Rhode seemed to be compiling his report right now, and because of the content, he’s doing it in the private room given to him. And so, Kuuga headed to the residential area given to the retainers.
Even though it’s a private room, Rhode, who had a home in the royal capital and flew around, used it very infrequently. On the other hand, Uros treated it as his house, and slept there everyday.
“Here is Rhode-dono’s room. Would you like me to knock?”
Uros knocked on the door instead of Kuuga, and the door was immediately opened from the inside instead of a reply. Perhaps he was waiting since Rhode had been looking down from the start.
“! Kuuga-sama! It’s been a long time!”
“Kuuga-sama, since I’m here, I would like to tell His Majesty.”
[Sorry about this.]
Uros gently put the gown on Kuuga’s back, bowed, then walked away. After seeing him off, Rhode opened the door wide and urged Kuuga inside.
Rhode’s room didn’t have a living room and only had a simple work desk and a bed. It’s surely because he rarely used it.
“Kuuga-sama, I’m sorry to call you like this.”
[No, it’s okay.]
When he shook his head, Rhode relaxed his shoulders as if he was relieved.
“I didn’t have anything to say in particular… I just wanted to meet Kuuga-sama, who knew my situation.”
[…are you that nervous about meeting Gadi...]
“Kuuga-sama, may I touch you?”
[...so you just wanted to mofumofu…geez…]
Knowing that the prediction he rejected earlier was correct, Kuuga nodded to allow it and relaxed. It’d be good to humanize after Rhode was satisfied. He can’t let him touch it after becoming a humanoid… after all, even for Kuuga, he wouldn’t let anyone do that other than Gadillas.
Rhode sat down in front of Kuuga and gently touched his neck. It’s like a tickle since he’s touching like he’s handling a fragile object.
“…I heard that child had started laughing.”
The words muttered were more like a soliloquy than talking to Kuuga. Kuuga quietly listened without showing any reaction.
“I’m sure Kuuga-sama trusted him from the bottom of your heart… thank you for supporting that child.”
[I wonder if that’s what happened...]
He could feel Gadillas’ trust. However, Kuuga, who understood various things accurately, also realized that it’s not “from the bottom of his heart”.
Gadillas knew that Kuuga didn’t know about his circumstances. And he’s also aware that Kuuga was wondering about it.
Of course, he wouldn’t have thought so at first, but when he heard that Kuuga didn’t know anything, he shouldn’t be unaware of the implications. In fact, Gadillas knew but didn’t want to explain it to him.
He’s afraid that Kuuga’s attitude might change after he learned about the situation. Kuuga thought he was being underestimated, but the wounds on Gadillas were not so shallow.
Simply put, Gadillas “trusts the ignorant Kuuga”. It’s conditional, but it’s still great coming from someone like Gadillas. Of course, Kuuga wasn’t satisfied with that.
However, Kuuga, who simply thought that he could ask someone, was so frustrated. When Gadillas wasn’t with him, Lewis was usually with him. He couldn’t ask Lewis, who didn’t have a good impression for the man, about Gadillas’ circumstances.
If he humanized only to ask someone secretly, he’d get caught immediately because he could only do so once a day. It’s quite difficult.
That’s why now was his chance. Rhode said he wanted to meet with him alone, and he’d already told Uros that he’d use humanization. In addition, Rhode cherished Gadillas.
Kuuga humanized when Rhode stood up.
Maybe he hadn’t heard that Kuuga could humanize, or he was surprised because it was too sudden, Rhode froze with his eyes wide open. In the meantime, Kuuga put on his gown and waved his hand in front of Rhode, who was still frozen solid. Only then did Rhode start to move in surprise.
“I have something to ask…”
“Ku…Kuuga-sama…? Your appearance is…”
“It’s only for a short time but I can humanize. It’s still not a complete human, though.”
When he showed his ears and smiled, Rhode, who was stunned, gazed at Kuuga’s face and body several times, then pulled a chair in a hurry.
“Ahh, sorry about this.”
“Fufu, not at all, since I can talk to Kuuga-sama. I’m honored.”
“Please don’t exaggerate.”
If he was a person used to welcoming guests to his private room, there would have been enough tables and chairs to drink tea in the room, but this room only had one work desk and one chair. Rhode, who gave Kuuga the only chair, sat on the bed.
“So, what do you want to hear?”
“It’s about Gadi.”
At that moment, Rhode’s expression stiffened. Kuuga found that it’s associated with bad memories, but he couldn’t afford to be careful now.
“Why is Gadi estranged from his surroundings? …I don’t think he should be seen like that.”
“…I don’t know, Kuuga-sama.”
Rhode pondered deeply with wrinkles between his brows. After a while, he stared straight at Kuuga and shook his head while answering like that.
“If he didn’t explain, then I can’t say anything.”
“…I know his mother is involved.”
Kuuga felt like he’d answer like that, so he attacked immediately. Rhode’s cheeks twitched. Apparently, it hit.
Even when he stared at Rhode, his opinion didn’t change as he kept silent. Kuuga sighed since this didn’t seem to be working, but he didn’t have much time so he opened his mouth again and asked another question.
“Then do you know about the old tower? It’s a tower with magic around it that could be seen from the courtyard.”
“Tower? ――ahh, the Witch Tower…!”
After muttering involuntarily, Rhode closed his mouth in a hurry. Why did you stop! Kuuga then heard a very painful sound.
When he tilted his head at the word he’d heard for the first time in this world, Rhode gently turned his gaze away from Kuuga, while covering his mouth with his hand. He didn’t want to explain.
“What is a witch? I was told that only men have magical powers. Is it some kind of metaphor?”
“Ahh, no, that…”
“…maybe Gadi’s mother is a witch…or…”
In response to his muttered words, Rhode’s shoulders shook… he’s too easy to read.
If he thought about it, Lewis, who didn’t have a good impression of Gadillas, responded to the tower in the same way, or even stronger. No wonder they have such a relationship.
“Is Gadi estranged because his mother is a witch? …what exactly is a witch?”
“…a witch is…a sin.”
“Please pardon me, any more and…”
No, I still want to hear more.
Although he wasn’t satisfied at all, he couldn’t ask the pitiful Rhode, who had a crying face, any more, so Kuuga decided to round up the questions here.
“It’s my bad to ask something so painful. I won’t ask anymore.”
He would investigate it independently. While muttering that in his heart, Rhode seemed obviously relieved. Rhode might be having stomach cramps, but he didn’t show it in front of Kuuga, though he’s showing his emotions.
“And so, why were you looking for me?”
When he changed the topic, Rhode laughed a little, realizing that Kuuga really didn’t want to ask any more questions.
“Ahh, there’s no problem. I’m putting together the report right now… I managed to pull out the whole story and it had just been recorded.”
“Recorded? Is there such a machine?”
“Machine…? Well, it’s a magic tool that remembers sounds…”
“Ahh, a magic tool?”
Kuuga was surprised to find such a thing in this world without electricity and machinery while Rhode was surprised at the words that he used. Then he showed a magical tool that fit in the palm of his hand.
“The things recorded with this magic tool could be treated as evidence.”
“That means… it can’t be made up?”
“Yes. In the first place, it’s not possible to make a speech in a particular voice.”
There were magical tools for recording, but there seemed to be no tool equivalent to a voice changer. Since it’s not data, cutting the audio file… seemed to be impossible. It seemed to be difficult to cut some parts without creating any strange areas.
“By the way, how does it store sounds?”
“Well, no, I don’t know because I’m not an expert…”
Rhode was confused by Kuuga, who, for some reason, was more interested in the magic tool, and not the content. Moreover, he didn’t have the answer since it was a part he didn’t care about.
But, when he said that, Rhode observed the magic tool in his hand. Though he wouldn’t understand just by looking at it.
Around this time, the time was up and Kuuga’s body returned to normal, so he decided to go to Gadillas with Rhode. After all, Rhode seemed nervous and while he kept hesitating, Kuuga would force him to move from behind.