Hajime and Shia who left the village even while the villagers were reluctant to see them leaving were aiming straight toward the city of Puhang at the upstream.
They were stuffing their cheeks with bread that looked like nan with a lot of meat in between, given to them kindly by the villagers when the left. They were eating while they were advancing along the river that still had the coldness of the morning remaining.
「Delish- desuu. I missed the chance to ask, but what kind of meat this is?」
「I wonder. This feeling of overflowing wild taste, it somehow remind me when I was in Abyss……」
Hajime and Shia were going 'delicious delicious' in a display of gluttony regardless of the fact that it hadn't been a few hours since they received breakfast.
「In any case, they were a pleasant bunches aren't they. That……Wandam? Though I cannot say about the way he was looking at me.」
「It's Bantas-san. Certainly it was a beautiful spinning kick. Though it's still not at the level of a certain muscular actor.」
Shia laughed loudly. Bantas who fought a young girl to a draw after that got high spirited when Hajime and Shia exhibited a mock fight with sublimely advanced fighting style. He begged that he also wanted to have a match with Hajime by any means.
The way Hajime fought compared to Shia left an impression of boorishness that couldn't be erased. It didn't have the flowing elegance of "martial arts" that was backed with history like Shia who was adopting various hand-to-hand fighting style.
Although, Hajime's taijutsu that was sublimated by accumulating real battle after real battle where his life was on the line of life and death should be said as the height of rationality.
His figure perfectly handling the entirety of Shia's flowing offense that was like a surging wave using the minimum movement necessary made anyone who watched it felt beauty from it in its own way.
Not just Bantas, it also went without saying that the men of the village got their blood boiled.
「Hajime-san, sometimes you are strangely popular among the male, just like with Tou-sama(father) and others. Especially among the beefy people……」
「Stop it, don't say anymore.」
Recalling how the village's male were approaching him with their muscles twitching, Hajime shuddered while shaking his head. Shia raised a chuckle seeing such Hajime.
「They said that they wanted us to come again next year, they expressly gave us the invitation, so let's come again bringing a souvenir next time, okay Hajime-san?」
Shia expressed her happiness of the unexpected chance meeting in the travel with a wide smile. Her rabbit ears were also whooshing around.
However Hajime showed a bit of thinking gesture while agreeing. Shia thought 「Eh? He isn't enthusiastic?」 while she peeked at Hajime's expression with a bit of unease.
Hajime smiled wryly thinking that he was worrying Shia and he spoke while patting her head *pon pon*.
「Don't make that kind of face. I'm just thinking a bit.」
「Yeah. I'm thinking that if you are enjoying it that much, then perhaps it's fine to make the travel date with just Shia a custom for once a year at least.」
Her rabbit ears stood straight *Pi─n-!* The lovely suggestion caused Shia's eyes to sparkle with stars of delight, then she leaped at Hajime while glittering with joy.
And then without pause she pouted her lips 「Nn~~」 and approached for a kiss.
「I get it that you're happy, so for now how about you clean up the food scraps around your mouth first?」
Shia's face became bright red and her body backed away gracefully.
It was a rare occurrence, but sometimes like just now Shia became a disappointing rabbit. Hajime watched fondly of such Shia with affection then he personally cleaned up Shia's mouth. Shia look embarrassed, but she kept her eyes closed.
Toward such Shia, Hajime brought his face closer to have the continuation of just now even though it was early in the morning. Shia who felt his presence also leaned her body forward in response……
Both of them simultaneously turned their gaze toward deep inside the forest. *rustle rustle* The sound of feet treading firmly on vegetation resounded faintly.
「It's not some animal isn't it?」
「There was the talk about the youngsters of other village loitering around but……」
Now then, what could be the reason of they being here. The answer immediately became clear.
「So it's really true. There are foreigner man and woman here.」
「Oo, they got various pricey looking things on them.」
「The girl is drop dead gorgeous.」
「Whatever, as expected foreign tourists are idiot huh. Taking sight defenselessly in this kind of place like this.」
Just from that conversation it was clear that these are the insolent people the villagers warned them about.
The fighting festival was happening that merrily. Then surely the rumor about foreign couple with affluent look seeing from their nice belonging would quickly spread to other village too.
Tourists visiting dangerous place with sightseeing mood without really gathering information about the local, without even the self-awareness of how ignorant and rash and reckless they were acting, and holding a groundless optimistic view that it was impossible for misfortune to befall them……
These rude bunches were surely coming to aim for that kind of tourists who were just begging to get robbed.
With a grin on their face, the robber look-alikes were gathering while showing something that looked like rifle even though they looked old.
「This kind of people exist no matter what world it is isn't it. Well it doesn't matter. Right her with the fist of Uga that I had just learned I will teach them the harshness of socie──」
The moment Shia clenched her fist to give a lesson,
Consecutive gunshot sound echoed inside the forest. At the same time, the young men showing up from inside the forest were disappearing into the forest as though in a video playback. More accurately they were sent flying, or perhaps it should be called as knocked flying.
「Wha-, wha-, this guy──」
「He is carrying gun! Run──」
「Sto, stop! We aren't planning anything! Look, I'm putting down the gun! So don't sho──」
Everyone peacefully returned back deep into the forest. There was no exception.
「Be thankful tearfully that you guys at least don't get returned into earth.」
Mercilessly, no, just using stun bullet was already merciful but, Hajime-san shot everyone without caring whether they were escaping or raising their hands in surrender.
It didn't even take five seconds until the figure of about ten people of the bunches vanished from view.
At earth, Hajime fundamentally didn't pull out Donner, if it was only someone picking up a quarrel he would deal with them using his bare hand (he used his left hand without reservation), but here he chose gun without an instant of hesitation. Shia's eyes turned round seeing Hajime's reaction that was different from usual.
Hajime shrugged his shoulders and he stored back Donner into the holster on his chest while,
「There is no one watching after all.」
In other words, it seemed if it was a place where there was no witness, he wouldn't hesitate to use Donner in order to settle the problem in a flash. For the insolent people who encountered Hajime in a place outside of public gaze, it was a dangerous place instead.
Hajime who normally said something like 「I'll comply to law and ethic that is appropriate for a citizen of a constitutional country. After all here is different from Tortus you know, compared to Tortus」, was shooting unhesitatingly……
「Hajime-san. The way of thinking that it's okay to shoot if there is no witness, feels like it's normally outlaw though.」
「Oi oi, how can you say that to a virtuous and exemplary Japanese person like me.」
A virtuous and exemplary Japanese person was surely a person who would modestly respect propriety, avoiding act of violence and honored the law to the best of their ability, that was how she felt……Shia's expression turned really complicated.
「Before this Myuu-chan said "innocent until proven guilty. Everything is legal if it's not leaked out", she said outrageous things by quoting someone's words but……I feel like I understand whose words they were.」
「There is nothing in my log about that.」
Hajime papa averted his gaze to escape Shia's fixed stare.
※Those were words that a good kid must not believe no matter what!
Shia made a wry smile toward the bad papa who was turning the other way. However, her expression turned into a bright smile right after that,
「Well, they are scoundrels, so it doesn't matter whatever happen to them!」
「That's a lovely conclusion Shia, I'm falling in love with you all over again.」
*ruffle-ruffle! pat pat!* The scene of idiot couple flirting beside the forest where multiple locals collapsed was truly surreal.
By the way, in case it was Shia who dealt with them, they would definitely ended up in a state of an inch before getting beaten to death, so in a sense Hajime's non-lethal gunshot was more fortunate to them. The gunshot that came from the irritation from the kiss getting obstructed……in a sense they came attacked in a nice timing.
After the time advanced boisterously and flirtatiously for a while.
The sun had risen high to the sky, about the time when it almost become afternoon, the river's width suddenly became wide and a town could be seen up ahead. It was the town of Puhang.
The automobile and maintained road that were the convenience of civilization could be seen.
Originally, it was a place that could be reached in four hours if one used car or bus from a town that had train station or airport. There was no whimsical traveler like Hajime and Shia who would intentionally walked inside a thick forest along the river for a few days laboriously to reach this city.
「How should I say it, it's that. It feels like when you encounter someone who used cable car to reach the summit after you were climbing up with troubles.」
「The mountain climber is enjoying the climb so it's fine desuu.」
Hajime smiled wryly seeing beside him an old truck was passing truck noisily, which caused Shia to pout.
「Don't sulk. I also had fun. Rather than that, it's afternoon already. I'm hungry after a good workout, what about you Shia?」
「You're right~. I'm also getting hungry. According to the villagers, there are a lot of delicious restaurant so let's eat lightly.」
「Yeah. If I remember right the recommendation is a restaurant with a terrace along the river was it?」
「Desu desu. They told me that the steamed river fish is tasty.」
They were talking while entering the city. There they saw that unexpectedly there were a lot of foreigners. It shouldn't be a particular tourist spot, but far ahead from here there was another tourist spot, so perhaps this place was bustling as a stopping point.
Shia asked the local for direction with her innate amiability. In this place too the sight of the local getting bug-eyed hearing Shia talking the local language fluently could be seen as expected. The person she talked to also became smiling naturally. And then they taught her the direction kindly and thoroughly.
「Over there he said! Hajime-san, it's that white building!」
「I got it, that's why don't hop around. You are being stared with lukewarm gaze by everyone around you know? Even me too.」
The local people, whether they were young or old, male or female, were watching Shia who was running across the street toward her lover with gentle eyes. Incidentally, pleasant gazes were also directed toward Hajime who was looking somewhat embarrassed.
It was then a car was running with quite the speed. Even though it was in the middle of city, with that speed the car undoubtedly would be unable to stop even if something suddenly leaped in front of it.
Shia who was in the middle of crossing the street leaped toward Hajime with a bit of panic.
「That's really dangerous isn't it~. Why is that car that hurried I wonder?」
「Who knows. Rather than that, they are riding good car there. What's more the cars' type is all the same. Are they a group?」
Just as Hajime said, the car driving dangerously wasn't just one.
Six SUV that in a glance looked high class with high performance were running through in a line. It felt like the cars were prepared altogether, so at the very least there was no doubt that they were from an organization with quite the financial muscle.
Hajime's interest was a bit tickled at the people who came to this kind of place in group riding high class SUV, but it also wasn't something to the degree that would make him intentionally investigate. He immediately chased them out of his mind and started walking while holding Shia's hand so she wouldn't hop around.
They walked through a place that looked like a promenade along the river heading toward the restaurant.
The river's appearance wasn't beautiful, so no foreign tourist was watching the view, but several local people were fishing on a protruding wharf, they were chatting while putting their feet into the river. Some other people were washing clothes or other things. It could be seen from the sight how the river was closely connected to the daily life.
「There are a lot of boats. There is also a floating market~」
「This is the place where the branch rivers merged after all, ship must be a valid method to transport material here.」
As though to show it, ships with a lot of utility were mooring at jutting out wharves that were also a lot. When there were wooden rowing boats, there were also boats with engine. Though they were all uniformly only old things that had been used for a long time.
Suddenly Hajime asked.
「Come to think of it, Shia. About the ruin spot we were told at the village, based from what I saw in the map it was really far from here. Are we still going to walk? It will take around a week if we detour until the place with bridge you know?」
「Aa~ uu~. Actually it will be nicer to walk but……as expected, that will take too much time. I have enjoyed the travel by foot a lot, and here boat also seems to be the mainstream……」
Shia kept glancing at Hajime looking a bit embarrassed, perhaps because it sounded like she was taking back her own words.
Hajime smiled wryly while secretly making his Treasure Warehouse II shined. He summoned the hard workers Arachne-san who were in the process of being turned into Jack of all trades. He took them out from inside his clothes so that it wouldn't come out from empty air, so all the Arachne went down to the ground through Hajime's foot with rustling sound.
「……Hajime-san. I've been thinking since some time ago but, why spiders? Honestly speaking, they are a bit chilling.」
Countless spiders were crawling out from the body……. Certainly, normally it was a horror sight that would make anyone faint.
Hajime who was asked positioned Arachne to four directions and activated awareness obstruction barrier while answering with a puzzled look.
「Eh? It's cool right?」
Shia softly averted her eyes. It seemed that Hajime's fundamental chuunibyou was impossible to be healed.
A flustered look emerged on Hajime's face! Despite him thinking that if it was Shia she would approve saying 「You're right!」, but she was just getting normally creeped out. Her rabbit ears were tapping *pon pon* on Hajime's head softly, as though saying 「It's all right, it's all right I'm telling you. Okay?」, making him felt like asking just what was all right.
「No no, Shia. Try imagining it for a bit. Multi legged tank is cool right? It's romantic right? At the Armor○ Core we played before this, even you were using the multi legged weren't you? Besides, it's that. See, even that person in a certain ○moon game, he said 『a spider who laid string on surface as nest』 about himself, also there is that! Even a certain hero of America is totally spider you know! After that──」 (TN: About the moon something, it's reference to Nanaya Shiki from Melty Blood, Hajime is quoting that guy's victory line there)
「I understand. I understand already. It's fine you know, Hajime-san.」
「Oi stop it. Don't look at me with gentle eyes like that! Eeei-, don't pat me! Don't hug me!」
Shia's gaze was full of compassion. 9999 damage to Hajime's heart.
Hajime forcefully tore Shia away from himself and he whined moaningly while further taking out a boat, mooring it at the nearby spot. It was a black coated boat with proper construction.
──Prototype amphibious boat Triana
It was the prototype boat of the artifact that he sent to a certain friend, other than being able to move in high speed on water, it could also run on land by putting out its stored wheels.
「Let's go using this until near the ruin.」
「Does it need to be taken out right now?」
Shia tilted her head in puzzlement. Even though they were going to have lunch after this, why did Hajime took the boat out right now?
「No, actually, this is still in the prototype stage……rather it's incomplete. I'm thinking that while we are eating, I'll use the Arachne for remote transmutation and complete it to some degree.」
「Arachne-san is working hard isn't it. But, it's floating normally right now, it can run on water already isn't it? I think it's enough like that though……」
Shia was puzzled, she wondered that even though Hajime was calling it a motor boat, perhaps unexpectedly it was still in a stage where it wasn't even equipped with propulsive mechanism. But Hajime began by saying 「Of course it will run normally if I make it run but……」 then,
「It's not installed with any weapon at all.」
'I don't really get what you are saying desu', Shia made an astonished expression that said that.
「Err, Hajime-san. I think it doesn't really need weapon or anything though……」
Shia said such thing with bewilderment. Hajime turned a shocked expression toward such Shia. His state truly looked as though saying 'I don't really get what you are saying desu'.
「Are you in your right mind Shia? Something like a vehicle without weapon is the same like a car without any brake! That's too dangerous!」
「Rather I think it's Hajime-san's heart that is in need of a brake.」
If it had to be said further, rather than a car without weapon, it was the car with weapon that was dangerous no matter how one thought about it.
But Hajime shook his head as though to say 'Just what are you saying', and then he opened his mouth as though persuading an unreasonable kid.
「Listen well Shia, think really carefully. What will happen to Bon○-san if there is no weapon in his Bo○d car? Even if it's someone of his caliber, he might simply die you know?」
「Please don't confuse the vehicle used for travelling together with spy car. Hajime-san, since when did you join with the spy agency of England? It feels like Magdanese-san will be really happy then……ah, no, I'll take back my words. It feels like it will give even more damage that will be beyond healing to Magdanese-san's stomach.」
In any case, something like a vehicle without weapon wasn't a vehicle, that was the fixation that Hajime wouldn't concede. And that seemed to be connected with why he put out the boat now.
All the Arachne-san quickly clung to here and there on the boat and began their improvement work.
「I get it already. I'm hungry so let's quickly go to the restaurant.」
「……How strange. I get the feeling that Shia is looking at me like I'm a troubled guy……」
Shia pulled the hand of Hajime who was making a look that wanted to say how upsetting the whole thing was, and this time it was her who started walking while dragging Hajime behind.
Since coming back home from the other world, whether it was Hajime or Yue, both of them sometimes caused Shia to take this kind of attitude as though she was dealing with hopeless person, depending on the situation there was also time when she plainly got angry……
Compared to when they first met, it wasn't like Hajime didn't get the feeling that their position was oddly reversed.
The cooking of the restaurant they visited was rather delicious just like the villagers recommended. Taking the meal on a wooden terrace that was protruding out to the river was also not bad with how it was giving effective modifier on the place category.
It seemed that Shia was pleased with the steamed cooking of freshwater fish, she was passionately trying to steal the taste since some time ago.
Everyone recognized the handmade cooking skill of the rabbit who was almighty in housekeeping. She had also completely learned the taste of Nagumo family, so although the cooking duty was did by rotation, if it was asked who was the head chef who was entrusted with Nagumo family's kitchen, the answer would already unanimously be Shia.
「Fumu fumu. I somehow get it but, in the first place what seem like will be trouble is whether the spice can be obtained in Japan.」
「You'll surely find it if you search. And if not, you can just come here to buy it using gate.」
「……Now that Hajime-san mentioned it, that's right. Hajime-san is too all-purpose that I'll turn depraved from the convenience.」
「If it's for the sake of Shia's handmade cooking, then I won't hesitate to use everything I got.」
「Err……I'm really happy that Hajime-san say that, but those are profoundly memorable important words that were said the previous night before we were taking down the emperor's castle, so I wish that it won't be said lightly for something gluttonous……」
Once, when Shia kept her mouth shut from being stuck between her family's determination and her reservation toward Hajime, Hajime gave her those words. Those words were one of several "important words" inside Shia. And so her expression became really complicated.
But, the one in question Hajime himself showed not even the slightest sign of joking around, rather he said those words just now with an expression that was even stiffer than the previous night before taking down the emperor castle.
「Calling it "light" is really a cruel remark. After all Shia has firmly taken hold of my stomach. If it's for the sake of Shia's handmade cooking, I'll even pick fight against the world. I won't hold back.」
「My, my handmade cooking as the trigger of a war!? Tha, that's heavy desuu」
Even while she was saying that, if one looked at her rabbit ears whooshing around it was clearly obvious how happy she was. 「Or rather, what kind of situation that will make Hajime-san pick a fight with the world for my cooking? I don't get the meaning at all~」 Shia muttered such things while poking the food with her fork and doing her best to hold back her mouth from grinning widely.
The atmosphere of the two was meal terrorist in a sense, with how it forcefully changed the food in the area to become "sugary taste". Inside the restaurant that was quite bustling there were various guests, but those who were male and came by themselves felt like clicking their tongue.
There was also how Shia was an exceptionally beautiful girl.
Actially since when she first entered the restaurant, she was gathering quite a lot of gaze. Even the restaurant's staffs were stealing glances at her, even the guest who entered after would also surely take one or two gaze at Shia.
Also because normally there would be Yue and others around her, people would recognize her as "one of the beauties", but originally she was a possessor of beauty that couldn't help but gather attention even by herself.
Hajime gazed at the embarrassed Shia with gentle eyes. In order to hide her embarrassment, Shia's stuffed her cheeks *hamu-hamu-hamu* with food. Hajime-san watched with even more fondness at her acting like that……
「Geez. Ple, please don't stare at me like that~」
「Where should I look then huh.」
Hajime spoke with a wry smile. Depending on how to perceive those words, they could also be heard like 「There is nothing else that I should see except Shia」 or 「I want to look at Shia all the time」.
In fact, the male faction inside the restaurant perceived Hajime's words like that. They gritted their teeth audibly and clicked their tongue with a lot of jealousy filling the sound.
A male restaurant staff let his jealousy drove him and he put down the dish he was carrying on the table hard. The hot soup splashed at a male customer and a scream 「Hoott!?」 echoed.
*boguu* Such graphic sound resounded. It seemed there was a male customer receiving a golden right straight from the female he was taking as a date.
It seemed only the seats of the two had different atmosphere around them. If it was in two dimension world, then there would be hearts floating flightily around them. Above all else, Shia's happy smiling face that was filled with a lot of embarrassment and happiness produced a lot of shot victim.
Right now, the sound *splash-* that could be heard must be the sound of a man walking on the road beside the terrace falling into the river. 「Aa~」 such voice could be heard vanishing into distance. It was unknown how far that man would get carried away by the stream.
If Yue was charming people like a moon shining bewitchingly in the night, then Shia was charming people like a sunny spot that was scattering happiness around warmly. Although the vector of the two was different, the demon king's rabbit possessed a charm that wasn't superior or inferior from the bewitching vampire princess.
But, at that time, Hajime looked like he was taking a breather.
「Could it be, the improvement is finished?」
「Yeah. It's properly armed now. A total of four small gatling gun placement at the back, front, left, and right. Then 120 pencil missiles. It's also loaded with torpedo and mine, twenty of each. I'm a bit uneasy with the firepower but, well, it's okay I guess for a quick job. With this it became a safe vehicle more or less.」
Hajime smiled in satisfaction. Shia went 「Rather it's a mass of dangerous things desuu」 with her rabbit ears going limp.
And then, her rabbit ears caught the sound *kasa kasa* that caused her to shudder reflexively. When she turned her gaze toward her feet, all the Arachne-san who had finished their task were currently gushing forth from the terrace floor's gap.
They skillfully used their leg and gave a smart salute before they were enveloped by light one after another, returning into the Treasure Warehouse.
Shia thought, 「Those Arachne-san, they are controlled by Hajime-san right? Somehow I feel a sense of self from them but that must be my imagination right?」. It was scary so she didn't ask though.
「Hajime-san, it's better to not show those Arachne-san in front of Kaori-san or Shizuku-san you know? I was raised in the sea of trees, so I'm all right with insects, but even someone like me shuddered a little seeing a lot of Arachne-san.」
Also, they strangely felt like they had their own will. Countless will at that. Shia whispered so inside her heart while giving Hajime a warning.
Hajime averted his gaze.
「……Hajime-san had criminal record already aren't you?」
「Shizuku was……unable to go out of her room for a while.」
To say further, everything that looked like gap inside the room had tough planks nailed on them so that transmutation wouldn't work and she holed up inside there. Just like how Goddess Amaterasu was hiding inside the Heavenly Rock Cave, it was a hardship to make Shizuku come out.
「Of all people Hajime-san showed it to Shizuku-san whose reaction is the most feminine……just what are you doing?」
「I'm also reflecting about that. You see, Shuuzou-san said to me 『I'm thinking for a renovation, can you help with making a huge underground space?』, so I used a lot of Arachne for construction work but……」
「Shizuku-san unexpectedly encountered them, is that it?」
「They had just finished the first phase and they were returning from the underground. It was then, while they were gushing out in large amount from the house's garden, she saw them.」
Hajime could also use gate to teleport inside Shizuku's room and persuaded her there, but it felt like it would have the opposite effect instead, so Hajime together with the disciples of Yaegashi-style did various things under the operation that was named 『Shizuku-ojou(young miss), Heavenly Rock Cave Operation!』 so that she would come out voluntarily.
In any case, the disciples of Yaegashi-style were proficient in doing performance. Very much so. To the level that made Shizuku spontaneously peeked out from the gap of her door and thought「What? What are they doing? Why are they looking like they have so much fun?」
Hearing that kind of story, Shia directed a pitying gaze to the far away Japan while thinking that next time she would let Shizuku fluffed at her rabbit ears to her heart's content.
But, at that time a commotion suddenly entered Shia's rabbit ears. 「Oh?」 When she turned her gaze to the direction of the commotion, a group of what seemed to be foreigners were already gathering around Triana unnoticed.
「Hajime-san, Hajime-san. People are gathering around the boat you know?」
「Hm? ……Are they sightseeing because its color is different from other boat? Well, leave them alone. It's moving using magic power, so no matter what they do it's impossible to steal it.」
Shia also returned to her meal while feeling a bit curious. What bothered her was because they didn't look like tourist…….
Or rather, they didn't even look like respectable people. Several of them looked like normal people, but the people surrounding them as though guarding them were emitting aura that was unique to people who were familiar with violence.
Although, there was no way they could become a threat to both of them, so Shia acted as though it didn't bother her.
But, it seemed it was them who had business with Hajime and Shia.
A highly strung middle aged man with blond hair that had been mostly receding was pointing at Triana while asking something to a man nearby who seemed to be a local.
The local male shook his head, but when he called out to other people who seemed to be his acquaintances, although they looked puzzled they still pointed at Hajime and Shia who were continuing their meal at the terrace.
They must be saying that although they wasn't a hundred percent sure, those two might be the owner of Triana.
There was also a man with well-featured face like an actor beside man who looked highly strung. When he looked at Hajime and Shia, his gaze stopped on Shia. And then he raised a voice of admiration that sounded exactly like an actor.
With the "highly strung" and the "sham actor" in the lead, a man who looked like a secretary and five men who seemed to be bodyguards were heading toward the terrace in group.
「Uhee. They are coming here Hajime-san.」
「Leave it to me. I'm often told recently that I have "become mellow". I'll show you how I settle this amicably with a peaceful and cultured communication.」
「I somehow can see the future already.」
Shia's characteristic magic "Future Sight" didn't activate. This was this thing that was commonly referred as "pretend". It could also be called cliché.
"Highly strung" was making a rude entrance into the terrace. And then, as soon as he stood in front of the two's table,
「Oi, you two. Is that boat yours? I'll buy it with cash. This is enough right?」
Without letting the other party getting a say, he slapped a roll of banknotes loudly on the table. His voice was like monkey going 'kiii kii', and his gaze was glaring hard. From the start he didn't have any intention of hearing their opinion, it seemed he was thinking that there was no way his demand wouldn't go through.
Those glaring eyes turned toward the muscular men who were standing by threateningly behind him. He was intending to make his will became known using more than words.
Against such person, Hajime peacefully
The "highly strung" lost strength in his waist! The fiendish eye gleam that would make even yakuza to run away barefooted tormented the nerve of the "highly strung" with so much torment!
The bodyguards' hand moved to their waist or their breast pocket reflexively.
But, before they could take out something, Shia's voice resounded.
「Hajime-san! Hajime-san! You're a peaceful and cultured person!」
Hajime patted his own face. What next appeared was an expression that was truly gentle and peaceful. If they hadn't seen the evil countenance just a moment before, then they would surely think that it was truly the amiable expression of a Japanese person. But right now that change instead made it scarier.
「I'm really sorry, but I have no plan to sell that boat. If it's boat you want there are a lot of other boats, how about you take a look at another place?」
The "highly strung" was backing away while still sitting on the ground.
「……Shia, what is the meaning of this? I was treating him gently right? Why is that guy scared?」
「That's obviously because Hajime-san showed him what lies behind that smile first.」
Hajime whose expression wanted to say 'I don't get it' caused Shia to make a straight man retort to him.
There, the sham actor came forward.
「Oh no my apologies, to suddenly intrude without even introducing ourselves. The one losing his legs there is Brandon. While I am Wilford. Nice to make your acquaintance.」
The sham actor also known as Wilford put his hand on his chest and respectfully──or rather, with a gesture that was excessively theatrical he greeted with a bow.
「To be able to encounter a Japanese young man with such inspiring aura and a beautiful lady like yourself in this kind of place, truly a travel is really a good thing.」
The smile looked appropriate on the man. He looked like he was familiar with his own charm. If looked from nearby, he was truly a handsome man that would make anyone understood why he had self-confidence. His age must be around the early thirty. He also had adult sex appeal that if it was a normal girl their cheeks would redden unconsciously.
Wilford smiled sweetly at Shia and presented his hand gently. Because Shia's hand was at the direction where his hand was going, perhaps he was intending to make "the greeting of kissing the back of the hand".
Shia was plainly puzzled and she put the fish her fork stabbed on Wilford's palm. It seemed that she thought Wilford-san was a gourmet and he wanted to say to her 「That fish look delicious so share it with me」.
Hajime almost snorted reflexively, while Wilford's expression was twitching. Even so he said 「This is, thank you so much」 while eating the fish on his palm. His guts was quite something.
「Cough cough. And, Mr. Wilford. Is your business the same like that that man said before?」
「Unfortunately for the two of you, that's correct. No matter what we wish to purchase that splendid boat from the two of you. Can I please ask you to somehow accommodate our request? If it's money we will pay your asking price. Of course, there will be limit if we are using cash though……」
Wilford said that then he took out a check from his pocket. He must be telling them to write any amount they liked. It was a terrifyingly lavish attitude.
「We are a research team from Reletense company. Brandon is the researcher, while I……am someone like a businessman. This will fall under necessary expense so write down your price without reservation.」
Hajime titled his head toward Wilford who was saying such thing with jesting attitude.
「If this isn't a personal project then you should be coming quite prepared right? Why are you doing something like negotiation of boat transaction? It should be something that you prepared or arranged beforehand right?」
「There is an unexpected situation. Life is something that is always moving to an unforeseen bad direction. We have secured boats to some degree, but in our situation it's still a bit lacking, a boat with good performance that is.」
Perhaps it was a miss in the arrangement or perhaps it was the local people who broke the contract in the last moment. In any case, it seemed they lacked the number of boat.
Come to think of it, the line of SUV they caught sight before. If Wilford and his group were riding inside those, then certainly they must have quite the number of personnel and equipment. If their people here weren't all of them, then it seemed to be a fairly large research team.
Although, Hajime's answer was decided. No matter the reason he couldn't hand over something like a boat that was moving with magic power, there wasn't any meaning giving it to them.
「My bad. I want to cooperate here but, that boat is specially made. I cannot hand it over no matter how much money you stack up.」
「Can I ask you to please do something about it?」
Wilford asked doggedly. His words were polite. His face was also smiling. But……joviality was slipping from his eyes.
It seemed this man was far more dangerous than Mr. Brandon.
「I told you already, it's impossible. If it's boat then there are a lot here. Look for it at other place.」
「Your boat is good. I only looked briefly, but with the condition of all the boats here, it won't be strange if they breakdown anytime. With more time we will be able to procure quite some good boats, but we don't want to waste that much time.」
「I understand your circumstance. But, even so I can't. My bad.」
Shia was sending Hajime a gaze that was full with admiration while saying 「Oo~, Hajime-san is properly persuading other with words!」. Was that how much she was thinking that he was a person whose thought was negotiation = violence……. Hajime felt a bit wounded.
「Hmmm. This is troubling. I thought that if it's Japanese person then compromising is their specialty but……. It seems that the youngsters these days is bad at reading the atmosphere. No, peace idiot always exist anywhere. Perhaps it can't be helped that you are lacking in sense of danger.」
A cold gaze was poured from Wilford to Hajime. That gaze could even be called inhuman, normal people who got that gaze directed at them would tremble from a chill. Those eyes were also slowly moving toward Shia.
Wilford's fingertip made a beckoning motion. Following that, a large bodied and tough looking man came forward and bared open his jacket slowly. There was a handgun there.
「What do you think? For the sake of your lovely lover too, won't you allow this negotiation to end up productively by all means here?」
「Negotiation? I think that you are mistaking it with threat though?」
Hajime snorted mockingly. Wilford's eyes narrowed slowly. The bodyguard was moving to circle behind Shia.
It was unthinkable that they would shoot in midday in front of the public, but what if they pressed the gun muzzle from nearby and threatened so they moved away from there……such thing was possible enough.
「Good grief, it's unbelievable that these guys are corporate worker. Or perhaps is your company some kind of private military company or something?」
「Now, I wonder about that──」
Wilford showed a cruel smile, however his words halted.
*clack* He saw the thing that was put on the table.
「Even if I shot you guys death right now, looking from the gun you guys are keeping in your pocket, it will be undoubtedly a justified self-defense. After all we here are a young couple. While your side is a mysterious organization. There is also a lot of witnesses seeing you guys surrounding us like this.」
Everyone's gaze was fixed on the bizarre large revolver. No matter how they looked, it was a custom made order, what's more it looked well used. And the most terrifying thing was, even though they were all paying attention to Hajime all this time, they didn't notice the gun until the moment he pulled it out.
「……I think that you should put the number of people into your consideration though?」
「I absolutely don't care.」
The sound of gulping saliva could be heard from the experienced bodyguards.
At the same time, there was the abnormal pressure overflowing from Hajime. Certainly, the mood that difference in number wouldn't make any difference was permeating the air.
「……Who are you? Don't tell me, you are aiming for "that" just like us?」
「Chih. So it's only a case of us pulling a bad card huh. Really, life is something that is moving to unexpected direction.」
Wilford clicked his tongue, then his hand made a gesture to back down with his expression looked like he had bitten something sour. The bodyguards pulled back slowly.
「Sorry to have bothered you. We will look for boat at other place.」
「……I see. What's important is that we can understand each other.」
Wilford shrugged his shoulders, then he easily turned around and left. Brandon followed behind him in panic and the bodyguards were leaving the restaurant while staying on guard against Hajime until the end.
「What's with those people I wonder.」
「Who knows. In any case, they aren't decent people for sure. Nothing beats not getting involved with them.」
Hajime shrugged his shoulders while staring sadly at the food that had become cold. He then resumed eating.
Shia also followed suit and resumed eating while whispering inside her heart.
(No matter how you think about it a flag has just been raised desuu. We are absolutely going to get involved with those people again! Because, this is Hajime-san we are talking about!)
The future prediction of Shia whose vocation was "Fortune Teller" was……no, even if it wasn't Shia, anyone who knew Hajime could easily predict that.
The correctness of that prediction……
Would be proven as early as today.
AN: Thank you very much for reading every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
For some reason I was writing lengthily.
Arifureta Nichijou, has been updated with newest chapter!
Tio has also appeared and it become all the more lively you know~
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