One afternoon, I was called by Alice to go to her miscellaneous goods store. I don't know what it is she needs, but it doesn't seem like she just wants to hang out like usual.
In any case, Alice usually stays close to me while invisible, so if it's something that can be settled easily, she should have been able to tell me right there. Since she went out of the way to specifying the location, asking me to come to her place, I wonder if she's going to talk about something important
As I arrived at the familiar miscellaneous goods store, I felt like there was something strange around her place again. This was because on the door of the miscellaneous goods store…… a signpost with the word "C L O S E D" written on it was hung.
The store was usually always "O P E N", even though no customers came in at all. I guess this means there really is something very important that she's going to talk about.
Walking into the miscellaneous goods store, I found Alice sitting at the counter in the back of the store…… If the one sitting there isn't her shopkeeper clone that's usually wearing a stuffed costume, did she sit down the moment I opened the door No, let's stop thinking about it. I feel like saying it out loud would ruin the tension.
[Welcome, Kaito-san. I'm sorry for suddenly calling you here.]
[No, that's alright but……]
[You're wondering why, right]
Unusually for Alice, she immediately moves on to the main topic without goofing around…… Seriously, what are we going to talk about here
[No, well, Kaito-san. I'm just going to discuss something with you…… Do you want to learn how to use a "Heart Tool"]
[……Ehh Errr, Heart Tool, you say…… Kinda like Alice's Ἑκατόγχειρες or Iris-san's ἀποκάλυψις]
[Yes, those are our Heart Tools…… It's magic that uses the strength of the heart as a weapon.]
[……Errr, is it something that I can learn]
I don't know what intentions Alice has for suggesting this, but I am somewhat interested in Heart Tools themselves. According to the explanation Alice gave me, Heart Tools are magic that uses the heart itself as a weapon, and although the nature of one's Heart Tool greatly varies from person to person, they are extremely powerful magic, making it Alice's trump card.
As an adolescent young man, I yearn to have such a weapon that I know is unique to me. However, I'm not really sure if I'll be able to learn it, especially with my abysmal talent for magic.
[It's alright. Look, I told you before when I was explaining what Heart Tools are, didn't I…… In the world I was in, 90% of the people could use Heart Tools. Even though using them perfectly is another matter, just using it is easy.]
[In addition, it is very easy to summon a Heart Tool from within one's heart. It's just a matter of "someone touching" the "Heart Tool of someone who meets a certain condition". Well, even though we could summon it within your heart, the time it takes for the Heart Tool to awaken still varies from person to person.]
[Heehhh…… So, what's that certain condition]
It's supposed to be powerful magic, but the learning requirements are surprisingly simple…… Well, it may indeed be difficult, depending on what that certain condition is…… but the fact that she brought it up like this means that Alice at least meets that condition.
[That was also something really simple…… It would have to be "the Heart Tool who truly cares about you". In the world I was in, when a child is born, they are basically exposed to their parents' Heart Tools. So, most of the people in my previous world were able to use it.]
[However, the only person in this world who could learn how to summon a Heart Tool…… is "only you, Kaito-san."]
[The reason is simple. Iris is currently only a part of my Heart Tool, which makes me the only one in this world who can use it. The only person that I truly care about is you, Kaito-san.]
I don't know if she suddenly realized how embarrassing her earlier words were, but Alice told me this with a slight blush on her cheeks.
[In addition, although I don't completely know the reason why…… I think "Heart Tools can only be found in humans". Well, I don't really have any partners I care about, so I can't really validate it…… I did try teaching Heart Tools to Fate-san and Kuro-san, but it didn't work.]
(T/N: humans here refers to, well, just humans. Not the collective "Humans" in the Human Realm.)
[Ahh, and you're teaching it to me now……]
[Yes, well, there's a chance that it might not work since the problem actually is that this is a different world, so I'm not absolutely sure if you can learn it…… but it isn't really a time-consuming process, as you would only need a moment to touch my Ἑκατόγχειρες.]
To be honest, I have a question popping in my mind. Why is Alice trying to get me to learn how to use a Heart Tool Moreover, she's really abrupt in suggesting this……
It's only a guess, but perhaps, Alice is trying to give me some means of self-defense in case "she can't protect me".
Thinking about this, it reminded me of Shiro-san's ordeal…… I don't know the details of that ordeal yet, so I can't say for sure if I would need it, but it wouldn't hurt to be prepared. Besides, I'm interested in the Heart Tool too……
With that in mind, I touched Alice's Ἑκατόγχειρες…… one of the shining meteors around her, and for a moment, I felt something pulsating deep inside my body.
[……How is it, Kaito-san]
[Errr, just now…… I kind of feel like there's something pulsating deep inside my body, but I don't feel anything now.]
[……It seems like it worked without a problem huh.]
[Eh Does that mean there's a Heart Tool within me now]
[Yes…… It was indeed summoned within you, but it would still be unknown when it would awaken. Some people have Heart Tools awakening right after they were summoned, some take years to awaken, and there are even a few people who had their Heart Tools summoned but never managed to awaken it.]
[The name of your Heart Tool and its ability will suddenly come to your mind at some point. That would also mean your Heart Tool has awakened.]
It's a shame that I don't know what kind of power it is right away, nor do I know if it will be awakened before Shiro-san's ordeal arrives. However, I'm looking forward to it.
[Now then, enough of the serious mode, let's have some tea!]
[You're being abrupt again……]
[Now, now, I'm going to prepare our tea, so Kaito-san, please prepare something for us to eat!]
[……You're naturally making me serve you food huh…… Well, I have some prepared.]
[It's all you can eat, right! Thank yo——— Gyaaahhn!]
I let out a sigh when I saw that Alice had returned to her usual goofing around mode without explaining why she taught me how to use a Heart Tool. Well, I trust Alice, so I'm sure she has her own reason for not telling me why, so I guess let's just not question it.
After thinking about this, I let out another sigh and took out more teacakes from my magic box.
Dear Mom, Dad————— Without really understanding the reason why, the power of the Heart Tool was placed within my heart. I'm not sure when it will wake up, but I'd like it if it awakens soon—————– for I'd like to know what kind of power it has.
While preparing tea for Kaito, Alice talked to Iris within her mind.
(……As expected of Kaito-san's Heart Tool…… It's quite a perfect match with my Ἑκατόγχειρες.)
(Even if it has some requirements needed to use it, it's still a powerful Heart Tool…… Moreover, it's quite the rare type. Also, it really is a great match for your Heart Tool.)
Kaito's Heart Tool hasn't awakened yet. However, it really does "exist within Kaito's heart". Then, if it's with Alice's Ἑκατόγχειρες, her power which allows her to use the power of the people with whom she had formed a bond with…… She can borrow the power of Kaito's Heart Tool.
Thus, Alice already knows the name and ability of the Heart Tool lying dormant within Kaito's heart.
("Our main purpose is different", but this is a pleasant miscalculation. Depending on the situation, this could be a trump card that could turn the side of the war…… To be honest though, I'm super happy with this effect that clearly shows that Kaito-san and I are the best couple. I really want to brag about this to the others.)
(……Leave the bragging for later.)
(Yes, yes. Well then, while we're having tea with Kaito-san, let's rethink our scheme, assuming that we could use this Heart Tool well.)
(Like I said, call it a strategy meeting instead…..)
While rejoicing at the trump card that they had unexpectedly obtained, Alice and Iris adjusted their battle plan for the decisive battle.
: [Well~~ As expected, Kaito-san and Alice-chan really are the best couple! Even their hearts have great chemistry!!!]
Serious-senpai : [……So, in the end, what kind of Heart Tool does he have]
: [Whoa there, that info is still a secret. But perhaps, you can predict what it is. Here's a hint, it's a Heart Tool that's very like Kaito-san, and it's like a perfect match for Alice-chan's Ἑκατόγχειρες!!! I'll say this one more time because it's important! It's a perfect match!!!]
Serious-senpai : [……Something about your excitement kinda annoys me.]-