Greg watched Arroganz descend onto the deck.
Brad was binding the sky pirates who were being tossed onto the deck, and yelled “Come here at once and help me, meathead!”
However, Greg was watching the gray giant, Arroganz, while thinking.
(There’s no winning against that thing.)
Arroganz was larger than ordinary armor and its massive plating made it look heavy. However, it looked completely light in the air.
The crude armor of the sky pirates were no match for it.
Greg believed that they wouldn’t have won without Leon’s power.
(So much for having actual combat experience. Well, don’t I seem powerless alone.)
Up until now, he believed that Leon was able to accomplish what he did through the help of retainers.
On the contrary, he saw that Leon was able to fight against sky pirates by himself.
Greg noticed that unlike Leon, who immediately took action once enemies had arrived, he himself couldn’t fight properly without someone else’s support.
“Am I a brat? Was I just a brat trying to look cool?”
It seemed natural that Leon would call him a Brat.
Greg felt very pathetic while feeling that Leon a was stronger guy than he and the others had thought.
I was inside Arroganz.
I checked my surroundings.
“Has everyone been neutralized?”
Luxon answered from within Arroganz.
It sat on a disc-like pedestal and turned its one eye towards me.
[Indeed. The engines of the two airships have already halted. There’s no problem even if they go haywire. We only need to shoot them down.]
“Idiot, stop that. We’re taking them back to sell them.”
The airships could make a profit, and that’s leaving aside the crude armor. Of course, the air pirates were profitable as well.
Due to that, I decided to seize everything. It was better than leaving them alone.
[It would’ve been faster if we had just shot them down. Wouldn’t it be tedious to bring all of this back?]
“No, I don’t have the kind of mentality to commit murder while still being in high spirits. It seems I’ll have to be careful if I use you in fighting.”
Luxon responded in an electronic voice, sounding colder than usual.
[Master, would you be content if a blunder like that causes your own undoing?]
I soon understood what this thing wanted to say.
It seemed to be saying that showing sympathy could be a mistake one day.
Luxon was telling me [Why didn’t you kill the sky pirates?]
──I was reluctant to commit murder.
“Like I said, I don’t want to get involved in these kinds of things.”
Since I made such a decision, I didn’t want to participate in a war on my own accord.
If I initiated a war, I would be going back on my words.
If someone ordered me to fight, I could still make up excuses for myself.
However, it was very detestable for me to willingly decide on killing a human,
How did things come to this?
I wanted to keep a reasonable distance from the major characters and live peacefully.
However, I couldn’t abandon Livia and the others at this point.
I also knew that things would get troublesome because of this half-hearted attitude I was taking.
Nevertheless, I didn’t want to go through the route of massacre.
I definitely didn’t have the spirit for it.
I wondered how long I could keep being this lenient towards ruffians.
“Leaving that aside, I gave more than enough warning shots towards our enemies. Why did you shoot?”
[I will not allow anything to befall upon Partner.]
Was this thing in any position to raise complaints about people?
This AI had the nerve to carry out its own self-interest.
I couldn’t tell whether this thing was amazing or useless…well, that was how the AI of the otome game worked. Besides, it was better if I thought of this thing as an ally.
Seriously though──if this thing was a genuine AI and it started a rebellion, that would be frightening.
This fellow felt a bit tepid, but that was just right for me.
There was a room inside Partner.
Cara, looking outside the window, trembled while holding a communication device.
“T, this is no joke. H, how did they lose so easily?!”
Cara, who had guided the sky pirates, was flustered by her disappointment.
She didn’t think that Leon could be this strong.
Furthermore, there was the matter of Partner.
Even when counting Cara, there were only five people onboard, so she didn’t think that it could be operated normally.
In addition, it’s performance was quite something.
The sky pirates were no match for it.
“I was told that this was a lost item, but to think that it was this powerful. At this rate, they’re going to arrive at my household.”
Cara was ordered by Brad’s ex-fiancee to lure Leon and the others to this location.
The intent was to have the sky pirates attack them.
Cara was the only one planned to be spared from the sky pirates.
She tightly grasped the communication device in her hand.
After she initiated contact with the sky pirates, communications were suddenly cut off.
“Why isn’t it working?!”
There was a harsh noise, perhaps from a poor reception.
Communication ability was generally poor.
That was considered normal in this world, but it was possible to manage if the other party was nearby.
Cara threw the communication device while thinking about how the attacking sky pirates were supposed to be at a distance where communications wouldn’t act up.
She was in distress over the plan failing.
“I haven’t contacted my home. Furthermore, if Milady knows about this, I’ll be the one to suffer.”
Leon, who captured the sky pirates, resumed his travel towards the semi-baron household. If that were to happen, then her household would find out.
In addition, she wouldn’t know what to say towards the daughter of the Olfery earl household.
“I, I got it. I’ll use that commoner girl. I’ll have something bad happen with her. R, right, that Baltfault guy will definitely let his guard down since he has a soft spot for her. T, the other two were disinherited and have no power, so it’s fine to ignore them.”
Cara spoke to herself.
In the corner of the room, a small camera was closely observing Cara.
It was evening by the time Partner arrived at the Wein semi-baron household.
“The sun had set pretty early.”
To make matters worse, it was cold.
Since there was no harbor in the semi-baron’s territory for Partner to dock at, we landed using a small airship.
However, a problem had risen.
Brad was complaining towards me.
“Why are you so calm in this situation?!”
Currently, we were surrounded by soldiers from the semi-baron household.
I gallantly raised both of my hands up.
They were all pointing guns at us, after all.
“Don’t freak out. I’m worried as well.”
Greg was on the edge.
“I can’t tell whether you’re amazing or useless.”
The soldiers were on guard against us since we brought along airships that belonged to sky pirates. It couldn’t be helped since they were cautious about sky pirates.
A semi-baron then appeared amongst the ruckus.
Wein──Cara’s father, “Conrad Fou Wein.”
He felt like a middle-aged man with a tired face and a belly that stood out a bit, but he was surprised to see us.
“Lower your weapons at once!”
When the soldiers lowered their weapons, I lowered my hands as well.
Conrad greeted Brad, not me. It seemed that he knew about Brad being the son of a margrave family.
“Brad, right? It’s been a while.”
“Huh? Um, yeah.”
However, Brad, perhaps not remembering Conrad, acted a bit odd.
Seeming to realize that, Conrad laughed in self-deprecation.
“We met when a party was held at the Earl’s mansion, but it seems you’ve grown quite a bit.”
Brad spoke in relief since the situation had calmed down.
“Leaving that aside, why are we surrounded? Your daughter made a request for help, so we came here in a hurry.”
Conrad was perplexed.
“Help? Did my daughter ask you for help, Brad?”
Everyone around turned their gazes towards Cara, and she began making excuses in a panic. Luxon had kept an eye on her, and she turned out to be a really terrible person.
“T, that’s not it. The girl I consulted blew it out of proportion. T, that──”
Everyone’s sight turned towards Livia this time.
“Huh? U, um, I was requested to──”
Looking a bit out of it, Livia’s speaking quickly became incoherent. She had recently been lacking in spirit.
Even when I tried to talk to her, she avoided me. I wondered if something really had happened.
Conrad was about to press her, so I stepped in.
“Your daughter consulted Livia and had her introduce herself to me so that she could make a rescue request. That’s why we came in a hurry.”
He looked at me with a gaze that said “Who is this guy?”, but Brad then introduced me.
“This is Leon Fou Baltfault. I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors about him, right?”
When hearing that, Conrad turned towards me and made an apology.
“So you’re the Baron? It seems I’ve been rude. H, however, our territory isn’t really in trouble. Was there indeed a rescue request?”
Brad squinted his eyes and looked at Cara.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
Cara, not being able to talk her way out of it, tried to glare at Livia, but I stepped in and obstructed her.
Thereupon, Cara made a face that seemed like she was about to cry.
Conrad defended her daughter.
“My apologies. My daughter seems confused. I’ll invite you at our household for a short while, so──”
When he said that, I laughed scornfully.
This was the world of that otome game. To a woman, particularly a schoolgirl in the academy, it was a kind world.
This dilly-dallying was bothering me.
“Your daughter summoned us here. We were promised a remuneration if we helped. Semi-baron, you understand, right? This is no time to fool around.”
I pressed them by taking an overbearing and threatening attitude.
In society, statuses were meant to be taken advantage of. So, I decided to wield my title as a baron, which I didn’t even want.
“We have two future barons here. I myself am already a baron. We had set out on an airship, and even captured two airships from sky pirates. If there was a mistake, why weren’t we told?”
“H, however, I wasn’t that aware of the situation at──”
“In that case, you should have asked your daughter. It’s fine if you want to protect your pretty little daughter. However, if you’re going to do that, then allow me to get my remuneration, my way.”
Luxon helped out by making the airship move.
When the semi-baron saw Partner’s massive unit moving, he grabbed Cara’s shoulders, perhaps misunderstanding the situation.
He tried to quickly get information out of her.
“Cara, what in the world happened? Did you really make a rescue request?”
From there, Cara explained the situation while crying.
I didn’t enter the residence of the semi-baron, but instead returned to Partner and did some stretches.
Cara told us everything.
She brought us here in order to trick us.
When I told her that I heard the sky pirates’ side of the story, she gave in and spoke non-stop.
What did the sky pirates say? They pretended not to know.
Did I lie? Not quite. She just misunderstood what I had said. When I told her that I heard what the sky pirates had said, Cara voluntarily spoke to us about the scheme.
She said that the earl daughter tricked us into thinking we were going to attack sky pirates!
Olivia and I were the only two people in the room.
“*sigh*, I’m tired. We’ll look over the situation tomorrow, so I guess we have some free time for now. Fortunately, there are still some days left in this school holiday.”
I felt that a lot had happened in one day.
This was a pretty big let-down, since this wasn’t actually part of the game. I shouldn’t have gotten excited.
In life, peaceful and quiet days are most supreme.
Livia, who would normally be worried and say “Is that okay?”, hung her head and said nothing.
“Are you alright?”
When I turned towards her, Livia slowly raised her head.
“──How do I say this?”
“Leon, you’re pretty amazing. You solve things by yourself, and you can do anything by yourself.”
When I reached my arm out towards Livia, who had a different aura from usual, she shook it off.
Livia took a step back, taking a distance from me.
“Why are you so kind to me?”
“W, well, that──”
The first reason that came to mind was that “she was the protagonist”, an excuse I made for myself. I was at a loss for words.
“It’s strange, don’t you think? I’m just a commoner with little worth. Leon, do you have reason for why you’re supporting me? I really don’t see why. How come you’re helping me, even though I can’t meet your expectations?”
When I was silent and didn’t answer, Livia made a gloomy smile.
“Are you after my body?”
I immediately replied.
“T, that’s not it. That’s not why I──”
Upon which, Livia cried while smiling.
It was painful to look at her smile. It made my heart ache.
“That would the case, wouldn’t it? I’m not cute, Anjie’s the beautiful one──she’s a pampered girl, after all. I have nothing going for me──nothing, and yet you have a reason for why you treat me kindly.”
Did I make a mistake somewhere?
I had no words towards Livia, who sat down and burst into tears.
I really was pathetic.
“In that case──what is it that you want of me? Why are you this kind to me? It’s strange, don’t you think? I mean──I’m not helpful to you two.”
Did Cara and the others say something to her?
“No, whether or not you’re helpful is irrelevant. That doesn’t──”
When I was about to say “That doesn’t matter,” the words “This is the world of an otome game. Prestigious boys make for capture targets,” popped up in my head.
Livia’s words oddly struck themselves into my heart, it hurt.
Even if I made an excuse, it would only be superficial.
It seemed that an unpleasant part of myself came to light.
My association of the game’s characters wasn’t limited to just the five capture targets──I also viewed Livia as the protagonist. I saw her as a character who appeared in the story.
I planned to solve my troubles by having Livia become a saint in the finale──so just what set me apart from Cara, who was also using Livia?
More thoughts found themselves in my head.
──Have I looked at Livia for who she really was? Haven’t I only been looking at her as someone important for the future due to her being the protagonist?
Livia cried while yelling.
“I──I wanted to be friends with you two! Yet, aren’t I no different from a pet? Don’t make light of me. I’m a human. I am not a pet!”
Livia was crying while sitting.
I couldn’t do anything. I left the room in order to escape.
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