That morning I woke up, I returned to my usual routine. The broken everyday life.
I'm certain that even if I weren’t the collaborator, anyone else would be fine.
“Searching for the one who died ...?"
Anyone would think so too after hearing those words. Marius’ expression looked twisted when I laughed it off as a joke, making it seem like I couldn’t believe he was looking for a dead person.
"Is it weird?"
"Yes, it's weird."
Since it has come to this, let's push on with the general route. I laughed like an idiot, so even if he gets hurt, I have no other choice.
"However, it's a different story if they’re not really dead. Would you like for me to help you search?"
I giggled as if I was going to play along with a little child’s made-up story, but Marius just narrowed his dark blue eyes and wasn't angry at all.
Strange. He would get angry if he was teased like this. On the contrary, he said, "Sure, lend me a hand then," and leaned back on the couch after he said those words.
"If this happens, it'll be crap! You don't seem to believe it, but I feel like you’re grasping at a straw. Listen to what’s coming through your ears."
He put both hands up in the air.
"As I said earlier, my name is Marius. Marius Defoe. I'm an apprentice knight in a different country from Alvina. Or I should say, there’s nothing special about me. Rather, that Vito kid. She died suddenly one day and was enshrined and sanctified as a hero because Sorceress-sama said that she was in this world. The deadline is in three days. After that, she will be deported. We have to somehow find her before then."
――Umm? Hero? Sanctification? I broke out in cold sweat. I admit that I died on my own, but there was a more impure motive that I didn't act on because saving the world and the country was too beautiful of an excuse. Getting yourself sanctified? Incredible. Moreover, I didn't want to go to the otherworld. I mean, my brother is gone, and I’m afraid that when he comes back, he’ll most likely call out, "Comrade!" I’d rather he seriously not come back.
"B. but that person’s dead, aren’t they?"
"But they’re still ‘here.’ That’s why I’ll search. That's it."
Those pupils showed a look of determination. A look I didn’t know about. It looked like a strange boy had suddenly appeared in front of me.
Three days. After spending three days and three nights, Marius can return to his original world and return to a peaceful life.
But if we find it...
"Find it, and then strike it?"
That's terrifying. I've been slapped once, but the reason for being beaten by a par is different. If Marius hits me now, it will leave a wonderful bruise. I want to avoid it.
"... Emotionally, but that's the situation. I can't say why."
Good. Was it supposed to be emotional? I felt relieved in my heart.
"Yes, but why do you want me?"
There should be plenty of other people seeking or available to cooperate. There are billions of people all over the world. However, there apparently seems to be a pinpoint in this place, not to mention the fact that it’s above my head. Lord Cleric knew that I was here and sent him. At the same time, I was relieved to know that Lord Cleric was still alive even though he said that he would die if he left that place. If I were Vito, I would be worried about him. Therefore, I couldn’t bear to have myself be replaced.
"I told you. I knew I'd be stuck with a straw."
Am I a straw to you?!
Marius sighed, indicating that he was not satisfied with the answer.
"You look friendly, and it looks like you are more familiar with the story than that girl. You wouldn't normally believe that people in this world came from another world, right?"
Actually, Kikuko-oneesan is intelligent. She just doesn’t let it show. However, it might be alright for me because I was scared of telling him that she was my older sister...
"...Are there any merits for me?" I asked.
"I'm sure it's just a person. I said I'd help, and I'd love to help if that girl is near here. But from what I’ve gathered from this story, I can't believe it. Hmm. To me, it seems like there’s no merit to helping the deceased."
It was just a waste of time, and Marius got a different response than expected. He rose from the sofa, put his arm on his knee, and placed his chin on top, chuckling with joy.
"Hmm, then how about this? If you say you’ll help me, I'll listen to any request from you. Right, I think doing general household chores doesn’t sound too bad."
All household chores?! Without Touka, this house definitely needs some help. That said, we can pick up rice at a convenience store, and since it's summer vacation, there should be no problem, but it's troublesome to do laundry. No, wait a minute. Asking a boy to wash his own clothes? What kind of crappy, useless person am I?! Mom, Dad, I’m sorry you raised a daughter like this!
"Oh, um... uh, and it's a bit that a man and a woman say under one roof."
You still have complaints? Frowning and all.
No, this is important. The boy suddenly came down from the sky, and I'm thrilled! Love budding under one roof?! Is there a possibility that it will unfold? It could possibly develop seriously. It's just that it’d be odd to be reluctant to not sleep together while spending time under the same roof. But my strong point is being a lady, you know!
"If that's the case, don't worry. It’s fine if I’m not a man, right? Wait a minute."
Marius got up and suddenly started undressing. Kyaa! I yelped unexpectedly — I was just in a daze staring at what he was doing that he turned with an angry glare: “Don’t stare so much.” Therefore, I dropped my line of sight to the floor. It was just too sudden for me to respond properly.
What on earth are you doing? Why are you making it complicated by taking off your trousers? The jacket was so long that it looked like a dress, but I was a little surprised. After that, I was told not to look, so I quietly sat on the floor and gazed down.
"How’s this? Is this okay?"
A while later, when I heard the voice of a pretty girl and looked up, I was dumbfounded. She wore a puffy cream dress with her long pink hair tied — they curled down on both sides and she had her arms on her hips.
A beautiful girl stood in front of me, envied by the women of the world.
What kind of quick makeup work was that? With my mouth ajar, she walked up to me with light footsteps.
"You won't complain, right?"
All of a sudden, a face appeared in front of me, and I could only nod in response.
"And stop talking like that. It’s so obvious.”
Those final words made me confident that I could safely survive for the next three days.
Day 1. Living with the pink girl.
That said, letting a stranger into the house on top of all that and living with them for a few days, let alone a boy, isn’t normal. It might be somewhat stimulating for me as I have little experience in romance compared to others my age, but the other party is Marius. It should be okay. It's a secret that I haven't felt like a boy in a while.
Also, he seems to be Maribelle right now, and I'm grateful that I'm used to it. However, changing his appearance confidently toward a person he met for the first time that day, or how should I put it, he’s become masculine, or he’s become more pure — he must be growing up in a way that I’m not even familiar with. Although that dress is cute, it stands out. For the time being, I had him change clothes to a crew T-shirt and placed the light pink skirt into the drawer, and the white wings on his back also disappeared. I was surprised because they disappeared instantly, like magic. Marius and Maribelle were originally said to be half angels, but I wonder if their mother was from heaven too. Vice-Captain is probably not like them… Thinking about Vice-Captain's wings, it’s like you can ascend just by seeing them.
Perhaps what I was reluctant to say at the time that it was related.
"What's that? It's running so fast!"
"What is this stick? The lines are entwined!"
"A telephone pole."
"Those clothes are cute! Shorter skirts are definitely cuter! I want to wear it!"
"... Hey, are you going to explain or not?"
Even if I tell you the names you still don’t get it. And those puckered lips. Cute.
We were walking around this area to search for any clues, but Maribelle's eyes shined and her eyes darted here and there. I got tired of being forced to explain each time. It had been over three hours and it was almost evening. It was also about time for it to get dark.
"Well, do you even want to search?"
When I said that, her cheeks flushed with color as if she realized she had forgotten. I knew that was what Maribelle was like.
Anyway, what is this? A date? From the outside, it looks like she's playing with her female friends, but she's a man no matter how cute she is. I will repeat because it this is important. She is a man!
"Oh, I know! Just forget about it! Let's go!"
When asked where, I was silent and my eyes were swimming. There were no clues at the moment as to what we were looking for. Even if there was any information or a clue, we still can't uncover it. I can't say that the person in question is next to me even if my mouth is torn.
"I think it's going to get dark, so let's go home for now."
This wouldn’t do. It’s best to go home for today and stay quiet.
Maribelle nodded obediently. I think she was tired of laughing at me unreasonably.
It goes without saying that I was attacked by all the questions of the things that caught her eye all the way home.
When we got home, she wanted to do the housework as promised. She immediately said, "Show me the kitchen," and here I was again, busy explaining the refrigerator and cooking utensils. However, Touka’s frilly apron looked really good on him and I wanted to take a picture.
I want a bride like this. I will work hard, and I will stop being a homebody during the summer, so please become my wife. What I thought about while looking at Maribelle’s back is a secret though.
"This black and whitish liquid is salty. Is there a sweeter seasoning?"
"There’s mirin and sugar."
"Don’t you have Gana?"
This is a different world, Maribelle. There can be no such seasoning from the other world.
It was a pity to say that, so I substituted it with sugar. I’d be a little worried if she mixed salt and sugar up, so I decided to stand in the kitchen together with her and explain the seasonings and ingredients. Help? I was turned down. I cut my finger with the kitchen knife, stunning myself. Sorry I’m clumsy.
"Itoka, I'm a girl, so there’s nothing I can’t make!"
"I’d rather feed you instead."
When I answered immediately, I was given a suspicious look.
"What are you saying? It's not normal for a wife to support her husband? There aren't many women who work."
Maybe she’d be surprised if I told her that more women than men worked here.
“Hmm, does that world have gender equality?”
Ara, I realized I wasn't so conscious of gender dynamics in the other world.
"I think it's normal for women to work and for men to do household chores. Is it different in the other world?"
"It’s not really like that in the country I lived in, but that was normal in my mother’s country. A woman should silently follow a man. That’s what it feels like.”
Perhaps it’s like that in His Majesty Hector’s country. I definitely don't want to live there. I hate being asked to do things.
"What about you, Maribelle?"
"Me? This is my hobby. I like being a proper girl, but my dream is to be a knight like your brother. And yet I also like cute things... isn't it funny?"
She laughed at herself.
It wasn't strange, but I wasn't able to read Maribelle’s emotions because she turned her back to get the ingredients in the refrigerator.
After all, today was a busy day.
Maribelle and Kikuko-oneesan. After my older brother Touka went back to the world and I went to another world, I was honestly confused because an unexpected event happened here, disrupting the calm days.
I lay by myself on the bed in the room and gazed at the ceiling. Maribelle was borrowing Touka’s room, so she should be tired and sleeping now.
"Just two more days."
She’ll go back in two days. I just have to be patient until then.
Contrary to my desire for her to return early, there is another me who is happy. Vito, not Itoka. I'm glad to see you again after a long time.
When I hear about the world over there, it seems like another year has passed since I died. I couldn't ask what was happening in that world, but I was there just a few days ago. It really doesn't feel like a year has passed since then. Perhaps the flow of time is slower here?
I was wondering how many days had passed when a light knock on the door startled me.
When I opened the door, Maribelle, with her borrowed sleepwear, stood there with an uneasy expression while hugging Touka’s pillow. Needless to say, I was impressed by her appearance.
Thinking about it, she was in a room in another world by herself. I shouldn't be heartless. After she was invited to the room, she shifted her gaze to the floor, reluctant to say something.
"Are you going to sleep?"
"Um... together, that..."
"Nah, nothing! Don't worry about it!"
You’re just going to sleep like that?! I hurriedly stopped Maribelle who was about to leave and step into the hallway. It's my fault that she feels alone and uneasy in a different world. I could’ve feigned ignorance, but I couldn’t let it go. Like she said, maybe it’s because I’m so friendly.
"Well... why don’t we sleep together?"
Wait, I don’t mean that in a weird way! Actually, I had a scary dream! I was going to be laughed at for making all sorts of excuses.
"Alright! Let’s sleep together!"
I immediately brightened up and dove into the bed and lay there. I urged her by patting on the bed, saying, “Hurry up!" I ended up asking her to sleep with me, but that's fine.
"There’s only two days left, huh."
To be exact, it was just today and tomorrow since the day had already passed.
"Why three days? If I could come and go as I wished I would look for it as many times possible."
I don't want you to come though.
We were lying next to each other at arm’s length. What do I look like in those dark blue eyes? An ordinary girl with a dark appearance. I was scrutinizing it at first, but it seems that I had gotten used to it as many Japanese people walking around in the afternoon had the same looks as me.
"No, I don't think I'll be able to come anymore. The power of the god who sent me is fading, so this is the last time."
I could only spend two more days with Maribelle. That made me happy and sad at the same time. We’ll never see each other again...
"And it's dangerous. You should never tell someone else to sleep with you."
Whatever it was, Maribelle laughed with her head tilted back.
"I'm still a man after all."
Suddenly hearing her boy voice is bad for my heart. Behind the veil of long hair, the face hidden behind it turned masculine. With narrowed eyes, a white, delicate hand reached out to scoop my black hair.
"How strange. It somehow feels nostalgic."
My heart started beating violently.
"I wonder why it is like---"
The rest was slurred. Her narrowed eyes started to gradually close. My whole body was sweating. This is bad. Very bad. While I was thinking about how to cover it up, it seemed like she had fallen asleep while she was talking, and now was sleeping soundly.
I was sweating. As I was concentrating on what to say since I thought I’d exposed myself, I’d strained my muscles.
I can't say the truth.
I'm sure she is tired. It's rare for her to fall asleep while talking, but thank goodness.
It's like --- she shouldn’t have heard that last thing I said.
It's going to be a rough two days.
I sighed while looking at her angel-like sleeping face.