Chapter 86: Decision and Buying Full Dress
The date in which they should depart towards the Capital of Galwark Kingdom was fast approaching.
For the sake of purchasing a dress for the evening party that would be Satsuki’s debut, Rio went to Almond with Celia.
Celia’s mood while walking by his side was really good.
Maybe because she had her hair color changed with a magic tool for the outing, her atmosphere seemed slightly different from usual.
Her figure that walked by his side while humming merrily was a rather cute one.
Rio smiled lightly when he saw her like that,
「I’m sorry. Let’s do the shopping for my goods together」
He talked to Celia.
「EH? Uhn. It’s alright. Always staying indoor is bad for my body. Still, I’m not used to walking outside.」
Rio accidentally let a「OOo」of admiration.
It was a positive and healthy statement he couldn’t think would come from Celia who was practically a shut-in.
Even recently, she has been secluding herself in her room, immersing herself in her research.
Though it would be a good thing if she kept in mind this kind of exercise, and did it in her everyday routine――.
As he thinks so, he looked at Celia with a sidelong glance, she was grinning from ear to ear.
If you asked what was in her mind at that moment.
（Because it’s my long awaited chance to be alone with Rio. I’ll make a full use of today！ Because of this and that, there hasn’t even been a chance to go on an outing with just the two of us, moreover, we’re taking a different action at that time……）
She was truly on-fire inside.
Celia was a 21 years old girl whose appearance could be mistaken as a girl that hasn’t reached the first-half of her teens.
The current her had her heart throbbing non-stop just because of walking beside her first love, albeit one that came a bit late.
And, one emotion that was utterly unknown for her.
「But, it’s a bit refreshing right? Walking in the city with Cecilia, just the two of us like this. In the past we would meet like this in the laboratory」
Rio said that while feeling a slight nostalgia of those days.
Celia trembled when he suddenly said that.
「Eh？ Eh-T-That right. You brewed many good teas in those days. Uhm……」
Maybe because she was overly enthusiastic about it, Celia’s tone was a bit shriller as she forgot the thing about walking beside Rio.
In the heaven sent situation of being alone together, though there were so many things she wanted to talk about, her desire couldn’t come out with her voice.
Though she managed to feign calm, she knew herself that her face had become crimson red.
Regaining her composure with a cough, Celia decided to continue speaking with Rio.
「By the way, what kind of dress are you planning to wear？ If it’s Haruto, I think something with a tailcoat would look extremely good」
「In reality, I’m truly poor regarding my own clothes. I came to buy my clothes without knowing exactly what I want. That’s why I think that I want my clothes to be chosen by Cecilia」
Rio replied as if waiting for the conversation.
The reason of bringing along Celia for a day like this was because he thought she would be dependable in the topic from the fact that she has attended many evening parties as a noble.
Though he said that he wants her help in choosing his clothes, since Rio had no confidence in his own sense of fashion, he depended completely on receiving Celia’s recommendation.
「Yeah. I won’t mind but, are you really okay with me？ I think that Miharu also has a good sense of fashion……..」
After saying that, she added「You’re on good terms with Miharu too, Rio」 in a low voice.
But, her words didn’t reach Rio’s ears.
「Yes. Since when it comes to Cecilia, you have abundance of experiences attending evening parties, right? Moreover, I think you’ve a nice sense of fashion for clothing too. If it comes to Cecilia, since I felt I needed to ask someone to help me choose clothes which look good on me, you’re the one I can rely on the most」
「I-Is that so？ Thank you……」
Celia felt embarrassed by his praise as she responded with her gratitude while blushing.
Despite not being too talkative a person, Rio was a surprisingly straight forward person when it came to expressing his feelings.
Most people will balk when talking about their feelings, and there were others which turned embarrassed like her.
But, it was a little vexing that she was the only one being embarrassed.
「Then, should we increase our pace? See」
Thinking that she wanted to be the one who gave surprises sometimes, Celia seized Rio’s hand after mustering all her courage.
And then, though they were starting to walk at a faster pace, her gait was stranger than her usual one.
Rio also followed while being pulled by that kind of Celia.
「Wait a minute Cecilia. Aren’t you walking too fast？ 」
「I-I just said let’s increase our pace right? Don’t say something so miserable since you’re a boy」
Let alone showing the composure of an adult, Celia’s reply had many inconsistencies.
As if I’m going to walk slowly
When looking at her profile walking by his side, her face was definitely dyed red in embarrassment.
Being embarrassed and happy since she could hold Rio’s hand, Celia was being immersed in bliss.
Her first objective of wanting to startle Rio had completely vanished.
As she walked with those feelings, the two of them arrived at the clothing store which handled the clothes that were made for the elites.
「Well then, should we choose now? Before that, I might not be able to do it if I don’t know the size」
When their foot set upon the shop they were going to, Celia said those words with a lively voice.
Even if the shop sold clothes, rather than just selling ready-made clothes, it seems they also sold order-made ones.
Pulling her hand that held his hand since some time ago, Celia entered the shop along with Rio.
「Welcome. Thank you very much for visiting this shop. May I ask what you need today？ 」
Two male employees who wore a uniform and were working in the store came to greet them.
「We came to buy him clothes for an evening party. First may we ask for measurement？? 」
Celia replied with an air of someone used to shopping.
After that, Rio was measured by the employee for his body size.
He entered the dressing room and obediently let them take the measurement while half-naked.
But, because the one who measured his size was a female employee, and she did it while slightly blushing, even Rio became slightly embarrassed.
（Is it because she’s a new employee？）
Rio had that kind of consideration.
After that, the employee reporting his size to Celia who had been waiting outside the room, while Rio dressed himself in the meantime.
He was not wearing all his clothes from before since he would be trying different clothes right after this.
When he left the dressing room while lightly dressed, Celia already started the search for his clothes.
She muttered something when discovering good looking clothes, and kept looking intently with one hand touching her chin.
「Ah, you finally left that room huh, Haruto」
Celia’s smile bloomed with a “PA” when she noticed Rio.
After that, she brought the coat tail which was under her careful investigation.
「Yes. Well then, first, let’s try this one」
She presented it to Rio while saying those words.
After returning to the dressing room with the clothes on hand, Rio changed his clothes with nimble movements.
「I’ve changed my clothes」
Rio announced that as he opening the partitioning cloth of the dressing room.
「Yeah. So it’s like that, I see. It looks really good on you, you know?」
Celia said that as she looked intently at Rio’s whole body.
Rio smiled delighted at her words of praise.
As for Rio, though he felt that this one was already good enough.
「Well then, we should steadily try different ones. Since there are still so many choices left」
And then, Celia presented another tailcoat.
The length looked a bit longer than the previous one.
After receiving the tail coat, Rio smiled wryly and returned to the dressing room.
Rio repeatedly tried many different dresses after that, as if he was a dress-up doll to Celia.
He had already lost count and didn’t even know how many clothes he had already tried.
Celia expression as she chose his clothes was extremely delighted, to the point that even Rio slightly enjoyed the experience.
（I wonder if she’s enjoying her current life-style even more than the previous one）
Rio thought of that when he saw Celia carefully looking at a new cloth with a happy feeling.
She might have some dissatisfaction with her current lifestyle, if she built some stress, she might not be able to show that kind of expression.
「Yeah. It’s a perfect match」
When Rio put on the tail coat she decided to buy in the end, Celia said that as she nodding deeply with “uhnuhn”.
「Thank you very much……」
Seeing his own self, which he’s not used to seeing, in the full body mirror, Rio gave his gratitude with an uneasy voice.
It was somewhat embarrassing since he seemed different from the normal him.
It was an orthodox dark collared jacket and pants. The coat is long in the back side and separated like a swallow’s tail.
He was wearing a pure white vest under the jacket, and a black neck tie on his neck on top of the wing collar of his shirt.
There was a stylish ornament geared towards young men that brought about a simple and elegant atmosphere.
「Thank you very much. Please come again」
The two of them then left the shop as they were seen off by the employees.
「Hey, Haruto. You know, I. Just once, I’m thinking of going back to my home at Bertram Kingdom by traveling incognito」
On the way back, Celia timidly said those words with an expression of someone who made a decision.
Rio looked at Celia with his eyes wide open.
「AH, Please don’t misunderstand it！ It’s not like I’m dissatisfied with my current life！ I’m truly grateful to Haruto for bestowing a life where I can live without any dissatisfaction！ 」
So, Celia told him that in a hurry.
Rio decided to hear what she wanted to say till the end.
「But. Though it’s just natural, I escaped without saying anything to my family, since I didn’t have any contact with them and just sent a letter. As expected, they must be worrying to death about me…………..」
Celia said that while looking for Rio’s reaction.
「Sorry for saying this during this kind of busy time！ I was going to go alone while you were attending the evening party so as to not cause you anymore trouble but, I couldn’t seem to find the right time to tell you about this……..」
Celia said that while she bowing to Rio as if feeling truly apologetic about it.
「I understand the gist of it but, it’s far you know. Cecilia」
Rio said that with a slightly shocked tone while sighing shortly.
「If you say it, I’ll help you as many times as you want. Please don’t do something like holding it in by yourself」
So he told her that in a way as if to persuad her while looking into her eyes.
「Please don’t apologize. I should be the one to notice it. I’m the one who should apologize」
「Ri………. H-Haruto isn’t the one at fault！ Since this is my own selfishness！ 」
Celia almost blurted Rio’s name by reflex.
Though there was no need to call each other with an alias to the point of neurosis. Since there were some people near them, Celia shut her mouth in a panic and called him Haruto.
「Cecilia, it’s a normal thing for a family to worry about the safety of family. This is not selfishness」
Rio shook his head in denial as he said so.
「But it’s embarrassing isn’t it? Though the things that I want are so many, it might be more convenient after the evening party」
No matter how much Celia worried her own family, the current her was an international class fugitive.
As expected, there’s no way she could make a grand entrance home from the front.
If she’s going to sneak in, the cooperation of Rio or Aisia will become necessary.
And then, even if she returned home from the front, there was no guarantee returning to Rio will go smoothly.
Since her parents who worry for Celia, might oppose her leaving just like that.
It’s quite possible that they are angry due to worry.
He didn’t want to think about this, there’s even the anxiety that she’ll be coerced into another political marriage like before and then be put under house arrest.
Therefore, if possible, Rio also wanted to go together with her while watching from the shadow but, he didn’t know how much time it’ll take for her to arrive, seeing that he couldn’t go back and forth between Celia and the house in the midst of the journey, it might be better if they go together after the evening party.
「There’s a way where I send Aisia to escort you while I’m attending the evening party but……………」
In that case, Miharu and the rest must stay in the inn of the capital by themselves.
「…….. You’re anxious about them staying in the inn just with the three of them right？」
So Celia asked as she guessed Rio’s worry.
「……Yes. That is so」
「I’m also worrying about them you know. Ah, even so…………」
As she said so an expression, as if she hit upon an idea, appeared on Celia’s face.
After that, she showed a gesture of thinking about something by placing her finger on her lips.
「It might become a good experience if we’re thinking about those children right?」
Celia replied with slight hesitation.
「A good………….. Experience？」
「Yeah, since basically there will not always be someone to protect them by their side. Though it’s just for a while, I think they need to know how to live by themselves with just the three of them. Maybe it’s similar to the field training which we do in the royal academy. See, isn’t it because there are no teachers by their side during the field training that the students must act by themself ？ 」
Celia explained the idea which suddenly came to her mind.
In short, it’s gaining experience of the world for the sake of their maturity by using this chance.
Certainly, when he thought about it, he almost never let them act by themselves after they arrived in this world.
Just once, the time when Rio brings Celia, he let them house-sit.
Though the house sitting at that time is under the situation where there’s no good hearted person in their surroundings, he didn’t need to worry of them having any contact with the outside world.
It’s completely different from a situation where they would live just the three of them in the city.
It’s an irony that he, by caring for them like this, practically tossed them into a bird cage, doing that won’t stimulate their mental growth.
「Certainly………… I must agree with you in this」
Rio nodded as he thought that she was right in this case.
「Well, a dangerous situation won’t happen if they stay in a high class inn. But they’ll come into a contact with many people other than us right? Even so, this is also our aim for them to gain some experience」
Miharu, Aki, and Masato never conversed properly with the people in this world other than Celia or Rio.
Just recently, they reached the point where they can do daily life conversation, despite its spartan nature it’ll become good training to learn the language on site.
According to Celia’s words, from the fact that there’s almost no danger in the case that they live normally, it would be good to use this chance so that they see that the people of this world aren’t all bad, and in the event that they have to stay, to realize that it’s not a bad thing to stay here for the rest of their lives.
「Even if, for example, a strange fellow picked a fight with them, I’m sure they’ll withdraw, as long as they’re not too oblivious of the way of this world, after presenting the pendant that they got from you just the other day」
The matter of the pendant was an item which is the proof of the contract regarding the protection of Miharu’s group which is tied in a relationship with Liselotte.
There’s a carving on this pendant that means that they’re under the protection of Liselotte, if they present this, they’ll receive unconditional protection from her.
The crest resembles Duke Kretia’s house family crest, even if it’s an influential person from this kingdom, if they’re shown that pendant, that person won’t think about coming at them from the front.
「I wish that they use that pendant in a true emergency. No, well, that would be under the assumption that the situation will be dangerous for them but…….」
「No Pain No gain. A problem which you might see as small to the point of thinking there’s no risk could be dangerous for Miharu and the others. My opinion aside, if you feel like confirming it, why don’t we ask them about what they want after we return to the house？ 」
「You’re, right………. Let’s just ask them about it」
The so called “If you love your children, then throw them out to the world”.
Rio will wait and see for the timing to look at their situation by slipping out from the royal castle. If he dislikes it, it might be better if they stay along with Aisia and Celia.
After hesitating for a while, though he felt anxious about it, he showed a considerable will.
「Fufu, please think about it carefully, if you need consultation I’ll get on board as much as you want. By the time you make your judgment, I’ll respect it」
「Thank you very much」
Rio gave his gratitude as he smiled gently at her.
「We~ll, then let’s change the topic. What do you think？ You’ve learnt manners in the royal academy but, this should be your first time attending something like an evening party right？ Are you confident in yourself？ 」
Celia said that with a cheerful tone as if trying to brighten the slightly heavy mood.
「What should I do? I feel anxious since it’s already been so many years and I never practiced it」
Rio replied with a wry smile.
「U~hn. Language should be no problem in Haruto’s case but, if you like it, should I give a small lecture in manners？ Even if it’s something like dance, I’ll teach you if you’re not confident with it」
Even if Celia’s normally like that, it doesn’t mean that she is a high ranking noble’s daughter just for show.
Despite having a shut-in like constitution, she couldn’t completely sever her interaction with other nobles, the person herself has the experience of attending evening parties.
It’s a tremendous advantage if he were to receive a class about manners from Celia.
「Thanks god. May I ask for it then？ 」
「Yeah, leave it to me！」
Celia replied while puffing her modest chest.
Maybe because she was happy that she could be a help to Rio, that expression of hers was a truly bright one.