Chapter 75: Apology
「You, aren’t you too cocky for a mere commoner？ Apology you say？ 」
Alphonse said that as he approached Rio while glaring at him.
「It’s just natural right. You’re the one who provoked us first. You’re a nuisance for our precious time which we bought with so much money. I felt that your very action is completely unpleasant. You must apologize if you cause a problem to someone. Even a child should know that right」
Rio replied with a extremely disgusted tone.
Alphonse sensed various kinds of scorn in those words and become enraged.
「DON’T JOKE WITH ME！ WE’RE NOBLES YOU KNOW？ YOU THE COMMONER SHOULD JUST ENDURE THAT！ 」
Alphonse is shouting as he lost his self-control.
What the hell just happened from sometime ago, this man is.
A coward who hides his own name.
Altogether, he’s someone irritating.
If a low birth commoner is being called by a noble on the roadside, he should just flatter and bow their head to the noble.
This is a very natural matter.
Similarly, it’s very natural to call if there’s a beauty amongst the commoners on the roadside.
In case of women, you could say that it’s god’s will and they should just obediently present their body.
Today, it was just an unexpected meeting in a restaurant.
This place is also not different whatsoever.
But, this man is not only disobeying them, he’s even provoking them.
As I thought, I should just kill him.
Alphonse’s wrath is returning as he thinks like that.
「A-Alphonse-Senpai！ please wait！ 」
Stead hurriedly restrained Alphonse.
「Though I understand your feeling, that remark is inappropriate. This won’t end in peace. I’ll do as much as I need to get over this place」
He’s speaking to Alphonse in whisper.
Alphonse frowned with a vexing expression.
He’s trying to appease his anger by breathing roughly.
After confirming that.
「That’s right. We’re admitting that……… We’re the wrong one. How’s that, is today’s matter settled already？ 」
Stead tried to bring the matter to a close quickly and said the apologizing words without even trying to do it wholeheartedly.
In their response, Rio is, he might be expecting this, and sighed deeply.
They’re not even trying to reflect their actions.
Now they’re thinking to endure it only in this place.
Since they were abusing the impolite strike before in their attempt to attack Rio, those two won’t be put on trial if there’s no complaint from Rio.
Certainly, the case ended with just a attempt to abuse impolite strike, the victim can complain to the noble who perpetrated the abuse.
But, since the punishment is nothing more than short time detention, practically there’s only a small number of people who’s bold enough to make a complaint in fear of the noble retaliation after the detention period.
That’s why, those two are making light of it and not expecting any complaint from Rio.
It’s not the complaint they’re scared of, it’s the anger of duke Euguno when he knows about today’s matter.
When they’re safely out of this place, perhaps they’ll do something after they leave the store―― no, there’s also the possibility that they’ll meddle with Aisia again.
When their lingering feelings is gone after they left the store, they might be reaching to Aisia after they cool their head.
That’ll be a bit troublesome.
Since he noticed Stead-tachi’s happiness is gathered toward Aisia, they didn’t put that much attention toward Miharu-tachi.
In that case, they’re not turning their consciousness toward Miharu-tachi, currently Rio was thinking of gathering their anger toward him to erase that possiblity.
Moreover, it’s a necessary precaution so they won’t put their hand on Miharu-tachi after this.
He already knows the point of compromise.
Therefore, the rest is just to skillfully direct the conversation to that point.
Rio’s slowly shaking his head while thinking about that.
「You really aren’t negotiating are you」
He calmly said that with a strong tone.
「You were trying to kill me. What you did just now isn’t an apology. In the first place, I couldn’t just give my consent to release you as it is」
Rio spoke as if provoking Stead-tachi with a indifferent tone.
「YOU, DON’T JOKE WITH ME！ JUST WHAT KIND OF IMPORTANT PERSON ARE YOU？ A COMMONER SHOULDN”T BE MEDDLING WITH US！
Alphonse’s shouting at Rio.
Even Stead’s looking at Rio with a expression as if he can’t believe what he just saw.
Even though this matter can be settled peacefully, this man, what the hell did he just say.
It’s certainly the first time for them seeing a commoner going against a noble.
「I should be the victim right. Sorry but, I can’t just let the people who just said 『I DEFINITELY WILL KILL YOU』 freely at their own device. Since I won’t be able to sleep peacefully after that right 」
After Rio said that, Stead-tachi recalled their statement from before.
They certainly said that.
They’re frowning and glaring at Rio as if he’s the enemy of their parent[mortal enemy].
Rio’s ignoring their resentful gaze.
「Though I’m wondering is there a punishment for the noble who abused impolite strike, since that trial won’t be executed to them？」
He asked while looking at Aria.
「Yes. In case of an attempt for impolite strike, if there’s a complaint from the victim, it’ll be decided during the trial」
「I see. Though it’s an attempt, they tried to kill me for no reason. You don’t mean that they’re innocent right？ 」
In case there’s a trial for Stead-tachi, it’s inevitable that they’ll eat a smelly meal as they’re sent to the prison.
There’s several eyewitness, and they already confessed to their crime.
「YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO JUDGE US！」
Stead is flared up at Rio.
It’s not a joke.
After the negotiation is succesfully settled in.
They don’t know why this person of doubtful origin is trying to become a hindrance.
In the first place this man is strangely hateful.
The girls he led is composed of only beautys which he can’t easily meet.
Especially the girl with the pink colored hair whose appearance is so neat to the point that he can say that he has never met such a beautiful girl in his life till today.
Though it unreasonable even if he feels or says that, there was a swirl of malicious intent in Stead’s head.
Everything is pointing toward Rio.
「If you’re going to complain no matter what, we won’t be able to stop it but……」
When he said that, Aria’s looking at Stead-tachi’s direction.
Those two is obviously hostile toward Rio.
In any case, Liselotte as the president of Rikka firm or Liselotte as the prefectural governor of Almond, though it’s a short time for Stead-tachi, the result won’t be appetizing to them.
Duke Euguno, Stead’s father is an important leader of the anti-revolution force of Bertram kingdom.
For the time being, if a rumor spread that Stead-tachi is imprisoned in jail for committing a crime, duke Euguno’s face will be smeared with mud.
Though this scandal if finished will be ended just as this scandal, when thinking further, Liselotte as the noble of Galwark kingdom, this trifling matter will cause a failure to duke Euguno.
When it comes to the relationship between the anti-revolution force and Galwark kingdom thereafter, for her it’s the best chance to potentially wring duke Euguno dry.
On the other hand, he can’t even protect Stead-tachi for duke Euguno completely ignoring Rio’s matter.
The event today is out of the reach for the manager of the store, it’s obviously the blunder of Rikka firm.
There’s also the other guests in the restaurant.
The rumor will immediately spread around and become an uproar.
But, to Rikka firm for Stead-tachi, in fear of harming the brand image of the firm for chipping the impartial justice for giving a justice and advantage to duke Euguno.
In short, the situation of Stead-tachi will be left as not an attempt and not killing, moreover,that case needs the consent from Rio.
Moreover, if Liselotte can make duke Euguno owe her a favor, finally a change might occur.
（Nevertheless, what was that. noble with only standing but no brain is truly troublesome. Just dealing with them is so troublesome）
For the time being, if Rio’s forcing his complaint, there’s no choice but to let Liselotte judge the case.
In that case, Stead will enter the prison and today’s case will spread to the public.
It’ll smear mud on duke Euguno’s face, and might cause a problem in the leadership and the morale of the anti-revolution troops of Bertram kingdom.
（……It’s truly a headache）
Aria came at her wit’s end.
She has to somehow do something to make Rio withdraw his complaint.
For that reason, Aria’s looking for a common ground.
「Fu-fun, it seems you don’t understand your situation. I’m the heir of the Euguno house. If you’re raising a complaint to me, you’re making an enemy of duke Euguno」
Stead was shouting as he glared at Rio.
Though he can feel a confidence if he just heard his voice, Stead’s voice is obviously shallow.
He completely understands that it was nothing more than a bluff.
Rio’s staring at the silent Stead without even yielding to his threat.
Because, so what.
Stead doesn’t understand the situation.
「Y-You…… Are you serious？」
Stead is looking at the situation with obvious confusion as he was gulping his saliva.
he peered into Rio’s eyes to look for his real intention.
Thereupon, his body is trembled, Stead unintentionally removed his line of sight from Rio.
（What’s that, this man’s eyes is？）
He completely didn’t think of Stead as human.
It’s as if he’s looking at trash.
It’s as if he didn’t even consider a human called Stead.
Those eyes is completely not interested in him.
（……This is father）
Though they’re practically facing at each other, Rio’s eyes didn’t look at Stead, he’s looking at a completely different thing.
How can he have this kind of eyes.
Once, Stead knocked Flora from the cliff, After duke Euguno settled that matter, Stead is stared with the similiar eyes of the current Rio by duke Euguno.
At that time, Stead felt that his entire being is completely rejected.
（This man, what does he see us as？）
Stead’s body is unconsciously trembling non-stop.
It’s overlapping with his father’s eyes, he feared Rio.
That was the eyes that’s piercing his own ego no matter what.
Just how much Stead-tachi is trying to become an obstacle for Rio’s current peaceful live.
Currently, Rio completely has no interest in thinking about that.
Even if his feeling is transmitted, there’s no compassion in it.
If it’s necessary, he won’t let them go unscathed.
He decided to never let them go.
Because Rio has decided that.
That’s his resolution.
He decided to not let go of the current Stead.
Since he didn’t know about this, no, because he caught a glimpse of this part in duke Euguno before, he felt scared of Rio.
Alphonse already averted his line of sight.
He who isn’t completely scared of Rio is glaring angrily at him.
Stead’s voice is stiff.
This is bad.
If this guy with those eyes really does it.
Their future will be completely bleak if they’re not skillful at handling Rio in this place now.
He somehow felt that kind of premonition.
But, while it might be true he understands what, Stead didn’t know is what he should do after that.
In the first place, he never even considered the idea of apologizing.
And then, in that place.
「Do you really want to raise a complaint to them？ For the time being, even if the punishment is applied to them, it’s just a short term imprisoning, it’s just to make them behave you know？ 」
Aria was asking Rio from the side.
Though it’s rare thing for it end as an attempt for abusing the impolite strike, it doesn’t mean that it never really happened either.
Though, in case when the victim is raising a complaint to the noble who abused the impolite strike, from the fact that many complaint incurring enmity of the noble, as a mere commoner is natural there’s also commoners who can fight and have assets but, most of the people didn’t raise a complaint in fear of the enmity of the noble in their past time hobby.
Maybe because she understands about that, Aria asked Rio with indirect question.
「Because I don’t know what other means there is. Since I don’t care if you guarantee our safety」
Rio replies with a calm tone.
If he wants to throw Stead-tachi in the jail in this place, naturally Rio knows that it’ll be incurring their enmity.
There’s no problem at all if it’s only towards Rio.
Even if he lets go of Stead-tachi in this place, it’s okay even if they’re trying to do something in the future since he just needs to kill them at that time.
When it comes to only Rio, he didn’t feel any threat coming from Stead-tachi.
But, it’s become a different story when there’s Miharu-tachi.
When putting range of activity of Stead-tachi today, he fears that Miharu-tachi might fall into a dangerous situation.
That’ll become a distinct weak point for Rio.
That’s why Rio’s taking an active move to sever his anxiety.
Though striking the root of the evil by killing them in this place might be effective as the perfect measure, as expected, it’s not a realistic idea.
And so from that conclusion, there’s one thing that Rio thought as a common ground in today’s event.
For that Aria―― or to be exact he need the cooperation of Rikka firm.
Rio discovered a group of troops called anti-revolution of Bertram kingdom when he’s about to rescue Selia the other day, which means that Stead and Alphonse who’s currently in Almond is their member, the recent situation of the other country, Rikka firm is a firm that operated under management of Liselotte, the noble of Galwark kingdom――.
He could roughly grasp Aria’s nature from the conversation up till now.
Though there’s no proof for it, based on the above mentioned matter, he can predict what Aria’s thinking right now.
And then, what kind of action Aria will take in the current situation―― .
That’s why, Rio’s acting in that way.
To make Aria moving in Rio’s desired direction.
「I see. Well then, they’re apologizing properly in the future, if you’re not raising a complaint, there’s no need to fear them causing a trouble for you right？ 」
Aria made a proposal after carefully investigated Rio statement.
「It’s okay as long as you can truly guarantee that. unfortunately, I don’t have that much faith in humans. Especially when the other party was showing his hostility before」
After frankly rejecting it while shrugging his shoulder a little, Rio’s squinting his eyes and looking at Aria.
「In that case, should Rikka firm make a reconciliation agreement？ They’ll be apologizing to you, and after that they can’t cause any trouble to you. Just in case, in the preparation if they’re going to cause any danger to your side, we shouldn’t thoughtlessly cause imposing punishment. The effectiveness of the punishment is guaranteed by Rikka firm」
Rio’s eyes opened slightly wide in hearing Aria words.
In those eyes was a light as if he’s slightly happy.
Getting Rikka firm as a mediator, and being guaranteed in this effect by the mediator.
This is the development that Rio wished for.
Aria completely achieved Rio’s expectation.
Because the compliance agreement to a noble like Stead-tachi is in order to not easily break it at a moment’s notice, it needs more or equal social influence.
Though Rio didn’t have that as an individual, Rikka firm has it.
If they scrapped the mediation involving Rikka firm, it might turned badly and disgracing the name of Rikka firm, there’s no way they’ll be obstinate in rejecting the punishment and making an enemy of a firm.
He was expecting continues control effect, Rio individually might be prohibited from now on to meddle in Stead-tachi.
「Oya, I’m truly grateful…….. For this. Is this okay？ 」
Rio’s asking in an unexpected way.
「Yes. We’re also feeling obliged for our inability to offer a room for a meal for you to enjoy your meal as our guest. If not for our ineptitude, originally, we couldn’t even gamble by troubling your side. Naturally, please think about the post-processing」
Aria told that the reason of her assistance was due to the responsibily of Rikka firm.
Though in worst case he’s thinking to gain their assistance by poking in the ineptitude of Rikka firm, Rio’s in the position unless he didn’t get the after care from the Rikka firm afterward.
It won’t turn nicely making an unreasonable request by lowering the impression of Rikka firm by acting as a complainer.
Therefore, for the sake of the suggestion for mediation to come from Aria, Rio’s persisting to being antagonistic to Stead-tachi.
With a calm attitude, he keeps his calm to the end to not be overbearing.
This plan was successfully executed.
「I see. Well, please then」
When he found a nice solution, Rio’s smiling as he says his gratitude to Aria.
Aria was staring quietly at Rio.
（Could it be……This boy was waiting for the mediation suggestion to come from me？）
An inevitable action when considering about Aria’s position, though the direction of the talk also in the ideal flow for her, isn’t the direction of the talk flowing too smoothly.
Aria felt slightly uncomfortable to Rio’s response as if predicting it.
Since he was aiming at this, he easily withdrew his complaint.
Though she felt that, at the very least, there’s no unusual change in his gratitude.
Aria was looking at Stead-tachi and smiling lightly at the conclusion of the talk and immediately forgetting about that uncomfortable feeling.
「Oy！ YOU BETTER NOT MESS WITH ME！ I WON’T ACCEPT SOMETHING LIKE THAT！ 」
But, naturally the same as usual, Alphonse saying his objection.
Aria’s sighing deep in her mind.
Even Rio’s shaking his head as if shocked by this kind of reaction.
「It seems that you really don’t understand your own position」
He told so to Alphonse.
「As long as you heard the negotiation, for you guys, todays incident will turn into a ugly matter if it’s known by your relatives right？ 」
Rio’s staring at Alphonse while gently squinting his eyes.
Alphonse is slightly faltered when he received that gaze.
「Now, if I’m complaining to you guys in this place, there’s no doubt that today’s incident will be known to your relatives in the worst possible way. On the contrary, if you at least swallow today’s matter, you can be spared for it to be known by your relative in the worst possible way. Well, though you might be unable to avoid the fact that you’re causing a quarrel」
Stead-tachi might be entering the jail, or maybe not, the biggest problem is a entirely different matter.
In case they’re entering the jail, today’s matter might be spread for public consumption.
When it comes to that, the honor of duke Euguno in the anti-revolution troops or society will be completely ruined.
On the other hand, in case they’re not entering the jail, they can deal with today’s event in private.
Though Stead-tachi might think to settle it in a safe way, it was depending on Liselotte for whether or not she was conveying today’s event to duke Euguno.
The former or the latter, whichever made it more peaceful, or maybe which one is more beneficial for Stead-tachi, Rio’s asking with his gaze whether he really understands that.
「I mean I don’t care whichever it is. Please choose to your liking. But, though i’m not saying which, once you choose, the price for committed violence rest on your laurel’s due to misunderstanding is even higher right」
Rio’s telling his final warning.
Alphonse’s face is twisted in a vexed expression.
The reason is because he knows better that he must accept Rio’s talk and apologize to him.
But, how can he apologize to the one he wants to kill and despise till sometime ago, his mental resistance is just too great.
「After confirming the condition, I won’t raise a complaint to you guys if you sign the reconciliation agreement and apologize to everyone who had a meal at this table. Though I think some neat detail is needed in the content of the agreement」
Rio’s adding explanation to the conflicting Alphonse.
And then, in that place.
「That was my fault！ I was wrong. I apologize. If it’s reconciliation agreement, I’ll sign it」
Stead said that quickly.
Apologizing only in words.
There’s not even a fragment of sincerity.
Maybe for Stead who never apologized in his whole life, this is his first time apologizing.
But, Rio isn’t considering that situation.
「You must at least lower your head. Ah, and please fix the way you’re speaking those words too」
Rio said those words with a cold tone.
Stead’s face is cramped.
Just how humiliating it is.
How can he, a noble from a famous noble family bow his head to a commoner.
Even if Stead saying his apology taking profit or loss as priority, as expected his blood is boiling with rage due to that.
But, he should apologize in this place.
Otherwise they’ll be thrown into a jail, which then will smear the name, prestige, and history of Euguno house with mud.
Thinking like that, Stead’s trembling body calmed down for a while.
「……My bad……Ah,no, I am …..so……rry. It really was my fault………. My deepest apolo……gy」
He’s spinning a clumsy apologizing words.
Stead was desperate.
His fear toward his father overwhelmed his pride.
Alphonse’s letting out a pitiful voice when he’s looking at his junior by one year on his side apologizing to Rio.
「Hey, it’s not just me, apologize to everyone who sits on the table seat」
Rio said that as if attacking the escape route in Stead’s pride.
There’s no doubt that the girl team are the most troubled one in today’s event.
Rio felt that the opponent should apologize to them.
「I am…….. Sorry. for being impolite just now……」
Stead’s saying that as he’s apologizing to Miharu-tachi who sits on the table seat.
Miharu-tachi shaking their head as they feel slightly uncomfortable.
「You apologize to everyone too, Alphonse-senpai……」
Stead called to Alphonse with a dejected voice.
Alphonse’s expression changed to that of surprise to those words.
If my junior is going this far, it’ll feel uncomfortable if I as a senpai isn’t apologizing.
Though he really didn’t want to apologize, making a ruckus in this place will make them unsightly.
As he’s looking around, he keeps his silence while lowering his head as if he has yet to give up, soon he spoke the words of apology.
It’s short, his words of apology is trembling.
The emotion loaded into this words is equivalent to two letter which composing “humiliation”. Alphonse bowed toward Rio-tachi.