Taiyou Castle at nighttime, on the tiled roof.
The butterfly-winged fairy was flapping her wings in the air, floating above the tiles.
Ahead of her gaze was dark red harvest moon floating in the sky.
There was a satisfied smile on her face as she gazed at the moon.
「So you were here」
「Ooo, well if it isn’t Yuri-chan~」
「Don’t call me by that name」
Hera turned around 180 degrees midair.
Ahead of her gaze was the twintailed Youran, climbing up the ladder to the roof.
While smiling wryly, Youran came to Hera’s side, pushing in her skirt and sat atop the tiles.
Even atop the unstable roof, Youran’s back was straight as ever.
「You call Kohaku-san『Kohaku-tan』, so why do you hafta call me that?」
「Cause Yuri-chan is Yuri-chan. Did you not call yourself that when we first met？」
「So it’s the same with Kohaku-tan~」
「But what about the real『Yuri』」
「Mmm, but no, Yuri-chan is still Yuri-chan」
Youran’s face become more and more bitter.
Yuri-chan was the name she had called herself when meeting Taiyou for the first time.
That was the alternate way to say 揺籃 Youran, taken from the same kanji.
It was meant at the time to be a dig at Shirokiyami, telling her to call her「Yuri」.
It was a mere prank; childishness spurred on from the hesitation of a single moment.
Because she had said that she was only tagging along with Taiyou for that period of time.
「Anyhow, calling me『Yuri』will just make things confusing, so quit while you’re ahead」
「It will indeed make things confusing？」
「Indeed, I see」
Hera clapped her hands after thinking about it briefly.
「I indeed understand. Then I will call the next Yuri-chan『Yuri Yuri』」
「……Well, guess that’s alright」
Youran nodded silently at Hera, who was smiling innocently.
She had no inclination to interject, so the air between the two of them didn’t change at all.
「So whatcha doing here？」
「I was indeed looking at the moon」
「You always have such interests？」
「I like Moon-san. I indeed like looking at it~」
「Come to think of it, Yuri-chan is New Moon-san, right?」
「New Moon Director, yeah. Well, it does have some relation to the new moon itself」
「That is indeed very cool」
「Cuz it’s old」
As Youran said that, Hera slowly flew over, landing on her shoulder.
Hera had been truly doing this sort of thing a lot recently.
Stopping on the shoulders of Taiyou’s「brides」.
It had once just been Taiyou she did that to, but now she did it often to the brides.
「Umm, might I have a bit of a serious conversation with you？」
「Mm? Well I won’t refuse――Just didn’t see that one coming」
「Yes indeed. I’m the happiest about Yuri-chan becoming Taiyou-chan’s wife」
「It is because you were the first one that Taiyou-chan had to conquest」
Youran’s expression changed.
Not unpleasantly. It wasn’t like she couldn’t understand.
Her face showed that she somewhat got it, but was waiting for more of a complete explanation.
「Kotone-chan and Suzune-chan and Kazane-chan were all lovey-dovey with Taiyou-chan from the beginning. Kohaku-tan was also lovey-dovey with him, and Aoba went with the flow」
「Not detailed enough」
「Of the two whom Taiyou-chan himself sought out, the first one he succeeded with was Yuri-chan」
「So, thank you indeed」
Hera “embraced” Youran’s cheeks.
Her small body closely adhered to it.
「Thank you indeed. Success indeed spurs men on to greater heights」
「But you’re the one who’s making him stronger」
「No, I am different. Those are different things」
Youran sighed, half exasperated.
The two of them looked up at the sky together.
「Moon-san is indeed pretty」
「What kind of moons do you like？」
Hera answered promptly.
「Thought you’d say that. But you can’t even see new moons」
「It is indeed best that way」
Youran looked at Hera with doubtful eyes.
Hera flew off from her shoulders, stopping in front of Youran’s eyes, aiming her body at her.
「It is indeed true. After all, Kohaku-tan is “amber”」
Youran wondered what she was on about. Right afterwards…
「Taiyou-chan is “sun”」
「So I indeed like new moons. I also like full moons. Everyone likes Moon-san」
Youran looked up at the moon while looking at Hera.
After thinking briefly, she spoke.
「Then why don’t you just become the moon？」
「No, I’m always a star――Uwaaaaah」
Quicker than Hera could finish, Youran had hit the fairy’s small body.
She flew off like a shooting star, returning after a bit.
「Hey, what did you do that for, Youran-chan?」
「I sorta feel like I’ve understood how that guy feels. Couldja at least stop the teasing when you’re trying to have a serious conversation?」
「I am not teasing」
Hera spoke with a smile on her face in front of her――but with just a tone of seriousness.
「See, I am the stars」
「Moon-san can also be seen when the sun comes out, see, but the stars cannot be seen. Butt, they are definitely there. I have always been so up until now, and I am fine with that from now on」
「……You really are？」
「I really am. After all…」
Hera grinned mischieviously.
「It’s decided that I will die the same instant Taiyou-chan does」
「I cannot be killed by anyone other than Taiyou-chan. But Taiyou-chan will definitely not kill me. And the moment Taiyou-chan dies, I also die. So I will be together with Taiyou-chan until the very end, and die in the same moment he does~」
「The sun and the stars are “together”, see」
Youran discerned that this was a double meaning.
「……I might be a bit jealous of that」
Hera puffed her chest out, purposefully making an “ahem” sound.
「So I will be the stars from now on too」
「Yeah, I gotcha」
「So I look forward to working with you, Moon-sama」
While resting her chin in her hands, Youran smiled as she shook Hera’s small, outstretched hand.