Monster no Goshujin-sama Volume 3 Chapter 4
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Enjoy the chapter~.
TL: Thy Unsus
Chapter 4 – Reaching for Happiness
Synopsis of the last chapter:
I decided to go and visit Leader’s homeland.
Five days have passed since I asked Silane about her future plans.
Despite the damage caused by the Ghouls popping up, the cremation of those killed in action was completed yesterday.
Silane informed me that we would rest for today and then leave the fortress tomorrow.
The large amount of monster corpses were also being smoothly processed thanks to Lily’s efforts, be it day or night. When she finished her work in the middle of today, this morning, Lily gave me a report after meeting me.
As for the events that happened then…they’ll be left out.
……As she was trying to finish the work by the set day, Lily was only free in the mornings. It really did feel like she was unconsciously attempting to make up for that.
Every day, morning offense and defense was getting more and more dangerous due to the intensity of the attacks increasing and the defender’s defense decreasing.
To put it simply, I was feeling lonely somewhere in my heart.
In order to not get swept away, iron-clad self-control was needed.
At any rate, work was proceeding smoothly.
All that was left was just getting ready for departure.
I’d just glanced at it from far away, but that seemed to be going well too.
What surprised me a bit to see was that there were『automobiles』in this world.
“They are different from the『iron boxes that run through』that are in your world, Takahiro-dono.” (Silane)
It looked like a simple covered wagon.
However, there was no horse pulling the vehicle.
By using magic stones this vehicle would move, using the magical power in the atmosphere as a source of power.
Its speed wasn’t very high; even at its highest an ordinary person could run at about the same speed. Operating at walking speed appeared to be normal.
The magical power dwelling in the land was especially high in the Sea of Trees.
By storing magical power during not only the day as we moved, but at night when we couldn’t move as well, it was possible to continuously use it during the day.
“The magic technology in another world sure is amazing.” (Majima)
“It’s eco-friendly, too. I only know it from memory, but it’s like a solar car. Not being able to drive at night is a problem of safety, though, so it’s a bit different.” (Lily)
“I think your world is much more amazing, Takahiro-dono. You have the technology to get magical power from the sun, right? Mikihiko-dono said so.” (Silane)
“……It’s a little different, but you’ve got the premise down, I think.” (Majima)
I wasn’t sure if I could explain what was different, and my words were vague as a result.
Incidentally, there were horses in this world as well, but it seemed they were afraid of entering the Sea of Trees.
To run through the Sea of Trees you had to have a specially trained warhorse. However, if you moved faster, it would be difficult to deal with the attacks of monsters.
Therefore, this type of vehicle was less time-consuming than a horse, and was used especially for transporting goods to the forts constructed in Sea of Trees like this one, or quick trips outside of the Sea of Trees.
This time, this vehicle would be used for transporting the soldiers who couldn’t move due to the after-effects of their injuries.
One of them was being lent to us.
This was because there were people worried about Rose or Gerbera being seen along the way.
I was thankful for their kindness.
After hearing the details for the plan of our departure tomorrow, I headed to Rose.
Lily still had the last of her work to do, and split off from me in front of the room.
As there was a knight accompanying us skinship was kept to a minimum; I hugged her gorgeous body tightly and then separated from her after waving goodbye.
After she left I knocked on the door to the room.
“Rose. It’s me.” (Majima)
The stiff sound echoed in the hallway.
……Almost as if to show the slight tension born in my heart.
“Good morning, Master.” (Rose)
I was greeted by a featureless mannequin doll——not. It was a gray-haired woman wearing a mask that covered her face, and her tall body was dressed in clothes borrowed from Lily.
I wasn’t used to her appearance, but this was what Rose currently looked like.
On the day Fortress Tilia was attacked, I joined up with Rose before tracking Sakagami. She’d already had this appearance back then.
The mask covering her face was brand new, and there was only a hole in the right eye part.
I could tell from the eye peeking through there that her face was no longer a dull and featureless one.
Rose had apparently secretly remodeled her body.
I understood that her wanting to hide it from me was her obsession as a craftsman—she didn’t want to show me it until she was satisfied with it.
When Rose encountered the monsters rushing towards Fortress Tilia, parts of her face were damaged, and in the first place she was still in the process of making it. It wasn’t in a state where it could be shown to another person, so she hadn’t let me see her face under her mask yet.
Still, I could easily imagine that her face under the mask was so exquisite that it was almost indistinguishable from a human’s—even from just looking at her eyes peeking through a little.
It was already surprising immediately after I met up with Rose.
At any rate, it was strange that she’d hidden her face with a mask when she was with Katō-san……but I knew that it was definitely Rose from the path linking me and my family.
Currently, Rose’s body was still that of a doll’s from below the neck. Her arms hung out from her cuffs, and her legs stretched out from under her skirt, but the joinage of her parts at the joints was still showing.
Her skin color was also that of an inhuman doll’s, she had a while to go before she could be called “human-like”.
But at the same time, it was certain truth that she’d become more girl-ish than before.
To rephrase it, she was cute as a doll in the shape of a girl.
Her girlishness that lived alongside her inhumanness shone as a unique cuteness.
I see. So she did『this』to make the『cute doll』that I spoke of before, huh? I get it.
Her grey hair stretched out behind her body into a thick braid, she was dressed in a one piece, and the emotion-filled gaze she was turning this way from below her mask hiding all her features was no different from before. Her impression was completely different from before, where she could have been called “asexual”.
……Was it due to that?
Meeting her now gave birth to tiny feelings of confusion inside of me.
The girl in front of me was Rose.
She was my important Rose. There was nothing different there.
But, there was something mixed in that recognition. There was something I’d overlooked until now.
Perhaps…it was the awareness that Rose was a girl.
……If I talked to someone about this, they would surely be shocked, “What, you only realized now?”.
In the days I’d spent with Rose so far, she couldn’t speak, and when she was finally able to she changed her appearance from simple wooden doll to mannequin-like.
In that process, I realized her mind was feminine, and found out about her girlishness in her relationship with Katō-san.
However, her transformation this time had a few definite changes.
It made me realize for the first time that『Rose is a woman』, something I should’ve known in my head.
That was surely the reason I felt confused when conversing with Rose.
Of course, I wasn’t confused just because she was the opposite sex.
She was an important comrade to me; nothing had changed.
……That was how it should have been, but I couldn’t manage to deal with these emotions inside my chest due to that.
I couldn’t do anything. This was quite troubling.
Perplexed deep down at the unstable situation, I entered through the door Rose had opened for me.
There was a girl in the room.
“Morning. You look well, Katō-san.” (Majima)
“Good morning, Senpai. Thank you. I feel fine now.” (Katō)
Katō-san was sitting in seiza position on top of the rug laid out in the center of the room.
It seemed she was practicing feeling the flow of magical power while snuggled up to Rose, who was working on making a magic tool.
Her current goal was to become able to handle magical power by doing that.
“Maaa, aaaa, ster!” (Asarina)
“Morning, Asarina. You look well too.” (Katō)
When Asarina, who’d been quiet outside, stretched out from the back of my hand, Katō-san greeted her while stroking her with her finger.
While giving them a sidelong glance, I crossed the room and sat down at the table by the window.
Katō-san got up and sat on the bed, and then pointed at Rose, who’d followed behind me, as though to tell her to face me.
Rose pointed her only eye at me from under the mask.
I nodded, and she took a seat, albeit with a little hesitation.
Watching that, a small smile appeared on Katō-san’s face.
I had indirectly observed her during that time, but it didn’t look like Katō-san was forcing herself.
——Katō-san had a severe fear of men.
Before going to the fortress with Lily, her condition had gotten worse when we tried going towards the transferees and knights we found on the path within the Sea of Trees.
After that, she worked with the stay-behind team—Rose and Gerbera. But this time, I took the two with me as fighters for cornering Berta, one of the monsters that attacked the Fortress, and had heard afterward that she collapsed whilst evacuating with the Alliance’s Knight Order.
She’d kept a composed face up until she left us, but I guess she just acted tough so as not to make us worry.
It seemed she’d ended up forcing herself, and then she’d fallen ill and stayed in bed for several days after that.
As far as I was concerned, her protection in that mountain hut might have ended up being imprinted on her; while we travelled in the Sea of Trees, she had not once shown fear or rejection.
Yet, I was still worried after hearing that she collapsed due to being next to men, and I prepared myself.
Which was why I was relieved that I could talk to her face-to-face like this even now.
I suddenly realized that I was feeling this way.
The old me might have not noticed the relief inside me.
The changes that took place in my heart after coming to Fortress Tilia appeared to have also worked positively in regards to my relationship with Katō-san.
Katō-san set her gaze on me, as though she suddenly noticed something.
“Hmm? Is Kei-chan not coming today?” (Katō)
“Yeah. It seems she’s busy preparing today for tomorrow’s departure, so she’s gone there.” (Majima)
Up until yesterday, Kei had been with me when I came here.
This was because I had a task for her.
These past five days here, there had been nothing I could do for the cleanup of the fortress.
On the other hand, if I thought about the future seriously, then I couldn’t afford to sit around idly.
We would tread upon the world of humans.
Though it was good that I had allies and a guide for now, the fact that I was in an unpredictable situation until I secured myself a safe life didn’t change.
However, I’d feel guilty if I practiced swinging my sword even though I knew everyone was hard at work.
Due to that reason, while I was quietly practicing manipulating magical power in this room that Rose was borrowing as a workshop, I studied about this world’s common sense from Kei, who had a lot of time to spare.
Today Kei was preparing for tomorrow’s departure.
After hearing about the reason Katō-san’s shoulders dropped a little.
“I see. ……That’s too bad.” (Katō)
When Katō-san had collapsed this time, the only women around were Silane and Kei.
Kei had helped her then, and she’d been looking after Katō-san as she slept in the fortress. They’d apparently become friends.
As Katō-san was androphobic, having a person of the same sex like Kei around, was reassuring.
This naturally gave birth to an exchange between the three of them—including Rose, their conversations were pleasant.
“Ah. That’s right.” (Katō)
Katō-san raised her voice, and her gaze moved to Rose next to me.
“Sorry, Rose. You said you had something to talk about with Majima-senpai, didn’t you?” (Katō)
“I don’t mind if it is after your conversation with Master, Mana.” (Rose)
It appeared Rose had been waiting for our conversation to reach an end.
“What is it, Rose? You have something to say to me?” (Majima)
After I urged her, Rose sat upright and answered.
“It’s about the magic stones I borrowed.” (Rose)
“That, huh? What did you find out about it?” (Majima)
By requesting Silane through me, Rose had borrowed several magic tools that used the magic stones I had been previously shown from the Alliance’s Knight Order.
They were lined up atop the rug in the center of the room where Rose worked.
There were many different tools, such as a water bottle that filled itself up with water when you gave it magical power; a lighter that produced a small flame; the Knight Orders’ rings that differentiated between human and Ghoul; and a tool bag that had a space-expanding and preservation effect.
As for the unprocessed magic stones that Rose had said she wanted to obtain, if possible, were used by the Knight Orders’ rings, so she received a few.
As a magic stone, they were waste stones and didn’t have all that much value, so we were allowed to process them.
“As you know, magic stones create similar effects to magic by being given magical power. I was interested in this. I thought ‘I could make something that would be of use to Master, couldn’t I?’.” (Rose)
As Rose said, magic stones seemed appealing to me.
Even though I could manipulate magical power, I couldn’t use magic.
I had no regrets in my decision before to raise my danger avoidance ability by choosing physical ability enhancement over attribute magic, but if my combat ability for magic could be compensated for even a little by magic stones, then there was nothing to say.
Magic stones were valuable, but if Rose could acquire the manufacturing technique for magic stones, then it was a different story.
The question was whether or not that was possible.
“I need to first know about how it works. So I asked Kei about how magic stones worked, but unfortunately she didn’t know the details.” (Rose)
“In a conversation I had with Silane before, I was told that magic stones were originally something made for humans who are unable to use magic. They should be usable even without knowing how it works.” (Majima)
Being able to use it without knowing how to use it or the principle was fundamental for popularizing a good.
For example, even though I knew about solar power itself, I couldn’t explain the principle to Silane.
In the same way, there were few people other than the creator that knew the principle on how magic stones worked.
This could also explain why the manufacturing method of the barrier stones protecting the mountain huts in the Sea of Trees from monsters had been lost.
Moreover, this world was different from our old one; there weren’t tens of thousands of books being published year round in one country, nor was information flowing back and forth through the Internet like raging waves.
It was no surprise, even if information about magic technology was limited to only humans.
“I actually tried to use the magic stones, but I didn’t understand the principle. So, I decided to talk to Lily.” (Rose)
“To Lily?” (Majima)
“Yes. Ane-sama can use magic without magic stones. I thought I might understand something by comparing the two.” (Rose)
Understand something? I tilted my head, but soon realized this wasn’t that bad of an idea.
My own senses were amiss from spending an upwards of two months in the Sea of Trees, but come to think of it, Lily was a monster of the Deep Part of the Sea of Trees—a place where humans of this world couldn’t live, and she was a user of 3rd-rank magic.
This was the highest class of magic that a human of this world could attain, you could say there was no person better to consult with.
“So, what did Lily say?” (Majima)
“According to Ane-sama, magic stones are apparently articles that assist in the creation of the magic circle required for constructing magic.” (Rose)
I steeled myself when I asked, and my eyebrows raised reflexively.
“……Even if you say ‘magic circle’, I’m not sure what that is.” (Majima)
When I asked for an explanation on the technical term, I got an explanation with technical terms mixed in.
This response had apparently been accounted for; Rose politely explained after refusing, “This is what Lily-ane-sama said”.
“In order to use magic, you need the ability to manipulate magical power. However, you cannot use magic with that alone.” (Rose)
“Yeah. If you could, then even I could use magic.” (Majima)
“To speak from the conclusion, you need to move magical power in a certain flow. Doing so will cause some sort of phenomenon in response. There are such laws in this world. In the case of magic, that flow will appear visible as a magic circle, but this rule itself doesn’t only apply to magic. The abilities unique to us monsters also follow the same rule.” (Rose)
“Hm? Then, us humans could use the unique abilities of monsters?” (Majima)
“As you have said, I believe it is possible in theory as long as the magical power can flow in the same way.” (Rose)
Interested, I asked, and Rose nodded once, but then shook her head.
“But in reality, humans and other monsters cannot use a monster’s unique ability. Each monster has their own unique flow of magical power.” (Rose)
“I see. Actually, I do remember hearing that a knights’ ring with the ability to differentiate between Ghouls and humans recognizes the difference in the pattern of magical powers between a human and a Ghoul.” (Majima)
“Ane-sama used magic by intuition, so it appears she didn’t notice that law until she used magic stones. The same was true for me with my ability to make magic tools.” (Rose)
“It’s hard to doubt what’s natural, huh.” (Majima)
It was the same as an apple falling from a tree.
Someone in the past noticed that rule in this world, and used it to develop magic stones.
“When I told Rose-san before ‘creating magic tools is mysterious’, she retaliated with ‘what is mysterious about it’, didn’t she?” (Katō)
As I convinced myself, Katō-san added on as if reminiscing.
Rose nodded back at her, and I asked.
“Then, the function of magic stones is to make a flow of magical power?” (Majima)
As an image, it made me think of a channel through which water flowed.
Normally you would have to make that flow yourself, but magic stones had that channel dug out from the start. That said, special ones which needed training to use, like the magic stone of translation, had incomplete channels for some reason.
“Were you able to succeed in processing a magic stone?” (Majima)
The mechanism of magic stones had been confirmed.
If you knew how it worked, the rest was just whether or not you could make it yourself.
I asked, hopeful, but Rose shook her head.
“No. I was not, unfortunately.” (Rose)
Standing up, Rose picked up some of this world’s magic tools lined up on the rug and then brought them here.
Something rolled onto the table from her doll-like hand—four stones.
Three of them were crafted like a knight’s ring, and the other one was unprocessed. All were black in color, the unprocessed one and the processed ones had no differences.
“In order to put on the flow for the magical power, you have to know how to engrave it and how the magical power flows. However, there seems to be a trait in each of the raw ores of the magic stones. If I had three……no, two years, I believe I could figure out the traits through trial and error, but doing it soon would be hard.” (Rose)
“Is that so? Guess it can’t be helped, then.” (Majima)
I sighed a little and Rose spoke:
“Correct. So, I tried doing it my own way.” (Rose)
Rose placed what she was holding in the hand opposite to the unprocessed magic stone on the table.
A blue carved stone——was what it looked like, but a grain-shaped pattern was on its surface.
“This is the prototype I made. A『pseudo-magic stone』, if you will.” (Rose)
“Pseudo-magic stone……?” (Majima)
“Earlier, I mentioned that monsters’ unique abilities, magic, and magic stones all follow the same principle. In other words, if I set up a path through which magical power flows, then magic can be reproduced, even if it is not a magic stone. And, I had the ability to create magic tools. Though I don’t know about stones, I do know wood.” (Rose)
When Rose touched the magic stone, a small bit of water jumped out from the stone’s surface and dampened the table.
There was no mistaking it—that was a reproduction of water attribute magic.
“It is still a prototype now, and there are parts not properly made, but I will try to eventually reach the same level as a normal magic stone.” (Rose)
“This……is really amazing. Seriously.” (Majima)
“Thank you. I have experienced making various goods according to your command so far, Master. And, I am happy to have done well on detailed work recently. It was a difficult task, but I managed to succeed in making a prototype.” (Rose)
While touching her masked face with her doll-like hand, Rose turned her eyes to the corner of the room.
There was a small mountain of wood chips—probably failures—in the box placed there.
“However, there are also problems with my pseudo-magic stones. First of all, I cannot handle magic, so I have to use a real magic stone to figure out the exact flow of magical power. The pseudo-magic stones I can make are, of course, limited to copies of magic stones I have used.” (Rose)
“I see. That’s plenty, though.” (Majima)
Receiving the wetted pseudo-magic stone of water from Rose, I tried pouring in magical power.
This was an everyday-use magic stone, but if she could copy a combat-use magic stone, then we could use it as much as we wanted. I wanted to get one somehow.
“I would like to consult bit by bit on how they can be used.” (Rose)
“Alright. Let me think about it for a little bit. This is how they’re used, after all.” (Majima)
Maybe I should try talking to Mikihiko.
That guy had a lot of hobbies, he’d probably be better at it than me.
“I’ve understood your report. I would like you to keep investigating after this.” (Majima)
“I shall.” (Rose)
“This was the first point, wasn’t it? What about the others?” (Majima)
Placing the pseudo-magic stone on the table, I urged Rose.
“Okay. This is something I heard from Kei, but you learned swordsmanship in this fortress from the woman named ‘Silane’, our new family, correct?” (Rose)
“……? Yeah, but only once.” (Majima)
Confused by the name I hadn’t thought would come from Rose’s mouth, I answered honestly to what she asked.
“If I have the opportunity to, I want to be taught again and will ask for so. Is something wrong?” (Majima)
“It doesn’t matter when, just as long as you have the time. But, could you please ask if us family could receive training as well?” (Rose)
“……Well that’s sudden. If it’s just asking, then sure, I don’t mind.” (Majima)
“Thank you.” (Rose)
Rose hung her head, and I tilted mine.
“But, why?” (Majima)
“……I have fully realized how weak I am.” (Rose)
Raising her face, Rose cast down her one eye peeking through from under the mask.
“The other day I crossed swords with that Doppelgänger, Anton. ……That monster had terrifying power. I went to cut off their path of retreat, yet I couldn’t fulfill the duty you entrusted me with, Master.” (Rose)
Her overly serious tone oozed with frustration.
I wasn’t going to blame Rose for that.
Actually, it was my fault for misreading the situation and not realizing Anton was lying in wait.
But, what she thought about that was another story.
With her strong loyalty, failing to accomplish her duty must have been a hard hit to her.
“Furthermore, even that Anton is just one of the many monsters Kubo manipulates, is it not? In fact, that man ‘Juumonji’ you fought was a tough opponent that persisted even against Gerbera. I heard from Lily-ane-sama that she couldn’t even hold him back herself. Ane-sama is stronger than me, so this would hold true for me too. I wouldn’t even be a fight.” (Rose)
Rose said that, but Rose was by no means weak.
She was originally a rare monster from the Deep Part of the Sea of Trees, and her body had been remade and strengthened since last I’d seen her. Even her equipment was strong.
They had all come from her constant effort.
But even so, directly fighting against cheat users would be difficult.
I had prepared myself, but their violence was so overwhelming that chills ran down my spine.
Of course, I’d be fine with not fighting them, but the current situation was unpredictable.
Kudō was still out there, and there was also the unknown person in the expeditionary force who had connected Juumonji and Kudō.
And even without that, our position in this world was unstable.
Though we had the Alliance’s Knights as a go-between, I couldn’t feel relieved at all.
I had to gather as much power as possible to prepare for an unexpected situation.
“We have to get stronger by any means necessary.” (Rose)
“So Silane, then?” (Majima)
I sighed in understanding.
“Of course, I think we should look for other methods as well, such as putting to use the magic stones I reported about earlier. However……” (Rose)
“I know. Learning combat techniques might be one of the most effective ways.” (Majima)
“Yes. Us monsters possess powerful physical abilities—naturally our battles are only decided by power and speed, our inherent battle instinct, and the combat experience acquired by living in this forest. There are no ‘cultivated techniques’ in there, but having said that, it takes time to systemize techniques ourselves.” (Rose)
One advantage humans had over powerful monsters was that they could pass on knowledge and techniques to future generations.
Regardless of it being passed on orally or written in books, the accumulated knowledge was a big weapon.
Rose’s suggestion was zeroing in on that.
“Whatever the form, acquiring combat techniques backed by a long history should be a big advantage——” (Rose)
Rose spoke with zeal, but then suddenly turned her face somewhere else.
“——That was a suggestion Mana had.” (Rose)
Lured in, I looked to where Rose was facing.
There sat a shocked Katō-san.
After freezing in place for several seconds, Katō-san hurriedly got up to her feet from the bed.
Her expression was full of panic, a rare sight.
“‘That was my suggestion’, you agreed on saying that, didn’t you!?” (Katō)
“But, this is a very useful plan. You shouldn’t have to hide that it was your suggestion.” (Rose)
“What, so this was something Katō-san suggested?” (Majima)
When I asked, Rose turned this way and nodded.
“Yes. I judged it would be better for you to know that as well, Master.” (Rose)
I was sure. That was what Rose had said.
Even then, I was borrowing from Katō-san.
Wherever I could, I didn’t want to depend on her good will without knowing it.
Besides, receiving a proper evaluation was important for her, too.
Possibly having thought the same thing, Rose told Katō-san in an almost lecturing tone.
“Is that『really good for you』, Mana?” (Rose)
“…..A, uu” (Katō)
I had the impression that Katō-san had a way with words, but right now her mouth was just opening and closing.
Her cheeks flushed, and her eyes appeared to be tearing up for some reason.
Rose continued her sidelong glance at her.
“Mana really does think about a lot. She has given me suggestions for the magic stones, too.” (Rose)
“Oh? She did, huh?” (Majima)
Katō-san turned towards me as I indicated I understood.
She immediately hid her face.
“No. It……wasn’t anything big. Someone would have suggested it sooner or later.” (Katō)
“No. It’s best to start those things as soon as possible. You were a big help.” (Majima)
Though it was a bit bad for Katō-san, my voice was accompanied with a smile.
She was panicking and embarrassed. This younger, girlish side of her was new to me, and it looked charming.
“Thanks, Katō-san. Please tell me if you notice something after this, too.” (Majima)
Her face remained hidden, but Katō-san nodded.
There was a bashful smile on her face.
The shadow that had always been falling on her face was fading.
In front of me was a natural, shy girl.
That I was able to see her like this…
…It seemed to me like my relationship with her had changed, I was happy.
But that was exactly why I also felt it was a shame.
“But though I say that, I can’t rely on you too much after this, can I?” (Majima)
“After all, we won’t be going to the royal capital like you will. We really have to be more reliable, huh.” (Majima)
Like Silane had said before, the other surviving transferees decided on heading towards the royal capital.
Unless you had the ability to lead monsters or something like that, there was no reason to not receive the warm welcome at the royal capital.
Of course, that included Katō-san as well.
Katō-san had travelled with us through the Sea of Trees for a while, but we would part from her once we reached the next town.
It was a shame that she had to separate from the friend she made, Rose.
All the more so since my relationship with her just started to change.
However, the promise I made in the beginning to take her someplace safe had to be fulfilled.
So finally, I could reward her even a little for the things she’d done.
“There’s not much time left, but I’d like you to get along with Rose.” (Majima)
Hearing my words, Katō-san slowly raised her face.
The redness on her face had already subsided.
All of a sudden, the girl in front of me had become distant.
Noticing that, I felt confused.
The smile Katō-san had now made me feel that.
It was a dry smile, completely different from what she displayed earlier.
The shadow that should have disappeared was there.
Intuitively, I realized that something I’d said earlier made her do that.
But, I didn’t know what made her do so.
As long as I didn’t, I couldn’t ask her.
I shut my mouth.
Katō-san-san smiled weakly, and then dropped her gaze down to her lap.
An awkward silence descended.
That was when a calm voice called out to me.
Rose turned to me.
“I have one more thing to say, may I?” (Rose)
Come to think of it, she was in the middle of talking, huh?
“……What is it?” (Majima)
“I have a request.” (Rose)
“Can we take Mana with us to the small country we are heading towards?” (Rose)
Katō-san raising her head in a flash was projected in the edge of my vision.
Rose nodded at me, who was confused by her sudden proposal.
“Yes. I believe you know about Mana collapsing, Master. In such a situation—suddenly surrounded by strangers—she would feel helpless.” (Rose)
It was a sound argument.
The Alliance’s Knights also knew about Katō-san’s condition, and was being given consideration for it.
But, even if they were, that didn’t change the fact that she was surrounded by strangers.
If her condition was normal then maybe, but right now Katō-san was a little mentally unstable.
How much of a support Rose was to her wasn’t something I could imagine, but I couldn’t call separating them a “smart choice”.
“If so, I would like to be with her. ……And that applies to you as well, Master. I would like for you to be near her as much as possible.” (Rose)
This was something I didn’t get.
I was different from Rose, a friend she’d spent a long time with in the Sea of Trees.
There wouldn’t be much point in me being near her.
Now that I think about it, all males around her were targets of fear. Though the outcome brought about was a coincidence, maybe I—someone she felt okay around—was precious to her.
“I understand what you want to say, Rose.” (Majima)
I nodded once.
“But, what about her coming with us?” (Majima)
“Are you against her coming with us, Master?” (Rose)
“That’s not it. As I am someone who leads monsters, my position in this world is unstable. There’s no denying the possibility she will be dragged into some kind of turmoil by being with me.” (Majima)
“Then, as long as Mana understands those circumstances and still wants to, you will not object to taking her, right, Master?” (Rose)
“……I wouldn’t, no.” (Majima)
If that was what Katō-san wanted, then even I had no objections to granting it.
Seeing me nod, Rose turned towards Katō-san.
“It’s as Master says. What do you think, Mana?” (Rose)
Weakly, Katō-san averted her gaze.
Seeing her like that, Rose stood up from her seat.
Kneeling in front of Katō-san on the bed, Rose took her tiny grasped hand.
“Do you remember, Mana? What I said.” (Rose)
It was a kind tone, one I’d never heard before.
Katō-san’s eyes opened wide, as though she was surprised.
“You are in my happiness. Do not forget that.” (Rose)
“Or are you going to make me unhappy?” (Rose)
“……That way of saying it is unfair.” (Katō)
Her sulking tone was one for an understanding friend.
Rose seemed to be smiling under her mask.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s unfair. You have to be happy. Please speak your real feelings. If you ask sincerely, Master will respond properly.” (Rose)
Their exchange wasn’t one I understood.
But, I imagine it was important for them.
Katō-san looked at Rose as if to cling to her, and then timidly glanced my way.
She clearly looked frightened.
But, that was far better than the gloomy smile from earlier that’d felt so distant.
That meant she was fighting the cowardice inside herself.
“I……want to go with you…Senpai.” (Katō)
Bit by bit, Katō-san spoke in a tiny voice.
“I may hold you back. I may cause you trouble. So I know I shouldn’t say anything. But, still I……” (Katō)
“Hold us back?……” (Majima)
Saying that, I suddenly realized.
The line the girl in front of me wanted wasn’t that.
Right now, Katō-san was undoubtedly saying something selfish to me for the first time.
Even though she was scared of rejection, she spoke eagerly.
What should I do, then?
Should I return the favor to her now?
Next to Katō-san, Rose was staring intently at me.
Her gaze held complete trust in me.
I smiled a little.
Thinking about it, even if she went to the royal capital, there was a possibility of a man like Juumonji being among the transferees gathered in the same way.
Even the expeditionary force was suspicious.
Thinking about the possibilities, any bad thing could happen.
So, it would be best to have her close by.
Then, I could at least protect her with my hands.
“Come with us, Katō-san.” (Majima)
When I said that, the happy expression Katō-san made was so charming that I couldn’t help but stare at her in fascination.
The following day, the party of me and my family—including Katō-san—set off from the fortress with the several hundred surviving soldiers.