|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
Immediately as I sat down, piping hot soup was brought to the table.
It’s in a simple but expensive-looking thickish dish and looks hard to eat.
I’m sure that there’s some proper etiquette for this. Ain would probably tell me about it if she were here, or so I think to myself. Ain actually already taught me the bare minimum about etiquette.
Ain said that etiquette and manners are different from country to country so there aren’t any certainties, but it would still be better than eating thoughtlessly. According to Ain, the most important thing is to not upset the other party.
So, don’t eat messily and don’t make too much noise. Just keep those two in mind is what she, though somewhat meekly, said.
That’s why I can do it even while I’m by myself. Rather, I do it on the regular.
Noticing that I can naturally do the things Ain taught me even in unexpected situations, I feel somewhat happy. After all, it reassures me of Ain’s existence.
And as I was eating the soup, I noticed that Fii was staring at me and with a giggle. She then began speaking.
「Now, now, you can continue on eating but would you mind listening to my speculations?」
「Yes, yes. Exactly.」
「Tell me, hurry.」
If I get to know things about Ain, then I wouldn’t really mind if I don’t have any soup.
It’s tastier than I expected, so I do feel somewhat reluctant to stop but it’s trivial compared to Ain.
「Ainsel-chan is likely by the Supreme God’s side. I suppose it might be easier to understand if I say that she’s in the divine realm, the realm where the the gods inhabit?」
「Why do you think so?」
「The place where this mansion stands also serves as a temple where oracles from the gods descend, you see?
In other words, it’s a place that can be easily influenced by the power of the gods.」
「Did an oracle come to Ain?」
I only vaguely understand what an oracle is, but I guess it should be the words of the gods?
But if Ain only had to listen, then I don’t think it would even take up a day.
Or, did Ain herself go to that divine realm place?
「No. Since this is a place the power of gods can influence, Ain was actually called into the divine realm?」
「That’s right, I believe that to be the case. While you might wonder why I believe so, that’s because, as I’ve said earlier, I’m a being that was created and dispatched by the Supreme God…… but that doesn’t really make for a convincing reason, does it?
Ainsel-chan, you see, has a power similar in nature to that of the Supreme God’s. So she was also, in essence, someone sent here by the Supreme God.」
「Ain is not a god.」
I’ve asked Ain several times before but she never answered yes.
That’s why Ain shouldn’t be like Fii.
「Ainsel-chan is also different from us.
We had a role to begin with and, to fit with that very role, we were made in a manner different from mankind.
However, Ainsel-chan is, most likely, simply a mortal soul. And to her, the Supreme God just gave a portion of divine power…… No, she was lent a portion of power but Ainsel-chan instead assimilated that power. Though, it seemed to be unintentional on her part.」
「So Ain is a human?」
「Roughly speaking, she’s a mortal that can manipulate a fragment of divine power, I suppose? Still, as we similarly hold power that originated from the Supreme God, we’re practically family.
Well, well, shall we get back to our main topic? Why I believe that Ainsel-chan went to the divine realm, remember?」
That’s right. What’s important is where Ain is right now and if she’ll ever come back.
I want to hear the other things about Ain too, but now’s not the time for that.
I need to keep my priorities in order.
「Having the Supreme God’s power, Ainsel-chan is simply prone to catch the Supreme God’s attention.
Moreover, she’s likely to be someone sent by the Supreme God. However, Ainsel-chan was not aware that she had divine power to begin with.
The Supreme God likely didn’t give her any explanation when she was sent here.」
「So it’s being explained right now?」
「Yes, yes. At the very least, that’s what I speculate. After all, being a one-way communication line, oracles are unsuitable for explanations.
Ainsel-chan should be accustomed to the power of the divine herself, so calling her to the divine realm might have been more convenient.」
So then god just took her. Muu…… I have my complaints but, if I say it, it might cause trouble for Ain.
Still, even so, it wouldn’t have hurt to be told beforehand.
「You seem to be unsatisfied, was it perhaps hard to understand?」
「No, it’s fine. More importantly, will Ain really come back?」
「Right, right. At best, she might even return as early as tomorrow.
It’ll depend on the contents of her conversation with the Creator God so I can’t say for sure, but it shouldn’t take her too long.」
If I believe Fii’s words, then all I can do is wait.
Still… right. The last time I thought that Ain was gone, I was in tatters.
I had wounds all over and I think my hair changed color back then too.
Her trembling voice couldn’t form a song. That’s because Ain was in pain seeing me so beat up.
Ain probably thought that I got wounded because she wasn’t there.
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And I’m not being conceited, I just understand that Ain cherishes me a lot.
「So I should show Ain that I’m doing well?」
「Yes, that’s right. So finish your soup, alright?」
Fii’s gentle gaze felt really ticklish somehow.
But she’s right, I can’t let Ain see me the way I was yesterday.
If that happened, I’m sure that Ain would blame herself.
Still, I’m also sure that if Ain suddenly disappeared again, I’ll likely fall into a similar state.
As I thought, I’m no good without Ain.
Having faith and just waiting… is hard.
This time I was just lucky that Fii was with me, so I can manage somehow.
I then suddenly remembered something.
「Come to think of it, the barrier is still here. Isn’t Ain in the divine realm?」
「I said it that way to make it easier to explain but, to be exact, Ainsel-chan is in a sleep-like state. She’s in the divine realm as she dreams.」
「Ain can use sorcery while asleep?」
「That seems to be the case. I reckon that there’s no one else who can maintain this level of precision with the use of sorcery while being asleep.
That just shows how much she wants to protect you.」
Hearing that made me feel happy. That’s just how much Ain wanted to protect me. Just how important I am to her.
「Yeah! That’s right! Ain, you see, she’s really amazing!
She always protects me. And she’s really good at singing too.」
「Yes, yes. That’s true. I even wonder how many people can break through this barrier of hers.
Moreover, since she’s using it subconsciously right now, she isn’t holding back at all.
At present, the most safest place in the world might be where you are.」
「I see, amazing! That’s amazing! I knew that Ain is really amazing!」
「Also, your way of eating, was it perhaps Ainsel-chan that instructed you on it?」
「Yup, yup! Ain knows a lot of things, you see? While Ain didn’t know tea etiquette, she taught me about simple manners and etiquette. And a lot of other things too-」
Before I realized it, I started speaking the same way I do with Ain and talked a lot with Fii.
Talking about Ain is really fun.
When Ain got praised, I felt more happy than when I got praises.
However, I remembered something. When Ain disappeared before, I thought that it was because I didn’t do anything for Ain.
Several years have passed since then, but was I able to do something for Ain?
Aren’t I just someone being protected by Ain even until now?
Still, what could Ain want me to do for her?
As I was thinking of this during our afternoon tea, Fii silently lowered the cup touching her lips and stared directly at me.
The way she put her cup down was so pretty.
「Although I did say that Ainsel-chan isn’t waking up because she’s by the Supreme God’s side, the truth is that there’s one other reason for that.」
「Yes. She’s extremely exhausted. Not physically but mentally. Ainsel-chan likely doesn’t feel physical exhaustion to begin with after all.
However, she was overstrung to the point that she fell asleep from a mere moment of relaxation.」
Hearing that, I suddenly realized.
I don’t remember Ain ever getting sleep.
Ain disappeared for a day when I was five but that’s it.
There’s no way that Ain’s not exhausted.
There’s no way that Ain’s not stressed.
If it was me, I wouldn’t even last three days.
But Ain continued on.
For my sake, to protect me.
I was aware that Ain should be mentally exhausted.
In that case, I’ll thank Ain when she comes back.
I’ll have her rest.
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――What should I say to Ain?
―――I don’t know.
What’s the most important thing?
That I do something to help Ain?
I want to do something for Ain.
I want to do things that would be of help to Ain.
But I don’t know how to do it.
I wish I could be of help to Ain.
Still, the most important thing isn’t that I help Ain, but that Ain gets help.
And I’m sure that Fii would know a good way to help Ain.
Being someone that properly acknowledges Ain, I can entrust this to Fii.
Even if it makes me feel somewhat empty.
Even if it makes me feel somewhat frustrated.
Ain needs to feel better first.
「Fii. I have a favor.」
「A favor? What is it?」
「I’ll let you call me Ciel, so could you make Ain feel better?」
「Are you really alright with that?」
「……. It’s okay. I don’t know how I could help Ain feel better after all.」
「I see, I see then. I understand, Ciel.
Still, you shouldn’t feel down about this so much. After all, you’re not quite an adult yet.
No, no. Even an adult would have a difficult time understanding how Ainsel-chan feels. Drawing out her hidden feelings would be difficult even for me.
That’s why it’s alright even if you still can’t do anything about it right now.」
Fii explained so.
I’m still a child. A child being protected by Ain. And Fii said that it’s fine.
Ain would probably say something similar in this situation too.
Still, next time I want to be able to help Ain feel better myself.
While I had a renewed determination, Fii had a somewhat worried look.
「Still, right, this is quite troubling.」
「As I thought, is it really difficult?」
「Drawing out Ainsel-chan’s hidden feelings is something I can manage. With a rather unfair method that is.
However, what’s most troubling is that if we’re seen to be friendly with each other, I’m sure that Ainsel-chan is going to feel jealousy.」
「Jealousy… I don’t really understand it too much.」
「What I mean is that she might get mad.」
「Ain isn’t someone that will get mad because we’re friendly with each other. She just isn’t.
She’s not that narrow-minded.」
「Naturally, she actually might not get jealous instead. After all, she should understand that it’s a good thing.
Still, isn’t not a matter of whether she’s narrow-minded or not.
Ciel, have you ever experienced times when you became envious because Ainsel-chan is getting along with other people?」
「I have. I mean, everyone else can touch Ain after all, but it can’t be helped.」
That time when Ain was in the same bathtub with Viviana, for some reason, I was really envious.
I wanted to touch Ain too.
It took a lot of effort to hold myself back. After all, I knew that there wasn’t any way to do that.
「That’s what jealousy is. You felt that way because you like Ain, yes?」
I see. In that case, it’s much easier to understand.
If Ain would feel the way I did back then if she sees me with Fii, then I somehow feel like that would make me happy.
It felt painful back then but for some reason, I feel this way.
Wanting to see Ain feel like that, I really am a bad girl.
「So what should I do?」
「Be prepared to accept that side of Ainsel-chan, I suppose?」
「Then that’s easy. Really easy, you know?」
While I wouldn’t know what I’d feel if Ain suddenly gets angry, if it’s out of jealousy, then that would be adorable.
Now I’m a bit excited to see what side of Ain I’ll see then.
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Still, more importantly, I really want to see Ain soon.
Ain, if you take too much time, I might get jealous of god, you know?
Hiya~! And this ends our Ciel interlude for now~! This time it’s a full blown exposition on Ciel’s side of things, as well as the part about the (chronologically) future interaction between Ain and Fii.
One thing that is really interesting to me is how Ain and Ciel really mirror each other even with their thoughts and actions. Ain is giving her everything to Ciel and is unreasonably adamant at disappearing for her sake without considering how Ciel would feel about it (Ain is a bit airheaded and dense after all), meanwhile Ciel isn’t forcing herself to do everything in a rush despite wanting to help Ain and really tries to read Ain as much as possible (likely because there’s only a few ways they can interact with each other to begin with). Ain is by no means inconsiderate, on the contrary she’s considerate but not to herself. On the other hand Ciel doesn’t really consider anyone else other than Ain. And so on. Actually, I might have already touched this topic before but maybe I didn’t.
Also, one other thing is that it’s nice to see that Ciel knows how and when to ask for help. Ain is a bit too on guard in that regard and tries to do as much as she can, while also struggling to avoid doing too much to the point where Ciel will be too dependent. Still, the balance is difficult and sometimes Ain comes out as too overprotective, which she is if you consider that she’s far from being satisfied with the strength of her barrier, lol.
But yeah, Ciel POVs are really nice… Next update, back to Ain!
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!