Even after school, the students of Kamui’s class aren’t leaving the classroom at all. It’s not like they are having fun by chatting with their friends. Gathering throughout the classroom, they are creating an atmosphere as if it was like that, but no matter which group, far from having a lively discussion, they are staying completely silent while listening attentively.
In the classroom, where there’s almost no sound of people talking, the voice of the person who created this situation is resounding. It’s the voice of Hildegard who has started a conversation with Kamui.
“Hey, Kamui. You are living at an orphanage, aren’t you?” (Hildegard)
“The orphanage, I wonder what kind of place is it? I don’t know since I haven’t gone to one yet.” (Hildegard)
“Well, that’s true, isn’t it? It’s not a place where someone like Hildegard-sama would go.” (Kamui)
Due to Kamui’s remark, Hildegard puffed up her cheeks like a little child and ended up staying silent. Seeing the attitude of Hildegard, Alto is at his wit’s ends. With this, the rumour about Kamui and Selene, he spread at great pains, has become completely useless.
“You have promised to call me Hilda.” (Hildegard)
“We agreed for that to be at the time we talk privately.” (Kamui)
“Ara, right now it is a private conversation.” (Hildegard)
“I see…” (Kamui)
I should have added the condition of us being alone at that time, Kamui regrets it greatly.
“I want to come along this time.” (Hildegard)
“That’s difficult.” (Kamui)
“No good?” (Hildegard)
This time Hildegard shows a sulking expression like a little child. Each time Hildegard displays such behaviour, a commotion stirs among the surrounding students. It’s an attitude they can’t imagine from the usual Hildegard.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that priest-sama will be surprised. Although I believe you will find it displeasing if I phrase it like that, Hilda, but it’s because it is a visit by the daughter of the Earl of the East after all.” (Kamui)
“… I see.” (Hildegard)
As far as the daughter of a Margrave is concerned, the other party’s side will fuss about it, unrelated to the feelings of the person herself. Hildegard knows that, as she has experienced such situations many times.
“Well, it might be alright if I talk with priest-sama in advance, if there’s an opportunity for that.” (Kamui)
Seeing Hildegard’s dejected face, Kamui follows up right away.
“Yeah!? Then I’m looking forward to it!” (Hilda)
At that moment Hildegard’s face becomes bright with a poof. Watching that, Kamui felt relieved, but Alto, who is looking from the side, finds it intolerable. It will be troublesome if a story of Hildegard’s feelings swinging from joy to sorrow due to the words of Kamui spreads in the academy.
With a voice close to whispering he calls out to Kamui.
“The surroundings.” (Alto)
“… Ah.” (Kamui)
Once he surveys the surroundings in a casual manner, he grasps that almost all students are listening carefully to the conversation between the two without missing even a bit.
“What’s the matter?” (Hildegard)
“Umm, that is, right, Hildegard-sama, it’s the continuation of the conversation from the other day.” (Kamui)
“It’s Hilda.” (Hilda)
“Ah, umm… for the time being, let’s have a talk outside since talking about that in this place is, you know.” (Kamui)
Kamui, who thought that it would be bad if they talked any further with the students in the surroundings listening in, took Hildegard’s hand and led her forcefully outside the classroom.
Alto is troubled by that in the back, but Kamui doesn’t notice that.
While holding Hildegard’s hand, he progresses through the hallway at a quick pace.
“What’s up?” (Kamui)
“Walking while holding hands in public is a bit…” (Hilda)
Releasing her hand in a fluster, Kamui checks the vicinity. Feeling relieved that there are only few people around, he faced Hildegard.
“I’m sorry.” (Kamui)
“It’s fine even if you don’t apologize. It’s only a bit embarrassing.” (Hilda)
“That’s right, isn’t it?” (Kamui)
Unless one is a dancer or such, it is usually very unlikely for unmarried men and women to hold hands in public.
“What do you want to do after leaving the classroom?” (Hilda)
“I didn’t come up with anything.” (Kamui)
“Umm, do you maybe want to chat with me?” (Hilda)
“Yeah, I don’t mind doing that. But, how will we do it? Speaking about that in a place where there’s too many eyes watching is too much.” (Kamui)
“That is… Is it a bother?” (Hilda)
Hildegard finally grasped the reason for leaving the classroom.
“Huh? That’s not it. But, since we will gather attention if I talk with you, Hilda, I only feel a bit uneasy about it.” (Kamui)
“It’s because of me after all.” (Hilda)
Listening to Kamui, Hildegard shows a depressed appearance.
I’m not even able to freely talk with a friend. She knew about that since long ago, but it’s been a while since she has thought like this.
“My way of phrasing it was bad. It’s not your fault, Hilda. I just don’t want to stand out. Please don’t worry about it.” (Kamui)
“Ah, yeah. There’s a nice place. It’s a place rarely visited by people, so let’s have a chat there.” (Kamui)
“That place is?” (Hilda)
“Please follow me. We will be right there since it’s within the academy.” (Kamui)
The place Kamui chose to have a chat with Hildegard was in the woods which are a part of the academy and which he uses for his training.
As it’s an area where people seldom wander in, he uses it for training. It’s just the right place to have a talk between just the two of them.
“It’s the first time for me to enter this place. Do you come here often, Kamui?” (Hilda)
“Let’s see. Relatively frequently, I guess.” (Kamui)
Considering that he won’t lose anything if he explains that he is training, though it’s every day, he kept it ambiguous.
“It’s a quiet spot.” (Hilda)
“Yeah. Just like I told you before, it’s not a place frequented by many people.” (Kamui)
“Why did you come to such place, Kamui?” (Hilda)
“In the past I came here once in a while.” (Kamui)
“In the time at the elementary division. For me it’s a place that holds memories. Both, good and bad ones though.” (Kamui)
“I see…” (Hilda)
Hildegard is worried about the meaning of “both, good and bad”, but for some reason she wasn’t able to ask him right away.
“Ah, around here is fine.” (Kamui)
Once he stopped at a spot a few steps away from the place where he usually trains, Kamui quickly took off his jacket and placed it on the ground.
“Well, here you go.” (Kamui)
“Your jacket will get dirty.” (Hilda)
“Please don’t mind it. It’s better than you getting your clothes dirty, Hilda.” (Kamui)
“T-Thank you.” (Hilda)
“It’s my pleasure.” (Kamui)
Though she hesitates a bit, Hildegard sits down on Kamui’s jacket. Kamui sat down right next to Hildegard.
“You are kind, aren’t you, Kamui?” (Hilda)
“Is that so? I think that’s only normal though.” (Kamui)
“You are kind.” (Hilda)
“Well, I have been told to be kind towards women when I was a child.” (Kamui)
“By whom?” (Hilda)
“By my mother. She was an extremely nagging person in regards to the way of dealing with women.” (Kamui)
Although Kamui’s mother didn’t try to teach him manner-like discipline at all, this was the only matter she was unsparing about.
“I wonder why?” (Hilda)
“It seems my father was such a man. At any rate, being tender towards mother, she told me that she likes father very much. Therefore I should become just like my father.” (Kamui)
“You don’t know who your father is, right, Kamui?” (Hilda)
“Did you hear that there was a rumor of it being the hero?” (Hilda)
“Yeah, I did. But that’s not possible.” (Kamui)
Kamui’s father is the hero. This is a story which is even now a rumour amongst a part of the population. However, Kamui denied that possibility clearly.
“That is due to your mana… Sorry.” (Hilda)
“It’s okay even if you don’t apologize. I don’t mind about it anymore. I heard about the hero not being my father from mother. As it looks like she couldn’t bear those rumours, mother, who hasn’t said anything about father’s identity, clearly told me just that.” (Kamui)
“She couldn’t bear it?” (Hilda)
Hildegard, who thinks that, if anything, it’s an honour to to be rumoured about alongside the hero, considered the words of Kamui’s mother that she cannot bear it to be strange.
“It looks like she hated him.” (Kamui)
“The hero?” (Hilda)
“Yes. It’s my mother’s one-sided view, so I don’t know how much of it is true, but abusing the status as hero, he apparently did quite the horrible things. That means there might be the hero’s illegitimate child somewhere. And moreover, several of them.” (Kamui)
“Umm, that is…” (Hilda)
Even the innocent Hildegard understands the meaning behind Kamui’s words. The hero had relationships with women all over the place. An in addition to that, he forced them. The image of the hero within Hildegard’s mind crumbles.
“Ah, sorry. That’s not something to talk about with a woman.” (Kamui)
“Yes, it isn’t. But, the hero has… I’m a bit surprised.” (Hilda)
“Doesn’t it seem like someone convenient for god’s faith was simply chosen? To say it plainly, while having a bit of power, he was a menial person who apparently buttered up to god’s faith. The accompanying prince of Lusua Kingdom (TN: >> Rusua <<) was apparently a befitting person to be the hero. That prince did all of the impressive deeds of the hero himself, I heard from mother. He apparently was a modest person too. Without him telling anyone about his deeds, the surroundings arbitrarily decided that it was the hero’s work.” (Kamui)
It wasn’t only Kamui’s mother who accompanied the hero. A prince of Lusua Kingdom, a neighbouring country of the Empire, accompanied him as well.
“Maybe it is that prince?” (Hilda)
“Honestly, I thought that to be the case as well.” (Kamui)
“If that was the case, Kamui might become the first in the succession order of the kingdom. It seems that the Lusua Kingdom is still grieving over the death of the prince.” (Hilda)
“However, it’s someone else.” (Kamui)
Even the prince of Lusua Kingdom isn’t Kamui’s father.
“Your mother told you?” (Hilda)
“Well, yeah.” (Kamui)
“How regrettable.” (Hilda)
“True. If I was royalty, I would be a good match for you as well, Hilda.” (Kamui)
“… Y-Yeah.” (Hilda)
With that remark of Kamui Hildegard’s face became bright red in the blink of an eye.
“It’s a joke. You are really innocent, aren’t you, Hilda? Given that you are reacting to it right away, it will make me to tease you.” (Kamui)
“You are cruel.” (Hilda)
Once again, just like a child, Hilda puffs up her cheeks and is sullen. Finding it amusing, Kamui decided to do it without holding back as he wasn’t able to do so in the classroom.
Extending his finger, he pokes the swollen cheek.
A cute sound leaked out from Hildegard’s mouth.
While her face is dyed red, Hildegard opens her eyes widely and stares at Kamui.
“Umm, sorry. Since there are many small children in the orphanage, I enjoy doing this often. That’s why, I just had to.” (Kamui)
“I got carried away a bit too much.” (Kamui)
“That’s not it. I have remembered something from the past.” (Hilda)
This time it’s Hildegard’s turn to talk about her memories.
“When I was a child, onii-sama often did something similar. I also enjoyed him doing it. I recalled that.” (Hilda)
For Hildegard to puff up her cheeks became a habit at that time. It’s a habit she doesn’t reveal in public normally.
“You have an onii-sama?” (Kamui)
“No, now I don’t. He died quite a while ago.” (Hilda)
“As a matter of fact, I have experience in loosing a blood relative as well. Since there are my parents and my younger brother in my case, it’s a bit different from you, Kamui.” (Hilda)
“No, I don’t think it changes the sadness of having lost someone. You were close to him?” (Kamui)
Hildegard’s sad expression indicated that she had strong affections towards her older brother.
“Yes, I admired onii-sama. He was intelligent, gentle and strong. The surroundings said that he will keep the Earl of the East household stable and make it flourish even further.” (Hilda)
“And, you ask?” (Hilda)
“Hilda is the one working hard. Aren’t you trying to preserve so that you won’t lose to that onii-sama? Moreover, it’s for the sake of your surroundings.” (Kamui)
“… Yes.” (Hilda)
Originally, being a daughter, Hildegard has no necessity to work hard. However, luckily or unluckily, Hildegard possessed more than enough talent. It’s talent at a level where the surroundings are unable to leave her alone, even as girl.
“I know that feeling. I understand it, but…” (Kamui)
“I might say something selfish, but would that make your deceased onii-sama happy? I think that he would be delighted if you are happy, Hilda. However, if you do something unreasonable, no, even if you do something unreasonable, it will be fine as long you do it for yourself, Hilda.” (Kamui)
Hildegard sank into silence due to Kamui’s words.
“It’s something selfish after all. I’m not your onii-sama, Hilda. There’s no way for me to know about his feelings.” (Kamui)
“No. Kamui, you asked the other day. What do I want to do for myself, unrelated to my parents’ home.” (Hilda)
“Onii-sama said something similar as well. Leave the household to me. It’s fine for you to live your own life, Hilda. I remembered it at that time.” (Hilda)
“Is that so?” (Kamui)
“However, onii-sama isn’t among us anymore. Therefore I have to…” (Hilda)
Instead of her elder brother, she made up her mind to take responsibility for the Earl of the East household. If she does that, she won’t forget her elder brother, is what she thought.
Even if she sometimes feels it to be a heavy burden, she isn’t allowed to withdraw anymore.
“The things you ended up taking responsibility for can’t be simply left alone. Even I understand that a bit. But, even so, I believe it’s better to not lose your individuality.” (Kamui)
“I’m just saying arrogant things, though I’m in no position to do so.” (Kamui)
“That’s not true… Hey, even if it’s only for a bit, lend me your back.” (Hilda)
Tears are dripping down from Hildegard’s eyes. Once he saw that, it was obvious what Hildegard wanted to do.
“… The chest is fine as well.” (Kamui)
“Then I will lend your chest.” (Hilda)
“No one comes here. I don’t think that anyone will hear your crying voice.” (Kamui)
“… Yeah.” (Hilda)
Once she lightly nodded due to Kamui’s remark, Hildegard stopped to muffle her voice and began to cry loudly.
Without hesitation Kamui put his hands around her and placed them on her back. He continued to gently stroke her back until she cried herself out.
“… I’m sorry. I’m completely like a child.” (Hilda)
How much time passed like that? Suddenly Hildegard raised her face and muttered that in embarrassed manner.
“Well, I think that such you is cute as well, Hilda.” (Kamui)
“Did I say something unnecessary?” (Kamui)
“You are resembling onii-sama after all, Kamui. Onii-sama also called me cute without getting bashful about it. When you call me cute, I feel like I have returned to the time when I was a child. That’s why I’m acting like a spoilt child in front of you, Kamui.” (Hilda)
“I’m honoured.” (Kamui)
“Say, can we have a chat from time to time after this?” (Hilda)
“Umm… Is a place that doesn’t attract public attention fine with you?” (Kamui)
“Doesn’t that have a strange meaning? Just as I told you before, I just dislike standing out.” (Kamui)
“True. Yes, if I’m able to talk with you, Kamui, any where’s fine.” (Hilda)
“Then, that’s how it will be.” (Kamui)
“Ah, a cat.” (Hilda)
Suddenly a black cat appeared in front of them. Kamui feels as if its eyes are criticizing him.
Actually, they are criticizing him.
“What’s wrong?” (Hilda)
Due to Kamui raising his voice in surprise, Hildegard asks him in wonder.
“Ah, yea. That cat is my acquaintance.” (Kamui)
“Acquaintance? A cat is?” (Hilda)
“Ah, that’s not it, I’m keeping it, no, that’s wrong too. It’s a cat I know from before.” (Kamui)
“I see. I wonder if it has a name?” (Hilda)
“… Auel.” (Kamui)
“Oh, it’s a splendid name. Auel, come here.” (Hilda)
The criticism in the black cat’s, Auel’s, eyes is becoming stronger by the second. Hildegard doesn’t realize such thing. Thinking that it’s a normal cat, she holds out her hands in front and lures it to come close.
Of course, it’s very unlikely for Auel to react to that.
“… It’s not coming.” (Hilda)
“It’s shy in front of strangers.” (Kamui)
“A cat is shy in front of strangers? Somehow you are describing it as if it’s a person, Kamui.” (Hilda)
“Umm… That’s because it’s a long-standing acquaintance.” (Kamui)
The aspects of it being a long-standing acquaintance and him talking to it as if it’s a human don’t mesh with each other at all, but apparently Hildegard didn’t realize that. Rather than that, she was bothered by his remark that it’s a long-standing acquaintance.
“I met it for the first time just when I was about to drop out from the elementary division.” (Kamui)
“That long ago… Is it a reunion after a long time, I wonder?” (Hilda)
“No, ah, I guess so?” (Kamui)
He can’t say that it’s a reunion from two years before either.
“You say that it’s a long-standing association?” (Hilda)
“We were together at the orphanage as well. Right, that’s how it was.” (Kamui)
“Aren’t you keeping it then?” (Hilda)
“Well, you see. It’s a bit different from keeping it since it lives freely.” (Kamui)
“… I guess so.” (Hilda)
Hildegard’s doubts are related to the incoherent explanation which is unusual for Kamui.
“Well then, shall we go now? I think that a lot of time has passed.” (Kamui)
Kamui starts to finish their chat forcibly.
Hildegard, who still wants to talk with Kamui, shows a reluctant look in regards to going back. However, as for Kamui, he wants to leave this place as soon as possible.
“There will be plenty of opportunities to talk.” (Kamui)
“That’s true, isn’t it?” (Hilda)
Hildegard consented with the promise to meet once again and stood up.
“… My face, isn’t weird, is it?” (Hilda)
If it comes to going back, Hildegard is concerned about her tear-stained face.
“It’s not weird. You are cute at any time, Hilda.” (Kamui)
“… Thank you.” (Hilda)
“However it’s better if I wipe your face as there are a few traces of your tears remaining.” (Kamui)
Kamui takes out a handkerchief from his pocket and, without restraints, lightly wipes the tear traces after combing up Hilda’s hair.
If we assume that Hildegard is acting spoilt in front of Kamui as he overlaps with her deceased elder brother, Kamui feels like he is taking care of a child from the orphanage. But, even with that, it doesn’t change the fact that the distance between the two has become short.
“Is it okay?” (Hilda)
“Yea, it’s fine now.” (Kamui)
“It doesn’t look weird?” (Hilda)
“It’s alright. I have cleaned it properly.” (Kamui)
“How about my hair?” (Hilda)
“Wait a moment. Yeah, it’s fine.” (Kamui)
“Mmh. Thanks.” (Hilda)
“You are welcome.” (Kamui)
The colour of criticism vanishes from the eyes of Auel who is intently watching the two interacting with each other as if they are lovers or an older brother and his younger sister. Auel’s look changed into somehow watching them astonishingly and yet warmly.
And, in a slightly distant place there are people who look at them with yet different eyes.
“No matter how you look at it, they are lovers.” (Lutz)
“Don’t say something careless. What about my troubles?” (Alto)
Listening to Lutz’ murmur, Alto expresses his complaints.
“Certainly. However, what will he do? Does Kamui realize or not?”
“But, as he has avoided public attention, he seems to understand more or less.” (Selene)
It’s not only Lutz and Alto who are peeping at the two. Selene is together with them as well.
“Selene-san, that’s not what I’m saying.”
“What do you mean?” (Selene)
“Even if they avoid public attention, what do the people themselves intend to do?”
“… I see.” (Selene)
Selene’s group doesn’t know about Hildegard’s innermost thoughts.
What they know is just the fact that Hildegard buried her face in Kamui’s chest and cried. And, they are confident that there’s no other male student, where she would do the same, among the students of the academy.
“Anyway, we have to restrain rumours from spreading.” (Alto)
“The same way as until now.” (Alto)
“Ehh? Will you be spreading the rumour of me being together with Kamui again?” (Selene)
“Selene-san, it’s something else.” (Alto)
“… Somehow I’ve got a bad premonition.” (Selene)
Selene’s intuition is keen. In this case, even if it’s not Selene, one will likely be able to guess it.
“How perceptive. We won’t be spreading it. We will let it spread by itself.” (Alto)
“Gimme a break! Are you telling me to go out with Kamui?” (Selene)
Free love isn’t acceptable for a noble’s daughter. In fact, even if it exists, the female student won’t do something like announcing it.
“I haven’t said that much. It will be fine if you simply flirt a bit with him.” (Alto)
“Walking while linking arms with him, ah, or rather kiss him so that the public will remember it. For no special reason, in a visible place.” (Alto)
“… Die!” (Selene)
Once she tells that single word to Alto, Selene stands up and heads towards the exit of the woods while walking in large strides.
“Ah, Selene-san, hey, Selene-san. Won’t you listen to me? Selene-san!” (Alto)
The voice of Alto has also reached Kamui and Hildegard who are in a separate place.
“… Kamui, it looks like someone came?” (Hilda)
“Mm, haven’t you misheard?” (Kamui)