“Enough, you girls… And as for you, please stop toying with my students,” Frire said.
The one who moved the conversation along was the teacher, who was ignorant of her own charms and dull-witted as a result.
Though considering how she was able to tell that the servant was just playing around, it was curious if she actually dull or sharp.
Regardless, a smile similar to her master’s surfaced on the servant as she bowed her head in an exaggerated manner and apologized.
“I beg your pardon… Everyone was just too cute that I couldn’t help myself but make a small joke.”
“Oh, I’m 100% serious, but the relationship between me and my master is still pure.”
“Yes, it is pure… For now.”
It was curious if the fact that she kept emphasizing that meant that she was still messing around, or if she was merely trying to
As for Ryou, he just looked up above as he acknowledged how powerful the new challenger was, while Frire, who understood the servant’ intentions but not the meaning, sighed.
“Sigh… I see master and servant both like to play around… So, why are you by yourself? Nothing happened to Nakamura, right?”
The female teacher realized it was best to change the topic and decided to ask a vague and somewhat indirect question.
She thought that she wouldn’t be able to delve deeply into the matter, and even if she asked, she might not get a response.
However, either because the servant sensed her intention or for some other reason, she just straight up answered her.
“It would be a lie to say that nothing at all happened, but it’s nothing that concerns his life. He hasn’t been caught up in any troublesome incident, and he isn’t threatening people throughout the world either. He simply commanded me to take on his form and go back first, so that he could be alone.”
However, intentionally or unintentionally, in the end, she spoke in a roundabout way.
She was saying that there was nothing wrong, yet the way she spoke suggested she was anxious.
Her words were implying that there was some other problem.
“Can you tell me where Shinichi is, and what he’s doing right now?” Tomoe asked.
It was curious if it was because of how straightforward Tomoe was, or because of the worried expression on everyone’s faces, but regardless, the beauty’s cheeks slackened.
“Fortunately, he didn’t tell me not to tell anyone, so I can answer. If you’re asking where, well we parted at Asahikawa, so he might still be there. As for what he’s doing, well, he’s extremely depressed.”
For a moment, everyone thought that such a thing couldn’t possibly be true, but after thinking about it for a bit, Shinichi was unusually cowardly, and he also tended to be concerned about the strangest of things.
He would be openly envious of other people, and sometimes, he would make a face that was more in pain than anyone else.
The time they spent with Shinichi was not very long, but even so, the fact that he seemed “depressed” didn’t feel out of place.
But that begged another question. What happened to make him depressed?
The female teacher, who had a clue what might have caused that, asked that question, and…
“Because he fought with his friend?” The servant said.
“Huh? What the heck is that supposed to mean!?”
Surprisingly, the one who reacted to that was Myuhi.
Though puzzled herself, Frire shared what she and Shinichi had discussed.
Meanwhile, the servant looked at her with an amused gaze.
“A-Actually… The other night he told me he was going to leave for a bit. Apparently, there was a friend he didn’t want to fight with… That there was someone he needed to greet.”
Listening to that alone, it might sound like a rather arbitrary reason, but the people gathered here didn’t take it at face value.
They already knew that while Shinichi’s statements were rarely untrue, they often ran much deeper than they initially suggested.
That’s why, it was only natural that their gaze would turn to his servant to inquire about what happened.
It was curious how she took that, but she closed her eyes briefly as if pondering, then she opened them again and nodded.
“He didn’t tell me not to say anything about that either, so it’s probably fine. The person he wanted to greet was someone he’s been grateful to since a long time ago.”
“We’re in the middle of a school trip, though. He doe—”
“—Today is the anniversary of their passing.”
Someone was about to say that he didn’t have to go, but those words couldn’t be completed.
“Right, that can happen too.”
‘Since a long time ago’ and ‘anniversary of their passing’. There was no one here who did not understand the meaning of those words.
While nowadays drifters could return home within a few days if they are found, in the early days of the revelation of the otherworld, it took years to return.
It wasn’t rare for one’s original environment and relationships to fall apart during that time. It also wasn’t rare for a drifter to come home only to find out that his loved ones have died.
But while it wasn’t rare, accepting and moving on from that was another matter altogether.
Many of the people here have experienced a loved one dying themselves, so no one could really say anything beyond that.
Even the servant didn’t seem to think there was a need to say more, so the conversation shifted to the topic of the friend.
“The friend he fought with is related to the person that passed. Briefly put, he’s master’s childhood friend— And to clarify, yes he is in fact a guy, so please rest assured.”
Perhaps she was trying to lift the mood by including a joke like that, but all it did was put a wry smile on the girls, as though to say, ‘you needn’t bother.’
“That friend of his did something bad, so master came to stop him, but as one would expect from his childhood friend, they knew each other well, and in the end, it turned out to be a draw,” the servant said.
“Wow, he forced him into draw? …Is this childhood friend human?” Ryou said.
“You know… Fights aren’t limited to just beating each other up.” Tomoe said.
Ryou seemed genuinely surprised, while Tomoe was just flabbergasted by his reaction.
The servant smiled at their reaction, then continued as she thought back to the events this morning.
“Yes, they knew each other’s weak point. I was quite jealous watching them, as it was evident that they understood each other well,” the servant said.
“I suppose that’s also why he could force him into a draw,” Aristel said.
“Well, my master thinks he lost, though… Well, it’s only natural, I guess,” the servant said.
“Why? Didn’t he hurt him too?” Myuhi said.
“Well, he got away, so results-wise, it’s his defeat,” the servant said.
“…Huh? Shinichi couldn’t catch him!?” Myuhi said.
That man who would crush all of his enemies without even letting a single one escape couldn’t catch just one friend?
That was far more shocking than Shinichi’s friend doing something bad.
“Did he really do that!?” Ryou said.
“He put bombs in three different cities and threatened to blow them up if master didn’t let him go,” the servant said.
“You know… That’s no longer just on the level of just doing something bad,” Frire said.
What kind of villain was that guy? Frire muttered in astonishment, but she couldn’t put much strength behind those words.
After all, that would be tantamount to calling Shinichi’s friend a villain.
Though that was exactly the reason why Shinichi went to stop him and failed.