Liliana moved from Tortus to earth, and around the time she became idol princess Lily through a lot of ○○ Princess chapter.
Hajime was walking through the street at night with one hand holding a bag filled with supply.
He was heading toward the condominium that Sumire was renting to use for her work.
Even after becoming a top idol, Lily didn’t throw away her position as “mangaka princess”. When she had time she would draw her own manga at Sumire’s work place, and she was also working as Sumire’s assistant even now. Tonight too she was doing that.
By the way, Sumire’s work place was rented by thinking about the distance to the publishing company rather than to her own home, so originally using “gate” to teleport was the quickest way.
Regardless of that, Hajime was walking the street at night like this while feeling the coldness in the air. The reason was simply because he was feeling like it.
A certain friend with thin shadow said it to him, that the Artifacts were too convenient and all-purpose. If one didn’t control themselves and be prudent to a certain degree in using it, it felt like they would enter the territory of laziness. Hearing that Hajime too could nod 「Certainly」 in agreement.
And so, as long as it wasn’t really necessary, he would walk with his own feet like this, or even if he used it, he would manage it so it would still be in the realm of earth’s common sense.
「It has become really cold huh……」
It wasn’t to the degree that his breath would turn white yet, but it soon would be a period where the autumn colors also ended. Ordinarily it was a period that would make anyone want to put on a warm jacket.
Hajime’s physique was tough so it wasn’t necessary, but without exception Hajime was also putting on a long cardigan with slightly thicker fabric.
Hajime’s appearance today was black jeans and white shirt with loose collar. In addition he was wearing a dark grey long cardigan. His attire itself was simple, but from outsider perspective it looked really good on him. The quality of the clothes that were obviously not cheap even from a glance also somehow raised Hajime’s manliness.
In fact, a woman who seemed to be just coming home from work that he passed by just now was throwing several glances at him when they were passing each other, so it seemed that the attire wasn’t bad to be able to make a woman to forget their wariness to opposite sex while walking on street at night.
To tell the truth, Hajime’s rescent dress code was decided by Remia most of the time.
She and Tio was bearing the responsibility for the design and management of “the shop of jewelry that had just a bit of miraculous blessing” made by Hajime right from the start, but right now they were managing the business with an objective of venturing to apparel product.
Whether it was Remia’s western-style design, or Tio’s design idea that was a mix of eastern and western style, they became quite the topic so the business was completely on track. In that situation, Remia brought home the clothes and accessories with design from their own company and made Hajime wore it.
Remia looked like she was having fun, so Hajime generally dressed like she was telling him to.
Returning to the main topic.
Hajime was secretly enjoying the night air and the silence while he soon would arrive at the condominium. It was then Hajime suddenly stopped. And then, his eyes narrowed slowly.
At that time there was a female high school student who seemed to be coming back from school club activity was glancing at Hajime while passing him by, so she twitched thinking like 「No way-, my glance is noticed!」. She quickened her pace while shaking.
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Of course, just now Hajime wasn’t exposing his displeasure because he couldn’t bear the glance of a student.
「……Well, doesn’t matter.」
Hajime’s gaze fell at the supply his hand was holding while slightly hesitating, but then he shrugged and resumed walking.
The condominium Sumire was renting wasn’t a high-rise condominium or a high class building, but its security was solid. It also had a manager that was permanently present there which Hajime was acquainted with. Hajime greeted the manager who was a former police officer and entered inside.
He used elevator until the tenth floor. Even there for some reason Hajime’s gaze was getting strained while he fished inside his pocket and he did something with a sigh feeling that it was troublesome.
He pulled himself together and rang the interphone. When he showed his face through the camera, an excited voice 「Ye~s! I’ll open it now!」 could be heard.
From the door that was opened within just a few seconds, an idol who recently often appeared on TV――so to speak it was Liliana, she leaped out. Her wide smile that was like blooming flower was obviously different from the smile that was seen at TV.
「Yo, I came bringing supply as well as helper.」
Hajime returned back a smile while showing the bag filled with supply. The warm bag was filled inside with warm food like toasted sandwich and so on. The toasted sandwich was handmade by Shia, it was made from ingredients with reduced sugar content, even the bread. A late-night snack that would make woman happy.
「Fufuh, thank you very much. Now, please enter. Although it still cannot be said to be winter, but the air is really cold already.」
「You’re right. It feels like a lot of the time an idol will wear thin clothes, so rather than me you should watch out for your health Lily.」
「I’m fine. There are time that it might become fatal for the country if I collapse and the work piled up, so I’ve been really good at managing my health since my time as princess.」
「……Rather than working hard even if you collapse, working hard so you don’t collapse is still better huh……」
How Lily was more concerned to prevent hindrance toward her work rather than her health itself, in the end at her root Lily was a workaholic princess.
Liliana took the supply bag from Hajime’s hand, then she also took off his long cardigan.
The inside of the room was warm, wearing the cardigan would be a hindrance in working so it was surely better to wear only shirt but……
From outside perspective, she also looked like a young wife being gallantly helpful toward her husband who was coming home.
In fact, everyone would surely think that.
The assistants who were peeping from the inside door that was left open were having really wide grin on their face. How they were all peeking in vertical line like a totem pole was really as expected from Sumire’s assistants.
Hajime’s face grimaced at the bad omen that felt like he would be teased and he opened his mouth.
「Machi-neesan and everyone, what are you grinning at?」
「We are shoujo mangaka’s assistant you know? There is no way we won’t grin after seeing that kind of scene!」
「A real harem man, just seeing it still make my heart beat fast. What’s more it’s a boy I’m acquainted with.」
「Ha-kun, you aren’t going to give going home kiss at Lily-chan!?」
From above, the most veteran assistant Hagiwara Machiko (45 years old), the assistant who even though she was planning a shoujo manga but for some reason it became fighting manga at the middle and until now she still hadn’t gotten lucky with serialization Wakai Tsukasa (24 years old ), half-Japanese who had American mother got attracted by Japanese manga and left the university aiming to become mangaka Rurikawa Anna (25 years old).
Other than them, there was also an assistant who was acknowledged by herself and others as homo comic lover, and each time she met Hajime her gaze would stickily crawled all over Hajime, Aoyama Narumi (42 years old), and the assistant who was managing maid café as side job (?) and would do her assistant work wearing maid uniform, Mochizuki Mae (29 years old), and so on.
Also, Sumire’s pen name was “Nano SumireSumire of South”, but the regular members of Sumire Studio at present were the five names above.
Everyone of them was his mother’s coworker, and Hajime was acquainted with them since before he was summoned to another world, so even after coming back he treated them politely. Especially the longest-serving member “Machi-neesanMachiko” and “Naru-sanNarumi”, Hajime still couldn’t raise his head against them.
Both of them also close in age with Sumire, they were affectionate to Hajime as though he was their real child (teasing included), so when he showed his face to them right after coming back, they were even embracing Hajime tightly while wailing loudly.
Hajime was smiling wryly at them who were jeering at his relation with Lily like usual. Then Sumire came out from inside. Both her hands were already holding Shia’s specially made toasted sandwich.
「Hajime, you are late. Just teleport here with puff next time.」
「? Are you in that much of a pinch? I thought that even without Naru-san and Moe-san here, the pace is still enough to make it in time though……」
「About that you see~. Suddenly a non-serialized collaboration project with Lily-chan’s work came up. I went with the mood and said okay so it’s really a big pinch.」
「Don’t say ok because of mood……」
「It can’t be helped isn’t it? I never thought that Saya-chan in Naru’s place will get hospitalized because of pneumonia.」
「Pneumonia? Is she fine? If not I’ll do something.」
「She only went to hospital just in case, so it seems she is fine. See, Naru said, I don’t know any daughter who cannot read the atmosphere and get hospitalized in this important time! and tried to come here anyway. As expected, that’s too much so I stopped her though.」
「Haha……as expected from Naru-san.」
By the way, “Saya-chan” was Narumi’s daughter who turned fourteen years old this year. When the mother was a homo comic lover, the daughter was also the same. Hajime was also acquainted with her. Similar with her mother, her gaze would also be really sticky when looking at Hajime.
「What about Moe-san?」
「As for Moe, right now……she is in police station.」
「What the hell!?」
Hajime made a fierce tsukkomi. When he asked, it appeared that a maid of the maid café she was managing was secually harassed by a nasty customer and the maid snapped and ended up smashing the customer’s crotch.
An ambulance and police got involved, and although the circumstance was as it was, an injury resulted from the incident so the maid in question was interrogated in the police station while still in her maid uniform. Moe-san seemed to get angry 「What are they thinking doing that with my worker!」 and headed to the police station. While still wearing maid uniform.
「I, is that so. Various things happened one after another huh. Well, I understand the situation. Lily, are you okay?」
「Yes. My part is finished already, so I’m helping Sumire-okaasama. If Hajime-san help out then we will make it in time for tomorrow morning!」
「……So the deadline is at morning.」
‘It’s seriously a disaster at the eleventh hour here’, Hajime thought with a bitter smile while sitting on a desk. And then, after hearing the work content he started working with a practiced movement.
The man who slaughtered a god in another world and was called as his majesty the demon king or the incarnation of unreasonableness by friends and acquaintances was doing assistant work for shoujo manga with very veteran aura……
Inside her heart, Liliana was thinking ‘If the people of Tortus know about this, their soul will literally come out from their body won’t it’ while she also started working.
For a while, a quite time was passing by. The only audible sounds were the sounds of Hajime and Liliaana working, and the sounds of Sumire and the assistants devouring Shia’s special toasted sandwich.
Before long, Hajime’s hand stopped moving for just a moment for some reason. But he immediately resumed his work while asking Liliana nonchalantly.
「Come to think of it Lily. Recently, is there anything strange or anything you are concerned with?」
「Something I’m concerned with, is it?」
While Sumire and co were bringing sandwich into their mouth with gusto at the side, the two were conversing with each other without taking off their gaze from their respective desk and also without stopping their hands.
A brief moment of silence ensued from Liliana searching her memory before she answered.
「No, there is nothing like that though……why did you ask?」
「Hm~. Look, since you started that help network? It has been quite some time right? It seems it has been spreading quite far and wide already even at the foreign country isn’t it?」
「……Yes, indeed. It’s already expanding until a level where I cannot pull back anymore.」
Liliana made a completely dry smile. Light was vanishing from her eyes.
「If I remember right, a foundation is in the process of forming right?」
「It seems like it. For some reason, they asked for approval only after the fact. The members of my fanclub want to establish it they said…… The atmosphere feel like holy light church thing, that’s why I intend to push so it become “volunteer” organization but……」
‘How far I will go I wonder……’, she said with an expression like a person adrift on the sea. But, her working speed didn’t drop in the slightest.
「Lily-chan’s “odd jobs” is going well isn’t iiit~」
「At this rate you are going to end up as the founder of new religion.」
「Eh? Don’t you know Sumire-sensei? Lily-chan is already worshipped by a minority as Saint-sama! Founder-sama! and so on you know?」
Sumire and others snapped 「Seriously!?」 at Tsukasa-san’s information. They were also nibbling at the remaining toasted sandwich while doing that. Liliana’s eyes was getting increasingly dead. Of course, her working speed didn’t drop.
Hajime smiled wryly while continuing to speak.
「It seems, that the organization’s influence is getting too large and crossed over the country border.」
「That’s……could it be, it is causing movement to start from not a good place?」
As expected Liliana who had quick wit couldn’t help but devote her attention to this information. She stopped her working hand and lifted her face, her eyes turning round.
Sure enough Sumire and co also couldn’t turn a blind eye to this. They forcefully washed down the toasted sandwich with hot coffee and focused on Hajime.
「I don’t know if it comes from good place or not. I also cannot say whether there is unconditionally any movement somewhere. After all, the extent your influence is reaching too wide. It’s even spanning the whole world. The method of taking the first move to crush them is inefficient.」
「Indeed. Besides……as I’ve said just now, I cannot pull back anymore……」
「If Lily seriously wants it then it’s possible somehow though.」
It was the tide of the era that was built by piling up good will on top of good will with Liliana as the starting point. If Liliana personally wished to sever that flow, Hajime wouldn’t think twice.
Hajime asked her 「You don’t wish it right?」 with his gaze and wry smile. Hearing how he understood about her and how he would do anything for her caused Liliana’s cheeks to blush while she nodded once.
‘Kyaaaah, showing off like that! Yoo, Hajime-kun you the man! Geez Hajime-kun! This lady killer!’ Sumire and co made a commotion. Hajime’s eyes were twitching while he ignored them.
Liliana’s blushing was increasingly deepening while she pulled herself back together and asked.
「Cough-. And, Hajime-san is telling me to be careful because soon there will be some kind of action happening around me aren’t you?」
「No. Have you noticed that we are already surrounded? That’s what I mean.」
Silence fell on the room. It was a painful silence. Anna-san who was drinking the remaining coffee at that timing spewed it out ‘Bufuuuh’ from her mouth.
「While I was going up, I roughly confirmed the spying device and the like in the whole place, and I took measure beforehand so that no sound can be picked up from here even if they used sound gathering device, but quite a number of people is placed around this mansion right now.」
Silence as expected. Whether Liliana or Sumire and co, they stiffened without being able to move.
But, a beat later, 「LIEEEEEEEEES」 screams were raised.
「Si, si si si, since when!?」
「Wait Hajime! Why are you leaving this alone!? Someone like Okaa-san is inconsequential for you is that it!?」
Bunches of unknown people from who know where were monitoring the condominium…… Liliana was shaken because she didn’t notice, while Sumire and co were shaken because of the uneasy situation approaching them.
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「I’m not leaving them alone, they came here only today. I guess they built their surveillance base only a few hours ago. They weren’t there when I came here two days ago, While I was working just now I was checking the surrounding image of these two days through my magic eye stone, and the suspicious people and vehicles were deploying only a few hours ago here.」
The surrounding image Hajime mentioned was the function from the crow type surveillance artifact――”Ornis” that he stationed as surveillance network in an important place.
The sight that was reflected in Ornis’s eye was also projected into Hajime’s magic eye stone. In addition, it also had the function to save the image, so the past image could also be replayed in the magic eye stone using remote control.
When Hajime reached nearby the condominium, he sensed the presence of countless people at the outdoor around the building despite the time that was late at night already. He then checked the past image until now.
The result, he found out unfamiliar foreigners coming and going from the wagon that was parking on the parking lot of the condominium and the large vehicles at the parking lot slight distance away. They were taking suspicious action by spending most of their time inside the vehicles.
In addition, he also noticed several foreigners in the nearby apartment and condominium coming and going carrying in equipment.
He sent Ornis flying and made them perched on the veranda on those rooms to look in. There were a lot of devices like telescope, camera, sound collection device, and so on being pointed toward this room from those rooms.
The assistants who listened to those explanations were looking at each other’s face with similarly scared expression. Sumire was looking at Liliana worriedly while asking Hajime.
「What is their objective? Does it look like they’ll attack?」
「Who knows. Just like I said before, most likely their objective is the founder Lily-sama who is the origin of the network, but whether it’s only a surveillance, or they are gauging the timing to come hammering in the nail that is sticking out……in any case thing like foreign country’s secret service must be guys like these.」
「Please stop saying founder Lily!」
Both parent and son ignored Liliana who was making tsukkomi faithfully. Sumire tilted her head.
「……This is unlike you Hajime. If you already know that far, usually you are going to crush them first before coming here.」
「That’s because I have the important mission of delivering Shia’s toasted sandwich while it’s still warm.」
Hajime said that with a crisp expression. Sumire wordlessly gave a thumb up. The son also returned a thumb up.
The assistants gave tsukkomi 「No no the priority is strange there. It’s delicious though! It’s delicious though!」 to them.
「Also, I’m thinking to also take the opportunity to confirm how those guys will move, what is their action guideline.」
「Action guideline, is it? What do you mean, Hajime-san?」
「I said it just now right? Including the sound gathering device, I neutralized their surveillance device. It’s not like I broke their equipment, I simply put up a barrier covering this whole room……」
Now then, when all their surveillance method suddenly became disturbed, without a doubt they would think that their presence had been discovered and a measure was taken against them. After that, what kind of action would they take after taking that into account.
They would investigate the cause of their surveillance devices’ disturbance, contacted their comrades, or perhaps they would ask for instruction to their superior who might be in their home country or different place. If those were what they did, then they should be taking action soon.
Would they retreat, or else……
「……I see. So that’s what they choose. Has they forgot the “returnee uproar”, or else, are they seeing value from Lily that they cannot just ignore even with that factored in?」
「Hajime-san? Don’t tell me……」
「-, Hajime? They’re coming?」
Liliana and Sumire’s expression stiffened. The assistants who got quick understanding also shivered a bit knowing that foreign people of unknown origin were coming.
But, amidst that grave looking atmosphere,
「? Why are you all looking that grave when I’m here?」
Hajime alone was making a dubious face.
This talk was too sudden, so even Liliana and Sumire unconsciously thought of this event as a grave matter, but now that he said it that was right. Tension immediately left their shoulders.
Although, the assistants were not used to this kind of extraordinary day, and they only knew about Hajime’s abiity and achievement from verbal story so they didn’t feel that it was really real. And so, they were still scared.
“?” mark was floating above Hajime’s head, he was pondering just what made them felt that worried for a beat.
「Ah, I see. You all are worried about the deadline.」
Hajime’s fist lightly hit his palm *pon* in understanding. The assistants appealed 「Wrong! That isn’t it!」 to him, but Hajime raised one hand to say that they needed not to speak further.
「Good grief, putting aside Machi-neesan and others, Kaa-san and Lily are really a worrywart. It won’t take that long to take care of these guys. Ah, perhaps it’s that. It will take a bit of time to interrogate them and other trivial things I guess…… I see, I’m a bit thoughtless here. Even though the deadline is fast approaching. As expected from Kaa-san and Lily. No matter what is the situation, finishing the work is number one. That’s pro for you.」
「Ah, yes, that’s right.」
「Ah, yep, right in one.」
Hajime came to an understanding by himself. Liliana and Sumire turned a complicated expression together to such Hajime. It wasn’t like they were worrying about deadline while foreign force was approaching though……they thought.
Hajime glanced at the two’s gaze and hesitated a bit.
And then, he suddenly called out.
「Yes, right here.」
Out of nowhere, a maid-san appeared from behind Hajime!
Everyone screamed 「HiIIIIH」 and jumped!
「He, Hellina!? You, since when you are there!? No, before that why are you here!? You should be aiding Randell and Okaa-sama in the palace right!?」
The “exclusive maid” who was Liliana’s confidant and would always stay at her side――Hellina. She had dark brown long hair, almond eyes, tall body for a female and moderately sized breasts.
Right now she was wearing a Victorian style maid outfit. It was unclear from whose preference it was. Her characteristic trait was her scarf that was attached with a brooch of crimson jewel. Her airily spreading skirt was completely hiding her legs, but the outfit from her waist that was tightly constricted with apron and above was artistically hugging tightly on her body.
It was emphasizing her charm even with her graceful atmosphere.
Plainly speaking, she was an extremely beautiful woman.
That Hellina was,
「Liliana-sama. I am called Heliotrope.」
「Eh? That’s, certainly Hajime-san said that just now but, Hellina is Hellina――」
「I am called Heliotrope.」
「I am called Heliotrope.」
Princess Liliana folded against the smiling arm twisting. She also didn’t receive a single answer for her question. Even though the other party was her trusted subordinate. Even though she was the princess……
Seeing Liliana’s eyes gradually turning teary, for some reason Heliotrope-san smiled sweetly before she faced toward Hajime and said 「My apologize. Your order?」.
Hajime concisely ordered, as though it was only natural for him to do that.
「Suppress them. Extract information from them. I’ll leave the rest to you.」
「Yes, my lord.」 (Note: It’s said in English at the raw.)
「You said my lord just now! Hellina, you are calling Hajime-san as your master! Your master is me right!?」
Heliotrope-san smiled sweetly and turned her gaze outside the window. Everyone was involuntarily attracted by that gesture and they looked over there. There was particularly nothing there. They returned their gaze. Heliotrope-san was gone.
「Eh!? Hellina!? Where are you!?」
「Calm down Lily. She is your head maid right? You cannot lose your calm like that.」
「Hajime-san is saying that when you look more like her master than me!? Uu, since some time ago it felt somehow that she is prioritizing Hajime-san’s instruction rather than mine but, to think it will be this much…… I didn’t even know that she is normally here. Even though I’m a princess……」
「That’s because you are “former” princess, so it must be that, she is being considerate of you. Surely.」
Liliana thought. No matter how she looked at it, it felt like something of “I found the true master that I have to serve”. The two of them had known each other since they were a child so there was no doubt about it. Yes, even though she was always staying at her side since their childhood and Liliana put her trust on Hellina as though they were family, when she realized she had become the demon king’s maid!
「Uu, hics, my Hellina got NTR-ed by the demon king……」
「That sounds bad in other’s ear. That woman is the leader of the maid group that I trained for guarding Lily you know? Even if you took holiday from being a princess, she is still your Heliotrope whether now or in the past.」
「……That story, tell me more. It’s the first time I heard about that maid group to guard me though? And the, even though I am calling her Hellina many times, you are ignoring me really naturally and called her Heliotrope. From that I can catch a glimpse how intimate your relation with Hellina is though?」
「……Putting aside the intimacy of the relationship……eh? I didn’t tell you, about the Fleur Knights?」
「I head noo~~~~~thing at all! What is that! Knights? Knight order? Even though they are maid!? Furthermore Hellina is the leader!? She is purely a maid with nonexistent combat skill you know!?」
「She worked really hard.」
「I don’t get it!」
Liliana held her head on her wits’ end and turned small.
To think, that a combat maid groupFleur Knights was formed while she was ignorant of it, furthermore the girls went through the hellish boot camp at Hauria clan’s place, and they were all raised into valorous warrior so that even a single one could take on a battalion of regular knight order. She had never even dreamed of such thing.
Come to think of it, when she was at the kingdom, there was time when she gave them free time for a few months but, so it was that time! After this late she finally remembered. Because she knew Hellina from the past, she still couldn’t form the image of her as combat maid.
Sumire and the assistants threw away their sense of danger until just now to the wind, and their tension was rising up without end at the entrance of a genuine combat maid. While they were causing commotion, Hajime normally resumed his work.
While Sumire and co were also getting heated up, it seemed they also grasped that it would be fine to leave it to the combat maid, so they each resumed their work.
Liliana too returned to her work while being lost 「I have a lot I want to ask but, where should I start……」
Like that, Hajime answered the questions from Sumire and co without stopping his hand from working. Then by the time Liliana too finally recovered her calm, she asked Hajime looking a bit worried, deciding that she should at least ask this one for now.
「Say, Hajime-san. This is Hajime-san we are talking about so I believe there won’t be any problem but……is Hellina really――」
‘Is she really okay?’ Just before Liliana could complete that question,
「Are you calling, Liliana-sama?」
The sudden whisper into her ear caused Liliana to jump and scream while looking flustered which was inappropriate for a former princess.
When she looked back in panic, without her noticing Heliotrope was standing there with a smile, looking completely the same appearance like before.
She wouldn’t back down on that. She corrected with a pressuring smile.
「Helli, otrope! Don’t surprise me suddenly like that! Are you all right!?」
「I believe it’s Liliana-sama who is not all right though……」
‘Because, you never fought or anything before, and yet……’ Thinking that, Liliana approached Heliotrope and patted all over her body to check for injury. Seeing such Liliana, Heliotrope displayed a delighted and warm expression.
But, when Hajime said 「That’s fast」 toward her, she tore off Liliana-sama from herself and tossed her like a waste paper. Then with both her hands propped in front of her apron, she respectfully lowered her head with beautiful motion that would fascinate anyone watching.
「Err, Helli, otrope? You see, although formerly, but I’m a princess you know?」
「Your majesty. Reporting. All the enemies are removed. They are being confined altogether inside a rented room.」
「I will do so immediately after this. But before that, I returned because I wish to report something first.」
Below Liliana was crumbling on the floor in dejection, but the two didn’t look at her.
「Is there any problem?」
Hajime tilted his head and asked, to which Heliotrope shook her head,
「No. There is a guest for your majesty.」
Most likely, it was a guest who seemed to have business with the foreign force originally. Hearing that report, Hajime seemed to see through something and he stared at empty air for a bit……
「I see. Let them pass.」
「By your will.」
Heliotrope-san respectfully lowered her head.
Seeing Hajime’s practiced manner in acting as a master, the assistants were making commotion like 「Thi, this is demon king Ha-kun」「Sheesh Hajime-chan, what a natural manner as master……」. Among that commotion, Liliana who was still collapsing emotionally got dejected once more while,
「……Hics, as I thought, Hajime-san is more like her master than meee」
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