Create an opportunity for Fate-san and my parents to meet. It might be a simple answer, but in a problem where it's difficult to find a solution, simple may be a better answer.
As soon as I had decided on that idea, I acted on it. I immediately talked to Fate-san, Mom, and Dad, and asked them if they would like to have a chat in the reception room, just like the introduction meeting yesterday.
Mom and Dad knew from what I had told them that Fate-san was trying to step up but her efforts weren't going well, so they agreed and told me that they would do what they could.
What was a little surprising was that Fate-san immediately agreed when I asked her about it. With a serious expression on her face, she said that she would adjust her work and make time for us the day after tomorrow.
[……I see. In that case, it might have been as you thought, that God might also have been thinking about this matter too.]
[Yes, it would be great if they become closer with each other, but I'm at least hoping that the result of today's meeting might be better than last time.]
[Your enthusiasm is great, but your face isn't……]
When I reported Iris-san about what had happened at the bar, she seemed somewhat amazed…… and within the graceful atmosphere of the bar, with a wry smile on her face, she placed some simple dishes in front of me.
[Nervousness is strangely contagious. If you keep wrinkling your brow like that, it will spread to those who are more nervous than you are. It would end up in a vicious circle…… Thus, the first one who should relax your shoulders is you.]
[I won't say things like to not be impatient. It's inevitable that you're impatient when those close to you are suffering. However, don't rush things. Haste makes waste…… Doesn't your world tell you such words]
[…… I guess you're right. I'm sorry, I'm thinking about it too heavily. It's not like this is my last chance anyway, so I should go with the mindset that "If I fail, I'll just have to prepare another opportunity for them".]
[Umu, that's good.]
Seeing Iris-san saying such a thing with a smile, giving me a nod, I smiled too. Unnn, errr…… How should I say this…… At first, I thought that there was no need for a bar in the basement.
However…… This place is very cozy. I can relax in this calming atmosphere, and most of all, the bartender, Iris-san, is a very thoughtful person.
Her tone of voice is a little imperious like Chronois-san, but her personality is rather gentle and caring. She has the atmosphere of a big sister that makes one feel like you can rely on her, and I can't help but ask her for advice.
While thinking about this, I took a bite of the delicious dish that Iris-san had prepared for me.
[……It's really delicious.]
[Hmph, my hand-picked ingredients cooked to perfection. The dish being delicious is inevitable…… I appreciate your intentions in putting it into words, but you need not state the obvious.]
Even though Iris-san was saying such a thing, I could see the slight blush on her cheeks, so I guess she might just be feeling embarrassed.
[Putting that aside, depending on the result of the events on the day after tomorrow, it looks like a big weight will be lifted off your shoulders.]
[Yes, for the time being, the problem of having my lovers and parents has been resolved……]
[Whoa there, is that really the case There's still this Alice-chan who doesn't completely trust them, you know Of course, I'm going to step up to fix that myself, but it's going to take some time!]
Alice's interrupting words make me think that it really was the case…… but for some reason, Iris-san loudly sighed with a dumbfounded expression on her face.
[……You're using such misleading words again…… It seems like that part of yours still hasn't changed. It's a bad habit of yours to exaggerate small problems to be bigger than they are.]
[……Ahh~~ Iris Errr, what are you trying to say]
[Even when you spout all kinds of bullsh*t…… You've already "trusted Miyama Kaito's parents" a long time ago, haven't you I'm saying that you should stop speaking like you think they're still untrustworthy. It's misleading.]
I heard something shocking, so I looked over at Alice…… and saw her averting her gaze with a somewhat awkwards expression on her face.
[Errr, Iris-san What does that……]
[It's a long-time bad habit of hers. You have to know her long enough for you to see things like this…… but if you hang out with her for another two years or so, you'll get to know what's running on her head.]
[Well, here's the real deal at hand. I've been working on this clone body lately, so it's just a guess…… but this idiot probably said something like "99% of my mind thinks they're alright, but I just can't ignore the 1%" or some nonsense like that.]
[Y- Yes, she did say that.]
I nodded in surprise to Iris-san, who had guessed almost exactly what Alice had said to me before. Loudly sighing again, Iris-san spoke.
[……That's exactly the bad habit that I'm talking about earlier. Miyama Kaito, you probably took those words as "she's 1% short of trusting your parents", right However, the meaning of that idiot's words…… is that "she 99% trusts them, but there's 1% in her mind that's doubting them".]
[There are few people whom she can have complete trust. When she 99% trusts you, it means that she trusts you more than how a person generally trusts their friends…… And yet, this idiot is talking about that insignificant 1% as if it was some serious problem.]
[……Alice Oi, look over here…… Also, go sit in a seiza.]
Why the heck did she sound so serious when she talked about not having that 1% trust in them! Heck, even I have a lot of people who I don't have 100% trust in either!!!
[In the first place, she can read your thoughts and peek into people's memories, right Whether your parents are good people or not, she probably would have known about it long ago, right]
[……N- Now that you mentioned it……]
[And I'll say this now, if she's facing something serious, she's "the type that wouldn't talk about it to others" until she finds a solution. The only time she says something is a serious matter is when she's either found the solution to it already or she's just exaggerating something that's not so serious.]
Now that she mentioned it, I can understand now. If Alice didn't really trust Mom and Dad, she probably wouldn't tell me that. She will try to do something about it without me noticing.
[Perhaps, saying stuff like "assessments are still ongoing" or "information evaluations may still need some revisions", not changing that 99% trust at all, she will probably stupidly try playing the bad guy.]
[N- No, as expected, I don't really intend to go that far……]
[Am I mistaken]
[Well, just a bit…… I thought of it just a bit, okay……]
What is this Looking like a child being scolded by her mother, Alice looked awkward while Iris was looking at her with an astounded expression on her face.
How should I say this…… It feels like there's still something about Alice that only Iris-san, who has known her for a long time, can understand……
[Miyama Kaito, remember this…… This idiot is twisted. In addition, I don't know if the long years she lived had made it worse, but there's a part of her that tries to play the bad guy.]
[Play the bad guy]
[Indeed, Alice may have learned how to think about the far future over the years, and she can be ruthless to a fault when it comes to evildoers…… But the deepest part of her is that she's a "softie to good people". She may say that she isn't interested in them, but for some reason, she can't be ruthless to good people. She would find herself reaching out her hand towards them…… Otherwise, she wouldn't have been called Hero.]
I think I understand what Iris-san was talking about. The only three people Alice basically professes to be important to her outside of her past acquaintances are me, Kuro, and Fate-san. When she talks with people other than them, she doesn't show much emotion, as if to say that the people other than the aforementioned people don't matter.
However, thinking about it again…… Claiming that she did it for my sake, she protected Mitsunaga-kun and Princess Cattleya from explosions, she refused Aoi-chan's request, but she offered her an alternative, and she even continued to think about ways to help Isis-san…… And as I heard from Luna-san, she had also suggested the current setup of our house to Lilia-san, who was sad that I would be living in a different house.
Furthermore, thinking about it with this idea in mind, there's something out-of-place with Caraway-san's story during the Six Kings Festival. Even if she wasn't a subordinate of the Six Kings, it shouldn't have been a problem if she just told us that Caraway-san would show us around, but she even took the trouble to explain Caraway-san's current situation.
Also, the process of preparing the companion badge was so fast that I started wondering. Could it be that she had anticipated that I would nominate Caraway-san as my companion
[……I- Iris…… How about you stop there Alice-chan is in a rather serious situation. I feel like fire would start bursting out of my face. Seriously, please stop.]
[Perhaps, if you look into your past, you'll find that you've helped countless people without even knowing it…….You might have become even worse over the years, but you're still the same softie. Speaking of which, you had also been quite roundabout with me back then……]
[Can you stop already! Not just this time, but last time as well, why the heck are you nonchalantly revealing my past, idiot Iris!!! Kaito-san is here, you know! Seriously, please st……]
[……"Iris is still needed for my plans, so I'm just saving you for my sake", was it Well, that was quite nostalgic. You also like playing the bad guy back————- Mghh!]
[I said stop it already, didn't I!!! Hey, come here for a sec!!!]
Iris-san, who was about to continue speaking, had her mouth clamped shut by the blushing Alice, and she was taken through the back door into Alice's miscellaneous goods store.
Even so, hmmm, I see…… I feel like I could see a new side of Alice, but carefully thinking back on the past, there were factors that could have led me to knowing this back then.
I see, I understand now what Iris meant when she said we'd only have to be together for two more years…… However, unnn. Well, the fact that Alice is a good person is something I've already known before though……
Serious-senpai : [I'm sure this hidden trait that many people have already noticed. In the battle against the God Realm, she waited for everyone to grow stronger when she could have just taken care of everything by herself, she tried to help those around her when Chronois activated her Authority of Time and Space, and she helped Pandora even though there was a mistake in her upbringing…… It somewhat seems like if the other party is a good person, she will eventually reach out her hand towards them. Now then, putting her aside, “God's Growth” will end in about two more chapters…… and after that, it seems that Iris and Isis are having some combat training…… This is! My serious senses are tingling!]-