“…Right. I didn’t meet the Emperor in Gritonia, but I have already met the King of Limia…so I should have known.”
After returning to the guest room that was given to us, a sigh and a reflection leaked out.
My head was heavy as if something was weighing down on it.
It was a sensation as if I had been studying for a long period of time, and I stopped my concentration for a bit.
We did an audience with the Limia king, and had a talk with nobles(that were probably influential).
The moment we came to this country, I was already prepared to have talks with nobles, but in Gritonia, the only ones I met were the princess and the hero, so at a corner of my mind, I thought that maybe I won’t be meeting the king.
It seems like with the excuse of having saved them at Rotsgard, they began an audience as their thanks.
Personally, I wanted to go visit the priestess-san that had suddenly collapsed, but in that part, they politely refused.
I was bothered by it, but I had no choice but to ask Mio and Lime grasp her state.
Thanks to my experience in the audience with the Demon Lord, I was somehow able to overcome it, but the number of nobles that came to talk later were more than I expected, and it made me abnormally tired.
I spoke a bit with prince Joshua,and after that, I thought that Hibiki-senpai had various things to talk about as well, but to my surprise, she didn’t show up.
And there’s also the Hopelace household.
The feudal lord said that he would be waiting for me in the capital, but I had a bad feeling about actually meeting him.
He was calm and told me about the opinions of other nobles, so in the surface, he had a cooperative atmosphere, but…
At times, he directed unpleasant eyes at me.
That’s what I felt.
I don’t think it was my imagination, and I felt like the nobles that were close to him also directed a good amount of those gazes.
There were several times when I felt like they were keeping each other in check, and it might be just as the rumors say that the Limia nobles are ridden in political strifes.
For now, in the talks of today, there was not a single topic about having the Kuzunoha Company placing a store.
There’s plenty possibility that in the Merchant Guild of this country and the nobles there has already been some sort of talk between them. This is the guess of Lime, but I think that’s correct.
“Good work, Waka-sama.” (Mio)
“Good work, Boss.” (Lime)
Mio and Lime; the two of them were in the room and welcomed me.
“I am back~. Senpai was not there, but the talk with the king and the nobles was incredibly tiring.” (Makoto)
“About the priestess that Waka-sama was worried about, it seems like she saw an hallucination because of overwork.” (Mio)
“Yeah, right now there’s nothing wrong and is calmly sleeping.” (Lime)
“So she was tired to the point of seeing hallucinations…a girl as small as that… Senpai must be worried as well.” (Makoto)
I feel like being in the hero party of the Limia Kingdom is a very successful career, but is it an exhausting job?
It seems like Senpai is standing at the frontlines in the war with the demon race, so maybe it is a given.
In this world, kids are working as if it was natural after all.
“Also, a messenger came and said that prince Joshua is waiting for you. It is not urgent, so after you have made your arrangements, he wanted you to tell the people that are at the corridor.” (Lime)
“…Hey Mio.” (Makoto)
“What is it-desu ka?” (Mio)
“About the priestess-san, I feel like she collapsed when she saw you and I though. You didn’t do anything, right?” (Makoto)
“I haven’t done anything-desu wa. In the first place, from all those people, she was the only one that ended up like that, you know? Even if it is me, I wouldn’t go out of my way to target my spell at a small girl.” (Mio)
“…Right, sorry.” (Makoto)
“It is not something to apologize for. In the first place…” (Mio)
“Waka-sama, Lime, and I haven’t done anything, so the reason should be on the other side. If that girl was trying to do something to us and ended up in that way, even if she is a girl, it just means she got her just desserts. Whatever the case, it is not something that merits Waka-sama to be troubled over.” (Mio)
Mio was laughing gently.
When she is with Tomoe and I, she normally acts emotionally, so this is unusual.
She seems to have a lot of composure, and how to say it, she looks calm.
I felt that in this journey I would be depending on Lime, but Mio’s beginning to look like a dependable person.
The Arkes show remarkable growth, but maybe Mio is like that as well.
I don’t think there will be that many complicated talks and decisions in Limia, but if that time comes, I am happy that there are two people I can rely on.
“That girl might have done something, huh. She is a priestess-san, so does she have a special sense or something, Lime?” (Makoto)
“Somewhat… Uhm…I think she is proficient at seeing the essence of someone when she sees them.” (Lime)
“Essence… more mysterious sounding stuff. From what I saw in her gaze, she didn’t look like she saw my Magic Armor, so is it the type that sees things that other people don’t?” (Makoto)
“Maybe I should try asking her when I visit her. It would be bad to make the Prince-sama wait, so I will be leaving soon. Ah, there’s no need to stay house-sitting. It is fine if you just return by evening.” (Makoto)
“If that’s the case, Waka-sama, I will go meet Hibiki-desu wa. I will be asking about the visit to the priestess in detail.” (Mio)
“Mio alone?” (Makoto)
Senpai and Mio.
Even if we are inside the castle, it makes me slightly uneasy.
“Then I will be taking Lime with me. It seems like there was a period of time when he was with Hibiki’s group in Lorel after all. Is it okay? We haven’t confirmed if it’s okay to go outside, so if possible, it would be better to receive permission for it first, and it would be better to take care of the business that can be done within the castle.” (Mio)
“…Yeah, I am counting on you.” (Makoto)
What with this? She is really reliable.
Did Mio evolve?
There was no notice of it.
It is true that we haven’t confirmed if it’s okay to leave outside.
This is bad.
I was thinking that it would be okay since those two can easily go outside without being discovered by the people of the castle.
It should be better to receive permission for going outside in terms of order huh.
I let it slip by.
“Go do it.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, I will.” (Mio)
I still had a sliver of uneasiness in my head, but I leave the room to head to where prince Joshua is, and tell the guards that were standing there about my intentions.
“Well then, let’s go meet Hibiki, Lime.” (Mio)
“…What is it?” (Mio)
“What did you do to Chiya? What did you show her?” (Lime)
Lime made up his mind and asked, and Mio who had a gentle smile, narrowed her eyes slightly.
“I didn’t do anything. Nothing at all.” (Mio)
“I reported Tomoe-neesan about the priestess’ eyes. Boss didn’t seem like he knew, but Nee-san should have known, right?” (Lime)
“‘Yeah’, you say?! Don’t tell me, you intentionally…” (Lime)
“Waka-sama isn’t that good at expressing himself without words after all. Also…even if they learn of my identity, it will only deepen their understanding of Waka-sama. There’s no problem at all-desu yo.” (Mio)
“I-Identity…is it? Don’t tell me you are like Tomoe-neesan, a Superior Dragon?” (Lime)
Cold sweat ran down the face of Lime.
It wasn’t pleasant sweat.
When he was involved with Root and learned of his direct superior Tomoe’s identity, he was proud that he didn’t lose consciousness at that moment.
It was a situation that wouldn’t be strange if he did after all.
“Fufufu, that’s not it, but it is something similar-desu wa. Also, it is fine to just ask Hibiki about what that girl saw. I don’t know what she saw either after all.” (Mio)
“Just what’s Boss, seriously.” (Lime)
Lime began to get interested in what Chiya saw in Raidou and Mio.
Just how will she express what she saw with those abstract words of hers.
“Waka-sama is a gentleman that’s like a cat basking on the sun. With no evil and hostility. That’s only if he is not touched or woken up because of their own convenience, though.” (Mio)
“The reaction of Chiya didn’t seem like she saw a cute cat though. Definitely.” (Lime)
“Then she must have had a stupid expectation. Ah~, I don’t know what power it is, but it would be convenient if all the hyumans had that kind of power.” (Mio)
The gentleness disappeared, and Mio was now showing a smile that made one feel dreadfulness.
“W-Well then, I will contact Hibiki.” (Lime)
“No need. You know where she is, right?” (Mio)
“Eh…yes. I have the information of Hibiki in this, so I can tell.” (Lime)
Saying this, Lime points at the katana at his waist.
Lime had received a katana exclusive for him from Makoto via Tomoe, that has been customized with a variety of abilities.
That’s one of the reasons why he is able to tell the location of Hibiki without the need of investigating.
Lime explains the location of Hibiki to Mio.
It seems like Hibiki is currently in the middle of nursing Chiya.
“This is convenient. Well then, we are going. Let’s go.” (Mio)
“So suddenly?! We should at least send a thought transmission to—” (Lime)
“Ara. For a person that we have trained, given a weapon, repaired it, and even gave her the credit of several achievements, there’s no need to be reserved-desu wa.” (Mio)
“…That’s…it might be true but…” (Lime)
What Mio had listed was all true.
When lining it up again, Lime felt that they have done quite a lot for her.
“I will have Hibiki learn of Waka-sama in the time of our stay. By force, that is.” (Mio)
“Learn of…Boss.” (Lime)
Lime felt something ominous from those words.
His instincts were telling him that it was dangerous.
“Right, first of all, maybe I should have her accompany him when delivering that.” (Mio)
Mio glances at the bag that is lying down at a corner of the room.
“…I have not heard of the details, but if I remember correctly, it is the egg of a dragon, right?” (Lime)
“Yeah, it seems like it is the Waterfall dragon-desu” (Mio)
“I see, the Waterfall dragon, is it.” (Lime)
Lime definitely didn’t understand the meaning of it.
“It is a peace-fool dragon that was defeated by a mere dragon killer, but I will have it be useful.” (Mio)
“…Water fall, Waterfall…dragon…Dragon killer? Hah? Haaah?!” (Lime)
“Hmph~, so it is here. The room where the priestess is sleeping.” (Mio)
Lime was finally able to digest the words of Mio, but he was in the middle of showing several emotions by voicing them out.
Mio had nonchalantly teleported.
It is not the medical room.
It’s the private rooms.
The cleaning was well done, but it was a room that didn’t seem to be used that often.
At a part of that place, there was some sort of religious tool, and one could guess that it is the room of a priest.
“Hibiki, it is me. It seems like you weren’t present at the time of the audience. Waka-sama was worried, for a variety of reasons.” (Mio)
“Mio…-san. And Lime too. I didn’t invite you, and you didn’t knock either but, what’s going on?” (Hibiki)
“It hasn’t been long enough to say ‘it’s been a long while’, but well, I am glad to see that you are somewhat well, Hibiki. Sorry for coming so suddenly.” (Lime)
“Sorry, you say. Lime, you…” (Hibiki)
“Just how much do you think you owe us, lady? Wash away something as trivial as this without blaming.” (Mio)
“Fuh~. When you bring that, I can’t say anything.” (Hibiki)
In the room of the priestess, the hero Hibiki was there.
The priestess Chiya was lying on the luxurious bed that has a pavilion.
In that big bed, there was only one small bulge.
“It seems like the priestess still hasn’t woken up. Waka-sama was worried about her as well. He said that he wanted to visit her later, so can you please make the time?” (Mio)
“Misumi-kun? But that’s…” (Hibiki)
“He seemed to be worried that maybe he did something to her. Even though your side was the one that did something though.” (Mio)
“…I see. So you heard it from Lime.” (Hibiki)
Lime takes the gaze of Hibiki directly.
He hasn’t promised to not say it or to keep it a secret, so there’s no room to blame him, and when thinking about their relationship, he is someone that she owes a lot to.
When there’s nothing to be ashamed for, it is natural to show a confident attitude.
“It is my job after all.” (Lime)
“Right. I won’t blame you for that.” (Hibiki)
“Also, didn’t you think that we would be coming with a countermeasure for that?” (Lime)
“…Yes. You know of the eyes of Chiya, so I wasn’t expecting much.” (Hibiki)
Slight regret was shown in the eyes of Hibiki.
“Now then, I wonder what this girl saw~. I am looking forward to hearing it.” (Mio)
“You didn’t make a countermeasure?” (Hibiki)
“There was nothing you can see that could trouble us after all. I only thought of it as getting my fortune told for free-desu wa.” (Mio)
Mio says this nonchalantly.
“How sturdy spirited, as always. It is true that I thought you would act more cautiously.” (Hibiki)
“Fufufufu, Hibiki says quite the amusing things-desu wa ne. Ara…” (Mio)
Seeing the expression of Hibiki clouding slightly, Mio shows a wondering expression.
“You wanted to know about Waka-sama and us, right? Then be happier. Thanks to the priestess, you have obtained valuable information, didn’t you?” (Mio)
“Until now, Chiya-chan has seen a variety of people, but she didn’t lose herself as much as now. It might be valuable information, but because my forecast was naive, I have made her experience something painful. I can’t be happy.” (Hibiki)
“I thought that you had become quite skilled at conducting yourself, but it seems like you are soft-hearted when it comes to your comrades, as always. How lukewarm.” (Mio)
“Just this one part, I feel like it is something that I can’t throw away until the last moment. But Mio-san, you call it lukewarm, but it looked like Misumi-kun was also quite soft-hearted towards Mio-san and the others though?” (Hibiki)
She didn’t say that she won’t be able to throw it away, but she objected to Mio’s words, and brings out the subject of Makoto.
It is true that Makoto treats her as an equal, or more like, family.
Hibiki who thinks that if they are talking about soft-hearted, he is one too.
“The standpoint is different. When it is an action befitting of one’s stature, it can’t be called soft-hearted. For Waka-sama, it is a conduct that he has surplus to do, but for you, you are just pointlessly tiptoeing.” (Mio)
“You are going so far as saying that. Can I hear your basis?” (Hibiki)
“That’s something you yourself should learn.” (Mio)
“Lime and I won’t get in the way. Waka-sama wants to go to some lake in Limia because of a job he has been asked to do. Since you have the chance, how about you go guide him? Right, Waka-sama and you are ‘fellow countrymen’, so go together alone.” (Mio)
“Lime, you keep your mouth shut. How about it, Hibiki? If you say you are going to guide Waka-sama by yourself, I think it will be fine to clear all the debts until now.” (Mio)
“…It will depend on the place that he wants to go, but in my side, I can make the time. In the first place, I was thinking about having a long talk with Misumi-kun.” (Hibiki)
The affirming words of Hibiki made the brows of Lime crease.
(And yet, the reason why they didn’t establish a place to talk immediately…was because they placed the talk with the nobles first, to gather information and manipulate the impressions huh. The chances that a number of the nobles asked something of Hibiki are high, and if Hibiki meets with Boss after he has gone through uncomfortable talks, with the positions of Boss and Hibiki… The nursing might have been by chance, but it turned into a good excuse for us. Mio-neesan, Hibiki is not lukewarm. Something that can’t be thrown away until the last moment, is something that can be considered will be thrown away when that moment comes, after all. If you are going to leave Boss and Hibiki alone…I should at least make it possible to grasp the situation. Tomoe-neesan was also bothered by it after all.) (Lime)
“I have set up the table this much, so Hibiki should do something to make sure Waka-sama is able to go to the place he wants to go. No matter where Waka-sama wants to go, you who are a hero, is accompanying him, so it should be easy to convince the people around, right?” (Mio)
“He is a guest that was invited by the Limia Kingdom, but he is only one merchant. There’s places that can’t be entered so…” (Hibiki)
“…Hibiki, Waka-sama was called here to express their gratitude for saving your king and prince, you know? Something like public stance, I actually don’t care about those. If you are going to bring out conditions after I have prepared this much—” (Mio)
“Hibiki, those are not bad conditions, right? Boss is not someone that would cause troubles, and since you are an acquaintance of his, you should know, right?” (Lime)
Lime cuts in.
Because he could somewhat guess what Mio was about to say after that.
Those words would have been way too careless and should not be said. While feeling slightly agitated, he composedly coped with it.
“…Understood. Today would be impossible, so it will be for tomorrow or the day after. I will match the necessity of Misumi-kun, and guide him. It will be only me and Misumi-kun, okay?” (Hibiki)
She confirms with Mio, or more like, she was pushing her desire.
From Hibiki’s impression, Mio hates when other girls approach Makoto.
Even so, Mio was currently proposing them to be in a situation where they are alone.
It would be strange not to suspect anything behind that.
“Of course-desu wa. Waka-sama has been tired lately, so please have him relax. I am leaving it to you, Hibiki.” (Mio)
“Understood. I will do what I can. The girl here is still resting so…” (Hibiki)
“Of course, we have finished our business. Let’s return, Lime. Ah, Hibiki, this is a request with no debt involved. What the priestess saw, please do tell me as well. I am really interested in it after all.” (Mio)
“Got it, Nee-san.” (Lime)
“I have heard it, but I can’t promise anything.” (Hibiki)
Hibiki looks at the place where those two blended and disappeared in the darkness, with a serious expression.
She is scheming something.
She was able to tell at least this much.
She hasn’t told anyone about Makoto who is calling himself Raidou, but she has gotten one lead, and it is true that Hibiki wants information of them to the point of desperation.
But the table has been prepared way too much.
Also, the reaction of Chiya was irregular.
“…Just what in the world did Chiya see? It bothers me as well. If possible, I want to hear about it before guiding Misumi-kun, but…they did tell me that it is best to wait for her to wake up naturally after all…” (Hibiki)
Looking at Chiya sleeping, Hibiki makes a small sigh.
The bad feeling doesn’t disappear.
The chill that has been wrapping around her neck since the moment Chiya collapsed, worried Hibiki.
Lime who had returned to their guest room, made a tired expression in front of Mio.
His appearance of bending his back was pitiful.
“Please spare me, Nee-san. At that rate, Nee-san, you would have said that you would be turning the capital into ashes to none other than Hibiki, right?” (Lime)
“I was slightly…peeved. It would have been fine to just obediently accept the preparations, but she had to go and try to be all sly. As expected, it would have been bad to say that I would be erasing the capital. You have saved me, Lime. I was about to trouble Waka-sama.” (Mio)
“Also, isn’t it bad to leave Hibiki and Boss alone? I have been asked by Tomoe-neesan to—” (Lime)
“Yes, what is it?” (Lime)
“There’s no problem.” (Mio)
“…There’s none?” (Lime)
“Yeah, none at all.” (Mio)
(No…choice. I will have to do it stealthily.) (Lime)
Left with no other choice, Lime began to think of a way to check on the state of those two from the shadows.
“If you do something like keep those two in check… I will do something interesting, Lime. Something incredibly interesting.” (Mio)
Lime lost his words.
From the first day in their stay in Limia Kingdom, he already felt dark clouds enveloping him.