“You’re going to the capital right? Me! I want to go too!!”
After the guests left, those in the parlor room all let out a collective sigh, the room slowly settling into a relaxed mood―――― with a single statement it was brilliantly smashed to pieces by Subaru.
Bursting through the door without notice, carrying a tray with tea on it over to the table. As they stared at him, mouths open, he handed the two main actors each a cup. “Hoi, Hoi”
“Everyone remember to bring some food, and don’t stay up late even if you’re excited to leave.”
TL: Cliché phrases you’d hear from an elementary school teacher before a school trip.
Assuming his fellow travelers were that excited, that is. Receiving a cup, Emilia and Roswaal met each other’s gaze.
“… It appears so.”
Roswaal raising one eyebrow in a self-satisfied manner, his remark piled onto the already worn-out looking Emilia’s expression. Not pleased with only those two being in on something, “what are you two talking about?” Subaru twisted each syllable expressing his displeasure.
“Stop seeing eye to eye with each other, Jealousy! Please mix me in, we can sing a lullaby together”
“In the first place, about going to the capital who even told yo… it was me wasn’t it…”
As if she was embarrassed by her own words, Emilia hid her face with her palms shaking her head back and forth. Facing Subaru again, she started off lecturing with a “listen you know”,
“We’re not going there for fun. We were called out on very important business… really, very important”
“I already know that. King-selection right? I already know that it’s a big event that’ll shake the country. Howeeever, even so please. Please take me.”
Subaru wrung his hands, on the carpet begging on his knees. Emilia had no idea how to respond to this kind of plea, her eyes scanned the room looking for help.
“What’s wrong? A-a, please take no miiind of meee, it is fine if you chooose as your heart wills.”
Declaring his status as a spectator Roswaal looked on with a smiling face,
“This tea’s fragrance… could it be Ram’s treasured…. No, even for him that’s too…. but, for Barusu that’s something he might just….”
It couldn’t be helped, this was the state they were in after realizing what type of tea had just been carried in by a certain someone. Especially so for the last person,
“It’s fine isn’t it, he’s so reared up to go that he made it and brought it up here. One of Subaru-kun’s acquaintances is in the capital too it seems, in the first place we only carried him here because of his injuries. We should bring him along to give him some peace of mind.”
This, if it’s this… it was the most ordinary response you could expect, but from Subaru’s perspective it was the perfect follow-up.
“Yessss, Nice assist. Rem, Rem, Remmm, come here Rem.”
TL: he uses language like he’s calling over a pet dog
Responding to Subaru’s beckoning with a smile she slid over next to where Subaru was sitting on the carpet, acting as if it was completely natural she presented her head, careful not mess up her blue hair he pet her head while showering her in praise.
Seeing Rem’s elated reaction and demeanor Emilia’s interest was piqued, “Aa, that might be kind of nice…” lifting her head a little bit in curiosity,
“Wait, in the first place Subaru if you come with us what are you even going to do? It’s true that this has to do with the King-selection, this isn’t really something that you have any connection with…”
“If going to cry from loneliness over here if you say something like it doesn’t involve me. Emilia-tan becoming a king…. queen. I’m fine if it’s only a minor role, this is a critical moment that I want to be involved in. That’s why I’ll do anything in my capabilities to help.”
“It’s precisely because of that that I’m telling you, you can’t come.”
Scrunching her eyebrows together Emilia responded to Subaru, whose eyes were now filled to the brim with motivation. She was happy that he felt this way, but he had already done so much to help her. On top of saving her life, he had just nearly died a few days ago trying to saving a many number of people. Subaru had no idea how much gratitude she felt towards him. To ask anything further from him would be beyond spoiled.
“If I bring you along I already know you’re going to do something unreasonable again. I don’t want that, understand?”
“Emilia-tan’s the one that doesn’t understand. I hate doing unreasonable, impossible, and reckless things more than anything else, that’s why I’ll never do anything more than what I can handle.”
Sitting on his knees, Subaru crossed his arms and puffed out his chest, suddenly taking on a much bolder attitude. “But,”
“If it’s something within reach, that’s a different story. Especially so when it comes to things related to Emilia. So, please understand.”
“That’s… I don’t know.”
Emilia didn’t know why he was being so stubborn. Emilia wanted to let Subaru rest since he’d been through so many painful and difficult episodes recently. Why is he still pushing his body when he’s not even recovered yet, doing something so unreasonable like this isn’t funny. He always joking around he couldn’t actually be serious about this could he?
Her thoughts sank into a sea of confusion as he looked at her with puppy-dog eyes. The parlor room falling into silence,
“Ooooookay, let’s stop heeeeeere”
Clapping his hands together Roswaal shattered the mood in the room. Looking at the two’s back-and-forth with some emotion,
“Siiiince you can’t seem to an agreement, how about you leave settling this matter to meeeeee. Subaru-kun you’re coming with us to the capital. This is an order as your employer.”
“Yesss! You sure know how to talk, Ros-chi!”
Roswaal ignored the reluctant Emilia’s objections. While Emilia wore her surprise on her face, Subaru energetically responded with a thumbs up.
However, Roswaal seeing their reactions he continued, “Tsk Tsk Tsk” he waved his finger,
“Oooooon the contrary, Subaru-kun coming with us to the capital is oooonly for his medical treatment. And so forth, the king-selection is a completely different matter. Are we at an agreement?”
Hearing Roswaal’s words he tilted his head in skepticism. Not getting his meaning, with his head still crooked he tried to stand― sitting on his legs too long they’d become numb, causing him to fall forward in a magnificent manner. Acting swiftly the nearby Rem stopped his fall, yanking him by his shirt’s collar like a cat by the neck.
“Gueee! …. Nice assist, Rem. But do it a little bit softer next time.”
“Mmu, does this mean we’re done with the petting…”
Disheartened, Rem returned to her spot behind Subaru while he rubbed his aching throat. Turning once more towards Roswaal he questioned his last statement.
“What do you mean by ‘medical treatment’ purposes? I’m just gonna say this, but other than some leftover scars I’m completely fine you know? I’ll admit there are probably a few areas I could use some rehabilitation on though.”
Swinging his arms ‘round in a circle Subaru emphasized his body’s good health. However Emilia and everyone from the mansion knew apart from what claimed, his body was far from healed. On top of witnessing him struggle with just daily life there were a number of other points that popped up, his job, and the morning radio-calisthenics for instance. The fact that they knew the person in question was trying to hide it dug in like a spur, making them pity him even more.
Like this everyone had an unspoken agreement on the subject regarding the poor condition of Subaru’s body. Towards the totally oblivious Subaru, Roswaal shook his head. “Iya Iya”,
“Hiding it is nooo good. Everyone already aware that you still have after-effects. You were beat up to such an extent. Getting bitten by Juggernaut’s fangs, having a curse carved into your body — this has all caused the circulation of mana in your body to become abnormally bad. It’s completely muddled.”
“Even if you say my condition’s bad because of some invisible thing…”
“Subaru. The mana that fills your body is your very life itself. For it to stagnate means the circulation of your life energy is being impeded. I’m begging you, listen to this properly.”
Becoming obstinate after having his poor health seen through, Emilia scolded him for not taking this seriously. Her feeling conveyed, Subaru gave a small apology.
“I know my body’s in a pinch right now. But, how is going to the capital connected with getting treatment?”
“Treatment for your body requires an expert on liquid mana. Subaru-kun, did you perhaps meet with the envoy earlier?”
“The tall cat-eared girl? To be honest I’m not good with those types.”
“That person is regarded in the capital as quite an excellent user of liquid mana.”
Subaru’s face plainly formed into a scowl at Roswaal’s words. Silently, Emilia was also in agreement that she was a tough person to deal with. How that person could see through him and had a personality like she was speaking in riddles was something he couldn’t handle well at all.
Using the pretext of passing along the invitation to the capital, he was forced into a lot of other things that he’d rather not talk about. Most of all,
“Emilia went out of her way to put her in our debt, all for the purpose of creating an opportunity for you to be healed. You should accept Emilia’s goodwill, don’t you think so?”
“Hey, Roswaal! That’s…”
Clearly displeased at Roswaal’s careless, or more-likely premeditated slip-of-the tongue, Emilia drew closer. Brushing off her angry voice Roswaal continued on with a calm face,
“Those two don’t alooong the best. Hooowever, there was still the issue with Subaru-kun’s body. Gallantly she plead, and soooomehow or another was able to draw out an agreement for your treatment. Such a loveable person right?”
“R O―S― W A―AL!”
Having these hidden circumstances exposed, she emphasized every syllable through gritted teeth. Her silver hair swaying with anger, the blood rising to her face in anger and embarrassment. Losing herself in rage mana gathered furiously around her, thinking she’d smash it right into his blue-haired head.
“Emilia-tan, is that really true?”
Disrupting the mood. Subaru interjected, trying to ascertain whether this was true or not. Emilia looked at him with a sorry expression.
“Because… it’s my fault your body can’t recover. And the reason you came to this mansion in the first place was because you tried to protect me, and with the majuu forest incident too, if I had acted then none of this would have happened to you. That is… this is a bit of repayment for all that you’ve done, it’s proper compensation for what happened to you.”
“Emilia-tan, your way of talking is too stiff. It feels like you’re trying to run a business or something.”
Subaru threw in a retort at Emilia’s quick-talking self-excuse. “Anyways!” Emilia said strongly.
“You try really hard, that’s why you deserve something back for it. Otherwise, how would I be able to meet you on equal ground? Every morning, whenever I look at you I feel this weird sense of guilt, if you think about it that way then this is for my sake too.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen this pattern, you were thinking about me every morning!?”
“I wasn’t! I’m still thankful though!”
This was already getting out of hand. No matter what she did, she was bad at expressing her personal thoughts to others. Subaru was probably surprised too. Nervously, she looked at his face. Sure enough a bitter smile was floating to his face.
However, crossing his arms.
“Haha, so you were in favor of me going to the capital all along. Why didn’t you just say so in the first place?”
“Because when you think you’ve gotten everything you wanted like this, you get so full of yourself. I know you’re like a naughty brat.”
“Naughty brat… that’s not a phrase you hear much nowadays”
Subaru murmured softly, Emilia sticking her tongue out in kind. Subaru was entranced by it, even if it was done as a form of retaliation. With that exchange, any enmity there might have been was now in the past.
“Well then, let’s wrap up this conversation shaaaaaall we? Subaru will accompany us to the capital. Tomorrow we attend to the various preparations needed, depart the morning after. Is thiiis fine?”
Everyone in the room consented to Roswaal’s closing words. And like this, the plans for the trip to the capital were settled.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Planning for Subaru to accompany them to the capital, departure was decided as the day after tomorrow. Even though they had such a hurried schedule, the servants still had to go about performing the daily chores around the manor. Of course that included Subaru too, who as a servant-apprentice still in rehabilitation was assigned to simple jobs like tidying up the parlor room.
“When it comes down to it, is Ram going to be the one left to take care of the mansion?”
While straightening out his shirt Subaru addressed Ram behind him. Ram gave a nod as if it were annoying. Under the pretext of supervising Subaru’s work she was currently doing nothing.
“Yes. We can’t leave the mansion completely vacant. Normally Rem would stay behind, but this time she said she wanted to go, so I allowed it.”
Faced with her younger sister’s request she wavered slightly. I’m starting to get a grasp of Ram as someone who’s sweet to her sister. Even though she’s going to be away from her dear Roswaal, she didn’t seem too phased.
“Somehow, you look kind of happy about it.”
“Happy… that may be so. She always tries her best to fulfill requests given to her by others, I’m just happy that she has something that she wants for herself.”
The one thinking regretfully of Rem’s personality wasn’t just Subaru, her twin sister Ram who was with her since birth was the same. ‘I want to do something about it her personality’ was something Subaru had thought many times about. In that way, Ram and Subaru were of the same mind regarding Rem.
With those thoughts in mind Ram faced Subaru with a sharp look,
“That the catalyst had to be this man of all people… is the only part that bothers me.”
“I’m tired of hearing that, the fact that I’m the one that moved Rem’s heart won’t disappear! Hahaha, be vexed by it!”
With a single incantation a sudden gust encompassed him, pressed by wind Subaru’s body was flung to the bed. Like that the shirt he had just finished straightening out was disheveled with the landing, covered in white cloth he enjoyed the soft sensation of the bed as if he was floating.
“You! Magic is off-limits! You lose with words so you retaliate with magic, your personality is really bad.”
“That wasn’t retaliation. I was only venting the negative emotions that were building up in my stomach at Barusu.”
“That’s called retaliating against someone! An outburst of anger!”
Saying this to the shifty eyed Ram, Subaru quickly got off the bed and started tidying the sheets back up.
Even though my body’s not back to its regular condition, the nimbleness of my fingers was without change. The tidy white sheets were beautiful enough to captivate even me.
“In any case, Rem’s really multi-talented… in addition to being the coachman, handling the belongings, guard-duty, guide…… I don’t even have words to describe it.”
“You’re missing ‘Subaru-kun’ duty, Rem named it that herself recently.”
“I don’t recognize that one by the way.”
Well, I sort have been getting taken care of a lot so I won’t deny that one too strongly. In any case, now is the all-important time for departure for four inhabitants of the Roswaal mansion. There was the main-involved party Emilia and her patron Roswaal. There was Subaru who plucked his ticket by throwing a tantrum. And the one in charge of taking care of these three was the final person, Rem.
Then there were the leftovers, Ram and Beatrice.
“Thinking about this again… those two were an extremely worrying group to be left alone house-sitting. Is this really going to be all right?”
“Relax. Oni won’t die even without food and water for three days.”
“You’re not even planning to cook for yourself?!”
Subaru was floored by the shamelessly pronounced abandonment of all cooking duties.
“Well you aside, what are you planning to do about Bea-ko? I can already imagine her coming out of her room and making a fuss like ‘what is the meaning of this-ukiiii!’ when she sees that dinners not made.”
“I can already imagine her reaction, without a doubt she’d send me flying. If only Beatrice-sama went along with you guys…”
“You’re the caretaker, don’t suddenly expose that doing your job is a pain! At least make her a steamed potato or something! If you switch it up between salt and mayonnaise you’d be able to hold for three days at least. Probably. In the worst case scenario you could just resort to eating the mayonnaise directly.”
Looking as if he actually thought this was a better proposal, Subaru’s abnormal love for mayonnaise was clearly felt. Ram raising no particular objections, made a face like she was actually going to go through with this idea.
Unbeknownst to Beatrice, a tragic meal plan had been decided for her.
Subaru waived his hand, ‘nonono’
“If we’re having these many issues with just food, what are we going to do about the other stuff? Can you really clean the mansion properly?”
“What a foolish question Barusu. Rather than cooking, cleaning is my specialty.”
“Even with your specialty you’re worse than Rem! You really are only an older sister!”
“Oh well. Then, that’s all.”
Even though nothing in particular had been decided, Ram looked at Subaru with a face full of accomplishment. Seeing this troubling attitude, Subaru scratched his face
“So, in the end what are you going to do about work?”
“In exchange for indulging Rem’s wish to go to the capital, I laid out some conditions.”
“Let’s hear ‘em”
“They’re quite simple. Once she returns I’ll have her work for a single day for as much time as she can spare.”
Hearing Ram’s words Subaru was completely at a loss, looking at Ram with suspicious eyes. Ram responded with a shameless expression,
“They’ll all learn, this is what it means to leave the mansion in my care.”
Far beyond his expectations, such a bold abandonment of job duties was new even to Subaru.
This good-for-nothing’s refreshing declaration had forced even the hikikomori-disposed Subaru to resolve himself to help Rem out with this one.