Chapter 62: The World Was Pure White
Though Rio left towards the Bertram kingdom leaving Miharu, in the end he returned to the rock house the same day.
In an instant it was already evening, because the veil of darkness had descended the forest in the surroundings of the house became gloomy.
「That rock is the house which sensei will live after this」
「T-That’s a very rough house right」
Though the barrier magic of recognition inhibition was invoked against Seria the moment she entered the area, Rio instantly cancelled it by manipulating the odo in Seria’s body.
Though it didn’t seem to be that big a rock if seen from afar, Seria also understood about manufacturing the house when looking at it getting closer.
Though she’s a little bewildered since Seria didn’t have the concept of living inside of the house.
「Well, please rest assured since the inside is clean. Shall we enter? Because I’ll be introducing you to the summoned」
After saying that, Rio lowered Seria to the ground.
Rio could easily tell the situation to Seria while flying in the sky, even regarding the fact that he’s living along with Miharu.
After going in front of the door, Rio pressed the magic tool that was installed on the door to call the people inside.
And following after that he knocked on the door with a fixed rhythm.
That was the sign that Rio came back.
「Welcome home！ Haruto-san! 」
Soon the sound of the door unlocking from the inside could be heard followed after the door opened, and Miharu greeted Rio.
Miharu seemingly felt relieved when she saw him coming home faster, maybe because she was anxious without Rio.
「Yeah, I’ve returned」
「Ah, ehm, that child is？」
Miharu asked timidly when she saw Seria who was standing behind Rio.
「She’s the friend to whom I’m indebted to. Since she’s in danger, I took her under my protection. Though both of you are unable to communicate with each other, you’ll be living together under the same roof after this ….. Though I’m regretting not telling you beforehand, will you be okay with it？ 」
「Ah, Yeah. Of course you can」
After Rio explaining the situation, Miharu was bowing to Seria a little nervously.
Seria also bowed back to Miharu while smiling.
「Rio, could it be that the girl who’s dragged in the hero summoning that you said just now is this extremely cute YOUNG LADY？」
Seria’s asking Rio while smiling a rather dangerous smile.
Though she seems calm outside, Rio unintentionally stepped back as he somehow felt the dreadfulness behind that smile.
「Ah, Yeah. Uhm, she’s Miharu Ayase-san」
「This girl is Miharu I see. Could it be that her age is the same with Rio? 」
「Yes. That’s so 」
「I see …… Could you please tell her to please treat me well after this？ 」
「Understood. Before that, shall we enter first」
After saying that, Saria’s line of sight changed from Rio.
Maybe because Miharu also sensed something strangely dreadful from Seria, it seems her tension started rising slightly.
But, because Seria also replaced her last smile with a gentle smile immediately, the tension coming from Miharu vanished instantly.
「Shall we enter the house first, Miharu-san. Since I will introduce her」
To Miharu who was silently listening to Rio and Seria’s conversation which she couldn’t understand, Rio spoke to her in Japanese.
「Yes. I’ll prepare the tea」
Just like that, Rio lead Seria to enter inside the house along with Miharu.
Miharu went straight to the kitchen to prepare the tea.
「Ah, Welcome back , Haruto-san.! 」
「Aah, welcome back, Haruto-anchan！」
Aki and Masato were relaxing in the living room.
Aki and Masato showed a relaxed face as if being relieved from seeing Rio back, following that, they stared curiously at Seria who was standing behind him.
「I’m back, everyone」
Rio returned their greeting with a smile.
「The truth is I have a request or should I say a notification. It has something to do with this person but, for the time being is it okay for me to ask after the introduction？ 」
Aki and Masato straightened themselves with their posture a little stiff.
Seria was looking at the inside of the house with great interest.
And replied with “Hai~” to Rio who called to her.
「Since I’ll guide you inside of the house later, please sit here for the time being」
「Yeah. Please then」
Seria sat on the sofa in the living room, and Rio sat beside her.
「By all means」
Maybe because she already boiled the water beforehand, Miharu returned to the living room and brought along the tea with her.
After brewing the tea, Miharu also sat beside Aki, their sitting arrangement was 2[Rio and Seria] facing 3[Miharu, Aki, and Masato] with a desk separating them.
「Thanks for the tea. …….. Ara, it’s tasty. You’re skillful with your tea brewing skill」
After holding the tea cup with tea brewed by Miharu in an elegant manner, Seria stated her impression while smiling with delightful face.
「The tea brewed by Miharu-san is tasty」
Rio translated her impression and conveyed that to Miharu.
Miharu replied to that with a shy expression.
Seria also smiled to that Miharu.
「Well then, we should begin the introduction immediately right? She’s Seria Claire my old friend to whom I’m indebted during my childhood」
They decided to convey Seria’s real name and her lineage after discussing it beforehand.
Since it might cause more problems without knowing it beforehand, that’s why explaining the situation beforehand will make it easier for them to cope with a problem.
Seria bowed to the three of them with elegant conduct.
Masato’s face became red to her loveliness, thus Aki thrust a tsukkomi elbow from his side.
「Eh, the person to whom Haruto-san is indebted to in his childhood？」
Miharu’s asking with curious face.
Because Seria couldn’t be seen as anything but someone who’s a bit younger than Rio who was by her side.
Her age might be separated with Aki by one or two years.
It’s a bit strange if Rio said that he’s indebted to her during his childhood.
「Ah, though she look like this, she’s older than any of us. She’s 21 years old」
Noticing what Miharu was puzzled about a while later, Rio told them about Seria age.
「E ………. EEEEEEEEEHHHH！
「21 years old ………」
After being dumbfounded for just a moment, it’s not only Miharu, even Aki and Masato voiced their amazement.
Though her appearance and beauty didn’t leave the impression like that of children, maybe because Seria’s youthful.
Rio’s smiled wryly at their reaction.
When he sent a fleeting glance at Seria, Seria was looking at Rio with a bit of a sulking face.
Though it seems that she didn’t know the content of their conversation, it seems she roughly grasped the subject of the conversation by looking at Miharu’s reaction.
Incidentally, when he laughed a little, she turned her dreadful smile at him.
「They’re saying that sensei is youthful you know」
To make an excuse, he explained their reaction to Seria while smiling wryly.
「……… I know that」
And, Seria replied while staring intently at him with a “Jiii~”.
Miharu’s looking at their exchange with great interest.
「Sorry. Shall we return to the story? I got acquainted with her when I was 7 years old, she was the lecturer of the school which I went to」
And now, Rio explained a bit to them.
「…… A sensei」
Miharu blurted out her reply like a parrot.
「Sensei …… 」
Aki was sending her line of sight alternatingly between Seria and Rio while muttering that.
She’s somehow curious about their relationship.
Masato’s still fascinated by Seria, and nervously looked at her with sparkling eyes.
Rio felt that the flow of the atmosphere in this place became strange.
Though he couldn’t describe the atmosphere very well.
After shaking his head a little and thinking that it can’t be helped, he decided to ignore the out of place atmosphere for now.
「And with that. The truth is that her situation is a bit complicated. That’s why I wanted to introduce her to everyone since you’ll be living along with her after this」
Rio continued the story after coughing a little.
Thereupon, Miharu’s line of sight gathered at Rio.
「First, she is a noble」
When he told them that Seria was a noble, the three looked slightly amazed.
Because there are no nobles in modern Japan.
It seems their feeling is interweaved between bewilderment and surprise which is wrapped in curiosity.
「It’s no wonder that she has that kind of atmosphere ……..」
Miharu showed a satisfied expression.
「How should I say, it’s just like a princess」
「Nope, she didn’t actually feel like a princess right？」
Even Aki and Masato showed similar reactions.
With her beautiful white hair that stretched till her back, her smooth skin so white that it seemed transparent.
Her light purple pupils were beautiful like a pair of amethyst gems, her appearance was also in an order which is appropriate to call it as a representation of beauty.
The white one piece that she wore for an everyday dress made her gracefulness stand out even more, certainly if seeing her up close she can’t be seen as anything but a beauty of some country.
「Certainly, she brought up a nice air but, it seems she’s also a friendly person. That’s why it’s okay, there’s no need to be stiff in front of her」
Rio explained with a wry smile to those three that seemed stiff.
Maybe they’re anxious about how to get closer to her.
For Rio who knows about Seria’s basic sloppy nature, he know that they didn’t need to feel any needless anxiety or fear.
It seems it’ll be left to them to get used at each other from now on.
Since he also needed to do the follow up as much as possible, Rio strongly braced himself.
「And then, as for the reason that I brought her to this place, currently, she’s put in a dangerous position in the country, till just a while ago she was caught under house arrest to make her into a tool through political marriage」
Then he gave a brief explanation for why he brought Seria.
They might be simply perplexed if he suddenly asked them to live with someone that he brought along without any explanation.
By letting them know that side, he expected that it’ll make their cohabiting life become easier.
The point is to prepare them.
Beside, when thinking about the matter in the distant future, unexpected situations might rise at the side that indirectly affects the situation, it’ll be easier for them to arrange a story beforehand.
Miharu was speechless while showing a dumbfounded expression.
That’s only natural.
Because it’s the kind of story that they would never hear if they were living an ordinary life in Japan.
「Originally, political marriage isn’t that rare if it were for the nobles in this world. It’s practiced very much when both sides deem that it’s for the mutual interest and give their consent 」
First, Rio told them that something like political marriage isn’t that rare in this world.
「But, her situation is a little of a special case. Though I think that you can somehow understand from the fact that it was a house arrest, she was set in an almost forced engagement. Moreover, though she should be the legal wife of an influential noble if we take into consideration the position of her household, in this case, she was coerced to marry as the seventh wife of an influential noble」
Rio sighed a little as he told them about it.
「So cruel ……..」
Though he couldn’t be sure which point they were shocked about, the three certainly sympathized with Seria’s circumstances.
Especially for Miharu and Aki who are the same sex as her, their expression were if on the verge of crying and couldn’t hold anymore.
「It’s certainly painful. Thus, since I’m unable to see her like that, it came to me taking her out from there like this」
Like that, Rio explained the reason as to why he brought Seria.
「It’s just natural to bring her right！」
「I think so！ 」
In an instant, Masato and Aki vigorously supported Rio’s actions.
Though it’s not like he didn’t get their impulsiveness due to their youth, their feelings made him happy.
Rio smiled at them.
「Even so, despite how much the person herself wished for it, it’s not allowed for me to take her from her country*. For her too, if it’s exposed that she’s escaped on her own volition, it’ll bring trouble to her house」
Though the person herself agreed, he just kidnapped the fiancée of a high noble.
Moreover, Seria is a considerably important person for the current Bertram kingdom.
For example, Rio won’t be able to escape from their hostility if they knew that he’s the culprit.
Though there’s no other wise option, it’s undeniable that it’s a little too hasty or more like just a bit immoral.
Since at least there’ll be no change of public order in that country.
Though Rio has no regrets in his action of taking out Seria.
After bringing her out like this, he intended to protect Seria with his everything just like Miharu, Aki and Masato.
「That’s why I wanted to ask Miharu-san. In the future, will you promise me to not talk to anyone regarding Seria-sensei when you leave to the outside？ 」
Rio bowed his head while saying that.
Though he still felt reluctant in involving these three, he didn’t wish to not tell them, since it could cause a demerit in an unforseen case.
Moreover, they also have the right to know since they’ll be living under the same roof after this.
Seria who sat next to him also bowed her head when she noticed atmosphere.
Each of the three of them give their firm consent.
Afterwards Rio bowed even deeper.
「At least, please absolutely never tell anyone that she escaped under her own volition. In emergency situation, just say that I’m the one who abducted her」
He spoke with a voice in which they can feel his strong resolution.
Though the person herself agreed, he made himself as the excuse for Seria’s escape.
If possible, he didn’t want to cause any trouble for Seria’s house.
Though his worry has ended ……..
「That’s …….. It should be alright？ About this matter to Seria-san …… 」
Miharu asked timidly.
「I can’t say it. Since she might be oppose it」
Rio showed an awkward smile.
Even if he explaining about this matter[Rio taking the blame] to Seria beforehand, he knew that she might be against it.
That’s why Rio felt that he needed to make this kind of situation by saying it beforehand in the case of an emergency situation.
「Haruto-san …… 」
Miharu called Rio’s name with a worried voice.
「Well, I’ll do my best so that that emergency situation won’t happen. This place is in a different country, because we’ll put on a disguise when we leave to the city, her existence won’t recklessly leak to the higher ups of her country」
Rio answered cheerfully as if trying to gloss over the awkward atmosphere.
After he smiled at Miharu to fix the mood.
Though there’s some anxiety, Miharu nodded her head.
Following that, Aki also nodded.
「Me too. Well, it’s not like I will be spreading the words that I don’t understand」
「That’s the story for after we’ve learned the language. This matter is the event in which we’re outside. You must be careful since you’re the most dangerous one here」
Aki cut in Masato who jokingly said that.
Masato flinching when answering her may be because he’s aware of that fact.
「But, is it okay? For you tell us about that fact」
Miharu asked with an anxious voice.
The risk of the information leaking rises along with the number of people who know the information.
Maybe she’s worrying about the demerit that will come by telling them the matter above.
「Yeah, though first we would need to get a false identity, including name and personal history for Seria-sensei, since the three of you will be living along with her from now on, a defect in the cover would surely come out even when coated by lies」
Since even going by Seria’s personality, it’ll only gather stress on her to live a life full of deceit, he’s trying to gain their agreement by making her lineage clear.
「Moreover, not knowing and knowing beforehand will make a your readiness during an emergency time really different. I want to prepare the three of you for a time of emergency」
Though he observed along with Seria, there’s no way the devils hand won’t reach out to them.
As expected, they’ll be beyond defenseless if they didn’t know anything during that time.
Though the possibility is low, if Miharu becomes aware from a third party about Seria’s lineage by some chance, there’s a possibilities that they’ll carelessly leak out the information about Seria.
Though he came up with endless plans, there were more demerits for not telling them Seria’s story.
Of course there’s also some demerit for telling them depending on the circumstances, the choice is based after that.
「That’s why, I’m taking maximum measure so that the emergency situation that I said above won’t happen. We’ll put a disguise when we’re going outside, and also change our name. Please remember our conversation this time in the corner of your mind in preparation for the emergency situation」
Rio pressed on his warning again while shrugging his shoulders.
Miharu nodded with a little strained expression.
「Well then, since I’ll be introducing the three of you to Seria-sensei, I’ll have a little talk with her」
After sipping the tea to appease his thirst, Rio moved his line of sight toward Seria who sat beside him.
「I’ve explained briefly about sensei’s situation including your introduction to them. And forbid them from speaking about it. Now I’ll introduce the three of them to sensei」
「I see, thank you. Rio」
Seria’s smiled gently at Rio.
「It’s nothing ……. Because Sensei is my benefactor」
Rio answered her with a flushing face.
「……. I, never did something like that for you. Why are you going as far as this …….」
Seria replied with a little apologetic tone and a slightly amazed expression.
「There’s no such thing. Because I would have been completely alone in that school if not for sensei ……」
「It seemed like you were completely trying to be Aloof aloof though？ 」
「It’s because sensei was there. Because I expected that being alone in that kind of place will be harsh for my mind in various way」
「…… But, it’s because I was your sensei, it’s only natural to worry about my pupil」
(That was a lie.)
Was what she felt when saying that.
Compared with her other students Seria was evidently closer to Rio.
(I wonder what was the reason for that?)
At first she vaguely noticed it.
Though she couldn’t remember since it has already been a long time.
Seria was recalling a bit about the start of it.
As while she’s thinking about that ——.
「Yes. That’s why I’m grateful to sensei. Thank you very much」
Rio told his gratitude while looking a little embarrassed.
When their line of sight intersected.
「……. You’re welcome」
Seria answered while turning her line of sight slightly off from Rio.
Her face slightly blushed.
Smiling lightly, Rio sent a fleeting glance towards Miharu, Aki, and Masato.
Thereupon, the three of them were looking intently at Seria and Rio’s affair.
When their line of sight coincidentally met with his, “Sut” they instantly turned away their line of sight.
(What’s matter I wonder?)
Rio inclined his neck a little.
「Uhm, well then I’ll introducing the three of you to her. First is from Miharu-san」
Thinking that it’ll be bad to stall forever, he decided to introduce the three of them immediately.
「Ye-Yeah. Please take care of me」
Miharu replied in a manner that was a little awkward.
「Though I already introduced her to Seria-sensei a little while ago, this person is Miharu Ayase-san. She’s 16 years old」
Rio introduced Miharu.
Miharu bowed lightly to Seria while peeking at her direction.
Seria returned her bow with a smile.
「And then, the girl beside her is Aki Sendou-san, she’s 13 years old」
Aki bowed with a stiff posture.
Seria bowed back to her with a smile.
「He’s Masato Sendou-kun, he’s 12 years old」
Masato also bowed at her with a stiff posture.
When Seria bowed back at him with a smile on her face, Masato’s face blushed red.
Aki who guessed his situation quickly from his side stared intently at him.
「By the way. There’s something that I want to ask but …….」
After the brief introduction, Seria was pulling Rio’s sleeve from his side.
Her expression seemed a bit reluctant to ask him.
「Yes. What it is? 」
Rio pressed Seria to ask her question.
「Uhm, I wonder why you can talk in their language？ Could it be that you’re using some kind of spirit arts？ 」
「…….. I see, it’s natural that you have such a question」
Rio was smiling wryly as he said that.
He already anticipated such a question beforehand.
If he wanted to, he could deceive her by saying that he’s using spirit arts.
But, that lie will be exposed as soon as Seria can talk with them.
That’s why it seems that he has no choice but to tell her the truth.
However, though he can’t deny that it’s an unmotivated reason, this might be the best chance to tell her.
The world was pure white for the former Rio.
That’s the color that couldn’t identified.
Sometime after being reborn in this world, no matter what he heard or what he saw, to Rio it was only a false one.
The revenge towards Lucius, his lingering attachment towards Miharu —-.
He kept on living by sticking only to those vague emotions.
But, since who-know-when, he came to realize the color of the world.
Though it was only a little at the beginning.
It was certainly a beautiful color.
And the first one who made him to realize that color was Seria.
But, the Rio at those times didn’t have such leeway as to enjoy that feeling from the bottom of his heart.
After leaving Bertram Kingdom and staying in Seirei no Tami village, going toward Yagumo region and living in Karasuki Kingdom, the room opened in his heart bit by bit, the color of the world increased bit by bit.
Though he still has yet to give up on his revenge, the current world after he met with Miharu is overflowing with color.
He came to be this way thanks to the many people who he met up till this point.
That’s why, he thinks that this is the best opportunity.
For the people who compromised with that kind of him up till now, since now he’ll make a compromise on his own.
This is the first step.
「As for that――」
It’s not because he wouldn’t be able to take a step forward if he didn’t say the truth.
Rio was thinking of telling his secret of his own volition.
He won’t hesitate to tell if it’s to Seria who brought the first color in this world for him.
Though he felt scared whether she’ll believe him or not, but since he wants to step forward.
That’s why he’s smiling awkwardly.
「Because I was originally living in the same world as them」
And thus, he said his answer.