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Just Who Rin Is

Inglis and Rafinha walked through Karelia’s royal palace in the capital, Chiral.

“Phew, having to meet and greet so many people today was exhausting.”

“It’s not like we have a choice. People are coming from all over the country to celebrate.”

The sigh was Rafinha’s; the reply, Inglis’s.

Karelia was a large country, and the number of royals and nobles was proportionate. Now, they were all gathered under one roof to celebrate the defeat of the Prismer. And it was inevitable that, as they each met Inglis and Rafinha, the two would feel as if it was nothing but endless flattery.

However, there was a key reason that the two had endured so much over three days and three nights of nonstop socializing.

“Now the fun begins!”

“That’s right, Rani!” Their eyes, glimmering, met.

A gathering of people from across the country meant a gathering of delicacies from across the country. Their work over, a mountainous feast awaited them.

“Let’s eat!”

Plates were stacked with jumbo shrimp boiled whole and cooked in a special sauce. There were baskets full of bread with berries, grapes, apples, and other fruits baked into the dough. Platters were densely packed with thick slices of meat. In the blink of an eye, it was all gone.

“All right, this is the last slice in this basket!” Rafinha exclaimed. “Wait, this isn’t bread! What is it?!”

Something else was in the basket that Rafinha reached for. Something small, like a mouse—but humanoid. “Ah?! A magicite beast?!” She picked the creature up. “It looks like Rin?! Ah, this must be—”

“Oh, there he is.”

“Yua?!” Inglis and Rafinha gasped.

“That’s Beanpole.”

“Oh, he got loose?” Rafinha asked.

“I thought he looked familiar,” Inglis said. She hadn’t exactly had time to take a close look during the fight with the Prismer, but his appearance had rung a bell.

“Thanks for finding him. He likes to hide.” Yua took Morris from Rafinha and cradled him to her chest. As she did, though, he made eye contact with Rin, who was peeking from Inglis’s neckline.

“Ugh?!” Inglis involuntarily groaned. While one had once been a surface human at their school, and the other a Highlander, they were both former magicite beasts who had undergone the black-masked man’s treatment. Thus, they could be expected to behave in similar ways.

Rin, perched on Inglis’s neckline, beckoned for Morris to join her.

“Knock it off, Rin!” Inglis barked. Rin sharing her favorite place as a gesture of friendliness was not something Inglis wanted; she didn’t mind if Rin, who had been a woman, scurried under her clothes or nestled in her cleavage, but Morris’s having been a guy made him a no-go. She wouldn’t be able to stand him nestling in there.

Nyoom! Morris escaped from Yua’s arms and hid under a nearby table. Concealing himself behind the tablecloth, he peeked out warily.

Yua looked a bit annoyed. “He’s so quick to run away and disappear like that.”

But Inglis’s eyes shone as she looked at him approvingly. “I knew you were a gentleman, Morris!”

Squirm, squirm, squirm! Rin squirmed around, taking offense at that comment.

“Eeek! Stop it, Rin!”

“Well, this is just who Rin is...” Rafinha sighed.

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