Chapter 234 What happened to the flag?
“I get it. I get it reaaaally well that if you were a man, you would have been so unsociable that people would feel like punching you.”
Ratoka said, folding his arms and looking down on me with an imposing pose. To which I reflexively ended up trembling a bit.
After all, even though there’s a smile on that girl-like face, no matter how I look at it, Ratoka was clearly angry.
This is what I get after talking about all the conversations I had with Emilia when Ratoka wasn’t there.
“….Was there something that made you angry?”
This conversation is supposed to be about how to deal with Emilia, not about Emilia and definitely not about Ratoka who wasn’t there, so I have no clue what he’s angry about.
“There is. You don’t understand a woman’s heart, at all!”
“I am a woman, though……”
“Shut up! You might be a female but at the moment, you’re no woman!”
Eh, what? That is… a difference in the heart’s gender or something? I am pretty sure I identify as a woman, though.
Seeing me perplexed, Ratoka retracted his anger and, instead, sighed like he was utterly exasperated.
“…..Seriously talking here. You should stop taking feelings towards yourself in a twisted way already.”
Seeing how seriously he said that, I interrupted him by raising my hand.
“Prepare some tea and sit down. I will listen to your warning since you’re ‘another Eliza’.”
Ratoka nodded like he was relieved. And then, smiled bashfully and smacked me on the head lightly.
To think I would be smacked by him.
…The last time my head was patted was probably when I ran away to the Cil family’s tent. Maybe because I was stiff as a child back then, I was patted quite frequently.
Ratoka went down to the kitchen to prepare tea. Feeling weird just sitting there ‘cause there were just two of us, I also went down to help.
We were using garden tiger moths’ hardened scales as a luminous stone — which is supposed to be very rare — without frugality, and so when you pull the string hanging on a side of the entrance, all the lights light up at once for about an hour every other hour.
And so, you would normally transfer the fire to a candlestick while it is on. Ratoka and I transferred the fire to the stove and lit a fire, heated the water and brewed tea, and also took a few white bread from the storage while I was at it and put some smoked meat and vegetables in it. It’s an impromptu roll sandwich.
I left a signed note for the cook to handle the clean up and left the room.
“—Couldn’t even think about this before.”
Ratoka muttered while arranging the food on the table.
“About everything. When I had met you, it was impossible for me to even imagine this.”
I didn’t know how to react to his weird laugh.
But remembering him smacking my head earlier, it is true that I couldn’t have imagined before that our relationship would get so close. And of course, we couldn’t really ask for white bread for dinner at that time in Kaldia territory.
Ratoka’s expression loosened up a bit and he sat on the other side.
“….You are, you know, how do I put it, well, not stubborn but you have this strong thought that you’re like this.”
He started out with confidence, not even confirming. I stayed silent and urged him to continue.
“To be straight forward, the thing that I, the ‘other Eliza’, thought is that you’re not thought to be as bad as you think. Do you know that?”
I stayed silent this time as well.
Not thought to be as bad—?
“No matter how things were before, without a doubt, you changed our, the Kalidia residents’ lives, as fast as you could. Of course, I know it isn’t something you did by yourself. But, everyone knows that you did what you had to do…… I was able to understand that much so there’s no way other people can’t, right?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Ratoka said casually.
…… Well, that is true. After all, the one who threw a rock at me is the guy in front of me. Although the residents didn’t really have the energy nor willpower to resist back then, it is also true that Ratoka was a part of the anti feudal lord extremist party.
“Of course, I understand that the residents have forgiven me and acknowledged my efforts but–”
Before I could finish, Ratoka smacked the table and shouted.
“You’re a step ahead of that! The residents love you, you know?!”
“There’s no mistaking it!”
I still didn’t say anything. But I decided to stop for the time being.
“You do this thing, where you try to guess others’ feelings from the situation and stuff, right? To be honest, that’s a bad habit, you know? You should start looking eye to eye with everyone and directly feel what they are feeling. If you don’t, that would be just sad for the residents who love you so much. Believe in them. They are your people, right?”
……… I couldn’t say anything back.