Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 21 (Part 1)
I pushed Luca, who was already fully emitting his handsome aura so early in the morning, away. We got ready and left the room together.
The girls’ rooms were on the other side of the living and dining rooms, so we’ve never crossed paths in the hallway.
Come to think of it, no matter which city they went to, they always rented a single house or villa to stay in. The hero’s room was the only one set apart from the heroines’ rooms, probably so that he could invite anyone over at night.
Currently, I was forced to ignore that setting completely and to sleep in Luca’s room. If you thought about it from the game’s perspective, it meant that he’d forcibly chosen me as his default partner without giving me an option to say otherwise before he went to bed. …Would I be able to last another four days?
Despite my worries, I followed Luca into the living room and found breakfast laid out along a large dining table.
“Oh, my. Good morning, Luca-kun, Zagan-kun.”
“Oh, good morning! It’s a lovely morning, isn’t it?”
“Good morning. Um, please have a seat over there.”
“Morning, I was expecting you two to show up a little later.”
“Good morning, everyone. I would have liked to spend a little more time with Zagan, but he kicked me out of bed.”
Luca gave a wry smile and headed for the table. As I was about to follow him to the table, my feet froze. It was the first time I had ever witnessed such a scene.
After setting up the table, Cindy and Bennett took their seats. In front of them, next to Noel, were two more empty chairs. Those was likely meant to be Luca’s and mine…
“O-Oh, Zagan-san? Is something wrong?”
Luca looked back at me quizzically, probably because I had stopped in my tracks. The heroines also started staring at me, so I reflexively grabbed my hood and lowered my head.
“It’s the first time I’ve been seated at such a large table. I was just a little surprised.”
“It’s just that I’ve been alone all this time. It’s no big deal.”
When I was a child, the butler was the one who had prepared my meals during my confinement in the basement. My meals were laid out on a small table, just for me. In the great forest, I didn’t even get to sit at a table. I just cooked the meat and ate the food that my father had provided for me. When I became an adventurer, I sometimes ate in crowded dining halls. However, I had to order first, then I’d just sit alone in a corner, focused on keeping a low profile.
Therefore, I was a little bewildered to find that a seat was reserved for me at a table where several people sat without anyone voicing a word of complaint. That was all.
So, Luca, don’t bother to hug me. And don’t just pat my head!
In addition, when I looked up at him, he met my gaze and then kissed me on the corner of my eye. Did he misunderstand something and think I was crying? Sure, I did hear some sniffling just then, but it wasn’t coming from me.
“Zagan-dono. Please come and sit next to me.”
Noel pulled out the chair next to her. For some reason, she looked like she was about to cry too. Incidentally, Bennett was the one who was currently crying. He was too prone to tears. As long as one had the dark attribute, it was natural for them to live that way. It was not something that others should be sad about.
Luca’s hand was on my back, urging me to sit down in the chair Noel had pulled out for me.
A plate consisting of an omelette, sausages, a fresh vegetable salad, and fruit yoghurt was placed before me. The bread was buttered and toasted to a golden brown; it looked very appetizing. A variety of jams were also arranged on the table. Plus, there was coffee and milk too. It looked like a delicious breakfast.
Finally, Luca, who was sitting next to me, called out.
“Okay, everyone. Let’s eat, shall we?”
“Yes. Enjoy your meal.”
“Thank you for the food~”
I muttered my thanks and started with the salad. It was fresh, and the dressing was quite refreshing and tasty. The omelette was also delicious. It was not often that I had a morning meal like this, and it made me unconsciously smile for a second.
The fact that Luca and Noel caught it was a little embarrassing though.
“…You guys should eat.”
“Fufu, yes. I’ll have some.”
Upon my prompting, they finally began to eat. They chatted with me from time to time, and I replied to them occasionally as I continued eating my breakfast.
By the way, I wished that Bennett, who currently sat diagonally across from me, would do something about his tears whenever he glanced at me.
Cindy, who was sitting directly in front of me, was also looking at me with a soft smile. The feeling of being watched over was so palpable; it almost made me want to shrink into myself.
Camilla did not seem to pay me any mind, but I noticed that Nina was peeking at me every now and then. Maybe it was because she was in my line of sight, if only a little. I probably should have sat at the end of the table, but since Noel had invited me to sit here, I had to endure it for the time being.
Miranda was sitting next to Noel. She probably did not mind eating with me here because I was out of her view.
After breakfast, which took about twenty minutes, Luca asked all of us about our plans for the day.
“Cindy will be at the library until the evening, as usual, right?”
“Yes. I haven’t found anything yet, but Big Sis will do her best. I’m going to take a lunch box with me, and I won’t need lunch today either.”
“Got it. Does anyone else have plans?”
Was this that situation? Was this the equivalent of the morning choice screen in the game? Naturally, there was no option screen in the real world. Unlike the game, where one could just choose, they had to consult with their friends in reality.
As long as I was here, I, too, would be a part of it. So I raised my hand while Luca was hugging me around the waist.
“What is it, Zagan? What’s the matter?”
Why was he peeking at me and asking me with such a sweet voice? What happened to the cool attitude he had just displayed earlier?
I pondered on this a little, before telling him my plans anyway.
“I haven’t finished crafting the tools for the barrier yet, so I’m going to work on them.”
“I see. Zagan will work in the living room then.”
I did not expect him to specify the place. I wasn’t sure if I could concentrate in the living room. Also, you don’t need to go out of your way to kiss me on the head.
“All right! I’m going to train! Luca, please be my partner.”
“Then, will you train with me too?”
“Yes, yes, yes~ I’ll train too!”
“Then I’ll be there to support you all, so you don’t collapse.”
Thus, Luca was to train with four of the girls.
I see. Yeah, that’s right. Since this was the real world, it would be impossible to choose only one person to spend time with. If there were any who wanted to train, they could all do it together.
This was not a game. Luca was not a protagonist being controlled by a player but a human being with autonomy. Although I had known and accepted this for a long time already, seeing such a scene that was so unlike any from the game made me realize it anew.
I ended up working in the living room, so I spread out the tools I would need on the low table there and settled myself down on the cushions.
After completing the magic barrier for the town, I had immediately started working on one for Luca.
Luca’s barrier was a shield. However, it was not an arm-mounted one. It was a shield that would fly around Luca at all times, automatically reacting to the dark attribute to deflect damaging attacks, and protecting him by putting up a barrier that didn’t require him to consciously and constantly control it.
First of all, for the exterior of the magic tool, I used orichalcum, which was both very strong and easily reactive to magical energy. It consisted of twelve discs, each about ten centimetres in diameter. I had already finished preparing them in the dungeon.
For the interior set-up of the discs, I set up a barrier with the dark attribute and a levitation spell, and used a combination of magic stones to connect the spell circuits. It was almost the same process as the first barrier I made, so I did not have to worry too much. In fact, I was able to put it together much more compactly than before, and I still had half as much space left in the interior.
I placed the discs to the side for a while, as I focused on making the central core — the remote control part from last time. However, this time, it was only to activate the magical tool because the barrier was designed to work automatically.
If the magical tool was like a trolley, then the core sort of acted as the rail; the magical tool would fly around Luca, with the core at its center. Therefore, the best place to install it would probably be on his belt. As such, I made it in a form that could be easily worn at any time.
So far, that was the whole process that I had completed in the time it took me to come to the 8th town after conquering the dungeon.
Starting today, I was back to working on the discs and making the dark magic evasion circuits. The main body should be able to deflect attacks while also simultaneously putting up a barrier to protect Luca. However, it was not that difficult if one just thought of it as just adding a reflection trait to the repulsion trait of a magnet. Various features were possible depending on the combination of the magic stones.
It should be finished in a few more days.
I was working quietly for a while, checking my reference book when I suddenly lost my focus.
I looked up and could see the beach from the window. I spotted the place where Luca and the others were training. At that moment, Luca, and Miranda, and Noel and Nina were paired up as they trained together. Nearby, Bennett was practising his magic.
Seeing such a scene made me feel serene. Now that I was able to watch them train from up close, I felt like I was one of them.
…Even though I shouldn’t have been able to make any friends because I had the dark attribute.
“Zagan, what’s wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
Camilla, who was refining something with her alchemy skills on the dining room table, called out to me. Having other people working in the same space as me was such a new experience.
“Hmm, let’s take a break. If the brain is tired, then one needs to have some sugar.”
With that, she got up from her chair and went to the kitchen to prepare something. She brought it out and sat down on the couch behind me.
“It’s jelly. Which do you prefer, mandarin or peach?
“…Give me the mandarin one.”
She handed me a spoon along with the mandarin jelly. I leaned back on the couch and ate it carefully, so as not to spill it on the magical tools.
We ate in silence for a while, and then Camilla grumbled.
“I have no idea what you’re doing at all.”
“I’m processing the magic stones according to their use and then connecting them with magic wires, taking into account their attributes and the quantity of magical energy within them. Then, I’m going to combine them with various ores and monster components so they’ll successfully activate.
“Don’t bother explaining too much; it’ll just make my head hurt.”
“Sorry. Oh, and you don’t have to talk to me about alchemy.”
“Damn, you beat me to it. But I will explain it to you anyway.”
The explanation went in one of my ears and out the other. Meanwhile, Bennett came back to make lunch, so Camilla went to help him, and I concentrated on my work once more until Luca and the others came back.
Hasr: We got smut next chappie~