DCFM – Chapter 204: Jeanne’s Weakness as well as Her Escape ※Rifreya’s POV

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“Ah, there she is. Jeanne-san, that was weird of you. All of a sudden.” (Rifreya)

“…Reya, huh.” (Jeanne)

Jeanne-san was curled up at a corner of the footpath between fields. 

Her eyes are a bit red, so she might have been crying. 

It hasn’t been long since I have begun living together with her, but it is my first time seeing her like this, so it surprised me a bit. She probably hasn’t seen that stubborn side of Hikaru before. 

Because Hikaru was mentally stable since the time I reunited with him after all. 

“What about Kuro…?” (Jeanne)

“I left him there. With Hikaru there, the horses won’t be running away… That said, really, what happened there? That wasn’t like you.” (Rifreya)

“Not like me…huh. Not really. I don’t know if you know, but since the time I got the Gift of Vitality Up, my mental strength has increased. The reason why I can act as if nothing fazes me is thanks to this… This is my original self.” (Jeanne)

“I don’t really get it, but…I think that’s good in its own way, you know -better than when you were detached and I couldn’t tell what you were thinking. Cause I didn’t know you were looking forward to journeying off. That’s why I was surprised.” (Rifreya)

We decided on traveling as if running away from something after all. Hikaru and Jeanne-san were acting indifferent, so I didn’t notice she was looking forward to it this much. 

“It can’t be helped, right…? Even though I said something big like conquering the dungeon, I was more excited about traveling… There’s no way I could say that.” (Jeanne)

“Eeh? What’s with that? Isn’t that fine? Dungeons are nerve wracking, and it isn’t that fun of a place, right?” (Rifreya)

“No, fighting itself is fun, but…right. The inside of the dungeon is dark, and it does get distressing. Kuro seems to be more lively inside a dungeon though.” (Jeanne)

It is true that Hikaru isn’t the type to get distressed inside a dungeon. 

Explorers need mental strength that allows them to be active in the dungeon for several days, but in Hikaru’s case, it has nothing to do with mental strength… How to say it, it is as if the dungeon fits him. 

As for me, just like Jeanne-san, I don’t really like the inside of a dungeon -especially the 4th Floor with its bad environment. 

“Well, anyways, let’s go back. We are still in the middle of practicing horse riding after all.” (Rifreya)

“…Don’t wanna. I don’t want him to see my face.” (Jeanne)

“Don’t say such a childish thing. Now now.” (Rifreya)

Even when I tried to pull her hand to move her, Jeanne-san was adamantly staying there while going ‘I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna’ -like a spoiled brat. 

She reminds me of my little sister when she was young…

“Geez, even though you are so strong when inside the dungeon… Well, that goes for Hikaru too though. Is that a trait of people from that world? They are good in battle, but are bad with social stuff?” (Rifreya)

“…No, it is simply that me and Kuro are that type… Especially when I didn’t have siblings… No family either, or friends… So I really don’t know how to interact with people.” (Jeanne)

“But you are interacting with me and Hikaru normally though.” (Rifreya)

“Because I am creating a persona.” (Jeanne)

This is my first time having a talk like this with Jeanne. 

We are living together, so we talk normally, and there’s times when we would have heated conversations, but is this the unexpected weakness of Jeanne-san? I don’t know about this ‘persona’ stuff she is talking about.

Because of my talented little sister, I had a pretty big inferiority complex, so I thought that an only-child must have it easier. 

I haven’t seen the world of Hikaru and Jeanne-san, and I don’t know it either. 

There’s apparently a whole lot of things similar to Magic Tools, and they are living convenient lives with a power called electricity which is similar to Spirit Energy but, at its foundation, they probably live in the same way as the people of this world. 

I didn’t even imagine that Hikaru was from another world until he himself told me after all…

In that case, there’s no doubt that, even if they say it is a different world, it shouldn’t be much different. 

“I must have…been spoiled by Kuro unknowingly. That’s why, when I felt like the promise of going off on a journey was scrapped…I ended up raging there. To think he would believe the words of a guy like him rather than me. Thinking about it a little bit, you would be able to tell that he was just spitting a load of crap, right? You think so too, right, Reya?” (Jeanne)

“E-Eeeh? I can’t tell that.” (Rifreya)

“The chances of being selected as a Chosen of the 2nd group is 7.5 billion out of 300, you know? That’s way too impossible no matter how you think about it. Moreover, she is heading to this city? To think he would get caught up in such cajolery…” (Jeanne)

Is she vexed, or is she angry? 

Jeanne-san is hiding her face, so I can’t really tell. 

I think that, in the end, I didn’t understand their circumstances. 

I don’t know why he can’t be believed, or why Hikaru believed in his words. 

I feel like we could just act in a way that makes it fine no matter which choice we take, but is there a reason why it isn’t possible to do so? 

“He should just believe in what I tell him…” (Jeanne)

Jeanne-san muttered this. 

“Kuro is…always kind. He never denies what I say, and he gives a sort of peace of mind that he would never betray you.” (Jeanne)

“N-Never betray you… I guess…?” (Rifreya)

The monologue of Jeanne-san continued, but saying Hikaru would never betray you is a bit too much in my opinion. He is a normal man, so if you don’t properly hold his reins, there’s no knowing where he might disappear to. 

Just like how he began living together with Jeanne-san in the short while I took my eyes off him…

“…I got ahead of myself thinking that I am being treasured. But he treasures his childhood far more. Don’t you get it? It is the same with you, right, Reya? In the end, we are merely number 2 and 3.” (Jeanne)

“Eeh~? Is there really any point in competing with a person that’s not here?” (Rifreya)

“…You are strong, Reya.” (Jeanne)

“I know that Hikaru likes me after all!” (Rifreya)

Hikaru is an incredible ability user, and outstanding in battle, but he is actually the type that’s frail when it comes to his human parts. I think the childhood friend matter is also a result of his weak part being pricked. He did say they were not in a romantic relationship, so I think the distress of Jeanne-san is misguided. 

Before, I didn’t know about this, so I was pushing pretty aggressively, but…now, I have decided to take it slowly without hurrying. Also…I have my trump card which is the promise

…Anyways, what will happen in the end? 

Will we be leaving or will it be postponed?

Honestly, I don’t mind whichever. 

“At any rate, let’s go back.” (Rifreya)

“…I don’t want to see him.” (Jeanne)

“You are living together, so you will see him sooner or later, you know?” (Rifreya)

“Then, I will stay at an inn. You keep Kuro company, Reya.” (Jeanne)

Why is that your conclusion? -is what I couldn’t help but think, but Jeanne-san is pretty stubborn herself. 

◇◆◆◆◇

There was no end to this, so I left Jeanne-san and returned to where Hikaru was. 

Hikaru wasn’t doing horse riding training and was simply looking up at the sky while spacing out. 

This guy here is also a serious case.

“Rifreya… What about Jeanne?” (Hikaru)

“She said she didn’t want to see you. But it looked like it would be resolved if you were to apologize.” (Rifreya)

When a girl is being a spoiled brat, it is all about apologizing and soothing them. 

Regardless of whether we are leaving or we continue to dive the dungeon, leaving a relationship dicey can bring trouble. It is also because it gets more difficult to fix as more time passes, so it is better to just apologize immediately before it gets more complicated.

And if you can’t, just disband the party. 

I have heard countless stories about parties getting into complicated relationships and wiping out in the dungeon. There’s no assurance we won’t end up as one of those stories. 

Jeanne is strong and has a refreshing personality, but for me, Hikaru is the priority. 

“…I don’t mind leaving on a journey, but I want to wait for a bit. I won’t change that.” (Hikaru)

“Because your childhood friend might be coming here?” (Rifreya)

“That’s right. The Hell Chosen being Nanami does indeed sound crazy, but…but if the chance is there…I want to wait.” (Hikaru)

“Then, more of a reason to talk with Jeanne-san.” (Rifreya)

“Right.” (Hikaru)

In the end, Hikaru does have the intention of apologizing, but he doesn’t plan on folding here.

I wonder what will be the case with Jeanne-san.

Hikaru and I return to the place of Jeanne-san while bringing the horses along. 

Even when on the horse, Hikaru was staring at space. 

He is looking at one place with a pale white face. 

“Hikaru, is that the Status Board? Are you looking at it?” (Rifreya)

“…Yeah. I told Jeanne I would open the messages after all.” (Hikaru)

“Then, are you reading the messages?” (Rifreya)

“No…I am not… It looks like I can’t do it yet.” (Hikaru)

He said as if squeezing those words out. 

I certainly heard this from Hikaru before -that he was being slandered for false charges by the messages. 

At that time…no, even now, I still wonder ‘is there a need to worry about the words of others’? But it seems like he is still bothered by that. 

“…But once the message system comes back, I will definitely read them.” (Hikaru)

“If it is that painful, I can read them with you.” (Rifreya)

“You can’t see them though… It is okay. I will read them.” (Hikaru)

He doesn’t seem okay at all though. Well, I was also scared of opening the letters of mother not that long ago, so it is not like I don’t understand that feeling. 

Anyways, if that so-called message system comes back, it will apparently make clear whether that childhood friend is coming here. 

In that case, I really don’t find any issues with postponing the journey for a few days. 

“Ah, there she is.” (Rifreya)

Jeanne-san was sitting on the field’s footpath just like before, but she stood up when she noticed us approaching. 

And then, after one glance at us and a second of hesitation, she turned around and ran towards the city. 

“She ran! She ran away?!” (Rifreya)

“Seriously…? Looks like I angered her quite a lot here.” (Hikaru)

“I will chase after her for a bit. Counting on you with the horses, Hikaru.” (Rifreya)

Hikaru is still not as good as me when it comes to horse riding, but if I were to make the horse run at full speed, I might be able to catch up to her. 

It will be difficult to search for her if she were to coop herself up in an inn. I have to find her before then. 

I have the horse run at full speed and chase after her. 

No matter how much a human tries, a horse is faster.

…Or that’s how it is supposed to be, but…

“What incredible physical strength Jeanne-san has… Just how high is her Tier?” (Rifreya)

In the end, I couldn’t catch up to her and lost her in the city. 

Well, now that it has come to this, it can’t be helped.

She will most likely return once her head cools down.

“…Jeanne-san said she would be staying at an inn.” (Rifreya)

In other words…I can be with him all alone in a while since returning here.

Hikaru was being reserved because of Jeanne-san, and I had my promise with her, so I didn’t do anything, but…

“…All alone, huh! What shall I do!” (Rifreya)

I unconsciously said that out loud. 

I had decided on taking it slow, but there’s times when you have to go on the offensive. 

Yup.

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