Rina and I had made our way to a city called Fuhne, which lies on the western outskirts of the human realms. Our preferred method of transportation had been the Teleportation spell, if that’s not obvious.
“So this is a human city, huh?”
I continue to mutter to myself as I walk along the city’s main street. I’d seen plenty of human cities when I’d used Clairvoyance, but this is the first time I’d actually stepped foot into one.
The place I’d gone to and saved from bandits had been a village, and the same goes for the place I’d tried to find work in. There’s definitely much more energy to these cities, at least when you compare them to a village. The scenes that now unfold in front of me remind me of the medieval European towns I’d read about and seen in pictures.
I’d already used my transformation spell to change into the form of the good old Azora Yuuto, by the way. I can’t very well strut around the streets as a High King, or the people I’d been looking for might get scared and run off.
“Say, Onii-sama? Are you sure it’s a good idea for me to come with you…?”
Rina, who’s still walking at my side, raised her question with a somewhat apologetic tone.
“Of course it is. Look, the only times I can actually turn into a human and walk around is when I’m with you, Rina. Don’t tell me you don’t get at least a little cramped, just staying in the castle all day.”
“I-I wouldn’t go that far…”
“Besides, we don’t really get the chance to talk in the castle. I just thought this’d be a great opportunity, you know? So, how’s life in the castle? Did you get used to the way things work there?”
“Y-Yes, I have. There’s a huge collection of interesting books in the library, and I get to eat whatever I want in the dining hall. The other demons are really nice, too. It’s almost heavenly if I compare it to my old life.”
“Really? Well, that’s good to hear.”
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It’s kind of funny that a castle that’s practically crawling with demons qualifies as heavenly. But it’s all because of the setting we’d put in place: that Rina is my younger sister. Just imagining how things might turn out if it’s ever found out that she’s a human makes my blood run cold. Although, I guess I can say the same for myself, still being a human on the inside and all.
“I’ve never been happier than I am now. It’s all thanks to you for taking me in, really. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Hahah, thank me any more and my ears might get sore. But don’t forget to keep it a secret that you’re human, Rina. Got it? I honestly couldn’t tell you what might happen if they ever find out.”
“Of course, Onii-sama.”
“…Also, one more thing. When you see me in this form, would you mind not calling me that?”
“Huh? But why?”
Rina cocked her head to the side, though only barely.
“Well, how can I put this. It’s not a big issue when I look like a High King but calling me that when I look like a human is a little… you know, off-putting…”
I’m also curious to see how people around us might react.
“So, whenever I’m a human, you can just call me by name. Or ‘Onii-san,’ at the very least. That’d help.”
“…Understood. So then, is it alright if I call you ‘Onii-san’?”
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“Sure, I’ll leave you to it.”
Now then. As fun as it would be to keep talking to Rina, I can’t forget why I’m here. I have to find whoever’s behind the lost souls case.
Rina and I continue to walk around the city. I’d already thought as much, but it really doesn’t look like anything’s about to happen while it’s still daytime. Crimes are much more likely to occur during the night, aren’t they? Besides, I hadn’t gotten an actual guarantee that whoever’s responsible would be in this specific town. We’ll just wait for about a day before we move on to the next one.
“…Just walking around’s making me feel peckish. Wanna go to that store and grab a bite to eat?”
Rina and I enter the cafe we’d just so happened to pass by and make ourselves comfortable on a seat for two. There aren’t too many customers present, but that’s not to say that there are too few, either. The store itself looks like one of those quasi-stylish establishments.
“I-I’ve never been to this kind of place before. I’m starting to feel a bit nervous…”
Rina refuses to look anyone in the eyes as she gazes at the menu.
“Just order whatever you like. Don’t worry about the money; I have plenty of that on me.”
“T-Thank you so much.”
My creation spell is, after all, enough to make me roll in golden coins. Admittedly, I feel a little guilty about that when I consider all those people who break their backs trying to make a living.
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Speaking of making a living, I wonder what Khiel’s up to this time around. Is he still working at that general store with the five copper wage? Then again, I’d healed the shopkeeper’s daughter of her ailment. He should have a much easier time now, without the pressure of saving up for treatment. Heck, the wage probably went up too.
When I look in front of me again, I see that Rina’s face is blotched with red. She’s even wriggling in her seat.
“What’s wrong, Rina? Not feeling well?”
“O-Oh, that’s not it! It’s just that… this almost looks like we’re on a date…”
“Oh, I-I-I’m so sorry! Just forget I said that! I’m sure it’d be too much trouble if people started thinking we were together!”
“No, actually. Not at all.”
A date, huh? It’s not too much of a stretch that any two people sitting in a store like this might be mistaken for a couple. Somehow, I finally catch the glimpses from the other customers that start to pile up on us. They’re almost making me feel like I’m not the right type to counterbalance just how adorable Rina is…
Come to think of it; this is the first time I’ve ever been alone with a girl in a cafe, past life included. And would you look at that, the girl in question really hit it out of the park. As I feel an odd sense of being on a higher pedestal, I also can’t help but think that I should’ve gone with a more handsome look for this transformation.
“I guess I’ll have sandwiches and some coffee. What about you, Rina? Decided yet?”
“Y-Yes. I’ll have a toasted sandwich and an orange juice, please.”
A pretty humble selection for someone who’d just been told they could order anything they want. Then again, this is Rina we’re talking about here. She’s probably just holding herself back.
It only takes a few minutes after we’d placed our orders for them to be put on our table. I bring the coffee to my lips before I do anything else. It doesn’t taste like the best coffee of all time, but it’s not the worst either. It’s just something to drink on the side, anyhow. It doesn’t need to be luxurious.
I should also mention that I’d cast the spell Weakened Body before transforming. It had sloughed off my ATK and DEF points to some extent. It’s probably a spell best reserved for a future encounter of some sort, but it’s not as if I can call my hold over my own powers perfect, not by any means. If I’d stuck to my High King stats, then the cup I’m holding in my hands right now would’ve probably been nothing but shards.
The eating utensils back at the castle are made firm and tailored to the strength of demons, but the same can’t be said for the ones in the human realms. Being too strong isn’t a walk in the park, either.