Chapter 107: Rio’s Feelings and the Start of the Third Day of the Evening Party
After meeting with Rio, Liselotte’s returning to the mansion of duke Kretia and then resting for a while in her own room.
Currently with only her trusted friend Aria inside of the room, Liselotte has completely flipped her “Work Mode Switch” to OFF.
「U~h, so tire~d」
After changing her attire to an easy to move one piece in her room, she’s plunging herself as if collapsing on top of her soft bed.
As expected, Liselotte was worn out due to a heavy schedule and doing various things for the sake of attending the evening party in the capital in this few days.
Liselotte who’s burying her face on the pillow is showing a happy expression from the slight gap of her face that peeking out of the pillow.
The people who know of her true face after she unfasten the mask of a lady is extremely few in number.
Aria was one of those few humans.
Thereupon, there’s no change on her expression despite seeing the negligent Liselotte.
But then, Aria herself never shown that kind of huge reaction aside from a slight twitch of her eyebrows when she saw that side of Liselotte for the first time.
「Thank you for the hard work. Will you take a short nap till the start of the evening party？ 」
Aria asked while looking fondly at her lovely master who’s loosened her guard.
「U~hn. I’m good. I want to think about something for a while」
Her reply is a tad slower than usual.
She picks up the cushion that was nearby and then hugging that cushion as she lifts her face to look at the ceiling of her room.
「Is it about Haruto-sama？」
「That’s right. I knew so many things from our meeting a while ago. And that’s all of it……………. Hey……………」
Liselotte is letting out a weary sigh as she replied to Aria.
「Have you noticed some sort of trouble？」
「It’s not a trouble. It seems we’ll be able to keep our favourable relationship even from now on」
Following after their meeting a while ago, Liselotte can feel that her relationship with Rio will keep as it is even after this.
She was certain about that.
Certainly, the matter of him knowing her greatest secret will put her under a disadvantageous situation but, she judged that she didn’t need to worry about such things.
（In the first place, the matter of me using japanese names for our product has also acted like some sort of message to the people who are put under similiar circumtances as myself. Things like someone suddenly transferred from the other side is a bit of a unexpected case though）
When Liselotte’s thinking of such things,
「Well then, which point is the one that’s troubling you？」
Aria asked with a clear voice.
「I was thinking of closing my distance with Haruto-sama a bit more from now on if possible but, the result is our distance remained as it was……… didn’t it 」
Liselotte’s sighing while letting out her complaint.
She’s been marking Rio and really wants to invite him.
That is absolutely nothing like only want to become a precious contract partner to use Rio’s service as the intermediate between her and the craftsman of his finest liquor.
His calm and intellectual personality while being a gentle person himself, receiving an education which is meant for nobles despite being a commoner, his battle prowess which at least will easily be able to overwhelm several trained knights at minimum and unknown number at maximum, moreover, his artifact-class magic tool which can hold a large amount of things by manipulating space――.
To be honest, he’s way too good to be left as just a hidden talent.
「The way he brings himself is definitely great differences from the nobles and merchants who are usually facing Liselotte-sama. Even the way he’s coping with the situation is also different」
「Right. You can say that he’s not the kind of person who’s moving for things like status or money」
After she changes to sitting position from her bed, Liselotte agreed with a yearning expression.
「But, seeing his inauguration as a honorary knight, the nobilities who’ll come to interact with him from now on will keep increasing right？」
The abilities and the existence of Rio is exposed in large scale amongst the nobilities and the royalties who was attending yesterday’s evening party.
In addition to that, he even received the investiture of a honorary knight.
It’ll be even stranger If that kind of existence is loitering around without being attached to any faction and yet not receiving any invitation.
But, even if he’s from a small country when comparing to Galwark kingdom.
Nevertheless he’s receiving the title of honorary knight in spite of not serving under Galwark kingdom which will in turn strengthen the relationship between Rio and Galwark kingdom.
Even so, in spite of it won’t be a strange thing for some country to suddenly appear to make a pass on him, he needs to constantly mind his own actions in regard to Galwark kingdom.
「Yeah, I want to be closer to him for this reason. Geez, and yet I’m the first one who found the true worth of Haruto-sama………」
Liselotte is pouting her lips.
She’s always restraining herself to send an invitation toward Rio up till now.
That was because the clear prospect of victory in dragging Rio to her ground is none.
Naturally if it’s only an invitation since she knows by Rio’s character in the fact that he will definitely take some distance from her if she’s sending an invitation so many times over.
Thus, she goes with the strategy of keep decreasing their distance to make Rio let down his guard without sending an invitation.
And yet, the movement of the royalties and nobilities during this time is just a little―― Wrong, it’s not amusing at all.
They’ll just raise the possibility of Rio taking some distance from nobility and royalty for being fed up with them, since it’ll make things turn ugly if the game that they were aiming for was snatched from the side.
「But, he refused the invitation from the king. Thus he won’t easily serve under anyone isn’t it？ 」
「I’m also including those factors but, the possibilities aren’t zero」
From now on, Rio’ll be involved with various royalties and nobilities regardless of his own will.
It’s not strange if some amongst them even offer something that will satisfy Rio.
「Refusing the direct invitation from his majesty. The matter of him not moving for status or money is clear. Though his majesty is half-forcing his way by using his authority as some that he should do…………」
「That’s a poor move right. Today’s matter is an exception. Since your majesty has to do that and even gave the title of honorary knight to Rio-sama」
Though there’s several more in the list of what’s necessary, thus he’ll be dragged in by the country even if his deed of protecting Miharu and the others alone is because he’s aiming for a big one, there’s a saying that Rio’s achievement is also the Galwark kingdom’s achievement.
And in the matter of giving the title of honorary knight to Rio means that Galwark kingdom participated in the case of protecting Miharu and the others.
Though Takahisa is the first in the list for the right to claim for their protection as the family for Masato and Aki, there’s no difference in the order between Takahisa and Satsuki in the matter of protection of Miharu as he’s just her friend.
Though the maximum priority should be Miharu’s own will, it’ll become an insurance when the matter gets complicated.
「Well that aside, I felt that I should at least try to invite him sooner or later but I want to at least have some card in my hand」
Humans are creatures that were full of contradictions as long as they’re making their move based on profit and loss.
Therefore there’s a need for stimulating their emotion such as offering some sort of profit to change the other party.
But, the matter of Rio making his move without thinking about profit and loss is already widespread.
If for example another person is trying to invite Rio――
「It might be more interesting if you just going from the front and trying to seduce him with your sex appeal」
Aria suddenly muttered those words.
Liselotte’s looking at Aria with a startled expression.
「Yeah, since almost all of those who made their move toward the men who left their name in the annal of history is a woman」
She don’t know whether Aria’s joking or not since she said those words with a flat tone.
「Seducing him………….. Is it」
Liselotte’s letting out a voice which is filled with suspicion.
The certain strong point of a woman is to become a weapon to build a relationship with a man. [TL : You know, in adult way……. Snusnu by animesuki language]
Many woman also agree to that.
（Even so, it seems that no one is using seduction toward Haruto-sama. It seems that Cosette is boldly trying to approaching him but the result is unfavourable）
The chamberlain of Liselotte’s not only for assisting her with Rikka firm work or prefectural governer work everyone of them is also a woman since they’re basically doing maid work.
They’re cream of the crops which is picked directly by Liselotte purely based on their natural disposition without caring about their status thus their ability and personality goes without saying.
After being employed, they’ll be put under strict training one by one and learn the necessary knowledge to do their work.
To make matters worse, everyone of them is only consisting of women or girls who’s in their prime age, they’re basically consisting of various kind of beauties
Naturally there’s a proper reason for why she’s gathering not only the girl with beautiful face but also powerful.
Whether it’s as a noble or as a merchant, majority of Liselotte’s negotiation partner is a man.
If she can make the strong point of the girl standing out aside from their ability, it’ll surely give her an advantage in negotiation――
In that case, she has no need for trickery if alluring words of the girl is enough to give her an advantage against her negotiation partner, that was Liselotte’s business policy.
Though it’s not to the degree that her negotiation partner will do sexual harassment beyond the threshold, when she found that there’s some girls amongst her chamberlain who’s being favored by her negotiation partner, that chamberlain will naturally be put in charge of those negotiations.
Though there’s no clear evidence whether that step is helping the business or not, the business power of Rikka firm is unmatched by the others firms.
Therefore Liselotte is putting her biggest trust and pride to the chamberlains who’s working under her wings and she can feel relieved to welcome Rio, her important guest.
Even if Rio’s a youth who’s in the peak of his puberty, there’s no way he’ll do bad things to the girls who are around his age.
Since he might even fall in love with one of her chamberlains――
Thus she held on to her faint expectation.
But, her faint expectation turned out to be just an expectation.
Well, she shouldn’t be hoping so much for it since it was such a good bargain.
「Maybe Haruto-sama already has someone who’s occupying his heart？」
「He seems to be especially close to Cosette and Natalie amongst my chamberlain right. Since those girls are the ones who’s often put in charge of Haruto-sama. but, the possibility of success by using seduction is too low」
「Well, that’s just natural」
Liselotte’s nodding to her words.
Because it’s not like Liselotte’s unable to grasp the sign in the case he has some interest in the girls amongst her chamberlains.
「In that case, this is Liselotte-sama’s turn to come and seduce him」
Aria suddenly dropped such a atomic scale bombshell remark.
Liselotte’s unconsciously letting out a perplexed voice.
「Amongst all of us, aren’t you the one who’s actually closest to Haruto-sama」
「EH? EEEH？ Well that’s right, even so………….. The chamberlain side is…………」
Liselotte is muttering those words with a weak tone while having a question mark on her face.
「Please have some confidence on yourself. You won’t be able to make the best use of your own charm if you keep hesitating like that」
Aria’s encouraging Liselotte who’s showing a troubled expression.
「As far as I know, you’re my best master. You’re wise, have a noble heart, and have high pride. And you’re the kind of woman who can stand side by side with a man」
「T-Thank you very much………….」
Liselotte’s giving his gratitude to Aria’s praise with blushing cheeks.
「In spite of me saying to seduce him, I don’t mean it in a way in which you’re ensnaring him by using your womanly charm」
Aria’s telling her that while waving her head in denial.
Not in any way she’s telling Liselotte to use honey trap on Rio.
Aria was fully aware that Rio isn’t the kind of man who can be defeated by such means.
「At times, there are some people who are really hard to be moved with such tactic. And he’s definitely that kind of person」
Liselotte’s silently listening to Aria’s story.
「In fact, attracting him with your charm as a person without any kind of profit and gain is a better tactic. Let Haruto-sama get to know you as a person called Liselotte Kretia. Because you have the charm to make the people to automatically gather around you. It was the same case for me」
Aria’s telling her that as-a-matter-of-fact.
Liselotte couldn’t even barely notice it despite the long time they’re spending together but, Aria’s lips are definitely curved extremely slightly upward.
「My apologies for my admonition. But, in my humble idea, facing him in direct confrontation is even more important than unskillful deceit for an opponent like Haruto-sama」
Aria made a deep bow as she said that.
「………….. That’s right. It’s as you say」
Liselotte’s smiling wryly as she heaved a sigh.
「Thank you. It seems I was a bit too impatient. Thanks to you I managed to regain my composure」
Liselotte told her gratitude to Aria as she smiled calmly.
（It seems I have no choice but to face him with my sincerity by this point. I’ll steadily deepen our personal relationship while keeping our contractual relationship）
It’s as Aria just said, maybe to become even more closer to a person like Rio, going honestly without minding about things like profit and loss is the right choice.
Though Liselotte was always having contact with others as a noble or merchant, she could build a personal relationship for a long time.
（In fact I want to reward him with today’s matter but, he definitely will reject it if I give it to him in a normal way.
Someday I’ll tell Haruto-sama that I’m saved when I’m in a troubled situation）
She’s wondering just how long it’s been since she’s facing someone in this way except for her parents and relatives.
As she thinks so,
（It might be since I was Rikka）
Liselotte’s shutting her eyes as she laid on top of the bed while a nostalgic smile is peeking on her face.
On the other side, Rio was walking alone in the passage of the royal castle after his meeting with Liselotte.
（Maybe Satsuki-san went to Miharu and the others’ place.）
Rio’s step is becoming even more slow as he thinks about that chance.
The place in which Miharu and the others are staying at was the room in which Takahisa is staying at.
They might’ve a pleasant talk even as he’s walking toward that place now.
He wants to go to Miharu’s place too.
That moment, he was driven by impulse to go to the room in which Miharu is and confessing everything.
But, after taking a deep breath in order to calm down the blood that is rushing toward his head, Rio then headed toward the room in which he’s assigned to.
He definitely has something that he wants to tell Miharu and the others but, there’s a lot of things that he should also tell them along with it.
But, if he’s confessing the truth just as it is to Miharu and the others by disregarding TPO, he can easily imagine that it’ll only make Miharu and the others confused.
Thus, he can’t be impatient.
（I’ll tell them about the future plan tomorrow. And I can’t make use of tonight. Till that time……………….）
What and how he should tell them about this matter.
Rio already decided after much consideration.
Naturally, he’ll personally tell Miharu about it.
But, properly conveying things to her is a bit difficult.
Thus, Rio felt that he needs to write a letter.
To Aki and Miharu, who’s deeply influencing his previous life, and naturally toward Masato too.
He’ll gave it to them tonight.
As for his confession.
He’ll choose the timing when it was only the two of them.
He’ll make it if there’s none.
Maybe she’ll hate him if he tells her the truth.
Because what he did was an extremely egoistical deed.
Even so, he decided on moving forward.
He won’t hold back now.
（Because I have always been running away from her up till now………….）
He won’t be any different from when he was Amakawa Haruto unless he confesses his love for Miharu.
After doing some self-reflection, Rio’s quickened his pace as his thought is composing what he should write in his letter.
Galwark kingdom is the country which held the tenacious spirit to not yielding to terrorism.
In spite of the zero damage by the group of burglars last night, it might become a cue to hold an open meeting, thus they decided to hold the third day of the evening party which will also become the last day.
Many soldiers have been arranged to the potential place in which the people will come and fro, they’re spreading an extremely tight defense network on the vicinities of the windows, around the exit and the entrance which become the route for the burglar last night.
Even if the burglars are forcing their way to break through, it’s absolutely impossible for them to even reach the venue.
There’s not that much necessary to introduce the participants since tonight is the last day of evening party and the ceremony of raising the curtain become even more simple compared to the previous two nights.
They decided to announce two important matters instead.
「Our Galwark kingdom has proceeded with behind the door negotiation to form an alliance with our neighbor, the Saint Stellar kingdom. With the first princess Lilyana, their ambassador」
The venue fell into silence the moment they hear Francois’ words.
But, it’s followed by great noise right in the next moment.
It seems that was the first time for every royalty and the noble in the venue to hear that.
Though Saint Stellar kingdom is a leading power in the eastern part of Strahl region, lately they’re inclined to seclude themself from having diplomatic relationship with other countries.
Since that country is forming a defense alliance with the neighbor who’s also major power, the Galwark kingdom, even the royalties and the nobilities who aren’t showing keen interest in politics are greatly shaken by this announcement.
The venue fell into silent with the voice of the male MC.
After confirming their silence,
「The progress is in favorable direction as of now. Thus we decided to take this occasion to announcing about this matter to the people of our neighbouring country too. If everything is going smoothly, this matter might be officially announced soon enough」
Francois smoothly added another statement.
Thereafter, the noise descended upon the venue for the second time.
It doesn’t mean that the atmosphere that is drifting along inside the hall is from anxiety, it gave more feeling of something they’re hoping for in spite of being bewildered by such good news.
The royalties and the nobilities who’re in the venue start to show a hint of excitement and then the clapping hands that is the sign as if they’re expecting the forming of new alliance is reverberating inside of the venue.
「Well then, following that, let’s move to the ceremony of opening the curtain. Next is the investiture of the honorary knight. The person who will become the new knight is the one who made the greatest contribution in repelling the burglars from last night, Lord Haruto. He received the alias “Black Knight” directly from your majesty the king」
The MC is explaining the situation in a clear voice and then the nobilities in the venue are starting to look at the stage with curious expressions.
「It seems the roundup of the burglars last night is a splendid one huh」
「Well he was like taking down six burglars who were as strong as regular knights by himself」
「That’s………….. Amazing. I’m really regretting the fact that I couldn’t see that with my own eyes」
The tale of Rio’s action last night is spread around inside the venue.
「LET’S WELCOME THE BLACK KNIGHT, LORD HARUTO！」
Rio’s replying quickly as he moves toward the edge of the stage on which Francois is standing at.
Coiled around Rio body is the ceremonial attire of the black knight with simple white patterns engraved on it.
It was something lent to him to receive his alias, the black knight.
In spite of nothing more than makeshift attire, Francois decided to grant him with official attire of black knight after the evening party.
Miharu and the others were looking at the back of Rio from behind the door of the stage.
Though the attendance of Miharu and the others in evening party was decided arbitrarily, they eventually decided on attending the evening party as a form of gratitude toward Francois who let them to go into the royal castle.
The three of Satsuki, Takahisa and Lilyana are tightly protecting the three of Miharu, Aki and Masato right at their side.
And then, it’s been decided that they’ll make a simple introduction for Miharu and the others after performing the investure.
In that case, Francois cautioned the nobilities and the royalties from refraining themselves from greeting Miharu and the others since they’re unaware of the manners of evening party.
「Haruto-anchan is so cool………….」
Masato was looking at Rio who’s receiving the investure ceremony with sparkling eyes.
「Please say that in front of Haruto-kun later, okay. He definitely will be delighted」
Satsuki’s telling Masato with a impish smile on her face.
Masato nodded vigorously.
「His face of that time is something worth to see right. I want to save that picture of him if only there’s some battery left in my smartphone but……………」
Miharu’s showing a troubled expression to Satsuki who’s muttering those words.
At the same time they’re standing a little far from her.
「B-Black knight……… Goddamnit！ I’ll be ashamed to die if I was the one who received such embarrassing title but that title sounds cool」
Hiroaki was looking at Rio with complicated expression while grumbling like that.
「What are you talking about, Hiroaki-sama？」
Flora’s asking with question mark floating on her face.
「Ah, it’s nothing. That guy alias is a bit too……………………. I am even wondering whether I should be jealous or pitying him」
Hiroaki’s speaking with a troubled tone.
Flora was tilting her head in confusion.
「By the way, those people over there who’s the friend of the heroes are also the people who live in the same world as Hiroaki-sama right？」
「N? Ah, that’s right. Brother and sister aside, the rest might be their buddy in the high school. CEH, damn riajuu*」[TL* : Fulfilled person, in short someone like me]
He’s taking a look at the change of topic which is offered by Flora and then speaking in a slightly annoyed tone.
「Uhm, is there some kind of bad news even for Hiroaki-sama？」
「Ha~h？ Not a chance. It has nothing to do with me as I’m not even their acquaintance」
Hiroaki’s replying with a fed-up expression as if not interesting at all.
「What’s the matter Flora. Do you want to greet them？ 」
Hiroaki asked while looking at Flora with a bored face.
「Ah, no, it’s just that. I’m just thinking of how the people of Hiroaki-sama’s world is spending their life………….」
Flora’s telling her feelings while observing Hiroaki’s reaction.
「It’s nothing special at all. It is sort of doing a poor make-believe-friend game. The relationship is only on the surface at most. I’m sure it’s a muddy situation for that male and female hero too」
Hiroaki’s speaking with a dampened voice.
「Is that so………………..」
Flora’s muttering those words while looking at the lively conversation of Satsuki and the others.
But, Flora who noticed a completely different atmosphere from the one that described by Hiroaki didn’t say anything anymore.
In the meantime, Rio’s achievement in repelling the burglars and protecting the friends of the heroes is greatly admired, the birth of the new honorary knight is celebrated grandiously.