Chapter 61: Forced Choice
「I’m really worried since there was no contact so far after a letter came！」
Seria was looking up at his face as she entrusted her body on Rio’s chest.
Repeatedly beating Rio chest.
「Sorry. There was no way to get in touch with this place from Yagumo ……. 」
Rio apologizing as if feeling a little troubled.
It’s already more than 3 years since Rio left Bertram kingdom.
The number of time he sent letters during that time is only once.
Maybe it’s only natural even if Seria worried about him.
「I know something like that！」
Seria voice echoed inside the room.
Though the knight guarding outside of the room is supposed to show no abnormalities according to Rio´s illusion art, even then there is a possibility that a passerby who happens to pass outside the room will hear Seria scream.
Though Rio’s a little surprised, he couldn’t talk about that risk.
Because the Seria in his embrace seemed too ephemeral.
「I’m sorry. I’ve made you worried」
「You fool, you’re such a fool」
Seria who’s buried her face on Rio chest is crying while muttering those words with a faint voice.
「I’ve returned in one piece right?」
“Dokun”, “Dokun”, the throbbing of Rio chest was transmitted to her.
It’s warm, and there’s a sense of security.
Seria gently stroked that chest from the bottom of her heart.
In this situation it can’t be helped that she felt anxious, though she met Rio in this way and could confirm Rio’s safety who had embarked on a dangerous journey, thus it can’t be helped that she feels glad.
Rio has come.
Though it’s only that much, Seria was surprised at herself for feeling so relieved by only meeting him.
「But, your coming at this timing is just too cunning」
Seria muttered in low voice.
Somehow she felt that her body became hot since some time ago.
The throbbing of her heart is something that she never felt until now.
Maybe it’s simply because she’s glad that Rio has returned or, though just for a moment, she’s being charmed by Rio who’s growing into a handsome and splendid adult or, maybe because she’s in his embrace.
Though it might be all of that, she feels that the greatest reason was because he’s coming at this timing.
After all, being confined under house arrest, her contact with the surrounding people has ceased including her relatives and, being forced to a marriage against her wish.
Because Seria’s heart was already strained to the limit.
And then Rio just came in this kind of situation, she felt relieved, glad, it’s not strange for various emotions to suddenly surfacing.(ED: Rio conquers through the tried and true method of suspension bridge effect!)
Even the current situation in which she’s in his embrace, there’s no doubt it’s because her heart is shaken.
With that kind of feeling, Seria was frantically trying to suppress the throbbing in her chest.
Rio asking with a curious tone.
Rio didn’t know what’s in Seria’s mind right now.
But, when he recalled the current situation of Bertram kingdom and Seria’s current condition, maybe an overly unpleasant incident happened on her recently.
Though he’s thinking about how to ask her about that, without any kind of preface, he had no time right now.
The illusion art that he used on the knight in front of the door will simply solved in around ten minutes, there’s also the possibility for someone to have some business with Seria.
He needed to keep it short.
「……… I already heard many news about this kingdom situation. For some reason I’m considerably in hurry」
Seria answered with weak smile in accordance to the situation.
「I heard that you’re going to marry the man called Charles Albo. Should I say, congratulation ？ 」
At those time, Seria didn’t have too much leeway for thinking about marriage.
Rio asking as if being troubled since he couldn’t measure whether it’s okay to bless her just like that.
But, just as he thought, Seria’s face become clouded, Rio judged that she didn’t wish for this marriage.
「Stop it. I never want to marry that man！ 」
Somehow when she felt a bottomless resistance to the fact that her marriage was known by Rio, Seria voiced her refusal with an expression as if she’s going to cry anytime.
Right, Rio’s words drove in like a lynchpin in her heart. そ
Seria sorrowful scream’s piercing into Rio chest.
Rio couldn’t say anything to her.
If this were a situation in which he can simply say something to ease her condition, he felt that he would say those words as much as she wanted.
But, those words had no meaning.
Seria is a clever girl.
Rio knew from his past experience that, far from glossing over her suffering, it’ll only make her feelings return to reality.
Thus, Rio’s troubled.
「Though well, it already can’t be helped. I’m a noble, I know that political marriage is something that I have to bear」
Seria was pretending to be tough while smiling helplessly.
Though in the first place, political marriage is something that only happens under the agreement of mutual interest to both houses, the current case was furnished under a half-threatening agreement.
It would not be so bad if Seria became the legal wife and yet, she’s the seventh wife.
Though she’s slightly beyond marriageable age, it’s a treatment that made her want to yell back for trying to make fun of the daughter of a prominent Earl house.
Even Seria’s father who wants his daughter to marry also held dissatisfaction for this marriage, the father and daughter holding the same sentiment want to loudly object the result.
But, if they’re going against Duke Albo who’s the ultranationalist that currently controls this country, in the worst case, House of Earl Claire will be taken down for their rebellious spirit.
Seria was caught in an inescapable fate.
「I can meet Rio this way in the end. Now I regained my spirit, I’ll endure this marriage」
Seria showing a lonely smile.
「Sensei …… 」
In that moment, the words 「Why don’t you come with me?」 almost came out of Rio’s throat.
But, is it really okay to say such words? .
Though to break the deadlock in her current situation, he would have to do one thing or another to the marriage itself, it’s not as simple as taking Seria from this place.
From the position of a noble, the influence toward the surrounding, and the livelihood of Seria after he got her out of this place, there’s so many things that he can’t do without considering the situation.
Maybe there’s also the possibility that it’ll turn into something that cannot be undone.
Is it truly okay to do that?
Can he bear the responsibility if something goes wrong?
In the first place, is this really what she wanted?
Perhaps by some chance Seria will regret it.
In that case, he’ll also regret his own action.
It’ll certainly become trouble if the fact that she’s eloped got revealed.
When the situation was turning into the worst direction, Rio would have no choice but to keep protecting Seria.
His denial to travel together with Gouki and company in Karasuki Kingdom isn’t it because he didn’t have the resolution to bear the lives of others on his shoulder.
When he think that way, he felt that taking out Seria isn’t a simple matter.
Rio silently looked at Seria’s face.
Seria also looked at Rio’s face while letting out a frail smile.
It’s as if she’s going to disappear anytime —-.
When he thinks that way, the thorn in Rio’s heart disappeared.
「Will you come with me？」
Rio said those words with full resolution.
That’s right, Seria also won’t be happy by staying in this kind of place.
Rio was convinced after looking at the current Seria.
Only that was certain.
If that was the case, there’s only one thing he should do.
「…… Eh？ E? 」
Seria looked at Rio with a befuddled expression.
「You should escape if you don’t want to marry. I’ll take sensei out from this castle」
Seria who supported him during his painful moments.
That girl now is facing a hard time.
In that case, Rio will support her.
It’s not a problem of thinking deeply about it.
As she didn’t wish for this marriage, because he didn’t want to see Seria’s figure that looked like her life was going to end.
Seria will find her own happiness.
Understanding that is the most difficult thing.
Thereupon, the problem is showing if she has that resolution.
After that, what’s left is whether she wants to escape or not.
In that moment, Seria showed an expression as if she took a glimpse of hope.
But, it’s instantly replaced with an expression as if she’s bitten a bitter bug.
「 ……… I can’t. The thing is, I’ll bring trouble to everyone if I’m getting caught while escaping. At that time, even if I survived, you’ll be executed」
Seria rejected Rio’s proposal.
Her feelings aside, she’s still hesitating on bringing trouble to the people who are precious to her and she adored.
Though the real situation in which they’re eloping without being found by anyone can’t be guaranteed, they’ve no excuse if they’re being caught in the way.(ED: took words out to make it make sense, put them back if you think otherwise.)
Though her house won’t be taken down when thinking about Seria’s social position, the standing of Earl Claire house will be considerably worsened in the country.
Though she won’t know what will become of her marriage with Charles, at the worst, her family will become a hostage for the sake of the country, no, for the sake of Helmut, and Seria might be forced to develop magic tools.
Moreover, after confirming Rio’s survival and imagining that he’ll be killed because of her, she felt an unfathomable amount of rejection.
「It won’t be a problem if no one finds us right？」
But, Rio said that while displaying a fearless smile.
Seria looked at him dumbfounded.
「No, well, that’s right but ……. Do you know how difficult it is to do that? This place is inside the royal castle you know? 」
「Yeah, this place is inside the royal castle indeed. By the way――」
Rio kept talking while smiling wryly.
「Sensei, how do you think I came to this place？」
「Uh, Ah …….. 」
Because she’s too happy to be able to meet Rio again, she completely forgot to ask the questions that she should have asked when Rio just came.
「R-Rio, how did you come all the way till this place？」
Seria current room was located in the deepest part of Bertram’s royal castle.
Great numbers of soldiers and knights are patrolling around the royal castle, that’s excluding the countless number of imperial nobles and servants who are walking around the castle, there’s also the guard knight in front of the room.
He would have had to slip through all the eyes of those people to arrive till this place.
It’s different if he’s infiltrated as an official from the very beginning, entering as a complete stranger is supposed to be impossible however.
Though there’ll be a commotion if that were the case, there’s absolutely no chance of that happening
Rio is still in the wanted list.
Though it’s already been 3 years, it’s still valid.
Though there’s no full-scale investigation, he’ll certainly be captured if he’s spotted walking nonchalantly.
Rio is growing, though he might be able to enter the royal castle if he falsified his identity, it’s also strange how he came to this place without any attendant.
Since there’s no way for the current Seria to meet someone without any attendant.
That’s why, though she didn’t feel that Rio came to this place as an official, Seria’s common sense strongly insisted that there’s no way he came any other way.
(I mean, if he can do that, assassinating the king isn’t that difficult right?)
「I sneaked in」
But, Seria question was easily answered by Rio.
Even so, Seria was seemingly not convinced with his answer.
「N-No, no matter how you say it ……. What kind of magic, that is」
When it came to that, she still believed that he’s a guess who has come by passing all of the official procedures.
But, she’s strongly insisting without circumstantial evidence.
She can’t help but to accept it if she sees it.
「Rio, you, really ……….」
Seria muttered in shock.
Seria know that Rio couldn’t use magic.
Thereupon, she asked whether he sneaked in this castle alone.
Or, what kind of magic tool he uses which looked like a necklace that changed his hair color.
「It seems you are starting to believe it」
A smile floated on Rio’s face.
「Really, what kind of magic did you use？ It’s disgracing many soldier and knight who’re working as the guards of the royal court, that ……. 」
Seria who knows how grave the situation is, asked with a serious expression.
Rio’s placing his hand on his mouth as if pondering about something.
「……… Something like this magic」
After answering in that way.
In the next moment, soon accompanied by a low whistle of the wind, Seria lost sight of Rio figure.
Rio who spoke in front of her vanished before she knew.
「…… Eh？ Rio? 」
Seria called Rio’s name who suddenly disappeared.
「Then appearing like this」
A gentle breeze blew past her and Seria recognized that Rio continued his explanation.
「W-What kind of？」
Seria muttered in amazement.
(What kind of magic is this?)
「This is the kind of magic that make me transparent to blend with the surrounding」
Rio speaking with calm tone.
「Y-You say become transparent, as far as I know there’s no such kind of magic but ……」
「Because strictly speaking it’s not magic. I think it’s also difficult to do the same thing with magic」
When Rio nonchalantly said something that can’t be allowed to pass, it greatly stimulated Seria’s curiosity as a magic scholar.
「W-What’s that？ What is the principle？ 」
「Uhm, let say that by manipulating the wind loaded with odo, I mean magical power …….. Now is not the time for that kind of explanation」
Though he unintentionally explained when he was pressed by Seria who asked vigorously, Rio shook his neck sideways while smiling wryly.
「EH? A-Ahaha, sorry. I unintentionally was curious about it …..」
Maybe because her self-awareness was wavering since she lost herself, Seria apologized while smiling wryly.
She who was instantly in a trance when it comes to something related to magic hadn’t changed whether in the past or now.
「For the time being, I won’t say anything rather than taking sensei alone out from this place without anyone noticing. That’s why, let me ask again. Sensei, will you come with me？ 」
Rio said that, though in a way as if he asked her to take a light stroll in the park.
「Uhm, it’s what you say to me but, the current me is a super VIP you know？ First, if it’s exposed that Rio’s escaped while taking me along, this time you’ll certainly become a genuine criminal」
「I don’t care. I already got a false charge on my head for an attempt to assassinate a royalty you know. So why can’t I add abduction of a noble in this place. As it is, sensei’s problem will become an accident」
「If we left to other countries, the wanted list in the Bertram kingdom won’t have anything to do with us. Moreover, I don’t think the Bertram kingdom will make Seria-sensei disappearance come out to the public」
「That’s ……… Maybe you’re right」
Regardless her country or another country, there’s many powers that wanted Seria.
It’s easy to predict what it’ll turn into if they convey the disappearance of Seria from Bertram kingdom to those people.
Certainly even without that, when it comes to the face of the country no one is naïve enough to make a proclamation like the kidnapping or unofficial disappearance of the country’s VIP.
There’s a possibility that this country might hide the fact about Seria’s disappearance.
「B-But, even after leaving from this place, I’ll only become Rio’s hindrance. I’m, a woman who has no redeeming feature except for magic」
「I know that. Because no one would clean and tidy the room if I wasn’t there」
Rio showed an amusing smile while saying that.
Seria’s cheeks inflated with a “muu”.
「I’ve no place to go if I leave this place you know？ I might be staying on your side for a lifetime you know?」
「At least we’ll be together till I find a permanent residence in which Seria-sensei can live in peace. Though there’s no guarantee whether that place will be in Strahl region」[TL : And he shoot it down just like that]
「 ……. In this point I wanted you to say “I will support sensei for life” though.」
「Ahaha, sorry. Naturally I can’t thoughtlessly say such a promise」
Rio’s smiling wryly to Seria who’s looking at him with reproachful eyes.
「So that’s how it is」
Seria smiled while giggled a little.
「After this, if possible I want sensei to promise only one thing, I won’t especially make sensei do something」
「Yes. Maybe, sensei will catch a glimpse of many crazy events when you’re with me. Though I’ll explain it as long as I can, sensei must swear to not thoughtlessly tell a third party about what you know. Though there’s no need to keep this promise in case it’ll bring danger to sensei’s safety」
「Crazy event right ……..」
Seria stared intently at Rio.
She already caught a glimpse of that.
She could do that much.
Because there might be something that was more surprising than this.
Because something like magic that will make you transparent like what she saw just now, to Seria who’s a magic scholar and a noble, she understands that the effective value of that is unthinkable.
The people that will come to Rio to reproduce that might be appear if that magic is known to public.
Maybe that’s also what Rio is worrying about.
When Seria was about to give her consent.
「If you come with me, Sensei will also lose something big. There’s also some danger. That’s why I didn’t want to take sensei by force. Whether sensei will come with me or not, please decide it by yourself」
After saying that, Rio stretched his hand to Seria.
To that hand, Seria —-
「……Let’s go. We’ll go right. Take me from this place, Rio」
She grasped it tightly.
Though he couldn’t feel any hesitation in that, it’s not something that he did without thinking at all because it’s about Seria right.
Though his eyes opened wide to Seria’s instant reply, Rio squeezed Seria’s hand tightly.
「Well then, let’s leave this place immediately. Is there something that you want to take along？ 」
「Since it’ll be suspicious if I’m escaping and taking my private property in this room, Maybe I’ll take some material and magic tools in this room. If that was the case, maybe I should take my research result along with me. Well, I should choose it carefully since there’s a limit to how much I can take in one go …….」
While speaking, Seria looked at the magic tools inside of the room with a difficult expression.
Being scattered in a disordered fashion inside of the room were materials and countless magic tools, and a large quantity of thick and massive books.
It seems she needs to choose carefully which one to carry since some of them are quite heavy.
Was what she thought.
「If you can’t choose which to carry, how about taking everything？」
And Rio threw such words.
「Well, if it’s needed I can keep every magic tools in this room but, what would you do？」
Rio explained again while smiling wryly.
「No, you say keep it, even if Rio’s empty handed, no matter what you say, that’s impossible right」
「As a matter of fact. I can do something like this. 『ReleaseDischarge』」
When his hand lightly touching the magic tools that was placed on top of the desk, Rio chanted the spell to use the itembox[Space-Time Warehouse].
At that moment, the magic tool that he touched warped, and then vanished from that place.
Seria was looking at that scene with a dumbfounded expression.
「Though I’ll put back the magic tool that just vanished now if it’s unneeded, don’t worry since I’ll hold on to it if it’s needed. What do you think? 」
「…….. Y-Yeah, please keep it. While we’re on that, please take everything inside of this room」
Seria replied with a cramped smile.
Maybe because she stopped worrying over it, her tone became a bit loose.
Rio continuously put his hand on the items that were inside of the room and stowed them into the item box after she gave her consent.
In the blink of an eye, everything inside of the room was swiped clean and left almost nothing.
The people who saw this scene would definitely be confused.
Actually Seria was also greatly shaken by it.
「Well, shall we go then? Are you okay being separated from your parents？ 」
「……. It’s okay. I’ll write a letter or something after the situation calms down」
Seria answered while showing a lonely smile.
Rio grasped Seria’s hand.
「Please don’t talk while we’re moving. Though we can’t be seen from the outside, it doesn’t go as far as erasing our presence or sound」
「Well, let’s go then」
After saying that, a breeze appeared, Seria lost sight of the surrounding scenery.
Though she almost let out an astonished voice, she closed her mouth following Rio’s order.
Maybe because looking at the surrounding situation with Rio, she did not hesitate to take a step forward.
Seria was walking with her hand pulled by Rio as it is.
Though she could hear the voices of people talking during their walk, no one noticed them.
Seria felt that she completely became transparent.
Though the guard knight might be disciplined later, it didn’t make her feel guilty when she remembered that he must be punished for sexual harassment for leering at her.
Just like that, after walking for almost one hour.
「Well, it should be okay now」
Rio finally spoke to her.
In that moment, her field of vision was unblocked.
Not to mention outside of the castle, before she knew, they’re already outside of the royal capital.
「H-How can we escape this easily, this is truly ridiculous right?」
Seria muttered with a cramped face.
「Because it’ll take too much time for the explanation, let’s talk about it while moving. That aside. I’m thinking of moving in one go while carrying sensei, are you okay with that？ 」
Rio asked that.
Since he wants to leave from the royal capital immediately, Rio intended to flying as it is in the sky.
「E, Uhm. I didn’t particularly mind about it but ……」
Seria answered with flushing face.
「Then, excuse me」
Rio gently held Seria’s body in a princess carry.
Seria’s body is light like a feather, the supple feeling which is typical of women was transmitted over her clothes.(
「Kya ………. T-This, is really embarrassing right? Isn’t it batter to carry me on your back? 」
「Ahaha, since it’ll be dangerous if you let go of my hand, holding you in this way is safer for me. Though it’s okay to let go of my hand if I attached a lifeline[rope]」
「You’ll know immediately. Though I think you’ll be surprised, please don’t scream too loud when we’re ascending since I don’t want to attract the public’s gaze」
「Nh？ Well, though I don’t know what you mean …… Okay」
Though she’s being carried in a princess carry, never in her wildest imagination did she think they’ll fly in the sky.
Though she inclined her head in wonder, she just gave her consent since she trusts Rio.
「Well then, let’s go」
Rio’s soared toward the sky with wind spirit arts.
Seria eyes opened wide.
Though her lips keep flapping, maybe because she’s too astonished, but to keep her promise with Rio, no sound came out of her lips.
「You can talk now」
After soaring high in the sky and reaching the height that couldn’t be seen by the public’s gaze, Rio talked to Seria.
Though she’s looking at the surrounding scenery with dumbfounded face, soon Seria gaze slowly shifted to Rio.
And then, after breathing deeply for several times.
「W-WHat the heck is thIIIIIISSSSSS！？ 」
The scream of Seria’s heart was resounding in the sky.
Rio was amused by Seria’s reaction.
「This is called spirit arts. Sensei also heard about it haven’t you？ 」
He answered while laughing at her.
「S-Spirit Arts？ This? 」
「Yes. It doesn’t need aria of the spell and magic equation right？ 」
「Come to think of it, that’s what they say about spirit arts. Don’t tell me it’s really real ………..」
Seria was looking at the surrounding with a dumbfounded face.
Seeing this kind of scenery is the first time for her.
As expected, even the indoor type Seria can’t help but become excited and astonished.
Whether it’s because of lacking prudence towards Rio, Seria eyes looked as if shining.
「Sensei, I want to ask a question, do you know the name of the hero that was summoned in Bertram kingdom？」
「Hero？ I think he said Kai Shigekura ……..」
When Rio asked the astonished Seria, she easily told him the hero’s name.
Though he was thinking of coming back again in the future if she didn’t know the hero’s name, it seems he just avoided doing double the work.
「Kai Shigekura huh. I see」
It’s not the name of Miharu’s acquaintance.
It seems they’re not the heroes that were summoned in the royal capital of Bertram kingdom.
After looking at the hero that was summoned in Flora’s place, there are four heroes left.
Though he thinks that two of them might be Miharu’s acquaintance, he lost a bit of his self-confidence after two consecutive misses.
Though the chance is very high that Miharu’s acquaintance are heroes.
He decided to gather the information about heroes in this way as long as possible after this.
「Why did you ask the name of the hero？」
Seria asked with a curious voice.
「To be honest. Currently, I’m living along with the children that got dragged during the hero summoning」
「Dragged in during the hero summoning？」
「Yes. Yes, I’ve no doubt about it. Because I heard from them that the other person might be summoned somewhere as a hero」
「……. Does that mean they’ll be living along with me after this？」
「That’s right. Sorry I should have explained it before but ……」
「Don’t worry, it can’t be helped since we were racing against time. What kind of children are they？ 」
Seria asked about Miharu as if having curiosity towards them.
When he think about it, its just a natural reaction since they’ll be living together after this.
「I see. There’s three of them ――」
Rio told and informed her about Miharu and company.
Though he got this feeling that Seria is sulking a little when he told her about Miharu and Aki, she just replied that it’s nothing.
In addition, they were also talking about many things till they arrived at the rock house, before they noticed, their journey had finished in the blink of eyes.