Tension heavily dominates the place. Wiping away the sweat on my shoulder with my arm, I turned my gaze back to the being Im facing.
It was a close battle, and one could say that I was being pushed into a corner. However, Im not the only one cornered in this fight…… One more strike…… If my one single strike connects, it will be my win.
However, I dont have much time left. If I miss here, it will be my loss…… Its indeed a paper-thin battle.
[……Master…… Do your best.]
Wishing for my victory behind me, Anima cheered me on. As if she could feel the same tension Im feeling now, I could feel her voice tremble.
However, the words I received did indeed bring courage to my heart, and surrendering my body to the heat of the moment, I prepared my stance.
Feeling as if time is accelerating, I felt as if the scenery around me seemed unusually clear, and with a step forward, I unleashed my final strike.
As if responding to my thoughts, the white trajectory that was released from my hand sharply burst forth and successfully caught its target.
……Well, even with all the bullsh*t I said, Im actually just playing target practice……
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[Congratulations! You have scored five points and will receive a stamp.]
[You did it, Master! Amazing!]
As the attendant told me Ive met the requirements with a smile, she places a stamp on my stamp card. As I was returned to her side with a smile, Anima looked so happy as if it were her who had won.
This was one of the attractions that Anima and I stopped by on our way to the third arena. You throw a ball at a target with nine boards, and if you score five or more points, you get a stamp.
Well, to put it bluntly, its just like those target practice games using a baseball back in my world.
Incidentally, Anima has also tried it out, but she wasnt able to clear it. Anima can throw a very powerful fastball, but her control isnt so good.
The speed of my ball throws may not be that great, but my control is pretty good, so I somehow managed to clear it.
Well, after such a violent start to the day, playing something normal like this feels fun.
It seems like Megiddo-sans words that he had prepared a variety of attractions were true, as I have seen quizzes and card games before we joined this booth.
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It would have been great if the battle against the War Kings Five Generals were something like this…… I seriously dont know what Megiddo-san is planning.
With these thoughts in mind, I left the booth and walked down the street with Anima.
As we leisurely made our way to the next arena, moving our gaze around the considerable number of stalls, Anima suddenly turned her attention to one stall.
[……Unnn Salt-grilled fish huh…… Should we have some]
[Ah, n- no! Im alright! I- It just happened to be in my line of sight……]
[I see. But seeing it now, Im tempted to try it out, so lets eat together.]
Anima eats meat too, but she prefers fish…… She may think that shes hiding it, but its easy to tell because her eyes sparkle when she looks at fish dishes.
Well, with Animas personality, shes probably thinking that she cant stop me just because of her own desire…… Its better to invite her a little forcefully like this.
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I bought two pieces of salt-grilled fish and gave one to Anima. As usual, Anima insisted on paying for the fish herself, but I used my position as her master to make her shut up.
When I tasted the salt-grilled fish, I found the texture of the crispy skin and the soft white meat. And this right amount of saltiness…… Unnn, this is tasty.
[How is it, Anima]
[I- Its delicious!]
[I see, want some more]
[N- No! Im already fu———-]
[Excuse me, can I have another one]
Anima finished one quickly and told me how delicious it was with a cute expression on her face, but it was obvious that she hadnt eaten enough yet, So, I ignored Animas objection, bought more, and handed it to her.
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[……T- Thank you.]
She tends to be reserved, so a hint of forcefulness like this is just right. I think Im getting to know Anima better now.
As a side-note, the long coat-like outfit that Anima is wearing now…… it actually has a similar design to my clothes.
However, my clothes are embroidered with golden threads in many places, while Animas clothes are not. Also, the design of Animas clothes looked a little more modest.
I guess this must be playfulness on Alices part, as she deliberately made Animas clothes more modest than mine, as if shes using our position of master and retainer as the motif.
Receiving her clothes, Anima was greatly praising it. She seems to be proud to be my retainer, and shes really happy to be dressed in a way that makes her instantly recognizable as my retainer.
Well, that “pride” can be a bit of a problem for me too……
As expected, Im not that much of an idiot. Im aware that Anima has feelings for me that go beyond that of a servant to her master…… To be honest though, Im happy she feels that way about me.
Its just that, unnn…… Anima, on the other hand, is completely oblivious about her own feelings. Rather, she thinks that her feelings are simply affection for her Master whom she respects.
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Should I say that shes too loyal to realize that she holds feelings beyond loyalty This is very difficult. Even now, when Ive gone out of my way to declare that were on a date, shes too serious and tries to keep her position of being my retainer at every moment.
[……Hmmm. Should I be a bit more forceful]
[Did you say something]
[Unnn Well, errr…… Im actually just admiring how cute Anima is.]
[Now then, I guess its about time we head to the arena.]
[Eh M- Master! P- Please wait a moment……]
No, well, I guess I dont have to be in that much of a hurry…… I was bewildered when she first came, but I think Anima has already become…… someone I cant imagine without by my side.
Unless she gets tired of being by my side, were going to be together hereafter…… Moreover, Anima is a former black bear. Her age as a human is much younger than mine. Or rather, she isnt even a year old.
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I guess we should take our time and make progress one step at a time huh With that thought in mind, I smiled at the confused Anima as we walked side by side, down the road to the arena.
Dear Mom, Dad————— To be honest, after Ive lost you two…… I thought that I would never be able to feel the warmth of a family again. However, unnn…… I really dont understand this whole master-retainer thing, nor do I know if this feeling is really the same as my love for my family. However, unnn. I wonder why though Thinking about Anima as my family, how should I say this————– It strangely fits just right.
~~~ Were celebrating 400 chapters ~~~
Animas feelings of affection to Kaito are so strong that she is unaware of her love for him.
—– A rough way to describe Kaitos feelings —–
Person he trusts the most : Kuro
Benefactor : Kuro, Lilia
Lover : Kuro, Isis, Sieg, Lilia, Alice
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Best Friend : Alice
Feels Like a Sister : Aoi, Hina
Family : Anima, Eta, Theta, Bell, Lynn
Neighborhood Grandpa : Magnawell
T/N: 96/333 2-