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 was now closing and it emitted a bright light. All was silent for a moment then they all shout.

"The young master was alive! He came back!", shouted Maledic.

Whaaaaa!!!!

Woooohhhhh!!!

All shouts can be heard and Erza was surprised. Due to the stirring emotions, she felt inside, she couldn't help it. She unmounts from her horse and hurriedly runs towards her son.

"My son is alive! Make way for me!", she shouted.

"Move! Make way for 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 were 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 were getting nearer and nearer. As they meet in a blink of an eye.

Erza punches him in 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, he was gasping air as many as he could.

"That punch surprised me a bit. It was the least that I have expected. She made a surprise attack that even I thought would never happen. The pain in my abdomen was excruciating. It hinders my breathing and my abdomen was stiff due to the sudden impact. I didn't expect to be betrayed twice by a girl! And It was my mother! Is she a demon who disguised as my mother? Is this my end? Will I be living in the afterlife like this? Did I achieve my goal? I hope that I will be happy in passing over this afterlife. No! I can't accept my fate! I will fight on and live!", Mael said in his mind.

Slowly, he grasped the dirt in the ground and he slowly stands up.

"I will not be killed by the likes of you! You witch!", Mael shouted.

"What are you talking about? Have you lost your mind after I've beaten you up?", she said.

"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 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 amid the crowd as he saw all the soldiers hailed his name. They were raising their weapons way up high while all shouting.

"This is beyond my expectation. Well at least let me cheer them up so their high morale will be bolstered up. I can't just leave without cheering them up. Okay, I will shout but it has to be a loud one so they will hear it. But if it was loud enough, then maybe they will shout even louder than my shout. Well, there's no helping it. At least I will try the medium shout so their shout will be louder than mine. Okay here we go! Ready shout!", Mael said in his mind.

Arrrrrrrggggggg!

Mael replied with a shout to uplift the mood of the crowd.

Arggggg!!!

Roar!!!

They shouted even louder than before. Louder than Mael.

"The medium shout was the right one. They will shout louder than me so I choose the medium one. Yes, it was the right choice. Shouting the loud shout will make them shout louder.", Mael said to his mind.

His hands were lowered by his mother and he touches his hands. It was numb due to the grip of his mother.

"So mom is really angry, I will let her cool down a bit so she will exhaust her anger for some time. Even she was angry. I didn't regret my decision to lure them back to the portal. I think it was the best option on hand. I better be careful next time not to make her angry with me again.", Mael said to himself.

Mael looked at his mother's back as she moved forward. Mael was amazed by her aura.

"She has higher proficiency when it comes to aura than my father. But father was more proficient in weapon techniques. I see now, maybe mother was laying low right now. I wonder what will happen if my father is here. It would be better if he is here. I can only think of my incompetence when he was compared to me. All I could do was aim higher and reach higher than him. Protecting everyone was burdensome but it will be easier if I have the power to back it up. Dwight academy! Here I come!", Mael shouted in his mind.

"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.

He showed his kingdom crest to Mael as a symbol of his legitimate position as the king's right hand.

"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 wondered what will be your reaction if I saved the wrong one! If that happens, It's not my fault. Since you didn't even tell me what is her appearance, yeah?", Mael said to him.

Sir Vanz was nodding very fast for him.

"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 in his big arms as they walked home together with the army. While they were walking home, Anna leaned closer to her dad's ears.

"Dad! This person was 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 was silent while he rides a horse.

"If I was stronger by now. The dungeon will not even pose a problem. If I can monopolize the [Limit breaker] then It will be a feat to take. I would train harder to be able to handle it. If it was controlled and not being excessive, then maybe it was not called [Limit breaker] but something else like 'calm [Limit breaker]?'. It has a very violent aura but is controlled. Then I will be able to monopolize its strength. Making its setbacks became lower in its effectiveness. It will be part of my research in the future.", Mael said in his mind.

While Mael was contemplating, his mother was looking at him.

"My son was able to survive the dungeon. He didn't use [Limit breaker] this time so he used his strength. I can only watch my boy grow up and become a man. Someday, he will be greater than his father. Melvin will be happy to see him grow up. Melvin, wherever you are right now. Our boy was getting stronger. He will fulfill his duty to save us one day. The ones who were chosen by the creator itself.", Erza said to her mind.

Mael and the army were 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 were releasing floating lanterns to the streets. Anna and the soldiers were watching in awe as they marched.

Sir Vanz was walking beside Erza and Maledic while carrying his daughter on his shoulders.

"Wow! Look at that dad! They were 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 the 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 were 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.

"Look at that Mael, they were the people whom you saved. Be proud of your self! You were the ones who lead the troops who saved them right?", Erza said to him.

"My feat was not even worth mentioning. If I can control [Limit breaker] then.", Mael said to her.

"Then what? It was impossible to control [Limit breaker]! Don't you think about experimenting with your life on the line? One mistake will lead to your death!", she said to him.

"Hump, it was not impossible mom. But I won't be reckless I promise! I am still not able to save many people and some died because of my incompetence. I will get stronger someday as I train but it can wait. Let's take this step by step, shall we?", Mael said to his mom.

"Okay! Okay! But promise me not to be reckless. I believe that you are the only one who can learn what is the secret of the [Limit breaker].", she said to him.

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"Really!? I won't let you down!", Mael said to her.

"I believe in you! Chosen one!", Erza said while eyes closed.

"Chosen one!?", Mael said bewildered.

"Forget about it, it was not important by the way. Let's eat after we arrived in the mansion, shall we!", Erza said to him.

"Yes! Let's do that!", Mael replied to her.

After minutes of riding, they arrived at the mansion. The gate was big and made of steel with the family crest in the center. They were 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 said 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 were 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 were left open? We know that the only way to close them was 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 was 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.

"Sighed, I really can't predict my son's mind and thus I surrender.", she said.

"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 as it's a promise", she chuckled.

"Okay, I will go to bed earlier. I'm very tired from 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.

"What a clever fella. He will get stronger if he will be an adventurer. At least he is stronger before the Dwight academy entrance exam. Hump, nice thinking. Let us see how strong you will get by only using techniques.", Erza said in her mind.

Meanwhile, Mael and his guests were left alone in the living 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.

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