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CordllwConvllJion I 2010/7/1
Shizuka's 'Path of the Dragon f
As the date approached the middle of June, the summer began
setting in properly. But despite the change in season, the landlord
for Corona House was feeling a little sad.
"This season is back again..."
Staring at the calendar on the wall, a deep love, sadness and
loneliness resonated in Shizuka's eyes. One of the days on the
calendar had been circled with a red pen, and Shizuka was gazing
at that date.
"It's already been almost five years since that day..."
Shizuka peeled her eyes off of the calendar and picked up a photo
placed on the top shelf of her bookshelf. On the photo was an
elementary school girl wearing a karate' dougi and holding a
trophy, together with her parents. Behind the smiling trio was
Corona House. This was a commemorative picture after Shizuka
had won a karate tournament.
"Dad, mom. I'm doing just fine..."
Next to where the photo had been was a small memorial tablet. Two
months after the picture had been taken, Shizuka's parents passed
away. Ever since then, Shizuka had been protecting Corona House
on her own. To her. Corona House was her parents' legacy, and at
the same time, a place full of memories. That’s why Shizuka
couldn't forgive anyone that would bring harm to it.
As Shizuka was staring at the photo, Sanae's face popped out from
the floor at her feet.
"Hey Shizuka, tea is ready so come down."
Sanae poked up from the floor below, from room 106, to call
Shizuka. As a former ghost, astral projection was a piece of cake to
Sanae, making her perfect for communicating between the floors.
"Thank you, Sanae-chan. I'll be right there."
Shizuka decided to head to the floor below and put the photo back.
As she did, Sanae managed to catch a glimpse of it.
"...That's a photo of your papa and mama right?"
Sanae could tell that it was a picture of Shizuka's parents at first
"Yes. You can tell?"
Shizuka was a little confused as she had never shown Sanae a
picture of her parents before.
"Yeah. Because Corona House has plenty of... residual memories I
think?... those things in it."
"That might be because they treasured it so much."
Shizuka didn't start living in Corona House until after her parents
had passed away, but she would often help cleaning it. That might
be why her parents' eagerness remained as memories.
"I think so. That's what it means when I can see lots of those
Sanae could sense Shizuka's parent's enthusiasm in a spiritual way.
Sanae had said that lightheartedly, but to Shizuka, those words
served as proof of her memories, and tears filled her eyes.
"...Well anyways, hurry on down Shizuka. There won't be any
snacks served if you don't."
"Yes. Thank you, Sanae-chan."
Seemingly sensing Shizuka's feelings, Sanae quickly left the room.
Shizuka believed that Sanae was doing so out of courtesy for her, as
being a spiritual being, there was no way Sanae wouldn't be able to
see Shizuka's feelings.
Shizuka turned back towards the bookshelf, wiped away her tears
and smiled at the photograph.
"... Dad, mom, I was lonely ever since you died... but I'm fine now.
When Satomi-kun and everyone else came, they were a handful at
first... but I am really happy now. I wish that these days could
Shizuka's expression was far from dark. The sadness from having
lost her parents wasn't gone, but she had been able to form new
bonds. That's why sadness wasn't the only thing inside of her
anymore. There was also joy.
"... I'll go into details when I visit your graves. So sorry, but I'm
going now. Everyone is waiting for me..."
Drinking tea, eating snacks and chatting. That was something
natural, but Shizuka felt joy in having regained that natural state
after giving it up several years ago.
A creaking sound could be heard.
"... Hmm, I really do feel like I've gotten heavier... I should go on a
As a result, she regained her composure and was able to worry
about the sound of her floor creaking. Shizuka was living her
everyday life to its very fullest like she had never done before.
"Fufufu, maybe I should ask everyone..."
With a bounce in her step, Shizuka left room 206.
Truth be told, not even Shizuka knew if she was really all that
worried about her weight. All she was thinking of was that it would
be fun to talk about weights with everyone else.
Having come back from room 206 through the ceiling, Sanae floated
slowly towards her body that was sitting in front of the TV.
"... Hey, Sanae, how do you even do that?"
Sanae was planning on merging with her body, but Koutarou's
word stopped her midair, and she turned her head towards him.
"Your body is sitting there playing games, but you're astral
At this time, Sanae's body was sitting in front of the TV while
playing video games. Yet, Sanae had just left her body to go up into
room 206 to call Shizuka down. This was a mysterious spectacle to
not just Koutarou, but everyone in room 106.
"Oh, that's what you mean."
Sanae understood what Koutarou was wondering about and spun
her finger around as she boastfully explained her trick.
"This is my god skill that I've recently learned."
"A new technique?"
"Yeah. Hey, you, stop acting like a stranger and turn this way too."
The Sanae floating in the air called out to the Sanae playing games,
causing her to put down her controller and turned towards
Koutarou. However, her cheeks were flushed and she cast her
glance downwards. She had a somewhat embarrassed and troubled
atmosphere too her, completely different from the normal Sanae.
"Huh? Could that Sanae be... Sanae-san?"
Koutarou had seen the Sanae playing games before. That was how
Sanae had been when she had lost her memories.
"W-Wait a moment, what are you splitting up for?!"
Koutarou began panicking, but the Sanae floating in the air was
calm. In an attempt to soothe Koutarou, she showed her normal
smile and shook her hands around.
"Calm down. We didn't really split up. Look."
Next she turned her rear towards Koutarou. There, a tail-like thing
extended out from around her waist, and connected to the Sanae in
front of the TV.
"It's a safety cable."
"Then you didn't split up again? You're okay then?!"
Though Sanae gave him an explanation, Koutarou couldn't calm
down just yet. He worriedly looked over the two Sanaes and
recalled the events when Sanae had regained her body.
"Yeah. If it was bad, I wouldn't be this carefree."
"What... don't scare me like that. Last time was bad enough."
It wasn't until when Sanae nodded at him again that Koutarou was
able to calm down. Tension left his body in an instant and his
Sanae wanted to show off her new move, but she didn't want to
cause Koutarou to needlessly worry. That's why she honestly
"So, how does that work?"
After confirming that she was safe, Koutarou finally got a little
"Ehm, I only noticed recently, but this is what happens when I
alone try to leave my body. Isn't it cool?"
However, she only reflected over her actions for a few seconds and
soon began boastfully puffing up her chest. She was sorry, but she
still wanted to brag to Koutarou.
"I don't think that's something to really brag about..."
The Sanae sitting in front of the TV dropped her shoulders in
"This kind of party trick is just the kind of thing you should brag
about! With all your might!"
The Sanae in the air puffed her chest up and boasted like a child. It
was completely opposite of the more mature Sanae sitting in front
of the TV.
"... Anything goes with you, doesn't it?"
"That's not true. Since the soul is sticking together, the parts we use
together can't leave the body, and on my own, I can't astral project
Koutarou was dumbfounded by Sanae who had turned into two
again, but the Sanae in the air seemed to be having fun. To her,
having Sanae-chan and Sanae-san exist at the same time was a fun
and welcome development.
"Sanae-chan, hurry back. I can't settle down alone."
However, that wasn't true for Sanae-san, and she seemed troubled.
The sensation of having a part of her separated outside left her
uneasy. And with her timid personality, she felt embarrassed when
she was around Koutarou and the others. That was why she was
continuing to play games even when Koutarou called out to her.
"Come on now, you're me too, so you should be bolder."
"Even if you say that..."
"It's not like you hate Koutarou and everyone else, right?"
"T-That's true... but..."
Even though their personalities were different, they shared their
memories and thoughts. The only difference between them was the
way they expressed their feelings. In the end, they were still the
"But... saying I like them is kinda... you know... so hurry and come
"You need to stop relying on me because you're feeling troubled. If
you don't become more independent, you'll never become a
magnificent and ideal woman."
"I can't become one right away!"
"Geez... what can I do with you?"
The Sanae in the air dropped her shoulders like she was an older
sister with an overly timid little sister as she approached the other
Sanae. She was planning on returning to her body like she had been
told. The other Sanae spread her arms wide open, welcoming her.
"Thank you, Sanae-chan."
"Starting tomorrow, we'll start working on your problems with
being with others."
"It's okay, you don't have to do that."
"No way. We need to get Koutarou to love you too."
"Shut up, I said we're doing it."
The ghost form Sanae entered her half-crying body. The next
moment, Sanae's expression completely changed to a somewhat
dissatisfied expression. It was the expression, the ghost form Sanae
had been showing.
"So there you have it Koutarou. Tomorrow we'll start training that
"...Sanae... you're crazy..."
Confused, Sanae repeatedly blinked and looked at Koutarou. As she
did, the tears that had been forming in Sanae's eyes from before fell.
"How? Come on now..."
Koutarou felt a headache coming on as he wiped away Sanae's
tears. But Sanae was indifferent to Koutarou's pain and instead
cheerfully kicked her legs back and forth and smiled.
"But the training is necessary."
"That girl is me too. I want her to get used to you as well. I want
you to love everything about me. Everyone else too, of course."
The conversation had been relatively outrageous up until now, but
Sanae's reason was very logical. Sanae-chan and Sanae-san were the
same Sanae. So only getting along with one of the Sanaes was
indeed a problem. Wanting Sanae to stay as Sanae-chan was the
same as only wanting that part of her because it was convenient.
Something like that might get in the way of Sanae's merging of
personalities. In the end, Sanae was correct.
"You don't want to?"
Sanae lightly tilted her head and quietly looked at Koutarou. She
then pushed her cheek into Koutarou's palm that was wiping her
tears away. Both Sanaes loved Koutarou after all.
"It's not that I don't want too, but... uhm, but when you're like that,
it might be bad for your body, so we can only do it when Korama
and Karama are around, okay?"
Sanae copied the haniwas' speech pattern and spun around to
"I wonder if you do understand or not..."
"I do understand. Love is all."
Sanae jumped at Koutarou's back and swung her arms around his
As Koutarou and Sanae's conversation reached a conclusion,
Koutarou returned to his own work with Sanae on his back. He was
currently in the process of maintaining a certain tool he was using.
"...By the way, Satomi-kun, why are you polishing a rope?"
Harumi who had been showing some interest peeked at what
Koutarou was doing with his hands. He was ardently polishing the
bamboo handle of a traditional insect catching net.
"How good of you for asking, Sakuraba-senpai."
Koutarou stopped polishing the handle and presented the net to
Harumi. Both the handle and Koutarou's eyes were shining.
"This Maximilian's true value is revealed during the summer
Harumi didn't understand the meaning of the word.
"... Sakuraba-senpai. Maximilian is the name that Satomi-san has
given to that net."
Confused by the term she had never heard before, Yurika who was
sitting next to Harumi whispered to her. Just a few moments before,
Harumi had been teaching Yurika how to solve problems.
"Ah, I see..."
Understanding the situation, Harumi slightly nodded and smiled at
"Satomi-kun, are you going out insect hunting?"
"Yes. When you think of summer, of course you would think of
insects. And the king of the summer insects is—"
Koutarou suddenly realized what he was about to say and looked
around his surroundings. Fortunately, he wasn't in a situation he
needed to be alarmed of, and was able to continue.
"—The king of the summer insects is the beetle. My season has
Koutarou tightly gripped his insect catching net and his eyes
sparkled. This year, he was planning on capturing beetles. He had
his trusty net, Maximilian, his insect cage, Henrietta, and the bottle
filled with sap that he had been using from the start, Geraldine. It
was still early in the summer season, but Koutarou was already in
"But, but, Satomi-san, even if you capture beetles, you can't keep
them here, right?"
Yurika worried for the safety of any beetles brought to this room.
Based on her experiences up until now, she couldn't imagine that
they would have a bright future.
"Fufufu, fear not, Yurika. I'm different this year. After all, I have
princess Clariossa with me this year."
"Hm? Did you call, Bertorion?"
Clan reacted to Koutarou's words. However, her voice could be
heard from a place close to the ceiling. Clan was using one of her
inventions to use one of the walls in room 106 as the floor, and she
was lying on it, reading books. This was a highly useful device now
that the small room 106 had more people in it.
"I did. I was telling everyone how I'd be keeping beetles at your
"Ah, that's what you were talking about. We did indeed make that
promise. I have some interest in the life forms of this planet too."
"So that's why you were making preparations while looking so
Beetles couldn't be kept in room 106. That's why Yurika had only
been able to keep a beetle in room 106 for a little while. But this year
was different. With Clan here, they could keep the beetles on her
spaceship instead. That was why Koutarou's eyes sparkled as he
eagerly waited for summer to come.
"You have my love, princess Clariossa."
"Geez... You only treat me like a princess at times like this..."
Despite Koutarou confessing his love to Clan, she couldn't take his
words at face value when he was holding an insect catching net and
his eyes were sparkling. On top of that, Koutarou had officially
become Theia's vassal a while back. Having gotten a delayed start.
Clan's train of thoughts were complex.
"Satomi-kun, if you want I can keep them in my home."
Seeing Clan's bitter expression, Harumi offered her assistance.
While Harumi was scared of aggressive animals and insects, she
didn't harbor any hatred for harmless insects.
"It’s okay, Sakuraba-senpai. Clan has a fully automatic breeding
cage at her place."
"...Clan-san, then why do you look so reluctant?"
Since she had specialized equipment for it, it wouldn't be much of a
pain. Yet, Clan had a reluctant expression, which caused Harumi to
give her a confused look.
"...It's not like I'm reluctant... but..."
Clan blushed slightly and looked down. That gesture was all it took
for Harumi to understand.
"Oh, so that's why."
Harumi quickly smiled at Clan and glanced at Koutarou.
That made Clan turn even redder and she turned her face away.
"What do you mean?"
"That's a maiden's secret."
Koutarou didn't get it like Harumi had and asked for an
explanation, but she simply smiled and declined Koutarou's
The conversation about beetles continued for a while, but it
naturally stopped once Theia, Ruth and Kiriha who had gone out to
buy ingredients for tonight's dinner came back. At the same time,
Shizuka entered the inner room with Maki, who was preparing the
tea. With that, there were a total of ten people. They were a little too
many for such a small room, but as of late, this was a common scene
in room 106.
"Oh? Did you get better at preparing the tea, Aika-san?"
"Thank you, Kasagi-san. Actually, I've learned how to enjoy making
"Koutarou, feed me a waffle. Ahh~"
"Sanae, stop playing games and get over here instead of trying to be
"Clan-sama, have some tea."
"Thank you, Pardomshiha. Please leave it there."
"Sakuraba-senpai, how does that even work? The cup is sideways."
"I don't know... I can't believe it's not magic though..."
"Kiriha, could I have one of these snacks later? I'd like my mother to
"I understand. It's best I reserve one for her now."
With this many people talking, room 106 was always bright and
noisy. There were also cases when the civilians who had escaped
from Forthorthe with Theia, and Elfaria who was on board the Blue
Knight, would join in. If the room hadn't been made soundproof
and vibration-insulated through magic and science, the other
tenants would surely have busted down the door and shouted at
"Kiriha-san, can I have a moment?"
Waiting for Kiriha to get a snack ready to give Elfaria, Koutarou
"I don't mind."
Kiriha nodded, and after handing Theia a piece of wrapped snack,
she turned towards Koutarou who was crawling closer.
"Could you strip?"
Kiriha nodded once more, and started removing her school uniform
that she hadn't changed out of.
"Kyaaaaaaaaa!! Satomi-kun, what are you just casually
"Yeah, Koutarou!! That's not how a Japanese man strips someone!!
You grab their sash and spin them around!!"
"...Uhm, Sanae-chan, I think you're getting angry over the wrong
"Sakuraba-san, does Satomi-kun want to see naked girls? In that
"No, stop!! Aika-san, you're misunderstanding!! Don't take your
Thanks to Koutarou telling Kiriha to take off her clothes, a riot
broke out in room 106.
The first ones to get angry were Shizuka and Ruth, followed by
Sanae. After that, Yurika, Harumi and Maki joined in, making the
situation worse. This was a fuss that brought the soundproofing
and vibration-insulation to their limits.
"Look as much as you want."
However, Koutarou completely ignored them and leaned forward
and gazed at Kiriha's white skin. It was an awfully serious gaze,
even for a pervert.
"Kya kya kya!! Stupid Satomi-kun!! I thought you were different!!"
Trembling with anger, Shizuka swung her fist towards Koutarou.
As she did, Koutarou's expression brightened up and he sat back
down. As a result, Shizuka's blow cut through the air.
"Phew... looks like your wound has properly healed."
Unaware of the danger he had been in, Koutarou smiled at Kiriha
who still had her top off. Because of his relief, his smile was calm.
Kiriha smiled back and nodded.
"I told you at school didn't I? There's no trace of the wound left.
...You've always been so pessimistic about these kinds of things,
Kiriha whispered the latter half so that only Koutarou could hear,
and showed an expression that reminded Koutarou of how she had
been when she was little. That was a special word, and a special
smile, for Kiriha. She felt like Koutarou was too worried, but at the
same time, she was happy that he was.
"Even if you say that, a wound is a wound. If I don't see for myself,
it would be hard to believe."
Koutarou understood what Kiriha was saying, and in truth there
was nothing left of her wound. But Kiriha had received the most
serious injury during the battle a while back, and Koutarou recalled
the horrible wound that she had at the time. That's why he found it
hard to believe her, even after she told him that there was not a
trace of it left, until he confirmed it with his own eyes.
"... Onii-chan, do you hate girls with wounds...?"
Kiriha giggled and whispered into Koutarou's ear.
"That's not true. But that's not what this is about."
"... That IS what this is about. Fufufu..."
Seeing Kiriha's innocent smile, Koutarou felt happy that the wound
hadn't been anything serious. At the same time, he felt a big weight
drop off of his shoulders. With this, everything was back to normal.
That was when Koutarou noticed that everyone's gazes were
focused on him, and that Shizuka was standing behind him with a
blank look of surprise. Unable to understand the situation, he tilted
his head to the side.
"What's wrong, everyone?"
"Satomi-kun... Y-you were checking on Kiriha-san's... wound?"
"Yeah... Is something wrong, landlord-san?"
"I-I-It's nothing, nothing at all!! Right, everyone?!"
Shizuka hurriedly tried to dodge the question and turned to
everyone else in the room. As she did, all the girls involved in the
fuss nodded their heads as one. This action confused Koutarou even
"Well, something like that."
"... If Bertorion could be seduced then things might have been a
The only two that had remained unmoved were the two princesses
from Forthorthe. They figured that there had to be a reason behind
him asking Kiriha to strip. Harumi was the same, but she had been
occupied by Maki who began stripping as well.
"...? Oh well. So Kiriha, does it hurt if you move your arm around?"
"There's a minor pain on rare occasions, but that'll heal soon
While the wound had healed on the surface, it still hadn't fully
healed inside, and moving the arm in a certain way would cause
"I see. Then, Yurika... is out of the question. Aika-san, could you
cast some healing magic on Kiriha-san just in case?"
Yurika, because of her organization. Rainbow Heart, was forbidden
to use magic for private reasons. But that wasn't true for Maki, who
was part of Darkness Rainbow. So when it came to treatment, it was
more convenient to have Maki do it.
"Yes, leave it to me, Satomi-kun! Come, Night Walker!"
Happy to be needed by Koutarou, Aika joyfully summoned her
"... I don't have to be out of the question."
Yurika on the other hand was pouting. While she was forbidden
from using magic for private reasons, she was willing to look past
that for the sake of treating a close friend. She was happy that
Koutarou was taking her rules into consideration, but she didn't like
not being relied on.
"Don't get angry, Yurika."
"I'm not angry."
"You are angry."
"... I'm not really angry."
"You don't have to use something like magic."
"... I-It's unfair when you put it like that... geez..."
However, with Yurika's personality, she didn't dwell on it for too
long, and by the time Kiriha was pushing her shoulder towards
Maki, her expression had returned to normal.
"I'm in your care."
"Yes, leave it to me, Kiriha-san."
Maki held her cane in both hands and began her incantation.
"Cure Serious Wounds, Permanent Regeneration."
Maki cast two spells. One was a spell to seal her wounds, and one to
improve Kiriha's regenerating abilities. Just sealing the wound
meant that it might open again, so Maki improved Kiriha's
regeneration to speed up the healing process. They were calculated
and polite spells that fit Maki perfectly.
"... Okay. That should do it."
"Thank you, Maki."
"No, it's nothing."
Maki showed an embarrassed smile.
This kind of thing is really nice... How wonderful it would be to spend the
rest of my life like this...
A sensation she had never felt before while in Darkness Rainbow
filled Maki’s chest. She was happy to be needed and thanked by
someone. While she still wasn't used to it and still felt a little
embarrassed about it, but she began to feel like she wanted to spend
her life like this. Maki felt like she could understand why Yurika
That's right, maybe I should ask him...
Maki put her cane away and boldly spoke.
"Satomi-kun. There's something I'd like to ask."
"What is it, Aika-san?"
Koutarou drunk his tea and nonchalantly looked towards Maki. But
noticing that her expression was serious, he put his cup down and
properly turned to face her.
"Looks like it's something serious."
"Yes. I believe there is something we need to do for the future."
"Something we need to do?"
Maki nodded and pulled out something from the bag she was
always carrying around.
"I want you to place a curse on me."
Maki handed what she had pulled out to Koutarou. It was a belt
made from thick leather, but it was too short to be worn around the
waist. If anything, it looked like a collar for a large pet.
Koutarou's eyes opened wide in surprise.
"Wait a minute!! Why do I need to do something like that?!"
"That is what Darkness Rainbow believes you would do since
you've captured me."
"A-Ahh... You're probably right."
When Koutarou had fought against Maki's master, he had told
Maya that he had captured Maki. That's why to Darkness Rainbow,
Maki was supposed to be Koutarou's prisoner.
"Yet, I am still walking around freely like this. At this rate.
Darkness Rainbow will begin to suspect something."
"I see, I didn't think of that."
While not much time had passed since Maki joined Koutarou and
the others. Darkness Rainbow would eventually realize that Maki
wasn't deprived of her freedom. Since a captive wasn't normally
allowed to walk around freely, Maki might end up in a tricky spot,
and there was a high chance that she would be deemed a traitor and
"That's why I want you take away my freedom, Satomi-kun. Be it
through brainwashing, curses or contracts, whatever you want."
"W-Wait a minute, that's far too violent!!"
Koutarou understood what Maki wanted. She wanted to have her
freedom deprived in a clear and obvious way so that Darkness
Rainbow wouldn't suspect anything. For the means of doing so, she
had prepared the collar. Placing a curse in the collar would make it
look like she was under control.
"A curse that would kill me if I disobey you or that would choke me
on command, something unreasonable like that, that gives off the
impression that Satomi-kun is dominating me would be good."
"N-No, there's no way I'd do something like that!!"
Koutarou refused in a fluster. He couldn't even imagine himself
doing what Maki wanted.
"If you don't, we'll be found out sooner or later."
"If you died because of me talking in my sleep, I wouldn't be able to
live with myself."
Curses, brainwashing, contracts. Regardless of what she called it,
Koutarou was against carelessly doing something like the sorts to
Maki. Of course, even with a curse or something in place, Koutarou
wouldn't make use of it. Killing Maki was completely out of the
question. But he couldn't endure pointing a gun at Maki even
though he wasn't going to fire it.
A method like that would make both Maki and Koutarou unhappy,
and he simply couldn't accept that.
"Theia, Clan, Kiriha-san, help me think of a way to deceive others
without using a real curse."
"That’s more like my vassal. Very well. I’ll help as much as I can."
"I guess it can’t be helped. I’ll help too."
"Hmm... Those magical girls are lacking in scientific knowledge. I
believe they could be fooled by making a device in the shape of a
collar and adding in a function that would let them
Koutarou quickly asked Theia and the others for advice. Maki
simply stayed quiet and watched over them. The only thing she did
while waiting for Koutarou and the others to reach a conclusion
was to pick up the collar that had been left lying around.
Seeing Maki grasp the collar, Shizuka imagined how Maki must
have really felt. Since they shared the same room, she knew of
Maki's true feelings.
Aika-san wants something she can rely on, doesn't she...
Maki would no longer return to Darkness Rainbow; that was why
she no longer had a place to return to. While room 106 was a place
for her to return, it would take more time for her to truly feel like it.
Making a place to call home wasn't something that could be made
in a day.
That's why Maki wanted Koutarou to deprive her of her freedom.
She wanted a clear connection to him, and she used Darkness
Rainbow as a means to make it happen, even if it was an
unfortunate connection that meant having a gun turned at her at all
I have to do something... if not, I'll feel sorry for Aika-san...
Knowing Maki's feelings, Shizuka couldn't just leave her be. That's
why she began thinking of a way to save Maki.
In the end, the countermeasure for Darkness Rainbow ended up
making use of Kiriha's idea. They would use a scientific device to
make it look like Maki was being held captive.
The ones that would make it were Clan and Ruth. It would have the
appearance of a collar and would be able to make it look like Maki
was being choked. Of course, it wouldn't have a function to actually
choke her, just make it look like it. In return, it would have the same
functions as Theia's and Ruth's bracelets.
Koutarou and the others concluded that using a scientific device
that made it look like Maki was being choked would make the
magical girls misunderstand the situation on their own.
The problem was that it would stand out in school, but this was
resolved by concealing it using magic. It wouldn't be hard to make
it invisible so that other students couldn't see it, and being unable to
normally see it, would make it seem more real to Darkness
Once a conclusion had been reached, Koutarou and the others spent
the rest of the time in their own ways. There were those who began
playing games, those who did their homework and more. Amongst
them, Koutarou was in a kitchen holding a knife. However, that
wasn't room 106's kitchen, but the kitchen on the Blue Knight.
The reason as to why he was holding a knife was Kiriha. When she
tried to make dinner like normal, Koutarou told her that she didn't
need to until her wound had fully healed and took the job from her.
In response, she made a request for a roasted chicken like he had
made for her before. But he couldn't have a large flame in an
apartment, not to mention that room 106 lacked a large enough
oven. As a result, Koutarou ended up preparing dinner on the Blue
"Theia, how's it going? Are you almost done?"
"J-Just wait a little longer. I've never filleted a chicken before."
"Then should I do it?"
"I don't want to just watch. Til do it."
"Nice guts. You can do it."
"Yeah, leave it to me."
"Master, I've finished preparing the herbs."
"Ruth-san, please mix them in with what you made before. That'll
finish up our sauce."
"Okay, I understand. But still, these herbs sure are a bit on the
"Ahahaha. Back then, ingredients couldn't be conserved very well,
so it was necessary to use stronger spices."
"I see, her majesty Elfaria might want to try it too."
"Ah crap... She'll definitely complain later. She'll say that I should
have called her sooner."
"Fufufu, my mother just might."
Theia and Ruth were helping Koutarou with the dinner. Since this
was a Forthorthe-style dish and since he didn't really know how to
use their kitchen, he needed their help. The three of them were
cheerfully making dinner together.
Tonight's dinner was a roasted chicken like Kiriha had requested.
On the side, there would be bread and soup. Since it was something
Koutarou had learned during his travels, they were all simple to
make. They were currently in the middle of preparing the chicken
while waiting for the bread to ferment. Everything was proceeding
smoothly and would soon be done. Or so it should have been.
The chicken's legs bounced and crashed into Theia's face. Surprised
by this, Theia flinched backwards a great deal.
Hearing Theia's scream, Koutarou and Ruth came running.
"Did you cut your hand?! Or was it somewhere else?!"
Koutarou took the knife out of Theia's hands and looked over them
to see if there were any cuts. Ruth wiped away the dirt to make it
easier for Koutarou to examine.
"I-I'm fine, I just put a little too much force into it and the leg hit my
face! I'm not hurt anywhere!"
Theia hurriedly explained the situation to the two that were awfully
worried. At the same time, she moved her fingers around to show
that she wasn't hurt.
"I see... don't scare me like that."
"Sorry. My hand slipped a little."
"Anyways, as long as you are safe."
"Yes, sorry for the trouble."
Theia was more concerned about the two worrying in front of her
than her own mistake. Fortunately, smiles returned to Koutarou's
and Ruth's expressions. Seeing that, Theia felt relieved and gripped
the knife again.
"Alright, just a little more."
Theia continued her work. Her knife handling was still unsteady,
but she was steadily making progress with it.
"I'll ask again, but do you want me to do it? You only have to sit
back and give me orders."
Koutarou offered to take Theia's place once more, thinking that
preparing a chicken was still too early for a beginner like Theia.
"No, I will do this."
However, Theia shook her head. She stopped her work and stared
"Indeed, I could order you whenever, wherever and whatever I
Koutarou had pledged his loyalty to Theia, so she could order him
to do anything.
"Then just leave this-
"But what I want is not a puppet that looks like you. I want to see
and feel the same thing as you do as you move of your own free
will. That's why if you cook, I will too. That is the path that I and
Ruth have chosen."
Theia smiled very happily. She was full of confidence, as if saying
that was her everything.
"... It's just as you say, your highness."
Ruth nodded next to Theia. She had the same expression as Theia.
The two of them had chosen the same path in life.
"If you ask me to order you even now, then..."
The smile on Theia's face disappeared and she peered into
"Koutarou, live the way you wish. Laugh, hate, cry and love like
After saying that, Theia smiled again.
"This is the only order I can give to you as your lord right now."
Her smile was so beautiful that Koutarou couldn't answer her and
he just vacantly stared at her.
"This might be the last order though. Fufufu..."
Theia believed that Koutarou would treasure the same things she
did. That's why she wouldn't need to order him. While she might
need to give him information and instructions, she wouldn't give
"That's why I will do this. I might not be able to do it like you, but I
want to do it with my own hands."
Still gripping her knife, Theia's expression turned a little childish.
Thanks to that, Koutarou was able to return to normal and showed
a wry smile.
"I get it, I get it, you're so stubborn..."
"Fufu, your princess is selfish."
Koutarou gave up on trying to convince Theia. Since she's said this
much, he wanted to let her do as she pleased. If he didn't, it would
feel like he’s rejecting her, which he didn't want to do, both as
Koutarou and as Theia's knight.
"But I'll help too. At this rate you might cut up your hand."
"That's not true! I'll show you I can safely do it to the end! Don't
take me for a fool."
"Theia, I will live as I please and protect who I want to protect."
"A-Au... then I guess it can't be helped... I will allow you to assist..."
Theia instinctively blushed and cast an upward glance at Koutarou.
Theia's heart began beating faster and blood rose to her head.
Normally, this was only natural for a master and servant, but Theia
got carried away being told he wanted to protect her.
"I am most honored."
"G-Good, then let's start."
Like that, Koutarou and Theia began their work. As time passed,
Theia was able to calm down. Her knife handling was the same as
always, but with Koutarou by her side, there was no danger.
"Wait Theia, you'll cut your fingers like that."
"Oops, then what do I do?"
"Form your hand like this."
"No, not like that, like this."
"I am doing that!"
"You're not! Take a proper look!"
"I did, and I am! You're misunderstanding!"
Having entered a relationship of master and servant, Theia and
Koutarou acknowledged and respected each other, forming a strong
master and servant relationship. Yet, the atmosphere between them
was the same as it was before. They would loudly argue, glare at
each other and sometimes even resort to violence. Despite their
relationship, they were still just a teenage boy and girl. Before they
knew it, they had already gotten past their difference in status and
the planets they were bom on.
But I'm sure her highness and master both don't know how wonderful of a
thing that is...
The relationship between a normal teenage boy and alien girl, and
the relationship between a knight and princess existed without any
contradictions. Ruth had never seen anyone else in a relationship
like that before. This could surely be called a miracle amongst
relationships, and compared to this, Ruth and Theia's relationship
was far more realistic.
"Don't get so full of yourself because people are worrying about
"Fine! I'll show you who the master really is!"
Raw emotion was clashing in front of Ruth's eyes.
If possible, I'd want you to share just even a small portion of that...
Being able to join in that clash was currently Ruth's biggest wish.
Ruth already knew that Koutarou and Theia's fights only served to
confirm their bond.
With the chicken in the oven, Theia and Ruth went to take a bath
since it would take some time before it was finished. Once the two
were done, Koutarou would take his turn.
Because of that, Koutarou positioned himself in front of the oven,
peeking at the chicken and adjusting the temperature from time to
"Right... the temperature should be fine like this..."
Since this was different from roasting something over an open
flame, it took Koutarou a while before he could properly adjust the
humidity, but the chicken was now cooking the way he wanted it
to. All that was left was to avoid overcooking it.
That was when Koutarou felt the presence of someone behind him.
"That was fast, are you done already?"
Koutarou figured that the presence was Theia and Ruth and he
turned around to look in the direction of the entrance to the kitchen.
However, he didn't see Theia nor Ruth. The sliding door simply
opened, but nobody was behind it. As Koutarou was wondering
why the door had opened, several faces appeared by the frame of
the door and peeked at him. Those faces belonged to young boys
"Is that the Blue Knight?"
"But, he's not blue at all?"
"Stupid, it's not like he's always going to be wearing his armor."
"I think his face is the same."
"Then it must be the Blue Knight. But why is the Blue Knight
"Why I wonder?"
The children were talking about something while looking at
Koutarou. However, since Koutarou couldn't understand the
language they spoke in, he wasn't sure what they were saying.
I shouldn't have left the bracelet behind...
They were children from Forthorthe who had come to Earth with
Elfaria, and they were speaking in their native tongue. Koutarou
would have been able to understand what they were saying if he
used the translation functions in his bracelet.
However, he had left it behind in room 106 since it might get in the
way of cooking, and his armor had been stored in the hangar after
the repairs on it were completed. As a result, Koutarou had no way
of communicating with the children.
"Do you have any business with me?"
That said, he couldn't just stand there and watch them. He had to
talk to them in order not to scare them. In the worst case scenario,
he'd have to try and talk to them using gestures.
"Wah, he's saying something."
"What did he say?"
"I don't know, I couldn't hear it because he's far away."
"Let's go. He doesn't look that scary either."
"He's cooking after all."
"Yeah, let's go."
Koutarou still couldn't understand what they were saying, but he
did understand that they seemed to have reached some kind of
consensus. Based on the fact that they were now coming closer, he
figured they must have been talking about that.
"What is it? Did you smell the food?"
Koutarou figured that the children must have smelled the chicken
in the oven during their exploration of the ship.
"So this is the Blue Knight..."
"Yeah. Papa and I both saw him, it's definitely him."
"He's not as big as I thought."
"Everyone, we have to greet him properly or sensei will get mad at
"Hello, Blue Knight."
However, the kids surrounded him and began talking about
something. They weren't so much as glancing at the chicken in the
oven. That made Koutarou stumble. If they weren't here for food,
then he wasn't sure why they had come.
"Just what did you come here for?"
All he could manage was tilt his head in confusion.
"What is he saying?"
"Ah, could it be that he doesn't understand what we're saying?"
"They spoke a different language in the past, didn't they?"
"Doesn't anyone speak old Forthorthe?"
"I know a little! I studied it together with my sister!"
"Good, then try talking to him!"
"Okay. Then... 'Nice to meet you, I am Myuraua.'"
However, amongst the children there was one girl who could speak
a language Koutarou could understand. She was speaking old
Forthorthe, the common language used 2,000 years ago. Having
spent several months in the past, Koutarou had a somewhat decent
understanding of the language. Having finally found a means to
communicate, Koutarou responded in old Forthorthe.
"He understood it! He said hello!"
"Try talking some more to him!"
"Ask him if he's the real Blue Knight!"
"Okay, I'll try. 'Are you the Blue Knight?'"
"Hmm... I am the Blue Knight, but I am princess Theiamillis's Blue
Koutarou honestly answered the question.
"It was hard for me to understand, but it seems like he really is the
But unfortunately, the girl's understanding was imperfect, and
Koutarou's intentions weren't properly conveyed.
"It's the real one!"
"I told you!"
"I want to take a picture of the Blue Knight! I'll brag about it to
"Me too! Myu, ask him!"
"Wait a second... 'You, us, make portrait!"
Koutarou was confused by the seemingly random word. But once
he saw the small device one of the boys was pointing towards him,
he understood its meaning.
I see. Picture wasn't a word back then.
The boy was holding a camera. It was a cutting edge camera from
Forthorthe, but its shape and size was similar to the ones on Earth.
He had also seen Theia and Clan use them, so he quickly realized
that it was a camera.
"I don't really mind..."
Koutarou figured that the children only wanted to take a picture of
the alien that had become Theia's vassal. He never suspected that
the children, and the adults too, were completely convinced that he
was the Blue Knight.
"Alright! We get to take a picture with the Blue Knight!"
"Give one to me later too!"
"'Blue Knight! Come!’"
The girl that had spoken to Koutarou grabbed his hand and pulled
him over to a more open area in the kitchen. The children were
going to take a photo there. However.
On the way there, the girl came into contact with a shelf. Koutarou
and the others had flung that shelf open so they could cook. Inside
it was a lot of cooking utensils, and the impact from the girl coming
into contact with the shelf threw several of the cooking utensils off
balance, making them start to fall towards the girl. Since these
included both sharp and heavy utensils as well, it was a disaster in
Koutarou was the first to notice it and brought out the spiritual
energy within him. Thanks to Sanae clinging onto him on a daily
basis, the spiritual energy strengthened his body in an instant.
Five things are falling!!
A kitchen knife, a pot, a frying pan, a large platter and a bottle of
Koutarou started by reaching his hand out towards the knife. Since
the blade was faced down and the knife was falling straight towards
the girl, it was the biggest danger.
Koutarou grabbed the grip of the knife with his right hand and
punched the pot with his left.
The impact sent the pot flying in a direction away from the children.
Since it was such a large pot, the impact and pain from punching it
that hard would have been quite considerable. If Koutarou hadn't
focused spiritual energy into his fist, he would surely have
screamed out in pain.
Koutarou then slammed the knife's grip at the frying pan.
The force behind the impact was enough to dent the frying pan and
sent it crashing into the ceiling.
All that was left were the large plate and bottle. Since they were
now both directly above the girl's head, Koutarou didn't have the
time to deal with them separately. Instead, he spun his body around
and launched a kick.
Koutarou's leg passed just a few centimeters above the girl's head.
At the same time, the plate and bottle collided with his leg. There
was barely enough time, but thanks to the utensils colliding with his
leg, their direction changed and fell onto the floor without so much
as touching the girl.
The plate and bottle crashed into the floor and shattered. The
remaining cooking alcohol left in the bottle splashed across the
"Did I do it?!"
After finishing it up with a kick, Koutarou checked the girl in
question for any injuries. The girl's eyes were wide open from
surprise, but she seemed unharmed.
"... Phew... You don't seem to be hurt..."
After confirming that she was okay, Koutarou dropped his
shoulders from relief. He then returned the knife in his hand to the
shelf and fixed it firmly in place, making sure that it wouldn't fall
again even if someone bumped into the shelf.
Once Koutarou closed the shelf, the sound of it returned the
children who had been standing perfectly still to their senses.
"Did you see that...?"
"I did... but I couldn't see it..."
"But. Even if we couldn't see it... there's no doubting it..."
"Yeah. This person is definitely the Blue Knight..."
"It looked like a cartoon I saw the other day."
"Hey, did you get that on video?"
"Probably. I was recording from the start."
"Give me a copy later."
"Sure. Let's show everyone else. I bet they'll be surprised."
Having witnessed Koutarou's power upfront, they were more
overwhelmed by him than the girl's crisis. Even though they had
been told that Koutarou was the real Blue Knight before, it wasn't
until this moment that they became fully convinced of it.
"'U-Uhm, Blue Knight, thank you for saving me..."
"Owowow, I messed up, I put too much strength in it!!"
However, the legendary person that had surprised the children and
gained their respect recalled the pain from punching the pot and
was too distracted to even notice their gazes.
When Koutarou's cooking was brought into room 106, the girls got
noisy. The food presented to them looked far more delicious than
they had assumed.
"K-K-Koutarou! Did you really make this?! You didn't just let Ruth
do it for you?!"
"Yeah, I made it."
"You're lying! That's definitely a lie!!"
"Put some faith in me! Anyways, calm down Sanae. You're
"Come back, Sanae-chan."
The most surprised of all was Sanae, who was so surprised she
jumped out of her own body. However, her reactions weren't
exaggerated. Apart from Kiriha, Clan, and Theia and Ruth who had
been with him in the kitchen, everyone gathered around the table
stared at the dishes in surprise.
Tonight's menu consisted of roasted chicken, bread and soup. They
were very simple, but the smell from the chicken and herb sauce
enticed their appetite. The bread looked very light and airy, and the
stock from the soup that used the chicken's bones had come out
Consideration had clearly been put into all of the dishes. Since this
was so different from the normally crude Koutarou, it was only
obvious for everyone to be surprised.
"Fufu, Koutarou wanted to keep this part of him a secret too..."
Kiriha had a cheerful expression on her face.
"Kii, it looks like the parts we get to keep to ourselves are gradually
Clan on the other hand pouted slightly.
Kiriha and Clan knew of Koutarou's hidden talents such as cooking
and cleaning. This was because they had seen him in the past. Since
Clan in particular had been with him for a long period of time, she
felt very strongly that only she knew what Koutarou was really like.
That's why she felt exasperated every time a different part of
Koutarou was revealed.
"...S-Sakuraba-senpai, Satomi-san can cook..."
Yurika was crying.
She was well aware of her low degree in girly skills. However, that
was just amongst the girls, and she didn't think that she'd lose to a
boy, especially not to someone who was normally as crude as
Koutarou. However, now her absolute confidence had been
shattered. She didn't think she could make something as delicious
as what was placed in front of her.
"...J-Just how could I be of use to Satomi-san...?"
Since Yurika imagined she would be of some use to Koutarou
through cooking, she couldn't do anything but cry at the scene in
front of her.
While Harumi sympathized with Yurika, she was able to accept that
Koutarou could cook.
"But... if you calm down and think about it, it's not strange for him
to be able to cook."
"... Why is that?"
"He's ardent about knitting, and he treasures the equipment he uses
for baseball and insect hunting. So if a person like that had to cook, I
think it's only natural for him to be good at it."
Harumi could actually think of one more reason as to why
Koutarou was able to cook so well.
Satomi-kun grew up in a motherless family... He must have had the
groundwork for housework covered even before he went to Forthorthe...
However, that reason was far too sad to speak of. That's why
Harumi pretended she didn't notice that and closed her mouth.
"Harumi, Harumi. Does that mean that someone who half-asses
everything like Yurika would never be able to match Koutarou?"
"Sakuraba-senpai, could you please deny that right away-!"
Harumi found herself unable to deny Sanae's cruel words and
Yurika's tears continued to pour out.
Yurika wept bitter tears, however, that was only until dinner
started. Once it was time to eat, her tears stopped and together with
Sanae, she started stuffing her mouth. The two looked like they
hadn't eaten anything in days.
"Come on now, both of you. If you keep eating like that, your
stomachs will ache."
Shizuka stopped eating her own food and worriedly watched the
"Ahm, nom nom, hahm."
"Mham, horn nom, mm."
Yurika and Sanae both answered, but with their mouths filled with
food, it didn't make a lick of sense. But since neither of them
showed any signs of slowing down, they were probably saying that
they were fine or something of the sort.
"Geez... don't come crying to me later then..."
Shizuka smiled wryly before tearing her bread and putting a piece
in her mouth. As she did, Maki who was sitting next to her gave her
a pondering look.
"Kasagi-san, do you not like Satomi-kun's cooking?"
"That's not true."
Shizuka shook her head. All of the dishes were delicious, and
Shizuka liked the fluffy texture of the bread in particular.
"But... you don't seem to be eating a lot."
Maki had noticed that Shizuka hadn't been touching a lot of the
food. That's why she figured that she might not like the taste.
Hearing that, Sanae and Yurika stopped eating and turned to look
at Shizuka. To Shizuka, it looked like they were offering to eat her
portion as well. Figuring that this was a good chance, Shizuka
"Actually, I've gone up in weight lately, so I was thinking of going
on a diet."
Shizuka had been worried about her weight for a while. When she
walked on the floor it would creak from time to time. That had
never been the case in the past, so she figured that she had gone up
in weight and decided to go on a diet.
That was an unfamiliar word to Maki who hadn't give much care to
health and beauty in the past. To Maki who had grown up in the
slums, getting fat was not a bad thing at all. If anything, it could be
called a status for being rich. Maki had a slender build because she
was devoting herself to battle, but the thought of losing more
weight than necessary had never occurred to her.
"This is important, Aika-san. You might be wearing swimsuits in
the coming season, right?"
"That... might be the case, yes."
"If at that time, your flab sticks out, the person you love would lose
interest in you."
"... Swimsuits... Flab... The person I love..."
The feminine thought patterns in Maki's brain that had been
dormant activated and began working.
That... wouldn't be very cute...
Maki looked down on her own body and reached that conclusion.
Just like Shizuka said, she didn't have the courage to wear a
swimsuit with flab sticking out in front of the person she loved.
Then, for the first time in her life, she reached the possibility that the
roasted chicken in front of her could be a sworn enemy. Facing its
devilish temptation she shivered.
"Kasagi-san. I will diet too."
"I think that's for the best. It's good for your health too."
Having gained an ally, Shizuka was already making plans for their
"... Kasagi-san, you say you've gotten fatter, but how much weight
did you gain?"
Harumi stopped eating and looked at Shizuka. To her, it didn't look
like Shizuka needed to go on a diet. Her complexion was healthy
and her figure was beautiful. Truth be told, Shizuka's current figure
was Harumi's ideal.
"I don't know yet. The scale is currently broken, like when I stand
on it, it shows more than 200 kilos... That's why I'm going to go out
and buy a new one tomorrow."
"Ahaha, let me know when you find out."
The sickly and thin Harumi always wanted to become like Shizuka.
That's why she was interested in her fluctuating weight. Shizuka on
the other hand wanted to become like Harumi.
"A diet huh..."
Listening in on the conversation, Theia touched her own body while
deep in thought. Theia was a girl as well, so she was also concerned
with her figure. Her childish body type was round in places, and
she began thinking of joining in on the diet.
"Theia, you shouldn't do it."
However, Koutarou was against it.
"Rather than worrying about your weight, you should worry about
your height. Eat more and grow. If you go on a diet, you won't
grow any taller than that."
Theia was speechless from Koutarou's strict opinion.
"It's too early for you to go on a diet. You should wait until you're
at least as tall as Ruth-san."
"Grrr, here I listen to what you say and what is this?! Just for whose
sake do you think I was thinking I wanted to diet for?!"
Theia was thinking that those serving her would be happier with a
cuter princess. And yet, her vassal was telling her that it was too
early for her to become cuter.
"I get it, it's for the people, right? This is just my opinion, but I think
the people would feel more at ease with a tall princess than a thin
"Guh... y-you're right..."
However, with her citizens being brought up, she was unable to
argue with him. Theia very reluctantly backed down. However,
large tears formed in her eyes from her chagrin.
"...O-One day... one day I'll make this idiot eat his words..."
"I sympathize with your feelings, your highness."
"I'll captivate with my sexy body one day. Until then, Ruth, you do
"I will try my best."
Ruth accepted with a bitter smile.
But truth be told, Ruth wasn't that confident. It was quite clear that
when it came to a 'sexy body' that Ruth was no match for Kiriha.
But even then, Ruth remained optimistic.
I can't imagine Master's opinion would change depending on a person's
The situation wasn't actually as bad as Theia imagined it to be. But
taking it so seriously was one of Theia's cute sides. Knowing that,
Ruth didn't say anything more, and simply watched over the
Once dinner was over, Shizuka's diet plans became more tangible,
and all of the girls of room 106 decided to take part in it. Since they
were all girls, they wanted to maintain their figures. It was going to
be a diet consisting of both exercise and restrictions on eating.
Of course, since there were differences in health between them all,
some wouldn't have any food restrictions, such as the sickly Harumi
and the short Theia. However, the both of them would take part in
the exercises. That's because they thought it would be good for their
"Being a girl sure is a hassle..."
Being a guy, Koutarou didn't understand the subtleties of the girls'
hearts. He simply thought it must be a lot of work as he watched
over them from the side.
"Why are you acting like this has nothing to do with you? You're
going to do it too, Satomi-kun."
"Eh?! I have to join too?!"
"Isn't that obvious? There's no point in doing something like this if
everyone doesn't join in."
Since the day he began training with Ruth, Koutarou's weight had
remained relatively the same. He had no need for a diet, but
Shizuka was going to impose one on him anyways.
Oh well. Having everyone strive for the same goal does seem like fun...
However, Koutarou had no objections with joining. Being the only
one left out would be boring, so enjoying it with everyone else was
the correct choice.
That was when the low pitched voice of a man reached his ears.
"Can you hear me, Blue Knight?"
At the same time, the crest on the back of his hand began faintly
Since male voices were rare in room 106, Koutarou was surprised at
first, but once he noticed the crest he quickly understood what was
" Alunaya-dono , you 've awakened."
The one calling out to him was the dragon he had summoned the
other day, the Fire Dragon Emperor, Alunaya. Back then, Alunaya
had used up all of his energy and entered a dormant state for a
while. Today, Alunaya had recovered enough to be able to talk to
"It seems I have caused you to worry. Forgive me."
"Don't think anything of it. You saved us after all."
Koutarou could speak to Alunaya in his mind thanks to the crest on
the back of his hand. That's why no one else could hear what they
were saying. It was a discussion that not even Alunaya's host,
Shizuka, could hear.
"But are you okay?"
"Yes, that was what I wanted to talk to you about."
"Is something the matter?"
Koutarou grew slightly uneasy. He began thinking that Alunaya
had struck up a conversation with him because he had a serious
"There is no need for worry. There are no problems with myself. Mary...
that wasn't it. The girl I am residing in... Shizuka I think it was. She is in
no danger either. Everything will return to normal in a while."
Koutarou was relieved.
He had been worried for Alunaya who had used up all of his
magical power, and for Shizuka who had become the host for
Alunaya. But fortunately, there was no need for worry.
"However, there is one minor problem."
"And that is...?"
"It's about the weight management that Shizuka is about to do... Diet I
think she called it... It will fail without a doubt."
Surprised by Alunaya's unexpected words, Koutarou instinctively
let out a cry of surprise. As he did, all of the eyes in the room
gathered on him. They all wondered what was wrong.
"What's the matter, Satomi-kun?"
Shizuka, who was leading the discussion on dieting, served as the
representative of the girls and asked Koutarou.
"N-No, it's nothing. Sorry for interrupting your discussion."
"Really? Then that's good. So anyways..."
Koutarou hadn't offered a decent explanation, but the girls were so
interested in dieting that they quickly forgot about him.
With the girls having lost interest in him, Koutarou let out a sigh of
relief and began talking to Alunaya again.
"Sorry for startling you."
"No, it was just so unexpected... So will landlord-san's dieting really
"Yes. The reason for why Shizuka's weight has increased is me."
Adhering to Koutarou's request, Alunaya began explaining the
Alunaya was so powerful that he had an effect on his surroundings
even if he didn't do anything. Since that would be bad, he was
normally using magic to neutralize the effects. It was thanks to this
that nobody had noticed Alunaya who was inside of Shizuka for all
this time. However, having used up the majority of his powers in
the previous battle, Alunaya was no longer able to fully neutralize
the effects on his surroundings.
"...and that's how it is."
"So landlord-san hasn't gone up in weight, it's just her surroundings that
have become weird?"
"That's right. Because I can't correct the distortions in the space
surrounding Shizuka it looks like she had gone up in weight."
"So, lowering her weight through dieting is..."
" Impossible. There's no way to lower her weight except waiting for me to
regain my powers."
Shizuka hadn't gotten fatter, yet the space around her being
distorted caused her weight to increase. Lowering her physical mass
would have no effect on the distortion. That was why Alunaya had
said that the dieting would fail.
"If we leave it like this, Shizuka will eventually notice the abnormality
with her body. She'll probably find out the next time she gets on a scale.
What do we do, Blue Knight?"
"T-That's bad! Do something!"
By summoning Alunaya, Koutarou had, strictly speaking, involved
the unrelated Shizuka into the battle. He felt that it was his duty to
make sure that Shizuka could live her life like normal.
That's why he hadn't told her about Alunaya. Nobody would be
happy to learn that there was another creature inside of their body
after all. That's why Koutarou needed to keep Alunaya a secret to
protect Shizuka's everyday life.
Koutarou's first problem was to keep Shizuka from getting on a
scale. However, that had been resolved thanks to Clan's assistance,
offering to take more accurate measurements with her spaceship. As
a result, Shizuka put aside her goal of buying a new scale. Instead,
she was given fake data for her weight, or rather her estimated
original weight. Shizuka was currently using that data as a basis for
her dieting plans. The crisis had been averted for now.
"Sorry for always causing you trouble."
"You can say that again. Do you really only remember I exist when
you have troubles?"
The only remaining problem was Clan's sulking on the other end of
the communication device. Clan didn't like that she was recently
seen only as a convenient woman. She puffed up her cheeks and
sent a grudgeful glance at Koutarou.
"That said, I can't just casually offer princess Clariossa to go insect
hunting. You're not Yurika you know?"
Clan was a princess of a galactic empire, and Koutarou was
showing her consideration in his own way.
"That's a big mistake. I am not planning on treating you like a
legend you know?"
"Then will you come if I invite you?"
"Of course. I am your partner. Clan. I have no way of being princess
Clariossa around you anymore."
"You know, you're a really great girl!"
Lately, Kenji hadn't been coming with Koutarou, so anyone willing
to come with him held great meaning. And if that person was a girl,
she would be like a goddess. Koutarou's eyes were shining as he
looked at Clan with admiration.
"I would have liked you to notice that sooner too. Geez..."
"Sorry, sorry... Anyways, keep your weekends open during July
and August. We'll be going all of summer."
"I understand. I'll start thinking of insect traps."
A smile returned to Clan's face.
Now that I think about it, it's been awhile since we've been like this...
Clan recalled her time travelling together with Koutarou and was in
a great mood. Clan loved her current life surrounded by many
friends, but she couldn't resist the temptation of just her and
Koutarou walking through the mountains. This was a considerable
change for a girl who used to lock herself up in her laboratory.
"Thanks. But in the end. I'm just causing you trouble."
"You can't call something like this trouble. Besides, if we show the
children on the Blue Knight insects from this planet, they'll surely
The children would love it. The words Clan had casually spoken
squeezed Koutarou's heart. In the past, she wouldn't even have
been able to constantly remember her citizens going through a
difficult time. Clan who had obtained a nature befitting of a
princess now looked as splendid of a royal as Theia did to
"What's the matter, why are you making a strange face?"
"It's nothing. I was just admiring her highness who was being more
wonderful than normal today."
Clan cut off her communication, thinking she was being teased.
"...I was being serious though..."
Truth be told, Koutarou was troubled. Koutarou was now Theia's
vassal, but he also wanted to be of help to Clan. Since he couldn't
have two lords, Koutarou had quite a troublesome problem.
"Still... This year I'll definitely catch a huge beetle."
The problem with his lord wouldn't be solved right away.
But since Koutarou wanted to see the children and Clan smiling
with joy, he decided to catch the biggest beetle he could find for
There was no way that Clan would have any equipment for hunting
insects, and Koutarou couldn't just have her without any since he
was the one who invited her. So, Koutarou went to the mall with
the intention of buying a net and a cage.
"... I'm sure Clan could come up with some invention for it... but
insect hunting should be done with some feelings behind it."
Koutarou imagined that if Clan was serious, she could come up
with some invention that would capture every beetle on the
mountain. But he wanted her to swing a net around and get a
proper feel for insect hunting. The children would probably respect
her more that way too.
"... Clan is short, and doesn't have a lot of stamina... Maybe these
ones made for children would be good. But she'd probably get
angry if she found out... I need to make sure I remove the label
before I give it to her..."
While thinking of Clan, Koutarou entered a toy shop looking for an
insect catching net. Clan was a good girl, but just like Theia, she had
a lot of pride. Consideration was needed to be made even when
choosing insect catching nets.
That was when Koutarou caught a glance of a familiar girl by the
entrance. She hadn't noticed Koutarou inside and passed by the
storefront. Her expression bothered him a little so he returned the
net to the shelf and chased after her.
"Eh? ...Oh, Satomi-kun."
The person that turned around to Koutarou's call was Shizuka.
However, her normally cheerful expression was nowhere to be
seen. She was smiling, but it was a somewhat sad smile, different
from her usual positive and bright one.
I can't say I like that kind of expression...
The only time those around Koutarou would show this kind of
expression was when they were carrying some kind of problem. A
recent example would be Theia, and the one that had left the biggest
impression of was Alaia's. Koutarou couldn't just leave Shizuka be
like that and he chased after her.
"Did something happen?"
"No, nothing at all."
Shizuka shook her head while smiling. However, Koutarou couldn't
"It sure doesn't look like that to me."
"It might look like it, but nothing has happened now. It happened
several years ago..."
Shizuka showed what she was holding on both hands to Koutarou.
So... that’s what it is...
Shizuka was carrying a large bouquet, and if it was something that
had happened several years ago, there wasn't that many
The Kasagi Family Grave. That was what was written on the
tombstone. Below it, Shizuka's ancestors rested in peace. This was
Shizuka's destination. After placing down the bouquet and some
incense, she put her hands together in front of the grave. Koutarou
who was accompanying her followed her lead. Koutarou felt like he
couldn't leave Shizuka be, so he had come with her to the cemetery.
"... Thank you, Satomi-kun."
After Koutarou had finished his prayer, Shizuka bowed deeply to
him in gratitude.
"No, you are always helping me, keeping Corona House clean and
easy to live in... so..."
"Thank you, I mean it. I’m sure... mom and dad would be happy."
Shizuka looked up and smiled. But it was a sad smile, and tears
were forming in her eyes.
Like the tombstone said, this was where Shizuka's family rested.
That included Shizuka's parents who had passed away several
years ago. And today was the anniversary of their death.
After finishing her prayers, Shizuka continued facing the tombstone
for a while. Koutarou figured that she had some talking to do with
her parents, so he left her be and sat down on a bench besides the
You can see Corona House from here...
The graveyard was at an elevated position, and the bench was
placed by its edge. As a result, one could see most of the city from
there, and right in the middle of that view was Corona House.
Koutarou thought to himself that Shizuka's parents surely sat down
on this bench and watched over her.
But still... she must feel pretty lonely...
Even though she might be watched over, she would still be lonely.
Koutarou had memories of it as well. Losing someone in the family
wasn't easy, even more so if it was both of her parents.
"You're wide open."
As Koutarou was deep in thought, someone snuck up on him and
launched a chop at him from behind. The chop struck Koutarou on
the back of his head, but since there was absolutely no force behind
it, it only gave him a slight impact.
"Fufufu, I wonder if I could have beat you if I had been serious."
The person behind him was Shizuka. She had finished talking to her
parents and had now come to Koutarou. Seeing his wide open back,
she reached out mischievously.
"Hahaha, please spare me from that, landlord-san."
"Don't worry. I wouldn't get serious with you."
Shizuka circled around the bench with light steps and sat down
next to Koutarou. When he looked at her, she had a happy smile.
"Because if you leave the room. I'll be troubled. Financially."
"That's quite a shrewd reason."
"That's right. In order for a high schooler landlord to survive in this
era, you need to be shrewd."
ITaving finished her grave visit and gotten her feelings in order,
Shizuka had regained some of her cheerfulness. ITowever, it still
wasn't as bright as normal. Koutarou thought it was his role to help
her with that.
"ITahaha, I'm a little shocked."
"I didn't think you were like that in regards to money."
"If I admitted that, it would be harder to collect rent."
In truth, Shizuka felt a deeper connection to the residents of room
106 than just mere landlord and tenant. And she hoped they felt the
same. But in order for her to survive, she needed to collect money
from people like that too. But since that felt strange, she couldn't
admit that they were more than landlord and tenant, on the surface
"I see... Being a landlord sounds like a troublesome occupation."
Shizuka's feelings reached Koutarou, and rather than take offense,
he smiled at Shizuka.
"Really? I think it would be easier than being a legendary hero."
"That person in question thinks of himself as a normal guy though."
"Of course. While you might be called a hero, it's not something you
can become just because you want to."
"Isn't that the same for you? Normally you would just be a normal
"That... might be true..."
Shizuka's smile vanished as she turned back towards the graveyard.
If her parents were still alive, Shizuka would just have been a
normal high school girl.
"... How did you become a landlord?"
Why did Shizuka's parents die?
When posing that question, Koutarou refrained from directly
asking. To be honest, he wanted to avoid the question entirely. But
then, he would never be able to be of any real help to Shizuka.
While it might have been insensitive, it was something he had to do.
"...We went on a trip as a family. And the boiler at the hotel we
stayed at exploded. My parents were caught up in the fire that the
Shizuka hadn't talked about her past with others that much. She
didn't want their sympathy. But when Koutarou asked of it, she
spoke about her past very naturally. That was because she knew
about his past. She believed that he would understand without
showing her any unwanted pity.
"... Mom and dad gave their lives to protect me. Dad was lost in the
fire, and mom inhaled too much smoke... 'Don't take too many deep
breaths', 'We will definitely protect you'... those were their last
words that I could remember..."
Even though she believed Koutarou wouldn't pity her, she still felt
quite sad as she spoke. Her emotions swelled as her words
gradually grew weaker.
"... I was so young, I couldn't do anything... I stayed rolled up in a
wet blanket while mom and dad carried me. The body I had trained
at the gym was useless. I was just a powerless child that could only
Shizuka meekly mumbled as she clenched her right hand. She had
never forgotten the helplessness she had felt on that day.
"That's why... I decided to become stronger. I don't ever want to be
that helpless again. I'll protect what mom and dad had protected..."
That’s why Shizuka protected Corona House that her parents had
left behind. She would properly manage it as a landlord, and make
sure no accidents or fires ever occurred. She trained her body to be
able to protect others from any other incident, so that her tenants
wouldn't have to experience what she had gone through. In other
words, Shizuka was more concerned about her tenants than money.
"... No wonder we didn't stand a chance."
Koutarou mumbled and smiled wryly. He couldn't keep himself
"I'm talking about when we first came to room 106. Back then, you
crushed all of us."
"Ah... something like that did happen, didn't it..."
"Unlike us who were just fighting over the room, you had a proper
reason to want to protect it. So of course we wouldn't have a chance
Koutarou was convinced. It was only natural for Shizuka to be so
strong. She had a proper reason to fight from the very start. So
Koutarou and the others, who had fought only for themselves, were
never a match to begin with.
"But it's strange. Now I want to protect all of you too."
Shizuka showed her own small wry smile while staring into her
palms. How strange. She now wanted to protect those people she
had thrown her fists at.
"I think I know what you mean."
"Now that I think about it, Satomi-kun, you have similar
circumstances to me."
They had both lost family, fought against outsiders to protect their
place, and now we're trying to protect those outsiders. Koutarou
and Shizuka were quite similar.
"If you put it like that, everyone might be the same."
"That's true... Everyone just wanted their own place..."
Everyone sought out room 106 for their own reasons. Yet everyone
had obtained what they wanted. Even though the reasons they had
come for were different, the root was the same. Everyone struggled,
searching for warmth and a place to call their own.
"Then the reason we are all together is all thanks to you."
"Yes. It's because you are protecting Corona House that we could
all get along."
"I... brought everyone..."
Shizuka had never thought of things like that. She put her hands on
her chest with her eyes wide open.
"I'm sure your parents would be happy."
"Would they really? Mom and dad..."
"Yes. At least... I think they would."
"... Thank you, Satomi-kun. I am very happy too..."
Shizuka had struggled ever since the day she lost her parents. And
in this past year, she had found her place again. What she had lost
in the past and sought after was now all around her, within reach.
The tears now flooding out from Shizuka's eyes had been dammed
up for a long time.
Shizuka didn't stop crying until the sun had begun to set and the
cityscape was being dyed orange.
"I'm sorry, Satomi-kun. I've kept you waiting for a long time..."
Having returned to normal, Shizuka hurriedly wiped her tears
away. However, that didn't wipe it all away, so Koutarou gently
reached out with his hands to wipe away the rest.
"It's fine. I think you should be allowed to cry when visiting your
Shizuka was surprised by the warmth coming from Koutarou's
hand on her cheek. The thought of rejecting it didn't cross her mind
at all, because that warmth was one of the things she desired.
"Besides, if we went home with you still crying, there might be a
"That... might be, true..."
However, Shizuka began feeling something different from that
Shizuka had come into contact with Koutarou countless times
before through exercising and practicing. It was because she trusted
Koutarou that she had never thought much of it.
However, that wasn't the case now. The warmth touching her cheek
gave her a sense of fullness and security that she had never felt
before. She began feeling that if she entrusted herself to this
warmth, she would surely find happiness.
It's not like something's supposed to have changed...
It wasn't like something had changed on the surface. Shizuka and
Koutarou were still the same as they always had been. But the
vague feeling that Shizuka had been feeling deep inside changed
Koutarou understood what Shizuka treasured, and he would
treasure them with her.
That was what Shizuka now believed. It was a slight change, and it
had sparked from a small chat. It might just be obvious, but feeling
that small difference completely changed Shizuka.
A wish to be happy, expectations of the future, an elevated heart
rate and unsettling feelings.
Something Shizuka had never felt before bloomed inside of her,
growing ever larger. She had a vague understanding of what that
feeling was. Since she loved gossip so much, she wasn't so
thickheaded that she wouldn't notice. But she couldn't so easily
accept it. Like Koutarou, when it came to herself, she became a lot
"T-That's right, Satomi-kun, there's something I want to ask you."
Mustering all of her remaining will, she pretended to be normal.
Fortunately, this succeeded and Shizuka was able to talk to
Koutarou like she always did. Of course, whether that really was
fortunate or not is up to discussion.
"Sure, what is it?"
Koutarou didn't hesitate to agree. He also didn't think Shizuka
seemed off. It was only obvious for one to be a little shaken up from
visiting a grave.
"Uhm... actually, I kind of want you to give Aika-san some
"Aika-san? That's true... she probably still hasn't gotten used to her
"It’s not just that..."
Shizuka shook her head. By now she had returned to her usual self.
It was something she had struggled to bring up, but she was really
"Satomi-kun, do you remember the other day when Aika-san
wanted you to place a curse on her?"
"Yes. While it was to deceive the enemy, that sure did surprise me."
The other day, Maki had asked Koutarou to deprive her of her
freedom. If they did indeed do so, they would be able to fool
Darkness Rainbow. But because the means she had mentioned were
too dangerous, they decided to fool them using a different way.
"Actually, Aika-san had one more hidden objective."
"Another objective? What would that be?"
"Aika-san was originally an orphan... and Darkness Rainbow was
the only place she belonged to. She's now left them and come to stay
with us, but she still hasn't gotten her feelings in order."
Maki was currently sharing room 206 with Shizuka. The two
sympathized with each other's circumstances and shared a lot
between each other. That’s why Shizuka understood Maki’s feelings
better than anyone else.
"That’s why Aika-san wanted a bond with someone so obvious
anyone can tell."
"So she wanted me to put a curse on her? Surely there should be a
Koutarou was surprised. If it was like what Shizuka had said, Maki
wanted to create bond by carving it into her body. That was far too
violent of a method.
"She is so helplessly lonely, so she wants any kind of connection she
Maki was lonely. Only a short amount of time had passed since she
came to stay with Koutarou. While she believed in Koutarou and
the others, she would still often feel insecure.
Was it okay for her to be here? Was she needed? Was she
Maki was worried about a lot. That’s why she wanted a bond that
would let her deny those worries, even if it meant living with a gun
pointed to her head. Having the muzzle pointed at her would serve
as proof that she was there. Maki wanted to sense a connection to
others through abandoning her own freedom.
"Doesn't that ring a bell to you, Satomi-kun? ... It does to me..."
"... Yeah... it does to me too..."
Koutarou had felt something similar when he had lost his mother
and when his relationship with his father turned sour. He devoted
himself to fighting others, and through harming himself he felt like
he still existed. What he did was the same as what Maki was doing
"Aika-san needs someone to save her from that. Just accepting her
"... To me, it had been baseball and Mackenzie..."
What saved Koutarou from his lifestyle was his baseball team and
his meeting with Kenji. By working together with his team towards
a goal, he was able to affirm his existence. And right now, that was
what Maki needed. Koutarou understood very well what Shizuka
was talking about.
"It might be the same reason as to why Aika-san is always after
your money. She wants to be able to feel safe through an easy to
understand bond like money."
When Shizuka pointed that out, Koutarou recalled when he and
Maki had formed a contract. Deep inside, Maki was a lonely girl
shivering inside of a dungeon. And like Koutarou was, Maki
wouldn't rely on others directly, even if she wanted to.
"So Satomi-kun. I want you to help Aika-san until she can properly
"... Everyone wants a place of their own, huh..."
Koutarou had felt like he had saved Maki just by taking her with
him to room 106. But that alone wasn't enough. If left be, she would
spend a lot of her life in anxiety. They would be very painful days.
It was a problem that might eventually be resolved even if he left
her be, but Koutarou couldn't find it in him to do that.
"Please, Satomi-kun. We don't need to protect just Aika-san's place,
but everyone else's too..."
"Everyone else's... I see. You're right..."
Creating a place for Maki to remove her insecurity was the same as
making a place where everyone could live and laugh together. That
meant protecting everyone's place. It wasn't just for Maki's sake, but
"I understand... I'll think of something."
Koutarou decided to listen to Shizuka's request. He still didn't know
what he should do, but he wanted to be mindful of it. If he was, he
believed he would eventually find a solution.
"Thank you, Satomi-kun."
With Koutarou showing that he understood, tears began forming in
Shizuka's eyes again. He had done exactly what she wanted, which
made it hard for her to keep her feelings of joy at bay.
How troubling... I thought I was trying to hide these feelings...
The conversation she had brought up to change topic had in the end
led to the same place. Shizuka's plan appeared to have misfired. But
it might be that this would have happened regardless of what she
spoke of. Her expectations of the future and rapidly beating heart
convinced her that she would be happy as long as she was with
"... Could I borrow your shoulder?"
There, Shizuka decided to stop going against her own feelings. Even
if she did, it would have the same results. In that case, she might as
well just accept them. She also believed that Koutarou would accept
her, even like that.
"Landlord-san... you're crying again."
A large hand wiped away the tears on her cheeks.
Now that I think about it, dad's hand was like this...
Shizuka accepted the sensation of fullness and security that was
transmitted to her through that large hand.
"... Fufufu... dad, mom, Aika-san, and everyone too... I have a lot to
Shizuka entrusted herself to the feelings inside and to the passing of
time. As she did, everything she had bottled up, all of her frozen
feelings slowly melted and were swept away somewhere. Shizuka
had regained the innocent and calm mind that she had when she
was with her parents.
Dad, mom... don't worry about me. I have Satomi-kun and everyone else
with me. I’m fine. I am happy now...
Shizuka now understood who she should be with to be happy.
Where the place she belonged to was. They were things that
Shizuka had been looking for ever since she lost her parents.
While entrusting herself to the happiness she had finally found,
Shizuka looked up at Koutarou with a hazy glance. At first, the boy
was just supposed to be another tenant. But before she knew it, he
had taken up a position in the middle of what she treasured.
"This is just hypothetical, but... if we paid several decades of rent in
advance, and landlord-san could live like a normal girl again,
would you be able to smile?"
And now that boy was trying to guide Shizuka herself into that
center. He was saying that there was no need to just watch.
I see... so that's what this is...
Up until now, Shizuka had wondered: 'Why did she fall in love
with Koutarou?' But she could understand now. Koutarou filled up
the empty place in Shizuka’s heart. And she could fill up the empty
place in his. Everyone was attracted to one another because they
believed that they needed each other. So in a word, everyone
wanted a place where they belonged.
"Fufu, Satomi-kun, let me tell you something good."
"There’s an easier and cheaper method to paying rent upfront."
"And that is?"
"I can’t tell you the method. That’s something you have to realize
yourself, or there won’t be any point... fufufu..."
Shizuka smiled and leaned on Koutarou’s shoulder.
She had her own pride.
That method was something Koutarou had to find for himself.
With the summer ever approaching, the sun began to set later and
later in the evening. Since waiting for the sun to set would take too
long, Koutarou and Shizuka decided to leave a little bit earlier
before it happened.
"By the way, why were you in the mall, Satomi-kun?"
"I was there to buy a new insect catching net and the likes."
Shizuka's expression was as bright as it normally was. However,
Shizuka was a bit more talkative than normal and would rely on
Koutarou from time to time. Koutarou figured that was because she
was feeling lonely after visiting her parent's grave.
"Then did Maximilian break? Was it Yurika?"
"It's not like that. Clan will be coming along too, so I wanted to get
some equipment ready for her as well."
"Hmm. You sure are treasuring Clan-san a lot, Satomi-kun."
Shizuka showed a cheeky smile and poked Koutarou with her
"That's not really my..."
"Not really your intention?"
"Well, it is... but in that sense, I value everyone as well."
"Then if I join, will you prepare equipment for me too?"
"Well... I would."
Koutarou felt like something would be wrong if he prepared
equipment for Clan but not Shizuka. If she was going, it would only
be proper for him to prepare equipment for her as well.
"Fufu~, Satomi-kun, isn't there something you want to ask me?"
Shizuka took a few steps in front of Koutarou, spun around and
walked backwards as she smiled. That teasing smile looked like that
of a child playing a prank on their parents.
"... Landlord-san, would you like to come insect hunting too?"
Having an idea of what Shizuka was after, Koutarou honestly
answered her expectations. The feelings one usually had for one's
family was now being directed towards the nearby Koutarou.
Knowing that, he couldn't find it in him to refuse her.
"Of course. Aika-san will be coming too, right?"
"Yes, it's as you say, my lady. I was thinking of taking her with me
even if I have to be pushy."
"Then I'll come with you. Ufufufu."
If Koutarou had learned of Shizuka's true intentions he probably
would have been surprised.
Shizuka was indeed feeling a little lonely because she couldn't rely
on her parents anymore. But she didn't see Koutarou as a substitute.
She simply wanted to rely on him for who he was.
Unaware of those intentions, Koutarou paid attention to the
strength he could feel from her words.
Landlord-san really is strong... If she's this strong, then maybe I don't
need to hide it from her...
Despite having just visited her parent's grave, Shizuka hadn't
forgotten to take Maki into account. Sensing that strength of heart,
Koutarou began thinking that there might not be any reason to hide
Alunaya's existence from her.
Shizuka would be able to accept Alunaya. This situation wasn't
anything like the time he kept his visit to the past Forthorthe a
secret from Theia. Even if Shizuka found out, it wouldn't have any
political implications. That's why Koutarou began leaning towards
telling Shizuka everything.
But, how should I tell her? She'll probably be shocked. I should check with
While Koutarou wanted to tell her, he couldn't just reveal it
haphazardly. But fortunately, Shizuka would be joining Koutarou
and Clan on their insect hunting. Fie was going to talk to Clan, and
if possible, reveal it to her then.
"What's wrong, Satomi-kun? You have such a serious expression.
Ah, could it be that you're having a hard time financially?"
Seeing Koutarou fall silent, Shizuka began thinking that she had
made an unreasonable request. Since that was unintentional, her
smile withered away at a rapid pace.
"I'm sorry for kinda forcing you. We don't need equipment, we only
need to tag along."
"No, it's not like that..."
Koutarou hurriedly began thinking of a proper reason.
While it was true that he had fallen silent, he still couldn't tell her
the real reason why. It wasn't like he was struggling financially, and
he didn't want Shizuka to needlessly worry.
By the way, Koutarou currently had money to spare. Having
become master and servant, Theia rejoiced and wanted to give
Koutarou a salary. On top of that, Theia loved the feeling of their
"... We'll be going out a lot during the summer, so I was just
wondering if you and Aika-san will be okay."
"If anything, that's more convenient. I think it's better if Aika-san
gets something like a routine."
While it was something Koutarou had brought up to hide his true
intentions, Shizuka's generosity ended up being highlighted.
She really is amazing... I really should tell her the truth as soon as
In just one day, Koutarou's impression of Shizuka had greatly
changed. As a result, Koutarou's decision to reveal everything was
While Koutarou made up his mind, Shizuka had unexpectedly
"What's that I wonder..."
The stationary Shizuka stared straight forward.
"What's the matter?"
Noticing that Shizuka had stopped, Koutarou followed suit.
Shizuka pointed at something a little up ahead and to the right.
"Satomi-kun, look over there. Doesn't that look like smoke?"
"It does. Maybe someone is making a campfire?"
Smoke was rising from the direction that Shizuka had indicated.
Seeing that, Koutarou figured that someone might just be making a
campfire. But the season was still not summer yet, so it wasn't a
period to be making campfires. On top of that, the smoke rising was
pitch black. It wasn't the kind of smoke that was created from
"No, that's not a campfire!! This is the middle of a residential
district!! Who would set up a campfire here?!"
"Is it a fire?!"
By the time Koutarou spoke that word, Shizuka was already
running. Having been distracted by the smoke, he hadn't noticed
that right away, and was therefore unable to stop her.
The place that was on fire was right in front of where Koutarou and
Shizuka were. The site was an old private house, three stories tall,
and even though it had only just started burning, it was already
wrapped in searing flames. Because of the wind growing stronger
with the evening and because the house was made out of wood, it
burst into flames incredibly quickly.
"Satomi-kun, call the fire department!"
When Koutarou and Shizuka arrived, there was still no fire truck at
the site, and no one was fighting the fire. Onlookers were only just
starting to gather, and it was doubtful if the fire department had
been contacted or not. So the first thing they did upon arriving was
to contact the fire department using their cellphones to report the
"Hello, is this the fire department?! There's a fire!!"
"Satomi-kun, someone is coming out!! I'll leave this to you!!"
"Landlord-san?! Ahh, sorry, the address is—"
Two people appeared from the entrance of the burning house. They
were an elderly couple, and they slowly edging forward while
supporting each other. Shizuka approached the burning house in an
attempt to help them, leaving the reporting to Koutarou.
The flames were strong, and just moving closer, Shizuka felt like she
was being roasted.
Shizuka had felt that sensation before. The heat she felt now was
exactly like the heat she had felt in the fire where she had lost her
parents. Partially because of that, Shizuka's parents overlapped
with the elderly couple that had appeared.
"Are you okay?!"
Having run up to the two, Shizuka reached out to them and moved
them to a safe place.
I wonder if mom and dad looked like this... when they were carrying me...
As she did, Shizuka was captivated by their appearance. They were
covered in soot and sweat, and they looked exhausted. Shizuka
couldn't ignore them.
"O-Our granddaughter is still inside!!"
"Please tell the firefighters!!"
However, Shizuka returned to herself when she heard what they
said. The next moment, a faint voice reached her ears.
"... Papa! Mama! Grandpa! Grandma!"
Shizuka looked in the direction of the voice and spotted a young
girl on the third floor, desperately beating on the window with tears
in her eyes as the flames grew closer.
"Yuu-chan! It's okay, the fire fighters are coming to save you!"
Having noticed the same voice, the elderly couple screamed out.
They won't make it!
Based on the strength of the fire, the girl wouldn't make it if they
just waited for the firefighters to come. That much was obvious,
even to an amateur.
"Oh no, wait young lady!"
"You shouldn't place your own life in danger!"
Having just finished talking to the fire department, Koutarou heard
the old couple's shouts and turned to look towards the burning
house, expecting the worst.
"Landlord-san, no, wait!!"
What Koutarou saw was Shizuka's back as she rushed into the
Shizuka was aware of the foolishness of her actions. Normally, she
probably wouldn't have chosen this method. But today, she stepped
inside the burning building.
Dad, mom... I am no longer a helpless child!
The elderly couple and the young girl reminded Shizuka of her
parents and herself. Shizuka's parents had stepped through flame to
protect her, and they had died saving Shizuka. If she had been able
to do something back then, the outcome might have been different.
That was what Shizuka always thought. That's why she trained her
body and continued protecting Corona House. But there was no
way to confirm that was actually true. That kind of thought would
pop into her mind from time to time and cause her to waver.
But now, a sight similar to the fire of the past was in front of her.
Shizuka thought of it as a chance to test whether a different
outcome was possible or not. If she was able to save the girl inside,
she would be able to confirm that she was no longer helpless. She
should be able to reach an outcome different from the past now.
That's why Shizuka, despite knowing that her actions were foolish,
stepped into the burning building. The fact that the fire trucks
wouldn't make it here in time pushed her forward. This wasn't
purely out of good intentions; Shizuka wanted to retake the past she
The third floor! I have to get up to the third floor!
Having entered the house, Shizuka began looking for stairs up to
the next floor. Since the girl was on the third floor, that was her
fastest path there.
There's so much smoke... and it's so hot...
Shizuka quickly realized that it wouldn't be that easy. Her view was
blocked by the rising smoke and flames. Since smoke had a
tendency to flow upwards, it hid the stairs. Surrounded by flames,
she began feeling the mental pressure. With this being the house of
someone she had never met before, finding the stairs proved
Calm down, Shizuka. This is a house, the stairs should be in a suitable
Shizuka attempted to calm herself down as she took step after step
into the hallway. In small houses, the stairs would often be right by
the entrance. But in big houses like this, the stairs were usually
placed in a position where they couldn't be seen from the entrance.
That said, the stairs should still be connected to the hallway for the
sake of convenience. The stairs should just be nearby. Shizuka
subdued her panic and continued her search.
There they are!
Her efforts paid off and Shizuka found the stairs right around the
comer of the hallway. Since smoke was rising up through the stairs,
it was impossible to tell what kind of situation the upper floor was
in. Shizuka suppressed her urge to rush up, and carefully
proceeded upwards, step by step. Halfway up, she spotted several
books lying on the stairs. If she had run up, she most likely would
have stepped on them and been in danger.
To think smoke was this hot...
A large amount of smoke continued pouring up, practically
blinding Shizuka. It permeated through her eyes and caused tears to
form. Shizuka slowly crawled up to the second floor while paying
close attention to her footing.
Having inhaled some smoke as she reached the second floor,
Shizuka had a violent coughing fit. That caused her to inhale even
more smoke, and caused a vicious spiral. The second floor had
denser smoke than the first, especially by the stairs.
I need to stay low...
Shizuka was close to panicking as she was having a hard time
breathing, but she barely managed to keep her cool. She put the
knowledge she learned from fire drills to use and stayed low to the
ground, which somehow allowed her to breathe normally.
I have to get to the third floor...
She took several deep breaths and calmed herself down. As she did,
she was able to tell what kind of situation the second floor was in.
The fire was more intense here than on the first floor. This was only
natural as both flames and smoke moved upwards, which of course
meant that the third floor was even worse than this. Shizuka prayed
that the fires hadn't spread too far as she hurried to save the girl.
I have... slight burns. But other than, that I'm fine! I can still move!
As she had worked her way up, Shizuka had been burned in several
places. That was unavoidable as she was in the middle of a fire.
After confirming that she was still okay, Shizuka began moving to
climb up the stairs to the third floor. Since the stairs continued from
the second floor, there was no need to look for them. However, that
was when Shizuka stopped.
The stairs are burning!
The fire had already spread to the stairs leading up to the third
floor. In order to reach the next floor, she would need to cross
through these flames. Since it was only partially burning, it should
be possible to cross by moving quickly.
I see, so that’s why that old couple...
But for an elderly couple, pushing their way past this would be
difficult. They had no choice but to give up on saving their
granddaughter through their own hands because of this.
But I can do it!
Determination flared up in Shizuka's eyes as she backed away from
the stairs. She then lowered her posture and took a few deep
breaths. She was going to hold her breath and dash up to the third
Shizuka was confident in her own movements. She should be able
to move around better than an average man. The same was true for
her lung capacity. Unlike the powerless child she had been when
her parents had died. Shizuka believed that she could do something
Here I go!
She held her breath and charged up the stairs. Only a few dozen
centimeters of the stairs were actually burning. If she could
accelerate enough to dash right past it, there shouldn't be any
While it was just for a moment, her body was surrounded by large
flames, causing Shizuka's expression to contort with pain. But that
was all that faltered. Shizuka maintained her balance and ran up the
rest of the stairs. Like that, Shizuka was able to reach the third floor.
"...Haah, haah, haah... I-I should take skirts into consideration as
Having reached the top floor, Shizuka crouched down and took
several deep breaths. While it had only been a few seconds, her
body demanded oxygen after that intense action.
But, now I can save that girl...
It was hard to breathe and the places where she had been scorched
hurt. But Shizuka had managed to reach the third floor. Her goal
was now within reach. She would be able to save that young girl
Dad, mom, are you watching? I've gotten stronger...
Strictly speaking, what Shizuka was trying to save wasn't the girl,
but her helpless self.
Here we go, Shizuka... It's just a little more to go!!
Shizuka poured strength into her arms and pushed herself up. Next,
she put strength into her legs and tried to lift her body. She
remembered the room the girl had been in. As long as she could
stand, she could reach the room within a few seconds. The finish
line was right in front of her.
But Shizuka couldn't stand up. She lost her vision and strength left
her lower body. Shizuka who was leaned forward, tried to stand up,
but fell back down towards the floor. She tried moving her arms to
support her body, but she couldn't do that either and she crashed
into the floor.
Why...? I should still... be able to continue...
Shizuka's conscience began fading away. But that wasn't because
she had slammed into the floor. She was in a state of hypoxia.
There was a severe lack of oxygen in a fire to begin with. And on
top of that, there was a lot of particles in the air, carbon dioxide and
carbon monoxide, obstructing her breathing. This was especially
true for the third floor. However, Shizuka expected that and had
been careful. She stayed low and took shallow breaths, while
keeping her heart from pumping too fast. That lowered the
consumed oxygen, so she should still have been okay for a while
However, Shizuka had forgotten to take one thing into account: the
fire burning on the stairs leading to the third floor. She had been so
focused on breaking through the flames that she had forgotten
everything she was being careful about. In order to rush up, she
required a lot of oxygen. Expending the majority of the oxygen she
kept inside, she needed to inhale a lot of air. However, the air on the
third floor was bad and contained a lot of harmful particles. As a
result, Shizuka was unable to replenish the oxygen she had used
and entered a state of hypoxia.
Shizuka had indeed grown. She had a sturdy body and a quick wit.
She was no longer like the powerless child she had been several
years before. But she couldn't do anything about the fact that she
was just a human in the end.
My body... won't move.. I couldn't... do anything again... Will I... die like
this... unable to do anything...?
As her consciousness faded, she was overcome by the feeling of
helplessness. She had worked so hard, but in the end, she couldn't
do anything. A different outcome didn't exist.
It shouldn't have... ended like this... No... I don't want this...
Shizuka tried her best to move, but her body which was now in full
blown hypoxia didn't budge an inch.
Why... why am I this weak... ? If only I had more power... at least the power
to protect the ones I love...
It felt painful. She felt mortified. Tears streamed out of Shizuka's
eyes. Her body couldn't move, but only the tears she didn't wish for
continued to flow. And as the first tear fell onto the floor-
"Girl, can you hear me?"
-somebody's voice reached Shizuka's ears. But it hadn't reached her
as a sound. She currently couldn't hear anything around her.
Not even in a condition where she could understand the bizarre
situation that was developing, Shizuka responded to the voice. As
she did, the owner of the voice began talking in a powerful yet calm
"Hear me, girl. 2,000 years ago, in a certain country there was a great
princess. Her country was endangered, yet she had overcome that crisis
using only the talent, the power, she had."
What a strong person...
Shizuka praised the princess. A person that could protect an entire
country was strong. It was someone who Shizuka strived to be like.
"That's correct. While it wasn't strength visible to the eye, she held a
powerful strength within."
Strength didn't exist solely as a physical phenomenon. It could also
be the wisdom to see through others, the power of money or
knowledge in medicine. The power the princess in question had
was the power to attract others to her and lead them to the future.
The strength of a ruler.
" However, that was what made her unhappy as well."
Unhappy...? Even though she had such strength...?
"That's right. Having strength means that you can do everything yourself.
You wouldn't need any help. The girl was too great of a princess. That's
why, while she had been able to save her country, she was unable to be with
the man she loved, and quietly lived out the rest of her life in solitude."
She was always alone...? Poor princess...
"A strong power will isolate you. Girl, the same goes for you. If you grow
stronger than you are now, you will cross the limits of man. That strength
would surely isolate you. That is the price to pay for power."
Solitude... the price for strength...
The larger the power, the more unhappiness it brings. Money was a
good example. Upon obtaining a large amount of money, the people
around calling themselves friends of family will increase. Forcing
you to doubt others. Eventually you would become suspicious of
your true friends. Leading you to a lonely life.
"If you so desire, I can grant you my strength. The strength to protect the
ones you love from any misfortune."
I want it. Of course I do.
"However, that will make you unhappy. You would have to give up a
normal life. It would mean turning your back on becoming one with the
person you love, giving birth to a child and raising it. Do you desire my
strength even then?"
The strength the owner of the voice had was the power to defeat
your enemies. If she obtained it, she would be thrown into a world
of battles, whether she wanted to or not. That was a life far too
different from the life of a normal high school student. The owner of
the voice thought of that kind of life as an unhappy one.
Yes. It would be convenient.
However, Shizuka thought of it differently. She thought that not
being able to live a normal life was convenient. That it was a good
"Convenient you say?"
The owner of the voice was puzzled by that unexpected answer.
Shizuka happily talked to the puzzled owner of the voice.
That's right. The people I love all have strong powers. And just like you
say, they are lonely. Satomi-kun is the loneliest of them all. He’s the
strongest, but also the loneliest. In order to support him, I would need to be
strong enough to be able to walk with him, side by side. That's why I'll
become lonely or whatever it takes. In this world, there are those you can't
support unless you do...
"...I understand. It's because of that heart of yours that you drew me in..."
The owner of the voice wasn't talking to Shizuka through sheer
chance. It had chosen a person with a suitable heart that it could
entrust with its power. Upon hearing Shizuka's words, the owner of
the voice understood why she had such a heart, and it rejoiced that
it hadn't been wrong.
Eh? What do you mean?
But since Shizuka wasn't aware of those circumstances, she was
confused by the voice.
"It's nothing. It's just... if the princess of the sword could think like you,
she might have led a happy life."
Isn't happiness just all about the situation and mood?
If one had a strong power, they would most likely be unhappy if
they lived among normal people. But that might not be the case if
they lived with other people with powers. Shizuka believed that
power itself couldn't determine if one would be happy or not.
"Well said. You really are the poster child for strength."
Is that a compliment?
"It is indeed. It is the highest degree of praise from me."
Supposedly it was a compliment, but it didn't feel like one to
Shizuka. It's possible that it wasn't meant to be a compliment for a
girl. With that in her mind, the small doubt and dissatisfaction she
was feeling didn't go away.
That might be true for —
Shizuka wanted to ask a little the owner the voice for the specifics,
but halfway through her sentence she realized something
That's right, I still haven't heard your name. I am Shizuka. Who are you?
Shizuka still didn't know who she was talking to. That's why she
casually asked, but the answer she received was something
"My name is Alunaya."
Eli?! You mean the one that appears in the legends of Theia-chan's
Shizuka was taken back by surprise. She was so surprised that her
clouding consciousness that was fading away from hypoxia cleared
up for a moment.
" That's right. I am the ruler of the fire dragons, the Fire Dragon Emperor
Alunaya. Shizuka, I will entrust you with my power. You may use that
overwhelming power to protect what you wish. Then let us start!"
Ah, w-wait a minute!! I still have so much to ask!!
The huge power that had been hidden inside of her wrapped
around Shizuka. That power pressed its surroundings and swelled
up, greatly changing Shizuka's fate. She was given the power to
protect those which she held dear. Or it might be a power to let her
draw closer to someone in solitude. Rather than pure power, it
might have been Shizuka's hopes. Because in the end, everyone
wanted a place of their own.
Like that, Shizuka chose to coexist with the dragon of legend.
Once Koutarou reached the third floor, wearing his armor, he could
only see a sea of flames.
"Where is landlord-san?! Find her!!"
Koutarou worried that too much time may have passed as he
ordered the artificial intelligence in his armor.
Since Koutarou's armor was an equipment designed for a spaceship,
it functioned like a space suit. That's why he could move around a
burning building without any problems, as long as it wasn't for too
long. But the same wasn't true for Shizuka and the girl that had
been left behind. He had to find them before they both died.
"Life reactions detected. They number two, four meters away in the
ten o'clock direction."
"Well done! Let’s-"
"The reactions are approaching. Warning, confirmed the generation
of a shockwave. Deploying distortion field."
But before Koutarou could find her, Shizuka had already appeared
in front of him. The entire door and frame were blown away right in
front of him. On the other side of it was Shizuka, holding the girl in
"I'm sorry Satomi-kun, I wasn't able to properly control my
strength. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, the armor protected me."
Since Shizuka's arms were being used to hold the unconscious girl,
she blew the door away using a shockwave sent out from her
mouth. Koutarou had been on the other side, but fortunately he was
wearing his armor and the barrier protected him. If not, both him
and the wall behind him would have been blown away.
"But landlord-san, you look..."
"Ah, this? Uncle Alu saved me. But let's talk about that later! We
should get out of here!"
Koutarou was surprised by Shizuka's appearance, but he obediently
followed her instruction. He could roughly imagine what had
happened to her. Shizuka's eyes were glowing red, there was a horn
on her forehead, large wings on her back and a long tail on the back
of her waist. It was a sight he had seen before, and proof that
Alunaya's powers were in effect.
Having safely met up, Koutarou and Shizuka delivered the girl to
the elderly couple and quickly left the scene of the fire behind them.
While they had been able to save the girl, the fact that they had
rushed into the building without waiting for the firefighters to
arrive was a big problem. So the two decided to head home before
they got into trouble.
"... Give me a break, landlord-san. That's not like you."
Koutarou used the time when they were returning to room 106 to
Before he could stop her, Shizuka had rushed into the burning
house. Because Shizuka was normally so level-headed, Koutarou
was even more surprised. And because of that, he gave her a stem
look. Normally, Shizuka would be the one to scold others for being
"While everything worked out thanks to Alunaya-dono, who
knows what would have happened if he hadn't been around..."
"I'm sorry, Satomi-kun. I was reminded of mom and dad because it
was right after my grave visit. I got too excited."
Shizuka was aware of her own failings. Even when taking the
situation into account, it wasn't something that should be praised.
That's why she had been modest and reflected on her actions as
Koutarou scolded her.
"I know it was stupid. I'm really sorry for making you worry. I'll be
careful to make sure something like this doesn't happen again."
"Haah... I'll forgive you this one time."
Koutarou decided to quickly forgive Shizuka.
Shizuka was aware of her own mistake and was honestly sorry.
Besides, Koutarou understood how she felt. He believed that if,
after he visited his mother's grave, he came across an accident
similar to the one he lost his mother in, he would also have charged
in without thinking of the consequences. That's why he couldn't
blame Shizuka any further.
"There won't be anyone to stop you in the future, so please be
Shizuka timidly looked up to confirm if Koutarou was angry or not.
She then nodded her head and loosened up her tense expression.
"But anyways, I'm glad everyone was okay."
Koutarou smiled at Shizuka. While she had been reckless, in the
end, everything had turned out okay. The girl that had been left
behind had been saved and Shizuka was in one piece. Since the girl
might not have made it if they had waited for the fire department,
that itself should be celebrated, even if Shizuka's actions shouldn't.
But Shizuka still had a gloomy look on her face. She was looking
down and let out a small sigh.
"Are you still bothered about it?"
Koutarou assumed that was because Shizuka was regretting being
so reckless. That she was still reflecting on her actions. But Shizuka
was thinking about something different.
"No, I do regret it, but it's not that... In the end, I couldn't save
anyone, just like when mom and dad died. So I'm a bit sad and
mortified that I haven't grown..."
Shizuka was feeling down because she believed she hadn't grown at
all all these years. In the past she was saved by her parents, and this
time she was saved by Alunaya. In the fire, Shizuka herself couldn't
do anything. That came as a shock to her.
And in order to walk alongside those she loved, she would need a
large power. Her own strength wasn't enough for that. Feeling like
she had reached her limits, Shizuka didn't seem like she would
recover for a while.
"I thought I would be able to do better like you..."
As Shizuka said that she let out a heavy sigh.
"I'd like to learn the secret behind being a legendary hero."
Shizuka felt like there was a vast gap between herself and
Koutarou. Complex feelings were swirling inside of her and she
was having a hard time getting them under control.
"Landlord-san, there's nothing I can teach you."
"Do you mean I don't have any talent?"
Shizuka smiled bitterly. It was a very self-depreciating smile.
"That's not what I meant..."
This time, Koutarou was the one who smiled wryly.
"Up until now, I have never saved anyone with just my own
With those words, Koutarou admitted to his own incompetence. He
couldn't keep himself from smiling wryly. Of course, Shizuka
couldn't accept that. She stopped in place and objected in an upset
"That's a lie! Satomi-kun, you are always-"
"Always borrowing everyone else's power to fight."
Koutarou stopped as well and turned to face Shizuka. But in
contrast to Shizuka, he spoke calmly.
"My power only amounts to being able to handle a sword a little.
Truth be told, I am far weaker than you are, landlord-san. That's
why there's nothing I can teach you."
His sword, his armor, his spiritual energy, his spiritual weapons
and his magic. Everything Koutarou used when fighting was
something he had gotten from others. The only power of his own
was his skill with the sword that he had trained in the past
Forthorthe. But even then, he couldn't reach a martial arts expert
like Shizuka. And if that Shizuka called herself powerless, then
what more was Koutarou?
"That's right. The next time there's trouble, should I lend everything
to you? That way. I'm sure you'll be able to do far more than I ever
Shizuka realized that Koutarou had the same look of helplessness
that she had.
That's right... I even knew that’s the kind of person Satomi-kun was...
Shizuka and Koutarou had matured upon experiencing similar
events. That's why Koutarou could feel the same helplessness she
did. Even if she asked Koutarou for the solution, she wouldn't get
an answer. Having noticed that, Shizuka felt embarrassed by her
narrow-mindedness. She wasn't the only one who was unhappy.
Wasn't that why she believed she could walk by Koutarou's side?
Having been so obsessed with strength, Shizuka had overlooked
something so important.
"... I'm sorry. Satomi-kun."
Shizuka's apology was brief but it contained all kinds of emotions.
"Landlord-san... No, it's fine."
Those feelings were all conveyed to Koutarou. He also understood
how she felt. And because of that, he realized that there was one
piece of advice he could give her.
"Landlord-san, there's something I can tell you."
Koutarou smiled. It wasn't a bitter smile, but a warm smile towards
someone who worried about the same things he did.
"And what is that?"
"What you need right now is to be able to honestly rely on others."
"Rely, on others...?"
"Yes. I was just like you. I couldn't forgive myself for not being able
to do anything. I thought it was disgrace to borrow help from
Koutarou couldn't protect the girls of room 106 or the the people he
had met in the past Forthorthe with just his own power. It had been
borrowed strength that had allowed him to protect them. That's
why every time they showed him gratitude, he only felt sorry.
"But... I have people I have to protect no matter what. And I need
power to be able to protect them. I don't care whose power that is,
as I don't have the room to pick my means."
If Koutarou only grieved at his powerlessness, he wouldn't be able
to protect anyone. He had to make full use of his powers, even if
they were borrowed from someone else. Koutarou had something
he wanted to protect more than his pride.
"What about you, landlord-san? What do you want to protect?"
As Koutarou was saying these words, he began thinking that he
was being a little mean. Shizuka sought strength because of her
regret from losing her family. That's why to her, power itself wasn't
a goal, but a means to an end. Knowing that, there was only one
answer from the beginning.
"... I want to protect everyone. I want to be with everyone forever..."
Koutarou nodded. He was satisfied. Like he had thought, Shizuka
had something more important than her pride as well.
"That's about all I can teach you."
Tears began spilling out from Shizuka's eyes. Shizuka felt like she
now understood why Koutarou was so strong. It wasn't because of
his powers. He was strong because he knew that he was weak. And
there was one more thing that she understood.
Shizuka wanted to tell Koutarou. She wanted him to understand.
That's why she forgot to wipe away her tears and ardently appealed
"You said that you had never saved anyone, right?"
"Yes. I did..."
"But... but you know, that's not true."
Koutarou let out a puzzled voice. Shizuka was looking at Koutarou,
but she couldn't see his expression because of her overflowing tears.
"You just saved me right now, without borrowing anyone else's
power, just your own."
"You are not powerless. Stay confident, you are someone who can
Shizuka took Koutarou's hand and squeezed it tightly. As she did,
her tears fell onto the back of Koutarou's hand.
It's so warm...
Feeling Shizuka's warm hand and tears, Koutarou sensed that there
was truth in her words. That's why he squeezed her hand back, just
"Then that's true for you too landlord-san. You just saved me too."
In that moment, Shizuka let go of Koutarou's hand and moved to
hug him. She knew that suddenly hugging Koutarou would
probably surprise him, but she was unable to contain her emotions.
She had been convinced that the place she belonged was here.
"Don't forget. Even if you're strong or weak... I love you."
But she was confident that Koutarou wouldn't reject her even if she
acted like that.
"... Thank you, landlord-san. I love you too..."
That's because Koutarou had said so himself.
That Shizuka should rely on others more.
Upon returning to room 106, Koutarou and Shizuka explained to
the girls what had happened and introduced Alunaya to them. The
girls had been surprised, but at the same time it made sense to
"... I see... No wonder Shizuka is so strong... Alunaya-dono's powers
must have leaked out..."
"That would be the case. I held back my power in case the Blue Knight
summoned me, but even then some of the spiritual energy leaked out and
strengthened Shizuka's body."
"Now that you mention it, there was a movie called Enter the
Dragon or something."
"Sanae-chan, I think that's a little different..."
Back when the girls had invaded room 106, Shizuka had used her
own combat prowess to suppress their riot. Thinking about it
calmly, there was no way that a normal highschool girl would have
been able to defeat a ghost, an alien and someone from the
underground. That's why everyone could accept that Alunaya had
always been inside of Shizuka. The mystery that had gone unsolved
for such a long time had now been solved.
"Anyways, I give you all my best regards for the future."
Alunaya was currently running magical power through the crest on
Koutarou's right hand, and projecting a small hologram of himself.
That Alunaya looked quite happy. He had originally come for
pleasure and to meet Koutarou. So not having to hide his identity
was a big plus for him.With this, he would be able to move around
freely and was planning on asking Koutarou and Shizuka to go on a
trip to see the world.
"By the way uncle Alu, how long will you stay on Earth for?"
Shizuka turned to Alunaya and asked. She could actually speak to
Alunaya in her mind, but that meant that those around her couldn't
"About that, Shizuka-"
Alunaya responded to Shizuka cheerfully. He was originally very
sociable and very curious. He also had a niece around the same age
as Shizuka, so he directed similar feelings towards her and the other
"-I will stay until everyone are safe enough. I'm worried after all."
Koutarou was a precious friend of Alunaya's. That's why he
couldn't leave while Koutarou and the others were still in danger.
He was planning on helping until their situation stabilized.
"And after that?"
"I will stay until I get sick of this planet, or until you no longer need me,
As Alunaya said that he looked around. To him. Earth was
completely foreign, and he was interested in everything he saw.
"... Then you'll stay as long as I don't hate you?"
"Indeed. I can't see all of this planet's attractions in just 100 years.”
With their powerful magical power, elder dragons had a far longer
lifespan than humans. Because of that, 100 years was not that long
of a time to Alunaya. Comparing it to a human's, it probably felt
like a mere few years. Besides, what had come to Earth was a copy
of Alunaya's soul. He would eventually rejoin with his real body,
but the time spent on Earth wouldn't pose much of a problem.
With Alunaya confirming what will happen in the future, Shizuka
happily smiled. Alunaya's eyes that had been constantly looking
around stopped on Shizuka's expression.
"You welcome me? Are you not scared?"
"I was just surprised, but you're Satomi-kun's friend, so I'm not
scared. And I was just happy to have someone protecting me... I feel
like I've made a new family member."
"Me too. I feel like I have gotten more nieces."
"Ahaha! But uncle Alu, don't look at things you shouldn't."
"Have no fear. I've gotten into a fight with my niece about that in the past.
So there is no need to worry. I'll make sure to close my eyes while you
change or visit the bathroom."
As Alunaya said that, he smiled, revealing his fangs. He then
continued by speaking directly to Shizuka's mind so only she could
"...I'll take extra care when you build a family with Blue Knight... That's
right, maybe I'll sleep for half a year or so..."
Shizuka's face turned beet red and she shouted out. However,
Alunaya didn't seem to care as he cheerfully stared at Shizuka. That
was indeed the look of an uncle watching over his niece.
"Sorry, sorry. But would you prefer if I watched?"
"Of course not, geez..."
Shizuka's angry expression reminded Alunaya of his niece. As a
result, he felt like he would be able to spend a happy time on Earth.
"Now then, with Shizuka angry, l believe it is time to go to sleep for now."
"Oh, you're leaving already, uncle monster?"
When Alunaya said he was leaving, Sanae spoke with a sad
expression. Since she had finally become friends with the monsters,
there were so many things she wanted to ask.
"You should just stay a little longer."
"Fufu, I would like to do the same, but I've pushed myself a little too far."
"I see. What a shame. Will you come play again?"
"Uncle Alu, are you okay?"
"Shizuka. Regarding this, there is something I need to apologize for."
"What? Are you sure you're okay?"
"I am fine, but... to be honest, that transformation in the burning building
sapped me of all my magical power."
"What does that mean?"
"Your weight management will become even harder —"
With a long creak and a loud crack, Shizuka pierced through room
106's tatami and floor and was buried into the ground.
"...Ah, are you okay, Shizuka?"
"I-I'm not... okay..."
Like that, Shizuka's diet failed before it even began.
Yurika's 'Stand by Me'
Kenji was well aware that he and Koutarou didn't agree when it
came to their outlook on men and women. He believed that it was
only natural when he considered Koutarou's upbringing.
Having lost his mother and have his family collapse, Koutarou had
become very careful when it came to making a lover. He wouldn't
want his lover to face the same fate his mother did, and he didn't
want to experience a similar falling out like he had with his father.
That's why he wanted someone who he can have a serious
relationship with and was right for him. It was only natural for him
to think that way.
However, Kenji had a different view on it all. Kenji understood
Koutarou's feelings. That's why he had shallow relationships with
others that he could easily get out off to confirm whether or not he
could have a serious relationship with them. Not only did that solve
the same problem, but Kenji's method was more realistic than
That's why deep down, Koutarou's and Kenji's views synched up.
Koutarou's personal experience, and Kenji's experience after looking
at Koutarou was what allowed that to happen. They only seem
mismatched on the surface. That's why, regardless of how often
they collided on this subject, the relationship between them
wouldn't break down. The two both knew that it was just on the
That said, Kenji was starting to worry. They were now in their
second year of highschool, and Kenji figured that Koutarou should
at least get some experience on love. Koutarou had gotten
chocolates from several girls last valentine, and Kenji believed that
it wouldn't be impossible for Koutarou to form a relationship with
one of those girls. That's why he believed that now was the time for
Koutarou to show some guts and take a step forward.
"Hey, Kou. You're always saying that I'm insolent or careless, but-"
"I'm right, aren't I? I’m sure the girl you were going out with the
other day is crying by now."
"I’m not talking about me. Well, even if I reluctantly admit that I’m
careless, there’s a problem with you too."
"Yeah. Carelessness isn’t the only thing that make people unhappy.
People will get unhappy if they're with someone overly serious like
"That's not true. People are at their best when they're serious. That's
what a man is all about, right?"
"... Geez. You know... you really are stuck in your ways..."
As expected, their talk wasn't working out. So Kenji decided to tell
Koutarou about something he had been staying quiet about.
"Kou, I haven't said anything about this until now, but because of
you I've had my heart broken countless times."
Kenji had been avoiding telling Koutarou that. He had his pride to
think of, however, he had pushed his pride to the side to tell
Koutarou. That was just how much he worried for Koutarou.
"Don't make it my fault. They were probably just hurt because
you're so careless."
"That's not it. There have been a lot of girls that have said that they
can't go out with me because they like you."
"They were probably just using that as an excuse."
"As if there would be that many girls using you as an excuse! What
kind of coincidence is that?! Among them, there was sure to be
some girls that really liked you!"
Having gotten overly excited, Kenji slammed his fist into his desk.
As he did, those surprised by the sound all stared at Kenji, but they
soon looked away. This wasn't the first time Koutarou and Kenji
had been so noisy after all.
"That might be true, but that has nothing to do with me."
"It does. Just think about it. You have never gone out with anyone.
That means that all the girls that like you, backed away and gave
Having said that much, the tone of Kenji's voice went down a notch.
He then whispered so only Koutarou could hear.
"... They all noticed what was hiding behind your smile. That's why
they gave up. You get it right? Just by doing nothing, you made
those girls unhappy..."
While Kenji's voice had been quiet, Koutarou could tell that he was
serious. That was because when he said it, he had an earnest look in
"Those girls wouldn't have had such an unhappy love life if you
had a girlfriend to begin with. So what about it? Is there really no
girl you're interested in?"
If there was someone Koutarou was interested in, not showing it
would make everyone unhappy. That's how Kenji thought of it.
Normally he would just ignore this kind of topic, but Koutarou
understood that Kenji was worried for him and decided to think
about it a little.
"For example... what about my Kotori? You know her too. She's a
little obsessed with me, her brother, but she's cute in a way."
Matsudaira Kotori, her nickname was Mackinley. She was Kenji's
precious little sister. Kotori was a spoiled girl and would always
follow Koutarou and Kenji around. When left alone, she would cry
out of loneliness. The image of Kotori desperately chasing after
them had left a strong impression in Koutarou's memories.
Because of that personality of hers, Kenji had high requirements for
anyone that would want to become her boyfriend. And Koutarou
was one of the few that fulfilled those requirements. At the same
time, he believed that he could entrust Kotori to Koutarou. To Kenji,
having Kotori and Koutarou become lovers would solve two of his
worries at once.
"I think she's a good girl, but I haven't seen her for a while now, so
it doesn't quite feel right."
"You last met her at new year, right?"
"I think so."
To Kenji, it felt like just half a year, but to Koutarou, it was a little
different. The time he had spent in the past world was added onto
that half year. So strictly speaking, he hadn't met her for over a year.
Koutarou did think that she was a good girl, but his last memory of
her was over a year old, so he couldn't really say. On top of that,
Kotori's own feelings needed to be taken into consideration.
"In that case, it can't be helped. Then we'll put Kotori to the side.
How about them?"
"Are you getting senile? I mean the girls over there."
Koutarou looked in the direction Kenji was pointing. There, the girls
of room 106 were gathered. It was currently lunch break and they
were chatting after having eaten their lunch. The only exception
was Yurika, who was sitting the closest of the girls to Koutarou. She
had eaten her fill, gotten sleepy and was now in the middle of
taking a nap.
"You've been getting along well with them lately. Is it because of
"Ah, yeah. Well, something like that."
As Koutarou casually looked at the girls, Sanae noticed his glance
and turned around. She then cheerfully waved her hand towards
him. This caused the other girls to realize that Koutarou was
looking their way, and they smiled. After that, the girls returned to
"Considering they're like that, I think you have a chance with all of
"I wonder. They're just all really nice."
"You just can't look at it objectively. Try grading them. I'm sure the
girl with the highest points will feel right as you call it."
"How am I supposed to grade them?"
"Grade their personality or looks. And then add or remove points
based on eventful memories. Aim for something like 50 points for
being friends, 75 being someone you'd like as a girlfriend and 100 as
someone you'd like to marry."
"Ah... Well, I kind of understand."
"Then give it a shot. How about starting with Nijino-san who is so
"Yurika, huh? Alright, wait a second."
Kenji pointed to Yurika who was the closest to them. As Koutarou
looked at her, he began grading her in his head.
Yurika doesn't look bad. No, if anything, she'd be cute, I guess? But her
personality's a problem, she's lazy and whiny...
From Koutarou's point of view, Yurika's personality detracted a lot
from her looks. Because of that, if he were to grade her on just those
two parts, she would fall below the friend line.
And then you add or remove based on eventful memories...
With Yurika's looks and personality serving as the basis, it wasn't
that hard add or remove points. Koutarou traversed his memories,
from everything that had happened since the day he met Yurika to
today and added points to those events as he went along.
It was terrible at first... but looking back at it now, I made a lot of
misunderstandings too... and lately... there have been a lot ofplusses...
Yurika was timid and weak to pressure, so his first impression of
her had been very bad. However, as time passed, Yurika matured.
Koutarou's misunderstandings were corrected and lately, she was
now leaning heavily into the plus side. Yurika rarely showed
anything negative as of late. She was still lazy and whiny, but he
knew that he could trust her when he had too.
"What's the score?"
"Wait a minute, I'm totaling it up now."
After finishing grading each event, Koutarou added those points
H-Huh...? W-Wait a minute, is this...?
There, Koutarou started getting shaken up.
While she had gotten a big demerit at the start, Yurika's points had
increased ever since. By the time they performed their first play, she
passed the 50 point friend line. By the second play, she began
rapidly scoring more points and easily passed the 75 point line. And
she continued scoring even more points after that.
H-Hey, wait... what's up with this...?
Koutarou was astonished as he added the last two points. They
were points from when Yurika scored high marks on a test and they
had gone out to eat takoyaki together as a reward. However, this
score wasn't something that Koutarou could agree on. That's why
he redid his calculation over and over again to make sure it wasn't a
mistake. But even then, the result stayed the same.
"...To think something like that was..."
"How was it?"
"I-I didn't get the kind of score I was expecting..."
Koutarou tried answering as calmly as he could. But he could feel
his emotions rampaging inside of him.
Yurika's final score was 322 points. It came out the same no matter
how many times he calculated it.
Indeed, it wasn't the kind of score that Koutarou had expected. He
had never imagined that she would get a score that would warrant
marrying her three times over. What's more, that score was
increasing by every passing day.
"I see. That's too bad."
"Then what about the other girls?"
However, the reality was that Koutarou would get even more
There were still eight more girls in room 106 apart from Yurika.
And Koutarou didn't believe that their score would be that much
different from Yurika's.
As Koutarou was worried about his new problem. Yurika was
worried about her ever-repeating nightmare. In her nightmare, she
was walking around in a dark place, ended up in accident and
suffered as death came for her. And it wasn't just once, but a total of
three times. First, she ran out of food and starved to death. Next,
she ran out of strength as she was being chased by some kind of
beast. And finally, she was blown up by a bomb.
"Why is it always meeeeee!!"
As red flames extended in front of Yurika, she woke up.
"What's wrong, Yurika?"
Maki who was nearby stared at Yurika with her eyes wide open.
She had been surprised by Yurika's sudden shout. The same was
true for everyone nearby.
"A-Actually, I had a scary dream."
Since it wasn't really anything to hide, Yurika honestly answered.
"To think you'd be able to dream in a noisy place like this... you're
quite the bigwig, Nijino Yurika."
Kiriha smiled happily. It was a very Yurika-esque reason.
"That's not what you call a bigwig, she's just an idiot."
"Sanae-sama, isn't that going a little too far..."
Sanae was dumbfounded. Ruth tried to follow up on Sanae, but she
had a wry smile on her face. After all, Ruth was dumbfounded as
"So Yurika-chan, what kind of scary dream was it?"
Shizuka enjoyed disturbances as long as they were small enough,
and she looked at Yurika with her eyes full of curiosity. She couldn't
help but wonder what kind of dream she had.
"Well, I'm walking around a dark place, and terrible things happen
to me and I die. And three times at that..."
"Terrible things... like food poisoning?"
Sanae's guess was food poisoning. Considering how Yurika spent
her life, that was the only thing she could image.
"No! I starved to death, was eaten alive and blown up!"
"They're kind of the same thing."
"They're completely different!!"
Yurika's face turned red as she objected. In the past, she would have
just gotten angry that she was being made out to look like an idiot,
but she was different now. She didn't want the boy she loved to
misunderstand, which gave birth to a powerful sense of
embarrassment. That's why Yurika desperately wanted to correct
"Oh yeah, there was a game like that..."
The only one that showed a different reaction from the rest of the
group was Theia. She seemed convinced of something and nodded
"A game? What are you talking about?"
That word seemed to catch Yurika's attention. That's why she
temporarily forgot about her embarrassment and asked Theia for an
"There was a cavern exploration game that Koutarou and I used to
As Theia pointed that out, Yurika remembered something.
It was quite a while back, but there was a time when Theia and
Koutarou were playing a game where they explored a vast
labyrinth while arguing.
"In that game, something similar happened to what you described."
"Yes. r Yurika J ran out of healing items and was left to die. I think
Yurika A j was killed by a monster. And iYurika B —"
"I remember now!"
Sanae clapped her hands together with a smile.
"Theia was haphazardly controlling TYurika Bj and she walked
into a trap and blew up!"
At that moment Yurika clearly remembered that time.
The game in question was extremely difficult, and required the
player to create many characters and challenge it several times. But
halfway through, Theia gave up on thinking of names as it was
becoming a hassle, and named the characters after the people in
room 106. The name Theia used for magicians was r Yurika J .But
Theia's play style was very rough on magicians and they would
often die. After that, she created two more new characters, naming
them T Yurika A J and T Yurika Bj . A total of three Yurikas were
Yurika remembered that all three Yurikas had all died violently. But
since it was too much of a pain for Theia, she never recovered their
bodies to revive them. She did give it a try once, but it didn't work
out. After that, she reached the ending, and nobody had touched
the game ever since.
That's why the three Yurikas' corpses were still left unclaimed in the
cold labyrinth despite the world having regained its peace.
After dinner, Yurika sat herself down in front of the TV and grasped
the console's controller with a strained look. Next to her was Sanae.
The two of them were going to challenge the game in question.
"How does it look?"
"Ah, the save data is still there!!"
Yurika pointed at the TV screen with a big smile.
Since the game was very old, there was no guarantee that the save
data from when Theia was playing it would remain. But
fortunately, the game's battery was still alive, and the save data
"That's good. But Yurika, why are you doing this? Couldn't you just
erase the data and make it like it never happened?"
"Because, isn't it really scary knowing that three of your corpses are
lying in an underground labyrinth?"
Sanae simply tilted her head to the side in a confused fashion and
blinked repeatedly. Having been a ghost until recently, she didn't
"I feel like it's a bad sign. That's why I don't want to erase the data
until I've revived them or properly buried them."
"Hmm, I kinda understand what you're trying to say. Good luck,
Yurika was going to recover her own corpses lying in the
underground labyrinth. Even though it was a game, she didn't feel
alright knowing that three of her own corpses were left behind. And
since Yurika was cowardly, knowing that this game was resting
right below her, in other words, the lower half of the wardrobe, she
couldn't sleep well. She began thinking of the inside of the dark
wardrobe as a part of the labyrinth. That said, if she erased the save
data and that didn't solve her problems, she would never be able to
recover. That's why she wanted to find her corpses and either revive
them or bury them.
"Now that I think about it, this game was quite hard..."
Theia who was staring at Yurika's back as she started the game up
mumbled. Since she had played it before, she still had some
attachment to it.
"You beat the last boss, right?"
Koutarou joined in and stared at Yurika's back.
"Yes. Even though the enemy was closing in, he was casually
drinking tea with his subordinates."
When Theia was playing the game, Koutarou had helped her out.
Because of that, the two of them had traversed most of the
underground labyrinth together. They were just like what Yurika
and Sanae now were.
"But in the end, I didn't get to fight the rare monster."
"That's all based on luck. There's nothing you could do."
Theia had one regret after beating the game; that she had never
been able to defeat a secret monster that very rarely appeared in the
labyrinth. The chances of encountering that monster were very low
and defeating it took a long time. At the same time, she was quite
busy, so she had unintentionally moved on from the game.
"Well, you're busy so there's not much time for games."
Lately Theia had been especially busy. She was currently chased out
of her country and had to worry for the citizens that had come with
her. She didn't have the time to casually play games. Partially
because he has become her vassal, Koutarou understood that as
However, Theia showed a bright smile.
"But truth be told, I played games in part because I wanted to get
along with you better. And that's not needed any more, right?"
"Everyone's gotten friendly with each other after all."
Koutarou remembered seeing Theia's lonely back as she was
playing games. Unable to leave her alone, he would often sit down
next to her. But now she was different. She was sitting by the tea
table, smiling and surrounded by many others.
"Theiamillis-san, I understand how you feel."
Harumi who was sitting by the same tea table joined in on the
"In my case it was the plays."
Harumi put a hand on her chest and smiled happily.
At first, Harumi had worked so hard on the play for Koutarou. He
had asked her to do it, and her wanting to draw his attention to
herself served as the spark to get her started. But as she was getting
into the play, a friendship blossomed with those people around her.
She began thinking that she wanted to live up to their expectations.
Harumi was now sitting by this tea table because she had been led
by those blossomed feelings. Overall, you could say she was just
"I see. I'm glad it was of use to you."
"Yes. Thank you very much."
Theia and Harumi smiled at each other as they drank their tea. The
two had changed a great deal since they first met.
"... In that case, I seem to be in quite an awkward position, since I
was an enemy just a while ago."
This time. Clan who was lying down on the wall and reading a
book joined in. When she thought back to how she used to be, she
felt very embarrassed. She couldn't help but turn red and smile
"What are you saying, Clan-sama? Most of everyone here were once
enemies. It's not like you were the only one."
Ruth comforted Clan whose shoulders were slumping. Apart from
Shizuka and Harumi, everyone else had been enemies with a
conflict of interest. While Clan had become everyone's enemy
because of the timing, Ruth didn't think she had to worry about it.
"It's just as Ruth says. And judging from the results, I was your ally
from the very start."
Ruth wasn't the only one on Clan's side, Kiriha was the same.
To Kiriha, the girl with the glasses was a precious friend she had
met when she was just a child. While it had taken a while for both
of them to realize that, overall, Kiriha had been on Clan's side since
That's why though her words were calm as always, the light in
Kiriha's eyes reflected her young self.
"Thank you, Pardomshiha... and Kii..."
Thanks to that. Clan was able to smile again. She then opened up
her book once more and started reading. In order to hide the tears
forming alongside her smile, that book was a must.
"Then strictly speaking, I was everyone's common enemy, wasn't
"That might be true, Shizuka. In order to defeat you, I remember
everyone working together to hide their wrongdoings."
"Is that true, Theia-chan?!"
"Yes. Though it turned to nothing in the following commotion..."
The one that made the girls unite was, for good or for bad, Shizuka.
Since they needed to unite in order to defeat Shizuka, that unison
later allowed them to become friendly with one another. And in the
end, even Shizuka ended up joining them. The relationships that
had gotten their form in that small room now stretched beyond the
In that harmonious atmosphere, only one person refrained from
joining the conversation: Aika Maki. She used to be an evil magical
girl, and she had the shallowest relationship with the people of this
room. She had known Yurika for far longer than the others, but she
had always been after her life, so while she knew her, it didn't
amount to much.
When compared to everyone else, Maki's relationships came out
thinner. That was only natural since not much time has passed. Yet,
she was worried about that. Time would eventually solve that
problem, but she would see her shallow relationships at unexpected
times, and she would begin worrying if she really belonged here.
If she had just been a captive, she might not have worried like this.
The fact that she could decide on where she belonged on her own
was what made her suffer. Having changed her way of life so
recently, Maki still didn't know who she was. And even if she found
new things she found precious, she didn't know how to treasure
them. That's why she wanted to abandon her freedom and have
Koutarou put a curse on her.
Koutarou's captive, his tool or his belonging.
A clear definition would provide her with a place and how to act.
It really is like landlord-san said... I have to do something...
Koutarou noticed Maki's hesitation. That said, it wasn't like he
noticed it on his own. It was because Shizuka had told him the other
day. As he looked at Maki, he began thinking of what he should do.
It might be best if I do something at least for the short term... Alright.
He still hadn't found a solution, but he had come up with a way to
alleviate her worry for the meantime, and Koutarou moved to
implement it right away.
"Aika-san, do you have a moment?"
"Yes, what is it?"
When Koutarou called out to her, Maki quickly looked up. Before
he even really said anything, she already came up to his side. To
Koutarou, she looked like a puppy waiting for her master's orders.
This really isn't good...
Koutarou could feel the anxiety coming from Maki and once again
decided that he needed to do something.
"Aika-san, how much do you weigh?"
"Ehm, probably 42 or 43 I think."
"So you're below 45?"
"Yes. Is there something wrong?"
"We'll be going insect hunting later right? When we do, I was
thinking of suspending you in the air with a rope and having you
go further above us."
Koutarou drew a simple figure on the back of a newspaper. It was
an image of Maki being lifted into the air using a pulley and rope.
"Like that, you'll be in charge of the top. If you're 43 kilos, using a
pulley and rope that can handle 50 kilos shouldn't be a problem."
"I understand, but... Satomi-kun, is this supposed to be me?"
"Fufufu, I'm not this cute you know?"
Maki had been perplexed at first, but after Koutarou explained the
circumstances, she returned to her normal expression. As a result,
she didn't seem as gloomy as she had been just a moment ago.
And that actually caused Koutarou pain. If this was enough to help
her get back to her normal state, just how worried and lonely was
this girl feeling? Thinking like that, Koutarou had to put in a lot of
effort to keep his smile from disappearing.
"You know, you can tell me that I suck at drawing."
"Geez... you're the one who said I could say it. And besides, Satomi-
kun, I can use magic so something like this isn't necessary."
Koutarou smacked Maki's forehead.
Maki let out a cry of pain and held her forehead. But in contrast to
her cry and mannerism, her eyes seemed quite happy.
"Using magic during the insect hunting is forbidden."
"Why? It will be more convenient that way. Ah, I won't charge
"That's not the problem."
"... Then what is it?"
"Insect hunting only has a meaning when it is done using a child's
intelligence and courage."
"A child's... I understand. Fufufu, a child... ufufufu."
Maki slightly narrowed her eyes and cheerfully giggled. Seeing her
like that, Koutarou was finally able to relax.
This girl really needs to find happiness...
Seeing Maki finally regain her smile, made Koutarou feel that way.
But Aika-san isn't the only one that needs to find happiness...
Alongside Maki's were eight other smiles. Koutarou had only
realized their value very recently.
But behind those smiles lied all kinds of circumstances. And every
time those circumstances came to the surface, the smiles would
vanish. Koutarou hated that, because every single one of those girls
had a score over 300 points.
Although that's a problem I should have noticed by now...
Koutarou had a reason to stake his life to protect any of the nine
girls. He could probably die for any one of them. That's what it
meant by them having a score above 300. That's why Koutarou
wanted to let them find happiness, regardless of what shape that
happiness was. That's just how much they had done for him. He
didn't mind if he found his happiness last.
Looking at each of the girls in turn, Koutarou's eyes met with
Shizuka's, the last girl. She was looking back at him as well. As she
glimpsed at Maki for a brief moment, she gently narrowed her eyes.
That gesture was enough for Koutarou to understand what she was
Yeah. We can’t have anyone become unhappy...
Right now, Shizuka just happened to be sympathizing with Maki,
but this wasn't something limited to just the two of them. All of the
girls would pay attention to each other, and Koutarou firmly
believed that people like that should never feel unhappy.
It was at that moment-
"Koutarou, Koutarou, this is terrible!!"
Sanae's face filled Koutarou's view. Seeing her serious expression,
Koutarou's face turned pale.
"Yurika died again!!"
Since Koutarou had been seriously worrying about the girls, he
thought that Yurika had actually died for a moment. But that soon
turned out to be a misunderstanding.
"Uuuuhhh, I... I...!!"
The Yurika in question was crouching down in front of the TV and
bitterly crying. She was continuously hitting the floor.
"I hate gameeess!!"
The reason was obvious. Yurika's adventure had ended in a grand
Unlike modern games, many old games were harsh and hard. That's
why just a slight misjudgment could cause you to lose, and the
game Yurika was playing was one of those kind of games.
Shortly after Yurika had started her exploration of the underground
labyrinth, her party had been wiped out. She got lost, walked into a
trap and was attacked by the enemy.
"Well... that was kind of expected."
"Satomi-sa~n, if you knew, then help instead of being so mean!!"
"That's because you were so enthusiastic about doing it yourself."
"Please don't only put your trust in me at weird times like that!!"
Yurika was carefree, careless and let her guard down often. Because
of her peaceful personality, she wasn't suited for games like this.
Lately Yurika's sloppy life had started to become more proper, so
Koutarou believed that she might even be able to handle a game
like this. But just like with studying, it wasn't something she could
do right away.
"Okay, okay. Theia?"
Being called up by Koutarou, Theia dragged herself closer. Since she
was the one who played it before, she should be perfect to recover
the corpses. She was also the one responsible for them in the first
"Theia and I will help, so give it another try."
"You can leave it to us."
"Really?! I knew you were good people since we first met!!"
Yurika took Koutarou's and Theia's hands and shook them.
But as she realized that she was holding Koutarou's hand, she
"You're so selfish... what's wrong?"
"I-It's nothing! Let’s start right away!"
Since she didn't want Koutarou to ask her any more about that,
Yurika quickly let go of his hand and picked up the controller.
Yurika would follow Koutarou and Theia's advices, while Sanae
would cheer her on. But the situation was wretched.
"You died quite a bit."
"Yes. You've almost reached the character limit."
"Koutarou, what happens if you reach the limit?"
"If you reach the limit, you'll have to delete old characters to make
"But the old ones are dead inside the dungeon, right?"
"Yeah. That's why if she dies any more, she'll have to delete the
"I can't do that! I'm doing this so I don't delete them!"
"Settle down. You still have one last chance."
Having adventured haphazardly, Yurika had gotten several
adventurers killed. She only had one final chance left. She was now
standing on a razor's edge.
"To begin with, let's create the last party. Lend me the controller."
"Please don't call it the last!"
"It's okay, just calm down."
"I can't calm down!"
Taking the controller from Yurika, Theia began the creation of new
characters. There was a trick to making characters, and since
explaining that would take too much time, Theia did it instead.
"Ah, my name?!"
"Fufufu, I'm forming the Satomi band of knights."
In total, Theia created five characters. Two fighters called Koutarou
and Theia, a thief called Ruth, a priest called Sanae and a magician
called Yurika C. Apart from Yurika C, they were the elite characters
that she had created several times before.
"Why am I the only one done half-assed?!"
"I didn't feel the motivation coming. Why is that I wonder?"
"Don't ask me!!"
After creating the characters, buying weapon and armor, Theia
headed for the underground labyrinth. Entering the labyrinth, it
was time to level up their characters for a while, so Theia handed
the controller back to Yurika and returned to the tea table.
"Yurika, don't go too far in right away."
"I know. I've been punished for it several times already."
"Yurika, I'll look at the map, so just walk the way I tell you, as I am
"Thank you very much."
Until the characters grew stronger, there wasn't that much to do, so
Theia left that to Yurika.
"Good work, your highness."
"Thank you, Ruth."
Ruth put a cup of tea in front of Theia. She then handed out tea to
everyone in the room in order, with Koutarou as the last.
"... Here, Master."
She then pressed the now empty plate against her chest and began
looking at the game being played on the TV. It was rare for Ruth to
be interested in games.
"Ruth-san, are you interested in that game?"
"Well... I was a bit curious about what her highness said before."
"What I did?"
Ruth sat down on the opposite end of the table from Koutarou and
nodded to Theia. She then began talking with a serious expression.
"There is actually something I wish to request of you. Master."
"A request? Sure, I don't mind."
Koutarou had no reason to decline any of Ruth's requests. She was
always helping him out after all.
"So what is it?"
For some reason, Ruth hesitated. Since she was always one to give
clear answers, this was quite a rare sight. At the same time, her
cheeks were dyed red. After hesitating like that for a while, Ruth
cast an upwards glance at Koutarou as she spoke her request.
"... Ehm, I was wondering if. Master, you could form a band of
Ruth typically didn't ask something of others. That's why she
thought that itself was shameless, and what's more is that she was
asking for something as strange as a band of knights. This was
something she was only able to ask because it was Koutarou she
was talking to, but she was still embarrassed. Ruth felt like she
wanted to dig a hole and bury herself in it.
"Band of knights... you mean that?"
Koutarou pointed at the TV. Just before, Theia had created some
characters and called them the Satomi band of knights, so that's
what he naturally thought of. However Ruth shook her head.
"Not that, I mean a real band of knights."
"A real one? What do you mean?"
"Master, you are a knight that has been appointed directly by her
highness, which means that you are a holy knight, or a high ranking
nobility in Forthorthe."
"Nobility... when did Satomi-kun become so great?"
Harumi who was sitting nearby listening in opened her eyes wide.
To Harumi, Koutarou was Koutarou, being told that he was now a
noble didn't feel real to her.
"I don't think I've become so important either, ah, sorry Ruth-san,
Ruth continued explaining after nodding slightly.
"Master, a holy knight is permitted both territory and the right to
form a band of knights. In this world, it would be equivalent to the
Satomi family's private army. I want you to establish that."
Koutarou was astonished.
"You mean having an army in this room?"
There were already 10 people in this small six tatami mat room. It
was impossible to station an army in the room on top of that. The
best he could do would be to arrange some miniature soldiers. This
seemed far too unreasonable for something Ruth would say.
"Are you serious?!"
"That's not what I meant, I just wanted you to establish the band of
knights as an organization! A band of knights doesn't necessarily
mean you have a lot of soldiers! There are examples of pacifist
families who have very few soldiers!"
With her face still red, Ruth hurriedly shook her head. What she
wanted was for Koutarou to create a band of knights that he was
affiliated with. She never expected him to gather an army.
"A-And then... if you'd let me join..."
Ruth herself was a holy knight as well, so she also had her own
band of knights.
But since Koutarou held the highest rank of knight that was given
to him by Alaia, Ruth could join his band of knights.
In other words, Ruth wanted the title of being a member of
Koutarou's band of knights, even if that could never be publicly
revealed. On top of that, the band of knights formed by the Blue
Knight would also hold a lot of historical meaning. Having been
bom a knight and as a woman of Forthorthe, belonging to the
Satomi band of knights would be like a dream come true.
"Oh... that's something interesting you've thought of, Ruth."
That was when Theia who had been listening to Ruth joined in.
"But it's unfair if you're the only one!"
Theia puffed up her cheeks. As a princess, she couldn't join a band
of knights, and she was dissatisfied with that.
"Your highness, you are the one who makes use of the band of
knights. If anything, I would love to trade places with you."
"... That's true. Then I am in favor of it too! ...but I won't trade."
"Yes, your highness. I will forever serve you alongside Master."
"Good. So there you have it Koutarou, hurry up and announce your
establishment of a band of knights. I will approve it right away."
"Wait a second! What are you going on about with me?!"
"Are you not satisfied with something?"
"This comes even before dissatisfaction! I don't know what's going
"Ruth is saying that she wants to join your band of knights. As a
knight, you must know what that means, right?"
"Well, I understand but..."
For a knight, choosing a band of knights was a life-changing
decision. It was on the same level as something like marriage.
Koutarou understood that well.
"Or are you scared of taking the responsibility?"
Truth be told, that was exactly what Koutarou was feeling uneasy
about. Flaving Ruth join his band of knights meant that he would
need to take responsibility for her for his entire life. That wasn't a
decision so easily taken. It was like taking Ruth as his bride.
"Don't worry. Nothing will change from what's normal. You made
a promise with me, right? That you won’t die until you've seen us
all live a happy life to our fullest..."
"That might be true..."
Koutarou had made a promise with Theia in the past: that he would
see through it that all the girls lived their lives happily. He felt like
he would do so even if there wasn't a promise. Then, having Ruth
join his band of knights shouldn't change anything. It was just as
"Besides... Master, in the past you said that you would fulfill any
one wish I had. That's why I want to make this my wish. Please."
"I did, didn’t I?"
He had also made a promise with Ruth during the last battle. He
would fulfill any one wish if he came back alive. He couldn't simply
break that promise, even if it meant forming a band of knights.
There was also one more reason giving Koutarou a push forward.
It's possible that with this... that problem might get solved as well...
He was thinking about Maki, who was currently happily counting
money before their insect hunt. The existence of a band of knights
might give Maki a mental ground to stand on.
"How about it, Koutarou?"
"Wait a minute, Theia... Aika-san."
"Hm? What is it, Satomi-kun?"
Maki stopped counting and spun the pen in her hand around as she
looked at Koutarou. She was in a good mood, and that cheerful
smile contained none of the gloominess she had shown before.
If this smile is because she had a purpose, then...
That was where Koutarou made up his mind.
"Aika-san, you're greedy, right?"
"What are you telling a girl all of a sudden... Well, I might be a little
strict when it comes to money."
"I have an offer to make to you."
"It seems like I'll be making my own band of knights, so how about
you work for me?"
"Work? What do you mean?"
Maki had a perplexed look on her face as she blinked repeatedly.
"Since it's a band of knights, you'd technically be a squire, but you
would primarily be the treasurer."
"Since you would become my employee, I want to make sure the
capital can flow properly. But I'm not really good at that kind of
"Master, if you need someone to manage finances I— mghm?!"
If you need someone to manage finances I will do it.
That was what Ruth was trying to say. She was also confident she
could do it properly. However, Koutarou didn't let her finish her
sentence. Koutarou forcibly caught Ruth, pulled her closer and
restrained her while blocking her mouth. Surprised by that sudden
action, Ruth froze up and also began panicking because she was so
close to him.
Master, what are you ?!
Koutarou was holding her down firmly, and Ruth's struggling a
little wasn't doing a thing. Ruth had no choice but to give up
resisting. At the same time, she began imagining things.
"It's a boring job, and you can refuse if you want... so how about
"I'll do it!"
Maki answered immediately with a smile. At the same time, large
tears formed in her eyes and fell.
"I see. Then it’s decided."
Maki nodded with a very happy expression as tears fell, like a
stranded person that had just been saved. The only one who could
properly understand what had happened was probably only
Shizuka. Ruth still hadn't understood the situation and was
confused by both Koutarou's actions and Maki's tears. There,
Koutarou let go of Ruth and whispered the circumstances into her
"... I'm sorry for taking your job away. But Aika-san needs a goal to
strive for right now..."
At that moment, tears began pouring out from Ruth's eyes as well.
It wasn't the answer that Ruth had expected, but it exceeded her
expectations in a different meaning. Koutarou was going to form a
band of knights like Ruth and Theia wanted, and he was going to
take responsibility for those who joined. Ruth wanted to join his
band of knights, even if it was just a title, and that was all she
expected. But Koutarou had surpassed her expectations and made a
major decision. That's why despite being released, Ruth wasn't able
to move until a little while longer.
By the time Yurika had gotten her characters up to a sufficient level,
room 106 was currently in the middle of discussing a topic
completely unrelated to games.
"How cool, Maki, you're a magical knight now!"
"A treasurer really. I'm just a knight by name."
"Koutarou! I want to join the band of knights too! I'll be in charge of
"Not yet. You can't become Theia's ally yet. Keep trying to take over
this room for a while."
"Boo, why can't I join under the assumption that I'll overthrow my
"Higashihongan-san, let's wait for everything to calm down a little
more before we join the band of knights."
"You're joining too, Harumi? What position do you want?"
"Uhm... maybe his secretary?"
"Alright, with me, Maki and Harumi, we'll form the magical knight
"You're not gonna let Yurika join?"
"Tsk tsk tsk. Maki, magical girl teams have always consisted of two,
three or five people."
"I see... I'm a magician, but I never knew that..."
"Kiriha-san looks like she would get to join as a normal general."
"And with your martial arts, you could probably join as a normal
"Your highness, it seems like there are a lot of applicants."
"Very good! That makes me proud!"
"Bertorion, of course I will be your science advisor, right?"
Yurika had put down the controller to report on her progress, but
she was perplexed by the situation.
Uhm, aren't I being forgotten? In more ways than one...
Yurika's eyes started to moisten. Being unable to sleep because she
was scared of her corpses in the game was one problem, but having
Koutarou and the others forget about her was an even bigger
"Oh, Yurika, are you done grinding?"
"How’s it look?"
But it seems like Yurika was worrying over nothing. Koutarou and
Theia noticed her right away and returned to in front of the TV,
which made Yurika feel puzzled once again.
Something really is different from before...
With that vague thought in her mind, Yurika looked up at Koutarou
and Theia. As Koutarou sat down next to Yurika and his face drew
closer, she recalled when she had hugged him from behind a while
back. Back then, she had felt that they needed one another. Yurika's
heart suddenly started to beat faster and she got embarrassed.
"I-I've gotten to the level you told me to get to!"
Yurika wiped her tears with both hands. She couldn't show the
tears that had formed because of her misunderstanding, and that
action hid her blushed cheeks as well.
"Yes, it seems like you've reached level 8. With this, we should be
able to proceed."
"Good job Yurika, this is where the game really gets started."
Fortunately, neither of them seemed to notice, and Yurika nodded
firmly as she stroked her chest in relief.
In total, there were now three dead Yurika's in the game. Theia
recalled the location of one, TYurikaJ .
"It's just past this point."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Back then I ran out of healing items, and the magician, i
Yurika J was out of magical power, so I prioritized the other
characters. That's why she died."
"That's why I sent another character with a bunch of healing items
"And replaced the dead Yurika ."
"S-Sorry! But it was thanks to "Yurika 's sacrifice that we were
able to beat the mid boss! So rejoice!"
"I can't rejoice if I'm dead!"
"Okay, okay, I was wrong, so let's push on ahead, okay?"
"Uuuhh, something still feels wrong."
Theia was guiding Yurika by relying on the map she had drawn
herself. Since the labyrinth was made using simple wireframe, every
place looked the same. If it wasn't for Theia, any kind of searching
would have been difficult.
"It should be around here."
The characters Yurika was controlling reached their destination. She
then operated the controller and had the party characters search the
'Found Yurika's corpse!'
"There she is!"
Yurika pointed at the screen with a bright smile. Yurika was ecstatic
over having found r Yurika J 's corpse.
"... Koutarou, this is kind of surreal."
"... Shh, Yurika will hear you."
Though there had been some difference in reaction, Yurika had
safely completed her first goal, and her morale was on the rise.
"Alright. Just two more to go! Where to next?"
"Before that, confirm what TYurikaJ is holding. She might have
something we can use."
"I understand... huh? She doesn't have anything at all?"
"... It seems like the monsters devoured most of her because she was
down here for so long..."
Yurika imagined how YurikaJ must have looked, and her face
turned pale. As a result, all the joy from having found the corpse
"Stop crying, we're moving on to the next! I'm curious about T
Yurika A J and TYurika Bj !"
"Uuhhh, I'm sure they've been devoured too..."
Yurika continued playing while crying.
However, her suffering had only just begun.
Theia had remembered where TYurikaJ had been because she
had died before a major battle, but her memory of TYurika Aj
was vague. Since she died during Theia's standard exploration, it
had been buried alongside other memories.
"Hmm. I think it was around here...?"
Theia tilted her head as she checked her map. Based on the scribble
on the map, she was certain that TYurika Aj was close, but she
didn't know her exact position.
"How did the search spell go?"
"She's still out of range. We’d have to try it repeatedly around this
"Sounds like it’ll take a lot of time. You better prepare yourself,
"Uuuhhhh, I understand..."
Normally, Yurika would have whined at that, but since she was too
concerned about TYurika AJ and r Yurika Bj , she couldn't
back down now. But that was when a helping hand reached out to
"Bertorion, may I say something?"
That person was surprisingly enough Clan. She closed the book she
was reading and lied down on the wall she was using as a floor,
looking down at Koutarou.
"While having me analyze the game's data to pull out the correct
places might be going too far, couldn't you have Sanae use her
"I see. That would still be categorized as Sanae's talents."
As Yurika was playing the game, she wanted to do this without
using any cheat tools. That included not analyzing the data to locate
the corpses. However, Sanae's spiritual powers was a talent of her
own, similar to sight and hearing. Koutarou felt like it was on the
okay side, though only barely.
"Sanae, can you do it?"
"I've tried it on this game before."
Sanae pulled out a mystery game that centered around a serial killer
from the pile of games lying next to the TV and showed it to
"But I couldn't see the killer, only numbers and old men."
Sanae and Koutarou had played this game together once, but when
Sanae wanted to find out who the killer was, she tried cheating by
using her spiritual powers. But in the end she couldn't, and ended
up having to play it through to the end together with Koutarou.
"What do you mean? It doesn't work on games?"
"It is probably something like this."
As Koutarou looked confused, Kiriha began explaining her own
"When humans play games, they absorb information from the TV
screen. Which means that any spiritual traces are not in the game
itself, but in the screen. That's why she can probably sense the
feelings of the creators of the game."
"So she could just use her powers on the TV then?"
"That won't work. Even if she tried, there are too many other
spiritual traces, making it very hard to find information pertaining
to that particular game."
Far more than one game had been played on Koutarou's TV. It had
also showed countless other TV shows. Extracting the information
about that particular game, and then on top of that, finding
information about where TYurikaAj and iYurika B had died
was next to impossible.
"So it's no use, huh... I thought it was a good idea..."
"That still might be the case. There are other things Sanae could use
her powers on."
Koutarou's shoulders had dropped in disappointment, but Kiriha
was still confident.
Shortly after she used her spiritual powers, Sanae showed a big
"Ah, this works! It's probably around here!"
She then pointed to a certain point on the map. She seemed
confident and her smile was bright.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I mostly see complaints about you, Koutarou, but I can see
faint traces of disappointment in Theia as she failed."
"Well done, you are correct."
"If you want to kiss him, just do it."
"Waaaaaaahhh!! You don't have to find out more than you need!!"
Sanae had used her spiritual powers on Theia's homemade map.
If she read the emotions from when the map was being drawn, she
could understand what happened back then. As a result, while a lot
of Theia's other emotions were included, Sanae was able to find the
place where Theia had failed.
"Yurika, turn at that comer, and when you reach the end turn
Following Koutarou's directions, Yurika headed towards her
destination. Before long, TYurika Aj 's corpse was found, and her
second goal was accomplished.
While she had managed to find Yurika Aj 's corpse, Yurika's face
turned pale again. That was because the corpses was found in an
"... T-The corpse before was better off..."
She had died next to an underground lake. But as time passed, it
seemed like the monsters had pulled TYurikaAj into the lake,
and she was found at the very bottom. What was even worse was
that as her body decayed, it spread a strong air of toxicity around
the area, further decaying the corpse. Many of the girls imagining
the scene before them were relieved that it wasn't them.
"D-Don't feel bad, Yurika, let's go find the last corpse!"
Not even Theia could say anything, and instead suggested that they
quickly move on.
"...Uhm, Theia-chan, you...?"
With tears gushing out of her eyes, Yurika slowly approached Theia
like a zombie.
"I-I'm sorry, Yurika, I never expected she would be buried under
water!! It was my fault!!"
Theia lost out to the strange oppressive atmosphere and earnestly
"This is a game, Yurika! It's just a game! Calm down!"
"...Well, to Theia-chan, it might just be a game..."
Yurika continued approaching, but her oppressive aura seemed to
have run out of steam and before her stretched out hand reached
Theia, it stopped. But even then, her tears continued streaming.
"L-Let's move on! Sanae, could you find the last spot!"
Having narrowly escaped death, Theia picked up the controller
herself so she could move away from this place as quickly as
possible. She then headed in the direction of the last location that
she had a vague memory of.
"Hmm~, about that... something is strange..."
That was when Sanae, who was in charge of navigation, tilted her
head in confusion.
"S-Strange? What do you mean?"
Since Theia didn't want any more of this kind of trouble, Sanae's
words shook her.
"Well, I can't really tell where Yurika died. Theia, is this really the
"What floor does it say on the map?"
"Are there a bunch of marks for bombs drawn on it?"
"There are. Almost the entire floor is covered with bomb marks."
"Then there's no doubt, this is the place."
In Theia's memories, the remaining TYurika Bj died on this floor.
But it didn't seem like it to Sanae.
"But it's strange. Yurika's position is kind of spread throughout the
entire area like mist."
"Kiriha, what could that mean?"
"Hmm. Could it mean that you weren't focused too much on
Yurika, or rather the characters, as you were exploring this floor?
That might be why there's no clear image on the map, but it's
spread throughout the entirety of it. What were you doing on this
"Well, I think... Ah?!"
Blood drained from Theia's face again. She had an idea as to why
she hadn't been so focused on the characters when she was drawing
the map of this floor.
"W-Who knows? I don't really remember. I might have been busy
However, rather than revealing that reason, she attempted to hide
it. She had to hide the evil she had done in the past to keep her
position from getting any worse. However, inside room 106 was
someone who didn't worry about Theia's position.
"I know. When r Yurika Bj died, Theia was half-assedly exploring
while humming. I think she was using Wonka Bj alone, and then
she walked into a bomb, and went kaboom."
Even someone as unfamiliar with games like Yurika could figure
out why Theia had sent down Yurika Bj alone into a minefield.
"D-Did you throw me... did you throw I Yurika Bj into a
minefield to use her as a living mine detector?!"
"N-No! That's not true!"
Theia hurriedly denied the accusation, but Yurika pressed on even
"Then why?! Why did you have me walk all alone in a dangerous
place like this?!"
Theia couldn't answer her. The truth was just as Yurika had
As Theia was exploring the eighth floor, she ran into the problem of
the minefield. In order to solve it, she created a large amount of
characters and sent them through. TYurika Bj was one of those
characters. They were killed, revived and sent back into the
minefield several times. As a result, she was able to find all the
bombs, completing her map.
It was because of that that Theia's memory of each individual
character was so vague. And because they had all died several
times, her impressions of where they died were vague. This took
place throughout the entirety of the eighth floor, which was why t
Yurika Bj 's location felt like a mist to Sanae.
This day was the first time Yurika beat Theia in a fight.
However, Yurika, the supposed winner, looked like she had
suffered a disastrous defeat and was crying bitterly.
Theia was stroking her head as she explored the underground
labyrinth. Theia actually had a large bump on her head. It was a
dishonorable injury, but it was something she had caused herself in
the past, so she had no choice but to accept it. Of course, Theia
volunteered to continue the exploration herself.
"Really... Theia-chan you don’t think of how others feel."
"The past me was a fool. Forgive me."
"Geez... just this time, okay?"
Yurika was still angry, but Theia had played this game about a year
ago. Comparing them, the past Theia and the present Theia were
like two different people. That's why Yurika was barely able to
forgive her. She knew that even if she continued to blame the
present Theia, nothing good would come from it.
"That aside. ITow does it look?"
Waiting for an opening, Koutarou gave Theia a helping hand. Theia
answered Koutarou, feeling a sense of relief.
"It doesn't look good. There's too many places to search. I have to
search, fall back and repeat."
"I see... that's not good..."
Unable to rely on Sanae's help anymore, they had no choice but to
search the entire floor. It would take time to solve this problem.
"I was thinking about something."
That was when Harumi joined in on the conversation. Harumi
wasn't very good at games, so she had stayed quiet for a while, but
sensing that they had reached a dead end, she decided to speak up.
Because in this situation, they should be able to listen to what she
has to say as well.
"The map of this area is complete, right?"
"Yes... right, Theia?"
"Indeed, it's completed... but what about it?"
Koutarou and Theia listened to her right away. Like Harumi had
expected, they were desperate.
"Uhm, if you threw Nijino-san and the others into the minefield
"—the map was completed, then she should have been alive until
"That's right. I revived and used her several times."
"Then wouldn't she be in the area of the map you finished last? You
stopped reviving her because the map was complete, right?"
"I get it! Theia!"
"Yes, I'm headed there right now."
Theia had been centering her search around the path leading from
the seventh floor to the ninth floor. But she had actually found the
entrance to the ninth floor when the map was only halfway
complete. She had completed the last part of the map visiting
previously unexplored areas.
Theia listened to Harumi's idea and headed towards that place.
Theia felt like Harumi was correct as well.
"How clever! As expected from Harumi, the perfect woman!"
"I'm not that great..."
Harumi started blushing as Sanae praised her. She was embarrassed
from the exaggerated praise, but she was happy that she could be of
use to Koutarou and the others.
"Koutarou, the search spell reacted to something! Looks like
Harumi was spot on! Yurika B j is just up ahead!"
"... Finally, the last one... though she's been blown up..."
Koutarou rejoiced at Theia's report while Yurika started tearing up.
It was just a game, but she was deeply attached to the characters
with her name. Before she recovered the last one, Yurika recalled
the hardships she had gone through to get to this point. It was only
natural for tears to form.
They were just a few steps away from their destination when the
screen suddenly shifted. They had encountered a monster that
dwelled on the eighth floor.
"Hurry up and kill it."
"I know. It's probably just a weakling any— wait, what?"
However, a monster that Theia had never seen before appeared. It
looked similar to a zombie, but it was bigger and stronger. And the
song playing was different from normal. It was the same song as the
one that had played during her battle with the final boss.
"Koutarou! C-Could this be-?!"
"Woah?! There it is! The rare monster!! To think it'd appear now!!"
It was the rare monster that Theia had sought after. The creator had
designed this monster after a person that he hated during his time
in school, and defeating it gave the player a medal as a
commemorative gift. Having this medal or not was one of the
biggest deals amongst the kids at the time.
And the appearance of this monster pointed to a single fact.
"Sorry Yurika! It seems like our luck is the worst!"
"W-What are you talking about all of a sudden...?"
"Yurika, calm down and listen carefully. You can't escape from this
"Then hurry up and beat it, Satomi-san."
"But this monster is strong. Very much so. In fact, it's stronger than
the last boss."
"... Which means?"
" TYurika Cj will die here."
Like that, the adventure reached its end, and another one of
Yurika's corpses was added to the underground labyrinth.
A Weekend in Forthorthe
Trying to return from Forthorthe 2,000 years ago to present day
Earth, Koutarou and Clan had a big problem, and that was that the
spaceship, the Cradle, had broken down and couldn't fly through
The part of the ship that had broken down was a small part, and as
long as Clan could get her hands on a replacement, she could finish
repairs within five minutes. But that part wasn't something she
could get her hands on in the past Forthorthe. That's why Koutarou
and Clan had to wait until it started getting produced.
There were two things they needed in order to be able to wait for
2,000 years. That was the technology to stop time, and a place where
they could wait for 2,000 years. The former was something the
Cradle was equipped with, and Clan had an idea for the latter.
That place was called 'Bertorion's special territory'. Koutarou and
Clan would hide the Cradle in an area that Alaia would later
declare as an inviolable domain. They would then freeze time on
board the ship and wait 2,000 years.
"Are you sure? It doesn't feel like anything happened..."
"That's only natural. The time onboard was frozen after all."
It didn't feel like time had stopped to Koutarou. Clan had been
busily working on her operator's panel, and nothing similar to what
he had thought would happen occurred.
"I thought it would glow or shake or something."
"I think that happened, but since we were frozen in time, we
couldn't perceive it."
"So we're 20 years in the past now?"
"That's right. If you step out, you'll see."
Using the Cradle's ability to distort space. Clan had altered the
speed at which time progressed inside the ship and outside. With
that, a single moment onboard was 2,000 years outside. Glowing
and shaken had occurred at the very start, but it only lasted for a
few seconds on the outside, and it wasn't long enough that
Koutarou could perceive it inside.
"However, it isn't exactly 20 years."
Clan continued to busily operate her panel while explaining to
Koutarou. She had to confirm the Cradle's current condition and the
likes, so there was a lot to do.
"What do you mean?"
"People celebrating the 2,000th anniversary of Alaia-san's ascension
to the throne might come if we arrive at precisely the same day we
came, right? I set it so that we'd arrive a little before the ceremony."
While 'Bertorion's special territory' was an inviolable domain that
Alaia had created and entry was forbidden, it didn't mean that
people wouldn't enter. People from the Pardomshiha family, who
were in charge of managing the territory, would patrol the area, and
people from history programs would get permission to shoot inside,
as long as they didn't disturb the environment.
And since 20 years ago was the 2,000th anniversary of Alaia's
ascension to the throne, the amount of people would inevitably
increase. That's why Clan adjusted the time so that they wouldn't
come into contact with someone.
"Then I'll take a look outside. You keep doing that."
"I'm counting on you."
Koutarou left Clan behind and left the cockpit. Since Clan had some
work to do after their time travel, Koutarou went outside to confirm
that it was safe.
"But don't go too far."
As Koutarou left the cockpit and entered the living quarters. Clan's
hologram appeared. Her hologram moved along with him.
"I know. You get lonely easily after all."
"That's not what I meant!!"
"Don't worry. There is no way I would leave my beloved princess
Clariossa behind and vanish."
"... You... I will kill you someday..."
Clan's hologram was there to assist Koutarou. As long as he didn't
go too far away from the Cradle, he could talk to Clan and she
could back him up with equipment from the ship.
However, Koutarou misunderstood Clan on purpose to tease her.
That irritated Clan, even more than normal since she actually was
feeling a little lonely. As a result. Clan's tone and eyes were more
aggressive than normal.
"When we get back to the present time, prepare yourself for pain!"
"This is a good chance, how about you teach me a sport played in
"Geez, I hate that side of you!"
While listening to Clan's angry voice, Koutarou walked through the
living quarters and headed towards the airlock leading outside.
Doors and hatches opened automatically for him, one after another.
This was thanks to Clan.
"Isn't it a little bit too late for us to fight?"
"Then stop with that provoking attitude!"
Alongside Clan's grudgeful voice, the last hatch opened before
Koutarou. As it did, warm air blew in from the outside.
Ah, 2,000 years have passed, hasn't it...
Koutarou and Clan had parted with Alaia and the others in winter.
The air back then had been cold. This change in temperature
allowed Koutarou to actually feel like time had passed.
"Yeah, my bad."
"Seriously now... That aside, I don't want to get into the same kind
of trouble as 2,000 years ago. Let's be careful in this age."
"That was the plan, but... there's something I want to apologize for."
"It's already too late."
Past the airlock, outside the Cradle was a single girl who had fallen
on her butt. With an astonished look on her face she blankly stared
up at Koutarou.
Koutarou was just as surprised. He had been surprised by her
sudden appearance, but what shocked him the most was her looks.
She looked very similar to a girl he vividly remembered. However,
she was one size taller, her face was more mature and her hair was
much longer. Since this was a different age, it was clear that it was a
different person, but he still couldn't restrain his surprise as she
looked just like the girl in his memories.
She was in this place because she was an archaeologist.
Her archaeology team was working to shed light on the many
mysteries of the life of Forthorthe's legendary hero, the Blue Knight.
The research on the Blue Knight was mostly centered around the
notes that the famous Silver Princess, Alaia, had left behind. That
said, not everything had been written down in Alaia's notes.
Different research records was necessary to fill in the blanks left out
of the notes.
But no matter how many records were gathered, there were two
major unexplained points revolving the Blue Knight:
Where did the Blue Knight come from.
And where did he go?
The Blue Knight's appearance and life had been vivid, and even
2,000 years later, his deeds were deeply engraved in the hearts of
the citizens. However, there were no traces of him before or after.
There was a surprising lack of information of where he had come
from and where he had gone.
Because of that, there were a lot of theories about it in the
archaeology field. As for where he came from, there was a theory
that he was from a distant country, or a love child of some noble. As
for after the events, there were theories that he had left for a distant
place, died from wounds suffered in the war or assassinated. There
was a large variety of theories.
But there was a lack of proof for any of them. Not even the most
credible theory had proof from multiple records.
If only those parts had been written down in Alaia's notes as well,
but sadly they hadn't. The archaeologist girl even began suspecting
that Alaia had hidden the facts on purpose.
And the truth was that Alaia did indeed hide it on purpose. The
archaeologist girl suspected that the secret might lie in the
'Bertorion's special territory' and sent in an application to
Normally, this application would be rejected. 'Bertorion's special
territory' was territory that Alaia had given to Bertorion. Because of
the authority that Alaia had given to the Blue Knight, not even
royalty could do as they pleased.
But this girl had a chance of success.
Forthorthe would soon celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Alaia's
ascension. To commemorate this, there was a large amount of
events regarding the Blue Knight and the Silver Princess planned. If
a new discovery could be made, it might serve as the crowning
feature of the anniversary.
On top of that, the citizens were terribly excited. Blue and white
decorations filled the cities. Several movies were exhibited and a lot
of the archaeology girl's results were included in them.
If that celebratory mood was taken advantage of properly, it could
be possible to earn the citizens' understanding. If they did, the
parliament might take action as well. The political groundwork for
that was being made under the surface.
All that would be needed now was an established fact. If she went
on ahead and found something related to the Blue Knight and
announced it to the public, she would earn the public's support. If
that happened, the public opinion would start leaning towards
performing a large-scale investigation.
That's why the archaeology girl had secretly entered 'Bertorion's
special territory'. However, what she discovered wasn't anything on
just the level of 'something related to the Blue Knight'.
There was a large cave inside of 'Bertorion's special territory'. This
cave was one of the bases that the Silver Princess and the Blue
Knight had used when they were fighting the coup d'etat army.
There were a lot of traces of this remaining, and it consisted
primarily of plates and cups and other items resistant to corrosion.
And furthest into the cave was a stone monument that Alaia had
put up after the war. The following words were engraved on that
'May the knights who left for the other side of the sky have a
peaceful sleep. Let none disturb their sleep.'
It was a stone monument, praying for the soldiers that had fallen in
That's why, when the archaeologist girl saw what was on the other
side of the monument, she thought she was seeing an illusion. The
scientific measuring she had taken just before showed that the
monument was over 2,000 years old, and the weathered condition
of the monument and its engraved text also served to prove that.
"This is impossible..."
That's why the thing that had appeared on the other side of the
stone monument had to be older than 2,000 years. It had to be, or it
would be irrational.
"What is this...?"
On the other side of the monument was a small spaceship. More
precisely, it was the airlock hatch on the side of the ship. That hatch
was opening up in front of the girl who had fallen onto her butt.
"... I don't understand... but this must be the answer..."
An endless time and a countless distance.
Those words echoed inside of the girl. She couldn't understand a
thing, but she was convinced that she was facing the hidden truth of
The fact that they met by the airlock and that the girl had confirmed
that the age of the monument through scientific means meant that
the girl figured out that Koutarou was the Blue Knight right away.
Appearing from behind something over 2,000 years was proof itself
that the person was from 2,000 years as well. It was impossible to
make up an excuse for this.
"Time travel... then you really are Reios-sama?!"
"No, that's not it. I got in the way of the Blue Knight's and the Silver
Princess's meeting, so I'm just a substitute."
"But if you were there from beginning to end, then you are Reios-
sama in this world, that is a historical fact... Wow, it's the real Blue
The girl was squirming and rejoicing as she continued to point a
camera at Koutarou and snapped one picture after another. She
looked less like an archaeologist and more like a fan meeting her
"Like I said. I'm not the Blue Knight..."
"Why don't you give up and admit it already, Bertorion."
"Flow irresponsible... Besides, it's because you called me Bertorion
that she found out."
Koutarou and Clan had already resigned themselves. Since the girl
was an archaeologist, there was no way they would be able to fool
her. On top of that, she had evidence, so there was nothing they
As Koutarou and Clan were dropping their shoulders, the girl who
was satisfied with her pictures returned to them.
"Fufu, I'm sure everyone would be surprised when they find out
that Reios-sama was actually an alien..."
The girl was laughing as she pressed her camera against her chest.
She looked like a child who had just gotten her birthday present.
"About that, could you wait a while before making it public?"
They had given up on keeping the truth from her, but there was one
thing they could never back down on. That was that they would be
troubled if the truth was revealed.
The girl had a confused look on her face. It was impossible to lie to
this clever-looking girl. They would need to persuade her using the
"That's, uhm... Clan?"
Koutarou wanted to explain it himself, but he abandoned that idea
shortly after starting. He felt like Clan would be able explain it far
better than him.
"Geez... you only rely on me at times like these."
Clan seemed a bit annoyed as she adjusted her glasses, but she
started explaining the situation.
"We told you that we were trying to protect history in the past,
"Yes... you travelled to the past, but Reios-sama wasn't there. That's
why you served as his replacement so you could return to your own
"The truth is, this is still the past to us."
"Then you don't want to change history now either?"
"That's right. In the future where we came from, the Blue Knight's
identity was still unknown."
"Then if I announce the truth..."
"History would change, and we would never be able to return to
our own world. In fact, who knows what would happen to us."
If this girl announced the truth from 2,000 years ago to the public,
the fact that Satomi Koutarou from Earth was the Blue Knight
would be known through out all of Forthorthe. Which meant that
there was next to no chance that Theia would come to invade, and
Koutarou would no longer be able to become the Blue Knight. Of
course. Clan would most likely not come to Earth either, and they
would not have travelled to the past using the super-space-time
Once that happened, nobody knew what would happen to this
Koutarou and Clan. They might just simply not be able to return to
their own world, or something far worse could happen. But
regardless of what would happen, it wasn't something that would
"At the very least, could you keep it quiet until the time comes
when the present day Bertorion and I travel to the past? Please?"
Archaeology was this girl's reason for living. She was especially
enthusiastic when it came to the Blue Knight. But revealing the
truth about the Blue Knight would put his very existence in danger.
It was a painful problem for the girl.
"You're telling me to run down the previously set rails of time?"
"Sadly... Bertorion and I can only ask you to do so. We'll leave the
decision up to you however."
Since Koutarou and Clan needed to return to their world, 20 years
from now, they couldn't keep watch over the girl forever. That's
why they didn't know what the girl would do, and all they could do
was to plead with her.
In order for Koutarou and Clan to explain the situation in more
detail, they invited the girl onboard the Cradle. They were currently
preparing tea using the tea leaves they obtained 2,000 years ago.
"Could this be the extinct Rubustori tea?!"
"Yes! This tea's leaves were taken from the Rubustori tree, but due
to a disease from out of the country 800 years ago, it is now extinct.
The only ones remaining now are a subspecies that had some
resistance to the disease... I am moved to be able to drink this,
"... Hey Clan, sounds like our favorite tea has gone extinct."
"That's no problem. I got some seeds for research."
"You have seeds?!"
"I do. Would you like to take some with you?"
"Please, I would gladly take some!!"
The Cradle's living quarters contained a mountain of treasures for
the archaeologist girl. Marvels of the future and relics of the past
existed together and no matter where she looked, she was
surprised. There was no time to relax. Her biggest favorites by far
was as expected, Signaltin and Koutarou's armor, and the
archaeologist girl wouldn't leave their side for a second. Even now
she was relishing Signaltin which had been pulled out of its sheath,
while drinking her extinct tea in delight.
"... Bertorion, come for a moment."
Waiting for the girl to get distracted by the items inside the living
quarters. Clan called Koutarou over. There was something she
wanted to secretly talk about.
Having approached Clan, Koutarou whispered to her. He could tell
she wanted to speak in secret from her behavior. The time the two
had spent together was quite considerable.
"... It's about that girl's identity."
"... That girl said she was an archaeologist called Elle but... isn't
When Koutarou and Clan had taken her inside the Cradle, the girl
had introduced herself as an archaeologist called Elle. Since he had
no particular reason to suspect her, Koutarou honestly believed her.
"... That's right, but she actually has another title."
"... What do you mean?"
"... Before that, excuse me for a moment."
Before she proceeded. Clan covered Koutarou's mouth with her
"... That girl is Theiamillis's mother."
Just like Clan had expected, Koutarou let out a cry of surprise.
That's why, since Clan had taken a preemptive measure, his voice
didn't reach princess Elfaria. Clan waited until Koutarou had
finished shouting before she let him go.
"... Are you sure?"
"... Yes. Her age fits, she is an archaeologist and her name is Elle.
Most of all, she looks just like Theiamillis-san, right? There's no
"... That's not good."
Koutarou understood that this was serious.
If Elle was Theia's mother then it was a very worrying situation.
"... So please be careful about what you say."
"... I got it. I'll watch out. You be careful too Clan. If you make a
miss like before, it might be fatal."
"... Yes, I'll take it to heart."
If Elfaria's life changed because of something Koutarou or Clan
said, Theia might not ever be bom. Or she might call her daughter
by a different name. If that happened, they might not be able to
return to their own world.
This meeting was directly connected to Theia's life. As a result,
there was a large risk involved.
"Reios-sama! Clan-san! What are you talking about?!"
That was when Elfaria approached the two with a smile. She was
more interested in Koutarou than Signaltin and the armor. As an
archaeologist, and as a girl.
"We were talking about what to do next."
Koutarou stumbled on the sudden question, but Clan followed up
without missing a beat.
"What to do next... by the way, why did you awaken in this age
"Actually, our ship is malfunctioning. That's why we were waiting
for the part needed to be invented so we could get one."
"For a part..."
"The problem is how we are supposed to get our hands on that
Clan crossed her arms and furrowed her brows. This was a problem
that she had been racking her brain over for quite a while.
"Hm? Can't we just buy it?"
"It's not a part you could just buy."
"What do you mean? Surely you're not using illegal parts?"
"This one is not! It's just that this part is special, so it's not in
circulation. Who knows if we can get our hands on it in this age
when we can't reveal our identities."
"'This is not'?... You mean, you're using other illegal parts?"
"T-That's a past mistake! I don't do that anymore!"
Clan desperately excused herself. In the past, she never hesitated to
use illegal products. But now was different. She had matured as a
"I know. Don't get so angry. So what do we do?"
"Well... either we ask someone we can trust... or we'll have to get it
Clan was blushing. Since she had just said that she would use illegal
means, she was a little embarrassed, even though there might be no
"Don't worry. Clan. If I ask you, it won't count as illegal. Did you
forget about empress Alaia's exception?"
Clan had been more concerned about how Koutarou would think
about her than the fact that it was illegal, so she felt relief and
regained her smile.
"Reios-sama, you don't have to do something so questionable.
There's a better way."
That was when Elf aria, still smiling, joined the conversation.
"What do you mean?"
"I will help. Despite how I look, I'm quite a lady, so I think I can get
my hands of a part for a spaceship."
Elfaria's real name was Elfaria Kua Forthorthe. She still hadn't
gotten the title of Dana which showed that its holder was empress,
but she was still the lone daughter of the oldest of the royal families,
Mastir. Like Elfaria said, there were few ladies on the same level as
her in this galaxy.
Koutarou and Clan agreed to Elfaria's suggestion. After discussing
the details, Elfaria temporarily returned to town alone. She needed
to find stores that had the part in question, and if she didn't return
to the hotel she was lodging at, chaos would break out. People
would be sent out to search this area.
"Well then, Reios-sama, Clan-sama, see you tomorrow!"
Elfaria would turn around several times and wave her hand as she
headed towards the exit to the cave. Koutarou and Clan were seeing
her off just outside of the airlock of the Cradle.
"Hey Clan, being a lady sure looks like it has its own share of
"I can't let that one slide. I'm just as much of a lady as her."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."
Those words irritated Clan, but that anger faded away as she
looked at Koutarou's face. She understood that he wasn't teasing
her; that's why she ate the words she was about to say and replaced
them with some others.
"...By the way, Bertorion, should you have made a promise like
"The compensation for her help. In return for Elfaria-san's help,
we'll give her your data. Isn't that too dangerous?"
In exchange for her assistance, Elfaria wanted data on Koutarou.
Starting with the records from the past, she also wanted the specs of
his armor and its operation data, a 3D model of Signaltin and so on.
The data Elfaria wanted covered a lot of ground. Though the
promise didn't include information that might change the future.
Clan still felt that it was dangerous.
"Even though she might not look all that reliable, Elle is Theia's
mother. I want to believe in her."
Koutarou relaxed his shoulders as he spoke and smiled at Clan.
Seeing that smile, Clan recalled Koutarou's family situation. From
their long relationship, she had gotten a grasp of his home
environment. That's why she could somehow accept his reason for
wanting to trust Elfaria, and so she didn't voice any further
"I'll believe in her too."
"That's good... That's right. Clan, let's eat."
Koutarou smiled at Clan and turned around and headed back
towards the Cradle. Just as he put his hand on the airlock, he caught
a glimpse of the stone monument that had been pushed to the side
The stone monument had a familiar crest engraved in it. As
Koutarou approached the monument, he removed the sword and
sheath hanging off his waist, and placed it next to the crest.
"It is. This is empress Alaia's crest..."
Signaltin had been engraved with Alaia's crest ever since its
awakening, and it was the same crest as on the monument.
"What's the matter, Bertorion?"
Noticing Koutarou's behavior. Clan moved up to him.
"Take a look Clan. It looks like her majesty helped us."
Koutarou made room for Clan so she could look down at the
monument alongside him. She then read the ancient language
written on it.
"'May the knights who left for the other side of the sky have a
peaceful sleep. Let none disturb their sleep', huh..."
"It looks like empress Alaia knew we were here."
"I'm sure of it. That's why she made this area an inviolable
Koutarou's chest suddenly heated up and tears formed in his eyes.
The bonds they had supposedly left behind 2,000 years ago
protected them even now. Koutarou couldn't remain calm, not after
"... Thank you very much, empress Alaia..."
Koutarou squatted down by the stone monument and traced the
engraved letters with his finger. As he did, he felt like he could feel
Alaia's presence. He was sure she had traced the letters just like he
Clan's voice was surprisingly gentle.
"We have a place we have to return to, and we couldn't change
history. That's why... I know we had to do this, but I..."
Koutarou's tears fell on the monument, just above Alaia's crest.
The tears then flowed into the crest and vanished.
"... But... even... even then, it's so lonely..."
"That's... true... Bertorion... I think so too..."
Tears shone behind Clan's glasses. She was confused by her own
tears. In the past, she was never one to care about others. That in
itself proved that she had formed a tight bond. That's why Clan
didn't go against her feelings and simply cried together with
Elfaria had witnessed that scene because of her own mistake. She
had forgotten the seeds of the tea tree on the table onboard the
Cradle. She turned around right away, but her playfulness got the
better of her, so she decided to sneak up on the two so she could
"... Reios-sama... can you..."
However, just before she was about to jump out, she overheard
Koutarou and Clan's conversation. As a result, she understood that
now wasn't the time for something like that.
"... only live the fate given to you as well...?"
Elfaria was the crown princess. At this rate, she would eventually
bear the fate of becoming the empress. However, she wasn't
satisfied with that fate. She wanted to live freely rather than travel
down the path laid down for her. That was one of the reasons for
why she had devoted herself to her research. When Koutarou had
appeared before her, she had hoped that he would be the one to free
her from her path.
Yet, that Koutarou was yet another one troubled by the path laid
down before him. You could say that Elfaria's hopes had been off.
She felt disappointed. However at the same time, there was an
emotion budding within her. That was sympathy for the suffering
Koutarou, and a sense of yearning bom from that sympathy.
They were using Elfaria's private plane to travel from 'Bertorion's
special territory' to the capital of Fomorn. The time it took was less
than an hour. Koutarou felt like the distance had been far longer
considering the time it had taken on foot.
"To think that long and painful journey could be over in just one
He couldn't help but feel disappointed. His journey had begun from
just before the Mastir checkpoint, crossing the mountains and the
checkpoint, cutting across the Mastir territory. They had then
forcibly broken through the border from the Pardomshiha territory,
pushing forward to what would later be known as 'Bertorion's
special territory'. That journey had taken several months, and
Koutarou remembered very clearly just how hard it had been.
"It took the same amount of time when we travelled from here to
the cave in the Cradle, remember?"
"Back then we were running around all over the place looking for
somewhere to hide the Cradle."
"Reios-sama, look, we can see Fomorn now."
As they reached Fomorn's airspace, Elfaria ordered her private
plane to lower its altitude. The plane dropped below the clouds,
allowing them to see Fomorn. It was a massive metropolis filled
with skyscrapers. If there was any difference between Fomorn and
a major city on Earth, it would be that there was a lot of green. The
green that had skillfully been added into the city planning softened
the sharpness of the city's atmosphere.
"This is amazing... So, from where to where is Fomorn?"
"Oh silly Reios-sama... everything you can see is Fomorn."
Elfaria smiled at Koutarou's doubts. She wanted to boast about the
large capital, and she also found Koutarou's reaction amusing.
"... Bertorion, that large dome you see over there was built on the
ruins of the Colosseum. And the largest tower you can see over there
is just around the north gate."
"I got it. Thank you."
Clan was the one to alleviate Koutarou's doubts. What he wanted to
know was how big Fomorn had been 2,000 years ago, and for that,
Elfaria's explanation was insufficient.
"To think that Fomorn has turned into this..."
In Koutarou's memories, Fomorn only had buildings made out of
brick, stone and wood. At most, the buildings were three stories tall.
There were very few actual high-rises.
But in the current Fomorn, high-rises were a natural thing. The
tallest, of which there were quite a few, reached over 1,000 meters.
What's more is that the construction material had a strange luster to
it that he had never seen before. It wasn't made out of concrete
which he was familiar with. It looked like a city from the future that
he could only see in the movies.
"I guess it was inevitable... It's been 2,000 years since then after
From the sky, Fomorn had no resemblance of its past self. To
Koutarou, this was just an unfamiliar futuristic city, and it didn't
feel like he had returned to the capital at all. That made Koutarou
"Even though it might not look the same, this is the country that
you and Alaia-san protected. This isn't like you Bertorion. It's like a
knight getting flustered because the decorations on his sword
"... What's important is what's inside, huh? You're right. Thank you.
Clan's words changed Koutarou's perspective, and as a result, he
was able to return to normal.
Reios-sama and Clan-sama sure has a strong bond...
Elfaria was looking at the two and dropped her shoulders.
Elfaria hadn't understood the meaning of Koutarou's question, and
she hadn't been able to say anything when she saw him looking so
lonely. But Clan had easily found the answer to both. That was only
obvious since they had only just met, but she couldn't help but feel
depressed considering they were both princesses.
If there are no bonds, then I'll just make some! I won't lose to this fate!
However, Elfaria wasn't one to get discouraged by that. She could
take a hit if need be, and while she might not wish for the throne,
she had the qualities of an empress.
Seeing Fomorn from the surface didn't have the same level of
impact as when looking at it from the sky. They couldn't see past
the buildings, so the city gave the same impression as a similar city
on Earth. Buildings lined up along a wide road with vehicles going
up and down it. Of course there was difference in the details, but
the overall impression was the same.
"I've somehow managed to calm down."
"Please don't look around so much. You look like a country
bumpkin and it's embarrassing."
That might not have been the case when it was just the two of them,
but Elfaria was with them now. Clan got a little embarrassed and
blushed. She blushed despite Koutarou technically being a stranger.
"Alright, I've ranked up."
"You used to call me a neanderthal remember? So a country
bumpkin is a big step forward."
"Is that true, Clan-san?! How could you say that to Reios-sama?!"
"T-That's not it! That was before I knew who he was!"
The three were currently on the move, having changed their mode
of transportation to a car.
While it may be a car, it was far different from the cars on Earth. It
didn't need a driver, and the car was floating above the road. It only
needed its tires when it stopped or broke down. It ran on electricity,
and as a result, the inside of the car was very quiet, with nothing
hindering the discussion between the three inside.
That's why Clan's sigh reached Koutarou as well.
"... Look over there. You can see Schweiger's residence."
The Schweiger family's residence was inside of Fomom. It looked
like an annexation of large research facilities and could be easily
seen, even from afar. The Schweiger residence slowly moved as the
car did, and for some reason. Clan seemed to be suffering a little.
A thud rang out.
"Ow?! What are you doing?!"
"You didn't look like a girl who was finally able to return home
after going through a tough journey... now that you've got your
energy back, tell me why. Clan."
"You really are... If you wanted to comfort me, there are softer ways
of doing it."
Clan sent a grudgeful glance at Koutarou. But thanks to him, her
painful expression from just a moment ago was gone.
"... This is the world 20 years from the past, right?"
"Supposedly. It only looks like the future to me though."
"Then grandmother will pass away soon."
Clan's expression turned a little darker once more. Clan recalled one
other relative's death, and was wondering what to do.
"Do you want to save her?"
In the world of the past, they had tried saving everyone in danger,
regardless of history. So comparing that to now. Clan should be
allowed to save her grandmother.
"I would like to, but the situation is complicated."
"What do you mean?"
"Grandmother will die five years from now. Since I know what the
disease is called, if I intervene now, it probably won't kill her but... it
was a disease caused by age..."
"Natural causes as they call it, huh."
"Yes. Besides, can we really change history... and grandmother was
apparently not very Schweiger like, and after her death, her money
was invested into a lot of different funds as according to her will.
The number of children that her money saved should be quite
"That does make it a difficult decision..."
Clan was worrying because she had a very complicated problem on
Clan's grandmother would die because it was her time, but Clan felt
resistant to simply letting a blood relative pass away.
But there were a lot of lives saved because her grandmother died.
Up until the point that she died. Clan's grandmother continued to
increase her assets and then donated it all. That's why by saving her
now, it would mean that the donation never happened, meaning the
lives saved might be lost.
That said, by surviving. Clan's grandmother would be able to
increase her assets even further, increasing the donation when she
finally does pass away. Overall that would save even more people.
Clan didn't know what to do.
"Alright Clan. Let's just think about it for a while. This might be a
distasteful way of putting it, but there's still five years left."
Koutarou was planning on thinking about the problem for a while.
It was a complicated problem, so even Koutarou's ideas might help.
"... You will think about it too?"
Clan was surprised by Koutarou's reaction.
"Yeah. This is what we've done all this time right?"
"That's... true, but..."
Clan had figured that this was her own problem, but Koutarou
didn't feel that way, which made Clan happy.
I see... so this is what it means to not be alone...
She had someone she could share her feelings and her future with.
That sensation made Clan's emotions more powerful, and
brightness returned to her expression.
After getting off the car, Elfaria was leading Koutarou and Clan
down an unpopular alley. Past the alley was their destination. It
was a shop that Elfaria had used to obtain some research material
and the shop might bend a little for their requests. They were
planning on having them order in the part they needed for the
"Even though science advances, these kinds of alleys have the same
feel to them."
Compared to the futuristic and colorful main roads, this place had a
feeling of life to it.
Clan felt embarrassed as she saw Koutarou looking around once
more. That was when Elfaria pulled on her sleeve.
"... Uhm, Clan-san."
Since Elfaria was whispering. Clan whispered right back.
"... Are you and Reios-sama going out?"
However after hearing what Elfaria said next. Clan instinctively
raised her voice.
"O-O-Of course not!! We are not!!"
"Hm? What's wrong. Clan."
Reacting to Clan's shout, Koutarou looked in her direction.
"It's nothing! It's just girl talk!"
"You guys have a lot of those..."
Because of his life with the invader girls, Koutarou knew that it was
best not to touch on those kinds of topics. That's why he quickly lost
interest in Clan and looked around the area again. Right now, this
future city was more important to him.
"... Phew... that surprised me..."
"...You are not going out?"
"...Bertorion and I are just stuck together. Could you not just blurt
out something so surprising all of a sudden?"
"... I see. I'm sorry."
"... But, why are you asking about that?"
Clan considered herself and Koutarou as being stuck in the same
boat. But she was still interested in this topic.
"... Actually, I wish to go out with Reios-sama."
Elfaria blushed a little as she looked at Koutarou. She was
embarrassed, but she didn't try to hide her feelings from Clan.
Elfaria was honest with her feelings.
In that moment. Clan felt like her heart was being squeezed by
someone. She was far more surprised than before, but because it
was a different kind of surprise she couldn't let out a shout.
"...I didn't think it would be possible if Reios-sama was going out
with Clan-san, but if that's not the case, I have a chance too."
"... Please wait. That man is the Blue Knight, but what's told in the
legends is not everything to him."
Clan assumed that Elfaria's words were because of her admiration
for the legendary hero. But Clan knew that wasn't all there was to
Koutarou. He would worry, suffer and shed tears at times. While he
was a legendary hero, he was also a normal person. Any
relationship born from admiration would end up with both parties
There were also more problems. If Elfaria and Koutarou were to
connect, history would greatly change. Also, though Clan herself
might not want to admit it, she needed Koutarou. For the problem
regarding her grandmother, and for the journey to come. Those
complex feelings were what made her try to stop Elfaria's feelings.
"... I know. That's why."
"... That person knows the pain of living in accordance to his fate..."
As Elfaria spoke she had a very serious expression. She had feelings
she couldn't abandon.
"... Elfaria-san, you..."
Elfaria knew that Koutarou was suffering, knowing that he wasn't
the real Blue Knight, yet taking all the achievements for himself.
Knowing that. Clan could no longer oppose Elfaria.
After introducing Clan to the shopkeeper, Elfaria returned to the
storefront so she could talk to Koutarou who was curiously staring
at the items on display.
"As expected from Forthorthe... they're just selling robots like its
"Welcome customer. I am Weyland, a domestic robot made by DKI.
A new model released this spring!"
What interested him the most was a humanoid robot. In the store,
there were all kinds of heavy equipment and heavy machinery, with
various robots being exhibited. Amongst them, Koutarou was
talking to a domestic robot.
"Oh, Reios-sama, do you like robots?"
"Yeah. In our world, fiction regarding robots are very popular with
the kids. And when I was small, I loved watching shows where they
had people control giant robots to fight monsters."
"I see... giant robots..."
Elfaria cheerfully smiled. Her chest leaped for joy every time she
learned of a part of Koutarou that wasn't part of the Blue Knight, a
part that existed outside of the path set for him.
"How regrettable. It seems that I cannot live up to the customer's
Meanwhile, the robot called Weyland dropped its shoulders, its
reaction was quite the opposite of Elfaria's.
"What kind of robot are you?"
"I was made to perform chores for people too busy to do them
themselves. Our company has always been distant from the war
industries, so when it comes to domestic use we are the best."
"Sorry, but we're doing okay on our chores."
Koutarou remembered the faces of the people in room 106. In that
room, they didn't need a robot to help with the chores. While the
two haniwas were technically robots, their main job was playing
with Koutarou and the others.
"That's a shame."
"That's right. I will do the chores, Reios-sama doesn't need a robot."
"You will? Why?"
"Silly Reios-sama, what are you saying? That's a wife's job isn't it?
Elfaria laughed with an innocent expression. It was the smile of a
high class young wife.
"Elle, when did you become my wife?"
Koutarou felt a headache coming on. But on the other hand, it
reminded him of talking with Sanae, Yurika or Kiriha, and his
feelings turned more positive. He felt a little lonely having
remembered the girls of room 106, but he felt didn't feel too bad. If
he excluded the part about the wife.
"Just a while ago. I made that decision."
"Without even asking me?"
"I believe fate is something you take into your own hands."
Elfaria asserted herself, showing a princess-like expression for a
moment. Elfaria was going to use any means necessary to become
"Don't take my fate into your hands as well."
"Do you hate me?"
"That’s not it."
"Then there's no problem. I'm confident I'll make a great wife."
Elfaria placed her hands on her chest and nodded. Just like she said,
her expression was overflowing with confidence.
"There are major problems!"
"Reios-sama, if you marry me, you'll obtain half the galaxy! I think
that's a great deal!"
A thud could be heard.
"Stop spouting things a villain in a movie would say! Treasure
Koutarou had a place he had to return to and a reason for it. He was
also bothered by Elfaria's behavior. Suddenly being approached
with marriage from someone he had just met was something hard
for Koutarou to accept. So his fist instinctively struck out.
Yet for some reason. Elf aria was smiling as she stroked her recently
Sensing something ominous from her smile, Koutarou took a few
steps backwards, retreating. Elfaria responded by stepping forward
three steps and looking up at Koutarou up close.
"Reios-sama, you finally hit me."
"What about it?"
"I already know that Reios-sama only hits someone he really hates
or someone he thinks of more than a friend. Fufufu, now I'm one
Koutarou would say harsh things to Clan and sometimes even
make use of light violence. But that hadn't been the case with Elfaria
who he had just met. In that case, Elfaria had realized in a short
amount of time that she needed to become someone worth hitting in
order to get along better with Koutarou.
"Come on now..."
"Despite how I look. I'm good at laying down groundwork and
creating established facts."
Seeing Koutarou instinctively drop his shoulders, Elfaria showed a
proud-looking smile. She was seriously trying to become
Elfaria and Koutarou were both troubled by having to travel down
the path laid down for them. Elfaria wanted to join hands with
Koutarou and jump off that path together.
After finishing their arrangements regarding the part they needed,
Koutarou and the others went out to purchase food and water.
After this, they would return to 'Bertorion's special territory'. They
were going to wait on the Cradle until the part they needed could
be obtained. This was the past for Koutarou and Clan, so they didn't
want to carelessly walk around and accidentally change history.
"Is this the last of it?"
"There's one more box, but I'll carry it, so the box you're carrying is
"Give that to me too. I'll put it above the one I'm carrying."
"It's okay, this is nothing."
"Clan, you can return to being a princess when you're on familiar
"That's right Clan-san. Leave this to the married couple."
"Ah, hey, Elfaria-san?!"
Koutarou and the others were in the parking lot, loading the goods
they purchased into their car. They were being quite noisy, having
already gotten used to one another, and since a while back. Clan
and Elfaria had been having a girl talk.
I'm sure neither of them have someone they can discuss their true feelings
Koutarou believed that their meeting had been a positive one. In the
hierarchical society of Forthorthe, princesses were normally rivals.
But because the two were from different ages, they didn't have any
sort of rivalry between them. Because of that, they both understood
each other's worries and were able to sympathize with one another.
They would eventually get separated by time, so there was little
they couldn't discuss with one another. Clan only had to worry
about not passing on too much information about the future. In
other words, it was the perfect situation to befriend one another.
That's why Koutarou left them be, even if they collided a little.
"Clan-san is a princess. I am Reios-sama's wife. My husband's
luggage is my luggage. What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing's right with it! I can't have another princess carry my
luggage! I especially don't want to become indebted to the Mastir
"It's okay. I'm soon to become part of the Bertorion family or the
"That's not the problem! My pride won't allow it!"
"Wait up you two. Let's just leave it at that."
However, Koutarou suddenly broke the two up.
"No, I won't wait— what's wrong, Bertorion?"
Unlike Elfaria who obediently stopped. Clan was too excited.
However, when she saw Koutarou's serious expression, she
understood that something was up and got serious as well. His
expression at the time was the kind of expression he would show
when an enemy had come.
"People are coming. There's probably three of them."
"Are they enemies?"
"I can’t tell. There’s no murderous intent, but I feel hostility."
Koutarou could use the spiritual powers Sanae had given him, but
since he had been separated from Sanae for so long, those powers
were growing weak. He couldn't see auras as clearly as he could in
the past. That's why he didn't notice the mysterious people
approaching until they were quite close.
"That's the imperial military uniform. And it seems like all three of
them are quite high ranked... What is the meaning of this?"
Three men wearing military uniforms were approaching them, and
they were clearly hostile. The part that Clan bought using Elfaria's
name was not illegal, so it wasn't something that should attract the
military's attention. The only other possibility in Koutarou's mind
was that the Cradle had been found. But Elfaria quickly denied that
"I'm sorry, Reios-sama and Clan-san. Those people are here for
Elfaria was watching the men with a sharp look. Her back was
straight and her expression was serious. It was as if the carefreeness
from before was just a dream. It was the first time Koutarou and
Clan saw Elfaria acting like a princess.
Knowing that the approaching men were from the military, Elfaria
left Koutarou and Clan behind her and stepped forward alone. This
was both to conceal who Koutarou and Clan were, and because she
knew that it wouldn't be dangerous despite their hostility.
"What business do you have with me? I don't have any recollection
of calling for the military."
Elfaria's voice echoed off the walls of the parking lot. With few
other people and cars around, her voice reached far.
"We have come because we have business with you."
The person in the middle of the three men answered. He was the
highest ranking of the three and acted as their leader.
"I can't ignore that. If the military is coming into contact with a
princess during her private time for an arbitrary reason, they would
have to take responsibility."
"Worry not. We won't have to take any responsibility from just your
testimony. We are currently doing desk work right now after all."
Elfaria's stare grew sharper.
Is the military running wild...?
Looking at how Elfaria and the men were acting, Koutarou was
getting a rough understanding of the situation. The military was
moving away from the empress' and the congress' control and
acting on their own. Even the most well-constructed organization
would start distorting after 2,000 years. The current military was far
different from the military that Koutarou and Alaia had led in the
"You have drowned in your power and haven't noticed that you are
out of control."
"I can assure you that we are not out of control. We are acting under
"Someone never using the break can't tell if it's broken."
"Let's stop with this meaningless chatter, princess. This topic will
never lead us anywhere. There's something else more important
now, is there not?"
The man grinned and one-sidedly ended their current topic,
switching to another. There was no respect towards the princess in
his appearance. In fact, it was as if he was looking down on her.
"Now that would be meaningless. I have no intention of
withdrawing my statement for the military to disarm."
"Surely you can do something, princess Elfaria. Wouldn't it be easy?
Your highness won't get in our way, and we won't get in yours."
"You are already in the way, yet you say you won't? You jest."
Elfaria laughed, but her eyes were the opposite. She only laughed as
a tactic, and as she did, the man's expression changed.
"We don't want to do anything violent! You are the next in line for
the throne after all!"
He couldn't stand the sight of a girl younger than him laughing at
him. His brutal nature appeared on the surface, and he spoke to
Elfaria in a low and deep voice. The men's goal was to threaten
"How unsightly. The military top brass has sent you several times
because they fear me. Threatening me now is surely meaningless."
But Elfaria didn't falter. She maintained her smile and stared at the
men with cold eyes.
"You brat, don't get so full of yourself!"
"Look, you're already out of control. What happened to your proper
The man mortifyingly grinded his teeth. He had lost the moment he
lost his temper.
"Go back to where you came from. And tell the top that
Forthorthe's royalty won't yield to anyone."
The winner was Elfaria Kua Forthorthe.
Though young, she was a prideful royalty of Forthorthe.
After the men had left, Elfaria maintained a serious expression for a
while. The expression she had with Koutarou and Clan had
vanished somewhere. That expression remained on her face even
after they returned to 'Bertorion's special territory', and for the rest
of the day.
"... I'm starting to understand how it's all fitting together..."
Clan looked at Elfaria's back as she was leaving and sadly muttered.
Clan had understood how Elfaria felt.
"...That person knows the pain of living in accordance to his fate..."
That's why Elfaria had said about Koutarou back in Fornorn. But
looking at it from the other end, it meant that she did as well.
Elfaria-san has been after a life that's different from the life of an empress
all this time, but fate won't allozv it. If she didn't become empress, a
princess not in favor of the military disarmament woidd become empress
and the military woidd continue to run wild. She is trapped between two
different lives. So with Bertorion appearing, it is only obvious that she
would fall for him...
If Elfaria didn't become empress, the military might cause
something irreparable. But at the same time, that meant giving up
the life she wanted. What Elfaria needed to do and what she wanted
to do were complete opposites.
"Elle is in a tough spot... Just like empress Alaia..."
Koutarou also understood that Elfaria held contradicting emotions.
Alaia had been the same. Alaia wanted to avenge her parents, but at
the same time she was trying to give up on that for the sake of her
people. It was because Koutarou had seen Alaia like that up close
that he was able to understand how Elfaria felt.
"What's the matter?"
"Let's have Elle do what she wants. She probably..."
"... You’re right..."
Elfaria was moving further and further away from Koutarou and
Clan. After waving at them one last time, she left the cave.
"... Hey, Bertorion."
"After seeing her, I've made up my mind as well."
Clan turned to Koutarou and clasped her hands in front of her
chest. A strong determination shone in her eyes. Clan had reached a
decision as a princess.
"I will leave grandmother be."
Clan said with firm determination.
"Are you fine with that?"
"Yes. I think saving people who have reached the end of their life is
going too far. She is certainly someone I want to meet, but..."
Clan's voice gradually grew quieter as she looked down on the
ground. As a relative of hers, it wasn't something easy for her. But
she soon looked back up, the will behind her eyes still present.
"I really don't think time travel should be intentionally taken
"You mean don't travel through time without a purpose?"
"Yes. I believe the policy we had in the past is correct. Time travel
should only be used to return to your own world. But if you come
across someone in trouble in the process, you help them."
Koutarou and Clan didn't want to change history, but they couldn't
overlook tragedies occurring right in front of them. That's how they
had acted in Forthorthe 2,000 years ago. And that same line of
thinking was needed now as well.
"If not, we'll never be able to return home. Who knows how much
time it would take to resolve everything happening around us."
Koutarou and Clan knew of a lot that would happen in these next
20 years. If they wanted, they could probably prevent a lot of those
incidents. But as a result, history would become a mess, and the two
would be unable to return home.
"Time travelling sure is difficult..."
"Normally, this is the goddess of dawn's domain."
"That's right, you and I aren't gods. We should respect the people
earnestly living in their respective age."
There was another problem apart from changing history.
Koutarou and Clan knew a lot about what would happen, but the
people alive right now didn't, and they were working towards an
outcome they desired. Having people that know about the results
intervening would stomp on the intentions of all those people. Your
dream won't come true. It's a waste of time so go do something else.
Koutarou's and Clan's actions would be the same thing as saying
On top of that, there was a limit to how much time Koutarou and
Clan had, they couldn't resolve everything that would happen.
They would have to choose what to intervene with. It would
probably be a decision that affected a lot of lives. Which meant that
Koutarou and Clan would have to choose which lives to save.
Could they decide the value of each life. Everyone only had one
shot at life, and they were equally important. Yet Koutarou's and
Clan's interventions would break that obvious rule.
"Clan, you're not wrong. You're just human."
"Thank you, Bertorion. I feel like some of the weight has fallen off
my shoulders because you said that."
It was a difficult problem to anyone. This was the first time in
history humanity had been faced with the worries of a god. It
couldn't be helped that they couldn't reach a perfect answer to that
worry. Koutarou and Clan weren't almighty gods after all.
The several days it had taken for the ordered part to arrive had
passed peacefully. In the morning, Elle would visit the Cradle, and
after staying with them until the evening, she would go home.
There was also a time where she had stayed. Like that, the three
spent the time in a fashion suitable for their age.
"Reios-sama, let's go take a look at our wedding hall."
"Oh yeah, where does Forthorthe hold their weddings?"
"Normally it's at a temple, in front of the goddess."
"The goddess of dawn?"
"That's right. However, as life became more modern, it's become
more common to use hotel rooms decorated similar to a temple, or
similar venues. With the increase in population, there aren't enough
temples to cover all of the weddings."
"Well that makes sense, Fomorn is amazing."
"Our ceremony will of course take place in the temple dedicated to
"Nobody is allowed to enter that place."
"We only need Clan-san to attend. Now, let's go and have our
"Wait, weren't you just going to see it?!"
"What does this food taste like?"
"Well, you'll just have to find out."
"Alright, let's give it a try."
"Bertorion, if you eat that many at the—"
"*cough* *cough* *cough*, what the, it's spicy?!"
"Ahahah, here, Reios-sama, some water."
"T-Thanks... *cough*... that's just foul play, something that looked
like this on earth would definitely be sweet."
"It because you ate so many."
"If you knew about it, you should have stopped me."
"You shoved them all in your mouth before I could."
A thud rang out.
"Ow?! Why did you hit me?!"
"You did it on purpose didn't you. This water is all the proof I
Another thud could be heard.
"Could I stay over today?"
"Are you sure? Won't everyone worry?"
"I've already let them know that I'm not returning for the day
because of fieldwork."
"Seriously, you sure came prepared... Well, I don't have any
"Alright! Reios-sama, let me hear all of your wonderful stories
"I don't mind, but... why are you putting your luggage in my
"Eh? If we're not in the same bed, how am I supposed to listen to
"Sleep in the room next door!"
"You're telling your wife to sleep in another room?! Is the marriage
going down hill already?!"
"Stop playing around and go!"
"Seriously, what a girl."
"Clan, you should stop talking and chase after her."
"Elle is carrying her luggage into your room."
"Alright!! This room is a goldmine!!"
"Clan, aim to kill okay?"
"That's the plan. Ah, but aren't your spiritual powers weakening."
"Reios-sama, can I shoot instead of Clan?"
"No you can't."
"Eeeh?! Why not?!"
"Why?... You only think about playing tricks right?"
"Spiritual powers tells you that too?!"
"I can tell even without!"
"Then we're understanding each other!"
"...You sure are gutsy, Elfaria-san..."
"Could this be the bond between a husband and wife?!"
As the three began feeling like it wouldn't be too bad if days like
these continued, Elfaria got a call saying that the part she had
ordered had arrived at her hotel.
"What's the matter Elfaria-san? Bad news?"
"No, I got a call that the part we ordered has arrived..."
Elfaria realized that they would part ways soon enough, and with
that her happy feelings turned into loneliness. The magic vanished
in an instant.
The same was true for Clan. Because it had been so fun, it was hard
to part ways. Considering Elfaria's emotions. Clan had a hard time
getting motivated. Koutarou and Clan might be able to meet Elfaria
again soon enough, but to Elfaria it would be more than 20 years.
The problem with time traveling presented itself yet again.
"Reios-sama, I got a call saying that the part has arrived. I will go
pick it up now."
Koutarou was in the middle of cooking as Elfaria stepped in and
told him that they would soon part ways. Koutarou stopped what
he was doing as he was filled with loneliness. He had parted ways
with Alaia and Chari before, so his feelings were complex. That's
why words unlike what he normally used left his mouth.
"...Elle, you can leave the part for later. When it's time for you to
leave for the day, let's go together, all three of us."
"Reios-sama... are you sure?"
"Yeah. We need to hurry in order to not change history, but a few
hours isn't going to change that. It'll just change when we leave."
"I am in favor too. We should atleast have enough time to eat, drink
tea, talk and say goodbye to the people we've met."
"Those are quite illogical words for a member of the logical
"I'm sure I've taken after grandmother."
"Fufu, did your grandmother try to kill Reios-sama as well?"
"Of course not, geez..."
Even though the part had arrived, the three didn't leave
immediately to go get it. They were going to pick it up together
with Elf aria as she left them for the day. Now was time for dinner,
they still had several hours left. They weren't trying to use that
remaining time for something special. The several day long holiday
the three had would just continue like normal. Koutarou and Clan
figured that misusing time travel for something like this should be
However, there were some that did not forgive Koutarou and the
other's peaceful time together. After the clock passed 4PM and the
sun was starting to set. They came.
Koutarou was the first to notice their approach, and he slammed his
fists into the table with anger.
"Reios-sama? Did you not like the snacks?"
"What's the matter, Bertorion?"
Elfaria and Clan were taken aback by Koutarou's sudden action and
started at him with surprise.
"It's the enemy! I'm not sure on their exact numbers but I think
there's 5 or 6 of them. They're headed this way from the entrance of
Koutarou sensed several murderous intents closing in. This was
actual murderous intent unlike the hostility he had felt from the
military men the other day. As a result, even though Koutarou's
powers were growing weaker he promptly noticed their existence.
"Please wait... I've confirmed it with the Cradle's sensors as well!
There are six of them! They are headed this way fully equipped!"
Using the Cradle's sensors. Clan confirmed that there were six men.
Their movements were precise and organized, most likely trained
soldiers. Their equipment consisted of a rifle and black body armor.
They were quite clearly a combat squad.
While it might be small, they were a bit too few to attack the Cradle.
But that was only obvious, they hadn't expected to find a spaceship
here. They had only assumed it was a dig site. In other words—
"They're here to kill me. They're most likely illegal mercenaries sent
by the military."
Their target was Elfaria. Six men was more than enough to attack
her. The military took this as a golden opportunity and sent in
illegal soldiers. In order for Elfaria to get her excavation approved
she entered 'Bertorion's special territory' alone in order to create an
established fact. Thanks to that, there was no one but Elfaria
around, and nobody was aware of her exact location. Killing her
now wouldn't leave any evidence behind. Following the spaceship
part, they identified Elfaria's hotel and they had then tracked her
down to this cave.
"It's been 2,000 years since then..."
"It's been 2,000 years, and you still won't stop fighting..."
Koutarou slowly got up from his seat. He was fuming. He could
never find it in him to forgive those that would do with Forthorthe
as they pleased after he and Alaia had desperately protected it.
"...Clan, could you prepare my sword and armor."
"I understand. Bertorion, show them the power of the legendary
Koutarou believed that after 2,000 years had passed, the legendary
hero could be dismissed.
However, that was a mistake.
The legend of the Blue Knight was about to continue after 2,000
Elfaria's first impression of the Blue Knight in the flesh was that he
was beautiful. The armor had a vivid blue color, on his waist hung
two swords, silver and gold colored. On his chest was an insignia
made from wood and wool. However, the armor had been through
many fierce fights and showed signs of severe damage, with several
large dents. The mantle on his back was also dirty, and so were the
swords. The silver and gold shine had lost much of its luster.
"...So that's Reios-sama... the real Blue Knight..."
However, Elf aria was shaken just from looking at Koutarou
walking. He was a real knight, something very rare these days.
Seeing that, Elfaria felt his existence itself was beautiful.
"He's completely different from his normal self right?"
It wasn't his appearance that was beautiful. Koutarou was a normal
boy, and the armor he was wearing was dirty. But his dignified
behavior and his overwhelming willpower were so knight-like it
transcended the beauty of his appearance and moved those who
were watching him. He was the image of the ideal knight.
"But will he be fine? He's going up against six people."
"There's no need to worry. When he's making that face, Bertorion
won't lose to anyone."
As Elfaria and Clan watched over him, Koutarou pulled out one of
the swords from his waist. He was holding a silvery white sword, it
was the proof of him being the guardian of Forthorthe. It was the
sword of sovereignty, Signaltin.
"Just watch how the legendary knight who protected Forthorthe
alongside the Silver Princess fights..."
As if he was waiting for Clan to finish speaking, Koutarou charged
towards the soldiers. Koutarou's only weapon was his sword,
hooking at it normally, he wouldn't stand a chance against six fully
armed men. However, neither Clan nor Koutarou had any doubt of
The Blue Knight held a special meaning to the people of Forthorthe.
But in the end, the Blue Knight was someone who lived 2,000 years
ago. It was unthinkable to believe that he would just suddenly
appear in front of someone. That's why when the six soldiers saw
Koutarou, they assumed he was just a deranged Blue Knight
"Hey now, that armor has seen better days."
"He must have played around in that armor for quite a long time."
"But it's well made. Even I might want to play around in that
"Stop spouting nonsense and kill him. Even though he's crazy, a
witness is a witness."
"Hey everyone, aim for his head. I want to take that armor back
home with me."
"Sheesh, guess it can't be helped..."
This carelessness was their first and biggest mistake. They should
have attacked Koutarou the moment they saw him. But they had
underrated him. On top of that, they had never imagined that he
would be completely aware of their positions and behavior. As a
result, Koutarou was the one to make the first move.
All of a sudden the man in the front was blown away. He lost his
consciousness after being bathed in an intense shockwave and
collapsed to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut.
"Huh?! What just happened?!"
Yet the men didn't know what had happened. They only
understood the situation after Koutarou attacked the second one.
"It's him?! The Blue Knight maniac— uaaaaaahhh!!"
The second man repeatedly fired his rifle. The soldiers were using
beam rifles, firing beams at an incredible speed. On top of that they
were in close quarters. Normally it would be completely
Koutarou exhaled a small breath and twisted his body. As he did,
all the beams passed by him. It was like he knew where the beams
would travel beforehand.
"They won't hit. They won't hit! The beams won't—"
After passing through the beams, Koutarou casually swung his left
fist at the man. When it collided with him, the electricity built up
within his gauntlet zapped the man, knocking him out immediately.
"Damnit! That damn joke of a kid!"
Having lost two of their men, the remaining soldiers finally realized
that they weren't going up against a normal opponent, and they
hurriedly turned their guns on Koutarou.
"...If you were going to fire, you should have done so sooner."
The next moment the men were deprived of their sight. That was
because a small globe that had rolled up to their feet was spewing
out smoke at a fierce rate. It was one of Clan's custom made smoke
grenades, and the heat of the smoke nullified the soldiers thermal
vision. It was a very simple make, but it proved quite effective in a
"Damnit, a smokescreen!"
The four men hurriedly threw away their thermal vision goggles
and attempted to get out of the smoke. "But they can't see through
the smoke either! Don't panic and just get out of the smoke!"
However, to Koutarou who could see the enemy's aura, it was as if
there was no smoke to begin with. As the men tried to escape the
smoke, they lost another ally. But their misfortune did not end
"Captain! The enemy!"
"What? There are three of him?!"
Standing in front of the three men as they escaped the smoke were
three Koutarou. And all three Koutarou attacked the men at the
"It doesn't matter how many there are! Kill them!"
The men repeatedly fired their rifles, each attacking the Koutarou in
front of them. The three Koutarou's struck by the beams vanished
like smoke. They were all illusions created by magic.
While the three men were distracted by the illusions, the fourth
Koutarou that had been hiding snuck up on them.
"You should have wondered why I was relying on a heated
The fourth Koutarou swung his sword with both hands, sending
two of the remaining three men flying, and just like the first man,
they rolled onto the ground and lost consciousness.
The first three Koutarou were illusions created by Signaltin.
However, they weren't advanced enough to produce a heat
reaction, so there was a risk that the men might see through them
with their thermal vision. So firstly the heated smokescreen was
needed. Once they removed their goggles, everything had gone
according to Koutarou's plan. And while the men were distracted
by the illusions, the real Koutarou attacked. Attacking a defenseless
opponent was child's play to him.
"W-Who are you?!"
All that remained was one man, the leader of the group. He was a
skilled shooter, but on his own he couldn't hurt Koutarou. The
armor's barrier was going strong and Koutarou could see through
his aim with his spiritual powers. He no longer stood a chance
against Koutarou and repeatedly fired as he slowly retreated.
"Who? I'm just a Blue Knight maniac like you said. But I might have
gone a little too far."
"Why are you siding with that girl?! What benefits could you
"Why is only obvious. Aren't I dressed as the Blue Knight? Of
course I'll protect the princess. I'm stupid after all."
Koutarou walked up to the man and casually punched him in the
gut, knocking the last man to the ground. A long time had passed
since he parted with the girls of room 106, and the powers he had
borrowed were growing weaker, but even then he had come out
victorious unharmed. The fight ended precisely how Koutarou and
Clan had expected.
The replacing of the part only took a few minutes. It was operating
fine, and it had been confirmed that there should be no problems
returning to Earth. That solved the problem with the Cradle. Only
one other problem remained.
"Reios-sama, Clan-san. Thank you for everything up until today.
Thanks to you I've made up my mind."
Elfaria was saying her farewells before Koutarou and Clan would
depart. In the end, she had chosen to not go with them.
"I think I should become the empress of Forthorthe."
"I see... I thought you might."
"So you knew."
"I've seen the appearances of princesses making important
decisions before after all."
"Reios-sama is the Blue Knight after all. Fufufu..."
Elfaria cheerfully narrowed her eyes. She no longer had any
hesitation. She had decided to live on Forthorthe as the empress.
"But Elfaria-san, why did you decide to become the empress? I
thought you didn't want to walk down the path laid down for you."
"You're right, I wanted to break free from my fate and struggled to
do so. But I also wondered if this was a path that I needed to stick
on. That's why I studied the Blue Knight and the Silver Princess."
"To find out how they acted when faced with a similar choice?"
Should she live her own life, or should she live for the sake of her
people as the empress.
Elfaria didn't know what to choose, that's why she sought for the
answer in the chronicles of the Blue Knight and the Silver Princess.
"And when I wasn't getting anywhere with my research I met the
"So that's why... weren't you disappointed?"
"A little. But that's why I fell in love with Reios-sama. Because I
knew he struggled against his own fate like me."
Koutarou hadn't been able to give Elfaria the answer she sought for.
Because he had only walked down the path chosen for the Blue
Knight, he hadn't made any heroic decisions of his own. But the
hardships he suffered allowed Elfaria to sympathize with him. She
hadn't found her answer, but she began feeling like they could look
for it together.
"That's why I was serious when I said I wanted to go out with you
and marry you, Reios-sama. I seriously wanted to escape the path
laid down for me together with you."
"Then why did you give up on that?"
"Rather than giving up, it's because I couldn't give up I think."
Elfaria smiled, she had the expression of someone that had given
"You couldn't give up?"
"Yes. I love you, Reios-sama. That's why I want to protect
Forthorthe like you despite your worrying."
If they were going to hold hands, they needed to protect the same
In other words, after learning that Koutarou worried about the
same things she did and falling for him, Elfaria's path was sealed.
"Even if I must walk down the path in front of me, I get to decide
how I walk. I was able to find a way of walking that I could accept."
"I see... then your research is finished, isn't it, Elfaria-san."
Hearing the conclusion that Elfaria had reached. Clan smiled.
Clan then brought her mouth to Elfaria's ear and whispered so only
she could hear.
"...The Silver Princess thought the same way you did and continued
to protect Forthorthe..."
"...Then the Silver Princess really did...?"
"...Love Bertorion, yes, despite knowing that he was a fake... no, it
might be because she knew he was a fake, just like you..."
Clan smiled once more as she said that. Tears began forming in
Elfaria's eyes. All kinds of feelings were being stirred up inside of
her. It wasn't just feelings directed towards Koutarou, but also
feelings for the Silver Princess, and for Clan.
"Thank you, Clan-san."
"Y-You don't need to thank me."
Clan started blushing. Having lived her life by keeping people at a
distance, she wasn't used to gratitude.
"I think I could be allowed to say thanks to friends who worry for
"Friends... then. Thank you, Elfaria-san."
Finally the two shook hands. Clan was looking away with a blush,
but her feelings were properly conveyed to Elfaria.
After having said her farewells to Clan, Elfaria turned to Koutarou.
It was their turn now.
"I'm repeating myself, but thank you very much for everything up
until today. I will never forget these days we've spent together."
"Become a great empress. That's what both I and empress Alaia
While listening to Koutarou's words of encouragement, Elfaria
nodded and laughed. Since this wasn't something you laughed at,
Koutarou looked at her perplexed.
"What is it?"
"I was just thinking that if you had said that at the very start, it
might have only taken five minutes."
"This kind of thing is something you have to decide for yourself."
Koutarou firmly believed that everyone decided their own path in
"Fufufu, that might be true for men... but unexpectedly, to us
women it's not so true."
Elfaria believed that she would walk down the path shown to her
by the person she loved.
"It's true for women too."
Koutarou was adamant. This stubbornness would later go on to
make Ruth cry, but Elfaria only laughed.
"Oh my, fufufu..."
"Can you understand my hardship, Elfaria-san?"
"...Fufufu, I'm starting to."
After laughing together with Clan for a while, Elfaria turned back
towards Koutarou. There was something she wanted to ask him.
"Reios-sama, can I just ask you one last thing?"
"If I asked you to take me with you, what would you have done?"
If Elfaria hadn't chosen the life as the empress.
And instead chose to walk alongside Koutarou.
Elfaria wanted to know what Koutarou would have done then.
"That wouldn't happen."
However, Koutarou shook his head.
"Elle, you were a proper princess of Forthorthe since we first met.
That's why no matter how much you joke around, in the end you
would have chosen this."
Tears formed in Elfaria's eyes. Her smile collapsed and tears
streamed down her cheeks.
"...Thank you very much, Reios-sama. I will forever take pride in
So the time for Koutarou and Clan to part ways with Elfaria came.
Koutarou and Clan headed for Earth while Elfaria became the
They wouldn't reunite until another 20 years.
But despite all that time, the bond between them never weakened.
A mellow smell of tea filled room 106. It was a rare smell
considering the tea they normally drank. And the person preparing
that tea was someone rarely seen in room 106.
"Please just wait a little longer, Reios-sama."
"It's okay, let's take it slow, it's the weekend after all."
Elfaria was sitting on the opposite end of the tea table to Koutarou.
She was the one preparing the tea.
It was Sunday today and all of the girls had left to go buy
swimsuits, leaving only Koutarou behind. As he was pondering
what to do, Elfaria appeared. Seeing that he seemed to be free,
Elfaria prepared him some tea.
"Oh yeah, there was something I wanted to ask you."
Koutarou and Elfaria were rarely alone together. Since Theia or
Ruth were always with her, there were several things he wanted to
ask but couldn't. Fortunately, neither of them were here, giving
them a chance to talk.
"I don't mind, as long as it's not about my age."
Elfaria casually nodded whilst looking at the tea leaves stirring up
inside of the glass pot. Elfaria had nothing to hide from Koutarou
either, apart from her age.
"What is Theia's dad doing right now?"
Koutarou had heard about Theia's mother, Elfaria, before, but he
had never heard about her father. That's why he had always been
interested, but he didn't know if it was something he could ask
Theia. So Elfaria was the better one to ask.
"Theia doesn't have a father."
Elfaria shook her head.
"What do you mean?"
"I had a fiance determined for me, but he died of an accident before
we married. ...So his sperm that had been cryopreserved just in case
was used for artificial insemination."
"So that's why... no wonder she never mentioned her father."
"Yes... that's why I believe I've made her feel lonely all this time."
Elfaria had raised Theia on her own. Since she was the empress as
well, raising a child was incredibly difficult. That's why she had
collided with Koutarou and the others. If it wasn't for Ruth, who
knows what would have happened. Elfaria regretted that.
"But that's not the case anymore. You're here, and she's made
"Yes. While this might be imprudent to say in this situation, having
been chased out of my country... I am incredibly happy to be able to
see Theia smile like that."
Elfaria smiled, her eyes turned gentle. She was looking at Koutarou,
but he felt like Elfaria was only thinking of Theia at the moment.
"Can I ask you something else?"
Elfaria rubbed her eyes and nodded. She hadn't cried because she
was unhappy so her expression was bright.
"Was it your doing that caused Theia to come to this room?"
This was another thing that he was curious about.
It was unthinkable to believe that the daughter of his friend from
the past had come to this room for her trial by just by pure chance,
especially since the trial was decided at random by a computer.
"Yes. I sent Theia here, because I knew you would be here."
Elfaria easily confirmed Koutarou's suspicions.
"Why did you do that?"
"There were two reasons."
Elfaria raised two fingers and showed Koutarou.
"The first was the protect Theia. By having her by your side, I was
hoping that you would protect her."
"That sounds like you."
Koutarou could understand the reason clearly. If it was Elfaria's
daughter, Koutarou would protect her unconditionally. That said,
Koutarou had already formed a bond with Theia before he met
"And the other reason was... revenge on Reios-sama, perhaps."
Koutarou's voice unexpectedly faltered as he had been too
surprised by what Elfaria said. She then puffed up her cheeks,
played with her hair and glared at Koutarou with a grudge.
"Reios-sama was my first love. But I happened to overhear you and
Clan-san speaking, and you called me 'Theia's mother'. With that
my first love came to an end. Isn't that a cruel story?"
Koutarou had referred to Elfaria as 'Theia's mother'. Since Koutarou
had no intention of changing history he couldn't be with Elfaria.
And before long, her first love ended.
"So as revenge for that, you sent Theia?"
"Don't you think being both mother's and daughter's first love is
Trying to make Koutarou pay for what he did, Elfaria wanted him
to chose Theia. If they became lovers then the total score would end
at a +/-0, from there she would use her position as mother-in-law to
"...I feel sorry for Theia."
"There's no need to worry. She became a Blue Knight maniac even
without my intervention. I guess it was destiny. All I did was make
sure so that her trial became the invasion of this room."
Elfaria had sent Theia to room 106 in order to protect her, and to get
revenge at Koutarou. As a result, she was protected from the out of
control military, and she had taken place inside of Koutarou's heart.
Elf aria's plan was proceeding smoothly.
"Thanks to Reios-sama I could focus on trying to disarm the
military without worries. My daughter was my weakness after all."
"I'm not even so sure on that disarmament statement."
"On what grounds can you say that?"
Elfaria pouted again, she felt like her senses from 20 years ago were
coming back a little.
"Who would believe that someone that made ridiculous spaceship
was for disarmament?"
To Koutarou, the Blue Knight didn't look like it was made by
someone who wished for disarmament. It only looked like a brutal
weapon specialized in mobility and attack power.
"That ship has several safeties on it."
"Did you disable those?"
"That's not what I mean. That ship is a power that can never be
Elfaria showed a boasting smile.
"It can't be misused?"
Not following, Koutarou urged Elfaria to explain.
"Yes. Reios-sama's aspirations is the first safety. Then Theia and
Ruth who are on the same wavelength as you are needed for offense
and defense. On top of that, only you can maintain your power. If
any of that is missing, that ship will perform below average.
Everyone has to be united under one cause. There's no weapon that
can be misused less than this."
"...Now that you mention it, your enemies were those who misused
Elfaria's enemies were those that who lost control of themselves in
their desire to increase their power without even noticing.
Compared to that, the Blue Knight's power could be controlled. As
long as Koutarou and the others bond remained firm, the Blue
Knight would hold tremendous power.
"What could it be?"
"What is your personal goal?"
"What could you be talking about?"
Elfaria showed an awfully cute face. It was quite clearly the
expression of someone playing dumb.
"Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. This is you
we're talking about, you didn't make that weapon just because it
could be controlled."
"As expected of Reios-sama. You know me so well!"
Elfaria seemed glad, and as she slightly waved her finger around,
she began her explanation.
"My goal is to make Reios-sama essential for the control of that ship
so you can't run away from us. I won't repeat the Silver Princess'
"...You're the same as always..."
Elfaria's groundwork and ability to create established facts
instinctively caused Koutarou to drop his shoulders.
However, since Koutarou had already decided to walk down the
same path as the girls of room 106, he didn't think much of it. If
anything, he was happy that the friend he had been able to reunite
with was the same as always.
"You won't tell me I've gotten beautiful?"
"That will depend on the tea."
"My, you bully."
Elfaria poured up tea as Koutarou was looking. The tea was
sparkling as beautifully as rubies.
Koutarou grabbed the tea cup and took a sip. As he did a familiar,
rich flavor spread throughout his mouth.
I had my suspicions from the smell, but this really is Rubustori tea...
The tea that Elfaria had prepared was made from Koutarou's and
Clan's favorite, the Rubustori tea leaf. But since the Rubustori had
been extinct for over 800 years it was impossible to acquire in
modern Forthorthe. Which meant that this must have been made
from the seeds that they had given Elfaria 20 years ago.
So Elle always took care of those seeds...
It was a difficult to grow an extinct tree with no data pertaining to
it. On top of that the prime condition to bloom the tea leaves had to
be found. That was something that required some serious
"Yes? Did it not taste well?"
"That's not it... do you still—"
Koutarou was about to ask something, but he changed his mind as
"—Do you know, that you're still beautiful?"
In the end he said something else. What he was about to say first
was something that required a great deal of courage to say to
someone far older than him, even if she looked young.
Elfaria smiled happily. As she did, she really did look like a young
girl, she looked just like she had 20 years in the past.
"That's right, Reios-sama, there are snacks as well."
"I know your game. I bet it's spicy."
"Would you like to eat them together?"
"Only one at a time."
It was a clear midaftemoon Sunday. The sunlight was shining in
through the window and lighting up Koutarou and Elfaria. Inside
the normally noisy room 106, only Koutarou's and Elfaria's calm
voices could be heard. The only other sounds that could be heard
was the ticking clock, the cars traveling in the distance and the birds
singing. It was a gentle and calm Sunday.
"These are pretty good when you only eat one at a time."
"That's how they are. I still— love them."
Like that Koutarou and Elfaria spent their first weekend together in
20 years like nothing had happened.
The formerly dim office now had all kinds of lights in it. The
cracked wall had been plastered and the ancient desk had been
replaced with a brand new one. It was completely different from a
few months ago.
"Kenichi-niichan, are you okay?"
"I'm not okay, but if I admit that my heart might break, so I'm okay.
By the way, where is Hayato?"
"In the infirmary. He couldn't move his fingers so he went there to
have them fix it."
"Megu-chan, you should eat something."
"I don't have the appetite to eat. You go ahead and eat, Daisaku-
kun. You're our only hope right now."
But compared to the renewed office, the people inside were worn
down. It was as if the worn down aspect of the room had been
transferred to them.
The leader in the red jacket was covered with injuries and was
leaning over his desk, resting his body. Next to him was a boy in a
green jacket with bags under his eyes. The girl in the pink jacket
looked a lot thinner than when compared to before. The man in the
yellow jacket next to her was worried for her, but even he had
bandages wrapped around his head. There was one more member
but he was currently in the infirmary.
They were all covered all over with wounds.
"Kotarou, how many times have we mobilized this month?"
"18. No, was it 19?"
"If we're going to be mobilized so often, we're all going be done in
"Things suddenly got a lot busier since last month..."
A waste of the national budget. Tax thieves. That is what they used
to be called. But nobody would dare call them that now. They had
done nothing but work for a while now, they were taking on
dangerous jobs on their own and fought.
"Sun Rangers, I bring bad news."
"What's the matter, professor?"
"It seems like there will be a major battle shortly."
The Sun Squad, Sun Rangers.
They were the nations ace in the hole regarding unknown threats.
The only squad capable of dealing with the invaders.
And if they were busy, it meant that the invaders were busy at
Long time no see everyone, it's the author, Takehaya.
This volume is a little irregular compared to normal. In it are three
episodes that I wanted to write, but wouldn't be able to fill up a
volume on their own. But it can't be called an independent
collection of short stories as the various problems around Koutarou
and the others progress. I wonder what to call these stories (lol).
This time, I would like to continue answering some of the readers
questions. This is a question I received through mail; "The genres
used in Takehaya-sensei's works are varied, but which one is your
It's true that the genres are varied, 'Ano Hibi wo Mou Ichido' was a
romance, and 'Kaze to Lute no Shirabe ni Nosete' was fantasy. The
PS2 and PSP game I wrote the scenario for, 'Secret Game' was
suspense and another game I wrote the scenario for 'Seihou no
Prismgear' was sci-fi. On top of that, the genre of this work is a
I have never intentionally decided on a genre. When I write
something, I first decide on the theme, after that I pick the genre
that would let me cover that theme in the most natural way
possible. It might be hard to imagine, but genres are just a means to
That's why I think I'll do the same when I write something else. All I
can do is pray that it suits everyone's taste.
That about sums it up. Since this afterword is quite short, this is
where I bid you all farewell. I would like to thank everyone at the
editorial department who helped published this book, Poco-san
who always draws me cute illustrations and all the readers who
bought this book.
Then let us meet again in the afterword for Volume 15.