Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume11 Impact of Childhood 02
Impact of Childhood 02
The environment had changed.
That was Nina's impression. Though she also thought of many other things, that was the first and foremost.
The time for her to open her eyes in the morning came. She had always been woken up by the noisy dorm head, but for now that situation had changed.
After changing her clothes, Nina was led to the smell of breakfast, walking out to the corridor. It was the aroma of butter used to bake bread. The person making breakfast had made dough at night, and baked it in the morning. That aroma had already completely transformed Nina's remaining sleepiness into appetite.
Leu next door had also been led by the aroma. She had been classmates with Nina during their first year, and by chance, was still in the same dorm. She looked at Nina from above her glasses.
"Aah, really. That smell can really make someone get up in the morning!"
Accordingly, Leu's tone was mixed with the trace of the smile, and the two of them walked to the dining room.
Finished food had already been placed on the table of the dining room. Bread and eggs were arranged, along with soup. As a Military Artist, Nina always worked hard to eat breakfast, but Leu just ate in a daze. She always moved according to her appetite, so there was no need to worry.
There was bread, ham, and cheese. She made it into a sandwich as she ate.
Did Layfon eat like this? Nina, sitting in her seat, didn't think so.
Among the people who had woken up, the tardy dorm head who had crawled out from somewhere had also sat down. Then, the last person finally showed her face in the dining room.
There was tea in the container in her hands. Moreover, she had boiled it separately according to the preferences of differing people.
Across from the steam of the soup, the new roommate and extremely short-term student showed a smile that perfectly matched the morning.
Layfon's childhood friend.
It was about time to leave the dorm. Selina, the dorm head, always stayed very late doing research, so she still needed rest until noon. The third year students...... actually, all of the dorm residents other than the dorm head, had gone to classes.
Because the summer was drawing near, the cool air in the morning had left. One would sweat under her clothes after walking slightly.
"How is it, are you already used to things?"
Walking on the road to the tram stop, Leu asked Leerin.
"Nn, I'm about used to it."
Leerin and Layfon were the same age. That meant that she was a different age from Nina and Leu, but they were in the same grade.
Considering the age difference, she should use honorifics, but on the other hand they were classmates.
That was very troublesome, so they just used normal language to converse.
"There are a lot of different areas of the textbooks, but I can still cope with the minor ones. Though, there are many interesting books in the libraries here."
Leerin's expression was very vivid, and she seemed extremely happy.
When they had finally reached the tram stop, her arms and back were all sweaty. The space enclosed by the air filter didn't have wind, and clouds were very rare. Everywhere was a broad blue color, and the sun seemed like a hole that had been raised in the sky.
"It's so hot today!"
Nina spoke, feeling that her throat was dry.
"Nn-- it's a bit hot."
Leu said that.
Leerin raised her head to look at the sky.
The shadow left by the awning over the tram stop was a little too small.
"Because we're nearing summer. If this goes on, they'll lift the ban on swimming in the cultivation lake in a month, right?"
"Ah, they have those kinds of lakes here too, huh."
"They do. Ah, do you play with water guns?"
"No, well, a little......"
Afterwards, the two of them talked about swimsuits, and Nina who was accidentally excluded walked to a nearby vending machine.
When normal morning classes finished, Nina walked out of the classroom. There were specialized Military Arts classes in the afternoon.
Around this time, platoon captains were generally very busy.
Today, they would also carry out a group mock battle on the practice field. Nina planned to walk to the practice field before there were too many people.
Though it had just entered the lunch hour, there were Military Artists around her who were heading towards the practice fields like Nina.
Among them, there were people she recognized.
Speaking of which, that place was very close to the first-year buildings. And close to those buildings, there were shops selling stationary as well as food stores. The food stores that proliferated around the school buildings were all corresponding to the degree to which people were concentrated there. Of course, this was also greatly related to the fact that the city was all students.
Someone she recognized walked into Nina's vision.
Hence, she deliberately slowed her pace.
Leerin and Layfon were walked there.
Behind them was the bento store that Leerin had begun working at. Had Layfon come here to buy lunch? She had heard that Naruki's friend made lunch for him, so had she stopped because Leerin was here? Was it only coincidence? That wasn't possible. It wasn't yet time for work, right? No, she had probably left class using work as a reason, so she had arrived here even earlier than Nina.
The two of them spoke very happily.
'Ah, because the two of them are childhood friends!'
Nina thought this, speeding up her walk.
At that time, she forgot the fact that she didn't exchange more than a few words a day with her childhood friend Harley.
Yes, she unconsciously forgot about herself.
Nina was the commander on the practice field, and had to shout loudly while overseeing everything. She had to analyze the information received from the Psychokinesist, command the battlefield, and grasp the overall situation. She didn't have to look too closely at what was behind her. But, she couldn't just ignore it. Otherwise, the frontline couldn't be maintained for long.
If they didn't all-out charge when they should have charged, it would leave everyone dissatisfied.
"Thanks for your work."
After two hours of charging through traps, they finally won the difficult battle. The students began leaving the practice field, and captains led other students onto the field.
Gazing to the side, Nina accepted the sports drink that Layfon offered.
They had already changed out of their fighting gear. The practice battlefield had a serious shortage of locker rooms. Some students in the platoons had to return to their own school building locker rooms or their classrooms to change.
"What...... are you doing?"
Her mouth was extremely dry, and her tongue almost couldn't move. She could feel a deep pain in her throat from constantly shouting.
"I'm doing things that most soldiers would do."
Layfon was indeed in the group that Nina commanded, but she hadn't heard any reports of him standing out. He was consciously holding back!
But she couldn't get mad because of this. If Layfon went all out, the group mock battle would become meaningless.
"How about I let you command?"
She drank the sports drink in a single sip.
"No way! I never learned how to be a commander."
Actually, first-year Military Arts was all about basic Kei classes, and only from the second year onwards did true group battle training actually begin. At best, first-years had small group battles with three people per side.
"You never learned it in Grendan?"
"Because I became a Heaven's Blade before learning."
Layfon still stood there with a carefree expression, but Nina sat on a nearby chair to rest for a bit.
"It seems like you're really tired."
"It's very busy on this side. I don't know whether I'll be able to take a vacation this year......"
"Aren't you also very busy, even when you put on a relaxed expression?"
"Huh, well, during then......" 
"I wasn't teaching techniques, just playing around. If you don't think hard about anything it's very relaxed, though of course I doubt whether it's really good to be that way."
"If you believe that then it would be enough to just think a little."
From his words, she could begin to understand a bit about Layfon.
Indeed, she had once seen Layfon withstand the attacks of nineteen Military Artist students. At the time, she had felt that only Layfon could do such a thing.
But, even if Layfon taught casually, many people would come to learn. That was because everyone had seen that he had overwhelming power.
Compared to that, Nina carried out group battle exercises so diligently, but didn't feel any sort of understanding.
(I always feel like I'm wasting my strength.)
Holding her head, Nina thought.
"Can you become strong like that?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know...... huh."
Nina was dumbfounded, and Layfon put on a completely indifferent expression.
"People who truly want to become strong will become strong even without help. Isn't that the most important thing, more so than teaching methods? One should really pay attention to the basic exercises, so those are the things that I plan to teach."
"But, what do people with poor reflexes do?"
"If it's below normal...... Isn't it enough if you put in more effort? When I practiced steel thread techniques, people told me 'a year won't be enough'. Actually, at the time, I didn't think that I could master those techniques."
"This world isn't fair, in both circumstances and ability. If you think there's a difference, then you can't do anything other than put in more work. It's impossible for everyone to have a happy life in this world."
"Even if you can't catch up with hard work?"
"Nn, well, what then?" 
Facing Nina's question, Layfon thought seriously.
Of course, could Layfon who was still practically a child reply to that kind of question? Layfon thought.
People's lives were long. So, he definitely didn't have to answer right now. Everything Layfon had said before were the answers of people before him.
The circumstances of an orphan, and extraordinary ability. Though his life wasn't blessed, it wasn't ill-fated. It was a life mixed with happiness and unhappiness, but it could be seen that his fortune wasn't the same as most people. That was definitely one of the criteria by which people's lives were evaluated. It wouldn't be known whether that stone was a pebble or a gem until death.
But, this right now wasn't related.
Layfon didn't really hate it, and didn't scorn or ridicule those weaker than himself, and maybe Layfon didn't have that kind of personality at all. He just considered how to raise his own strength, calmly dealing with the obstacles blocking him from reaching his goal, not caring about the business of others.
He almost didn't care about things outside of his established range.
With that kind of abnormal habit, if several such things occurred rapidly, he might pay a great price.
However, perhaps that was the manner of thinking of a strong person. She feared that might be it.
"......Captain, why are you so interested?"
"I'm not that interested. Layfon, I just want you to be a bit serious towards those people who are training."
"Then, what should I do...... No, speaking of which, your face is very red, Captain."
Seeing Layfon change the topic, Nina stood up.
She was very thirsty. The sports drink she had just finished off wasn't enough, and she still wanted to drink. Opening the lid of a drink can, she gripped it by the side.
Aah, her throat was so dry.
Ah? Had Layfon's expression twisted?
"What is it? Layfon?"
Could it be? He had been careless and showed the expression of a twisted personality? Really, who asked you not to follow a normal way of life......
Nina didn't remember anything after Layfon's surprised yell.
"She's caught a cold!"
In the medical room of the practice field, the medical student proclaimed.
"It's........ a cold?"
Layfon who had brought Nina to the medical room asked doubtfully.
The student who wore a white hospital gown ignored Layfon's attitude and continued speaking.
"She has a fever and her throat is swollen, so obviously it's a cold, and the reason is that she's been very busy recently. I divided up the medicine, so have her take it when she gets up. If that's not enough then she'll have to go to the hospital."
Taking the common medicine out of the medicine cabinet, Layfon returned to the side of Nina who slept on the bed of the medical room.
Layfon tilted his head. A cold. The medical student had said that, so it was probably true. Doubting wouldn't do anything.
She had indeed been very busy. It had been said that it was to maintain the morale of the Military Arts students after the battle with Myath, but maybe they were preparing to increase group training while the students were still positively affected by victory. There were many with packed schedules. It was a blessing though, and Layfon was very thankful that the number of people who came to him for individual training had decreased.
But, following the packed schedule would lead to fatigue in the soldiers and commander. Actually, Nina had been forced to run here and there for various communications even before the practice.
Nina's style that leaned towards defensive warfare but who liked to charge in the front was a bit puzzling. It was particularly easy for her to get fatigued.
A cold...... it was probably that, it should be.
Even so, Layfon still tilted his head.
But, he shouldn't have to worry as much as when she had overused her Kei vein before.
"She could be said to have mastered Raijin, so could it be......?"
It couldn't be said that he had never thought about it. Layfon also had that kind of feeling. Perhaps it was the natural process of organisms to die not long after being born.
There weren't many normal Military Artists who knew that. There weren't even many Psychokinesists who did, and even less so for Military Artists.
No, maybe Felli had the same kind of feeling.
If it were that way......?
She moaned, and moved her head.
In any case, it was very hard to confirm if she was sleeping or not.
In that case......?
Layfon checked the surroundings. There were no other people in the medical room. This was a spare medical room, and the actual medical room was currently being prepared for the students in the practice. That medical student just now should also be standing by there.
"No one's here, huh."
Layfon scratched his cheek, speaking. He felt a bit embarrassed. But, he still felt that it would be best to confirm first.
"Please don't wake up!"
Saying this, Layfon extended his hand to the sleeping Nina.
"............What are you doing?"
When he still hadn't touched her forehead yet, Layfon stared at Nina who had opened her eyes. Layfon froze.
"No, I'm not doing anything."
Though he wasn't at such a close distance, Layfon still felt that a cold sweat had broken out on his back. Nina's eyes were properly shaped and fully conscious. The moment their gazes met, Layfon seemed to have a feeling as if he could catch the movement of her eyelashes.
"Move, I can't get up!"
The breath that she exhaled at the same time as she spoke brushed his chin.
"How did I fall asleep?"
"It's because you caught a cold."
Like that, Nina finally realized that she had a fever. Putting her hand on her forehead, she showed a regretful expression.
"At this kind of time, too......"
"That's a message that your body needs rest, and it would be better to listen."
The words seemed comforting, but it was hard to tell whether Nina would take it that way.
He didn't know why Nina was this anxious. Compared to when they had fought with Myath, right now was relaxed. They had fought with the city Myath and won, and the morale of all the Military Artists had risen, so however one looked at it, this was an easy and relaxed environment, but Nina was unexpectedly anxious.
"If you caught a cold, you'll recover after taking some medicine and sleeping."
As if he had finally decided to give up, Layfon sighed after speaking.
"Where's the medicine?"
"Ah, I have it."
Replying, he gave over the medicine he had taken.
Layfon was still worried as he gave the medicine to Nina. But, Nina didn't hear Layfon's murmur. She got off the hospital bed, using the medical room's faucet to take the medicine.
"Nn, what is it?"
Turning to Layfon who was a bit stiff, Nina tilted her head.
"Ah...... uh, well, please don't use internal Kei."
"What are you saying? Won't using internal Kei promote the drug's effectiveness......"
As she spoke, Nina collapsed again.
It seemed like she had used internal Kei. Kei paths were distributed throughout the body along the nerve networks, and in other words, Kei paths were also spread along blood vessels. If she used internal Kei, it would expand the blood vessels, promote blood flow, and could send the medicine dissolved in her stomach to various parts of her body in moments.
Of course, the reason she had fallen wasn't only because of the medicine.
Somehow, Layfon's premonition had truly become reality. He thought that as he picked Nina up from where she had fallen.
Then, he imagined how things would be if the worst happened.
"What are you doing?"
Seeing that kind of situation, Leu first widened her eyes, and only later realized the situation. Not only did she obviously understand, but she also had somewhat of a fatalistic attitude.
It was only strange to not fall over from fatigue in such a desperately busy situation. Had that kind of thing finally happened in the third year? It wasn't too far off.
Nina's kouhai was currently in front of the dorm of Leu and the others. Of course she knew his name, Layfon Alseif. He had come here before, and she often saw him with Nina.
She had also watched their matches.
It was just that, Nina was on his back.
"Since it's a female dorm, I can't go in unauthorized, and no one responded when I pressed the doorbell......"
"Ah- at this time, usually no one's here."
Leu who said this was the same, and if her afternoon classes hadn't been changed into self-study, she wouldn't be here. Normally, Leu would have gone directly to the library, but this time she had only come here because she had planned to return to the dorm to borrow some things from someone else.
But, if Leu hadn't returned early, what would Layfon have done?
Leu thought while she invited Layfon into the dorm.
Nina slept on Layfon's back, and other than her red cheeks she had no other abnormalities.
Leu asked about Nina's body condition, and was told that she had collapsed because of a cold.
A cold...... Military Artists could catch colds.
She felt that it was a bit hard to believe, and moreover Nina wasn't so susceptible to colds in the first place. Since she had collapsed, maybe it was because she had worked too hard, and her body was reaching its limits.
She felt that she should let Layfon's shoulders get some rest.
"Bring Nina into her room."
Quite straightforward, Leu thought. He didn't beat around the bush, but thought very simply. That was called being pure. This person was the trump card of the seventeenth platoon. He was clearly just a first-year platoon member, but she had heard that he was extremely strong. The Military Artists she was close with had all said this, and moreover their tones were all extremely excited. When Zuellni had gone rampant, he had faced a large number of attacking filth monsters, and had been extraordinarily involved in eliminating them.
How incredible, even though those words had been exaggerated.
But, she still thought 'Is he truly very strong?'. When Nina talked about Layfon, she always had an attitude of being envious while also being unwilling to believe it. Were there other things mixed in as well? Maybe the person talking didn't realize it herself. After being teased by Selina, it seemed that some buds of such things had finally sprouted in her mind. But that person's teasing had contrastingly made Nina's thinking become even more rigid.
Ah, some spice had finally arrived recently.
Then, what should she do? Though Leu's expression hadn't changed, she still felt happy at her friend's change.
As she thought about this, they had already arrived at Nina's room.
Layfon didn't look much at the mostly undecorated room, just moving straight for the bed. The closed-off balcony by the bed was the only place decorated with small things with the style of a young girl, but he didn't look over there either.
Carefully, Layfon prepared to put Nina down.
The reason was quickly evident, which was that Nina's arms that were around his neck had suddenly applied force.
Nina, who should have been asleep, had her eyes half-open.
"Nina, are you awake?"
A voice blurred by sleep.
"Captain, lie on the bed and sleep!"
Layfon spoke a bit painfully.
An incredible response.
"I won't--, I'm not going~~"
............Excuse me, please hurry up and return to reality.
Leu reflexively thought that she was dreaming. No, it would be best if she were dreaming.
"Captain...... I'm begging you."
"No--, here is good!"
He didn't know where that kind of sleepy, child-like voice had come from, but her arms still used that much force.
Wasn't this way too childish!
Wasn't it...... wasn't it?
A single word emerged in her mind, and Leu couldn't hold back anymore.
Leu couldn't return to the reality that she knew. No matter what, she couldn't help but...... laugh!
She laughed, laughed loudly. It was an explosive laugh that couldn't be described with words.
She laughed and laughed.
Nina stubbornly puffed her cheeks, and that was funny. Layfon's appearance of not knowing what to do was also funny. Could it be that on the way here, the two of them had constantly been like this? Thinking of that, she couldn't help but laugh.
She had already laughed until her stomach cramped, and she didn't know whether she would die in the process from being unable to breathe.
"Ah...... what was that......"
Leu asked while shaking, still unable to stop laughing. Her stomach really hurt from laughing.
Nina had finally gotten on the bed. But she didn't sleep instantly, and just laid there.
She alternated looking at Layfon and Leu with a stubborn expression.
Her face was very red. Leu extended a still-shaking hand towards Nina's forehead. Nina showed an annoyed expression. But, Leu had already confirmed that Nina's forehead was truly very hot.
"Uh--, this was very hard to explain."
Layfon was a bit hesitant.
So Nina had really been like this on the way here! Had she been seen by others? If she had been noticed, and if it were also someone that recognized her, then that person would definitely had rushed back to their home thinking they had seen a nightmare.
After understanding that it wasn't a nightmare, they definitely would have laughed explosively like Leu.
"Though I think this is related to the cold medicine."
"Huh? Cold medicine? They didn't just put antibiotics in alcohol?" 
From Nina's condition today, anyone following a normal train of thought would have believed that she had drank alcohol. No one would have thought of anything other than her being drunk.
Would cold medicine cause a patient to enter a strange state of mind? Don't joke around!
No, could the reason be something similar to alcohol?
"Ah, that's the situation. ......Or was it?"
"So what's going on?"
Layfon's explanation was to no avail. What had that medical student said? Was he just a student?
Since Leu had come to Zuellni, she hadn't gotten any big illnesses. She just had the yearly cold, the kind where she would be better after taking medicine. So, she wasn't familiar with Zuellni's levels of medical technology.
"Uh, maybe it's Captain's Kei paths......"
As Layfon explained that......
Nina suddenly spoke. She jumped up on the bed, showing a dissatisfied expression. Her face was red with heat, and small beads of sweat seeped from her neck, reflecting light.
Her hands began taking off her clothes.
It was a good thing that she could feel hot. Nina twisted her upper body to take off her coat, and also unbuttoned her shirt.
Beneath her shirt was cute lace......
Though Leu tried stopping her, she was still a Military Artist even when sick. Leu couldn't stop her alone.
"You, hurry up and get out!"
"Ah, aah! Yes!"
The ignorant Layfon hurriedly prepared to leave. But just as he turned around, the door opened.
Why would things be like this?
"What's going on?"
The person who had just returned had heard strange noises, and come over.
After her gaze fell on every person in the room, the present horrors came across her eyes.
An expression of being unable to understand.
But that person didn't just stand there unable to understand. What could be seen in those eyes wasn't just pure chaos, but...... a little bit of understanding.
She saw Leu, she saw Nina half of whose body was being covered by Leu, and also saw Layfon nearby them.
Afterwards, she began moving wordlessly.
Striding into the room, she reached out to Layfon, and grabbed his ear.
"You, get out!"
That voice was almost emotionless.
"Ow, ow, it hurts!"
Layfon whose ear was being pulled was known as the strongest Military Artist in Zuellni. Unexpectedly, he had been pulled out of a room in this manner by a normal girl.
Leu spoke. Afterwards, she began moving.
From Nina's current state of undress, the current her wasn't an adult.
If she slept like this, then things would end up in a somewhat smoother outcome.
But she wouldn't sleep.
Now, Leu and the others were in the living room. When they had leisure time they would drink tea and chat here. There was a large display here, and high-quality and high-definition entertainment could be shown from it.
But, that display machine wasn't being used right now.
The tea that Leerin had made was on the table, along with the small cakes on saucers that her new friend Meishen had made. There weren't many things left that they hadn't eaten.
Leerin was speechless.
Leu was also speechless.
Layfon spoke, knowing his low status.
Nina sensed the atmosphere in the room, quickly showing her dissatisfaction.
Displeased, she grabbed Layfon's arm.
Selina wasn't there, and that was probably very fortunate. If she were there, then the situation would definitely have become more chaotic. She would definitely have found interest, and then would have disturbed the situation by poking her nose into it.
"Well, what's going on?"
Drinking the steaming tea, Leerin continued the topic. Layfon looked at her reproachful eyes that revealed a cold gaze.
Layfon's expression was a bit pained.
"Well. I've never seen this either. The thing she thought was cold medicine and took wasn't actually cold medicine......"
Then, Leerin understood. Finally, she understood the meaning. But her bad mood still continued.
Leu who still didn't understand asked.
"Well, a normal Military Artist wouldn't be able to get up, but incidentally there's also this kind of situation."
"I guess her Kei paths have expanded? Or maybe her Kei vein's ability has increased?"
As Layfon searched through his uncertain memory, he said that.
Of course, Leu who wasn't clear on the functioning of Military Artist bodies couldn't understand that.
Military Artists had an organ that normal people didn't, which was called the Kei vein. The so-called Kei was produced whenever a person was active, providing a very weak extra energy. Military Artist possessed an independent, strong, widely connected organ, the Kei vein. This Kei was circulated through the entire body and could enhance the body's abilities. There were also Kei paths that used it to form external destructive energy.
"For most people, their Kei amount won't change, but sometimes that kind of thing happens. There are people whose amount of Kei changes greatly."
"In other words, Nina is currently in that kind of condition?"
"No, this is the first time I've ever seen a different person like this."
"So it happened to you?"
"Layfon was in quite the condition back then."
Thinking back to the situation from before, Leerin sighed deeply.
"I had never thought such a thing would have happened. Going from six years old to about one year old, and having a constant fever that wouldn't let up."
"That severe? Then......"
She looked at her friend. The red-faced Nina had grabbed on to Layfon with nothing to do, beginning to pull Layfon's hair. Layfon wailed softly. Leerin cast a sharp gaze over there, but she quickly moved her gaze back to the tea by her hands.
(This is extraordinarily interesting.)
She thought this in her heart but didn't say it. On the other hand, Leu continued watching Nina's performance.
She was fevered. Though she hated thermometers and had nothing to measure her body temperature with. But from the feel of it, the heat didn't seem very strong.
"Isn't Nina suffering from that? Or is that topic even related to this condition?"
"When she had just collapsed, the doctor used normal cold medicine, but after she took it......"
"She became strange?"
"Yeah. She kept talking about strange things. It was a bit uncomfortable."
Sort of like she had been hurt. An expression emerged on Layfon's face as if he were sharing some of that pain. Probably, this was related to his hair being pulled by Nina.
"Ah~~, then, how do we cure it in the end?"
Leu still couldn't really believe it in her mind - her body's change combining with medicine to form an intriguing outcome, making the subject's mind return to a childish state. She didn't have any idea why that kind of result would be produced, but it would definitely become valuable research if doctors were to look at it. But was it a good thing to let her friend become a research object?
She thought silently.
"It should be like this until the medicine wears off."
"In other words, it'll be cured today at the latest?"
"I think so."
Leerin nodded. Nina on the other hand said 'play with me', shaking Layfon's shoulder. She felt like there was a feeling made her unable to laugh about this, and she didn't want to look at the two of them.
"Speaking of which, why does Nina like you so much?"
Layfon's voice quivered. He had had difficulty just barely maintaining a smile during Nina's 'play with me' attack.
(Oh my, oh my......)
Leu sighed in her heart.
Though no one could rationally accept this situation, they still showed expressions of rationality.
Leu drank the rest of the no longer hot tea, restoring the mood.
"So then, our understanding of the situation ends here......"
She looked at Nina. She felt that Nina's usually tough expression had been relieved a bit. Probably it was because of her eyes, which had a feeling of being constantly widened. And her eyes right now had already returned to a childlike state.
Nina who had been rigid and inflexible in the beginning, even if she received a shock and yielded, she still definitely wouldn't have become like this. The current Nina gave off a contrasting feeling from her actions that comparatively were those of a doll-faced little girl. That was definitely it, because her mind had become a child!
Damn, that meant that her mind didn't really match her outer appearance.
......In that case?
"......Then first, let's change her into a more fitting appearance."
Leerin expressed her approval.
"It would be good if we had fake hair, the long type, and something like a ribbon......"
"There should be those things in Selina-san's secret room!"
"T, that person has various things!"
She replied tersely to Leerin's question. After giving Nina to Layfon, Leu and Leerin left from the living room together.
Other than the room that Selina slept in, she also used a room that was approximately adjacent to it. Leu had opened the door to the neighboring room without permission before.
There were great amounts of clothes stashed there, cosmetics, and other small objects.
"H, how is there so much?"
"It's from various places, but maybe it's better not to know, and it would be especially troublesome if Nina learned about it."
Pushing the conversation to the side, Leu led the way into the room.
There were clothes on the hangers, from various school uniforms to party dresses. Even more incredible, the cute clothing that Leu and Leerin needed were all placed there as well. Though the sizes of those clothes were fit to Selina, there shouldn't be any problems other than a difference in height.
The hangers on the other side had various kinds of fake hair.
"Then, let's take some things and go!"
Leerin had harbored some doubts at first, but after seeing the things in the room, she became eager.
Afterwards, after some time had passed.
Happily looking at her results, Leu wiped off the sweat from her forehead.
The source of the sweat was her itchy cheeks.
Leerin also showed a refreshing expression.
"Nn, can we end here then?"
The exhausted Layfon confirmed, his face already full of weariness.
His face and forehead were covered in red scratches, and moreover he had been hit a few times. It was all Nina's doing when she had been being rowdy. Layfon who had to control her had been the one who was hit the most.
Nina who had been cooperative when they were changing her clothes had become rowdy when they tried to put the fake hair and makeup on her.
Because of that, Leu and Leerin had also been scratched.
Right now, Nina wore a pink dress. In order to let her calm down a bit, they had hurriedly taken the doll Mitessha from her room. Even so, she still looked at them with a dissatisfied expression.
They used a ribbon to tie up the long fake hair. More incredibly, they had used makeup to emphasize the softness of her face. Leu originally didn't really use makeup, but she had learned a few techniques from her friends who worked at beauty parlors.
"Maybe black is a bit more fitting."
"No no, it's fitting, it's fitting. The normal Nina definitely wouldn't wear pink clothes!"
"Nn, nn- indeed."
Though they hadn't spent many days together, Leerin had also never imagined Nina wearing anything pink.
"......Uh, won't Nina get mad if she recovers?"
"She'll get mad! But, because of that, we can only do this now! Nina-chan, how about you change into this?"
Leu happily took out a different garment.
"Aww, don't say that!"
This time was even stronger, and she resisted with her teeth bared.
Then, Nina hid behind Layfon's body.
"No! I wanna play--"
"But, you should wear this!"
"No--, play! Play play play------!!"
The back of Layfon's clothes was grabbed and shaken.
"Then, hold on......"
"Play, play, I want to play-- play!"
Shake shake shake shake.
Shake shake shake shake shake shake shake shake......
At that extremely high-speed movement, even a Military Artist would be affected.
"......Are you okay?"
Nina tilted her head with a naive expression, looking at Layfon who had fallen on the bed, almost unconscious.
A smile slowly emerged on Layfon's face.
"Then, will this time be enough?"
"Nn, this time."
She smiled magnificently at Layfon, and Leerin who witnessed this with a quizzical expression became even more speechless.
In that time, it suddenly happened......
Of course, Nina didn't have any bad intentions. She acted rapidly because she was guided by childish thinking. That action would be far too abrupt for an adult consciousness.
"I love you Layfon--!!" Fully enunciated words.
A momentary thing.
Layfon clutched his mouth, his face completely red. Leerin covered her mouth to try to stop herself from making a sound. Nina smiled a bit shyly, and though a childish smile emerged, one could really still see the figure of an adult. It was very devious. 
(Well, is it almost impossible to tidy up this chaotic situation now?)
Leu felt that.
Layfon was muttering something to the side. Her heart was that of a child regardless of her appearance, that was how things were. Child child child...... Uh, wasn't that muttering Layfon very suspicious?
Leerin had almost recovered from the shock. No, how would things be if she had to turn to other things because she was unable to withstand that shock? Leerin's shoulders quivered, and she glared at Layfon.
Of course, the chaotic situation wouldn't end with this, as she was still an eighteen-year-old Military Artist. The strength that body contained wasn't on par with a child.
Maybe her child self was also shy. Maybe she was shy, and wanted to escape from there.
Nina suddenly stood up.
While shouting out, Nina did something very serious.
The dress with many buttons was ripped apart by Nina's brute force. The buttons flew everywhere.
In other words......
After Leerin's sharp voice, Layfon closed his eyes.
The sounds of the flying buttons bounding on the bed, the sounds of threads breaking, the sounds of torn cloth, the sounds of Mitessha rolling on the bed. The undecorated underwear that was exposed, and the chest fuller than Leu's. The panties hidden underneath the clothing were really quite simple.
......Because she was a child, she didn't have enough of a sense of shame.
"Hurry up and get out!"
Layfon whose eyes were tightly shut was kicked towards the door by Leerin.
The heat in the bathroom condensed into droplets on the ceiling, and fell back into the bath.
The sighs of two people added an imposing atmosphere in the noise-filled bathroom, but they were drowned out by the noise in the bathroom, even if it was high-pitched.
During the bath......
Nina had advocated that until the end, but that kind of action couldn't be permitted.
For Layfon who showed an expression like 'how could I bathe with her', and for Nina when she recovered, and also for Leerin who was caught in a dilemma between the two.
In any case, it was for the happiness of everyone present.
In order to let the dissatisfied Nina calm down, Leu and Leerin entered the bathroom together.
Right now, Leerin was washing Nina's hair.
While Nina whose eyes were desperately shut had her hair full of bubbles, Leu exclaimed.
"It's because I'm used to it!"
Leerin used a very normal tone to say that.
Leu had previously learned of Leerin's situation, so she didn't say anything. When she had learned, she had thought 'Ah, so many things happened!'. Leu hadn't grown up in a particularly favorable environment herself either.
The people who came to this city all had their own various stories. There were people like Nina who held strong feelings of leaving and went on a journey, and people who didn't have any choice but to leave, people who left to search for their desires, people who left their hometown on impulse, people who escaped, and people who left their city in order to pursue those who had escaped.
What could be expected of people who had left their home city? It was obvious that all of them had cut themselves off from certain things forever.
Even if it was only a momentary trip.
Leu looked at Leerin. She still had confidence in her observation of others. She was an honor student, one who was very good at studying, just that kind of honor student.
There were also many kinds of honor students.
For example Nina had that kind of rigid personality, so she achieved in Military Arts...... Generally speaking, she was an honor student.
Selina counted as unprecedented, and she was the kind of honor student that made people speechless with her achievements.
And then Leerin's achievements were the kind that could make the annoying-seeming class representatives admit defeat, she was that kind of honors student.
There were many types other than those, and there were a big bunch of honor students living in a nearby dorm.
(Does this girl plan on always showing the expression of an honor student?)
They had almost finished washing Nina's body, and Leu also entered the bath. Leerin was still with Nina, helping her clean her body.
She thought about Leerin's situation. Leu understood what kind of emotions she had held coming to this city. Her actions were already very indicative of her feelings.
Even Nina who didn't think anything relating to those kinds of things couldn't ignore it.
She had wanted to ignore it.
It was probably because Leerin's sense of purpose was too strong. What goal had she had, coming to Zuellni. Afterwards, other goals had been added on top of that, which made Nina's thinking intensify.
Though, with this, her thinking had become rigid. Because Nina's heart wasn't soft enough!
One could also say that she wasn't flexible. She didn't care about things other than what she was doing, and didn't observe them. It was as if her consciousness was led by an extremely strong goal, and she constantly corrected her path.
The strange thing was, the feelings from Nina and Layfon were similar. Leu didn't understand that part.
(But...... even if she hides it, nothing will change.)
Like today. Something extremely abnormal had happened, and Nina's rigid outer layer had been stripped off, and the feelings in her heart had been expressed without leaving anything behind!
She hadn't been able to forget about that scene.
(Aah, she's smiling.)
Her cheeks were dimpled, and Nina's mouth was curved in a recognizable smile.
"......What is it?"
Leerin showed surprise. Nina was washing the bubbles off of her head.
The warm bath water increased her fatigue, and Leu stretched the top of her body out of the tub.
Nina who had washed off the bubbles jumped into the tub all at once. This bathtub was actually quite large, enough to let Nina move around. Because of the flexible drainage system, the level of water in the bath hadn't risen too high.
She splashed around a lot of water, and was yelled at by Leerin. Nina ignored Leerin's reproaches, continuing to play around in the bath.
There was no way anyone would be unable to read Nina's current attitude. How sad, girls were always growing and changing unlike guys who stayed the same for a long time. Because Leu understood this, Leerin also should have understood.
She had feelings towards Layfon. That was a realization that the normal Nina had covered up. Those feelings had been kept hidden through now, but Leu thought that Nina couldn't keep going on like that.
Why would she come to Zuellni? And what if she continued showing feelings for Layfon?
(How would things become?)
Though Nina's thoughts might become chaotic because of everyone being involved, Leu still felt that it would be very interesting, and she wanted to see it. Of course, she didn't want it to develop into an uncontrollable outcome if at all possible. Because she wanted to get to know these two people better, but unfortunately she didn't. Right now, Leu couldn't do anything other than feel sorry.
A sigh from the tired Leerin made the water in the bath ripple, and Leu noticed that sigh.
There were three girls, so wouldn't it be good for them to talk things out slowly? But Nina couldn't do that kind of thing.
Actually, Nina's voice was the loudest during the bath. After testing the heat of the hot water, she began splashing around.
She suddenly let out those words, and Nina walked to the changing room without waiting for replies from the others.
Neither Leu nor Leerin were able to instantly accompany Nina who had moved rapidly. Doubts just emerged in their minds.
"Hey, do you think Nina will dry her body?"
Leerin's expression went pale in an instant, and she frantically left the bath. But, the sound of the changing room door opening had already sounded.
Outside of the changing room, Layfon had been bound by Leerin's words 'don't come in', and was definitely still waiting outside in the living room.
Leerin's voice sounded a little too late.
Right afterwards, they heard the panicked voice that Layfon let out as he turned his body towards the door.
Leerin seemed to resist the sense of shame in her heart, rushing out wrapped in just a towel!
"Wow, is this interesting setting only limited to today?"
Saying this, Leu also left the bath. Drying herself and blow-drying her hair, she relaxedly looked at the situation in the living room.
Over there, two panicked people were holding a fainted Nina.
She thought of it.
Nina had originally had a fever. The fevered person had bathed, and even splashed around so much during the bath, and then rushed out without even putting clothes on. Because they had just entered the summer, the nights weren't that warm yet, so it was inevitable that this scene would happen!
It was inevitable that she would collapse.
On the second day, Nina who had recovered to her normal condition didn't have any leftover memories. Was this fortunate or unfortunate for everyone else?
In the dining room in the morning, Leu, who didn't consider those things, alternated looking between Nina and the slightly displeased Leerin.
Translator's Notes and References
- 'During then' refers to when Layfon taught Military Arts.
- Layfon is kind of talking to himself.
- This is a joke, since Nina seems drunk.
- See more about Mitessha in Volume 8 Diamond Passion.
- If you haven’t gotten it yet, Nina kissed Layfon, presumably on the lips.