“Ahh, it’s so like him to dream a dream like that, but now our positions have changed.”
Daigo’s words were complaining, but his tone was that of satisfaction and happiness.
In a sense, Shinichi’s dream was more difficult than them who dreamed something specific.
But since Shinichi’s dream wasn’t specific, it was much harder to lose sight of it.
“The nerve of that guy”, Daigo said with a smile as he became happy for his childhood friend.
“I see. So that’s why he felt so familiar. His understanding of the relationship of those that protect and those that are protected is very similar to ours.”
“The person who said that ended up getting protected instead, though.”
He wasn’t strong at the start, but people were capable of growing.
Daigo knew that, but as someone who knew Shinichi when he was young, he still found it shocking.
Knowing about his stats made the whole situation even stranger, but he didn’t bother to pursue it.
He had heard when they first reunited that due to some circumstances Shinichi experienced a time shift.
It was probably related to that, so Daigo didn’t say anything.
The girl could infer from the conversation how Shinichi must’ve been like when he was young, so she smiled.
“Fu fu. Oh, but this isn’t the time to be having a friendly chat, is it? Let’s leave the things that we can’t lie about as is and just make sure that they’re as mild as possible.”
They couldn’t lie about the fact that he jumped in and fought with the criminals, but as for the part about him catching bullets with his hands and beating drones barehanded, those they could treat as if they never happened.
“Hmm, but then the story of those men probably won’t match.”
Hostages are more trustworthy than the criminals, true, but with so many of them, Daigo figured that the credibility between their groups should be mostly equal.
“It’s fine. The people that were reflecting over their actions weren’t really looking. They’ll probably tell the truth, but you can just leave that to me.”
“What do you mean?”
The girl smiled fearlessly then removed her beret hat and glasses, revealing the beautiful blue hair and golden eyes hidden underneath.
That defining color and hairstyle (ringlet curls) left Daigo stupid.
“Wow, you’re so pretty!”
The boy honestly praised her beauty, while Daigo froze up at the implication of her appearance.
It was enough to make him run from reality by seriously pondering on how she could have hidden all that beneath her beret hat.
In the end, he forcefully concluded his inquiry with one sentence – ‘As expected of Garesto’.
“Thank you, little hero. You were very cool back there too. I was really happy when you tried to cover for me.”
The little boy blushed at her beauty and praise, but Daigo, whose lap he was sitting on, was not addled.
When he realized what he’d done to her and how he talked to her before, he paled.
“Don’t ever forget how you felt that time, but don’t try to be reckless either. Even if it’s for the right thing, if you get hurt, there are people who will be sad. You have to treasure your mom, okay?”
Seeing the child nod, the girl smiled, then nodded to Daigo.
“My name should be able to persuade them. The moment I name myself, the school will be contacted and someone will immediately be sent to pick me up. So can I ask you to send that person a message in my place?”
“Y-Yes! I’ll do whatever you want!”
Daigo was embarrassed to be so nervous that his voice sounded shrill, but he knew too little how to behave in front of someone famous.
She, on the other hand, was used to having a fidgeting partner and as such paid him no mind.
“I want to take him out for dinner as thanks— Oh, but on second thought, would a Japanese man appreciate that?”
She spoke her message as she’d thought it, but midway, she stopped, and a worrying expression surfaced on her.
Before the incident, she wanted to treat him as thanks, but in the end, he spent more money on her than she’d spent on him.
The possibility was there, so she had to consider it.
She spoke a different plan, but it was so tedious that even she could tell.
“I-in that case, we could train toge— How is that supposed to show my gratitude!? I-I could advise him— But that’s exactly the same! Oh, I know! I could get the newest armaments and— I couldn’t possibly gift that to a normal person! But most of the things that my house can produce are meaningless in Earth— Huh? How exactly do you thank a gentleman from Earth!?”
She was asking herself with that last sentence.
Troubled to no end by a situation unforeseen, her face flushed red and she shuffled about in confusion.
“I can’t believe it! I don’t even know how to thank someone properly! W-W-W-W-What should I do!? I haven’t investigated at all what that gentleman likes! At this rate, I’ll be someone who can’t even properly thank her benefactor! What to do, what to do, what to do!?”
This was the kind of person she was.
As her grand image collapsed magnificently, a wry smile appeared on Daigo’s lips.
She was so rattled that she had even forgotten about that gentleman’s best friend sitting in front of her.
Alas, this was a trouble stirred by two walls. One known as ‘another world’ and the other known as ‘upper-class society’.
“What can I do please that gentleman!?”
As she worried to no end over how to ‘thank’ him, Daigo’s eyes blinked.
Cheeks flushed red and a restless heart. That was enough to bring to worry a certain matter.
Even if the person herself was not aware of it.
She mentioned that he reminded her of a person she once admired.
She spoke highly of him many times.
She fondly referred to him as ‘that gentleman’ or ‘that person’.
Word had it that the people of Garesto had a preference for ‘strong’ people.
And lastly, she was like this. With all that, it would be harder not to suspect.
“Ahh, a-anyway! I’ll make sure not to make a big deal out of it, so please inform him that I wish to thank him directly. Tell him to visit Garesto Academy at Kutoria. If he tells the people there that it’s about the beret girl, they’ll understand!”
Though seemingly embarrassed, she spoke with much vigor as if she’d made up her mind.
Daigo reflexively replied in affirmation, but deep inside, he felt that this confirmed it.
She coughed lightly and brushed over her being flustered.
“Umm… *Cough. Excuse me. I Aristel F. Padyuel will never forget this. Despite the situation, you did not abandon your pride and held yourself with regard. I’ll be talking with the people in charge here now, so please wait here for a moment…”
She was wearing normal clothes, but her elegant bow made it seem as if she was wearing a dress instead.
She held her head up high and left the tent a noble as she made her way to the temporary HQ.
If Daigo had not seen her lose her composure earlier, he would have fallen for her just from the way she carried herself.
“Ha ha, so the one looking at the world with colored glasses was me, huh…”
A different world. A different way. A different strength. A different pride.
But the one who showed him all that was the same person. The same person he mistook to be a normal girl.
Though the person herself managed to keep up her appearance, to her, this was actually a disappointing story.
“Hmm? What’s the matter?”
“Uncle, I’ve seen her on TV before.”
“…Yeah, me too. I’ve seen her too, but it would be nice if you could call me onii-san instead of uncle, though.”
Daigo wryly smiled as he ruminated on that name. Aristel F. Padyuel.
Likely the most popular face next to the current president of Garesto.
The nobles of Garesto have taken it upon themselves to carry the duty of defending their world and their respective territories.
In Garesto, houses that can produce high rankers are given nobility, and among the nobility, the houses that possess even greater character have come to be known as the Ten Great Nobles.
One of those great nobles was none other than the House of Padyuel, and Aristel was the next in line to succeed the head of the family.
Due to her friendly appearance, she has appeared in many events and interviews.
She has already become a household name and is so famous that even children knew her face.
With a beautiful face straight out of a fairytale, a characteristic hairstyle, and an ever graceful bearing, she has made many fans out of the Earthlings.
Though from the way she acted at the store earlier, she might actually just be a girl deep down inside.
“I gotta hand it to you, Shinichi. That’s one crazy woman to have fall for you.”
If he was in the mood, he would have surely laughed like there was no tomorrow.
After all, of all the girls that could fall for his childhood friend with no ability to attract women, it just had to be her.
Daigo considered helping out by ‘exaggerating’ the message, but while he did later find out from the questioning that his childhood friend was safe, he could neither meet him nor contact him, and in the end, he couldn’t pass the message on.
Later on, though, he would find out that the message wasn’t necessary at all.