After the welcoming party, Celia followed Rio―― towards the room that was provided to him . (It seems there’s something that he wants to tell me . Well, it’s just right since there’s something that I want to hear from Rio as well .
By the way, it’s true that I’ve been given caretakers along with the room for myself but I’ll be the one who will tidy my personal belongings) thought Celia .
「I’ll brew the tea . So please sit right there for now, Sensei . 」
After entering the room, Rio went to make some tea for Celia . But, Celia didn’t sit on the chair, she went with Rio to the simple kitchen instead, and――,
「Thank you very much . Sorry to intrude on you despite your fatigue . 」
So she tells Rio .
「I got a slight resistance after attending the evening party in Galwark kingdom . Aren’t you feeling tired, sensei? I mean, it’s been a while since you have attended that kind of a social gathering right? 」
Rio was in fact, dog tired but he bluffed his way . Thus he asked that question while boiling the water .
「Well, I’m tired indeed but, it was because I have many acquaintances . It was refreshing in various ways to be able to meet them again you know . 」
Celia smiled kindly as she shrugged her shoulders .
「I’m glad then . I was worried since we almost couldn’t talk in the middle of the party . 」
Rio showed a relieved smile as he said so .
Because he was occupied with talking to various nobles from the beginning to end of the party, Rio couldn’t move at all during the party .
(Well, it seems Celia really enjoyed her time even without me by her side) thought Rio .
「………… . You were being surrounded by women from beginning to end right, Rio?」
Celia changed the topic as if to see Rio’s reaction . It seems Celia had kept her eyes on Rio . ―,
「I was worried, so I looking only at sensei . 」
Rio replied back instantly with a wry smile on his face .
「…………… . . Eh, Y-Yeah . I see, ahaha . 」
Celia was bewildered, thus she replied back with a flustered voice .
She only wanted to know whether there were any marriage proposals from Rio’s reaction but, his reaction was beyond even her wildest expectations . Fortunately Rio was focused on brewing the tea right now, so he didn’t see her flushed face .
However she was too embarrassed to the point of not being able to say anything . And then, while Celia was still looking down with a flushed red face――,
「It’s done . Shall we go to the sofa . Are you still awake, Aisia? 」
When Rio said so .
Aisia was currently inside Rio’s body in her spirit form but, even Rio himself, her contractor, had no way to know whether she was asleep or awake .
There should be some sort of reaction if she’s awake but――,
Unfortunately there was no reply from Aisia .
「It seems she’s asleep . Well, it’s a tea party only between us then . 」
「……Uhn . 」
Rio smiled with his natural smile as he went to the sofa and sat down . Celia nodded timidly as she followed after Rio with an awkward gait and she sat in front of him――,
「Uhm, since I have found a job , maybe I should tell you first . There’s a newly established academy for the young nobles who belong to Restoration . So I’ll be working as a lecturer there doubled with being a researcher . I might leave for the royal academy of Galwark kingdom though . 」
Thus, she told Rio about the job that she had just found .
「I see . Well, I was never worried about sensei not getting a job but, that is one less worry for me . I’m really jealous of the students who will be taught by sensei . 」
Rio smiled, delighted in hearing that .
「Ahaha, I’ve nothing to teach you anymore after all . 」
Celia said so with a gloomy smile on her face .
「That’s not true . Whether it’s in the past or now, I only learn from sensei . 」
「…………… . Come on, me . The only things that I taught to you is only about how to save me . I mean, even now………… . I heard about it from princess Christina you see . You have done various things for my sake, right? 」
Rio shook his head in denial and showed a slightly grieving expression as he told Celia of his plans .
「…………… . . I might just be overly worrying about you . In that case, did you hear the story about me getting a mansion from Restoration? 」
Rio asked that question while showing an enigmatic smile on his face .
「Yup, I heard about it . ……… . . And the fact that I’ll be living there . She said that the matter of transfer arrangements of the mansion will be done by tomorrow . So I can live there right away . 」
「’m glad that you feel that way . 」
Rio smiled at Celia who seemed to be troubled by something .
「It’s not “Glad” you know . I am indebted to you again . 」
「I don’t care about such debts . Though it’s recognized as my mansion by formality, in reality, it’s sensei’s mansion . Since I’ll give all the documents to sensei once I’ve handled all the moving procedures――」
「WAIT, HOLD RIGHT THERE . Let’s just use your name and you’ll bring all the documents too . Please at least do that! 」
Celia interrupted Rio’s torrent of speech .
「The mansion is yours due to your meritorious deeds, SO IT’S YOURS . I WON’T take that from you . It’s plenty enough for me as long as I have a place to live . Since I can pay the rent with the money I earn . Understand? Please do that for me . 」
Though Rio was trying to reject her wish, Celia kept begging him .
「No need to pay the rent . 」
「No, this is where I have to draw the line . I’ll pay the rent properly . 」
Celia refused that idea too .
「……I Understand . If sensei says so . 」
「Yeah . Let’s sign a formal contract after you’re done with the general procedures before you start your journey . 」
「……… . Yeah, you’re right . 」
Rio said so with a subtly weary voice . Thereupon――,
「………… Hey, do you remember? A long time ago when you came to my room before leaving Bertram kingdom . 」
Celia showed a fleeting smile as she said that with a slightly embarrassed face .
「Yeah . of course I do . 」
Rio shut his eyes as he recalled the scenery of that time and nodding at her .
「It was a sorrowful farewell but, now it isn’t . Right? 」
Celia asking so as she stared at Rio’s face .
「Yes . Now I can come for a visit whenever I want . 」
「Can you promise me? Because even if it’s only by name, Rio’s house is in this city . 」
Thus Celia asked Rio as if to try and persuade him . But――,
「You’re slightly wrong about that . It’s because sensei is here that I’ll come again to meet sensei . I’ve no reason to come if sensei isn’t here . 」
Rio shook his head as he said so with a wry smile on his face .
「Hee……… . Ah, Uhm . 」
Celia nodded lightly with slightly flushed cheeks . And then――,
「I-I’m fine if you treat it that way but, what I want to say is let’s bid a farewell to the past and keep facing forward! That’s why, let’s make a fresh start . I don’t want you to have sad and painful memories like before…………… Let’s head towards a brighter future now! 」
She said so with enthusiasm .
「Starting over huh? Just like that time? 」
Rio tilted his head in hearing Celia’s speech which was seemingly out of place with the current situation .
「U-Uhn . Uhm, there was a hug……… . . During the farewell, right So…………… See, stand for a bit . 」
After Celia said so with a shy voice, she stood up and went towards Rio .
「Eh……… . Yes . 」
Rio also stood up with a slightly bewildered face . Thereupon――,
「Yup, just stand like that . 」
Celia timidly buried her face on Rio’s chest . Just like that, she leaned on Rio .
（……………… so it’s the redoing of that day . Yeah, sensei definitely hugged me in this way . Could it be……… An overwrite because the memories of that day aren’t good memories . ）
Rio smiled wryly as he wrapped his arms around Celia’s back . Celia hugged Rio even stronger .
Celia’s warmth was still the same as of that day, as warm as ever .
「You’ve grown much taller than the you of that day . 」
Celia looked at Rio with an embarrassed face .
「I get this feeling that sensei’s become shorter . 」
「Geez………… . . It’s you who’s grown too tall you know . 」
Celia reflexively replied to Rio’s impish remark . And then――,
「Because I won’t be able to say this in front of other people, I’ll say it now . Take care……………… . Rio . Be careful on your journey . 」
Celia said her farewell words to Rio .
「Yes . I’m off . 」
Rio nodded as he smiled lightly at her .
This day, his farewell with Celia became a warm memory in Rio .
◇ ◇ ◇
After Celia left the room――,
「………… . Haruto . 」
Aisia materialized right next to Rio .
「So you woke up……… . Good morning, Aisia . 」
Rio was slightly surprised by her appearance . Though he expected that she would come out when she woke up, maybe she was taking into consideration the scarce time of Rio and Celia to be alone with just the two of them and chose not disturb the atmosphere between those two .
「Tell me Haruto . Are you worried about Celia? 」
Aisia suddenly asked such a question .
「…………… . . I really can’t hide anything from you . Yeah, I am . 」
Rio smiled wryly as he nodded in resignation . Thereupon――,
「Then I’ll stay with her . If you’re worried about her, I can stay by her side you know? 」
Aisia told him so .
「…………… . . Sorry, Aisia . I’m always using you for my own convenience . Even though we should head to the village right now, I suddenly decided to head to north . 」
Though Rio was slightly bewildered by her choice, a pang of guilt instantly attacked him .
「I don’t mind even if we don’t go to the village . The information from Reis is doubtful but, there’s no value in outdated information . That’s why it’s better to head north as soon as possible even if the possibility of finding that man is almost none . Since it’ll take two weeks worth of journey if we go back to the village right now it is possible that Lucius will leave the northern area during that time . In that case, this little information will come for naught and we might not be able to get decent information about him again . 」
Aisia spoke a lot more than usual . Her tone was as monotonous as ever though .
「……That’s right . Nevertheless, you are still making my feelings as your top priority . Even without that information, my act is no different from using you . 」
Rio said so with an anxious tone .
「I don’t care, whichever you choose due to that information . We’ve no way to get reliable information either . My main problem is, what do you want to do the most, Haruto . I’ll follow you if you want to go north . You can even use me if you’re worried about Celia . So, what do you want to do, Haruto? 」
Aisia asked that question with her usual indifferent tone as if seeing through Rio .
「I can’t let my guard down around the nobles of Bertram kingdom . Even if I can’t always be by sensei’s side, I want to at least observe the situation for a while . ………… Even so, sensei herself is a splendid noble . Her situation right now isn’t like when her position was weakened during her time in the royal capital . I’ve arranged a signing of a pledge in regards to sensei’s treatment . Thus, I think it’s okay to leave things as it is for now . 」
Rio told Aisia about his own feelings with an anxious voice .
「Then, we should observe the situation for a while and so, you have to use me . Haruto . 」
Aisia said so with a flat tone .
「…… . It puzzles me sometimes . Why are you willing to go that far for me, Aisia?」
Saying so, Rio looked at Aisia expecting an answer from her, ――,
「Because I’m there for you . 」
Aisia replied as if it was a matter of fact .
「………… . . Your answer never changes even after so long does it?」
「So, what do you want to do, Haruto?」
Aisia pressed for an answer from Rio who was smiling wryly .
（I’m definitely worried about sensei . Moreover, for a very good reason . On top of that, to know the nature of AIsia and that mysterious man called Reis, I have to go to the village as soon as possible . ）
So he thought . Nevertheless――,
「One month………… . . No, two months at most, can you stay by sensei’s side for that long? I’ll be back within that time frame . 」
Rio told her so . Thereupon――,
「okay . Leave Celia’s matter to me . This time, I won’t leave her no matter what happen . 」
Aisia replied in a resolute tone .
◇ ◇ ◇
Afternoon, next day .
Rio and Celia were lead by marquis Rodan towards the mansion near the nobles district . They were being accompanied by maids, soldiers and Christina .
After their group descended right next to the entrance of the mansion――,
「This is the best of our properties, let’s move inside the mansion immediately . Since I’m going to guide you by foot from this point, please bear with it for a while . Well, this way please . 」
After saying so, marquis Rodan passed through the gate . Before the road that stretched towards the mansion located on slightly elevated ground was a big palatial residence which was one cut above the places in which the nobles were staying at . Surrounding the mansion was a regularly maintained beautiful natural garden .
（The mansion is on top of a hill . The entrance gate is just one . At a glance, it’ll be difficult to be raided . The view from within the mansion is also good, intruders will be easily detected as long as I intall a magic barrier . ）
Rio followed after marquis Rodan while vigilantly surveying the vicinities .
「Anyway, majority of the nobles who chose to side with Restoration are now set up in their mansions in Rodania . Thanks to the construction of many new mansions, the shortage of plot of land has also become a problem for us . Thus, to my deepest regret resulting in the small plot area for this mansion but, other than the size problem I can say that this is the most prominent mansion . 」
Marquis Rodan spoke about the value of this property along with the situation of Rodania while leading the party towards the mansion .
（This is way too wide judging from the defensive value but……… . The size of the site is still reasonable . There’s also the aesthetic sense of nobles, so is this actually to sensei taste i wonder . ）
While Rio was thinking so, they arrived at the entrance to the mansion . After that, they were guided for a tour around the mansion by marquis Rodania .
There were a few unused rooms as this mansion was built with the assumption that there would be employees living in it even after the entire family moves in and from it’s interior design, he guesses that they had spent quite an amount of money on this mansion .
Seeing that Christina was participating in the transfer of property, there was no way marquis Rodan would be able to give a poor mansion . It was not a lie when he said that this mansion was the most prominent in his territory .
「What do you think about this one, Haruto? 」
After a brief inspection of the inside of the mansion, Celia asked Rio .
「It’s a nice mansion . But, since you’re the one who’ll live in this mansion, I’ll leave the decision to you . 」
Rio gave his honest opinion . Without a doubt, the presentation of the property was perfect and it was not like he can ask for more since it was free of charge anyway .
「If Haruto says so, then I’m with you . Rather, this is an extremely splendid mansion . Save for the lord of the territory, no other noble can acquire this kind of a splendid mansion in this territory . 」
Celia said so in admiration and――,
「Hahaha, I’m glad if Celia-kun says so . May I hear your opinion, your highness princess Christina? 」
Marquis Rodan asked so with a delighted voice .
「……… If they have no problem with this mansion, I have nothing to say then . 」
Christina shook her head while looking at Celia and Rio . Though she still had some doubt as to whether this mansion was enough as a prize, she did not want to press them any further since the person involved had said that they were okay with it .
「I see . Well then, may I take that this property will be transferred to lord Amakawa then? 」
「Yes . My deepest apologies for imposing this matter on you but, please take care of the transfer documents . 」
When marquis Rodan asked so, Rio agreed immediately .
After various contracts were made, they finished the transfer procedures on the same day . And previously, Rio had already given a contract to Christina and Restoration―― Which was mainly to do with the treatment of Celia―― Which they accepts and signed as a written oath . With this written oath, at the very least it’ll come to be known to the public that the people of Restoration won’t be able to harm Celia .
Since a minimal amount of furniture was already inside of the mansion, Celia would live in there starting tomorrow .