Saturday, February 5, 2022

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V6 (3 of 7)


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro


The four of us sat around one table. There wasn’t a friendly mood, and Falluba-san to my left had his arms crossed and eyes closed, as if he wasn’t interested in the conversation.

To my right was Aluff-san, who was looking at me a little troublingly.

Opposite me was Sophia-san, and I couldn’t see her expression clearly because of her cloak.

It was good that we were sitting, but no one wanted to speak. With no other choice, I got the ball rolling.

【So, why did you toss me?】

Sophia-san and Aluff-san looked at each other.

【It’s my fault.】 Sophia-san said. 【Well, because it looked like Shopkeeper-san was forcefully approaching me.】

【I was mistaken. I’m very sorry.】

I think she was the one who approached me though…

From Aluff-san’s point of view, the details didn’t matter. The problem was my face being too close to Sophia-san’s face.

【I don’t mind, and I’m not hurt.】

【I’m grateful for your magnanimity.】 Aluff-san then looked up. 【Is there anyway I can make it up to you.】

【I don’t think it’s necessary.】

【No, I will feel bad about it.】

Aluff-san’s tone was firm. If it was the old me, I would just think he was a serious and honest person. But after interacting with numerous weird characters, I could sense the intent hidden behind his expression. Aluff-san didn’t just want to compensate me, he had another motive.

【Erm, it’s my fault that led to Aluff’s actions. So I’m asking you too. Is there anything we can do to compensate you?】

Sophia-san said.

After that sincere apology, there was nothing more for me to complain about. I was just tossed around. I wasn’t punched nor coerced.

I looked at Falluba-san, and his eyes were still closed. His attitude made him look like an outsider, so I had to think of something myself.

Judging that I should take action, I brought up the topic of the Dragon bride to Sophia-san. However, they regressed to the matter of compensation. There was a sense of dissonance here. That seemed to be going too far. Their apology was too solemn, as if they were treating someone of a higher status… Oh.

【Did you think I’m someone from the clan of Dragon brides?】

Speaking of which, this started from Sophia-san’s misunderstanding. They probably shared this information when they conversed earlier.

【… Isn’t that so?】

Sophia-san asked with a hint of loneliness.

【No. I’m just a Cafe Master.】

【But you know the secret of my clan. If you are not a clan with Dragon brides, then why…】

I could feel wariness spreading. I was being suspected because of something I had no impression of. The problem was, if I explained myself, I would need to explain who Falluba-san was. They would just cast their suspicion towards someone else, the problem would still remain.

【I’m the one who told him.】

Falluba-san said simply, with no regards for my worries.

There was a baffled air between Sophia-san and Aluff-san.

【Both of you have dark pupils…】

Sophia-san was suggesting that there was something in common between Falluba-san and me.

However, we were not related at all. I didn’t understand when she brought up the Dragon bride. Did the clan with Dragon bride still exist today?

Aluff-san leaned forward and looked at Falluba-san.

【We travelled across the ocean in order to meet the great black dragon living here. If you know anything, could you tell us?】

【We have to meet the black dragon. Please, I implore you.】

【… Ughh?】

Their serious request made Falluba-san open his eyes confusedly.

Falluba-san said that to save me. However, when I was speaking to Sophia-san earlier, Falluba-san was engrossed with the Coffee beans and didn’t hear anything. And so, he didn’t notice that this woman was the Dragon bride we were looking for, and she wanted to meet the black dragon— which was Falluba-san.

I leaned towards Falluba-san. Falluba-san noticed, and bent forward and lent me his ear.

【Falluba-san, this woman is a Dragon bride. She had purple eyes.】

【… Is that so?】

Falluba-san looked at me, confused by the situation. No no, this was troubling for me too. Maybe things would go smoother if he went 【Actually, I’m the black dragon, Fuhaha.】 Or maybe not.

When I wanted to question the two of them, something happened.

Someone in the shop yelled. The utensils in the shop were rattling.

Sophia-san yelped.

【It’s fine, Sophia. This is probably a sign of a Labyrinth Shift. It will be over soon.】

I could hear the voices and see what was happening. However, my body lacked strength, and couldn’t make a sound. As if I had turned into an object, I couldn’t even breathe.

Suddenly, my senses all came back. My breathing was ragged. It was fine, I could still move like always.

【Yuu, you…】

I felt a large hand on my back, and felt more comfortable for some reasons. I laid onto the table and slowly composed my breathing.

【We will talk another day. I will be staying in this shop for the time being. Come another time.】


【I won’t say it again.】

Falluba-san picked me up again.

【Erm, Falluba-san, I can walk.】

He didn’t answer. I never thought I would be Princess carried one day.

He went to a small room under the staircase. This place used to be a bar, and this was a room used to dump drunkards. So there was just a bed here.

Falluba-san brought me to this room and laid me gently onto the bed.

【Sorry, I suddenly felt uncomfortable. I was surprised by the earthquake.】

I smiled with a prepared excuse. Falluba-san didn’t smile, and looked at me as I sat on the bed.

【Yuu. Just now, you deviated from this world.】


【As expected, you are a Lost.】

Falluba-san looked at me with gentle eyes.

【What’s a Lost?】

【They go by many names. Visitor, otherworlder, Brave… Someone from another world, and isn’t connected to this world.】


【That’s me.】

I said it right away. The thing I had been hiding came out surprisingly easily. That surprised me too.

【It’s almost time for you to go back, right?】

【… I think so.】

I couldn’t move my body or breath, but it wasn’t painful. Everything just seems faded, on the verge of vanishing… It was really disconcerting.

【There weren't any changes, and I even complained that my return seemed unreal. That might be why a clear sign was shown to me.】

【I see.】

【When I came here, it felt like falling into a pit, and I arrived instantly. I was here when I realized it.】


【So why is my return so slow? They can just send me back suddenly too.】

【That’s true.】

I ranted, and Falluba-san answered curtly. I was glad that he wasn’t fazed.

The room was silent. Falluba-san kept staring at me.

【Yuu, I will handle the matter with the Dragon bride myself. You should spend your time more meaningfully.】

【No, I will help too.】

I answered on reflex. It was unnecessary sharp. I tried to find an excuse.

【You see, I will be bothered if I drop out half way. And I want to understand their circumstances too.】

【… Is that so? Can I continue to count on you?】

I nodded. Falluba-san’s concern made me happy.

【You should rest for now. I will tend the shop for you, I’m good at that.】

With a laugh, Falluba-san left the room. I will take him up on his offer then.

I laid down as if I was throwing my body down. The ice cold bed sheets let me feel my own existence. I never thought the ice cold sheets in winter would feel so comfortable.

I looked at my palms, then opened and closed them several times.

【I didn’t turn invisible.】

It was funny hearing myself say that, so I laughed out loud. It echoed in the room, and then silence.

【The matter of the bride… Nightless day, and the celebration for Linaria.】

There were still a lot of things for me to do. I needed to think about many things too. The situation right now was just fine. If my mind was occupied by other things, I wouldn’t have the leisure to worry about myself disappearing.

I pulled a pillow over and buried my face in it.

And of course, I didn’t cry at all.



The snow I experienced in my childhood was just a thin layer, and it was a hassle to have a snowball fight. I didn’t have any memories of playing in the snow in winter.

When I was rolling a snowball in the thick snow, Falluba-san came out of the shop and looked at me with a dumbstruck face.

[You seem happy this morning, Yuu.]

[Yes. Speaking of which, I have never made a snowman before. This seems like a good chance to try it.]

The road was covered by white snow. My footprints and the snowball trail were scattered all around.

When it was getting bright, the surroundings became noisy.

[… Can’t sleep?]

[No, I just got up early. I can’t stop myself when I saw the scene outside the window.]

This was obviously a lie, and sounded like one even to myself. Falluba-san probably noticed, but he didn’t point it out and nodded.

[Don’t let your sweat make you cold. I will make warm soup for breakfast. After you have enough of making snowmans, come back in.]

He went back to the shop after saying that. I felt very grateful for his consideration, then continued rolling my snowball.

I didn’t sleep well yesterday. As I laid down in my room and stared at the ceiling, things I needed to think about kept circling in my mind. I would get depressed when thinking about it at night, and couldn’t find any joy. My body was tired but my mind was very much awake, and my mind kept going in circles. I closed my eyes to sleep, but after turning and tossing, I would still open my eyes with a sigh, and stare into the darkness.

This kept repeating the entire night, and the sky was getting bright before I knew it. My effort to sleep was futile, so I got up and started making a snowman.

I rolled a snowball I could hug with both my arms, and picked it up. The snowballs making up its body were already there. I balanced the snowball on top, moved my arms away, and a snowman that reached up to my chest was done. It would be perfect if I added a face and arms.

It looked well made to me, and while I was immersed in the feelings of satisfaction, something hit my back.

[You are doing something really childish so early in the morning.]

I looked back, and saw Linaria standing there. It seemed cold for her to stand there in her school uniform and coat, but she didn’t mind at all.

[I got hit by a snowball just now.]

[Oh, whatever do you mean?]

[You’re playing dumb.]

[Even if that is true, it’s the fault of the person showing an opening.]

[You think this is a battlefield or something?]

[Ara, you didn’t know? You have to risk your life on days when snow piles up.]

The smile on her face seemed to be showing the dignity of someone who had survived the battlefield… And she wasn’t pretending.

[… How many people have you snuffed out so far?]

[Who knows. I will forget about my opponents after defeating them.]

[By sneak attacks like just now, right? Because you are not good with a head on battle?]

Linaria put her hands on her hips and shook her head cockily.

[That’s why you are an amatuer. You’re ten years too early for the battlefield.]

[… Want to try if I’m too early?]

[— Ara.]

Linaria was surprised.

[Do you want to be bullied by me that much?]

She sneered.

I swiftly bent down to grab the snow by my feet. My mittens closed together to make a snowball, then raised my head.


She was gone. Even though she was right there just now.

I felt a light impact on my left arm.

[Moving your eyes away from my body, there’s a limit to how foolish you can be.]

Linaria had moved to my side. When did she…!

[By the way, I hit off mark on purpose. It’s too pitiful to throw at a newbie’s face.]

[Ugh… Your carelessness will lead to your death!]

I threw a snowball at Linaria. I was aiming at Linaria—

[Careless? No, this is just the facts.]


The snowball was caught in Linaria’s hand. She grabbed it with just one hand.

[As expected of a newbie… Unbelievable naivety… This happens because you compressed the snowball too hard…]

[D-Damn it…]

I had to flee—



[Who are you talking about? Huh? Want to be covered in more snow?]

[Nothing, I’m very sorry.]

She was really a monster. None of my snowballs hit her, and I got covered in snow.

[Where did you master those techniques? Did they teach this in the academy?]

[No way, I learned it in the orphanage. On snow days, everyone will have a snowball fight. The little rascals will always target me, so I learned it naturally.]

[A snowball warrior nurtured by her environment…]

[Whose a snowball warrior?]

We chatted while I patted off the snow covering me. I had warmed up from the exercise, but I couldn’t go back to the shop like this. I would leave snow everywhere.

Unable to watch this any further, Linaria walked over and helped pat off the snow.

[Uwah, it’s cold.]

[Don’t complain, I’m helping you.]

[Touching my nape with your icy fingers isn’t helping!]

[That was an accident.]

[It’s obviously intentional!]

[Hey, wait.]

I couldn’t take it and ran away, but Linaria caught up immediately.

[It’s cold! I told you it’s cold!]

[This punishment is just right for the bad kid who is late when sending me off.]

[You are still holding a grudge!?]

[Not at all.]

[Ufhh, wait, ah! The snow! The snow is getting in!]

The snow got in through my neck and slid down my back. I grabbed my clothes and flapped, but that was useless against the snow inside my clothes. I jumped around a few times.

Linaria held her belly and laughed. It was a cheerful laugh as warm as the sun in spring. So I moved my body exaggeratedly, and kept yelling that it was cold.

Linaria wiped the corners of her eyes and looked at me with a smile.

It would be great if time could stop here… Or not. My back was really cold because of the snow.

However, I would never forget this moment. The icy sensation of the snow, her smile, and the laughter echoing in the sun rise. I will never forget.


[I told you to come back before your sweat turns cold.]

[Sorry, I lost track of the time while playing.]

I could only apologize to the exasperated Falluba-san. My body was cold, and I was sitting before the hearth together with Linaria.

[I’m getting old, I should retire…]

[What are you saying with that straight face?]

Linaria was heating her red fingers at the fire. Naturally, her fingers would be freezing cold if she fought a snowball fight bare handed.

Falluba-san walked out from behind the counter and offered us mugs.

[Warm yourselves up with these.]

[Thank you very much.]

We thanked Falluba-san, and he nodded before heading back. I looked at his back and Linaria leaned close to me.

[I remember that man, he’s a customer, right?]

[Yes, he is a regular.]

[Why is he giving us soup as if it’s natural? Did you hire him while I was gone?]

[Many things happened, and he got chased out of his home by his wife.]

[That’s tough.]

I looked at the mug. In the clear amber soup were melted cheese and bread crumbs. It was cream vegetable soup. I took a whiff, and the aroma stimulated my stomach.

[It looks tasty… I’m digging in.]

I heard a quiet voice beside me, followed by a small wail saying that it’s hot. I took the spoon that came with the mug, then stirred it slowly. The charred bread crumbs sank, and the diced mushrooms and onions floated up.

[I’m digging in.]

I scooped up a mouthful and put it in my mouth. The fragrance of the onion and mushroom was strong. The lingering taste of ginger spread into my nasal cavity. Just one mouthful made me feel the heat spreading from my stomach.

[It taste great.]

I looked to my side, and Linaria was eating bread soaked in the soup heartily. She met my gaze when she was taking a bite. She glared at me with furrowed brows. As if to say that I shouldn’t stare while eating.

[Okay, okay.]

My cheeks were warm, and I continued drinking the soup. The melted cheese, mushrooms, bread soaked in soup, and the girl beside me, everything was perfect.

My body had warmed up, and I sniffled before enjoying my soup again.


After draining the last drop from the mug, my body was hot and I was even sweating.

Linaria had finished too. She set aside the empty mug, and was hugging her knees and staring at the hearth.

[How’s the new academy?]

[It’s a nice place. The city is beautiful, and the people in the academy are easy to get along with.]

[I see, that’s great. I haven’t said it yet, so, congratulations on passing the test.]

Linaria looked at me with a gentle smile.

[Thank you. I feel relieved.]

[I see. You worked really hard for this, and you can rest now.]

[I need to study everyday when I go there again. I might get tired of it.]

[You chose this path yourself, so do your best.]


She put her hands on her knees and placed her head on top with a drowsy face. As the flames swayed in the hearth, her eyes regained their vigor.

[As expected this place is really relaxing.]

Linaria said with a slurred voice. Her tone was gentle.

[Are you tired from exercising so early in the morning?]

[Hmm… it’s probably because of the long journey. It’s far, and I didn’t sleep well.]

I thought as much. She went alone to a far away place to take a test that would affect her life. It must be hard for her to relax. But Linaria achieved her goal. That was amazing, and I definitely couldn’t do it.

[Hey, Linaria. Aina and I are planning a party to celebrate you passing the test. When will you be free?]

I turned and looked. She was asleep. Her mouth was slightly open, and she looked peaceful like a child who had grown tired after playing.

[… You worked hard.]

I wished I could keep staring at her sleeping face.

We had a snowball fight, played around, drank soup and sat shoulder to shoulder. It would be fun if we could usher every new day together and spend the changing seasons with her.

However, she would be leaving this place. To achieve her dreams, she walked forth alone, and would keep striving forward. And I could only watch her back. I couldn’t keep up with her.

I thought that she was incredible.

I wished this warming time would stop and I could keep looking at Linaria sleeping beside me.

This was my sincere wish, and I couldn’t refute that.

In the future, when I reminisce about the past, this moment would be as sparkling as the rising sun. And this moment was so bright that I couldn’t even look at it directly. But it still shone over me and warmed my heart.

Time had slowed, but it still marched on surely.

Chapter 4: This Lingering Intention, and That Sign


I was wondering why she came so early in the morning, and Linaria said she slipped out of school.

[The academy was talking about a party, or the professors wanted to introduce me to others and the like, it’s a big hassle.]

After waking up, Linaria sat at the counter with her hands supporting her face.

[The socializing of grown ups is rough.]

I heard Aina mentioned that enrolling in Fortuna was much harder than I imagined.

[Students who heard the news suddenly started talking to me, friends whom I have never seen before grew suddenly.]

Just like someone who won a lottery. I smiled awkwardly.

[Hey, this isn’t a laughing matter. I’m really troubled by this.]

[My condolences.]

I poured the brewed Coffee into a mug, then added milk that had been warmed in a pan. I added a generous serving of sugar and stirred thoroughly.

[Here, the usual Café au lait.]

[Thank you. They don’t serve this at that academy, and I feel listless if I don’t drink this.]

[You finally understand the charms of Coffee.]

[Please don’t misunderstand. I like this Café au lait. I still can’t stand Coffee.]

She took a sip and said it tasted good with a happy face.

I recall that nostalgic day when I let Linaria try some Café au lait. In the end, this Café au lait was the only thing she acknowledged here. But that didn’t matter after seeing that face of hers.

[Hey Linaria, will you have free days?]

[Yes, but why?]

She looked at me warily for some reason.

[Aina suggested throwing a party to celebrate you passing the test. It will be held here, what do you think?]

Linaria closed her eyes and sighed softly.

[What’s wrong?]

[No, it’s nothing.] She shook her head. [I’m free the day after tomorrow… You don’t have to make it too big. You can just congratulate me verbally.]

[The day after tomorrow, huh. I will need to cook something good.]

[… I will look forward to it then.]

I wanted to go all out and throw a huge party, but I wasn’t experienced in party dishes, so it was troubling.

I suddenly remembered that thing, and took out the folded paper from my apron pocket.

[I plan to hold a party on Nightless day, do you have plans on that day, Linaria?]

[… Do you like parties that much?]

She asked suspiciously. As expected of Linaria. She saw through my plan to avoid the question with the party. She was sharp.

[I invited the regulars for this one. I had been in their care this year.]


She took the paper I passed her, and noted the names on it.

[There’s quite a lot.]

[Yes. Because everyone wants to join in.]

[That’s completely different from my first visit here.]

I smiled awkwardly.

[The place was empty then.]

[It makes me suspect whether your place was open.]

Back then, Linaria came to this shop in search of a place to study, then dropped by frequently. I thought about the past.

[Thanks to you, I gathered so many participants. I will be very happy if you can come too, Linaria.]

[I can’t miss it if you are going to go that far.]

She then showed me her palm. I held that palm.

[… What are you doing?]

[I thought you want me to hold your hand?]

[Why would I want that?]

[To congratulate me since the number of regulars increased.]

[That’s impossible. It means give me your pen.]

She shook my hand away.

[I was just kidding.]

[You don’t hold hands for a joke.]

[So I can hold hands with you if it isn’t a joke?]


Linaria was choking on her words, her mouth opening and closing silently. She couldn’t formulate meaningful words. She then narrowed her eyes and stared at me.

[… You are teasing me again?]

I quietly handed her the pen. Linaria snatched it, and wrote roughly on the paper as if she was venting.

[This will do, right?]

She placed the pen on the paper and pushed it to me. Linaria was blushing a little, which made me smile.

[… That smiling face is really infuriating.]

[You are mistaken.]

Her eyes were serious, so I suppressed my smile.

[Why you little…]

[Isn’t it mean to address me that way?]

[Do you prefer Dunce?]

[That sounds distant.]


[That doesn’t sound like me.]


[How is that any different?]


[That’s a verb.]


<TL: The raw is just a series of puns, こいつ, アイツ, ソイツ, 同一 >

[Hehe, how embarrassing.]

[Don’t get cocky.]

[You started it.]

That seemed to satisfy her, and she stood up with a nod. She had finished her drink before I realized it.

[I have recovered mentally, so it’s time for me to go. There’s still a lot of things to prepare.]

[Work hard. You’ll be free in the evening two days later, right?]

[Yes, that’s fine.]

I hadn’t checked Aina’s schedule, but it should be fine. I had a feeling she would say [There’s nothing that takes priority over Linaria-san.]

I walked Linaria out of the shop. The sun was high, and pedestrians were on the streets. However, people shoveling the snow outnumbered the pedestrians.

Linaria stood at the shop’s entrance, and looked at the snowman I made a while earlier.

[What’s wrong?]

[It’s a little lonely like this.]

[Well, a little.]

Objectively speaking, it was just snowballs piled on top of each other.

Linaria pondered for a moment, then reached for the top of her head and took off her black hair tie. Her long vermillion hair rolled onto her shoulders.

[What are you doing?]

[I have an idea.]

She said as she bent before the snowman, wrapping the cloth around its neck and tying a bow. It looked just like a scarf. She then poked eyes, nose and mouth into the snowman.

[That’s good enough.]

She nodded, then stood up with a smile.

[How is it?]

Somehow, her expression resembled the snowman a little.

[Yes, it looks exactly the same.]

[Same as what?]

She shook off the snow on her hands.

[That’s all for now, I will visit again.]

Linaria went to the road and left. Her long hair swayed behind her. In the white snow scenery, that prominent figure could be seen even after she went off into the distance.

I watched her disappear around the corner before returning back to the shop. The snowman that looked like Linaria was looking at me.

【… It would be great if the snow continues.】

It would be a pity if it melted.


That evening.

【There’s nothing that takes priority over Linaria-san.】

Aina declared. I deeply respected her deep love. Although it felt scary at times.

【You don’t have other prior engagements?】

【Who cares about such trivial matters? Rather then that, any issues with procuring the ingredients?】

【I will buy it tomorrow.】

There weren’t many people, and I already considered a few dishes.

【The stationery for Linaria?】

【Perfect. I have prepared high quality goods that can last a long time, at a place that wouldn’t make Linaria-san worry. If I have to say, the choice is perfect.】

It was probably fine, but after seeing her smile that was so innocent that it bordered on being unnatural, I felt uneasy.

【… It’s not something weird, right?】

【How rude, what do you mean by weird.】

【Like things with Aina’s face printed on it.】

【… Huh?】

【Don’t make that face saying “There’s such a way too!”】

【Yuu-san’s thinking is really novel. Did you actually…?】

【No way!】

She looked at me suspiciously, but decided not to press the issue.

【Well, whatever. Let’s get things ready for the day after tomorrow. I need to call in a band too.】

【No, that’s a bit…】

【I’m kidding.】

【… Let’s not crack jokes that are obviously overboard.】

It was scary because Aina might really do it.

【I also know that Linaria-san doesn’t like gaudy parties.】

Aina said as she took out her manuscript and writing instruments. She put on spectacles from a box, and started reading them.

I shouldn’t disturb her, so I shut my mouth.

For a long while, I could hear Aina writing on her paper.

【Speaking of which…】

Aina stopped moving her hands and looked up a little.

【Are you and Linaria-san dating?】


It was too sudden that I suddenly raised my voice. It was louder than expected, so I covered my mouth.

【Don’t need to be so surprised, it’s really obvious.】

【No, no no no.】

I waved my hands before me.

【There’s no way we are dating.】

【You have a problem with my Linaria-san?】

【She’s not yours.】

【Are you trying to say that Linaria-san is yours? How impudent!】

【You started it!】

Aina patted her breasts to calm her breathing.

【Pardon me. I lose my cool sometimes when I talk about Linaria-san.】

【You also lose your sanity occasionally.】


【Nothing, I didn’t say anything.】

Women are scary.

【Anyway, before Linaria-san leaves for Fortuna, you have to say it even if you get horribly rejected.】

【So being rejected is a given, huh…】

【I will be glad if that happens… Well, that’s obvious.】

She averted her gaze.

【I don’t want to say this either. But both you and Linaria-san won’t make any progress without someone kicking you hard from the back.】

【No, even if you say progress…】

【And you call yourself a man? Make your position clear.】

She smacked the counter and leaned in close.

【Linaria-san isn’t waiting for me, but you. And you are thinking about Linaria-san. All that is obvious.】

I couldn’t say anything about her direct stance. I recalled what Gramps Goru said:

——That’s love.

Gramps Goru looked really smug when he said that.

【If you don’t hold on to a great girl like her now, you won’t get a second chance in your boring life, you know?】

【Wait. Saying my life is boring is going too far.】

【A man who doesn’t dare confess to someone he likes will definitely have a boring life.】


Her sharp words pierced my chest.

【Yes, I do think she is a great girl.】

【Great girl? Please correct it to best girl.】

【Yes, I do think she is a best girl.】

【Why don’t you confess then, you wimp.】

【Don’t call me a wimp.】

Confessing was impossible. I would be disappearing from this world soon. After going back to my old world, there would be no way for us to meet. Linaria would feel troubled if someone like me confessed.

I opened my mouth. I didn’t know what to say. I needed to find a way to fudge over this.

【You.】 Aina spoke before I could.

【I don’t know about your hidden circumstances. But even if Yuu can’t solve it, it must be a serious problem.】

She stared at me through her spectacles.

【However, is this fine to continue like this? Not saying anything as you watch Linaria-san go further and further. Won’t you regret it?】


Probably, no, I will definitely regret it. I would think about why I didn’t say anything back then.

【Think about your feelings carefully.】

After saying her piece, Aina returned her gaze back to the draft, and didn’t look up again.


It was almost closing time. After sending off a table of two, only Levi-san was left.

Falluba-san went out in the evening. He didn’t have much chance to stay in this city, so he wanted to look around. Was he not easily discouraged, or was he trying to make the best of the situation of being chased out of his home? I thought it was about time for him to return and started cleaning the shop.

After Levi-san changed from the 【Silent Elf big sister】 into the 【Elf big sister monitoring me】, I couldn’t calm down when it was just the two of us. If she talked to me, I would unconsciously become wary.

【… Sorry, am I in the way?】

【No, I should be the one apologizing.】

I had a depressed face, that wasn’t a good attitude. Levi-san didn’t do anything wrong, the problem lies with me.

【Is something the matter?】

I switched to a cheerful tone and asked, and the corners of Levi-san’s eyes drooped.

【You felt the signs of the Labyrinth Shift yesterday, right?】

【Yes, I did.】

It was a sensation I didn’t want to recall.

【Erm, will it happen again?】

Levi-san nodded. That was to be expected, but it wasn’t something to be happy about.

【As the Labyrinth grow more unstable, your connection to this world will grow fainter.】

I couldn’t tell her that this didn’t feel real.

【No one knows what will happen next, so…】

【Please wait.】

I cut her off.

【You said no one knows, then the people who came before me…?】

【Regrettably, there isn’t any accurate records. The records stop when the Labyrinth Shift draws near.】

【Why is that?】

Levi-san opened her mouth, then shifted her gaze away hesitantly. She swallowed her words, then formulated new ones.

【I think you will get it soon. Before that happens, I can’t tell you.】

She said meaningfully. That didn’t sound good.

【I will look forward to that then.】

I said with a smile. I was actually freaked out, but if I admitted that, I would be living my days in fear. I hated that, so even if my legs were shaking, I would still put on a facade.

【… Aren’t you angry?】

【Do you want me to be angry?】

【You have that right.】

Something bad was about to happen, but she couldn’t tell me the details. No one would feel good if they were told that. But approaching it from a different perspective, Levi-san still came to warn me despite knowing that I would get angry.

Even without knowing the content, if you were aware of looming danger, you would accept it differently. If you made the resolve to be beat up, you could grit your teeth and endure it.

【Or rather, I should thank you. I’m very grateful that you can tell me. I will perk myself up and get ready for anything.】

Levi-san looked relieved when I smiled. Maybe she was nervous just now.

【You are a strange person.】

【Is that a compliment?】

【Yes, of course.】

I didn’t know how to respond when she nodded and affirmed so forthrightly.

I averted my face, then pointlessly tidied the utensils again.

I could hear Levi-san’s laughter.

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