The Kuzunoha Company’s representative is going to come to Limia Kingdom.
This is small news.
For a company that has its headquarters at a foreign country to go through the trouble of going to Limia to say its greetings is relatively rare, and for the many knights and nobles, it is a happening that isn’t given much attention, or at least that’s how it is supposed to be.
They took it as a simple merchant trying to get on their good sides, and the representative of the company in question was half with that intention.
The merchants that have stores in Limia have already asked for information about the Kuzunoha Company from the Rotsgard Merchant Guild, and there were many nobles that were indifferent to it.
The Kuzunoha Company currently doesn’t have the intention of establishing in Limia, and in this time, they were simply going because the Limia royal family had wished for it. They heard that the Kuzunoha Company doesn’t have any big business plan prepared.
At most, in terms of movement, a part of the people that are interested in information are thinking about creating a connection with the Kuzunoha Company in the time of their stay.
However, for a limited few, this matter held a big meaning.
From the Limia side, it is Prince Joshua and hero Hibiki. And there’s also the Hopelace household.
The Limia King also has a relative interest in the Kuzunoha Company and the representative Raidou.
In the side of Kuzunoha Company, there’s Raidou’s follower, Mio who has something hidden within her.
For them, it was already clear that they will be meeting with an ulterior motive of their own.
And then they arrived at the appointed day.
Raidou, Mio, and Lime; those three headed to Limia in a morning with good weather.
At the teleport formation managed by the Academy, Raidou’s group was being seen off by the Kuzunoha Company members.
The teleportation to Limia’s state border was prepared, and from there, a carriage travel was waiting for them.
“Waka, please be careful.”
“Yeah, I will do my best, Tomoe. I won’t be showing my face in Asora, so I will be leaving that part to you.” (Makoto)
“Waka-sama, I will be taking care of the Academy matters, so I am counting on you for the selection. I will make sure to always be ready to receive your thought transmission, so if there’s anything that you need to consult about, don’t hesitate to.” (Shiki)
“I will probably rely on you a number of times. Thanks, Shiki.” (Makoto)
While nodding, there was a slight hesitation in the state of Shiki.
He looked like he wanted to say something more, but in the end, he didn’t say it.
“Please leave the store to us.”
“I have perfectly gotten used to dealing with customers. I have obtained the skill [Devilish Clerk], so go ahead with the mood of being on board of a boat.”
“Akua and Eris, I am counting on you.” (Makoto)
“But well, if the souvenirs are going to be bananas, make sure the boat is big.” (Eris)
“Well then, I will be going.” (Makoto)
Ignoring the utterance of Eris, or more like, without paying attention to her words, Raidou followed Mio, and Lime and entered the building with the teleport formation.
“To think that he would use [Ignore] on me…What a high-class skill. I didn’t know Waka had learned such a skill.” (Eris)
“There’s no bananas in Limia, Eris.” (Aqua)
“…And compared to that, what an obvious retort. The level of Akua is low. It seems like there’s the need to go back to the basics with ‘what’s up with that?’.” (Eris)
The two Forest Onis that have gone to see them off had begun a friendly quarrel.
There were none who tried to stop it.
“Shiki, it seems like there’s something in your mind.” (Tomoe)
“Waka and Mio are not here, and I have something I want you to hear. Lend me your time.” (Tomoe)
Telling Akua and Eris to make it in time to open the store, Tomoe took Shiki and changed locations.
To an empty location in the Academy that is silent and is not being used.
“This place is fine. For these past few days you haven’t been acting like yourself. Shiki, at the time of the farewell as well, you looked like you had something in your mind, you know?” (Tomoe)
“…Is that so. It is true that I am busy, but I think I am as always though.” (Shiki)
“I feel like you are self-aware of it though. Also, the matter about Waka going with Mio to Limia, you accepted it way too easily.” (Tomoe)
“That was…uhm…Mio-dono persuaded me in a variety of ways and…” (Shiki)
“…No. Ah, I-I will leave it to your imagination.” (Shiki)
“In my side, I had a slight dispute with Mio, and I was a bit interested in your thoughts.” (Tomoe)
“My thoughts?” (Shiki)
Shiki returns the words of Tomoe as a question.
In the first place, Tomoe and Mio having friction was news to him.
“About how you think of Waka -no, that’s not it. What do you want Waka to become-ja?” (Tomoe)
“The reason of you acting weird might actually be because of that. It seemed like you are getting way too involved with the Rotsgard students after all.” (Tomoe)
“!! Something like that is…not true.” (Shiki)
Shiki was clearly shaken, and it was practically like saying ‘that’s true’.
“Especially what you did to that girl called Amelia. Depending on the reason, it is something that can be taken as a joke, you know?” (Tomoe)
“Why do you—?!” (Shiki)
“I coincidentally saw that girl, and within her head, it was completely filled in pink. She was truly happy, but the details were something that I can’t ignore. I didn’t expect you to be related to it.” (Tomoe)
“Now that I think about it, there’s practically no commonness in what we wish for Waka. It is certain that there’s no ‘I want to cooperate with the Goddess and make this world a paradise to hyumans’, though. Even if there’s no antagonistic feelings towards Waka, within our group, there are times when we oppose each other, and I am beginning to think that it is a matter of course.” (Tomoe)
“That’s impossible. We have originated from the control pact, we are Waka-sama’s followers. There’s no way we would be able to do acts that would go against our master.” (Shiki)
“You telling those things to that girl as if they were the words of Waka, depending on the way it is taken, that can be considered a betrayal to Waka. There’s no absolutes. Even if we don’t go against Waka, there’s plenty possibility that we oppose each other, right?” (Tomoe)
“!! I wouldn’t do something like betraying Waka-sama! That was something I did while thinking of the good of that girl and Waka-sama and…” (Shiki)
“But that manner of speech, didn’t Amelia certainly get a bad impression of Waka?” (Tomoe)
It is certainly true that Shiki had done a severe criticism to Amelia as words of Raidou.
At that time, he took the position of soothing Amelia.
That could be taken as an act of betrayal to Raidou.
“Tomoe-dono, that’s not it. Until then, I had already given plenty enough praise to her. In a sense, my role is to give self-confidence. That’s why, to play the bad guy in only that moment would go against the class policy that Waka-sama had set before.” (Shiki)
“But in the first place, those were not the words of Waka, right? It is true that you have lied-ja. That fact doesn’t change, you know?” (Tomoe)
“The evaluation that Waka-sama gave to Amelia was way too harsh for Amelia at that moment. It is true that I falsified it, but for the one receiving the lessons, there’s something harsher than a severe criticism. And so, I decided to tell her the conclusion of my own analysis of her faults as if they were Waka-sama’s words.” (Shiki)
“…How did Waka evaluate her?” (Tomoe)
“Normal, it seems. Things like she asks a lot, a mobile professor, she talks a lot. Anyways, it seems like he didn’t have much interest in her and there wasn’t much impression of her.” (Shiki)
“Waka-sama has placed notations on the students depending on their special traits and has an understanding on them, but in principle, he sees the students as people to instruct techniques, and doesn’t hold further interest or emotions than that. Waka-sama and them are close in age, and it is certainly true that at first, he said that he would draw a line, but…I thought that in time it would grow vague. However, that didn’t happen at all.” (Shiki)
Shiki opened up.
He spoke of the emotions that took shape at that time he was talking to Makoto about the students’ evaluation and their employment.
“Even so, it didn’t turn into something like a master-disciple relationship, and he has been acting as a simple teacher doing his job. I thought that even if Waka-sama doesn’t go too far with Jin, Amelia, and the others, they would be able to reach a relationship of teacher and student close to that of friendship…no, I began to wish for that to happen.” (Shiki)
“Teacher and student huh.” (Tomoe)
“Do you understand, Tomoe-dono? The most painful thing for the people that earnestly want to learn from their respected teacher. It is…not criticism; it is unconcern. Not being interested in them, and being dealt with in the same way as the others. That’s how it is. Or at least, that’s how I think it is.” (Shiki)
“Is this something that you can tell because you were a hyuman before being a Lich and had been in the path of research? I feel like you are reading into it a bit too much though.” (Tomoe)
“I don’t know. But after obtaining the body of a hyuman again and being in a learning environment once more, it is the truth that I…have grown attached to my students.” (Shiki)
“Good grief, that was a miscalculation. Isn’t that the total opposite then?” (Tomoe)
“And so, you showed a severe criticism that would be ‘similar’ to that of Waka that has been playing the bad guy, have Amelia think that Waka has interest in her, and that he has been properly analysing her ability. You are saying that you wanted that girl to think in that way?” (Tomoe)
Shiki nods at the words of Tomoe.
Shiki was bothered by what Tomoe said of ‘opposite’, but he decided to first affirm her words.
“And so, you planted at the bottom of her heart that in her current state she would die if she were to enter our place, and you showed her your feelings of wanting to avoid that.” (Tomoe)
“No, that’s not it.” (Shiki)
“It is. What a troublesome man-ja na, to think that you haven’t noticed it.” (Tomoe)
“In the first place, Waka has no interest in Amelia, so if that woman wants to work, it would be okay to just have her stay somewhere close to you and the problem would be solved.” (Tomoe)
“But then it would end up as Amelia dying a pointless death… Waka-sama will probably…not give her a special treatment.” (Shiki)
“True. But what’s wrong about dying pointlessly? Isn’t it just one woman, who doesn’t know her place, dying?” (Tomoe)
“This is something that you would have said before heading to Rotsgard. That was my miscalculation. Seriously…the reason why you showed antipathy towards my words just now was because you are holding the lives of all your students dearly, or maybe just that one girl-ja ro ga.” (Tomoe)
“?!! I feel that much towards those kids?” (Shiki)
With a face as if receiving a shock, Shiki mutters as if groaning.
In a pretty weak voice.
“Good grief, the men at our place are all blockheads in the important parts. It makes me think that the consistent denseness of Waka is better.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe mutters in a truly amazed manner.
“I am amazed that everything was right on the mark. In that case, your attitude towards Waka just now was mostly you wanting to say a complain because he so easily threw all the matters of the students to you?” (Tomoe)
“To make a complain to Waka-sama, there’s no way!! But, it is certainly true. I did think about why he didn’t say a single thing about Jin and the others. Those kids straightforwardly follow mine and Waka-sama’s lecture. In that case, we should also show our sincerity—” (Shiki)
The words of Shiki were stopped by Tomoe who had gotten closer.
“…What is it?” (Shiki)
“Do you remember me saying ‘opposite’?” (Tomoe)
“You see, I thought that when Waka becomes like you, I wanted you to do a follow-up so that Waka doesn’t go too far. That’s why I agreed in you accompanying him to Rotsgard.” (Tomoe)
“Waka-sama…becoming like me?” (Shiki)
“That’s right-ja. If it is you, I thought that it wouldn’t become that way-ja. But it seems I have splendidly missed.” (Tomoe)
In a distance where their faces were practically touching, Tomoe spoke to Shiki with an extremely low voice.
It was a low volume, but it was a voice that had a silent pressure.
“That’s why it is the ‘opposite’ huh. I got into it, and Waka-sama remained unchanged.” (Shiki)
“That’s right-ja.” (Tomoe)
“But why was it me?” (Shiki)
“…You are being way too stupid-ja na, Shiki. You are not telling me that you don’t remember what you did before becoming Waka’s follower, right? Even if you obtain the body of a hyuman, your past doesn’t disappear, you know? Can’t you remember? What you did as a Lich to the people in the whole world.” (Tomoe)
“Hyumans, demi-humans, beasts; just how many lives did you steal for the sake of your researches? Just how many were sacrificed for experiments that in the end didn’t show the results you wanted?” (Tomoe)
It was just as Tomoe said.
And the knowledge of those times were related to the last resort Shiki had with Amelia.
There’s not enough data, is what Shiki said, but in truth, Shiki has experience in tampering hyumans. If Amelia really doesn’t have enough power and can’t reach the objective, Shiki intended to just strengthen her safely to that line with the knowledge he had.
To forget the roots of that knowledge is truly something strange.
“If you were in a learning environment in the past and Rotsgard had a similar atmosphere, and there are talented students who are diligently learning, something of your long past might have resurfaced. But it is impossible to forget what happened in between-ja yo.” (Tomoe)
“That’s…I haven’t forgotten about it though.” (Shiki)
“Then you should understand why I gave you that role even without me saying everything, right? What color are those hands of yours? Are those the hands of someone that can pat the head of his students?” (Tomoe)
Being told that, Shiki lowers his gaze and looks at both of his hands.
He understood plenty what Tomoe was trying to tell him.
“…Fuuh. Well, if I was talking with Mio, she would innocently say: ‘They are beautiful though, is there a problem?’, but it is different with you.” (Tomoe)
“True…it is true that I was way too festive. It seems like I have felt something no less than attachment towards the students.” (Shiki)
Tomoe takes distance, and the condemning atmosphere disappeared.
Placing Mio as an example, she melted the tension of Shiki.
“I was able to read an approximate of what you wish from Waka. You want to cancel the ‘hyuman discrimination’ that Waka has, right?” (Tomoe)
“…Yes. So Tomoe-dono also noticed it huh.” (Shiki)
Shiki affirms the words of Tomoe.
It is a word that doesn’t fit Makoto that much.
“Well, yeah. Waka has declared that he won’t discriminate demi-humans and he is putting it in practice, but he is discriminating practically all the hyumans. The direct reason might be because of the idiots that went crazy in Asora though. But he has Rembrandt who he has been socializing with before that.” (Tomoe)
“Yes, he has already closed his heart and creating a clear line, and on top of that, it seems like he is keeping his speech and conduct in check. There have been several times when he has remained as a spectator in Rotsgard ‘because they are hyumans’. That part has become a plus appraisal for Rona.” (Shiki)
“It is troublesome because he is doing it unconsciously-ja na. It is certainly true that I want to reduce that part of his as well-ja.” (Tomoe)
“As I thought, it is really unconsciously. Waka-sama is normally against the very word of discrimination after all.” (Shiki)
“That’s the kind of education he was given. That it is bad to change the way of seeing someone because of the color of their body, their different traits, or traits that they are missing.” (Tomoe)
“What a kind teaching.” (Shiki)
“Yeah. But the matter with Waka and the hyumans is complicated. There’s the matter with the Goddess as well, and in the first place, the hyumans in this world are blessed with position and power. There’s no few amount of people that would think it is fine for hyumans to face some pain after being in the position of other demi-humans. Even if we explain it normally to Waka, it will probably serve only to scratch the surface.” (Tomoe)
“It is certainly true that in this world, hyuman discrimination is not a word I have heard.” (Shiki)
“In that point, I am not sure about it, but I am slightly expecting something from Hibiki. They are both Japanese, and if it is that girl, there’s the chance that she will be able to change the will of Waka properly. Well, she will definitely do something unnecessary, so I will have Mio -no, Lime work as a suspension though.” (Tomoe)
“In my perspective, that girl is like strong medicine that’s close to being a gamble.” (Shiki)
“I already know that it is a gamble. But I…am honestly unsure if what I have done for Waka until now has been good or bad.” (Tomoe)
“…Different from me, Tomoe-dono has been acting for the sake of Waka-sama. From what I have seen, you are protecting that person as if you were connected by blood.” (Shiki)
Shiki speaks out his true feelings.
Tomoe was directing a different emotion from that of serving the man she loves, towards Makoto. Shiki thought that way.
It was a deep affection, like that of a brother and sister with a big difference in age.
What was troubling Tomoe, surprised Shiki.
“But since the time Waka came to this world, he has certainly been walking a path different from those other kids that were living peacefully as well. If we just say that it is because of how they were raised, the talk would be over, but I have been wondering if there was a better method, that maybe I have only been covering the eyes of Waka. The insecurity is killing me.” (Tomoe)
“This is not a world where we can live by not killing anyone, not hurting, or causing any problems. Waka-sama touching common sense and changing in some way in this new world is something that’s unavoidable. Of course, I don’t think it is the fault of anyone.” (Shiki)
“Waka is…doing his best. Even though he was a person that thought of only looking at the big world, he has been forcefully pushed to the stage, and he is now looking for peace in that space. Even though he was originally not a person who had the strength to swim in that ocean-like world.” (Tomoe)
“Shiki, I want Waka to have peace in his heart, and as long as his life lasts, I want to keep this connection without throwing it away. Even when that time comes, I don’t want to be abandoned.” (Tomoe)
“That time?” (Shiki)
“But Mio is different. That girl, if it’s the decision of Waka, she can accept anything. Only that girl has a principle that’s completely different from us both. As followers of Waka, we are all in the same position, and in terms of our wishes, we all have different positions.” (Tomoe)
“In the demon race country, Waka achieved Creation. Waka has definitely done a step towards his confrontation with the Goddess, and he is approaching the time when he has to decide on what will happen after.” (Tomoe)
“At that time, it might be the time to do our farewells?” (Shiki)
“Compared to the heroes, Waka clearly has more attachment to his world. There’s the chance-ja. Even in Asora, Waka is not trying to hold much state power as a ruler. In other words, I began to think that maybe he has no attachment to it, and it just doesn’t end. Japan or us, which one is more important to Waka—” (Tomoe)
“Then let’s search for it.” (Shiki)
Tomoe’s words were cut by Shiki this time.
“Search? Not ask?” (Tomoe)
“That’s right. There’s no need to ask for Waka-sama’s wish, you can easily tell what it is after all.” (Shiki)
“You are thinking about it way too deeply, Tomoe-dono. If it’s Waka-sama, he will definitely keep in touch with Asora, and on top of that, he would say that he wants to return to his world while maintaining how things are.” (Shiki)
“…Are you an idiot? It is because I haven’t found that method that I am being anxious about the final choice.” (Tomoe)
“Put more power into it. People like Root-dono, the living beings that were originally in Asora, and there’s also the Gods from another world that have brought their blessings. Since it is for this, isn’t it fine to just throw away your shame and reputation to gather information from the many powers out there?” (Shiki)
“Without caring about one’s appearance huh.” (Tomoe)
“Yeah. Luckily, Kuzunoha Company has a lot of sells in medicine, there’s also the Rembrandt company that can obtain highly fresh information, and we can also expect something from the knowledge of the demon race. I think it is too fast to give up.” (Shiki)
“…Fumu. Now that I think about it, moving from worlds might be a bigger obstacle than the Goddess. It is easy to tell the wish of Waka huh. It is just as you say, Shiki.” (Tomoe)
“Also, if the information of the Goddess side is slightly old, we can get our hands on it.” (Shiki)
Tomoe shows interest at the words of Shiki who has an evil smile on his face.
“A while ago, I got acquainted with a cow and a bird that are connected to that side you see. Also, I know clearly of the whereabouts of another one in Lorel, kukuku.” (Shiki)
“…I see. There’s a mountain of things to do in the time that Waka’s not here huh. Fufufu.” (Tomoe)
The sinister design that was being exchanged in this ruins.
It has been a while since Tomoe has laughed so brightly.
“By the way, I wonder what Mio-dono is thinking regarding the countermeasures for that priestess. Even though we are unable to find a conclusive method here.” (Shiki)
“Who knows. We are talking about her, so she probably has some odd plan-ja. It seemed like she was using the head that she rarely uses after all.” (Tomoe)
Lime Latte was holding his head.
It wasn’t because of how uncomfortable it was when they were lodged in the Hopelace territory yesterday.
And it wasn’t because of the high-class assassins that crept into our place that night either.
It is certainly true that in terms of distance, the Hopelace territory is a weird place to be staying in, and they said that the feudal lord was at the capital and was unable to greet the Kuzunoha Company. Those were conditions that made one question what was the reason for lodging there.
The residents there were mainly unable to hide their emotions in their gaze, a lot of the children were facing their way as if cursing them to death, and the adults had cold eyes as they laughed.
It definitely wasn’t a place to rest well.
Makoto said that ‘they are probably still suffering since something like that happened in the Academy to the second son of the feudal lord’, but he didn’t think that they were holding a grudge even now and didn’t care about it.
If speaking of Mio, she slaughtered all the assassins and for some reason is now all smiles.
With a normal spirit, you would normally collapse in this situation, but Lime is also a member of the Kuzunoha Company. He had already expected this, and it is something that can be easily washed away with a bottle of sake.
Then why is he holding his head?
The reason is simple.
Because of a scream and the light sound of something falling.
In the carriage that’s still on its way to the capital, they had passed through the gate just like that and were advancing through the streets of the capital.
The gazes of the residents were divided between those with interest and those that didn’t, the former gazes were somewhat good willed.
Until this point, it was good.
The problem is after the carriage stopped at a place close to the castle, Lime had confirmed several times beforehand something with Mio.
He asked ‘are your countermeasures to the priestess okay?’, and he also asked if those countermeasures were also applied to Boss.
She nodded with complete confidence.
Not only that, she said ‘I have made perfect countermeasures, so it is okay for Waka-sama to just maintain his Magic Armor in concealment as always-desu wa’.
For some reason, a bit of uneasiness was left, but even so, it is something that was said by the person that stands side by side with Tomoe as matchless people of the Kuzunoha Company.
Lime swallowed his own uneasiness.
Right after Lime got off first and confirmed the lineup of the people and their numbers…Mio had gotten off the carriage gracefully.
That kimono girl that had makeup applied, attracted the gazes of many, and even when she is similar to Hibiki, she was a different type of beauty that created gasps.
Leaving aside one person.
Only she was not fascinated by Mio or happy about her reunion, she placed her hands on her mouth and made a scream, and with eyes that couldn’t be opened any wider, she was trembling heavily.
And that’s when a thought surfaced in Lime’s mind: ‘this is bad’.
When he looks at Mio worried about the countermeasures not working, Mio was happily looking at the state of Chiya.
‘This is bad, Tomoe-neesan’, that’s what Lime thought from the bottom of his heart.
For a second, he thought about stopping Raidou who was going to come next, but it didn’t go well.
In the end, Raidou got off last.
He was the only one that looked nervous from the people that were in the group.
From the three, the one that was the most nervous was Raidou, is what Lime was sure of.
Chiya who was looking at the unenergetic man, made a dubious expression for several seconds.
After that, she made an incredibly high-pitched scream, lost her balance, and then fainted.
Raidou was taken aback by the state of Chiya and was agitated by it.
And within the confused surroundings, Lime was holding his head.
Looking at the red lips of Mio that were bend upwards, he felt an additional wringing sensation from his stomach.
(What kind of punishment is this? Is it because of the matter in Lorel? That’s too much, Anee-san~.) (Lime)
The harsh days in Limia have been made certain.
Lime was looking at the sky, placing his right hand at his forehead.
The Kuzunoha Company’s party has arrived at the Limia capital.
Mio: Just as planned-desu wa.
Lime: But you had no plan at all!