Aleist had lost consciousness at some point.
In a deep sensation as if his body wasn’t his own, he heard a voice. A voice he knew, it was the voice of the existence who sent him to the world he was now.
Thinking back on it, he was extremely embarrassed by how he was back then.
‘Did you have fun in the world you wished for?’
Were those words cynicism, or honest curiosity?
Aleist couldn’t tell, but he spoke honest as could be.
“It was fun, no I mean, it is and will be fun. They accepted me even as I am after all. Back then… for sending me to this world, truly, thank you.”
When he reincarnated, Aleist wished for status, for power, for everything. Yet when he was supposed to have obtained it all, he hadn’t obtained a thing.
“I made friends. I never thought I’d be friends with the side character Rudel. When he was just supposed to be a stepping stone support role, he longed to ride dragons, grew earnest, put his all into each and every day… he was a really radiant existence. I’m the one who ended up the stepping stone side character.”
It was as if their roles were reversed. But the moment he accepted that, Aleist felt he had matured quite a bit.
“I never mastered the cheat you gave me, and yet I went and traded it off… sorry about that.”
The voice sounded somewhat amused.
It must have been considerably pleased with Aleist’s answer.
‘It’s a power I gave you. Use it however you want. However, I never thought you’d let go of it at the end. You surpassed my expectations, and so too did he. It all stemmed from but a single incident. That unplanned action rewrote everything.’
Action? As Aleist grew curious, the voice spoke.
‘A boy pleaded to his parents to see a dragon on his birthday. His parents heard his wish, and a single dragon that was never to take flight soared through the sky… the one who witnessed it was Rudel.’
A surprise indeed.
“Ahahah, then I’d very much like to thank that boy. Otherwise, who knows where I’d be around now.”
The voice spoke gently.
‘Did your real wish come true?’
Aleist spoke strongly and clearly.
There, the voice told of a world to come.
‘The world was nothing more than a reproduction of a game. I can’t guarantee what happens after the game’s been cleared. You’ll have to manage. No visible fate, no existences to get in your way. Whether things get better or worse is all up to you.’
Aleist was hard-pressed for words. There was something he had to ask no matter what.
“Umm, did this world distort because of me?”
The voice plainly informed him.
‘That’s right. But if it weren’t for you, this world wouldn’t even have existed. I’ll leave the rest to you and your friends. This is the most fun I’ve had in a while.’
After it had said that, the voice really did fade into the distance. Aleist could clearly tell. And at the end.
“… Thank you.”
He gave his thanks.
Aleist opened his eyes. He was in a place he recognized all too well, a sickroom he often used in his years as a student.
When he looked around, the usual suspects lay on the other beds, their bodies wrapped in bandages. Rudel alone, a red mark on his face… he had the traces of a slap.
Aleist was distraught.
(D-don’t tell me I went back in time!? I mean, this is the academy, and there’s Izumi-san next to Rudel, and… h-huh!?)
While Aleist wondered if he had been turned into a time traveler this time, Luecke explained from the bed beside him.
“What are you so surprised about? There were so many injured parties, that we were carted around and pushed into any available facility. Good grief, I never thought I’d be in this room’s care after graduation.”
Eunius meanwhile yawned.
“Let’s just take it easy. Rudel’s little brother can take care of cleaning up. Rather, that Clust kid’s got talent. Rallying together such numbers, and even leading them to victory.”
Chlust’s evaluation was on the rise. Aleist looked at Izumi bashfully peeling fruit.
Rudel hung his head in shame.
“Hey, what happened?”
Luecke looked at Rudel and Izumi. Touching a finger to his forehead, he breathed a sigh.
“That Rudel, it seems he barely got any sleep before the battle. So after it was over… he said something misleading, and fell asleep in the most misleading way.”
Rudel had fought alone, day after day through the waves of marching imperials. The effects of his sleep deprivation had him out cold the moment he loosened up.
That ha invited in misunderstandings galore, and apparently Izumi had tears in her eyes as she slapped him. Of course, only after he was healed and had opened his eyes.
“I hear everyone gathered around and gave him a moment of silence. At the center of it, ‘He’s just sleeping, okay!’ Izumi was screaming with her face all red.”
Luecke spat out his words.
“Good grief, what a troublesome guy.”
Aleist looked at Rudel. Rudel was apologizing to Izumi.
“Izumi, please hear me out. Even I have my limits.”
With her face bright red, Izumi shoved a fruit slice into Rudel’s mouth. After chewing and swallowing, Rudel went on.
“I’m sorry. I apologize.”
But perhaps that wasn’t enough, as she shoved another fruit into his mouth. Upon seeing that,
“Maybe I should get a girlfriend,”
Eunius said. Luecke sighed.
“Not you too. Good grief, when I’m still suffering from my failed confession.”
Aleist was somewhat surprised. He thought things were going well enough with Lena.
“Really? She turned you down?”
Eunius immediately yelled at Aleist.
“You fool, don’t touch that one!”
Luecke grinned as he began detailing the circumstance.
“Well now, the truth is, after that, I went over to Lena to confess. I carefully chose out all my words and was going to convey my feelings… but before that, ‘Luecke-san, I like you,’ she told me. My proposal was a complete failure.”
Eunius made a reluctant face at Aleist.
“Aaah, this is going to drag on. Aleist, you take responsibility and listen. He goes on for about two hours. And wait, I can only imagine he’s lying when he says he was confessed to instead, dammit.”
Luecke turned Eunius a smile.
“Hey now, Lena just guessed what was going on when I was trying to set a mood and squeeze out my voice. It was definitely my failing, but it’s true she confessed to me. Don’t be jealous.”
(… What is it, this hazy feeling. When Millia is still avoiding me…)
It was at that moment Millia dropped by the sickroom.
“Is everyone doing well? Oh, Aleist you’re up. That’s good.”
Millia looked at Aleist with a smile. With that alone, Aleist found happiness.
(Aah, Millia really is my goddess.)
His heart momentarily ruled by envy cleared to blue skies. Meanwhile, with fruit shoved in his mouth one after the net, Rudel was nearing his limit.
“If you’re well, you’re up for a meeting.”
On Millia’s beckoning, wearing a tiara and a garb more extravagant than usual, Fina Courtois entered the room.
Aleist’s honest impression,
(Oh right, she was a princess or something.)
His impression of her as a junior at the academy was too strong, he was prone to forgetting. It was also a problem that Aleist himself was so bothered by other things he didn’t pay much attention to Fina.
Rudel’s eyes sparkled as he looked at Fina. Surely this would end Izumi’s wrath, even temporarily.
Fina grasped the hem of her skirt, deeply lowering her head.
“As a representative of Courtois, I would like to express our thanks for everyone’s work on this occasion.”
Hearing that, Luecke’s and Eunius’ faces turned serious. Rudel was the same. Aleist alone didn’t notice.
With Fina before him, Rudel climbed off the bed onto his knees. Both Luecke and Eunius followed Suit, and Aleist barely managed to copy.
But Fina stopped them with a hand.
“We are not in an official space.”
Rudel spoke as representative.
“Would it be in order to address you as Her Majesty, the Queen?”
Fina shook her head to the side.
“That is still a work in process. In that regard, my master… pardon. Rudel-dono, I have a request to make of you.”
Rudel lowered his head.
“Yes, say the word.”
(I see, if she’s representing the country, that means the second princess is becoming queen? That’s different from the game… no, this is already a different world.)
Fina spread out her hand.
“I alone am insufficient to reconstruct our dear country. Won’t you shoulder that weight with me? Courtois had prepared a seat on the throne for Rudel Arses.”
Aleist honestly rejoiced at Rudel becoming King, but it was there he noticed.
(Huh? Wait a second. If you say that to Rudel…)
Rudel raised his face and smiled.
“I refused. I am but a lowly dragoon. As a single knight, I swear to my heart I shall continue to support ‘Her Majesty the Queen’. There are those far more worthy than I.”
Saying that, Rudel sent a look around. Before anyone could move, Eunius stood and declared.
“I, Eunius Diade! Swear it on my sword to cut down the enemies of her majesty!”
And Luecke stood as well.
(Crap! I’m too late!!)
“I, Luecke Halbades devote an oath of loyalty to her royal highness.”
A rattling sound from the doorway, King Albach made his appearance in a wheelchair. The one pushing the char was Sophina.
“W-wait. Boys, wait a second. Then what is it? … You’ll decline the position of King!?”
Fina had frozen in place expressionless.
Rudel, Eunius and Luecke were all looking at Aleist.
“… Aleist, I believe in you.”
“Aleist, I ain’t gonna complain if you rise to power.”
“Yeah, you have my full support.”
The three of them shoved the throne on him with wonderful smiles.
“Wait a second! I mean, it’s King, right!? Wouldn’t you want that, normally!?”
Rudel averted his eyes as he spoke.
“O-of course. But I’m not worthy… and so, fare thee well!”
Suddenly sprinting off, Rudel hoisted Izumi over his shoulder and jumped out the window. With Sakuya retrieving him outside, he achieved a perfect escape.
“The bastard got away! Umm, as my first duty to her majesty, I shall chase him down!”
Luecke also jumped aboard the ship.
“And I as well. Good grief, what is that man thinking?”
When the two of them were gone, a dubious air enveloped the sickroom. Albach silently gazed at Aleist.
Aleist looked at Millia. But she turned away his gaze.
Fina sat on the spot, expressionlessly muttering…
“Master, you idiot. I laid all the groundwork, but it’s because sister stirred everything up that it wasn’t perfect yet… now that it’s come to this, I’ll make it an established truth whether you like it or not… no, perhaps I can even fabricate I t. I mean, I’m queen. I am the law.”
Aleist looked at her and thought.
“Huh? What!? Is it just me, or is this kid saying some scary things!?”
Alback opened his mouth.
“Aleist-kun… you won’t run, right?”
Aleist stood, he took a step back.
(No way. With kingship and such, isn’t that normally a position you’d even spill blood to reach!? Why did they all run!?)
With a bitter smile, Aleist slowly retreated further. The door forcefully burst open with the entrance of his harem members.
To his surprise, the group had clearly grown in numbers since he last saw them.
“Aleist-sama, we’ve come to a conclusion!”
“D-did you now?”
(I see, so they’ve finally lost interest in me—)
We don’t mind if we’re not your number one. So please, keep us by your side! We came to understand as we watched you fight for the country under that hopeless situation. That you are a hero!
“D-did you now!? … huh?”
By the time he noticed it, everyone told him they didn’t have to be number one. Millia burst into laughter.
“Aleist, you sure are loved.”
“Now wait! I’ll be very upfront here, I can’t love you all equally, and there’s someone I’m in love with—”
His harem members’ faces were serious.
(I-inconceivable. Don’t have to be loved? Don’t have to be number one…? That’s just wrong, that’s just crazy!)
Aleist jumped out of the window in a half-laughing frenzy.
“I’m sorry, it’s impossible for me!”
Was it impossible to marry Fina, or impossible to accept his harem… he couldn’t accept either.