Chapter 100~ Yay. Also we’ve reached over 3 million views~ I don’t exactly know what that would give me or what it would ever mean but in any case thanks. Hopefully Bluey’s gonna post up a chapter of something today as well 🙂 And hoepfully i’ll do another chapter or two today 🙂
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With the Red-haired Youth, and Silver-haired Maiden. Three
Looking towards a new customer, she reflexively called out.
Seeing that, that person, was in a certain sense of the meaning, 『the person she was waiting for』, Latina held tightly onto the tray, trying not to fall over this time.
The fact that everyone’s attention ended up directed over to the young girl and boy who were awkwardly talking to each other was perhaps inevitable, considering what had happened just the day before.
After she came back from Chloe’s house, Latina went to Kenneth for an honest discussion about last night.
Talking about how her childhood friend confessed to her, being shaken by that, how her work rhythm had been broken. Furthermore, she once again apologized for all the countless mistakes she made the day before.
“….I think, Rudi will probably come by today as well. Is it okay if I take a short break and go talk to him?”
“….Alright. Just tell me when he arrives.”
Kenneth holds back on his sigh, and answers as such. He just couldn’t fathom what kind of reaction those drunks would have on the day she goes to 『talk』with him inside the shop. At the very least, he would not allow this young man’s heartbreak to manifest into a traumatic experience that would dig out at his heart from here on out.
After all, 『that person』, has a very 『special』 place as one of that girl’s very dear 『childhood friends』.
(So he finally came huh?)
With that thought, Kenneth looked as if he wanted to sigh again.
The reason that all the way until now, there haven’t been any crowds of young men around Latina expressing their interest to her was because 『her guardians』 had been using their power to prevent them from doing so, and because at the same time, they had been maintaining a balance amongst themselves stating that 『no one gets a head start』.
That balance would probably disappear now that the 『first one』 has appeared.
(I had wanted that Dale to have cleared this up before all this started though…)
It was when Dale wasn’t here that those infatuated with Latina would be most 『active』.
Just how far could they protect Latina, who couldn’t remain a child? At what point, should they leave it up to her own, for 『experience』?
Kenneth, Latina’s 『master』, who was Latina’s greatest support when Dale was away, had also realized that he was currently standing at a crossroads.
She calls for Rudolf, inviting him past the kitchen, into the back of the shop.
Over there, where Theo and Wind always plays, in what resembled backyard, a feeling of homeliness existed, one that didn’t exist within the shop.
That’s when, Latina started to fumble and talk.
“Um, you know…. Um, Rudi…. about yesterday….”
“I was surprised. Since, I didn’t realise it at all.”
“….I know. I’ve known that, you’ve never seen me in that way, after all.”
“I think I know, as well, just who you’ve always had your eyes on. Which is why, I didn’t think that I would get a reply. …..But, I thought… that I would try to at least convey my feelings.”
Latina’s cheeks seemed to be dyed red with embarrassment, and with slightly upturned eyes, she spoke the words that, he, despite knew was coming, 『the words he didn’t want to hear the most』.
“I’m sorry, Rudi….”
The reason why he was able to answer, even with a hoarse voice, was because that was the answer he had 『expected』to a certain degree.
“I’m sorry… I… like Dale, nano.”
“I’m still being treated by Dale as a child, and he won’t even accept me as his partner, but I won’t give up, no.”
“So, I’m sorry. This…. is the only way, I can respond to your feelings, Rudi, but…”
It was a little, clumsy. However, Latina looked towards Rudi with a somewhat charming smile, slightly different to normal.
“Thank you, Rudi…. Thank you…. for liking me.”
Everything Latina was expressing now — her flushed face, her cloudy eyes, her sweet, soft voice — was what 『he had wanted directed towards him』.
Which is why, Rudolf held onto his 『courage』, to keep trying for just a little longer.
“You’re not… the only one who won’t give in.”
Saying that, he looks directly into Latina’s eyes.
He had probably realised that he had turned even more red than Latina, but his voice didn’t waver at all.
“Even if you have someone you like. I know that… you, are still not together with him so…. I’ll wait, until you think… that you could give up.”
“At that time, if you would just… remember me.”
Light flickers out from inside the shop, reflecting onto Rudolf’s chest.
There’s no way that she wouldn’t understand what that was.
It was something she once had. She had finally understood why he had been so carefully taking care of it for her.
She reaches out with a slender finger, touching 『that』, and Rudolf’s body stiffens with shock, seeing that she had come closer.
“Thank you, Rudi.”
She places her gratitude, and feelings of joy, onto 『what used to be a part of her』.
“I’m sorry. But, I’m truly, thankful….”
— Even after her finger pulled away, for some reason, it felt like a hint of warmth had remained.
After being escorted by Latina back into the 『Dancing Ocelot』, Rudolf drags himself over to the wall, and sat down, leaning against it.
Even if he knew what Latina would probably say to him, there’s no way it didn’t hurt. There’s no way it wasn’t hard to take.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t regret the fact that I told her. Just the fact that she’s now aware of me, not as 『just a childhood friend』, but someone of the 『other sex』, was great. — was what he was telling himself.
He continued to put up a front in Latina’s presence.
For some reason or another, that’s what he decided to do.
He didn’t want to show his miserable side in front of the girl that he likes. He didn’t want to lose to the 『back』 that he wanted to catch up with. Just pretending, was the absolute 『best』 that Rudolf could manage at the moment.
“Is it alright now?”
Kenneth calls out worriedly seeing her return to the kitchen. Latina nods to the question and answers.
Latina had quite a refreshed look, and had gotten her calm back. She had returned to how she was before she had aggravated the relationship between her and Dale.
The sight of her briskly completing her work, as well as her, brilliant smile, not a cloud in sight, was back.
“I’ve decided, to tell Dale properly, no.”
Inside the room in the attic, Latina said as she was changing Wind into his pajamas and brushing his hair, as he was laying down on his back.
She, who had not noticed the feelings of her childhood friend by her side.
She had also come to realise that, when she had planned to tell Dale her feelings, yet was lacking in explanation, it had actually been really helpful for her. Even if they were always next to each other, there was no way to fully understand all of the other person’s feelings.
If it was a feeling that she can’t simply give up on, she had to challenge it countless times.
She should never have thought that Dale would accept her feelings so easily.
“One more time, I’ll try my best. And even if I fail the next time, I’ll keep on trying, no.”
“Before that, I have to apologize to Dale. I have to apologize for making him worry. And, I have to do it properly, no.”
Even though she was hugging Wind tightly, her face didn’t show any hints of sorrow or pain. Within her eyes carried a resolute determination.
“I knew that, Dale thinks of me as a 『child』, mon. It was bad of me to lose heart over something like that, no.”
“Which is why, I’ll try my best starting tomorrow, no.”
She had reaffirmed that her feelings were not something she would give up.
She had no room for losing heart, or growing timid.
She was still quite a bit far away from becoming 『her ideal woman』. No matter how much she tries, she would still be lacking.
Despite that, there would be people who would tell her that they “like her”. Although, she couldn’t afford growing arrogant, she decided to try be a little bit more confident. Her efforts would not be in vain.
“I don’t plan on giving up, mon. In that case, I have to try harder!”
Feeling the warmth from her 『friend’s 』 encouragement, Latina furthered her resolve.
— A few days after.
A single letter arrived from the royal capital to the 『Dancing Ocelot』 in Kroix.
Written there, was a simple sentence, stating that Dale had fallen ill.