After living in isolation in a deserted place for three years, there was a sudden knock on the door.

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This was a highly strange phenomenon.

What’s even more strange was that the person outside the door was not an innocent passerby who had lost his way, nor a thief trying to rob the house, nor a fugitive that was on the interstellar wanted list, but someone… who I once knew.

To be precise, I used to fight side by side with this man.

Perhaps it was the change from my indifferent expression to a genuine surprise, or perhaps I had opened the door too violently, but it took him some time to relieve himself from embarrassment before flashing me an awkward smile, “It’s been a while.”

He had always been excessively handsome, and there was not an inch of aggressiveness within his facial features.
It was the kind that was very suitable for being a diplomat, as he could easily make others feel relaxed and comfortable with his looks.

I held the door with one hand and stared at him, as I tried my best to remember his name, but failed miserably.
“Long time no see.” I greeted him calmly with the social etiquette between two adults.

We were both stuck in awkward silence for a few seconds after that.

Finally, after clearing his throat slightly, he revealed the object that he held in his hands, “I haven’t seen you for a long time, so I have brought you a gift.
I wonder if your preferences changed over the years?”

Oh, I remember this bottle.
It used to be my favorite mead in the past, but because it was too expensive and I could never afford it, the only time I could drink it back then was when I met with the local rich nobles.

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… Ah! I remember now.

I somewhat recall this man being referred to as the ‘Crown Prince’, which meant that he must be the prince of the empire.

“Thank you.” I reached out immediately for the bottle, but because I still could not remember his name, I decided to just go with the usual title – ‘Your Highness’.

“It’s been a while since I heard someone call me that, it feels somewhat nostalgic.” The man smiled.

“You’ve finally been ousted?” I blurted out.

The polite smile that was always plastered on the prince’s face seemed to stiffen for half a second.

“I ascended the throne two and a half years ago,” He explained the situation to me gently, “In fact, I proposed to invite you to my coronation, but…”

He paused awkwardly as if it pained him to continue.

“But nobody agreed to it, right?” I completed the second half of his sentence indifferently, but my hand was already twisting the cap of the wine bottle, “Then, Your High… Your Majesty, what brings you here today?”

Hearing my words, he flashed me a smile once again, as if the awkward scene from before did not happen, “I’m just here to catch up with an old friend, no special reason or occasion is required that, I presume?”

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To be honest, I didn’t quite believe him, because every time his words came out so meek and gentle, it usually meant that he needed something.

After I took a sip from the wine bottle, the man spoke again, “So, would my old friend invite me into the house for a chat?”

I believe there’s a need to explain that I am a hero.

It may be an overstatement to say this, but it’s true that I had indeed saved this planet from several galactical disasters.

Most people on this planet, if not all, would recognize me upon hearing my name.

And if ‘we no longer need a hero to save the world’ was how I retired three years ago, then on today, it would be the third anniversary of my retirement.

Thinking of this, I could not help but mention to the prince… the current emperor of the empire, “Come to think of it, today marks the exact day I was expelled from the empire three years ago.”

The young emperor, who had been trying to persuade me to eat some snacks before drinking my favorite alcohol, glanced at me gently, as if waiting patiently for my next move.

And coincidentally, I did have something I wanted to do.

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“Ella.” I called out to my half-defunct housekeeping robot, “Bake me a cake to celebrate this anniversary.”

The housekeeping robot replied with a loud “meow” before staggering away unsteadily.

Noticing the young emperor’s eyes that stayed glued to the back of my housekeeping robot, I kindly explained to him the situation, “I could not find a suitable language processing chip when I was searching for her components.”

“… I’ll have someone deliver you the latest version of a housekeeping robot.” He replied in a somewhat guilty voice.

“Will it meow?” I asked curiously.

If this was the case, then the development of housekeeping robots in the past three years must’ve not flourished so they had gone with an entirely different approach.

“No, it will not.” The emperor explained to me patiently, “In fact, it will have an emotional circuit that was similar to that of a human being.
As for the housekeeping functions, all skills have been enhanced, especially the cooking function.”

Although I didn’t remember much about him, he really knew my weaknesses well, because I was beyond moved by the phrase ‘cooking function’.

Especially now, when I could smell the palpable burnt scent coming out from my kitchen.

“Please accept it.” The emperor said in a tone that almost sounded as if he was begging, “That’s the least I can do for you after… our unfair treatment towards you.”

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“I have been meaning to ask you a question ever since you entered that door,” I glanced at him sincerely, “And after resisting the urge for so long, I can no longer hold it in.”

The emperor nodded his head slightly, “What is it?”

“You looked extremely guilty for what happened.” I made a random gesture on my face and continued on curiously, “But in the past three years, I have not received a single interstellar express mail, nor have I seen any visitors.”

The emperor frowned slightly at my words, and there was a subtle expression on his face… like a bullied puppy who had just been beaten with a stick, and it could easily make others unable to bear criticizing him any further.

However, I no longer cared for things like this.

And rather, if a third person was here to observe the expressions on our faces, it would seem like he was the victim.

Translator’s Note: 

I found this interesting short novel and it’s really fun to read!

There are only 7 chapters in total + 3 extras, so it’ll be really quick

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