75 – If the answer is inside of my memories, what’s wrong with inventions?
In the morning, we all woke up without a single person having been kicked out of the bed. Even the blanket was neatly covering us, just as it had been when we fell asleep.
I had assumed that Eru would toss and turn a lot in her sleep… I’m sorry, that was very prejudiced of me. As for Primera, she never even moved while in bed, and was almost worryingly still…was sleeping quietly a skill that all rich people had?
Both of them left my room once so they could get changed and prepare to leave. I also changed from my pajamas and back into my normal clothes. Since we were just going back, I decided to loosely tie my hair with a scrunchie the Primera had given me.
“Maria, are you ready to go?”
Our belongings would be sent through teleportation magic, just like how they came, so those were left in the room. I only took things that looked like they would be useful in the airship and left the room behind me.
There was still a little time until we had to gather together, but there was already quite a few people there. I guess most people would rather hang out with their friends then wait in their rooms by themselves.
“Maria, over here!”
“We got drinks already, are you fine with milk tea?”
“Thank you, I’d love some tea.”
It was almost like a corner of a Café, but this was still part of the campgrounds. But why must I explain about such things at the end of the two nights and three days stay? Really, the service here was impeccable. Like it was really trying to invite me into this corruption.
The cups would even be brought to us as soon as we sat down, it was all a little too perfect!
“You look a little different.”
“Well, it would be a waste not use something you gave me.”
Tying just half of your hair up was too much trouble, but leaving it all down would put it in danger of getting tangled. A hair clasp would have made things easier, but Primera had given me a scrunchie.
“I wanted to make one for Eru too, but I’m not really good at making these.”
But Eru’s hair was quite short, and she rarely used anything other than hairpins anyway. The scrunchie she made was created from cloth, and overall didn’t really suit Eru very well.
Our conversation was like any midday chatter, but we were still just waiting for everyone to gather together. Of course, more and more people started to arrive along with the movement of the clock.
And we were hardly surprised when one of those people approached our table.
“Maria, do you have a minute?”
Even if that person who approached us was Sashia.
In fact, I had a feeling that he would come.
Normally, I would not be too happy about this and would have hoped that he turn around, but today was after yesterday. There was nothing strange at all about him talking to me. It was exactly what I had expected, it was within the boundaries of what I would allow.
“Sashia! How are your injuries?”
“It’s mostly just scratches, sorry for making you worry.”
There was an overblown amount of bandages wrapped around his arm, but it was probably just an efficient way of dealing with lots of minor cuts, like mine.
He also seemed to be quite steady on his feet, so there was no worry that he might have sprained his ankle. We had both been incredibly lucky, that was all I could say.
“You two, do you mind if I borrow Maria for a little bit?”
“Ah, then we’ll go over there and look around.”
“It’s okay. Let’s go, Primera.”
“Sure. See you later, Maria.”
They must have not wanted us two injured people to move, so the two of them got up from their seat and went to mingle with the other students. While Eru was usually quite careless, she sometimes could be very quick about these sort of things. She was perhaps a secretively, highly perceptive girl.
Besides, she clearly started to act before I had even replied, because she knew that this was about what had happened yesterday. I had no intention of rejecting him, and I was thankful that things could move along smoothly.
“Sorry for interrupting you three.”
“It’s nothing. I can talk with them whenever I want.”
He couldn’t seem to stop apologizing, but neither I nor the other two really cared. Whatever it was we were talking about, it was not important. If anything, Sashia’s was clearly more urgent.
He had to say it now. Before they went back to the academy and things became awkward.
“Um…it’s about yesterday.”
I knew it. What else could it be about? If anything, I would have been shocked if it was somehow unrelated.
It must have been hard for him to say because he kept his mouth shut. But I had a vague idea. And I also had a way of dealing with it…that I had been thinking about.
“Yesterday, about me… I would like to tell everyone myself. One day, I want to be able to tell them…so, if you could keep that a secret.”
“–Oh? What could you be referring to?”
I tilt my head to the side and put on a textbook dumb expression.
Apparently, my answer had been so unexpected for him, that he didn’t understand what I meant. He looked like he was wondering if his message had not been properly conveyed.
Perhaps he had not been clear enough? The worry began to grow in his expression, and finally, he began to furrow his eyebrows as if very troubled. If I ever made the same expression, people would think that I was in a bad mood. I was a little jealous of him.
“Ah, now that I think of it.”
I reacted as if I had only just realized what was happening, with more than a little exaggeration too. My acting was not great.
It was really the level of acting that needed some extra lessons, but Sashia seemed to have been convinced by it. He was clearly happy at the thought that I had finally understood what he had been trying to say. Yes, I did understand. If anything, I understood the moment he approached us.
But, I’m sorry. I was going to completely betray his expectations instead.
“I never did get to thank you properly.”
“Last night. It was all my fault that you were involved and even injured. I am so sorry.”
I would draw attention if I stood up, so I continued while seated.
“Thank you so much for helping me.”
I tried to make the words as clear as I could, with power in every single word. And when I was done, I bowed my head.
“Oh, ah…no, I didn’t…I mean, that’s not what I meant! If anything, I should be thanking you for yesterday…”
I would not allow him to question or reject this. This matter was decided.
Sashia had only been involved because of me. That is what I explained to the teachers yesterday, it was something that I had pushed forward as fact.
When I had learned of Sashia’s weakness and considered what to do…I decided to act as if it had not happened.
After all, how was I supposed to deal with the weaknesses of a love interest anyway? It would be a trump card if he were an enemy, but I’ve been trying hard to prevent that from happening…I don’t need a trump card that will explode in my face!
“You were only involved because of what I did.”
Yes, now that was the truth. I don’t know a thing about Sashia’s past, his trauma, his weakness. Nothing.
Sashia’s weakness would become an important element of his romance with the heroine, and it was something that I honestly wanted no part in. And so I picked the opposite choice of the heroine, to avoid this ‘our little secret’ moment. I prefer the ‘I don’t know anything. This has nothing to do with me’ route.
“It is almost time to gather together. We should leave.”
There was actually plenty of time left, but I had nothing more to say. So we were finished!
We both got up from our seats, and Sashia was immediately surrounded by his friends. They didn’t go near him when I was around… Was I that scary? I thought that I was restraining myself to only look a little tough.
“Mariabell, good morning!”
“Oh, ah…Lady Sarah. Good morning.”
“Ahaha, just Sarah is fine.”
I looked around to see who had called to me and saw that it was Sashia’s friend who I had talked to a little the previous day. She was standing there with an adorable smile. Sashia had called her Sarah… Um, it was kind of a guess, but it seemed that I was right. I would never forget a name. It’s just that what happened later was so shocking that it escaped me for a second. That’s all.
I think she must have come to talk with Sashia but was polite enough to greet me as well. This must be what they call ‘great communication skills.’
“Yesterday must have been rough for you. How are you now?”
“Oh, it looks worse than it is. The injury is practically nothing. Thank you.”
“I see. That’s good.”
“I’m sorry about yesterday. I’m sure it was an inconvenience to you all as well?”
I knew that Eru and Primera had worried about me, but it was also likely that the people that had planned this outing were feeling unnecessary guilt. To have participants of their test of courage go missing like that would have caused quite the burden on them.
“There is no need for you to apologize, Mariabell. No one would have suspected that the map was wrong.”
“I didn’t know it myself, but I am still the one who gave you that map…I’m sorry!”
“Ah…no, it was my own lack of attention. Please don’t be bothered by that.”
“Thank you. I am so glad that the two of you were okay!”
See you later then! She said with a smile before taking off. She was almost like a female version of Sashia, and she was even off to see Sashia. It was amazing that two friends were so alike.
Since I hadn’t known her name until yesterday, that meant that she didn’t appear in the game. Or she was a nameless mob character of no significance. If that was the case, she was just a cute and friendly classmate.
Though it did seem odd that she was friends with Sashia, but there was no harm in them simply talking together.
And while I may not be able to become friends with her, I felt that we could develop a friendly relationship as classmates.
And yet, there was still a strange uneasiness that I felt over it.
“How…did she know about the map?”
I hadn’t even told the teachers. It was something that only Sashia and I knew about. The true reason for what happened that night.
“Maybe Sashia told her…”
Perhaps she was apologizing as she felt responsible for planning it… I honestly didn’t care, but it would be very bad if she were to spread that information, and I hoped that she wouldn’t. She could be sorry by herself. Specifically where no one could see her.
“…That felt long…”
More people were here now, and I could sense the end coming as the voices grew louder. In only a few more minutes we would be flying in the sky. Tonight we would be sleeping in our now very familiar dormitory beds.
So much had happened. Too much had happened during these last two nights and three days. But when all was said and done, I had a fun time and made lots of good memories. Some were irregular…and psychologically burdensome, but it was ultimately a fun trip. That is not a lie. I actually feel a little sad that it had ended.
It was a field trip until I returned to the house. It was a camping trip until I returned to the academy. Thinking this, I decided to look for my two friends in order to enjoy the last moments of this camp.
…Ah, I forgot to see the flowers for Keito.