A Place to Go Back To
“…… And that’s what happened.”
“Who are you talking to, Rei?”
“Ah, my bad. I was just talking to myself.”
And now we were back to when Claire-sama served her homemade cooking to us.
“We’ve prepared as much as we could already. Everything afterwards is just going to depend on us.”
“You’re right. There have been a lot of surprises up until now, but, well, things will work out somehow……. No, we will make them work out.”
“That’s the spirit, Claire-sama. You’re so cool!”
“Please do not make fun of me.”
Is what Claire-sama said, but she didn’t look all that unsatisfied.
We’ve made a lot of preparations up until now.
For example, a familiar merchant――Hans-san, somebody who helped me a lot before――shared some information about the Empire with me.
I was confident that this world was based off of the game, but I wasn’t certain whether or not the state of the Empire was exactly the same as how it was in RevoLily.
If I was the only one going to the Empire, I’m sure I wouldn’t have tried this hard, but Claire-sama, Mei and Alea were also involved.
There was no such thing as being too careful.
Aside from Hans-san, I also consulted Rod-sama and Dor-sama to find out as much as I possibly could about the current state of the Empire.
While I couldn’t confirm every little thing, from what I’ve learned, it seems that the Empire was more or less the same compared to what I knew.
With this, we’ll be safe…… is what I’d like to say, but at the very least, we can head to the Empire with some peace of mind.
“Anyway, Rei, in the end, how many people did you say the exchange student group consisted of? While I was busy studying the contents of RevoLily, I left everything else to you.”
“Ahh, it’s been confirmed that there’ll be around 50 of us.”
Just as Matt said, Yuu-sama was the leader of the group.
Yuu-sama used to be one of the princes in line for the throne, but she was now a Cardinal at the Spirit Church.
She was a necessary person for this exchange program, which was really just a thinly veiled hostage trade.
Her confidante, Misha, was coming along as well.
Some of the students that I was responsible for were also included, such as Lana, Eve and Joel.
Mei and Alea were admitted to a kindergarten program at the Imperial Academy.
I was roughly aware of what Imperial education was like, but I was still a little worried for them.
Nevertheless, I was grateful that there was an educational facility that could take care of them for us while Claire-sama and I roamed around the Empire to carry out our plans in order to capture it.
“It seems that Sousa and Appalachia will also be sending out some exchange students. Lene will be coming as well.”
Upon hearing Lene’s name, Claire-sama’s face lit up with joy.
As always, Claire-sama really loved Lene.
I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous.
When I made an unamused face,
“Oh my, are you jealous?”
“Who knows. Hmph.”
“Please cheer up. Lene is my good friend, but Rei, you are my lover, aren’t you?”
“That’s true, but I’m still going to be jealous of the things that make me feel jealous.”
“Fufu, how adorable.”
Claire-sama smiled sweetly and gave me a kiss.
“Ahh, Rei-okaasama, that’s unfair! Mei wants one too!”
“I want one as well.”
“Yes, yes, one at a time.”
Claire-sama grinned as she kissed Mei and Alea’s hair.
The two of them looked a bit tickled, but happily accepted it anyway.
“I wonder if we’ll be able to make any friends?”
“I am a little bit worried.”
Since we were leaving tomorrow, Mei and Alea – who are usually shy around strangers – were feeling somewhat anxious.
“It will be alright, since Mei and Alea are this cute, after all.”
“Is Mei cute?”
“Am I cute as well?”
“Yes, very much so.”
“Fufu, I was praised.”
This time, Mei and Alea were the ones kissing Claire-sama’s cheeks.
Claire-sama’s eyes narrowed in delight as she received them.
“Do I not get any?”
“Did you want one?
“In that case, you will have to ask for it.”
“Please do it.”
“It can’t be helped, huh~”
“Looks like it cannot be helped.”
I wasn’t quite satisfied with how they were treating me, but they both gave me kisses anyway.
I took the chance to grab both of them and showered their marshmallow cheeks with kisses.
“Please let go of me.”
It seemed that both of them really hated it, so I released them.
I was a little depressed.
“I feel like I can see the hierarchy of this household.”
Claire-sama was at the very top, then came Mei and Alea, and finally, I was at the bottom.
“Fufu, that isn’t true. Both of them respect you, Rei. Isn’t that right?”
Claire-sama said, trying to smooth things over.
“Rei-okaasama’s cooking is really good!”
“When I first started learning how to cook, that was when I realized how amazing Rei-okaasama is.”
To those two, it seems that my worth was based off of my cooking.
I felt a little depressed again.
Well, regardless, I was still happy to hear that.
I enjoy cooking for them, and I do believe that cooking is a valuable life skill to have.
But, you know, I was expecting a little more… right?
“Now then, it is time for you two to head to bed. We need to be up early in the morning tomorrow.”
It was almost 10 PM in the evening.
Mei and Alea’s usual bedtime.
“Don’t wanna. I’m gonna stay up a bit longer.”
“I am not sleepy yet.”
Considering how these two hardly ever whined, it was a bit rare to see them voicing their objections like this.
“Even if you say that, you two are sleepy, aren’t you? For the last little while, you two looked like you both were having trouble keeping your eyes open, right?”
“I am still awake……”
When it came to bedtime, these two have never been this stubborn before.
I wonder what the reason behind this was.
“I mean, when tomorrow comes, we’re going to have to say goodbye to this house, right?”
“It will be lonely.”
I see, that was it.
For Mei and Alea, this was the first place that they could call “home”.
At one point, they were forced to get by in the slums, and even when they were taken in by the monastery, they were with a group of other people, so it never felt like they were living in their own home.
So for the two of them, this house was somewhere they recognized as “our home”.
Having to leave this place behind was probably tough on them.
“That’s wrong, Mei, Alea. We will not have to say goodbye to this house.”
Both of them looked confused.
Claire-sama smiled at them while looking at their half-asleep faces.
“In times like this, we don’t say “goodbye”. It’s “see you later”, right?”
“Will we be able to come back to this house soon?”
“Yes. This is our home. It will stay here and wait for the day it will be able to welcome Mei and Alea back.”
As she spoke, Claire-sama gave the two of them a hug.
“Let’s sleep together as a family tonight in our room.”
“! I like that!”
“Let us sleep together!”
“Yes. Are you alright with that, Rei?”
“Of course. I’ll bring out some extra futons.”
As I left Mei and Alea to Claire-sama, I went to get two futons to bring into the bedroom.
While carrying the light and feather-filled futons, I thought about the future ahead of us.
“For Mei, Alea and Claire-sama’s sake, I will make sure that they make it back to this house alive.”
Living in the Empire will most likely be nowhere near as peaceful as it was here.
Starting with making contact with Philine to capturing the Empire, I’m sure we’ll be forced to make difficult decisions and face situations that will prove to be tougher than how it was during the revolution.
“I’ll prove that we’ll be able to win over a future for us. For the sake of Claire-sama and the kids.”
On that night, we slept in the shape of the kanji for “river”.1
Claire-sama and I slept on either side, with Mei and Alea in between us.
Mei and Alea quarreled over who would sleep next to Claire-sama, but after competing over it with rock-paper-scissors, Mei was deemed the victor.
I’m not lonely or anything.
The next morning, after bringing out all of our packed bags, we stood in front of the house and waited for a carriage to arrive.
Claire-sama locked the door behind her.
We were bound for the Empire now.
However, before that.
““““See you later!””””
1) “川” is the Japanese kanji for “river”. Sleeping in the shape of the word, “川”, is typically a family thing where everybody (generally a nuclear family of three) sleeps side-by-side, with the parents on either side of their child, which ends up making them look like the three lines in “川”.↵
This marks the end of chapter 9 (“New Life“) for IFTV!
As for when chapter 10 will start being released, that information currently remains unknown.
According to Inori-sensei’s most recent pixivFANBOX post, she has already written up to chapter 12, but for the time being, the wait for the next chapter begins here.
As I mentioned before, I will be going back and editing the previous chapters for I Favor the Villainess part one. For the most part, I’ll just be tinkering with the grammar and brushing out any inconsistencies, so the story and translation itself will largely remain the same (basically, there will be no need to reread anything).
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