Chapter 109: So Close Yet So Far
Though it was the final day of the evening party, there’s a manner for the evening party held by nobilities or royalties in not just the way to enter but also the way to exit.
Basically the one who leaves first is the important foreign guests which will then be followed by the royalties and the nobilities of the one who held the party starting from the one with the higher position first.
Takahisa and Lilyana, Flora and Hiroaki who belong to the big countries and then Miharu and the others also leave along with them since they’re entering along with Takahisa and Lilyana.
Basically when the VIP of a foreign country leave the venue, the next one to leave is one with a high social position in their home country.
Charlotte, the royalty and then Satsuki, the hero, from the fact that he’s coming along with them as Charlotte’s partner, he has to leave along with them.
The manager of the girl already waiting for them when they left the venue and hurriedly coming toward Rio and the two girls.
They’re supposed to go back to their own room after leaving the venue but, they’re still tagging along even when they’re about to reach the point where they have to separate their ways.
The noise that they can hear coming from the venue is gradually becoming smaller and then, the three of them stopped at the place where they have to go to separate ways.
「My appreciation for today. Haruto-sama, Satsuki-sama」
Charlotte said those words with her characteristic bright voice as she looks at Satsuki and Rio.
「Yeah, thank you Sharl-chan. As I thought it made me tired when there’s so many people」
Satsuki’s replying appropriately while heaving a sigh.
「Thank you very much for such a wonderful moment. Your highness princess Charlotte」
Rio’s nodding toward Charlotte.
Satsuki on his side is glancing at him too.
「If you may, will you have a little discussion with me after this, Haruto-sama？」
When Satsuki looks like that she’s about to say something, Charlotte already made the first move.
Satsuki’s slighly dazed after losing the initiation from Charlotte.
「……….. Yes, I can if Charlotte-sama is inviting me for a short discussion」
Rio’s replying with a calm voice.
Seeing that the other party is a royalty, he thinks that he has no right to reject her invitation unless he already have prior arrangements.
Satsuki’s eyebrows twitched when she’s looking at their conversation right by their side.
「I’m glad then. I still want to talk with you for a while longer. Thus, the place will be my own room」
Rio and Satsuki’s startled in hearing Charlotte’s reply.
In a sense, it’s currently a bit too late for a man to visit a woman’s room.
In the first place, for a man to go to a princess’s room by himself is already a taboo isn’t it?.
Rio and Satsuki both have such common sense.
But, maybe because she’s aware of their worry.
「Well, shall we go then, Haruto-sama」
Saying so, Charlotte intimately took Rio’s hand.
「Since it seems that you’re already worn out from the evening party, please take a good rest Satsuki-sama. Well, we’ll excuse ourself then」
After showing off her sweet smiling face, Charlotte then turned around as she pulled Rio’s arm.
Satsuki was looking at the series of events with a dumbfounded face but,
「WHA！ W-W-WAIT AMINUTE！ 」
She quickly called to Rio and Charlotte.
Therupon, Charlotte is stopping her her feet as if she already expected Satsuki to stop them from the very beginning.
「Yes, what’s the matter？」
A grin appeared on Charlotte’s face.
「F-For a girl to invite a man to their own room at this kind of time is, isn’t something admirable isn’t it. Uhm」
It’s a rare thing for the normally smart Satsuki to stutter with her words.
「Fufufu, it’s okay. Because Haruto-sama is a real gentleman like my older brother」
Charlotte’s replying while pulling Rio’s arm.
Thereupon, Satsuki’s eyebrows is twitching in hearing her words.
「Y-YOU CAN’T. Haruto-kun might lost his self-restraint if I leave him alone with a cute girl. As your senior in terms of age, illicit sexual relationship isn’t something that I can just let pass」
Satsuki’s declaring that with a clear tone.
「Illicit sexual…………. Relationship？ But I want to have a conversation with Haruto-sama………..」
Charlotte tilted her head with a troubled face.
「I-It’s not like you can’t do that by all means. But, being just the two of you alone at this kind of time might not be a good thing for the two of you. Right, Haruto-kun. You’ll think so if you’re her oniichan right？ 」[TL : What about her case the night before yesterday???]
Satsuki’s telling her reason to Charlotte and then quickly looked at Rio.
Deep inside, He’s agreeing with what she said but, for some reason Rio felt an earth-shattering pressure emanating from Satsuki.
「Ye-Yeah. That’s right. As expected, being alone with just your highness princess Charlotte is a bit……………. Shall we change our place and go along with other people……….」
Rio’s replying while feeling a cold chill run along his spine.
「I see. In that case, will you come with us too, Satsuki-sama？ 」
Charlotte nonchalantly gave such a suggestion.
「U-Uhn. Well if you say so, it can’t be helped then. I’ll come along」
Satsuki’s nodding in agreement to Charlotte’s invitation.
Though Satsuki marveled on why she feel this sense of relieve in her heart while being relieved inside herself, She decided to push that thought to the corner of her mind.
After that, they decided to meet in Charlotte room after changing their clothes so, Satsuki’s going back to her own room to change her dress while Rio is also going back to his own room.
Rio himself who wore the knight attire for ease movement itself aside, Satsuki just can’t feel relaxed while she’s still wearing those dresses that limits your movement.
And then after they changed their own respective clothes, they decided to hold the after party of the evening party in Charlotte’s room.
Around that time, Miharu and the others who finished changing their clothes already returned to their own room.
Since it seems that Lilyana also has something to discuss with Francois after this, Takahisa’s escorting her till the king’s office.
On the other hand, maybe because it’s their first experience in attending the evening party, Aki and Masato’s attacked by drowsiness as if their tense string finally snapped.
「Good night, neechan and the other too」
Masato’s heading toward the bedroom that was assigned to him while letting out a big yawn with sleepy eyes.
It made one to wonder just how many bedroom in the room in which Takahisa and the others are living in when excluding the living room.
Miharu and Aki replied to Masato. And then, when Masato’s entering his bedroom,
「Shall we go to sleep too？ 」
Aki asked Miharu.
「Uhn. I want to wait for a while longer. I’m not that sleepy yet」
「Are you waiting for oniichan to go back？」
「U-Uhn. You just said that you’re sleepy right, Aki-chan. You shouldn’t wait for me and go to sleep right away you know」
Miharu’s replying with a clumsy smile.
In that moment, a pensive look’s appearing on Aki’s face as if she suddenly hit upon a good idea,
「Is it？ Then I’ll go first……………..」
She said so with a blooming smile on her face.
「Yeah. Good night」
「Good night. Please give my regard to oniichan」
Aki’s smiling delightfully as she entered her bedroom without a hitch.
And then, Miharu heaved a sigh of relief when she’s the only one left in the living room.
She’s sitting on the chair in the middle of living room as if waiting for someone to come to visit.
1 second to 10 seconds, and then 1 minute is passing by as she keep waiting.
Thereupon, Miharu’s suddenly standing up as she started to walking back and forth in the room with a restless expression.
She keeps recalling the prior event in during the evening party as she keeps walking around restlessly inside of the room.
The location of that event is on a certain quiet balcony in the castle right under the starry skies and blessed by the moonlight.
（I, just received a love confession right. Moreover it’s from Haruto-san…………）
At that time, Rio’s stared at Miharu with a earnest look in his eyes.
――I love you, Ayase Miharu-san.
He might be saying “I love you” so many times but, it was a simple and honest confession leaving any implication and meaning behind and without any pretense.
Miharu also received several love confession after she entered middle school.
Some confessing while looking embarrassed, some confessing with indirect expression as if he has no confidence, some confessing with a commanding voice, some confessing by telling her the various reasons why they love her――.
Rio’s confession resounded deep in her heart more than those who confessed before her.
The simple confession is hit right on the spot.
Though it might be depending on the reaction of each person, she unintentionally feels happy for such a confession.
Enough to express that she’s the only one in this entire world.
But, she can fully understand his love for her.
（My heart is still pounding loudly…………）
Miharu’s confirming her heartbeat by placing her hand on her breast.
Her heartbeat is so loud as if it’s about to burst from her chest, the heat that flowing out from her heart is spreading all over her body.
Miharu’s heaving a deep and long breath with flushed cheeks as the pain in her heart stopped.
（I wonder if Haruto-san won’t come to visit）
It’s been quite a while since the end of evening party but, I wonder what Haruto-san is doing right now.
Miharu’s thinking so while staring at the door of the room.
But, no matter how much times elapsed, Rio’s not coming to visit.
――Something that he want to tell me. It’s shameless story but, will you hear the continuation of my story later？
Rio said those words that could only be heard to Miharu after Aki and the others were barging onto the balcony.
I wonder what is the something that he wants to tell me, when will he come, what will be the continuation of his story.
Miharu couldn’t help but worry about it.
――Whether I’m sleeping, awake or, reincarnated, you’re the one who I love.
Those words resound deep into Miharu mind.
（He said “Reborn” right…………）
That’s mean, maybe Rio knew about Miharu in his previous life.
Rio introduced himself as Haruto when they first met in this world.
That name was resounding deeply inside Miharu’s heart because the resemblance of his name with Amakawa Haruto who she missed so much.
There’s even times when the image of Rio is mirroring that of Haruto.
But, that’s just a mere concident and not lingering in her consciousness.
Because, such coincident is impossible to happen since Amakawa haruto should be on earth right now.
Such coincident in which Amakawa Haruto reincarnated in this world and then growing up till reaching adulthood is almost impossible to happen.
She’s always reminding herself to not compare the resemblance between Amakawa Haruto and Rio.
Because doing so is rude to both of them.
But, there’s still the possibility that Rio, or Haruto is actually her childhood friend, Amakawa Haruto.
Though Amakawa Haruto is dead in her dream, he might be reborn as the current Haruto――
There’s no way she can treat the event that happened in her dream as the real thing but, Miharu began to consider the possibilities of such things to happen due to Rio’s confession.
（I can’t understand this anymore. Is Haruto-san………… Actually Haru-kun？）
Miharu was standing still in the middle of the room with a confused face.
She’s lost like a child.
But, If Rio then turned out to be Amakawa Haruto――
If that is true then there’s so many things that she wanted to say to him.
Words are not enough to convey that.
Because her answer is as clear as day.
She wants to meet Rio right away to hear the continuation of his story.
Maybe you already forgot about that matter but, on a certain day 9 years ago―― ――
She almost missed those words because the coming of Aki who’s barging at the most crucial part but, Haruto might be about to tell her the continuation of his story.
Rio with a seemingly frightened expression is resurfacing in Miharu’s mind.
When she’s troubling over such a event, the door of the room is opened.
Miharu’s body trembled while looking toward the direction of the door.
「………… I’m back. You’re still awake」
The one who entered the room was Takahisa.
He’s staring at Miharu with a perplexed expression.
「Uhn…………………. Welcome back」
Miharu heaved a sigh as if her body lost it’s power while welcoming Takahisa.
Her gesture is a mix between relief and disappointment.
「What about Aki and Masato？」
「They’re sleeping in the room. Aren’t you tired standing like that for a long time」
A short silence is descending into the room.
Due to a somewhat awkward atmosphere, there’s no conversation between them.
「Shall I brew tea for you？」
Miharu’s asking Takahisa.
「Ah, yes. I’ll take that offer……….」
At Takahisa’s request, Miharu’s going toward the simple kitchen built in the room.
In a few minutes, the tea is done and she brought it to the living room.
「Here you go」
After placing the tea pot on the table along with the kotori, Takahisa’s sipping the tea in his cup.
「………… It’s delicious. Just like the one made by Fril」
Takahisa told his impression in amazement.
Fril is Lilyana’s attendant.
Once, Takahisa tried to drink the tea made by another person other than Fril.
But, the tea made by that person was clearly different and even inferior in taste from the one that is usually made by Fril.
In spite of using the same tea leaves.
「……… Because someone taught me how to brew the tea」
Miharu told Takahisa with a shy expression.
「…………. Is it Haruto-san？」
Takahisa’s asking with a stiff tone.
Miharu’s nodding while smiling gently.
Takahisa showed a self-depreciated smile.
Thus, ten minutes passed by while they’re having such a short conversation.
Before long, even such conversation stopped when another ten minutes passed by.
「Hey, it’s past the time for you to sleep right？」
Thus after some time has passed, Takahisa suddenly suggested her to sleep as he was unable to bear such awkward silence.
「…………… Yes. But I’m not sleepy yet. How about you Takahisa-kun？ 」
「…………. I’ll wait till Lilyana comes back」
「So that’s how it is. You’ve a really good relationship with Lilyana-sama」
Miharu’s telling him that as she smiled gently at him.
「No！ You’re mis……………… Well, you’re right」
Though he’s about to deny it right away, Takahisa timidly agreed to her as Lilyana’s smiling face suddenly emerged in his mind.
Miharu’s staring in amazement at his reaction.
「What’s the matter？」
Miharu chuckled as if she finds that his reaction is amusing.
「It’s nothing…………. You should go to sleep. Since it’s better to lie down even if you’re not sleepy yet」
Miharu’s hestitating when Takahisa is saying so but,
「Yeah. You’re, right………….. I’ll lie on my bed for the time being. Good night」
She noded with a hestitating face and then headed toward the bedroom in which Aki is sleeping.
The after party of the evening party which was held in Charlotte’s room was going on for almost an hour.
The pleasant conversation is going on for that one hour because of Charlotte’s insistence who regretted the fact that it is almost time to end their after party, they’re planning to chat more the next morning.
Thus, Rio and Satsuki is leaving Charlotte’s room with worn out expressions, when it was just the two of them,
「Hey, aren’t you going to visit Miharu-chan and the others room after this？ There’s something that you have to tell them right？ 」
Satsuki suddenly asked that question to him.
「Yeah, I want to visit them tonight if possible. But, maybe they’re already fast asleep」
Rio’s replying with a troubled expression.
「It’s because Haruto-kun is always being hugged by Sharl-chan right」
Satsuki’s saying so while pursing her lips.
「Is, that so？ As I thought」
「What are you talking about. No matter how you look at it from any kind of angle, she’s always clinging on you」
Satsuki is looking at Rio who replied without self-confidence with a bewildered face.
「…………. I’ve no idea that we look like that from a 3rd party perspective」
「It’s because you saved her when she was almost attacked by those burglars. Don’t you think that the person who was protecting her is really a splendid guy？ 」
Satsuki said those words with a slightly blunt tone while observing Rio’s reaction.
「No, if it’s for protecting her, there’s also the other knights right?. Thus I really have no idea about her reaction………」
「A~h, yup. I see……………. I see」
Satsuki’s smiling wryly to such a natural reaction from Rio.
And just like that, though Satsuki’s fixing her gaze at Rio with a bewildered expression, it feels like she’s glaring at him but, it might be just his imagination.
「Well, it’s fine to leave it that way though. So, what will you do？ Are you going to visit them or not？ 」
Satsuki asked him again after heaving a sigh.
「Shall we go then. There’s something that I want to give to her. If it’s okay with you, shall we come to my room first？ 」
Rio replied right away.
Satsuki’s nodding at him and thus they’re heading toward the room in which Miharu and the others is.
「Isn’t this Haruto-sama and Satsuki-sama. May I ask your bussiness？ 」
After arriving at the room where Miharu and the others resting at, the female knight who is also the bodyguard of Lilyana and Takahisa went to ask Rio and Satsuki.
「We want to meet Takahisa-kun and the others, will you tell them that we came？」
「Certainly. Please wait a minute」
After Satsuki told her business, the female knight, Kiara entered the room while saying 「Excuse me」.
The one who’s waiting in front of the room is Satsuki, Rio and another bodyguard, Alice.
The palace guards of Galward kingdom is also doing their night watch duty.
Several tens seconds later the door of the room opened for the second time.
「Sorry to make you wait, senpai」
The one who appeared to greet them was Takahisa.
He’s casting a suspicious gaze for a moment at Rio and Satsuki as if suspecting something.
But, he’s letting out a worn out smile immediately.
「Sorry for coming at late night. The truth is we wanted to go right after the end of the evening party but there was a small matter that we had to attend. Is Miharu-chan and the others still awake？ 」
Satsuki’s asking with a apologetic expression.
「…………… I’m sorry. They’re already asleep, maybe because they’re not used to the evening party」
Takahisa replied with a gloomy expression.
Aki and Masato is fell asleep right after returning from the evening party and might even be in their deep sleep right now.
But, he was a bit uneasy in regards to Miharu since she was still awake till just a while ago.
She might feel awkward when it’s just the two of them, though Takahisa went to her room and asked whether she is already asleep, not that much time has passed yet.
That’s why regarding whether she’s already asleep or still awake, Takahisa has no knowledge about it.
Answering that question made him scared.
「A~h, it seems we’re a bit too late. It can’t be helped then」
Satsuki’s saying that with remorse in her tone.
Since they’ve been expecting that maybe Miharu and the others are already asleep, thus she’s not really discouraged at all when it comes true.
「………. Yes, My apologies」
Takahisa’s aplologizing with a awkward face.
「It’s not like you need to apologize to me right. Are you the only one awake, Takahisa-kun？」
Satsuki’s asking while smiling wryly.
「Yes. Lily is having a short discussion with the king. So I’ll be waiting till she comes back……….」
Takahisa’s nodding at Satsuki.
「If that’s the case, we have no choice but to come again tomorrow afternoon」
Rio’s shrugging his shoulder as he says so.
「Shall we do that then」
Satsuki’s nodding while sighing in regret.
「Do you have some matter to attend to tomorrow morning？」
Takahisa asked them.
「Yup, we’ve a plan for a tea party with Shar-………… I mean with princess Charlotte. Thus we’ll come for a visit in the afternoon」
「In fact we’re also going to be inspecting the magic ship in the morning for Masato and the others. I’m thinking of bring along senpai and the others too but, it seems that’s impossible right」
「It seems so. Sorry」
「It’s nothing since that is a sudden plan due to Masato who is interested in it」
Takahisa’s shaking his head in denial while smiling wryly at her.
「Do you know that you can actually go with them, Satsuki-san？」
Rio said that to the slightly depressed Satsuki.
Thereupon, Satsuki’s glaring at Rio,
「And let you have a nice moment alone with Sharl-chan？」
So she asked.
「No, I don’t mean in that way though……… It’s not like I won’t be able to meet them tomorrow like how I can’t meet them tonight since there’s no need to meet me and it’s not like Satsuki-san can always be together with them」
Rio’s explaining while making a slight excuse.
Though Satsuki’s slightly amazed by such unexpected words,
「I-It’s not like I can’t meet them, fine then」
Replied while turning her face to the side as if feeling embarrassed.
「R-Rather than that！ I wanted to ask Miharu-chan and the others about what they really want to do after this. How about you？ Did you tell Takahisa-kun already？ 」
Satsuki’s changing the subject of the conversation with blushing cheek.
Though legally speaking it might be the matter that she should ask in the afternoon, Satsuki deliberately avoiding that topic.
She’s somehow getting scared to confirm that alone and even if she talks about that matter, she thinks that it’s better to have Rio, who has the right for it.
Though fortunately Miharu and the others also choose this topic as if to divert the course of conversation to another direction and adding the fact that Rio’s quite busy nowadays, the situation turned into this.
「Uhm, right now, it seems that everyone is being anxious about various things and thinking about what they have to do from now on…….」
Takahisa replied with a slightly stiff expression after the sudden change of topic.
Though he at least managed to keep his tone to normal, Takahisa heart is beating like crazy.
His body feels hot as if his blood is boiling up.
That was contrary to what he said in the spur of the moment.
Because Miharu and the others already spoke of that matter.
But, Aki is the only one who says that she’ll go with him――
He’s quarreling with his little brother, Masato――
Miharu’s making clear of her intention to go with Rio――
The result of their prediction is not in the least in accordance to Takahisa’s prediction.
「I’ve got a small quarrel with Masato but, Aki decided to go along with me………」
Takahisa’s adding those seemingly an excuse for not telling them about Miharu.
He’s averting his gaze from Rio due to his guilty feeling toward him.
Because Takahisa really feels grateful to Rio.
But, deep inside he doesn’t want to let Miharu to meet with Rio.
That’s why he doesn’t want to tell Rio about Miharu’s wish yet.
In short, it’s jealousy.
His jealousy for Rio who’s being chosen by Miharu, for Rio who’s spent some time with just the two of them in the evening party, for Rio who became intimate with Miharu during the time he’s not there――
Takahisa finally noticed the jealousy which is lurking deep inside his heart as he witnessed the figure of Rio and Miharu alone on the balcony.
He can’t help but to feel ashamed of his own self.
Nonetheless, he can’t let go off Miharu and yet he has an indescribable feeling toward Rio, his benefactor.
Moreover, Takahisa who is driven by his sense of duty to not be able to do anything because of Aki who said that she will think of a way to let everyone to be together, and because of his love toward Miharu.
It’s already reaching the point of obsession.
The things that he can do is very limited but, he can at least think of it in his own way.
Satsuki’s heaving a sigh.
A short silence descended on that place.
「………. Uhm, Haruto-san」
Takahisa’s addressing Rio as if squeezing the last of his voice.
「Have you…………… Decided in what you’re going to do after the end of this evening party？ 」
「Yeah, I’m going to leave the royal capital toward the west」
So, Rio replied to Takahisa.
「Then………… Will you come to Saint Stellar kingdom afterward？ Uhm, it seems that everyone is wishing that Haruto-san goes along…………..」
Because, Miharu might be coming along if Rio is also coming to Saint Stellar kingdom.
That was what Takahisa expected for his reply.
He just wants to use Rio for that purpose.
The person himself is aware that such a act is disgraceful.
But, it’s better to be disgraceful than to be a miserable person.
As long as he can be together with the one that he loves.
Even if he has to crawl on the mud, he’ll make Miharu look at him.
That was what he thought.
「They want to be with me………….. Is that so」
Rio’s showing a surprised expression and then the tips of his lips raised slightly.
But, his eyes is shaking lightly as if there’s a guilt concealed within.
Thereupon, to that place,
「Ara, I thought it’s just me but could it be that everyone is thinking about the same thing？」
Satsuki’s saying so with a smiling expression.
「Yeah, we can easily meet since Saint Stellar kingdom and Galwark kingdom is tied by their defense alliance」
「It’s really a wonderful thing that the two kingdoms is not enemies right. So let’s make full use of our hero status to break the deadlock of this situation from thereafter」
Takahisa is nodding in agreement.
「Well, let’s break up for today. It’s hard to talk till late at night and this world’s morning is early too」
Satsuki made that suggestion while stretching her arms lightly.
And suddenly looking at Rio as if recalling something,
「Ah, that’s right. There’s something that you want to give to Miharu-chan and the others right, Haruto-kun？ If possible you can leave those items to Takahisa-kun？ We took a detour to your room just to fetch those items after all」
Satsuki said so.
Thereupon, Rio’s showing a pensive expression,
He’s hestitated whether to agree with her or not.
「Somehting to give？ 」
Takahisa asked with a puzzled expression.
「…………. It’s a letter. There’s a lot of things I want to let them know but, I have a hard time to say those things to them」
Rio replied timidly with a wry smile.
「He~, letter huh…….. It’s a old method but, sounds good doesn’t it. It should be the common way of communication in this world right」
Satsuki’s replying with surprised expression and then expressed her admiration.
「I see……………… Well then, will you entrust that letter to me？ 」
Takahisa’s timidly offering his help.
It was the least atonement for the guilt that he feels toward Rio.
「Do you want to give those letters by your own hand？」
Satsuki who stands by his side is asking in seeing his hesitation.
「…………. Yes. But, i want them to read the content as fast as possible」
Rio’s replying with a wry smile.
Though Miharu and others have yet to decide what they’re going to do from now on, maybe he’ll hear everything by tomorrow afternoon.
According to Takahisa, maybe they already made their decision.
Even so, there’s a chance that decision will change when Rio gives his letter.
When he thinks about the content of the letter, maybe they’ll need some time to sort their feelings.
That’s why Rio wants to give them some time to sort their feeling till the time to talk with Miharu and others comes.
In fact, he wants to pass this letter to Miharu and others tonight but, it seems that Miharu and the others already fell asleep when he was accompanying Charlotte.
In that case, the next most ideal time is tomorrow morning.
Because the pleasant conversation time with Charlotte is after breakfast, maybe he can stop by Miharu and the others room on the way toward Charlotte’s room.
「May i ask whether I’ll cause trouble if I come for a brief visit again tomorrow morning？」
Maybe he can probably deliver the letters right to Miharu and the other two in person.
In addition, he has no choice but to ask a favor from Takahisa if their timing isn’t matched.
「………… Yes,it’s alright. We’ll be leaving after 9 o’clock」
Takahisa replied with a slightly stiff tone.
「Understood. Since Charlotte-sama tea party will begin around the same time, I’ll come before that」
Thus their conversation reached a conclusion, Rio will come to visit this room again by tomorrow morning.