Chapter 85: For the Sake of Meeting With the Hero
「You want to meet with the hero…….. Of our kingdom」
The comfortable soprano voice of Liselotte resounded inside the tranquil parlor room.
「Yes. That’s right」
Rio’s affirming with a voice that’s pleasant to hear.
「……… My apologies for being impolite but, may i know why you want to meet the hero」
Liselotte asked that question after a short pause.
Empress of One Hundred-Million(Sumeragi Satsuki)―― the hero who appeared recently in the Galwark kingdom, she was the VIP of this kingdom.
Even if an ordinary person of unknown origin said that he wanted to meet her, she’s naturally not someone who you can meet so easily.
Does the person in front of me have some sort of business with her?, Liselotte squinted her eyes as she’s trying to grasp his true intention.
「It’s because there’s something I want to tell her when we meet」
Rio’s answering as he’s staring directly into Liselotte’s eyes.
「May you allow me to hear about that something」
From his voice, gesture, and expression, he’s not lying.
After judging that, Liselotte asked Rio.
But, Rio’s shaking his head.
「Sorry but, I cannot say the detailed account of that something. Well, half of the reason is something similar to a pleasure trip out of curiosity」
So he replied.
Liselotte squinted her eyes as she remained silent for a while.
「……. By my conclusion, could it possibly be introducing Haruto-sama to hero-sama」
When her eyes open again, after wearing an extremely serious expression, she said that solemnly.
But, it’s followed by a troubling expression and,
「But, My deepest apologize for this, from my standing, I’m unable to let someone of unknown origin to meet hero-sama」
Liselotte add those words.
The current her almost knows nothing about Rio.
She just somehow knows his outer nature. She heard that he was born in the neighbouring country.
But, what kind of life Rio experienced, which country and organization he belongs to, what kind of road he walked in the past, is he don’t have problem in relation to the person of the back――.
Liselotte didn’t know anything about this kind of information regarding to Rio’s personal history.
Their relationship is just too shallow for her to know that kind of thing.
From his speech and manner, she can’t think that someone so cultured is a commoner, from his battle against the ghoul, she knows that there’s a knight in that place who is boasted to be powerful enough to escape barefooted.
This kind of skill by no means exist in a mere random commoner.
That’s why, despite questioning whether Rio’s a highborn[noble], it can’t be helped to leave it as just an estimation since Rio has too many mysteries.
Of course, as a person, Liselotte has this feeling that she can trust Rio.
But, she can’t trust him so easily as a noble of Galwark kingdom.
For example,if something happen to Satsuki when she let them meet, the question will lie in the credibility of Liselotte since her action brought harm to the national interest.
Rio said that he has something to tell to Satsuki.
If she thinks normally, it’s quite difficult for there to be something like Satsuki appearing from another world, just what kind of talk does Rio want to tell Satsuki.
If he has some other intention other than just to talk to Satsuki――
Galwark kingdom have announced the existence of the hero just the other day but, that existence was an open secret up till that point.
That’s why even if you meet someone of another country, as long as that person have a bit of good ears, there’s a situation that will make it not very hard to know that there’s a hero in Galwark kingdom.
For example, if Rio belongs to another country and he’s planning for the assassination of Satsuki, or if the assassination is not his intention but just to spy on her, she cannot afford to bring Rio to meet Satsuki.
Liselotte is already considering till that far in just a moment.
「I think that’s just natural」
Rio’s replying with the same words as her.
「Still, even I don’t wish to harm the hero of Galwark kingdom. If you’re so insisted with it, I don’t even mind to have a chat with her by being restricted in a jail」 [Rio again]
Looking straight into Liselotte’s eyes and then, Rio added another words.
It seems this statement is because he’s seeing through on what I’m worrying about. In short, this is an indirect appeal of him being upright……
As she thinks that way, Liselotte was catching Rio’s line of sight from the front.
After she’s staring back at him like that, she catches a glimpse of his wry smile.
A while later, she’s letting out a short sigh and,
「I have no choice but to trust you if you’re going as far as that right. Understood. Though to make the two of you meet in private is a little difficult, I’ll introduce the two of you」
Thus Liselotte told him that.
Assuming that Rio is a spy, it doesn’t mean that there’s no method to gain the trust by deliberately attracting the attention from the other side of his concealment.
But, even if he’s moving that far, the danger of him being a spy or assasin might be low.
By weighing on the scale about the matter of her gratitude for the other day and those little danger, Liselotte decided to put her trust on Rio.
「Are you really okay with that」
Rio asking with the expression as if her decision is a little unexpected.
「Yes. The debut party of the hero-sama will be held soon in the capital of Galwark kingdom. Though I expect that many domestic and certainly another country’s nobles will be invited, I can use my authority to invite a foreign guest to that place. Though it’s not a private meeting, how do you think about that 」
「That’s the best thing I could ask for. My deepest gratitude for your proposal」
Rio bowed his head respectfully to Liselotte’s offer.
「I’ll comply with it then. Well then, should we do with this kind of arrangement. It’s scheduled just one month later, though it’s been decided that you’ll be accompanying me, do you have any questions 」
Rio was showing a little hestitation to the question that’s coming from Liselotte and then,
「Certainly. Well then, there’s something that I wish to confirm. As we’re moving till arriving in the capital, will I be accompanied by Liselotte-sama 」
Having thrown that question to Liselotte.
「That’s right. Should I not arrange it that way if it’s not convenient for you 」
「Certainly. Please help me in that regard」
After that, they make a confirmation regarding several matters and then, the talk moved to the topic in relation to the supply of the liquor.
「Twice in one year. With that said, I’ll carry only the decided amount needed toward Liselotte-sama’s place, how about it Going by what we decided the other day, the contract renewal within the timeframe of one year, in the case we’re renewing the contract, it’ll be applied by both involved parties six months before the term. As from me, I won’t supply the liquor to other people of the same profession」
Since there’s already a perfected model of the contract, he’s presenting the condition including the confirmation of the meaning.
「Yes. Since there’s also the season for manufacturing the liquor, that condition is just excellent. Do you really have no need for our help regarding the transportation 」
Price is price therefore, though the thing in request becomes quite small amount of liquor, he might need a coach for transportation.
Regarding the coach, seeing the cost in relation to must have for the maintenance of the horse or maintaining the coach, unless they’re a merchant, the number of people who have a private coach is quite small in number.
Therefore, though Liselotte is offering to provide the coach including the cabman in regard of the transportation, Rio refused her offer.
「Yes. There’s no problem about it. Though seeing that this contract has entered the stage completion, you might want to clarify my means of transportation right. Though, if possible I don’t want to speak about it with exception of Liselotte-sama by this point of time……」
When he tells her that, Rio sent a fleeting glance to Natalie and Aria who’s keeping their silence inside the room.
Even if he keeps the rule of secrecy, it’ll buy a distrust if he goes too far.
To gain the trust from Liselotte, there might be a need to release as much information as possible to the extent that it won’t hinder him.
But, since the item box in Rio’s possession might draw out unnecessary intention from undesirable fellows if it’s known to the public, in case he’s telling someone about it, it’s desirable to someone he decided to put his trust.
For that reason, the one he’s going to tell about it in this occasion must be limited to Liselotte.
「…… I see. Aria, Natalie, please leave the room for a moment」
Liselotte said that as she’s showing the gesture of thinking about something with her hand on her chin.
It’s an extremely risky action for holding a meeting just by the two of them behind the closed door without even leaving any guards.
Therefore, though Aria and Natalie was slightly surprised,
「Certainly. We’ll be standing by in front of the room」
Telling so, they’re bowing their head and then left to the other side of the door.
「My deepest gratitude for hearing my request」
Rio’s bowing lightly as he tells her his gratitude.
「That’s reasonable. But, will I hear the reason for you to hide the means of transportation immediately 」
「Certainly. I’m owning the possession of an artifact called the warehouse of time and space [Item Box]. If I must explain it in brief words, it’s a temporal baggage, an item which can put or stow away something in the subspace which is like an isolated space」
Staring intently into Liselotte’s eyes as he said that.
「A subspace which you can use to store…… Your luggage Judging from the story just now, the luggage, is it possible to store it away without letting it rot 」
Even Liselotte’s clearly surprised by that information.
If it’s really true, if it’s coming from merchant, it was an item that she’ll die to get her hand on it.
She only heard that’s a counterfeit tool but, there’s no need to Rio to tell a lie in this kind of situation.
「Will you let me to personally see it」
「Naturally. Well then, in this kind of situation, let’s just take out the stowed item in this place. 『Release(Discharge)』」
After Rio recited the aria to invoke the item box, a mini vortex is formed on top of the office desk, a plate with chocolate cut into bite size appeared on top of it.
Liselotte’s seeing that situation intently without being able to hide her astonishment.
「I-it seems like it’s the real one right」
「Yeah, if you don’t mind please enjoy this. It’s a homemade namachoco*. Though I don’t know whether it’s suitable to your palate」
Rio ate the cooled and chilled namachoco with a fork which came with the plate and presented the plate to Liselotte.
「Well then, I should try one right. ……T-This is 」
After nervously stuffing the namachoco into her mouth, Liselotte eyes openeded wide in surprise.
「………… It’s a highly aromatic chocolate right. The fragrance filling my entire mouth」
Liselotte’s telling her honest impression while showing her natural smile.
「It’s my pleasure that it’s suitable for your palate」
The recipe of confection was something that he received the teaching from the high elf girl, Oufia in seirei no tami village.
he received an extremely high review from Aki and Celia when he made it together with Miharu a while ago, the one he had taken out now was the one that was preserved from that time.
「I’ll recite 『Charge(Storage)』 when I want to keep it away」
After saying that, a vortex appeared as if swallowing the plate and the plate suddenly dissapeared.
Liselotte’s letting out a dissapointed voice when she saw the chocolate vanish.
Rio unintentionally let out a laugh in seeing her like that.
Rio reciting the aria again and then, the chocolate on the plate appeared again on top of the desk.
「Please enjoy it by all means」
Rio presented the chocolate again to Liselotte.
「T-Thank you very much」
Liselotte’s saying her gratitude while blushing to her ears.
Though she skillfully hid it, her eyes shone with happiness.
Rio’s picking up the chocolate in order to easily eat mentally and, Liselotte also starting to stretching her hand.
「The slightly lingering sweetness is just so unbearable」
Liselotte’s loosening her lovely face as she’s enjoying the flavour of the chocolate in her mouth.
Rio was smiling kindly to her reaction.
「I know the whereabouts of Satsuki-san」
After finishing his meeting with Liselotte and going back to his house, Rio told the confirmed location of Satsuki to Miharu and co.
The four of Masato, Aki, Miharu and, Rio is sitting on the sofa of the living room.
「Is that true」
Miharu and co’s face suddenly turned bright with a “Pa”.
「Yes. Should I say as expected, it seems she become the hero. She’s residing in the royal castle of Galwark kingdom」
And, Rio told them what kind of place Satsuki currently at.
「A hero huh…… It sounds nice」
Masato’s muttering silently with a atmosphere for yearning to be the so called hero.
Maybe because he’s still in that age, he’s having an unconditional yearning for this kind of existance.
Though, As for Rio, he’s not one bit being envious imagining standing on her position, he couldn’t help but unintentionally feel that it’s an extremely troublesome position.
「You’re just a brat right」
Aki’s sighing as if quite grieving about it.
「Why can’t I. I mean, nee-chan is also still a kid right」
Masato refuted while pouting at her.
Seeing the two of them acting normally, their face is as bright as usual.
From the fact that One month here since the demons is raided this place, they’re absorbed with learning pole arts, swordsmanship and the language by secluding themself in this place, it seems they finally became able to feel relieved to the unexpected good news.
Miharu was also looking delightfully at the two of them.
「Please wait a minute」
Just like that when the customary frolicking between the two of them about to happen, Rio interpose their words.
「Ah, yes. I’m sorry」
Aki and Masato’s apologizing as if embarassed by their actions.
Rio tells them that it’s not a problem by slightly shaking his head and,
「Seeing that we already know her whereabouts, I want everyone to meet Satsuki as fast as possible but……. We couldn’t meet her easily when we’re looking at her standing. Do you understand by this point 」
「N? ん Isn’t it okay if we just meet her by normal means It should be okay if we just explain our situation to the gatekeeper right 」
Masato’s asking that while tilting his head.
「……….. I wonder, will it be that simple」
Thereupon, Miharu muttered that problem.
「Though I won’t say that it’s impossible, or rather I think that the gambling-like factor is just too strong. The risk is also high」
So Rio pointing his dissaproval.
Say nothing for Miharu and co, even for Rio who has been living for a long time in this world, his standing is no different from that of a commoner in Galwark kingdom.
When this kind of people saying that they want to meet Satsuki, the simple audience with Satsuki who’s staying in the royal capital as guest estate might never come true.
the possibility of the side where they’re being shooed by the gatekeeper of the castle when explaining their situation is high.
Masato asked at him.
「It’s something like everyone with quite abundant magical power is being used and protected as the state mage. If you think of the worst case, all of you will be taken as a hostage as insurance to make Satsuki-san to obey the king’s orders」
Miharu and co showed a stiff face to the sharpness of Rio’s explanation.
The magical power of Miharu and co is unmatched by the human tribe who live in this world, their utility value is extremely high even just by training them as a mage.
Even based on the point of their relationship with Satsuki who’s a hero, though they might not be forced to the dangerous place where they’ll die easily, some people might try to use Miharu and co in the power struggle amongst the royalty and nobility.
When thinking about that, even if they can meet normally, he cannot afford to take Miharu and co to suddenly go to Satsuki’s place.
「No matter how you look at it, we……… Cannot afford to do this kind of action right」
Aki asked with a timid voice.
「I wonder about that. It’s because there’s nothing like thing that recognizes the human right in this world. It doesn’t even have a system to keep the people of authority in check for the sake of masses. That’s why as long as you have power, you can do anything you like to the weak. The gathering place of influential people is narrow and a hard place to live in」
Smiling as if troubled by her, Rio’s replying to her in a way as if admonishing her.
Aki gulped as the matter told to her is not a joking matter is transmitted.
「Well, the talk after this is the problem」
Rio cut short the story after looking at Aki and co.
「The truth is, it seems there’ll be a debut party of the hero in the royal castle of Galwark kingdom one month later. It has been arranged for me to receive the invitation for this party but……」
After arriving till that point, Rio’s taking a short stop as he’s taking a short breath.
「I’ll come and approach to have a chat when I meet Satsuki-san in that place. And then, I’ll think of a way to make everyone to be able to meet Satsuki-san if possible but, I wonder if everyone is okay with house sitting 」
As expected, doing something like inviting a group of unknown commoners to the debut party of Satsuki is not possible even with someone of Liselotte’s lineage, the only one who can attend the party is just Rio.
Though they have no choice but to learn manners and various others things when it comes to them attending this kind of evening party, Rio aside who was attending the school for nobles, Miharu and co didn’t know anything about this kind of manner.
It might be not a good idea to take them along to this kind of overbearing evening party with their knowledge which is impossible for the current situation.
「That’s natural, is there any need to say it. In the end it’ll turn into us pressing even more trouble to Haruto-san…… That, is inexcusable」
Miharu was bowing deeply to Rio with a grateful expression.
It’s definitely a foolish plan to meet with Satsuki by creating a smooth situation just for Miharu and co, he couldn’t afford to do that even if it’s just living in honesty like this.
Say nothing of the gratitude that being collected by one person, that’s inexcusable, it was vexing too.
「Something like that isn’t a trouble you know」
Rio was pouring tea into the cup that already emptied before he know while saying that.
it’s fragrant aroma is drifting and relaxing his mood.
When he’s raising his eyes, Miharu’s wearing an apologetic expression on her face, Rio smiled slightly.
「While I’m appearing in the debut party of Satsuki-san, I’m planning to make Miharu-san and the others to stay in the royal capital by booking the inn over there. The period won’t even take two weeks」
「Ah, yes. Understood」
Miharu’s replied to him thereupon, Aki and Masato also nodded at him.
「Uhm, the detail about oniichan is still unknown right」
Aki was timidly asking him.
「Sorry. It was Takahisa-kun. I am still unable to get the information regarding his whereabouts. Seeing that Satsuki-san became a hero, I think the possibilities is high for him to become a hero too but………」
「It’s on the level of rumor but, There’s a leaking information regarding the existence of a hero in the Saint Stellar kingdom in the south of Galwark kingdom. If Takahisa-kun also belongs to a country, I think, sooner or later a existence like Satsuki-san will be announced to public. I’ll tell you right away what kind of information I get in my hand」
「Yes. I’m looking forward to it」
Aki’s quickly bowing at him.
At the very least, even if they only know the safety and whereabout of Satsuki, half of the reason for Miharu and co’s anxiety also disappeared.
Though they still have their concern regarding the safety of Sendou Takahisa, the older brother of Aki and Masato, Rio already knew his whereabout a bit prior to this.
Ascending to the roof from the ladder that was leaned, Miharu was looking absentmindedly at the sky which dyed in twilight.
It’s a beautiful sky which she can’t meet so easily as it is in the earth.
Miharu’s long hair is waving because of the wind that was softly drifting*. [TL* : Help me jake-san, Algebra-san, I can’t the right expression for this]
「……It made me want to see」
Miharu’s murmuring to the wind that’s playing it’s instrument by rustling the forest.
There was faint tears in her eyelids which was about to become frigid.
Having noticed the voice that’s seemingly come from below, after wiping her tears in panic, Miharu’s walking till the end of the roof and then looked below.
In that place, there was the figure of Rio looking up to Miharu.
Miharu’s beautiful eyes opened wide when she’s receiving Rio gaze.
When she’s standing still as she’s looking at Rio like that.
「Aren’t you cold」
Rio was saying those words as if worrying about Miharu’s body.
The season is just before spring, it’ll be getting even colder when the evening comes.
Since Miharu’s only wearing a black one piece tunic with simple lace, Rio’s worrying that she might catch a cold.
「Yes. It’s okay since I want to gaze at the sunset just a bit more」
Miharu replied with a gentle smile.
「Haruto-san. Thank you as usual」
Following after stretching her back, Miharu’s telling her gratitude to Rio with a sincere expression.
Rio tilted his head thinking about what she’s grateful for.
Miharu unintentionally laughes when she’s looking at his expression.
Rio’s unintentionally watching in fascination to that kind of her and keep standing right there like an idiot keep watching at Miharu without saying anything.
At that time, a slightly stronger wind is blowing in their vicinity which made Miharu letting out a short scream.
Miharu’s skirt is swaying in lewdly, a pure white piece of cloth is reflected in Rio’s field of vision.
Their voices overlap.
Rio immediately averted his line of sight with a beet red face.
Even the finely shaped cheeks of Miharu dyed red like the color of a sunset.
Though she hurriedly pinned the cuff of her skirt, it was obviously seen when looking at Rio’s reaction.
「A-A-A-I just showed something so unsightly……」
Miharu’s bowing frantically with earth-shattering vigor while her eyes spun round and round.
「N-No, I’m also in the wrong」
Just like that he changed his liine of sight to another direction while also apologizing.
Rio’s looking at Miharu with a fleeting glance.
Miharu’s face was hanging slightly while her body is slightly trembling from the embarrassment, she was looking at her feet.
That gestuse of her is to Rio――.
No, it didn’t change at all with the childhood sweetheart of Amakawa Haruto.
Thereupon, when a strong wind is blowing again, Miharu was hurriedly pinning her skirt.
「Y-You should go down quickly you know. It’s already dark outside, the wind is also blowing strongly」
Rio telling her with a high-pitched voice.
「Y-YES I’m going down now! 」
Maybe due to her panic, Miharu’s feet is moving awkwardly.
Rio quickly turned away his line of sight from her.
Rio immediately turned his face again when he hears Miharu’s scream coming from the back.
Thereupon, the figure of Miharu who’s about to fall down on the edge of the stairs is reflecting in his eyes.
「W-Watch out Mi-Cha…… 」
Seeing her figure who lost her balance, Rio unconsciously almost called Miharu with the way he called her in their childhood.
He immediately shut his mouth as he jumps on to the roof immediately by strengthening his physical ability and then, softly propping Miharu’s body as if hugging her as it is.
Miharu whose body was stiffened while shutting her eyes is twitching when her face is pushed on Rio’s chest.
「Are you alright」
Rio asking while peering at Miharu’s face.
She timidly opened her eyes and nodded lightly.
Blinking incessantly as she looked at Rio’s face.
「I’m glad then……」
Rio’s breathing in relief.
Miharu’s beautiful face which equipped with beautiful and long eyelashes, and bridge nose is reflecting in his eyes from point-blank range.
She was looking like a small animal whose body slightly stiffened in his arms.
Miharu’s eyes fixed on Rio face but, somehow that face is flushed red.
「How’s your condition Did you twist your feet 」
Cleverly guessing Miharu’s condition, Rio’s affirming her safety.
「Ah, no, that is, U~hm…………… U~hm…………..」
Miharu’s trying to say something in a hurry.
While her face becoming even redder as time passes.
It seems she’s embarassed being hugged like that for a long time.
It was natural for her face to turn red.
Rio quickly takes some distance from Miharu when he noticed that.
A small voice leaked from Miharu lips.
She was adjusting her clothes with her idle hand which was seemingly about to stretched toward him.
Just like that, Miharu slowly raised her line of sight to Rio’s face as if to peep on his expression with upturned eyes.
Her action will unintentionally tickle the protection instinct of men, though it’s cruel if it’s done when he’s aware of this, it doesn’t to be like this.
From this fact, he somehow guessed that Miharu have miniscule experience with men during her life so far, Rio judged that she might done that gesture unconsciously.
For some reason there was a long silence afterward between them.
During that time, a gentle breeze was blowing in their surrounding.
Miharu suddenly let out a cute sneeze.
When Rio looked at her, his line of sight is changing to the stole which was wrapped on his neck.
「U~hm, since it’s cold.……」
Saying that, he removed the stole from his body and then wrapped it on Miharu’s neck.
「T-Thank you very much……」
The two was blushing awkwardly.
Miharu said that as she grasped the stole on the base of her neck with both hands and pulled it closer to her face.
「Come to think of it, Miharu-san didn’t have a muffler or stole right. It’ll become out of season very soon but, let’s buy it the next time we’re outing. Though that one is for men, please feel free to use it till that time」
「E, A, Yes. Is it really okay 」
「Yeah, I still have some left」
Rio’s answering as he’s secretly feeling embarassed.
But, since the sun just hanged on the edge of the horizon which caused their surroundings to rapidly become darker, Rio’s expression couldn’t be seen clearly by Miharu.
This silence went on for 10 seconds.
Miharu slowly opened her lips.
Rio’s straightening his posture.
「Uhm, Haruto-san, awhile ago……」
Though Miharu was about to probe something, her voice became so low at the second half.
The one metre long space between them became an invisible wall which interrupted Miharu’s voice.
「Ah, No. It’s nothing」
Miharu swallowed the words that she was about to say while smiling at him.
「Yes. Let’s go back inside. Since it should be about the time for Masato-kun to be hungry」
Rio agreed to her while unintentionally laughing with that remark.
「Come to think of it, Masato-kun said that he wanted to eat ramen but……」
「Well then, should we make it. Making an elaborate soup is difficult though. Ah, the ramen in this world is called as Kamutan」
The two then returned inside before their surroundings wrapped in darkness while unfolding such conversation.