Arifureta After III Tortus Travel Journal ⑰
Currently the town of Ur was being enveloped by a great hustle and bustle. Even though originally it was a tranquil town of agriculture, right now the main street was being crowded with people in a number that was unbelievably gathered in less than a hour. The air was trembling with excitement and fervor.
It wasn’t unreasonable. After all, the guests who came were the party of that demon king. Not to mention the goddess of abundant harvest, even the kingdom’s princess Liliana and the new pope were present.
It was truly a sight that might only happened in a life time for the people of the rural village.
Although, the people of this Ur Town differed from the residences of a certain haunt of the wicked. Perhaps it was because of their common senses or because of attentive upbringing, although they were excited, they divided and lined up properly at the right and left of the street like in a parade and didn’t hinder the traffic.
And so, the procession down the road was a pleasant one. At most there was only Aiko going past through being embarrassed and straight into a “state of complete effacement” due to the unceasing respectful words, affectionate cheers, and question like when would she bear a child with the demon king-sama that were continuously thrown at her.
「Aiko, you. It feels like you’re looking transparent though……are you okay?」
「Yes. Aiko is okay.」
「Hajime-kun, my child isn’t okay here.」
Aiko answered the question of her mother Akiko with a smile that looked transparent. Indeed, from how she was only looking straight forward with a smiling expression that didn’t even twitch for a millimeter, she definitely wasn’t okay.
「She isn’t getting used with getting treated as a goddess no matter how much time passed huh.」
「Yes. Aiko isn’t used to it.」
She looked no good in various senses. For the people of this town, Aiko was the patron god who created the foundation of their current life, so their zeal toward her was conveyed all the more.
For the time being, Tio sent a soul magic to Aiko after receiving a glance from Hajime. Aiko flashed bright *peka-*.
She is shining! How sublime! Could it be it’s a blessing toward us? What an extremely compassionate person!
Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!!
Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!! Aiko-sama banzai!!
「Goshujin-sama. It backfired.」
「Nothing that can be done huh.」
There was nothing that can be done. Aiko’s atmosphere was turning even more transparent. Her eyes were peaceful, as though they were being opened to enlightenment. It added even more to her mysticism and the people were starting to pray「O goddess~」 even more to her.
「Ai-chan’s popularity, it’s amazing……」
「It even look like she is idolized more than Hajime in this town.」
Ai-chan’s deification wasn’t stopping! Usually she would get nagged persistently by the vice principal in school where she would obsequiously bowed her head to him over and over. She would run around with swirling eyes because there were too much things that she had to do. The gap between her status here and her state that was like a small chick over there was absurd.
The heartfelt of Sumire and Shuu made everyone’s expression to become a complicated look that looked both like admiration and sympathy.
「Ho-ho-ho. Perhaps Aiko-dono is more suitable to become the pope rather than me. The time when she was in confusion because of her romantic feeling to Hajime-dono feels nostalgic.」
Ai-chan, she was resurrected by the unexpected revelation. She put her index finger on her mouth and went ‘shh-, shh’ telling him to be quiet, but the female camp with Akiko in the lead went「Hou. Tell us more about it」 and pressured Pope Simon with their gaze. Naturally, Pope Simon yielded.
「She was hopelessly harboring feeling toward Hajime-dono! But, she was his teacher! Something like a forbidden love is no good! But……she can’t possibly forget about him! It was something like that, she was truly a maiden. To a degree that she was fidgeting and worrying alone amidst the flower bed.」
‘This old geezer-! What are you doing leaking out the content of someone else’s consultation like that!’ Aiko thought with the corner of her eyes raised, but the female camp’s lukewarm gazes made her covered her face with both hands immediately. Her ears and neck were bright red.
「Hee, hmm~m, is that so~」
「……Okaa-san? Is there something that you want to say?」
Aiko glared from between her fingers at Aiko who were talking in delight.
「You, even after you returned you were also fidgeting and worrying didn’t you? You didn’t tell me anything until Hajime-kun himself came to our house.」
「You who were dull and indecisive and hopeless in regard to romance like that was――」
「Okaa-san, don’t say it so directly.」
「I thought it was amazing that you could make your approach toward Hajime-kun but, it seemed that it was also thanks to Simon-san wasn’t it?」
Saying that, Akiko turned her eyes toward Simon and courteously bowed her head saying 「Thank you for being a great help for my daughter」.
「Don’t mention it, there is no need for any thanks. I didn’t do anything. It was simply the result of Aiko-dono being able to properly treasure her own feeling.」
「”I think it will be great if Ako-dono can treasure that newborn feeling” ――it was Simon-san who said that though.」
‘Hee, what’s this. So you ain’t just a funky old geezer huh. You were actually doing something that was really like a clergy.’ Hajime and others showered Pope Simon with a gaze that was saying that.
Pope Simon averted his gaze in a bit of embarrassment. There, a heavy voice resounded.
「……Hee, you gave such advice to Aiko-san. Even though you only said “Well, do your best” to me.」
It was Liliana. She was staring reproachfully at Pope Simon’s back.
It seemed she was also making consultation to Pope Simon. She was the one who nominated Simon to be the new pope and he was also her talking partner since her childhood. There must be a relationship of trust between them. Exactly because of that she was feeling dissatisfaction that he was serving as Aiko’s consultation partner better than with her.
「That was because I received the consultation from princess after I learned that the one talked by miss Yuuka and Aiko-dono was Hajime-dono.」
「What about it?」
Pope Simon spoke his excuse with a serious face.
「Honestly I was thinking, someone like Hajime-dono can just get castrated.」
While he was already being served by such charming women, on top of that, there were even three more women including the princess……go explode. You demon king of the night just go explode! I don’t care! I hope you get into bloodbath or carnage between women, feel troubled!
It seemed that he got such thinking and his response became apathetic. Pope Simon-sama, it seemed his heart was still youthful.
「Oy you, you clergyman leader」
「I don’t give a damn! I’m just representing the heart of all the men in the world!」
Simon-sama was sulking even with his age. The male camp Shuu and others were making expression that was saying 「Well, it’s not like I don’t get where he is coming from」.
「Is it okay to have this kind of pope, Lily?」
「Even like this there are a lot of people who are looking up to him you know, really.」
Liliana made a troubled smile.
While they were talking like that, the destination came into the view of the group. Tomoichi who was walking all this time with awkwardness due to the street that was in the state of parade asked.
「Hajime-kun. Is that the “Inn of Water Fairy”?」
「Yes, that’s right. That’s the inn where we were staying.」
The origin of water fairy was coming from the fairy-like existence that was believed to dwell in Urdia Lake. There was also explanation like it was a long-standing establishment since ancient time. Also, Aiko wished to come here first to give a greeting to the owner who had been of help to them with various things when they first visited here.
After explaining, this time Kaoruko opened her mouth with a slightly troubled face.
「Eerr, will these people continue to stay on the street……I hope that it won’t cause any trouble to their work……」
The number of people that seemed like they had suspended their work no matter how she looked at it was standing at both sides of the main street, so her worry was reasonable. Although, Kaoruko was talking indirectly there, her true feeling was undoubtedly……that it was hard for her commoner sensitivity for people to be waiting for them outside all the time while they were looking around inside this inn.
Guessing that, Hajime showed a bit of considering look before he brought his face slowly on Aiko’s ear. Aiko raised her voice 「Hyah」 due to the breath that suddenly touched her ear.
Cheers like 「Oo!! What intimacy!!」「As expected our Aiko-sama is number one!」「Aiko-sama is no other than the first wife!」 were erupting from the surrounding. A blood vein pulsed on Yue-sama’s forehead. Kaori’s smiling face that wasn’t smiling was directed to the people. The chill that they suddenly felt made them acted strange. Look! The goose bumps on these arms!
「Ha, Hajime-kun. What are you doing in public like this――」
Aiko blushed. Hajime started to whisper something in a small voice into her ear. Then, right after that,
Aiko showed a firm refusal for some reason.
As though to say that he had finished anticipating that reaction, Hajime-san whispered even more. In addition, he even put his hand on Aiko’s ear with a caressing gesture. Aiko was turning even redder from shame, however, she didn’t try to get away.
‘There is a chill as though there are vindictive women glaring, but to hell with that! They will burn the precious figure of Aiko-sama into their retina and engraved it into their brain!’ It was unclear whether the people were thinking that or not but, there were even more cheers. There were also shrill cries 「Kyaa~~♪」 from the town girls at that age.
The town right now was really heating up!!
On the other hand, Sumire and others the parent~s were looking with a gaze that said 「No, really what’re you two doing on the street!?」. It seemed Yue and others could hear what Hajime was saying, their expression looked really complicated.
「Eh? If I do that then in exchange……? Tha, that is……certainly that will help buuut……but……uu, I get it. I just need to do it right!? Right!」
For some reason, the smell of complete desperation drifted from Aiko. Just like usual.
And so, ignoring such Aiko, Akiko and others turned a suspecting gaze at Hajime wondering just what he had said.
Hajime didn’t really give any answer, in exchange he distributed sunglasses. It seemed he was telling them to wear it. Tomichi bluntly showed a wary expression that said 「What are you planning to do?」.
Amidst that, Aiko who received something from Hajime stepped forward. And then, she put one hand on her chest and lifted her other hand above her head. It was a pose like the goddess of freedom. However, what she lifted wasn’t a torch, but a suspicious silver tube.
「O town of Ur! I have returned!」
A beat. ‘WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA’ a cheer that was several times louder than anything from before resounded.
Akiko’s eyes turned round from her daughter’s strange action. The other parents were also surprised. While they were like that, Aiko’s gaze wandered a bit and she muttered 「Er~r?」, and after a beat, she moved her right hand slightly forward. Right after that, crimson light surged brightly.
While the people were getting even more heated up expecting some kind of miracle, Aiko also raised her voice further. The scent of desperation drifted fully from her.
「Everyone who was in that place at that day! Do you remember? Of the miracle that descended! That miracle that repelled the tragedy that assaulted everyone’s hometown!」
――THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN FORGETTTTTT-
――IT WILL BE TALKED DOWN TO THE NEXT GENERATION IN PERPETUITYYYYYY-
Aiko’s expression once more turned like she was straining her ear and muttered 「Er~r……」. She made crimson light surged from the silver tube and spoke more words.
「Everyone who couldn’t be present in that moment of miracle! If it’s possible do you wish to learn? Do you wish to witness it? Do you wish to share the excitement!? Of the miracle of that day!」
――WE WANT TO KNO―――W, AIKO-SAMAAA―――!!
――I ALSO WANT TO SEE!!
――MY HUSBAND WHO TALKED WITH SMUG FACE IS IRRITATING-. I WANT TO SHARE THE EXPEREINCE-
Aiko raised her voice 「Er~r」 for a moment like usual. Of course, she also didn’t forget to make the silver tube to shine red!
「Very well! Then I shall show it! This timeee, let’s share the excitement with each other! On the name of the goddess of abundant harvest, I will resurrect the scene of that day! By my miracle of past projection!」
Holy cow! Holy cow! A miracle of the goddess for our sake!? Holy cow!!
The citizens of Ur Town who were usually calm and diligent were pulled in by Aiko’s speech and turned wildly enthusiastic. Their tension were raising with abnormal level!
With a face that seemed to say ‘This is the last! I can only dash forward to the finish!’, she made red light to flash bright while making her last words resounded.
「I proclaim that here, I will open the great screening of the movie titled “Curbstomp of Ur Town ~Descending Goddess and Her Sword~”! The location is the northern grain-producing region! The broadcast time is one more hour! Come to watch no matter what!!」
It was like a movie advertisement, but that wasn’t wrong. Even if the citizens didn’t understand the detail, but they comprehended that they would be able to witness the power of the goddess once more at the northern plain where the great battle once occurred. A beat later.
「Noow-, hurry to the north gate! The seat’s distribution will be first come, first served!!」
The red light flashed. ‘WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH’, the citizens started running simultaneously at the same time with the goddess’s signal. They made the ground to shake *DODODODO-* while striving to be the first to witness the miracle on the special seat.
The main street was emptied in the blink of eye. Aiko who splendidly succeeded in inciting the mass was,
「Uu, it was embarrassing……」
She whispered so while her face returned to being bright red. Hajime took off his sunglasses while nodding in satisfaction.
「A splendid provocation……or rather incitement.」
「But the lines all came from Hajime-kun! It’s amazing that you could produce such lines right on the spot!」
Aiko took out something from her right ear. No matter how one looked it was a microphone headset (artifact version). It was a telepathy receiver. In other words, Aiko was just following Hajime’s speech it seemed.
「Also, in the end, what is this thing? I pushed the button each time I talked just like I was told though.」
Saying that, Aiko returned the silver tube back to Hajime. Sumire similarly took off her sunglasses while saying with a twitching expression.
「Hey, Hajime. For some reason, I feel like I have seen that somewhere.」
「Hey, papa! Is that the flashy thing from Man In Bla○k nano!?」
Myuu who was looking excessively suited with the stylish sunglasses like the one that was worn by the main character of Matri○ asked while hopping around *pyon pyon* in anticipation. It was clear to see even with her eyes still covered in sunglasses. Her eyes were sparkling right now. Hajime grinned.
「That’s right. I name it “Neu○lyzer New”. Other than the ability to blow away memory when it flashed like the original, this excellent tool can also be used to guide the mind subliminally like just now!」
Apparently the diligent citizens of Ur could move in perfect order like that even if it was due to the words of their goddess was due to the lovely memory fabrication tool of a certain secret organization that fought against aliens.
For the time being, Tomoichi got into the point.
「That’s brainwashing! Throw away such dangerous thing immediately! Also, I saw that movie too! I don’t want to believe it but, you haven’t mess up with my memory using that right!? Especially about the matter of my family’s angel!」
「Tomoichi-san. That’s a really hurtful accusation. I won’t use it to family.」
「It’s no good to use it to outsider too isn’t it!?」
「However, Tomoichi-san. It’s truly useful to protect family from country or strange organization……this is what they call unavoidable measure. It was a bitter decision that I made.」
「I’m amazed you can say butter decision with absurdly nonchalant air like that!」
「By the way, there is also five yen type of this device. Well, that one is for the personal use of the guy with assassin occupation though.」
「You handed such dangerous object to such dangerous guy!?」
Tomoichi-san grabbed Hajime’s shoulders tightly. He attempted to teach ‘Brainwashing is absolutely no good!’ from the sensitivity of an ordinary person with great virtue. Looking at how he didn’t give up that by saying “It can’t be helped because it’s Hajime”, in a sense he was properly thinking about Hajime……thinking that, Hajime himself could only make a troubled face.
There, someone threw him a lifeline.
「To think that “Neu○lyzer” actually exist……Hajime-kun. How much is it? I don’t mind to pay your asking price.」
Shuuzou-san’s eyes were serious. He took out a check book from somewhere. Shizuku opened her eyes wide in shock. Beside her, Koichi took out his credit card from his wallet.
「We have secretly made a request to a company that has connection with Yaegashi you see……but as expected, it seems that realizing it is difficult. I don’t mind even if you take however much you like from my personal bank account, so can you sell it to me?」
「Hajime-san. I will give you our Shizuku, so please give me one okay?」
「Okay, Okaa-san. If you wish for a cold blooded fight to the death with your daughter then I accept!!」
‘Shizuku-chan that’s no good calm dooown!! Kaoriii, let go! My family you see! They’re no good unless they get sliced and diced at least onceee! Hajime-kun! This is the Neura○zer New’s turn to shine! Just several seconds if alright, blow away Shizuku-chan’s memory for her!’
Shizuku who had manslayer’s eyes while being pinioned from behind and Kaori who was desperately holding back her best friend who was like that. And then at the same time, there was Tomoichi papa who was making argument 「You’re giving bad influence to Hajime-kun’s education!」 to Yaegashi family while simultaneously saying 「Nagumo Shuu! If you’re a father then make Hajime-kun has proper restrain!」 to Nagumo papa.
「Kaoruko-san. Tomoichi—san really is a good person.」
「Oh my, Hajime-kun. Thank you. Really that person, he is someone with an upright personality since the past.」
Seeing Shirasaki father-daughter who were urging for self-restrain to Yaegashi family and Nagumo family, Hajime talked to Kaoruko with a warm expression. Kaoruko smiled happily in response. And then, Hajime-san immediately put away the “Neura○zer New”. Myuu was watching longingly, but Remia’s eyes weren’t smiling.
The group advanced through the emptied street even while making such commotion.
「Even so Aiko-san. Despite what you said, whether it was your posture or your tone when giving speech, they were all magnificent. As expected from my fellow agitator.」
「Lily-san. Is that, a praise?」
Liliana was giving a peek of her Black Lily side that was like ‘Sometimes, I make those commoners to go putty on my hand with my agitator technique you know!’. Aiko stared unblinkingly at her while saying to not group herself with her.
While making such talk, they arrived at their first destination the “Inn of Water Fairy”.
When they immediately went inside……
「I have been waiting-, ONEE-SAMAAAAAAAA-!!」
The <ruby>female knight<rt>soul sister</rt></ruby> who got tossed into a gate that connected to deep inside the northern mountain performed a Lupi○ dive! Although this was the nearest city to the northern mountain region, this was too fast for her to climb down the mountain and reached here. The abnormality of that and the bloodshot eyes plus rough breathing ‘haa haa’ caused Shizuku to scream.
「……Nn. “World Piercer”.」
Yue opened a gate. In front of Shizuku, a curtain of light was deployed like a shield. The female knight raised a resentful voice 「DAMN YOUUUUUUUUU-!!」 while vanishing into the other side of the light.
The gate closed. It faded out after opening for a few seconds. Shizuku hugged Yue in gratitude.
「Uu, Yue, thank you. Just now was simply scary……」
「……Shizuku, no worry. I sent her away for more than a hundred kilometer to the north.」
「That will be fine if it’s like that won’t it? After this, we plan to go to the northern mountain region where we met Tio but, no matter how she won’t return in just several hours right?」
「……Shizuku. No worry.」
Yue couldn’t give a guarantee when it came to the soul sister that boasted incomprehensible vitality. A really silent atmosphere filled the room. When it came to a hundred kilometer to the north, it was at the other side of two or three mountains from here, for people who weren’t summoned from other world like them, the place would be really dangerous due to the threat of monsters there but……it looked like there wasn’t anyone who was worrying about the female knight’s survival.
「Shi, Shizuku-chan! It’ll be fine! Next time I’ll protect you!」
「Shizuku-oneechan! Don’t feel down!」
「What great tenacity. If her character is beaten up into shape, she will become a splendid shinobi――cough-. She might be able to become a user of Yaegashi style.」
「Shizuku, I’m sorry what my knight have done. I’ll also scold her later.」
「I’ll also punch her away!」
Kaori, Myuu, Liliana, and Shia consoled Shizuku one after another.
「Right, thank you everyone. Also, Ojii-chan, I’ll cut you down you know?」
Shizuku thanked Kaori and others while throwing an eye glint of a manslayer to her grandfather who was making a considering look. Yaegashi family who was losing all restraint in this Tortus travel. It felt like the daughter would seriously become deranged if they didn’t quit it.
But there, an elderly gentleman showed himself from inside the inn.
「Welcome, everyone. Let me say my heartfelt gratitude for visiting this establishment once more.」
Even though the outside was in a state of parade, he wouldn’t leave from his own castle no matter. What. This man with elegant and calm atmosphere was none other than the owner of the “Inn of Water Fairy”.
「Phos-san! Long time no see!」
This was Phos Celluo. Not only he gave service to Aiko in his inn, he also helped her with his advice. Aiko greeted him with a delighted expression. Phos too also returned the smile not with a business smile, but with a joyful smile that came from the bottom of his heart.
And then, he ran his gaze through Sumire and others the parent~s including Kaori, Shizuku, Myuu, and Remia who he only met for the first time.
「Welcome to the Inn of Water Fairy. I am the owner of this inn, Phos Celluo.」
The posture of his bow was truly beautiful. He really looked like a first class hotel manager. The interior design also hadn’t changed since the past, there wasn’t any items that gave misleading impression or prioritizing profit like some other inns! The atmosphere of the room was very calming!
There wasn’t any need to feel shocked by staff that could show up out of nowhere or fearing a parade of frilly and muscular monsters. The members who met the owner for the first time also introduced themselves back smilingly.
「Thank you kindly for your introduction. Will everyone stay here for today? If that’s the case then I’m very sorry, but our inn has become fully occupied just now. The only service I can provide everyone is only a meal for your pleasure.」
「It’s fine. We’re fine with that, owner.」
Hajime-san took Phos’s hand with an excessively kind expression. He firmly shook the owner’s hand with both hands.
Owner Phos was bewildered. He could never even imagined that Hajime was feeling moved by his common sense that was treasuring his guests unlike some other inn that would do something unreasonable like 「We have no empty room but we will chase them out right away!」.
Not just Hajime, everyone was making applause *clap clap clap clap* with gentle expression. As expected from a long standing inn. As expected from a first class establishment. As expected from Phos Celluo! Something like genuine “<ruby>No way!?<rt>Masaka!?</rt></ruby>” service was unneeded! This inn was really reassuring!
「Tha, thank you very much?」
As expected even Owner Phos was looking troubled at the abrupt great praises. He intended to simply treat the guests normally so, he really didn’t get at all what was going on.
「Well, putting that aside, today we came to have a look at this inn.」
「Taking a look is it? I see. In other words, you wish to view our room then. However, I have also said it just now that there are guests staying here so……」
Saying that, Phos turned his gaze toward Pope Simon.
「Umu, I don’t mind. I have nothing that will make me feel troubled even if they are seen. Owner, I shall give my complete permission.」
It was only natural if one thought about it but, the one who reserved the most room in this town was the people of the church Simon and co. With that problem resolved, Phos bowed his head cheerfully. But, at the same time,
「I believe that everyone is having a trip to reminisce about the past but, could it be everyone will also head to the northern mountain region?」
「Hm? Yeah, that’s the plan. We will look around the town, and then we’ll head to the mountian region before heading straight to the empire.」
「If that’s the case, shall I also prepare some dishes that can be carried for the lunch? I remember that Nagumo-sama liked dishes that used rice. Recently the quality of the rice here is extremely good, and the scent from the herb that can be taken from the mountain is also rich. Everyone has taken the trouble to visit here, so please allow me to show my hospitality even if only for a little……is that alright?」
「Owner. That’s a splendid suggestion. Thank you so much. Please allow us to presume upon your kindness.」
An unexpected polite language from Hajime-san. He even took the owner’s hand with both hands once more.
To be honest, they could manage somehow by themselves about the lunch, but it seemed Hajime received deep impression and held respect toward Owner Phos’s consideration and spirit of service.
「……Hajime, he is really traumatized by the Masaka Inn.」
「Well, it’s the inn where that Hajime-san fainted multiple times after all……to say it myself, I think that is a really dangerous place.」
Yue and Shia were making a conflicted expression while watching Hajime who was sending respectful gaze at the owner.
Shuu muttered 「……Strange. My son never directed that kind of gaze at me……」 with a serious face. Tomoichi was plainly shocked 「Eh!/ Nagumo Shuu, you seriously thought that you would be able to receive respect from Hajime-kun with how you’re acting!?」. They progressed to grapple with each other. ‘This bastard! Even you aren’t being respected at all by Kaori-chan! Don’t you say thaaattttt-, Nagumo Shuuuuuu-!! Bam-smash=!!’
「As expected from Phos-san. It’s amazing that you’re respected by that Hajime-kun.」
Aiko sent a respectful gaze toward Phos. There Myuu pulled at her sleeve. She was still wearing the sunglasses. She might liked it.
「Aiko-oneechan. You mentioned about the owner-san being a big help but, what did he do for you other than providing room to stay?」
Including how Aiko said that she wanted to greet the inn owner first, it was apparent that there was a trust between them that surpassed a simple relation between an inn guest and inn owner. It seemed Myuu thought that it was strange. She slightly pushed down her sunglasses and showed her eyes that were shining with curiosity.
Phos seemed to hear that, but he said 「I didn’t do anything special at all though……」. He tilted his head, looking like he really didn’t have any idea at all, but Aiko strongly denied it 「That’s not true」.
「When I didn’t know what I should believe in and became unable to move, it’s not a bad choice to just believe in what I want to believe――Phos-san advised me like that when I was worrying.」
「Aiko. What were you worried about? Your relationship with Hajime-kun?」
「It was something before even that, Okaa-san. ――I, almost held a grudge toward Hajime-kun at that time.」
Akiko was speechless. It was because she understood about Aiko’s current feeling, and at the same time she also understood about Aiko’s staunch feeling toward her students.
Hajime also turned his gaze toward Aiko. However, he wasn’t surprised. His expression looked understanding, and also because he had already listened to Aiko’s honest feeling in front of the monument of the deceased in the palace, his expression was also kind and soothing toward Aiko.
While everyone was focusing on her, Aiko put on a small smile and said.
「I mentioned it before right? Shimizu Yukitoshi-kun……the one who got dragged into the attack that was targeted to me and got fatally injured……the one who Hajime-kun finished off……my student who died in this town.」
One shot to the heart. One shot to the head. The scene of that time was clearly remaining in Aiko’s mind without fading at the slightest. Even now her chest would feel pained when she recalled the scene of that day. Inside her heart, there was herself that was yelling ‘Why wasn’t I able to do better! Why wasn’t I able to notice Shimizu-kun’s thinking faster! Even though if I noticed, there might be other way!’.
If only she was at least able to get her act together, then the unnecessary act――the situation making Hajime pulling the trigger might not need to happen. That was her regret.
Because there wasn’t any need to deal the finishing blow on Shimizu Yukitoshi who was fatally wounded already by the attack that targeted Aiko. Hajime could simply leave from that place without doing anything. Just with that the “threat” of Shimizu who didn’t show any willingness to reform would be gone.
He fired so that the people in that place wouldn’t think that “a student dead because he got dragged by Aiko”. It was so that Aiko wouldn’t break because she broke her most important belief.
Hajime made everyone thought that he killed Shimizu Yukitoshi for his own sake.
Aiko spoke of that while looking at Phos once more.
「My apprehension toward Hajime-kun, and my thinking that I have to believe my student which was going to crumble……Yuuka-san and David-san and others were also really worrying about me……at that time, I was able to think properly because Phos-san said that to me.」
「That’s why, please allow me to say it again. Thank you very much for your concern toward me at that time. It was thanks to Phos-san that was able to take a look on myself once more. I was really glad for being able to stay in this inn.」
「……I’m the one who have to thank you. That’s the greatest praise I can receive as an owner of an inn.」
Perhaps because of feeling moved, there was something that glistened gently on the wrinkled eyes of Owner Phos. He then deeply bowed his head to hide his face, because it was something that he couldn’t possibly show to his guest.
Seeing Phos like that, Akiko too gave him her words 「Really, thank you very much for everything you have done for my daughter」 with even greater feeling of gratitude than before.
While a calm atmosphere was flowing, Myuu pulled at Aiko’s sleeve once more. She seemed to read the mood and took off her sunglasses.
「Aiko-oneechan……are you alright?」
Because she was a sharp child, Myuu must have sensed that there was regret and feeling of blaming herself that wouldn’t abate inside Aiko. Her expression looked worried.
Other than Myuu, Akiko and others, and then Kaori, Shizuku, and Liliana were making the same expression. Toward them, Aiko was――
「I’m fine. My inability to forget the regret and everything else, is something that I can do, and something that I should do. Isn’t that right, Hajime-kun?」
「Yeah. You’re right. All this time I’ve been watching sensei who is like that.」
Hajime and Aiko showed a smile of understanding for each other. That time of just the two of them alone in that evening, they recalled the words that were exchanged in front of that monument of the deceased in the palace and they gently stared at each other.
「……Hajime. Tell me about it in detail.」
「Hajime-kun. Something really happened at that day wasn’t it? At that evening, your atmosphere was suspicious for some reason!」
Yue and Kaori came between the two of them forcefully. Everyone else seemed to be curious too.
Hajime and Aiko blinked their eyes together, then a beat later, they shrugged and said.
「My bad but it’s a secret. Right, Aiko?」
「Er~r……ehehe. I’m sorry. Yes, it’s a secret.」
In respond to Hajime’s words, Aiko showed an apologetic expression to Yue and others. Even so, she nodded with a happy smile. Kaori and others groaned ‘muu~’. As for Yue, she shrugged her shoulders just like Hajime. Perhaps she had understood it since the beginning.
「Really, what’s with this child. Showing off like that.」
「How nice it is to be young isn’t iit~」
Akiko made an exasperated face, while Kaoruko was blushing. Tomoichi went 「You must also have a secret with my daughter riight!? Ee!? ……No, wait. I won’t allow something like a secret that exist just between you and my family’s angel! If you’re keeping a secret then fess it up now immediately-」 and approached near.
「As I thought, Hajime-dono can just get castrated!!」
「You’re right. Hajime, you go explode.」
Pope Simon sulked, and Shuu also jumped on the bandwagon. Myuu was putting on her sunglasses, though there wasn’t any particular meaning to it. Remia tried to take it away but she escaped.
Somehow the situation was getting chaotic, so Hajime clapped his hand to change the atmosphere.
「Don’t forget that we proclaimed of holding a movie screening in one more hour. Let’s resume the tour quickly. And on that topic, in this place we’re just going to show that we were staying at this kind of place, but there isn’t anything that we should see by using past projection.」
Hajime said that and quickly led the procession.
「Then, I’ll begin preparing the take away food.」
「Yes, we’ll leave that to you. I’m looking forward to the improved rice dishes.」
「I shall give my all in order to meet your expectation.」
Owner Phos who became one of the few adults that Hajime respected bowed with a posture that was extremely refined just as expected. He then withdrew into the back of the inn.
And then the group went up to the second floor of the inn. Hajime showed the room where they were staying, then after that they looked around at the room where Aiko and others stayed……
Then Kaori said 「Come to think of it, while we were at Orcus Great Dungeon, I wonder how did Yuuka-chan and others spend their time?」. Due to such curiosity they played the past projection of a time range that seemed fitting. In that moment,
『Naïve-, that’s really naïve! Yuuka-chi!! Like that you won’t be able to steal away Nagumo-chi from the other world’s beautiful girl!!!』
Unexpectedly, it was the heated voice of Miyazaki Nana.
Everyone’s gaze snapped toward Hajime.
Inside the past projection, Yuuka who was sitting with girlish posture on the bed looked shocked before saying 『Ha, haa!? Yo, you’re wrong! It’s not like I’m thinking that of Nagumo!』 with a flustered tone. Setting aside that scene, Hajime was,
「There isn’t any past that we especially need to watch. Now, let’s go to the next place.」
He urged the group to progress ahead as though nothing happened.
「……Shia! Restrain Hajime!」
「Kaori! Rewindst the scene a bit further behind!」
With amazing coordination, the four continued the past projection.
「Wa, wait a second you girls! Putting aside our own past, the past of Yuuka and others is……」
Shizuku alone insisted with common sense that it was bad for them to peep like that, but,
「Shizuku-oneechan! ――”The greatest foresight to the future lies in looking back at the past” nano!」
「I’m sorry, Myuu-chan. I don’t really get what you’re saying――」
「――”If you aren’t found out then everything is legal” nano!」
「Myuu-chan!? Shizuku-oneechan think that’s a wrong way of thinking!」
「Hajime-san, we have to talk for a bit regarding the upbringing of Myuu. Shia-san, please bring Hajime-san to the corner of the room while keeping him restrained okay?」
Hajime was dragged to the corner of the room while being restrained from behind and his mouth covered with one hand. There Remia mama approached saying 「My my, really. What should I do about this person」 with a deep smile.
Yue-sama stepped forward in the place of her husband and said.
「……Well then, from now we’ll begin the “examination meeting whether Yuuka can possibly become a dark horse”!」
It seemed that an examination meeting would begin.
At earth, Yuuka-chan who was doing her best helping in her family’s restaurant sneezed cutely from the chill that she suddenly felt.
AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
It’s a little bit late, I’m sorry!
The update speed can return back to normal next month……I’ll do my best to make that happen!
I posted an activity report. It’s about the sale of Takayaki-sensei’s pictures collection. Please check it out!
There is also update at Gardo. The ponytail of Shizuku at latest chapter of Nichijou is too cute lol
Thank you very much for the comments about the anime. I posted activity report for comments for every episode, so if you reader wish to express your impression or opinion, please write it there if possible.
Please take care of Arifureta from here on too!If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.