“Hoh… This is quite the good raw ham.”
The black cat was munching on the ham.
That’s what I ordered from the room service of the inn.
Unfortunately, there was no fish.
“Isn’t it salty?” (Makoto)
Wouldn’t the salt concentration of food that’s for humans be too high for the small body of Tsui?
Well, it is a demonic beast, so I think it should be fine though.
“It was tasty. I am full.” (Tsui)
It didn’t answer my question and simply rubbed its stomach.
That gesture was cute, but its voice was that of a middle-aged dandy man, so it feels really off.
“So? How can you talk?” (Makoto)
“Well, who cares about that, My Master?” (Tsui)
“I do. Fess up already.” (Makoto)
“Master really gets bothered by the small stuff… The reason why I can use human speech is thanks to the Moon Princess-sama and…” (Tsui)
This is what the black cat said.
After I went off to the past, Furiae-san was the one who looked after Tsui.
Furiae-san, who had become a Holy Maiden, had obtained new Skills.
Her Skill apparently can bring out dormant potential.
It is called The Miracle of the Holy Maiden.
“And so, you can now talk thanks to the Skill of Princess?” (Makoto)
“Demonic beasts with age on their backs can speak human language. It normally takes several decades, but thanks to the Moon Princess, that has been shortened. What a handy thing.” (Tsui)
The black cat groomed itself while saying this.
But a Skill that can bring out the dormant potential, huh.
Laphroaig; the country that has obtained national power that can compete with the other 6 countries in just 1 year.
It seems the new Skill of Furiae-san had something to do with this.
The current Moon Country is apparently overflowing with talented people.
“So I am not needed now, huh.” (Makoto)
I don’t think there’s any work for me as her Guardian Knight.
While I was thinking that.
“Right, that’s what was bothering me, Master.” (Tsui)
The black cat jumped and got onto my shoulder.
Its weight is as light as a feather.
It was a bit shocking.
“The Moon Princess-sama seems to regret what happened today greatly. Even though she was desperately holding back her happiness from meeting you again, which was so strong she was about to faint, it was way too pitiful that Master was still misunderstanding.” (Tsui)
“…It didn’t look that way though? In the first place, why was she so cold?” (Makoto)
Tell me an explanation I can agree with, is how I approach the black cat.
“Isn’t it obvious? The Moon Princess-sama doesn’t want you to fight anymore.” (Tsui)
“Then, why doesn’t she just say that?” (Makoto)
Why is there a need to be cold?
“Not being able to be honest is the cumbersome part of the tsundere Moon Princess-sama. She is trying to get in the way of you coming back to being a Hero. If you are not a Hero, there’s no duty to fight the Demon Lords after all.” (Tsui)
“Isn’t this too roundabout?” (Makoto)
Is that true?
Isn’t it simply because she is more influential now having become a queen, so she has estranged from her old acquaintances?
And most of all, I don’t know how trustworthy the words of a cat are.
“Haah~, what a pain my dense Master is.” (Tsui)
(Haah~, what a pain Makoto is.)
The voices of the black cat and Noah-sama overlap.
Or more like, didn’t you say before that mine and Furiae-san’s standing are different now?
(Can’t you tell from the attitude of Furiae-chan~?) (Noah)
“You really can’t read the room, Master…” (Tsui)
Not only Noah-sama, even my familiar was baffled by me.
Eh? I can’t read the atmosphere even more than a cat?
“Fufu, how about I help you take a step, Master? With this Shadow Magic: Shadow Ferry!” (Tsui)
A whole lot of magic circles float in the air.
A black cat is casting such a complex spell?!
—A black hole of around 2 meters in diameter appeared midair.
“Here, let’s go, Master.” (Tsui)
“O-Oi, Tsui.” (Makoto)
The black cat enters the black hole without even turning back.
The small body of Tsui gets swallowed by the darkness.
(If I remember correctly, Shadow Magic: Shadow Ferry is a High Ranked Spell, right…?) (Makoto)
A spatial spell that’s similar to Teleport which allows you to move from shadow to shadow.
It is different from Teleport in the part where you can only move into places that you have marked.
Even if so, it is still a pretty convenient spell.
This black cat even has a spell like that…
So it wasn’t only human language, huh.
Maybe it was actually an incredibly capable familiar?
“By the way, what’s it connected to?” (Makoto)
It went off without telling me this important part.
I look at the pitch black hole in front of me.
(Doesn’t seem to be dangerous.) (Noah)
Noah-sama’s voice resonates.
Well, I don’t think Tsui will be bringing me to any weird place with its magic.
Alright, let’s try going in.
I hesitantly jump into the pitch black hole floating in midair.
My vision turned completely black for a second only.
I soon notice that I am in the room of someone.
The first thing that entered my vision was a faint pink.
The carpet and curtains were a cute flower pattern. It must be the taste of the owner of this room.
It is a bit similar to the space of the Destiny Goddess.
Of course, it isn’t as big though.
I let out a dumbfounded voice.
What came into sight was a big painting.
The problem is the person that’s drawn.
The one in the portrait is…me.
I look around the room.
There’s a whole lot of drawings in the room.
All of them are me.
Or more like, now that I look closely, they are really elaborate.
It is already close to being a photo.
“Hey, Tsui…about these drawings…” (Makoto)
“Oh, Master, you don’t know? These are apparently called ‘photos’. It seems they are produced from the thing called ‘camera’ that the Fujiwara Company’s president invented.” (Tsui)
They ARE photos!
So this was the doing of Fuji-yan!
But when were these taken?
I don’t remember being photographed.
(You project the past by using Destiny Magic. It seems Ira helped out.) (Noah)
So Ira-sama was in this too…
You can take photos even without the person themselves? Can’t you take peep shots as much as you want then?
What a fearsome magic tool.
No, that’s not the problem here.
“Hey, Tsui, whose room is this…?” (Makoto)
“Oh? So you haven’t noticed yet?” (Tsui)
The black cat directs its shocked eyes at me.
Eyes as if telling me I should be able to tell.
In other words, the owner of this room is an acquaintance of mine.
Mine and also a person close to Tsui.
There’s only one person that comes to mind.
This is her room?
I once again look around the room.
The photos of me that are placed all over the room.
This looks just like the room of the stalker kidnapper in a movie I saw a long time ago.
It is a bit scary.
No, pretty scary.
It is mostly from the fact that I feel like I have seen something I shouldn’t have.
I have peeked into the abyss…
A sound resonated on my back.
The sound of the doorknob being turned.
In other words, the owner of this room has returned.
I heard a voice.
A female voice.
One that I have heard before.
I just finished speaking with that person not that long ago.
I slowly turn back.
At that place, there’s Queen Furiae with her eyes wide open and a stiffened face as if she had met a fearsome monster in the middle of the night.
“Eh? Eh? …Wa. No way. Eh? Eh?! …Wait… Eh? Eh?” (Furiae)
No coherent words were coming out from the mouth of Furiae-san as if she were a broken radio.
I glare at the black cat.
What are you doing?
You should at least give a heads up on the owner of the room.
What if she were in the middle of changing?
(More importantly, do you understand the situation you are currently in?) (Noah)
While my thoughts were drifting, Noah-sama retorted to me.
I am currently trespassing in the private room of the Queen of the Moon Country.
Even I can understand as a person who is estranged from the laws of this world.
I am without doubt going straight to the slammer.
“Heya there, Princess. There’s a reason for this…” (Makoto)
I approach Furiae-san with a wry smile.
I thought for sure she would explode here, but her confusion isn’t gone yet.
“Eh? …Wa? Is this a dream? It is a dream, right? Because this is my room, and…there’s no way My Knight would be here…” (Furiae)
“I-It really is a dream, right?! Yeah, I have been tired lately! Right! That’s right! Aah, what a relief that this is a dream. Geez, don’t scare me~.” (Furiae)
Furiae-san makes a dry laugh.
Looks like I have become a dream.
“Geez~, My Knight. I obviously am going to wake up from my dream as usual when I touch him, right? I know this already.” (Furiae)
She says that and touches my cheek.
“O-Oh? Why…do I feel it…?” (Furiae)
“Princess…that hurts.” (Makoto)
I let her push and pull my cheeks as I spoke to her.
“N-No way… The…real one…?” (Furiae)
“I had Tsui bring me here.” (Makoto)
Furiae-san opened her mouth wide.
That’s a face a beauty shouldn’t be making.
And then, she looked at my face, looked at the photos all over the room, and then stiffly turned her head back to me again.
Her pale face turned bright red in an instant.
Her mouth is flapping, but no words are coming out.
Wouldn’t it be better for me to be saying something?
“Nice shots you got here.” (Makoto)
(Are you an idiot?) (Noah)
That’s not it, Noah-sama.
I couldn’t think of anything considerate to say.
(There should be something else you can say, right?) (Noah)
Even if you tell me that, the photos enter my vision even if I don’t want them to.
“T-That’s not it… This is…by some sort of mistake…” (Furiae)
“Hey, Princess, calm down for a bit.” (Makoto)
I soothe the panicking Furiae-san.
At that moment, the source of this -the black cat- finally cut in.
“Master, the Moon Princess-sama has been kissing this photo every day and dancing. You can understand just how much she loves you, right?” (Tsui)
The black cat said something outrageous.
There’s no doubt you are the one who can’t read the atmosphere.
It seems Furiae-san managed to regain some slight calm, the face of Furiae-san was gradually turning demonic.
The angry face of a beauty really has that impact.
For now, it would be bad to stay here any longer.
“Well, I will be taking my leave for today.” (Makoto)
“Hm? You are leaving already? Just take your time here. Even though Master and Princess-sama are the only ones in this room.” (Tsui)
“That’s why it is bad.” (Makoto)
If she were to call security, I would immediately get hung.
Just when I was about to jump into the black hole of the Shadow Ferry…*gashi!* My arm was grabbed.
Of course, the one who did that was Furiae-san.
This is bad.
With my weak stats, I can’t shake her off.
“M-My Knight…” (Furiae)
“W-What is it?” (Makoto)
Furiae-san looked up at me with her face still bright red.
“……What happened before… I am sorry.” (Furiae)
“What happened before?” (Makoto)
“I’m talking about…what happened in the park!” (Furiae)
“I am not bothered by it though?” (Makoto)
“Be bothered a bit by it.” (Furiae)
“You seem to be having a hard time as the queen after all.” (Makoto)
“Being a queen is nothing…compared to your hardships.” (Furiae)
“……Welcome back, My Knight.” (Furiae)
“I am back, Princess.” (Makoto)
I finally managed to say it.
Furiae-san lets go of my arm.
It was strength that would leave a mark.
“Then, I will come meet you again some other time.” (Makoto)
“W-Wait. Forget about this room!” (Furiae)
“…I will try.” (Makoto)
“Right! Erase your memory with my curse magic—” (Furiae)
“Oops, gotta wait for Lucy and Sa-san’s return. See ya!” (Makoto)
“Wait! Hold it!” (Furiae)
I get away from Furiae-san who said something terrifying, and jump into the black hole.
I came out to the lodging room I was in before.
When I looked back, the black hole was gone.
Looks like the black cat closed it.
If she had come after me, I feel like I would end up as the kidnapper of a queen.
But it surprised me…
A lot of things were unexpected.
But Furiae-san hasn’t changed.
No, she actually did, but…
At the very least, it doesn’t seem like I am being hated.
(It is impressive that you can wrap that up as just ‘not being hated’, you know?) (Noah)
Isn’t that okay, Noah-sama?
She is just a tsundere.
(I don’t think that’s it.) (Noah)
I also think that’s not it.
Anyways, the misunderstanding with Furiae-san is gone.
I must tell Lucy and Sa-san.
I waited for Lucy and Sa-san to come back while I trained for a bit, but they came back late in the night.
The two were strangely beaten up.
What kind of terrifying enemy was it?! -is what I asked them, but…
~According to Lucy and Sa-san~
“Lu-chan! Increase the accuracy of your magic more!” (Aya)
“You as well, Aya! Don’t just use short range weapons the whole time and learn some long range attacks too!” (Lucy)
“I am a frontline, so isn’t that your job as the backline, Lu-chan?” (Aya)
“It is a party of two, so shouldn’t you try doing both?!” (Lucy)
“Your physical attacks are all shabby, Lu-chan.” (Aya)
“Your long range attacks are all just throwing big rocks.” (Lucy)
“I don’t know what else to do!” (Aya)
“I am telling you to learn other means!” (Lucy)
“You are also an idiot that only knows one thing. All you do is fire attacks.” (Aya)
“Who are you calling an idiot, you brute strength woman?!” (Lucy)
“So you went there, you zero-control shamelessly dressed woman!” (Aya)
“…..You picking a fight, Aya?” (Lucy)
“…..I’m gonna put some dirt in your eye, Lu-chan.” (Aya)
~End of the story~
Looks like they defeated the monsters real quick, and the other half of the day, they were fighting.
That’s the reason they are all beaten up.
What kind of intense fight was that?
“Geez, you are so stubborn, Lu-chan.” (Aya)
“Aya, you persistent woman.” (Lucy)
Looks like the two of them have already reconciled. They went to the bath together, and ended up going to sleep just like that.
Is this what they call getting along well enough to fight?
The two went to sleep straight after, so I couldn’t tell them about Furiae-san.
◇The next day◇
I had arrived at a certain room on the highest floor of the Highland Castle together with Princess Sofia.
The one waiting there is the most influential person in the Sun Country.
“I am glad you have come, Sofia-san. It has been a while, Makoto-sama.”
“Thank you very much for the invitation, Noel-sama.” (Sofia)
“It has been a while, Your Majesty Noel.” (Makoto)
I mimic Princess Sofia and kneel.
I thought for sure we would be meeting in the audience hall of the king, but it seems like the visit this time around is being treated as an unofficial one.
It was one of the private rooms of Queen Noel.
“Please don’t be so formal, Makoto-sama. The world was saved thanks to you after all.” (Noel)
Being told this, I raised my head.
I once again look at Queen Noel.
An appearance that resembles that of Anna-san.
Her attire is a dress that has even more presence than the one before.
Is that her attire as a queen?
By the way, there’s only us 3 in the room.
There’s brawny knights outside the room.
It is careless, but this is proof of her trust.
“I am honored. I somehow managed to come back.” (Makoto)
“The first ruler, Anna-sama, has told us to tell you something, Makoto-sama; to surely tell you our gratitude.” (Noel)
Saying this, Queen Noel lowers her head deeply.
Princess Sofia and I were flustered by this.
We didn’t expect the ruler of a country to lower their head.
So this is why there’s no one else, huh.
“Noah-sama’s religion was approved, so that’s enough for me.” (Makoto)
“That’s right, Noel-sama. Please raise your head!” (Sofia)
“I have managed to fulfill my duty as royalty of Highland.” (Noel)
Queen Noel smiles gently. It is just as I remember.
But it bothered me that she seemed slightly tired.
It must be difficult to manage a giant country like the Sun Country.
I think he should be supporting her at times like this though…
“Is Sakurai-kun not here?” (Makoto)
I tried to ask what bothered me.
I thought for sure they were together.
“He is…busy after all.” (Noel)
The expression of Queen Noel darkened at this.
“He defeated 2 Demon Lords, so it is truly the return of the Savior-sama, right, Noel-sama?” (Sofia)
From the tone of Princess Sofia, I learn that the history has safely returned to Anna-san being the Savior.
The Light Hero of this era is Sakurai-kun.
The fate of the world is resting in his hands.
(Thinking of it like that, you could say the pressure on him is even higher than that of Queen Noel, huh…) (Makoto)
It is probably not the time to be trying to be considerate of others.
At any rate, the married couple of Sakurai and Noel really have a rough position.
I look at the profile of the Water Country’s Princess-sama at my side.
The responsible princess that speaks to Queen Noel about political stuff one after the other with a straight face.
This princess has been pushing herself a lot too.
“Is something the matter, Hero Makoto?” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia turns after noticing my gaze.
“Don’t push yourself too much either, Sofia.” (Makoto)
“…I am fine.” (Sofia)
She blushed slightly and turned her face away.
Seeing this, Queen Noel giggled.
“You two get along as well as always. It makes me jealous.” (Noel)
Princess Sofia changed the topic hurriedly.
“Now that I think about it, you wanted to hear about the stories of the past from Hero Makoto, right? Let’s hear about it! Actually, I myself haven’t heard about them in detail either.” (Sofia)
“Oh, that’s a nice idea. To think I would be able to hear about my ancestor from the very person that helped her, Makoto-sama; there’s nothing more wonderful than this.” (Noel)
“…It will be a long story, you know?” (Makoto)
It was a journey of 3 years after all.
And all the adventures were really packed.
“Yeah, I want to hear about them.” (Noel)
“Please tell us, Hero Makoto.” (Sofia)
“Got it.” (Makoto)
I don’t know if it is okay to take away from the important time of royalty, but I tell them about my adventures in the past as detailed as possible.
Princess Sofia was surprised, impressed, in suspense; she showed a wide array of expressions while she was listening.
Queen Noel had sparkly eyes the whole time as she listened intently.
They were especially excited by the story of the Immortal King.
Did they not hear about it from Momo?
I asked about this later, but it seems like Momo has forgotten most of everything aside from her conversations with me.
It is not like she has been sleeping for 1,000 years like me, so it can’t be helped.
I mostly told them everything as it was -aside from one point alone.
I omitted my relationship with Anna-san.
It is embarrassing to say this with Queen Noel who looks like Anna-san, and most of all, my fiancee Princess Sofia is here.
There’s no way I can say it.
Because of that, I told them the story as Anna-san being a party comrade, but…
“Hero Makoto, was your relationship with the Holy Maiden Anna-sama really…just that of a comrade?” (Sofia)
“…Of course. Is there something bothering you?” (Makoto)
“No, nothing.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia asked doubtful.
(The instinct of a woman is scary, isn’t it?) (Noah)
N-Noah-sama, were there any contradictions in my story?
(Sofia-chan is sharp after all.) (Noah)
Looks like I can’t fool her.
…I will tell her honestly later.
I recount the adventures of the past while drawing cold sweat every now and then.
More than one hour passed after that.
“Now that I think about it, Noel-sama, isn’t it about time for the meeting?” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia said.
“Aah…it is already that time, huh. I am sorry, Makoto-sama. Please tell me the continuation at a later time for sure… Even so, I don’t really feel like going.” (Noel)
“It can’t be helped. I do understand how you feel, Noel-sama…” (Sofia)
Queen Noel and Princess Sofia sighed heavily together.
“Is there something after this?” (Makoto)
When I asked, Princess Sofia said…
“It is a meeting in regards to the next Northern Expedition.” (Sofia)
Is the answer I got.
“We have already spoken about this several tens of times already, but our policy isn’t solidifying at all… The scars from the defeat against the Ancient Dragon King are big… In the end, I might not be suitable as a queen…” (Noel)
“That’s not true. You are doing your job splendidly, Noel-sama!” (Sofia)
“Thanks, Sofia-san. I am happy to be told this, but there’s a lot of nobles who say that my brother is more suitable as the ruler than me…” (Noel)
When this topic comes out, Queen Noel’s expression losses its energy.
But well, there’s nothing I can do for the worries of the ruler of the strongest country.
There’s nothing I can say, but…if I had to…
“Can I participate in that meeting?” (Makoto)
By the time I noticed, I uttered this.
I don’t know about politics, but I am acquainted with both the Great Demon Lord and the Ancient Dragon King.
I might be of help somehow.
“Hero Makoto, you still aren’t back to being a Country Designated Hero, so it would be hard to have you partic—” (Sofia)
“No, Sofia-san. It might be possible if it is only participating.” (Noel)
Princess Sofia said apologetically, but Queen Noel stopped it.
“Over here, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)
What Queen Noel gave me was a silver emblem badge modeled on Althena-sama.
An emblem that’s heavy and is pretty intricate.
“This is…?” (Makoto)
“The emblem of my -the ruler of Highland- royal knights. I had one extra, so I will give it to you.” (Noel)
She gave it to me as if nothing, but isn’t this quite the object?
The royal knights of the Queen?
They are the elite of the elite within the knights.
“Let’s have you participate in the meeting as my bodyguard.” (Noel)
Her smiling impish face was the same as the Noel of before.
But that’s quite the forceful method.
“If that’s okay with you, Noel-sama.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia smiles wrily.
I don’t mind anything as long as I can participate.
“Then, let’s go. The strategy meeting for the 3rd Northern Expedition is down the stairs.” (Noel)
And in this way, I am going to be participating in the strategy meeting.
The reception towards Furiae-san wasn’t good, so I had her appear again posthaste.
It was actually going to be a chapter where Makoto would appear in Furiae-san’s room with her being absent.
The story isn’t changed greatly from this, but it is a light adjustment.
I don’t know if this was good or bad, so I am waiting for your comments.
It is already July, huh… Half of this year is already over.
I think I said I would be finishing this story in summer or fall of this year.
I should be finished without doubt by this year, but will it be okay…
I am getting a bit uneasy here.