Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
I want to run away.
Escaping from the room where Yuel is, I open the hospital door to find a smiling Aria.
「H-Heyyy, Aria. Been a few days, huh…」
「Yes, I’ve been terribly busy since then. I didn’t even have the time to come see Onee-chan.」
「I-Is that so. Must have been awful.」
I knew she would come sooner or later. I already know why she’s here.
She’s here to interrogate me over the kiss from Ruruka at the beauty contest plaza. Aria was referring to Ruruka as my mistress. I can already predict what’s coming next. I mean, something similar already happened before.
From now on, Aria is going to grill me for cheating and whatnot. I bet she’ll respond to my excuse with “I can’t leave my sister in the hands of an insincere man who admits to wanting to make a harem”. It’s a completely sound argument.
…But, sound though it may be, if Aria does say that, I could respond with “that’s not it”.
For a person like me, who when tits are dangled in front of their face with “You can rub them❤” will undoubtedly do so and end up being unfaithful, there’s a certain definition of sincerity to the premise of a harem. The reason I’m so fixated on a harem is because I know my own personality better than anyone.
For monogamy that’s cheating, but if it’s a harem from the beginning then it’s not.
I don’t want to make girls sad. If possible, I don’t want to do anything to betray them either.
That’s why, I want to raise my goodwill points with Eris and Ruruka and take the course of “a harem is fine too, so let’s get married! Also, take me!”. I haven’t yet thought about whether I can realistically pull it off or not. From now on I’m going to explore the possibilities.
…But that kind of sophistry won’t fly with Aria.
Aria very much loves Eris. It wouldn’t be weird if she responded with “I can’t leave my precious Onee-chan beside a man with such weak reasons in the first place. I’ll introduce her to a handsome, faithful knight!”, either. Quit it. At the very least don’t introduce Eris to a handsome knight. Seriously, cut it out.
「…Onii-san, what’s with the weird look you’re giving me? …Is there something on my face?」
I mean, a handsome knight, that’s like right next to a handsome prince in terms of what women long for. You can’t compare a sexually-harassing healer who drags around a young slave girl to a handsome, honest knight. You absolutely mustn’t.
…Wait, huh? Hold on a minute.
「Aria… did you just call me Onii-san?」
「Yes. Because Onii-san is Onii-san. Or would you prefer Onii-chan?」
「N-No, that’s not what I meant.」
Assuming Aria hasn’t just awoken to a brother fetish, this sudden Onii-san moniker no doubt means brother-in-law. In other words, calling me that means that Aria still wants me and Eris to get together.
…Does that mean she’s not here to grill me? That she’s not here to pull Eris and me apart?
When I look at Aria questioningly, she peers into the hospital and inquires.
「That reminds me, is Onee-chan here now?」
「Y-Yeah, she’s making lunch inside.」
Asking only that, Aria returns her attention to me. After that, she takes a deep breath, and shows me a deep sigh. Then, with a reluctant feeling, she opens her mouth.
「While Onee-chan isn’t nearby, I have something to tell you, something important.
…Seeing how Onee-chan reacted at that beauty contest convinced me. Onee-chan loves you, Shiki-san. No doubt about it.」
What the heck is she saying out of the blue?
But wait, this is a valuable opinion.
…As for me, I don’t really understand what Eris thinks of me.
She threw me out of the hospital at one point. And Eris has a remarkably dutiful personality, so I couldn’t let go of the possibility that the fact that we’re living together now is just “you bought the hospital back for me so it can’t be helped”, either.
On one hand she could think of me as “the special, lovely man I’m sharing a home with”, but perhaps it’s “the sexual harasser I’m allowing to live with me out of obligation”. There’s still the possibility of “the lolicon who buys slave girls” too.
「It’s true. I know Onee-chan better than anyone, I guarantee it as her younger sister.」
And yet, according to Aria, she apparently loves me. Though I myself don’t think that she could hate me all that much at this point. But as for whether Eris holds romantic feelings towards me, that’s rather doubtful. I mean, she hates it when I sexually harass her.
「But you know, Aria, I was thrown out by Eris at one point, so isn’t that not the case after all?」
「Just earlier, I properly asked Onee-chan about how she threw Shiki-san out and the debt and all.」
So you asked? You ended up asking, huh? You ended up asking about the story of me getting kicked out for sexual harassment, did you?
Let’s take a step back and look at the scene. Police cadet Aria heard the testimony from the sexual harassment victim Eris, and I, the criminal, am right in front of her. Since Aria is only talking about her family it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s her intention, but this scene’s composition alone is the worst. I’m just waiting for the handcuffs to come out.
But, unaware of my innermost thoughts,
「I think that the fact that Onee-chan threw you out was mainly because she didn’t want you to know about the debt. Apparently it was almost as much as the cost of the hospital itself, and she didn’t want to burden you with her troubles and anxieties. So it’s not like she hated you or anything, Shiki-san, I’m sure that’s not it.」
she says that while slightly averting her gaze. She must feel bad about that debt. I mean, her knight academy tuition is what started it. And she went back to just calling me Shiki-san before I realized it.
Although I get it. Certainly, that does seem likely. I thought it might be the case too… but even if that was part of it, the number one reason was probably different.
「But y’know, didn’t she say it was because I pissed her off the day before she threw me out? I really think that was the reason, though.」
「That? What do you mean by that?」
「You heard about it already, didn’t you? About me sexually harassing her.」
「Se!? S-Se-Sexually harassiiiing!? Shiki-san, w-what the hell were you doing to Onee-chaaan!?」
Apparently Aria isn’t expecting my reply? Her voice becomes hysteric.
H-Huh? She didn’t hear about it? But just now she mentioned that she asked…
…No, maybe the one thing she didn’t hear about was the sexual harassment. So Eris left that part out, huh… I just assumed she already knew about it.
Well, once she calmed down, I guess there’s no way she would tell her younger sister about something like that. All the more so since it’s Eris we’re talking about here.
When I try to contain her agitation with “P-Please wait a minute”, she looks down and starts grumbling something. This is dangerous. I really saw the arrest course open up there. I should say something. I should say something to dodge the issue.
「W-Well, let’s leave that aside! The fact that Eris got mad at my sexual harassment means that she has no romantic feelings for me, doesn’t it?」
And, when I move on by saying that,
–Aria’s head whips back up.
She knits her brow like “what are you talking about?” and looks deep into my eyes. Her face is saying “Huhhh?”. No, maybe more like “HUHHHHHH!?”.
「…Umm, Shiki-san… I can’t imagine this is it, but… don’t tell me you think that for lovers, it’s fine to do perverted stuff anytime and anywhere? There’s no way that’s what you’re thinking, right?」
To the degree that you wouldn’t think that she was calling me Onii-san just a minute ago, Aria draws back in disgust. The look in her eyes is just about saying “this is why you’re still a virgin”. It’s saying that I’m an unbelievable idiot. These eyes are dangerous.
…I’m a guy who can read the mood. I know what to do at times like these.
「Y-You moron, h-how could I possibly think that!? T-That was just a j-joke! Don’t take it seriously!」
For now, let’s deceive her.
But… it was no good after all? Do girls get mad about sexual harassment even from the one they love? Does that mean it’s not okay to rub your lover’s breasts whenever you want? Today I learned.
「…W-Well, if Onee-chan still loves you even after that, I’ll support her, but… I’ll s-support… her, but…」
Aria makes a complex face and holds her head. She seems a bit conflicted. Apparently my previous statement was unwise after all. In Aria’s head, my stock probably just took a nosedive.
「Nnnnh… oh right, I don’t have much time. Let’s get back on track.」
However, Aria instantly shakes her head and looks at me. She sure switches gears quickly.
「Onee-chan loves you, Shiki-san. There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind. She may have thrown you out due to sexual harassment, but that’s most likely because you didn’t make the proper arrangements.」
「Because Onee-chan thinks that even kissing should come after marriage.
…When you were thrown out, I bet you did something like pushing her down without a word of romance, right?」
「I-I might have done something close to that…」
I got too excited from peeping at Eris fully nude in the bath and accidentally pushed her down and rubbed her breasts. I was only intending to peep at first, but Eris’ figure was too sexy and I lost my sense of reason. I apologized afterwards when I returned to my senses, but yeah, that would be going too far even now. I’m carefully reflecting on my actions. So please just don’t arrest me.
「See, I knew it! Of course that would make her angry! If you sincerely propose, get married, and then tell her you want to have children, Onee-chan would gladly accept it. Onee-chan loves kids, after all.」
I wonder what would happen if, right now, I told her that since Eris and Ruruka both love me, I want to make a harem.
…I absolutely can’t say it.
…Or rather, I wish you wouldn’t so naturally encourage babymaking with your older sister. No, I don’t mind the encouragement at all, but if you tempt me that much, I might really go for it if the opportunity presents itself. If I screw up to that extent, there won’t be any recovering from it. I’ll probably be thrown out of the hospital. I somehow got things back to normal the first time, but there most likely won’t be a next time.
「Well in any case, I want to support my late-blooming Onee-chan to fulfill her love, that’s what it comes down to.」
「So that’s the reason for “Onii-san”, huh.」
「Yes. It’s important to build up these small affirmations too, after all. But actually calling you that feels a little uncomfortable, so I’ll ooooonly do it once in a while.」
If it’s an established fact in Aria’s mind, then what happened to the established fact that Ruruka kissed me? I’m pretty sure she was watching that too.
No, for Aria, maybe the fact that Ruruka kissed me wasn’t as important as the fact that Eris saw it and what her reaction might be. Of course there’s still the feeling that I’m a cheater and whatnot, but Aria’s motivating principle is how Eris feels about it.
「…And we ended up having a long conversation, but this wasn’t a good time for it. Shiki-san, well, could you hurry and call Onee-chan over for me?」
「She’s inside, so why don’t you come in?」
「No, I really don’t have time… that’s, it’s sudden, but I’m going to accompany Saint-sama’s return to the royal capital as an escort. And she’s leaving immediately. That’s why I came here today, to say goodbye to Onee-chan.」
What did she just say? Did she just say that the saint is returning to the royal capital? And moreover, immediately?
「R-Returning to the royal capital?」
Ruruka was saying that the saint had a purpose for coming to this city. But in the end, she never contacted me. And now she’s returning to the royal capital immediately.
…In other words, that means the saint’s purpose had nothing to do with me after all.
「Yes. The beauty contest… if there were to be another attack of the same size, her safety wouldn’t be guaranteed. I heard that Saint-sama judged that staying any longer would be dangerous.」
Now that she mentions it, that saint didn’t have very many guards escorting her. I wanna say there were like three or four of them at the beauty contest. Although they could use magic, and they were probably elites. But if Yuel hadn’t been there, and the dragon had continued to rampage like that, it would’ve caused some serious damage. If another attack happened, we’d be woefully unprepared for it.
「But that’s so sudden.」
「I still want to stay in this city, but… about two days ago, Lord-sama sent out a large-scale investigation unit for the Krankheit Turtle incident. Looks like they really don’t have enough personnel to guard an important person. I was personally nominated to escort Saint-sama, so I can’t refuse.」
Aria says, poutily.
Seems like the knights are seriously shorthanded. Well, I’ve seen them fighting so many times now, and they were incomparably stronger than Eight or Geyser. Maintaining that level of quality may necessarily result in their numbers being low.
「Got it, I’ll go call Eris. Wait a sec.」
…So the saint is leaving this city.
I feel like I just coughed up a bone that was stuck in my throat. The clouds that have constantly been hanging over my head are finally clearing up. There’s a part of me that still wants to ask Aria about Eris, but since she has work it can’t be helped.
I return to the interior of the hospital to fetch Eris.
「Sorry, but could you watch the fire for me? Please make sure the stew doesn’t burn.」
As requested by Eris, I switch places with her and stand at the kitchen counter, watching the pot. While she’s talking to Aria, it seems I’ll have to do the cooking.
「Man… this is inconvenient.」
I continue to feed a trickle of mana into the magic stove, an ignition magic tool, to regulate the intensity of the flames. It’d be great if it was like a gas stove where you click once and the flame continues to burn, but this shoddy thing needs you to continuously feed it mana while you’re using it.
And what’s more, the heating power is proportional to how much mana you pour in. This is simply a finicky, tiresome knockoff. And if you put in too much, just like shorting out an electrical device, it breaks and starts to smoke. I’ve broken one before, when I first came to this world.
Frankly, this type of magic tool doesn’t suit a guy with a massive mana pool like me. Yuel is here too, but since she just practiced healing magic, she doesn’t have much mana left. I can’t leave it to her, either.
…I hope their conversation doesn’t drag on too long.
I’ve skillfully managed not to break it yet, but since my mana manipulation isn’t that great, the flame won’t stay stable. If I lose focus, the stew will burn.
「Master, is there anything I can do to help?」
And while I’m thinking that as I watch the pot, Yuel comes asking. Looks like she’s bored with having nothing to do.
「Nothing in particular. Just do whatever you want.」
「Whatever I want?」
Yuel replies in puzzlement. Well, since her master is cooking, maybe she’s thinking that it’s not okay for a slave like her to be relaxing. But there doesn’t seem to be anything left for her to help with anymore. Yuel’s restlessly looking around for something to help with, but sorry, I’m gonna have you sit tight.
–But Yuel’s expression suddenly brightens, as if she’s thought of something.
Then, Yuel slowly takes out the Bible.
…Yuel-san doesn’t miss the slightest chance to study, how commendable.
She starts reading the bible just like that. Can she read it by herself? I observe her out of the corner of my eye.
Yuel seems interested in the illustrations; she’s started to gaze at one dazedly. That’s the same one I was looking at. The illustration of the succubus and the saint in chapter three.
After a nice long look at that illustration, Yuel’s eyes slowly pass over the writing. However, her expression gradually grows cloudy. I guess there are words she doesn’t understand after all.
Then, before a minute has elapsed, Yuel’s eyes completely stop moving.
She raises her head from the Bible. At that instant, I return my eyes from Yuel back to the pot.
Making sure not to glance in her direction, I try to sense what she’s up to.
…I can feel her gaze. No doubt about it, Yuel is watching me. Most likely she’s pleading for help with those puppy-dog eyes. I can’t possibly ignore her if our eyes meet, and something tells me those eyes are going to ask me for a detailed explanation of the story of how the succubus drove mankind to depravity.
I stir the contents of the pot as I manage the fire. Praying for the conversation between Eris and Aria to end soon, I glue my attention to the pot.