I was deceived, that was the first impression Selene got when she saw the building.
It is a desolated building in a dim alley away from the main street.
As promised, Selene would treat Kamui to a meal, but Selene, who has no chance to eat out, didn’t know of the restaurants in the Imperial capital. Deciding to leave the shop to Kamui as it can’t be helped, she came here following Kamui’s back, but she can’t believe at all that the building in front of her, that hasn’t anything that seems to be a signboard, is a restaurant.
To begin with, by even coming here, she already had a terribly bad feeling.
The inquisitive gazes of the people standing in the back streets. Some of them had even looks that she absolutely couldn’t consider to be those of children.
Notwithstanding, she endured and followed Kamui, and this was the result. As expected, even Selene had hit the limit of her patience.
“Hey, where are you taking me!?” (Selene)
“Where, you ask. We have decided on a restaurant, right?” (Kamui)
“This is a restaurant?” (Selene)
“Don’t be so suspicious when you haven’t even entered it yet. This is a splendid restaurant. I think it’s more or less delicious.” (Kamui)
“… Really?” (Selene)
Kamui hasn’t an atmosphere of telling a lie. But then again, given that Kamui is able to lie with a straight face, it will be a mistake to trust him only because of the atmosphere.
“What are you so suspicious of?” (Kamui)
“You aren’t trying to bring me to a strange place are you?” (Selene)
“… What an excessively self-conscious person. For me the meal is more important than you.” (Kamui)
“What was that!?” (Selene)
“Don’t get angry over each and every little thing. I’m going to enter since I don’t want to waste time.” (Kamui)
“… Will it really be alright?” (Selene)
Selene is also a noble’s daughter. Being overwhelmed by the questionable atmosphere in the surroundings, she has become quite timid.
“I have told you it will be alright, right? It’s a lot more dangerous to be lingering around in this place.” (Kamui)
“If you say that, what do you mean with that?” (Selene)
“I will explain it after we enter. Anyway, I’m going to enter the restaurant.” (Kamui)
Don’t follow me, if you don’t want to. Vividly showing such sentiment in his expression, Kamui opened the door of the building and went inside. And yet, the feeling of bewilderment doesn’t leave Selene.
As she was worrying in front of the door about what she should do, Kamui suddenly turned up.
“Won’t it be truly dangerous if you are standing around in such place?” (Kamui)
“Don’t bring me to such a place then.” (Selene)
“Come in, it will be great. You will understand that your worries are unnecessary once you check the interior.” (Kamui)
Being told so by Kamui, Selene timidly peeks inside through the door’s opening. Certainly, inside there are several tables lined up and several customers are taking their meals. Somehow I’m worried that the quality of the customers is questionable, but this place seems to be a restaurant without any doubt.
Opening the door widely, her feet step inside. At that moment the looks of the surroundings gathered on Selene.
“I’m tired of it already.” (Selene)
“Don’t mind it. They will soon loose their interest in you.” (Kamui)
“It’s not like they are particularly looking at your appearance. … Let’s go over there.” (Kamui)
Saying that, Kamui headed towards a table, that was apart from the other customers.
Although I still feel the gazes, I can’t stand idling around here either, Selene followed after Kamui.
After a bit time passed once they sat down, there’s again a scary man, whom you wouldn’t associate with being a shop assistant, bringing some water.
“Isn’t it rare for you to be accompanied by a girl?”
“Ah, she’s my friend and an acquaintance of Alto and Lutz. I plan to introduce her to Dierk this time.” (Kamui)
“I see. Then I will remember her face as well.”
When the shop assistant said that, the looks of the surrounding customers were lifted from Selene.
“Yea, it would save me trouble if you could do that. Once in a while it’s fine, right? Also, you are memorizing the face of such cute girl. It won’t be only grim faces then.” (Kamui)
“For certain. What will you do about the ordering?”
“Two times the usual. Drinks as well.” (Kamui)
Once the shop assistant left their seats, Selene opened her mouth.
“Say, what’s this about?” (Selene)
“Although chief is currently working as something like the restaurant’s old man, he was a splendid boss back in the old days. He has completely retired from that side, but there are many people who are indebted to him. Even now, he is fairly respected.” (Kamui)
“Boss… that doesn’t seem to be a overly decent occupation, does it?” (Selene)
Because he had managed the underworld, he is quite on top of things even among those in indecent occupations. However, Kamui has no plans to give Selene the details about that.
“Well, it’s because this is such a location.” (Kamui)
“Why have you expressly brought me to such a place?” (Selene)
“If it’s here, nothing of the things we talk about will leak to others. That’s the kind of place it is. The gazes vanished, right?” (Kamui)
As Kamui says, the unpleasant atmosphere, I felt until just now, is completely gone.
“At the time you entered, they were wary about an unknown face appearing. However, the surroundings understood that you are a trustable person once chief said that he would remember your face. That means that the other customers can also talk with a peace of mind.” (Kamui)
“Why did you come to this shop?” (Selene)
“We originate from being orphans. Although it was a short time, I was there for several years with the other guys. Accordingly, I have acquaintances.” (Kamui)
“How is the orphanage connected to this place?” (Selene)
Selene shouldn’t understand something like the circumstances of an orphan.
“The places where an orphan can work are limited. There are many of my seniors around here.” (Kamui)
“… I see.” (Selene)
“I have told you in the beginning. The other customers are also the same in that they don’t want their talks to be leaked. Absolutely don’t mention the information you heard here to anyone else. Got that?” (Kamui)
The face of Kamui, who says this, has a seriousness which Selene hadn’t seen so far. Just how dangerous is it to break the rules of the underworld? In order for Selene to understand that, Kamui is deliberately showing a stern expression.
“… I got it.” (Selene)
“The real talk follows after the food comes. Let’s have a relaxed chat until then.” (Kamui)
“Even if you say chat. … Which reminds me, you called me a cute girl just now.” (Selene)
“It’s flattery. If I say it in such way, chief will be happy as well, right?” (Kamui)
“Umm, it might be so.” (Selene)
Be a bit nicer to me too. As she believed it to be futile to say this, Selene stopped talking.
“However, in the time it took for you to come here, you gathered quite the attention didn’t you? Be careful, okay? I don’t think that there are many fellows, who would do something fishy, among the people who were at chief’s restaurant, but they might persistently approach you to seriously scout you.” (Kamui)
“Scout? What’s that?” (Selene)
Selene doesn’t know the word scout. It’s a word unrelated to nobles.
“Solicitation? They come to arbitrarily invite you to work for them by all means.” (Kamui)
“Hee I wonder, what kind of work is it?” (Selene)
It feels good to be acknowledged by people. The one who thought that was Selene.
“As a prostitute.” (Kamui)
Kamui’s brief comment was dismissed.
“What? This area is different from the slums, there’s only legal, high-class brothels here, no? As far as I heard, popular women seem to earn a vast income. I was told that they are leading a far better life than unskilled, poor nobles.” (Kamui)
“Do you have the disposition to recommend the job of a prostitute to your friends?” (Selene)
Different from Kamui, Selene has prejudices against prostitutes. Rather than prejudices, it’s repulsion. It’s obvious.
“We are friends?” (Kamui)
“I don’t know!” (Selene)
“It’s a joke. Didn’t your mood change somewhat? I think you gave me a more composed impression though.” (Kamui)
In the first place, it’s only something recent that I reached the point of talking with Selene. Until then I felt that there’s some distance, although we are in the same group. We are of equal status in this regard though.
“Even I’m still 12 years old. It ish appropriate for my age.” (Selene)
“What’s up with that ish? Then you are completely a child, right?” (Kamui)
“Isn’t that fine? Even I have times when I want to be spoiled once in a while.” (Selene)
“And the partner of that am I?” (Kamui)
“… Oh well. I made a little mistake with my spoiling partner.” (Selene)
“I don’t particularly mind though. … Tell me, are you really royalty?” (Kamui)
Suddenly Kamui turned the conversation around. Not just Selene, but even he also noticed that there’s a feeling of having slightly grown accustomed to each other. He doesn’t trust others easily. Kamui has kept in mind that she isn’t related to his past bullying.
“That’s right.” (Selene)
“The name of the former country is?” (Kamui)
“Ericsson Kingdom.” (Selene)
“… I don’t know it. Am I not supposed to know it? We haven’t been taught something like the names of former countries.” (Kamui)
The remote areas are, to the bitter end, part of the Empire. Something like what the former names of countries was, isn’t taught at the Imperial Academy.
“Then, don’t ask.” (Selene)
“It’s the topic of our conversation. Is it fine for me to ask one more thing?” (Kamui)
“What is it?” (Selene)
“When was it overthrown by the Empire?” (Kamui)
“You ask about unpleasant matters.” (Selene)
“In the generation of my grandfather. Around 50 years ago.” (Selene)
Even while complaining, Selene answers Kamui’s question. It’s about a story before Selene was born. That doesn’t mean that Selene hasn’t any memories she doesn’t want to remember.
“Even before my mother was born, huh? I can’t know about that.” (Kamui)
“However, if you speak of history, something like 50 years is recent. It’s been a millennium since the Empire invaded a foreign nation for the first time.” (Selene)
“… That’s true. If we talk about something like the founding of the Empire, it’s quite renown, but that means that the Empire was completed by destroying other nations.” (Kamui)
“That’s how it is.” (Selene)
Over 90% of the Empire’s realm is originally from other countries. The current Empire’s glory comes from crushing many countries.
“Is your grandfather still alive?” (Kamui)
“He died. At the time of the destruction. It has resulted in him exchanging his own life to save father’s group.” (Selene)
“A somehow questionable way of saying it.” (Kamui)
In Selene’s way of talking it can’t be heard at all that she is praising her grandfather for doing that.
“Even if ojiji-sama didn’t offer his life, there apparently wasn’t anything like a massacre. He likely didn’t want to watch his own country’s state after being absorbed into the Empire, according to what otou-sama says.” (Selene) (T/N: ojiji-sama is quite hard to translate … jiji is usually old man or if meant derogatory old geezer, by adding the o and -sama it becomes formal but, old man-sama… that sounds stupid and doesn’t represent her split feelings about him.)
“… I hope he was a good king?” (Kamui)
“I wonder? However, the elder people are looking at the past in nostalgia.” (Selene)
It’s an occurrence from 50 years ago. There are still many survivors. In this aspect, certainly as Selene says, it’s still not history, but an event in everyone’s memory.
“Then, does it mean that it was a better country than now? Well, that’s only natural.” (Kamui)
“Guess so.” (Selene)
Selene doesn’t know how it was in reality. However, with a feeling of wanting to believe it to be so, she returned Kamui’s question with positive words.
“… How old are you?” (Kamui)
“What are you asking? We are at the same age, right?” (Selene)
“But, your father is more than 50 years old, no?” (Kamui)
He survived the period of the country’s ruin. Naturally he will be more than 50 years old.
“That’s right. He has already turned 60 years old.” (Selene)
“Well, good going, your father. Doesn’t that mean that he made a child while close to 50 years in age?” (Kamui)
If one crosses 50 years, they are of old age. It’s an age where it wouldn’t be strange for them to die any time. It isn’t improper for Kamui to admire that either.
“Hey! Don’t say such weird stuff.” (Selene)
“But I’m right, am I not?” (Kamui)
“The marriage was late. He had around the same age as me when the country perished. However, it looks like he wasn’t readily allowed to marry.” (Selene)
“A dispute of interests. If he produces a princess, his household would be able to seize real power. “Every last of them was nagging me about their daughter”, it seems.” (Selene)
The remote regions, which are destroyed countries, can impose various conditions on the feudal lord. Accordingly there are many cases where the home’s influence of the wife, which is a imperial noble, becomes big.
“I see… So what happened in the end?” (Kamui)
“He begged to the Emperor in tears. “Since I will incur the enmity of another house no matter whom I marry, do something about it please.”” (Selene)
“Hee, he is quite smart. So, he took the partner the Emperor chose for him?” (Kamui)
“Yea, it was quite the bet. Even the Emperor can’t select a single noble household just like that, can he? Eventually, it was decided that he would marry with someone who has no relation to Imperial nobles.” (Selene)
“He was successful.” (Kamui)
Actually it’s probably luck. Instead of paying reparations to the nobles, he might have even been able to decide the marriage.
“Up to that point, yea. Although you might say that he prevented for his country to be freely used by a specific noble, that’s all there is to it after all. It doesn’t change the fact that he is staying an imperial person.” (Selene)
The remote territories get a government official sent in by the Empire. Although it’s something like a surveillance role, it doesn’t end with only that, and they meddle in the territory’s politics in various ways as well. In many cases it’s for their own interests.
“However, he was able to protect the lineage of a direct descent. From my point of view, it doesn’t really matter, but as royalty it’s a fairly important matter, right?” (Kamui)
“Guess so. But, thanks to that, I’m…” (Selene)
“Is there something?” (Kamui)
“It was decided that I will succeed the country’s hope. It’s about reviving the Ericsson royal family someday.” (Selene)
“You are the heir?” (Kamui)
“Can you call it heir, I wonder? It’s correct that I’m an only daughter, though.” (Selene)
“… The Empire won’t ignore that, will they?” (Kamui)
Selene is also burdened with quite a bit. He intended to change the topic in order to get some distance, but conversely it resulted in triggering sympathy towards Selene in Kamui’s mind.
“Oh well. It will probably be decided for me to marry a noble son from somewhere. A partner, I don’t even know who they are. Well, if it’s nobility and royalty, that’s normal, but after all, you know. Besides, everyone from our nation won’t approve of such a thing. It’s quite complicated. Sometimes it seems that I’m getting crushed by the weight of my responsibilities.” (Selene)
“Sorry. It became a strange conversation, I guess?” (Kamui)
“It’s fine. It’s something that’s better for me to voice out as much as possible. Once I return to my country, I won’t be able to express something like complaints.” (Selene)
“… I see. So you wanted to get spoiled?” (Kamui)
“I told you that I made a mistake in choosing my partner, didn’t I?” (Selene)
“I don’t particularly mind, I told you.” (Kamui)
The shortening of the distance between us is the same for Selene, too. It was the first time in Selene’s life that she had Kamui, someone from the same generation, to whom she could freely complain.
A somehow indescribable atmosphere formed between those two ―― At that time,
“Sorry for interrupting.”
Selene raised a woman-like shriek due to the sudden voice. The owner of the voice is the chief, who brought the food.
“Oh, sorry. Did I surprise you? You had a good mood going, so I wondered what I should do. But, considering that the food would get cold if I waited, I called out to you.”
His brusque attitude from the beginning has completely changed. He addresses Selene in a friendly manner.
“It’s not a good mood, right?” (Kamui)
“No, as soon as someone looked at you, there’s no doubt that they would see you as lovers.”
“… That’s not possible.”
“Is that so? In that regards, haven’t you called this jou-chan with you?” (T/N: the you used here is omae, which is a “vulgar” you without honorifics. It’s commonly used between friends. You can use it to address a stranger too, but then it turns derogatory aka rude.)
“Eh? Huh?” (Kamui)
“You didn’t notice? Since ojou-chan hasn’t said anything, I believed that your relationship is definitely like that, though.”
“That’s not so!” (Selene)
Selene also denies it in a fluster to resolve the chief’s misunderstanding.
“Really? The previous appearance of having a difficult talk about jou-chan‘s situation could be seen as appropriate for your age, too. That’s not something your show to everyone, is it?”
The face of chief, who displays a meaningful smile, doesn’t change him having a scary face, but one can sense a child-like innocence in his eyes.
“… Chief, say, do you think it’s amusing to confuse us like that?” (Kamui)
“Well, there’s that.”
The child-like innocence was the innocence of an old man playing a prank.
“As expected.” (Kamui)
“However, if I don’t do it like this, you won’t turn your awareness towards girls, right, Kamui? You won’t survive in society by only knowing the feelings of men. You will become an adult for the first time, once you comprehend the feelings of a woman. No, something like understanding the feelings of women is eternally impossible, isn’t it? Wahahaha.”
Saying something plausible, chief laughs loudly. Selene’s first impression is He has a cheerful character to the degree that I wonder what’s that about.
“Listen, put down the food and go back right away.” (Kamui)
“Oh, right. Let’s have the hindrance disappear.”
In the end chief placed the food on the table with another great laughter and left the table.
There is a somewhat awkward mood between the remaining two. I guess this situation fits nicely with chief’s expectations. Kamui opens his mouth to somehow dispel this mood.
“For the time being, let’s eat?” (Kamui)
“Right. What kind of cooking is this?” (Selene)
“I can see that! I’m asking you about the ingredients!” (Selene)
At least Kamui seems to excel at getting Selene angry.
“I don’t know the details too well. Anyway, it appears that various things have been mixed in and cooked together.” (Kamui)
“… It’s delicious, right?” (Selene)
Kamui’s explanation can’t be called a recipe at all.
“Yes, I can guarantee the taste.” (Kamui)
With a timid feeling Selene scooped the soup with a spoon and brought it to her mouth.
“… It’s delicious.” (Selene)
Words of admiration escaped her mouth.
“Isn’t that right!? The mix of the tastes of various ingredients gives a good feeling. Also, try to eat that meat.” (Kamui)
“I wonder what kind of meat that is?” (Selene)
“Who knows?” (Kamui)
“Just try eating it. It’s very tender because it has been boiled well for a long time.” (Kamui)
As told by Kamui, Selene put the meat into her mouth.
“… It’s true. It’s very tender.” (Selene)
She has a look of feeling quite satisfied.
“There’s no doubt that both of them use cheap ingredients. But it changes into first-rate cooking due to chiefs’ hands.” (Kamui)
“Yea. It’s certainly tasty.” (Selene)
“Isn’t it?” (Kamui)
The awkward mood was completely blown away thanks to the dishes. Once it became like that, they begin to talk about things other than food again.
“… Hey, is your wound already alright?” (Selene)
“How many times are you going to ask that? I have told you that it’s fine, haven’t I?” (Kamui)
“Yea, but… Is it fine to have a deeper conversation now?” (Selene)
Their conversation finally moves on to the main subject.
“Yeah, I don’t mind.” (Kamui)
“You are able to use Holy magic, aren’t you?” (Selene)
Once they breech the main topic, the questions come from Selene.
“Hmm, I guess so. I didn’t know, but there aren’t many people who can use it.” (Kamui)
“You didn’t know? But at that time, didn’t you tell me to keep it a secret?” (Selene)
“I wanted you to conceal that I can use magic itself. There will be various people prying around, if I, who shouldn’t be able to use magic, suddenly is able to do so right?” (Kamui)
“That might be so. Do you mind me prying?” (Selene)
This interests Selene the most. The natural talent in magic is everything. That’s common sense. However, Kamui has diverted from that common sense.
“… Well, it has been already exposed. For me being able to use magic, is because the reason why I couldn’t use magic, simply disappeared.” (Kamui)
“Then, you don’t understand it all.” (Selene)
“I will tell you from now on. One is the problem of attribute. You are aware that there’s aptitude for each attribute in magic.” (Kamui)
“Of course.” (Selene)
“In my case, I have close to no aptitude for fire, water and wind. That’s why I can’t use magic of the four elements. That’s holds true now as well. At the most it’s elementary magic.” (Kamui)
“But you had aptitude for Holy magic. Is that how it is?” (Selene)
“It’s Light magic. I haven’t learned it at the beginning since it has been decided that Light magic is advanced magic. That’s why I didn’t know that I have an aptitude for it.” (Kamui)
As it is referred to as Holy magic, Light magic is regarded as special. Because there is such a reason, Kamui has no intention to talk about it.
“I see. … I wonder if maybe such circumstances aren’t that rare.” (Selene)
“Seems so. My case is far too extreme, but although ability isn’t recognized unless it’s magic of the four elements, I also believe that there has been plenty of people so far who actually had talent in Light magic. Since those many have likely given up on the path of magic, it’s something wasteful.” (Kamui)
“True. The other is?” (Selene)
Due to Kamui trying to finish the talk, Selene urged him to explain the other reason.
“Huh? Did I tell you that there is another reason?” (Kamui)
“One, is what you said. That means that there are probably other reasons as well, no?” (Selene)
“… You are a woman I can’t be careless with.” (Kamui)
Realizing his own verbal slip, Kamui decided to complain to Selene instead of reflecting about it.
“I don’t want to be told that by you. Hurry up and speak.” (Selene)
“Good grief… The other is a deficiency of my body. It’s also similar to a sickness. If you use mana, it decreases. However, once some time passes, the decreased mana will recover, no?” (Kamui)
“That’s obvious.” (Selene)
If that wasn’t the case, one would loose the ability to use magic once they exhausted their mana.
“My body was unable to do that obvious thing. I had almost no mana resilience. Therefore my mana has always been in a state of being empty. Even without my attribute tendency, I wasn’t able to use magic.” (Kamui)
“… Didn’t you collapse often due to that? It’s a situation of always running out of mana, right?” (Selene)
If one uses too much mana, a strong feeling of exhaustion will assault the body and and it will fall into a condition of being unable to stand up. In extreme cases, it can even lead to fainting. Those are the symptoms which will occur if one consumes too much mana.
“I’m not quite certain about that. Hasn’t the bare minimum of mana been left behind since I haven’t used mana?” (Kamui)
“So? You being able to use it means that you cured that.” (Selene)
“That’s how it is.” (Kamui)
“That’s a secret.” (Kamui)
As expected, Kamui has no intention to explain beyond that. His explanation has gone quite far, to the point of even explaining about his body.
“If it concerns crucial information, that’s alright.” (Selene)
“I described things quite detailed. Now it’s your turn.” (Kamui)
“What do you want to know?” (Selene)
“You… no, Selene-san.” (Kamui)
Thanks to the chief, Kamui became conscious of his way of calling her.
“Already you… as expected, you is a bit, you know. Selene is fine.” (Selene)
Selene is bothered by him worrying about it again. She intended to offer a compromise, but…
“Then, Sele.” (Kamui)
“Why are you shortening it?” (Selene)
“It’s because the pronunciation becomes easy. I somehow grasped the circumstances of Sele’s country. Besides, there are also many? Remote territories, which possess a rebellious spirit towards the Empire?” (Kamui)
Ignoring Selene’s complaint, Kamui proceeds ahead with the talks.
“That way of asking, It’s like my country is holding a spirit of rebellion towards the Empire. I will answer with the general opinion. Is that fine?” (Selene)
“That’s plenty.” (Kamui)
“There are many countries, which are possessing discontent that doesn’t go as far as rebellious spirit. It’s fine to say that it’s almost all of them. Do I need to explain the reasons, I wonder?” (Selene)
“The Empire’s exploitation, right?” (Kamui)
“Yes. Almost all remote territories are charged with heavier taxes than the Empire’s central territories. That’s for the sake of weakening their power so that they won’t rise in rebellion, but they are going too far with it. Moreover, the worst is that many of the government officials, who are dispatched by the Empire, increase the already heavy taxes even further to fill their own pockets by taking advantage of their own positions. Let alone a rebellion, not few of the countries are close to bankruptcy.” (Selene)
“Why is that allowed?” (Kamui)
“It’s called connivance. The dispatch to a remote region is by no means something to be proud of. If there aren’t such concessions, no one will feel like going to the remote regions. For us it would be wonderful if they didn’t come, though.” (Selene)
“I see. Is that how it is?” (Kamui)
There are also government officials who do evil in other areas than the remote territories. But, for the remote territories, it’s a far too famous story. Kamui didn’t grasp the reason why they are neglecting that.
“It’s already similar to a system. You go to a remote territory for a few years to fill your pocket. Once you collected a certain amount, you buy an official position in the central government with that money and go back. It has been set up in such way.” (Selene)
“Won’t that become an argument for a rebellion?” (Kamui)
“… If there’s a stimulus, it will happen right away. But in reality it’s not happening.” (Selene)
It’s not something unusual for a remote territory to revolt. Once the uprising is suppressed, the exploitation will begin again. And, then they revolt again. This repeats over and over.
“That’s not it, is it difficult for them to rise all at once?” (Kamui)
“Who will become the core? Each of them are individual kingdoms. There’s no one unifying them. The Empire won’t leave such person alone.” (Selene)
For that sake, the young nobles of the remote territories and their retainers are enrolled in in the academy, and probed for their disposition by the Empire.
“If it’s like that, it will be a cycle of crushing the uprising. Sooner or later the Margrave will be gone.” (Kamui)
“Do you think that there’s a solution?” (Selene)
“Do you think that coming up with an idea is that easy? If I dare to say so, it’s to raise an Imperial family member, who is favourable towards the remote regions. It would be best if that person is able to take the imperial throne.” (Kamui)
“Certainly you don’t want to demand that from the Imperial princess Claudia, do you?” (Selene)
“It would be great if she were able to do it, but that’s probably impossible.” (Kamui)
“The reason is?” (Selene)
“She is too soft-hearted.” (Kamui)
“Isn’t that a good thing? She might be able to show sympathy towards the remote regions, no?” (Selene)
A person, who is easy to handle, is ideal for shouldering it. In such meaning Claudia isn’t a bad choice as person for the job.
“However, there are obstacles on the road to the Imperial throne. Imperial princess Claudia won’t be able to handle those, right? Theresa-san is also not the type to do such things.” (Kamui)
But, the remote territories have no authority to appoint Claudia to the Imperial throne. It’s necessary for Claudia to seize the Imperial throne with her own hands. Kamui doesn’t believe that she’s able to do that.
“You are quite radical. Removing the obstacles, is it?” (Selene)
“You can’t ascend to the Imperial throne if you don’t do that. The weak cannot choose the means to achieve their objectives, right?” (Kamui)
“… Somehow my conscience is.” (Selene)
“That doesn’t particularly mean that you have to do such things, Sele. It’s about what kind of moves I would plan, if it was me. Besides…” (Kamui)
“In my surroundings there is a guy who can dirty his hands without batting an eyelid for my sake. For something like only me staying clean, the bad things are done by him, I guess?” (Kamui)
“Those two, eh?” (Selene)
“It’s not only those two.” (Kamui)
“So, there are other comrades as well. Which reminds me, what’s up with those two? Wasn’t I supposed to give a treat for three people?” (Selene)
Detesting a disturbing subject such as assassination, Selene changed the topic.
“Lutz is recently very popular. He is busy.” (Kamui)
“It looks like he has received warm invitations from the East and West.” (Kamui)
“… Even so, that’s for Kamui’s sake, isn’t it?” (Selene)
With only West and East, Selene understood about whom he was talking. And also Lutz’ objective.
“Did I tell you that it’s fine for you to address me without honorifics?” (Kamui)
“Isn’t it fine? It’s unfair that only I have to attach something like -kun.” (Selene)
“Then I shall allow it.” (Kamui)
“How cocky. So because of that he suddenly showed his true strength.” (Selene)
For Lutz to suddenly show his true ability was to attract the interest of Hildegard and Diefried. Selene comprehended the reason at last.
“At last we reached this point in the conversation. From the start, this should be what you wanted to hear, shouldn’t it?” (Kamui)
“That’s right, but in Kamui’s case, there appeared one thing after the other you wanted to know and that’s not all.” (Selene)
“I can’t deny that.” (Kamui)
“Are you aware of it yourself?” (Selene)
“Well, yeah.” (Kamui)
Kamui has many things that he must hide. Kamui also knows that there are things, which will partially stick out, if there’s a third party.
“Can’t you tell me, even if I ask what you are trying to do, Kamui?” (Selene)
“There’s nothing I’m particularly unable to speak of.” (Kamui)
“Is that so?” (Selene)
“Protecting my friends. Creating a home. That’s the gist of it. However, I don’t know what is best to be done in order to achieve those. For starters, I will become strong. For now it’s around that.” (Kamui)
“Then I’m the same.” (Selene)
“Well, I guess so…” (Kamui)
Our intends might be the same, but the methods are different. There’s no necessity to deliberately tell that to Selene though. This is also a secret.
“What kind of person was your mother, Kamui?” (Selene)
Being quite sensitive to Kamui’s uneasy reaction, Selene switched the topic. However, as result of that…
“She was a wonderful person.”
Being once again called from the back, Selene raises a voice of surprise.
“Oh? Did I surprise you again?”
“… You are doing it on purpose, aren’t you?” (Kamui)
While smiling wryly, Kamui complains to the chief.
“You also didn’t tell her although you noticed that I’m here, right?”
“Is that how it is?” (Selene)
Selene is glaring at Kamui with blaming eyes.
“It’s not like he hid himself. I simply realized that he brought the drinks. To begin with, your side’s at fault for not noticing a presence standing behind you.” (Kamui)
“Even if you say something like that…” (Selene)
“You are lacking training.” (Kamui)
“Shut up. … Master, have you known Kamui’s mother?” (Selene) (T/N: formal speech)
The meaning of the words the chief murmured. Recalling those, Selene asked.
“It’s fine to not call me something like master. Please call me chief. Also, such stiff way of talking is unnecessary too.”
“Yes. Then, chief.” (Selene)
“I’m well aware about Kamui’s mother. She was a very beautiful person.”
“After all she’s the person referred to as the Second Coming of the Saint of Light.” (Selene)
Kamui’s mother, Sofia Hohenfried, is a celebrity in the Empire. If one investigates a bit, they will get hold of her information right away.
“She wasn’t the Second Coming of the Saint of Light or such.”
“She was a saint herself. Not only from her outward appearance. Above that her inner heart made her a beautiful person.”
High praise. Those words fit chief’s evaluation of Kamui’s mother perfectly.
“Were you that close to her?” (Selene)
“It’s a story I told several times. Sofia-sama came relatively often to this area.”
“… To this area?” (Selene)
Selene can’t connect the Second Coming of the Saint of Light with this dangerous back alley.
“Is it strange? Well, I guess it is. Something like a saint visiting such dubious place many times over, it’s only natural to consider that doubtful.”
“What did she do after coming here? Charitable work or such?” (Selene)
It often happens that a wife of a noble performs charity for the poor. Good will or publicity stunt, there are various motives behind it, though.
“Well, she didn’t do anything. Without doing something like charity, she only came here and talked with us. And for us that lady was a saint.”
“What do you mean? I somehow don’t understand.” (Selene)
“Hmm. Then let me ask you. Jou-chan, if you see a prostitute in front of you, how will you deal with her? It’s a woman, who has embraced countless men day after day to get money.”
“That is…” (Selene)
Selene was aware of her own prejudices. It’s something that can’t be helped, but once she is asked about meeting face-to-face like that, a feeling of shame gushes forth.
“If there are brats in front of you, who are making a living by pilfering and pickpocketing, how will you receive them?”
For Selene, the life of the rough inhabitants of the slums is difficult to accept. The things the chief is mentioning are crimes. While that may be true, she had scruples to say that honestly.
As result, she can’t return anything but silence towards chief’s question.
“Those were ill-natured questions. Most of the people are good and have sympathy or mercy. If they are cruel, they will probably look at them with eyes filled with contempt. That’s normal. But, that lady was different. Without showing such emotions at all, she treated us with an attitude no different from normal people. For us, who are always looked at with prejudiced eyes, that was something very pleasant.”
“Is that something to be this happy about?” (Selene)
For Selene, who wasn’t exposed to prejudiced eyes, it was very hard to understand.
“Sympathy is a prejudice as well. That’s because you don’t regard the other party as equal. It would be good, if jou-chan remembered this.”
“There was only one emotion that lady revealed. Anger.”
“Anger at the world. Anger at herself for being unable to do anything about it… If that lady was alive and kicking, the world might have become a slight better place. Is this grumbling…?”
Chief talks with his eyes looking into the far distance. His last words were in a small voice, close to murmuring.
“Hmm. I ended up becoming sad, once I remembered. Let’s finish this conversation with that.”
While trying to conceal his eyes, which became blurred with tears, chief put the drinks on the table and left.
For chief, Kamui’s mother was such a big existence? Chief’s behaviours is indicating this.
“… Did you know the story just now?” (Selene)
“Yeah, I heard it before. It was a big thing when the child me was recognised by chief as my mother’s child.” (Kamui)
“So, unexpectedly you are burdened with heavy things as well, Kamui.” (Selene)
In the same way as I’m carrying the expectations of everyone in my country, Kamui might be the hope of many people as well. Selene believed that.
“That’s my fate, is what I’m thinking.” (Kamui)
“Fate, huh…?” (Selene)
The weight of the fate, Kamui spoke of, the Selene of this time couldn’t grasp it.