After I finished reporting to Marito, I wandered around the castle, searching for Ilias and Wolfe.
It seems like their training for today has already ended, so they are currently arranging the equipment of the castle.
They are doing special training under the orders of Marito, but they most likely want to do their job as knights too.
“But I can’t find them…”
I went through the places I could think on the spot, but I couldn’t find those two there.
They might have finished a long time ago and have already gone back.
Feeling sad for not being able to meet them like this is most likely because I am feeling homesick.
I tried remembering my room on Earth to test, but what I missed the most was the salted chicken wing that I cooked in my room.
“Lingering attachments, huh…”
The Japanese person that showed up in this world first, Yugura Nariya. He apparently obtained mana by throwing away his lingering attachments of his original world.
He then left his name in the history of this world in a grand manner, and even carved unnecessary scars as well.
The reason why he was able to reach the boundaries of the truth of this world, which isn’t easy to do for the people of this world, was because of the difference in the way of thinking, but…
“Ah, it is Nii-chan-na no da. You came back from Torin?”
“Ooh, ain’t that Nora. Are you okay there?”
I was walking the corridor of the castle and encountered Nora who was carrying a wooden box the same size as her.
There’s no way a child around elementary school would be able to carry something the same size as them, but Nora can strengthen herself with mana and can use magic that changes the weight of matter.
“It is not heavy, but I can’t see the front-no da. I have crashed 5 times already-no da.” (Nora)
“I do want to carry it for you, but…is it heavy?”
“It is as heavy as a complete set of armor-na no da.” (Nora)
I wouldn’t be able to carry that. I feel like my waist would scream.
I instead walked by Nora’s side to become her eyes and became her navigator.
An adult walking with nothing in his hands by the side of a child carrying something heavy really looks terrible.
It seems like her destination is the lab. When I opened the door for her, there was Ruko and Dyuvuleori there.
Ruko is the one in charge of the magic research and is in a sense the guardian of Nora, and Dyuvuleori shows up here as a helper under the orders of Purple, so it isn’t strange for them to be here, but it is rare for those two to be together.
“You helped me out there-no da, Nii-chan.” (Nora)
“Feeling bad for being thanked is so weird…”
“Oh, Onii-san. You are back from Torin?” (Ruko)
“Yeah. I finished reporting to Marito just now.”
Ruko’s face turned redder the moment I mentioned Marito.
I was thinking about going right into teasing her, but it seems like it would be better to refrain from that.
“Ah, Nii-chan, Ruko-sama has truly become Ruko-sama now-no da.” (Nora)
But children are merciless.
Then, I shall partake in the offering…or not. These types of conversations are troublesome if they were to bounce back at me.
“Yeah, I heard about it from Marito. Congratulations. But judging from your state, it seems like you still haven’t taken it in.”
“Uuh… His Majesty doesn’t yield no matter what I say…” (Ruko)
“As long as you don’t tell him you plan on marrying some other man.”
“I-I don’t have anyone like that though?!” (Ruko)
You are going to be marrying a guy that knows you love him, so there’s no reason to yield.
She is most likely just panicking since a king has asked her -a maid- to marry him. She should be able to steel herself in a variety of fronts if she gets used to that fact.
“There’s no need to hurry and refuse him, just as there’s no need to hurry and accept it. Just think about it slowly and thoroughly.”
Well, the more time goes by, the more Marito will be filling the gaps to prevent her escape though.
He is going to make you happy no matter what you try, so just give up.
“And so, are you here for some errand, Dyuvuleori?”
“That’s right. I was ordered to give a message to Nora and secure the target.” (Dyuvuleori)
“…By the way, who is the target?”
“Of course, it is you. We have learned that you are back with the Blue Demon Lord having returned, so My Lord wants to meet you. She ordered me to bring you to her by today.” (Dyuvuleori)
I did have that feeling.
There’s no reason for me to refuse, but I did want to show my face to Ilias and Wolfe.
Well, I did tell Haakudoku that I would be having dinner at Dog’s Bone, so we can just meet up there.
“Got it. But I have to tell Marito. I said I would meet up with Ilias and the others and go back after all. An incident might happen if I just suddenly disappear from the castle.”
“That’s true. Then, let’s do that at onc—” (Dyuvleori)
“I can just ask a knight to do that for me. You had a message for Nora, right?”
“There’s no issue with that matter. It was to invite Nora and Ruko to a meal someday. I already told Ruko, so my job was done.” (Dyuvuleori)
A meal, huh.
Purple has begun to interact with others an awful lot. That’s good.
“I am of course going-no da! I am fine with it being today even-no da!” (Nora)
“Today… Today would be a bit difficult… Sorry. I have been told to put more than one bodyguard on you at the very least when heading there, so…the arrangements…” (Ruko)
Nora is an important talent that contributes to the development of Taizu. Ruko is also responsible for those fronts.
Even if they get along with each other, heading to the place where a Demon Lord lives without any bodyguards would pose various issues.
“I understand that. I have been told that you should put Mix as a bodyguard on that day after all.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Aah, those two do get along well.”
That said, Mix is royalty -the little sister of the king.
Catching Mix and bringing her to have a meal would be an extremely high hurdle to achieve for a castle maid like Ruko.
Let’s tell her about it as soon as tomorrow.
“Muh… Even though I have endless interest in the residence of a Demon Lord…” (Nora)
“I will properly entertain you on that day, so there’s no need to worry. My Lord will be prioritizing that human today anyways.” (Dyuvuleori)
“That’s true-na no da. If I were to get in the way of the Purple lady, she might end up getting in Nora’s way too.” (Nora)
Hmm, Dyuvuleori and Nora are closer than before.
I did hear that Nora was healing him together with Purple at the time when Dyuvuleori was injured by Arcreal, but did she succeed in increasing the affection of Dyuvuleori in that time?
Nora is a shrewd one after all.
“I guess this is thanks to the teachings of Barastos too…”
“Speaking of which, I heard you met Master, Nii-chan. Is Master doing well-no da?” (Nora)
“Yeah, she caught a young knight and didn’t want to let go.”
“Onii-san, that’s not a topic you talk about with a child!” (Ruko)
“Mumuh, it is surprising that there’s a man Master was interested in-na no da. That Master has way too high standards despite her age, so I thought she would be alone forever-no da.” (Nora)
Barastos, your disciple thinks of you like this, you know. No, she is someone that you can’t help but think in this fashion.
“I heard about Barastos-sama often from Nora-chan, but she apparently pushes aside the many men that ask her hand in marriage… There’s an impressive knight, huh.” (Ruko)
“…It is a guy called Kayle.”
Ruko freezes after hearing that name.
Of course she would. Because Kayle is Ruko’s…
“O-Onii-san…by Kayle…are you referring to the one of the Leano Division?” (Ruko)
“Yeah, your little brother.”
“Y-You knew?!” (Ruko)
There’s no way I wouldn’t know.
I investigated the knights in order to make the environment of Ilias better, and I would have meals with the captain of Kayle, Lord Leano, every now and then.
I was acting together with Kayle in Torin, so I heard stories about his family sometimes.
I may not have heard anything about her family from Ruko herself, but there were enough factors to connect it to her.
“The Great Sage Barastos-sama has fallen in love at first sight…with Kayle…? Why…?” (Ruko)
You are saying that when the king fell in love at first sight with you? -is what I wanted to retort with, but I should endure here.
I did decide to not tease her about it after all.
“It is because he is the little sister of Ruko-sama who has been proposed to by His Majesty-na no da. You really are awesome, Ruko-sama!” (Nora)
But children are merciless.
I should take advantage of this and—no, I should endure! Endure!
If I were to tease someone about this topic, it would be like offering them my cheek for them to counter!
“Nii-chan looks like he wants to partake on this so much-no da, but doesn’t want the topic of love to be thrown onto him, so he is enduring-no da.” (Ruko)
“You can tell that much just from looking at someone’s face…?!”
“That’s rich coming from you, human.” (Dyuvleori)
I didn’t expect Dyuvuleori of all people to retort at me.
My skills with the sword have grown to a degree incomparable to the time when I trained alone thanks to the help of many knights.
Patrolling the city and providing maintenance to the equipment -there’s countless things to do.
There’s many knights using their time for just me, so I should put my hands in as much work as I can, but…
“To think I would be found by Lord Leano and told to leave…”
I of course told him what I thought, but he said ‘Do you want to show off to the others that you still have so much leeway to do work after training with us?’.
I couldn’t say anything and went back.
“But you are barely tired lately, Ilias.”
“It is not like I am not tired at all though…” (Ilias)
At the beginning, it was rough to even walk back. I would fall fast asleep the moment I got back home without being able to do even the housework satisfactorily.
But I now have some degree of surplus.
It is scary how one gets used to things.
“Wolfe still has energy left, too! Want to train until it is meal time?” (Wolfe)
“No, Lord Leano said that resting one’s body is also part of the job of a knight. I don’t know what he will say to me if I were to show up all languid tomorrow morning…” (Ilias)
My ability to see through the abilities of others has gotten sharper.
I can tell the pressure Wolfe gives off is getting stronger and stronger every day.
I feel like it is not only Gradona but also Niruryates helping her out, but…is it a proper method?
We were heading back while I had that worry in my mind, and I felt the presence of people inside the house.
I was about to stretch my hand towards my sword, but I heard the laid-back humming of Haakudoku, so I lowered my hand.
“Oh, Sis! You are back early!” (Haaku)
“Haakudoku, huh. I heard that you had left Torin, but it was today then.” (Ilias)
I look deeper into the house, but I don’t see him.
Wolfe must have thought the same, her nose was twitching, checking the smell.
“I can smell Rakura, but there’s barely any scent of Shishou… Where’s Shishou?” (Wolfe)
“Brother said he would be reporting to the Taizu King, so he headed to the castle together with Mix. Did you not bump into him?” (Haaku)
“No… So we missed each other.” (Ilias)
Thinking about the possibility that I might have met him if I had stayed in the castle for a bit more makes me want to blame myself for having been found by Lord Leano.
I have no intention of blaming Lord Leano. None at all.
“But…Sis and Wolfe, you two have become awfully strong since the last time I saw you…” (Haaku)
“You can tell, Haakudoku?” (Wolfe)
“Of course. My detection magic can even tell the skills of someone. I don’t know how to put it. You have gotten used to battles.” (Haaku)
A precise way to put it.
It is not like my physical capabilities have increased that much. It is not like training one’s body can show results that easily.
But I am aware that I would be able to completely defeat my self of one month ago.
“I am happy that I can objectively confirm my growth, but it is a bit embarrassing.” (Ilias)
“Then, Haakudoku, let’s spar!” (Wolfe)
“I am tired from the long journey. Please spare me. Aah, right. Brother said that he will be eating at Dog’s Bone tonight, so can’t you meet him there?” (Haaku)
He was away from Taizu for a while, so he must miss the taste of Dog’s Bone.
If I could cook at times like this, would he say ‘I missed your cooking, Ilias’?
…I feel like it would be me and Wolfe who would be missing his cooking instead though.
“Isn’t it possible that he will return here first?” (Ilias)
“Aah… I didn’t ask in detail about that. I can’t really say.” (Haaku)
“Then, Haakudoku and everyone else can go to Dog’s Bone first. I will wait in the house.” (Ilias)
We are talking about him here. He would be able to tell immediately what’s happening if there’s no one in the house.
But he might end up feeling a bit sad if there were an empty house after such a long time of not coming back home.
“But Sis, what will you do if Brother goes directly to Dog’s Bone?” (Haaku)
“We have the chains of Ekdoik. Rakura can send a signal remotely with this.” (Ilias)
Ekdoik can use this like a communication crystal, but there’s no need for such a high quality feature.
It is enough to just have it shake lightly if he shows up at Dog’s Bone.
“Haah, it is impressive to be able to communicate from afar.” (Haaku)
“Everyone apparently had tools close to the communication crystal in the world of that man.” (Ilias)
Each and every crystal of the Yugura Church is pricey.
Even if they were to spread this widely, the only ones who would be able to buy them would be the nobles that have fortune to spare.
Who knows what degree of mass production would be necessary in order for any villager to have one…
It is most likely close to impossible to make that possible in this world due to a lack of resources too.
“Ugeh. I wouldn’t like that. Doesn’t that mean even troublesome individuals and people you want to avoid would be able to contact you easily? There ain’t gonna be a place to relax anywhere.” (Haaku)
“I said that too. When I did, he said: ‘Just say it was broken’.” (Ilias)
“That’s just like Brother. But well, it feels bad that you have to lie.” (Haaku)
“Damn right.” (Ilias)
The world of that man is so convenient it is hard to even imagine it the more I hear about it, but that convenience also creates issues.
If the result is having to live like that man did, it even makes me want this world to not advance too much.
He most likely keeps the information he shares of his world to a bare minimum because of such reasons too.
“Then, Ilias, we are going ahead!” (Wolfe)
I see off Haakudoku and Wolfe who is carrying the drowsy Rakura, and look back at my silent home.
I vacated the residence after I lost my parents and moved to this place.
I couldn’t even do the housework properly at first, and was often helped out by Maya.
Once I got used to living alone, I got the leeway to feel the loneliness of it.
“I thought I had gotten used to it though…” (Ilias)
I am alone in a house without anyone in it.
I am feeling the loneliness of it again.
That’s why I decided to stay back, so that he doesn’t feel the same.
I thought my heart had gotten stronger, and yet, I still end up feeling like this.
“It must be something that lies separate from strength.” (Ilias)
I don’t think that makes me weak.
I don’t want to admit that becoming a human that doesn’t feel anything is called growth.
Even if I can endure more pain now, I don’t want to become a person who doesn’t know pain.
I want to be someone who can act while taking on those negative emotions. That’s right, just like him…
“—No, that’s a bit too eccentric.” (Ilias)
Speaking of which, it has been a while since I have waited for him to come back in this fashion.
Even though he had appeared in a completely unknown parallel world, he immediately went moving around here and there.
Thanks to that, for a whole day, I…no, I don’t think that’s possible…but could it be…