|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 4,176 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1851 words|
「Uncle. I want this guy to play the prince charming.」
「Hoou hou!! Then, l leave it to you, Ian, to play Prince Malik!」
Count Weissmall easily approved Yua’s proposal.
「EEeehh?! Can you even do that so lightly?! I’m still a novice at acting, and we have the seniors around too!」
「That’s what the lead actress wants, after all. What, it’ll be fine. The play we’re having this time around won’t be possible without Inglis and Yua, and they’re both students of the Knight Academy. They don’t have much experience performing either, you see. And so, there won’t be any problem with you joining in. Are you okay with it, Inglis?」
「Yes, I don’t mind.」
To begin with, Inglis wanted Yua to choose the cast by herself, after all. No problem.
「B-, but still!」
「Ian. I am also interested in your qualities as a performer. With experience, I’m sure you will be a star. Yua thinks the same too, that’s why she chose you! Isn’t that right, Yua?」
「? I don’t get it, I just like his face.」
Well, you wouldn’t get any good answer if you asked Yua about the qualities of an actor and the like.
「……Which means you have the beauty to strive for it! Take this challenge with confidence, Ian!」
「Just give it a try, what could go wrong anyway? I don’t know why you’re here joining a traveling troupe, but…the more things you can do, the better. In fact, being needed is even better.」
Lahti, who had been watching from the side, clapped Ian’s back.
「Pri……Ah, I mean, Lahti! I- I understand. I’ll give it a try!」
「It’s settled then! Let’s get started with the rehearsal! First, we’re going to read the script together!」
After Count Weissmall declared so, the rehearsal fully began.
And then, after the practice for the day was over…
「So, anyway. What the hell are you doing here to begin with, Ian?」
Lahti asked Ian.
「Ah, Ian is me and Pullum’s friend from our hometown, y’see.」
He explained to Inglis and the others.
「Then, from Alucard in the north?」
Lahti and Pullum were foreign students that came from Alucard, a neighboring kingdom to the north. When he said that Ian was a friend from their hometown, that meant he was also from there.
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「Yeah. Unlike us, this guy’s a noble with good manners, so, why a troupe?」
「Don’t lump me in with you, Lahti. I’m a good-mannered lady too, okay?」
Pullum interjected from the side.
「Shut up, we’re not discussing that now. Don’t cut in.」
「Hey, I’ve gone through a lot of etiquette classes. Who do you think I did all those for?」
「H-, hell if I care! I’m talking with Ian right now!」
「Fufufu. Lahti and Pullum are close as always, huh?」
「J-, just drop it already! So, what happened?」
「Actually.. I no longer have a place to go back to……」
Ian looked down, his voice was trembling.
「EH?! Wh-, what do you mean?!」
「What happened, Ian……?!」
Colors drained from Lahti and Pullum’s face.
「Magic Stone Beasts! A huge Magic Stone Beast ravaged my family’s mansion, my territory, my family, even the townspeople, everything was destroyed! Not only that, but it also caused a lot of damage to the Royal Capital. Although, fortunately, the Royal Family are all safe……」
「Wha?! I-, I mean, it’s true that there’s an increase in the number of Magic Stone Beasts, but still!」
「To-, to think such a powerful Magic Stone Beast to appear!」
「……Glis, could it be!」
「Yeah. I guess it’s a Prisma?」
The country Lahti and Pullum came from, the neighboring kingdom to the north, Alucard, was a snowy country. While it was a harsh place to live, it had the advantage of having relatively little frequency of Prism Flow.
Of course, the threat of Magic Stone Beasts wasn’t completely absent, but as the damage was comparatively small, there was no Hyrule Menace there. As a result, their dependence on the Highland was low, and the Highland themselves didn’t seem to be actively interfering with the country either, perhaps because they didn’t find the barren, cold land to be very attractive.
The amplest country in the area was evidently the Charalia Kingdom, this country where Inglis and Rafinha were. It was understandable why the two major factions of the Highland had been focusing on this country, racing to gain influence over it.
「Was that the legendary Prisma or not, I couldn’t tell. However, I remember seeing it shining in seven different colors!」
「Tsk……Alucard doesn’t get a Hyrule Menace. If something like that showed up, there’s no one that could put up a fight!」
「But……But, I’m glad that Ian is okay! Really, at the very least……」
Pullum was drowning in tears, grasping Ian’s hand tightly.
「Yeah. We’re glad you’re okay, Ian.」
「Thank you, Lahti, Pullum! After that, when I was at a loss, it was Count Weissmall who picked me up. I always liked work of arts in the first place, and being exposed to the activities of the troupe is a good distraction.」
「S-, sorry, I……Even though such a thing happened, I didn’t know anything about it, and even said a lot of irresponsible things…」
「No, please don’t worry about it. Having met you and given support by you, Lahti, has made me feel more positive.」
Seeing them, Rafinha bit her lips hard. She whispered to Inglis with a volume that couldn’t be heard by Lahti and his friends.
「……I’m frustrated. I couldn’t be any help at all!」
「……You’re so kind, Rani. But, we couldn’t do anything, okay?」
It had already happened. Not only that, it happened in a faraway country, a place they couldn’t even see. Even at this moment, there should be someone, somewhere, who lost their lives to a Magic Stone Beast. This was what it meant to live on the Midland, the land which Prism Flow fell.
Rafinha’s heart was admirable, as she was able to express her frustration over the affairs of a distant, foreign country. She was noble, compassionate, and strong. She was willing to take other’s pain as her own, even when it wasn’t necessary.
It was easy to dismiss those qualities of hers as childish innocence, but, in the end, those who retained such innocence alive were the ones who would move the hearts of many and change the world. Inglis knew this from her own experience.
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So, from a parent’s perspective, Inglis wanted to continue watching over her like this, but she feared that, one day, Rafinha would say something like, “We’ll stop the Prism Flow so that everyone in this world can live in peace!”
Inglis, personally, found that Prism Flow was extremely convenient, as it produced strong enemies for her on its own, so it would be troubling if it was completely gone. Of course, she would help if that was what Rafinha wished, but would it be possible to leave just enough for Inglis’ own use? Although, Inglis had no idea if such flexibility was even possible or not.
Yua scooted over then patted Ian on the head.
「E-, erm? Miss Yua? What are you…!」
「Consoling. Not working?」
「Senior Yua, Ian’s not a child!!」
Said Lahti, dumbfounded.
「Then, I know it’s early, but will you cheer up if we kissed?」
「EEeehh?! Wh-, what are you saying, Miss Yua?! That’s shameful!」
Ian’s face turned red. He seemed to be quite the innocent person. It might not much of a consolation, but at least Yua managed to divert his mind.
「But, we’re going to kiss anyway? There’s a kissing scene at the end of the play.」
「Eeehh?! Ah! Th-, there really is! M-, me, doing this?!」
As he turned up to the last segment, Ian’s voice rose. The group hadn’t gotten to that part in the rehearsal, so Ian probably didn’t see it coming.
「Right? That’s why, now, with me.」
Inglis hastily stopped Yua.
「That’s just for the play, not now!」
The reason for that was if the kiss satisfied Yua now, there was a real risk that she wouldn’t put her serious effort later during the fight, or even abstain from the very fight itself. If so, everything that Inglis set up until now would turn moot. She had to stop this, by all means.
「For the time being, let’s not play with Ian so much. This guy’s hurt pretty bad, you know.」
Hearing that from Lahti, Yua pat Inglis’ shoulder with a plop.
「Eeh?! You’re blaming me?」
「Yup. I mean, I’m being serious here.」
「No, I am being serious too, senior!」
「Both of you! Anyway, please. I’m begging you here. This guy’s a precious friend of mine.」
「You don’t need to be so mad, Lahti.」
Ian showed an unusual smile.
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「I have to find a new way of life and move on, too……Otherwise, my family and close friends wouldn’t be able to have rest. Everyone here all looks cheerful and happy. If I could spend some more time with all of you, I’m sure I will find what I seek. Please, don’t mind me too much, and I look forward to working with you.」
「Nice to meet you too! Being cheerful is my strength, you see!」
Rafinha stepped forward and smiled at Ian. Her expression was saying that she wanted to help Ian to move forward. So long she didn’t bother Ian, Inglis didn’t see a reason to stop her.
「I’m just a supporting character who dances behind Glis, but if Glis ever does anything reckless and causes trouble, just tell her on me, okay? I’ll scold her straight.」
「O-, okay……U-, understood. Thank you very much.」
Yua who oversaw the exchange turned to Inglis then pointed at Rafinha.
「N-, no! I am the one who watches over Rani.」
「Is that so? Doesn’t look like it though?」
「That’s just your imagination. As Rani’s future Squire, I will be watching over her everything, from the way she lives her everyday life to the way she behaves on the battlefield.」
Whilst Inglis was saying so, Ian replied to Rafinha for her remark.
「However, for such a beautiful and well-mannered Miss Inglis to act recklessly…she doesn’t seem like the person to do that, you know.」
「「「「Nope, she does.」」」」
Everyone present all spoke in the same breath.
「E-, eeh?! Does she really?」
It’s true that I like to do the things I enjoy in the ways I want to do it. Still, I can’t recall ever being reckless, though?
「You weren’t here before so you missed it……Well, you’ll know soon enough. Anyway, if you’re fine with the role, then you have my support.」
「Yes. Thank you, Lahti.」
Ian gave Lahti a sweet smile.