After I separated from Olga-san, I ran just like Rose told me to. It was at this time that I started heading towards the castle itself.
Along the way, I got a lot of attention from other people… they looked surprised from seeing my outfit.
I wondered if it was really okay for the Rescue Squad’s eccentric practices to be viewed by others.
As for my matter of running around the castle, I would have preferred to run inside rather than at the edge of the outer walls. It was just that Bluerin was on my back and I didn’t think they would let me in.
While thinking so, I reached the castle’s entrance gate.
As expected, the gate was huge. I didn’t get a chance to get a good look at it since I was abducted by Rose before but… Indeed, the door that protected the castle was quite profound.
While I was overpowered by the impressiveness of the door, I stepped up to where the guard was.
The guard was wary for a moment upon seeing me but as soon as they saw my uniform, their expression changed.
“You are the Rescue Squad’s Usato-dono, am I correct?”
What a dispirited person.
“What business do you have here today?”
“I want to go inside of the castle but… Is it okay to let this guy in as well?”
Let’s just see if Bluerin could enter the castle.
“The Blue Grizzly cub yes? Rose-sama has already given permission, I think there should be no problems!”
“Eehh! Is it really okay to let a monster inside the castle grounds!?”
“Rose-sama has guaranteed that it’s safe, therefore, it’s fine.”
Just when did Rose give permission…? Was it when I was returning back to the kingdom?
Probably while she was filing out that report, she granted permission for Bluerin to enter the castle. She also expected that I would take Bluerin along with me inside of the castle. Moreover, this person was really trusted. Just who was Rose exactly?
Other than the fact that she was the Rescue Squad’s leader, I knew nothing else about her.
“Well, I’m going inside, is that alright?”
“No problem. Here, come on in.”
Carrying Bluerin on my back, I headed inside of the castle.
…If Bluerin were to attack anyone inside, I’ll use any means to stop him.
“You can’t go acting violently okay?”
“You’re really carefree. Do you really understand?”
Bluerin was completely relaxed on my back.
Looking at him, it seemed like I didn’t need to worry too much.
Just as I entered the inside of the castle, I started running again.
My destination was the castle’s training grounds. I haven’t been there myself but I could probably navigate there from my past conversations with Kazuki.
“I heard it’s a large plaza.”
I could really only depend on this one clue that stuck out from the rest… It was laughable but I should be able to easily find it given its size.
As I was turning around, I found a big square plaza.
Most likely, this was the training spot.
A large number of knights were training with wooden swords. From the looks of it, the fight with the Maou’s army was drawing near.
Getting closer to the training grounds, I surveyed around. While loitering around on the side, it was then that I caught sight of one girl’s figure with black hair.
That was Inukami-senpai wasn’t it?
Currently I, Inukami Suzune, was in development of my so-called ulimate attack.
As the name implied, it was a move that would bring down the opponent without fail and bring certain victory.
Seeing as magic training was almost over, I chose to polish it a bit on the side over here. It could help me live, no matter how slim the chances of that were.
However, although I was calling it an ultimate attack, it was mostly nonsense since I was just simply shooting out lightning… It wasn’t much different from normal.
I heard that boys were well-informed about this kind of stuff but I couldn’t rely on someone like Kazuki. That kid was indifferent about things like these.
It was a voice I haven’t heard in a while.
Facing the direction from where the voice was coming from, I could see the other friend who came along to this world with us.
Usato-kun was running towards me as he faced me.
Seeing his figure, my body stiffened like stone.
On Usato-kun’s back was a blue bear.
“Usato-kun, that bear on your back is…?”
“Aah, this is a monster and it’s a Blue Grizzly cub. He’s obedient and doesn’t attack others you know?”
Saying so, Usato-kun let the bear down on the ground. After doing so, he squatted down and gently stroked the bear’s head.
I wondered why Usato-kun was together with a monster’s cub.
“Actually, I was in a survival lifestyle in a forest full of monsters for 10 days. Various things happened and I ended up getting attached to this little one.”
“I-Is that so? That explains why I haven’t been seeing you at the Rescue Squad’s lodging house.”
I had the temptation to ask about what he experienced in a forest full of monsters. But I knew I probably shouldn’t inquire too much.
Leaving that aside, I was curious as to why he was here.
“Did you come here to see me today?”
“Last time Kazuki and senpai came to me so, I thought I would drop by here while I was training. ….Huh? Kazuki isn’t here?”
My teasing question ended up being easily passed and ignored.
Despite receiving shock from that, I replied to his question,
“Kazuki-kun left the kingdom early in the morning. He did so with the intention of accumulating some actual fighting experience with monsters. Perhaps you guys passed each other?”
“Ah, is that so? … If that’s the case, how about senpai?”
“It wouldn’t be good if both of the heroes left the kingdom, so I’m just staying at the castle. You don’t need to worry about Kazuki-kun, Sigris is with him. However Seria is in a bad temper because Kazuki-kun wasn’t here in the morning.”
“Hahaha, that’s indeed serious. But I’m glad, I won’t need to be worried if there’s someone to accompany him.”
Usato-kun breathed a sigh of relief.
Fufu, thinking of your friend now are you?
Still, I really couldn’t help but be curious—
“Nn? You’re already feeling sleepy, Bluerin? You haven’t been moving that much, so you shouldn’t be tired at all right…?”
It was this bear.
It was the first time I had seen a wild bear and looking at it in person, it was awfully cute. It reminded me of a panda that I saw during my childhood.
It was thought that bears were brutal creatures, and that the average person felt fear from seeing one.
However, in front of me was a bear with sleepy eyes that was stretching itself… I simply couldn’t see it as a source of fear.
No, I had to affirm of its cuteness for myself.
“Usato-kun, is it okay if I touch it!?”
“Please don’t suddenly let out such a loud voice. You startled me.”
I ended up getting excited without helping it.
That wasn’t good, wasn’t good… I needed to settle myself down more.
“If it’s touching, it’s no problem. If he bites, I’ll heal you back.”
“Biting, that’s quite a scary thing you’re saying…”
However, I received permission.
While my heart was beating quickly, I extended my hand.
Coming into another world and being able to brush such an animal… What good luck, this was surely fate.
At the instant my hand approached the bear’s head—
The bear knocked my hand down.
What was this feeling of emptiness? It was similar to the sensation of waiting for something for a long time, but only for it all to be destroyed in one moment.
While looking blankly at my own hand, Usato-kun started to talk due to the awkwardness,
“S-Senpai, this guy has a fear of strangers!”
“I’m not feeling down! I touched it for a moment, I was just a little excited that’s all!!”
“I don’t have those kinds of thoughts when I touch him okay!?”
Gununu, I’m so envious, Usato-kun…!
“L-Let’s see. Name! Maybe if you call out his name, he’ll lower his guard and let senpai touch him!”
“Then, let me hear this child’s name.”
Was that a name?
……That was quite a nice name wasn’t it? You really had some good sense.
Certainly, to get along with each other, I should call out its name to thin down its guard. While presenting my hand in front of it, I called out Bluerin’s name with a cheerful voice that I hadn’t used till now,
Bluerin bit my hand. It was just play-biting so no blood came out but… My released hand was covered in drool.
Usato-kun, was this because Bluerin was hiding his embarrassment? However, my hand was all warm and sticky now.
“Hey Usato-kun, do you know what a bear hot-pot is?”
“You can’t okay!?”
It was a joke.
While wiping off the drool from my hand with a handkerchief, I stared at Bluerin.
Kuh, I should have been the classic heroine, it was supposed to be the setting where I’m liked by animals… But why?
“Perhaps it might be because senpai’s mind is stained you know.”
“Muu. If that’s so, I want to see Usato-kun try touching him.”
“Sure. Fufufu, I show you the bond between Bluerin and I. Isn’t that right Bluerin?”
Bluerin bit Usato-kun, it seemed like his mind was stained. Good.
However, while Bluerin was biting, Usato-kun was smiling. He was only bitten for a few moments but I felt like his hand was really red… I probably shouldn’t worry about it too much.
This was surely Usato-kun’s love… Yes.
A short while later, Usato-kun pulled his hand out from Bluerin’s mouth. While Usato-kun had a somewhat transparent face, he looked at me.
I wondered if it was painful.
“That reminds me senpai, what are you doing here?”
“That’s really abrupt. …..Err… here I was…”
“You were training?”
What should I do? I couldn’t say I was thinking of my ultimate attack here.
Usato-kun was really diligent in his training but despite that I was here worrying about something like this. If he knew about it, my face as a senpai would collapse and be in complete ruin.
“M-Magic training, that was what I was doing.”
“Is that so? I was thinking that since it was senpai, you might have been trying to think of your own original technique or something.”
Usato-kun, are you an esper?
Did I happen to do something careless to make you think so?
However, this was a good opportunity. I’ll try to casually ask to get a hint for my technique.
I’ll throw questions at Usato-kun and see.
Usato-kun showed a suspicious facial expression towards me but he faithfully answered my questions.
We conversed for 10 minutes but then Usato-kun got up and approached Bluerin.
“Well, I should get going soon.”
“Eeh, you’re going already?”
“I still have my training that’s why. I’ll come again so… hey, Bluerin, stop sleeping and wake up….. Geez, I guess I have no choice.”
Lifting Bluerin up, Usato carried Bluerin on his back.
Although it was a cub, he was able to easily lift such a large body…. He had been improving himself.
With regards to him leaving, I felt a little reluctance to part but there was no need to be disappointed since he could visit again.
“Do your best, Usato-kun.”
“Yes, and senpai please do your best in thinking up of a good technique.”
Before I could reply, Usato-kun had already ran out and left the training grounds.
……Good grief, I got one point taken from me. Well, as one would expect, you would notice after asking so many similar questions.
“Now then, I should continue doing my best for a bit longer.”
But I had noticed that Usato-kun has gradually gotten quite frank with me.
Well it was fine, it wasn’t to the extent that I really minded it, and it didn’t feel too bad.