Part 42: Raising A Flag?Part 42 - Raising A Flag?
I stood in the center of the room and held it up at eye level, just like an ESO character. I closed my eyes.
Of course, I based it on the ones Sena and Ayase possessed, lovely, ominous, and sharp enough to sever anything at a single touch.
After all, I have all kinds of daydreams on a daily basis.
If I wanted to, I could come up with a clear vision that included even the tiniest little details.
When I had somehow managed to solidify my mental image, I grit my molars and clenched the sword in both hands.
I prayed. I thought of solely one thing.
I was currently gripping a true Di-Sword. Not a knock-off. The real thing.
I flexed all the muscles in my body. Come, show yourself before me.
Please bring me salvation....! Please protect me....!
The sword I held on high--
Hadn't changed a bit. As before, it was a cheap-looking toy.
"....We, well, no big surprise there...."
There couldn't be any such thing as the evil eye-esque paranormal ability to turn delusions into reality.
The idea of it was blatantly overblown.
I sighed and lowered the sword.
A prickling sensation at the back of my neck. Gooseflesh sprang up all over me.
That "gaze" again....?
I sensed a distinct presence. Someone was watching me.
Don't look at me.
I'm not gonna turn around....! Like you could ever make me turn around....!
To be more accurate, it was a sound like someone breathing, rather than using words.
N, no way.... I might have made an unbelievably stupid misunderstanding....
I quietly turned around.
Oh, so that was it.
It made sense that I'd picked up on a much more vivid presence than usual.
She'd sure misled me.
Th, that would be pretty humiliating....
But something about her was strange.
Rimi wrinkled her forehead as she stared in my direction without a single blink.
Why was she wearing such a grave expression?
She seemed like a different person from when she had tilted her head upon hearing what I had to say about the patent....
Rimi was my ally. She was supposed to be.
But that didn't mean I'd solved every one of her mysteries.
Did Rimi.... know something about Di-Swords....?
I swallowed consulsively and began timidly speaking to her.
"About that sword...."
--Rimi was.... my ally, right?
--She wouldn't betray me like Yua, would she....
--If even Rimi betrayed me, I....
"You'd better throw it away."
My voice came close to cracking. Had I been right to think Rimi knew something....?
Finally shifting her line of sight, Rimi met my gaze straight from the front.
I hastily averted my eyes.
"After all"--what, what're you saying....
The suddenness of her transformation took the wind out of my sails.
"I mean, I somewhat understand that boys love those kinds of toys no matter how old they get."
"But I have to wonder about swinging such a big toy around in your room on your own--"
"Isn't that only acceptable when you're in elementary school?"
"Ah, but it makes me a little pleased that you put one of your personal hobbies on display in front of me."
"It's like you secretly told me and only me about it. Ahaha."
"Where did you buy that, anyway? Wasn't it expensive?"
"10000 yen.... at a Shibuya.... variety store...."
"Huh, 10000 yen.... although I can't tell if that's cheap or expensive. Tahaha."
"But I guess they really do sell big toys like that. It's the first time I've seen one so huge in person."
"Did someone tell you they were selling it at that variety store?"
She seemed unwilling to let the topic go.... Was she interested in this sort of sword? Maybe Rimi was secretly into grand-seeming make-believe stuff, too.
While teasing me a little for owning the sword, did she in truth desperately long for one of her own?
"I, I looked it up myself.... online."
"It's amazing how you can find out anything. I'm no good at it. I can't use computers properly--"
"So, is that sword part of a new trend or something?"
"Eh.... wh, why....?"
"I was wondering why you decided to buy it."
Should I tell her the real reason....
OST: I'm rounder
"Th, this is, a replica.... but...."
"The real thing.... is out there...."
"The real thing?"
Rimi regarded me dubiously, tilting her head.
"I, I know so, someone who owns a real one...."
"T, two of them. Gi, girls at the.... same school as us...."
"Would girls really want a toy like this?"
"It, it's true....!"
"B, be, besides, it's not a toy....!"
"Th, the real thing glows....! And it, it has an incredible sense of presence...."
"I'm.... lo, looking for it...."
"If I g, get it.... it'll sa, save me...."
Besides, a Di-Sword would be a powerful source of support when it came to defying "Shogun."
"So, so, um.... he, hel...."
But when I thought about the possibility of her turning me down, I became scared and insecure and lost the ability to say anything at all.
Lobbing the fake sword aside, I sat on the couch.
I sighed and closed my eyes.
If so, I'd give her my okay ASAP.
Although it certainly wasn't realistic to expect that much....
And so, maybe--
"Anyway. Even if there's a real one out there, you shouldn't buy it, okay? It's fine to own a toy like the one you have now, but a real one would break the Swords and Firearms Control Law!"
She instantly shattered my expectations. Uuhh, I'm disappointed in you, Rimi....
Well, no doubt her reaction was quite upstanding from the point of view of your average Joe.
These past few weeks, I'd run into all kinds of unexplainable things, and I'd been on the brink of believing everything Sena and Ayase told me.
I sensed Rimi sit down next to me.
"The girls who own the real version of that sword.... who are they?"
I heard her voice from close by. She was right beside me....
The two of us, all alone in a dim, closed room. Moreover, we were sitting next to each other....
"To think that you knew any girls other than me.... I'm a tad surprised."
"Can one of them be your girlfriend~?"
S, so we really are going to end up talking about that kind of thing....
Could it be that Rimi was tempting me?
The only conversation that could possibly develop from this topic was one about romance....!
And she'd say things to me that sounded rather like a confession, and there'd start to be some real nice vibes between us.... and....!?
N, no, I'm totally unprepared for this!
Both Ayase and Sena.... were mysterious beings. And both of them were weirdos, but in a cute eccentric way.
If possible, I wanted to avoid getting tangled up with her.
Ohcrapohcrapohcrap! I unthinkingly froze in place.
She had clearly said that on purpose, right!?
Wa, was she seducing me here!?
Going by the sequential flow of this conversation, there was a huge chance that Rimi had me totally wrapped around her little finger!
H, ho, how was I supposed to answer....
Would it be okay if I said what she was expecting?
That wouldn't feel bad at all. But.
Positive, Negative or Neutral?