(…Well, those are naturally his questions, huh?)
As my mind was in order and the man’s questions were to be expected, I nodded once and…
“…I’m… Riviere Emil.”
F-for the time being, I should give my name.
For a moment, I thought of giving another alias, but nonetheless, I’m fine with this name. I have a formal name that my parents gave me with [fixed stroke count] and [an auspicious name], but it is something that I should remember and cherish alone. That was what I decided when I left my birth country. After that, no one else had called me by that name… eh, that person seemed to have investigated it thoroughly, though. For now, this name is okay. I’ve always been using that name for many years already.
The man slowly ruminated it. My name, which was carefully spoken by those well-formed lips, sounded like it was something exaggerated that it was a wonder.
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“Where did you come from? What did you come here for?”
“That, I don’t know… Ah, but I can at least say where I came from.”
I honestly told him the name of the hotel I was staying in along with the name of the city and the country. It was meaningless to tell a lie. First of all, it couldn’t be helped that I also wanted to ask where was this, who was this blonde-haired man, and why was I here (Wild imagination such as me being abducted didn’t even cross my mind. There wasn’t anything restraining me, and if he were really abducting me, he wouldn’t even ask [who are you?] to me in the first place). It would feel so rude of me if I were to return his question with another question, let alone arguing vehemently.
“I don’t know why I came here. I was sound asleep, and when I opened my eyes, here I am.”
“I have never heard of that city name or even that country name. On top of it, you said that you didn’t know what you came here for? Do you expect me to believe that?”
“You have no choice but to believe it. You said so yourself. Are you even able to guess what’s the objective of a woman who’s fast asleep with this kind of unladylike appearance? It doesn’t seem like I have any objective by doing so, right?”
“I’m asking you because I don’t know.”
“I also don’t know even more! I properly wore a robe before I went to sleep!”
“So, it’s not that you prefer to be nude?”
The blonde-haired man said such a thing with his refined face.
“I don’t have that kind of preference!”
“I’m nude when I’m sleeping, though.”
“Who asked you that?!”
I unconsciously raised my voice, and that voice of mine slightly cooled down my own anger.
“…Anyway, it’s rare for a young (I put an emphasis on this point) woman to be sleeping stark-naked on the bed of a man who she didn’t even know, right?”
“It is unlikely, huh?”
“That’s right! It’s not like I lost my memory. I’m also sober enough. …Riviere Emil, my age is twenty… plus three… Occupation…”
‘Well, let’s just leave it for later,’ so I thought. I’m not a spy or assassin, in other words, I’m not a suspicious person nor am I a dangerous character. Since I’ve gone through all the troubles to explain this point, it might be better for me not to mention my relation to the military. For now, explaining to this beauty I first met that I didn’t harbor any ill intention was the most important thing to do.
I smiled, in a slightly awkward way, but I purposely showed my [uneasiness] more or less in my smile. The blonde-haired man before my eyes raised the corner of his lips as if he was seeing something amusing, and his eyes that looked golden-colored were looking at me without any change. I felt that the sharp glint in his eyes turned a little bit soft.
“If this isn’t a dream, then to me, it’s something like getting transferred to a parallel universe. Although I’m sober, I don’t know anything other than myself. I’m aware that this is dubious, but in any case, I’m also very anxious myself.”
…It’s true that I’m anxious. My mind seems to be clear, yet it doesn’t feel to be that clear at the same time. There’s a part of myself that thought, “What a real dream,” but there’s also a part of myself that recognized my current situation, “Putting aside the reason, for the time being, I was transferred to another world somewhere.”
It seemed that my anxiety and my feeling that was akin to trepidation were conveyed, as that man made a serious expression. His beauty jumped up several levels that my eyes felt like it could cease to function despite the situation I was in.
“…It doesn’t seem to be a lie when you said that you were anxious.”
“What about the things other than my anxiety?”
“As for the name, you can take any name you like.”
“As for your age, well that’s quite obvious. More importantly, you said that you were [transferred to a parallel world] just now, didn’t you?”
“I did say that.”
“It isn’t impossible. Or rather, I have no choice but to believe that. Because…”
The man rearranged his posture as if he found his long legs unmanageable.
“This is my bedroom. In this country, or even in this whole continent, or anything else… There’s no place more strictly guarded than this place. On the top floor of the castle, in front of the door, there were palace guards. There were also guards under the windows. They were also installed above the ceiling.”
“Instead of ‘installed’, isn’t it more like ‘they were there’?”
The people were being distributed, right? Like a shinobi, or a nokizaru.
(T/N: Shinobi is a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. Meanwhile, nokizaru literally means “rooftop monkey”, a warrior who could walk on the roof and jump from rooftop to rooftop like a monkey leaping from tree to tree.)
The man didn’t change his expression. My words were ignored.
“…No matter where you came from, it was impossible to come inside. I have never heard where you came from, too. If you couldn’t even explain it yourself, then no one could.”
“Uhm, is there any magic here? A magic that can make you disappear and appear instantly?”
“None, there is no such thing.”
It was denied right away. Although I was a little bit hopeful that there would be magic when it came to a parallel universe.
“In addition, I remembered that those people from the Star-Viewing Tower said something interesting. I don’t know if this has anything to do with it.”
Star-Viewing. Is it astronomy? What a lovely name.
“I don’t quite get it, but it seemed that several stars were forming a straight line together from last night to this evening. Due to the extremely strong gravity, only stars with heat sources were lining up, and stars with strong gravitational force were attracting one another even more strongly, causing the darkness to grow stronger and swallowing even the light. The sparking stars were shining down on one another even more, dazzlingly glistening. Even if it was said to be shining, it was only for several seconds. Last night, there was a celebratory banquet at the castle’s garden, so I also saw that.”
The man paused his words and slightly shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t mind if you laugh at it, that was what the people from the Star-Viewing Tower said. It wasn’t that weird for unusual things to happen.”
“For example, the ‘parallel world transfer’ you said.”
‘I don’t mind if you laugh at it,’ said the man, but his eyes weren’t smiling at all.
In the next chapter, the duke’s name will come out.
Thank you very much for reading.