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Seirei Gensouki ~Konna Sekai De Deaeta Kimi Ni~ - Chapter 110

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Chapter 110 [Letter] TL : Cnine

ED/PF : Aster

Part 1

The next morning, in Rioís lodging, the time had only passed 8.

Rio had just finished his breakfast in a strange situation where two maids were waiting by his side. Private meals were limited due to recent chaos, but the castle still allowed it under a few conditions such as this.

?Haruto-sama, shall I prepare some tea for you??



?Yes, please do.?

Then, when the maid closer to his age brought it to him, the sound of the door knocking echoed through the room, and she immediately went to answer it.

?Good morning, Haruto-sama.?

It was Charlotte coming in.

?Princess CharlotteÖ Good morning. What do you need??

Rio returned the greeting, but he was astonished nonetheless. They were going to have a tea party in Charlotteís room, so he had no idea why she would come to him.

?You promised to have a conversation with me this morning, right? Itís a little early, but I came to meet you.?

Charlotte replied with a charming smile.

Rio checked the clock settled against the wall. That conversation was supposed to happen at 9 oíclock. She was about an hour early.

Itís not like he didnít understand coming earlier due to the sheer scale of the royal castle, but this was stillÖ

Well, even if he voiced those thoughts to her, it would have gone in one ear and out the other.

?I see. Iím sorry to make you go through the trouble.?

?Fufu, I came because I wanted to see you. Please donít mind it. But if itís alright with you, would you come with me to Satsuki-sama??

?Of course. Thereís somewhere Iíd like to stop by thatís close to her room. Do you mind if we go to hand something off before that??

?Not at all.?

Charlotte complied sweetly.

?Then, if youíll please wait a moment for me to prepare.?

After making his request, Rio retrieved three letters that heíd left in his item box the night before.

The two of them strolled through the castle at a brisk pace.

?Fufu~?

Charlotte was grinning to herself, keeping a comfortable grasp on Rioís arm. In contrast, Rio was already mentally exhausted.

?Charlotte-sama, sticking so close to me like this is a littleÖ?

?Is it unpleasant??

She asked him straight, looking at Rio with upturned eyes.

?Itís not unpleasant, but about the people around usÖ?

?Then thereís no problem, yes? I donít concern myself with such things.?

?I suppose, if youíre okay with itÖ?

He managed a smile to answer hers, but he was suppressing the sigh in his lungs. Of course, Charlotte appeared to be lovingly embracing Rio, but there was something strangely sweet about it. Some indication that she was an innocent young girl acting spoiled.

But he wasnít about to lower his guard just yet. Age aside, Charlotte was still royalty. Fledgling bluebloods were known to be mentally unstable, and they had a tendency to grow arrogant with the power given to them.

Their overly conspicuous conduct and demeanor towards those below them, feeling that itís completely natural, and pouting when things donít go their wayóalthough that last thing is still kind of cute.

The problem is when that turns into a tantrum, itís like walking through a minefield. People start to hold grudges and viciously harass the subject of their ire.

And the most troublesome issue is one of the opposite sex. Namely, women. Rio learned his lesson back when he was still studying in Bertram Kingdomís royal academy.

Charlotte was 13 years old, right when her emotional period should be reaching its peak.

He couldnít afford to act carelessly towards such a girl whose true nature he still had yet to understand. It would be rough staying in the castle if he caused a disturbanceóbasically, he wasnít about to risk insulting the royalty.

He also had to take into consideration why Charlotte stayed so close to him.

It was by order of King Francois that they were together. Rio knew he had to stay cautious around the king at the very least.

After all, it wouldnít be off for him to think about using Rio for his own gain, seeing how close he was getting with Satsuki and how close he already was with her friends.

Even if Charlotte wasnít aware of the purpose herself, the chances of her receiving an order with that goal in mind werenít zero.

And if it was true, it only made things more awkward for him.

?Do you have some business with Takahissama??

?No. Rather, itís with the three people who were under my protection.?

?Is that so? Miharu-sama is quite the beautiful girl.?

?YeahÖ She is.?

He kept his feelings from showing, but Rio felt weird for nodding in agreement so obediently, and Charlotte watched his reaction contentedly.

Their conversation ended when they finally made it to the room Miharu and the others were staying in.

They didnít see the escort knight around, though.

Are they out right now?

He wondered about it for a moment, then brushed it out of his mind as he took a deep breath.

Knock, knock.

?Stupid! Onii-chanís a pervert! You have no sense of delicacy!?

The sound of knocking was drowned out by a voice similar to Akiís inside the room.

?W-Wait a minute, Aki! Iím sorry! Really really sorry! I wasnít trying to peek, honest! I mean, M-Masato is in there, right? I was just looking for Masato! Thatís all!?

?If you want Masato, heís out looking around the castle since we have some free time! Geez!?

The commotion was loud enough for them to hear most of it.

?It seems weíve come at the wrong time.?

Charlotte stared dumbly at the door.

?It appears so. Still, letís try once more.?

Rio realized they should have read the room and left his matter for later, but he smiled wryly and added some extra force to his knuckles. Any chance that presented itself, he was going to take it.

?Ahómy apologies. Just a moment, please.?

A reply came almost immediately.

?You have a guest, Takahissama. It may be Haruto-sama.?

?U-Understood. Right away. Aki, please wait. Letís talk again when youíve calmed down.?

He didnít know exactly what went down inside the room, but it was clear enough that Takahisa seemed to incite Akiís wrath.

The door hurriedly opened about ten seconds later.

On the other side was Takahisa, along with knights Kiara and Alice.

?Thank you very much for waiting. We were a bit busy justÖ nowÖ?

Takahisa awkwardly made his greetings, and his eyes widened when he saw Charlotte gleefully linking her arms with Rioís.

?Good morning, Takahissama.?

?Y-Yes. Good morning, Princess Charlotte.?

Responding to Takahisaís timidity, Rio joined in with his normal poker face.

?Iím sorry for disturbing you when youíre preoccupied. Itís earlier than expected, but may I ask whether I can meet Miharu-san??

?Um, let me thinkÖ Masato went out for a walk, and it seems she went along with him.?

?Yes. If itís Miharu-sama, she accompanied Masato-sama in his exploration of the castle. Hilda joined them as their escort.?

Kiara supplemented Takahisaís poor explanation.

?AhahaÖ thatís about it. In fact, I just got back myself, and Akiís here as well, butÖ?

And Takahisa finished with a cramped smile on his face.

?Just Aki-chan??

He wrote a letter for Aki, too, but Rio felt that Miharu should be the first to receive them.

As far as he knew, Aki still hated Amakawa Harutoóhe could only imagine what kind of reaction she would have upon learning about Rioís previous life. Thatís why he wanted Miharu to read hers before Masato and Aki.

Would it be alright if he let Aki read hers first?

Rio couldnít really predict that.

He was scared. Thatís all there was to it.

?They should returnÖ about half past nine at the latest. I mentioned yesterday that Masato wanted to check out the magic ship this morning.?

?I seeÖ?

Rio heaved a sigh. No matter how much he tried, he always seemed to just miss the right timing for things.

His freedom was cut during his stay in the castle, and Miharu was lodging in a different room.

But the biggest reason for that was probablyóno, the main culprit was definitely standing right beside him, and Rio glanced at her.

When she noticed his gaze, Charlotte gave him the same sweet smile she always did.

I missed Miharu-san last night because of this girl, and itís happening again now.

He was nearly driven to disregard their status and treat her coldly, barely managing to hold himself back.

No, maybe this is just the best case scenario. At least I managed to confess last night.

If he didnít tell Miharu his feelings last night, he likely wouldnít have gotten any time today between Charlotteís clinginess and having a large group during the meeting they planned this afternoon. Aside from Miharu, there was also going to be Aki, Masato, Satsuki, Takahisa and Liliana.

There was no way he could confess in that situation.

He didnít know if they could get time alone; he didnít know how Aki would react; the discussion itself probably wouldnít have the right atmosphere for it; and itís entirely possible Miharu and the kids make their decision before then. It might be easier to just say goodbye then.

?If Aki-sama is inside, this should be enough for Haruto-sama to complete his business, right? Takahissama must be a busy person, as well.?

Charlotte cut in and urged Rio on when he hesitated to speak.

?Ö Yeah.?

He agreed to her suggestion with a composed smile.

What to doÖ

He thought of five options:

1. Entrust Takahisa to pass the letters alone.

2. Have him call for Aki so she could receive the letters,

3. Stay as long as possible for Miharu and Masato to return.

4. Go on a search for Miharu and Masato himself while they wandered the castle.

5. Give them the letters personally when they were going to see each other later in the day.

He honestly wanted them to read the letters as soon as possible. Theyíd probably be left confused when they read them, so he felt it right for them to have time to process the contents.

The tea party heíd promised with Charlotte and Satsuki was to start at 9, and since it was already 8:30 they were going to need to leave soon to meet with Satsuki on time. Even if he and Charlotte waited until the last minute, there was no guarantee Miharu would be back in time.

Rio made his decision.

?Ö Takahissan, may I ask that you give them these letters??

?I donít mind, but itís okay to at least call for Aki, right??

Saying so, Takahisa turned to go back inside. One of the three the letters were meant for was still in the room, so he thought calling her might be a better choice.

?No. Please wait.?

But Rio stopped him, and Takahisa looked back.

?There are three letters, but I wish for Miharu-san to be the first to read it. Could you hand Masato and Aki-chan theirs after??

?Ö Yes, I understand.?

That was a lie. He wasnít able to grasp the meaning behind his explanation, but Takahisa nodded obediently when he saw the pained look on Rioís face.

The addresseeís names were written in Strahlís regional language, and there was a sealing wax to keep anyone but the intended reader from opening it.

?Best regards, then. Iíll come to visit again later with Satsuki-san.?

?Yeah. Iíll be waiting.?

After Takahisa bid his farewell, Rio turned to Charlotte.

?Charlotte-sama, Iím very sorry to make you wait for the sake of my personal business.?

?No need to worry, Iím fine with it. But we should hurry to pick up Satsuki-sama. We donít want to be late and have her come looking for us.?

Charlotte quickly seized Rioís arm again, dragging him off with all the grace and finesse of a bull in a china shop.

Part 2

?It makes you wonder just whatís written inside, riiight? Maybe itís a love letter.?

When Rio and Charlotte were no longer in sight, Alice jumped in with a bright and carefree tone. Takahisa, surprised by her voice, took a glance at the letters in his hand, and her senior knight Kiara rebuked her.

?Alice, thatís disgraceful.?

She normally had a calm and graceful aura about her, but there was a peculiarly sharp edge to Kiaraís words.

?Eh~. Doesnít it make you uneasy??

?It does, but we shouldnít be peeping on someoneís private correspondence.?

?Aha, so Kiarsenpaiís bothered by it, too.?

?You sure know how to run your mouth.?

?AhahaÖ?

Alice broke out in a cold sweat at the pressure exuding from her senior, and quickly moved the topic along.

?Even so, Takahissama seems worried, too. Iím positive, heís definitely in love with that childhood friend of his, right? And if Liliansama enters the stage, weíll see it turn into a forbidden love triangleÖ!?

?Hey, thatís why the saying goesÖ?

Kiara and Alice spoke in a low volume, but it seems that their little exchange didnít even register in Takahisaís ears. He was just staring silently at the letters.

Then the door to the room with only Aki inside opened.

Takahisa shook, reflexively trying to hide the letters in his chest pocket. Rushing to hide them, though, the letters slipped from his pocket and fluttered to the floor.

He swung his arms to collect them, smacking one against his abdomen. He felt a disconcerting crushing sensation, but he managed to catch another.

The last one fell at Kiaraís feet. In his panic to retrieve it, he dropped the two he already grabbed.

?Ahócrap!?

Takahisa snatched up the two he just lost and clutched them tightly in his right hand. He tried to grab the last letter with his left, but thankfully Kiara had already caught it and avoided him making things worse.

?What are you doing, Onii-chan??

Thatís when Aki came out to see him squatting down with a suspicious look on his face.

And Takahisa snapped to attention, hiding the letters behind his back without checking the damage.

?Oh, um, Aki, whatís the matter??

He knew he had offended her a few minutes ago, but at the moment he was more worried about her discovering the letters he was holding.

?Itís nothing. It sounds like Haruto-san just came byÖ Did he say anything??

Aki replied a little bluntly. She was probably still angry.

?Ahóyes. He already left, but he said heíd come over again with Satsuki-senpai this afternoon.?

?I seeÖ?

This is bad. I made a promise, but if Aki sees this letter nowÖ

Straining his mind, Takahisa absentmindedly started squeezing the letters in his hand. Tracing one with his fingers, he noticed something peeling off.

Right behind him, Kiara stiffened up, while Alice stared at the letters with a dangerous ?ohh? slipping from her lips.

?By the way, did you pick something up? You were on the ground just a second ago.?

?N-No, thatís not true.?

Takahisa denied it with a fake smile, his grip on the letters strengthening as he did.

?Is that soÖ? Youíre not trying to hide anything, are you??

?Itís the truth, Iím not hiding anything.?

He answered Akiís prying eyes with a shrill voice, averting his gaze out of guilt. He could feel the sweat drenching his body.

But then Akiís expression shifted as if she noticed something, and she glared at him with flushed cheeks.

?You forgot what you saw earlier, right??

?EarlierÖ? Ahó?

Takahisa figured it out as soon as he repeated the question.

He had just come back to their room after escorting Liliana to meet with the king. Since he couldnít find Miharu or his siblings in the living room, he callously barged into Aki and Miharuís bedroom.

And thus he bore witness to the immodest sight of his stepsister changing her clothes.

?N-Naturally!?

He nodded vigorously.

?So, j-just forget it alreadyÖ?

?AhahaÖ?

The sharpness of Akiís glare grew with the redness of her face, but she gave him a bit of leeway knowing it was unintentional. Takahisa knew it was his fault for not knocking, though.

?Itís not like I have a wonderful body I can show off, but thereís no way I could defend you if Miharu-oneechan was here.?

Unlike Aki and her washboard chest so flat a bra did more harm than good, Miharu had a very well-developed femininity betraying her petite stature.

?UhÖ?

Takahisa was left speechless.

?Well, Miharu-oneechan would probably still let you off because of how kind she is.?

?I-Iím very sorry. Honestly. Please forgive me.?

He bowed repeatedly to show his sincerity.

?Itís okay, I guessÖ More than that, about Haruto-san. Iíll say it now since Miharu-oneechan and Masato are out.?

Then Aki suddenly changed the topic.

In reality, she was the one who lured Masato out of the room, and convinced Miharu to follow him and make sure he didnít get into trouble.

She let out a sigh, knowing she took a rather roundabout method to getting a private conversation with Takahisa.

?Y-Yes??

His face stiffened up.

?Yísee, IÖ Itís just my own idea, but I think itís okay for Haruto-san to come with us. If he does, Miharu-oneechan will come, too.?

?I think so, too. Thatís why I told Haruto-san the same thing yesterday.?

Takahisa replied with a nod, having already reached the same conclusion.

?Eh? Is that so? When??

?Last night, after everyone went to sleep.?

?I seeÖ What did Haruto-san say??

?He told me after the party last night that he has some kind of errand in the west of Strahl. Do you know anything about that, Aki??

When he asked, Aki thought back.

?Not really. We lived in the same place for a long time, but he never told us much about himself or what he doesÖ Maybe he has something to take care of in Almond??

Akiís answer left a huge question mark on Takahisaís face.

?Almond??

?Yeah. Thatís the place we lived up till now.?

?So thatís whereÖ Though I can kind of tell he wonít come to Saint Stella even after he finishes his business. He didnít say anything about what he needed to do, but I donít think itís anything bad.?

?In that case, I think we can use that time to persuade Miharu-oneechan to join us.?

Takahisa just stared in amazement.

?I get it. We can go that way, too, huh? Youíre brilliant, AkiÖ?

At least, since he was lacking in flexibility, he couldnít have thought of it.

?Itís obvious if you take a second to think. Youíre just uncreative, Onii-chan. You can barely hold a proper conversation, right? Youíre lucky Iím helping you here.?

?YeahÖ youíre right.?

Soon, Takahisaís cheeks loosened up seeing Aki beaming with pride.

?Another thing. If weíre doing this, you have to make sure you win over Miharu-oneechan, you know. You canít stay a hopeless case forever.?

?H-Hopeless? What are you talking about? I mean, I, uhÖ?

His face shone red, stumbling over his own words. He was trying to keep his crush secret, and his little sister could tell so easily. Akiís sighs grew heavier at his reaction, as well.

?I know you love Miharu-oneechan, right, Onii-chan? Youíre like an open book.?

?Eh? W-Why??

At this point, Takahisa wasnít even trying to hide his feelings.

By the way, they were speaking in Japanese.

Thanks to his divine raiment translating for him, Alice and Kiara listening off to the side could understand Takahisa, but Aki didnít have one, so eavesdropping was a little difficult.

?Why, you askÖ Anyone could figure it out if they just look at you. Youíre always trying to be alone with Miharu-oneechan, but when you get the chance you avoid her. Then thereís times where youíre awkward and canít even look her in the eyes.?

Every point she listed off hit the mark.

Put simply, Takahisa was a coward. Sometimes heíd even act cold when the two of them were alone.

?IÖ It canít be helped. Things like that would happen for any normal man.?

Aki heaved a deeper sigh to his answer, then peered at him inquisitively.

?Arenít you uneasy? About Miharu-oneechan and Haruto-san. When they disappeared during the party yesterday. Wonder what they talked about.?

?ThatísÖ?

Takahisa was worried about it, too. He couldnít help thinking about what Rio and Miharu spoke about during the evening party.

?I tried to ask her, butÖ?

?W-Whatíd she say??

He was startled at Akiís remark, since she did something he couldnít bring himself to.

?Um, whatíd they talk about??

?It wasnít anything important. We interrupted them before they got into itÖ?

?IsÖ Is that soÖ?

Takahisa let out a breath of relief as if heíd been holding it in.

?Still, donít you think those two were acting suspicious??

?Noóah, wellÖ what about you? Haruto-san, he seems like a good person.?

Feeling like he was hit with a loaded question, Takahisa tried to dodge it with a vague answer, and Aki knitted her eyebrows hearing it.

?Haruto-san is a really amazing man, you know. Heís a bit clumsy, but heís gentle, cool, handsome, reliable, and he can cook, too. AndÖ?

After bringing Takahisaís nervousness to a boiling point, Aki paused with a gloom in her face as she thought on her next words. The figure of Amakawa Haruto, her former big brother, came to mind.

?And??

Takahisa gulped down his saliva when Aki hesitated.

?Itís nothing. Maybe Miharu-oneechan has someone she likes. If she forgot about him, she might come to like Haruto-san insteadÖ?

From that, Takahisa looked like heíd taken a few hits to the head from a blunt object, and his face lost its color.

?SomeoneÖ she likes? Miharu??

?No. Well, yeah. ProbablyÖ?

?So, thatís how it isÖ?

His spirit dropped inch by inch, then Aki started to cheer him on as if she was preaching.

?B-But, maybe that man will never appear in front of Miharu-oneechan again. This is your chance, Onii-chan!

Thatís why you canít run away now! Sure, Iím indebted to Haruto-san, but if you canít get between Miharu-oneechan and Haruto-san now, all youíll have left later is regrets!?

?AkiÖ?

Takahisa trembled, then righted himself.

?Ö Thatís right. Iíll give it a shot. Iíve got a bit of confidence back now. Thank you.?

?Yeah! You can do this, Onii-chan!?

Aki raised her fist high when Takahisa smiled at her. And thatís when Kiara impatiently spoke up.

?TakahissamaÖ About thatÖ?

She was staring at the crumpled letters behind his back.

?Eh??

What did she mean by that?

He was distracted. But after a look in her eyes he immediately realized he wasnít in a position for holding a conversation.

?AhÖ thatís right. Aki, can you go back in the room for a little while? I have to take care of something real quick.?

Takahisa spoke with a rushed tone.

?Okay, butÖ youíll be back soon, right??

?O-Of course.?

Reassuring her, Aki left the hall. After she left, Alice pointed to the letters more directly.

?Um, what should we do? The letters areÖ?

?UhÖ?

Takahisa froze as he glanced at the letters in his hands. Two were crushed so badly that the sealing wax had mostly come off.

?W-What do I doÖ??

He looked at Kiara as if she had the answer, and she replied anxiously.

?E-Even if you ask meÖ We donít have any choice but to restore them as much as possible before we hand them off to Miharu-sama and the others, and explain the situation when we do. We mustnít forget to apologize to Haruto-sama, as well.?

?ThatísÖ Yeah, youíre right.?

?Please lend it to me. In this state the letter inside is surely crumpled, too. Since the wax has peeled off, letís remove the letter and smooth it out properly on the wall.?

She wanted to do it inside the room, but Aki was inside, and she couldnít neglect her guard duties as a knight. So she decided to take care of things where they stood.

?Ö P-Please do. Iíll help, too.?

?Alice, please help Takahissama.?

?Kay~. The letter please, Takahissama.?

?Thank you.?

After Kiara received a letter, Takahisa removed the one addressed to Aki from its envelope and handed it off to Alice. As expected, the letter was messed up as badly as the envelope.

?Please do your best to not tear it and render it unreadable.?

The most composed of them, Kiara was quick to take the lead and give them orders, and with careful dexterity they smoothed out the crumpled papers. It was a little comical seeing the three of them against the wall outside their room like this.

I wonder who this letterís for.

While pressing out the wrinkles of the envelope in his hands, Takahisa started thinking to himself.

Akiís name was written on the surface in Strahl Regional. Although his divine raiment translated speech, he still couldnít read the languages in this world.

To his left, Alice was smoothing out the letter, mumbling under her breath.

?Mmm, I canít figure these weird letters out one bit.?

?H-Hey, Alice! I told you before you shouldnít be peeping on someone elseís private communications!?

?Ehh, but it was facing me, so it couldnít be helped. Besides, I canít even understand any of this. What small country are these characters from? Shouldnít it be fine to just write in our common language??

Despite her mutterings, she was still doing her job.

?Ö You should have done it from the back. I swear, this girlÖ?

Kiara continued her work as well, after voicing her dissatisfaction with her junior.

The language she called "common" is one used by the majority of the countries in the Strahl region, referred to as Strahl Regional.

However, other languages arenít suppressed, so they can develop in parts of the region or in individual countries. Some even become a national language.

And his curiosity piqued by the knightsí little spat, Takahisa took a peek at the letter Alice was taking care of.

?ThatísÖ JapaneseÖ?

Part 3

Going by the characters on the envelopes, Takahisa was convinced the letters were written in Strahl Regional, but the one he got a look at was in bonafide Japanese.

He hadnít read or written much of anything in Japanese in the months since heíd come to this world, but it was still his native language; heíd recognize it anywhere.

?Hm? Takahissama, you can read this??

?EhÖ No, yeah, I canÖ?

Takahisa nodded in affirmation.

Why did Haruto-san write his letter in Japanese? You could say the others were teaching him, but this level of fluency isÖ

Just from a glance he knew it wasnít something that could have been written by a novice who only started learning a few months ago.

The grammatical structure of Japanese resembled Strahlís language, but the sheer number of characters and its vocabulary made the former far more difficult.

Guessing from a sentence that caught his eye, the letter in Aliceís hands was meant for Aki.

It would have been a lie to say he didnít feel bad about it.

He was driven by the temptation, eyes running back and forth over the first few sentences.

I canít do this! I shouldnít be reading it!

Takahisa shook his head, trying to get it out of his mind.

It was against his morals. Against all decency.

There probably wasnít a punishment for reading it, but he felt he couldnít invade someone elseís privacy.

But maybe because itís been so long since heíd seen Japanese, he couldnít pull away.

Getting into a famous prep school back home wasnít just for show, his reading comprehension was a cut above the rest.

But the letter in front of him threw his heart into disarray.

?EhÖ??

His face paled.

His vision narrowed.

He thought maybe he was going crazy.

?AkiísÖ brother? Previous life??

Takahisa couldnít wipe the dumbfounded look off his face if he tried.

In the letter addressed to Aki it was written that Haruto was originally Amakawa Haruto, Akiís older brother.

There was no making sense of it to him.

He stared at the characters to make sure he didnít possibly read it wrong, but there was no mistake.

?Can youÖ let me see that letter for a bit??

?Eh? AhÖ here.?

Confused herself, Alice obediently handed it over.

How can Haruto, someone of this world, be Akiís older brother?

He couldnít understand.

Takahisaís heart pounded, his brain flooded with adrenaline.

It was enough to overpower his sense of guilt from crudely reading someone elseís letter, and he stared at the paper intensely.

Alice watched on, but Kiara was just barely too late to catch wind of Takahisa doing exactly the thing she said not to do.

?Hm? AhóT-Takahissama! What are you doing??

She started to scold him when she finally noticed, but Takahisa wasnít listening. He was scanning the letter again and again, eyes wide in shock.

?Takahissama, please cease at once! You shouldnít be doing this!?

But she was too late.

Takahisa already understood everything the letter meant to say.

Maybe because he finally accepted it, the grim look on his face grew worse by the second.

?WhatÖ What the hell is all this??

Takahisaís gaze turned to the letter at Kiaraís feetóthe one addressed to Miharu.

He only came back to his senses when the slip of paper was already in his hand, consumed by his curiosity.

?You canít! Takahissama!?

Kiara tried to get ahead of him and keep the letter away, but he moved first.

?Doing something like forcing open the seal of a nobleís letter by anyone other than the recipient is a crime, you know? To say nothing of reading its contentsÖ?

She couldnít go openly go against him as the hero he was, but Kiara still hoped persuasion by reason would work.

Unfortunately, Takahisa didnít care, having gotten absorbed in reading.

The letter itself was beyond saving, too, crumpled as badly as it was.

?P-Please return the letter! This is really a crime!?

Kiara was whispering as loudly as she could, restlessly glancing back and forth down the hall.

?Too late, senpai. He already finished the first one.?

And maybe she just didnít understand the gravity of their situation, but Aliceís tone was particularly carefree.

?Geez, I donít know anymore. Canít tell you whatís going to happen to usÖ?

To Ayase Miharu.

Last night, I confessed to you selfishly and one-sidedly, which may have confused you.

My deepest apologies for doing such a thing.

What followed was unexpected, but this letter is so I can tell you what I couldnít last night.

Maybe what youíre about to read isnít a very interesting story.

In fact, maybe itís not even something I should say, since it might disturb Miharu-san to hear it.

But this is something I want to tell you, no matter what.

Thatís why, even though Iím not happy with the method, I decided a letter would be best.

If you canít bring yourself to keep reading, thereís no need to force yourself.

This is all for my own satisfaction as it is. In case you wonít read further, please forget everything about me, live together with Takahissan and the others, and look for a way to return to Earth.

Iíll do all I can to help you, but if you donít want to be involved with me, I promise not to approach you.

The preface was a bit long, but from this point itíll be my story, step by step.

You might have already noticed it. I met Miharu-san in my previous life.

My name was Amakawa Haruto. I was your childhood friend.

I believe I used to call you "Mii-chan" when we were kids, right?

I remember Miharu-san called me "Haru-kun".

Twice in my life as Amakawa Haruto, I was with Miharu-san.

First was up until we were seven years old, before I moved away. Then there was a brief moment just as we were entering high school.

Although, it was just me who saw you during the entrance ceremony.

Do you remember?

Miharu-san was by my side, and I by yours. It felt like those days would go on forever.

If you ask me why, itís because I love Miharu-san. There was nothing I could do; I was head over heels for you.

But, that only lasted until elementary school.

I was forced to separate from Miharu-san and move to another city. I lost all contact with you since.

It should be about nine years ago for Miharu-san.

At that time, we made a promise to each other.

Normally something like a promise you made as kids would be something you give up on as you grow up.

Not to mention the ridiculousness of trying to fulfill that promise. It could be a foolís errand.

Even so, that promise with Miharu-san is Amakawa Harutoís strongest support.

Because he loved you.

Because he wanted to see Miharu-sanís smile again.

Because his memories with Miharu-san were an irreplaceable treasure to him.

The me at the time was kid. When I think on it, I didnít understand the how or that reuniting with Miharu-san would be a distant future.

But, I thought that I would be able to meet you again as long as I tried my hardest.

Then a feeling came over me that the Miharu-san I wished for would leave if I didnít.

So I did my best in everything without exception, like a single-minded idiot, just for the hope of meeting Miharu-san again.

Growing that way, maybe as a reward for my efforts, I got the chance to enter the same high school as Miharu-san.

From a passing glance, even now I can still feel my body trembling when I saw you that day.

But the Amakawa Haruto at the time had become a bit of a sore loser. Seeing Miharu-san so friendly with an unknown guy, I ran away hoping I wouldnít have to face the truth.

Of the fact that maybe Miharu-san forgot about someone like me.

While I was hiding from you, you suddenly vanished without a trace.

Although now I know itís because you were summoned to this world.

I never got over my regrets ever since Miharu-san disappeared.

I couldnít stand never being able to tell you how I felt.

I took those regrets to my grave. But somehow, I was reincarnated here.

Thatís why I was so surprised, but I was overjoyed.

Being able to meet you again in this cruel world.

I kept thinking I would never see Miharu-san again.

I was truly happy that day.

And yet, all I did was run away from Miharu-san like before.

I had enough of regrets, is what I thought, but I was scared.

Whether in this life or the last, Iím an ugly, self-centered coward.

Over time, constantly thinking, the fleeting wish I pursued slowly crumbled, but I still lived in those inexorably shattered dreams.

I was lost, and even now I still hesitate to continue writing, afraid of this dream finally fading away for good.

I amóAmakawa Haruto is already dead.

I myself still donít understand what happened to me, but the man called Amakawa Haruto died four years after the disappearance of Miharu-san from Japan.

Then the Amakawa Haruto who was supposed to have died was reborn as an orphan named Rio.

Thatís why, though my circumstances have me calling myself "Haruto", I write this letter not as Amakawa Haruto, but as Rio.

This body is different. Even with the memories and personality that made up Amakawa Haruto, Iím an existence born of the fusion of two souls.

Itís strange, but it was surprisingly easy to accept when I reincarnated in this world that "I am Rio."

Naturally Iím aware that I was Amakawa Haruto, but I donít think the current me is him.

No matter how many of his memories and personality traits were left behind, the man called Amakawa Haruto became a completely different person in the nine years after regaining his memories.

The me now understands that if someone is trying to injure me or take my life, itís necessary to defend myself. I wonít hesitate to fight back, and kill in return.

There are times where I completely disregard my ethics, and only think about risk and return to decide my actions.

In fact, Iíve hurt and killed for reasons that, if I were Japanese, people would think I was insane.

And thereís a man Iím seeking revenge against.

If I meet him, Iíll probably kill him, even if it isnít necessary.

Because I hate that man from the depths of my soul.

Such a self is so ugly that even I know Iím broken somewhere, but I donít see myself changing.

Iíve already accepted that part of me, so the only way I can move is forward.

Thatís why when I met Miharu-san, who didnít change at all, I was afraid.

Maybe the me of that previous life really was Amakawa Haruto.

Maybe this personality, these memories, theyíre not fakes given to me by someone else.

But even if I was once Amakawa Haruto, I wonder if Iím not a completely different person.

Is the different me qualified to love you?

Is it okay for a dead man to love someone whoís still alive?

The point is, I donít fully understand what I am myself.

I definitely feel that I love Miharu-san.

But, thatís because thereís so little left of when I was Amakawa Haruto.

Everything that is Amakawa Haruto is gone, except for his love for you.

Somewhere in my heart I wondered that perhaps this desire just happened to mix in with these memories.

I couldnít help it.

I was scared to be rejected by you when I tell you about all this.

I was scared that Miharu-san would hate me, knowing what kind of person I am. What Iíve become.

So in my fear I chose to live with Miharu-san and the others while hiding my identity.

I want to confess these feelings of mine. Nothing will change if I donít.

I understand that.

Otherwise, one day you may disappear from my side again.

But even if I know my time with you was just a transient dream of my own imprudence, I was happy to live under the same roof with all of you.

I truly feared the moment that dream would fall apart once I confessed.

But eventually, I managed to say the words Iíve always wanted to. I didnít want to make the same mistake I did last time.

Maybe you want to go back home.

Maybe you already have someone you like.

I know itís selfish, but before Miharu-san disappears again, I donít want to be left with the regret of giving up before I even start.

I already know it all too well.

I donít want to lose Miharu-san this time without being able to convey my feelings.

Thatís something I dread more than even being hated by Miharu-san.

Thatís why, if Iím going to say it, I want to say it from the beginning.

So I never feel that regret again, Iíll confess my love for Miharu-san once more.

The time I spent with you was short, but it made me realize.

My feelings for you arenít fake, or influenced by anyone.

Not as Amakawa Haruto. Not as Rio. None of that matters. I am me, and the me right now is in love with Miharu-san.

It took me a while to notice something so simple.

And itís thanks to Miharu-san that I could.

So, please let me say it again.

I love you, Miharu-san.

Itís no longer possible for me to fulfill our promise from when we were kids, but will you stay with me after this?

Year 1000 Sacred Calendar, Month of Spring, a certain day.

Rio/Amakawa Haruto

P.S. When we can next meet, please look forward to my birthday present for you, Miharu-san.

(~'.')~To Be Continue In Chapter 111~('.'~)

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