“It’s not your fault.”
The rescue room.
I heard Dominique’s words, which I do not know how many times he had said already, with my back leaning on the sofa opposite to him.
Dominique took a shot for me, and the venue was in an uproar immediately thereafter.
People were trying to escape as soon as possible and rushed to the exit, and that led to an even greater chaos.
Thanks to Benedict’s escorts occupying the corner of the hall, we were not involved there.
For the same reason, we were fortunate enough to have been able to provide accurate and quick first aid to Dominique.
I regretted having been overly optimistic in my predictions.
First of all, I roughly estimated the level of culture in the world to be equivalent to England in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
If I think about it, there were older models of it introduced in Japan during Oda Nobunaga’s era. So there is no way there won’t be one in this world.
(TN: Around 1534-1582)
Dominique was shot on his left shoulder, but his life isn’t in danger.
His upper body is naked and his left shoulder bandaged, it seems painful, but he is sitting on the sofa with a nonchalant expression.
I don’t know if the treatment was very well done or that he is just pretending for the sake of his pride.
He probably wouldn’t say it when I can hear it.
Increasingly frustrated, I can only apologize for my lack of attention.
To me who is in such a state―
“It was originally a bullet aimed at Beni. The sniper’s aim was faulty and, Konomi, you just happened to be the one on it’s path. Whomever it hits won’t be your responsibility.”
“…I wasn’t seriously injured, and it’s not like you to look like that… Well then, how about this?”
Dominique suddenly has a sarcastic smile on his face.
“If you’re feeling bad like that, I’d be glad to receive a kiss. How about that?”
“Or what, do you want more?”
“Well, I haven’t quite resolved myself for that…”
“…You, don’t keep being like that, I’m going crazy!”
“That’s a very Dominique Gonneau thing to say!”
Eileen agreed with Dominique who was scratching his head, and she vigorously stood up.
She looked down at me and exhaled powerfully.
“You can’t be feeling down forever, Konomi! Just doing so won’t change the status quo, right!?”
“Geez! You can’t keep saying things like that! Charlotte Oliver!”
“Progress comes with some sacrifice.”
“Well that’s true, Charlotte Oliver!”
“It’s fortunate that this man, who has one or two extra lives was the one that was shot!”
“I think that’s a bit too much, Charlotte Oliver!”
These two have a good tempo.
They are both good at negotiating, but their personality doesn’t seem to be so compatible.
The two start to stare at each other, and I was thinking that they shouldn’t quarrel about such matters right now. However―
Eileen does have a point.
“……Well, that might be right.”
I joined in with a sigh, and the two turned to me.
I shake my head lightly to remove the feeling of exhaustion that remains in my belly.
Which would not recover because of that, but my mood does change a bit.
“Pardon me, I was just a little shocked. But if I keep on feeling down, it won’t do anything.”
“It’s good that you understand that!”
Fufufun, Eileen laughs as she says that.
“Let’s think about our future strategy. First of all, the night party――”
“That’s no longer necessary.”
Eileen tried to raise her forefinger to make a point, but someone else interrupted her talk immediately.
Benedict. I don’t know when he started to listen in on our conversation, but he came into the room with one escort.
When I tried to get up, he raised his hand instead for a greeting.
He continued without giving us any time to ask what he meant.
“The evening party has been cancelled. The officials and guests are informed of this as we speak. There are those that have not been contacted yet but, it should be done soon. ――Konomi”
Benedict is smiling as I look at me. He doesn’t seem to be feeling burdened. Rather, he looks to be very carefree.
“It’s not your fault.”
I simply nodded.
……Dominique, who was watching us said,
“I kept saying the same thing, but you just accepted it like that when Beni said it?”
“Maybe, it’s due to me being virtuous?”
“Don’t make fun of me.”
“That is that!”
It was Eileen who broke into the conversation between the two.
She stopped in front of Benedict and said,
“Your Highness, why are you going to cancel the party!”
“That’s the natural thing to do. The criminal fled amidst the chaos. And after that mess, the fact that somebody fired inside the theater cannot be hidden, and if we tried to continue the party in such a situation, it is inevitable that we would be seen in a bad light. And above all, there must be no further sacrifices.”
It’s not just Benedict’s decision, it’s the consensus of everyone involved.
But Eileen does not pull back. She said in a whisper,
“Then, the promise…?”
What is that?
When I repeated, Eileen looked at me and grabbed my hand.
She has a mysterious look on her face. It doesn’t look like she’s angry, but there is a deep wrinkle between her brows, and her lips are pouting――
However, she firmly grasped my hands.
What’s on her mind?
I can’t even make a guess, and when I stared back at her,
“…I’m going to the toilet!”
She declared so and rushed out of the room. A Young Lady shouldn’t be declaring things like that.
I took a step to follow her, but Benedict stopped me.
He glanced at his escort and said,
“Going alone is dangerous. Follow her.”
As I look at his back as he leaves,
I fell unconscious for half a day after I helped Benedict.
If I followed her and someone attacked, this body I am in can’t afford to help her.
Seriously, this body cannot do anything at all.
――Did Benedict see dark clouds hanging over my head,
He called out to me in a soft voice.
“There is no reason to keep lamenting on this whole thing.”
Benedict should be the one who laments the most in the first place.
With that in mind, I lament on my insecurity, and feel that it’s no good to be down.
So I nod―
I slowly repeated it once again.
――Eileen moved her seat back then.
I look down once and then raise my head as a new realisation dawned on me.
And what entered my eyes is,
The two of them looked at me as if they were waiting for me.
I opened my mouth to respond to their expectation.
I have something to ask them.
“Gonneau-senpai, Your Highness.”
I realised something.
No, it’s not certain just yet.
So I am only halfway sure―
But I couldn’t help wanting to verify it.
“I think, it’s fine to let me know what you have been hiding from us?”
To my question, both of them had a pretty good poker face, but it was Dominique who gave out.
He seems to have applied some force to his injured left shoulder, and frowned as it hurt.
After I saw him like that, he seemed to think for a little bit, and continued,
“Well, she’s the woman I’ve recognized. A half-baked plan like this wouldn’t have work indeed――”
“You can save the extra chat for later.”
I gave an aura that is not in the mood for a joke at all, and Dominique shrinks.
Benedict confronted me in the stead of his unreliable friend.
“Konomi. Listen. You’ve just said that we’re hiding something from you. Why do you think that is the case? And what do you think we’re hiding from you?”
Benedict has a complacent smile on his face.
A well-formed face that does not allow others to read what’s on his mind.
So I replied,
“I’m sorry to not meet your expectations, but I don’t know the full details of the story just yet. The mastermind, the route they used to infiltrate the premise, I don’t know yet. However,”
There is one thing.
Like a small bone stuck in your throat, or a piece of a puzzle that you just can’t fit.
There is a feeling of strangeness that keeps persisting in my belly and would not disappear.
I don’t think I want it gone.
Which is because,
“Your Highness, Senpai. I asked this with all due respect.
The name of the target written on the intimidation letter is not Your Highness―”
I put it as a question.
I did it intentionally.
“But rather Charlotte Oliver, right?”
TN: Hooray!! a new patron 『Sophia Faalogo』 Thank you very much.(｡>﹏<｡)
Thank you very much to my patrons 『Lan Hoang』 and 『Isabell Zultner』