Maseki Gurume – Vol 9 Chapter 5 Part 2

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ED: LonelyMatter



Part 2

 

Everyone was convinced that the castle had become more lively since Ain and Olivia’s return. Every day, when the window was opened, everyone could see Ain and Katima plotting and planning their next move from the courtyard.

“Martha-san! Martha-san!”

Proportionately, Chris, who had been remarkably quiet before Ain and Olivia returned, was in a flurry of activity.

“…..Chris-sama. This is not the knight’s training center, is it?”

“I-I know! I came here today to ask a favor from Martha-san!”

“It seems that you are in a hurry. ──I’ll leave the rest of the work to you.”

“Yes. Understood.”

Martha told another servant and left the workroom with Chris, who was in a hurry.

“And now, how can I help you? I heard that Chris-sama was off duty today.”

Chris wriggled her thighs as if she was having a hard time explaining. At the time, Chris was the deputy commander of the royal knights, but she was a very unreliable figure for that.

“Um… I forgot to send a letter to Sierra.”

“When you say Sierra-sama, do you mean your childhood friend, Chris-sama? In any case, if you forgot, why don’t you just admit it at your earliest convenience?”

“Well, that’s the thing… I haven’t sent any since Ain-sama and Olivia-sama returned…”

She always sends letters at least once a week. The most frequent was sometimes three times a week.

It’s quite frequent, but it couldn’t be helped. Martha, who had been watching over her, knew that the person whom Chris exchanged letters, was her childhood friend and a source of her mental support.

“Certainly, you haven’t sent anything recently. However, I remember that you always looked forward to receiving a reply from Sierra-sama──Perhaps you had a quarrel with her?”

“Sierra and I have never quarreled much, have we? It was just that she was angry with me…”

“I see. Then you missed sending it for some other reason.”

She knew the answer immediately.

“Come to think of it; the castle has been very lively since Olivia-sama and Ain-sama arrived.”

“Ugh──”

“Good grief… You may have felt fulfilled even though you were busy, but if that is the case, why don’t you just get it out of there?”

“Um… I’ve rewritten it a few times, but I can’t think of the right word… I mean, do you think Sierra is angry with me? She wouldn’t be mad if I didn’t send her a letter, would she?”

Chris looked up and was already impatient.

The way she looked so cute and expressive almost made Martha smile just to look at her.

But that’s it. That’s what this was.

“I don’t know if she’ll be angry or not. But if it were me, I would be concerned if I didn’t receive the letters I used to receive regularly.”

“…..Would that be the case after all?”

“As I have said many times, if you are so worried that you are visibly disheartened, why don’t you send it to her as soon as possible?”

“I know, but I don’t know what to write…”

“Can’t you just write as you did before?”

“I’m ashamed to say, but I forgot how I used to write…!”

Chris covered her cheeks with both hands as she said that and then squatted down.

Looking down at Chris at the side, Martha wasn’t dumbfounded──but smiled wryly.

“Deputy Commander of the Royal Knight-dono?”

“Auu…!”

“Pardon me. You’re also the second princess and the crown prince’s personal bodyguard, aren’t you?”

“Ugh!”

“Hah… What are you going to do if you can’t even write a single letter? You have been writing reports related to Ain-sama and Olivia-sama on a daily basis, haven’t you?”

“That’s not the same thing as this!”

It’s certainly different between a letter to a friend and a working document, but it’s not like you don’t write letters on a regular basis, Martha said.

“Just to be clear, are you sure you can handle reports?”

“Of course! I wrote it carefully enough to make it into a book──Ouch! W-why did you hit me on the forehead?”

“You could have used that energy to write a few letters.”

Chris had never experienced a flick on the forehead from Martha before. Surprised by the suddenness of the situation, Chris put her hand to her forehead and blinked repeatedly, but she did not seem to complain.

“Um… that’s why, Martha-san…!”

“Very well. It was just the right time if you wanted my help. It was about time for my break, so…”

“Really? I’m glad… I can finally send a letter to Sierra…!”

“By the way, how many months have you forgotten about it?”

“──I think it’s been a little over a year──Fuee!? Y-you hit me again!”

“I know they say that elves have a leisurely sense of time, but next time you should try to correct that.”

“I’ll keep that in mind…T-then, let’s hurry!”

Chris stood up in high spirits, smiled a dainty smile that would even make Martha of the same sex swoon, and began to walk toward her room.

But then, at that moment.

“Nyahahaha! Thanks to Martha not showing up, I’m saved-nya!”

“Now, all I have to do is to keep it hidden.”

“You’re also a wicked crown prince, too-nya…!”

“I’ve come this far, so I must enjoy every last minute of it. I have spent a lot of time preparing for today’s event──and──”

“Nya? Why did you stop so suddenly──nya-nya-nya-nya?”

Hearing the conversation between the two as they met at the corner, Chris’ face, who had been in a pitiful attitude earlier, changed.

She was still smiling, but her eyes were not smiling.

“Hello. Chris-san. You are not smiling.”

“Nya! Martha was there too-nya?”

They decided to fool around and backed away. But at the same number of steps, Chris and Martha closed the distance.

The two of them continued to walk until they reached the corridor dividing the room into left and right.

“I’ve got an urgent matter to attend to-nya.”

“I have to train too!”

They split into two and began to make their escape.

But neither Chris nor Martha let them escape, and they easily caught them.

Martha grabbed Katima by the neck, and Ain was held tightly from behind by Chris. It was a pathetic sight.

“This is indeed embarrassing for me to be in this position… I won’t run away, so please, let me go…”

The same went for the feel of Chris’ breasts against his back, not to mention the fact that the knights were laughing at him in the distance.

“Oya, I was thinking of just picking you up and carrying you like this.”

“Now that it’s come to this… Katima-san, sorry.”

“Wait-nya… You’re not trying to sell out your friends, are you-nya…?”

“Chris-san. I have the plan in my room, so you’ll have to spare me──”

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me-nya!? If she sees it, she will find out what I took without my father’s knowledge-nya. Ah, wait, Martha! Please wait-nya. That was more like a slip of the tongue, or my mouth said something strange on its own-nya.”

Martha, who was dumbfounded, dragged Katima along with her. No more questions. Katima, who was being taken away, showed no signs of royalty.

“Nyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… Please spare me from this-nya…..”

“I would like you to explain it to His Majesty.”

Chris saw off the situation and said to Ain.

“Shouldn’t you go to your room and study for the afternoon, Ain-sama?”

“Yes….. Isn’t Chris-san off-duty? Why were you with Martha-san?”

“Oh, that’s right. I was going to ask Martha-san to help me write a letter.”

Not understanding but taking her at her word, Ain nodded his head and said, “Oh, I see.”

“Chris-sama! I’ll come over after dinner!”

“Thank you very much! I’ll be waiting for you!”

The two exchanged words where their voices could still reach each other.

“Um, I’m starting to feel a little embarrassed.”

Chris coughed and let go of Ain’s hand.

Martha took one look at Ain, who was still scratching his cheeks in embarrassment, and at Chris, who was smiling happily, and then, as if to say, this time, she took Katima away.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

When Martha finished telling the story, she silently cast her eyes down, wishing with the longing that the days like those days would return.

After listening, Krone and Sierra looked at each other and laughed.

“What advice did the first-class servant give to this girl?”

“Certainly… I remember telling her to spell out her days and to apologize sincerely.”

“No wonder the letter was so long considering this girl’s character. After that, I didn’t receive any more letters, but I guess it was for a good reason.”

Sierra, smiling, said, “Is she an idiot? I only received one letter from her about ten years ago.”

Thinking back on this, Sierra was not in the least bit offended and muttered, “That girl really can’t be helped.”

“Well then, I’ll be going now.”

“Thank you very much. It was nice to hear your lovely story.”

Sierra thanked Martha as she left the room, and the room was down to three people again.

The two who were awake turned their attention to Chris, who was sleeping in bed. Chris’ face, which was breathing regularly in her sleep, didn’t seem to be in pain or suffering, and she seemed to be about to wake up.

“Speaking of which, I can’t be angry at her for once.”

Sierra brushes the hair from Chris’s cheek as she says that.

“Angry, is it?”

“Yes. I thought I would have to scold her if she had just done something reckless, but when I heard the reason, I couldn’t say so. Now I am proud of this girl who, as a fellow elf, will risk her life to serve His Royal Highness the Crown Prince.”

──Risking her life.

Hearing these words, Krone put her hands on her chest.

Then, without saying anything, she turned her back to Sierra. ‘It is time for me to go as well’. Yes, she was about to say that and leave her seat, indicating that she had other business to attend to.

But before she could take a step forward, Sierra abruptly changed the subject.

“Lastly, I would like to share with you the rest of the information I have on the matter.”

“That’s───.”

“──The object does not just sit there and consume those around it. It undermines the body as if it is telling those who have it in their hands to let go of it as if it is begging them to let go of it!”

So, even if there was no special magic tool, there was no problem if it was just left there, she said.

“And I don’t know anyone else besides Krone-sama who has been safe with it in their hands.”

She continued to Krone, who was listening quietly.

“I didn’t know that it had such power. I have heard from the chief that it is the most important magic stone of all. However, I never heard that it had any special power.”

Sierra gave all the information she knew.

Her words slightly overlapped with what she had said shortly after arriving, but it was a minor issue.

“Therefore, I say this. There may be no one else who can use that power but you, Krone-sama.”

In other words, there were things that only Krone could do.

A third person, Sierra, told Krone, who had assessed herself as clearly powerless in this matter, that she was the only one who could do it.

“I am──.”

Krone was about to say something. But she stopped herself from saying it. She didn’t want to say what she had decided in her heart and be stopped from saying it when she overheard Sierra.

“I think I’m going to go for a short walk outside for a change of scenery.”

“Very well. I will stay with her, so please let me know if you need anything.”

Sierra was aware that Krone had bitterly tried to change the subject.

Fortunately, Sierra didn’t point it out, although she kept her mouth shut until Krone, who had started walking away, stood in front of the door.

 

“──May a bright and shining future await you as you move forward.”

The silver-haired elf’s prayer reached Krone’s ears just before she left the room.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

Immediately upon leaving Chris’s room, Krone noticed something. The knot of the leather pouch she had tucked away in her pocket was glowing with a bluish-white light.

When she picked it up, it shone brightly in her hand.

And then, a heartbeat.

Ba-dump, ba-dump──and it synchronized with Krone’s pulse.

“──There are things only I can do.”

During the sea dragon uproar and when Upashikamui appeared.

Krone may have wished and prayed for Ain’s safety, but she never went to the battlefield herself. She knew that she would be in the way, not to mention unable to be of any help. Naturally, she was unwilling, and sometimes she hated herself for being unable to fight. But it didn’t change the fact that she was not suited for fighting. That was why, as Ain’s assistant, she did everything she could to be there for him.

But to put it another way, these tasks did not have to be done by her. That being said, Warren could have done it better, and there were several other excellent civil officers in Ishtalika.

 

──Even though it was, she was able to do something that only she could do. There was no greater joy. There were things she could do for Ain that she would have risked her life for.

 

“‘I don’t want any more regrets.'”

 

As the talisman shook, she heard a voice that sounded a lot like hers and a voice that wasn’t hers but was very similar.

Her mind was so occupied with Ain that she didn’t care who the voice belonged to.

 

“Because I came here to be with him.”

 

She remembered why she had crossed the ocean and left her family in her homeland, and came to this faraway country.

Therefore, she followed her heart and left the castle as the talisman guided her.

 

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