Chapter 94: Confidential Discussion
Satsuki, while looking at the hand Rio is offering, is seizing his hand.
The noble girls of Bertram kingdom including Dorothea were looking at their exchange with slightly dumbfounded expression.
When he’s muttering those words to Satsuki, Rio is suddenly turning around to face the noble girls.
「My deepest apology, everyone. Since I received an invitation from hero-sama, I decided to become her partner for a dance . Though it’s truly regrettable for me to leave your side, please excuse my discourtesy」 [ED: Read TL note from last chapter]
Rio’s telling those noble girls while wearing troubling-like smile.
And then, the noble girls finally snapped out of their daze.
「Y-You can’t expect to refusing it if it’s a direct invitation from hero-sama, can you」
Elise replys with awkward smile. She was the one who greeted Rio earlier.
Certainly, the status of Satsuki who’s the hero is above everyone of them.
But still, it’s not something amusing for the girls when someone is coming and snatching the man they’re aiming at.
Since If things go naturally as it is, someone of them might be dancing with Rio.
Or rather, approaching Rio was also those girls objective.
But, while it might be true, as ladies, you couldn’t expect them to scold Satsuki in public.
「O-Okay, I still want to chat with Haruto-sama but, since it’s come to this」
Dorothea also having a cramped smile while agreeing to Elise.
The other noble girls is also giving similiar responses.
「I feel really happy to be able receiving such words. If there’s a chance again later, please allow me to say my apology to everyone」
「Yeah, of course」
The noble girls are throwing an appropriate answer for Rio words. Though those words might be just a lip service, it’s something for raising their honor if they’re making an appropriate response.
For arguments sake, it might be incuring displeasure of those noble girls if he just leave them without any kind of following.
And Satsuki who’s the culprit is――
「My deepest apology. There was something I wished to tell him for a little while」
Saying so, Satsuki also apologized using proper gestures and expression.
「Well, regarding that. Please don’t mind about us. Since we’ll be willingly pulling back if hero-sama wishes for it」
「Thank you very much」
Satsuki left that place along with Rio after saying her gratitude to those noble girls.
The two of them are walking side-by-side.
This distance is close enough so that they can have a secret conversation.
「Thank you very much for calling me. So, you managed to successfully escape from that crowd alone huh？ 」
So, Rio successfully said those words which can only be heard by Satsuki since their surroundings are quite loud.
「You’re right. It was hard, indeed. To sneak here by myself」
「Must be so, right」
Rio’s agreeing while showing a wry smile.
Just like that, they’re gathering the looks of the surrounding people just by walking side by side with just the two of them.
If she, the guest of honor, is walking alone, she definitely will be greeted in the place she goes to.
Rejecting all of that hospitality might become a considerably grave matter.
「My apologize for troubling you. Since I don’t wish for this conversation to be heard by the people in that place」
「Yeah, I understand that. That’s why I came to you as you wished. Since I was quite surprised with what you did. Now, please tell me. Miharu-cha――」
Just when Satsuki was about to ask something.
「P-Please wait a minute！ Satsuki！ 」
Saying that while walking toward the dance space in the center of the hall, a man has come to stop Satsuki.
「They found us huh」
Satsuki’s murmured while sighing.
Her voice is filled with slightly troubled emotion.
「What’s matter？ Michael」
Satsuki’s turning around to ask the owner of that voice.
Standing in there is a tall youth with air of a gentleman.
If Rio isn’t mistaken, he was amongst the royalties who he greeted sometimes ago.
He certainly is a man who has the right to stand beside Satsuki.
His is a bit older than Rio and Satsuki.
His name is Michael Galwark, the genuine prince of Galwark kingdom.
「Don’t “what’s matter” me. It’s because you suddenly disappeared the moment I took my eyes from you. I’m worried you know. I can’t let you go missing」
Michael’s speaking to Satsuki.
「It can’t be helped you know. Who do you think I’m？ 」
Satsuki’s replied with displeased tone.
「For you to say something like that, weren’t you lost in the castle once before. When you were arbitrarily trying to exploring the castle」
「That was only when I just come to this world, wasn’t it」
Satsuki’s sighing a little.
「Well then, I’ll be going soon if you have no other business though？」
「Going to where……………………..？」
「After all, I’m dancing with this person」
Satsuki was looking at Rio while smiling a sweet smile as if being fascinated.
「Dance………………………？ With…………………….. This man？ 」
Michael’s staring at Rio’s face with dumbfounded expression.
「Yeah, that’s right」
Satsuki’s nonchalantly affirming his question.
「W-What have you just said. Since you’re a hero, you can’t be so careless when choosing your first dancing partner……….」
「Ara, I wonder why he’s no good？ I think that he’s quite good looking though」 [TL : sushh, “she’s a predator”]
Saying so, Satsuki’s getting one step closer to Rio while showing an impish face.
Their shoulders coming so close to the point of almost touching.
Michael’s eyes are opened wide.
And then, he’s immediately sending a piercing glance at Rio.
「You…………………….. Are the person who was brought as a partner by Liselotte, aren’t you」
It a little unexcpected that Michael recalls about Rio.
「Yes. My name is Haruto」
Rio’s stated his name while giving a wry smile.
He’s sighing inside with this slightly troublesome.
「He’s okay with Liselotte, and the same with Satsuki, is this kind of a man really so nice looking？」
Michael’s muttering with sullen expression.
It doesn’t mean that Michael is what you call ugly.
Or rather, you can say that he has well ordered features that you could call perfect.
His semi-blonde hair which is stretched in wavy style on both sides of his face is attracting the looks of many girls.
But, on close inspection, when comparing his body closely with Rio it might gave slightly poor image as Rio has the slender and well-proportioned one.
Despite there really being no need for training the royalties, it can’t be helped that he’s lacking in muscularity.
「I mean, his face is slightly resembling the people of my motherland. I’ve said it right. I’ve say that I want to go back to my world. Which means that I won’t miss even a trivial hint if it’s for that sake. Your side said that you’ll give your cooperation to help me get back to my original world, right ？ 」
Satsuki told him so while a serious expression floated on her face just in that moment.
「T-That is…………….. B-But, just because you say that his face is similar, it doesn’t mean that it’ll become a hint to returning to your original world………….」
Michael’s replying with pressuring appearance.
「Ara, there’s a possibility that his distant ancestor might be someone from my original world」
「I-Is that so？」
Michael asked Rio.
「I don’t know the details regarding my lineage. But, since hero-sama’s seemingly taking an interest in my hometown, I’m thinking of telling her as much as I know」
Rio’s telling him in composed manner while matching what he said with Satsuki story.
「!!!………………… E-Even so, there’s no need to dance to do that, right？ I mean you can make other arrangement for this……………..」
Though he was at loss for words for a moment, nevertheless, Michael’s clinging persistently on them.
Somehow, it seems that he’s unable to accept the fact that Satsuki’s dancing with Rio first.
Thereupon, in that place,
「Ara, isn’t that fine then. Onii-sama. I’m fine with hero-sama’s dancing a dance with that gentleman you know」
A girl appeared and said those words to Michael.
She’s around as old as Rio, or just slightly younger.
She has an extremely lovely appearance.
Her shoulder length blonde hair which overlapped with madder red is so brilliant, her style is well arranged even from the top of her lovely frilly dress
Michael was looking at the girl called Charlotte with bewildered expression.
「It’s because hero-sama is not your thing, nor she’s your fiancee, onii-sama. You can’t bind her, doing such unreasonable things will also stress hero-sama」
Charlotte’s skillfully covering for Satsuki.
「That’s right. I’m giving my agreement to become a hero but, I don’t remember giving my agreement to have my movement restricted for anything unreasonable」
And so, Satsuki was taking an advantage of that situation.
「GUH………….. But, I’m just thinking for your sake………………」
「She didn’t even have any contact with nothing but just some people during this several months when she’s been secluded in the royal castle. Don’t you think that having a contact with another person will become a nice stimulus for hero-sama？ 」
Charlotte’s going by logic.
She’s saying that to this point since there’s no allies in their vicinity, It’ll look bad if he keeps on clinging to Satsuki like he has for now.
Maybe bacause Michael felt so.
「……………. Understood. I’ll let you to dance with Satsuki」
He’s agreeing reluctantly.
Charlotte’s smiling a delightful smile and then,
「Well, am I not good enough for onii-sama！ Though it’s just as subtitute, please dance with me, onii-sama」
She’s saying so while clinging on Michael’s arm with a playful atmosphere.
「Charlotte………………… Understood, well then, shall we have a dance」
After breathing lightly as if to say “It can’t be helped then”, Michael finally said those words.
And Charlotte is replying with「Thank you very much！」.
「Thank you, Sharl-chan」
Satsuki told her gratitude to Charlotte with whispering voice while winking at her with one of her eyes.
「No, it’s nothing. He’s a wonderful gentleman isn’t he. Please enjoy your dance」
Charlotte’s replied while sending a fleeting gaze at Rio.
「It’s not like that though」
Satsuki’s smiling wryly as if being troubled by her statement.
「Well then, let’s go at once, Onii-sama！」
Charlotte was walking at brisk step after seizing Michael’s arms with a wide smile on her face.
「Are you okay with that？」
Rio’s asked Satsuki while watching those two retreating figure.
「Nothing, maybe it’s better for you to be free from obstacles like invitations since he is some kind of a royalty」
「It’s okay. Since I’ve no plans to deteriorate our relationship with unnecessary hard-heartedness, and I want to have a chat with you more than I want to accompany him right now」
Satsuki’s replying with honest expression.
Thus, despite being curious about Rio’s story, she did have her reasons.
yes, Rio used spirit arts on Satsuki when they were sharing a handshake sometimes ago.
That was thought type of art of conversation called conveying the voice of his heart to the other party.
It doesn’t mean that they can do bi-directional conversation too when separated in fixed distance like his case with Aisia who’s tied to him by spirit contract.
There’s an absolute need for directly touching the other party, and as long as the other party is unable to use spirit arts, it would be nothing but just like one-way communication.
Therefore, though there’s limitation for using it, it’s a useful spirit arts for a confidential confersation.
「There’s a lot of things that I want to ask but, let me start by asking this. The matter about you taking care Miharu-chan and co………… Is that true？ 」
Satsuki’s asking that while peeking at Rio face.
She won’t miss any signs of lying.
He can feel this kind of strong will from her.
「Yeah, it’s true」
Rio’s staring back into Satsuki eyes.
Their eyes are meeting in the air.
「Are they safe？ 」
「Of course they’re safe. They’re living full of spirit in this world even at this moment」
Satsuki squinted her eyes when Rio gave that kind of reply to her.
「Say, me believing your story is based on nothing but the fact that you, know the full name of Miharu-chan and co. That’s why I have no choice but to trust you. But, I can’t do something like blindly trusting your words without even knowing all the details about you」
「I see. It’s as you say」
Rio’s saying an appropriate response while nodding deeply.
「If so, will you let me to hear of your purpose and what were you aiming with this kind of contact with me in the beginning？ And, why’re you trying to let me meet Miharu-chan and co？ 」
Satsuki’s asked with composed tone.
「Though I don’t mind to answer that, that’s right――」
Rio’s showing a gesture of pondering lightly.
Even if she asks whether he has any kind of goals, Rio’s taking this action for nothing more than for the sake of Miharu and co.
Currently, Satsuki’s trying to probe for Rio’s goal.
What sort of things must he tell so she would believe him when he conveyed that to her.
Though he’s pondering about it, maybe it’s better for him to conveying the truth as it is than lining up words.
「It’s because Miharu-san and co really want to meet…………. You that is. Nothing to do with my own goals………………」
Was Rio reply after pondering about it for a while.
「Because Miharu-chan and co want to meet me you say？」
Rio’s replying right away.
（Does that mean he’s acting completely from his goodwill？ Well, I think such reason is completely impossible but…………）
After looking at him to the very best of her ability, Satsuki doesn’t think that he’s lying.
But, he really might not be somewhat of a good person.
Satsuki also fully understands her value as a hero.
Ever since she come to this world, even in this evening party, various kind of people have approached her to abuse her status.
Maybe for that reason, Satsuki has become slightly suspicious of him without the she herself noticing it.
So that means, by participating in this evening party, the youth before her also has some sort of influence.
Is so, “is this man really approaching me out of good will and without caring about the risks ?”
Maybe he really is moving around and sparing no effort working hard for the sake of fellow friends who have separated.
She’s noticing as if she’s overlooking for some kind of precondition.
For the sake of making sure of that――,
「Fu~hn, I see…………..」
Satsuki’s suddenly approached Rio face.
And then asking.
「…………… Only that？」
「Yup, it’s only that」
Rio’s nodding deeply.
After that, Rio was taking a brief look at his surrounding.
「By the way――」
Satsuki’s tilting her head in a lovely gesture while replying to him.
「It seems we’re gathering a bit attention from our surroundings. Maybe we should distance ourselves」
Rio said that while smiling as if slightly bewildered.
Because Satsuki’s looking at Rio face from close by, their faces are quite close right now.
They’re glued together to the point of making one feel that they might be kissing in the next moment.
Even while being dumbfounded, Satsuki’s looking at her surroundings in panic.
Because she was focusing all of her attention on Rio, it seems that she somehow neglected her surroundings.
Being aware that many people in their surroundings are sending inquisitive gazes toward them, Satsuki’s face is blushing in a surprising way.
As a strong embarrassment is poking through her entire body, Satsuki’s immediately taking one step away from Rio.
Rio who’s looking at her appearance was laughing as if slightly amused by her.
Satsuki’s glaring at Rio with scornful eyes.
「Ehm, it seems that the next tune of musical performance is about to start soon but, shouldn’t we go there？」
Rio’s proposed after clearing his throat.
「…………… That’s right」
When she’s looking away from Rio who give slightly blunt reply, Satsuki was walking at brisk step toward the dance plaza.
The people who’re going to dance during the next tune are on stand by on the right side of the dance plaza in the middle of the hall.
Roana and Liselotte were in there too.
When Satsuki’s going there to stand by along with Rio, the people in here quickly turn noisy.
「It seems they have noticed but, I have to give my gratitude to you since this brief moment without getting greeted by anyone is really comforting, isn’t it. I don’t want to receiving a greeting from anyone right now, so let’s just keep pretending that we are having an enjoyable conversation while laughing on occasion」
Satsuki’s muttering with tired face due to the looks which rudely poured on her.
Though they have taken some distance from the surrounding, they have no knowledge of when will the people who I yet to give their greeting to Satsuki will appear.
Today main guest is Satsuki, so it can’t be helped and not an exaggeration to say that every participant in this evening party is wanting to make small talk with Satsuki.
「Yeah. That’s right. By the way, there’s something that I want to ask, is that okay？」
「Uhm, I don’t mind……………….」
「I’m pondering about what made Satsuki-san to want to become a hero. Would I be able to hear it？ 」
Maybe Rio’s trying to guess what Satsuki will be trying to do in this world.
Though it’s hard to think about it just from the impression about her tale so far and the image of her personality which he heard from Miharu, Satsuki definitely isn’t limiting nor is she hiding a common desire like wanting to adventure and have things such as fame and fortune as a hero.
If for example she has those kind of wishes, Miharu and co’s value will be useful for having a vast amount of magical power.
Despite not wanting to attract too much suspicion, Rio wanted to make sure whether there’s even a sign of Satsuki wanting to make use of Miharu and co.
「……………. It’s not like I want to become something like a hero. I didn’t even wish to become one」
Satsuki said those words while showing a serious expression on her face.
「Well then…………….. Why did you become one？」
「………………. I, you see, I just want to go back to earth. My family is important to me, so are my friends, and there’s so many things which I left undone. Suddenly being summoned to this world is just incomprehensible, there are no people who I know in my surroundings, the people whose faces I don’t know, everyone is telling about me being a hero……………」
After speaking that much, Satsuki’s sighing lightly.
「Around the time I first came to this world. I, couldn’t accept what happened to me. I requested the royalties to send me back to my original world right away after I received a brief explanation about the circumstances but, they said that there no known method………………. I was embarrassing myself while speaking with them but, even after a while, it was no use. I was staying in the room of the royal palace which was given to me, and after a short while, I became really suspicious that the people of the castle might know a way to return me so I’m secretly walking around the castle to investigate that」 [ED: CoolStoryBob]
Maybe it because of recalling those times, but Satsuki’s tightly clenching her teeth.
When thinking about the situation she is placed in, maybe the day were painful in a way which she couldn’t express with just words.
It’s different from Miharu and co who were transferred along with other people, because Satsuki truly was alone.
「But, I wonder what becomes of these days. Even tho I’m still learning, continuously wasting time like this is really scary. Say, at this rate, won’t I become a granny in this world if time keeps passing by like this………….. And then, I wonder if it’s by that point that I’m finally facing forward and saying 『I can’t stand here without doing something !」. I was thinking about looking for a method to return to earth. Although in the end everything has been a waste, because it was really vexing giving up like that without even doing anything. But, I don’t have the knowledge to do something alone, do I? That’s why I thought about borrowing the power of this country. Since fortunately the other party wants to use me as a hero, therefore, in exchange for becoming a hero, I will receive their help for the sake of returning to my original world. I wonder if you feel this way. That’s the reason for me to become a hero」
Saying that, Satsuki’s showing a frail smile to Rio.
That’s an extremely brave act, and yet her smile was extremely transient.
「…………… I’m sorry. I just asking about a bitter story」
「It’s okay, it’s nothing at all. You’re trying to test me, aren’t you, if it is okay to let the current me meet Miharu-chan and co？ Somehow, you can’t place your trust in me, so we’re about equal in this regard, aren’t we. With that question just now, I somehow understood that you really are worrying about Miharu-chan and co」
Rio was staring at her for a while after hearing her question.
Surprisingly, it seems that Satsuki’s seeing through Rio’s intention.
It seems that she’s more or less possessing an excellent insight.
「Then, how you think I wonder？ The result of your test. Have I passed your test？ 」
Satsuki’s staring intently at Rio face.
Rio’s floating a smile on his face.
「………. Yeah, I’ll let you to meet Miharu-san and co」
Was his answer.
「It seems the next dance is about to begin soon. Shall we continue our conversation while dancing」
Rio said that after sending a fleeting glance at the dancing hall.
And then, he presented his hand to Satsuki.
「I see. I more or less have the experience of ballroom dance in my original world but, the step of the dance of this world is marvelously different. May I receive your guidance, O gentleman？ 」
After saying that and seizing Rio’s hand, Satsuki was smiling lightly as if enjoying it.
「Yes, with pleasure. My lady」
Rio’s also nodding while smiling widely.
Thereupon, this time, the sound of applause is reverberated in the hall.
It seems that Flora had little mistakes but, there’s admiration to her and Hiroaki who finished their dance.
Many people in the venue’s seem to have noticed them.
But, the people who’ve been waiting for a chance to dance on the stand by place including Liselotte were carefully assessing the situation of Satsuki and Rio much more than there were of Flora and Hiroaki.
「A~h, both of you. If it’s okay with you, won’t you dance with me？ 」
Hiroaki’s returned to the waiting place along with Flora in good mood.
Just like that, he’s applying for a dance to Roana and Liselotte.
「Yes, I was waiting for Hiroaki-sama with Roana-san for this sake」
「Yeah, no matter how much the two of us want it, for the two of us to be dancing at the same time with Hiroaki-sama is impossible. It can’t be helped since you only have one body. Please come and dance along with Liselotte-sama first」
Roana who smiling politely when giving the first turn to Liselotte.
「That’s right. Well then, let’s dance, Liselotte」
「Yes. Well then, I shall accept that offer. Excuse me then」
Liselotte’s nodded while smiling widely.
Rio and Satsuki’s happen to be passing by that place.
「Uhn, Satsuki and………………….. Haruto, isn’t it. Yoo」
Hiroaki’s called to them.
「With this, everyone is going together」
Hiroaki’s figure who was waiting upon by three beautiful high-ranked noble girls to choose is expecially more conspicious than that of Rio and Satsuki.
When those four entered Rio field of vision, he greeted them with instantaneous smile.
Satsuki’s also nodding with forced smile floating on her face.
When he see the figure of Rio taking Satsuki hand as if leading her, Hiroaki is sniffed with “fuhn”.
「Hee, Satsuki after Liselotte huh. Your relationship doesn’t look very good. It appears that guy’s a lady killer. Right, Liselotte」
Hiroaki saying that with strangely disgusted smile.
「E, A, Yes. Uhm……………. Ahaha」
Liselotte’s agreeing while smiling wryly as if troubled by it.
When her eyes met with Rio’s, Liselotte was bowing lightly without minding her surrounding while moving her mouth to say 「I’m sorry」.
Rio’s nodding back with a smile.
「But, don’t mind nameless guy who’s standing out beyond his position. There’s this kind of proverb in my world. It say, “Hammering the nails that are sticking out”. It’ll stink if you’re going too far」
Hiroaki’s saying that while lightly shrugging his shoulder.
「My deepest gratitude for your warning. This humble self learnt something great because of this one inexperienced act」
Rio’s bowing deeply while giving a sociable smile after answering that.
Despite speaking with extremely condescending attitude, Rio can’t understand whether he give a plain advice with good intention, or is he just being sarcastic on purpose.
But, he was being poured with scorn and terrible sarcasm by the young noble back in the royal academy.
Because of that, even if Hiroaki’s saying those words with sarcasm, it would be too little to even scratch Rio’s feelings.
「Ah, be careful. Yosh, shall we dance then. Liselotte」
After saying that, Hiroaki’s moved his hand around Liselotte shoulder.
「Uhm, yes. With pleasure」
Despite her body being slightly stiff, Liselotte’s nodding with beautiful smile.
Hiroaki’s sending a fleeting gaze toward Rio’s face while he’s leaving, then turned his body and revealed a smile with “humph”.
Just like that, they’re walking together toward the dance hall to have a dance .
Thereupon, a muttering as if displeased is resounded on Rio side.
「What is, that？ He’s too cocky. Has suddenly getting the position of a hero made him that splendid？ 」
Maybe because she feels something in Hiroaki attitude, Satsuki’s glaring at his back.
Though at first she was watching Hiroaki’s speech with stunned expression, it seems anger’s gradually seething in her heart.
Roana’s bowing deeply while saying so.
When she’s changing her attention to Flora who’s standing awkwardly as it is,
「Flora-sama, won’t you want to see Hiroaki-sama’s dance with us？」
Roana has invited Flora.
「Ah, yes. Uhm…………….」
Despite nodding, Flora was hesitating whether she should leave this place.
Just like that, when her eyes were wandering between Rio and Roana,
「M-My apologize. It would hurt your feelings, right？ For some reason, hero-sama is tired due to his inexperience in evening parties……」
Soon, she’s bowed to Rio as if determined to do that.
「It’s nothing, I think Flora-sama isn’t the one who has to apologize though」
Satsuki’s replying while pursing her lips.
「Au. I-I’m sorry. Uhm…………….」
Flora is trembling while she’s curling herself as if her body is withered.
「I say, Flora-sama has no need to apologizing」
Now, Satsuki said that while smiling wryly to Flora.
During that Rio’s looking at Flora condition,
（The timid and clumsy parts of her didn’t change after all this time huh）
He heartly thought so.
In the first place, a royalty shouldn’t that easily apologize to another person.
Even if saying the words of apology, it’s better if she shows a self-important attitude as if not minding it or feeling it’s hard to do.
Maybe Flora’s just too kind as a royalty.
Rio thought so.
Nonetheless, he had no intentions of conveying that to her.
But, seeing that Flora’s become the center of attention of the surrounding people who see her withered figure apologizing in front of Rio and Satsuki.
It seems that having found that it’s difficult to interpose the words to pierce this silence with her being a retainer, feeling that the state became slightly uneasy even from Roana. [Alt TL: Roana in her position as retainer finds it difficult to break this situation ]
Rio has no choice but to devise a plan to control the situation as the one who she apologized to.
Rio’s sighing lightly and then,
「Please stop it. If you make Her highness Princess Flora do something like that, it will result in a situation just like Hiroaki-sama warned of*. Please don’t worry about it. Please look at the dance of Hiroaki-sama along with Roana-sama」
He kneeled respectfully as he say that.
「Y-Yes…………… Thank you very much」
Flora’s telling her gratitude with downhearted face.
「Well then, Flora-sama. Please come here」
Being invited clearly by Roana this time around, Flora’s left him with slow steps.
Just when they’re about to leave, Roana’s bend her body lightly toward Rio.
「We’re going too, Haruto-kun. It seems that the dancing has started」
Satsuki’s said that after sighing lightly as if to change her feelings.