After talking with the apostle some more, we spent some time among just the family.
All four of us played in the lake, cooked dinner (except Claire-sama), ate together, for the first time in a while we could relax.
To dispel Claire-sama’s fears, and also for the sake of Mei and Alea, I didn’t forget to tell them to be careful when using their power.
I explained to them in my words that they mustn’t use their powers unnecessarily, that they can’t turn it towards their friends or acquaintances, and that it can easily attract malice.
It must’ve been still a difficult talk for Mei and Alea, but they nodded with a serious look on their faces.
Since they had similar experiences with the curse of blood in the past, they might have understood what Claire-sama and I worried about.
After the serious conversation, we played lots with them.
Rather than playing house, Mei and Alea prefer moving their bodies, so when we have to go along with them, Claire-sama and I always end up exhausted.
But, it’s satisfying to be tired like that.
At least it’s definitely more meaningful fatigue than after fighting demons or wearing ourself out from politics.
“Mei and Alea are fast sleep.”
“True. They were frolicing a lot today.”
Perhaps they got tired from playing all day, as they started dozing off in the middle of diner.
We brushed their teeth in a hurry, and by the time they got out of the bath, they were practically asleep.
When I carried my children, who had become heavier again recently, they were already soundly asleep.
“They spent the whole day with you for the first time in a while, Claire-sama, so I’m sure they were happy.”
“Rei, the same could be said about you though?”
“I wonder about that.”
I had confidence in my love, but I didn’t have much confidence in being loved.
“You’re being rude to Mei and Alea, you know? Rei, they both really adore you. Their eyes sparkled during dinner, right?”
“Well, I think it’s because they liked the meal.”
What is it?
I got into an awfully self-deprecating mood today.
I didn’t really mean to think about such things.
“… Fufu, even you feel like that sometimes, Rei.”
“Feel like what?”
“Like depending on me. Whether it’s relationship or parentship problems, whether it’s politics, diplomacy, or fighting demons, I often depend on you, Rei, so this feels a little fresh.”
With a, “Come here,” Claire-sama spread her arms.
Although I felt a little dissatisfied, I jumped at her chest with no hesitation.
“I’ve acted spoiled enough so far though?”
“You haven’t. Rei, especially since coming to the empire, you’ve always been tense. You’ve been protecting the family and haven’t shown us any weaknesses in a long time.”
“Have I really? When Mei and Alea were kidnapped, I remember being shamefully flustered.”
Recalling how shamefully I acted at that time, I still want to rampage violently.
It’s my dark past.
“It was the same for me. It’s only natural when things like that happen. If at that time I looked more composed, that’s just because you were completely flustered for once, Rei.”
“I’m sorry for what I did back then.”
“Fufu, it’s fine. I usually receive your support, Rei. I’m sure we are the types who become calm when the other one loses their composure.”
Claire-sama tightly hugged me.
Her warmth was comfortable.
While inside Claire-sama’s arms, I kissed her.
“Many things have happened since we came to the empire, haven’t they?”
“Audience with Dorothea, enrolling in the academy, meeting Philine.”
“It was terrible when the pope visited the empire.”
I’d never thought I’d act as a substitute.
“We also improved the culinary situation in the empire. And then there was the ball too.”
“I’d never expected Alea to become Dorothea’s disciple either.”
“When we had to open the taboo box, Mei helped us.”
“And when we failed to ensnare the empire, Phlinie was banished from the country.”
“Joel, Eve, and Lana’s matters were big incidents as well.”
When Mei and Alea got kidnapped, I really lost hope.
“And then the summit happened and Philine defeated Dorothea – and we arrive at present. Those were really turbulent few months.”
“I’m really thankful for everything you did.”
“Rei, so am I.”
We giggled together and exchanged a kiss again.
“If we act like this, will it count as flirting that the apostle told us to do?”
“I’m sure it will. However, I still don’t understand why it would serve as a countermeasure against demons.”
“Is it that? I wonder if love is effective against being who wish destruction upon the world.”
“If that was the case, things would be so easy.”
Anyway, if we’re told to flirt, we’ll gladly oblige.
“… Can we make it through the battle with demons?”
“Of course we can. Once it’s all over, let’s go back to Bauer – to our home.”
For that sake, we must somehow overcome the demon attack that will take place in a few days.
“Claire-sama. What the demon queen said weighs on my mind.”
“The thing about history?”
It seems the demon queen told Dorothea something to the effect of, “I won’t kill you because the history would change.”
Isn’t it just like she had the knowledge of the original and Revolily?
“The demon queen… might be the spirits’ lost child just like me?”
“Are you saying the demon queen is a human? But, the demon queen is the queen of demons, right?”
“I don’t know about that…”
Among the novels I’d read before transmigrating, there were many stories about earthlings reincarnating into the demon king in another world.
If the demon queen in this world is such a reincarnated person, the lines she said would make sense.
However, I still couldn’t understand why she was trying to destroy the world.
“… Rei, are you trembling?”
Claire-sama said in confusion.
In fact, she was exactly right.
“Of the demon queen?”
“Yes. If the demon queen can predict the future from here on, she’d have great power. My knowledge from the prophetic book already ended with Dorothea’s defeat. From now on, we can only fumble.”
Having prior knowledge of future development and human relationships was a big advantage.
A person like me who has nothing much going for her depended very much on the prior knowledge to do things in this world.
And that won’t work in the future battles.
“I don’t mind dying. However, if something happened to Claire-sama, Mei, Alea――”
Claire-sama lightly flicked my forehead.
In our industry, we can’t be picky about rewards.
“When we were going to recover Mei and Alea while they were kidnapped, you told me one thing, right? That all four of us will definitely go home.”
“This time let me tell you. We won’t lose anyone. We’ll definitely go back to our house with all four of us.”
Claire-sama said that and smiled like a large rose.
“There’s no match for you, Claire-sama.”
“It’s natural. Who do you think I am?”
“My most precious lover.”
“Fufu, that’s correct.”
We hugged each other and exchanged kisses.
“I wonder if the apostle is watching this scene.”
“Even if they are, isn’t it fine? Let’s show off.”
“I’m not into such things!?”
“Claire-sama, even if you say that, when we kiss where we can be seen by people, your heart throbs three times faster than usual, you know?”
“Yes, it was a lie.”
Claire-sama lightly hit me.
Yes, it’s a reward in our industry.
“… What is it? We have such a nice mood going on.”
“I like you.”
“… Jeez. You’re sly.”
“Claire-sama, won’t you say it?”
“I won’t, saying something like like isn’t enough to convey my feelings.”
Having said that, Claire-sama embraced me, brought her mouth near my ear, and said.
‘I love you, Rei.”
The words quietly whispered to me made me feel like I was intoxicated.
“Shall we go to bed soon?”
A certain night before the demon attack.
Thus, the short holiday came to an end.