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I parted ways with Eleanora-san after changing back into the Bear Suit and went over to Princess Flora’s room on my own.
It was much more calming being in my Bear Suit.
I had to be careful when I was wearing regular clothes, but in the Bear Suit, I could relax and not worry about surprise attacks any more.
As I entered her room, Princess Flora rushed up to me quickly. She immediately recognized me when I was in my Bear Suit…
I was tired out from all the things that had happened today, so I brought out Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear to play with Princess Flora and sat down to rest. Princess Flora happily played with the Bears in their cub forms while I watched and sipped on some tea that Anju-san brewed for me.
「Um, Yuna-sama. May I ask you something?」
Anju-san, who was also watching Princess Flora while having tea with me hesitantly inquired.
「Um, how did you get these bear plushies?」
「Yes, the plushies of Swaying Bear-sama and Hugging Bear-sama.」
「Anju-san, do you want them, too?」
「Actually, I wanted to give them as a present to my daughter.」
「Well, I had an acquaintance of mine make them for me, so…」
They weren’t up for sale, so she couldn’t buy them even if she wanted to.
「In that case, is it possible for me to request a set to be made? I will pay for it, of course.」
Hmm… Should I simply charge her the amount it costs to make them?
Well, Anju-san always brewed tea and took care of me whenever I came over, so even that seemed unfair to me.
「How about I give them to you as a present?」
「Would that really be okay?」
「Of course. You’re always taking care of me, so doing that much is nothing.」
Also, her daughter liked my picture books. Since she liked Bears, she should take good care of the plushies.
「Is only one enough?」
「Yes, one is fine. My daughter does not know about Swaying Bear-sama and Hugging Bear-sama, so it will be fine.」
「Which one should we give her, then?」
「Swaying Bear-sama would be better since stains will be too obvious on Hugging Bear-sama.」
As a responsible parent, it made sense for her to worry about stains. The Hugging Bear plushie was white and could get stains easily, after all.
I took out a Swaying Bear plushie from my Bear Box and handed it to her.
「Thank you very much. I will make sure to thank you next time you come around.」
「You don’t have to worry about it. Oh, but if it’s okay with you, could you serve me another cup of tea?」
「Of course. I will prepare it right away.」
Anju-san said and happily served me another cup of tea.
I drank the freshly brewed tea and continued to relax. Eventually, Princess Flora tired herself out and fell asleep, which Anju-san quickly noticed and carried her to her bed.
「Thanks for your hard work, Swaying Bear, Hugging Bear.」
I thanked them for playing with Princess Flora.
「Both Swaying Bear-sama and Hugging Bear-sama are so gentle.」
「Yes, they’re good Bears.」
I boasted as if I was talking about my own children.
Well, since I was the summoner, perhaps that wasn’t too far off.
I decided to entertain my children until Eleanora-san came to get me soon after.
Oh, was it time already? Time sure went by quickly while I was playing with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.
「Eleanora-san, you look kind of exhausted. Are you okay?」
Rather than exhausted, it looked more as if she had lost her spirit. She seemed to have been drained of all her energy.
「After we parted ways, not only did His Majesty continue to scold me, but even Zangu and the others lectured me. They were being so mean to me and wouldn’t forgive me no matter how many times I apologized. Aren’t they awful?」
So, that was why she looked so defeated.
Well, of course other people would be angry that she wagered her job. Taking the future into consideration, scolding her now was for her own good.
Still, considering that I had taken part in the wager, I shouldn’t be the one to point that out.
「They were just worried about you, Eleanora-san.」
「Really now? They looked more like they had fun bullying me, though.」
Well, it was most likely how they always had to treat her…
「They scolded you because that’s how important they think you are to them.」
If they warned her that much, they must really care about her. If they didn’t, they would have most likely just spoken to her apathetically. They wouldn’t have scolded her, and would simply have ignored her selfish actions. It wouldn’t have mattered to them whether she actually quit or not. For some reason, the latter scenario reminded me of myself in my former world…
I was a bit envious that she had so many people worrying about her.
Yet, Eleanora-san wasn’t convinced by my words. Since she was the person in question, it must be harder for her to understand. People often only noticed things they had when they were gone. I can say this from true second hand experience.
The worn-out Eleanora-san and I returned to her mansion, where she told me that she would rest in her room until dinnertime. We parted ways, and I went straight to the guest room, where the girls were already waiting for me.
The girls ran up to me the moment I entered the room.
They had already come back from the festival, huh.
「I’m back, everyone.」
「Yuna-san, was everything okay?」
「Yes, His Majesty just scolded me a bit, nothing more.」
Unlike Eleanora-san, I was happy to find out that there were people worrying about me.
Still, when I proceeded to explain why the king scolded me, the girls all looked at me with concerned expressions. Personally, I didn’t care about the king’s scolding, but the girls viewed it differently. Well, if I were to think about it in their perspective, perhaps I was supposed to dread being scolded by the most powerful man in the country?
Maybe this could be similar to being yelled at by the CEO of the company or the school principal? No, it should be on the level of a prime minister or even a president. Getting yelled at by those people would have been scary indeed.
「He wasn’t that angry at me, so you don’t have to look so worried. He was more angry at Eleanora-san.」
Oh, I shouldn’t have said that.
Just as I managed to get rid of their anxiousness for me, I had created more on another front. Obviously Noa hearing about her own mother getting scolded by the king would cause her to worry…
「Well, even though Eleanora-san got scolded more than me… things should have ended up fine, I think?」
She had been scolded for quite a while after we parted ways, so I wasn’t completely sure, but based on what Eleanora-san had told me, everybody seemed to have lectured her for her own sake, so she should really be fine. I patted Noa’s head to calm her down and changed the topic.
「By the way, where is Shia?」
I hadn’t seen her anywhere since I returned to the mansion. Was she in her room, maybe?
「Onee-sama still had things to do at the stand, so she stayed at the academy.」
Ah, since it was the last day, everybody must be cleaning up.
「So, the three of you came home by yourself?」
「No, Tilia-sama had one of her attendants bring us back. I tried to refuse her offer, but she said that since you had asked her to take care of us, she had to make sure we got home safely.」
I had to thank Tilia the next time I saw her.
Would I get to see her again, though?
I hadn’t ever met Tilia at the castle before and was only able to meet her this time because I came to the school festival. Maybe if I asked Shia when the academy had a holiday…
「So, did you girls have a good time?」
When I asked them that, they showed complicated expressions.
Had Rutum done something to them?
「Once Mother and you were taken away by His Majesty, things got a bit hectic.」
The three girls looked at each other before telling me about what had happened while I was gone.
As soon as I had been taken away by the king, rumors about me began to spread everywhere.
「She was amazing.」「Who is she?」「Yea, who is that pretty girl?」「Which class is she from?」「What year?」「Was there always such a cute girl at this academy?」「She’s so cool.」「Who said she was weak, huh?」「Her magic at the end was unbelievable.」「She was talking to His Majesty, too.」「Not to mention how skilled with the sword she is.」「Her panties are white.」「Yeah, she wields her sword well.」「That knight must have held back.」「Were you even watching the match properly? There was no way the knight was holding back.」「I would have no confidence in stopping even one of those attacks.」
The girls started to re-enact the conversations that had happened. Was it just me, or were there some strange conversations mixed in there?
I could have sworn I heard something about my panties being said.
Also, had there really been such a big fuss over me after I left?
「That beautiful girl defeated all the knights.」「This cute girl killed Rutum-san.」「Magic came out from her lovely fingertips.」「She also seems to be related to the royal family.」「The young girls who were with the beautiful girl were pretty cute, too, from what I heard.」
No matter what areas they had gone to, they heard more and more rumors.
Wait, when they had been talking about a beautiful, cute, and lovely girl, were they really talking about me, perchance? No, they must have been either talking about someone else or the girls simply made it all up.
Although I didn’t want to admit it, I could understand why some people might find me cute in my Bear Suit. Yet, when I was wearing the academy’s uniform, no part of me could be considered cute. There were plenty of girls wearing a uniform at the academy, so the clothing was nothing special, and all those girls should be considered way more beautiful than me.
Thus, I ended up taking their story with a grain of salt, deciding to confirm the details with Shia and Tilia later.
Next, the girls explained how Shia had gotten mobbed by all the students and had to be saved by Tilia.
「Tilia-sama was very cool. With a single glare from her, nobody dared to approach us.」
Well, anyone would run away when a princess glared at them.
Still, I believed Tilia might have said too much. She had declared that I was her ‘precious friend’, and that caused quite a commotion.
Just what had this dear princess been thinking?
Because of this, rumors of me being the princess’s friend started to spread.
「Does that mean you didn’t enjoy the festival?」
「No, we watched the concert and play again, so we had fun.」
Because of the bustling rumors, Tilia had suggested that they go back to the royal family’s room at the theatre and watch the programs again.
I wouldn’t mind listening to the concert or the singing princess’s songs again, either. If I could, I would even record them and listen to them any time I wanted.
Hmm, did such tools exist in this world?
If so, I really wanted to get my hands on one.
Just as I finished listening to their story, the door to our room opened, and Shia entered, looking just as tired as Eleanora-san.
「I’m back, Noa.」
Shia said as she collapsed on the sofa.
「Onee-sama, are you okay?」
Noa took a cup of water from the table and brought it over to Shia, who drank it in one go.
「So, what happened, Onee-sama?」
「So many people came to ask me about Yuna-san that I’m just a bit tired out now…」
They had asked her about me?
According to Shia, things had calmed down thanks to Tilia, but soon after, some knights and her classmates who heard about it came to interrogate her as well.
The stand wasn’t a place to come give their thanks like a temple, so why had the the knights come?
「Did they do anything to you?」
If they had, I would go and raid them, now with Bear Suit on.
「No, they didn’t do anything to us. They just asked about you like everybody else.」
Shia had supposedly told them to ask Eleanora-san and Tilia-san instead before running away.
I had caused quite a bit of trouble, hadn’t I?
When I apologized to her, Shia simply shook her head.
「Yuna-san, you fought for the sake of all female knights. I really appreciate all that you’ve done and would never think of it as trouble. Oh, and Rinea said she wanted to thank you, too.」
We came to the part where Tilia had declared that I was her friend, but looking at it now, saying that to get people off my back might have been for the best?
「Still, are there really a lot of rumors about me spreading around?」
I asked her to confirm what the girls had told me earlier.
「I think the girls were exaggerating things a bit.」
「No, they are right, Yuna-san. There were plenty of rumors about you.」
I didn’t get the answer I was hoping for…
「The rumors were mostly spot on as well. Still, things should be getting a bit out of hand at this point.」
「You’ve got to be kidding me… I just wanted to fight some people.」
I only fought against two knights. It shouldn’t have been that bad, right?
However, Shia simply shook her head.
「Half the school was talking about the mysterious, beautiful girl who defeated the knights.」
「Yes. They were talking about you, of course.」
I was nowhere close to being a beautiful girl, but for some reason rumors had treated me as one. If the knights who fought against me found out, they would surely laugh. 「A beautiful girl? What a joke…」「Beautiful? Which part of her?」「She’s not beautiful, she’s just weird.」I could easily imagine them saying things like that.
This was even more depressing than being made fun of while wearing the Bear Suit.
「Also, Yuna-san, this is a bit hard to admit, but I think your panties were showing a bit during the fight.」
「Uwahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Tell me that’s a lie!」
The girls had also mentioned that, but I was sure they had just heard it wrong.
「It’s fine. Based on the conversations, it was only whenever you jumped or moved around intensely, and even then it was only possible to catch a glimpse of them, so nobody should have seen them clearly.」
That didn’t comfort me in the slightest.
Uuu, that was embarrassing.
I could never go near the academy again.
I shouldn’t even show my face when walking around the capital, either.
There was no beautiful girl, only a weird human being, hiding under a Bear Suit.
The four of them tried to console me, but they couldn’t erase the fact that my panties had been seen.
At least the people thought that a beautiful girl had defeated those knights.
I pulled down my Bear Hood as far as I could and tried to run away from this cruel reality.
I decided from the beginning that I would end this arc with Yuna causing a riot while wearing a uniform and then disappear from the academy, never to be seen again.
It’s all because of the curse of the Bear.
It’s Yuna’s fate to forever be a Bear. lol
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