Chapter 95: The Interstice of Ethics
An elegant music was being played in the hall that had become the venue of the evening party.
There are many men and women who are forming pairs to dance on the dancing hall.
With exception of Satsuki and Rio or, Hiroaki and Liselotte, there was the figure of Charlotte and Christhardt, the royalty of Galwark kingdom, amongst them.
Maybe because everybody should be paying attention, quite a large number of people are watching the dance.
Rio and Satsuki are mutually and softly overlapping their hands, and then leaning closer till they could feel each other breath.
「Which reminds me, I haven’t confirmed Satsuki-san’s determination, have I. You want to meet Miharu-san and co too. Am I not mistaken？ 」
Rio muttered those words lightly, all while performing an elegant dance step on top of it.
「………….. That’s right. I want to meet them if only I could」
Satsuki’s replying with slightly gloomy expression.
「If that’s the case, then the conversation couldn’t be more simple. Let’s talk about the plan for that」
Rio’s mouth said those words lightly.
Thereupon, Satsuki was squinting her eyes.
「It’s easy for me to say it but, with my current standing, you should have understood it right？」
「Yeah, you’ve been living in the royal castle as a hero. Though the freedom of your choices is probably respected as much as possible, you’re definitely being monitored in case you try to do something. This is your situation, right？ 」
Rio’s shrugging his shoulder lightly while answering that.
「………… That’s right. In that case, may I hear what kind of plan do you have in your mind？ 」
「Well. If you say that you want to meet with Miharu-san and co, the country will definitely give their permission for your reunion but…………………」
After saying that Rio stops speaking, and color of dissapointment floats onto Satsuki’s face.
Rio’s smiling gently and,
「But, it seems that somehow Satsuki-san hates that idea right？ The truth is, I also disagree with it. You should feel anxious about the fact that Miharu-san and co will become a political bargaining tool, right？ 」
So, he asked as if he could see through the inside of Satsuki’s heart.
His expression is calm in some respect.
「It’s indeed the truth, right. That’s why, I wonder why’re you doing it this way by planning to come in contact with me alone？ But………………. If you’ve understood that far, you should have understood that it’s very difficult for me and Miharu-chan and co to meet right？ 」
Satsuki’s showing an expression that’s mixed between suspicion and puzzlement.
In that moment, Rio felt that he’s negotiating Satsuki with Miharu and co as a bargaining chip.
For example, if it comes to the protection for Miharu and co in Galwark kingdom, Rio will become a benefactor who’s protected the friends of Satsuki who’s a hero.
If that’s the case, Rio might be able to climb the ladder of social status using those achievements.
Maybe Rio’s hidden agenda is to climb the ladder of social status by using Miharu and co.
Despite just for a moment, Satsuki has that kind of suspicion but, as expected, Rio’s also rejecting the idea of getting Miharu and co to be involved in the political strife of the country.
That is based on the circumstantial evidence of their conversation but, whether or not he’s gonna obediently follow his plan is another story.
Satsuki can’t read all of Rio’s thoughts and it would be no joke to just fully believe him and later be deceived.
「Yeah, of course. Since there’s not that much time left, I’ll say it briefly. When you said that you want to avoid meeting them up front, that means there’s nothing but one method left」
Saying so, Rio’s wrapping his right hand around Satsuki’s back, and lightly pulling that slim waist.
And then, whispering close to her ears.
「Let’s hide it from the country and do it in secret」
Satsuki eyes are opened wide.
Rio’s words are resounding so many times inside her brain.
「Secret meeting………. Are you really going that far？ Even as a joke, currently I’m living in the royal castle you know？ Despite of that, it’s something similiar to keeping watch on me in the castle, so something like secret meeting is impossible」
Satsuki’s refusing while slightly rising her voice.
「I don’t have any plans to let you meet in the castle you know. I’m thinking about helping Satsuki-san slip out from the castle」
「Slipping out from the castle you say………………. How are you going to do that？」
「That’s depending on the current monitoring system toward Satsuki-san. I will ask this but, is Satsuki-san being monitored inside your room until sleeping？ 」
Satsuki’s showed a pensive expression to Rio question.
「………………… I haven’t thought about it like that but, it’s not…………… I think. There were times when even I was awake till late at night without sleeping a few times but, at least no one has ever come to visit me when I’m sleeping. I’m sure that they’re not going so far as looking inside」
Satsuki’s replying after a slight hestitation.
「In that case, the right time is at the middle of the night, isn’t it」
Rio replied in a flash.
「That is, maybe it’ll be late at night if it’s the time to slip out but…………. That’s impossible you know. Certainly, no one will be coming to monitor someone who’s sleeping if it’s in the middle of the night but, there’s guards outside of the room, and then there’s security soldier swarming around the inside of the castle you know？」
Satsuki’s telling him that half by reflex.
「Of course. That’s something that I’m fully aware you know」
Satsuki’s telling the risk that will also be shared by Rio, never by any means is she making light of it.
No matter how what she does with Rio, a raid toward a royal castle is not something she wants to perform just because of a simple decision.
There’s a need to be overly vigilant on the surroundings when infiltrating.
And, from the fact that even amongst humans, there are people who have high perception of magical power, there’s a fear that those people will be detecting unusual phenomenon due to the remnant of magical power that’s drifting in the air when he’s using spirit arts for secret business.
If they’re noticing the unusual phenomenon, it’ll certainly turn into an uproar.
Though escaping might not be that hard even when it turned into an uproar, instead, the plan to meet Satsuki will be increasing in difficulty.
「But, Let me somehow handle that point. This is what you call “entering a tiger den” right」
「S-Somehow handle it you say………」
Satsuki is wishing that she could hold her head.
While he was saying something like that so easily, she also lost her will to offer further opinion.
Or rather, the development of their conversation is too fast paced, her processing speed is unable to catch up with it.
「The time is also limited, may you tell me the position of your room？ Since I’ll come to visit you tonight when the full moon is hanging on the southern sky」
Satsuki slightly hestitated due to the paralysis in her train of thought to the question that was thrown at her.
Though there’s many things she wants to ask regarding a certain invasion plan in Rio’s mind moreover so is regarding Miharu and co.
Everything that she wants to ask is too much to answer knowing the remaining time left.
After the dance has finished, she won’t be able to have such a long drawn conversation alone with Rio.
Since it’ll be stirring the displeasure from the surroundings if she does so.
「……….. If you’re going that far, then there’s four spires in the four directions of the royal castle, right？ My room is on the top floor of the east one」
At the end of her internal discord, Satsuki decided to tell Rio the location of her own room.
Though she has no knowledge about what kind of method he’ll be using to invade the castle, it’s hard to fight against the charm of gaining information about Miharu and the others.
Satsuki’s in the situation where she has no knowledge about Rio’s identity yet, though there’s nothing that can make her trust his words in this short amount of time, at least from the conversation this far, she can see that Rio’s an intellectual person.
It might be better to trust him when weighing the risks and return.
But, maybe because she’s too preoccupied with the matter of regaining information about Miharu and co, and the feasibility of the place also can be seen clearly, Satsuki’s overlooked one thing.
The matter regarding the act of the invasion toward the royal castle is a felony which will be sentenced with death penalty if it’s confirmed to be true.
In short, the action that Rio’s going to do is a law breaking act.
That will cause her to become reluctant if it’s the normal Satsuki in the peaceful time.
But, the patterns she encountered this time are something that couldn’t make her oppose it.
In short, she was set adrift by how influential the conversation was.
「I’m glad that this talk is concluding quickly. Just in case, I’ll tell you about this in advance, secret meeting is not the method to meet them multiple times. To the very last It’s emergency means. If you want to meet them again after this, please check your mutual intent by discussing it」
「You’re right. Should we live together, or separately, maybe it’s of no use and not something that you can give the solution to me……..」
Satsuki sighed lightly while saying so.
「……Yes. I’m of no use and can’t give you the solution」
Rio’s muttering with a low voice.
Satsuki’s unintentionally gasping to his coldhearted voice, and suddenly raised her face.
But, for some reason Rio’s smiling kindly.
She can’t feel the remains of a suspicious person, that smile is similar to a clergy who hides their emotions.
Seeing that smile, she thought that somehow she can place her trust into this person.
But, somehow the matter regarding the person called Rio is something that she can’t grasp very well.
At the same time, she felt that he’s a mysterious person.
Maybe because she absolutely can’t feel any risk assessment from him.
This kind of feeling is something that she doesn’t have if it’s a human who has his self-interest behind his action.
It’s an anticlimax or should she say, she feel that it’s a bit too mismatched.
Thereupon Satsuki’s sighing lightly inside,
「………….. I can’t fully put my trust on you yet but, please receive my gratitude. Thank you」
She said her gratitude while peering into Rio’s eyes.
Perhaps, it might be because she wants to peer into Rio’s heart.
She’s not stepping herself up, because something like peering into the heart of your opponent isn’t an easy matter.
「It’s nothing, I’m only doing this for myself」
Rio’s smiling as if troubled while replying to her.
After the short reply, Satsuki’s stepping in as if to entrust her body to Rio, gently placed her left hand to Rio cheek.
And then, after smiling as if enjoying her action, she’s peering at Rio’s face from point-blank range even more so.
Despite being unexpected and lascivious, that was a lovely gesture.
The looks of the audience is fixating on them.
While twirling around when they do a rotation, they keep carving of elegant yet rhythmical steps.
「You seem to be enjoying this aren’t you」
Rio asked her.
He noticed a slight change in Satsuki’s atmosphere which kept sticking on her till a while ago.
「I see. Because it’s a rare chance to dance with the someone who understands my feelings, so I’m trying to give you a passionate dance in order to not get myself swarmed by proposals for a dance after this」
Satsuki’s showing her impish smile.
「Am I your man repellant？」
Rio was smiling wryly.
「That’s right. It’s troublesome when you receive a dance invitation right after returning right」
Replying so, Satsuki blushes lightly and then removes her gaze from Rio.
Maybe she’s somewhat embarrassed with their situation, being glued to each other.
「I suppose that there’s many people who want to dance with Satsuki-san you know」
「I’m reluctant to do it you know. I hate the idea of having to dance with someone that I don’t know」
Satsuki sighed lightly.
「I’m someone who you don’t know」
「You are…………….. Well, I have been surprised in various ways by you, right. I mean, it was really surprising when I suddenly heard a voice resound inside my head. Maybe, I can tell that somehow you’re someone who won’t cause trouble. Don’t you think that this compensation is fine to make up for that？ 」
Satsuki’s looking at Rio with a pleasant smile floating on her face while saying so.
「That’s harsh you see」
Their eyes meet and then, they start laughing together.
Soon after that, the musical performance for the dance is coming to an end.
The most of applause that was coming from the spectators was not for Christhardt and Charlotte, nor Hiroaki and Liselotte, it’s was meant for the pair of Rio and Satsuki.
Though one part of the spectators doesn’t find that to be amusing, the evening party is going on well from thereafter and that ended the first day of the evening party.
After the evening party has closed it’s curtain, Rio’s returning toward Duke Kretia’s mansion in which he was previously staying along with Liselotte.
Though Liselotte seemingly wanted to ask something when they’re on the way to home, Rio’s ignored that all along.
Liselotte too won’t inquire in such a rude manner, thus time is flowing by toward bedtime.
And then, the evening party of the capital keeps going on in the silent night.
The time for the full moon to hang on the southern sky will be coming soon, Rio decided to slip out from the mansion when most of the people in the Duke Kretia mansion are already in their dreams.
The defense of Duke Kretia’s mansion is strict.
Whether it’s raiding or slipping out of the mansion, the biggest barrier is Liselotte’s chamberlain, Aria Governess.
He has confirmed that Aria’s sensitive to sign.
He already made preparations to slip out the mansion last night, though Rio tried to secretly leave to the garden in the name of “training” while basking with the night wind, Aria also nonchalantly came to the garden and greeted Rio.
Aria was looking at the figure of Rio swinging his mock sword with the expression as if admiring him for some reason.
But as expected, it doesn’t mean that Aria also happened to stay up all night long.
If it’s for work related to personal care of Liselotte, Aria’s bedtime is also quite early.
Of course, the bedtime of the humans who live in this world is quite early compared to the japanese people who live in modern time.
The cost of light also couldn’t be taken as trivial matter, that’s why many people are preparing to work early in the morning.
Now back to the main topic.
Rio’s dressing formally in black and then heading toward the royal castle under the cover of the night.
The moonlight is shining upon the royal castle, the faint light of magic tools which have been lit in every turn of the royal castle.
Though the time has rushed late into midnight a long time ago, to welcome the foreign guest from the foreign country, currently the defense in the royal castle is even more strict than usual.
Though the inside of the castle has fallen into silence, great numbers of soldiers are being deployed on the rampart and on the solid castle wall which is towering high with it’s massive size, they’ve been extremely cautious as to not even let one mouse to invade the royal castle.
The thing about an outsider creeping into the castle without being found by someone is an impossible task even if that person is not a run-of-the-mill person.
But, it’s a different story if that person can fly in the sky without making any sound.
Though the soldiers are sharpening their eyes and ears while keeping their vigilance for the living beings or demons who fly in the night sky, as expected, it’s a difficult matter for them to discover an invisible object which is flying without making any noise.
Satsuki said that her room is on the top floor of the spire that is towering high at the royal castle.
Therefore, something like creeping in it is not so difficult for Rio who was flying in the sky with spirit arts.
Satsuki’s wearing her one-piece pajama and sitting on top of her bed while hugging her knees, she was staring at the full moon that’s peeking out from the south balcony.
（……………. Will he really come？）
Rio has said that he’ll come to meet her when the full moon is floating in the southern sky.
Currently the full moon is hanging just right of the southern sky.
When she tries to calmly think about it after the evening party has ended, Satsuki reached the conclusion that invading the royal castle is impossible but, if it’s going as his declaration, Rio will come at any time.
（I though the students that were wandering in and out of the male and female rooms during an excursion trip might feel like this？ Somehow, maybe the current me is slightly understanding their feelings……….）
A smile peeked on Satsuki’s lips.
For some reason her chest is throbbing loudly.
Because she can’t go anywhere with her confined status, this might cause the release of adrenalin.
Though this was the first time breaking the law for her who’s hailed as a proper and diligent girl by her surroundings in high school, Satsuki’s feeling excitement in herself for this very reason.
（A wrong thing to do, huh. Sure it is. Though he’s creeping in, it’ll be quite bad if he leaked his position, wouldn’t it. If he’s unlucky, it’ll come to death penalty………）
It’s the so called invasion to the castle where the royalty is living.
And in the end, he’s been trying to take out Satsuki, the hero.
Despite not by accident, it definitely counts as a criminal act by the law of the Galwark kingdom.
Though in the case of Japan, the crime of invading one’s house is a light crime, never did she think that the act of invading the place where the royalty are living is counted as a light crime in this world.
It’s definitely a heavy crime.
The worst possible sentence is death penalty.
Satsuki suddenly pondered about such things.
She was making light of the situation since her consciousness is stolen by the information of Miharu and co, despite paralizing her intuition, Satsuki was feeling uneasy as if a bucket of cold water is being poured on her.
（Will he……………. Really come？ Or was he just joking？ That or did he have full confidence in his skill…………）
Satsuki’s recalled the throbbing of her heart which is obviously different with the one till now.
She has never violated the law up till now.
She was taught to pay attention to the eyes of the surrounding people in her everyday life as the daughter of a company president.
She came to persuade herself without an example in her surrounding as the student council president in high school.
That was how she was living and raised in Japan.
Though everyone has their own moral standards, Satsuki couldn’t help but feel a stronger reluctance than a normal person for breaking the law or doing something taboo.
Much less to say if it’s an action which is deserving of death penalty.
（There’s dozens of defense soldiers who are patrolling inside of the spire. There are also several soldiers in another room. I wonder how he’s planning to come？ Is there an accomplish？ But, someone who can guide him with free pass till this room is………….）
She’s pondering on the way that Rio’ll be using to come toward her room.
But, she couldn’t get an answer when thinking about it by normal means.
Impossible, is it.
He’ll be found by the soldiers who are always patrolling when attempting to move inside of the spire.
The soldier in front of the room won’t give a pass to enter the room to someone without a justified reason.
When it comes to the night time, justifying a reason is also greatly limited.
（There’s no way that he got heated up and stunned the soldier whose been inside the spire？ It’ll become quite tumult if it’s really turning out that way……… But, in addition to that, the means of entering this room is……………！）
When her imagination reached that far, Satsuki was suddenly taken aback.
And then shifted her eyes to the south balcony which she kept open.
（There’s no way that he’s intending to climb the wall of the spire right？）
The height of the spire is several dozen metres.
Surely, though she wants to believe that he won’t do something like climbing the wall of the spire――,
（……………. What I want in the end after all）
The inside of her head became jumbled with various things, Satsuki was somehow a bit lost in her thoughts.
She is reluctant to break the law.
But, she wants to meet Miharu and co.
There’s two means to meet them, it’s whether they come to meet her, or she goes to meet them.
For example, even if she’s summoning them to this castle, she wants to have a discussion regarding the risk of it beforehand.
Since maybe she’ll bring inconvenience to Miharu and co if she’s calling them, if they’re going to come, she wants them to know the danger it’ll cause them.
And then, she wants to convey this danger from her own mouth. Since she thinks that not doing so is a cowardice.
Even so, what is the best way to have that kind of discussion.
Must she meet Miharu and co by breaking the law as Rio suggests, if it’s the so called invasion, even if she writes a letter, will she receive the letter delivered by Rio.
She’s sighing lightly as she can’t derive to an answer.
In the end, it’s vexing to the point that she has no choice but depend on Rio.
Thereupon, a figure of a person quietly appeared on the south balcony without showing where they were coming from.
Next moment, gentle wind is blowing into the room while making “Hyuu” sound.
The wind is diffusing as if circulating to the corner of the room and then, it was returning toward the balcony.
Satsuki’s bewildered by the mysterious movement of the wind that was blowing into her room.
Though there’s slight illumination by the moonlight, she doesn’t know the identity of the figure that’s wrapped in total darkness.
What she barely understood was only the fact that he’s wearing a hood and dark clothes.
「Excuse me. I’ll use detection………. Magic. It seems there’s a guard soldier outside but, there’s no surveillance inside of your room. I came to meet you」
Thereupon, a small voice of a young man is resounding inside of the room.
The owner of the voice is quickly entering the room.
「…………. You’re, Haruto-kun right？」
Satsuki’s putting up her guard while timidly asking him.
「Yes. That’s right」
It was a familiar voice which she heard before.
Satsuki breathed in relief.
But, a gulty feeling is immediately rushing into her chest.
「You’re really……………… Invading the castle, aren’t you……………」
Satsuki said those words with a slightly unpleasant tone.
「Yeah, it’s as I said right. I said that I’ll manage it somehow」
Rio’s tone while replying to her was calm.
「That’s so but, you mean you are raiding the castle alone？」
Rio’s replying nonchalantly.
「…………. You, you’re actually a spy of a foreign country right？ Doing something like climbing the wall in the midst of this darkness isn’t something that can be done by anyone right？ 」
Satsuki’s sending an inquisitive gaze to Rio.
Doing something like raiding dozens metres high spire by climbing it’s wall in the middle of darkness isn’t something that can be done by a normal person.
The possibilities are only someone who’s received a harsh training to do this kind of work.
Though it might be because she’s watching too many dramas and movies, Satsuki thought was along that way.
「You’re wrong. I’m really nothing more than an ordinary person」
Rio’s shaking his head while smiling wryly.
「There’s no way that’s true, since you can’t just simply invade the royal castle alone………..」
Satsuki’s face cramped.
「Certainly you might say so」
Rio’s agreeing with a puffed smile.
Satsuki finds herself unable to retort to Rio’s words, several seconds of silence are descending inside of her room.
「………… Riight, even more so, nobody noticed？ If this kind of thing is leaked out, you might be receiving a death penalty. It’s still possible to back off now, for you to be brave and risk something like this…………」
Satsuki told him that with an awkward expression almost immediately.
Despite it being in the cover of darkness, Rio could feel the guilt that was released by Satsuki for some reason.
And then, vaguely guessing what she has in her mind in this situation.
「Could it be that you’re having cold feet？」
So Rio asked her with a plain tone.
Satsuki unintentionally gasped for breath, it’s a bull’s eye.
「I’m sorry. My explanation is insufficient right. This action of me raiding the castle is an action that obviously should be punished, and the action of me sneaking out with Satsuki, the hero, is………….. despite not a subject to punishment, it might be a deed that is going against the law. Though I have no intention to be provocative, I don’t mind to go back if you’ve no intention to meet Miharu-san and co by going as far as breaking the law. I mean, if you, Miharu-san, and her friends all want it, it’s possible for you to meet them in the castle. The thing that is certain is that I’m in a hurry」
Saying so, Rio’s looking at the place where Satsuki’s standing.
Despite being unable to see opposite party’s face clearly due to the darkness, Satsuki couldn’t help but notice a bit of the bottom of Rio’s heart.
「……… You don’t think I did something wrong, do you？ Meeting with Miharu-chan and co even if I have to break the law」
Satsuki’s asking timidly.
Her heart is beating heavily with [dokundokun].
「Mistake…………. Is it. Though I don’t understand about that matter very well, I’m not particularly concerned about that. So as to not regret it later, I choose the best methods as necessary. Of course the talk about my moral value is within the scope of not ringing a warning but, it’s only that much」
Rio’s reply was truly a light way of reasoning.
It’s same as him saying that he won’t even hesitate to break the established law of the country if he deemed that it was necessary.
Because in reality, currently Rio’s already breaking the law of Galwark kingdom.
Though Satsuki knew with their conversation till now that Rio’s a rational person, that kind of impression she had toward Rio was repainted in an instant.
「So the current situation isn’t contrary to your moral value, is it？ 」
「If it is, I wouldn’t have even come to this place, you know」
Rio’s smiling wryly while answering her with a composed tone.
「You…………….. Despite knowing what going that far means………….」
Satsuki’s whispering those words with an appearance of being tormented by guilt.
He’s intentionally breaking the law while knowing full well of what he is doing.
So far, Satsuki’s never even considered to do that kind of action.
「Do you disdain such a action？」
Rio’s calmly asking her.
「!!!………………… There’s………………… No ………………… Way」
Satsuki felt that her face became hot.
It’s a lie. She indeed feels so.
indeed, Satsuki disdained Rio’s action.
Even if it’s necessary, for Rio to easily commit this kind of crime.
Because she couldn’t see Rio as nothing but a man outside of her common sense.
But, Satsuki was somehow ashamed that Rio can see through about that aspect of herself.
（Why is he in this place right now？ It’s for me, Miharu-chan, and co, right. It’s not for himself. And yet, here he is…………. Offering choices to me. And yet, I………….）
What she really should disdain is herself.
It was prepared till this stage by Rio, who’s unrelated to this matter.
And yet, despite there being a chance to stop it, she’s retreating at the last moment due to impending crisis and for her own self-protection.
Despite it’s for herself, just pondering all over the place from a safe place won’t change anything.
Satsuki was truly ashamed at that personality of her.
「What should be disdained is me, right……….」
Satsuki was muttering absentmindedly with self-derision.
But, that instantly changed to a serious expression and,
「Sorry. Please let me meet with Miharu-chan and the others. Please help me meet them」
She’s bowing very deeply to Rio.
There’s still the feeling of repulsion in her to not commit a crime.
She was sure of that.
But, her wish to meet Miharu and co is stronger than that.
She didn’t think that was a mistake when she thought about it that way.
Of course, the matter of them doing a secret meeting is just unreasonable and maybe only served to delay the problem.
Even so, the gist of it is, she can meet Miharu and co without any kind of problems.
Would there be a better reunion than this.
The youth who was standing before her has made that preparation.
In that case, she should tell her gratitude to this youth.
Other than disdaining from him for his action.
Satsuki felt so.
「………………… Is it okay？ 」
Rio’s asking as if slightly surprised by her response.
「Yeah. I mean, I want to meet Miharu-chan and co. I want to meet and chat with them. That’s the reason why you’re preparing that situaiton, right？ 」
「Yeah, well, that’s true……………..」
Rio made a slightly evasive answer.
Maybe because he’s slightly bewildered by the change of Satsuki’s attitude.
「I want to meet Miharu-chan and co. I can’t lie to that feeling. Not like I want to lie either. So that I won’t regret it later, right」
Satsuki’s smiling gently as she said that.
Rio’s eyes are opened slightly wide.
「In order to not regret it, is it？ 」
「Yeah. These are your words though, aren’t they」
「Is that so」
This reason is somehow easily resounding in Rio’s heart.
「That’s why, please. I’m really sorry for the change of my attitude at this late hour but, please take me to where Miharu-chan and co are」
And then, she’s addressing to Rio with a sincere expression.
Rio said that as a light smile blooming on his face.
「But, it’s a bit too late for this now, I mean it’s as Satsuki-san said that there’s a possibility that I’m a spy right？ And yet, aren’t you curious about it？ 」
Rio asked while looking at Satsuki.
Thereupon, Satsuki’s chuckling lightly.
「What are you saying. I thought that I never said something like you being a spy you know？ 」
Was her answer.
「I might be trying to assasinate you, you know？」
「There’s a time and place for everything. But if it comes to that I’ll fight with all my power」
Satsuki’s replying that way while slightly shrugging her shoulders.
Rio replied to that with smile on his face.
「Understood. In that case, shall we go. Toward the place where Miharu-san and co are」
「Yeah. Please take me there. …………………. Even so, how can you climb the wall of the spire？ It means that we’re going to be descending the wall of spire to return right？ 」
So, Satsuki’s asking Rio about the method he was using to arrive to this room.
When thinking about the height of the spire, to be honest, she wants to be spared from descending along its wall.
But, the answer that came from Rio was greatly betraying her expectation.
「I didn’t climb it you know」
The moment she understood the meaning of his words, Satsuki’s tilting her neck.
「I descended toward it」
Maybe because of Satsuki’s expression, Rio’s tone when he replied to her is slightly pleasant to be heard.
After holding Satsuki on the balcony, Rio’s soaring high in the sky while being covered by the curtain of the night sky.
Their bodies keep ascending slowly.
（N-No way？ How can we fly？ Levitating powers？）
Satsuki’s doubting her own eyes seeing the phenomenon which is completely defying the rules of gravity.
Slowly but rapidly, their bodies are soaring toward the sky.
「Uwa~a！ No way！ Amazing！ 」
In the blink of an eye, the view of the royal castle became smaller, Satsuki couldn’t help but to say her admiration.
Though she can see many tiny light spots in the royal castle far below her, Satsuki’s voice isn’t even reaching the royal castle.
「Amazing！ Amazing！ See, it’s amazing you know！ 」
Satsuki’s raising a joyful voice.
Up till now, she never saw the sky from so close.
When she turned her face upward, the night sky was decorated by countless shining stars, when looking below, the light of the full moon is gently shining upon the world.
It can’t be helped that she feels happy and is really enjoying that.
「See, have you seen that？ See！ That place, the stars are so pretty and the moon is so close！ 」
Satsuki’s laughing innocently while pulling Rio’s sleeve like a child.
「Yeah, I’ve seen it you know」
It was a scene that he has seen so many times up till now.
So Rio replied with a wry smile.
「Fufu, that must be right. So you understand right. Fufufu」
Satsuki was laughing as if she’s really happy.
As if she’s completely released from the stress which was haunting her up till now.
Rio’s looking at Satsuki who makes that expression.
That was the purest expression which she’d shown to Rio so far.
He can’t even feel the slightest inch of her stouthearted expression which she’d shown in the evening party.
Yes, the one who’s on Rio’s arms is she who was showing an expression befitting her age, it was the expression of a normal girl who you could find anywhere.
「N? What？ 」
Before he noticed Satsuki’s facing toward him, and she asked Rio while leaning closer toward him with a delighted face.
「It’s fun, isn’t it?」
Rio’s asking and,
「Yeah, it’s fun you know！ 」
Satsuki’s seemingly slightly embarrassed but, she’s still answering Rio with a wide smile on her face.
「But, I wonder if it’s a bit cold here」
Though currently Strahl region is in the spring season, it doesn’t mean that the cold night can be compared to Japan.
Moreover, when it came to their position which is high in the sky, the cold seeping into their bones is mercilessly coming upon them.
Despite putting on the overcoat she borrowed from Rio, she’s only wearing her pajamas below that.
Despite no matter how much she’s getting excited due to the adrenalin, it’s impossible for Satsuki to not feel the cold.
「Please hold a bit more, it’s just a bit more till we arriving at the meeting point」
Satsuki’s letting out a slightly pouting voice.
「It can’t be helped then. Well then, could you fly a bit faster, please」
Satsuki nestles closer to Rio.
And mutters so.
The dream-like moment for her is coming to an end in the blink of an eye.
「We’ve arrived you know」
After slipping out of the royal castle and flying on the air, Rio suddenly told their arrival.
「Is that so？ This place, seems like inside of the forest though……….」
Satsuki timidly said those words while looking at the surrounding ground where they’re about to land.
This place is the open space located inside of the forest which they can reach after advancing for a bit more from the grain producing region in the surroundings of the capital.
Maybe he is saying that Miharu and co are waiting inside of the forest.
After finishing a miracle-like flight, Satsuki has slowly regained her composure.
（As expected, this is a trap after all………….）
Satsuki’s drenched in cold sweat after pushing her anxiety.
At that time.
A voice who called Satsuki’s name is resounding in the vicinity.
Satsuki’s sending her focus toward that direction by reflex.
Thereupon, she could see the figure of several people approaching her from inside of the darkness.
The voice which she is familiar with, and which she missed.
They’re inside the darkness but, Satsuki knows.
Yes, the one who is standing right in front of her is the three of Miharu, Aki and, Masato.
Satsuki said that with a voice filled with emotion.
“There’s no doubt about it”.
That is the figure of her companions.
And then, despite extremely moved by their reunion, for some reason, Miharu and co stopped their feet several steps before reaching her place.
「N? What’s matter？ 」
Satsuki’s tilting her head as she was asking for the reason of their delicate sense of distance.
Miharu and co, each of them are looking at Rio and Satsuki.
For some reason, Masato has a grin on his face as if understand the situation, Aki’s looking while having a light smile on her face as if feeling embarrassed.
And then, Miharu was smiling awkwardly as if slightly bewildered by the situation.
“There’s something strange here.”
Satsuki who thought so is tried looking at her situation.
And then she noticed.
The fact that Rio’s carrying her like a princess. [ED: You know, In a bridal/princess carry]
The thing about them glued together for safety reasons is something that can’t be helped but, more than that, the distance between them is strangely close.
The fact is that Satsuki is clinging to Rio as if embracing him.
「Hey, how long you’re going to hold me on your arms？」
Satsuki’s asking that while looking at Rio with glaring eyes.
「Uhm, I would like to release you so very much but, I need you to release your hands first…………..」
Rio’s replying with a dry laugh.
Therefore, Satsuki finally noticed the fact that she was the one cuddling with Rio.
Maybe because she was excited, it seems she had let her guard down.
Satsuki released her hands which was coiling to Rio’s body in panic.
Thereupon, Rio immediately dropped Satsuki on the ground.
Satsuki then quickly took some distance away from Rio.
Without understanding what she should say in this situation, a delicate silence has descended on this place.
Clearing her throat with a cough and then,
「Uhm, Yah~ho . Is everyone healthy？ 」
Satsuki’s saying that with a smile as if trying to deceive them.