The King ruling this country had been ill for a long time now.
King Ivan — Vin Sauvignon Grand Cru Ivan, was lying down quietly in his bed. His once lively and bright eyes were now hidden behind deep wrinkles, and his richly grown moustache swayed with each pained breath.
He himself understood very well that he does not have much time remaining.
He had carried out the grand task he took over from the previous King, governing the country in stability.
However, he still had lingering attachments to this world. Namely, that he has not found a man worthy to be his heir.
Until he saw the next King with his own eyes, he can not close his heavy eyelids.
As is always said about his kind, he held on to life with an iron will.
“— Excuse me”
Right then, a woman entered the room.
Rosé Vosne-Romanée Grand Cru Ivan
The King’s one and only daughter.
After sending out the physician who was always caring for him, King Ivan called Rosé to his bedside.
“Rosé. You look like you’ve been running around with something in your mind. The officials told on you while visiting me”
“I apologise for the trouble, Father”
Rosé bowed her head down deeply.
Though they are father and daughter, as royalty they cannot dispense with formalities.
“What is it, I can give you advice if you will have me”
“Please do not worry. I have made you anxious enough”
“I don’t mind. Ask away”
Urged by the King, Rosé closed her eyes in thought.
“I, Rosé, have discovered a fake of my seal. Shimoyama Yuuki was the one who found it”
“That stranger? We owe him greatly for the Isky matter, as well, don’t we?”
“Yes. He was entrusted with a bond letter from a commoner in crushing debt, and of all things it was sealed with Rosé’s seal”
“Is that true?”
“Yes. I have seen it for myself. There’s no way a royalty’s seal would be used for a loan. And the people are suffering because of that false seal. We have to do something quickly”
“The heavens are always watching. The truth must come to light”
“That is right. So, please at least consider to cancel the debt, ”
“—— But Rosé, You are royalty, one who would govern the country”
Her statement interrupted, Rosé knitted her eyebrows.
“A ruler that always looks at what’s by her feet will lose sight of the bigger picture. You have to see things from a wider angle, Rosé”
“That is not your job to do. Do you understand?”
“Leave that to the police. All you have to give is the order ‘do something immediately'”
Not even given a chance to explain, Rosé’s fists shook.
“F …. Father, are …”
“Are you saying I should let the person who had everything taken from them to just die!?”
Unable to contain her anger, she vented it out on the bed.
“You still don’t understand, Rosé! You’re talking about one person out of hundreds of thousands! There are many many more people who are suffering … guhu!”
gaha, the King let out a pained cough.
“F … father!”
In haste, Rosé tried to call out to him, but
“Wait … Rosé, I’m alright. Gefu, I still have something to sa … , gefu”
A wheezing sound came out from the King’s throat, but as if understanding his body’s way of restraining himself, the King calmed down and said thus.
“Listen Rosé, listen well. The reason why we cannot save a single person, do you know why?”
“Because we have to save a lot more people”
“Yes. That’s right. That’s how we royals – rulers are”
“Yes, I understand Father. I have done your body harm, please rest yourself …”
After running away from the Phinegar girl, the three of us, Arina, Mist, and I, returned to our rooms. With the light of the setting sun, we hurriedly tidied up the appliances and goods we bought.
It was a wooden, ten-tatami sized room, with three beds in the center. There was a simple kitchen at the back, and after putting in the cupboards and table, there weren’t much space left over.
Temporary as it was, this was our new home.
When I was a kid, I once played over at a friend’s house in a housing complex. This gave off the same impression.
It felt a little cramped for the three of us to live in, but since I didn’t feel like staying that long, this was enough.
That said, this was another world.
We should set things up as much as possible so we don’t lack the necessities of life.
“So, what was with that girl”
I brought up the subject to the two girls while putting the dishes away.
It was about Phinegar. That magical gal had been having it for me while saying things I don’t understand.
“M, hmm …. Yes, it’s quite confusing”
“I said I wanted to talk, but what did she do? She shot me. Sheesh. … how did she get a Salamander Cannon anyway?”
“Umm, even if you ask dumb Arina”
“Well, you being an idiot doesn’t have anything to do with it, even though you are. She asked where we came from, and even though she misunderstood some things, she knew who we are. Should we go ask Emiko-san?”
“Mother? But we’re in another world?”
It’s amazing how irresponsible she was sending us to another world without explanation.
“I’ll fiddle with the E:ID phone later. There might be a way to contact her”
I said so and picked up the lantern.
“Say Mist. Where should we put this?”
Mist, who was picky with interior, was sitting there looking blankly at the ceiling.
After calling out to her two or three times,
“S, sorry. What was that again?”
She finally responded. … she seems a little strange.
Mist had Phinegar tampering the inside of her body.
Arina judged that she was fine, but this is a world where somewhere, something like Glenn’s ‘bug’ might be doing something.
“Hey, are you alright? Have a rest if you feel sick”
“Nah, I’m fine. The lantern goes here, I suppose”
She said, picking up the lantern, and then stopped moving again.
“… hey, Mist?”
“—! Y, yes!”
Mist put the lantern down and sighed.
“Mist-chan, do you think you’re feeling sick?”
Even Arina noticed and asked worriedly.
” ‘I think you should go take a walk for a while’ ”
Arina’s voice was strangely commanding.
Unlike her usual head-down, fidgety feel.
“I … suppose so. I’ll go get some air”
Mist nodded and went outside.
“Will she be alright on her own,” I wondered.
But Arina said, “Mist-chan‘s not like Arina, she’s all together-like. So, um, she’ll be fine, she’ll be back for bed by nightfall,” somewhat trustingly, irresponsible even
She then finally smiled and said, “you can see her in pajamas!” while making a guts pose.
“Are you dumb. This isn’t the time for that”
“R, really? But Yuu-kun has seen her naked so you’re already”
“Already what! Huh!? What’re you trying to say!?”
“B, but, living under one roof will make a new sprout bud …”
“Goddammit, you’ve said it! Even though I was trying not to mind it!! This boy in puberty was trying to not mind it!!”
“I, it’s okay! Arina, will try to pretend to sleep!!”
“That’s completely unneccessary!!”
This kid always has a habit of saying things like that.
There’s a little something I had to make clear.
We don’t get many chances to be alone with the two of us, so I better prepare myself.
“What do you think of living like this?”
“Eh? Living together with Yuu-kun, is like a dream?”
I’ve noticed it since we were kids.
We’ve been close for so long. There’s no way I didn’t notice.
… Even I, just a little bit …
“But Arina, … is it okay if Mist …?”
I have to make it clear at some point.
I have a ‘responsibility’, both for Arina and Mist.
She always masked it by making lewd talk, but she must be feeling some discomfort, living in the same room as the target of her affections.
“But Yuu-kun. You love Mist-chan, right?”
But mist calmly said so.
… that’s right.
I’ve been terribly indecisive, even to Mist who was directing her feelings at me …
I know I was the worst, as a man.
“No. We’re talking about you now. … You know I noticed, right?”
Then the air around Arina changed slightly.
“— I see. Okay, I get it”
She raised her hanging head and wore a slightly passionate smile.
Her face was dyed pink.
It was unnerving. I’ve never seen Arina like this before.
“Then, Arina will confess, okay”
Her smile widened to her whole face.
“I love you, Yuu-kun. I’ve been looking at you since long long long ago”
“O … okay”
I honestly thought she was cute, somewhat frustrating.
How should I put it, it was embarassing to be told straight.
Arina staggered close to me and took my hands.
She dearly gripped them and continued her confession.
“I love you, Yuu-kun. I’m sorry, Arina fell so helplessly in love with you like this. But, I just can’t stop my feelings”
“Don’t blame yourself”
“— You see, It’s not like Arina wants Yuu-kun to respond. If Yuu-kun loves Mist-chan, if Yuu-kun loves Princess Rosé, Yuu-kun can choose. Arina will still love Yuu-kun. Arina loves you. Arina won’t stop —”
“I said, don’t put it like that …”
“— Of course, Arina will be really happy if you chose Arina. But you see, Arina won’t be selfish. You don’t have to choose Arina. Arina will still love you. Arina won’t stop —”
“…, A, Arina?”
Arina is acting weird.
She was still smiling as she made her confession, but her eye focus kept shifting.
It’s like, rather than looking at me, she was looking through me.
Arina’s mumbling something, what is she saying?
It became incoherent along the way, I couldn’t catch it.
Unlike her earlier pink-blushed face, Arina said with an eerie, esctatic look.
She then unthinkingly caressed my hands.
“Um … can you let go?”
“— but you know, Yuu-kun?”
*grip*, Arina gripped my wrists tight.
“Arina loves Yuu-kun more than aaaaanyone”
Her grip became stronger and stronger.
“A, … Arina!!”
It hurts. Pain ran through my wrists.
“It can’t compare to Rosé’s or Mists. Arina is number one. Arina won’t lose to anyone”
It felt like she was constricting with all her strength!
Just how strong is she!!
“Arina, hey! It hurts!!”
“Rosé is the prettiest, Mist is the cutest. But Arina loves you the most. That’s right. Ufu, ufufufu, that’s right —♪”
“I’M RIGHT AREN’T I!?”
I think … I heard something break …!!
I felt a jolt through my wrists, then lost the feeling on my fingers.
Unable to bear it, I fell down, and Arina came to herself.
“Y … Yuu-kun!? Ah, AAAAAAHHH!! Ah —!? Arina, what did …!!”
She leaned over and chanted healing magic right away.
“I’m sorry I’m sorry!! Arina didn’t mean to!! Arina was too overjoyed telling Yuu-kun Arina’s feelings …!!”
She always easily feels guilty since way back, so I suppose she must have been burdened by it 1
… But I didn’t think it would be that much …
“A, Arina, doesn’t mind sharing with Mist-chan! S, so, just being allowed to be near Yuu-kun, is enough …!!”
Arina said with a tearful face. I gave her a pat on the head.
- TN: He means the confession, not breaking his wrist ↩