Divided it cause it was quite long on its own.
After Arokaune left the room, Nina sighed and turned to face Hiroto.
“I’m sorry about that, Domori-san. Arokaune is always like this! When it comes to me, he’s just really! I’ve been surrounded by adults since I was a little girl, and I know they all care about me, but they’re all really strange people. ……”
“But, Nina-san is different enough. ……”
“What is it?”
“Well, I know what you mean. Domori-san …… Oh, by the way, what is your first name?”
“Ah, it’s Hiroto.”
“Then I will call you Hiroto. I’m not good at formalities, so let’s talk without worrying about each other.”
“Eh? Yes, …….”
(Did you just abandon the formalities?)
“Of course, you can address me as Nina-san.”
（…… I can feel the difference in our positions.)
“Do you understand?”
Nina nodded and sipped from the glass that Arokaune brought her. Her behavior looked as elegant as ever, and her good upbringing was evident, but for some reason, she had a broken attitude towards Hiroto.
“Hiroto, I actually thought it was a good thing that I found you. I’ve always wanted to talk to you.”
“With me? Why? It’s the first time we’ve met.”
“Well, it’s the same for me, but I’ve heard so much about you from people other than my father.”
“Oh, is that really so!? By whom?”
“Your friend, Gaston-san. He reminded me that it’s best to be myself when I meet Hiroto.”
“Eh!? T-that guy~!”
Hiroto had heard many things from Gaston, including about Nina, but he had not heard that Gaston had been in contact with Nina. He wanted to know such important things first.
And it’s not clear why she added honorifics to Gaston.
“In Gatson-san’s story, he said that you are the most reliable and trustworthy person, is that true? I don’t think so, as far as I can see. Well, I think Gaston-san is a trustworthy person, so I’ll have to agree with him on that. My father even complimented …….”
“Hahaha …… Gaston’s credit rating? And that’s why you wanted to talk to me?”
“Yes, I did. Well, that’s part of it. ……”
“What is it?”
“Well, um, ……, actually, um, …….”
Nina, who previously had a good tongue, suddenly became sluggish, and her head tilted.
For some reason, Nina seemed to have made up her mind as she awaited her mind to speak.
“I-I’ve never really talked to anyone my age before! So I just wanted to talk to you!”
Hiroto saw Nina turn away and flush a little, and the words Nina was saying entered his mind.
“Eh? Nina-san means……”
Nina straightens her back and faces the front to anticipate Hiroto’s question, and begins to speak. Hiroto felt the slightest hint of loneliness in her face, like a shadow.
“I was raised with my father, Mathew, and as he became a pro-democracy ally, I was raised in different circumstances than the other children around me. When I was young, it was not like that, but now I have to get permission to go out, and I have an escort wherever I go. Oh, it’s not that I’m complaining, okay? I know that’s the position I’m in.”
“Is that so. …… Ah, but you don’t go to school?”
“I’ve never been. All my knowledge and education came from my tutors. Besides, almost all the institutions of higher education in Miramar were controlled by the military, which was not my father’s vision of education. So I didn’t even know anyone my age. I didn’t even get to see the friends I used to play with when I was little. ……”
“…… I see.”
“That’s why I wanted to talk not only with Hiroto but also with those two escort girls. It’s a very new thing for me.”
“I see … I understand! I’ll talk to Mizuho-san and Marion-san later. Oh, that’s the two of them. It may be difficult during work, but if you have time other than that I can talk like this. “
Upon hearing Hiroto’s offer, Nina showed a happy face for the first time.
“Really !? I’m very happy about that. Of course, I can’t overdo it, but I’d love to talk to you if I have time. You see, some of the tutors I mentioned earlier were Japanese. I’ve heard about Japan from people. I’ve heard about culture, way of thinking, and Japanese schools. I loved that story and listened to it very much. So, I’d like to talk about Hiroto and his friends. When I heard it, the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted to hear the story of Japan! “
“Haha is such a cheap purveyor.”
Hiroto responded with a smile when he saw Nina’s frolicking appearance. However, Hiroto also wonders at the same time. Nina should know that he is an ability user.
In such cases, most people often concentrate on questions about talented people.
A person who knew a foreign existence such as an ability user would definitely do so.
Naturally, it would be curiosity, interest, and fear that would arise.
However, Nina seemed to have a thirst for contact with people of the same generation before that.
As proof of that, Nina’s expression now is the girl who is absorbed in her favorite things.
“But Nina-san also has it hard.”
“Because you’re almost the same age as me, but I have to worry about my position, right?”
“It can’t be helped. It’s my obligation, too. My situation may be a bit different from the other children, but in return, I have no difficulties in life and even fewer hardships. In reality, there are people in Miramar who can’t even afford to eat tomorrow. That’s why I’ve promised myself that in the future I’ll be of use to the people of Miramar …….”
Hiroto stared at Nina’s serious face.
“That’s … amazing, Nina-san. I can’t believe you’re the same age as me.”
“It’s not really. You may have been busy guarding my father, but you must have seen a bit of it, right? It’s about Miramar’s current situation.”
“I have a lot of respect for my father. He always thinks about Miramar. And I love Miramar too. That’s why I can tolerate everything. I want to study and contribute to the development of Miramar, the country my father envisions for the future. The friends I had when I was little were all poor. They always wore the same clothes, and unlike me, there were many days when there was no dinner. But they were all kind. …… And we could laugh together. That’s all I remember about people of my generation. …… “
Hiroto thought as he listened to Nina’s words……this person. She is also trying to make Miramar a better place. Such a noble, honest, and sincere girl.
Nina stiffened her expression, and when she got up from the sofa, she stood in front of the drawing-room window.
“That’s why I can’t forgive the current corrupt military regime. General Kaliguda, who doesn’t care about the poverty of the people, and a man like Prime Minister Guaran, who watches from the sidelines.”
Hiroto chased Nina and was surprised at the words.
(… Prime Minister Guaran. Well, you don’t know … that Prime Minister Guaran is likely to be your father)
With the possibilities that can be considered from Gaston’s information in mind, Hiroto holds his eyes in his eyes.
“My mother died when I was little, but she has a little memory of her mother. She was very warm and had a pleasant air about her. I often hear from her father. What kind of person was my mother? “
“What kind of person was she?”
Hiroto noticed Nina looking out the window and heard it in a small voice.
“She was like spring …”
“Yeah, that’s right. He said that no matter how hard things were with her, she could always have hope, like a plant sprouting buds and blooming flowers. No matter how difficult the situation was, when my mother smiled, it was like a cold winter wind turning into a warm breeze. When my father told me this, I was so happy to know that he loved her so much. So when my father said that Nina looked just like … just like Sonine. I was so happy that I hugged my dad. “
Nina turned back to Hiroto and gave him a kind smile. He also smiled back as if caught by the smile.
However, Nina’s smile becomes a harsh face as if it were painted with dark paint.
“But … My mother was killed by the current military regime.”
“I’ve been hearing about it for as long as I can remember from my father. When I was a little girl, my father kept telling me that my mother loved Miramar with all her heart. He told me over and over again. It was around that time that I started to think about it. That’s when my father started coming home late, working like a fiend, and getting ahead in his career. To be honest, I was lonely at that time. There were times when I was selfish and annoyed with my father. But I think I understand now. I think I understand now what my father decided to do when my …… mother died.”
Hiroto’s expression disappears and he looks into Nina’s eyes.
“My father dedicated himself to Mother’s beloved Miramar.”
Nina again sat in front of the sofa on which Hiroto was sitting, looking at Hiroto with her good posture and dignified expression.
“So I, Nina S. Huel, have vowed to follow in the footsteps of my father, Mathew Ness Huel, and dedicate myself to my country, Miramar. I want to make it a country where people don’t have to worry about what they’re going to eat for dinner like those kids I played with when I was little. After my father gets rid of the parasites that nest in Miramar, like Kaliguda and Guaran, …… I will be a pillar of support for Miramar.”[TN: Nina’s middle name is S(エス ‘esu’) while Mathew’s middle name is Ness(ネス’nessu’)]
Hiroto saw the determination in Nina’s eyes, which seemed to be looking at him, but in reality, were looking farther away.
At first, he thought she was a selfish lady.
She is also fighting. She is fighting for the future of Miramar, which is a foreign land to Hiroto. And to prepare for the tougher battles that would come in the future.
She accepted her position and destiny by her own will.
As Hiroto is staring at Nina seriously, she shyly looks away from Hiroto and puts the juice in her mouth with nearly half of the ice melted.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to talk like this. It isn’t something related to Hiroto even if I said this, forget it.”
Then Nina bowed her head lightly. Hiroto hurriedly waved his hand.
“That’s not the case. I’m glad I heard a lot of stories. And you see, we’re of the same age and there’s no problem talking stuff like this.”
“Is that so”
“That’s right! Nina-san’s intuition is dull because all the people around her are adults. So don’t worry about it at all.”
“Fufufu, thank you, Hiroto”
Hiroto blushes with a face that seems to be a clumsy way of following.
“Oh, by the way, Nina-san, how old are you? Maybe you’re older than me?”
“It’s rude to ask a Lady her age. And why do you think I’m older?”
“Ah, I’m sorry! No, you look so much more mature than I am, so I just thought so … I have no other intention. Please forget it.”
Hiroto faltered mentioning that he had no bad intentions.
As she saw his humorous gesture, Nina burst out.
“Ahaha! I don’t care about that. I’m fifteen years old, I don’t think it’s rude to ask a girl about my age. You’re a really interesting person, Hiroto.”
“Hahaha …… Oh, so we’re the same age. Mizuho-san and Marion-san are also the same age, so feel comfortable with them.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear that. It will only be a short time, but please take care of me, Hiroto.”
“Yes, looking forward to it.”
“Then, I’d like you to tell me about your school and your classes and stuff.”
“Ah, yes. Although you may be more advanced in your studies than me.”
“Well, actually, I’m going to follow my father to America in four days to study at an American university. So I’d like to hear about high school, something I’ve never experienced before.”
“Eh!? Is that so? That’s amazing.”
“I’m going to study political science and economics there, especially civil and commercial law. After that, I’m going to follow my father and work for Miramar.”
“Hmm, I understand. Let’s talk about school next time.”
Nina smiled and nodded, then checked her watch.
“Ah, looks like dinner is almost ready. I’ll see you later, Hiroto.”
“Ah, yes. I will head back to my room.”
She stood up and bowed deeply, holding her abdomen with her right hand and plucking her skirt with her left, maybe the Miramar way of bowing, so Hiroto also bowed anyway.
As Nina left the room first, Hiroto was left alone and his expression turned serious.
“There are so many people fighting for Miramar,……, and I…….”
When he said that, the existence of the enemy ability user that Gatson mentioned could not leave his mind.
While Hiroto was in his room, he was called out by a servant who led him to the dinner table.
The prolonged meeting was over, and Mathew introduced Nina to Hiroto and the others in time for dinner.
Mizuho, Marion, and Hiroto were seated together at a large table befitting of this mansion, with Mathew and Nina sitting in front of them and chatting.
And there, Mathew was bragging about his daughter, Nina, and Mathew suddenly let out a slight scream, and Hiroto imagined that Nina must have stepped on his foot.
Mizuho and Marion pretended not to notice and responded with a natural smile. Hiroto was impressed with their social skills, thinking that it was their experience and education.
After the meal was over, Arokaune prepared coffee for each of them. And when the conversation started to run out of steam, Hiroto noticed that Nina was glaring at him lightly.
(Eh? What? Nina-san, why do you seem to be glaring at me ……ah!)
“By the way, Mizuho-san, Marion-san, I had a chance to talk with Nina-san before dinner, and she mentioned that she was interested in Japan.”
Hiroto spoke to the two girls sitting beside him, trying to make the conversation as natural as possible.
Then, for some reason, the two girls and Mathew, who had been smiling earlier, reacted with a jerk. The three of them turned their gazes to Hiroto.
“The two of you ……? When did you have time to do that?”
“Hiroto-san, when I was attending a meeting at work? The two of you were talking together.”
“Domori-san, I wanted to talk to you alone too.”
(What’s with the sudden sense of urgency!?)
Nina was also gazing at him with a disappointed gaze.
And sighing lightly, she made a smile.
“Yes, by chance, Hiroto …… san was looking around the mansion for his escort work, so I greeted him, and I showed him the floor plan of the mansion to help him with his work. So, since I don’t have many friends of my age, I wanted to talk to Shitenji-san and Shurian-san privately, …… I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
Nina said so and bowed her head apologetically to Hiroto.
“Ah no! No problem at all. Or rather, thank you very much for help.”
“So that was it……hmm? Hiroto ……san?”
“So it was that. …… Hiroto-san?”
“Is it okay if I call you Hiroto-kun as well? So, let’s have a little chat later Hiroto-kun”
“Ah! Nina-san took great care of me, and since Nina-san told me to use her name, I said I was fine with just Hiroto too! Ahahaha.”
“Thank you for your concern too, Hiroto-san.”
With a good follow-up from Nina, Hiroto managed to force the three of them to calm down their mysterious tension.
“But if you have time, I’d like to talk to you, Shitenji-san and Shurian-san. I’m also interested in Japan.”
Nina replied reluctantly, and Mizuho and Marion agreed with a smile.
“Nina-san, you can call us Mizuho and Marion, too. Right, Marion.”
“Yes, that’s right. Nina-san, would you like to join us later?”
“Are you sure!? I’d love to! Then, how about in my room? But I’m sure you both have work to do, so even a short time would be great.”
“No, it’s fine. General Mathew will be guarded by Hiroto until morning.”
“Yes, it will be fine since Hiroto-san is here. Let’s have what they call a girls’ night out as they say in Japan! We have plenty of time.”
“Eh!? Is that so? Didn’t we already have an escort until morning ……?”
“A girls’ night out ……! Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun!”
With the three of them being so excited, Hiroto gave up on the idea, thinking that it was decided.
Then Mathew, who was smiling, spoke to Hiroto.
“So, I’m sorry, Hiroto-kun. It’s just as well, I have some things I want to talk about with you, so why don’t you talk with me tonight? Is this a boys’ night out? Is this what you call it?”
“No, it’s not.”
“Hahaha! Well, take care of him. Arokaune.”
“Get some bourbon for my room. Two glasses.”
“I understand, My Lord.”
“Yes!? General Mathew, I’m underage and I don’t drink! Also, I have a job to do as an escort.”
“In Miramar, fifteen is old enough to be an adult. I joined the army when I was fifteen. So, shall we go, Hiroto-kun?”
“Y-yes, ……, but only alcohol …….”
Hiroto thought only alcohol would be bad, so he tried to refuse, but Arokaune straightened his back beside him and bowed beautifully.
“My Lord, this Gentleman here, Domori-sama spent for a good deal of time in the reception room with Nina-sama, alone with her to consult about the security of the mansion, and he is a very careful and clever man, so I feel confident that we can entrust the security of the mansion to him tonight.”
(Haah–hmm!? What’s with the subtle phrasing!)
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Get me three bottles of bourbon.”
“Your wish is my command, My lord.”[TN: I exaggerated a bit here, hehe]
“Let’s go, Hiroto-kun!”
Mathew has the appearance of a scholar, but he’s also a soldier, and his strong hands grabbed Hiroto by the arm and pulled him into Mathew’s chambers.
Mizuho and Marion approached him. He thought they were there to admonish him that drinking was a bad idea, so he sent them a look that said he needed their help.
“Umm? What is it? Mizuho-kun.”
“Take it slowly”
“EHhh! That’s ridiculous!”
“I need to talk to you tomorrow morning. As the leader of this mission.”
“I also have something. It’s a matter of institutional integrity.”
“What? Then when do I go to sleep?”
“Then let’s go, Hiroto-kun! It’s going to be a long night tonight! Ha-ha-ha!”
Nina stared at Hiroto as he was dragged away.
“Somehow ……, I can picture Hiroto’s daily life. I wonder if that guy is okay?”
Hiroto was dragged by Mathew and disappeared through the door.
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