Chapter 92: Fast Contact
Anyone in the hall is noticing that Satsuki is standing on the stage with a dignified manner.
Despite she still has the trace of an innocence, her well-ordered appearance is not just a mere beauty, she’s dignified, there was a charm which will unintentionally attract the surrounding gaze.
Satsuki is wrapped in a pure white dress which gives a translucent feeling with her white complexion, her long, beautiful and, glossy black hair is collected together and braided loosely with side style.
A sharp glint-like spear in which one can feel her strong will is reflected in her eyes.
（She’s more or less the student council president of the high-school in which I went to in my previous life right？）
Rio’s strengthening his eyes with spirit arts to look at Satsuki’s face while slightly squinting his eyes.
From what he heard from Miharu, he knew that Satsuki was going to the same high-school as Haruto, she’s his senior by one year and wise student who was working as student council president.
Her house is a distinguished family which manages a large family, she’s boasting the superior record of the only student council president, a talented woman both in military arts and literal arts even for sports, have a high popularity, and seemingly quite an idol within the school.
But, she’s transferred to this world as soon as Haruto is entering the school, so Rio didn’t really know about her till he heard about her information from Miharu and co but――
Though maybe because he caught a glimpse of her appearance when she gave her greeting during the entrance ceremony, time have passed about ten years in his own memories.
It’s just natural that Rio no longer remembers about her by this time.
Though the current Satsuki is just smiling, he couldn’t read her emotions from this distance.
It seems as if she puts on a mask to completely hide her own feelings.
「You’re successfully gathering everyone’s attention huh. It’s fixed on you right」
From the height on the stage, the king, Francois Galwark told that information to his right.
Despite being low and said in a calm manner, it’s refinement is perfectly penetrating in all directions.
「What I want to say is that many of those who has gathered right now is coming from both domestic and foreign countries. Because everyone too, as we know, want to introduce themselves」
Saying so, Francois was looking at Satsuki who’s standing slightly behind on his right side.
「Let me introduce her. This girl is the hero who descended into our Galwark kingdom――、 Satsuki Sumeragi-dono」
Following Francois’s introduction, Satsuki’s bowing with a smile on her face.
Thereupon, a stirring 「OOOH！」 voice is resounding in the venue at this moment.
「My goodness, as expected of hero-sama」
「That pure white brilliance. She’s an angel」
「She definitely is our hero」
Every place of the hall is boiterous with the sound of many people speaking.
Maybe because she’s more beautiful than expected, or because the curiousity of her exotic black hair, it seems young men is particularly excited by her appearance.
Some of them even speaking lines which stink like a drama scenario for exaggerated confession of love.
Looking at Satsuki and co that appeared like this, Sakata Hiroaki lets out a slightly moody expression.
「What did you think, Hiroaki-sama？ 」
Quickly sensing the slight change in Hiroaki’s expression who stands beside her, Roana asked in a low voice.
「It’s nothing, I just feel that it’s a extremely showy play. Everyone in the venue is focusing on Satsuki」
Hiroaki said that while looking at everyone in his surrounding.
Roana’s smiling and then,
「What are you talking about. Currently, the curiosity gathering toward that person is just temporary. The people in this place who is noticing Hiroaki-sama is around the same amount as her」
She murmured so close to Hiroaki ears.
「Aah, Well. I don’t want that kind of attention to gathering on me」
Hiroaki’s smiling wryly as if unwilling for that to happen to him.
「Ara, didn’t you said just a few days ago to formally walk along with us？ Seeing that you’re the one who admitted that that you’re a hero, now the attention which won’t lose with the current attention will be gathering on Hiroaki-sama」
Roana told that to Hiroaki with a impish smile.
Though Hiroaki was temporarily acting together with Flora and co up till now, he promised to cooperate with Flora and co as an official hero just few days ago.
Though it was somehow contradicting his action as a hero when he just arrived in this world, it seems he strengthened his determination to become a hero during these several months.
「I won’t show such shameful behavior from now on you know. It’s a promise. I’ll protect you. ………….. Yeah, a man won’t go back on his words」
Hiroaki’s shrugged his shoulder lightly after making that declaration with a slightly embarrassed face.
「Thank you very much. In that case, as weak as I’m, I’ll support Hiroaki-sama by your side」
Roana seized Hiroaki’s arm as she said those words.
Hiroaki smiled and then placed his other hand on top of Roana’s hand.
（Though at first I was thinking of building a harem by becoming a carefree adventurer, now I really don’t feel like leaving Roana’s side. guard is still high but I can’t abandon Flora either. Well, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be living better than now if I became an adventurer. There’s hero routes with similiar developments）
Looking over the return of his mental state, Hiroaki’s letting out a wry smile as if deeply moving in his heart.
Thereupon, at that time,
「SILENT！ YOU’RE IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS MAJESTY THE KING！ 」
Unable to watch the venue becoming even more noisy, the imperial guard who served the king said that with a loud voice which resounded in the venue.
And then, the noise stopped, even Hiroaki and Roana who were secretly conversing also stopped too.
They turn their line of sight back to Satsuki and co who is standing on the stage.
「It’s okay. It’s just natural that everyone is delighted」
Francois told that while smiling happily.
「Indeed, it’s a hero who descended after more than a thousand years. Since they might be the good news coming from the six wise god.
Moreover, there’ll be good news tonight. Though many people know about this, another hero has also come to this place. Hero, Hiroaki Sakata, princess Flora and then, duke Euguno. This way」
Francois is calling Hiroaki and co toward the stage.
Hiroaki replied with a slightly nervous voice.
Though it has developed as predicted beforehand, he never experienced the feeling of that much people paying attention to him back on earth.
So it’s just natural that he’s quite nervous.
「Well then, first we’ve got an important announcement from duke Euguno who’s acting as proxy of your highness princess Flora, the second princess of Bertram kingdom. I hope that everyone is listening to it carefully」
Francois is taking a step backward after he told Hiroaki and co to ascend to the stage.
And instead, duke Euguno’s descending one step lower on the stairs while overlooking the nobles in the hall.
「Following the introduction. My name is Gustave Euguno. Today. I’ve received the chance from your majesty the king to tell an important matter to everyone, I’ve told everyone regarding that matter by using this chance in this place」
After introducing himself and saying his respect, duke Euguno started his speech solemnly.
「First, a coup d’etat happened which was incited by Helmut Albo, a treacherous retainer for Bertram kingdom, I think everyone already knows that he’s taken over the government and is using your majesty king Phillip III as his puppet. Though we’ve no evidence regarding this matter. we received news regarding duke Albo about the fact that he’s secretly working along with the Proxia empire. Even when judging from circumstantial evidence, we’ve come to a conclusion that the possibilities of him being guilty is infinitely high. And, if this is true, he’s a traitor who sold the Bertram kingdom. Even not to mention the fact that he’s usurping political powers by means called coup d’etat, there’s no way I can just shut my eyes to his disrespect toward your majesty the king」
Duke Euguno said that with an expression as if truly regretting that fact.
The nobles in the venue is lending their ears while holding their breath regardless of their nationality.
After taking a short breath, duke Euguno speaking with a heavy tone for the second time.
「It’s truly regrettable that we failed in saving as many royalty as we can during the start of the coup d’etat. But, in the end we can only save your highness princess Flora who was studying in the royal academy during the day of coup d’etat. So, I gathered the like-minded comrades who’s untainted by the misgovernment of duke Albo, by having the traditional symbol of Bertram kingdom in your highness princess Flora, we decided to gather that kind of people. Our goal is to vacating the government of the Bertram kingdom to be given to it’s righteous ruler and revival of the good-old Bertram kingdom. That’s right, we stand for a greater purpose called the revival of Bertram kingdom. That’s why, using this occassion I will make a declaration. We’re in this place is the anti government organization of the current Bertram kingdom, 『RESTORATION』」
Duke Euguno is stopped talking for a moment in that part.
Francois is stepping up for the second time and then,
「Thus, our Galwark kingdom is making a declaration in this place that we recognize the establishment of 『Restoration』」
Said that as if following along the words of duke Euguno.
Though their standing was informally acknowledged as “Revolutionary Army” up till now, their official organization is now established, that official announcement is followed by 「Oooh」 sounds which was resounding in the venue.
「For your highness princess Flora who ascended to the position of leader of this organization, I’ve made a decision to give my support. And then, even the hero, Hiroaki Sakata-dono gives his promise to officially cooperate with our『Restoration』」
After telling that, Duke Euguno turned his hand toward Hiroaki, thus the line of sight of the people in the venue gathered toward Hiroaki.
Hiroaki’s raising a grin and answering their line of sight by raising his right hand.
Rio was looking as if observing him who was acting like that.
（So daring huh）
Rio feels that way as he’s looking at Hiroaki whose smile is filled with self-confidence.
In this moment, Hiroaki made a decision to publicly throw himself into the struggle for power of Bertram kingdom.
That’s right, the curtain of the act has opened.
Duke Euguno might have gone as far as making various preparations to drag Hiroaki to the point that he can’t no longer step back.
Money, woman, power, status, honor――, He expected that it was easy to guide Hiroaki who’s still young in age if he uses those along with some flattery.
Therefore, Hiroaki already lost the way to retreat.
And have no choice but to go forward.
If he must say his true feeling, Rio felt that there’s no need for Flora and co to bask under the light again.
With Bertram kingdom currently plunged into a chaotic situation, the point of yelling their grumbling like words such as “taking back the good old glory” is impossible for them who already degenerated to this point.
That was as expected.
But, maybe fate is playing a prank on her, Hiroaki, the hero under Flora and co now appeared to be have a great sense of moral and sense of reality.
Despite that fact alone didn’t change the fact that the level of difficulties is still high.
At any rate, whether Hiroaki have some sort of feeling for a mission aside, currently, a monstrous duty called hero is befallen upon his shoulder.
Duke Euguno also makes sure for Hiroaki to plunge himself and never be able to separate again in his own political strife.
There’s the possibility that Hiroaki might have resolved himself to accepting that role. Or he might have done nothing but be swallowed by the situation.
（Well, that’s a trivial matter. The most important problem is Satsuki-san）
That’s right, he has no leeway to think about Hiroaki’s situation.
Rio changed his line of sight from Hiroaki toward Satsuki as if brushing him aside.
Similiar problem with Hiroaki is also following behind Satsuki.
Seeing that this is the public announcement of her as the hero under the government of Galwark kingdom, it’s inevitable for Satsuki to be deeply influenced by this world and this country.
Maybe Satsuki feels that she wants to go back to earth, or maybe she wants to finish her duty as a hero in this world, or how to set up a reunion of the current Satsuki with Miharu and co.
Though he has to proceed with caution, seeing that Miharu and co wishes to meet with Satsuki again, it’s nothing but a means to start an approach from this point.
In short, everything is up to his own luck.
（Let’s see then. It was always up to chance up till this point）
Whether it’s when he is entering the royal academy of Bertram kingdom, his meeting with Latifa, when he’s going toward Yagumo region to trace the footsteps of his parent or, in the current case to execute his plan of revenge toward Lucius.
Since the world is filled with uncertain factors which are incomprehensible even for him, he’s not a god, what’s waiting in the future is not something that he knows of.
After deciding his goal and doing everything he can do, what comes next is just to walk forward to what is in front of him――, it’s just that.
Therefore, now he should concentrate on what he should do.
First is about what Satsuki is thinking about, he has to aim for contact with her to know about that.
And that time is close by.
「With this, there’s also a important announcement from me. We’ve made a decision that our hero, Satsuki Sumeragi, will officially form an alliance with the hero of the anti-government of Bertram kingdom,『Restoration』, Hiroaki Sakata 」
Francois, the king of Galwark kingdom who’s currently standing on the stage, made a declaration at the most critical moment.
「Our future will be bright by walking side-by-side with two of the heroes, the disciple of the six wise gods. Thereupon, O hero. I want to ask you again. Will thou advance to follow us from behind？ 」
Following the previous declaration, Francois is asking again while turning toward Satsuki.
Satsuki’s reaction to those words was only a minute twitching of her eyebrows.
But, the change on her expression disappeared immediately and,
「……Yes. As long as you’re walking on the righteous path, I, Sumeragi Satsuki will give my utmost support despite my poor ability」
Satsuki’s answering him without hestitation.
Maybe because she’s used to have the line of sight coming to her from many people, she doesn’t seem to be nervous at all.
The sound of clapping was reverberating in the venue as if welcoming Satsuki.
Following that, the line of sight of the people in the venue is gathering toward Hiroaki.
（A~h, he should be talking a bit more since he’s from the position of the one who made the request. It seems the living being called king is quite the prideful person)
Hiroaki’s thinking something like that deep in his heart.
Maybe because his standing as the king, the haughty way of Francois’s manner of speaking was irritating him.
Hiroaki disliked being looked down upon.
「Yeah, Understood. As long as your conduct is right, I swear that I’ll give my cooperation to your side too」
Hiroaki’s answering while nodding in a composed manner.
（Or rather, the king with his imperial rule can put on an air of self importance is also because he is the holder of the highest authority. Therefore, I, the hero chosen by the six wise gods should have more authority than him right. Thereupon, though it’s annoying me in the way he’s praising himself and looking down on others……………. I’ll just cooperate with him in this place and become a generous person）
Persuading himself, Hiroaki made a compromise with his own self.
He thinks about something like that as the line of sight of the surrounding is gathering on him, maybe, he’s unexpectedly a big hearted person.
There’s no reason for them to know Hiroaki’s inner grumbling, the claps of people in the venue is reverberating as if giving a blessing to the two heroes.
「That’s all. Well then, now, please enjoy the evening party to your hearts content」
Francois said those words which signaled the official opening of the evening party.
The inside of the venue is starting to get noisy, each one of the participants is starting their own action.
「Well then Haruto-sama, it’s a bit sudden but, shall we go to the hero-sama’s place？」
「Yes, By all means」
Rio’s following Liselotte as they’re moving quickly to meet Satsuki.
Apart from Cedric and co who’s moving independently, they’re climbing the stairs toward the stage with just the two of them.
Though there’s tacit manners related to the sequential order or status even when climbing the stairs toward the stage, if Rio’s lead by Liselotte, a duke’s daughter, there’s no problem to move to that place immediately.
It seems they’re the first ones who arrived at the stage.
「I’m pleased to meet you, your majesty Francois」
First, Liselotte gave a splendor greeting toward Francois, the king.
Following by Satsuki who is standing at his side, Hiroaki, Flora, duke Euguno and the likes also the other royalty on that stage.
Though everyone was currently chatting in a pleasant mood, when they’re noticing that Liselotte is giving her greeting first, the one who knows of her was welcoming her with a bright smile.
「Ooh, Liselotte. It’s been a while. I’ve heard about the matter of Almond. That was such misfortune」
Francois, their representative is coming to greet her.
「My deepest apology for causing another worry to you. I am honored to be blessed with a chance to be receiving your majesty’s countenance again」
Telling that, Liselotte displayed an impressive bow as she’s placing both of her hands on her abdomen.
「It’s okay. I was lucky to be able to see you safe and sound again. And then, this person over here, is he your partner？ I couldn’t help but to get curious about the unusual thing」
「Yes. His name is Haruto-sama, he’s the one who saved my life in the Almond incident. It was a kindness which I couldn’t pay back to Haruto-sama. So I thought to bring him today to return his kindness, with all due respect, to come as my partner」
「Hou, so your name is Haruto. You’ve got such great moral」
Francois told that while sending a fleeting gaze to Rio.
「I’m unworthy of such great praise. Despite If it’s the normal case, someone of humble origin such as myself shouldn’t be able to come to this place, I’m extremely delighted that I’m blessed with fortune to be able to meet with your majesty, 」
Rio’s kneeling in a repectful manner and then facing his head down.
「Excellent, I’ll permit it. You may raise your face」
Francois answered as if used to it.
「Ha. My deepest gratitude to be granted with your exceptional kindness」
Rio raised his posture while placing his left hand on his abdomen, and then placing his right fist on top of his left chest.
It was the highest attitude of giving a honor known to the populace of the noble.
Tightly grasping one own heart with right hand, and then demonstrating a nonresistance action in not holding any weapon by placing left hand on the abdomen.
「Fumu, you’ve a nice look. But, your features is slightly different, may I ask your origin？ 」
「…………. The place I was born is Bertram kingdom. But, I’m on a journey to a distant place and left that country a few years ago」
In hearing those words, Duke Euguno and Flora who was originally from Bertram Kingdom have their expression slightly changed.
Though he didn’t want to gather excessive attention from them, since there’s Liselotte by his side to who he divulged the part of his birth, he can’t afford to tell a lie.
「Hou, in that case, your parents must have come from another country. Which country did they come from？ 」
「Their origin is the place called Yagumo region which is far in the eastern direction of this place, in that region there’s a country called Karasuki Kingdom」
「Ooh, so it’s the Yagumo region huh. Though diplomatic relationship have long since ceased out, there’s a legend about that country being passed down in our country. I recall that there are warriors who migrated to Strahl region by crossing over the savage land between the two regions」
For the time being, he can relax his guard by telling him about his lineage.
It seems he’s attracting Francois’s curiosity when he’s talking about the Yagumo region.
The conversation is flowing quite well.
「I’ve heard a very interesting story. Let me say my gratitude. I want to hear a bit more about that story, so please tell me again later if the chance have come upon us」 [TL : This might be a flag]
Since there’s a time restriction too, it seems Francois also won’t probe deeper than this.
He interrupted their conversation by that point while seemingly slightly regretting it.
「My deepest gratitude for your words which is more than this humble one deserved」
Rio’s courteously bowing his head.
「It’s a rare occasion, your majesty. If possible, may we giving our greeting to Satsuki-sama too？」
Liselotte’s giving a sidelong wink toward Rio as she says that.
Moreover, Rio who is noticing that signal is smiling lightly.
「Uhm, this is also the first time for you to meet Satsuki-dono. Let me introduce her. Satsuki-dono, she’s Liselotte. The only daughter of Duke Cedric Kretia, the chief vassal of our country」
So, Francois immediately introduced Liselotte to Satsuki who’s standing by his side.
「I’m glad to meet you. Satsuki-sama. My name is Liselotte Kretia. It’s my honor to be able to meet you」
Liselotte’s introducing herself with a smile on her face and then, quickly presented her hand to Satsuki.
Different from the other people, Liselotte’s accent when she called Satsuki’s name has a subtle difference when she said it.
Maybe because she percieved that slight difference, Satsuki’s staring at Liselotte’s face.
「…………… Yeah, my pleasure to meet you. My name is Satsuki Sumeragi. Please take care of me in the future」
When Satsuki’s grasping that hand, she returned Liselotte’s greeting with a wide smile on her face.
「Let me introduce him. He is Haruto-sama*, the partner of mine」[TL*: Katakana]
And now, Liselotte’s introducing Rio to Satsuki.
「Haruto*？」[TL* : Hiragana]
In hearing the japanese-like name, Satsuki was letting out a slight muttering.
「I’m glad to meet you. My name is Haruto. It’s my honor to be able to meet Satsuki-dono* who’s a hero」
After he called Satsuki’s name with such unnaturally mastered pronounciation, Rio was presenting his hand to Satsuki.
To that pronounciation, it’s not just Satsuki, Liselotte’s eyes also has a slight fluctuation in it.
Satsuki clasped Rio’s hands with a smile on her face.
「Yeah, it’s a pleasure to me-…………….」
While saying that as she has a handshake with Rio, Satsuki’s eyes suddenly opened wide.
After looking around restlessly on her surrounding for a moment, she was staring at Rio’s face with intense concentration a while later.
It was a slightly suspicious behavior when seeing from the side.
「Is there something on my face？」
After Rio asked with a composed smile, Satsuki was smiling awkwardly as if coming to her senses.
「It’s nothing, my apology. It’s nothing. Uhm, your name sounds slightly familiar with one of my motherland…………」
Clasping their hand just like that while clearing her throat with a cute short「cough」, thereupon, Satsuki replied while gently shaking her head in denial.
Maybe in her own mind, there’s a small voice that is heard like a shrill.
「Is that so？ Though it’s slightly unusual in the country around this region, it doesn’t mean that you really will not hear such name resounding. Ah, which reminds me, it was a popular name in my parents homeland」
When Rio was telling her that, Satsuki slightly squinted her eyes.
「Hee, now I’m slightly interested in it. I want to hear your story regarding your homeland before long」
Satsuki’s staring at Rio for a slightly longer duration while saying those words.
「Yes, if chance come upon us. Though it seems that you’re busy with your greeting, if possible please just say it when you have some free time during the evening party」
Rio is saying that with a unclouded smile on his face.
「Yeah, I, definitely, will get that chance」
Satsuki also returning with a wide smile while emphasizing the “Definitely” part.
「O~y, both of you. How long will you clasp your hand like that？ 」
Maybe because he’s unable to watch them continuously clasp their hand just like that, Hiroaki was butting into their conversation.
「Well, I’ll excuse myself then. Somehow, I don’t think that this is my first meeting with Satsuki-sama」
Rio was apologizing while smiling wryly as he released his hand which was clasped by Satsuki.
「Oh my, how coincidental. I feel the same way too」
Satsuki’s agreeing to Rio’s words while showing a mischievous smile which can’t be seen through.
To those two who showed a strangely-like-minded-comrade, the people of their surroundings was slightly surprised.
「This is the first time Satsuki-dono’s showing such an expression. It seems that somehow both of you are really getting along. It’s a wonder to meet with such a person」
Francois told that as if admiring them.
The people of the surrounding also nodded lightly while slightly bewildered as a way to affirm those words.
「Shall we go back to below soon, Haruto-sama」
Though just a little, Liselotte’s also taken aback but, she came and addressed Rio with a composed tone.
Since there’s still many people to whom she wants to give her greeting in this place, it’s not desirable to prolong their conversation more than this.
Rio immediately accepted Liselotte’s proposal.
「Well then your majesty, it’s slightly regrettable but, we must leave for the time being」
「Uhm. Let’s have a nice conversation again soon. At that time, with Cedric and the others too」
「Yes. With pleasure」
Liselotte consented with her best smile.
Thus, they leave that place.
To those two―― No, it’s toward Rio’s back, Satsuki was looking at him wearing an expression as if she’s pondering something is peeking on her face.