Taiyou stood aboard the deck of a motorboat making a road of foam across the ocean.Among the eight on the boat, only one was looking at him.Saegusa Tsukumo. The only other man there, the leader of the game was looking at Taiyou.
Taiyou and Tsukumo.
These two men and their silent gaze at each other that described as much as a long conversation didn’t seem to have any real meaning.
「Taiyou-chan, Taiyou-chan, are you really okay with this?」
Hera asked from beside him.
「Letting them go without any conditions?」
「It’s fine, even without conditions. I don’t have a grudge against them, and…」
He stopped and swallowed what he was about to say.
「…and, if I give conditions to a hostage release, that makes me the bad guy, right?」
He had swallowed what he really was to say, and the replacement was different…just a foolish dramatic line.
Someone like Youran wouldn’t have let that slide, but the cheerful Hera just accepted his words plainly.
「I understand, desu. Since you’re the protagonist, it wouldn’t match you, desu. A protagonist like that would have the fate of finally dying in front of his girl, desu.」
「You really brought out a detailed example. What the hell is a protagonist, anyway?」
Hera laughed with a fuh fuh fuh, from her nose while her small chest stuck out.
「You’re my protagonist, desu.」
「You really love to say stuff like that.」
Taiyou went Whap, and slapped the back of the grinning Hera. She bounced off the deck of the ship and flew up again, holding her head and saying Owwww…
It was a stronger tap than usual.
He didn’t show it, but Taiyou was starting to lose his patience.
Tsukumo was slipping farther and farther away, to the size of a grain of rice…Taiyou had some complex feelings about him as he had done things Taiyou couldn’t do.
He imbibed those feelings, turned on his heel and walked.
Hera flew beside him and tapped his hand.
「What is it?」
「I remembered there was a message from Kohaku for you, desu.」
「From Kohaku? You saw her?」
「Yes, I was told to see her so I see her daily, and yesterday and today I saw her while you were asleep.」
「I see. So what’s the message?」
Kohaku, as leader of a family, seemed a little strange to be using Hera to send her messages around.
After hearing Taiyou ask, Hera coughed and cleared her throat, and spoke,
「After three days of separation, my body burns…」
「Could you go back to where Kohaku is right now?」
Taiyou quickly cut off the unnecessary announcement. Hera took no offense at being interrupted and simply asked,
「Right now? No problem, but what’s the reason, desu?」
「Find out where Kohaku’s location is, we might need to know it.」
「Will we? Should I not know the reason why?」
「Conditions have changed, they probably need to know what happened.」
「I understand, desu.」
「And when you make sure, you don’t need to tell anyone else, not even me. If only you know than nothing will happen to others like torture or anything. Just keep everything in your mind until the moment we need it.」
「I understand, desu.」
After being ordered, she was about to fly off to Kohaku, but Hera was stopped just before she did so.
「Whoa…what is it, Taiyou-chan?」
Taiyou stood in silence. He looked out onto the sea, and watched the ship’s trail of foam extend to the horizon.
After watching for a moment, he turned back to Hera.
「Actually, tell me too. Where Kohaku is.」
「You want me to tell you?」
With the innocent response of a child, she now flew away and disappeared.
Taiyou watched her as she flew away, and then looking back to the trail of foam on the sea, began walking.
「I need more power behind me, after all.」
Taiyou left the deck for the inside of the ship. He talked to himself silently about when Hera finally returned, that he would have to continue leveling up.
While he did so, he made sure he could sense the abilities he already had attained. The present level and ability values, and also his skills.
He was quite strong compared to the fact he was only a high school student a few months ago, but it was still not enough for the events occuring now, he thought.
The local battles…if he fought directly with others, he was nearly invincible. Even if it was dozens of people or even a few strong fighters, he could still push them back.
However, since Youran and Aoba were captured, he couldn’t use his power as much as he wanted frequently.
He remembered Shirokiyami, and if he had that kind of power, it wouldn’t matter if his enemy had taken hostages or not.
Honestly, he didn’t know how Shirokiyami did it, but she had saved Youran and Aoba on her own.
「If you get to Level Max, that’s how strong you are, I guess.」
He remembered what Hera had told him.
He thought that he had to get to the maximum level himself.
Fwip, the numbers of his skills changed in front of him. The surprised Taiyou stopped.
The “Image change” value had changed. At first it was 50%, or four people, but now it had reduced to one person.
There was the image, the image when the three sisters had been separated.
He ground his teeth, and began running. He returned to the way he used to go out on deck.
As soon as he turned the corner,
He heard a scream, followed by a small thud.
He had been hit after turning the corner…by Youran running from the opposite direct. Taiyou put out his arms and held her.
「Are you okay?」
He separated from her, and she seemed okay. Her face war red, and she turned her eyes away from him.
「Are you hurt somewhere?」
「’m okay! Oh yeah! Letty!」
As she told Taiyou, he remembered.
「Where is she?」
「What do you mean ‘Yeah’?!」
Youran was confused for a bit, wondering why he was concerned with Leticia already.
But that was just for an instant.
She quickly reversed direction and ran.
She led him along, until he was brought to a room different than the others. It was filled with elegant decorations, so Taiyou assumed it was Leticia’s.
There were two women there. Leticia was asleep on her canopied bed, while Aoba sat on the edge of it, watching her with a worried face.
Aoba said and nodded to him, and then went back to being beside Leticia.
Aoba looked on Leticia’s face from the opposite side. Her eyes were opened, but her face was blank. Her pupils unfocused, she just stared up at the ceiling.
It seemed her batteries were out as usual.
「Leticia fell down suddenly!」
「And she called out to you right before she fainted!」
Aoba and Youran explained over each other.
「…so it was you.」
He looked down at Leticia as he whispered this to himself.
「What does that mean?」
「No, nothing. I’m going to cure her, though.」
「You will? Then hurry up and do it!」
Youran seemed at her wits’ end as she begged Taiyou. He glanced at her quickly, and then brought his face close to Leticia.
Then he kissed her.
He could feel the two girls behind her suddenly being lost for words, but he still kept the kiss going.
The result was quick, as after a moment, Leticia returned to her normal state.
What was that?! – Both Aoba and Youran pleaded to Taiyou. Taiyou explained to them what had happened.
Leticia, by being kissed, was a necessary thing – almost like recharging a battery.
The two girls’ response was the exact opposite of what Taiyou expected.
「You see? You knew about this?」
「Well, I didn’t know that this would happen, but I knew that if you kissed Leticia something would happen. It happened to her father, after all.」
「Father? What happened to him?」
「Something really crazy happened to him. Filly Kingdom has the legend that even as a virgin boy, he was kissed by over a thousand girls.」
Aoba was shocked.
Taiyou had heard the story from Leticia, so he was relatively unsurprised.
「So that’s the ‘Cursed Blood’ that you were talking about.」
「What? You depressed now?」
「Not really, only I was thinking that this was because of the “Image revision.”」
「Yeah…it was four people.」
Youran had no idea what he was saying, though Aoba did. It seemed the opposite of the usual.
Youran asked, what do you mean?
「It’s complicated, but I’ll tell you.」
Taiyou nodded, and again began telling Youran and Leticia about the image.
They understood the summary of what he was saying as they both used the words victory conditions naturally, and understood him.
「I see, so yer the fourth one, is what ya mean.」
「It seems to be that way.」
Leticia understood. Youran stood without a word, and walked to the door.
He could feel some discomfort from her.
「What is it?」
She stood there, but didn’t turn.
Taiyou was lost at what to ask in return, as she begane walking again, and left the room.
「Well, I don’t know?」
「That dumb girl.」
At Taiyou’s question, Aoba returned a complicated smile, and Leticia breathed out an extended sigh.