler I suppose.
He might have been offended that I would even suggest that he might be so indiscreet.
Maybe I should apologize.
"Of course, how rude of me. Thank you for your discretion."
"No, do not mention it."
"Please continue to call me Locke. That is my middle name after all…"
As we talked like this, Serulis finally snapped out of her shocked state.
“To think that the Hero Ruck was, in fact, my younger brother…”
Apparently, she had not really snapped out of her shocked state.
"Yes, daddy would often get teary eyed when talking about the Hero, Ruck. So, those were the eyes of a parent who thinks about their child."
"How does that work…"
The math did not add up. She was incredibly confused.
"And now that I think of it, the statue of the Hero Ruck does look a little bit like daddy…"
"No, it definitely doesn't."
The Hero Ruck statue was of a slender and beautiful youth.
On the other hand, Goran was like a burly bear.
"Look here, Serulis."
"Ruck. Call me older sister."
She was already treating me like a younger brother.
"Think about this. Weren't you only 5 years old when the Hero Ruck was left in the place between dimensions?"
"Do you think it's possible for a toddler to fight there alone?"
"Now that I think about it… How did you do it?"
"So, I am not your younger brother."
I said this, and Serulis began to consider this with a serious expression.
She tilted her head to the side and said,
"…So you're my older brother then?"
"But if you're not my younger brother, then you are my older brother, right? If you are older, then maybe you weren't a toddler 10 years ago."
"Why don't we move away from the idea that I'm Goran's son, first? Okay?"
It took almost half an hour for me to persuade Serulis of the reality.
She was incredibly delusional. She must have gotten it from her father.
When she realized it, she started to eat the now cold bread and said,
"So Mister Locke was just the Hero Ruck then…"
"If you could just keep that part a secret…"
After that, Serulis silently ate her breakfast.
I decided to add one thing.
"Are you going to apologize to Goran?"
"But…it's because…it's daddy's fault for acting so suspiciously."
"You still misunderstood him and suspected something outrageous."
"I did, but…"
"Goran seemed so sad the other day…"
"He looked like he was going to cry."
"…I didn't know."
I exaggerated a little.
Serulis looked apologetic.
I think I was right to say what I did.
The rest was up to them. I would leave it to Goran and Serulis.
"Well, it has nothing to do with me anyway."
Serulis looked like a kind kid, so it would probably be alright.
After a while, when she had finished her cold breakfast, Serulis called out to me.
"Call me Locke."
"I understand. Mister Locke, how did you survive in the place between dimensions?"
Her eyes were s.h.i.+ning.
Goran must have told her exaggerated tales of our heroic adventures.
This was annoying.
Also, she sounded different now. Polite and almost formal.
"I don't mind talking about it…but do you have to talk like that?"
"Did I cause offense…?"
"No, that's not what…you're too polite. You can be more frank with me."
"That, I cannot do."
"You can think of me as an uncle."
"And I'm keeping my ident.i.ty hidden…"
I exaggerate the negative impact of people knowing my rank as Grand Duke.
I emphasized that I was likely to be a.s.sa.s.sinated if people knew about that.
Serulis listened with a serious expression.
"I understand. Then I will talk to you like I always do."
"So, about what I was saying."
"How did I survive between the dimensions for 10 years?"
"Yes. Daddy said that there were lots of strong devils there. I would think that you would die there normally."
I gave her a brief explanation.
She listened with wide eyes.
"Yes, it's very useful."
"I wonder if I could use it?"
"Aren't you a Warrior? Drain Touch is a difficult magic that only devils use. I doubt you could use it."
"I see. That's too bad."
She looked truly disappointed.
After that, her attention s.h.i.+fted to my sword.
"So that is the Devil King's sword?"
"It is. Want to hold it?"
"I'm not going to give it to you, but you can hold it."
I handed her the Devil King's sword and Serulis unsheathed it and swung it in the air.
She had great speed and form. As Goran said, she was quite gifted.
And she looked happy as she swung. I was happy to see it.
“It's big but so light.”
"The materials are probably good."
"I wonder how sharp it is."
"It's very sharp."
I told her about how I could hack through the walls of the mines during the Goblin Lord fight.
Serulis listened with awe.
After swinging to her heart's desire, she resheathed the sword and returned it to me.
"Are you a pure Warrior?"
"I am. Just like daddy."
"I see. Now that I think about it, Goran was exclusively a Warrior."
"Mister Locke. How can I be strong like him?"
"That's a hard question."
Goran was an S Rank Adventurer.
He was a Warrior who had reached a place where mere effort was not enough to take you.
"It will be hard to catch up with Goran. He is abnormally strong."
"I know that."
"It will take unusual talent on top of strenuous training."
"I might not have as much talent as daddy… But I will have to put in that much more effort."
She was a hard worker. And I wanted to help young people who were trying their best.
However, I couldn't suggest she take the same road as Goran.
"Listen. Goran's training involved him repeatedly getting close to death."
Serulis listened with a serious expression.
"Most of the people who chose the same path as Goran, no, nearly all of them ended up dying before they became stronger."
"Goran and Eric. And me. We had talent and training, but were also blessed with incredibly good luck as well."
"You were lucky too?"
"Yes. It was like needing to get a 6 on a thrown die multiple times to avoid death. There were many situations like that."
Adventurer's died easily when luck was not on their side.
Ario and Josh would have died on our last quest if I wasn't there.
Not only them. But even s.h.i.+a, who was a B Ranker.
Even if she was B Rank, she would not have been able to fight both a Goblin Lord and Vampire Lord.
"The fastest way is to choose quests that suit your ability and grow slowly. That's what you should do to become like Goran."
That was a lie.
Even if you only chose quests that suited you, you could still die.
Just like the last goblin hunting quest, sometimes the guild was wrong.
And of course, even if you continued to do quests that suited you, you would never catch up to Goran.
But Serulis looked to be seriously considering my words.
"Mister Locke, I have a favor to ask."
She said timidly.
"I want to form a party with you. Is that alright?"
Serulis asked something incredibly troublesome.
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