Chapter 103: The Reunion of the Old Friend
Rio’s going back to the royal castle and then conveyed to Lilyana and Takahisa that Miharu and the others want to meet Takahisa.
Lilyana started to move quickly after giving words of blessing to the delighted Takahisa.
Or you could say, as expected of the first princess of a big country, she already prepared ahead of time a meeting with Francois in order to enable Miharu and the others to attend the evening party in the blink of an eye.
Their audience isn’t in the audience room in which can be freely heard by general public, they decided to do that in Francois’ office for the sake privacy.
Rio, Satsuki, Takahisa and Lilyana, the four of them is attending the meeting to explain the situation to Francois.
The relationship between Miharu and the others with Takahisa, about Rio who became the caretaker of Miharu and the others, about them who’s the acquaintance of Takahisa and Satsuki, about Miharu and the others who want to come to the castle due to that reason and then about the discussion of what they want to do from now on――.
「I understand their business. I’ll invite them to the royal castle and give them the permission to stay in the guest room of princess Lilyana and Takahisa-dono」
Francois said that with a deep voice after he heard the situation.
As expected, it seems that request will go smoothly if it’s asked by the two heroes of the two countries.
Takahisa’s showing a relieved smile to the event that is progressing smoothly.
「But, I’ve got some conditions」
Francois adding to his previous words.
Though Satsuki heard his words with a calm expression, her eyebrows twitched a bit.
「May I hear your condition？」
Lilyana’s asking without being perturbed.
「Uhm. That’s right…………….. First is, you, you’re called Haruto right」
Bowing deeply and then, Francois was looking at Rio.
「Ha. That’s right」
Rio whose name is suddenly called by him is replying while still on his seat.
「You’ve got an upright morality since you’re the one who’s protecting Satsuki-dono’s friends. They definitely would fetch for a great profit whether to Saint Stellar kingdom who have Takahisa-dono or our kingdom who have Satsuki-dono. Since it’ll lift the load on the heart of the heroes」
Francois suddenly praised Rio.
「Am I right？ Princess Lilyana」
「Yes, it’s as you say」
Lilyana’s agreeing with a pure angelic smile on her face.
「Let me to say this again. What you did was for a great cause, O Haruto」
「I’m unworthy of your praise」
Though he’s bad with such a hard to read kind of conversation, Rio kept his calm and replied respectfully.
「Hum, I’ve decided」
Francois’s saying that with a daring tone.
「I’ve decided to tell my gratitude regarding this matter including the matter of the burglars attack during the audience in the afternoon」
That is in short to make the existance of Miharu and the others to be known to the public in the castle.
Takahisa was grimacing as if opposing to that decision.
He didn’t think that they should come to the castle in the case they’re staying for a long time.
「Your majesty, that is――」
Though Takahisa was about to send a protest to him, Francois stopped his by raising his hand just before that.
「Naturally I more than understand your worries of not wanting to expose them to public attention. But, don’t you think that it’s actually a poor move for trying to hide their existence? 」
Francois’s saying those words with a smooth and clear voice.
「With so many people moving around inside the castle………… moreover, calling over some guest to stay in the room of state guests is difficult. You should understand that right？ 」
「That is…………….. If they go in while wearing a hood…………………….」
Takahisa said his opinion to Francois’ justified reasoning.
「Naturally, though it’s possible to let the people who hide their face to enter the castle as long as I gave the orders, isn’t that even more conspicious？ You better not underestimate how good the ears and the eyes of the nobles are. The rumors will spread like raging flame when they noticed suspicious looking people」
「But…………………………… Even if it can’t be helped that they’re noticing something suspicious, isn’t it different matter with announcing their existance？ There’s no need for us to specially announce that. It’ll be okay as long as our lips are sealed」
「That’s why I say, that is where the problem is」
Francois is showing an enigmatic smile as he mentioned that point.
「In the case they’re completely hidden aside, the implication of knowing a secret will give birth to discontent and distrust. If you want to get rid of unreasonable meddling, you need to release the information moderately. Humans are a living being who’ll be satisfied as long as you satisfy their curiosity」
Takahisa’s showing an expression of being unable to accept it yet but, he kept his silence in hearing Francois’ words.
（Well, it turned out this way huh）
Though Rio was watching silently from the side, it doesn’t mean that he’s dissatisfied with the current situation.
It’s already within his prediction if the king side will do that so that Miharu and the others can enter the castle.
The current development is still within his prediction and he didn’t even want to cut in since it’s still within the permittable range.
Satsuki and Lilyana are listening quietly since they must have been thinking the same thing.
But in Rio’s case, he can’t cut into the conversation due to the difference in their social status of him with the people in this room.
「Beside, there’s also the matter of the burglar attack yesterday. Currently the atmosphere within the castle is tense. That’s why I want to tell the nobilities about this happy news. Won’t you give your consent in that matter？ 」
Francois’s saying that matter as if to tell him to keep that matter in mind.
「You’re, right. If that was the case…………… But, can’t we quickly call them to the audience place？ Since I don’t want to take them to the place of nobilities and royalties against their own will」
「Naturally. Even I don’t want to let the acquaintance of the heroes to be humiliated in public even in formal 」
Francois nodded with a grim face to Takahisa’s words.
「Thank you very much」
Maybe because he feels that’s good enough, Takahisa finally let it go and say his gratitude.
「Yeah. Well, I think that I want them to attend tonight’s evening party it’s possible but, in the end the final decision is on their own person. You may discuss it with your acquaintances including what you want to do from now on 」
「…………. Yes, that’s just natural」
Takahisa gave a firm answer with a resolute face.
（What a crafty king）
Rio’s muttering that inside.
Though Francois isn’t lying, it didn’t feel that he said the truth either.
Francois who was experiencing the life of a human who was born and raised as much as possible as a king, against Takahisa who just entered high school and just graduated from middle school――
There’s no need to say which side is more proficient in the way of speech.
Though it doesn’t mean that he won’t take a active role in doing something, it doesn’t mean that he’s going to try to do something that’ll harm Miharu and the others.
Since an action of frontal confrontation against the hero is the first thing that he should avoid as a king, it seems that he well understands that point.
But, as long as he can take a proper conduct, if it’s possible he felt as if that king is going to take the sweet things.
“Well, with this the necessary plan for Miharu and the others to come to the castle is done”.
After they’re done with fine tuning the arrangement, they just need to call Miharu and the others.
After having a discussion for a while, after the conference, Rio came to take Miharu and the others in the inn along with several knights.
The three of Miharu, Aki and Masato finally went to the castle of Galwark kingdom.
Ahead of their destination is Takahisa and Lilyana’s guest room.
Waiting in that place was Takahisa, Satsuki and Lilyana.
Miharu, Aki, Masato and Satsuki―― The five of them who became separated since summoned to this world is finally reunited for the first time in this world.
Aki raised a delighted voice when she discovered Takahisa upon entering the room.
Takahisa’s showing a purely delighted voice.
「ONIICHAN！ ONIICHAN！ 」
Aki’s half-running approached Takahisa.
Takahisa’s spreading his arms to catch Aki.
「Aki, thank goodness……………… Thank goodness！ 」
Takahisa’s tightly hugging Aki while saying so.
「Ahaha, it’s hurts. Oniichan」
Aki said that while returning Takahisa hug herself.
Takahisa’s loosening his hug on Aki in hurry.
But, now was Aki’s turn to put more strength in embracing Takahisa.
Aki said that while burying her face on Takahisa’s face.
（…………… She’s trying to expressing it with her way huh）
The way Aki was behaving like a spoiled child to Takahisa made him happy inside.
Rio was slightly surprised since he saw the figure of Aki who’s shy of strangers and a quiet girl or should he say that she’s trying to act cool.
「Are you healthy, Aki？」
「Yeah…………………. I’m healthy you know. How about you, oniichan？ 」
Aki inside his arms is looking up at Takahisa with moist eyes.
The grief and anxiety which she felt up till now.
Was finally released from it’s restrain.
「I’m also healthy. I was just worried about everyone but, I’m glad that I finally met all of you………..」
He wished to meet them.
His precious people are right in front of him.
He can touch them.
He was absolutely happy just by that.
It can’t be helped that Takahisa is happy with just that.
Aki kept embracing Takahisa just like that for a while but, when she was satisfied with the skinship with her big brother a while later, she’s retreated behind with slightly blushing cheeks.
「How about you, Masato？ You can come closer you know. Please show a good face」
Takahisa’s looking at Masato who’s standing behind Aki.
「I’m okay. It’s too embarrassing, right」
Masato bluntly said that with awkward face as he just can’t bear the embarrassment.
Takahisa’s breaking into a kind smile to the reaction of his little brother who he saw after a long time.
「I’m glad. Everyone」
Miharu was smiling gently while looking at the intimacy of the three siblings.
DIfferent with Aki who’s showing ear to ear smile, Takahisa and Masato’s exchanging glance with an embarrassed smile.
「Did you grew bigger, Masato？ You became quite splendid」
Takahisa saying that as if admiring his little brother while staring fixedly on the figure of Masato.
「Eh, is that so？ Well, maybe because it’s my growth period」
Masato’s replying while tilting his head as he looked at his own limbs.
Takahisa placed his hands on Masato’s shoulder while smiling at him.
And just like that he’s looking at Miharu who was standing several steps away from them.
Takahisa shut his eyes and then after taking a light breath, he approached Miharu resolutely.
「………….. I’m glad to meet you」
Takahisa suddenly hugged Miharu as he said so.
Thereupon, all the people who’s present in that place is staring dumbfoundedly at them.
Even Miharu received a shock by the sudden development.
Miharu’s body stiffened for several seconds as she was being hugged just like that.
But, suddenly at that time.
Miharu’s eyes opened wide.
What reflected in her eyes isn’t the figure of Takahisa who’s in front of her.
Who’s reflected in her eyes is the figure of her childhood friend, the phantom of ―― Amakawa Haruto.
He, who was grown into an adult in her recent dream was looking at her with a sad look in his eyes.
Though it was an incident that happened inside her dream, for some reason it etched deeply in Miharu’s memories even now.
That nightmare is a flashback in a moment as if condensed at once.
Finally Miharu who’s come to her sense is turned pale.
She pushed Takahisa by reflex.
It’s a clear rejection.
Takahisa’s retreating one step and then two step back while being shocked to the reaction that he can’t imagine from the usually gentle Miharu.
Takahisa’s blinking in shock for a while and then,
Takahisa was looking at both of his arms in shock.
A bit of Miharu’s warmth is still remaining in his arms.
Of course it’s not like he hugged her with an impure thought.
He was just too excited being able to meet her again to the point that his body moved on it’s own.
But, Takahisa was truly shocked when he noticed that action is disliked by Miharu.
Miharu’s showing an apologetic expression on her face, maybe because she feels bad for thrusting him away.
But, Miharu’s line of sight immediately loitering around Takahisa as if to escape from him.
For some reason she couldn’t help but feel scared.
And then, her line of sight suddenly met with Rio’s line of sight.
Despite it looking gloomy, the kind smile he put on his face is putting Miharu’s feelings to a disordered state.
That expression is extremely similar to Haruto’s expression in her dream.
「Eh…………………… Ah, Ha………………… Ru, kun」
She could feel that the face of Haruto in her dream as if piling up with Rio face.
In the next moment, Miharu’s face suddenly turned pale.
「Y-YOU’RE MISTAKEN. IT’S NOT LIKE THAT！ 」
When she noticed, her heart is attacked by a freezing-like sensation and she suddenly shouted those words.
The people who was in that place staring in amazement to Miharu who’s suddenly shouting like that.
「W-What’s the matter？ Are you alright, Miharu-chan？ 」
Satsuki’s seizing both of Miharu’s shoulders and called her as if trying to bring her who obviously lost her composure back.
And then, Miharu suddenly snapped back.
Her body feels like lead.
But, her head is rapidly cooling down.
What am i talking about――
Miharu’s then rapidly feeling embarrassed for her own action.
「Uhm…………….. My apologies！ For causing such a surprise………..」
Miharu’s apologizing with a apologetic face.
「Really? Could it be that you feel unwell？ 」
Satsuki was asking that question while staring at Miharu’s face.
「N-No, I’m not」
Miharu’s shaking her head in denial.
Her complexion is slightly pale.
Their line of sight met for a while.
「I see, well that’s just natural when you’re suddenly being embraced like that」
Soon after saying that, Satsuki glared at Takahisa.
「Takahisa-kun. I know that you’re really happy being able to meet Miharu-chan again but, girls are delicate creatures you know. That’s not how you should treat them. Since even under normal circumstances, Miharu-chan’s a delicate child」
「M-My apologies. Rather could it be because it happens right after I’m embracing Aki, or maybe it’s an impulsive action of mine since I’m really happy……..」
Takahisa’s apologizing in a panic with a pale face.
「Well, I understand your feeling though」
Satsuki’s sighing with a astonished face.
「Are you alright Miharu-chan？」
She’s moving her hands to Miharu’s shoulder again and then asked her for the second time.
「Yes. Uhm, I’m just really surprised…………. Or should I say, my mind is suddenly in a chaotic state」
Satsuki’s staring intently at Miharu’s face.
Miharu also stared back at Satsuki.
Her previous pale complexion already gone.
It seems that she really just got slightly confused with the sudden development.
Satsuki’s sighing in relief as she understood that.
「Uhm, sorry！ I’m really sorry for that！ 」
Takahisa’s bowing deeply to Miharu without any unnecessary excuse.
「Y-Yeah. I’m sorry for that too. For suddenly thrusting you away with all my strength…… Aren’t you hurt somewhere？ 」
Miharu’s looking at the place where she pushed him as if feeling sorry for it.
「Nope, not at all. It didn’t have that much power in it. Rather, it was my fault in the first place！ I’m really sorry！ 」
Takahisa’s apologizing while shaking his head in denial vigorously.
「Yeah. Uhm, I’m also alright………………」
Smiling humbly, Miharu was accepting Takahisa’s apology.
But, for some reason, a delicate atmosphere’s flowing between the two of them.
Aki was helplessly staring at their exchange.
「Nee, Oniichan. Somehow you became so bold while we were separated, haven’t you. Though you couldn’t even hold Miharu-oneechan’s hands before」
Aki’s grinning widely as she teases him in that way.
When she said so, Takahisa’s face turned bright red.
If it’s said in that way won’t it be known then that he liked Miharu.
「W-WHa！ Aki！ T-That is………………..」
Though he tried to make an excuse, nothing came out of his mouth.
When he’s looking at Miharu, she was tilting her head with a puzzled face.
When their eyes meet, she’s showing a forced smile.
Takahisa felt his chest tightened when he saw that kind of expression on Miharu.
Takahisa reflexively hugging Miharu was due to an extreme delight after being released from the despair of not being able to meet her again.
Though few years has passed by after he met her, Takahisa never had the courage to even look at her face despite loving her up till now.
Naturally, though it may be nothing more than his wishful thinking, he thinks that Miharu isn’t disliking him, he can even brag that he was the man who’s closest to Miharu.
After entering middle school, even the surrounding youth became aware of Miharu bit by bit, he considered to confess his love so many times as he feels an unprecedented danger.
If by chance he’s confessing his love, normally the answer would be an OK.
Even him have that kind of light delusion.
But, Takahisa knew.
Miharu was always watching over Aki with a kind smile on her face since the first time he met her.
Aki also adored Miharu like her own sister.
And then, the fact that both of them truly care about each other.
That’s why he’s afraid of put an end to that kind of relationship by confessing his love for Miharu.
He and Masato was basically placing themself amongst those two who were already like that from the very beginning, it was to keep this relationship.
And, it’s because the time they spent with the four of them is truly wonderful.
He was spending everyday of his life while thinking that it’s okay even if I’m not confessing my love yet and not going out with her yet.
Because he thought that kind of wonderful everyday life will keep going on like that.
But, one day, Takahisa was summoned to this world just by himself.
That time Takahisa could only despair as he was aware that the happy place was snatched away from him.
Though Takahisa who was despaired due to the unknown environtment, unknown people and the unknown scenery is brought back to his feet by Lilyana.
Thanks to her he regained his footing bit by bit, even when he finally got used to this world, he often dreamed of the time when he was in the earth.
There’s himself, Miharu, Aki and Masato, the four of them is laughing together.
That was a very gentle dream.
That’s why Takahisa’s desiring it even more.
He wanted to meet with everyone.
He wants to meet Miharu.
He won’t hestitate if he can meet them again.
And this time he will not let go of them ever again.
When he’s telling his intention, Lilyana gave her promise to cooperate with him.
She’ll tell him no matter how trivial the information might be.
Takahisa’s truly delightted and extremely grateful to Lilyana.
It came to the point that he put his trust in her.
Before he’s aware of it, Lilyana also became someone as important as Miharu and the others.
On a certain day, Lilyana told him the information that she got in accordance to her promise.
It’s about the debut of the hero called Sumeragi Satsuki which will be held in their neighbourhood country, Galwark kingdom.
And then, he arrived at this moment.
The future that should be lost.
When he thinks that he absolutely can’t meet with Miharu and the others again, Takahisa made his resolution again.
He has no time to hesitate anymore.
The matter of him hugging Miharu is due to the strong desire which stemming from that feeling.
But, when his head cooled down and he recollected himself, suddenly hugging someone is indeedtoo overkill, he truly was reflecting on that.
Embarrassment and guilt is gushing forth inside of him.
But, he strangely wasn’t regretting it.
Since he knows that after this he can see her without averting his gaze.
(It was warm……………）
It was the first time he’s glued so closely to Miharu.
Her delicate body that appears to be crumbled easily just by slight push.
A tingle of the fragrance of flower is drifting from her smooth and silky black hair.
Her well ordered look was looking at him with her eyes opened wide from very close range.
Was truly precious.
He can still vividly remember this sensation with his own body.
Though it was just a moment, since he might be as well as properly savoring this sensation――
（……………… What the hell am i thinking about！）
Takahisa’s reflecting on his own extremely rude line of thought.
Aki’s looking up at Takahisa who’s hanging his face down which already turned bright red and,
「N fufu ~」
She was smiling with an extremely delighted face.
Takahisa somehow that felt his body became limp when he saw that smile.
He’ll properly apologize to Miharu again later.
Takahisa decided to do so.
Thereupon, at that time,
「My apologies for disturbing you at such a busy time」
Rio started to speak.
Everyone’s attention in this room is gathered on Rio.
「Let me excuse myself since I’ll have an audience with your majesty after this. I’ll come again when things have settled down」
Rio said that while smiling kindly at them.
「Sorry. Since I also have to come during the audience, I’ll come again later」
「I’ll come too. There’s also my guard knight outside. Since I take Fril as my assistant, please take your time slowly」
Satsuki and Lilyana’s also going along with Rio to the audience room.
Which Takahisa, Miharu and the others in this room.
「Well then………….. See you later」
Saying so, Rio was smiling at Miharu and the others.
Miharu, Aki and Masato.
Though each of them were showing slightly different expressions, he can’t see any kind of fear or anxiety in it.
Somehow he can also feel their relieving feeling.
When seeing their expression, he thought that it really wasn’t a mistake to let them meet like this.
Rio and Satsuki’s line of sight is suddenly piling up on upon another.
Maybe Satsuki also feels glad that the four of them is reunited, so she showed a gentle smile.
「We’ll be back right after the audience is done. You may have a private conversation during that time」
After Satsuki’s finished saying that, a reply came to her right away.
「Shall we go」
With a nod, Rio and the others are turning around and then left the room.
Thereupon, at that time.
Takahisa was calling to stop him.
「Yes. What’s the matter？ 」
Rio stopped and then turned around to face him.
「Uhm………………… My apologies！ I become too fired up and ended up saying such rude things last night」
Takahisa’s apologizing while bowing deeply at him.
Rio’s looking at him with a puzzled expression and then,
「That kind of thing is……………… Family is important after all. It should be natural for you to be anxious since you’re being separated from them. The matter about you becoming too fired up isn’t unreasonable at all. Rather I should be the one who’s apologizing to you」
Saying so, he was bowing back to Takahisa.
「No, you have no need to do that……………..」
Takahisa denied it in a hurry.
「No, as someone who only passing by, I certainly overstepped my boundaries. It was a statement to test you as their brother」
So Rio calmly told him about that.
Takahisa’s looking in wonder at Rio’s calm statement which is unbefitting of his young appearance.
He was an adult, moreover compared to that his ownself is――
Takahisa’s chewing his lips in embarrassment.
「…………….. The things that I have to apologize about isn’t only that. I even forgot to say my gratitude for you who’s protecting them. …………… Thank you very much. Thank you for protecting everyone and made it so that we can meet again like this」
Takahisa’s bowing again as he’s stressing on his words of gratitude.
Rio’s calmly shaking his head in denial.
「It’s good as long as everyone is happy. Well, see you then」
After saying so, Rio was smiling at Miharu and the others who are standing behind Takahisa.
When their eyes met, Miharu and the others are blushing as if embarrassed.
「Thank you very much！ Haruto-san！ Thank you……………..」
Miharu and the others are smphasizing their words of gratitude and then bowed to Rio.
Rio’s replying with a nod to them.
Looking at that situation, Takahisa could feel that there’s a strong and mutual trust between the four of them.
“But, for what reason.”
Though the reason is unknown to him, he could feel that he’s slightly perturbed by it.
Takahisa’s shaking his head in panic to dispel such train of thought.
「Well then. Well then we’ll excuse ourselves since we can’t afford to be late」
Rio finally decided to leave the room due to the pressing time though he’s still curious for the reason of Takahisa suddenly shaking his head.
「Yes, thank you very much」
Takahisa’s hiding the strange anxiety in his heart and bowed down again to Rio who was already outside of the room.