TL : Cnine
ED/PF : Jake1456
When moving with Miharu and co toward the capital of Galwark kingdom, Rio’s currently making a return trip to Almond for the sake of going together with Liselotte .
For the time being, it’s been decided that the talk called staying in the inn just the three of Miharu, Masato and, Aki will be postponed, Aisia and Celia will also be going along with them toward the capital .
Whether they’re acceptable for lodging in the inn with just the three of them was depending on whether or not they can judge regarding the safety in the surrounding area such as the quality of the customer of the inn or the public order of the vicinity .
Since there might be a need for Aisia to do that during their stay in the capital, as for Celia, it’s decided that they’ll be waiting for a short while for now to go to Bertram kingdom .
For example, even if it’s decided that Miharu, Masato and, Aki will stay in the inn with just the three of them, the number of the days they’ll be statying just the three of them will become just several days at most even for the longest one from the beginning of the month .
Their current stay in the capital is also serving as experimental training for the language competency of Miharu and co about how far they can do in everyday life .
During the 5 people discussion, excluding Rio, regarding the communication that they’ll be carrying out with the people of the inn, it’s been decided that they’ll go with scale priority of place, origin and, class* . [TL* : Not quite sure with this sentence—リオを除く五人の話し合いで、宿屋の人間とのコミュニケーションは率先して地球出身組が行うと決まった。 . Any idea?]
The current Miharu and co was like a bird in the cage, ignorant of the way of the world .
But, Even if they should never lodge with just the three of them, the matter regarding living in the city will become a good experience for them .
Contrary to Rio’s worry, Masato is really eager with that idea, he’s leaping in joy with “It’s okay if they can stay in the inn with just the three of them” .
And then, there’s also a strong request coming from Masato, though with some condition attached, to Rio’s dismay, they decided to stay in the inn with just the three of Masato, Aki and, Miharu .
Assault, wound, theft, threat, robbery, fraud, abduction, kidnapping and rape―― Those kind of crimes happening in the city is not something unusual .
Therefore, the people in this world has been accepting those crimes as an everyday occurrence, and led a life where they’re staying next to those crimes .
The valid self-defense method is there for them to act consciously in order for them to not meet such crimes, if it’s the people who live in the city, it’s a normal thing for them to learn how to sense those dangers .
Either way, Miharu and co can’t go without knowing if there’s a possibilities to keep living by mingling with the cities * . [TL* : Not to sure about this–いずれも美春達が都市と関わって生きていく可能性があるのならば知っておかないといけないことだ。]
Rio thoroughly told those five regarding those sense of danger .
The three of Miharu, Aki and, Masato is just a fact, Celia’s a noble girl who lived a sheltered live, Aisia also have some ignorant points in the feeling of the human as a spirit .
But, the country is also taking part in the defense of the inn where Miharu and co is staying at, watch-keeper soldiers has been standing guard, the public order is good .
If they’re not recklessly moving to the dangerous places with bad public order away from the inn, the danger might be quite low .
Though in price, it’s mainly for the rich and influenced people, an inn is still an inn even if it’s geared for wealthy people .
It’s different when it’s comes to provincial town, it’s not an establishment for the people who have power who can send villains to one-sidedly deal with the opponent who’s entangling with them is staying at[i] .
Nevertheless, though there’s no absolute warranty that this kind of noble won’t come to stay, he won’t be able to do anything if he thinks that far .
（It’s okay . Let’s just trust everyone）
While walking in the quiet residential area in Almond, Rio’s slightly lamenting the fact that those five are already taking different action .
Rio will be spending a short time with Liselotte after this .
That time is certainly when they’re moving till the capital of Galwark kingdom, he must act within eyesight of Liselotte during his stay .
It might have the meaning of monitoring or she can’t leave him alone to act impudently .
Rio also planned to not making a reckless action except if the situation called for it .
「Haruto-sama . Welcome, and please come in」
The chamberlain Cosette was coming out to greet him when Rio’s arriving at Liselotte’s mansion .
She lightly raised the hem of her long skirt with both hands and then made an elegant bow to him .
There’s elegance and humbleness behind that conduct, she’s wearing her neat and clean maid uniform which is colored with contrast of black and white and yet, the charm of an adult which will even charming girls alike which is Cosette’s natural gift was drifting around .
「Good day . Cosette-san」
They’ve met several times already, Rio also greeted her with a natural posture .
「Yes . Good day too . Today too, I who’s received the countenance of Haruto-sama like this is very fortunate right」
So Cosette said that while letting out her impish smile .
「It’s a flattery right . I’m also really happy for being granted to be received by Cosette-san」
Rio’s replied immediately with a smile .
「Well, Thank you very much for that praise . Well, follow me this way please . Since I’ll also go down with the explanation regarding the message and the schedule after this」
Rio entered Liselotte’s mansion while being guided by Cosette .
In a certain waiting room of the chamberlain located in Liselotte’s mansion .
The three of Cosette, Natalie and, Chloe was taking a break as they’re sitting on the sofa in that place .
「Haruto-sama . Is quite a formidable opponent isn’t he」
After drinking the cooled black tea, Cosette started to slowly talk about that .
Natalie’s staring in wonder to her remark .
「Wha, you！ Could it be that you’re aiming for Haruto-sama？ 」
She asked with a flustered face .
Cosette is doing completely well with her assigned job, and her professional attitude is also known as an extremely favourable chamberlain .
Her attitude of receiving guests is kind, and friendly while having elegance in it, her appearance is also considerably well toned even amongst the chamberlain unit of Liselotte which is composed of beautiful women, she’s an amorous woman with a attractive body .
Therefore, the people who make a pass at Cosette amongst the guests who came to the mansion is also not few in number .
Sometimes, Cosette will act nonchalantly to the point that it’s not leaving any influence in her job in order to greeting after the men who suited with her judgement .
In the case that the guest is satisfied with Cosette’s judgement, for the sake of having transaction with advantageous condition by attracting the guest with her charm, even Liselotte is leaving her alone while fully aware of the amorous woman behaviors of Cosette .
「Ara, isn’t that just natural . Graceful look, a manner in which you can feel his educated and elegance, moreover, strength that matches Aria, women will die out for ignoring this kind of fine man」 [TL* : Majority of noble women in Bertram is obsolete] [ED: well he was hiding his strength and magic so doesn’t make it as bad]
Cosette’s looking at Natalie who’s answering nonchalantly .
「Haruto-sama is an important guest of Liselotte-sama you know . What will you do if you unintentionally made him angry」
In the case that a guest is visiting Liselotte’s mansion, their information will be noticed to the chamberlains beforehand such as their preferance, personality and, the importance of the visitor .
Due to the previous raid in Almond, the current Rio’s being treated as VIP amongst Liselotte’s chamberlain, she sent notice to the chamberlains to give him the best treatment .
「The understanding regarding the true character of the male guest is included in my job description you know . Even if I become moderately closer to Haruto-sama, it’s during my work you know」
「That certainly feels like that but……… In your case, aren’t you trying to become closer with wicked intentions！ 」
「Arara, you’re as serious as ever aren’t you . Because you’re like that, you can’t get even one man no matter how many times passed you know」
And then, Cosette is responding with a easygoing tone .
「Please don’t change the subject！ We’re nothing more than chamberlains who’s receiving the guests in this mansion you know . Because of that we can’t carelessly outstretch our hand to the guest . M-Moreover, you’re also without a man yourself even now aren’t you」
「It’s because I’m not a little girl who will rush to love in a straight line, there’s no way I can act carelessly in the matter of male-female relationship right . It’s because I know how much delineation which won’t affecting my work you know」
Cosette said that with a composed expression .
In reality, Cosette’s never causing bad influence in her work regarding her approaching the guest .
The guest who’s pleased with Cosette is great in number, the produced result is only a nice thing for Liselotte .
「E-Even so, Haruto-sama is younger you know？」
「You’re as stubborn as ever isn’t it . Several years of age difference have nothing to do in adult male-female relationship isn’t it」
Cosette’s boasting about that with a beautiful and alluring smile .
The newcomer Chloe was listening attentively with great interest to them who’s bickering like that .
「A-Adult relationship between man and woman………」
Chloe’s gulping while muttering those words .
「You’re definitely aiming for Haruto-sama too but, was it for different matter？ Even if you don’t seem to be reeking by the hand of the inexperienced Natalie, this side might be better for you right」
Cosette’s sending a fleeting glance at Natalie while saying some suggestive lines .
「W_what do you mean by that？」
「It’s exactly as I say you know . I said it in the beginning right . Haruto-sama is quite a formidable opponent」 [TL : Unbreakable Beauty Magnet]
When she’s told about that with a triumph expression, pursuing further will undoubtly cause offence, Natalie was loss at words .
「W-What kind of man is he . I mean, Haruto-sama？ 」
Thereupon, Chloe who was silently listening up till now was interrupting the conversation from the side .
「Though it doesn’t mean that he have experience with women, he’s a gentleman who isn’t timid when facing women . Even if he’s a friendly person who’s easy to talk to but, he’s sensitive with his distance with people and his personal space is wide . Yeah, it’s the sort with high guard but, he’s the type who’s extremely caring for those who is intimate with him」
Cosette stated the true personality of Rio which she analyzed during the few times she met him while laughing with “fufu” .
「I see, Your observation is as splendid as ever . It’s only limited to men though」
Natalie’s looking at Cosette with a dull expression .
「Thank you . I’ll receive those words as a complement」
Cosette’s saying her gratitude with a wide grin floating on her face .
「U-Uhm . Then, what should I do to come in good terms with a person like Haruto-sama？ 」
Chloe is asking with a timid tone .
「A person like Haruto-sama, I see . Perhaps Chloe’s also aiming for Haruto-sama」
Cosette’s grinning widely while saying that .
「Y-You’re misunderstand！ Uhm, it’s because he saved my mother and little sister . Thus I want to say my gratitude to him！ 」
Chloe waved her hands in a hurry with a flushed face .
Cosette and Natalie’s showing a reassuring smile which says「We understand you know」 to Chloe who’s frantically saying 「It’s the truth！」 .
Thus, when Chloe have calmed down, their conversation is returning to the original subject .
「Unexpectedly, I feel that he won’t be so cruel if you keep attacking from the front . But, that’s a difficult tactic when it comes to someone of our standing right . When it comes to that, the remaining method is nothing but steadily shortening our distance with him but… . . 」 [TL : I’m scared of Cosette]
Cosette stopped talking when she reached that point .
The voice of Natalie and Chloe is overlapping .
「The point beyond that will be depending on your experience in love right . Becoming closer to the point that he won’t use polite language, because we have to conduct ourself in order for ourself to be bitten by him . That’s why I said to Natalie that he’s a difficult one」
Cosette’s talking as if being glad with it, Natalie pursed her lips .
「Keep attacking……… Just saying your gratitude is not an expression of love………」
Though Chloe’s muttering in low voice, that voice didn’t reach Natalie’s and Cosette’s ears .
「I’m sorry . Please don’t get angry over this . Based on his origin and relationship with Liselotte-sama, he wasn’t the kind of person who you should approach in a hurry with half-hearted feelings you know」
Looking at her state, Cosette’s bowing obediently toward Natalie .
「I know that much」
「You’re right . But, isn’t there a saying that “Love is blind“？ 」
Saying that, Cosette’s looking at Chloe who’s nonchalantly thinking about something .
Looking at the person herself aside, Natalie’s guessed her intention from her line of sight .
Cosette’s showing a slightly wry smile and then,
「That’s why I’ll give you advice if you’re really aiming at him」
Said that with cheerful voice .
Natalie’s letting out a short sigh .
Though this kind of indirect attention like this seemingly as if she’s half-hearted with it, that’s by no means why she’s not hating Cosette .
Perhaps their entire conversation up till now have something to do with the education for Chloe, the young newcomer who’s still 13 years old .
Though there’s still the mystery whether the current Chloe’s falling in love with Rio or not, that probability isn’t low .
It’s been a long time in itself to the point of her working along with Cosette, might be the reason Natalie’s somehow on a good term without considerable quarrel up till now with her .
「Of course I’ll also aim for him in my own way if the chance has come」
Cosette’s adding those line without being reserved about saying it .
“I’m taking back what I said before . ” [Natalie]
“As I thought, I just can’t be in good terms with her . ” [Natalie]
Thus Natalie’s letting out a short sigh while reconsidering her evaluation of Cosette .
Under the clear sky of spring seaon, a ship vessel was flying forward against the clouds instead of waves .
There was a figure like a wooden sailing boat being binded at the iron pier at it’s hull, it has wings installed to get levitation power .
That is an artifact which was created during the Demon-God War Era, magic ship .
Though it can be said that several of it existed in the countries all over the Strahl region the overall won’t reach several hundreds, it needs a large amount of magic stones as it’s fuel, starting with the system of the ship, since it have many difficult place in the current era magic knowledge even for maintenance of the core parts, along with skyrocketing price for each one of it* . [TL* : Not too sure about the structures of this sentences, 現存する数はシュトラール地方全土にわたって数百は下らないと言われているが、燃料となる魔石を大量に必要とし、船の機関を始めとした心臓部の整備も現代の魔法知識では困難な個所が多いため、一隻一隻に青天井の値段がつけられる代物だ。–Any help?]
Rio was boarding on the magic ship since Liselotte’s the owner .
In the first place, it’s not a vehicle in which a normal person can board on it, though he has seen one before, this is practically his first time boarding on it .
After leaving Almond and advancing toward the northeast, the capital of Galwark kingdom is appearing .
Though at first Rio was sure that they’ll be moving by carriage, it was thanks to the magic ship that they can fully enjoy the air travel .
「I’m astonished with the level of comfort of the magic ship . It’s doesn’t shake as much as I thought」
「Above all, if there’s one, it give a pleasant feeling」
In one room inside of the ship, Rio was having an idle talk while drinking tea with Liselotte .
Though it doesn’t mean that it’s spacious like the room in her mansion, it’s ensuring plenty of space for relaxation, there’s cozy space made by decorating it with stylish decorations .
「Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful cake isn’t it . Was Haruto-sama the one who made it？ 」
Liselotte’s smiling with an expression of one that is in great delight, she’s happily eating the pound cake made by Rio and Miharu with charming and elegant conduct .
「Yeah, it’s my delight for receiving your praise」
Rio’s nodding with smile on his face as he saying that .
「Haruto-sama’s dishes is splendid isn’t it . The chocolate which I ate before was extremely delicious too . This cake also mellow and completed as the best dish by pouring refined sweet chocolate on top of it」
Liselotte who sat facing Rio was smiling ear to ear .
Lacking of sarcasm, it’s a smile which made you think that it’s coming from her true feelings .
Though Rio was feeling it when he gave the chocolate from before, it seems that Liselotte’s really fond of sweet food .
（This child too, if she was reincarnated in a similiar case with me and Latifa, I wonder what kind of child she was in her previous life）
Maybe because their chance for this kind of meeting has increased recently, Rio suddenly thought of that .
As he was enjoying the aroma of black tea while pondering about such things, his line of sight’s overlapping with Liselotte .
She was staring at Rio, seemingly wanting to say something .
「Is there something on my face？」
「Ah, No . Uhm…………… . 」
Liselotte’s words stagnated in the middle .
「Is there something you want to ask me？ If you don’t mind, please let me to hear it」
When Rio’s trying to test the water, Liselotte’s opened her lips while hestitating .
「Uhm, though we’ve been meeting like this so many times, I don’t know too many things about Haruto-sama…… . 」
With a tinge of pink on her cheeks, Liselotte’s facing slightly downward .
It seems she’s also thinking about similar things as Rio .
If he’s expressing the relationship between them, it becomes something related to business but, it’s forcing a reply from the other party implicitly for that question .
Therefore, in regard to the business scene, doing somthing like asking about private matter to the other party is a manner that must be avoided .
Especially if it’s something like questioning the superior other party, the damage because of such discourtesy conduct is also not small .
Though both sides didn’t inquire about private matters more than necessary up till now, there’s also the matter of their distance getting closer bit-by-bit which reaching the point that they’re having a meeting like this everyday .
If ones thinking of building a more intimate relationship, this area might become the boundary which determines their relationship from now on .
So Liselotte’s trying to step her foot into that boundary with abandon .
In case of men, her cute action might trigger themself to voluntarily talking about themself but .
「I see . It’s as you say」
Rio made an agreeable renponse with calm tone .
Rio too as her current bussiness partner, it’s not like he doesn’t have a great interest regarding Liselotte .
Though it doesn’t mean that he’s wishing for it, the flow of the current conversation wasn’t bad for talking about it .
After that, they’re starting to tell the other party about themself bit-by-bit while doing a brief self-introduction .
The topic related to tea made their conversation especially heated .
「Though blend tea tastes good too, the hurdle for my demand is high, so flavored tea is there for your own to adjust to my liking you know」
「Well, certainly, I want to taste the tea prepared by Haruto-sama」
After Accompanying and receiving the influence of tea-loving Celia during his royal academy era, receiving invitation for tea time by Oufia in seirei no tami village, Rio’s one way or another, has many experience regarding tea .
Thus, because the people in his surrounding drink tea . that was how he became a competent tea connoisseur .
Nowadays, he blends his own tea leaves, he’s infusing flavor to the tea leaves to make his own original tea, there’s even various trial products which he made along with Miharu .
Liselotte in front of him included, her love for tea surpassing Rio and standing on the same level as Celia, since they found a common topic which became the clue of their conversation, their conversation became even more lively .
「That’s right . Since I need to bring some things, if you’re okay with with it, please try it later」
「Well, I’ll be waiting for it」
After saying that, Liselotte showed an impish bring the cup of tea to her lips .
It’s a pleasant conversation for a short while after that and then, the time of separation finally comes .
「Well then, I’ll excuse myself then . I’m delighted to be able to spend such a pleasant time」
「That’s, I wish to say something . I’m truly grateful that you want to accompany me during the afternoon tea time . Since we will arrive anytime soon, please wait for it while sightseeing the scenery outside or returning to your room」
Saying so, after exchanging greetings at each other, Rio leaves Liselotte’s room .
The sunlight that was coming from the sky and deck already changed color to red .
The evening sun that was floating in the far horizon is shining brightly .
The scenery which he can look out till faraway at the horizon of the continent is surely suitable to be said as “Picturesque scenery“ .
The mountain that was rising from the ground, the canyon that bore deep into the ground, the forest that was spreading till a far distance, the lake that is spreading vast and far, there’s a plain with flowing rivers .
There’s viewing the diminutive city which scattering intermittently and then, he felt just how tiny he is .
That scenery is completely sucking his soul, it’s truly a fantastic scenery .
As the scenery which he was watching from the magic ship quickly fades into twilight, Rio’s about to turn his heel toward his own room .
It was at that time .
「A-Uhm！ Haruto-sama！ 」
Rio halted his foot by reflex in hearing the voice of a girl who became stiff due to nervousness .
When he’s turning around to look at the origin of that voice, standing at that place was Chloe who’s also the retainer of Liselotte .
Her age might be similiar to Aki, her face which still retaining some of her innocence seemingly stiff for some reason .
「Chloe-san was it . Good day too . May I ask your business？ 」
When he’s nodding with a light smile hovering on his face to the slowly approaching Chloe, Rio asked her business with a gentle expression .
「Y-Yes . Uhm………… . . 」
Maybe because Chloe’s too excited about something, she then taking a deep breath with a appearance of someone making a resoulition,
「Thank you for what you did some time ago！」
She bowed vigorously toward Rio .
「Yes . Uh~m, could it be about Mirey-chan and Rebecca-san？ 」
Him receiving gratitude from Chloe, there’s nothing but one event which comes to Rio .
It might be the matter of him saving Chloe’s mother and little sister who was attacked by the demon who was coming to attack Almond sometime ago .
「Ye-Yeah . I, at that time, my mother……… I didn’t have any choice since I’m worrying about my mother and little sister . I was truly relieved at that time when Haruto-sama brought them along to the mansion」
So, while showing a tottering appearance, Chloe’s telling him about her mental state during that time .
Maybe because their ages are close, her appearance is overlapped with Latifa and Aki .
「When I’m hearing from mother about the detailed even later, I became truly frightened in what would happen if Haruto-sama didn’t happen to pass by that place…………」
At that time, if Rio didn’t choose to take that path, there’s no doubt that Chloe’s mother, Rebecca and Chloe’s little sister, Mirey might be tormented to death by the orc and the goblin .
Even if Natalie passed by later, it’s certainly already too late for them .
Chloe’s feeling really grateful toward Rio from the fact that the worst result is lying in waiting if there’s even one mistake .
「That’s why I want to properly say my gratitude！ Thank you very much for saving my mother and little sister！ 」
Though there’s some clumsiness in Chloe’s action, it was refreshing that she’s come straight to expressing her gratitude .
「It’s nothing, both of them are safe and sound is the best result you know . Was there no change to them after that？ 」
Rio’s asking the condition of Mirey and Rebecca after that event .
「Yes . My mother and little sister is as lively as usual . Both of them said that they definitely want to give something to Haruto-sama」
「No, their feeling is already enough . I’m happy enough receiving their gratitude till we’re arriving at the mansion that day . Please don’t worry about a gift」
Rio’s putting his hand on his head and gently turning down their gift of gratitude .
「N-No！ That won’t do！ Please allow me to express my gratitude properly！ 」
But, Chloe is unexpectedly so tenacious about it .
Rio was slightly taken aback .
「Ah, M-My apologies！」
Chloe’s hurriedly apologizing maybe because she’s realizing that she became too zealous about it .
「Don’t worry, I don’t mind about it……… . . 」
A slightly awkward atmosphere’s following after that
「My deepest apologies . I’m truly regretting the fact that I didn’t say my gratitude properly………… I decided to properly convey my gratitude like this time……… . . 」
Chloe apologized in a anticlimaxed situation while hanging her face down awkwardly .
「So that was it…………」
As long as looking at Chloe’s slightly over-reaction, it might be how much she’s regretting her past action .
Though it was nothing but a one chance of encounter, Rio still remembered that Chloe was a more friendly and cheerful girl .
When they met for the first time, she’s smiling cheerfully while slighly forcing Rio to follow her by arm .
Of course Rio’s and Chloe’s current relationship is different with that time in the past, though he won’t be able to see her being too over-familiar, he already can’t feel her bottomless cheerfulness which she had before from the current her .
Maybe because her youthful trait has calmed down during these few years, maybe she became slightly aware about the distance with people due to a past event, or there might be another reason .
But, that place is not an area where he should be stepping into――, Rio’s feeling that way,
「I’ve said sometime ago, I already properly received your feeling of gratitude」
He said that to persuade her .
「Thank you for properly expressing your gratitude, I’m able to properly accept Chloe-san’s feeling」
Rio adds other words following after that .
「Isn’t it supposed to be enough just by saying 『thank you』 or 『I’m sorry』 without overworking on it . When Chloe-san’s too nervous, the other party will ended up nervous too right 」
「just one expression . 『Thank you』 or 『I’m sorry』……… . 」
Maybe because she has something in her mind, when Chloe’s muttering those words repeatedly so many times over――
「It’s the capital~！」
The voice of the crew on the deck resounded .
Author Note :[i] [TL* : A place which is unsuitable to set an ambush or assasination]