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It must have been about an hour since we left the city.
Cain-san had told me that there were resting places for the horses at 1-hour carriage intervals.
It was a small resting area made of stone.
It is simple but good enough to keep the rain out.
Where freshwater came out so that the horses could drink water a place.
The tool was using a magic stone.
I got off the horse, untethered the horse from the carriage, before taking the horse to the drinking area.
I tied the reins to the post and let the horse rest.
The weather was fair, not a cloud in the sky.
The wind touches my skin gently.
Even though it was summer, the weather here was quite comfortable.
There was already a stone bench, so I lay down on it.
It was in the shade, so it felt nice and cool.
The surroundings were quiet, and I could hear the birds singing.
But suddenly I felt a little listless.
Until now, my days were always bustling.
The quiet and serenity made me ponder about things.
Mostly about Alicia.
I wondered if there was a better way to say goodbye.
To be honest, I didn’t want to see Alicia looking so sad.
Somewhere in my heart, I felt as if a lump had formed.
I entered a spiral of regret.
If I could start over, I would.
I can’t stop thinking about it.
I think I’m a little tired, so I close my eyes.
Memories of the past flood my mind without stopping.
It seems that I am more seriously troubled than I thought.
Tears flowed unconsciously.
I rub my eyes, thinking that I haven’t cried in a long time.
No, it’s probably because I’ve never thought about it before.
I closed my eyes until I felt calm and the tears stopped from flowing.
“I want to say sorry.”
Those words came out naturally.
It is my sincere and honest words.
I think I’ve hit rock-bottom.
Maybe it’s because I’m feeling so bad, but I am starting to have auditory hallucinations of Alicia.
I think it’s because I’ve been mulling things over in a way I’ve never done before.
I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown on Earth before.
And now all the people I believed in were gone.
I wonder if this happened to me because I’m completely exhausted or because of my regrets.
I opened my eyes and saw a familiar face.
She had medium-length blue hair with a slight wave at the end.
Her eyes were green and seemed to be pulling me in.
Her skin was white as snow, probably because she had been living in her room all her life.
Alicia is in front of me, dressed in a cute, white outfit with a hood with rabbit ears.
“Ah, this is awesome… Am I seeing hallucinations or… maybe this is the end.”
“… Huh?” (Alicia)
Kaoru closed his eyes again after he said those words.
Alicia seeing Kaoru escape from realist began to panic.
And pooling all her courage, Alicia hugged Kaoru who was lying down with all her might.
Kaoru noticed this Alicia was warm and smelled good.
However, Kaoru still believed that this Alicia was still a dream or a hallucination, probably because she was quite light.
Even her actions that took most of her nerves were swept away.
Alicia’s cheeks puffed up and she began to take serious action with a devil may care attitude.
A soft sensation touched my lips.
When I opened my eyes, I saw something, I saw Alicia’s close up as she kissed me.
Alicia making quite the effort but was looking quite flushed.
It was a cute gesture.
But the effect she had on me was unbelievable.
I panicked for a moment, and I finally realized that what was happening in front of me was real.
I hugged her back and stroked her head.
I returned her kiss and tasted her lips.
Why do I want to be a little mean?
I just can’t control this feeling.
“Wai-… Hmm, Kaoru-sa…” (Alicia)
She was surprised and our lips separated.
I also got up, feeling a little disappointed.
Alicia was still bright red while sitting on top of me.
“I have a lot of questions to ask, but first of all, I’m sorry. Let me apologize.”
“No, no … I’m sorry.” (Alicia)
Silence filled the air.
But it was Alicia who broke the silence.
“I’m not sure what to say. However, I also want to travel with Kaoru-sama.” (Alicia)
“No, no. You can’t.”
I can’t think of anything to say back to Alicia because of her desperate expression.
I thought about what I might have said to make her give up.
But Alicia’s next words made it impossible for me to say anything back.
“Kaoru-sama, you promised me before. You will listen to anything I have to say. I will use that promise now.” (Alicia)
“Well… I did say that…”
“So … please.” (Alicia)
Alicia bows deeply when she says this.
With big tears on the corners of her eyes.
Well, I scratch my head as I worry about how to respond.
I think for a little while.
So after thinking over I said to Alicia.
“Well, if Cain-san gave his approval, you can come with me.”
I knew that Cain-san couldn’t accept his daughter from traveling.
That doting parent.
He is a man who would say that his daughter would never hurt him and would not be hurt even if experiences it.
Alicia had a blank look on her face.
“You wouldn’t have followed me here while not telling them right?”
“Well, I won’t ever do that.” (Alicia)
Alicia denies what I said with all her might.
I think she sneaked into the carriage with someone’s help.
I have my eye on Karin.
However, after Alicia gave me something, all my suspicions vanished.
“Kaoru-sama, well… here.” (Alicia)
When she says that, she then gave me a letter.
I suddenly have a very bad feeling for some reason.
Alicia doesn’t seem to know the contents of the letter.
She’s starting to fidget.
I open the letter. And, as I read the letter, I have started sputtering.
I couldn’t help laughing.
Alicia then looks into the letter, not knowing why I was laughing.
“What were you thinking? Cain-san and Sarah-san are both idiotic doting parents.”
The letter said: [T/N: This is written by Cain.]
“Kaoru-sama, please take care of Alicia.
It’s been a week since Kaoru-sama said you were leaving town. For a long time, I couldn’t bear to see Alicia’s sad expression.
My heart was getting torn apart when my daughter, who had never uttered a selfish before, said for the first time that she wanted to go with you.
At first, I was against it.
But when Sarah told me that if I disagreed with her, I would be just like her relatives who disagreed with our marriage, I realized.
It’s times like this that are perfect when parents need to push back.
Please take care of my daughter.
We consulted with Diarra-sama about many things, and she told us that this was the best path to take, so we did it.
It was our selfishness.
Also, Kaoru-sama, you said that you don’t have the strength to protect others, but that is not true.
You are more than strong enough.
You underestimate yourself too much.
I’ve heard this in my talks with Diarra-sama, so I’m hardly worried.
Besides, according to Diarra-sama’s prediction, a very cute grandchild will be born at…….”
“Funya! Why is father writing such things!!?” (Alicia)
“Ahaha, I got a stomachache from laughing too much, I’m about to die. Well, a grandson is too early.”
“Oh, I’ll punish him with omelets…” (Alicia)
Alicia crumples the letter while directing a curse towards Cain-san.
She looks livid.
She gripped hard on the letter before she tore it to pieces.
It was quite entertaining.
I began to wonder how she suddenly sneaked inside the carriage.
I decided to ask because she will be coming along anyway.
“Well you see…” (Alicia)
Alicia fidgeted, forgetting that she was straddling my lap.
I couldn’t be bothered to point this fact out. Plus it’s to stop Alicia from fidgeting again, so I decided to leave her alone until she noticed.
Because she’s also quite light, so there is no problem at all.
She began narrating her journey oblivious to my thoughts.
It seems that they started the plan three days ago.
Similar to what the letter said, Alicia first told Sarah-san her thoughts.
Sarah-san urged her to tell Cain-san her thoughts.
At this point, Sarah-san knew that telling me would be a bad idea.
So she told Cain-san exactly how she felt. Then Cain-san talked it over with Sarah-san, and they made preparations only after she was told it was okay for her to go.
After that, while I was distracted by horse and magic control lessons at Diarra-san’s place. They adjusted the wooden box of the carriage to make Alicia fit in it. In addition to that, they even enchanted it with soundproofing magic so that she would not be detected.
In short, once I left the city, there would be no turning back.
The final piece she needed was my promise.
Alicia was hiding, curled up on top of a box of straw used as horse feed.
She had been told to hide inside until the first rest stop after leaving the city.
When the carriage stopped for a rest, Alicia came out of the box and looked for me.
And we finally reached our present situation.
“Well… if we go together…”
“Your promise.” (Alicia)
When she said that, I put aside all my hesitations and made up my mind.
It would be foolish to argue with her after coming this far.
I also vowed to behave honestly with myself.
Alicia’s presence in my life is huge.
I have felt it.
That’s why I don’t want her to go to places where she could face danger.
Besides, the anxiety and lump in my heart from earlier were gone, and I felt wonderfully at ease.
But when I found Diarra-san working behind my back, I knew I was being played on the palm of her hand.
I felt like I’d been taken for a ride, but I was okay with the outcome.
Because it reaffirmed my feelings for Alicia.
Cain-san left me another letter.
Cain-san said he wants me to give it to his former companion.
According to him, I will understand when we meet.
I do not get it.
“Cain-san and everybody else seems to expect various things from me.”
“No, it’s fine.” (Alicia)
“Hahaha, calm down. I will not make you look sad again… I’m sorry about the other day.”
“It’s me who needs to apologize. I know I’m going to cause trouble for Kaoru-sama…” (Alicia)
“I don’t think you’ll be causing me any trouble. I’d rather appreciate it if you could support me instead.”
“And I’ll do my best.” (Alicia)
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