༺ Hunting Evaluation Interlude (1) ༻
“So, when will you start dating the top seat?”
Inside the ship back to the academy, Lisetta and I sat across from each other, with a table between us. We were the only two in the room.
By the way, Ian and Kaya were resting in their respective cabins, each serving as their own private hospital room.
Just like in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, the Truth Investigation Committee had hastily assembled on the ship.
If there was any indication that the situation had yet to end, it was necessary to respond as quickly as possible.
Afterward, accommodations were given to the people involved in the incident to allow them to rest their minds and bodies as much as possible.
Lisetta and I were interrogated first.
Ian and Kaya would be called in after they were awake and well-rested. By then, we would have already arrived at the academy.
They would call us in again if there were any discrepancies between my statement and Lisetta’s.
However, there shouldn’t be any discrepancies. We had already prepared our statements in advance, and she matched my words well.
As for how we aligned our stories.
- I stumbled upon Lisetta and followed her to the central region, where I could earn a lot of evaluation points.
This was the truth. At this point, my location was being tracked by the bracelet, so I couldn’t afford to lie.
- After seeing Lisetta enter the volcanic cave, I followed her shortly after. However, I ended up running into her and then an earthquake occurred.
This was where the bullshit began. After the exam bracelet had lost its location-tracking function from the underground giant’s mana neutralization ability.
- The earthquake had collapsed and blocked the way back, so Lisetta and I started looking for another way out. That was when I fell into a sinkhole.
- She jumped in to save me, but since we couldn’t go back the way we came, we were forced to explore the insides of the giant demon’s body to find another exit.
- We came across the unconscious Ian and Kaya on the way, and had our familiars carry them along.
- Suddenly, the Black Monster appeared. Acting as if it was a Deus Ex Machina, it slaughtered all the demons.
- We made a skillful getaway.
The Truth Investigation Committee’s official list of members included the student council president, Alice Carroll. Hence, it would be better to avoid having our statements investigated after arriving at the academy.
By the way, Lisetta, you bastard, you’re talking nonsense.
She was slouching in her chair. Exhausted, she seemed to be spouting off whatever came to mind.
“It’s not what you think.”
“Oh, were you already dating? You’re doing great, asshole.”
Luce was currently traveling on a different ship.
When I ran away from the dock, Luce showed signs of summoning Galia, so I immediately made a U-turn. I didn’t expect her to summon an 8-star familiar just to chase me.
I made a stupid excuse like, “I thought I left the exam bracelet somewhere else, but it was on my wrist, haha.”
Then she awkwardly giggled and said, “Of course it is.” When I read her psychology, she thought I was trying to make her laugh by cracking a joke.
As if I would do something like that, you idiot.
Afterwards, I explained that I had to go on a separate ship to cooperate with the investigation of the incident.
Although this was before the professor had instructed me to do so, I wasn’t wrong according to the scenario.
Luce shot me a suspicious glare.
Thankfully, Professor Fernando’s voice called out from the bracelet just in time, calling for Lisetta.
─Can I not follow you?
─From what I was told, no.
After a final exchange of words, Luce walked away with a wistful expression.
‘I didn’t think you’d do that to a friend.’
I liked Luce, but her tendency to cause an Extra Bad Ending was terrifying.
I thought I would be fine as long as she didn’t find out I was Greung… That was a mistake.
Sooner or later, I would have to firmly lecture her as if teaching a child. I would tell her, ‘Luce, no matter how worried you are, it’s wrong to physically restrict a person’s freedom.’
In response, Luce would likely refuse with logic, but I had a card up my sleeve called throwing a tantrum based on strong moral principles. With it, I could somehow break through her logic.
Soon, the door opened, and a female healer came in.
“You two said you would be Kaya Astrea’s guardians, right? You may come in now.”
After she spoke, Lisetta and I stood up and started moving.
While it wasn’t a large one, an entire room was being used as Kaya’s private hospital room.
The healers must have examined her condition and found nothing wrong with her body.
As a result, they must have felt the need to prioritize the stability of her mind rather than her body.
Preferably, the guardian would be someone close to the victim so that they could put her heart at ease.
In the corner of the room was a female healer, reading a book while waiting.
Kaya was silently sleeping under the bed’s covers, dressed in light-brown robes that the female healers had changed her into.
By the way, the loot had been taken in advance while we were returning to the dock from the volcanic cave. It was a by-product in the form of earrings on Kaya’s earlobe.
Elements: Wind, Ice, Plant, Blood
Psychology: [ ]
‘Ravenous or not, you’re still the same as ever.’
I visited Kaya for three reasons.
First, to match statements with her.
Kaya would regain consciousness before the ship arrived at the academy.
This was my only chance to talk with her, as the Truth Investigation Committee would immediately call for her.
With the healer in the corner of the room, it would be difficult to communicate verbally.
After Lisetta and I were rescued by the proctors, we were then escorted to the dock in a carriage.
I wrote my message down on a piece of parchment I had purchased from an unmanned shop, planning to pass it to Kaya.
Second, I’m worried about Kaya.
I had a fondness for Kaya. I couldn’t help but worry about her.
I sat in the guardian’s seat next to her bed.
“You’re not going to that light element guy from earlier?”
“He has Amy and Mateo, so he’ll be fine.”
That was why I decided I could be Kaya’s guardian.
As expected, the two of them volunteered to be Ian’s guardians by asking the professor.
They were currently having a conversation with him in his hospital room after he regained consciousness. I knew from using [Clairvoyance] earlier.
By the way, I didn’t have to match statements with Ian. He had fainted and was out cold the entire time.
“Ugh, I don’t care whether either of them drops dead or not. I’ll just go rest. I’m tired.”
Lisetta left the hospital room.
Before she closed the door, she snuck a glance at Kaya.
There seemed to be a sense of camaraderie as members of the same class.
‘I’ll have to give her a little hint that Kaya’s okay later.’
Silence fell after Lisetta closed the door.
I quietly looked at Kaya. Her long straight hair, different from her usual twin tails, suited her quite well.
I stroked her pale cheek with my fingers. It felt soft to the touch. She was adorable, like a puppy.
She was a girl who liked me as a man. Although there were twists and turns, it was fortunate that things ended safely.
From now on, I would have to face the dual personalities of Kaya. No matter which personality, the fact remained that it was Kaya herself.
…Just as I was thinking that.
Suddenly, she nibbled my finger. It happened faster than I could react.
I felt a soft and moist sensation. Startled, I reflexively pulled my hand away.
Kaya opened her eyes and looked at me.
It was… very bewildering.
Flushed red cheeks. A flirtatious smile.
Eyes that were clearly different from her usual emerald green. Rather, they were a distinct and unfamiliar crimson hue.
“Sir Isaac, why were you caressing my face like that? Did you want to touch me that badly~?”
There was a hint of slyness in her cute voice.
I already knew that Dark Kaya’s personality was overflowing with confidence to the point where she actively made moves on the player.
It was a total mismatch from her usual shyness when seeing me, which left me speechless.
Kaya’s eyes drifted to the hand that had been stroking her cheek.
“You can touch me more if you’d like…”
She bore an expression full of longing. So damn cute…
At the corner of the room, the healer who had been sneakily glancing in our direction cleared her throat, deliberately trying to be heard. Kaya’s behavior seemed to be making things awkward.
Keep it together first. Calm down.
“How are you feeling?”
I calmly asked. Then, Kaya jerked her body upright.
“I’m fine. My body is just a little stiff.”
She moaned and stretched.
Then, Kaya intently stared at me. Her red eyes, glistening vividly with the color of blood, held a radiance that was far different from my own. It was mysterious, to say the least.
“What? Do you have something to say?”
I asked because it felt awkward to silently make eye contact.
An unexpected question came out of her mouth.
“Can I kiss you?”
The healer, who had been drinking juice in the corner of the room for quite some time, spat it out and coughed.
Her reaction echoed my own.
Unconsciously, I let polite speech slip out.
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