Chapter 98: Of the Third Person Perspective
In the end, the women camp spent more time bathing than expected, so they had to go back to the capital right after Rio and Masato were done bathing.
Rio first secretly sent Miharu and the others back to the inn, and then he took Satsuki back to the royal castle.
「Sorry for overstaying. There were so many things that I wanted to talk about and it was so cozy…………」
Satsuki told while smiling awkwardly.
「No, it’s alright. Though it’s not possible to meet whenever, you can still talk about that when we meet again」
Rio shook his head lightly in denial as he answered that.
They got their reunion after a long time in an unfamiliar world.
There might be a great amount of things that she wanted to talk about.
「Yeah. You’re right」
Satsuki nodded while laughing gently.
And then, few seconds of silence followed.
Satsuki had an atmosphere around her as if she wanted to say something since a long time ago but, it seems she wanted them to hear about this matter.
But while Rio was speculating about that in his head,
「……………….. I’ve told Miharu-chan and the others about what they’ll face after this」
After taking a short breath, Satsuki muttered that in a low voice.
Rio squinted his eyes in hesitation and then,
「Is that so」
He threw a cold and blunt reply.
「You’re not going to ask？ About what kind of talk it was？ 」
Satsuki asked timidly.
「Because I have a rough guess」
Rio replied while smiling wryly.
Somehow Rio’s face reflected in Satsuki’s eyes seemed a bit lonely.
The silence descended between the two of them again.
「My apologies for troubling you. I felt that I absolutely had to convey it but, I couldn’t bring myself to say it and wreck the mood」
Rio said that while suppressing his voice to a low tone.
There were no correct words that he could say at a time like this that came to mind.
Therefore, he could do nothing but excuse his own feelings.
Satsuki saw a slightly dissatisfied look in Rio’s words.
「I think it can’t be helped. It’s natural that you can’t ask something like 『Are you going to leave this place eventually』 from people who you have been living with. Especially when they are the most important people to you, right」
Satsuki replied clearly while shaking her head.
「………….. You could say it’s true. However, it won’t change the fact that you came to talk about running away」
Rio told her that while showing a smile full of self-derision.
「You have a strong sense of responsibility, huh」
「……………….. We’re just cute girls you know」[Satsuki]
Such are the words they exchanged.
Satsuki smiled but only for a moment.
「I’m truly grateful to you. Even so, I can see my situation starting to change. I want to do something more about that」[Satsuki]
She said so.
After a moment of hestitation, Rio swallowed the words of objection that were about to come out.
Since there was no stopping once these words start coming out.
As it is, without any side yielding, both of them could only wait for something to happen.
「The most important thing is what you are going to do after this. This situation can’t keep going on forever, or can it？ 」
Maybe because they are thinking about the same things, Satsuki opening her mouth.
Rio changed his line of thought while nodding slowly.
「Certainly. But, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t take their time thinking about that. Since they’ll miss the main point if they rush the answer. Moreover, when they leave, they will cause a huge blow to people left behind」
Only time will show what they have to do.
In that case, being impatient is forbidden―― If it’s a question which will take some time to get an answer, they should calm down before giving the answer that they feel is correct.
Because if they recklessly advance forward, the ones left behind would have no obligation to follow after them.
That’s what Rio thought.
「You’re right. I also want to be together with Miharu-chan and the others, so I think it’s better for them to give their answer together」
「On that you have my support」
Rio gently addressed her.
「……………… Thank you」
Satsuki looked downward as she gave her gratitude in a low voice.
「But you see. Miharu-chan and the others told me that they feel like they are troubling you. That’s why I want to have a talk with you, just the two of us, alone」
「Alone with me？」
「Yeah. I mean, we couldn’t chat much during the evening party due to time restriction, although I can feel there was a need to do so but couldn’t bring myself to say anything after we slipped away from the castle to the place where Miharu and the others were, right？」
Satsuki replied with a playful smile.
Rio eyes wandered around as if pondering for a while before,
「That’s right. Since it seems that Satsuki-san was completely stunned after flying in the air」
He agreed with her while feeling quite strange.
「S-Shut up. Anyone would be excited when they get to fly like that for the first time. I’ve calmed down since then, haven’t I」
Satsuki averted her face with blushing cheeks.
A while later, she glanced at Rio and,
「Hey, what kind of person are you？」
She muttered in a low voice.
「………… What kind of person am I, huh」
For a moment, Rio showed a serious expression on his face.
But, it turned back to his gentle expression right away and then,
「That, again, is an extremely philosophical matter, isn’t it」
Replying so to Satsuki.
「You’re right. Even so, I’m unable to stop thinking about it you see？ It’s because I don’t know anything about you, it’s as if we’re just acquaintances」
Satsuki replied calmly.
“Now you won’t be able to deceive me.”
She had that kind of enthusiasm.
「Is that so？」
「That’s right. At first I thought that you were a cooperative worker of that child called Liselotte. The truth is, I thought that you had that kind of relationship with her, that’s why I was a little worried about her. But, it seems that you are somehow working independently. There’s no way I could see you working as a spy for some other country*. That’s why, deep inside, I couldn’t fully comprehend your existence」[*ED: Very loose translation]
Rio squinted his eyes lightly as he heard her tell him that.
Though he was slightly interested about what she thinks about Liselotte, but because it would stray from the current topic, he intentionally left that matter in the corner of his mind.
「Well, it’s because I’m nothing more than a business partner to her, and through that received an invitation as a show of goodwill」
「When it comes to that, is your relationship with Liselotte in the evening party as you said？」
Rio nodded calmly.
「I see. Even so, that’s not what I wanted to know」
「Is it about whether I’m the kind of a person who’ll harm Miharu-san or the others？」
When Rio asked that, Satsuki calmly shook her head in denial.
「You’re wrong. I’ve been observing you and so far I don’t think that you’re the kind of person who’ll harm them」
「That’s………………….. I’m honored by your praise」
Rio’s told her his gratitude with slightly loosened cheeks.
「But, that’s not what made you confused. So what is it that Satsuki-san wants to know about me？ 」
「There’s not that much time till we reach the castle, and, well, since I hate asking in a round about way I’ll get straight to the point, you can speak in Japanese, right？」
Rio stared in amazement when she asked that.
But, maybe because he suddenly though he understood the reason for that,
「Yeah, you heard about it from Miharu-san？」
He said that as the likeliest reason that she would know.
Rio didn’t seem to be particularly disturbed about the matter that Miharu or the others have revealed his secret.
On the contrary, if he trying to hide the information it’ll feel unnatural and will only made her more curious about him since Satsuki already know Rio to certain extent.
So it couldn’t be helped that he would have had to talk about himself at some point due to the flow of conversation.
「You’re wrong. Miharu-chan said that she didn’t know anything about you」
「Then, how？ 」
「It’s because, after hearing the story about when Miharu-chan and the others just arrived in this world, I thought that it was strange」
「What’s so strange about that, I wonder？」
「Miharu-chan and the others said that they almost became slaves since they couldn’t communicate. Then and there they were saved by you, and you taught them the language of this world」
「I see. And then, you came to that conclusion, huh」
Rio nodded while saying that as if convinced by her.
It’s not strange she asked that given so much information.
「Yeah, not even 3 months have elapsed since Miharu-chan and the others came to this world. So they must have had a lecturer along with teaching material since it’s impossible to learn a language, that they have no knowledge about, to the level where they have no problem using it for a daily conversation, in such a short period of time as long as no magic is used」
「If we began with trying to find a mutual understanding through body language, it would certainly take more time in order to reach the point where we can use it for daily conversation, I see」
Rio agreed while smiling wryly.
「Yes. But since Miharu-chan and the others were still learning about language, this meant there was no way for them to learn magic. The next thing that come was what language both of you can use to communicate but, Miharu-chan and the others have restrictions in the languages which they can use. In conclusion, the language which I thought had the highest possibility was the Japanese language. In addition, that ofure which gives a japanese-style sense is also a hint right」 .
Satsuki’s stated her reasoning.
Rio confirmed Satsuki’s guess without even trying to be secretive about it.
「Uhm, you’re not trying to hide it？ I don’t see why not but, I thought that you made a request to Miharu-chan and the others to not recklessly spread any information about you………….」
Satsuki asked as if surprised by his attitude.
「Yeah, that I told them indeed but, you already knew that, didn’t you？」
Rio nodded as he sent a look of admiration to Satsuki.
「Even though it doesn’t seem this way, We have been acquaintances with Miharu-chan for a long time. You see, both of us became staff members of the student council in our middle school. So for some reason I knew that child was trying to hide something about you」
「I see. As expected of a former student council president, right」
Rio praised her in a joking manner.
「…………… That has nothing to do with that you know. Moreover, recklessly spreasing such rumor is the most dangerous thing. There’s something that I want to ask more than anything else」
Satsuki told that as if feeling embarassed.
「Though I can roughly guess what you are about to ask, I don’t mind answering it if you promise to hide the information you learned about me recently, can you？」
「Naturally. That was what I was going to do since the very beginning. Rather, I don’t mind doing that as a favor」
Maybe because she feels at ease with what Rio required, Satsuki nodded vigorously.
On the contrary, going as far as to say it’s okay to do that as a favor.
「Yeah. But, because it doesn’t mean that, the way I am now, I could immediately lend you something, I will lend you my help whenever possible if the time comes where you need my help in the future」
「You’re exaggerating, right. There’s no need to go this far for me…………」
Rio responded as if being troubled by her.
「You can’t be like that you know. You are protecting Miharu-chan and the others, you helped me meet them, moreover…………」
Though Satsuki was rebutting him with a slightly angry tone, she suddenly made an unnatural stop in the middle of her sentence.
Rio asked as he was curious.
「………… I-It’s nothing. What I mean is that I owe a lot to you」
Satsuki said that with blushing cheeks and then, turned her eyes away from Rio.
Even if he were to ask more questions, he didn’t expect to get any answers.
Moreover, he can’t be that forceful and ask her that.
「I see. If you say so, I’ll keep what you said in my mind」
As he said that, Rio smiled as if it’s a bit funny.
It’s because everything went well for the sake of Miharu and the others.
So he had no need to demand that as a favor.
But, if Satsuki says that she wants to give her gratitude, then he’ll be obediently receiving it.
「And then, please do so. Since keeping a debt isn’t in my character」
Satsuki shrugged her shoulders as she said that.
「Well then, shall we return to the main topic. You wanted to ask whether I know a method to return to earth, right？ 」
So, Rio just bluntly asked her main question.
「…………. Well, you’ve completely seen through me, haven’t you」
Satsuki nodded while giggling.
「In that case, I’ll say what I know since there’s no need to keep it as a secret. It’s the same for me, I don’t know any method to return to earth」
「I see, so you really don’t know…………….. Huh」
Satsuki was slightly depressed.
In the first place, if Rio knew a way to return to earth, he would have already sent Miharu and the others back to earth a long time ago.
Though if it’s just limiting on them to not be able to return immediately, such news should have been spread long time ago.
That’s why she didn’t expect anything from the very beginning but――
Still, deep down she was hoping that she might be able to get a hint about how to return to earth.
「In addition, I will answer as much as possible about anything you want to know. But, I don’t think that it’ll become a hint of a way to return to earth」 [ED: The “hint” is in katakana so there really is no other way to translate this. Think of it as if she wants some foresight][PF: Could “clue” work?]
Rio gave a warning beforehand so that she would lower her expectations.
「First, I want to know, at what date, including what year, you came to this world but……………. Say, you’re a quarter or half-japanese………… Right？ 」
Satsuki asked while peeking at Rio’s face.
Judging from the way he looks, Rio’s appearance was very close to Japanese.
Though he currently changed the color of his hair to silver, his appearance would be closer to a Japanese one if his hair was black.
Though he looks like a real Japanese person, nevertheless that’s probably impossible.
That’s why she came to the conclusion that he’s at least a quarter or half Japanese.
That’s what she thought but,
「It seems you made a big error at this point. I’m a human who was born and raised in this world」
Rio replied while shaking his head in denial.
「Eh…………….. I-Is that so？」
Satsuki tilted her head while showing a puzzled expression.
Then, why can you speak the Japanese language.
「Yes. I was born in Bertram kingdom. I remember saying that in my self-introduction to Satsuki-san, didn’t I？ 」
「…………. Yes. Yes, you certainly said that……… didn’t you」
Satsuki nodded lightly.
「This is true. Since I certainly have the memories of me being born and raised in this world」[Rio]
Though she’s somehow unable to understand the meaning behind his words, Satsuki decided to listen to Rio’s story for the time being.
「But, I have another person’s memories in me. 「They are the memories of a man who used to live in a country named Japan」[Rio]
Rio said that with an indifferent tone.
「EH? Used to live in Japan………….. Memories？ 」
Satsuki’s train of thought had come to a halt due to Rio’s explanation which was way beyond her imagination.
Though she tried crunching the meaning of his words one by one from start to finish, she could do nothing but give a sloppy answer.
「In short, are you talking about……………. being reborn？」
So, Satsuki digested Rio’s explanation into one thought.
Though she was seemingly not quite confident in her guess.
「Yes. It’s exactly as you said」
Rio suddenly gave a nod of agreement while at the same time shrugging his shoulders.
「So, you’re currently a human of this world but, before that……….. You used to be Japanese？」
「That’s correct. That’s why I can talk in Japanese and could teach the language of this world to Miharu and the others」 [ED: English is funny, because both being from a country and speaking its language use the same word, “Japanese” in this case]
「So that’s it………….. So that’s the case………….」
Satsuki looked to the void with a dumbfounded expression for a few seconds while muttering those words.
「Can I trust you？」
「You…………. Have no other choice but to trust me, right. In the first place I’m also personally experiencing an impossible experience like this coming to another world thing. If going by logic, normally………. I would think that the dead won’t be reborn again」[Satsuki]
Satsuki replied with a troubled tone.
「That’s right. I mean, in the first place, I’m already floating on cloud nine, because of this strange phenomenon which made it possible to understand the language of this world, if it’s in this world, you have no choice but to trust what has happened, right」[Satsuki]
Satsuki grumbled about something as if trying to convine herself while pressing her head with one hand.
Her common sense had been there as if to disturb her comprehension but, it seems that she can bring herself to understand it.
「Well, that’s quite an absurd story, isn’t it. Normally, it’s natural for anyone to not understand the situation and say 『Eh, is that so』」
Rio said that while smiling wryly.
「I’m sorry. I was shaken by that story you see. Somehow too many out-of-common-sense events have been happening since I came to this world, despite understanding the reasons there’s just too many difficulties」
Satsuki apologized while coughing lightly.
「……………… Thank you」
Satsuki gave her gratitude as if slightly embarrassed by her reaction.
But, maybe because she felt a bit awkward,
「By the way, there’s one thing that I want to ask, could it be that that girl, Liselotte, is the same as you, a human who’s actually from earth, just reborn？」
Satsuki quickly attempted to change the subject.
「Yeah, that should be the case when you think about it. I see, you noticed it too, huh？ 」
「Yeah. As I thought you would say…… So you can feel it huh」
Satsuki showed an expression as if understanding.
「How did you notice it, may I hear the reason？」
「That girl’s job is being the president of Rikka firm, right. That place is selling fashion commodities gearing towards women in quick succession, and those commodities are normally found in Japan. It’s only natural to be suspicious about that」
Satsuki told the reason why she suspects Liselotte.
Satsuki being a woman has many chances to use the commodities geared towards women sold by Rikka firm.
「Other than that, is there any other reason？」
「Of course, that much wouldn’t be enough to suspect someone. The first reason was a cue which came from an unexpected daily conversation」
Saying so, Satsuki showed a slightly proud smile.
「The people of this world obviously can’t speak in Japanese, you know. And yet, I hear it as Japanese. But, the way their lips are moving is obviously not Japanese, you see. On the contrary, it seems that I who’s speaking in Japanese is heard by them in this world’s language, but……… Well, let’s leave that topic for now」
Satsuki went back to the main topic when the conversation is starting to derail.
「You see the movement of their lips don’t you. There, I noticed it. Only when speaking of the unique commodities of Rikka firm, the movement of their lips completely matches the name that I used to hear. Though the other proper nouns of this world completely do not match anything I know, only the commodities made by Rikka firm are perfectly match the sound of the words and the movement of the lips. If there’s so many coincidences, you’ll think that it’s suspicious, wouldn’t you？ 」
「Certainly, you could say that but………….. You have really good observation skills, don’t you」
Rio admired the high level of Satsuki’s observation skills.
「Well, it’s not to the extent of the strange phenomenon which happened to myself, right. Nevertheless, I’m still unable to understand the theory behind it even till now」
Satsuki’s reply was mixed with a sigh since it was hard to put in words the mystery of the translation ability.
「That might be the effect of ancient magic which was provided to the hero in their Divine Raiment. Since, according to the legend, it’s seemingly a weapon made by god, so it’s difficult to reproduce it or explain its effect with the current understandings of magic」
「Divine Raiment huh. I’ve heard that too but, that’s also something I don’t quite understand, you see」
Satsuki said that with slightly pursing lips.
「So you normally don’t carry it？」
There’s the event where Rio secretly looked at Hiroaki using his divine raiment of tachi[i].
When Hiroaki shouted the name of the weapon, a tachi suddenly appeared.
Certainly, at that time, he was doing a mock battle against Stead.
But, since his skill was extremely abysmal, Hiroaki’s only powerful in physical strength and completely didn’t give off the feeling of an amazing hero.
「Yeah, because it’s normally in its spirit form inside the body of the hero as a way to arm themselves[ii]? So to say, it’s there. I had a dream about something the first evening after coming to this world. I received an one-sided explanation in how to use it while having that strange dream. When I summoned it, it formed a weapon suitable for its owner but……………. to be honest it feels refreshing, you know」
「I see. Spirit form………….. Huh. So it means that you are not summoning it with space magic」
Satisfied with the theory for summoned divine raiment, Rio nodded as if really interested in it.
「By the way, what kind of weapon do you hold, Satsuki-san？」
「Mine is a short spear you know. Since I was taking lesson in Naginata back in Japan, I can use that knowledge as a base to put it in practice, well, I am grateful if I must say it you see」 [ED: Maybe author-chan is a fan of Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari]
Satsuki’s replied that way after shrugging her shoulders slightly.
「By the way, back to the topic but, how many of the words that you heard coming from me are in this world’s language and how many are in Japanese？」 [Satsuki]
The topic went back to the strange interpretation ability which was dwelling in Satsuki’s body due to the divine raiment.
「Currently I hear you speaking in this world’s language. But, when I switch the consciousness of my brain to Japan-mode, I hear it in Japanese language. The feeling of sudden switch is really amazing though………」 [ED: Japan-mode, ACTIVATED][TL : Robo-Rio Appear]
Rio was smiling wryly as he answered that.
「He~, so that’s how it is. Then, could it be that Miharu-chan and the others also feel the same？ 」
「I think they do. It seems that you’re speaking in this world’s language when speaking to Aisia or Cecilia but, isn’t it returning to Japanese when I was speaking to Satsuki-san？ 」
「It seems huh. There’s no discomfort in the movement of my lips huh………. Ahm, it seems we’re already arrived at the castle, right」
The thing is, he flew slightly slower for the sake of the conversation but, it doesn’t mean that you could increse the distance from the place where they estabilished the rock house to the castle.
Just like that they arrived at the castle in the blink of an eye while still in the middle of their conversation.
Though the surroundings were still dim, the faint light of the sun was visible in the horizon of the eastern sky.
Changing her line of sight to the scenery of the distant place, Satsuki muttered those words as if deeply moved.
Rio hovered far on top of the castle for the sake of her muttering.
Just like that, the two of them silently looked at the horizon.
「Well then, it’s farewell for the time being. Let’s meet again at tonight’s evening party」
Rio told her that after she got tired of enjoying the scenery.
「There are still many things which are hard to talk about at the evening party but, well it’s fine I guess. Since I’ll come to you first this evening, you’ll do your best by becoming my partner, won’t you？ 」
Satsuki said that with an impish look on her face.
「Though I felt troubled due to the contact seeking attention of the surroundings……. Please be moderate with it」
Rio replied with a wry smile.
「Isn’t asking that too much though. It seems that we were pretty conspicuous yesterday, so I think it’ll be conspicuous when coming to greet you tonight too」
Satsuki said so while chuckling lightly.
The slight trembling in Satsuki’s body was transmitted to Rio’s arms.
Rio let out a dry laugh as he felt a slight power that escaped from his body.
Satsuki immediately looked intently at Rio who made that kind of face.
「Uhm, Thank you」
She immediately averted her face right after saying those words.
In the end, Rio looked at Satsuki.
「Thank me for what？」
Just what might she feel gratitude about.
Rio voiced the question in his mind.
「For many things. For what you did for Miharu-chan and the others, and, uhm, for my personal matter too………..」
Satsuki replied rapidly with a voice which was just loud enough to still be heard.
After clearing her throat with a cough, she showed a slightly serious expression on her face.
「I, really hated everything about this world. I did, till yesterday. That’s why it can’t be helped that I want to go back so soon」
Satsuki said that with a muttering voice.
「But, it’s a bit different now. Me wanting to return still did not change but, I came to like this world a little. It’s that kind of feeling」
Satsuki’s lips which told him that had somehow become slightly looser.
Was how it looked like to Rio.
「It’s thanks to Miharu-san and the others, right？」
Rio asked that.
Satsuki showed her smile just for a moment and,
「Yeah. I myself find it strange that I feel like I’ve calmed down after being able to meet with Miharu-chan and the others again 」
She answered like that.
But, instantly followed it with,
「But, that’s not the only reason. Half of it is thanks to Miharu-chan and the others but, the other half is thanks to you」
And then adding to those words.
「You’re the one who told me about them. From you I heard stories and various other things. You took me outside. Brought me to fly in the sky. And you helped me meet with Miharu-chan and the others」
「………….. I don’t think that these are things that deserve gratitude, though」
Rio said that after a slight pause.
「That’s not true and you know it. Thinking about it now, I truly enjoy myself when I’m with you」
Satsuki grinned widely as she said so
「I didn’t have any reason to be happy in the evening party, but after meeting you for the first time, I’ve brightened up？ Was that your goal？…………… How should I say it, it’s as if I found hope for the first time in this world. Though deep down I still feel gloomy, my train of thought was facing forward before I had noticed 」[Satsuki]
The silence stretched for several seconds and then, Satsuki opened her lips again.
「Then, when you carried me for a flight in the sky. I saw, for a fact, that this world was really beautiful. Moreover, compared to me who’s always worrying and hesitating, I feel very small. Rather than forgetting about it for a while, I think that I came to like this world a little」[Satsuki]
After finishing what she wanted to say, Satsuki looked at Rio’s face with moist eyes.
「……………. So I can be glad then」
Rio replied with short words while smiling at her.
Satsuki pouted with her cheeks puffed a little and,
「I’ve been saying this like it’s other people’s affairs but, everything is thanks to you, you see. It won’t hurt you to give a slightly different reaction, right？ Though I, am really embarrassed 」
And glared at Rio with scornful eyes.
「Ahaha………… So, you get slightly embarrassed when telling your gratitude face to face. Say Satsuki-san, you’re a surprisingly honest girl, aren’t you」
When Rio said that with a pensive look as if slightly troubled by it, he said those words in a joking tone.
「S-So noisy！ That’s why I didn’t want to say anything！ 」
Satsuki exclaimed with flushing red cheeks.
「You didn’t have to forcibly go as far as to say your gratitude, you know. Since Satsuki-san being alright is plenty enough for me」
Rio told her that with a wide smile on his face.
「I would feel embarrassed if I didn’t express my gratitude！」
Satsuki said that while averting her face with puffed cheeks again.
Whether she’s a strange person or way too serious a person, she’s a difficult person.
That was what Rio thought.
「I think it’s a nice thing. For Satsuki-san to come to that conclusion. I also have favorable impressions from you」
Satsuki pouted lightly.
「Well then, we should go back to your room soon. The sun will rise any moment」
「…………… Yes. Please do so」
Satsuki said those words with a slightly pouting tone and then grabbed Rio‘s clothes tightly in preparation to descend.
After replying politely, Rio slowly descended from the sky while still holding Satsuki.
The sound of him landing on the balcony of the royal castle lightly resounded.
After Satsuki got off from Rio’s arms, a slightly difficult to describe atmosphere drifted between them.
「Well, see you soon. Haruto-kun. Thank you」
As she said so, Satsuki hurriedly entered her room as if to hide her embarrassment.
Rio unintentionally laughed when looking at her retreating figure.
「Yeah, see you soon」
After saying so, Rio slowly floated in the air without waiting for Satsuki’s reply.
And then rose quickly to the sky while taking a deep breath of the fresh morning air.
When he reached an altitude in which he wouldn’t be seen from above the ground,
「You’re there, aren’t you, Aisia？」
Rio suddenly muttered.
Thereupon, Aisia’s figure suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Maybe she vanished by changing into her spirit form.
「You knew？ That I was there」
Aisia asked while lightly tilting her neck.
「Maybe because we seem to share our emotions between the two of us due to our contract, you see. That’s why, somehow, I can feel it when you’re close to me」
Rio replied gently.
Aisia replied back with a short nod.
When silence descended upon them for a few seconds, maybe because he was somehow slightly troubled with the topic, Rio picked a pendant from his chest pocket and gave it to Aisia.
「Though I missed the chance to pass this a while ago, will you pass this pendant to Miharu-san for me？ I’ll explain the way to use it later but――」
When Rio was in the middle of his sentence,
「Is this a birthday present？ To Miharu」
Aisia said those words.
It’s spring now if going by the calendar of Strahl region, which coincidently also overlaps with Miharu’s birthday.
That might be how she guessed so.
Though Rio looked back at Aisia with an astonished face,
「Wrong. Maybe you can call this………….. A charm. Though making it was troublesome but, you see. It’s possible that we’ll take different paths from now on, that’s why I made this」
As he said so, he shook his head in denial.
And then, right after that,
「I wanted to give it while the meeting with Satsuki-san was ongoing but, I decided to give it as a birthday present instead. I’ll go to buy it today. I’m going to tell her at that time. About myself」
And, following that.
Aisia gave a short nod.
After looking at Aisia for few a seconds,
「……………… Thank you」
He said his gratitude with a light smile on his lips.
Aisia looked slightly confused.
「You came since you were worried about me right？」
So, Rio explained the reason for his gratitude.
Aisia muttered in a low voice as if pondering those words.
「I don’t know」
Her muttering was followed by those words.
Though she was still as expressionless as ever, Aisia seemed slightly bewildered.
As if she was completely unable to understand the emotion she had right now.
――In that case, why did you come to me？
Despite looking at Aisia with gentle eyes, Rio didn’t have a need to say those words.
While she said so, Aisia’s shook her head lightly as if trying to shake off something.
「I want to be together with Haruto. Thus I came」
Her words were profound in terms of meaning.
But, at the same time it was an extremely simple answer.
「I see, thank you. Aisia」
Rio said his gratitude for a second time.
After being separated from Aisia, Rio, who returned to the mansion of duke Kretia, took a short nap and then woke up to a feeling of sleeplessness.
Since there’s no business till the time before the evening party, Rio conveyed to Liselotte that he wants to go to the market place after the morning breakfast.
「I see, it’s for shopping huh. Then, please take Natalie along as your guide」
Liselotte attached one of her chamberlain as a guide for Rio.
By the way, when the duty of a guide wasn’t entrusted to Natali, Cosette secretly grinded her teeth in frustration which is something that’s known by no one but some of her co-workers. [TL : Vexed expression]
He really didn’t know any stores in the capital, since his destination was always the stores for women, Rio was truly grateful for being guided by Natalie.
Thus, the two of them left towards the marketplace of the capital.
Though except for being armed with a sword, the combination of Natalie who wore an apron dress for business and Rio who wore civilian clothes stood out slightly, when seeing them from the side, one could see nothing but the figure of a young and rich master who was shopping along with his maid.
When going around several stores which he’s guided to while carefully testing their products, Rio bought the item that he was looking for.
「How about having lunch together to show my gratitude？」
Rio suggested to have lunch with the two of them as a show of his gratitude for guiding him.
「Such luxury isn’t suitable for me. For a lowly employee like me to have a meal together with the guest of my master is just………….」
Though Natalie was trying to respectfully decline his offer due to her own standing, she eventually decided to go along after Rio’s persuasion.
Rio especially chose a first-rate restaurant with a considerably high price.
Though Natalie has wished to enter such a restaurant if only once, her job prevented her from doing so, since she rarely went to the capital too, she had given up on entering such stores halfway.
Natalie was secretly delighted about the fortune that had unexpectedly come upon her.
Following along was her job, although he might be younger than her but, she was definitely going out with someone of the opposite sex.
Naturally Natalie, who had zero males present around her due to her job, was on cloud nine right now.
By the way, she was about to pay her part by herself but, Rio nonchalantly left after ordering the meal to pay the bill just before they left for their seats, so her plans became fleeting and then crumbled away to pieces.
「My deepest apologies. Thank you for treating me…………」
When they left the store after finishing their lunch, Natalie bowed to apologize to him.
The flavor was, without the need to say, delicious, their service was favorable, the interior of the store was also perfect.
In addition, with the presence of Rio who’s a devoted listener, since he skillfully replied with appropriate words, they could chat with ant extremely good atmosphere to the point of forgetting about time.
It’s no doubt that the time which she spent in this shop was by far her most fulfilling moment―― And yet, Natalie was very embarrassed for completely enjoying that moment.
Since usually, she had to serve the guests and stay on the side.
「It’s nothing, since I could spend an enjoyable time thanks to Natalie-san. And since I’m truly grateful for receiving your guidance for shopping. This is my way of saying thanks」
Rio said his gratitude with a smiling face.
「Well, shall we go back to the mansion then」
After saying so, Rio turned back and began walking towards the mansion.
Natalie bowed to his back and then followed quietly from behind.
Nothing really happened after they returning to the mansion, before the time for the beginning of the second day of the evening party has come. [ED: god…. Japanese…. There really is nothing I can do because that sentence is grammatically correct….]
Somehow when comparing to the people who attended the previous night evening party, the current ones are giving off a slightly more majestic atmosphere.
「The atmosphere of the venue is slightly noisy, right」
Rio said that while looking at the venue.
There was the figure of Liselotte standing beside him.
「I think they decided to come in a hurry due to the appearance of the new hero-sama」
Liselotte said the reason for the turbulent atmosphere in the venue.
Rio whose curiosity was piqued asked her that.
「Yes. They are from Saint Stellar kingdom, the kingdom who normally doesn’t make any appearance in foreign events you see. Our country also sent a written invitation to them.
It seems that somehow the hero of that country wanted to participate no matter what, it seems he’ll come this evening party」
「I see. No wonder……….」
Rio muttered as if he understood the reason.
「Since the notice of their appearance in the castle arrived this morning, it should be because of the various rumor of those quick eared ones. I think they’ll make their appearance in the venue very soon」
「………….. So that’s how it is. It makes you wonder about what kind of person they are, right？ 」
Rio decided to investigate about the hero of Saint stellar kingdom.
「It seems the hero-sama is a young man. If I’m not wrong his name is Takahisa Sendou」
At that moment.
Rio chest was attacked by an uneasy feeling.
He had heard that name before.
Since it’s the name of Aki’s and Masato’s big brother, and is someone who might be in a special relationship with Miharu.