I awaken. It's because of a sweet smell. While I was asleep, what drifted by was a lovely scent.
When I open my eyes, there lies God. A face that could be described as innocent is turned towards me, and I could hear their peaceful sleeping breaths.
I quietly leave the covers and sit in seiza. I join my hands and bow. At any rate, this is an esteemed personage.
"Hang on, could it be, that, this means..."
I notice a certain matter and I raise the blanket that was covering God's body.
When I do, it is as expected.
Truly, as expected.
What lies there is...
What lies under the blanket is...!
The nude body of God!
A body that could be considered too young. A body that is certainly not womanly, and whose waist has no hips. Though, it is dark and I am uncertain, were there not urna at her chest? Were they not the same urna found on the forehead of Buddha? No, they probably weren't urna. However, there's no mistake that they were something as precious.
Is it not fine to touch?
It is not something sinful.
At any rate, I am the one who has been chosen by God.
There is no sin in me, the Messiah, touching the body of God.
Be that as it may, is it really fine to touch her whilst she lies in the midst of Nirvana?
If I touch her here, will I not be burdened with Karma, and be unable to reach Nirvana?
Will I not be stopped by a halo of light and be purified with, "Begone, Mara!" the instant I touch her?1
Even though my disciple/angel2 is so Paul-ish this early in the morning...
God pulls in the blanket and, in her stirs, hides her body, and turns the other way.
That white nape that peeks through her blue hair!
A nape that is anything but sultry!
Those kiss marks that I left yesterday!
To be able to see such a sight, there's no mistaking that I am the happiest person in the world.
...Oops, no good. There's no time in the morning, so, I'd best wake her up.
"Roxy, please wake up. It's morning, you know."
God opens her eyes, and slowly raises her body. The blanket slips down, and the form of her beautiful back is revealed. Behold, this is the dawn of mankind.
God drowsily turns her head. Her eyes are sleepy. Two urna are on her chest, and, below that is an adorable navel. Wrapped in small panties is a small Mañjusaka.3 Seeing this before my eyes, my stupa bears enough Karma to reach enlightenment.4
Raising the blanket, she hides her body. In that instant, I understand that God had died. The light was lost, and an age of darkness began.
"What's wrong? You're making a regretful face."
"I was just thinking that I'd like to see your esteemed body in a place with more light, Roxy."
"...Though, I doubt there's anything enjoyable about looking at it..."
"What words do you speak? Come now, please part with the blanket and allow the humble me to revere the sun."
"Why are you so energetic this early in the morning...? Well, if you're willing to say that much, I guess it doesn't matter at this point, but..."
Whilst saying this, Roxy slowly reveals what was under the cloth. When she does, the world is bathed in light.
Let there be light, and it was good.
I see the light, and find darkness; if light was called Apollo, then darkness was called Eros.
By the darkness are her navel, Cupido, and her thighs, Amor.
It is the First Day.
"That's enough, right?"
She said, as she covers herself again. Again, an age of darkness... Oh well, I guess that's enough of that.
"Yes, what is it?"
"Thank you for last night."
Roxy lowers her head. I recall the days that passed until I finally did 'that' with Roxy.
It was decided that once my child was born, Roxy would become one of my wives. Having said that, though, I hadn't done 'that' with Roxy until today. I was busy taking care of my child. Roxy herself, held back. Though she understood, Roxy was probably uneasy.
That's why I tried my best to wipe away her unease.
As much as possible, I tried to treat Roxy like a princess; as much as I could, I attended to her. Because I wanted her to receive all my love, I showed her the core of the Rudeus Style.
Because of that, my jaw still hurt. I used my tongue too much. Anyway, I should have properly conveyed my love. Roxy was satisfied, after all.
"Still, to think that kind of... method? Technique? To think 'that' that existed. I had no idea."
Turning red, she looks left and right as she speaks.
"Huhu, the world is a large place."
I used all the techniques I've cultivated until now. A 'course' that made Sylphy completely helpless, and left her gasping for breath.
I wanted to make Roxy gasp for her breath, as well. So that I could fulfil my desires, it was the shortest course. Or, so that's how it should've been, but Roxy was a little different than I had expected. She asked questions at every turn.
[What should I do?] she'd ask.
Though it was in the middle of 'an exchange between man and woman', she was earnestly studying. Each time, I would explain in detail, and instruct her in various techniques.
"Please teach me various things next time, as well."
"No, even if you just lay in bed, Roxy-sensei, I'd completely take care of everything, you know?"
"No, no, I want to become more skilled in these sort of things, as well."
Honestly, she really is a bit different than I thought. However, it's not a bad thing. Sylphy and Roxy have their own ways of doing things. Both let me satisfy myself, so I have no complaints at all.
"...I'll be late for school, huh?"
With a red face, she quickly turns her face away from me and slowly rises from the bed. I don't leave my seiza. Let's watch her small white butt until she leaves the room.
"Mn? What is it?"
"No, it's nothing."
Since Roxy turns back to look at me, I put on a show of getting changed, as well.
Suddenly, I can feel Roxy gazing at me from behind. Should I raise my arms overhead and start doing muscle poses? Or, so I was thinking, when Roxy totters over to me and touches my back.
"Sorry. It seems I scratched you. Does it hurt?"
I turned my head to have a look. I have four swells like long earthworms on my back. When I give it a touch, it stings a little.
Roxy gave them to me last night. In other words, a medal of manhood. Ahh, now that I recall Roxy's face at the time, I'm starting to get horny... Oops, not good, not good. I don't have time to think about that sort of thing in the morning.
"I hope they don't leave scars..."
Roxy's face is bright red. She doesn't mention healing it with magic, and is probably remembering last night, as well.
When I look at her face, my gaze stops on her eyes. She has beautiful light blue eyes and I could see myself reflected in them. She closes them. It was the face of someone waiting for a kiss. If I kiss her here, we'd probably begin a second round. That's why I confined it to just stroking her cheek.
"...Let's get changed."
"Y-, yeah. Right!"
In a panic, Roxy jumps away from me. She then dresses, starting with her bra. When I am sure that she is changing, I get dressed as well.
"Rudi, do I look weird anywhere?"
After we finish changing, Roxy does a spin in front of me and shows her robed appearance to me. Her three braids gently dancing in the air.
"You look fine."
I reply warmly. If there are any bastards who say anything about her appearance, I'm not gunna let them go. That's how I feel about it.
"Today is my first day teaching, huh. I can't mess up."
Saying so, Roxy clenches her fists. Starting from today, she would go to school. Not as a student, but as a teacher. And from today, I would be a third year.
Now then, before I talk about my first day as a third year, I'd better talk about something that happened a little earlier.
It's about the day Roxy became a teacher.
A few months ago
It is about a week after we had returned. The various commotions have started to calm down, and this happened while I was relaxing in the living room...
Roxy suddenly begins to speak.
"Rudi, I was thinking of working at the Magic University but, is that okay with you?"
I didn't get it, so I ask again, and when I do, Roxy looks down at me and speaks in her usual neutral expression.
"Recently, I've found that I have way too much free time, so I was wondering if there wasn't something I could do."
"Umm... So that would be teaching at the Magic University?"
"Yes. That's the plan."
Roxy nods quietly. Roxy certainly does seem to have been free recently.
Roxy's ability to do housework isn't that high. Roxy is a solo adventurer, and she can get by on her own. However, if you compare her to Sylphy, Aisha, or Lilia, she's completely inferior. Because our house has two maids, Roxy doesn't get a turn to show what she can do.
As for what she does help out with, it's basically limited to helping me out in place of my left hand. Living with only one hand has a lot of varied inconveniences. Being helped out with changing or eating, and the like, really is a huge help. However, that's it.
A teacher, huh? I know the joys of being taught by her. If I had to add on an additional comment, she isn't something that exists to act as my left hand. I have no reason to refuse. Rather than the sense of superiority I get from keeping her to myself, it's much more important to me to let the world know just how wonderful Roxy is.
"Though a person like you, Rudi, might be thinking that someone like me becoming a teacher is completely ridiculous, I think I like teaching people."
"I don't think it's ridiculous at all!"
It's unthinkable. No matter what kind of parallel world you travel to, you'll never find a version of me that thinks of it as ridiculous. No matter how many worlds you travel to, it's destiny for me to respect Roxy. It's the will of Steins;Gate.5
"I think you should definitely become a teacher there, Roxy!"
"Though I'm grateful that you say that, it's a bit, um, embarrassing, huh."
All right. Since we've decided on it, let's finish it in one go.
"Shall we go speak to Vice Principal Jinas now?"
When I say that, Roxy makes a surprised expression.
"Eh, Jinas-san is the Vice Principal now?"
"Are you acquainted?"
Roxy is making a truly disgusted expression.
"...He's my Shisho."
Oh? Was Jinas Water Saint Ranked? Though, I have thought he was Fire Saint Ranked, it seems I misunderstood, huh. No, even if you can use two types, they don't call you double, twin, or anything. It's likely that, though I didn't know it, Jinas could use Water Saint Ranked magic, as well.
"In the past, I said some things before parting with him. Though, I've reflected on my youthful indiscretions..."
"If it's something that happened in the past, then, it'll be fine."
According to what Roxy says, her Shisho is someone haughty and overbearing. But, the Jinas that I know gives off a strong image of being a diligent corporate worker. The Jinas I know doesn't match with the Shisho in the past that Roxy mentions.
"But, what if, when I meet him, he still has a grudge?"
"I'll get rid of the grudge and, if it isn't fixed, then I'll have him forget it."
Though, I owe Jinas for various things, this is for Roxy's sake. It isn't a problem to me, even if I add on a few more debts to it.
"Well, when the time comes, I'll be relying on you."
And so we decide to head to the Magic University.
As usual, Jinas is buried in a mountain of paperwork.
Seeing Roxy, Vice Principal Jinas makes a bitter smile. Though he's a person who always makes such wry smiles, today's is particularly bitter.
"Excuse me, Vice Principal. Would it be possible for you to spare me a few minutes?"
"Yes, of course Rudeus-san. Shall we talk elsewhere?"
Though Jinas is probably busy, he willingly spares me the time. Though Jinas always seems busy, when I ask favors of him, he always spares me the time. He's not a bad person.
We move to the interview room. It's been a while since I've been here: probably not since the time I dueled with Badigadi.
Roxy and I sit next to each other, in front of Jinas.
"First of all... it's been a while, hasn't it, Roxy?"
"Yes. It's been a while... Shisho."
"That you wouldn't call me Shisho anymore was something you'd already decided, wasn't it?"
At those words, Roxy answers with her eyes cast down.
"I'm sorry about that. I was conceited in those days too."
"I'm the same. I, too, had too much pride."
The two bow to each other.
I don't know what kind of exchanges they had in the past. But, the flow of time probably washed it away. More than 10 years have passed, and people do change.
After a few seconds, Jinas composes himself and raises his head.
"So, what do you need of me on this day?"
"Shisho. Since then, various things have happened, and having learnt the joys of teaching others, I was thinking that it might be good to become a teacher here."
"I see. That Roxy, who had said that teachers and the like were unnecessary, has changed quite a bit, hasn't she?"
With a bitter smile, Jinas speaks words full of irony. I wonder if he isn't enthused. Whilst wondering this, I look towards Roxy and find that she's also smiling bitterly. It seems that they came to some understanding through their wry smiles.
What is this? I suddenly feel kind of left out. I have planned on selling Roxy to Jinas, had he been against it, but I get the feeling that it'll be fine, even if I don't do so. On the contrary, I wonder if I'm getting in their way.
"Roxy-sensei. Would it be better if I stepped out for a little?"
"...Eh? It's fine even if you stay, you know?"
"I was thinking I'd show my face at an acquaintance's place, you see."
Since Roxy and Jinas are old acquaintances, they probably have a lot of things to talk about. And as for Roxy, she probably doesn't want me to hear about her green days very much.
Whilst feeling a little lonely, I inform her of my destination and leave.
I head to Zanoba's research room.
It was half a year ago that I told him I'd return in two years. Zanoba will surely be surprised.
I'm sad about Paul and Zenith. But, I have no intention of involving Zanoba in this. I'll proceed cheerfully.
I knock on the door. Without waiting for a reply, I enter.
"Big news, Zanoba! He's like, totally back!"
With an expression filled with ecstasy, Zanoba is leaning in on a life-sized mannequin.
After a few seconds, I meet eyes with Zanoba. I wonder what Zanoba is feeling at the moment. I know that he isn't feeling 'like' or 'hate'. I know this very well.
I avert my eyes, and shut the door.
Rustling and clanking sounds are coming from inside the room. I wait for about 10 seconds until the sounds stop. I then hear a [Come in.] coming from inside the room, and throw open the door with a ‘bang’.
"Big news, Zanoba! He's like, totally back!"
"Ohhhhhhhh! Is it not Shisho!?"
Zanoba and I act like nothing happened, and hug each other happily. We do so without reserve. Zanoba and I are friends. I saw nothing. Nothing happened.
"You've returned quite quickly. I had heard that it would take 2 years."
"Well, a lot happened and I returned earlier than expected."
"To come back in half a year from a journey that should've taken two years is... As expected of Shisho!"
I look around the surroundings. Dolls and bronze statues with ethnic feels are lined up. Though, I'm used to Zanoba's research room, perhaps, it's because I haven't been here in a while, but it feels extremely nostalgic. Still, in the short time that I haven't seen it, the number of things in the room has increased. In particular, the top of Julie's desk is packed with clay figures. It seems that, though I wasn't here, she didn't slack off and continued to work hard.
"What are Julie and Ginger doing?"
"The two are presently out shopping, and because they've reserved something that isn't in stock except during the evenings, they probably won't be back until evening."
I see, so that's why he was having a tryst with his lover, the doll. Since it was such a rare occasion, I wonder if I've done something bad.
"Oh? Shisho, what happened to your arm...?"
Zanoba suddenly notices my left arm. With a darkened expression, he's looking at my arm that has nothing from the wrist down.
"A bit happened. I messed up."
"...Was it an enemy strong enough to take one of your arms, Shisho?"
"It was a Hydra that was immune to magic."
"A Hydra. Hm, quite the monster, huh."
Zanoba has his hand to his chin and thinks over something. Thinking about it, what we lacked was pure physical attack power. Had Zanoba been with us, we might have brought down the Hydra more easily. It's too late to talk about it now, though.
"If it was immune to magic, then it was probably a tough fight for Shisho as well."
"Yeah. Not only that, even if you cut off its necks it would just regenerate. It was really hard."
"Hohh, to even be able to regenerate... How did you kill it?"
"Father... Our swordsman cut off its necks, and I scorched them."
"I see. I understand it now. The idea to scorch its wounds was Shisho's idea, wasn't it?"
"I'd just heard a story of a similar situation."
When I think about that battle, a sigh escapes me. Despite knowing how to take care of it, we ended up in such a state. The more I'm praised about it, the more miserable I feel.
"You're looking quite depressed."
"Though we managed to beat it, we lost a lot."
"Ah, I see."
Zanoba looks at my hand and seems to nod in assent.
"Since that is the case, this is perfect timing."
With a happy smile, Zanoba moves to the head work desk. He's searching the lowest drawer with rustling noises.
"Please look at this."
What he produces from the drawer is a model of a hand. No, that's not it. For a hand, the shape is a bit off. It's appearance is not unlike that of a gauntlet. Is it a model of a glove?
"Huhu, it is the result of this half year."
"It is not as if I have been playing around."
Zanoba speaks while suppressing a laugh.
Hugging his dolls wasn't playing around, huh? No, that never happened. I didn't see a thing.
"So, just what is this?"
"Right, please have a look!"
With a face overflowing with confidence, he holds up the glove model, makes a fist, and thrusts into it. He then chants.
" 『Oh Earth, become thine Arm.』"
The moment Zanoba speaks those words, the glove model twitches. Though, the hand is clenched into a fist, it begins to unclench itself slowly. Moving between a fist and an open hand; and its fingers bent one by one. Each of those movements is shockingly smooth.
"It's a magic tool hand, that moves as you wish."
"As Shisho instructed, I researched that doll's hand and with Cliff's cooperation, was able to arrive at this success."
"Y-, yeah. Sorry."
I am speechless due to shock. Certainly, I had told him to focus his research on the hands first, but... To think that he'd create something like this.
"It's amazing. Frankly, I'm shocked."
"Huhuhu, it's too early to be shocked. After all, if you use this magic tool, you can even restrain my power."
Zanoba's eyes narrow and he has profound emotion. Happiness seeps from that expression of his. Being able to restrain his curse of superhuman strength means that he'd be able to create dolls.
Like this, he'd be able to create the things he loved.
By his own hands.
I probably can't even imagine how happy he is.
" 『Oh Arm, return to Earth.』"
At Zanoba's words, the movement disappears from the glove, like an on and off function.
Zanoba holds out the magic tool to me.
"Here, please try it. After putting it on, when you chant 『Oh Earth, become mine Arm.』, it will become your arm. When taking it off, it should be fine to chant 『Oh Arm, return to Earth』."
As told, I put my left arm into the magic tool. My arm is handless. It might have been because it was clenched into a fist, but there was too much room inside, and it felt like it'd fall off at any minute.
"It seems like it'll fall off."
"There's no problem. Please try the chant."
"Yeah... 『Oh Earth, become thine Arm.』
The moment I said that, mana is drawn from my arm. It isn't a huge amount. Since Zanoba can use it too, that's obvious.
The next moment, the inside of the magic tool clings firmly to my stump. The feeling of being clung to slowly fades. At the same time, I can feel my 'fingers'.
"...How is it?"
I try moving my left hand. I open it up, and then clench it. Starting from my thumb, I clench my fingers in turn. This boneless hand of earth moves as if it is my own.
"It moves. It moves!"
"There's still more. Please try touching something."
I try picking up a carved wooden figure that was lying nearby. It's a figure of a horse, about the size of a fist. My sense of feeling is a little dull, and also hard. It feels almost like wearing work gloves. But, there's a feeling of having my fingertips touch something.
"This is amazing. You even went as far as putting the sense of touch into the fingertips?"
"Yes. If you couldn't feel anything, you wouldn't be able to make dolls."
Yeah. You'd need to be able to adjust finely your strength. If Zanoba created this glove with that purpose in mind, this would be something he wouldn't settle for.
I try using magic with my fingertips as a test. I made a water bullet about the side of my pinky. It seems that somehow this glove won't hinder the use of magic.
He was able to make this in half a year? Even though it shouldn't have been easy... I wonder if this is a case of, 'what one likes, one will do well'.
"I did not know if it would work without a hand, but it seems there are no problems, huh?"
"Yeah, it moves. There's feeling in it too."
"The more mana you put into it, the stronger it will get."
"But if Shisho puts all his power into it, it might be the hand that breaks, huh. I had made it to be stronger than a person's hand, but please, take care."
"Let's see, let's see."
Hearing this, I try putting my mana into it. Very quickly, the weight of the wooden horse seems to disappear.
The moment I say this, a ‘CRACK’ sounds from inside my hand.
The horse figure's leg has completely broken.
"Ah, ahhh... Shisho..."
Zanoba glares at me reproachfully.
"Sorry, I'll compensate you..."
"Uuu... This horse figure was... created by the traditional craft of the extinct Giara Dukedom... A second one, probably wouldn't..."
"I-, if you'd like, I'll create you a new one. It'd be made from earth magic, though."
When I say that, Zanoba's face suddenly broadens into a smile.
"Ohh! It seems that I've pressed you into doing so. My sincere apologies."
Despite saying this, Zanoba places the figure inside the desk. I wonder if he's going to glue it back together with bonding agent. I pray that he'll be able to do it well.
Zanoba turns to face me again and speaks.
"Please take the hand. After all, though it is still a prototype, it should be better than nothing."
"Is that really alright?"
"If Shisho and Cliff help me, then I should be able to produce something similar in no time after all."
Well, he does plan on continuing his research after all. I want the feeling of touch to get even sharper. If it does, I should even be able rub boobs with it.
Not only that, either. This arm is something that widens my dreams. For example... Right, it'd be interesting if I could attach modifications to it. It'd be handy for figurine creations if I turned my fingertips into drills. It might also be interesting to have a gun nozzle type thing that I could shoot magic bullets out of.
"...Zanoba, this is an amazing invention."
"Right? Though I may say this myself, I can boast that I've created something amazing."
It wouldn't only have uses as weaponry or for doll creation either. You can even use it for medical treatment.
In this world, even if you get a limb chopped off, with high-level healing magic, you can stick it right back on. Wounds that you'd have no choice but to seek medical treatment for in my previous world can be easily healed with Elementary Ranked healing magic.
I don't know if it's because of this, but I've never really seen things like prosthetic arms or legs. Even if you look, you'll only find things like Captain Ahab's wooden pole leg.
If you completely lose something, it'll be hard to treat. People who can use a high enough level of healing magic to regrow arms are few. If you went to the Holy Kingdom of Milis, you'd probably be able to find some. However, it'd likely to cost a lot of money to rely on them for that.
If you sold this magic tool to those types of rich people, you'd probably make money. Though it'd be a loss for the healing experts of Milis, we're on the opposite sides of the world, and if we used the Magic University or the Magic guild, I feel that it might work out.
No, it would work out.
"What's this magic tool called?"
"I haven't named it yet. Neither I nor Cliff are very good at naming things."
"Is that so?"
But it'd be boring to leave it nameless, like this.
"Shisho, won't you name it for me?"
"Eh, yeah, it's fine if you want."
It's not like I'm great at naming things either, though. But if I'm asked, then I can't say no. I look at the arm that's become part of myself, and think.
Since it's a detachable arm, there's something that immediately comes to mind.
Rocket Punch, or something.
But it's not like my arm can fly off or anything. Though I wonder if I can make it fly off...
A simple name like [Hand of Glory] also comes to mind. As in the saponified wax from the hand of an executed criminal. It has nothing to do with a bandana'd, jeans-wearing, perverted high schooler.6
Well, let's stop with those sorts of names. This is the first of its kind in this world. That's why it'll be fine just to use the creator's name.
"How about if we use parts from the names Zanoba and Cliff and name it 『Zariff's Prosthetic Hand』?"
"Shisho's name isn't in it though."
"That's fine. I didn't have anything to do with it, after all."
"...I don't think that was the case, but... I understand. In that case, that makes this hand the 『Zariff's Prosthetic Hand』 Prototype 01 then, doesn't it?"
Zanoba speaks happily.
Like this, my arm becomes equipped with the magic tool 『Zariff's Prosthetic Hand』. Though it's not as dexterous as my real hand, nor is the feeling as sharp, it does move as I want, and the feeling is there. There's also a huge difference in power, once I put mana into it. Though fine-tuning the strength of it will take some practice, I'll probably get used to it. As for my goal, it would probably be to gently rub Sylphy and Roxy's breasts, I guess.
"Though, I think there are still many points that require improvement, I must advance my research in automatons. What will you do?"
It seems there are a few problems. For example, the consumption of mana. It seems that with Zanoba's mana capacity, he'll be out of it after 2 or 3 hours of use. Among the other problems are that the fingers are too fat and unrefined, for example, or that the sense of touch is a little dull. If those types of problems can be fixed, I'm sure that it would be the completion of something amazing. However, in the end, this is just a byproduct of research.
Our goal is to create a moving doll. This glove would sell well, it'd be convenient to have, and one day, we'd also be able to sell it for real, but taking too long on this project probably wouldn't be good.
"No, in the end, our goal is to create a moving doll. You musn't forget this."
"That's why, please put this to the side for the moment, and continue your analysis of the doll."
"I thought Shisho would say that."
Zanoba and I renew our plan of action. The hand is something we'll do on the side.
After that, Zanoba and I speak for a while. The contents of our conversation are to do with the dolls I saw on the Begaritto continent. When he hears about the matter of the glass dolls, Zanoba's eyes begin to sparkle.
"Speaking of which, how's Julie?"
"The other day, Julie completed a doll of a certain personage. She probably wanted to meet you and show you."
Is it finished? The Ruijerd doll, that is. I want to see it. I want to see it, but...
"I see. But if she'll be coming back in the evening, I don't know if we'll be able to meet."
"Hmm, do you have plans?"
"After Sensei's interview, I plan on showing my face at a few other's places."
At that moment, there was a knock at the door.
"Rudi, are you here? It was here, right?"
It's Roxy's voice. It seems that while Zanoba and I were talking, the interview finished.
"Please come in. I was just thinking of talking about you, Sensei."
"Please excuse me."
While turning her head and looking about, Roxy enters the room, a little hunched over in hesitation. She then slowly walks over to my side.
"This is quite the splendid research room, isn't it? I wonder if it's okay for me to enter. It seems like this is something that outsiders shouldn't see, after all."
"A place that you, Roxy-sensei, shouldn't enter doesn't exist in this school."
"Isn't that just something that you've decided on yourself, Rudi?"
"That's true. But this place is fine."
When I said that, Zanoba stiffens. He's trembling.
"Zanoba, let me introduce you. She's Roxy M. Greyrat, my sensei."
"It's been a while, Zanoba-dono. That you seem to be in good health is most important."
Roxy bows very deeply to Zanoba.
"O-, o-, o..."
Seeing Roxy, Zanoba trembles all over. He brings his trembling hands to the top of his head.
Zanoba suddenly lets out a war cry. He jumps up like a frog and then lands, prostrated, on all fours. Roxy trembles with a start, and half-hides behind me.
"It has been a long time, Roxy-dono! Without knowing that you were Shisho's shisho, I've been unthinkably rude to you!"
"Please raise your head, for a prince of a country to, to me, it's too much, what if someone sees!?"
Roxy's behavior looks quite suspicious. I guess there's no choice. Should I help her out?
"It's okay, Sensei. If there's anyone who complains, I'll take care of them."
"Are you saying ridiculous things too, Rudi!?"
Roxy is going [awa awa] in a fluster, even though there's nothing for her to get flustered about.
"I should be asking you to calm down, Sensei. Isn't it obvious that Zanoba would prostrate himself before you, Sensei?"
"I-, is that so? Could I hear the reason why?"
"Hey, Zanoba. It's natural, right?"
When I look to Zanoba for agreement, still prostrated on the ground, he agrees with me.
"Yes. For she is Shisho's shisho."
See? Zanoba is saying so, too.
"Don't just say [It's obvious], but please tell me the reason!"
"There's no such thing as a reason when it comes to obvious things. It's fine for you to just calmly accept it as it is, Sensei."
"It can't be helped, huh. Zanoba, please stand."
Since our conversation won't progress like this, I have Zanoba stand. Because Zanoba's tall, right now, he can probably see Roxy's hair whorl. He's pretty haughty, standing above her. Well, whatever. It's not like he means to be tall.
"So how was it? Does it seem you'll be employed as a teacher?"
"Yes, thankfully Jinas-shisho... Vice Principal Jinas acknowledged my ability."
"Since you raised me, that's natural huh."
"Since you grew all on your own, I don't think it had anything to do with my ability as a teacher though."
Anyhow, it seems that it's been decided that Roxy will become a teacher at this school starting from next semester. This is something that needs to be celebrated, huh.
Celebration. Celebration, huh?
Roxy's wedding celebration.
My younger sisters' tenth birthday celebrations.
My soon to be born child's birthday celebration.
Should I have one big family celebration in the future? Paul's letter has mentioned having a big celebration once we returned, after all.
Well, that's for the future. Right now, we're busy, so we'll worry about it after various things calm down first.
"Ah, that's right. It wouldn't do if I didn't greet other people as well, huh?"
"That's right. I'm sure everyone else will be surprised that Shisho has come back."
Zanoba laughs happily. Stringing along, I laugh as well. Since I'm looking forward to introducing Roxy to the others, it can't be helped that I smile.
"Well then, Zanoba, thanks for the arm. I'll come again."
"Yes, when you're free again, please show your face here. Julie will be happy as well, after all."
"If the condition of the arm gets bad, then it might be faster to show Cliff rather than me."
Like that, I part from Zanoba.
Grinding sound rings out through the cold hallway.
It's the sound of my prosthetic arm. Whilst walking, I'm adjusting the amount of mana I put into it to see how much would be best. Each time I clench and unclench it, my prosthetic arm makes a grinding sound. It seems that as expected of a prototype model, there isn't a way to keep it quiet.
"Is that prosthetic arm a magic tool?"
Roxy who is walking on my left suddenly asks me a question.
"Yeah. It's the result of Zanoba's research."
"That's amazing, isn't it? For it to move so precisely."
"That's true. If I can move this easily, then it seems I'll manage even without your assistance, Roxy."
"Ah-... That's, true."
When I look at her, I find that Roxy is making the face she does when she blunders.
"I'm sorry. I didn't really consider you, Rudi. Even though it'd be hard for you when I'm not around, I went and became a teacher..."
"If it's about my left arm, then you don't have anything to worry about, Roxy."
Though it'd help me, it's not as if I am asking her to do it. It's obvious that what Roxy wants to do comes first. Since it seems that she wants to help me out in place of my arm, I didn't say anything, but there are a lot of people around me who are willing to help me when I'm troubled after all.
"Anyway, it's great, isn't it? That you've gotten a left hand."
"Yeah, with this, I can touch you as much as I want, Roxy."
Whilst saying so, I tap Roxy's shoulder with my prosthetic hand. Roxy's warmth and softness is transmitted from under her robe. It seems that this can tell temperature apart, as well. It's high performance, huh, this hand of mine?
"Anyway, I want to introduce you to everyone, so please follow me."
Roxy nods with a nervous expression.
After that, we go to places one by one, report my return, and introduce Roxy.
Though, I have thought to go to Cliff's place, there are sultry sounds coming from inside his research room, so I pass on it.
Each person's response was varied.
Rinia and Pursena's responses were particularly interesting. With just a sniff of Roxy's scent, the two of them started to shiver. To the two of them, who had rounded their tails, I told them that this is the Shisho that I revered and loved. When I did, the two of them bowed their head to Roxy together. It's probably because the Beast Race is sensitive to such matters; this is a person they absolutely couldn't go against, for real.
On the other hand, Ariel and Luke were dull to it. When I went to greet them after my repatriation, they said something sarcastic like [You're showing your face after returning, I see.] Though I say this, it wasn't in a blaming tone. However, it was because they had assisted me a lot for my journey. Having messed up due to lack of preparations, I felt nothing but shame. That's why I apologized.
But well, that's fine. When I introduced Roxy, after giving a blank look, the two of them then looked at each other. They couldn't believe that someone as young looking as Roxy would be teaching. However, I guess it's as expected of the princess of a country. Ariel politely greeted Roxy. She's a capable person.
Nanahoshi was ill looking. It might have been that she had caught a cold, but whilst coughing, she looked at my face, and said, [With this, we'll be able to continue the research, huh] and sighed in relief. When I introduced Roxy and said that she'd be working as a teacher starting next year, she just replied with a curt [Cool.] but because she was much too curt, I went on to list Roxy's good points at length, she replied, [Pedo. Gross.] and frowned. Well, a common high school girl wouldn't be able to understand Roxy's greatness, I guess.
We'd finished greeting everyone related to us. When it is about time to head home, Roxy pouts.
"What is it?"
"Though I'm happy that you introduced me, I feel that you're overestimating me a little too much."
"That's not the case."
"Since your wonderfulness can't be expressed in words by someone like me, that much wasn't enough, you see."
When I say this, Roxy swiftly points a finger at me.
"Right, right! Could it be that you're making fun of me, Rudi?"
"That's ridiculous. I always seriously hold you in esteem, Sensei."
"Hahhh, somehow each time you call me 『Sensei』, it feels like nothing but you making fun of me, Rudi."
Roxy lets out a massive sigh. Though it's a proper evaluation in my eyes, it seems that Roxy sees it as excessive.
"Leaving that aside, though you introduced me in a lot of ways, and even said that I was your 『sensei』, you never said that I was your 『wife』 did you?"
At those words, I realize my mistake.
It's a mistake that can't be taken back.
Right. Roxy isn't Roxy Migurdia anymore.
She's Roxy M. Greyrat.
I introduced her as such and Roxy also referred to herself as such. That's why I had thought that it was unnecessary. Ariel should've understood what it meant. But she didn't voice any complaints, and I thought she had understood, but...
But I see. That's right. What a thing I've done. Because Roxy is someone amazing, I thought she was wasted on becoming my wife, but I see, she wanted to be introduced as my wife, huh? Though she's a second wife, she's still a wife. She's someone who might even give birth to my child.
"I'm sorry Roxy, my sweetheart. But I really do love you. If it suits you, I'm fine with travelling to your parents' place and reporting our marriage to them, Roxy."
"Uu, no, there's no need. It's far, so let's do so one day in the future."
In the future, huh? I wonder if Robin-san and Rokari-san are doing well. Having married Roxy, those two are like my parents, as well. I owe them from that time as well, so I want to go see them. If we went through a few of those teleport circles, it feels like we'd be able to get there in about 2 months, but...
"I understand. In that case, one day in the future."
I guess it's fine, for now. One day, when we have enough time, we should all go travelling together as a family.
Whilst I entertain such thoughts, we return home.
9 Rumors of the School - Number 1
"The Banchou's arm flies."