She scoured her bag for herbs and ointments, but then she stopped. Recalling that child’s temper, Adele knew he wouldn’t let her treat him that easily. She tried to think of an alternative idea and decided to follow the boy.
“Do you know the way out of here?”
“Oh no… What should I do? I think I’m lost.” She said, feigning fear.
“Heavens! What if I go to the wrong place and accidentally meet with a monster?” She uttered with a frightened tone, very much unlike the woman who had confidently enticed the fox earlier.
Even an idiot could detect her blatant lie, but even if that was the case, the boy stopped in his tracks and beckoned to Adele.
She grinned, “Oh my, thank you so much!”
“…do you even mean it?” The boy murmured and took the lead.
Adele followed behind him, secretly reining in her laughter with her successful deceit. Now that she could openly follow after him, she could examine his injuries up close.
He seems to be hurt a lot more than I thought. Those wounds really need to be treated right away.
Unable to grasp what was going in Adele’s mind, the boy halted his steps and looked behind him.
“Are you alright?” he eventually asked.
“You fell down earlier.”
Adele slightly lifted her skirt to check. There was a cut on her ankle that drew a little bit of blood. Sensing an opportunity, Adele’s eyes widened.
She feigned a pitiful expression and cried out, “Ah! I’m hurt! It’s because you made me fall down earlier.”
Then, she directed an accusing gaze towards him.
His eyebrow twitched. “Tsk, sit down first.” Frowning, he pointed towards a large tree with his chin.
When Adele sat under the shade, he told her to wait and disappeared into a bush. A short while later, he brought out some herbs. He hurriedly tried to reach for Adele’s ankle but stopped halfway when he saw the hem of her skirt.
“You should lift it yourself.” The boy turned his head away as her ankles were slowly exposed.
But his red ears were impossible to hide.
Adele truly found it difficult to resist the temptation of pinching his cheeks that still had some baby fats to them. In the end, she simply nodded her head, successfully passing through the ordeal.
The boy ground the herbs on a large slab of stone and applied them onto her ankle. As she frowned at the prickly sensation, he felt a little concerned.
“Does it hurt?”
“Hm? Oh, it’s fine.” Adele tore off the ends of her skirt and wrapped her ankle with the herb paste.
“Can you stand up?”
Adele stifled another laugh. In all honesty, it was just a little scratch, far from being able to handicap her. But of course, she had to make a big deal out of it to commence her plan.
“Of course! To express my thanks, I need to treat your wounds too.”
Adele retrieved a handkerchief form her bag and dampened it with the water she brought with her. Then, she swiftly patted the boy’s cheek before he had any time to react.
Dumbfounded, he could only say, “W-what—?”
“I can’t be the only one being treated.”
“I’m fine—mmph.” His voice was quickly muffled when she intentionally rubbed the cloth over his mouth.
He shook his head to shrug her off, but Adele was adamant on wiping his face clean. After scrubbing off the blood, he wiggled as she applied the ointment.
Adele thought it was strange. For some reason, he looked like a young animal that was distrustful of humans and his woeful expression evoked a protective feeling from her that made her want to take care of him.
Besides, it wouldn’t be too bad.
Looking at his adorable baby face, she wouldn’t mind seeing it every single day. He would grow up to be an incredibly handsome man in the future. She was sure of it.
“A lot of girls will like you when you grow up.”
“What do you mean?”
“It means that you’re very handsome.” Just like that, Adele happily continued cleaning the bloodied boy.
“Oh right, do you have a girlfriend?” Listening to what she said, his face turned impossibly red it looked like his head would explode at any moment. He hastily pushed her hand away.
“Stop coddling me like a child, and I don’t need to be treated. I’ll be perfectly fine tomorrow.”
“Absolutely not. It’ll get worse if it gets infected!”
“I said I don’t need it!” As the boy tried to get up, Adele quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him back down.
“If I cross paths with a monster while walking down a mountain, I can’t even run away.” Then she pointed to her ankle. “You have to take responsibility for your mistake and escort me.”
He criticized, “How stupid must a lady be to go wandering without a single knight?”
In a monster-filled mountain no less!
Even an apprentice would’ve been enough!
Aspiring knights carry swords with them from a young age to increase familiarity with it as they grew up. Also, before entering the academy or the Knights Templar, they need to be trained in swordsmanship.
Which is why, some households would hire them as bodyguards in exchange for mentoring.
Seeing the boy in front of her walking around the mountain carrying a sword, Adele thought he must be one of those aspiring knights. Whether or not her guess was correct, the boy hesitated for a bit before sitting back down.
Without hesitation, she grabbed his face again and applied ointment to his wounds.
Their faces were very close. Adele was too absorbed in her self-appointed task that she didn’t notice him glancing at her with an inquisitive gaze.