At Haku-san’s Villa
After we finished with that, Rokuko and I were invited to Haku-san’s villa.
To be more accurate, we were all invited, but everyone was too scared to go… so I, who’d become a baron, and Rokuko, who was my partner, were dispatched as our representatives.
Sally-san also followed up by informing everyone that they were only invited for appearances and asked them to please decline… but that wasn’t exactly needed. Other than Meat, that is. She looked reluctant.
… I wanted to decline as well, but she called me out directly. There’s no way I could just ignore her.
And well, we’ve come to Haku-san’s [White Villa] for the first time in a while because of all that.
We were greeted by her butler-clothed succubus, Chloe, and guided inside.
We were immediately brought to a tea party setup in the courtyard… and hey, there was even a seat for me. Neat.
“I was finally able to invite you to my villa.”
“Haku Ane-sama, it’s been too long.”
“Yes, I’m happy I could see you again too, Rokuko-chan. You as well, Kehma-san.”
“Yeah… so, I want to ask this right away.”
The corners of Haku-san’s mouth lifted as she feigned ignorance.
“… How much does His Majesty the Emperor know?”
“That’s what you wanted to know? Right… I’ve told that boy everything up to me being a Dungeon Core. As well as this empire being under my control.”
Huh? Did I read too much into it? I thought she would’ve hid more from him though.
“However, as you have expected, Kehma-san, I have not told him about Dungeon Masters.”
“… I see.”
“Isn’t it natural? That boy is no Master, so there was no reason for me to teach him.”
“Oh? But then Haku Ane-sama, that means you concealed information about Kehma from him too then?”
Rokuko softly clapped her hands in front of her as she spoke. Haku-san opened her eyes in surprise.
I was surprised, too.
“I mean, you did right? You introduced me as your younger sister, but didn’t say anything really about Kehma at all. It was a move made to attract attention away and toward you, right?”
“… … … Did Kehma-san tell you that?”
“I didn’t! O-Oi, Rokuko, did you eat something weird?”
“That’s rude, Kehma.”
Rokuko looked away, sullen.
But now that she put it like it, it does seem like that’s what happened.
I thought she called us here so that I wouldn’t say something she didn’t want me to, but it’s looking more like it was all to hide me… never thought that would happen.
“… You’ve grown up, Rokuko-chan.”
“Well, I’ve been thinking a lot.”
“Rokuko-chan, I never thought I’d see the day where you would see through my plans… Yes, I thought Kehma-san would have understood as well, but you are correct. I am wanting to hide Kehma-san’s existence as much as possible.”
Sorry I didn’t figure it out.
“The existence of Dungeon Masters is the most important secret of our dungeons. It is a secret that must never be let known to a non-Master human… Nevertheless, Kehma-san, do you not know how much attention I have paid you? I told you to not stand out so much.”
With my black hair and dark eyes, I clearly had the bloodline of a hero.
Successfully developing the frontier, becoming the founder of a religion that the White Goddess Faith officially recognized, and even performing such a heroic endeavor as repelling a dragon… there were also supposedly talks of wondering whether they should have treated me like a hero, make me S-Rank, be elevated straight to Count, or even have a parade in my honor.
However, Haku-san had managed to keep things at a minimum thanks to her influence. Thank you…!
“So then you used telling the emperor that I’m your little sister as a reason to ease his discontent over exerting your influence to crush naysayers. You made my existence outshine Kehma’s, right?”
“Please don’t say such horrible things, Rokuko-chan. I didn’t want to expose you to the public, I really didn’t.”
“Really. Come here, how about having one of these berry tarts? They’re delicious. Ah~”
Haku-san presented a tart to Rokuko-chan as she prompted her to eat it. Rokuko took a small bite and ate in what looked like a tinge of indignance.
… Wait. Rokuko actually managed to lead Haku-san around by the nose…? What…?
Doesn’t this mean Rokuko’s already surpassed me?
Oh, but I did notice one thing.
“… It’s not because concealing me makes it easier to eliminate me… right?”
“Oh dear, ufufu.”
She didn’t deny it. Oh shit.
“… Ane-sama. You won’t eliminate Kehma, right?”
“Of course not. Kehma-san just needs to know his place.”
“He is my partner. You can’t, okay?”
“He will be fine as long as he doesn’t become my enemy.”
To be honest, I think that the exact definition of [Haku-san’s Enemy] is up for extreme debate here.
“By the way, Rokuko-chan. You called him partner, not master. That’s to conceal him being a master?”
Oh, so we’re already into debating the definition? I felt a chill run down my back… that’s bloodlust. Hey now.
Haku-san just slowly took another sip tea, not saying a word until she was done.
“So, Kehma-san. What do you think of all this?”
“… I have no intention of being hostile to you, Haku-san.”
“I see. So then you believe I am fine with that?”
“I don’t really know what you mean since you’re being so obtuse, but… I don’t want to do anything that will make Rokuko sad.”
I took a mouthful of tea.
“… If that’s what Rokuko-chan wants, well, I suppose there’s nothing to be done. I will allow you to hold her hands… no, you can hug her… … … Anything else and, well—how is that young woman from the Tsuia family and that awkward female knight treating you?”
“… So those two were on your payroll.”
“I wonder what you mean? I just received some reports about them… Right, how about you go live a little and visit one of those shops? There are many here in the capital.”
Haku-san spoke with a smile.
“… Well, I do specialize in sleeping.”
“Kehma…! Mmm, first off, let’s hug. We even got permission from Haku Ane-sama! By the way, what kind of shop were you talking about? Could I try going with Kehma?”
Haku-san and I both spat out our tea.
If she said that on purpose, this is a big deal. But judging by the look on her face, she really didn’t understand.
“Please wait, this isn’t my fault!”
“… I see. I think I’ll need to teach Rokuko-chan various things. I’ll tell you about some things when we take our bath later, Rokuko-chan.”
Why teach her in the bath…? No. Let’s not think too much into that.
I had no intention of being hostile to Haku-san, so she decided to only trust me so much… phew…
“But still, it was off the record… but I finally managed to openly be with you as my little sister.”
Off the record yet openly? How though.
And she said off the record, but won’t the aristocrats find out anyway? Information networks are crazy.
“The emperor doesn’t think that you’re my real younger sister, though.”
“Yes, I believe he’ll likely think of you as someone special enough to catch my eye, rather than being my true younger sister. In truth, other cores are my younger siblings as well, so he’s not entirely wrong…”
Come to think of it, Ontentoo, Aidi, the Trivial Trio, and even Haku-san were siblings as they all came from the same [Father], huh. There’s no way they’d treat each other all like humans would see their family, there’s just way too many of them.
“Of course, the only one I see as my little sister is you, Rokuko-chan.”
Haku-san lovingly pat Rokuko on the head as she spoke.
Rokuko’s mood improved as she smiled.
“Well, okay. I can call myself your little sister now, Haku Ane-sama.”
“Yes, it was unofficial, but the emperor has already acknowledged it. Use my name if you get into trouble, alright?”
The two of them practically shined as they smiled at each other. I drank some of the newly-brewed tea that the butler… that is, Chloe-san refilled my cup with. The berry tarts really were tasty. Oh, could I have I take some as souvenirs? There’s an always-hungry girl waiting for us.
… Man, peace is great…
“Oh, right. Kehma-san, I have a small thing I would love for you to take care of. You can refuse if you want though, alright?”
True peace is oh so fleeting. Practically impossible to obtain, in fact.
… Haaah. That was basically an order. I can refuse? Yeeeah right~!
GIVE. ME. PEACE.