|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3079 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1459 words|
After the last notes of the sudden concert, the wagon returned to silence. The feelings poured into the song were so straightforward that it was almost embarrassing if one paid too much attention to it. But when the song was over, no one raised their voices, all their eyes were just focused on a single blind girl.
A few words trickled from her mouth, so faint that their meaning remained unknown. Her plump and peachy lips were still trembling while trying to convey her words.
「Rihanna. I love you. That’s why I want to be with you.」
He had repeated those words countless times during his song, but Emilio said them again, stressing every word as if to carve them onto her heart.
「I want… to be together… I want to stay with you!」
Her voice quivered, unsure for a brief moment, but then she shouted, throwing away her anger, her anguish, and her powerlessness.
An instant later, Emilio was hugging Rihanna. As he pulled her closer, the distance between their lips decreased, as if they were pulled towards each other, until they touched.
A moment later, the wagon was filled with applause and cheering which came so naturally, it almost seemed like it had been arranged beforehand.
Hearing all that, Rihanna grasped the situation she was in and hung her head down as she blushed a bright red. Emilio took hold of her hand, grasping firmly but still gentle, and loudly replied with 「Thank you!」
『In half an hour, the train will arrive at Rock Field station. Make sure to take all of your belongings when disembarking.』
A common sense of unity filled the wagon as that monotone broadcast rang. It served as a signal for everyone to return to their seats while sending a few words to the couple’s way. Some congratulated them, others seemed slightly envious, but in general, they all had a good time.
「Well, you worked hard.」
「But Masterrrrrr~ I still want to sing more for Master!」
Since she had already served her purpose, Mira attempted to send Leticia away, but she wriggled her legs while protesting.
「Ah, there’s a lot of people around here, so next time.」
「Ughh~ I’ll make sure you keep your word.」
Saying that with a pout, light enveloped Leticia’s body as she disappeared back to her place, together with the cries of a group mostly composed of men. Emilio who had his hands full dealing with Rihanna until then was freed a little as he vehemently questioned Mira.
「By the way, that person just now was a diva, right? Does that mean you’re a summoner?」
Sound Spirits were entities akin to deities amongst troubadours. She was reminded of that fact when she saw how Emilio was looking at her with a meek and timid expression, awaiting her answer. That also felt like a good opportunity for her.
She leaned her body against the window, resting one elbow on the sill with her chin atop her hand. At the same time, she spread her legs open, placing her free hand on her thigh. Narrowing her eyes which gave her a composed air around her, the most imposing posture she knew was complete.
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「That’s correct. You certainly witnessed an example of my summoning skills right now. Quite breathtaking, was it not?!」
「Divas are high ranked spirits, so if you were able to summon one… You’re really amazing!」
Emilio praised Mira as the top notch performance of the spirit still echoed in his ears. Mira relaxed her body more, her limbs spreading further apart, pleased in the effect she had produced. This was one step forward towards the revival of summoners.
「You mean that other tune that was combined with your lute earlier? It was really beautiful, though I like your lute better.」
「Rihanna… Thank you. I also like you better.」
Their hands were still intertwined. Emilio looked at her as she turned her head as well, her unseeing eyes returning the gaze. There appeared to be something like a barrier firmly cast around the two.
Mira did not intrude in their domain of love, instead maintaining her pose as she idly sipped on some sweet berry ale, her pride only slightly hurt.
(I swear, youngsters these days. They just kissed and now they want to go at it again?! This is outrageous, truly outrageous!)
There was a part of her that wanted to congratulate them as well, but she continued to watch the two absorbed in their own world half out of jealousy.
Eventually the couple came out from their own little world. Afterwards, they told stories of their travels, tasty food they had, or what inns were not well-known but really good to stay at.
At around that time…
「Excuse me, we’re checking all of the passengers’ tickets.」
Saying that, six officers entered the wagon and began checking the tickets of every passenger one after another. Every station would place a seal on the tickets when boarding which would then be collected when disembarking. If one were to stay on the train until the next stop, they instead would either get another ticket sealed or pay for a new one.
The officers were already used to doing that, so they moved swiftly until one of them arrived at the row with Mira and the rest.
「Can we check your tickets please?」
The officer said with a smile on his face. Emilio went first, showing him his and Rihanna’s tickets and said 「We’ll disembark here」, the officer thanked him and looked over at Mira.
「I’ll continue here.」
Mira mimicked what the other passengers were doing and handed him the sealed ticket as well as a new one.
「Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy your trip.」
The officer said that as he put a seal on the new ticket and returned it to Mira, then proceeded to the next row of passengers.
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「Mira, where are you going?」
「To a station called Silver Side if I recall correctly.」
Emilio casually asked her in an attempt to resume their conversation. Mira had been examining the new seal that was shaped differently from that of the earlier station, then replied as she put it in her waist pouch.
「You two will be disembarking here, yes? Then that means this is our farewell.」
「Yes, that’s true. Somehow it feels more lonely than usual.」
Emilio had already spoken with dozens, perhaps hundreds of people. He had grown attached to many of them as well, but was always aware that they would eventually say goodbye. But this time, he was uneasy, filled with a larger sense of loss unlike before. It was maybe because he had connected with her in a different way or because she had given him a chance to express his feelings, but Mira had left a stronger impression in him.
「If fate wishes it, we will meet again.」
Seeing how Emilio was struggling to cope with the farewell, Mira told him expecting to cheer him up. Hearing her, Rihanna turned her head around for a bit trying to focus it on Mira and nodded accepting her words
「For some reason, I feel like we will meet again.」
She gently relaxed her face, saying that in a tone that made it clear she firmly believed the words she said. Emilio nodded fervently as well, agreeing with her.
「I also think so. I’m sure one day, somewhere.」
He looked at Mira for a moment, carving her figure into his mind while imagining how they would meet again, as his hand slid naturally to his lute and began playing. A slightly melancholic but filled with hope tune rang out.
Shortly after that, the train began decreasing in speed. They had arrived at Rock Field, the station on the border of Alispharius.
「Well then, really thank you very much, Mira. It was thanks to you and the diva’s support that I was able to build up my courage.」
「I’m just glad I was of help. Though, all of that was inside of you already, so make sure to treasure those feelings.」
「Yes, thank you Mira.」
It was a special day for them. Their hearts have finally connected in their way to Rock Field. As they began descending the stairs of the wagon, Emilio had a refreshingly happy expression. Rihanna also looked different from the time when she boarded, as she bowed one last time, she was smiling brightly like a summer day in June, the sun in her face had finally moved on to the next season.
(Her appearance changed quite a bit in the last five hours.)