Shizuku’s eyes opened softly while she leaked out a cute noise. Waking up from her nap, her pupils couldn’t seem to focus quite right. A moment, later, she realized that she was looking at the wood grain of a ceiling over her head. In her half-wakeful state, she also recognized a soft feeling on the back of her head.
As she wore such a defenseless face, a familiar voice came from her side.
“Shizuku-chan, are you waking up? It’s already noon time.”
Shizuku unintentionally turned towards the source of the voice. It was indeed her best friend next to her. Kaori was watching Shizuku with a gentle smile, sitting in a chair next to the outdoor window.
She rubbed her eyes and sat up, shaking off sleep like she was rising to the surface from a deep pool of water. She started to recall where she was before she lost consciousness and tilted her head to the side.
“Oh? I was outside in the woods… I mean… how did I get here, this is Kaori’s room?”
This was one of the private rooms prepared for Hajime’s group in Fair Bergen. Although she didn’t know Kaori’s room on sight, since Kaori was here, she assumed it was.
Remembering the event this morning, Kaori wore a bitter smile with just a hint of pain in her heart while examining Shizuku, who wore a puzzled look.
“Yes, it is my room. This morning, Hajime brought Shizuku-chan. You were staying up all night? That’s not good. You just came back from a Great Labyrinth. You should be taking it easy.”
“I understand, I’m sorry. So he brought me here? I don’t remember at all.”
“Shizuku-chan was very tired.”
Kaori raises an accusing finger at Shizuku as a form of scolding, causing Shizuku to fidget restlessly. Her docility made her look even more cool and adult-like with her long black hair no longer in a ponytail, displaying the gap power between the two of them.
Her unclothed figure in a one piece shirt also contributed to the appearance. No wonder all the girls in the class wanted to call her older sister. Witnessing her figure would cause someone to declare that ‘her destructive power is amazing!’ With a single smile, she could create a blood bath from nosebleeds alone.
Even Kaori was blushing a little. Shizuku looked up at her with a blush of her own and asked Kaori nervously.
“Oh… how did he?”
Shizuku seemed to struggle with the fact that she had succumbed to sleep, her heart rate going up at the thought of Hajime holding her. Was it perhaps a princess carry?
However, reality was cruel, so Kaori’s cheeks were cramped.
“How would you be carried normally?
“Normally, yes, plain. Only a little artistic.”
“Wait, Kaori… what do you mean by artistic?”
Shizuku continued to ask even as Kaori hesitated to say anything disagreeable. Kaori’s eyes seemed to swim for a while, before she forced a smile back onto her face.
“You were sleeping, how do you say?… crucified to a cross… while being drifted through the sky?”
After hearing it in detail, it seemed the Hajime had used the opportunity to bring Shizuku back to her room as a form of training, practicing with gravity stones to bring her back without waking her. It could be said that getting the balance right in order to prevent her from being jarred awake would be a burden worthy of being trained.
In addition, she ended up in Kaori’s room because Hajime had no clue where hers was.
“Even so… why a cross?”
“It spreads the body out like a sphere, so that mistakes won’t jar the body as much, so it’s easier to make adjustments, so you sleep.”
“Even if you say that… isn’t that a sort of unpleasant sleep…”
Shizuku’s cheeks twitch convulsively. A vein floats over her forehead, the heat in her chest turning ice cold. Kaori deepens her wry smile.
By the way, the state of Shizuku’s crucifixion was witness by a group of passing soldiers. Like the image of Christ on the cross hanging in churches on the earth, it had an effect on people. The number of Shizuku fans increased exponentially due to the mystique of that image, but that was better left unsaid right now.
As Shizuku burned in silent anger, there was a sound from down below. It appeared to be the voice of someone familiar. It was the voice of a woman. Kaori glances out the window.
“It’s somewhat noisy? What’s going on?”
”…there’s an encounter… Shia and Arutena (Translation Note: Yeah, I didn’t remember her either. She was an elf saved by Hajime after being enslaved by the Hoelscher Empire). A fight this early in the morning. Something ought to be done.”
“What kind of fight?”
“Well, I’m not sure how to explain it, something quarrel-like? It’s early, let’s go see!”
Without understanding, Kaori sums up and explains the event while urging Shizuku to follow her downstairs.
Apparently, the pair had started fighting regarding something to do with Hajime. After some unheard comment, Shia had exploded and the pair started wrestling. Shia was currently using a cobra twist on Arutena in the middle of a dining area.
Shia seemed to be using professional wrestling techniques on the granddaughter of Alfrerick. She was practically a princess! An estranged girl from the rejected rabbit group was using violence on the daughter of one of the strongest forces in Fair Bergen. In a normal situation, this would be an immediate reason for execution.
However, the rabbit family had changed their luck of recent.
In other words, they were now known as the “head-hunting” rabbit family.
Solving the situation with her skill, Shia spit out vicious words about Arutena daring to keep approaching Hajime, and so she met Arutena crudely and with violence, causing her to crumble. Shia was aware of Arutena’s behavior. Though no one would have expected the treasured princess to approach Hajime in the first place, but still…
“Oraoraoraoraora! If you want me to stop, don’t make eyes at my Hajime!”
“Ah, ah, ah! This is shameful!”
Apparently, Arutena did not seem too discouraged from continuing to follow Hajime, even at the hands of Shia’s wrestling techniques.
Arutena was tossed upside down and put on Shia’s shoulder. Professional wrestling technique – kinniku buster! Expanding her splendid legline to the max, Shia lifted Arutena inversely, exposing her groin area. Her undergarments were made bare, defiling her purity and innocence unexpectedly.
By the way, Hajime was still in the dining room. There were also several employees of the dining area and two skiki maids with Arutena. Everyone was flustered except for Hajime.
“Ko… is this okay? That’s the princess… being treated this way.”
“Is she really the princess? Would she wear such an expression?”
“…Ah… that… Somehow, she seems happy?”
Shizuku asked the question after heading down from the room she had stayed overnight, while Kaori’s expression twitched at the sight in front of her. Kaori made it a response by pointing to Arutena’s face.
Her face was certainly dyed red, but the edges of her eyes seemed to be shining with excitement. Arutena’s expression almost seemed to give out a happy atmosphere.
Though the other party was giving her extreme humiliation… it still seemed like she was following her heart and it was not all together bad.
“You’re going to be obstinate, how about this!”
“Ko…this time, such disgrace.”
Shia had run out of pity as Arutena refused to say she’d stop approaching Hajime. Even before the kinniku buster throw had brought her to the ground, as Arutena fell, Shia kicked out her foot, rolling and bringing her body up. It was the so-called Romero Special.
While rolling, Arituna’s skirt flies up, ruining the grandeur and her once graceful tone. However, her expression still wore a determined look, which invalidated Shia’s persuasive power.
Because Shia’s position, she wasn’t able to see the expression on Arutena’s face. Therefore, she believed that Arutena was sufficiently punished. Everyone in the place was already mind boggled that Arutena wore a pleased expression. “This daughter… she’s already been beaten up but is still pleased?” This put a perplexed expression on everyone’s face.
“I see, something quarrel-like indeed.”
“Yes… you’d like to think even… Tio found a like-minded friend, but this seems a little different.”
Shizuku wore a face of agreement, while Kaori saw something pitiable. In fact, Tio, an oddity in and of herself, seemed to be watching Arutena with affection, like a master watching over the growth of her pupil. Her look seemed to hold sympathy and joy over finding a compatriot. Hajime and Yue sat down in a seat opposite of hers, while holding looks of disgust.
Tired of this scene, Hajime opened his mouth toward Shia and offered words that damaged Arutena to the very limit.
“Shia, stop wasting your time on nothing.”
“Say, Hajime, I won’t stop. I’m just reducing the number of rivals. The princess decided to refuse. She also seemed a little too conscious of her wants. I took the initiative to strike first!”
Shia shifted into a reverse boston crab, apparently intending to nip this rival in the bud. While putting her into another shameful place, Arutena lets out a painful, but somewhat glad, scream. The appearance of a princess was completely lost. The maids and employees tried to escape reality, their souls hanging out of their mouths, ready to escape.
Hajime turned his eyes on Tio with a flat expression, and then he dipped some bread into his vegetable soup and put it into his mouth before standing up with a reluctant sigh.
While collecting the glances of everyone in the dining room, he moved over to Shia and pulled her arm and Arutena’s foot, separating the two.
The drawn Shia immediately settles into Hajime’s arms. Kaori and Shizuku meet the scene with blank expressions while letting out a stupid “oh!” noise.
Hajime disregarded them. And quietly whispered something into Shia’s rabbit ears, causing her eyes to widen in bewilderment.
“Shia, Is Yue your rival?”
“What?” Yue? That’s not right. Yue is special…that.”
While embracing the puzzled Shia especially strongly, Hajime tried to persuade Shia.
“There already is no rival to you. At least, I don’t intend to talk to other women at the same level I talk to Shia. It’s impossible to compare Arutena and Shia together. I give you my priority, my special treatment.”
To the word “special” that Hajime unexpectedly whispered, Shia dyed red momentarily. It wasn’t exactly what Hajime said, but the conviction behind the words that showed Hajime’s change in attitude since some nights ago.
In other words, Yue was “special” from everyone else. No one could be in the same line as her, but there isn’t only one special person for Hajime, not only Yue can be special.
To be told this, with no special situation, in the middle of a dining room at noon was a complete surprise. While wearing an embarrassed expression, Shia’s blush deepened. Everyone else except Yue had stiffened with similar leers as Hajime comforted Shia.
“That, Shia. With regard to Arutena, Do you think that applies to you?”
“What? Eh? I?”
Shia responded with confusion as her back was patted softly.
Arutena had covered her face with both hands, embarrassed by the pink space she suddenly found herself right next to. However, she’s peeking out from an opening in her fingers, her eyes trembling restlessly with just a hint of shame.
“After all, I clawing… after all, it’s Hajime.”
“Chi, it’s different! I don’t think of Shia badly. But I want to talk to Shia without reserve!!!”
Shia pulls away from Arutena, then goes back to clinging to Hajime. Such a thing is a professional wrestling skill, obviously. Shia realized she had turned Arutena abnormal unintentionally as she applied a shameful joint technique.
Tio was giving Arutena a look of admiration. Shia noticed, it was indeed a smile of approval.
A new abnormal had been awakened. Shia turned her gaze to Arutena, while floating a disturbed expression.
“This is different! Shia misunderstands! I really just want to get along well with Shia!”
“You do? What? Me?”
Shia was asking nervously as Arutena vented her emotions.
According to Arutena, apparently, this.
Arutena is a princess in Fair Bergen. Since she’s the granddaughter of Alfrerick, a high level person in the community, she is treated as a noble existence between the families. Therefore, she’s always been handled carefully by others.
The result goes without saying. Brought up as a gentle girl with a kind heart, she received a good education and was loved by many, however, she was always given special treatment. She was given first priority, practically worshiped by boys and girls of the same age. There was nothing on equal terms with anyone.
Surrounded by people who’d always treat her gently, she began to feel lonely. She began to feel admiration. She always wanted a close friend, someone who could exchange opinions without restraint.
However, it was the obstinacy and result of the rivalry with Shia, that impacted Arutena the most. It was an impact to her body as well as an impact to her mind. A girl the same age as her treated Arutena mercilessly. It exposed those feelings with ever hit, physical and by word. After the shock, she absent mindedly and unintentionally felt joy.
And, so she thought, someone from the same age group, it might be possible… to become best friends with someone who can put the nature of her family aside. It seemed wonderful.
“Because, I’m ashamed to say, that when I got near Hajime, Shia would pay attention to me.”
“Well, you can’t get attention like you’re a dog…”
“There it is… handled as a dog…me”
“Oh… you react with just that?”
To Arutena, there is blush on her cheeks from a strange gladness for being treated like a dog. Shia wears an “After all…” expression. Arutena sits up, panicking a bit, stretching her hand out to Shia quietly while standing up nervously.
“So, then, if you say so, will you be my friend? Can you answer me?”
“…Somehow, this confession makes me itch… if you just want to be friends, I can’t think of a reason to refuse.”
Shia was disgusted a bit while thinking “it’s still a princess”. She took Arutena’s hand for a handshake, and Arutena wore an amazed expression. Arutena’s look turned to a smile, pleased at the unexpected development. Meanwhile, everyone else wore stiff and uncomfortable expressions.
When Shia tries to separate her hand, “Huh?”, she inclines her neck. Why won’t Arutena let go of her hand?
“Uh, Arutena-san? My hand…”
“Oh, please drop the honorifics, just call me Arutena! And I’ll call you Shia! Since we are best friends, this is normal!” (Translation note: I’m really bad about catching honorifics, so just assume most people are using –san -sama ect…”
They went from becoming friends to best friends in five seconds. Really? This is the daughter of a large figure in Fair Bergen, after all. Shia began to have a cold sweat, while Arutena blushed at telling Shia as much.
“So, Shia, what technique will you use this time?”
“It is very shameful, and strange pain even becomes numb… however Shia’s warmth is transmitted. Because I’m Shia’s best friend, you can use your various techniques on me. We can play more!”
At that moment, Shia shook off Arutena’s hand with a zuzazaza- and retreated back to a wall, cold sweat flowing down her face.
“Na… What best friends? Isn’t this just a pervert, you really did change!”
“Such a thing! I only want to spend as much time as I can with Shia before she leaves tomorrow!”
“Then, what comes with “wanting to play”!”
To this dangerous Arutena, Shia’s rabbit ears were bristling. Hajime held a smiling expression, and Shia had her mouth gaped.
“Indeed, this is my Shia, who shares the hardship of others.”
“The first half of your words are wonderful, but I other half sound unpleasant!”
To a comparatively cruel excuse of experiencing hardship of a locked-on abnormality (Arutena), Shia became watery eyed. Apparently, Hajime doesn’t intend to help at all.
Arutena approached Shia who is pressed up against the wall. She’s wore a smile that said “Let’s continue with what we started a while ago.”
Being the opposite of pleased and suppressed by this power, Shia turned and opened a window with a “ban” sound, leaping from the room with a jump and running away like an escaping rabbit. She apparently planned to escape from public until things cooled down.
“Ah? Shia! Where did you go? Wait for me!”
To Shia’s actions, Arutena acted like a woman whose lover just deserted her, leaping through the window while executing a physical strength on par with what Shia did. She started running off with a “shitatatata” sound on her feet. Shia turned back and saw Arutena. Giving a shout, “Hiii!?”, she bolted off toward the downtown of Fair Bergen.
The two disappeared from sight with surprising swiftness. Everyone was left staring at the scene, Hajime at the head, with feelings that could only be described as stupefied.
Meanwhile, the form of a girl advanced on Hajime.
“….Hajime… A while ago, what did you mean by what you said to Shia?” Kaori demanded.
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