Something That Could Be Called Love
Following the incident, Yuu-sama launched an investigation on Lishe-sama’s officials.
As the investigations continued, the details surrounding the entire scheme gradually got revealed.
The mastermind behind the plot was Lishe-sama.
She devised the scheme in order to make Yuu-sama the next pope by killing off the current one.
By becoming a security officer, she knew everything about the security department’s plans and took advantage of that by smuggling in a magical tool and trying to summon a demon.
In the end, when the plan failed, Salas guided the demon instead, and the result of that was the explosion.
According to the testimonies from the people who cooperated with Lishe-sama, she had planned to have both me and Dorothea killed off as well.
Apparently, Dorothea was considered an enemy that threatened the Kingdom, while I was the one who got in the way of Yuu-sama’s ascension to the throne.
In the end, Salas’ whereabouts remained unknown.
As we suspected, Lishe-sama was involved in Salas’ jailbreak, but she was unable to trace his steps afterward.
As we had seen in the conference hall, since he was definitely still in possession of the magical tool that allowed people to change appearances from before, we had no idea how he was able to sneak into the hall or where he ran away to.
It seemed that he was the one who had manipulated Sandrine.
He used the magic that he specialized in and managed to hypnotize Sandrine.
When the officials from Bauer had finished analyzing the rosary, they concluded that it was the key item during the incident, as the switch happened after Sandrine kissed the rosary right before touching the Pope’s body. It seemed that she was under hypnosis when she attempted to commit to the crime of assassinating the Pope.
He really was the kind of guy who was never up to any good.
Sandrine’s name was cleared and has since been acquitted.
Out of her love and respect for the Pope, she intended to continue taste testing the Pope’s food to check for poison.
There was no longer a need for us to swap roles anymore, but we were worried that the Pope would become too thin too quickly again.
But she did mention that after eating Alea’s cooking, she felt a bit bulkier, so it was probably fine.
Yuu-sama was also being investigated, but her name would be cleared soon enough.
They wanted to grab testimonies and hear from anybody that could potentially be related to the incident, after all.
The entire plan was devised and carried out by Lishe-sama while Yuu-sama was completely unaware of it.
This was just my guess, but perhaps Lishe-sama had seen this coming to an extent.
As Dor-sama said before the incident happened, Lishe-sama could’ve easily found other ways to carry out the plan without leaving behind a trace of evidence that could be used against her.
The reason why she chose not to do so was probably because instead of trying to destroy evidence that traced back to her own involvement, she had prioritized maintaining the evidence that could prove Yuu-sama’s innocence.
If the plan were to fail, at least Yuu-sama would not be given a bad name. I assumed that was how thorough it was.
Even up until now, nobody knew what Lishe-sama was really thinking, though.
On the surface, Yuu-sama appeared to be the same as always after the incident happened.
You could tell that she was a bit depressed, but other than that, she would still smile warmly and there was no trace of despair to her either.
Every time I saw Misha staring at her, I could tell that there was a heartwrenching look in her eyes.
This happened about a week after the incident during the evening.
While Claire-sama and I were in our dormitory room, we heard a quarrel from next door.
When I was prompted by Claire-sama, I went over to check in on the room beside us.
I rang the doorbell, and a second later, Misha answered the door.
Her eyes were even redder than the last time I came over to visit them.
“…… I’m sorry.”
“There’s no need to apologize that quickly. May I come in?”
Pretending that I didn’t notice Misha’s tears, I went inside.
“Hey there, Rei. Looks like we’re bothering you again. Sorry about that.”
Yuu-sama looked the same as usual.
She gave me a warm and soft smile.
“Did something happen today?”
“Misha’s saying that after the incident, I haven’t been able to smile lately. I’ve been trying to tell her that that isn’t true, but……”
Yuu-sama couldn’t smile?
No, she seemed to be smiling pretty calmly right now, though.
“Please stop putting on that forced smile. Even if you’re able to fool everybody else, that’s not going to work on me.”
“You’re just overthinking it, Misha. I’ve already gotten over it.”
“That’s a lie!”
It was rare to see Misha be this upset.
Since she was always looking at Yuu-sama, there were probably a lot of things she knew about her that others wouldn’t.
“I can’t forgive Lishe-sama for making Yuu-sama feel like this…… You’re her blood-related mother, so how could you do something so stupid……!”
Misha pinned the blame on Lishe-sama for the fights she and Yuu-sama had been having for the last few days.
From her perspective, in her present state of mind, she probably felt like she had been betrayed since she wanted to believe in Lishe-sama.
To begin with, even with the case of the opposite sex disease and the latest incident, perhaps Lishe-sama was being cruel and selfish, but you could tell that the only person she ever thought about was Yuu-sama.
On that note,
“Even so, my mother was always thinking about me. That part is undeniably true, Misha.”
Yuu-sama – who sounded like she had given up on something, but at the same time, was still cherishing it – said with a complicated tone in her voice.
Misha stared at Yuu-sama.
“What my mother did was wrong. She committed a crime and everything she has ever tried to do for me has caused me a lot of pain.”
“But even so……. Despite all of that, my mother had loved me. That’s what I’ve come to realize.”
Yuu-sama suppressed Misha from getting angry, and continued.
“All of my mother’s actions were wrong, but they weren’t done out of her self-interests. Her efforts may have been misguided and pointless, but everything was for my sake. Although it was distorted, that was my mother’s way of expressing her love for me.”
Yuu-sama spoke with a smile.
Misha-sama looked surprised.
She probably knew.
That right now, the smile Yuu-sama had on her face was not a fake one.
“I could never understand what my mother was thinking. I always thought that she was just out to get me. But that was probably wrong. I was mistaken. When that explosion happened, the person who risked her life to save me was, without a doubt, my mother.”
While she recalled their final moments together, Yuu-sama clenched her right hand.
Seeing that, Misha placed her hand on Yuu-sama’s.
Misha probably no longer believed that Yuu-sama was forcing herself to smile now.
There were no misunderstandings between them anymore.
“I couldn’t understand my mother until the very end. I think that’s a really sad thing. That’s why, Misha, I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings between us.”
As she said that, Yuu-sama took Misha’s hands and stared deeply into her red eyes.
“I’ll say this to you now. Thank you for always supporting me. I want you to keep being the source of my strength. If possible, I want us to stay together until death do us part.”
As the tears spilled from Misha’s eyes, she leapt into Yuu-sama’s chest.
That was the first time I had ever seen Misha cry that much.
“I’m sorry for worrying you, and there may be more things in the future that might make you worry about me even more. Even so, I want you to stay by my side.”
“……. Yes…… Yes……!”
With a gentle expression on her face, Yuu-sama stroked Misha’s silver hair.
Without saying a word, Misha nodded her head over and over again.
The two of them were probably fine now.
In any case…
“Um……. Am I in the way?”
I came over to check on them since I was worried, but what exactly did I just stumble upon?
Since I practically became useless here, I interrupted them.
I mean, these two were getting so incredibly lost in their own world.
“Ahh, sorry, sorry. I got carried away by a good mood.”
“Carried away, you say. I ended up witnessing a full-on confession scene. Please put yourselves in my shoes.”
“But we have. Weren’t we shown something similar after the revolution happened?”
“Uh…… That might be true, but……”
Yuu-sama teased me in return.
This was bad.
To begin with, there was no way I could win against Yuu-sama with words alone.
What a sly fox.
“Anyway, do you think you two will be fine now?”
“Yeah, don’t worry about us. You’re feeling better now too, right, Misha?”
Yuu-sama said with a composed expression, but,
“Not really. If you’re genuine about what you said earlier, then please prove it to me.”
An incredibly bold statement popped out of Misha’s mouth.
I was stunned.
Yuu-sama’s eyes widened with surprise as well.
“Yes, please prove it to me.”
“Hmm……. Well, so that’s how it is. Rei, what do you wanna do? You wanna watch?”
“Please excuse me.”
I turned around and immediately left as quickly as possible.
When I took one last glance behind me, I could see the shadows of both of them overlapping.
“How were they?”
When I returned to our room, Claire-sama welcomed me back with a worried look on her face.
“I was worried for nothing. Claire-sama, do you have a moment?”
“Eh? W-Wait……. Rei, please don’t pull me. Are we going to sleep?”
“We’re not going to sleep. I feel like I’ve taken a critical hit, so I’m a little bit frustrated.”
Besides, since I had been acting as a shadow warrior for the last few days, I was seriously short on my supply of Clarium.
To make matters worse, even though I was trying to ease back into it, after seeing something like that, I couldn’t help myself anymore.
“W-Wait, Rei! If you want to do it, there are steps to these things――”
“I won’t wait.”
I sealed Claire-sama’s lips with mine when she resisted a little bit, and I left the rest up to my bodily desires.
People tend to say that love is blind.
That may have been true for Lishe-sama as well.
Her way of life was probably something that could not be considered praiseworthy at all.
Even so, I thought that it was dazzling, since I was somebody who also lived my life in the name of love.
Ultimately, she was someone who risked her life to protect her own child.
I wondered if one day, I would be able to dedicate absolutely everything to Mei and Alea as well.
What if I had to choose between them or Claire-sama?
It was a painfully terrible thing to imagine, so I indulged myself in Claire-sama’s body in order to escape it.
Even if I had to make that decision someday, at least for now…
Just for this moment, I wanted to savor the sweetness of this warmth.
We’ve reached the end of chapter 11 (“The Assassination of the Pope”)! Did you all enjoy it? A lot of things happened in this chapter, so I think it’d be interesting to read all of your impressions.
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