“No good, huh?” (Rona)
Rona raised her voice while still lying on the bed. Somehow Renya’s breathing and body had calmed down. Moreover quite some time had passed by now.
Casually stretching out both hands and legs while facing upwards, this questioning voice loudly escaped from within her chest where the two mounds were visibly standing out.
Because idly staring at her in this state stirred strange feelings within Renya, he averted his gaze in a panic.
The knife he had recovered from the bed made him extremely nervous.
Surely, in front of a monster this knife is something like a safeguard that I wouldn’t want to be without, and in a situation like this either, Renya thought about its nature.
“And I thought I’d advanced it to such a pleasant stage.” (Rona)
“You pushed me dangerously close to breaking, baka” (Renya)
As Renya spit those words out, Rona began to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” he glared at her, who showed no sign of intending to get up. Turning only her face towards Renya, Rona said,
“I did something very regrettable.” (Rona)
“You could at least explain the reason, couldn’t you?” (Renya)
“I wanted you to accept Shion’s invitation. Isn’t that enough?” (Rona)
“For only this reason you used your priestess’ body to seduce me? That’s pretty much impossible.” (Renya)
“For me this was reason enough, it’s nothing that unusual, right?” (Rona)
Although Rona clearly stated this, she immediately sighed.
“However, it ended in failure. How disappointing. Renya-san, you were planning on refusing Shion’s invitation, weren’t you?” (Rona)
Renya was too embarrassed to answer.
Was this the place to persistently play dumb? Or should he act surprised due to being seen through here?
Not hoping for a favorable reply from the start, Rona continued without waiting for Renya’s words,
“I just want Renya-san to accept Shion’s invitation by any means. Can’t you somehow reconsider?” (Rona)
“Why do you want that? And why do you insist on me?” (Renya)
“As for the answer of your first question: Renya-san, you think that Shion is something of an inexperienced and foolish girl, don’t you?” (Rona)
“I haven’t judged her so far as to call her foolish.” (Renya)
“You don’t deny her inexperience though.” (Rona)
Do you want me to admit it myself? Renya thought.
As for her virtues, you can easily say that she is a fine, diligent girl.
However if you look at it from the point of view of an adventurer, thinking of helping another person without considering the situation, sometimes you have to become defiantly brazen and unscrupulous. Immediately doing something like admitting her own fault will cause her to fall into a disadvantageous situation. But it can’t be helped that she isn’t aware of such a thing either, can it? He thought.
When he honestly told Rona this, she agreed with an, “As expected, that’s right.”
“For this reason I want Renya-san to enter our party.” (Rona)
“I have understood this from Shion’s attempts at persuasion. However, to select a Lost like me to travel with her is dangerous in and of itself in the first place.” (Renya)
“No, no! I can pretty much tell from Renya-san’s appearance that you are obviously quite experienced.” (Rona)
I am 94 years old to begin with, Renya murmured within in his mind.
Although it doesn’t make any particular difference to me to tell them about my real age, Rona and Shion most likely would think that I am joking without believing a word of it anyways.
Therefore it would be futile to tell them about it, Renya judged.
“Can’t you somehow grant my wish? The only reward I can give you, is myself.” (Rona)
“Why do something like that? Immediately proposing to give away your own body…” (Renya)
“That is… maa, let’s say it’s a woman’s secret.” (Rona)
What woman’s secret? Renya thought. For sure Rona’s proposal is quite charming.
Even now Rona’s defenseless body was sprawled out on top of the bed. Renya hadn’t regained his presence of mind to such an extent that he wouldn’t feel anything from being invited by such a bishoujo.
Being invited to do as one pleases to her, it isn’t hard to predict that the majority of males are guaranteed to give her an immediate reply in the end.
Although it wasn’t easy, Renya strongly resisted to not having his mind taken over by his lust.
“To tell you the truth, in regards to refusing the invitation, there is another reason as well.” (Renya)
After the attempt to seduce him, there was no way for the situation to become even more chaotic no matter what he did. Thus Renya decided to use this situation to inquire about a matter that had been bugging him all the time since he had met the two.
“Once you have understood the reason and resolved the part that has been worrying me, I won’t mind accepting your invitation and accompanying you even without Rona having to become the sacrifice for it.” (Renya)
“Somehow, I feel like I don’t want to answer but I will try my best to do so.” (Rona)
“The thing that worries me is something you should be aware of and the answer should be somehow obvious to you.” 1 (Renya)
When Renya said that, Rona tilted her head to the side obviously showing that she didn’t understand what he was talking about.
That gesture made him think that she was an innocent girl by nature while possessing an innate charm towards men, which influenced Renya so greatly that he reflexively thought he misjudged his choice of words. However, Renya didn’t intend to let her influence his thoughts from the start.
“If you intend to play dumb, I don’t particularly mind. I will have you listen to me regardless.” (Renya)
“Yes, I will listen to your story.” (Rona)
Rona’s smile didn’t waver in the least.
“First off, the situation when we met was strange.” (Renya)
Renya started to recall the circumstances while he talked.
“After listening to the accepted request to investigate the forest, the composition of your party was far too weird.” (Renya)
“Was it really such a weird party?” (Rona)
“Indeed, having a party of 6 men merge with a party of 2 women to take on the same request, there must be a limit to how naive you can be. In case the party composition of 8 people was necessary, I might understand the reason for such an action. However, viewing the two parties separately, it was a situation where the choice of companions was incomprehensible. It was like throwing first-class meat in front of starving wolves.” (Renya)
“Fumu …” (Rona)
“The situation of two women who are not confident in their skills ending up being dependent on the 6 men, one way or another, made me think ‘Ah, there was such a method as well.’ Afterwards you two introduced yourselves as apprentices, too.” (Renya)
With a static expression Rona listened to Renya’s explanation while lying down on the bed. Her smile remained as it was, making it difficult to read her emotions.
“Please continue.” (Rona)
“…The second discrepancy is your appearance. No matter how you look at it, the size of your clothes is too small compared to your figure. In case that’s your hobby or has some religious reason, I’d like to hear the reason for that. As far as I can see you are purposely revealing your body lines by wearing clothes that are one size smaller than they should be.” (Renya)
“You have been looking at us with such eyes? That’s quite ecchi.” (Rona)
Rona displayed a slight movement of embarrassment. Renya regarded her with nothing but doubting eyes no matter which part of her was shaking with a *burun burun.* The spectacle didn’t captivate him any more.
Rather, her various wiles with the aim to deceive him didn’t bear any fruit. Simply staring at her apparently shady behavior, made Rona stop her silly movement after a while seeing that there was no effect on him.
“Why do you know about this?” (Rona)
“In my world something like this is called a technique of inducing one’s gaze. In short it’s a skill to attract the attention and stares of those around you onto yourself. In the case of women, it can easily be done by dressing light on purpose. That is to say, wearing a short skirt and increasing skin exposure.” (Renya) (ED: aka being intentionally distracting.)
“Your world seems to be quite dreadful, you know.” (Rona)
Rona said seriously. Without accommodating her by responding, Renya continued.
“The third discrepancy are your names. Because I don’t know about the common sense of this world, it’s at most only to the degree of my being bothered by it. Both of you should have a given name and a family name, but Shion only wrote down up to her given name 2 when we arrived.” (Renya)
“What’s wrong with that?” (Rona)
“Going by what I read in novels in my previous world, this often points towards special circumstances like some absurdly long names or the complications following of people from a noble household.” (Renya)
“I wasn’t aware of that, you know. Neither me nor Shion considered giving our full name but that seems to have caused complications.” (Rona)
While her smiling face didn’t waver, Rona leaked a small sigh.
“The fourth discrepancy is about the sword you gave me during the battle with the goblins.” (Renya)
“That was… I think it was an unwise move, too.” (Rona)
As she recalled that time, for the first time her smile began to slightly cramp. However she immediately returned to her *niko niko* face.
“Although the blade of the sword can’t be considered anything good, the appearance of the hilt is magnificent. Shion said that it was a family heirloom. And you said it should be fine if it’s a Lost, Rona.” (Renya)
“You remember it quite clearly, don’t you.” (Rona)
“Because the hilt is an item passed down through Shion’s household, wouldn’t that mean the superbly crafted crest of those two entwining dragons is Shion’s family crest, is what I thought. You said it would be alright for me to use the sword because I wouldn’t be able to recognize the origin of the family crest anyway, since I am a Lost, Rona. Isn’t that what you thought?” (Renya)
“Since it is such a splendidly artistic item, it might have been bought by Shion’s family in the first place, don’t you think?” (Rona)
Although Rona spoke as a rebuttal, her tone revealed that she didn’t believe in what she was saying either.
Of course Renya had expected just such an excuse as well.
“If that’s the case, you wouldn’t carry it around as a spare weapon, don’t you agree?” (Renya)
“Ah… to call that item a spare weapon is not exactly correct.” (Rona)
“The fifth discrepancy is…” (Renya)
“There’s more…?” (Rona)
Rona’s smile ended up disappearing completely, being replaced with a serious face. Renya didn’t intend to weaken his spirit of pursuing the matter at all.
The reason for that was because Rona hadn’t confirmed even one word of Renya’s suppositions yet.
“The name written on the adventurer card. I was only able to confirm Shion’s card. Even though I gave my full name at the time I introduced myself, only my first name was registered on the card. For no reason, or rather, if a reason is needed, I can’t think of anything else but this acting as support for the third discrepancy I mentioned earlier. In short, someone seeing the family name would immediately recognize to which household it belonged, so to say.” (Renya)
“You have observed that quite well. Haven’t you turned the tables enough, yet…?” (Rona)
Tightly holding her chest up, Rona displayed her flustered state. 3 (T/N: You should check the link in the Notes to understand the pose.)
As one would expect Renya’s awareness and gaze ended up being drawn by nature towards the pair of swaying mounds.
“Oh! There seems to be some hope.” (Rona)
Upon seeing Rona’s broad grin, Renya’s face was dyed slightly scarlet.
“Shut up, I am a man as well. Leaving that aside, there is a sixth discrepancy.” (Renya)
Tearing off his gaze from the swaying chest with a great effort of willpower, Renya continued.
“The guards hesitated slightly when they returned the adventurer cards to you.” (Renya)
“That was most likely because they didn’t want to part with the nice feeling of the cards which still held the warmth of our bodies I would think.” (Rona)
“I think that half of the reason can be attributed to that, but is that all there is to it? I fear that it’s likely that those guards know the face of either you or Shion.” (Renya)
There was no reply.
By now the levity about the matter had ended. Rona stared fixedly at Renya’s face with a serious expression.
“Is the matter I just mentioned of such a concern to you?” (Renya)
“What should I say? Although I intended to be careful, you still found my mistakes.” (Rona)
Making it apparent that she was surrendering, Rona cast her eyes down and shrugged her shoulders.
“The answer to number 1: The reason why we accepted such a request on purpose was for improving Shion’s sense of danger.” (Rona)
“It wasn’t that long since you had become adventurers though, no?” (Renya)
“Yes, it was about a month prior to that. Anyway, Shion is no good. She totally lacks the sense of danger from that direction (ED: Men’s attention). Thus I wanted to change her way of thinking by experiencing just such a risky situation.” (Rona)
Shock treatment, huh? Renya thought. Even so, he still had a feeling that it was a far too dangerous method to fully achieve the purpose.
Renya arriving in time to rescue them was completely by chance after all.
To sum it up, considering the method on that occasion if he hadn’t arrived in time to help them, Rona had already expected to be assaulted as a premise and decided that only the two of them would be able to deal with the situation one way or the other.
“Ah, because my real occupation is more or less that of a knight, sorting out six unarmed people should be doable, no? Even though I look the way I do, I am a capable person who was appointed to be a bodyguard.” (Rona)
As Renya’s thoughts were displayed on his face, Rona supplemented with an explanation.
This caused Renya to be astonished. However, after personally experiencing the series of actions to pin him down and immobilize him not too long ago, a part of his mind thought I see, that’s how it was.
Falsifying her occupation, apparently that’s what she had done. If that was the case, she should have displayed her real strength at the time of the goblin subjugation, Renya ended up thinking.
“Since it must remain an absolute secret that I am a knight… unless there are extreme circumstances I will stick to the role of being a priestess.” (Rona)
“Ah, is that so… Is that perhaps the reason why you said you have no talent in magic…?” (Renya)
“Being a knight in priestess’ clothes, if I were able to master magic, I would become a hero!” (Rona)
It was like saying maintaining the technical skill has overflown.* 4
Although she falsified her occupation, it doesn’t seem to be a lie that she is a priestess for the time being.
“Following up on speaking of the second discrepancy. That’s quite difficult…5 even if it is work.” (Rona)
Rona said while softly caressing her chest.
Tight 5, does she mean in the physical sense, or the emotional sense of embarrassment, or is it in regards to both? Renya wasn’t able to reach a conclusion.
“The third discrepancy: You are right, Shion is of a certain high-class lineage. However I don’t intent to reveal what kind and who it is at the present point in time.” (Rona)
At the present time it wasn’t clear what kind of position Renya would take, and in addition to that it was to be expected considering Renya’s previous urging.
“As for the fourth: That’s also the same as you had deduced before, that crest shows the blood-line of Shion.” (Rona)
“Then, the fifth discrepancy as well?” (Renya)
“Yes, registering with her full name would have caused quite an uproar, I am certain.” (Rona)
“That means the sixth discrepancy as well…” (Renya)
“You were wrong about the guards knowing either me or Shion, that is to say, they know the faces of both of us at that gate.” (Rona)
With this everything was answered, Rona admitted with her smile.
Entrusting his back to the wall and hitting his head with his palm, Renya said,
“In short, Shion is the princess of some high-class lineage you don’t want to disclose. You are following her disguised as a priestess as you were assigned as her bodyguard. I don’t understand why you would lower yourself to such a social status though. As you have severely little experience as adventurers which is why you attempted to seize me, who appears to somehow have the basics down, in order to prevent future mistakes. Such would be your reasoning, then?” (Renya)
“Those are my reasons, yes. Do you think that Shion would even consider such a matter in the first place? Because you are a man who possesses reliable strength and can be trusted, she wishes to obtain your cooperation as a suitable companion. That’s the furthest she has considered matters.” (Rona)
At the time when she said she wanted to help the villagers in the pioneer’s village, the result was her surrendering to the compromise plan she was told. At that time Rona looked at Renya with a glare fully transmitting her intent to strangle him to death while displaying an exceedingly bright smile.
“In other words, you are quite wicked.” (Renya)
“Yes, though I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of.” (Rona)
“This matter is incredibly troublesome, isn’t it? Don’t go dragging me into it!” (Renya)
“Don’t say that. If one were to speak of heartless, after spending an entire night apart from each other, do you want to witness me weeping in front of a huge crowd of people about my being raped?” (Rona)
“Don’t joke around. Do you really want to harass me with something like that?!” (Renya)
“OK, then let’s enjoy ourselves to the fullest! Now~ Come on!” (Rona)
Rona spread out both her hands on top of the bed signalling an *oide oide* .
It’s no good. With quite the feeling of despair Renya looked up towards the ceiling.
From the beginning Rona had intended to wager everything she could offer herself. (ED: Including herself.)
Renya wasn’t so indifferent that he was sure his willpower would win out in the end.
A person who didn’t think of the consequences of losing a competition was an absolute force. (ED: So, either godlike or an unstoppable idiot.)
Whether it was negotiations, gambling, or brawling, this truth could be sufficiently called a fact.
In short, at the time Rona decided to make Renya her target, the match was already decided, which was no exaggeration in the end either.
And considering Renya’s situation, it was only a matter of how long he would be able to evade his inevitably disadvantageous situation through talking. That was the only question.
Having thought through things so far, Renya raised both hands while looking up the ceiling indicating his surrender.
“I give up. Though I don’t know whether I will be able to live up to your expectations.” (Renya)
Hearing those words, Rona burst out into laughter on top of the bed as she was completely satisfied.
1 Quite unsure about the last part of this sentence: 君が知っている事との答えあわせみたいなもんだ … any help is appreciated.
2 The author wrote here “up to her middle name” but I don’t remember her noting down any middle name … so I am just assuming he meant the first name aka “Shion.”
3 ゆっさゆさ ist the concrete wording for the pose, but I have no clue how to translate that one properly, thus check the picture for it: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=11112490
4 保持技能がオーバーフローしている some idiom or comparison. Don’t ask me. Basically it should mean: Exceeding the limit of her original class (knight).
5 The kanji used here means difficult and also tight, as it uses the same kanji Renya interprets it in such a way while in Rona’s speech “tight” would make no sense in English.