Chapter 23: Let’s get along
During the night, we loaded the gelato that had been made and chilled into the carriage and headed towards the bustling downtown area of Sloane territory.
“Haru, should I chill it to the usual softness?”
“Yeah, that would be helpful. If it weren’t for Victor, we wouldn’t have been able to open the gelato shop.”
“Don’t worry about me.”
Oh, Victor is still in a bad mood.
I remember my younger brothers going through something similar. When I was entering university, I considered the tuition fees for my two younger brothers and chose a lower-ranked university in a rural area where the tuition and living expenses would be cheaper.
“Why? Didn’t you want to go to that university? Why did you choose that one? Is it because of us? Did you sacrifice for us?”
I’m sure my brothers felt like they were being given undesired charity. But that’s not true. I acted according to my own desires. At that time, I entered the university dormitory without saying anything and ended up living alone as a working adult. . . And now, I’ve come to this world without resolving the misunderstanding.
Regret, like a swallowed stone, lingers in my heart and pricks at me.
“Victor, there’s something I want to talk to you about tonight.”
So, despite the awkward start, once we paid the registration fee at the municipal office and obtained permission, the gelato shop in Sloane territory began to thrive. It became popular.
“Welcome! How about some gelato? Miss over there, would you like to taste it? It’s cold, sweet, and delicious!”
Since I don’t know anyone here anyway, I have no problem calling out loudly to attract customers.
“Today we have milk flavor, apple flavor, and wild strawberry flavor! Sir over there, why not try a taste?”
It seems that taste-testing is not a common practice in this world. Everyone comes over asking, “Can I taste it?” and after taking a bite, most people end up buying. When I offer them the small round chairs we brought on the carriage, they sit down and enjoy their gelato. The people eating become a magnet, attracting more customers.
Double servings and triple servings sell rapidly. Since the sunny spots are warm enough to make you sweat, the cold gelato, which can only be made using magic, is well-received.
“We also have hot tea!”
This was Cyril-san’s advice after he tried the gelato.
“I always crave a hot drink after eating something cold,” he said. So I prepared it. It’s good for rinsing the sweet taste from the mouth after eating gelato. The tea also sells well.
After having dinner with Cyril-san and the others, we returned to our room. Victor had a stiff expression and avoided eye contact.
“So, what did you want to talk about?”
“I want to clear up Victor’s misunderstanding. You see, in my previous world, my younger brothers misunderstood me, and it’s sad that I can’t resolve that misunderstanding. So, in this world, I don’t want to be misunderstood.”
“Are you saying that I’m misunderstanding you?”
“I didn’t tell Victor to do whatever he wants just because I met Cyril-san. It’s because it would be painful for me if you had to restrain yourself for my sake. I wanted you to act as you please.”
Victor remained silent for a while, but finally, he spoke up.
“At first, I wanted to make it up to Haru. I felt sorry for summoning you. At the same time, I also wanted Haru to help this country. Those two feelings still exist within me. And now, being with Haru is enjoyable. It feels like having a family. When my mother passed away, I was only six years old, and since then, I’ve been struggling just to survive.”
“I’ve always thought that I won’t lose to anyone with magic, that I won’t let anyone hold me back. Haru, who worries about my body and sees me as a regular human rather than a wizard, is like a mother figure to me, the first one since my mother.”
“I understand. From now on, you can call me Haru-oneechan.”
When I jokingly blinked my eyes, Victor laughed.
“Stop it! I’m not calling you onee-chan. But, I’m sorry. I got a little upset with Haru for not relying on me. It made me think that you can live without me. Since I was fired from my job at the castle, I’ve been saved by Haru, and yet. . . I was the one being selfish. I’m sorry.”
“Can we get along again starting tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Let’s get along.”
“And can you help me chill the gelato again?”
“Yeah. Rely on me a little.”
After that, Victor, who seemed relieved, slept behind the sheet curtain, and there was no sound of him moving.
As for me. . . Victor’s words of “I want you to save this country” kept swirling in my mind. He still believes that the summoning he did was a success.
Me, saving this country from a major disaster? That’s impossible.
I want to get along with Victor, but if there comes a day when we have to go our separate ways, I think this matter will be the cause.
What kind of major disaster is there in this country?
What should I do?
I suddenly remembered the words of the Prime Minister. He called me without permission and then called me useless and threw me away. The people in the royal castle didn’t stop him. The empty state of the room prepared for me. These people are so selfish, it’s laughable.
I have no intention of risking my life for people like them.
But what about for Sherry-san?
For the inn staff at Aura?
For the old couple at the Swingbird Inn?
Can I live without regret if I abandon them?
Can they even survive a major disaster?
I couldn’t answer that right now. I couldn’t sleep easily, so I quietly called Kuro.
“Kuro, are you here?”
I felt a weight around my stomach as I lay on my side. When I looked, Kuro was there.
“Will a major disaster happen in this country?”
“Do you know about it, Kuro?”
There’s no point in asking a demon cat, huh?
“Can I handle it on my own?”
“Can I handle it if I’m with Victor?”
“I can’t do my best for the people in the castle.”
It’s just a coincidence that the meows sound different, right?
“Kuro, please help me when I’m in trouble, okay?”
“Kuro, aren’t you hungry?”
“I’ll make something for you next time.”
As I held Kuro and gently stroked its smooth fur, I fell asleep.