Tension heavily dominates the place.
Wiping away the sweat on my shoulder with my arm, I turned my gaze back to the being I’m facing.
It was a close battle, and one could say that I was being pushed into a corner.
However, I’m not the only one cornered in this fight…… One more strike…… If my one single strike connects, it will be my win.
However, I don’t have much time left.
If I miss here, it will be my loss…… It’s 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 I’m 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, I’m actually just playing target practice……
[Congratulations! You have scored five points and will receive a stamp.]
[You did it, Master! Amazing!]
As the attendant told me I’ve 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, it’s just like those target practice games using a baseball back in my world.
Incidentally, Anima has also tried it out, but she wasn’t able to clear it.
Anima can throw a very powerful fastball, but her control isn’t 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-san’s words that he had prepared a variety of attractions were true, as I have seen quizzes and card games before we joined this booth.
It would have been great if the battle against the War King’s Five Generals were something like this…… I seriously don’t 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! I’m alright! I- It just happened to be in my line of sight……]
But seeing it now, I’m tempted to try it out, so let’s eat together.]
Anima eats meat too, but she prefers fish…… She may think that she’s hiding it, but it’s easy to tell because her eyes sparkle when she looks at fish dishes.
Well, with Anima’s personality, she’s probably thinking that she can’t stop me just because of her own desire…… It’s better to invite her a little forcefully like this.
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- It’s delicious!]
[I see, want some more]
[N- No! I’m 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 hadn’t eaten enough yet, So, I ignored Anima’s objection, bought more, and handed it to her.
[……T- Thank you.]
She tends to be reserved, so a hint of forcefulness like this is just right.
I think I’m 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 Anima’s clothes are not.
Also, the design of Anima’s clothes looked a little more modest.
I guess this must be playfulness on Alice’s part, as she deliberately made Anima’s clothes more modest than mine, as if she’s 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 she’s 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, I’m not that much of an idiot.
I’m aware that Anima has feelings for me that go beyond that of a servant to her master…… To be honest though, I’m happy she feels that way about me.
It’s 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.
Should I say that she’s too loyal to realize that she holds feelings beyond loyalty This is very difficult.
Even now, when I’ve gone out of my way to declare that we’re on a date, she’s too serious and tries to keep her position of being my retainer at every moment.
Should I be a bit more forceful]
[Did you say something]
[Unnn Well, errr…… I’m actually just admiring how cute Anima is.]
[Now then, I guess it’s about time we head to the arena.]
[Eh M- Master! P- Please wait a moment……]
No, well, I guess I don’t 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 can’t imagine without by my side.
Unless she gets tired of being by my side, we’re 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 isn’t even a year old.
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 I’ve lost you two…… I thought that I would never be able to feel the warmth of a family again.
However, unnn…… I really don’t understand this whole master-retainer thing, nor do I know if this feeling is really the same as my love for my family.
I wonder why though Thinking about Anima as my family, how should I say this————– It strangely fits just right.