Looks like I was lost in thought for a moment there. Following Kiriha, we reached the table and chairs I saw earlier. I could see steam coming out of a room deeper in the house… Was that the kitchen?
Kiriha looked back towards the door. It seemed to have been broken from her kick as it couldn’t close properly.
“Ahahaha… I guess it was a little rash of me to kick the door open like that.”
“Kiriha, you never think things through first. I was close to being hit by you when you jumped out the door. Actually, I did get hit by the door when it opened.”
“That’s why I said I’m sorry… I’m going to prepare dinner, you can sit anywhere. I’ll be done in a moment.”
Kiriha seemed to be using that as an excuse to escape Amako’s reproachful eyes. I lightly chuckled at seeing her escape and sat down to take a breather just like I had been told.
Amako then sat down on the seat next to me. I wonder if she sat in that same chair the last time she lived here. Amako was deep in thought as she sat down, as if she were reminiscing.
“I’m glad you could visit your friend, Amako.”
“….Thank you for taking me here, Usato.”
“I still haven’t saved your mother yet so it’s still a bit early to thank me.”
“But…. Thank you.”
….Really, I’m troubled. If you show me such a meek expression, I really don’t know how to react. Despite the fact that I haven’t fulfilled your request yet…
Although she played an indirect role in preventing the Kingdom’s ruin and the death of my close friends, it didn’t change the fact that she saved the lives of many people.
I didn’t lose my friends and companions.
The one who should really give their thanks was me.
“You saved my two friends and a lot of other people’s lives. That’s why I want to grant your wish… As much as I can.”
“As much as you can huh… You really are weird, Usato.”
Like I said many times, I’m normal and not weird.
I continued the conversation by talking about what happened with Kazuki and Inukami-senpai when I just woke up. Of course, I was referring to the “There’s no way” responses I got when I said I was normal. Amako listened while resting her chin on the table. She even gave an uncharacteristically bright smile.
“You finally smiled but to think it would be because of this… Looks like I really am weird.”
“It would be a problem if you become any weirder.”
When you’re the one saying it, I feel like that might just happen…
I didn’t know what kind of girl Amako was when we first met but I’m just glad she’s able to smile like this now.
….Well then, how was I supposed to surprise her? There wasn’t much point of a conversation with Amako if she could just foresight what I was going to say next. I had to think several steps ahead of her…
It was worth a try. Just as I was about to speak to Amako, she was looking back toward the entrance and the broken door. I turned around to look behind me and saw that that someone had arrived at the front door.
“Eh? The door is… Did something happen… here…?”
“Ahh, my stomach is growling. Nn? Why are you just standing there……….! Who are you!?”
Two beast kin had arrived from the entrance. One girl and one boy. The girl seemed to be around Amako’s age and had a tail that resembled a cat’s. The other beast kin was the boy who was just a bit shorter than Kiriha and had similar characteristics.
The girl was in a daze as she looked at me and Amako. The moment the boy saw me, he moved toward me, hostility emanating with every step.” The patterns on his arms and legs resembled the ones I had seen on Kiriha’s.
However, I had learned from the previous experience and surrendered before he began his attack.
“W-wait, I’m someone that escorted Amako and came here! I’m definitely not someone suspicious!”
I was used to getting hurt by now, but it’s not like that made it any less painful.
If I could avoid getting injured, I would do so.
“Haah, Amako you say?” He ignored my words and continued his advance. “If you’re going to lie, you should make up a better… one…..”
Upon seeing Amako sitting behind me, his tail froze. Shocked, he pointed at Amako and shouted. “Amako!! You—You’re alive!”
The boy, who seemed to be familiar with Amako, stared with his eyes wide open, while the girl didn’t show much of a reaction. The girl was peeking out from behind the boy. I’m guessing she didn’t know Amako?
They’re both beast kin… Of course. If they were both human, the boy in front of me wouldn’t be reacting like this right now.
“Nn, it’s been a while, Kyou. This person isn’t an enemy.”
“Not an enemy… But just from a glance, he’s very suspicious!!”
“….I agree that he’s someone who certainly looks suspicious but… You shouldn’t speak poorly of him.”
Calling me suspicious… Was that supposed to be a follow-up?
I just found the weakness of my healing magic… It appears that healing magic had the hidden ability to inflict emotional scars on people. I was used to abusing it to heal but it looked like it had an effect in less serious situations like this too…
I see… Suspicious, huh. But I’ve taken a liking to this uniform…
The boy was at a loss as Amako stared him down. The boy in turn, glared at me as he had no outlet for his frustration. I didn’t think I would earn his trust immediately like with Kiriha but it looked like this was going to be more difficult than I had anticipated.
Well, it’s not like I came here to put this guy in a good mood so it didn’t really matter. The essential thing was whether or not Amako could stay here. The others staying at the inn would be able to relax if they knew that Amako was in a safe place. I was starting to hesitate a little because of the boy glaring at me but it would probably be a good idea to entrust Amako to this place for a while.
“T-then, this guy is a healing magician, right? Are you really okay with this weak-looking guy!?”
Just why aren’t you convinced? You’re really trying to find some weird faults with me.
This statement didn’t really bother me so I just ignored it but it looked like Amako was going to say something but—
“You don’t need to worry about that, Kyou. He’s different from the healing magicians we know.”
Kiriha had come and forced her way into the conversation. She had cooked dishes in both hands and looked proud of herself when she entered.
“This is my little brother, Kyou. The girl next to him is Satsuki and she’s one year younger than Kyou. I didn’t think that they would return home so soon. It seems like things got a little complicated.”
After the introductions, we sat down to eat and Kiriha set the dishes on the table.
…It seemed like Kyou didn’t like me. He kept his glaring eyes locked on me as he ate his bread.”
How odd, Kiriha properly introduced me so why was he still looking at me like I was an enemy?
“Hey hey, I get that you’re worried about Amako but you shouldn’t glare like that.”
“…Nee-chan, you don’t think he’s suspicious?”
“I really did think so. But Amako trusts him and he’s totally different from the humans we’ve met before. He’s giving his aid even though it’s to a beast kin, he doesn’t look disgusted at seeing our ears and tails, and he’s not asking for anything either…. See? He’s weird, right?”
Was my existence really that unusual? Amako put her hand on my shoulder as she looked at Kiriha who was delightfully talking to Kyou and Satsuki. Kyou’s expression seemed to say “Someone like this…”
Actually… just why was he so bent on clashing with me? Could it be that he likes Amako? …I couldn’t rule out that possibility.
Although he was being this cheeky, I’ll just leave it be and say it’s just a cute side of him.
Looking to my side, I could see Amako nibbling on some bread. I lightly sighed and drank some soup with my spoon.
“Nn? This soup, it’s delicious.”
It seemed to be a potato soup with a mild taste and just the right amount of salt.
“….Hahaha, it’s the first time a human has praised me. Yup, this part of you is weird too.”
I honestly praised that it was delicious, but after expressing her surprise, she ended up calling me weird again.
What. Just what do I have to do to stop being labeled as weird? I didn’t know the table manners for beast kin so I would have to ask Amako later.
After making that mental note, I continued to drink the soup, but Kyou noisily stood up from his chair.
“……I can see that this healing magician is different from the humans that I know. I’ll acknowledge you for the time being…. But you should prepare yourself if you do anything weird to Nee-chan, Satsuki, or Amako.” He declared with more hostility than I had seen before.
I had no idea what he experienced before but he probably had his reasons to see the humans as his enemies.
“To be honest, I don’t really care whether you trust me or not.”
“…What did you say…?”
“The reason I came with Amako today was to ask if you guys could give her a place to stay.”
“Eh? ….Is that so?”
Amako, I thought you already knew. She seemed to be surprised and Kyou doubtfully looked at me. It was probably awkward for him to make eye contact with me as he quickly looked away and sat down. He didn’t say anything so I looked in Kiriha’s direction.
“Kiriha, could I count on you to look after Amako during our stay in Luquis? We would be at ease and sleep soundly at night if Amako were to stay with you guys.”
“I’d be happy to! We have countless rooms available and the cost of food for one or two more people isn’t much. I don’t mind at all!”
“I see, I’m glad…”
It was obviously better for Amako to be at a place with her own race rather than sleeping with us.
….Also we were important guests in this country right now. It would be a bad idea to draw unnecessary attention towards us. If Amako’s appearance were to be discovered in the middle of all this, I can’t say what might happen.
It didn’t really matter if we would gather attention but it was possible that some people may scheme to take Amako from us.
“Then, I’ll have to prepare two rooms.”
It was probably fine to leave everything to Kiriha.
She’ll definitely protect Amako. Additionally, there were people from her race here like Kyou and Satsuki. If they’re here, I could just leave it to——— Wait. Wait a moment.
Two rooms? Just who else was she counting in addition to Amako?
I spoke out in confusion and Kiriha who saw my response replied with an ‘Eh, was I wrong?’ expression.
“Aren’t you also staying?”
It was really unexpected so I didn’t have a response.
“Nee-chan! As expected, you can’t allow that!! If you let someone like him stay here… I-it would be bad, right!?”
Kyou took the opportunity provided by my stunned silence to argue against my stay. I had no idea how she interpreted that I would stay here but… Kyou, who had received a shock like never before, had spoken out for me instead.
“No no, I mean it would be better for Amako to stay with him here, right? It’s okay, it’s okay, there’s no need to worry. I had already prepared myself long ago for this possibility… Amako, you would rather be together with him, right?”
Kiriha brushed Kyou to the side and directed her question towards Amako. Kyou was shivering as he said Amako’s name and Amako who was being questioned seemed perplexed as she looked at me.
Amako, it’ll only be for about 14 days. It was similar to entrusting you to another guardian; you should be fine even without me, right? To begin with, there was no way Amako would think it would better to have me stay here with her———
“………….If Usato is fine with it then…”
You’re kidding right, Amako…
The words that I imagined I wouldn’t hear really came out and the spoon in my hand fell down. Even though it would be harder for you to open up to your friend with me at your side…
“Usato, that’s what Amako said. What do you want to do?”
Kiriha said with a mischievous smile. Kyou was next to Kiriha blankly staring at me with jealousy while Satsuki was steadily watching me as she continued to take small bites of her bread.
At first, only I was looking at them but now the three of them were fervently looking at me… Just what was going on? I was trapped in every direction.
The way you said it was really unfair. Saying that ‘if i’m fine with it’…
“….I’ll need to immediately go to the other knights and ask them first…”
If you say it like that, there was no way I could possibly refuse, you know?