After the short intermezzo, the journey continued with the bandits in their entourage. Kael stopped his personal surveillance at Melissa's carriage and joined a few mercenaries on their invitation for a drink at their carriage. They were elated to know that a powerhouse was accompanying them on their escort mission and their attention relaxed by a lot. Kael knew about their intentions of sucking up to a powerhouse, but he didn't care as long as there was booze.
Inside of Melissa's carriage. Kathrin was babbling to her mother excitedly. This scene was going on for a while already and Melissa was accustomed to her daughter's excited behavior. Instead of following Kael's orders to stay inside the carriage and close the windows and doors she secretly peeked at the events outside. She quickly forgot her earlier dissatisfaction and was happily talking about her observations during the fight.
"You know, that bandit leader said he was at captain rank. His face was really ugly. He wanted the mercenaries to hand us over to them. I don't want to even imagine what they would have done with us if they had won." Kathrin's imagination ran wild and shivers ran down her spine, "would they have forced me to bear their children? Oh no. I don't want to kiss any of them." She shook her head ferociously. Melissa's expression went black and she started to regret that she never gave her daughter a proper lesson in sexual education. She sheltered her daughter quite a lot which resulted in this pure childlike mindset. Johann's muffled laughter sounded out from the driving seat. He seemingly heard about the conversation on the inside.
"But mom, did you know? Kael took down all of those bandit's before they could harm us. He saved us from those evil clutches. We have to properly thank him later." Kathrin's mood took a turn again and she changed the topic. "It was sooo cool how he took them all on by himself." Her face blushed lightly and started reminiscing.
Melissa rubbed her temples with a sigh. It seemed like her daughter had taken a fancy to their bodyguard. She really regretted not educating her properly in her childhood. Although Kael's martial skill and background impressed her by a wide margin, she didn't want her daughter to fall for a scoundrel and drunkard.
The caravan stopped and set up a camp in the evening. The next city was around 3 days of travel away and they had to guard the captives during nighttime so they won't escape. They set up guard shifts. Kael volunteered to take over the first shift by himself. He sat in front of the campfire, sipping at a bottle occasionally, while he randomly checked upon the well being of the bandits. He was currently staring off into the distance seemingly in deep thought.
"What am I even doing here. I am escorting some civilians fighting some lousy bandits." He mumbled to himself. "Master. I don't know how I am supposed to find the answers I seek out here."
"Which answer?" A high pitched voice pulled Kael back from his thoughts. Kael turned towards the side and looked towards the source of the voice. Kathrin emerged from the shadow's between the tents and came closer. Kael smirked nonchalantly and asked, "Did your mother never teach you that it's improper to eavesdrop on others?"
Kathrin's expression turned awkward as she felt ashamed and bowed, "I apologize for my rude behavior."
Kathrin's unexpected reaction threw Kael off-guard. He expected her to snap at him in a childish manner, but he didn't dwell on it and continued asking, "Do you need anything from me?"
"I wanted to thank you for today. If not for you the bandits would have won today and I would've had to bear their children." Kathrin bowed again and answered seriously.
Kael's eyes went wide and even though he tried to hold it back a muffled laugh escaped.
"What's so funny?" Kathrin was puzzled.
Some of the nearby bandits caught onto the conversation and cried out, "You can come over here and accompany this lowly one to a round if you want to. I wouldn't shut you out young beauty."
"Baah. Who would want to kiss the likes of you?" Kathrin spat out sheepishly.
"We wouldn't restrict ourselves to just kissing though. Consider it. We'd properly satisfy you from both sides." The bandits started arguing with her.
"Why would you want to do anything else than kissing?" Kathrin asked puzzledly.
The bandits and Kael were both stunned. A few moments later they started laughing.
"WHAT'S SO FUNNY?" Kathrin snapped and started shouting.
"Ssshh. Not so loud, you'll wake up the others." Kael quickly intercepted. He guided Kathrin to her tent and they bid their farewell. You'd better ask your mother to teach you about the process of bearing children before you go around spouting nonsense again." He smirked again.
Kathrin started to hate this smirk. She believed that this smile insulted her. Her positive feelings towards Kael had been forgotten again. The only thing on her mind about Kael was how much he annoyed her every time they met.
She turned around without a word and entered the tent. Upon entering she saw her mother studying her questioningly. "How did your mood turn sour again?"
"Smelly Kael made fun of me again." Kathrin answered with a snap. "He thinks I don't know how childbearing works. I obviously know that a woman gets pregnant when a man kisses her."
Melissa's face turned black and she rubbed her temples. She already had a gist of what happened and decided that the time had come that she was forced to explain to her daughter what sex is.
"Kathrin, come over here for a second. I need to talk with you." She let her daughter take a seat in front of her and started explaining. The conversation took a while and Kathrin's expressions varied throughout. There was shock, disgust, enlightenment and at the end anger. "Those despicable bandits." She had the urge to exit the tent and thrash all of the bandits who quibbled with her earlier.