As it was getting late, we decided to report to the guild tomorrow morning and go home for the day.
Hayato says that the guild nearing its closing hours is very crowded, it is filled with parties that are waiting for an evaluation, and many people are drinking, and “it’s not a place I can take Alice to.” Or so he said.
I have known many adventurers in the past three months, and did you know? I’ve become friends with Betty. I’m getting used to the guild, unlike when I did at the beginning, but I wonder if it’s a different story when there’s alcohol involved.
By the way, recently some self-proclaimed noble girl called Brit started to approach Alex, and when Alex pay attention to that Brit girl, Betty getting angry at him.***
My spine was frozen when I heard this familiar story.
As a countermeasure, she never let Alex be alone with that Brit because, at this rate, he may be accused of a crime he didn’t commit. The reason? because he is noble! I told him it was better not to deal with them.
“I’m sure it’s okay if you say so, Alice-sama. Thank goodness ……”
After she said that, she did a fist bump with me and laughed.
There’s nothing you can do against that kind of party crasher.
“I’m not sure if there is any, but if there is any trouble with the nobles, please let me know, and I will try to help you with my best ability.”
“Yes! Thank you! …Oh, to think of it, Hayato the Chameleon has chosen you! I didn’t think most women would be able to line up next to him, but I didn’t think Al…..”
I quickly covered Betty’s mouth.
Yup. It’s obvious, probably everyone already knows, but let it be for now.
There is a difference between letting a rumor remain a rumor and admitting it yourself.
Betty blinked and nodded. “..Alice will really become Hayato’s fiancée.”
“…… I don’t know which Alice you are referring to, but I’m not his fiancée.”
“You kid’ me? Then why is that tag…”
With that said, Betty points to Hayato’s tag hanging on my chest.
It’s a good idea to have an exact meaning of what you’re talking about, but I don’t know if it’s really a good idea to read that deeply into it.
In the commoner sense, they should have a broader view of the relationship between men and women, unlike in noble society. You may interpret this tag exchange as our proof of engagement, but I’m not comfortable with it.
The reason is… I don’t want to admit this; still, I’m aware that I have a broken engagement history.
I glanced at Hayato, who talked to an acquaintance at a distance, and was relieved that he did not hear us.
Betty didn’t mean anything bad; I know it was not her intention to press answer this way.
“I’m keeping this as part of my self-defense.”
“Yeah, right. … I’m not sure I can agree with you there… sometimes I work as an escort, but I would never give my tag to an escort target. I would consider it for Alex, though.”
“About Alex, have you ever thought about quitting your relationship?”
“…After all that we’ve been through? No. Tough, I’ve been thinking about it lately, I’m not happy about where we at, especially when I see Hayato and Alice together.
Aaaaah, love… I wonder if another Hayato-sama can be found nearby? But I think I’m too afraid to go for it.”
We couldn’t help but laugh at each other, complaining and laughing about the existence of unfaithful men, and then we said, “Well, I’ll see you later,” and we split up.
And so it goes.
Finally, my rank will be determined tomorrow. I’m excited.
After dinner and shower, I spent a little time drinking tea with Hayato, after which there was nothing to do but sleep.
On the table where the tea was served, single cherry blossoms are hanging in a vase.
Today’s nightgown is black silk, puff-sleeved, one-piece type.
I’d like to wear a camisole-type dress when I grow up. I don’t care about that.***
“What do you think my rank will be?”
“I think it’s going to be pretty high.”
“I’m not so sure ……. Come to think of it, what rank did Hayato start with?”
“A. Lav was C. she later ranked up to A, that magic tool plate decides on its own. It’s a system that cannot accept favoritism or bribery. Alice’s house is really amazing.”
But immediately an A and C?
As I recall, usually, people will fall between F to C rank after the N-rank trial period.
Yes, this awesome sibling, the reason why they were from an orphanage is that the mother who gave birth to the Lav died of a high fever after giving birth and her fever never came down. A few years later, the father, who was a chimney sweep, also became ill and died at a young age.
After that, Hayato learned simple magic from the adults around him and the sisters of the church, and he registered as an adventurer at the age of 13.
This person who suddenly became an A at the age of only 13 is still in the process of growing up, and I’m even wondering how far he will go.
If he had been born in a world of war, I feel like he would have been a hero who would have left his mark on history.
You are indeed an amazing brother and sister.
If their parents had been alive, they would have been so proud…
I’m suddenly feeling a bit heartbroken, so I reach Hayato’s head across the table and stroke it.
This man should be happier.
I have a feeling that your parents at Minerva-sama’s place are saying that. No, I’m sure of it.
“W-What is this Alice, stop it.”
“Can’t I? You’ve been working hard all these times.”
“Not really, it’s normal. Ah… Three months flew very quickly, and I’m sure the remaining nine months will…”
Hayato presses his hand over his mouth with a face like he just said something bad.
What with that ‘remaining nine months’?
I stared at him suspiciously, and he said, “I was going to tell you sooner or later,” he shrugged his shoulders and sat back down.
“…… The duke considers the time until the date of Aklys’s marriage to be Alice’s vacation time”, he said.
Is that why the feeling was so light when I was leaving the house!?
And to treat this vacation is… not wrong. It has certainly been an undeniable enjoyment for me.
“…So, after nine months, I have to leave Hayato, either by joining the church or married to a widower?”
It’s a natural thing to do, but I’ve been consciously trying not to think about it; even if I don’t come back home, I know I can’t keep Hayato close to me forever.
I’ve been taking advantage of the kindness of people around me, and I’ve been escaping from reality.
Hayato just stares at the cherry blossom without uttering a single word.
“……Hayato. …I don’t want to be separated from you. I don’t mind the church, but I don’t want to be second-wife… and I’m afraid at the thought that I can never see you again.”
Almost muttering to myself. My hands were clattering and shaking, but I didn’t know how to stop them.
Hayato’s hand wraps around my tightly clasped hand and caresses it with his fingertips.
“will you… marry me?”
For a moment, I didn’t understand what was being said, and then I looked at Hayato’s face with my eyes wide open.
“If Alice really doesn’t mind living as a commoner, I want Alice to marry me…”
I don’t know why.
I started to cry.
“Don’t cry. Alice.
I love you”
No. my words won’t come out.
I want to tell you that I love you so much, but my throat is trembling, and all I can do is cry.
When this is over, I should ask you to do the same.
I have to ask you to give me the right to make you happy.
TL notes: edited to match ch 067