Arifureta - Chapter 123
An intense light poured down over Fair Bergen just like a barrier.
Demi-humans were running away in different directions when the plaza was lit up by the pillar of light, they were all watching from afar with nervous expressions of what's to come.
Similarly, soldiers surrounded the plaza while having an expression cramped with fear.
Bekibeki~, Baki~, Beki~!! *Sound of branches breaking*
Immediately afterwards, a scream-like sound was emitted by the tree's overhead as they broke. [Goodness gracious, has a new monster appeared!], as Fair Bergen's residents took a forward stance, it appeared.
What they saw first was a huge mass of metal. Gradually lowering it's altitude and finally the residents of Fair Bergen noticed that it was a gondola. Afterwards, the appearance of a devilfish-like airship ’’Feruniru’’ was seen. The ground was illuminated by the two powerful searchlights which were attached to the bottom of its front and back in order to look for a safe place to land.
The surrounding people could do nothing but simply open their eyes and mouths widely in astonishment, Feruniru slowly lowered the gondola to the ground and purges it, then it landed beside the gondola.
The plaza was completely filled up with the gondola and Feruniru and the surrounding people took distance from it in a panic. At the same time, they had a, what's going to happen now, face filled with unease as they looked.
Then, at that time, the front and back of the rectangular shaped gondola suddenly opened up. The Demi-humans were startled. The soldier's hands which held their weapons were drenched in sweat and, ~Gokuri~, the sound of their throats could be heard. Their expressions stiffened up when they thought about what might jump out of the gondola which was wrapped in darkness.
Among the residence's gazes, what appeared from the atmosphere timidly was......an Usagininzoku girl. With that, the residents expressions turned into bewilderment. In that situation where the residents couldn't process and understand yet, Demi-humans appeared one after another from the darkness.
Those who came out from the gondola in succession, all equally looked around their surroundings with a slightly unbelieveable expression. In the serene silence of the cool air, vigorously, along with the security they felt while surrounded by trees, the nostalgic lights of Fair Bergen, and the sight of their brethren who they believed they'd never see again.
Although they were still in a stunned state like vegetation absorbing water, they were gradually realising. ’’We've finally returned to our hometown’’ is what they said.
Fair Bergen's residents were also the same as well.
A woman hesitatingly advanced ahead slowly. It was a middle-aged woman who had dropped down inumimis. She had tears accumulating in the corners of her eyes and gently called out the name which she thought was lost.
[.....Zack, are you Zack?]
The one who reacted to that voice was a boy who similarly had dropped down inumimis. It was that boy which Kouki had worried about at the Empire. Once the boy caught the appearance of the woman, his face crumpled up into tears and started running out.
As the woman knelt down and expanded out her arms, the boy leaped into her chest. The woman who was called, mother, was tightly embracing her son within her arms to confirm that it wasn't a fantasy. And the parent and child had tears flowing out of delight from their miraculous reunion.
During the period of the parent and child's reunion, the Demi-humans and residents realized that they've returned and shouted out in joy which shook the ground as they ran towards each other, family and friends were releasing a powerfully bright voice every time they met up with acquaintances and lovers who were safe.
Fair Bergen was wrapped up in great joy, the usual quiet tranquility suddenly disappeared and a festival-like racket began.
Inside of the clamor of Demi-humans which was filled with overflowing smiles, Alfrerick as well as the other elders came running up to Hajime and them who got off Feruniru.
[Boy.....you had a completely unexpected appearance]
[N? Ahh, Alfrerick huh. Ma~a, there were various bothersome things so overlook it for me]
When Alfrerick looked overhead at the trees which folded and broke, he showed a wry smile as he talked, Hajime was scratching his cheek and had a slightly embarrassed expression.
From the skies of the Sea of Trees, the idea to descend down onto and crushing the trees without question just to enter from the outside of the Sea of Trees because using a gate to transfer everyone was too troublesome was due to careless judgement from his magical power being reduced to almost nothing.
However, because Hajime had been impressed by Fair Bergen's beautiful scenery, as expected there's was a slight feeling of having done something bad.
[Sorry, Yue. Can I rely on you?]
[N.....leave it to me]
When Hajime called out to Yue by his side, Yue's lips loosened into a wry smile and she extended out her right arm overhead.
[’’Absolute Imitation’’] *That's what I'm calling it, 絶象*
Reproduction magic ’’Absolute Imitation’’. It's a magic which restores all destruction regardless of whether it was organic or inorganic matter.
The moment Yue activated the magic, the tree's overhead immediately regained their former appearances. The elders exposed absentminded expressions towards the irrational magic which they witnessed. Only Alfrerick was able to guess that it was due to obtaining new Age of Gods magic and he massaged his forehead wrinkles like he was tired.
[Oji-sama, although I sympathize with your feelings, it's about time we should.......]
[Mu, that's right. Boy.....no, Nagumo-dono. I've roughly heard of the circumstances from Cam. Though it was unbelievably sudden, it appears that my brethren have really been released. we've likely just experienced a historical moment right now. First of all, as Fair Bergen's representative, I thank you]
[That's what you say but, the ones who did everything was the Hauria tribe. Please don't make mistakes here?]
Hajime gave a warning towards Alfrerick's words as he was indifferently putting the gondola and Feruniru back away into the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’. Suddenly the enormous objects from the plaza disappeared and the people who were expressing their joys began blinking their eyes. Then they paid attention towards Hajime and them who were facing the Elders.
[Ahh, of course. To begin with if the Haruia tribe wasn't here, Fair Bergen may have been completely obliterated from the previous attack. Considering that as well, there's nothing else to believe. Fufu~, never in my long life.....did I ever expect that it would be the weakest and banished Haruia tribe that would have defeated the Empire]
The Hauria tribe challenged the Empire to a fight and came out victorious and they even rescued all the brethren -that fact having been stated from Alfrerick's mouth made the residents realise who the people that allowed them to reunite with their important people were.
They turned their attention to Cam who was standing next to Alfrerick with a straightened back. What dwelled in their eyes was not contempt at the weakest race but, great awe and respect of looking at a hero.
When Cam notices those glances, as if he had thought of something a mischievous smile appeared on his lips and he slowly raised his right hand. And as if saying, [Come over here!], he bent his fingertips. It was a hand signal which they used when they invaded the castle.
In that instant, it seemed like someone would instinctively tsukkomi, [*light hearted no's* Iya, Iya, where were you guys hiding!], the other Hauria tribesmen suddenly appeared around Cam! And they all took an ’’At ease’’ stance while lined up without moving at all as they awaited their command.
Cam had a satisfied smile as he looked at his tribesmen who stood in a line, his eyes were sharp like a blade and filled with drive which was enough to make people back away unconsciously, all of the residents to be exact it was the Usagininzoku who he raised his voice towards.
[My brethren. People of the Sea of Trees who have suffered humiliation and resignation over the long time. Listen. Though we've managed to overcome the Empire this time, eternal peace is impossible. All of your futures will definitely be threatened once again, not too long from now]
The hundreds of Usagininzoku that were at the plaza trembled in fear towards those words. Will the painful days of the Empire come once again? they're eyes clinged onto Cam who was making a speech.
[Once that happens, you guys will once again experience days like yesterday. No, not only that. This time, even comrades who have escaped being slaves will also suffer the same fate]
Although they were safe now, the dark future was pointed out, not only the Usagininzoku but also the other Demi-humans were looking down.
[Are you guys fine with that?]
There's no way it's fine. We never want to return to those days where our dignity was trampled on. Let alone, allowing our precious people to experience those pains as well.
But, even if you say that, what should we do......
Cam was glancing sternly at his brethren who were looking down, and as if the answer was right before their eyes, he further increased his voice.
[There's no way that's fine right? Then, what should we do. It's simple. If you want to protect those who are important to you right now.....fight. If you don't wish to live while being exploited in resignation then.....stand up for yourselves. If you wish to change the Usagininzoku's circumstances then......fill your heart with hatred! Just like how we of the Hauria Tribe did! The Usagininzoku was never the weakest to begin with! As long as you have determination, then you can become stronger than any other race! We've already proven that!]
Some leaked an, [Ah.....]. They realised that those who broke through the huge enemy and rescued them were not a special existence but the same Usagininzoku that they were. One of the Usagininzoku that was looking down rose their face up once again.
[Remember the humiliation that you received at the Empire. Do not contempt yourselves that it was due to unfortunate circumstances. Continue protecting your important people with your own hands. If you have the time to indulge yourself in resignation then take up your weapons! We'll teach you how to fight. If you seek power, if you've decided to fight then, you should come and join us. The Hauria tribe will always welcome you guys at any time!!]
After Cam finished ending his speech, he gave out a hand signal once again. Then, the Hauria tribesmen as if they were ninjas spread out and disappeared in an instant!
Once they saw that, Cam confirmed that the fires were lit up within the Usagininzoku's eyes and he chuckled to himself. [It looks like our military power's increased once again! I'll make sure to not miss the chance to remodel their minds immediately once they first participate in the training!] he thought.
[Boss, I'm sorry to have side tracked. It was just too good a time to secure talented people]
[Ahh, I don't particularly mind. ......So even you've become able to speak like that~. With that, how about uniting all the Usagininzoku with the Hauria?]
[Hahaha, if it comes to that then we'll become quite fearsome!]
[......Recently, father's demeanor has become more and more like Hajime-san's. I feel that the ’’Gentle Usagininzoku’’ will become exterminated not too long from now]
Shia was looking far into the distance with a dry smile. It appears that it's only a matter of time before all Usagininzoku's become brainwashed.
By the way, Gaharudo was also there. Right before his eyes, the Hauria tribe which defeated him were gathering forces but he didn't say anything in particular. Or rather, he was in a situation where he couldn't say anything. In order to not needlessly give more information than necessary on Fair Bergen away, Hajime made him wear magic sealing shackles which were attached to his feet and arms and a mask which completely shut out light and sound (Yellow soil colored).
After this and after explaining the oath as proof of the Empire's defeat to the elders, they planned to immediately return him through the gate. That was the only reason they brought along the Emperor -there wasn't anything like dignity.
[Fumu, we can't let them stay out here any longer. Guide them inside. Arutena, I'm relying on you]
[Yes, oji-sama. Sa~a, it's this way. Nagumo-sama]
Because of Cam's speech, they attracted too much attention for a simple greeting, so Alfrerick urged Arutena to guide them into the hall that was prepared.
Arutena who received the task, nodded once, and then for some reason she tried to take hold of Hajime's hand while smiling radiantly to guided them. That action wasn't missed in Yue and their eyes. By chance, his right hand had already been held onto by Yue so she aimed towards the left side where Shia was, however Shia similarly smiled radiantly as she casually took back Hajime's left hand.
Shia and Arutena's line of sight intersected. For some reason you could hear an auditory hallucination of electricity being discharged ~Bachi Bachi~.
[We're counting on you ( . . . . ) to guide us. Arutena-san?]
[Yes, of course, Shia-san. But, since there are lots of people, for the sake of not losing you guys, I'd like to hold onto his hand?]
So she says, Arutena tries to get back Hajime's left hand which Shia took. It appears that she was properly listening to Cams provocation. It was an unbecoming attitude for the princess of the forest people*for some reason the author isn't referring to them as elves anymore, unless forest people in japanese is supposed to stand for elf?*. Rather than facing Hajime so on and so forth*This line's iffy, ハジメに対して云々というより*, Shia's sense of rivalry seemed to have been pretty strong.
[Just according to plan!], is what Cam seems to say as he was grinning from ear to ear, having guessed the circumstances of the surroundings Hajime smiled while releasing blood lust. In an instant, Cam broke out in cold sweat like a waterfall.
Hajime who was slightly stressed let out a sigh towards Cam and tightly gripped onto Shia's hand.
Shia unintentionally let out a voice. Then at the next moment she smiled brightly and she tightly embraced Hajime's arm. Although it was his artificial arm, due to its artificial nerves he was able to feel the wonderful feeling of having his left arm buried into her breasts.
While looking at such a happy Shia, Arutena unintentionally looked towards Hajime, Hajime's eyes were coldly stating, [Quickly guide us in], then her shoulders quickly dropped and she began to downheartedly guide them. From the start, it was imbalanced due to Shia who traveled with him and had lots of contact rather than with Arutena, the results were obvious.
Once they were guided into the hall, the elders sat towards the end, and the Hauria tribesmen including Cam was also at the meeting, and on the right was Gaharudo who sat across from Hajime.
He's already publicly declared the defeat of the Hoelscher Empire and Gaharudo has said the contents of the oath, to which the elders and others can testify to. With this, all elders seemed to admit that the Hauria tribe was telling the truth.
[Fu~n. However, how dare you nonchalantly come here alone. You're our sworn enemy. Surely you don't think you can return safely?]
One of the elders -Zell of the Toraninzoku*Tiger*, stared at Gaharudo with hate who entered into enemy territory alone haughtily. The atmosphere was like anything could go flying at any moment.
However, even if such a gare was turned to Gaharudo, he was indifferent.
[Ha~a? Isn't it obvious that that's what I thought. I honestly doubt you'd actually try to kill me. If that were to happen then it would only mean that Fair Bergen's leaders are full of idiots]
[What was that you bastard!]
Alfrerick was holding back Zell who was furious.
[Zell, stop it. I understand your feelings. The reason Gaharudo came here was for the sake of pledging to the oath which the Hauria tribe placed on him. Nothing more, nothing less. If he was killed now, then all meaning would be lost in the Hauria's actions which they risked their lives for]
Zell made a mortifying face and threw his fist against the floor.
Gaharudo was laughing through his nose when he saw Zell. The atmosphere in that place was the worst. It was clear that Gaharudo had no sense of guilt for having enslaved the Demi-humans and also had no intent of apologising. However, Gaharudo enslaved the Demi-humans because they were weak, the story of the Hauria tribe being able to free the Demi-humans was simply because they were strong. The elders gazed at Gaharudo with murderous intent and the situation further increased as Gaharudo simply laughed provocatively.
The one who easily broke apart that situation without questions asked was Hajime. Quit being so irritating already.
[Oi, Gaharudo. That's enough from you. Hurry up and leave]
As Hajime got up and ignored Gaharudo's voice of confusion, he activated the gate while firmly holding onto the root of Gaharudo's neck.
[O, oi! You can't be seriously sending me back at this moment! Wait a little, I've finally come to Fair Bergen, there's a lot of things I want to find out about. Also you guys too, tch let go! Kora, you! I'm the Emperor! Don't go dragging me!]
Although Gaharudo was struggling violently, he wasn't able to overcome the inhumane strength holding him and he was mercilessly thrown into the other side of the gate.
Certainly, the reason why they brought along the Emperor was only because he had to admit to the oath that the Hauria created and everything else he says afterwards was unnecessary but.....[I'll remember this! Nagumo Hajime~e!!] as the Emperor shouted out it created a doppler effect as he disappeared onto the other side of the gate, that scene certainly provoked some sympathy.
Ririana who was by the side had an strangely glad face though, [Even though you're an Emperor~, even though you're an Emperor~, the way you're treated~] she muttered out rhythmically. It appears that she was happy to have made a new comrade in having been treated in the same crude way that she was treated with.
Recently, Ririana had started becoming a regrettable princess, Shizuku who was by her side looked at her regrettably.
On the hand, the elders, especially Zell, were glaring at Hajime. [Why, did you dismiss the Emperor!] is what their eyes were expressing. The truth was quite ridiculous, to be honest, Hajime had no reason to be here either so if Gaharudo was returned then he could quickly leave.
[Please wait, Nagumo-dono. We still haven't decided on an appropriate repayment. Would you please stay around for a bit longer]
[No, I don't need anything, so. Those glances are irritating so we're leaving]
[Don't say that. If nothing is done with this much debt of gratitude, it'll be extremely shameful for us Demi-humans. At the very least, allow us to give you a place to sleep and eat for tonight. That's why, please stay around a while longer]
[....Haa~, I get it]
Although Hajime thought it was troublesome, he nodded to Alfrerick and sat down where he was before. after confirming that, Alfrerick turned around towards Cam.
[Well then, with this, the distinguishing achievements that the Hauria tribe has done has certainly been confirmed. Even though you were banished, you've helped us repel the invasions, moreover, going even as far as getting back all of our brethren from the Empire through an oath. We must repay you at all costs. For the time being, there is no one in opposition towards revoking your banishment. This was already decided after the last elder meeting after the invasion. From now on, you may visit Fair Bergen whenever you wish]
Revoking their banishment. That decision was already overturned at the last elder conference, having admitted to it just showed how big the achievements that the Hauria tribe contributed to were.
However, Cam only muttered, [Is that so], while not particularly glad at all. His attitude was that anything was fine.
[And also. For your distinguished achievements on this occasion, Cam, as chief of the Hauria tribe, I'd like to propose that as a reward, he may become a new elder. How do you other elders feel about it?]
All of the aides had wide opened eyes in surprise towards Alfrerick's words. Over the last several hundred years, there has never been an event where a different race was presented the seat of elder. It had always been the 6 kinds of Demi-humans, the Forest people, Tiger people, Bear people, Winged people, Fox people, and the natural natives. If you add in the Usagininzoku into that formula, then from the Demi-human's perspective, it could only be referred to as a historical feat of honor for their race.
The other elders looked at one another and nodded after hearing Alfrerick's words, it was a unanimous agreement.
[Fumu, that's how it is. Cam. Will you accept the seat as an elder?]
[Of course, I refuse]
[ [ [ [ [.......Eh?] ] ] ] ]
Somehow or another, an atmosphere like, [Lets welcome our new companion!] appeared but, Cam easily cut apart that atmosphere. All of the elder's eyes became dots. It seems that they never thought they'd be rejected.
[.......Can I hear why?]
Somehow Alfrerick managed to recover, he was bearing a headache, wondering what was bad about something that Demi-humans thought to have been the greatest reward.
[There's no particular reason, to begin with you guys are fundamentally mistaken about something]
[That's right. The reason why all Demi-humans were rescued was only due to the occasion. What made us decide to take action was because we thought about the future which would be the end of the Usagininzoku. The other Demi-humans, if I were to say it, ’’doesn't matter’’]
[......What was that]
The elders looked at Cam unbelievably who was talking indifferently.
[Therefore, don't get the wrong idea. We the Hauria tribe were never your ally. If, you guys who have tasted victory on this occasion decide to go off and wage war on the humans and start stocking up on weapons which cause trouble for us and boss then......you'd best believe that the Hauria tribe's blade will be pointed at you]
[Are, are we not your brethren! Do you plan on pointing your blades towards your own fellow Demi-humans! Isn't that insane!]
[Fu~n, it won't change that you guys look down on the Usagininzoku. There's no point in trying to get all intimate. Ma~a, that kind of thing doesn't really matter. Anyways, all of our blades are held simply for the Usagininzoku's future. As long as you guys carve that onto your chests, then its fine]
Cam's expression after he finished speaking was refreshed. The Hauria who were also behind him were also smiling. Becoming a new elder, if you think we'd use our power for you guys then you're sadly mistaken!- their eyes stated.
truthfully, it would be a lie to say that they haven't calculated that far yet, Alfrerick and their expressions were bitter.
On one side, the people who were waiting around Hajime just watched everything unfold, then they all equally turned their eyes towards Hajime. [I don't care about anyone other than those important to me! I'm not interested! Pe~!] is what Cam's behavior was like, it was exactly like a certain somebody.
[It's as if you're saying that the Usagininzoku are independent from all the other Demi-humans]
[Alfrerick, you're always precise. It's exactly that. From now onwards, the Usagininzoku will be living by the rules of the Usagininzoku. Being incorporated into Fair Bergen's rules like a goody goody is something I want nothing to do with]
Aides and elders, the short-tempered Zell in particular, were extremely angry at Cam who was haughty. Although Cam had a cool face, the Hauria subordinates behind him were, [Ahh? got a problem with that!*Improvised, not really sure what they're doing here, やんのかゴラァ*] just like thugs who wanted to mince things up.
Within that, Alfrerick was thinking about something with a difficult expression, almost like ever since Hajime has showed up he's only been releasing tired expressions, then he talked to Cam.
[Then, Cam. How about if we recognise you guys as, ’’A race equal to Fair Bergen’’. Of course, that also gives you a special guest pass into the elders meetings. If we do this then you'd have no obligations to go along with what the elder meetings decide nor the laws of Fair Bergen, with that in mind, you'd have enough influence as us]
[Hoho~u. Ma~a, that's not a bad proposal]
Towards Alfrerick's new proposal, Cam smiled from ear to ear as if stating, [I wanted to hear those words!].
Cam had thought that in preparation for the day when the Empire eventually invades, he wanted some kind of connection with Fair Bergen. However, if he had allowed themsleves to be incorporated into Fair Bergen then he wouldn't be able to ignore the elder meetings and he'd be restricted from moving around freely. That's why it was best if they were an alliance only in name or as an external organization.
But, it was obvious that voices of opposition would appear when the Hauria tribe were getting too much preferential treatment. Against that, Alfrerick answered out while sighing.
[They are people who accomplished things as just a single race? Even if Fair Bergen collaborated with all its power, we'd likely not be able to do it. If you think like that, then its more than enough reason to consider them as equals? Besides, there's also the possibility that this'll cause the Hauria tribe to cut off all ties with us, do you guys not understand the gravity of loss that'll be for us? If we form an alliance, they who have been banished will once again create a connection. If so then, things of this degree when compared to the size of their accomplishments isn't excessive at all]
Although the elders were twisting their heads while grunting out, gunununu, eventually no good proposals came out so the prestige of a single race was somehow pushed through the elders meeting and they decided to go along with what Alfrerick proposed.
[That's how it is, Cam. As a decision of the elder's meeting, the status of, ’’The Alliance Race’’, will be given to he Hauria tribe, would that be fine with you?]
[Ma~a, whether we're recognized or not, what we have to do doesn't change, but those kinds of things would be alright. Ahh, incidentally, we're using the big tree towards the south so you guys shouldn't wander in without permission? We can't guarantee your lives after all]
They never expected that Cam would place an additional order.
Or rather, he selfishly declared it was his land without permission. As expected, even Alfrerick's cheeks twitched a bit. Shia who was besides Hajime had covered her face with both her hands. It seems she was embarrassed at her fathers impudence. Her blood father was letting out a Hyaha~ though.
Afterwards, the strangely tired looking elders left and Hajime and them went towards the big tree and were guided into their rooms at Fair Bergen.
The town was still stirring up a big uproar over the Demi-humans returning. Kouki and them were wondering if there was anything they could help with and took off but, Hajime and them decided to relax in the room indifferently.
By the way, Ririana had returned to the Kingdom a short while ago. It was still necessary to negotiate with the Empire and report of the current incident as well, they needed to decide the Kingdom's next moves.
Why, didn't she return at once, it was a simple story......from just a few minutes ago. Until Ririana said that she wanted to return to the Kingdom, Hajime had completely forgotten about her existence. When she passed through the gate, it's needless to say but something was shining within Ririana's eyes. *I.E. she was crying*
Even now, clamor can be heard throughout the whole town. They may have been holding some kind of celebration and feast somewhere.
Within that, Hajime and them who were relaxing as they desired inside of their room. But, there was one person who was strangely restless.
It was Shia. Since a while ago, she's been frequently glancing at Hajime and thinking about something.
To begin with, the person in question was receiving a lap pillow from Yue and was partly dozing off into the world of dreams, so he wasn't aware of Shia's state. As expected, his bones gave out after having to carry thousands of people. Yue was gently stroking Hajime who became dull as he relaxed his body, [Fumu], she looked at Shia sideways as she tilt her head.
Right afterwards, she looked at Teio and Kaori who were besides Hajime and were looking at her enviously. And once again, [Fumu], she nodded, she slowly called out to Kaori and Teio.
[.....Kaori, Teio. You want to perform the lap pillow?]
[Eh? You'll switch with us?]
[Mu? Of course I want to]
Teio and Kaori gave her eyes filled with expectations and Yue incidentally laughed.
[.....I'm just asking]
[ [........] ]
Yue had a smile on her lips as if something foolish happened. When they saw that, a blue vein appeared on Kaori and Teio's forehead. Furthermore, Yue also said, [How is it, you're jealous right?], as she tightly held onto Hajime's head.
[......Yue, are you asking for a fight? Are you?]
[Fufufu, mistress, that annoyed me quite a bit]
[.....Are we doing this?]
Towards Yue's provocative smile, the two people, [If it's the continuation from the daytime then I'll take you up on it!], they said while getting up. By the way, the winners of the matching during the daytime was the Yue and Shia pair.
[........If you catch me who's running, I'll allow you to be next to Hajime for this night]
[ [ ! ] ]
As expected, they couldn't hold a mock battle within the town so Yue proposed a game of tag. And the reward for victory was unprecedented. Kaori and Teio's tension became high even though it was midnight.
When Yue confirmed the reaction of the two people, she gently placed Hajime's head onto a pillow and stroke him once lovingly. And as if not affected by gravity, she gently jumped towards the window and just like she was dancing, she opened the window as she turned around.
On that occasion, [What?] she glanced towards shia and blinked her eye for a moment. Shia seemed to realise Yue's intention and with a small smile she nodded in gratitude.
[......Game Start *english*]
As Yue let out those words she slipped out from of the window and in the next moment, she merged with the darkness and disappeared.
[Ku, I'll definitely catch her! For the sake of sharing a bed!]
[Fufu, I won't lose]
With a yell full of spirit. Kaori with her silver wings and Teio who grew dragon wings, jumped out from the window.
Shia who was the onlooker didn't follow them though because she understood that Yue had purposely provoked Kaori and Teio, so she intended to take advantage of the chance that she was thankful for obtaining. Excitedly, she went by Hajime's side and gently woke him up.
[Hajime-san, Hajime-san......please wake up]
[N? What's wrong, Shia. Or rather, just a while ago Yue and them left but.....you didn't go with them?]
Even while he was still half asleep, Hajime had felt from the flow of magical power that Yue and them had left through the window, why are you still here? he tilted his neck.
[Eh~tto, it seems that I missed it somehow or another, that kind of feeling]
[.....Somehow or another, huh]
[Uu~. Rather than that! Everyone else has left, should we also go out for a stroll? I don't know anything about Fair Bergen's interior]
Because of Shia's hair color, she wasn't allowed out in public, so the first time she's been to Fair Bergen was with Hajime and them. At that time as well, since they suddenly left immediately she didn't have time to explore the whole town.
[.....Ma~a, I guess that's fine]
[Yes! It's a midnight date! .......It sounds a little obscene]
[I don't know about that*A who cares, feeling*]
Somehow or another, he felt that Shia wanted to talk, truthfully he wanted to continue sleeping but, Hajime decided that he had no other choice but to follow along. Shia joyfully clung onto Hajime's arm tightly. Then the two with their arms entwined walked out into the midnight of Fair Bergen.
After about 10 minutes, as the two people who were on a stroll were having an innocent talk, they came to notice that they've walked far enough to not hear the town's clamor anymore. And they also noticed that something at the top of the trees were shining out in pale blue light.
[Ah~, those are Montofaruta, Hajime-san]
[Yes, its a butterfly which emits a pale blue light just like the moonlight. They crowd onto tall trees because of the wind, in the night they look just like cheerful stars in the sky. Except, it's not known when they'll actually emit their light so this is quite a rare sight. You either see it only once a year or see nothing at all]
[He~e, they're certainly beautiful things]
The two who were looking upwards, decided that since it was such a rare sight they should get a closer look so they quickly climbed up higher on a tree, they found a thick branch and sat down beside each other. For a while, they enjoyed the light that the Montofaruta emitted just like a planetarium.
How many of them were there? slowly Shia began to open her mouth.
[Thank you very much. For a lot of things that I can't put in words....really, thank you very much]
[......Ahh. If you want to fully show your gratitude. Then I'm expecting things from you when we take on the great labyrinth]
[Fufu. Isn't this when you usually say ’’Don't mind it’’?]
Shia laughed giggly towards the Hajime-like answer. However it quickly changed into a difficult expression and she turned her gaze onto Hajime.
[What should I do to repay Hajime-san?]
[If it's repaying then didn't I just receive it?]
[That was just words wasn't it. I want to repay your kindness in some kind of form. Can you think of what I can do which'll make you happy? ......If Hajime-san desires it then, I'll do anything. Really, anything]
Shia's Usamimi's moved around ~Piko Piko~ and she edged her but into contact with Hajime. Her eyes that were looking at Hajime were already moistening and contained heat, and her sighs contained enough heat that it seems like it'll burn on contact. The implied meaning, Hajime had certainly understood what Shia was saying but, he was daringly pretending to have not noticed.
[.....It'll be fine as long as you're still the same happy-go-lucky woman and laughing. You're our mood-maker after all?]
[Mo~u, what's with that, happy-go-lucky you say! Even though you hugged me in front of the Emperor and said I was important! This is the scene where say, [Then I'll have you repay with your body then, guhhehhehhe!], and attack me isn't it. Please read the atmosphere]
[It seems that we need to have a thorough talk about the image that you see me in]
[You're a single-minded good for nothing]
[Being single-minded there is usually a good thing though]
Shia puffed out her cheeks to show that she was dissatisfied. However, she quickly hung her head down disappointedly. Her Usamimi's also hung down as if they suddenly lost their power.
[......I'm serious, I want to do something to thank you. Ever since I've met Hajime-san and everyone else, I've l always gave it my all*I think, 私はずっと貰いっぱなしです*. Although Hajime-san and Yue-san says that its fine if I just laugh but, just being with you 2 will naturally make me feel happy, it's definitely nothing like showing gratitude]
[But still, you're our companion right? I don't think you have to continuously think about such things]
[It's courtesy in intimate relationships. I want to properly thank Hajime-san and Yue-san as well. .....I've thought about it variously but, I just can't seem to think of anything. Hajime-san says that he doesn't need my body after all.....even though he tightly embraced me and said I was important, to tell me that I'm not needed.....]
[Don't sulk now.....]
Hajime was showing a troubled expression now that Shia was being timid. Even though he was being told that she wanted to express her gratitude, helping someone related to you was the natural course of action, really, just one word, [Thanks] would have been enough.
But, for Shia, those feelings didn't seem to sit well with her.
[If Hajime-san has fallen for me then I wouldn't be going through all these hardships. I'd fully service (thank) you.....ha~a, there's no helping it then. I'll try harder to be much more useful than before as we travel in order to relay my thanks]
When Shia shrugged her shoulders, once again, she looked up towards the Montofaruta up above.
While looking at her stature, Hajime was suddenly beginning to remember when he embraced Yue and Shia in front of Gaharudo.
Being truthful, that was pretty much done unconsciously. Once he came to, he had already embraced both of them.
As of now, the huge feelings of declaring someone as ’’Special’’ could only be said to Yue. That's something that can be firmly declared. However, even if it was unconsciously, the reason why he held Shia within his arms was.......
Thinking up to that point, Hajime had a smile filled with self-mockery.
How could this be, ma~a, it was because he was selfish. While saying that no one was able to be on par with Yue, to have the desires to possess Shia, it was truly selfish. Once he realised it, Shia's existence somehow became much larger than before. At the very least, as much as Yue where he unconsciously embraced her so that he wouldn't lose her.
Although he'll likely still hold more feelings for Yue than any other person, even still, he doesn't seem to be able to deceive himself about his desire for Shia anymore. Once he became aware of it, he wasn't able to pretend that it wasn't there. If so then, do your best so work hard, how about taking on the attitude of the girl who came with them? Hajime suddenly thought.
[Eh, Ehtto, what is it? It's extremely embarrassing to be quietly stared at....]
Once he came to, Shia's cheeks were dyed red blushing shyly and squirming nervously. Her Usamimi as well as if saying, [U~u, why are you looking~], it suddenly dropped down, occasionally, she'd squirm around and look towards Hajime.
Hajime's eyes soften up when he sees Shia like this and he reached out with his hand. And her shy Usamimis were gently stroked.
[......Na~a, Shia. I've got a favor I want to ask.....]
[A favor? Of course, it's fine! Feel free to ask for anything]
For a moment, she was surprised by Hajime's words, since she could show her gratitude even a little bit, Shia consented willingly while smiling.
[No, lets see, I kinda want to lie down for a bit. If you're up for it, can I ask for a lap pillow?]
[Fu~e, even if you didn't ask, please use it anytime. Sa~a, please step right up]
Although Shia showed a slightly disappointed expression from Hajime's request, she was happy that she was giving him a lap pillow and she patted her thighs with a bright smile. Hajime expressed his thanks with a smile and laid down without hesitation.
Because Shia wore a miniskirt, he was able to fully feel the feelings of her thighs. A soft and warm puffy feeling supported Hajime's head. It faintly resembled Yue's, as a sweet scent tickled his nose.
[Fufu, it's unfortunate for Kaori-san and Teio-san. Around this time, they're fighting against Yue-san in order to give Hajime-san a lap pillow, but I've already taken it ahead of them]
[Ma~a, Yue'll win anyways so there's no reason to worry about it?]
[You shouldn't say such things. Since they're want to make Hajime-san fall for them they're working hard. Really, I wonder when will Hajime-san finally fall for me~]
[.....Will you give up?]
Shia was gently stroking Hajime's hair. Hajime narrowed his eyes as he became comfortable. And as payback, he played with Shia's hair that hung down before him. The pale blue white hair was really mysterious when it was combined with the light being emitted by the Montofaruta that were above them.
If someone had seen Shia and Hajime right now, they would have surely had an face which vomited due to the sugar. That was how sweet those two's atmosphere was. Right, it was exactly like the separate world that Hajime and Yue created.
However, unfortunately, although it was the atmosphere which was created with Yue that Shia longed for, she didn't notice at all. On that part, perhaps Shia could truly be called a regrettable rabbit.
Even with the actual person not realising, the sweet time continued to flow gently. Within the moonlight where the Montofaruta illuminated, Hajime and Shia were enjoying their time alone with each other.
*lol Author notes that it's getting near the end so there should at least be some kind of progression with another girl other than Yue*