The next day.
The King had personally announced that the Maou’s army was approaching and the news spread throughout the kingdom. The soldiers were nervous and the citizens felt uneasy.
As for what the King planned to do against the Maou’s army, we would be confronting them on the plains.
The leader of the knights, Sigris, would be taking command of the army while the two heroes Kazuki and Inukami-senpai would follow him. It was uncertain if we would win but there was no doubt that the outcome of this war depended on the heroes and the Rescue Squad.
It could be said that I had some responsibility in regards to carrying injured people back from the vanguard. I was formerly just a high school student so it was a situation I couldn’t really imagine.
After the King’s announcement, everyone in the Rescue Squad gathered before Rose in the dining room.
Although we assembled, Rose wasn’t saying anything. She just folded her arms and her eyes closed in front of us.
“Anego, just what is…?”
Alek posed a somewhat reserved question as he seemed to have grown tired of waiting.
“Nn? …Ah, there are still some guys who haven’t arrived yet. Wait for a bit.”
“Sorry for being late—!”
The pair of siblings entered the dining room. It was Orga-san and Uluru-san. I see now, Rose was waiting on them. Uluru-san looked around familiarly and when she discovered me, she gave a friendly smile and waved. ….How should I return that greeting?
“You came at just the right time. Sit down.”
“Alright—. It’s been a while, everyone.”
Perhaps she didn’t know fear but Uluru-san greeted Tong and them lightheartedly. A normal girl would scream and run away against this group, what an amazing person. However, when seeing these people in the same room together, it felt like it didn’t match up. It was similar to seeing bandits and a graceful girl in the same space.
Orga-san and Uluru-san sat in the neighboring seats close to me. Orga-san then said ‘yesterday was the first time’ and I didn’t know how to respond. This person was similar to Kazuki and really pure. I didn’t want to react and say any unnecessary things.1
But now everyone was here. Wasn’t this the first time this happened since I came to this world?
“You’re all here it seems, I’m going to begin talking now.”
As expected, we’ll be discussing about the upcoming war?
Orga-san and Uluru-san should have already been informed by the King in the morning as well.
“I’m sure you know but the Maou army has come. …Well, they’re frantically building a bridge at the moment but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re coming.”
You were the one who destroyed it after all.
Even if one intended to disrupt their bridge operations, just how does one person destroy a bridge? If it was me, I guess I would throw a tree or something.
“After two days, our army will advance to confront and repel the Maou’s army. As the Rescue Squad, we’ll be accompanying them and setting up our encampment on the plains… It’ll be different from last time and will be a much harsher fight.”
Everyone’s responses were strange as expected. Weren’t Orga-san and Uluru-san’s voices being drowned out?
“….Especially Usato and Uluru, both of you are entering a war for the first time. Don’t let your guards down.”
So it seemed like Uluru-san didn’t participate in the last war… If that was so, it was Orga-san who treated people last time.
….A few years ago, Uluru-san’s age was still only around a student in middle school. It was an age that was too young to be participating in a war.
After that, Rose finished talking and we dispersed.
“Oi Orga, I have something to talk about.”
“Yes? I understand.”
As I was exiting the room, Rose called for Orga-san.
It seemed like it would be a complicated conversation and while thinking that I should quickly exit, suddenly, Uluru-san grabbed my arm.
“W-what is it…?”
“Onii-chan has business with Rose-san that’s why I’m bored.”
“Bored… is it?”
“Usato-kun… I heard about it, you ran around town while carrying a Blue Grizzly.”
“Yeah, that’s right but.”
“I want to see it~”
“It should definitely be cute~”
“It’s ferocious so…”
“It’s this way…”
I was so weak! If it was Inukami-senpai, I could probably deceive her somehow yet….. Even though she was similar to Inukami-senpai in age, the feeling was completely different! Kuh, this little girl sure is capable.
I took the smiling and cheerful Uluru-san to visit Bluerin’s stable.
Inside, there was one small animal that seemed to be free as it was lying down and yawning. I felt that its body has gotten a bit bigger… This guy really needed some genuine exercise soon.
After seeing Bluerin’s appearance, Uluru-san abruptly got closer to him and spread out her arms—
Wait, in this case, it was Uluru-san rather than Inukami-senpai. In terms of their purity, they were as different as heaven and earth. Towards these pure intentions without any ulterior motives, other than me and the guard who escorted us (and Rose), Bluerin would probably allow others to touch him as well.
Bluerin repelled her. Using his arm, he threw Uluru-san towards the bundle of straw. Bluerin, you… Just what kind of standpoint are you viewing from to judge others? Good grief, you remind me of someone.
As I was flustered, I hurriedly took out Uluru-san from the mountain of straw. It seemed that from her expression she received a bit of shock but she firmly caught on my shoulders. Since she could grip so strongly, it seemed like she wasn’t injured.
I felt that her eyes were a little wet but it was probably best to avoid asking.
“I want to see you pet him.”
“I understand. But could you please let go on my shoulder now?”
Nails… Your nails were digging into me and it was painful. Just how mortified are you, Uluru-san?
For the time being, I extended my hand towards Bluerin and petted him normally.
“T-then this time I will!”
Uluru-san’s right hand was immediately knocked down.
Her right hand, having lost its destination with nowhere to go, moved towards her face to cover the tears that were flowing out.
I’m sorry for our Bluerin causing trouble.
However, rescue had arrived for Uluru-san who was feeling down.
On her shoulders was a small black animal that had jumped up there with a ‘pyon’.
Yes, it was the Noir Rabbit. It was also Rose’s faithful pet, Kururu.
This was the monster that played with my innocence. Kuh, aren’t you too cute tilting your head like that?
“Did you come to comfort me….? Than—“
Kururu rubbed its cheeks with Uluru-san’s. However, the small one then jumped off from her shoulder and moved to mine. This rabbit, could it not read the mood? It was the worst situation; Bluerin was next to my right hand while Kururu was on my left shoulder. And in front of me was a spaced-out Uluru-san with her mouth wide-opened.
Silence took over.
You guys, be silent.
This was bad. It felt awkward. Extremely awkward. Follow-up, follow-up….. It was no good. I couldn’t think of any good words to say. Inukami-senpai was Inukami-senpai, which was why it would be easy to break this deadlock of a situation if it was her.
It was on the verge of bursting———!!
Speaking of which, originally this situation became like this because of this rabbit that jumped onto my shoulder. I picked the rabbit up with my right hand and held it out to Uluru-san. It was useless to resist after looking at Kururu’s cute and round pupils.
Uluru-san accepted Kururu without speaking and used both of her arms to hug it.
“T-today, Bluerin seems to be in a bad mood you see! Well then, let’s go out! Uluru-san!”
While holding Kururu in silence, Uluru-san went out.
For now, we started walking towards the house. Uluru-san didn’t conceal that she was shivering. What was going on? She seemed to be like a completely different person from before.
Uluru-san suddenly spoke. It wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t suppress my voice.
“Rose-san, she’s a scary person right?”
“What’s this? Why are you suddenly saying something that’s obvious?”
“Usato-kun, you’re saying it to that extent…”
In what ways she was scary, I could talk to Uluru-san for a long time about it. That was fine with me, I’ll be sure to teach you how scary she truly is.
“I mean, when we first entered… That person seemed to have some sort of devotion when she gave out the training. …..The result was that Onii-chan couldn’t continue the training and went on a different path but… During that time, Rose-san was really scary. But that person never talks about herself so…”
“…..I didn’t notice at all….”
In the beginning, I thought the training Rose gave was the ‘default’ after all.
“The training was probably similar to the one you’re receiving now.”
“But yes, but I’m already fine now! Although I really thought I would die at first!”
After hearing my words, ‘fufufu’ Uluru-san laughed.
I don’t think it’s something to laugh about, Uluru-san. After that, we exchanged a few more words before arriving at the entrance. Uluru-san placed Kururu down on the ground from her shoulder and then faced me.
“This is just my opinion Usato-kun. That person is probably very fragile.”
“No, there’s no way.”
“Hahaha, I think it’s cruel to give an immediate reply like that.”
Fragile… In what kind of meaning?
She gave me a bitter smile seeing as I couldn’t grasp the meaning.
“To begin with, that person is really a brute! Recently, she has softened a bit in her attitude but she only shows it occasionally and I’m treated like usual most of the time!!”
“That time when she threw me into the forest, the hardships I went through… While I was a little moved that she was watching me in the forest, that’s that, and this is this!! They are separate! I really thought I was going to die at that time!! What’s more, her being 25 years old! That really surprised me!! She’s got this pointlessly adult-like attitude, I didn’t think she was still in her 20s!!”
“….My condolences, Usato-kun.”
Why did you apologize for that? N—nn? There was a strong amount of pressure on my head—
“Ouch!? Ow ow ow ow!!”
“You sure said a lot of whatever you wanted, huh? AAH?”
In front was Uluru-san, in the back was Rose. Or rather, since when? Then I saw Rose giving a side-glance towards her shoulder, it was Kururu. ———Again!! It was you!! Just like your outward appearance, your heart was pitch-black! You!!
While I was overwhelmed by the pain and couldn’t talk, Rose started having a conversation with Uluru-san.
“….It looks like I’ll have to give you a little talk or it won’t do.”
“Don’t tease him too much, Rose-san.”
“That’s impossible. ….Orga is inside waiting. I already explained everything to him, you can get him to tell you.”
“Yes, see you~ Usato-kun.”
I was abandoned by Uluru-san….!?
Releasing my head from her grip, my body fell without strength as Rose caught me. Rose took me under her arm and while a blue vein formed on her forehead, she took me inside the house.
Being carried like this again… I didn’t even mind it anymore, anything was fine.
- Referring to the first time they sat together.
Kurokata: Next time, I think I will probably start the ‘Vs Maou army arc’.