Chapter 321: Jealousy
“Ah, Naofumi-chan. Are your wounds healed already?”
I left today’s work to Trash, and went to rest early due to my recent injuries. But as I was back to my place, Sadina appeared from the ocean.
Why is that the first line everyone says when they see me?
I don’t really know myself, but were my wounds really that serious?
I was incapacitated for a few days, so I guess there’s no helping it.
“For the most part. And? Did you have some business with me?” (Naofumi)
“We’re going to war, right? This Onee-san wanted to make herself a bit more useful, so I went out to raise my level.” (Sadina)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
In the sea, she’s unmatched.
And when it comes down to war, she’ll make for excellent manpower.
What’s more, she seems to have anti-personnel battle experience, so I have a bit of confidence in her.
“So what level have you reached?” (Naofumi)
“95. I was able to venture deep into foreign, untamed regions!” (Sadina)
“Ah, yes, yes.” (Naofumi)
“And so…” (Sadina)
Sadina playfully approaches me, and speaks in my ear so Raphtalia won’t hear.
Why must she do something to purposely irritate her?
Well, she was kinda that sort of person anyways.
“Have your doubts cleared a bit?” (Sadina)
“… A little.” (Naofumi)
“I see. Ah, also, there’s something I’d like to report.” (Sadina)
“We’ll have to go to my secret island base. Oh, and bring a Lemo along.” (Sadina)
Ah, right… Raph-chan did indicate that direction.
I’m a bit curious.
That structure named the Castle Plant…
It would be troublesome if it began acting on its own.
I’ll need to check it just in case.
“Got it. There’s little time to spare, so lead the way.” (Naofumi)
“Then, Naofumi-chan.” (Sadina)
Sadina looks in Raphtalia’s direction, and gives a hand signal to me.
“Go on a date with me.” (Sadina)
By the way, the sky is already pitch black.
Raphtalia’s mostly oblivious of the content of our conversation.
This is bound to spring up some misunderstandings…
“Where do you plan on taking him?” (Raphtalia)
“Oh, my… What are you trying to make me say, Raphtalia-chan?” (Sadina)
Fumu… Raphtalia’s behavior is… jealousy… right?
It’s strange how that fact can make her actions seem kinda cute.
From the start, I did accept the fact that she was a bishojo, but I mean this in a different way.
The fact that I find teasing her like this fun may be because she’s like my daughter.
“That’s right. Ah, can you go ask Imya if she wants to join us?” (Naofumi)
The conversation follows Sadina’s flow.
… For some reason, this pattern seems nostalgic.
Before I came to this world, I remember that I would often hop on board when other people were messing around.
Thinking back now, I wonder what I was trying to accomplish.
Haha… I can’t laugh at the past Motoyasu anymore.
“No… um… Where do you plan on going with Sadina-oneesan?” (Raphtalia)
Now how should I answer?
Just a month ago, I would have simply tilted my head, and answered, ‘The Island’.
But now, I have a vague grasp of Raphtalia’s feelings.
Since I have a bit of leeway, let’s show a bit of appeal.
“On a date, right?” (Naofumi)
“Ara? You‘re taking me and Imya-chan out at the same time?” (Sadina)
“Yeah, let’s bring Raph-chan along too.” (Naofumi)
“Oh my. This sure is turning out to be quite the banquet of lust.” (Sadina)
There’s no end to this train.
Raphtalia firmly grasps my shoulder, starts releasing killing intent, and gives off a dangerous smile.
So I’m the one who’s at fault here?
“Naofumi-sama? Can we have a little talk?” (Raphtalia)
I’m not oblivious of her female heart.
But since Raphtalia became jealous, there were a few things that I wanted to test out.
I admit that it did feel mean.
“What could it be?” (Raphtalia)
“You… once the world is at peace, what will you do?” (Naofumi)
“You see, when I was on the line between life and death, I met some people. I met Atlas, and one who claimed to be the Spirit of my Shield.” (Naofumi)
I summed up my experiences before I regained consciousness to those present.
I was a bit embarrassed about my reason for deciding to stay, so I omitted it.
“So, when I return to my own world, I can take someone from herewith me.” (Naofumi)
“I-is that true?” (Raphtalia)
Water is welling up in Raphtalia’s eyes.
As I thought.
I don’t know too much about the Legends of the past Heroes, but I bet there were a few that went to their home worlds.
I’m no exception. When I feel it’s time to leave, I’ll take her if she wants to go.
“So Raphtalia, what do you want to do?” (Naofumi)
Sadina’s eyes are showing clear signs of happiness.
She’s having fun watching this scene.
The past me would have gotten angry at her. Definitely.
“Well… Um…” (Raphtalia)
“Will you stay in this world, and spend your days in peace here?” (Naofumi)
“Or will you follow me to my world, and live in a completely foreign land? I just wanted to ask that.” (Naofumi)
“So the only option for Naofumi-chan is to return.” (Sadina)
“Yeah. But if I left something unfinished, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth.” (Naofumi)
Raphtalia puts her hand on her chest, and takes a step forward.
“I believe that I want to stay by Naofumi-sama’s side for however long I can.” (Raphtalia)
“… I see.” (Naofumi)
Raphtalia musters her courage, and answers.
“Thank you.” (Raphtalia)
“Then you can’t really say anything against my outing with Sadina.” (Naofumi)
“I mean, isn’t that right? What’s the legal age in this world?” (Naofumi)
“Sadina, do you know?” (Naofumi)
“As soon as your parents or guardians recognize you as an adult, you will be treated as such. It also varies by the country, but Naofumi-chan’s the lord here. What do you want to do with the village’s law?” (Sadina)
“I banned love, but I’ll loosen the regulations a bit.” (Naofumi)
“Ara, how nice.” (Sadina)
“And so, Raphtalia!” (Naofumi)
“In my world, the legal age is 18 for men, and 16 for women. If you plan on coming to my world, you have to keep that in mind. Or else I’ll get arrested.” (Naofumi)
It seems that it didn’t hit home with her.
I guess the differences in worlds is like this. I went through some trouble when I came here too.
But if Raphtalia wants to accompany me to my world, she’ll experience many things like this.
We’ll need to practice beforehand.
“And in my world, I’m no Hero. Just a civilian. Life will be difficult, and I think we’ll go through quite a few trials before we can establish a stable home and income.” (Naofumi)
“In that place, getting permission to marry a minor, and building a family will be difficult.” (Naofumi)
Raphtalia’s face is getting paler by the minute.
But remember this. This is really important.
First and foremost, Raphtalia doesn’t have any family register documents, and I have no idea what to do about her ears and tail.
I can’t have her hide them with magic forever, so it’ll be quite a task.
Even if the Shield adapts the world a bit, that won’t do anything to affect her actual age.
Though we may be able to use its power to make life a bit easier.
“To summarize, Raphtalia, your age is a hurdle if you want to marry me in my world.” (Naofumi)
“T-that can’t be!” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia loses her words, and takes a step back.
Even if she looks like an adult Bishojo, she really is a kid.
But if I subtract from her estimated age, she’ll only have to wait for 5-6 years.
If it’s just that much, I’ll wait for her.
I also want to see her wearing a school uniform.
I’ll bet the Shield will grant at least this much.
“But for those that aren’t coming to my world, they’re already treated as adults here. It’s 100% legal for me to date them, and I also have Atlas’s will. I’ve started to believe that I’ll have to answer their feelings a bit. Thinking about the future, this isn’t the same as what the Queen wanted, but it isn’t bad, is it?” (Naofumi)
If she gives birth to the child of the Hero, the country will guarantee her at least the most basic of rights.
That’s something the people who said they liked me will have to consider down the road.
I’m not ecstatic about it, but I don’t have the discomport I felt before.
“And so, Naofumi-chan is everyone’s. I’m going to go on a date, and then do some fun things with him.” (Sadina)
“N-no… Naofumi-sama!” (Raphtalia)
I guess I’ll leave it at this.
Raphtalia looks like she’s about to cry, and her hand if shaking as she extends it towards me.
“By the way, that was a joke.” (Naofumi)
“… What?” (Raphtalia)
“It seems Sadina found something on her secret base, so we’re taking Imya and Raph-chan to investigate it.” (Naofumi)
Yes. I think I’ve gained a greater understanding of the psychology of popular boys.
Those three idiots that got stuck up in the fact that they were heroes. I think I understand their thoughts a bit more.
But even though I said such things to Raphtalia, I don’t think she’s enjoying it.
I had quite a bit of fun, though.
I mean, for the sake of the people in the village, doing something like this might make for a better result down the road.
I stroke Raphtalia’s face.
“But you need to be conscious of it as well, Raphtalia. It really is difficult to live in my world… no. If you compare it to this world, holding onto your life is but a simple task. But there are so many systems and institutions that there’s little room to breathe. So many that a large majority of the Heroes chose to live their lives in this world. You may regret it, you know.” (Naofumi)
“… Even so, I want to live with you.” (Raphtalia)
“Yeah. I’ve always told you that I don’t intend on staying in this world.” (Naofumi)
It’s not as if I don’t have any attachment, but my will to return is strong.
If Raphtalia were to stay by my side, I would be able to return to my world without hesitation.
“Yes, I’ve a good understanding of the extent of Naofumi-sama’s resolve.” (Raphtalia)
“And so, I need to think of all the ones in the village we’ll leave behind. What I have to do, you understand right? Though this time, it was a joke.” (Naofumi)
“… Yes. I thought I had already understood it from Atlas-san’s words.” (Raphtalia)
“So please be a little open-minded. The time will come someday.” (Naofumi)
“Understood. By the way, is it true that there’s a problem with my age?” (Raphtalia)
“That’s right. Until it actually comes down to it, I’m not really sure. The Shield might make accommodations for it.” (Naofumi)
On my answer, Raphtalia gives an expression of relief, and she drops her hand from her chest.
“Raphtalia, if you’re bothered by it, do you want to follow us here?” (Naofumi)
“I wouldn’t recommend it, Naofumi-chan, I mean, we’ll be doing something fun afterwards.” (Sadina)
I drive Sadina away by flicking my hand, and ask Raphtalia once more.
“Yes, let’s go.” (Raphtalia)
“Got it.” (Naofumi)
Raphtalia prepares herself, and I go to get Imya.
We walk to the small boat anchored at the coast.
I continue thinking as I rub Raph-chan.
He can change shape to be identical to Raphtalia, right?
In the future, will I be doing various indecent things with Raphtalia?
What should I do if she tells me I’m no good at it? I pause my hand on Raph-chan’s head.
Should I… gain experience with the villagers?
Just thinking it makes me want to kill myself.
In that respect, an identical model may make for a good test subject.
Raphtalia’s weak points are…
“… Naofumi-sama? What are you thinking as you pat Raph-chan?” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia grabs my shoulder.
The top half of her face is covered in shadows for some reason. My spine is giving way. The muscles in my body turn to ice.
Raph-chan has both of his hands on his face. He looks down in embarrassment.
Are my thoughts really that easy to read?
Well, they were usually quite vile, so there’s no helping if she gets angry with me.
Anyways, we reached the island.
As always the sight of the ruins I built is poison to my eyes.
Honestly, the island’s unrecognizable from the time I frst came here.
Sadina leads us to a hilly area.
“Here is it.” (Sadina)
What was there, was a small hole… but it was strangely deep.
It’s size is around…
Yep, just enough to fit Raph-chan, and its depth is.. it’s too dark to tell.
“Ah, yes.” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia creates a light with magic, and drops it down the hole.
… I saw a portion of the tunnel, but it extends much further.
Just how far does it go?
I see, so this is why we needed a Lemo.
Normally, I would have ignored this, but this might be the result of the other me’s research.
I can’t have some strange creature popping up, and causing havoc.
“Imya, can you dig around for a bit?” (Naofumi)
Imya responds twice to my question, and nods. She begins casting magic.
『I, who has understood the origin of power command. Let the truth be read forth once more. Grant me the power to rend the earth.』
Magic solidifies around the nails on both of Imya’s hands.
“Then I’ll be going.” (Imya)
She starts digging out the ground.
“The more magic I put in, the easier it is to dig.” (Imya)
Imya seems proud as she digs.
Amazing. The earth is breaking like pudding before her.
As expected, you should call a specialist for a special job. I was right to ask a mole-like Demi-Human
After a bit of digging, Imya popped out of the hole.
“Um, something seems to be buried really deep down.” (Imya)
“Can you bring it up?” (Naofumi)
“It’s too big… and it seems its of plant origin, so it’s already decaying.” (Imya)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
So it was made of Bioplant.
Do we have any hints as to its use?
“Ah, but I picked up the magical device that seemed to be its core.” (Imya)
Imya hands me a fragment of a stone.
This is… part of a stone tablet, right?
I remember the one Rat tapped on.
I praise Imya as she gets out of the hole, and brushes the dirt off of her body. Imya scratches her head in embarrassment.
“No, it wasn’t much.” (Imya)
“Imya, is there anyone you like?” (Naofumi)
“Eh? N-no…” (Imya)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
I’ll have to circle the village, and ask slowly.
“So where did you come from?” (Naofumi)
I ask Raph-chan once more.
… He’s pointing to the hole. But it was quite obvious.
“I guess this is all we’ll find out today.” (Naofumi)
In a few days, we’ll be fighting.
This may be a… waste of time, but I’ll have Rat investigate it. We may find something useful.