Until now there had not been a human whose emotions were this much in disarray.
Even her father would interact with her like a stranger.
It was the same for those around her; there were some people who used their position and this angered her, but the reason was made clear, so continuing in rage or lingering on the topic wasn’t something that she did.
So she didn’t understand these feelings. She couldn’t understand these feelings that she just kept thinking about asleep or awake.
She would just always think of that boy.
What in the world are these feelings?
After standing up, Youran realized her error. The maid Michiyo was there, and so was her dear friend Leticia. It was unmistakably an error to become distraught in front of them.
While coughing over the incident, Youran slowly sat back down.
「What did the pursuit squadron do?」
「My apologies; it was a simple human error. You may punish our wrongdoing as you see fit.」
The maid Michiyo deeply lowered her head. Of the many maids, Youran had taken a liking to her personality of not making excuses, and there had been numerous events that had made her want to have her by her side.
Normally that would be fine, but for some reason this time she was dissatisfied with what had happened.
Even so, Youran was Youran. Outstretching her muscles tightly, she said magnanimously.
「It is fine, I forgive you. More importantly you must began searching; do whatever is necessary to grasp that boy’s location.」
Michiyo gracefully bowed, retreating out of the room.
「What was that just now?」
「What, what is it?」
「The Natsuno boy, is this what it was about?」
Leticia said, raising a small finger. Having a blond-haired blue-eyed orthodox-schooled princess appearance, this mannerism was too surreal for her.
On the other hand, since entering the room, Leticia had fit this atmosphere she was exhibiting quite well.
「What do you mean this?」
「That he’s your lover.」
Youran immediately became red-faced, retorting. She thought that being distrusted in that manner had no basis・・・・・
「What, I’m wrong? But you do seem fairly sweaty.」
「I owe him! W-Well…it’s no mistake that he saved my life.」
「Here’s quite the character for ya. Director of the New Moon-sama’s benefactor, eh? And?」
「Whaddya mean “and”?」
「He’s yer lifesaver right? So don’t you need to repay that? Like…the repayment of the crane?」
「I’m going to get angry.」
Leticia further messed with her. Whether it be the undignified gestures or the expression of mischief that she was even now displaying. This was not at all like the princess of a country.
Youran felt the slightest amount of unpleasantness to her persistence.
「Don’t get so mad; all I did was talk ‘bout the proper procedure of repaying the favor.」
「You have too much ill intent with saying that.」
「Kay, I won’t say no more. In exchange ya gotta tell me.」
「How he saved your life. It’s ya so I imagine it was when ya were sneekin’ around, but I want to hear more info.」
「It’s not really anything important.」
Although she said that, Youran talked to Leticia about the event of her meeting Taiyou.
Normally this would be treated as a top-secret affair, but she opened everything up as this was a place where no one could eavesdrop and it was with someone she could trust.
「Wow, quite the interesting chap. The type that yer sisters would like. As a person, ‘course.」
Leticia forestalled, but Youran become sullen in another meaning of the word.
「Don’t say sisters.」
「Why; they born of a different mother?」
「That is true, but」
「There’s like sixty people we got, at least as far as siblings from a different mother are concerned.」
「That’s because your place is a royal family of polygamy.」
「Sorry, counting now there weren’t more than thirty people.」
「That’s quite the miscount! And even so that’s still a lot!」
「The one thing I can brag about it miscounting, ya know? Sort of like saying ”Hey, I lost a kilogram” even though ya only lost 900 grams.」
「You’re really earnest aren’tcha.」
「I don’t really understand but what I do understand is that you’ve been continuously badmouthing me from earlier.」
「But I see, that boy did go missing and all, so I get why ya’d be panicked.」
「I’m not really panicking.」
「Ya need assistance? Might I lend ya my knight bunch?」
「It’s not that important. Besides――」
Leticia asked back, and Youran hesitated.
Because she didn’t even know really what she intended to say after “besides”.
So she found a vague reason that wasn’t by any means a lie and distorted things.
「Because it’d be a lot of work to pacify the Phili kingdom’s knights’ subordinates for meritorious deeds.」
「Well, that is also true. Sorry fer buttin’ in.」
Youran shook her head.
She knew very well that Leticia had offered that out of kindness. She could put on different faces for public and private matters, but she had only one personality.
Youran had always admired her for that.
After Leticia had returned elsewhere, Youran spent time looking down at the scenery.
The night scenery had dazzling comparable to the capital. For each of those, in exchange for burning fuel there was performance gained, there was a story, and there was peace.
Until now she had never thought much when she had looked down, but for some reason she couldn’t relax today.
「Somewhere in there…I wonder if he’s there.」
She murmured to no one in particular.
Touching the glass, a cool feeling spread to the palm of her hand.
She felt a delusion that along with her body heat, something was also being sucked out of her heart.
She gazed at herself reflected in the glass. There was Juunishima Youran, wearing a long-sleeved kimono; the human who armed her heart with authority.
Untying her sash silently, the clothing that was the long-sleeved kimono fell upon the rug with plenty of dignity.
Discarding even the last garment, Youran became naked in front of the glass.
The form she had taken when she was born; the body type that had voluptuous breasts. The graceful form of a young lady was there.
After briefly gazing, she combed her hair that wrapped about her like a mantle, arranging twintails at the sides of her head.
She looked once more at herself reflected in the glass. Compared to before, her atmosphere was quite different.
The satisfied appearance from earlier shifted its image one hundred eighty degrees, and even if she were to pass by someone who knew her she doubted they would recognize her.
But now the viewpoint had been thoroughly changed.
What reflected in the glass was a girl forcing a jovial expression with her back straightened tensely.
From the way she stood, there was something that she couldn’t quite hide.
When that was identified, by her, even she began to think so.
Staring briefly at that appearance, she then breathed a sigh.
In the end, Youran still・・・hadn’t been able to stop that. The moment had thoroughly coated her body and wouldn’t remove itself.
She must think of a more different disguise.
She thought, and when she thought to call the maid to change clothes from the long-sleeved kimono…
She suddenly felt like something had caught on to her. She felt like one twintail was being gripped and pulled.
She immediately turned around, but no one was in the vast suit room.
Of course. It was inconceivable that anyone would enter here without her permission.
She wasn’t being pulled in the first place. She only felt that she was being tugged at, and when she had calmed down and thought about it, she saw herself standing upright not moving.
No one was there and nothing was being done to her.
Youran massaged her head; massaged the base of the twintails done into two.
It was like the sensation remained there; like it had been revived.
The sensation of having that boy fooling around with her unannounced.
「Seriously, what do you think my body is.」
Youran said, heading for the opposite end of the room. Quitting the notion of calling the servant to return to her previous appearance, her long twintails swayed as she walked.
From the luggage in the corner of the room, there was clothing that Juunishima Youran would never wear: a casual outfit comprised of t-shirt and skirt.
Remembering what she had referred to herself as once, Youran put her arms through the sleeves.
The aura that could not be hidden remained that way, and she became a beautiful girl of an opposite vector from before.
「Everything is his fault. I won’t rest until I meet him directly and give a complaint or two.」
Stealthily escaping, Youran breathed out those words resentfully.
There was something about her mouth as she become thoroughly smaller, reflected in the window glass further away.
There was a smile on her face that she didn’t realize was there.