The Troubled Boys Talk

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“Thank you for the wait, sir.”

The coffee shop owner said with a silver tray in her hand.
She then placed the cake the two ordered in front of them.
Kisei’s was a shortcake with a strawberry on top while Ao is having a gateau au chocolat.

“It’s been a while since I last have a fresh strawberry.”

Kisei stabbed his cake with a fork and brought it to his mouth.
As he takes a bite of the shortcake, he shut his eyes and exhaled.

“Haa, thank you for this.”

“You like it? The strawberry I mean.”

“Well, yeah.
When I was little, it was something I rarely got to eat after all.
The nostalgia might play a big part here though.”

While answering so in an excited voice, Kisei’s gaze saddened at the slowly disappearing shortcake. 

“Is that so……then do you want me to pack some in a box and send it to you later?”

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“No, no, it would be a waste of money right.”

“You sound like Nee-san you know.”

“I’m Nii-san after all.”

Kisei replied with a bitter smile.
Besides, if he received a box full of strawberries then he surely won’t be able to eat them all alone.

“This is enough for me.
It’s nice because I can rarely enjoy it.
I’d get tired of it if I can eat it every day after all.”

“Is that the case?”

“The only thing people don’t get tired of eating every day is only rice and bread you know.”

“If it’s Schleer-neesan then she would be very happy if she can have rice every day though.”

“That sure sounds like her.”

Saying so, Kisei smiled.
Schleer’s rice addiction is pretty unusual.
Whenever he has a meal with her, he would always find a bowl filled with rice in her hand.

“But…..on the battlefield, you can’t even pick what you eat right?”

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Suddenly, Ao asked that with a cloudy expression.

“Well, that’s usually the case.
I’ve spent about a month with only beef bowls and energy bar alone after all.”

“B, Beef Bowl?”

“It’s one of the standard combat rations you know.
You have pre-packed rice in one layer and the beef in another………you just heat it in a microwave and voila.”

“Doesn’t it taste bad?”

To Ao who’s strangely curious about this, Kisei shrugged.
He then cut his shortcake and used his fork to bring it to his mouth before answering.

“It’s not bad you know.
Still, it’s not something that you’d want to eat every day though.”

“Yeah, that sounds terrible…..I hope this war will end soon.”

Ao turned to look outside the window while muttering so in a sad voice.
This coffee shop has a panoramic view of the harbor but all you can see from here are only warships.

“Usually, there are a lot of pleasure boats and fishing boats here, you know.
Because of the war, they were all relocated to make room for our warships.”

Returning his gaze to the Gateau au Chocolat, Ao traced it with his fork and a number of lines were drawn on the chocolate dough.

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“That’s not all.
This city is filled with refugees.
…….Everyone is having it hard.
I want this war to end soon but the most thing I can do is to hold an event like today.”

Ao sighed and grumbled.

“I can’t procure ammunition or supplies.
I can’t even go out and fight on the battlefield.
The only thing I can do is cower in fear every time my family goes out to fight.”

“Between when you are worried about others and when you worry about yourself, the former is always harsher.”

“When you can’t do anything to help the people you are worried about at all, hearing something like this isn’t even comforting you know.”

Hearing Ao’s reply, Kisei sighed.

“Well, that’s fine.
This war will be over soon.
When that happens, you won’t have any reason to worry anymore right.”

After placing his fork on the plate, Kisei’s gaze turned sharp as he looked at Ao.

“……It will?”

“That’s the reason I’m here after all.”

Kisei confidently stated so.

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“In the past, someone used to tell me [It’s impossible for one guy to turn the tide of the war.]”


“I caught the enemy supreme general and we immediately won.
That was real refreshing for me.”

“Eh……you did that!?”

Even for Ao who never saw a battlefield before, Kisei’s story still sounds too unrealistic.
No matter how Vuld culture dictates that a general should fight on a frontline themself, it’s normal to anticipate that said general would have a strong group of escorts around them.
In the first place, it’s almost impossible for a single soldier to create a situation where he can challenge the enemy general into single combat alone.

“I have no reason to lie to you right.
If you don’t believe me then you can ask Her Highness Schleer later.
That event was officially recorded so she should know about it too.”

Before hiring Kisei, Schleer should have thoroughly looked into him already.
Moreover, there are many such occurrences in Kisei’s mercenary career.
It’s not like he roams the battlefield with the [Wicked Star] as his second name just for show.

“In the end, all I want to say is this.
I’m crazy strong and I do take pride in being the strongest.”

With a grin, Kisei chewed on the last bite of his shortcake.

“No matter what kind of army it is, if you hit it with overwhelming violence then you can easily force them to withdraw! Just you wait, I will definitely end this war.
Don’t worry.”

To such a ridiculous claim, Ao cheerfully smiled.

“It seems that I’ve made a ridiculous person my Nii-san haven’t I? But, I feel better now.
Thank you.”

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