After leaving the mansion, we immediately rushed through the city, and went straight east.
Leila is a character that has written on the official page ‘will fall in love with only one man in her whole life’.
I don’t know the exact definition of love, but if the affection of Leila reaches the deretsun stage, it would be certain that she is in love.
If it ends up like that before the plan, there’s the chance that my plan will evaporate to foam.
With the Up Count of Death activated, the more time you leave it be, the more dangerous it gets.
Also, that’s not the only risk of the passing of time.
Leila is a complete loner, so she doesn’t know much about the information around the world.
She probably still doesn’t know that I am a famous person and called the Sinking Prince.
However, as the phases go up, her social ability will increase.
If she were to discover my identity through news somewhere, she would be able to find me even without the Eye of the Heavens.
She would at the very least be able to know where I live by just asking a few people.
And if she were to learn that my party has a lot of women, my death flag would stand immediately.
There’s already no time to waste.
My only way of salvation is to make a countermeasure quickly.
Fortunately, I have the necessary items thanks to the shopping spree of before and buying the required items for our countermeasures against the Demon Lord.
Next would be to secure our helper as quickly as possible to perform the plan.
Thinking this, I hurried Sazan, but…
“W-Wait! Haste makes waste! We should stack care with care, and take one step at a time with certainty—” (Sazan)
“You are already wasted…?” (Souma)
Sazan complained at once.
But this time around, I am the one being selfish, so…
“…It can’t be helped. Here.” (Souma)
When I offered him my back, Sazan let out a voice of confusion.
“What’s up? Get on already.” (Souma)
“O-Okay. Ah, no, but…you know…” (Sazan)
He demanded to get piggybacked just before, and yet, he is acting like this. He is so weird.
Sazan was hesitating an awful lot here, but he must have eventually resolved himself.
“B-Be honored to be able to have me on your back!” (Sazan)
He rode on my back with strange awkward movements that couldn’t be hidden by his energetic words.
I don’t know what brought this change in attitude, but he is not like himself.
Well, not like I understand the thoughts of Sazan, and I am fine not understanding them.
I am sure I won’t care about that stuff once I run at full speed.
“Now then, I will be running.” (Souma)
“W-Wait, my heart isn’t rea—” (Sazan)
I fixed the position of Sazan while he was about to say something and began to run at full speed.
“—Wa, wait, you bastard, that’s too fa—gyaaaaaaaaah!!” (Sazan)
And then, a few minutes later…
“Don’t cry. It is my fault.” (Souma)
“I-I am not crying! I was just about to pee myself a little bit… Wait, what are you making me say, you pervert!” (Sazan)
“Stop that, it makes me not want to carry you.” (Souma)
Sazan was downed because I got a bit too into it and ran too fast.
I don’t know if I should mock Sazan as being weak, or if I should admonish myself for running way too fast without caring about Sazan.
“Well, leaving aside the fact that you peed yourself…” (Souma)
“I haven’t!” (Sazan)
“…Anyways, rest for a bit. If you want to, you can even go to sleep.” (Souma)
I told Sazan this out of consideration, but the reaction of Sazan was a bit different.
“W-Wait! Are we really resting here?! We are surrounded by an astounding amount of enemies, and magic flies at us sometimes!!” (Sazan)
Sazan whines and waves his arm as if showing our current situation of being surrounded by monsters.
“You idiot, don’t raise your head! Magic is going to hit you!” (Souma)
Magic passed overhead just at that moment and Sazan let out a strange sound.
…He might have peed himself there this time around.
“There’s no need to worry. This is the…safe zone of this area. It was so in the game at least.” (Souma)
The place we are at is at the top of a rock that is at the very center of the field.
There’s no monster that can climb rocks, and the long range attacks of the monsters here are only projectile spells. The shooting range is short and flies straight, so they can’t hit us at all because of the angle…probably.
The reality is that Ina almost died at the top of a tree that was also supposed to be a safe zone.
It was a safe zone in the game, but I can’t say for sure it will be absolutely safe in this world.
But, different from a tree, I doubt this will be that easy to break, and there’s no signs of trouble until now, so it is probably going to be okay.
“E-Even if you tell me it is safe, are you really telling me to sleep in the midst of monster cries and spells?!” (Sazan)
“What can I even do then…” (Souma)
We have gone pretty deep in, and there’s no other place to rest.
Enemies won’t be able to get all the way here, and magic won’t hit, so there’s no choice but to just think of it as BGM.
“Well, for now, just accept it and lie down… If you roll in your sleep and fall, you will probably die though.” (Souma)
When I told Sazan the truth while veiling it as a joke, Sazan suddenly clung onto me.
“D-Don’t let go! Definitely don’t let go of me!” (Sazan)
“Stop it, that’s sweltering!” (Souma)
I don’t have a liking of being hugged by a man.
If it is Sazan, even a woman would be a no.
I tear Sazan away from me.
“I will be awake, thinking about future plans, so it will be okay! If you fall, it can’t be helped, so I will save you!” (Souma)
Saying this, I practically forced Sazan to lie down there.
Sazan laid down there obediently for a while, but the moment I took out the notepad and began writing with Order, he raised his head.
“What are you doing?” (Sazan)
“Ah, I am writing on the notepad. It is a technique of my world. I can write on this notepad just by thinking about it.” (Souma)
I did it in front of Sazan’s eyes, and his eyes below the mask opened wide.
“…You…really are from a different world, huh.” (Sazan)
“What, you didn’t believe me?” (Souma)
I asked this, passing it off as a joke, and Sazan nodded honestly.
“Yeah, I thought you were some sort of mentally ill person.” (Sazan)
You are the last person I want to hear that from.
“…What’s this about future plans?” (Sazan)
Sazan asked in a bit more meek manner than before. I also strangely answered in a more gentle manner too.
“Putting it simply, it would be the plan on how to get along with Leila.” (Souma)
I haven’t checked the details of Leila’s data and events on the wiki, but I have my game experience.
This is not something to be proud of, but I have been stabbed countless times by Leila in order to do the ruin exploration event.
Meaning that I have repeated countless times the iteration of 24 affection to the 50 affection that allows you to explore the ruins.
In the tsuntsun phase, conversations and presents were barely effective on Leila, and it felt as if the only way to increase her affection was to meet her once a day and speak to her.
But it is a different story once you get to the tsundere phase.
You can increase her affection several times in one day, and the amount you get changes depending on what you say.
It means that I have already practiced in the game what items she likes and what words make her happy.
On top of that, I know that the affection system in the game days won’t serve much reference here.
There might be issues on the choice of words when in the tsuntsun phase, and there might be an effect on the presents too.
However, even if the way the affection increases or decreases is not the same, the thoughts of the character itself probably haven’t changed.
That’s why I will think up a plan that can easily increase the affection using the data of the game.
It shouldn’t be pointless to think about what actions to take and the words to use in the Fake Prince Charming.
Also, there will be the need of someone to be in charge of blocking any female characters from getting close in that time.
I was thinking about planning this part as much as possible.
When I explained this politely to Sazan, he said earnestly.
“You really are rotten to the core.” (Sazan)
I am aware that I am doing something horrible here, so it is hard for me to deny that.
Even so, I tried spinning the gears in my brain to refute that, but Sazan nodded on his own while I was doing that.
“I’ve decided! I will stay awake too.” (Sazan)
“O-Oi, there’s no need for you to tag along…” (Souma)
I hurriedly stopped him, but Sazan wasn’t bending here.
His strangely clear eyes deep inside his mask made contact with mine.
“I don’t really like it, but even you are something like a c-comrade of mine. There’s no way I can just carefreely sleep here when that comrade of mine is doing his best at my side.” (Sazan)
The moment I heard those words, I could feel my chest being squeezed for a moment there.
I might have been a bit too harsh on this mage until now.
It is true that he is one hopeless guy, but he is not a bad guy.
Despite everything said, he is prioritizing us over his original party and lending me a hand here.
There’s still some reserve inside me.
I offered my hand to Sazan as if trying to shake away a variety of things inside of me.
“Counting on you from here on too.” (Souma)
Sazan looked at my hand absent-mindedly for a while, but he eventually made a grin below his mask.
“H-Hmph! If you go that far, it can’t be helped! I will lend you my gray matter for that plan of yours! Being able to become the f-friend of the great mage Sazan…you are the luckiest guy in the world!!” (Sazan)
I didn’t even have the chance to say ‘no, friend is a bit…’ and my hand was grabbed tightly.
That grandiose tone contrasted the small and delicate hand of the mage Sazan.
…By the way, after that, Sazan began to sleep carefreely around 2 minutes later, and I formed the plan for the future on my own.
After that long break in between, I once again carried Sazan and resumed advancing.
“And so, what kind of person is the one we are searching for here?” (Sazan)
“Name is Loic Falaz. Apparently the son of the hero, Guile Falaz.” (Souma)
There’s little information about this Guile Falaz that’s called a hero in the game.
The only thing they say obscurely is ‘he is an amazing adventurer and is called a hero’.
I am assuming on my own that he might be an unexpectedly fancy guy contrary to his Guile name.
“Hmph! A true hero is someone that isn’t interested in a world filled of the common!” (Sazan)
It was a waste of time.
He doesn’t seem to know much about the rumors of the outside world, so it can’t be helped.
“I don’t know about this son of a hero or whatever, but couldn’t you make-do with a person that’s more close at hand?” (Sazan)
I was speechless at this point that Sazan brought out so late in time.
I touched on this point a whole ton at the mansion, but it seems like he wasn’t listening to me properly.
It can’t be helped, so I explained to him one more time.
“Loic is training the whole time deep in the mountains to inherit the technique of his deceased father. The important part of our plan lies in ‘living alone deep in the mountains’.” (Souma)
“I-I see?” (Sazan)
Sazan lets out a voice as if he knows and doesn’t.
But I can tell that he doesn’t get it, so I continue on without minding it.
“The chances of a female acquaintance intruding in the middle of the plan would lower. Even if Leila were to go to his house after the plan is done, there won’t be problems as long as there’s no women around.” (Souma)
“Aah, I see.” (Sazan)
From what I know, Loic is the only male character who won’t end up in a bloodshed even if he were to be followed around by Leila.
Also, Loic doesn’t have the player attribute, so even if Leila were to stab him, he should be fine…probably.
I don’t know how this world works on that front, so I can’t say for sure.
“His personality and way of speaking is a bit on the rough side, but he is not a bad guy, so even if he were to go out with Leila, I think he would do well, and also…the special trait of his body, or how to say it…” (Souma)
I found it hard to say that part.
The reason why I chose him is mostly because of his appearance.
But I find it a bit displeasing to say that.
“Don’t beat around the bush and just say it. What do you find so fun about teasing me, you pervert!” (Sazan)
But Sazan provoked me in an even more displeasing manner, and the choice of staying silent was gone.
With no choice, I decided to tell him the last and biggest reason.
“Despite him not being that different in height and appearance, he is far more uhm…more cool looking!!” (Souma)
I shouted this and Sazan shouted back.
“And cooler than me?!” (Sazan)
“Obviously! You thought you were cool?” (Souma)
After avoiding that and shooting down Sazan, I imagine Loic Falaz.
He isn’t that tall and not that short, and if I had to choose between one or the other, I would say he is thin. This 18 year old young man, Loic, isn’t that much different from me in that aspect.
But putting it in another way, it also means that’s all that resembles me.
It is not like I have a complex in my appearance, but if we are to talk about specs in outward appearance, I don’t even reach the tip of his toes.
Loic has red burning hair and eyes that have strong will reside in them. An appearance like that of a hot-blooded protagonist.
His thin body is properly trained, toned, and he is decently dependable.
His way of speaking may be rough, but it is not like he can’t be considerate, and the childish smile he sometimes shows is apparently really popular with the female players.
Honestly, I want to say ‘explode, handsome man’.
And so, Loic is a character you could say ‘isn’t it fine for this guy to be the protagonist?’ in a different meaning from Alex.
It is not like I don’t hold complicated emotions as a man, but I will be using that this time around.
“For the sake of that, we will be going to the cave that’s close to the house of Loic.” (Souma)
“Eh? With only the t-two of us?” (Sazan)
Sazan showed a surprised expression and I responded with a baffled one.
“Why do you think I am going through the trouble of bringing you with me in the first place?” (Souma)
“Uhm…because my overflowing darkness is like a lighthouse that—” (Sazan)
“Wrong! Because there’s a dungeon mechanism that only you can solve.” (Souma)
The reason why I chose Sazan within those members is obviously because Sazan is a man, but that’s the reason why I need a companion.
“D-Does that mean…” (Sazan)
He must have noticed something from my tone, Sazan’s voice suddenly trembled, and I told him with a refreshing voice I have never done before.
“The dungeon we are heading to has a recommended level of 90, but while one person is pulling the lever, the other one has to solve the puzzle. While the lever is pulled, the walls will slowly be closing in and spears will be flying from everywhere, but well, do your best!” (Souma)
“N-Noo! As if I can go to a place like that! I am going back to the mansion!!” (Sazan)
“As I said before, that place isn’t your house!” (Souma)
We were shouting at each other like that. I held Sazan (the sacrifice), who was rampaging at my back, tightly and headed to the cave where the thing we are seeking is slumbering at.
And then, after a whole lot of suffering, we finally arrived in front of Loic’s house.
That’s where I finally put Sazan back down.
“Fuuh! Good grief. I have faced such a horrific experience just for one piece of paper…” (Sazan)
“No, you didn’t do anything.” (Souma)
The threat must have worked a bit too well, Sazan was trembling all over and clung onto me the whole time even in front of the puzzle of the dungeon, and I was troubled all over by this. At that moment, the Bear jumped out from within the bag and took the role of pulling the lever.
The dependable Bear-san is so cool, and Sazan was pointless.
“Just pull yourself together already. It is about time.” (Souma)
“I-I know!” (Sazan)
Sazan straightened himself at my warning.
Coming all the way to the ends of the east, and going to that cave was all for the sake of this moment.
Close to the wooden house that’s dyed by the sunset, there’s one young man that has a burning red hair that doesn’t lose to the evening sun.
“Who are you people? Do you have…some business with me?”
As expected of the son of a hero.
He looked back with a sharp gaze even before we talked to him.
I was going to falter for a second there, but we can’t withdraw here.
“I am Souma. An adventurer of the capital. There’s something I want you to help us out with. Can you please come to the capital with us?” (Souma)
He didn’t listen to what I said until the end, and immediately shook his head to the sides.
“I am sorry, but I am not interested in that. I have no intention of leaving this place until I completely succeed the technique of my fath—” (Loic)
“Can you say the same after seeing this?” (Souma)
But I already knew this.
I bring out my trump card at once.
Knew it. It really was worth going ahead and obtaining the item for Loic’s event beforehand.
I take this opportunity where Loic is flustered to push further.
“The secret technique scroll that your father wrote. If you cooperate, I will reward you with this regardless of whether the request succeeds or fails… So, how about it?” (Souma)
Of course, it didn’t take long for the small red haired hero to nod.
A few days later in the capital of Rihitel.
“Leila-san, right? I have been waiting for you this whole time.”
There was a red haired young man offering a bouquet of flowers to a blonde girl in front of the Great Church.
—Fake Prince Charming.
The life or death romance is finally beginning.