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Chapter 97: Relationship, Tough World, and Social Interactions

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

Even during dinner later on, Fiiyanamia didn’t tell us about what she was scheming. Moreover, saying that the two of us seem to have something to talk about, she urged us to go back to our room, so we returned without getting a chance to interrogate about it. The room has a better quality interior than the high-class inn and I think Ciel likes this room a lot.

After all, the bed is so soft. The same can be said towards the food, but this is probably just a side effect of our life at Rispelgia’s mansion. Looking at Ciel now, people might think that she’s the type that is easily delighted by trivial things. I’m sure that they’d never understand just how precious those are.

And frankly, I can’t say that I fully understand this myself.

I guess this is exactly what Ciel meant by us just being happy on our own terms.

I have no complaints in regards to the room, it has excellent furniture all around, but Mohsa and Saueluna being here like it’s natural is bothering me a bit. Though, I should probably get used to it as part of being Fiiyanamia’s daughter.

The two are quite good at minimizing their presences but since I constantly have detection on, this doesn’t hold much meaning to me. Ciel doesn’t seem to be bothered by them at all, so I guess it’s fine.

It’s not like we’re actually going to physically converse, so no one’s going to hear us anyways. The two of them might grow bored but I hope they can bear with it.

And now Ciel is currently sitting on the bed, enjoying its bounciness. Next to the bed is a night table and on it is a cup of tea poured by Saueluna. This steaming hot tea was then thoroughly enjoyed by Ciel. In actuality, it is delicious. It’s not too harsh and just a small sip fills you with its scent.

『Ain, Ain. I… there are some things I want to ask about.』
『What is it, Ciel?』

I wanted to talk in regards to Viviana’s family myself but Ciel’s questions are more important, so I’ll put it aside for now.

『Umm, there a few, but what should I start with?』
『How about the one bothering you the most?』
『Then, let’s see… Fii and us are parent and child now, right?』
『That’s right. While our relationship with her is a bit unusual, it shouldn’t be of any problem. Does it bother you?』
『No. Fii being my mother now doesn’t feel real yet to me, but I’m fine with that. After all, Fii is someone I feel okay with.』
『Then what’s bothering you?』

Asking her again, Ciel’s expression turned somewhat anxious. Even so, she’s trying to show a smile, as though to avoid worrying me, which is sweet of her. And then, resolving herself, she started speaking.

『Umm, umm. Say, Ain. Our relationship, what is it?』
『Our relationship… right.』

At first, I wanted to be like a parent. That was because I thought of myself as someone who would guide her and then vanish when no longer needed. Ciel was, in this new life, my everything and my reason to live. And I’m sure that Ciel thinks of me as an important person as well.

Without each other, we can’t stay mentally sound. Our current relationship of mutual reliance is, I guess, what I know as codependency. However, this is probably not the sort of answer Ciel is asking for. It’s more on the lines of interpersonal relationships, like parent-child or siblings. Taking Fiiyanamia into account, I suppose we’d be sisters but, honestly, that doesn’t feel quite right. It feels like an afterthought in that regard.

『Regrettably, I don’t know the proper words to describe our relationship.』
『Oh… I see…』
『However, at the very beginning, I lived with the intention of being a parent to you. But currently, I can’t say that I feel the same anymore. Right now, it feels like something more.』

Not knowing how to describe this emotion, this feeling, this relationship, it’s really frustrating. Because I’m sure that while I’m saying this, Ciel is still feeling anxious. And to begin with, I think the reason why Ciel is asking about this is because we have obtained a clear and objective relationship through Fiiyanamia.

Fiiyanamia is her mother, but what am I to her? She might be a bit mature, but Ciel is still about the age of a middle schooler.

『For me Ciel, you are special, you are the one I cherish the most. However, if this still makes you feel insecure, I will be whatever you want me to be. I will be your parent. Your sister. Your teacher. Your best friend. Your partner. And everything else you want me to be.』

It’s pathetic, but this is all I can muster.

『Fufu, I see, I see. In other words, it’s ‘a special relationship we can’t attach a name to’ right?』
『That’s how I feel, at least. It might not be the answer you wanted to hear though…』
『No, no. It’s fine, really, it’s fine. I was just a bit hung up about it. After all, I wanted to be special to Ain. I wanted Ain to be special to me.』

Hearing Ciel’s excuse-like answer, I felt happy and, at the same time, embarrassed. Still, as long as Ciel is satisfied with my answer, it’s all good.

『Umm, there are other things you wanted to ask about, right?』
『Yes, right, right. If you don’t mind, I want to know about Ain’s previous world.』
『About my world?… It’ll be a long story to tell all at once, so I’ll just keep it short for today.』
『I don’t mind. I’m looking forward to hearing more about it from now on. So, in that case, could you tell me about yourself, Ain?』

While I already expected this, I don’t think it’ll be too interesting of a topic. It’s the short life of a dull man. Still, if Ciel wants to hear it, then I guess it’s fine to tell. My memories continue from my death and I’ve already accepted my past, talking about it doesn’t bother me.

『Before I talk about myself, let’s start with the world I came from.』

To even start talking about myself, well, the context of the world is too different. From Ciel’s perspective, it’s a completely unknown world. Frankly, without any prior knowledge, if I talk about buses and such, I imagine that she wouldn’t understand. Actually, how do I go about the words? Should I just use Japanese?

Now Ciel seems to be a bit pouty, probably because she wanted to hear about me, however it doesn’t sound like it’ll happen now. But please, forgive me for this.

『Umm, the world I came from was completely different from this world. That’s why, even if I talk about myself, there are portions you probably wouldn’t understand without knowing the background.』
『I see now.』
『You see, to put it simply, there is no sorcery, magic items, or even monsters in that world.』
『That kind of place actually exists? How mysterious! Since there aren’t monsters, it sounds like it would be a safe place but isn’t it inconvenient without magic items?』

She was a bit disgruntled but since that caught her interest, I began with a brief explanation of Earth.

『Ain’s world sounds like a tough place to live.』
『Well, you could also say that.』

Ciel’s reaction was a bit different from what I expected. I’ll keep the fact that I’m stumped with how to answer to myself. But yeah, in Ciel’s case, in terms of traveling, in the worst case we can move freely through the sky. My barrier can ward off most dangers, and starting with hair dryers, many electronics can be substituted for with sorcery or magic. And for communication equipment, it’s probably not in her interest.

Also, there’s the issue of common sense. Ciel and I have not had much firsthand experience of what’s common sense in this world. There’s no basis for comparison. That’s why, just based on Ciel’s experiences ——in addition to my existence—— life in Japan sounds more difficult. In reality, both worlds have their own troubles and advantages if you ask me.

Still, since Ciel is calling Japan a tough place to live, on the flipside, that means that she’s comfortable with our current life. I’m glad that I could provide this comfort for her.

『Honestly, I really want to hear about Ain’s life right now, but I’ll hold back for now. So, this is the last thing I want to ask but… how should I interact with people from here on?』
『Now that’s a familiar question.』

The same question back in Estoque, actually not quite. Still, I don’t think there’s a strict right or wrong in interacting with people, so this is a really difficult question. But somehow we managed to gain power, so I think it’s fine for Ciel to do as she likes.

When Ciel is exposed to danger, it’s my duty to protect her. Still, just leaving the decision to Ciel isn’t good either.

『Right. In general, be like a mirror in regards to social interaction.』
『A mirror? What does that mean?』
『If you are shown kindness, you can repay them with kindness. And if faced with malicious intent, you can just repay with that as well.』
『I see now. So with Celia and Carol and the others, I show them kindness, right?』
『That’s right, but you don’t have to think too much about it. If anything happens, I’ll be there to help anyhow.』
『Then, how do I treat people that haven’t done anything to me in particular?』
『In those cases, you can decided based on your impression on them.』

I don’t know if there’s even anyone who can leave a good impression on Ciel at first glance, but that’s a different issue. It’s not like I particularly want Ciel to be a good child. More so a saint that would shower anyone and everyone with kindness.

『That, can I even do it?』
『That’s something that we’ll have to practice on. Either way, we are secured enough that whatever happens, we can pull through. If there comes a time when you can’t stand interacting with other people anymore, just staying in the manor and refusing outside interaction is not a bad option. As long as we help out in the mansion, I think Mother Fii will allow it. At worst, the idea you had some time ago, living hidden in the middle of a forest, might be good too.』
『Are you alright with that, Ain?』
『If it’s with you Ciel, I don’t mind staying anywhere.』
『Fufu, me too. As long as Ain is there, I can live anywhere.』

The only thing I want is nothing else but Ciel’s happiness. If Ciel is happy, then I’m sure that I would be happy. That’s why, as long as Ciel prioritizes herself first in her decisions, I’ll happily agree with it.

『Right, I understand, Ain. Thank you for answering my questions.』
『Don’t mind it, I’ll always have an open ear for whatever you want to ask. And I’ve recalled something to talk with you about too, Ciel.』
『Oh? What is it? What is it?』

Since it sounds like Ciel is done with her questions, I shifted the topic to settle my side of the discussion and Ciel sat up straight, ready to listen.

『Do you still remember the letter of introduction we received from Viviana?』
『Oh right, that did happen. If I’m not wrong, it was so we could get her family’s support, was it?』
『That’s right.』
『In that case, we don’t need it anymore, right?』
『While that might be true, I think we should at least tell Viviana what has happened since we last met.』
『Social interaction, right. In that case, why don’t we go to the Hunter Guild tomorrow? After all, we haven’t even gotten our A-Rank card since we were following Fii.』

Now that she mentioned it, that is true. While I’m impressed about how carefree Fiiyanamia actually is, I’m starting to enjoy my own absentmindedness.

『Then, why don’t we look for Celia first? Celia is a guild personnel, so I think she’ll be the easiest to find.』
『Would it better for you to talk to her when we find them, Ain? Since I have never had any direct interaction with either Carol or Celia, right?』
『Come to think of it, that is true. Still, please be the one to interact with them, Ciel. If needed, I will talk to them as well, but it should be alright to explain our situation to the two of them… And to be honest, maybe they’ve already had a realization of their own. I do remember giving them a hint, after all.』

I actually don’t remember what I said, to be honest. I mean, it’s already been 2 years since. Ciel’s mind is excellent but in that case, I was the one using it and memory storage probably doesn’t happen in the brain but rather the soul or something. That’s why, me being absentminded and forgetful is my own fault.

『Celia and Carol should be okay for me to practice social interaction with, after all. There aren’t any things that I need to keep a secret, right?』
『Not that I can think of.』

And you did manage to talk to the members of the Fools’ Gathering after all. As I was about to say that, Ciel was starting to nod off, so I ended our conversation here and began to sing a lullaby.

Hiya~! Aaaand that was a wholesome chapter. And it seems like we might be meeting some familiar faces in the near future~

First of all, Ciel was once again cute over all. From her slight insecurity, to then her wanting to hear more about Ain’s past, then being pouty because she thought that Ain wasn’t going to tell her about it, and then to curiosity once she heard about a world with no magic. Cute. And then to Ain, being a bit self-aware this chapter. Now, in my opinion, it’s a shared opinion between many readers, me included, that Ain has been… questionable, as a parent figure. She’s doing her best, yes, but that doesn’t mean she’s good at it. And Ciel herself, doesn’t really think of Ain as a parent figure, because she doesn’t know what a parent figure should be like outside of, just maybe, stories she’s read. Her first opinion of Ain was, in fact, a hero that protects and rescues her which then quickly turned into “actually a frail princess trying her best that also needs protecting”. Now, Fii might also be questionable as a parent because of the sense of detachment from her divinity but at least she has the experience and maturity to be a life mentor, hopefully for the both of them this time. Ciel wasn’t the only one that needed an adult in this series, in my opinion. Also, Ain being a bit more aware of her being a bit airheaded is so funny to me, for some reason.

Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


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