『──Hah, I refuse to become something like a tragic heroine desu, absolutely no way.』
Strength is power.
Power is the absolute justice!
Crushing magic with physical attack and enduring with only spirit if it was just against normal attack. If the opponent tried to predict a step ahead and outwit her, she would get several steps further ahead with tremendous speed and precognition to take the enemy’s back.
『I proclaim it here』
It was a one-sided fight that made the audience wanted to put ruby characters “despair” above the word violence to describe it. As expected that one-sided fighting didn’t get overturned even until the very end.
『The me right now is unrivalled. I don’t feel I’ll lose no matter what kind of enemy gets in my way!』
Just as that proclamation said, there was no denying the sense of invincibility that Shia gave off throughout the fight.
The popcorn is delish. The cola taste so gooood.
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The fight was so devoid of tension that such unnecessary comments were said.
「How should I say it……Shia-chan, you became much more attractive here」
Sumire sprinkled the powder on her popcorn to give it the taste of butter and soy sauce while speaking with a deeply moved tone. Kirino, Kaoruko, and Akiko also nodded affirmatively.
「Woman who is overflowing with confidence is beautiful. The current Shia-chan really has absolute confidence in herself.」
「Fufu, she’s fulfilled both physically and mentally. And the cause of that is──」
「Well, it goes without saying isn’t it~」
The mother group were smirking together at Hajime.
Hajime had a conflicted expression. His mouth was chewing. It seemed some popcorn shell was stuck on the ceiling of his mouth. That was a common happening when eating popcorn.
In exchange it was Shia beside him who reacted. She was smiling bashfully.
「At that time I was certainly on cloud nine from getting accepted by Hajime-san, I was in my perfect form……」
She fidgeted with her hands and fluffy rabbit ears rubbing on each other. Shuu and others looked at her warmly.
At the other side, the past Shia had also concluded the trial.
The fake vanished and at the end the past Shia looked up.
『……Kaa-sama. I want to become a kind monster.』
In the past the young Shia asked her mother if she was a monster. Her mother──Mona answered that Shia could become anything, she could become herself that she wanted to be.
It was the answer of what her future dream was, of what kind of person she wanted to be. An answer that she was unable to give to her mother while she was still alive.
Though her mother said that she wanted to be a hero, so she also harbored a longing for that……
And in fact, in the perception of the people of Tortus, Shia was definitely one of the heroes of this era.
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「Myu! That’s a lovely answer nano! Even cooler than being a hero nano!」
「There’s nobody more suitable than this to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Hajime-kun and Yue.」
「Say Shia. At this time you could report to your mother that “I have become” instead of “I want to become” couldn’t you?」
Myuu grasped Shia’s hand with sparkling eyes. Kaori put on an extraordinarily kind smile, while Shizuku’s words were met with unanimous nodding from Tio and others.
「You got called as monster at the fight against demon race’s elite force right? Even the enemy recognized you, so I think it would be fine even if you reported it like that, just like Shizuku said.」
「……Ehehe, is that so?」
「Look here Shia-san. In the first place a normal person won’t make loud clanging sound when their neck got hit by a large scythe.」
「Rather it was shocking that you still hadn’t acknowledged by yourself that you’re a monster at that point.」
Aiko and Liliana said 「What do you call this if not a monster……」 with a wry smile.
「……Nn. This will make the wussy act of my past self after this to stand out even more. ……What do I do? It made me embarrassed after this late. As I thought how about we just skip it?」
The past Shia finished her trial and walked toward the new passage that just appeared with imposing and triumphant figure. Yue watched the past Shia while she must be comparing it to her own trial. Really it was only at this late hour that she became self-aware of her dark history and became hesitant.
Hajime and others looked at each other. And then they all reached an anonymous decision without saying any word and nodded to each other.
「Let’s go right away!」
「……Kuh, kill me!」
Yue’s cheeks reddened and she fought against her shame. Kaori retorted to her in exasperation.
According to Shia, it seemed the distance from here to the area of Yue’s trial wasn’t that far, but the passage that led to there had been closed at the present, so they used Gate to teleport to there to save time.
They came out to a room that looked exactly the same. Yue was a bit hesitating to do the past replay, so Kaori took her place and mercilessly activated the past replay.
The fake Yue came out from the ice crystal pillar at the middle while the past Yue was goggling at her surrounding.
『Welcome to the final trial.』
『Yes, I am you. Aletia──』
「Black haired and brown skinned Yue!! Kuh, what a fresh and striking cuteness-, don’t screw with me! Are you trying to break my mind!?」
The past Yue narrowed her eyes warily, while the fake Yue was filled with elegance and composure from her expression until even her fingertips. It was a tense scene where the two faced each other that got mixed with *flash flash flashhhh* and shutter sound clicking nonstop. The loud voice of Hajime who instantly went wild also accompanied them.
The past Yue and the fake were talking about something but, 「The sight of 2P color Yue standing with the 1P color……is this my Avalon!?」「This goes beyond the greatest-, reflect on yourself!」「Yue with royalty talking style is also fresh and super wonderful! Don’t screw with me! It’s driving me crazy!」 such lines that came from Hajime whose tension had smashed through the maximum gauge and into a broken state drowned out their voices.
The past Yue quickly attacked as though to say that she had no intention to go along with the fake’s nonsense, but Hajime slid on the ground to get between them and went *flash flash*!
He jumped around with pointlessly acrobatic move to catch the fake and Yue in his camera from every angles!
In the end even Cross Velt and Grim Reaper also got mobilized. The two Yues got captured in numerous cameras from numerous angles and after that he seriously organized a recording from every angle centered around Yue as though it was a movie filming!
「……H-Hajime, calm downnn」
Yue-san too watched such antic with warm smile──not. As expected she turned bright red. She called out to Hajime while cooling down her heated cheeks by slapping them with her hands, but her voice didn’t reach Hajime who was in the verge of exploding from excitement like a whale who had just pulled the greatest rare gacha.
「O-oi, Nagumo Shuu! Stop your son──」
「Sumire! Put a camera at that corner too!」
「Roger! The fake-chan is in princess mode! That’s rare! I won’t be able to call myself mother-in-law if I don’t preserve the rare figure of my adorable daughter-in-law in perpetuity-」
「You guys too!!」
It seemed Shuu and Sumire also couldn’t keep their cool from watching the battle between the two differently colored Yues. They were setting up cameras like stupid parents attending their young daughter’s big moment.
Yue-san too went bright red all over her body from this.
「Hou, I’ve heard before that she was a princess in the past, but she actually had such speaking style before.」
「Her atmosphere is also really different from the present.」
Shuuzou and Koichi were commenting about the fake’s way of conducting herself. The speech that the fake gave to the past Yue in between of the intense battle including her atmosphere were certainly very different from the present Yue.
Kirino and Akiko also looked at each other.
「So Yue-chan’s eyes originally looked sharp like that? Even though right now her eyes always have this sleepy look or giving a blank stare all the time……she’s giving off this indolent person impression somehow.」
「She also had abundant expression. ……Though her current self feels like a happy-go-lucky person at the inside.」
「……Is that a praise or an insult?」
Yue didn’t have any problem at all seeing her past self now that she had accepted the truth about her uncle and her past, but as expected it seemed she got embarrassed when it got pointed once more in front of the out of control Nagumo parents and son. She was trembling uncontrollably with tearful eyes while sending an intense reproachful gaze.
In any case, Yue from her princess era looked like the very picture of a highborn lady that nobody could possibly deny it.
Actually, the other parents outside of the Nagumo family sometimes had a thought 「Was she really a royalty?」 from seeing the happy-go-lucky action and personality of Yue during this trip but……
It seemed they finally accepted it for real after seeing the fake Yue, Aletia with their own eyes. That was just how different Yue was at the present compared to her past.
「Remia-san? Why did you look at me just now?」
「!? My my, it’s nothing at all Lily-san. Ufufu?」
「Don’t dodge the question! You just compared me with the past Yue-san aren’t you! You thought that the past Yue-san was more princess-like than me right!?」
Liliana grabbed Remia tearfully. Aiko tried to pull her off Remia from behind while desperately trying to calm her down.
「Lily-san, please calm down! It’s fine-, you were very much a princess the first time we saw you!」
「You just let the cat out of the bag though!?」
And now!? I’m still a princess even now you knoww~!! Liliana started hitting Aiko repeatedly with tearful eyes as though she wished to insist like that. But setting that aside.
「Fuh, this difference in reaction compared to with my time」
Shia was looking at Hajime with a faraway look while muttering. It seemed that a part of herself couldn’t accept the difference in Hajime’s current tension with the time when everyone watched her past trial while enjoying popcorn and cola as though they were having short break just to kill time.
At the same time, in front of Tomoichi and others who were currently being speechless,
「Fuh, maketh way for me whose finest hour was treated as though it was nothing.」
Tio passed through with eyes that looked dead. She stood side-by-side with Shia. Grief hanged in the air around the two……maybe. Myuu patted them on their waist to sympathize with them, which made the whole thing even sadder.
「Yes yes, enough of this already! You can just ask her to look like that as much as you want later! After all she can use transformation magic to change not only her skin color but even her body shape!」
「Both of you too, let’s stop here. Look, there’s something strange going on. Didn’t you want to take a proper look at Yue’s past?」
Kaori hit Hajime’s head with the flat of her great sword, while Shizuku confiscated Sumire and Shuu’s cameras. The three of them finally returned to their senses with that.
「Oops, my bad. Yue is just too──」
「Cute you mean? I get it. Want me to cut you?」
「Don’t press your blade on my neck while smiling like that. I’m not Shia. My head will come off normally.」
Because, the sword was plainly covered with disintegration magic……Hajime raised both his hands to surrender with a slightly twitching expression. He allowed himself to be dragged away obediently. Shuu and Sumire also quietly went back to their spot because the past replay was reaching a serious part just as Shizuku said.
『Do you really think that you’ll be able to stay at his side forever?』
The fake’s words clearly managed to pierce through Yue’s mind.
For Yue, Hajime was the center of her world. Hajime was also the supporting pillar of her mind.
That was why Yue didn’t waver at all no matter how much the fake brought up the matter of the past betrayal. She could even confidently declared that if it was in order to meet Hajime, that betrayal was something necessary and she would go through the same path and continued to wait for him at the bottom of the abyss no matter how many times.
That was why the fake switched track.
It was Yue’s other darkness. An anxiety that she unconsciously kept inside her heart.
There was no way the fake wouldn’t attack there with how disgustingly accurate she was with her reading of Yue’s inside.
If she didn’t waver from her past, what about her future.
「……Why didn’t uncle kill me even though he was able to? At this time such simple doubt hadn’t even entered my mind. I was averting my gaze from the truth.」
Her heart was unable to bear the three hundred years of imprisonment and the fact of betrayal, so she convinced herself that the easiest to understand explanation that could easily help her maintain her heart was the truth.
Her anxiety for the future that she buried deep inside her heart and she had pretended to not see until then made her eyes wavered.
「……It’s embarrassing but, I couldn’t overcome and conquer my own negativity like Shia and Tio.」
She really looked embarrassed because they watched this after watching Shia and Tio’s trial. Yue spoke while looking at Shia and Tio as though they were shining bright.
『……There is Shia at Hajime’s side. There is also Tio. And despite my reluctance, there is also Kaori.』
The past Yue replied with words that denied her future with Hajime.
She said that at the very least Hajime wouldn’t be alone even if she couldn’t walk in the same future with him.
It was as though she was saying that there was nothing more important in this world than that.
As though to prove that, Yue’s fake didn’t weaken, but it also didn’t get strengthened despite the anxiety and doubt that were still haunting her heart.
「……I’m sorry, Shia, Tio. And also Kaori.」
Just like how when she got scolded by Shia, Yue apologized once more for how she talked about a future that didn’t include her and how she selfishly entrusted such future to the others without any regard of their feeling──
「……I’m really sorry. For overcoming the trial with only my love for Hajime!」
Or not. The three girls’ expression that looked at Yue like she was someone troublesome but also with warmth in it instantly turned stiff. Even though they only spoke a single syllable in respond, it caused the parents to shiver as though their voices came from the bottom of hell.
The fake Yue-san spoke with superb timing.
『So the center of your world will always be Nagumo Hajime no matter what happen.』
「……Even though everyone had managed to properly face only themselves! I was the only one whose thought was filled with nothing but Hajime! I’m so ashamed!」
Yue-sama hugged herself and fidgeted bashfully.
Shia, Tio, and Kaori’s eyes turned into a blank stare that was at the level of Yue. Just when they thought that she was acting admirably, she instead spoke with an air that asserted superiority over them without a shred of remorse. It made them snapped at a level that they hadn’t felt for so long. It was the same with Shizuku, Aiko, and Liliana.
The parents went 「Uwaa」 seeing the grinning noh mask appearing behind Kaori, which was followed by Shia and others who were starting to warm up with twitching smile as though to say bring it on to Yue’s provocation.
But, Hajime and Remia were only smiling wryly. Myuu ws also watching with a troubled frown.
「……Nn? Whaat is it Myuu?」
「You got scolded by Shia-oneechan after this right? Myuu think you will only get even more embarrassed even if you try to cover it up right now nano.」
She let out a groan. It seemed that Myuu hit the bull’s eye.
Although, that might be something that couldn’t be helped even from Yue’s standpoint. After all behind that Yue, the past Yue inside the past replay was being greatly worn down from the fake Yue’s attack that rivaled herself.
Ignoring the opponent’s attack by relying on her “Automatic Regeneration” while firing ultimate magic as counterattack was Yue’s primary, or rather her serious fighting style.
But, the last time she fought like that was at the final trial of Orcus Great Dungeon. At the very least she had never fought like that within the past replays that they had been watching until now.
In fact, even Sumire and Shuu’s expression was gradually turning astonished seeing Yue’s appearance getting tattered from the back and forth offense and defense.
This close match became all the more impactful because before this they had just seen Shia obtaining overwhelming victory unharmed.
At the same time this also showed how cornered Yue was mentally. There was nobody in this place who didn’t realize that.
「Well, it’s just like Myuu said. You’ll feel even more embarrassed if you cover it up here won’t you? You picking a fight in the present time too so that everyone’s focus will be distracted from your past fight with Shia after this even if just for a little……I think that’s a bad move you know?」
「……Uu. I never even imagined that both Shia and Tio would clear the trial that overwhelmingly. The comparison will be painfulll~」
Yue-sama went to Hajime’s back and pushed her face on him to hide from everyone. She rubbed her face on his back while moaning 「Even though I’m the first wifee~ Even though I’m the first wifee~」.
Yue in the past replay somehow overcame her fake and grasped victory.
At the very least she would become unable to meet with Hajime if she was defeated there. She defeated her fake and prevented it from getting strengthening with only that single minded thought, so she was recognized as succeeding in her trial in a sense.
But after that Yue stood still at the center of the spacious room with her tattered state staying as they were. Such appearance really didn’t look like someone who successfully “conquered the trial”.
That must be because Yue herself didn’t feel any happiness from her success. The past Yue looked far removed from the Yue who was brimming with confidence that all of them were familiar with. They couldn’t hide their surprise.
ᴛʜɪs ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀ ɪs ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ʙʏ ꜰʀᴇᴇᴡᴇʙɴ(oᴠᴇ)ʟ. ᴄᴏᴍ.
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Although, seeing Hajime’s expression turning slovenly and love struck from the adorableness of the current Yue who was hiding her face behind him while groaning 「Uu」, it broke the dam and the angry Kaori. Shia and the others went 「Geez~」 in exasperation. They even blushed slightly and writhed from the cuteness overload.
「I don’t know whether it’s the trial that was amazing from being able to corner Yue-chan to this point, or it was Yue-chan who was amazing from overcoming a great dungeon’s trial with only her feeling for Hajime. I really don’t know what to say.」
「As a parent it’s something to be happy about though.」
Sumire and Shuu’s words made Yue slowly raised her face. Even though their gentle gaze made her bashful, she still puffed out her chest and declared 「N-naturally」. The loveliness made the two reflexively reached at Yue’s head and patted there. *Pat pat*
「Don’t treat me like Myuu!」 The way she moved away from the patting in a hurry caused everyone to chuckle reflexively.
「Well, my case was also similar with this. If I’m asked whether I was able to properly face my own heart here, I could only say that I didn’t. After all if it was for my objective then I’d trample even negative emotion.」
Even so he defeated his fake. And with that his success was recognized.
The concept of this Ice and Snow Cavern was to face your own negative emotion.
That wasn’t wrong but, the true nature of this dungeon went a bit deeper than that.
「Fumu. In the end, the true nature of this trial might lie in the aftermath of “facing thy own negative emotion”. Regardless of what shape it took and regardless of the reason, the most important thing here must be to never yield against thy own weakness.」
Tio said that after watching Yue’s trial. Shuuzou nodded 「I see」 in understanding.
「Life doesn’t consist of only overcoming challenge. Continuing to endure and stand up, and moving forward while never letting go of the single feeling in your chest are also a praiseworthy way of living.」
「Muu, I’m feeling a bit conflicted though. After all that meant Yue-san completed her trial while still thinking of something like it’s fine even if she can’t be together with us desu. Good grief, that fake-chan lacked guts. She should beat up the good-for-nothing real one until she was black and blue.」
Shia folded her arms sullenly. Her lips were pouting. But even if she demanded for the fake to show some guts……Vandell-san would definitely grimaced in displeasure if he was here to hear that.
「……Nn~, but, I was glad it was Shia who scolded me rather than the fake.」
Yue’s gaze toward Shia was gentle even after she hoped for her to get beaten up even more.
The speech of the fake in the end came from Yue’s own heart. The exchange was no different than her asking and answering herself. That was why, the words from her precious best friend who was like her little sister gave far deeper impact into her heart.
「……I was able to hear all of Shia’s feelings. It touched me.」
「I-is that so?」
「……Nn. As I thought it’s embarrassing to watch the past once more but……yes. It was my first big quarrel with my friend, which was far better than coming to the conclusion by myself. After all not only I understood myself, but also Shia’s feelings once more……I was happy.」
Yue and Shia stared at each other.
Voices of 「Oh my oh my!」 as though they had seen something precious slipped out from the woman camp. Hajime and Myuu also went 「Sho prechiouus」 with Buddha-like expression. Remia looked troubled saying 「Another unknown words coming out from my daughter’s mouth……」. It seemed the papa’s, no, Nagumo family’s special education was progressing apace outside of the mama’s knowledge.
「Hajime-kun, let’s move on to the next quickly. I want to watch it already. The big quarrel of Yue and Shia──」
「Yeah, I’m with you. I’ll open the Gate now──」
「Making a big mess of my trial!」
「As expected from Kaori, so honest with her own desire even within this emotional atmosphere.」
「Really this child……」
Kaori pointed at Shia and Yue who were staring at each other emotionally and raised her voice 「They were really horrible you know!」 without any care of it. Tomoichi looked troubled seeing his daughter like that, while Kaoruko looked as though she was enduring a headache.
Hajime smiled wryly while pinpointing the coordinate using the compass. Then he opened the “Gate” once more.
They came out into a wide passage. Kaori immediately activated the past replay and projected the past Yue who was looking uneasy while Shia questioned her with a serious expression.
It was just like they heard before. Yue spoke the words of her entrusting Hajime. They could see emotion falling off from Shia’s worried expression.
Shia suppressed the boiling emotion that welled up inside her and asked Yue what she meant, hoping that it was just some kind of a joke.
And like that, *Slap*.
『Please take it back.』
Everyone, Hajime included spontaneously let out 「O-ou」 seeing that. A magnificent slap had just hit Yue’s cheek unreservedly.
The past Yue was stunned and dumbfounded in disbelief. Her request that came from her deep trust to the other person was responded with a slap. Furthermore when she looked at Shia, she found her emitting what was undoubtedly a wrath. It shocked Yue to the core.
It was only natural. After all Shia getting seriously angered like this wasn’t something that could be seen so abruptly like this. A genuine anger that came from someone who was like the personification of innocent cheerfulness contained an impact that was more than enough to send a chill to the center of her stomach.
From there things devolved tempestuously.
Yue who entrusted the future just in case she wouldn’t be there, and Shia who obstinately refused that request. It was because others and she herself acknowledged that she was Yue’s number one best friend that they couldn’t possibly see eye to eye in this matter, which devolved into their first big quarrel.
「……u, Shia at this time was really scary……」
「Y-Yue-san, you don’t need to tremble like that……」
「……Because, magic didn’t work! My barrier was smashed with one punch! I thought I was fighting a demon god with rabbit ears attached!」
「Isn’t that too exaggerating!?」
No, that wasn’t an exaggeration. Everyone thought that.
Because, all of Yue’s magic were erased with a single attack from the Warhammer Drucken. Even when she tried to restrict Shia’s movement with freezing magic, she blew it away along with the ground by just hitting the ground with her fist. Even the top class defense magic “Holy Severance” was pulverized like it was a paper scrap.
Yue got blown away helplessly and smashed through the opening wall behind her while entering a trial area.
『W-what!? What happened!?』
The past Kaori and her fake whose swords were locked against each other at that moment looked at their way with widened eyes.
Even though they couldn’t understand the reason, they could at least see that Yue and Shia were having a quarrel. They called out to them but──
「It’s horrible isn’t it? I didn’t enter their eyes at all as though I was just a fly on the wall.」
The past Kaori got completely ignored and cried! She was in a state that invited sympathy so much that even the fake who should be testing her automatically tried to console her.
Kaori’s cold gaze stared without blinking at Yue and Shia.
The two’s gazes wandered, not knowing where they should look. Certainly, this scene really painted a horrible picture when watched from the outside like this.
Furthermore this horrible scene would become even more horrible from here.
「……I-if you’re talking about horribleness then Shia was also horrible! Even though it was in the middle of quarrel there are still things that can be said and things that can’t be said!」
Yue pointed as though to escape from Kaori’s gaze. Then right after that,
『──You eternal pipsqueak! Half-baked boobs!』
You said something like that!? The parents and even Hajime looked at Shia with cringing expression.
「A-ahaha, at this time I was so angry that I completely forgot myself……yes. Against my better judgment I let slipped the thought that was always in my mind.」
「Wait a second Shia. “Always in my mind”? E? Eh!? You always had that kind of thought!? You didn’t make that up because we were quarreling!?」
Dammit! Shia’s expression seemed to say that. It seemed she really thought it. Yue looked shocked and staggered on her feet.
「You misunderstand desu! That was only me saying my thought in a mean way. In the end my thought was only something like “As I thought Yue-san is small isn’t she”, or like when we took a bath together, you sometimes would stare on my breasts, so there were times when I would think “It’s pitiful that she can’t grow……” for a little, that’s all!」
「You let the cat out of the bag though!?」
It seemed Shia really had such thought. Well, it was a fact though that Yue didn’t grow and she was small.
「Voided! It’s voided because it’s already past the expiration date desu!」
「……I am Yue. A woman who won’t forget the insult at her even if it’s her best friend who said it!!」
「You’re the first wife! Be more tolerant for that!」
「It’s because I’m the first wife! I’ll do the disciplining strictly-」
「Calm down you two. The quarrels will overlap at this rate.」
Unusually a scuffled that normally Yue did with Kaori now broke out between Yue and Shia.
Shuu and Sumire and the others thought that they had to be stopped, but it only lasted for a moment. At the other side of the scuffling Yue and Shia,
『FUNNNUUUUUU!! Lukewarm! You think you can defeat a forest rabbit with something like thiis-』
『T-this bugged rabbittt-. STOPPPPPPPPP!!』
The abnormal intense fighting between the past Shia and Yue were also playing at the same time, so to be honest, the fighting that happened at the present time only looked like two kittens frolicking around compared to that. And so everyone halted what they were going to do, thinking that something at that level should be okay.
After all, the serious Shia ignored gravity magic with only her spirit and power. She punched away a “lightning dragon” with spirit and power. She even advanced while enduring space quake with spirit defense. Yue’s expression was twitching as she witnessed those.
Although even this quarrel too, as it progressed,
「……Somehow it doesn’t look that different now with the present quarrel.」
「Now it’s just like a quarrel between two grade schoolers.」
Akiko and Kaoruko looked at each other with wry smile.,
It seemed that their magic power were running out and with that they also ran out of vocabulary. The past Yue and Shia began to call each other names 『Stuupid stupid!』 or 『Idiooot~!』 like children. It wasn’t that much different from the current duo who were grappling with each other at the side.
It was clear that the quarrel wouldn’t cause the friendship of the two to broke up seeing that this was a replay of the past that already happened, even so the two best friends were fighting each other with all seriousness, so everyone had unconsciously felt tense as they watched. This development caused everyone to start sighing in relieve.
「Hmmm, their argument was far more terrific that I imagined.」
「I see. So this is what will happen if you anger the normally gentle forest rabbit. I shall be careful when getting along with the Hauria clan.」
「But Ojii-chan, Otou-san. Karm-san and the others are already high tensioned even at normal time you know? In various senses.」
Shuuzou, Koichi, and Shizuku made their commentary, then,
「Papa, papa. Is Shia-oneechan stronger than Yue-oneechan in a serious fight nano?」
Myuu’s question that came from her genuine curiosity was spoken. It could be seen how Yue’s ears and Shia’s rabbit ears twitched in respond even though they were still in the middle of scuffling.
「No, this is a serious quarrel but they don’t go all out. They’re holding back properly so that none of their attack is lethal.」
「But that’s a good question isn’t it? Who will win between the physically strongest and the magically strongest.」
「Hahaue-dono. The current Yue hath even obtained the magic of god. Shia art bugged, but as expected I don’t think that she wouldst be able to win against a serious Yue.」
「Yeah. It might be a different story if by some chance Shia also become able to use variated and powerful magic but……as expected, I can’t imagine how that can happen!」
「Certainly, if that happen then it’ll be like equipping an ogre with a metal rod.」
Nobody there thought even in their dream that in the near future Shia would gain divine spirits as ally and obtained variated as well as wide ranged annihilation power by using divine possessed weapon.
Hajime and others laughed together saying that if that ever happened then Shia would become completely out of control! Ahaha-
There Tomoichi seemed to reach the limit of his patience and shouted.
「No no no, there’s something else that we need to focus more in here isn’t it!? My daughter is in a really precarious state over there!」
「That’s right that’s right! Otou-san, tell them more! It’s really horrible how everyone is averting their eyes from the past me! Can’t you see what a horrible state my──fake is in!?」
Someone tried to stop the two’s quarrel, but she got dragged into the immense power that Yue and Shia brought about. Not only that, she even got used as cannon ball or a shield, and yet her existence itself wasn’t even registered in the mind of the quarreling duo.
The fake rolled over on the ground until she came to a stop in front of Kaori while looking like a dirty rag……
Everyone’s thought became as one. Once they got a look at that figure, her state that was simply just too much to be described made everyone thought 「I really have no word……」. She seriously looked so pitiful that they couldn’t find any word to say.
「Lily, can you stop patting my shoulder?」
「Fufu, it’s alright Kaori. I’m the one who understand your feeling the best. We are best buddies!」
「Stop looking at me with those kind eyes!」
Kaori slapped away Liliana’s hand from her shoulder while heading toward Yue and Shia.
The two of them had stopped fighting without anyone noticing and stood up. It seemed that they had thought really carefully, right now Yue could use metamorphosis magic that she could do whatever she liked with her own style, so there was no point to their quarrel.
「So, Yue, Shia. Especially Yue who didn’t admit her fault even until the end! What do you think after looking back at the past? Aren’t there words that you couldn’t say to me at that time that you should say to me now!」
「「The case already expired.」」
「B-both of you-」
These twoooo, an angry vein bulged on Kaori’s forehead. You two have been arguing until just now, so can you two not returning to be good friends in the drop of hat like thattt!? She thought with clenched fist. It would be troubling if things devolved into a three-way fight, so Shizuku casually grabbed Kaori’s waist. As expected from the best friend.
But it seemed Kaori too had grown up mentally. She let out a sigh. She pulled herself together and shrugged in annoyance.
「Well, it’s fine already. After seeing what really happened, I understood the reason why Shia got that angry. Even I surely would get my head filled with anger like that too if I heard the same thing.」
「Fufu, indeed. I too felt furious just from listening to it. Although it was already something in the past. Yue too hath already reflected and apologized.」
「……Nn. I will never show this kind of unsightly side ever again.」
Yue met Shia, Kaori, and Tio’s eyes in turn with a powerful gaze. Shia and others also nodded back with determination to her.
The unmistakable bond and affection that the four of them had cultivated throughout their journey together could be seen there.
「……It made me feel a bit lonely seeing them like this.」
「I understand that. After all I too weren’t a member of Hajime’s party even though I accompanied them from the middle.」
「Each of us had our own role, so it couldn’t be helped but……I’m a bit jealous.」
Aiko, Shizuku, and Liliana muttered. The others must have heard them. Yue turned around and smiled with astonishing degree of kindness toward them.
「……Isn’t that why we are having a trip together like this?」
They followed the track of the past journey, felt the feeling of everyone at that time together, and then from there they came to learn about each other, ascertained things that they and their family didn’t know about.
This trip wasn’t simply an other world sightseeing. Its purpose was to build an even deeper bond and trust with each other.
「……Because everyone here, is family.」
They weren’t people from different household. Everyone was already one family together.
Yue who had been looking and acting the most childish in a sense during this trip looked more mature than anyone in this moment. Her deep, deep affection became a wave that was transmitted to everyone. Everyone’s gaze became naturally drawn toward her.
「How should I say it, it’s unfair when you are like this.」
Nn? Yue tilted her head. Hajime squinted his eyes toward her while saying that as though he had unconditionally surrendered. Everyone whose gaze was being stolen by Yue came to their senses after hearing that. They blinked and then said 「I see」 with a look of understanding.
「Fufu, that’s true. It’s just like what Yue-san said desu.」
「Somehow, I’m now really looking forward to what kind of journey Kaori and everyone had at Guryuen and the western sea.」
「Yes, yes, I completely agree! In any case, let’s have a rewatch of Kaori’s trial for now.」
Aiko, Shizuku, and Liliana too were immediately freed from their melancholy.
It also looked like there were a slight change to the parents’ expressions. From the start they joined this trip with the feeling and also the resolve to know about what their children had experienced in this other world and also more about Hajime and the others. But after Yue told them “because they were family”, there frame of mind of having a field trip must have also changed just a little.
Warmth dwelled deep inside Tomoichi’s eyes. Even so he shrugged his shoulders a bit playfully.
「I wished you would show the beginning of my daughter’s trial instead if you know that it would have such horrible conclusion.」
「True. This is Kaori we’re talking about, so she must had done her very best but……knowing that at the end she finished off the fake in a way like she was deceiving her, it’s just……you know.」
「Let’s forget the end of it! The process is more important than the result! Especially in this trial! Right!?」
Kaori desperately glossed over what she did while mixing a bit of justification in her speech. It made everyone laugh. At the same time,
「The way to show a scene and the sequence art important!」
Tio said that with a radiant smile. Of course,
It went without saying that Kaori protested tearfully.
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