Swing and Miss
“Let’s buy weapons!”
Tamaki energetically proposed that right off the bat.
It’s true that my sword was broken and Shuri’s daggers were chipped.
I guess it’s the obvious outcome since we’ve been battling so often and using them so crudely, so it was probably time to replace them.
“I want to go shopping so lets get new stuff~!—is all I’m hearing.”
“What? That’s not what I said though?”
“Frankly, Yui, I just don’t want to go with your opinions at the drop of a hat, so I’m putting a dere filter over you.”
“… Hmph… I see..”
The two of them grinned as they turned in my direction.
These two had been at each other’s throats for a while, but after our battle against Fantra, they went back to being best friends like they were before we were summoned to this other world.
I’ve had less chances to talk to Shuri thanks to that.
I’d like to take this chance and go shopping together with Shuri alone…
Tonight should be the the night—assuming Shuri still remembers the promise. Maybe me wanting it to be tonight while she’s in a good mood is just my selfishness?
“I don’t mind. I mean, we have some money from conquering the dungeon, so sure. Also… her too.”
I motioned to the a certain red devil standing behind me with my thumb. Leadred’s eyes brightened like a pure child’s.
It was the reaction of someone who loved fighting. She couldn’t help herself from wanting to go look at weapons.
Seeing her like that, Tamaki seemed to understand. With that, our plans for the day were set.
“It’d decided then. I’ll go around with Shuri while you go have fun with Leadred, Katsuragi.”
“Why’re you making the decisions? Shuri should obviously go with me.”
I pulled Shuri’s hand.
Seeing her expression, my determination was reaffirmed. Not today! I might’ve normally just let it go, but not today!
“Isn’t it fine!? Sure, I get that Shuri likes you, but that has nothing to do with this!”
“Are you her mother!? I like Shuri. Shuri likes me. Why do you not want us going spending time together, huh? Tell me the reason.”
“Because I want to spend time with her too, she’s my best friend!”
“Same, I want to spend time with her too.”
“Huh, who was the one flirting with her all the way here, every day, breakfast lunch and dinner~? We had to endure you two the whole time! I almost vomited sugar!”
Leadred was nodding along with her. Seeing as how Shuri was looking embarrassed with a small grin on her face, she was probably thinking back to it, too.
“Okay, Tamaki. Let’s remind you about my little friend, Absolute Command.”
“Petty! Where’s your pride as a man!?”
We faced off. I started wondering how far the situation was going to escalate, but I felt a ghastly presence wash over me like a wave of ice water, dampening my anger.
When I turned to its source, I saw Leadred—who’d been holding back her excitement for going to buy weapons—looking at me pleadingly.
“… Could you stop squabbling?”
Pressed down on by Leadred’s aura, Tamaki’s face paled.
“… Alright. But what should we do? I want to go with Shuri.”
“U-Umm… how about we settle it with a game of rock paper scissors? We could split up into groups based on whoever gets a match? Does that sound alright?”
Seeing us about to get right back into it, Shuri came up with a compromise.
I see. We can just leave it up to fate. That way, there shouldn’t be anything to complain about no matter the result.
“Sounds good to me. I’m in.”
“I don’t mind. Leadred, what about you?”
“I’ll go with whoever. I just want to look at weapons.”
“Alright, let’s do it.”
Looking at Shuri, Tamaki seemed like she’d already decided what she was going to use.
Still though, predictions wouldn’t help in a game of chance like this. I’ll show you that I’ll be the one to go on a date with Shuri!
“Alright, let’s go!”
“”” Rock, paper, scissors! “”
Each of us threw out our choices, deciding our fates.
◆ ◆ ◆
The city we’d come to was the one with an expansive blacksmithing district called Russell. It was on the opposite side of the Royal Palace from Trance Labyrinth.
It was far, though. It took five days to walk here with no villages in between, so we were stuck to portable rations and water we conjured through magic. Still though, with our experience from Rigal Den, we didn’t starve or anything.
We encountered some bandits on the way, but when I grabbed the guy who looked to be their boss by the neck and told them to straight up do what I told them, I had them give me all their money and goods. I had them promise to never steal again, too. I’ve been feeling great since then—well, I felt great.
“Oh, that skewer looking thing smells so yummy! It’s so cheap too, let’s buy it!”
It turned out that I got paired with her…
“Why’d I have to get paired with you…”
I shuffled over to the stall as I muttered under my breath.
“That’s my line. What an unlucky day.”
The result of the match was paper (me), paper (Tamaki), and rock (Shuri). With that, I had to pair up with Tamaki. talk about a strike out.
We both demanded a do-over, but after seeing Leadred’s eyes practically glittering in anticipation, we just gave up.
And so it was decided that Shuri and Leadred would go to the left while Tamaki and I went right with us meeting back up in the central plaza at six in the evening.
We’d been shopping for around ten minutes.
Tamaki and I wasted no time in immediately complaining at each other.
Hearing Tamaki’s sigh, I had to agree.
“… Whatever, there’s no reason for us to keep complaining… here.”
Tamaki held out her petite hand. Although I got what she was wanting, I ignored her.
“… Wh-What’re you doing? Hurry up and take it.”
“I’ll try and stand in for Shuri. Isn’t that obvious?”
“… You know… There’s no way you’d work as a substitute for her.”
“Always with the complaints, aren’t you. Listen up, escort me around. It’ll be a good chance to practice before you take Shuri on a date tomorrow.”
“Eh—what’s gotten into you?”
I couldn’t conceal my surprise at Tamaki’s unexpected remark.
“It sucks, but I get that what Shuri feels toward you isn’t from some kind of compulsion. I don’t want to get in her way.”
“You say that, but didn’t you just do that?”
My logical response caused Tamaki to look a bit flustered.
“Th-That’s… I mean, I just thought you’d mess up if you didn’t practice some beforehand. Shuri would feel bad if that happened and there’s no way I’d let that happen. I mean, you’ve never had a girlfriend before, yeah?”
“No, I have had one.”
“I bet it was a waifu.”
“… … …”
I couldn’t refute her.
“I’m experienced in these things.”
“… Even though that was your first kiss?”
Tamaki’s cheeks quickly grew red as she blushed, obviously panicking. She’d seemed off for a while now.
“N-No it wasn’t! We weren’t going out so it doesn’t count!—Actually, Katsuragi! You’ll take responsibility for that, right? You took my first kiss.”
“If this world accepts polygamy.”
“… Eh? You really will…?”
“Yeah. Shuri would like having you around.”
And it’s not like I wanted to release one of my slaves.
Although I could level up a ton through dying, Tamaki, a slave, could gain experience even if I was the one to kill an enemy. In fact, Shuri had already surprassed me in level.
Tamaki, a hero, will someday grow to a point where Absolute Command won’t work on her.
It would be for the best if we saw eye to eye when that time came.
… Well, to be honest I get the feeling that it will be alright if it’s her, but she’d get too excited about that if I said anything, so let’s bury train of thought somewhere deep.
“I-I see… so you’ll take responsibility… Th-that’s good, I think, yeah…”
Tamaki looked to be happy for some reason. I thought I could understand her, but I seriously can’t figure out what this girl’s thinking…
Eh, she’s probably just happy that she’ll be able to stay with Shuri.
“H-How about we get going to that shop? It looks like they have some good, cheap weapons!”
Grabbing my right hand, Tamaki pulled me through the crowd of people. Her hair swaying in the wind, all I could see of her expression from behind was, weirdly, like she was keeping herself from breaking out into a smile?