Chapter 50:

Vol. 4 Chapter 3: The Start of the Storm Part 1

Hour Empty Child

The sound of heavy rain permeated through the walls of the room. Sounds of hollering and shrill screaming from the excited citizens were muffled.Bookmark here

Within the square-sized room, two beds lay at the west side, and a large rug on the wooden floor that went along in design with the cream-colored walls. Bookmark here

Sitting on one of the comfy beds was Kudo, laid back with his hand resting on the bed with the other messing around with his Class’ status screen.Bookmark here

Hinota also sat by on the same bed as him with a prideful smile on her face, enjoying this moment more than anything.Bookmark here

After flicking his finger around, he flicked once again towards the direction of the other bed, where Trun and Meiki were. The screen that was floating in front of him moved towards the parents, making them slightly jumpy from the workings of an adventurer’s screen.Bookmark here

After the screen reached them, the two took a closer look at his stats.Bookmark here

“T-This is…?!”Bookmark here

“No way…!”Bookmark here

The two’s reactions got Kudo and Hinota to lock eyes with a smile.Bookmark here

“Kudo, is this true?! Are you really over level 100?!”Bookmark here

Trun shouted after looking up from the screen. The look on his face showed his excitement as well as shock.Bookmark here

“T-Then that means that both you and Hinota have already gotten your Class Up?”Bookmark here

There was a slight tremble in Meiki’s tone, her eyes widened.Bookmark here

Meiki and Trun knew just a little about adventurers. When their son wanted to be one, they studied about them when Kudo was sleeping. They knew that a Class Up was one of the most difficult feats an adventurer can go through because of its harsh leveling process.Bookmark here

And yet, Kudo and Hinota have achieved their Class Up in only half a year.Bookmark here

“Yep! That’s right!”Bookmark here

“Gotta say, it was pretty hard to get that. We had to defeat a pretty big boss in a dungeon.”Bookmark here

“ “Dungeon?!” ”Bookmark here

Another kind of information that the parents heard yet never expected their child to go through. One of the most grueling locations where an adventurer can gain a plethora of experience points, but the difficulty is high compared to the overworld monsters outside the dungeon.Bookmark here

Especially the bosses. Hearing that from Hinota, a well-educated young lady, the father and mother left their jaws hanging in the air.Bookmark here

Seeing their unbelievable expressions herself, she took a glance at Kudo, forming a silly smile on his beaming face.Bookmark here

He must have wanted this kind of reaction. He really wanted to impress his parents.Bookmark here

It was natural for a child to impress his parents. When you do something incredible, you want to tell it to the people closest to you. Hinota couldn’t help but smile at this childish side of Kudo.Bookmark here

“Geez, I expected that Kudo would be a good adventurer, but I never thought you would be THIS incredible…”Bookmark here

There was no sign of ill will in his words. He laid back on the bed with a tired expression and a half-smile. It seems that it took a toll on his mind.Bookmark here

“Ah… when I think about the kind of dangers Kudo went through… Mother is shaken.”Bookmark here

Referring herself in the third person, Meiki hung her head low into her hands as if it became extraordinarily heavy to carry with just her neck.Bookmark here

“G-Guys, I’m fine. It’s mostly thanks to Hinota that I managed to get this far!”Bookmark here

Seeing their faces, Kudo felt slightly guilty and tried to reassure them.Bookmark here

“Still…” Meiki utters out a sigh.Bookmark here

“Hahaha! To think our son became a legend! This is awesome!”Bookmark here

His exhaustion was only momentary as Trun lifted himself from the bed and shouted to the roof. Meiki, however, looks even more tired than usual after seeing that.Bookmark here

“Don’t get too excited. You’ll blow a gasket.”Bookmark here

“Hey, I ain’t that old yet!”Bookmark here

Trun retorted to Meiki as she gave a slight chuckle. But then suddenly her head raised. She took a moment to take a whiff on herself from her wrist and noticed the slightly sweaty smell.Bookmark here

“Oh my, I can’t go on like this,” Meiki pushed herself off the bed, clasping her hands together. “Hinota, would you like to accompany me to the bath?”Bookmark here

“The bath?” Taking a moment to smell herself, she noticed that she was sweaty herself. “Now that I think about it, it’s been a while. Sure, I’ll go.”Bookmark here

“Great! It’s been a while since I last had a bath with another girl! This will be fun!”Bookmark here

Meiki claps with enthusiasm as she skipped to Hinota and grabs her wrists, pulling Hinota out of the bed with an energetic jump.Bookmark here

“Let’s go!”Bookmark here

“O-Okay…”Bookmark here

Hinota stammered as the two girls headed for the door to get to the baths, leaving Kudo and Trun behind in the room.Bookmark here

“Haha, it’s been a while since I last saw Meiki so excited, isn’t that right, Kudo?”Bookmark here

Giving a chuckle, Trun took a glance to see Kudo with an uncomfortable expression.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, but I hope Mom doesn’t say anything too weird to Hinota…”Bookmark here

“Hahaha, they’re girls, Kudo! It’s only natural that they’ll have such a conversation!”Bookmark here

“T-That can’t be!”Bookmark here

Kudo’s heart started racing after hearing what his mother might do. He grabs his head in a panic, eyes shut tight as he imagines the terrible information that his mother might bestow to his best friend.Bookmark here

Seeing that reaction, Trun curled his mouth into a sneer, his brows lowers slightly and his eyes started to glint.Bookmark here

“By the way, Kudo… did you do anything ‘manly’ to Hinota?”Bookmark here

After his words pierced Kudo’s hearing, his face suddenly explodes into a big shade of red. Steam came out of his ears and his eyes popped wide open.Bookmark here

“D-Dad! What are you talking about?!”Bookmark here

He shouted at his father who spoke of such slanderous words, but his father grinned widely, showing a perverted look.Bookmark here

“You know… you are old enough to be considered an adult in Peranim. It’s only natural that you two would have done something if you spent so much time together all by yourselves.”Bookmark here

“I-I-It’s not like that! I-It’s n-not like that at all!”Bookmark here

Kudo stammered, shaking his head furiously to ward off whatever atmosphere was taking place. Trun suddenly laughed out loud, catching Kudo off guard.Bookmark here

“Hahaha! I’m just kidding, Kudo! Hahahahaha!”Bookmark here

“D-Dad! That’s not funny! She’s my best friend!”Bookmark here

Seeing his father holding his gut as he continues to laugh loudly, Kudo gritted his teeth in embarrassment and frustration.Bookmark here

Seeing Hinota as a woman… it’s not as though Kudo has never thought of that. His glances have always been stolen by Hinota throughout his journey. Her alluring and captivating body… it was enough to rattle Kudo.Bookmark here

However, making her into a possible companion in love made Kudo’s heart beat faster than normally. He could never consider such a thing. The obvious reason is that Hinota is his best friend. Ignoring such a powerful friendship just because he was interested in her is a great insult to not only Hinota, but to himself as a man.Bookmark here

Though, that still did not stop him from looking at Hinota’s beauty.Bookmark here

“Still, she is quite a catch, isn’t she?”Bookmark here

Trun commented, making a grin that made Kudo blush from his words. He gazed downwards to avoid eye contact in this state.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, she really is.”Bookmark here

He answered truthfully. For this question, he will never lie about.Bookmark here

“I’m sure you must have gone through lots of trouble because of this, like from other guys who wanted to be with her.”Bookmark here

“Ah, I did,” Kudo folded his arms as he tells his story. “There were lots of guys who weren’t intimidated by Hinota’s eyes, and often asked her to party with them. However, when they tried to talk to me to convince Hinota to quit my party, after hearing my level, they would run away instantly…”Bookmark here

Kudo took a moment to remember the hilarious moments between the would-be suitors for Hinota’s companionship, yet they completely falter from their awesome might.Bookmark here

Hearing it for himself, a cold sweat ran down Trun’s back and head as he awkwardly gave a wry laugh.Bookmark here

“Haha, that’s my boy. You gotta show to her that you can be the man that she can rely on.”Bookmark here

Hearing his father’s words and the gentle smile on his face, Kudo blushed after hearing about protecting Hinota, not in the adventures, but in social life when other men wanted Hinota for themselves.Bookmark here

However, Kudo had no intention of shirking off those kinds of responsibilities in the first place.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry—I’ll always have her back!”Bookmark here

Seeing his furrowed brows, Trun grinned as he tightens his fist. Kudo noticed it and did the same as the two touched each other’s knuckles with their own. Bookmark here

It is a pact between men of the Braven family to protect the ones they care about.Bookmark here

Though the sound of rain has not subsided yet, the steamy atmosphere around the bathhouse has dulled their senses for the moment.Bookmark here

Submerged in the hot, steaming water in the large tub at the women’s bathhouse were only two women who had the time to get in early.Bookmark here

Hinota, her lower body below her voluptuous chest was within the confines of the hot water. The warm liquid warming Hinota’s silky-white skin, pushing out all the exhaustion that has been piling up in her.Bookmark here

She raised her toned yet thin arms upwards, meekly grunting while stretching her arms before finally releasing the pressure, making her her arms fall back into the warm bath.Bookmark here

“Mmh, it’s so nice…”Bookmark here

Hinota’s hair was let loose, her tie was with the rest of her clothes in a basket outside the bath.Bookmark here

“It sure is, isn’t it? I never thought I would bathe in such a large bath. It’s so spacious!”Bookmark here

The other woman, Meiki, had her elbows rests on the edge of the bath, fully exposing her chest without a care in the world while having a relaxed expression.Bookmark here

But then she stole a glance at Hinota, peeking at her while her chin was raised. Seeing such a body on such a young woman like her, it’s unreal.Bookmark here

“Hinota, you have such an incredible body. It’s no wonder that you must be popular with the boys.”Bookmark here

Despite the fog, she could still see clearly her well-defined features now that Hinota was fully nude, and offers her compliments.Bookmark here

Hearing such a compliment would be normal for Hinota. When she hears it from a guy, she expected that he was attracted to her. When she hears it from a girl, in one way or another, they were jealous of her.Bookmark here

But somehow, coming from Meiki, she feels extremely embarrassed. For once, she wanted to hide away her breasts and body by covering them with her arms.Bookmark here

“Oh my, you’re so bashful, aren’t you~?”Bookmark here

Seeing such a reaction got Meiki to giggle, trying to stifle it with her hand. But as laughter ensues, Hinota’s blushing face became more apparent through the steamy air.Bookmark here

“I wonder, though… is this how you got Kudo to be with you?”Bookmark here

Hinota’s head let out more steam than the bath did from hearing such a scandalous question.Bookmark here

“N-No, I did not!”Bookmark here

She retorts back at Meiki, unwillingly showing a scowl. However, rather than being afraid, she laughs hysterically.Bookmark here

“Oh, I’m just kidding you~ You’re so cute when you get embarrassed like that!”Bookmark here

Hinota’s eyes widened, her cheeks burn hotter than the bath water. She lowered her chin into the water, air bubbling from her mouth.Bookmark here

“I-I know you were just…”Bookmark here

Hinota surprised herself with what she said. She knew that it was meant to be humorous, but she took it seriously. Flames of embarrassment burn in her belly, her face becoming steaming hot as she realized her mistake.
“Well, I shouldn’t have made such a rude remark. I’m sorry, Hinota.”Bookmark here

“N-No… I shouldn’t have overreacted.”Bookmark here

“My, but being like that, tell me, do you like to be with Kudo?”Bookmark here

“…O-Of course I do.”Bookmark here

“Hehe, I’m so happy for him~”Bookmark here

She responded with a smile. Hinota couldn’t handle looking at her eyes any further and looked away.Bookmark here

(Why does this make me feel so weird…)Bookmark here

Bookmark here

The girls were refreshed as they headed towards their room wearing their inside clothing.Bookmark here

Meiki’s hair swung about, the smell of soap that she hardly uses before wafts from it. She wore a simple white shirt and long, stretchy cream pants.Bookmark here

Hinota’s hair was tied into a ponytail since she prefers it that way, wearing a black sleeveless shirt and short pants that show off her slender, toned body.Bookmark here

After turning the corner and into the hallway, they open up the parents’ door and enter inside.Bookmark here

They saw Kudo and Trun sitting on Trun’s bed, facing each other with solemn faces. The reason for such a serious look is because they had poker cards on the bed, and a couple of them in their hands.Bookmark here

“… Your show, Dad.”Bookmark here

Kudo spoke with a cool tone, his eyes glinted. Trun responded by lowering his brow.Bookmark here

“…Flash!”Bookmark here

He proudly exclaimed by showing his cards—4 of diamonds, 5 of spades, 6 of hearts, 7 of diamonds, and 8 of clubs.Bookmark here

“A straight! Hehe, don’t worry, son. Sometimes fate gives to those who are fortunate.”Bookmark here

He proudly shouted, already knowing that it was his win. But Kudo only responded with a gentle smile.Bookmark here

“I agree. Flash!”Bookmark here

Mimicking his father, he showed his own hand: Jack of spades, 10 of spades, 9 of spades, 8 of spades, and 7 of spades.Bookmark here

“Wha—?!” Trun gaped with his eyes opened wide.Bookmark here

“A straight flush. Call it.”Bookmark here

He flashed a glinting grin, leaving his father to drop his cards.Bookmark here

“No way~!!”Bookmark here

Seeing Trun fall to his back on the bed with Kudo laughing like a child, the girls saw this scene with a cold sweat running down their heads, despite the fact that they just bathed.Bookmark here

“Ah, I’m so sorry to show you this, Hinota…”Bookmark here

Meiki felt that she should apologize for the men in her family.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it… though, since when did we get poker cards?”Bookmark here

“Mmh? Oh!”Bookmark here

Hearing Hinota ask that question, Kudo turns back to find that the women have returned.Bookmark here

“Hey, you two! We were just playing with the cards I bought today for this occasion.”Bookmark here

“Kudo, you bought them?”Bookmark here

Hinota asks as she headed over to the bed, curious about the cards.Bookmark here

The poker cards had small pictures of monsters on each card. The icons for the cards showed pictures of differently shaped monsters that represented the real ones.Bookmark here

“It was a while ago. After I saw the pictures, I was enticed to get them… and poker has been really fun for me lately.”Bookmark here

Kudo rubbed the back of his head sheepishly as he put on a silly smile.Bookmark here

“Ah…”Bookmark here

Hinota now remembered the fact that she influenced Kudo into playing such games thanks to the gambling they occasionally do. Thanks to Kudo’s incredible luck, they would run the place dry and quickly leave before they got into any trouble.Bookmark here

Hinota felt a sting in her heart knowing that she has corrupted Kudo, and his parents were there to see that.Bookmark here

“Ah, man! Kudo, you’re incredible! You didn’t cheat, didya? I know I raised you better than that.”Bookmark here

“Of course I haven’t! Don’t blame me for cheating. Blame fate for not giving you enough.”Bookmark here

“Gah~!” Trun felt his heart cracking apart from Kudo’s comeback.Bookmark here

“He got you there, Trun. Though, do try to be quieter. There are other people in this inn trying to sleep.”Bookmark here

Meiki admonished Trun for his loud voice, making Trun’s body shrink back and sheepishly rubbing his head, apologizing quietly.Bookmark here

“Now then, Kudo, if I can take you away from your father for a moment, can I ask you to take me to the kitchen? I’d really like to see some of the food they make here!”Bookmark here

Meiki asked Kudo by clasping her hands together with a smile.Bookmark here

“Oh, sure. I’ll take you there. Hinota, I’ll be back soon.”Bookmark here

Getting a nod from Hinota, Kudo leads Meiki out of the room.Bookmark here

“She’s taking this rather well,” Seeing as the two were by themselves, Hinota started a conversation with Trun. “I heard it’s the first time you two had such good services, is that right?”Bookmark here

“Yep, though I think Meiki might do more than just observe. She’s the kind that gets really personal when wasting valuable ingredients in a kitchen.”Bookmark here

“I-I see…”Bookmark here

Hinota knew that in their household, wasting ingredients was bad for them, so Meiki had the job to make sure that she cooks enough to get them fed for a long time. Reminding herself of their past living made her believe that she was acting arrogantly entitled.Bookmark here

Seeing her quiet, Trun looked away with a mild discomfort. He scratches his cheek, and then made a resolve within himself.Bookmark here

“Hinota,” He spoke solemnly. “Can I ask you something?”Bookmark here

Trun sat cross-legged on the bed, clasping of his hands on his knees.Bookmark here

Hinota turns to him, her eyes widened, “Sure… what is it?”Bookmark here

Seeing such a different demeanor from him, Hinota straightened herself up.Bookmark here

Trun put on a serious look, his eyes locked on Hinota’s slanted eyes.Bookmark here

She knew that he was on guard from hearing her answer. After processing in a fast pace in her high [INT] mind, she realizes that he asked for the sole purpose of figuring out Hinota’s intentions with Kudo.Bookmark here

She lowered her brows, and responded truthfully:Bookmark here

“Kudo’s character needs to be developed more, but other than that, he is a fine man. Someone that I would trust with my life.”Bookmark here

She had no intention to lie. If she did, she fears that she might disappoint Trun. So she answered the best she could from her own heart.Bookmark here

Trun hung his head back in surprise, a wide look from his eyes. After a while, he looks like he cursed himself as he brushed his head furiously.Bookmark here

“Gah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to judge you like that,” He spoke in an apologetic tone.Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

For a moment, he turned quiet. Hinota felt uneasy after seeing such a playful father becoming serious. Then he slaps his knee with a loud force, surprising Hinota.Bookmark here

“Alright. I’ll tell you. To be honest, I really hate nobles.”Bookmark here

Hinota’s eyes widened and her heart tightened. The sudden declaration of hatred put Hinota in a tight spot.Bookmark here

Does this mean that, as a former noble herself, Trun doesn’t want her to be near Kudo? She listens intently to his reasoning.Bookmark here

“But you’re different. I can tell that you’re a nice girl who had some complications in her life. I should have realized this, but I’m an idiot, so I had to ask.”Bookmark here

He weaved his words together to try to ease her worries. Thankfully, they did their job right as Hinota’s heart calmed down after hearing his meaning.Bookmark here

After a while, she asked: “W-Why do you hate nobles?”Bookmark here

She was reluctant to ask this, but she had to know.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I figured you would ask that. Alright… see, in the past, I dealt with tons of nobles.”Bookmark here

“Tons of them?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… and none of them were pleasant experiences.”Bookmark here

She could tell that a sort of animosity was tinged in his words.Bookmark here

“The last one I met was even worse. It involved Kudo…”Bookmark here

Hearing Kudo’s name, Hinota’s eyes widened and stepped in.Bookmark here

“W-What happened to Kudo?!”Bookmark here

She asked, not realizing her sudden increase in her tone.Bookmark here

For a moment, he was flabbergasted, then he smiled warmly, as if he realized something good.Bookmark here

“See, it happened about 10 years ago, when Kudo had his 5th birthday. He just got the guidebook, and he got super excited and daydreamed about being an Adventurer all the time.”Bookmark here

Contradicting his earlier sentiment, Trun showed a sense of happiness in his words. Hinota thought that he was reminded of Kudo’s innocence in the past.Bookmark here

■ ■ ■Bookmark here

The sky was blue and clear, the sun burning shining bright high in the sky.
Kudo was patted on his head, looked up at his parents with a round face and eyes full of wonder. Trun could remember that easily.Bookmark here

He and Meiki went to a nearby store to sell to the vendor in a town outside Arkhem. It’s the town they usually go to whenever they needed to make a sale. After successfully bargaining, they gained enough to cover the present for Kudo’s birthday.Bookmark here

When they got out, the parents saw Kudo running around with never-ending energy, imagining that he was flying gained by a skill as an adventurer.Bookmark here

It was then that, without them noticing, two guards were passing by, and behind them, a single man wearing well-decorated clothing.Bookmark here

Without meaning to, Kudo bumped into the noble from his running around, getting the guards and especially the noble to take notice.Bookmark here

The man was big, a bit heavy on the belly, so Kudo was pushed back from the force. He looked up, and saw the man’s fat and bearded face.Bookmark here

“I-I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

He spoke gently, looking up at the huge man whose face contorted into a scowl.Bookmark here

The big shadow that enveloped Kudo’s entire body grew wider, and widened his eyes after seeing a part of him move.Bookmark here

—*Bam!*Bookmark here

Kudo’s entire body was kicked, pain formed all over his body as the small child fell to the ground a few feet away.Bookmark here

“ “Kudo!!” ”Bookmark here

The parents dashed in as quick as they could. The mother saw to the trembling boy quiver on the ground from the pain. The father knelt down to be with his wife and child, his face forming into anger itself.Bookmark here

“Worthless brat. Don’t touch me with your filthy rags. Swine like you should stay in the pen where you belong!”Bookmark here

The noble snorted, a scoff left his mouth. He looked down onto the farmers, to the child specifically, with his beady eyes.Bookmark here

The boy looked up in fear, pain coursing through his body while tears welled in his eyes.Bookmark here

“You—!!”Bookmark here

Trun nearly lost it. He was about to push himself up before Meiki stopped him with both her hands.Bookmark here

“Stop, please. Don’t move…”Bookmark here

Meiki said in a quivering tone. She was biting onto her lips enough for them to bleed. Trun saw the look in her eyes. They told him to take it quietly, or they will suffer more than this injustice.Bookmark here

“Phht, useless. Let’s move out of here! I had enough of this sniveling town…”Bookmark here

The noble saw the reactions of the farmer and became disinterested. He let out another scoff as he had the guards straightened themselves up, and faced the other way as they left.Bookmark here

The parents looked after the child, only to see Kudo trembling in fear, his eyes looking somewhat empty…Bookmark here

■ ■ ■Bookmark here

“T-That’s terrible!”Bookmark here

Hinota tightened her fists, and her baring teeth showed enough fury to get even Trun taken aback.Bookmark here

In her mind, she wanted to find this noble, and use her vast wealth to shame him enough for him to become completely bankrupt.Bookmark here

The worse of it all is that she recalls meeting that kind of noble before.Bookmark here

A fat, selfish noble that would often praise the Flamver family with empty compliments. She could recall meeting him, shamelessly rubbing his hands together in front of her parents as he utters out words that she heard dozens of times over.Bookmark here

It may not have been the same man that has cruelly kicked a child, but she could tell that their souls were rotten, and their hearts were black as coal.Bookmark here

“Hinota… I’m sorry. I know that we weren’t right to just let it happen either.”Bookmark here

“It’s not your fault! If you would have attacked the nobles then, if Meiki hadn’t stopped you, you would have been taken away! Or your family could have suffered a huge debt that you could never pay off. That’s how those stupid nobles work!”Bookmark here

She could tell the reason why the noble stayed quiet as he did. The reason for that is because getting pushed by a child wouldn’t look good, but if he was attacked by a farmer, he could manipulate the information, and make it so that Trun would be branded as a criminal.Bookmark here

She felt ashamed, knowing that it is how nobles usually react to as entertainment for themselves. She never felt gladder for Meiki who stepped in to stop Trun’s righteous rage.Bookmark here

“Yeah… I would have made a big mistake. After that, I never hated nobles more than I did now.”Bookmark here

Hinota saw Trun’s hand tightened into a fist. A fist made out of frustration for the noble, and anger for himself for not being able to do anything about it.Bookmark here

“It was also that time that made Kudo… scared of people.”Bookmark here

Trun admitted painfully, getting Hinota’s attention.Bookmark here

“He thought it was his fault. He didn’t understand the crappy relationship of nobles and commoners. But he did understand that he angered that bastard, and those words he said were stuck on him. He must have kept thinking that he really was worthless.”Bookmark here

Hinota could see it in her mind. The once innocent Kudo, now turned fearful of his surroundings and his behavior. She could literally see the connection.Bookmark here

The reason for his fear of people was due to his traumatic experience of meeting a noble. Her heart wrenched in pain.Bookmark here

(If he had figured about the relationship between commoner and noble, would he hate nobles then?)Bookmark here

The idea of Kudo hating her made her heart uneasy. She didn’t want that at all.Bookmark here

And the cause of it all was that evil noble.Bookmark here

“H-Hinota, calm down, okay…?”Bookmark here

Hinota’s mind returns to reality, and notices Trun’s frightened expression.Bookmark here

She realizes now that her face put on an incredible scowl, her slanted eyes created an imagery that left Trun incredibly frightened.Bookmark here

“Ah, I-I’m sorry for showing such a shameless look…”Bookmark here

She quickly apologizes, returning her expression to its normal, sharp look.Bookmark here

“A-Ah, don’t worry about it… still, I didn’t think you would look so scary.”Bookmark here

Trun made his joke, trying to grin to ward off the awkward atmosphere. However, it made Hinota take a huge hit to her pride, and hung her head low in despair.Bookmark here

“But…”Bookmark here

She looks up, seeing Trun forming a smile.Bookmark here

“Thanks for showing me that,” Trun smiled as he continued: “You’re the first person that he opened his heart to after a long time… I hope that you can get him to break out of his shell, and become the person he wants to be.Bookmark here

He spoke gently, letting out the words from his heart.Bookmark here

Hinota’s heart lessened its rage, forming into happiness as she returned a smile at him.Bookmark here

The door opens, revealing Kudo and Meiki whose voices overlapped.Bookmark here

“I’m telling you, mom! Don’t just go in and taste their food! It was so embarrassing!”Bookmark here

“I had to say, though. Their food is pretty good… though I don’t like how they waste such perfectly good eggshells.”Bookmark here

Kudo sighs after hearing Meiki’s nonchalant response. He then saw Hinota and Trun facing each other.Bookmark here

“What’s up? You guys talking about something?”Bookmark here

“A-Ah, it’s nothing, Kudo! Don’t worry about it!” Hinota stammered, but put on a look of composure.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I was just telling her some stories about you!”Bookmark here

“D-Dad! Don’t tell stuff like that!”Bookmark here

Kudo’s cheeks blush to his ears as he ran up to Trun while furrowing his brows. Trun laughs while Meiki shared a giggle, having an idea about what they were truly talking about.Bookmark here

“Oh…” Suddenly, Kudo became quiet.Bookmark here

“Mmh?” Trun notices. “What’s up?”Bookmark here

“Umm… Mom, Dad, there’s something that I want to ask you guys about…”Bookmark here

Kudo straightens himself up, getting everyone in the room to take heed.Bookmark here

“It’s… about my Class.” Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.