TL : Cnine
ED/PF : Jake1456
After he read every parts written in that letter, Takahisa stood on his place with a dumbfounded expression .
The inside of his head turned pure white as he feels a bitter taste in his mouth .
「What the hell . This is………… . 」
Takahisa’s face became frozen solid as he raised a remark as if squeezing his voice .
What he couldn’t understand is what the meaning of the content of that letter .
He can’t stop his trembling heart .
Though they were together for a long time, he wasn’t aware of this fact .
About the other childhood friend of Miharu .
About the other older brother of Aki .
Because he never saw both Miharu or Aki showing that sort of sign at all .
Until they arrived in this world .
Not even to consider the thing which had been lost .
He’s not aware of anything that was given to him nor he have any question about it .
Protecting someone .
Takahisa’s the only one who was spending his life happily――
Kiara’s calling to him in seeing him showing an unusual reaction .
But, her voice never reached Takahisa .
（He was the older brother of Aki, loved by Miharu and her childhood friend？）
Takahisa’s pondering about that point .
Rio who was once Amakawa Haruto is confessing his love to Miharu .
Maybe the person who Miharu loves is Amakawa Haruto .
That must be why Miharu can unconsciously feels the trace of Amakawa Haruto in Rio .
Takahisa suddenly imagined the figure of Rio standing on the place where he should
be at .
Along with Miharu, Aki and Masato――
He’s attacked by a severe feeling of rejection .
He can even try to imagine that fact as a fact .
He also doesn’t want to .
“Why someone like Rio, Haruto is right on the side of Miharu and the others――”
「Unfair………… . Yeah, so unfair . Isn’t this unfair to me? The thing that he does is……………」
Takahisa suddenly muttered to himself .
「He’s lying . He cheated Aki and Miharu」
“He’s trying to bind Miharu with a debt of gratitude―― He’s trying to restrain Miharu with sympathy―― Outside, he says something like 『I’m respecting Miharu and the others own will』 while in fact trying to guide their will .
Yes, it was Rio who is always pulling a trick toward Miharu and the others .
He was the one who is betraying Miharu and the Others . [TL : What an overly imaginative guy]
Isn’t he such a selfish man .
「What do you mean by harming someone since it’s necessary？ Killing a human？ That’s impossible right . Such a thing！ 」
The feeling which is gradually arising in him is eventually coming out in verbal form .
He really can’t understand what kind of nerves one needed to kill someone .
Even if he is a former Japanese, normally it shouldn’t be so easy for him to kill someone just because it’s necessary .
Even if it’s for self-defense the public will talk about it behind his back in Japan .
That kind of simple solution of killing someone if it’s necessary to live on is absolutely wrong .
He can’t put his sympathy to that kind of person and feeling uneasy for the “Good person” evaluation on him by Miharu and the others .
Much less to say, he can’t help but worrying if that kind of man is staying by Miharu and the others side .
And then, a strong desire was swirling inside of Takahisa .
Such unrestrained emotion is on the peak of heat .
The chaos and excitement makes him feel dizzy .
As if heaven and earth is completely overturned .
Even so, it was the feeling that he recognized as clear as day .
「I won’t let that killer to be along with Miharu」
Takahisa muttered with a subdued voice .
Takahisa’s standing still at his place with a sour expression and then someone appeared and called his name .
「I wonder what are you doing by standing still at this place, Takahisa？ And for the three of you to be here………… . 」
It was Lilyana who was taking along Fril, the maid, with her .
She’s coming upon the figure of Takahisa standing on the corridor when she returned to her room after she’s done with the negotiation with Francois .
「AAAh, Lily……………… So you’ve returned」
Though he noticed Lilyana, Takahisa’s reaction is dull .
It feels like his body is here but, not his soul .
「Yeah, since I only need to sign the official form of the alliance…………… What’s the matter, Kiara？ 」
While talking with Takahisa, Lilyana who is seeing Kiara’s reaction is asking for a confirmation of the situation .
「M-My deepest apologies！ Lilyana-sama . The truth is――」
Kiara’s apologizing with a pale face and then began to explain the situation to Lilyana .
She then proceeded to the explanation of the fact that transpired at that place objectively .
And then, Lilyana felt anxious after she heard the entirety of Kiara’s explanation .
「When you put your spirit on the restoration of the letter………… . . Well in fact you’re not fact enough . But, though it become a hind-sight based opinion, you won’t gain any correspondence statement」
And then, Lilyana is reprimand Kiara fault with bitter expression .
「My deepest apology！ I never consider the possibilities of him tearing the letter, my error aside, if Takahisa-sama is aware that such act is worth of a crime that might even developed into an international problem………… Moreover without any witness in such situation………… . . 」
Under assumption that they’re looking into the content of the letter when the seal opened is already worth of a crime no matter how you look at it .
In that case, rather than returning the letters in such crumpled state, Kiara’s thinking the feasibility of restoring the letters before delivering it to it’s rightful person .
But, when she think about it after she calming herself later, taking out the letter was practically a poor move on her parts .
「It’s hasn’t been that long since you become a knight so I know full well of your lack of experience」
The royal knight of Lilyana, a royalty is choosen by strict criteria according to their loyalty, abilities and, gender which far more important than the families where they’re coming from .
In the first place the number of female knight is way too scarce since many of them are retiring upon marriage .
Therefore it can’t be helped that they were mainly composed of young girls .
But, there’s a merit due to them coming from the same generation and their gender .
「But, it still doesn’t change the fact that you’re the exclusive royal guard of mine, a royalty . They’re demanded to corresponding accordingly with perfect solution under assumption that beyond expectation event happened like this case . So you should have taught in how to deal with case like this one right？ 」
It’s no wonder that she’s trembling in fear when her master witnessing her doing something which will be resulting in crime right before her .
And most of all, since Kiara isn’t an official knight, dealing with problem such as this case might be outside of her area of expertise .
But, seeing that she serve under a princess, she’s always demanded to working perfectly,
Kiara’s line of sight drooping with depressed mood .
She couldn’t even objecting with words such as 「I was calm at that time」 seeing that the result isn’t as she expected .
Since she can say whatever she want to say but a fact is a fact .
「Your serious attitude in respecting the rules is your greatest merit but also your greatest weakness . DO you know that you’ve the tendency of becoming inflexible once a situation outside of manual occurred ？」
Many of these kind of people were under assumption that everyone will move according to rules, similiar to them .
「Well, I still have to report about this matter even if this happened because of my own carelessness but……… . . Let’s forget about that matter for now . Even more important than that is――」
Saying so, Lilyana’s looking at Takahisa .
Maybe because he managed to calm himself a bit when looking at the reprimanded Kiara, Takahisa was acting in awkward way while grimacing himself .
Takahisa body is trembled when he heard his name being called with such beautiful and cold tone .
「Will you let me to about this matter？」
「…………… Yes . My apologize . Even so it wasn’t Kiara fault」
Takahisa’s replying with apologetic tone .
「No, this matter is the responsibility of Kiara」
Lilyana rejected that notion flat .
「It’s my fault you see . It’s wrong to scold Kiara for my fault」
He can’t take the fact that Kiara being scolded because of him .
Takahisa’s rebutting with that kind of thinking .
「I’ve ordered Kiara to looking after Takahisa-sama during my absence . No matter how much of a hero Takahisa-sama, your fault is also our fault . Thus we’re the existence to compensate for that mistake」
Though Lilyana will unconditionally respecting Takahisa opinion if it’s the normal case, she’s currently flat out rejecting Takahisa opinion .
「………… . . But, it’s still my fault . Kiara’s not at fault you know！ 」
Takahisa’s saying so with a sullen expression .
「Takahisa-sama………… . . 」
Lilyana’s heaving a sigh as if troubled by it .
Up till now, she always respecting Takahisa’s will as far as possible .
Though he’s lacking the life experience due to his young age, Takahisa’s bad nature will appear in his speech and conduct when he became too hot blooded .
It seems the person himself is aware of that fact but, he never left any fatal mistake which can’t be undone in his young age .
Therefore Takahisa’s never even considered to fix that nature of him .
Lilyana was also captured by such a nice disposition of Takahisa .
That’s why she never thought of trying to fix that side of him immediately since she also has a duty as the princess to win him over toward their side .
But, only this case she can’t act like usual .
Because Takahisa doesn’t seem like the kind of people who will do what he likes just because he’s a hero to Lilyana .
Since it’ll implied on so many things by bringing in a hero to her country, in the end she has no choice to scold him for the sake of her own country .
Lilyana has not enough power to settle everything with her limited authority except for something necessary .
Moreover, she thinks that trying to settle this case with power is a poor move .
She might be able to do something if this is Saint Stellar kingdom .
But, Rio, the victim is a noble of Galwark kingdom, even Lilyana can’t freely wield her authority in Galwark kingdom .
「Though it’s the type of crime that will need the victim side to file the complaint, intentionally tearing the letter which is written by a noble is a crime . Do you understand that now？ 」
Lilyana asked with a calm voice .
Since there’s many confidential matters in the letter written by noble, one will become the subject of the rules when they were intentionally violating highly restricted information .
It’s going as far as death penalty if that letter happened to be highly classified information, even if it happened to not be highly classified information, it’s not something praiseworthy either since they basically stepped into another person’s privacy .
Furthermore, there’ll be additional punishment waiting upon them in case they’re conveying the content of that unsealed letter to another person .
Takahisa’s eye opened wide in hearing such unexpected words .
Certainly, he can’t just open the letter of another person just for his own convenience .
Even more so, that’s something akin to a crime――
Certainly, the matter of him accidentally tearing the seal and reading one part of the letter are just act of god .
It definitely is his fault for reading the entire letter after that but――
Somehow or other, Takahisa isn’t making a justification in his heart for it is his own fault .
But, he noticed immediately .
――I-I can’t do that . One who opened a letter except for the one to whom those letter addressed to is a criminal？
When he read the letter addressed to Aki aside, from Kiara trembling, he knew that he already became a criminal by the time he read the letter addressed to Miharu .
「………… . AH」
「It seems you understand the weight of your action」
Saying so, Lilyana’s letting out a deep sigh .
「No, even so………… It’s not like I teared it on purpose」
Takahisa’s showing a gloomy expression as if he can’t accept that .
He clearly understands that this matter is happening because of his own fault .
Because Takahisa didn’t think that his action was a crime .
「You definitely will be punished for intentionally opening the seal of the letter . You shouldn’t be punished for opening the seal by mistake . But, does Takahisa-sama know that intentionally reading the letter is something that can’t be undone in this case？ 」
「T-That is………………… . 」
It’s shown on Takahisa’s face when he heard about it from Lilyana’s tone which is greatly different from her usual tone .
「You will become the target of punishment if the fact that you intentionally broke the seal and reading the letter is known to the public . At this rate, you’ll be undergoing trial as long as Haruto-sama filed a complaint . And there’s no other way to prevent that except from asking permission from Haruto-sama」
Takahisa unintentionally gulped his saliva in hearing the statement of Lilyana who’s supposed to be his ally .
「Punishment you say, that’s too exaggerated huh………… . 」
「Whether it’s exaggerated is depending on the will of the victim and the content of the letter…………… Since Takahisa-sama’s a hero, even if for example Haruto-sama filed a complaint, he basically can’t do anything about that 」
Maybe because the trial matter to the country is comparable to a hero .
Though this matter might become an issue, they can avoid such judgement with the political situation and in the end Takahisa won’t be charged for his crime .
Beside everything will be fine if this matter won’t cause any problem, though it’s possible to turn the situation in that way if this place was Saint Stellar kingdom, it won’t be that easy when such matter happened in Galwark kingdom .
If for example they’re facing the trial, maybe it’s easier to imagine that it’ll turn into them owing a favor toward Galwark kingdom .
Even if it’s not turning toward that way, they might have to offer a formal apology to Rio in order to not being charged by him .
「B-But, if it’ll turn into something as dangerous as that, no one will ever receive something like a letter of a noble right…… . . Since it’ll bring trouble upon them if they ever make a blunder which caused the letter to be unsealed like now」
Takahisa tried his reasoning .
It might be something cruel to entrust the letter without any sort of explanation, what will happen if the seal of the letter is broken .
“In the first place, I love Miharu, isn’t he way too bold for entrusting a letter with such content to his rival in love . ”
Though it should be fine if he hands this letter by himself, why did he have to entrust this letter to me .
In the first place, Miharu’s decided to go with Rio, so she’s in love with Rio .
Even if you couldn’t hand over the letter since you’re in a hurry, you should give the letter yourself .
And yet, he completely failed to understand why Rio entrusted the letters to him as if he’s chased by something .
In addition to one matter today, Takahisa feels something close to unjustified resentment toward Rio while recalling the content of the letter .
「Let’s go give our apologies toward Haruto-sama . I’ll go along to apologize to him too」
Lilyana proposed that plan with a soft voice .
Her tone is completely like inviting a child who just did a naughty thing to reflect on his action .
「No………… . . 」
Takahisa’s showed a complete rejection toward such a proposal .
Lilyana’s suddenly making a whole face smile .
「Well, what are you going to do then？」
Takahisa’s at a loss for words .
If he goes to apologize to Rio, the matter of these letters will be known by Miharu and the others .
What will happen if this letter arrived at Miharu’s hands？
When he imagined what will happen after that――
No good .
Takahisa’s showing a strong resistance .
“I won’t allow such a thing to happen . ”
“Absolutely not . ”
“Rio’s a killer and a liar after all . ”
Rio’s the benefactor of Miharu and the others, he was protecting them and taught them survival skills without holding anything back .
Miharu and the others were embracing strong feelings of gratitude toward Rio .
That’s why Takahisa also invited Rio to come along .
Since Miharu will come along with him .
He was kind of aware about the distance between Miharu and Rio getting closer and closer but, he’s not envying that and was trying to hold his own emotion .
And yet, Rio is betraying his feeling .
A killer who is caught in his distorted revenge .
When such a dangerous man is with Miharu, he won’t let such a selfish story to pass by .
There’s no way he can bring happiness to Miharu with his hand which is soaked by the blood of the people killed by him .
He must not let Rio get closer to Miharu .
「Don’t tell me, you’re going to hide this fact？」
Lilyana asked with a slightly grimacing expression .
「That guy is…… . . Dangerous」
Takahisa’s replying with a frown .
Though Lilyana’s unable to see through the true meaning behind his words, she knew that Takahisa implicitly accused Haruto .
「Even if I’m working along with Takahisa-sama to hide this fact, someday this matter will come to light . You should understand what will happen by then even without me explaining the risk right？ 」
If they were going to hide this fact, they have no choice but to bring back Miharu and the others to their kingdom before they’ve any chance to get into a contact with Rio .
But, that’s nothing more than stalling the time in their country .
In that case, Miharu and the others may show a strong resistance if they’re trying to forcibly bring them back, even if they managed to cheat Miharu and the others, they’ll know that they were being cheated sooner or later .
Moreover, Charlotte was there to witness when Rio entrusted his letter to Takahisa, Satsuki also knows that Rio’s going to send those letters toward Miharu and the others .
Satsuki might be aware of the truth if she meets Miharu and the others later, and it might cause a crack on the alliance with Galwark kingdom who just became their ally .
「Even so………… . . This is definitely for the sake of Miharu and the others」
Takahisa muttered those words with slight confidence .
「He’s showing his sincere attitude toward us, no, he’s the one who let Takahisa-sama to reunite with Miharu and the others . In spite of that, are you going to treat him with such extreme insincerity by hiding the crime that you committed toward him？ 」
Lilyana’s asking him that question .
Rio put his trust on Takahisa as the older brother of Aki and Masato, and yet, Takahisa was betraying his trust to the point of committing a crime .
Is Rio the one at fault for entrusting his letters to Takahisa, or Takahisa for betraying Rio’s trust by reading the content of the letter? .
Which one is it .
「L-Lily……… . You’re mistaken」
Though the sincere complaints of Lilyana is piercing deep in his mind .
Takahisa thinks of her as someone special when he knows that she’s his only ally .
And yet, why can’t she understand hi,？
No, Lilyana just doesn’t know about it .
About Rio who deceived Miharu――
「N-No…… . . You’re mistaken . I can’t let Miharu, and the others to meet him」
Takahisa’s somehow frantically trying to explain the situation to her .
But, Lilyana’s pupils are shaken as if she feels sad and,
「Takahisa-sama, we promised to Haruto-sama . That we’ll respect the will of Miharu and the others . Are you going to betraying that promise too？ 」
She asked while staring at Takahisa face .
「Wrong . What will, that will……… Is something that guided by him！ Miharu and the others are tricked by him！ 」
「Their will……… . Is being guided？」
Lilyana’s reaction also showed a slight change in hearing Takahisa’s calm objection .
Naturally she doesn’t know the detailed situation unless she asked for Takahisa’s explanation .
But, it might have turned into her prying to other people’s privacy if she’s prying even further into it .
Normally Lilyana will show a smile that is resembling a dignified bloomed flower but, only in this time she’s showing a hesitation .
「…… Maybe he’ll make their life miserable if they go with him」
Takahisa told her about that while making the content of the letter vague .
Amakawa Haruto is dead in the past .
But, Ayase Miharu is alive in the present .
And yet, that dead man is loving the living woman, there’s no way he’ll allow it .
She won’t be happy .
Death isn’t something that can be taken lightly .
Rio’s lacking in that awareness .
After all Miharu will be sad if she knows that Haruto is dead, for that Haru-, No, for that Rio to confessing his previous life as Haruto is way too selfish of him .
Takahisa keeps making such a excuse inside of his head .
「Surely . Yeah, I’m sure . He’s definitely the one who………」
「Is that the only secret written in this letter？ And will it make Miharu-san and the others unhappy once they know about it？ 」
「Yeah……… . 」
Takahisa consented .
「I see……… . 」
Maybe because no one but the writer knows the intention behind the sentences that he wrote in the letters .
Or maybe because it’s depending on the receiver of the letters――
In this case, that is the subjective evaluation for the content of the letter by Takahisa .
That’s why, maybe it’s not as dangerous as what Takahisa says to her .
Lilyana feels so .
Or, it may be as dangerous as what Takahisa says to her .
If they were unlucky, Miharu and the others mind, body, and life might be in jeopardy but――
But, even Lilyana couldn’t make such judgement unless she read those letters .
「Well, shall we go to Haruto-sama’s place to ask for his apology and to ask about his real intention . Whether Haruto-sama really has an ill intention as you say」
They have to apologize to him and even more so to ask about his real intention .
This is not a matter in which she can easily pry into as an outsider .
Because it’ll turn into a bad situation in case that Takahisa is wrong .
That was Lilyana conclusion .
「N-NO！ WE ABSOLUTELY MUSTN’T DO THAT！ 」
Takahisa’s shouting with a pale face .
If we do that, Miharu will be――
「Is there something that happened in this place？」
The patrolling knight was coming and asked them that question .
Despite being the hero and royalty of a foreign country, the knight might be suspicious since they have been chatting in the corridor with such a loud voice since a while ago .
「No, there is nothing . Please resume your duty」
「…… Understood . The situation in the castle is currently under strict supervision therefore, please hold back from doing something suspicious」
「Yes , I understand」
Lilyana’s replying to him with a smile and then the knight resumed his duty without prying too much into their problem .
「Please don’t talk with such a loud voice, Takahisa-sama . Currently all the soldiers in the castle are in a semi-combat state and all of them will be easily agitated . Moreover, Aki-sama will notice your loud voice you know？ 」
「S-Sorry . But, we really can’t do that . We must not let him approach Miharu」
「In short……… You have no intention to report about this incident to Haruto-sama nor you want to apologize to him？」
Takahisa’s eye warped due to his guilty feeling .
「The one who should apologize isn’t me」
Lilyana’s telling him that while heaving a sigh .
「I, I……………… . . 」
Though Takahisa’s trying to say something, he’s at a loss for words .
From what, no, speaking of what he had to say .
Even so, when Takahisa’s trying to explain,
「Please wait . I don’t want to know about that for now . Only until I have the permission from the sender or the addressed person of this letter will I hear the content of this letter . Do you know that it’ll become a crime if you recklessly disclose the content of the letters right now? 」
Lilyana put a stop to Takahisa .
Takahisa’s bewildered .
「In case you won’t pass the letters back to Haruto-sama before, can I take that you won’t pass this letter to Miharu-sama even after this？ Moreover, I think those matters should be decided by the one who should receive those letters…… . . 」
For Takahisa to insist that it’s due to the content of the letter, she expected that the content is extremely important in his opinion .
She’s judging that Miharu and the others conclusion may not necessarily coincide with Takahisa’s conclusion .
Lilyana persisted to that point of view of hers till the end .
「That’s why We can’t do that！」
Takahisa raised his tone while showing a sorrowful expression .
「Takahisa-sama . So I take that you don’t want to apologize to Haruto-sama . And you don’t want to deliver the letters from Haruto-sama too . Do you think we can do such a convenient action？ That letter should be entrusted to you by Haruto-sama right? 」
「But, if I’m not doing this ………… . 」
“Miharu will go with a killer who is cleverly disguising himself from everyone . ”
Takahisa’s about to say that but, he can’t do that as Lilyana’s stopping him from doing so .
“Why you can’t understand？“ .
“Why, aren’t you always trusting in what I say?” .
Takahisa’s eye is warping as if he is about to cry .
The only thing that dominating over his mind is hatred toward Rio and fear for snatching away Miharu and the others .
「Takahisa-sama, you’re thinking for the best for Miharu-san and the others right？ In that case will you put your faith in them？ For the sake of Miharu-san and your siblings sake . And then for Haruto-san too since Miharu-san and the others also trust him . Is what I believe」」
Lilyana’s speaking in a gentle tone .
「Why can you so easily trust a stranger who you just met？」
Takahisa asked with a doubtful face .
「Because Miharu-san and the others trust him . Takahisa-sama’s trusting Miharu-san and the others too right . Because I think that I can put my trust on someone to whom my most important person is believing to . I’m sure that Takahisa-sama is also feeling the same as me………」
He definitely tried to put his trust in Rio, or so until he read the letters .
Takahisa’s averting his eyes from Lilyana as if feeling guilty while swollowing the words thats about to come out .
The girl in front of him is always smiling gently .
But, currently, he can feel a completely different atmosphere from the usual Lilyana .
She’s not the gentle, calm and yet innocent Lilyana that he knows about .
The current her was showing an expression of someone who stands above the others as their leader .
「I put my trust in Takahisa-sama . These past three months with you isn’t just for show . I know this due to me having met many people as a royalty . You’re also inexperienced in that matter but, you’re definitely not a bad person」[TL : Char’z Counterattack famous quota, definitely a death flag]
Takahisa couldn’t say “What of me can you understand in just three months“ .
「Isn’t that why Haruto-sama entrusted his letters to you, because Miharu-san and the others trust Takahisa-sama？」[TL : I have this urge to swap the “Trust” with “Trash”] [ED: I can do that in a separate document if you want me to]
Takahisa’s showing a bitter face .
「Maybe Haruto-sama isn’t wholeheartedly trusting me . But, I can feel that he trusts you since you’re the older brother of Masato-kun and Aki-chan . And he gave you the chance to be reunited with them is the biggest proof of all」
Lilyana’s smiling softly .
Maybe because Miharu, Satsuki, Aki and Masato also wished for it, Rio also put his trust in Takahisa .
If that is not the case, he won’t put his trust to Miharu and the others including Takahisa, and only trusting himself, Rio will be leaving from Galwark kingdom bringing along Miharu and the others with him based on his own judgement .
「Will you trust him？ The one to whom your most important people put their trust to」
Takahisa’s at a loss for words while showing a unpleasant expression .
“Is what he thinks right now really a correct decision？“
Though a bud of doubt started to sprout in his heart, he can’t forget his agony .
He can’t completely erase his complex distrust which is mixing with jealousy toward Rio .
The heart of a person isn’t as simple as that .
Maybe because she is guessing Takahisa’s confusion .
「Let’s go apologize . To Haruto-sama . Let’s put our trust in him . For everyone’s sake」
Lilyana pressed him to give his answer .
「……… . No . …… . . As expected, we can’t do that」
Takahisa replied with a trembling voice .
Lilyana’s saying so with a gloomy expression and then,
「…… . In that case, I’ll come to visit Haruto-sama to explain the situation to him in your stead . Since everything that transpired today isn’t the sole responsibility of Takahisa-sama and Kiara, I have to offer my apology to him too . later on, I won’t tell Miharu-san and the others about this matter」
She said those words .
Takahisa suddenly shouted with a grieved face in hearing the words that he didn’t want to hear the most .
He looked at Lilyana with a begging look on his face .
As if saying “Why are you saying something like that?“ .
「Takahisa-sama, please don’t do something like that to me . I want you to tell me what you want from your mouth」
Lilyana’s making a sincere appeal .
Takahisa’s face warped as if he’s being cornered .
Both of them is staring silently for few seconds .
「I-If that’s the case…………」
Right after that, Takahisa started to speak with a irritated tone .
In the next moment,
「I’ll stop being a hero！ And take Miharu and the others into my custody！ 」
Takahisa made that declaration with a frightened expression .
As expected, even Lilyana’s staring at him with a shocked face due to his shocking declaration .
Silently, even Kiara and Alice are also taken aback in hearing such a conversation .
「Didn’t you say that you want to become the hero of our kingdom . ……… And then make the kingdom a better place along with me . That vow, was that vow a lie？ 」
Lilyana’s saying those words with a sad voice .
「It’s not a lie！ I don’t want to lie to you, nor am I trying to！ Because I just can’t do something like that . BUT…………！ 」
Takahisa’s shouting with a desperate voice .
「I HAVE TO DO THIS . THERE’S NO WAY I CAN LET MIHARU AND THE OTHERS TO GO TO THE SIDE OF SOMEONE WHO CAN KILL WITHOUT BATTING AN EYELID！」
A slight tremor is running across Lilyana expression in hearing Takahisa statement .
“――What does he mean by killing someone without batting an eyelid？“
Lilyana’s gazing into Takahisa eyes, a while later .
「I will act as if I never heard your words from before . …… . But, is there any feasibility in your statement？ Will you stop being a hero and then take along Miharu-san and the others to live with them？ 」
She asked .
「I will . No, I definitely will do that」
Takahisa’s replying with enthusiastic words .
He’s unstable, and dangerous .
Lilyana’s judging that the current him will completely have no intention to even reason for whether his thinking is right or wrong .
She doesn’t know whether it’s possible to make him listen to her even just a little in his current condition since there’s a possibility that he might be acting recklessly in his desperation .
「……… Reality is far more cruel than what you might expect, Takahisa-sama . If for example you choose that option, the time you come to regret that decision won’t be that far」
「…… . . I don’t know unless I try」 [TL : Rio already mastered that area long time ago]
「the result is as obvious as day even without you trying to do it」
Lilyana mercilessly cut down his remark . [TL : Crush him little girl]
「That won’t happen . You know about that too right, Lily . My power as a hero . I can protect my most important people with my power」
「You can’t protect someone with only brute power . Though I’m one to say something like this, royalties and nobilities were a being that excel in using their wits . Many will turn into a completely merciless person if it was for their own benefit」
「…… Any more than this will only open the gap between us, Lily . I won’t let things go as you say, I won’t let Miharu and the others meet him . If you keep hindering me, I’ll take along Miharu, Aki and Masato to leave with me」
Takahisa is telling her that he won’t talk any further than this .
Since he doesn’t know when Miharu and Masato will come back from their stroll .
From this point is the worst, he can feel the unrest to even force them to go along with him .
Kiara and Alice took one step forward when they guessing such heavy atmosphere .
「Please stop this」
Lilyana’s restraining both of them .
「Do you really have no intention to step back, Takahisa-sama？」
「……… Nope . Since I can’t protect everyone unless I do this . I will do that so that everyone can live in peace」
Takahisa replied calmly with a extremely distressed face .
Lilyana’s showing a troubled face .
「That is………… . . Of Takahisa-sama」
She stopped what she’s about to say in the middle of her sentence .
Since she feels that the relationship with Takahisa that she built up till this point will be completely broken beyond repair once she says those words .
The silence dominated the place as Lilyana’s breathing lightly .
「No, so be it right . ……… . . Understood . Let’s follow Takahisa-sama’s wish」
She muttered those words .
There’s a slight tremble in her voice .
Is this really okay to?
Or so, as if she’s asking herself――
Takahisa said so while heaving a sigh .
「But, I have a few conditions . And you must promise me to never go against those conditions . From now on, don’t do something like this again ever . In the worst case that Takahisa-sama isn’t abiding this condition, I won’t back down in delivering the punishment to you . So that you won’t regret your actions later on . Will you pick this choice by betting on your life？ 」
Lilyana’s asking him with a cold voice as if to ask him to make his resolution .
Though Takahisa’s pushed by her pressure for a moment,
「…… . I’ll choose that choice . If that choice will let Miharu and the others to live in peace」
So he spoke of his vow with a resolute tone .
「Then I’ll take your words as your vow . Never make a mistake on your choice」
Lilyana’s saying so with a calm tone .
Thereupon, after taking a short breath,
「Well then, since we have not much time left I’ll explain the detailed condition later but, first please let me have the letters . I’ll be the one who will dispose of it」
She spoke those words .
「Yeah, otherwise how are you going to dispose it？ Since we’ll be in trouble if those letters are disposed half-heartedly, I want to be the one who’ll dispose it」
Lilyana’s replying properly to Takahisa who is asking timidly .
「No, even so……… . . 」
「I have the privilege for the matter of disposing the letters as the condition of going along with Takahisa-sama . Please decide it right now, we’ve no time」
Though Takahisa’s somehow showing a hestitant expression, eventually he agreed to give the letters to Lilyana when she pressed for a reply .
Lilyana’s giving her cooperation, after all she can’t read these letters .
After receiving those letters from Takahisa, Lilyana’s giving those letters to Fril who stood quietly by her side .
「You know what you have to do right, Fril？」
「Yes, my princess！ 」
Fril is nodding happily as she keeps those letters .
After Lilyana confirmed that she keeps those letters, she’s looking back at Takahisa .
「Takahisa-sama, I’ll explain the necessary arrangement . We need the cooperation from one of the three people but, will you persuade one of them？ 」
「 If I’m the one who asking, maybe Aki will…… . . 」
Takahisa replied with a slightly matured tone .
「Well then, please go to persuade her」
「O-Okay . I’ll try it」
「Best regard . Well then――」
Takahisa returned to the room right after hearing the necessary arrangement from Lilyana .
Since it’ll be bad if Miharu and Masato come back when Takahisa is persuading Aki, they’ll do that in the bedroom of Lilyana .
「Aki, there’s something that I wanted to tell you」
Takahisa’s suddenly speaking to her .
Lilyana’s also sitting nearby in silence while listening to their conversation with a slightly gloomy expression .
「Uhm………… . What’s the matter？ 」
Maybe because she can somehow feel the heavy atmosphere, Aki’s asking with a timid voice .
「The truth is, we decided to leave this kingdom this afternoon」
Takahisa’s frankly telling her .
Thereupon, Aki’s staring with a dumbfounded expression at her .
「EH？ A-Aren’t you going to meet Satsuki-san and Haruto-san in the afternoon？ 」
「Sorry . That is impossible」
Takahisa’s saying so with a awkward face in seeing Aki being shaken by his words .
「Impossible you say, even though the discussion has yet to be done………… . 」
Aki’s showing a troubled expression .
「Well, aren’t you going to go with me？」
Takahisa was going straight to the point with a face as if depending on it .
「O-Of course I’ll go with oniichan but……………」
Maybe because the direction of the talk is way too absurd, even Aki’s confused in how to react to it .
「In that case, can I ask for your help？」
Takahisa’s asking with a impatient face .
「………………… What are you going to do about Masato and Miharu-oneechan？」
Aki’s completely unable to understand the flow of the conversation .
Since her brother is always obsessive with going along with everyone and yet, is he going to leave those two in the Galwark kingdom .
Or else, he’s going to persuade them after this―― Masato aside, Miharu’s clearly stating that she’ll go with Rio .
「I’ll take them along」
Aki gasped when she heard Takahisa say those words with a resolute tone .
「H-How will you do that？」
「That’s why I want to ask for your cooperation, Aki . Can I ask your help in this matter？ 」
「EH？ T-That’s impossible」
The diligent Miharu won’t easily change her mind once she’s made a decision .
Moreover, she doesn’t think that she can persuade those two by the afternoon .
「Please！ We’ve no time left and I have no one but Aki to rely on」
「B-But, even if you say to cooperate, what should I do…………」
When seeing Takahisa bowing frantically in front of her, Aki showed the attitude of wanting to cooperate with him in spite of being a little timid about it .
「First, I want to give a greeting to the king along with Lily」
「Yes, since all you have to do is basically be in there」
Takahisa’s speaking with affirmation to the confused Aki .
「………… . . What about Miharu-oneechan and the others？」
「you’ve to pack your luggage by telling them “it’s because we’re going to change our room” when they returned」
「y-you’re going to cheat them？ what about Haruto-san and Satsuki-san? 」
Aki’s asking with flustered voice .
there’s no way those two will do nothing when they heard such action .
since they have yet to have a proper discussion .
「……… . . it’s okay . since Satsuki-senpai…………… . and Haruto-san will definitely come to visit Saint Stellar Kingdom in the near future . we can have a proper discussion during that time」
Takahisa’s line of sight moved awkwardly as he replied to that question in a roundabout way .
but with only that, Aki can guess that Satsuki and Haruto isn’t involved in this fiasco .
「we can’t just leave without saying anything to Haruto-san and Satsuki-san you know . won’t that make them worried instead? 」
「that’s why there’s no need to worry since i want Aki to resolve that matter in front of the king . and then, i want you to write letter of agreement for Miharu and Masato」
「i mean i’ve told Satsuki-senpai and Haruto-san last night that everyone will go with me . so i think they’ll believe it as long as Aki write the letters」
「are you…………… . . really saying that？」
it’s a makeshift lie that will be revealed when the afternoon comes but, it definitely be enough to get the consent of Satsuki and Rio .
since their persuasive power will increase by not only using the letter from Aki but also by calmly leaving after giving their greeting to the King .
“but, this topic is just too absurd, is it really okay to do such a blatant lie? . ”
Aki is extremely worried inside .
「Please！ since i can’t turn back anymore . but, i hate to be separated like this even though we finally reunited after such a long time . and yet, i don’t even know when we’ll be able to meet again!」
Takahisa’s making a desperate plea while bowing his head .
「oniichan…………… . . 」
Aki was at a loss for words seeing her brother lowering his head .
because Aki also doesn’t want to get separated from Takahisa .
because she finally reunited with her important family .
moreover, it’s because Miharu is the first love for Takahisa .
it might be love at first sight but, Takahisa is still in love with Miharu ever since their first meeting .
it doesn’t mean that he loves Miharu only for her appearance, that feeling is definitely inferior to the real thing .
because Aki knows how painful it was for Takahisa .
「…………… . Understood . fine then . i’ll be cooperating with oniichan . as long as it is something that i can do」
Aki unintentionally sent a rescue boat to Takahisa who keeps bowing at her .
though she still has that troubled expression on her face, her declaration to help him is genuine .
「Aki…………… . ！ Thank you very much! 」
Takahisa face instantly turned brighter .
「even so, you will properly persuade Haruto-san and Satsuki-san as soon as you meet them again right . since no matter how much you say that you have to return immediately, i think everyone won’t give their consent with only those reasons」
Aki’s drawing a minimum clearance that he has to do .
「………… yeah, indeed . i think it’ll be depending on Haruto-san who has something to do but, i think i’ll be able to meet Satsuki-san faster . right, Lily」
saying so, Takahisa’s turning his gaze in a slightly awkward manner to Lilyana .
「……Yes . both kingdoms have a relationship but, since it’s an alliance it’ll be handled with care」
so Lilyana’s gave her consent .
「Thank you very much」
Aki’s saying her gratitude with a timid voice .
Lilyana’s replying with a slightly awkward smile and then,
「well then Takahisa-sama, our time is almost up . now we need to give the necessary explanation………… . 」
she’s putting a stop to the conversation .
but, Takahisa then said the following words with a slightly hesitated expression .
「Sorry . one last question . can i ask you one more question, Aki? this is completely unrelated to our conversation from before though……… . . 」
「yeah, what is it？」
Aki’s replying while tilting her head .
and then with a slightly hesitated expression,
「do you know about Amakawa Haruto？」
Takahisa asked that question .
maybe because she just heard an extremely unexpected name in this place, Aki’s showing a dumbfounded face .
Lilyana who on Takahisa side’s is showing a brief change on her expression .
「the one who Miharu is in love with . uhm, could it be that his name is Amakawa Haruto? 」
Takahisa’s timidly asking another question .
thereupon, having come to understand the meaning of that question just now Aki is,
「w-why do you know about that person, oniichan？」
started to inquiring back as if losing her cool .
her look is a bit, no, her expression is extremely gloomy .
「no, well………… . . 」
Takahisa’s about to elude her with a astonished face due to how grim Aki’s reaction toward that name .
「maybe you heard that name from Miharu-oneechan………… . 」
Aki’s trying to find the origin of the information .
「no………… i’ve happened to heard about him long time ago . from father . uhm, he was your big brother right？ 」
when Takahisa’s telling a lie as if deceiving Aki,
was Aki’s declaration .
「that guy is not my older brother！ Takahisa-oniichan is my only oniichan, case closed stop spouting such nonsense! 」
Takahisa trembled in seeing Aki’s trembling due to extreme impatience and fright .
though she’s just showing a slightly bad attitude just now, that is a completely unexpected reaction from the usual Aki .
maybe that shows how much of a land mine the existence called Amakawa Haruto is to Aki .
Takahisa could sense it in a moment .
while at the same time his self-confidence is overflowing as he feels that not showing those letters to Aki is the correct choice . [tl : if curses can kill a person, takahisa might be killed millions time right now, due to the curse of the reader that’s it]
Takahisa felt extremely relieved without noticing such a feeling .
「Aki………… i’m sorry . . i just asked a strange question to you . please forgive me」
Takahisa’s apologizing .
「ah, yes . i’m sorry . . since i……… also suddenly shouted like that」
Aki suddenly snapped out from her rage and then apologized with a awkward manner .
Lilyana’s is staring at the two of them with a dumbfounded face .
after finishing lunch with Charlotte, Rio’s heading straight to Miharu’s room along with Satsuki .
Fril is waiting in front of their room to let them enter the room .
「we’ve been waiting . please take your seat」
they’re sitting on the chair that was set in the middle of the room along with Takahisa’s words .
Satsuki’s asking while looking at the room devoid of people’s presence .
thereupon, Takahisa’s face slightly stiffened at that moment,
「I’m sorry . The truth is, we decided to return to the Saint Stellar kingdom………………」
And replied to her .
Rio and Satsuki were staring at him with a dumbfounded face in the next moment .
「Eh？ Is that so? W-Why? 」
Satsuki asked him with a confused tone .
「Though I can’t say about the detailed matter due to the secrecy issue, it’s in fact due to the newly formed defense-alliance………」
Takahisa’s replying with a stiff voice .
thereupon, Satsuki showed an expression as if she can’t take that matter as it is .
“Isn’t that completely off the topic if you just come with that explanation?” .
Though she doesn’t think that he’ll tell her what this secret is about if it’s actually a national secret .
Satsuki showed a bewildered face .
「…………… . . What are you going to do about Miharu-chan’s group？」
when she regained her composure, Satsuki’s asking the most fundamental question .
「They’ve made their decision to go with me」
Takahisa said those words with a calm tone .
「Then………… . where’s Miharu-chan right now？」
Satsuki’s asking with a impatient tone .
「They’re heading ahead toward the magic ship after packing up their luggage」
Satsuki’s heart is completely shaken by the sudden development .
“Meeting aside, are they really going to leave like that without saying anything?”
“Were they really going to do that?”
Certainly, she can feel that Miharu’s favor is tilting toward Takahisa in seeing their conversation last night but――
“Are they really going to leave without even greeting them?”
“Were they really that much in a hurry?”
So, Satsuki’s pondering about such problems .
That was the same case for Rio .
「Even if you say so, that’s too sudden……………」
Miharu’s omitted way too many necessary procedures to the point that they can’t even prepare themself for that sudden change .
“Why didn’’t they tell us about this matter beforehand?”
Though she doesn’t think that Takahisa’s lying, there’s not enough evidence to prove that, so she can’t decide which one is the truth .
「I’m sorry . Though I’m going to wait till the very limit, we have to prepare the procedure for them to leave the kingdom beforehand」
Maybe because he realized that he’s cheating them, Takahisa’s apologizing with a awkward tone .
His line of sight is mainly on Satsuki――
「well, my side is also a bit careless in that fact thinking that we’ve at least a little bit of time…………… . . 」
Satsuki’s speaking in a reluctant tone .
It was decided before that they’re going to have a discussion with all members right in this afternoon since yesterday night during the evening party .
That’s why the talk about them going back to Saint Stellar kingdom is truly a bolt in the sunny day .
But then, they can at least come to Charlotte’s room to inform Rio and Satsuki about those matters, and yet――
Satsuki felt that kind of dissatisfaction .
「I’m sorry . It really is a sudden decision just a while ago which forced us to go back to Saint Stellar kingdom immediately………」
After Takahisa explained in that way,
「…………… Is that so？」
Satsuki asked Lilyana who sat next to Takahisa .
「Yes . An emergency contact just arrived from our kingdom . Since they were going to the noble district after the observation of the magic ship, it’ll be just right in the afternoon . 」
Lilyana added to Takahisa’s explanation .
She’s somehow showing a troubled expression and then a slightly apologetic expression .
「That was way too sudden right………」
Satsuki’s saying so as if sighing .
they almost have no time since its just before the afternoon .
「That’s why we came to give our greeting to your majesty Francois and apologize for our sudden decision」
「Aki who finished her packing ahead was the one who has come with us to greet the king . While Miharu and Masato is packing their baggage in the room . Thus, maybe they don’t know that senpai’s coming」
Takahisa’s adding the explanation as if riding over Lilyana’s words .
「I-I see…………… . 」
Satsuki is muttering with a slightly astonished tone .
Certainly from the story that she heard last night from Takahisa, she knows that Miharu may be choosing to go with him to Saint Stellar kingdom .
But, she expected that she would have at least one more day to have a hearty conversation with Miharu .
Since she also has no intention to force Miharu if that is their answer from the very beginning .
Because she had decided with Rio to respect Miharu’s will from the very beginning, which she confirmed again last night with Rio on the way back from Takahisa’s room .
That’s why she was prepared with the worst possibility of not being able to meet Miharu for a while after this afternoon .
She is a hero but, they might be able to meet again since they’re at the same place .
Though she’ll be lying if she said that she’s not lonely, she knows that they can meet again after bidding their farewell properly, she feels that it won’t be this painful for her .
But, as expected if they were suddenly separated in this way――
「I wanted to greet them properly but, I don’t know when I will be able to meet them again……… . . 」
Satsuki’s showing a sullen expression while saying those words .
Though it’s not like she’s angry, she’s still dissatisfied by it .
「In fact, Aki was writing a letter . But, it seems that she couldn’t write the important part since she was in a hurry………」
Saying so, Takahisa’s taken out the letter at such precise timing .
Certainly, that letter is addressed to Satsuki since there’s her name written on the envelope with Aki’s penmanship, it’s sealed too .
「………… . Let me take a look at it」
After receiving the envelope, Satsuki’s peeling off the sealing wax .
And then, after taking out the letter inside, she’s spreading the letter to read it along with Rio .
Though the content of the letter keeps it’s simplicity due to the time, she can feel that it is politely written in Aki’s style .
written in that letter was about Miharu’s group heading toward Saint Stellar kingdom without saying anything and their reluctance to part with Haruto and Satsuki, she also cleverly mentioned the part of not worrying about them since they’re going to meet again soon enough .
Satsuki’s eye is moving at a fast pace and after finishing the letter in a dozen seconds,
「Aki-chan………… . 」
She said her name with a slightly bitter tone .
Satsuki’s hand is holding that letter as if cherishing it .
But, she tilted her head a while later as if noticing something .
「But, is this letter…………… . Written for me？」
And muttered so .
Though Satsuki’s name is written on it, the name of Rio―― Or rather, Haruto wasn’t written in it at all .
「Yes . Though she’s trying to write two letter for both of you, she’s running out of time………… . But, she left a message for Haruto-san」
Takahisa’s saying so with a slightly stiff smile .
「A message huh」
Rio muttered silently .
「Yes . Uhm, since this is also the matter regarding the content of the letter, can we talk with just the two of us? 」
So Takahisa’s proposing that in a reserved manner .
Rio is glancing at Lilyana who seems to know about this matter .
On the other hand, Satsuki’s showing a confused expression as she is unable to understand the flow of the conversation .
「My apologies for asking this, does the two of you know about the content of the letter？」
「………… . Lily knows nothing about it」
When Rio’s asking, Takahisa is answering so while shaking his head in denial .
「I see . Then, may I confirm about one thing in this place？ 」
So Rio said .
Thereupon, Takahisa shoulder is trembling lightly .
Surely, Rio didn’t want Satsuki to hear this story .
Since it’ll be slightly inconvenient for Takahisa if Satsuki knows about this .
Since this will turn into a messy situation if Satsuki meets Miharu again later in the future .
In the first place, he doesn’t want her to know the matter of Rio sending those letters which is addressed to Miharu’s group .
But, he couldn’t hide those facts unnaturally either .
「Yes, may I know what it is？」
Takahisa’s gulping his saliva as he asking that .
He’s wondering what is the thing that Rio wants to confirm about .
He can feel the increase of his heartbeat .
「Have the three of them read those letters properly？」
Rio asked while his gaze bored deeply into Takahisa’s eye .
It’s not only Lilyana by their side, there is also Satsuki .
If it was a “no”, he might not be able to explain afterward .
But, he has no choice but to answer with a “yes” .
He’s a bit realistic even considering their reaction when reading those letters .
While pondering about those matters, Takahisa recalled Aki’s reaction when he mentioned Amakawa Haruto’s name .
「Yes……………… . . I’m astonished . Especially in Aki case………… She was……………… Completely lost her temper………… 」
Takahisa’s replying awkwardly with a stiff voice .
Rio said so as if understanding what he means .
Though Satsuki can’t guess the core of the matter as of now, it seems she knows that Rio’s sending a letter to Miharu’s group, so she just listened silently .
「………………… Do you know what kind of expression Aki made after you gave the letter to her？」
In seeing Rio’s reaction, Takahisa unintentionally asked with a sullen face .
「Yeah, I can guess it somehow」
Rio’s nodding while replying with a frail smile .
That smile reflected the clear cruelty .
It’s not just for Takahisa, even Lilyana gasped by his smile .
She expected that maybe Rio is also somehow aware of Aki’s reaction .
Since he knew that Aki showed a reaction that he expected after receiving the letter .
That’s all to it .
Even so, he considered it to be known to her .
Takahisa was exasperated to Rio’s cool state in hearing him answer without even trying to hide it .
Now he surely feels the unpleasant feeling that’s gushing out from the depth of his heart .
No, there’s no doubt about it――”
“It’s not something like theory anymore, this man is definitely not how he appears to be” .
Takahisa felt so .
「Well then, is it okay to hear the message？」
So Rio asked to him .
「Yes……………… . . Well then, shall we go to that room」
Thus, Rio and Takahisa were changing their location to the separated room . [TL : the raw say bedroom, but that will made those fujoshi on fire instead]
This place was the room where Takahisa was staying at till yesterday .
「Masato aside, Miharu and Aki don’t want to meet you again」
When it is just him and Rio alone, Takahisa said those words to Rio with a stiff voice .
It was a cold hearted tone without holding back .
But, Rio was convinced with just that much .
Since Miharu and co have nothing but one or two reasons for not wanting to meet him .
First they don’t want to meet him, second is that they can’t meet him .
The natural situation was set on the table for the former case after he bid their farewell to the king of the kingdom where they were staying at with Aki’s cooperation and then gave her farewell letter to Satsuki .
In addition, he also compensated it with a authentic situation of a real reaction from Aki when she heard the question from Takahisa .
Rio heaved a sigh while showing a gloomy smile .
After that, he’s locking his gaze at Takahisa .
「Can I ask something？」
And then asked to him .
Takahisa’s nodding as he answered with a heavy voice .
「Are you going out with Miharu-san？」
Takahisa’s staring at Rio with a surprised expression when he asked so .
Because he never expected Rio to see him and Miharu in that way .
Takahisa’s trembling lightly but,
「……… . . That’s right . We’re going out」
When he noticed, he already answered Rio’s question .
「I see……………… Did you hear about that matter from Miharu-san during the evening party last night？ 」
「…………… . I just confessed my love to her」
Rio replied with a disappointed tone .
「My apologies . My heart just can’t calm down when I hear that a man is trying to court her, isn’t it？ 」
Takahisa’s replying with a frown on his face .
「Though I shouldn’t be the one who says this, please take care of Miharu-san and co」
「………… . . Of course . I’ll be the one who protects the three of them from now on」
Takahisa’s saying those words loud and clear while trying to repress his inner feelings .
「Best regards then」
Rio bowed his head as he said those words with a polite tone .
「………… . . You………………… . . 」
Takahisa’s tone raised an oktaf as if getting irritated in seeing Rio who is not agitated even to the last moment .
“Why are you giving up so easily?”
“Where is your pride?”
“You love Miharu, right?”
“What in the hell did you want to do, it becomes even more confusing when you act like a saint?”
It’s okay even if you say just one rebuttal, and yet――
“This is just too cowardly” .
Takahisa swallowed his words as he noticed Rio’s fist grasping tightly .
He knows that Rio is suppressing his own feeling .
Thereupon, now he can push aside his sense of guilt .
Takahisa’s averting his gaze awkwardly .
「Well, that’s all of it…………… . . 」
So he tried to end their conversation .
「Has Miharu-san not said anything？」
But, Rio’s still asking .
「…………… . I’m sorry」
「So that’s the case……… . . Well then, thank you very much . See you again」
Rio then leaving the room with Takahisa standing still behind him as if feeling guilty of something .
They then finished bidding their farewell which took no more than a few minutes, and then Takahisa and co left the castle in hurry .
When looking at Takahisa and co who’s running toward the castle gate in a hurry to return to their kingdom,
「Are you really not going to see them off？」
Rio was standing beside Satsuki .
「Yeah . Well, I can’t go beyond this point due to those formalities . Maybe it’ll be too late even if I get the permission right now」
Rio is nodding, and then silence is descending upon them for a while .
「……… . Hey, it should be okay right？」
Satsuki asked him that with timid tone .
「Whether it’s good or bad, it’s their own desire to go with Takahisa right」
Rio’s shrugging his shoulders as he said so .
「Certainly but, must we separate like this without even bidding our farewell with them properly？ To be honest, something is…………」
Satsuki showed a dissatisfied expression .
In any way, the event just developed too rapidly .
It’s exactly like they just saw the ending while skipping the necessary process toward it――
It’s as if they only know the answer while omitting the whole process of solving the problem――
it would only cause an unspeakable indigestion .
Maybe if one were to think, that just how much something like reality is .
But, she definitely couldn’t accept such a end which omitted the procedure that should be treaded on .
No matter how much she was promised to meet them again .
「Tell me, what is this highly secret information of the kingdom？」
Satsuki is making a completely puzzled face .
It doesn’t seem to be true as they just gave bare minimum explanation and then left quickly .
Since she should be having a pleasant conversation with Miharu around this time .
Satsuki sighed in anxiety .
「Aren’t you going to meet them again」
Rio said so as if to sooth Satsuki .
Thereupon, Satsuki fell into a short silence as if pondering on her own .
「…… . . I’VE DECIDED！ I, AM GOING TO PURSUE MIHARU-CHAN IMMEDIATELY！ I’M GOING TO SEE THE KING」
Satsuki declared so as she made her decision .
Surely, Miharu will also be bewildered by such a absurd situation .
She just can’t sit by when she doesn’t even know the situation of the other party .
She can accept it if they told their decision to her by themself .
When it comes to that, the matter is simple .
「Say Haruto-kun, how about going with me！ Isn’t it painful if things are kept hazy in this way」
So, Satsuki is suggesting to Rio .
But, Rio’s gently shaking his head in denial and,
「I’m sorry . I can’t go with you」
Answered with a calm tone .
Satsuki is taken aback when her expectation was betrayed .
「W-Why？ You must be worrying about Miharu-chan right？ 」
Satsuki asked with a strong tone .
She’s looking at him with a dissatisfied look .
「………… . Because I have some private matter that I have to finish」
Rio replied with a roundabout answer without telling her the truth .
「Is that the matter that you said last night？ …… It’s something that you have no choice but to do in the western region 」
「Yeah, since it’s a promise with my acquaintance . I can’t delay it any longer」
「Then, it’s okay after your done with your business right . It’s okay even if you are not with me . So let’s go」
Satsuki is pressing even further as her head pushed on Rio’s chest .
「………… . But, I think it’s better for everyone to not meet me again」
Rio said those words with a lonely smile on his face .
His smile is showing more persuasive power than his words . そ
「W-What is this？ That should……………」
To Satsuki who is asking with a bewildered voice,
「I’m rejected . By Miharu-san . I confessed my love to her you see」
Rio told of such a fact without any hestitation .
Satsuki face is frozen in that instant .
But, Rio kept going on with his words without even noticing the change on her face .
「They’re going out you see . Takahisa-san and Miharu-san . DId you know about this？ 」
「EH—A~H— U-Uhn . I thought that they were going out since it seems there’s a rumor about that since the middle school but……… . 」
The bewildered Satsuki replied to him with a shrill voice .
「As I thought」
If Satsuki said so, then there’s no doubt about it .
There’s no way Miharu will receive Rio’s confession since she’s already going out with Takahisa .
Might be something like that .
「The match has been decided even before I confessed my love, I tried to not think about that but, it seems the victor was already decided from the very beginning right」
Rio’s lips twisting a bit as if mocking his own foolish action .
He faintly noticed this fact when he heard about the story regarding Takahisa from Miharu last night .
He tried to confess his love but, he’s too late .
No, since he thought that they were already going out since his previous life .
The matter of Amakawa Haruto couldn’t confess his love to Miharu has always become the source of his regret .
That’s why, even if Miharu’s already going out with Takahisa, Haruto who was alive in him decided to confess his love .
This feeling never changed even after he became Rio .
If his previous life has to be frank, he still believed that maybe he still has the chance even if it’s just one in millions .
So he wanted to confess his love as soon as possible .
He had to hurry .
Because he noticed that it’ll be too late if they were to have a conversation this afternoon .
So, being stirred by that thought――
Rio became impatient .
That’s why he wanted to send those letters no matter what before being separated from Miharu .
「It’s really hard right . To confess your love to someone」
His voice was filled with his tiredness .
When he thought of this and that process which existed in theory, its usefulness in reality is at minimum .
Which then came to the current situation, it’s become hard for him to think calmly with such strain in his mind .
The best he can do is only smoothing over the surface .
「Haruto-kun……… . . 」
Satsuki called to Rio as if to console him .
「I’m sorry for saying such strange things」
Rio’s apologizing as he smiled calmly at her . But, his fists are clasping so hard .
「Come to think of it, I didn’t say it to Satsuki-san right . I have to explain it properly to you」
If she were to meet Miharu later, it may be better to let her know about his circumstances .
That’s why Rio decided to tell Satsuki about his past .
「About me in my previous life――」
Rio was meeting with Francois Galwark in the king’s office .
Francois is sitting on the splendid chair which is located at the head of the seat with his royal knight which is at the prime of his life right by his side .
Rio’s sitting on the lower seat along with who knows how many young royal knights .
「Your majesty, I’m extremely grateful for your gift during these occasion」
Rio’s adressing to Fracois .
「Yeah . You may come frequently . It seems that Charlotte is extremely indebted to you」
Francois said those words while smiling pleasantly .
「It’s my graciousness but, I’m the one who receiving special favor from Charlotte-sama」
「Hahaha, even Satsuki-dono become quite close to you isn’t it . It’s okay as long as you come to visit frequently to have some pleasantries with them from now on」
「Ha . Though this one is unworthy of such honor, if that is what they are wishing for………」
And then, while he is replying as courtesies,
（Maybe this king is the one who ordered Charlotte to make her move）
Rio was guessing Francois’s plan .
Since it’s practically a disrespect to say his real thought here, the answer is something that only the king who sits in front of him knows but, there’s something that’s puzzling for him .
Currently, Rio has officially became part of Galwark kingdom after becoming a honorary knight .
Maybe that is just how the scenario of Galwark kingdom to bind Satsuki by using the relationship between Satsuki and Rio――
That may be the reason why Charlotte is receiving an order from Francois to approach Satsuki and Rio――
When he thinks about it now, maybe it was around the time when Christhardt and Charlotte are approaching him with friendly manner during the second night of the evening party .
Though Christhardt didn’t even think that Satsuki and Rio will dance together on the first day of the evening party .
In addition to the monitoring eyes, he considered the possibilities of other things prepared from behind the scene .
The official stance was to respect their will but, it’s a bit of a surprise when he easily surrendered the matter regarding Miharu’s, there’s a possibilities of backdoor deals in regard to defense alliance during that time frame with Lilyana .
“As expected, this person is quite a hypocrite”, was what Rio felt about Francois .
Thus, due to this reason he’s quite surprised since he didn’t want to be that close to royalties and nobilities .
Even if he acts within safety limit as to not cause anything, when the royalties and nobilities noticed his utility value, thus he moved while expecting that .
Though the young nobilities in their teens like Stead and Alphonse tended to put too much trust in the authorities given to them, those tendencies will slowly diminish as they’re entering their twenties and thirties .
The first class royalties and nobilities were cunning people who make their move without anyone noticing about their preparation .
And then to win in term of cleverness from someone who has utility value by the time the person noticed that there’s an expectation place to him, most of the case, it’s already too late .
Since most of their trick is by coming calmly from the front with a smile on their face and wanting to do handshake with right hand while hiding a knife with their left hand .
「Well then, I wonder what is your business for coming today？」
Whether he can guess Rio’s intention or not, Francois is addressing him with a haughty speech .
It’s not like it’ll change something if Rio muttered one of his grudge here .
Rather, it’ll cause him even more unwanted trouble for picking a fight with the king .
「I came to present an item to express my gratitude for my investiture as a honorary knight . And using this occasion, I’m also going to report my family name」
So, Rio is starting to tell Francois about his business while putting an insincere smile on his face .
「Hou . So you already have a name in your mind but, what is the item in your hand？ 」
「Ha . Since I heard that your majesty is someone who loves liquor, I brought a liquor which I’m bringing along from the Yagumo region . Though I’m worrying about whether it’s according to your palate, since it’s currently not in the market, the matter of this one as an extremely rare item is guaranteed」
When Rio said so, curious light ignited inside of Francois’s eyes .
「Hou . You’re extremely prepared aren’t you . I will enjoy the taste」
「I beg for your pardon . In fact, I already made an arrangement for Liselotte-sama who has Rikka firm to manage the circulation of this item, if this item is to your taste, you might be able to get one in your hand with that connection」
「I see . I see, it made me even more curious if Liselotte is the one who is managing the circulation of this liquor . Now I’m even more excited since I can drink this one even before it is sold in the market . I’m going to enjoy it soon」
「It’s my pleasure if it’s to your liking」
The liquor that Rio presented to Francois right now is a liquor that is made by Rio himself by using the sake brewing knowledge of Karasuki kingdom and the brewing knowledge of Seirei no Tami .
That’s why it’s definitely not a lie when he said that it’s a liquor from the Yagumo region .
「Yeah . Then, may I hear what is your family name？ 」
After nodding in exaggerated manner, Francois then looking at Rio .
Family name is playing an important role and it should even be called as the face of the noble .
So far, Rio has been using Haruto as his alias .
Though he held a faint antipathy at using the name of a dead person at first, everything might be alright if he is using that name as an alias .
Though he can’t stop the flow of events in which he is receiving a peerage with an alias even if he wants to stop it, it may not be a really desirable situation .
But, in case his reported name is being approved by Francois, Haruto’s name, along with his family name won’t be treated as an alias and become a common name .
And then, when he’s going to decide what his family name will be, one candidate appeared right in his mind .
But, is it really okay to use that name .
Even Rio was worrying about it .
Because he gets the feeling that it’ll be similar to resurrecting the dead if he’s calling himself with that name .
Because he didn’t have such self-confidence with such identity swing since maybe Amakawa Haruto wasn’t his support and nothing more than memories that lost his body .
But, maybe it’s not something that he has to ponder too hard about since he can finally move on a bit after confessing his love to Miharu and write those letters to her .
Because he thinks that the most important thing is not who are you, it’s his feeling that matters .
That’s why, Rio will call himself .
Francois’s eye opened wide when Rio told his name with short words that he ism’t used to hearing .
「From today onward, I will call myself Haruto Amakawa」 [TL : In japanese it’ll be “Amakawa Haruto” while in english it’ll be “Haruto Amakawa”]
So he is following his previous short word with the resolute tone in the next sentence .
Francois is squinting his eyes as he stared at Rio .
A while later, a smile is forming on his lips and then,
「It’s decided then . O Haruto, in the name of Francois, the king of Galwark, hereby I officially approved your family name as “Amakawa”」
Francois gave his permission for Rio to use Amakawa as his family name .
「Thank you very much . Your majesty」
Rio’s bowing his head in silent .
Year 1000 of Sacred Calendar, a certain day in spring season .
From this day onward, Rio become a honorary knight of Galwark kingdom both in name and reality .
It was the moment of the birth of the black knight, Haruto Amakawa .