Ending: First Half
It was a beautiful and pleasant afternoon.
…The perfect weather for making tea outside.
I, Rururia, am here in the East Wing of the Royal Castle with nothing to do.
“…Thank you for the abrupt invitation, Knight Commander. I’m surprised that you came to my house and brought me here.”
The Knight Commander, the other half of this tea party, sat across from me. He was very content with the situation, just sitting there; simply accepting my complaints.
I had reached out to accept his invitation letter, and he just took me by the hand and led me all the way here.
So I couldn’t help but be a little sarcastic about all of this.
…I also felt quite embarrassed.
Ever since we shared that hospital room, I have no idea how to look at me now.
Help me, brother…! But of course, there was no response from my phantom brother.
The Knight Commander took in all my complaints and did not change his jovial expression… Tsk!
“My bad. I had heard from Lady Sara just now that you didn’t have any plans.”
So she’s the culprit…!
What the heck!? She betrayed me.
I remembered my mother and father smiling at me just before I was taken… Just smiling at it all.
Will my brother, who’s current out on business, be okay with this? The butler had said he’d inform him.
But since I’m already here, I have no other choice but to enjoy the fragrant tea in front of me…
“‘Just now’ isn’t really how you should word things when talking to girls. Maybe you should apologize.“
The Heavenly Dragon suddenly gave the Knight Commander advice as he tilted back his wine glass.
…What’s he doing here?
I looked at him inquisitively, and all he did was smile as if he already knew everything there was to know.
It seemed like I won’t get an answer if I don’t ask.
“…So you came again, Heavenly Dragon?”
I ignored the Knight Commander as he nodded, but the Heavenly Dragon was too focused on his wine to answer.
He didn’t seem all that dignified as he drank with high spirits.
The last time I had seen him had been in that space. And after that, he had suddenly popped up at my house.
The other Talbots had been frightened as if they had recognized him. I can still remember their confused gazes, fresh in my memory.
…Since he came by, he should have brought my dragon or Kongoryu-sama with him.
I tried to keep these thoughts quiet in my mind, but the Heavenly Dragon read them and replied in a stunned voice.
“They were supposed to have already explained to you that they’re in a different world and don’t have the power to cross over here.”
…Well, of course, they explained that.
I had been waiting, wondering where they were, when it was explained to me that they didn’t want to appear half-formed.
…They were staying out of this world to protect the Knight Commander and me.
Even with that explanation, I wasn’t convinced.
After that, Solan-kun established a group to study the other dimensions together with Irene-sama, the Chief Magician, and some other famous scholars that I don’t know about. They’re really taken off.
I’ll have to talk to them soon!
So now, this was the second time that I’ve seen the Heavenly Dragon.
It was because I had chosen to come home.
…That was the right choice, wasn’t it?
The Heavenly Dragon gave me a meaningful smile.
…Maybe he doesn’t understand things. Clearly, I should report that to Solan-kun!
I felt happy, and my hand suddenly started moving as if to pet something.
Even though I’m here, I still have this habit of petting my dragon. Was this a sign?
The Knight Commander stuck out his head towards me… Huh?
“If you want to stroke something, you can stroke me.”
“No, no, no! Leave me alone!”
I pushed him away without hesitation.
He seemed dissatisfied. However… Why would I ever be petting the head of a grown man?
As I tried to push his head away, I heard a cold, resounding laugh.
It was the Heavenly Dragon.
Sorry to bother you when you’re clearly enjoying yourself, but could you do something about the Knight Commander that keeps on trying to get me to stroke him?
He looked so pitiful that I couldn’t just tell him a straight answer.
However, the Heavenly Dragon, despite reading my thoughts the whole time, did nothing. Why?
We stared at each other. He smiled as I begged for help when the Knight Commander suddenly came in between us.
“It’s not nice to leave out your friends, Rururia.”
“…Well, I wouldn’t exactly call us friends.”
“I suppose girls don’t like shallow men?“
The moment the Heavenly Dragon said that the Knight Commander snapped his attention towards me.
“Was I being shallow just now!?“
No, no, no! Don’t look at me with such a shocked expression!
Ah… I guess there’s no choice but to deny it.
“…No. Not really.”
My words came out choppy, but the Knight Commander seemed to not care and was relieved.
I wasn’t sure what to think about that reaction, but at least it’s better than if he were to ask me over and over.
…What’s the deal with the Knight Commander anyway?
He’s trying to get his head stroked and he even shoved himself in front of the Heavenly Dragon.
On top of that, right now, he has a somewhat sullen expression.
Speaking of which, this was the same face he made when I was making my choice.
He thought I would choose to stay with the Heavenly Dragon and got jealous because he liked me.
I screamed… I screamed as hard as I could.
Hey! Wait a minute! What was I even thinking about!?
My partner’s that meathead Knight Commander!? The ideal partner to defeat a dragon or something!?
Okay… I’ve calmed down a little.
“Rururia screamed a lot.”
Stop acting as if you knew me better than I do!
Even though I tried to calm down, my heart rebelled against me.
I guess I’ll just have to fight right back!
I also wanted to change the topic, so that’s two birds with one stone!
“…Why aren’t you using honorifics to address me, Knight Commander? You used to.”
He quickly answered my question.
“I just wanted to… That’s it!”
It was a shocking remark, yet he said it very casually. And after, the Knight Commander seemed about to continue talking.
What… What was it? I’m getting a bit full with your…
“Call me by my name.”
I was too shocked to feel anything.
It was too horrifying for me even to say I couldn’t.
…It’s alright, Rururia. It’s just a name.
Same as with Sara-chan, Solan-kun, and Irene-sama. It’ll be the same as how I call them by their names.
If anything, people who don’t use names were more conscious about it, so I should try to say it smoothly.
However! I wish he wouldn’t look at me so expectantly!? Knight Commander!?
Feeling his amazed gaze on me, I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down.
“Uhhh… Uhm… Li… Lionel…sama.”
There, I said it! I said it! I did my best in overcoming my fears! I’m awesome!
Even so, the Knight Commander complained that I shouldn’t say “sama” too.
…What a guy! Even though it already took a lot for me to say his name in the first place!
“I can’t just not use honorifics… Lionel-sama.”
I compromised with him halfway and just used the Knight Commander’s name.
Although it hurt me to go that far, I bluntly rejected his request to use just his name alone.
He smiled, seemingly satisfied with the outcome.
There it was again… What was with that happy face?
My heart was giving out, and I couldn’t move my head either.
…Why was this happening?
“…Why do you smile like that? Why do you want me to use your name so much?”
I spat those words out in confusion, but he simply answered me with a smile.
“I’ve always wanted you to call me by my name… And I’ve always wanted to be the first to come to your aid… I want to be at your side always… Just as I’ve said before.”
As the Knight Commander talked about his feelings, his eyes began to shine until he seemed about to collapse.
“My world is a world with you in it, Rururia. So let me stay close to you.”
I can’t with this…!
I’m already at my limit… Cut it out!
Meanwhile, the Heavenly Dragon felt excluded.
“…These two are able to flirt in front of me, but why are they still so awkward?“
Rururia: My heart! My heart! My heart is…!
Knight Commander: Yes! She finally called me by my name!