9 Coming home
Mael jumped to the exit of the dungeon portal.
"Here we go!!!", Mael said as he jumped
They exited and then saw many soldiers surrounding them. The dungeon gate is now closing and it emitted a bright light. All is silent for a moment then they all shout.
"The young master is alive! He came back!", shouted Maledic.
All shouts can be heard and Erza was surprised. Due to the stirring emotions she felt inside, she couldn't help it but unmounts from her horse and hurriedly runs towards her son.
"Move! Make way to Lady Erza!", shouted Maledic.
The soldiers moved aside as they make way for the two of them.
"Soldiers! Line up! Attention!", Maledic shouted an army command.
Mael and his mother are running between the soldiers that have lined up. Mael puts down the kid and runs towards her.
"Mael! My son!", she shouted as she throws away her helmet.
"Mom!", shouted Mael.
"Son!", she shouted with teary eyes.
Mael and Erza are getting nearer and nearer. As they meet, in a blink of an eye, Erza punches him at the stomach.
"Mom! Huk!", he gasped for air as he was thrown off.
"What were you thinking?! You jumped into the dungeon all by yourself! What if you didn't come back?! Why can't you at least let me protect you as your mother?! That's not bravery, Mael! It's foolishness! And that foolishness will kill you someday!", she said angrily.
Mael kneeled on the ground, gasping air as he could.
"By the way, soldiers! Hand salute!", she said as she saluted Mael.
Mael was still confused by what it was about. He lifted his head. Erza still continued her speech while standing straight.
"For saving people selflessly, for the bravery you've shown. Now I proclaim you the hero of land! Mael of Golden Valley!", she shouted then raised his hands.
Mael immediately stands up and he awkwardly raised his hands. He stood in the midst of the crowd as he saw all the soldiers hailed his name. They were raising their weapons way up high while all shouting.
Mael replied with a shout to lighten up the mood of the crowd.
"Soldiers! withdraw!", Erza shouted to the soldier to go back to the town.
Mael immediately looked for the girl he saved and saw her running.
"Daddy!", the girl shouted.
"Anna! Oh, my child!, I thought you were dead!", the old man said as he broke down and cried.
"Daddy! He saved me! I woke up and....", she rapidly talked, but she was shushed by his father.
"I know. I know", he said as he combs her golden hair.
"By the way", he immediately turned to Mael.
"Thanks for saving my daughter. By the way, how rude of me! I'm Vanz Aldougs, assistant to the King Leomurd Ainztain. Yes, the king himself. As our agreement, I will happily serve you and your house, Lord Mael Kael of Golden Valley", he said as he bowed down to Mael.
"At ease, Sir Vanz! You have a great offense to me, because you didn't give the details of the appearance of your daughter. Luckily, I saved the right one! I really wondered what will be your reaction if I saved the wrong one! If that happens, I'm not at fault. Since you didn't even tell me what is her appearance, yeah?", Mael said as sir Vanz is nodding very fast.
"It is a great disaster! Thus, I punish you to go to my house and eat dinner with us tonight", Mael said with a threat.
"As for the details of your new job, well, let's discuss it at my house. Shall we?", he said as he laughed and turns.
Vanz carried his child on his big arms as they walked home together with the army. While they are walking home, Anna leaned closer to her dad's ears.
"Dad! This person is a bad person. I will bet my future birthday gift for that!", Anna whispered to her dad.
"Hahahaha!!!", Sir Vanz laughed.
"It's not needed, Anna. But if your hunch was correct, then I will double your present!", he laughed.
Mael and the army was nearing the town's west gate. They marched towards the streets, seeing people that were cheering for them. They opened their windows and then beside the streets. The people are releasing floating lanterns to the streets. Anna and the soldiers are watching in awe as the marched.
Sir Vanz was walking beside Erza and Maledic, while carrying his daughter in his shoulders.
"Wow! Look at that dad! They are floating!", Anna said to him, pointing at the lanterns.
"Yes, Anna. It's the first time I've seen something this pretty", he said in awe.
"My son is the one who made it when he was six", Erza proudly said.
"Say what!?", Vanz surprisingly said.
"Yeah! And he gave one each to every household from his own expense. He used money he had gained from his selling potions. He's a great alchemist, by the way! He loves enchanting random objects when he was twelve.", she said then sighed.
"I miss the old days. When he was still crawling at his crib and pees in his bed", she happily said.
They marched and the people are singing a melodious song for them. A song of victory and safe coming from a bloody battled. Mael was happy to protect his people and didn't regret it at all.
After minutes of walking, they arrived at the mansion. The gate was a big and made of steel with the family crest on the center. they are approached by the head maid and maidservants.
"Welcome Lord Mael, Lady Erza, and guests! We've prepared a tea in case you're all tired.", the head of the maids then bowed down.
"Good! Prepare a meal for our guests immediately and a room to sleep", Erza said to her.
"As you wish, my lady!", she bowed again and then left.
"As you can see, we're not that wealthy like the king. But I hope you will still enjoy your stay in our humble home." Mael turned to their butler. "Maledic, please guide our guests. Let's meet in the dining room later. Now if you'll excuse me", he said as he left and went to his room.
He grabbed the golden stone from his backpack then puts it in his hidden chest under his bed.
"Mael, the guests were now waiting downstairs. You might wanna come out this instant", his mom said behind his door.
"Coming!", he answered back.
Mael also changed his clothes into sleepwear and then exited his room. He hurriedly walks in the stairs and the guests have changed their clothes into sleeping wear also, and they have taken a bath just recently.
In the living room, Sir Vanz, Anna, and Erza are sitting on the couch. While Maledic was standing behind Erza's. The maids were pouring tea to each one of them.
"Looks like you've waited for so long!", Mael said to them.
"Oh, no! We're just sitting here for an hour. It's just a breeze", Erza said to him.
"I'm sorry! But let me get to the point. I wanna be an adventurer!", he said to his mother.
"If you wanna be an adventurer, then I can recommend you to", said Vanz but it was cut by Erza.
"No!!!", she shouted firmly as she smashed her teacup
The hot tea was drenched on her hands stinging from the burn, but she didn't mind it.
"After all that happened, you still wanna be an adventurer?", she exclaimed.
"Mom, hear me out first. Have you seen what happened when these gates are left open? We know that the only way to close them is by killing the bosses. And I want to eradicate every last one of them to make the kingdom a better place. And I want to investigate what is happening with Lumia. At least to atone for the ones I didn't save. At least I can save the others", he said to his mom.
"Son, you don't have to take the blame for everything that had happened. You are just a teenager! You're supposedly attending school next year!", she said.
"Mom at least let me help them, even a little", he said.
Erza sighed, she can't predict his son's mind and thus she surrendered.
"Okay. But promise me after one year, you will come back and attend school, promise?", she said as she offers her pinky.
Mael smiled then he responded with his pinky.
"Mom, this is a child's promise-making", Mael retorted.
"Who cares? as long it's a promise", she chuckled.
"Okay, I will go to bed earlier. For I'm very tired in our battle. I might sleep instantly. You take care of our guests, okay?", she then pats his shoulders.
"Good night, mom!", said Mael as he waved.
Mael and his guests were left alone in the room.
"As I was saying earlier, I could recommend you to", Vanz said, but he was again cut by Mael.
"No. I want to be undercover while investigating", he said.
"Ho! Ho!", Vanz shouted as he knows the perfect plan.
"How about you change your appearance?", he said instantly.