Aristel dropped her shoulders with a deep sigh. It was true that she was having fun, but she couldn’t help but worry.
All the while, Myuhi had branded those two as ‘them’ and has been trying to get her to forget about them even for a moment.
Earlier when Myuhi dragged her away, Aristel understandably hesitated, but she couldn’t deny it when Myuhi said, “at this rate, you won’t be able to relax at all.”
So without any plans whatsoever, the two of them decided to go have fun.
Aristel wanted to be freed, even for just a little, but she possessed an innate sense of responsibility that kept her from running away, and yet at the same time, she knew that she needed to rest as well.
That’s why she was so indecisive and couldn’t help but worry about them.
“I just feel so pathetic and frustrated. It’s not even on the level of a few people, I can’t manage two servants. At this rate, whatever resolve or oaths I’ve made will be made meaningless!”
Driven by her emotions, Aristel crushed the empty wrapper in her hands.
It was only for an instant, but in an uncharacteristic turn for Aristel, she revealed her emotions so openly, and Myuhi found herself blinking.
“…Ah, you’ve got it all wrong there, Lavi-chan, no matter how you look at it, it’s those kids’ fault. It might not be nice saying this to you, Lavi-chan, but to be honest, I have no need for blind fools like those. Seriously, what good are they for other than for disposable weapons?”
“That’s really blunt.”
Aristel’s face twitched, but she couldn’t refute Myuhi’s words.
She couldn’t agree with her because of the warm feelings she felt for them, but she also knew that that choice was becoming more and more likely.
But she was still concerned because of the families behind them and because of how long they’ve known each other.
“I’m a soldier as far as positions are concerned. I would never accept a peer or a superior like them. If I really had to work with them, I’d stab them before the battle began.”
But Myuhi did not share those bonds or feelings, so she could say it straight up that those two had no other talent than to hurt those around them.
Fortunately, she said that in her usual lighthearted manner, so Aristel could respond with a wry smile.
But at the same time, she couldn’t refute her again.
“…And yet, perhaps that’s exactly why I can’t abandon them. Because I’m responsible for them ending up that way.”
“Lavi-chan, you might be their master, but you don’t have to go that far.”
“No, that’s not what I meant… They saved me. The painful things just kept continuing, and I thought I would be crushed, but then…”
Myuhi was about to admonish her with a dismayed voice, but Aristel’s words and the melancholy written on her face pushed those words back.
Aristel didn’t make it clear what she was talking about, but Myuhi could infer.
The Defense of Litorias 12 years ago. A terrible calamity that occurred due to the
A major incident in which Aristel lost her parents, her friends, acquaintances, and her territory even nearly collapsed.
And then approximately 2 years later, the hero that save them, Ortis, rebelled.
Myuhi might have been unrelated with the first matter, but that wasn’t the case with the second matter, so she didn’t know what to say.
In fact, she’s actually heard about this before from the person himself.
He mentioned that the young next head had gotten attached to him. But in the end, he ended up betraying that.
Just how painful must it have been for such a young heart to lose everything and be betrayed even by the person she admired?
Myuhi knew that she wasn’t even allowed to imagine it.
“A lot of things happened, and I lost the person that would protect me as well, so I was really unstable. The things I had to do were too big, so I didn’t know what to do. It was then that Rizet and Ortho showed me how I ought to be. Perhaps they were mistaken, but even then, they showed me a goal I could easily understand, so I was able to get back up on my feet. Though that turned out to be a problem too because that persona was just too haughty and oppressive,” Aristel wryly smiled.
But regardless, there was no denying that they saved her.
“Even now, I don’t know which part of that me was good. But the one who chose to abandon my own thoughts and clung to that flimsy persona was none other than myself. So it was also me who convinced those around me that that was the right way of doing things. That’s why I’ve been doing my best in these past two months to open their eyes, but…”
This time it was her turn to help them, she thought, but… The results just weren’t there.
Though there were indeed people that could understand her, the ones she wanted to change the most were those two.
But they were just too stubborn, and Aristel’s words couldn’t reach them at all.
As Aristel’s expression twisted in frustration and she balled her hands into fists tightly above her knees, Myuhi could do nothing but call out her name.
Nay, even that she failed to do properly, as she almost called her by her other nickname.
“A-Ahh, I’m sorry! I really shouldn’t be talking about something so boring at a fun place like this! How is this any different from Rizet and the others!”
Perhaps it was because she failed to call out to her, or perhaps it was because an agitated expression unlike her surfaced, or then again, perhaps it was merely because Aristel noticed that the air between them was getting dark, but regardless, Aristel made her voice as bright as possible and tried to change the topic.
“…I thought about it a little, but how about trying something different? I’m sorry, an irresponsible advice like that is the most I could come up with. I guess I’m just really not suited to manage people.”
But Myuhi didn’t allow her to run away.
That being said, that didn’t mean that she actually had any good ideas or encouragement for her.
Myuhi was a warrior, someone who fought. Whatever groundings she had on politics or the human heart was at the bare minimum.
But it was also because of that that she could act differently from Aristel, who was meant to be a leader.
“…There’s nothing I can do about your worries. So why don’t you meet someone who can? At the very least, being with him should be more helpful than playing around with me.”
As Myuhi said that, the locomotive stopped, and they got off the station.
This was the station in front of the landmark attraction, Aura Castle.
Even from here, they could see the giant, beautiful castle that was designed specifically for others to see.
They were captivated for a moment, but they quickly recovered and got back to their business.
“Yes, I figured he’d still be around here, that boy that brought you back to your senses.”
Myuhi actually wasn’t sure either. All she knew was that he said he’d come here, but she didn’t know if he actually did as he said, or if he was still here.
She was put in charge of him, so back at the academy, she could get information from his observers, but understandably, all those people couldn’t tag along outside of Kutoria, so their duties were all delegated to her.
Or to be more precise, the school was currently dealing with an unprecedented crisis, so they had to prioritize that.
They didn’t have people to spare for an All D whose time just happened to be out of sync.
But even without them, considering the time Myuhi parted with him and the distance, she figured he shouldn’t be too far.
In fact, that’s the very reason why she rode on that locomotive with Aristel.
Meanwhile, Aristel just made an odd face wondering why she was doing this.
“…Is this really okay? Oh, I know! This must be that Japanese saying that goes ‘to present salt to one’s enemy ’!”
“No! Lavi-chan, that’s a misunderstanding!”
On Aristel’s face were clearly written things like ‘how enlightening’ or ‘as expected of my rival’.
Myuhi tried to deny her suspicions, but she just looked at her with doubt.
Nay, in fact, it was already closer to jealousy than mere suspicion.
“Really? You were clinging to him so much back at the Tokyo Tower, though.”
“Geh, you saw that!? U-Uh, I-I was just trying to keep him from running off…”
Myuhi tried to find an excuse, but Aristel just glared at her with tears in her eyes.
“You looked really happy when he caressed your ears! Sure must be nice, huh, being able to meet him when you want, being able to hug him when you want… Must be sooo nice…”
Her gaze and her voice were clearly filled with jealousy, and Myuhi didn’t have a clue how to respond.
Aristel also had to monitor Rizet’s group, but beyond that, it was problematic for the top student of the academy to be intimate with the lowest ranked student.
Of course, Aristel herself didn’t mind, but she feared that those around her might react excessively and trouble Shinichi, so she kept her distance and was deeply jealous of Myuhi, who was tasked to watch over him and had a personality that allowed her to freely meet up with him.
But Myuhi just found it troubling to have a girl that was her exact opposite – be it in social standing or appearance – to be jealous of her.
She was just too unfamiliar with the way she looked at her that she couldn’t say anything in retort, and in the end, she ended up raising her voice to try and fool her.
“A-Anyway, I’m going already! I don’t know where Icchi went either, so!”
“O-Okay! T-Thank you so much! I’ll be going then!”
Aristel quickly changed her expression and thanked Myuhi with a polite bow, then rushed off to the castle.
The sight of her black blending in with the crowd truly looked no different from that of a normal girl’s.
“Just how in the world did a young noble lady like her end up jealous of me?”
Something seemed so wrong about that, Myuhi thought.
Seeing that back, who could possibly think that the fate of an entire territory rests on those two shoulders?
They seemed so small and so lacking in spirit to carry such a burden.
That’s probably why she broke once. When Myuhi thought that, her chest ached.
“…Your Excellency, is this one of our sins too?”
As her ears and her tail listlessly fell, she deeply regretted the unforeseen consequences of their actions.