My cousin, Han Miyeong, was a hysterical girl.
Her eyes were sharp. She wore glasses. She was slightly taller than me, so with a height of 177cm, she had a stature that was tall despite being a girl. She had charcoal-colored short hair that almost appeared as if it were cut with a knife. Her veins were visible on the back of her hands and her feet as well. Her foot size was 270mm. She was on the larger side of girls with the same physique as her, so her hands were similar.
She wasn’t fat. Her figure was outstanding. To the point that you couldn’t vaguely say something like ‘okay’ or ‘on the good side’. She had proportions that were difficult to obtain even if one were to aim for it while on a nurturing simulation. Her receiving offers to become a model while walking through the streets of Hongdae was a matter of everyday occurrence. Although she would occasionally receive offers to become an idol, it wasn’t because of her appearance but because her height and physique were limited to the upper class.
She had a lot of popularity. Mostly from other girls. Second to that was from boys who were shy. Last year, during Pepero Day, one of those boys had even shoved a box of pepero within our newspaper slot and ran away. It seems he was able to squeeze out the courage to come to our house but didn’t have enough to take the next step. Of course, even if he did, there’s a large possibility that he would have just witnessed the sight of the pepero going into my mouth. Miyeong didn’t eat snacks that well. She did buy them. Moreover, she’d even spend tens of dollars not at convenience stores but at imported sweet stores, at that. However, she was a fellow who, instead of tossing the snacks she bought into her mouth, would groan while staring at the calorie label for a long time before coming into my room and throwing it in my face. 69.3kg. Considering her height and figure, she absolutely wasn’t overweight.
It couldn’t be helped.
She was a girl, after all.
Someone who’s concerned about her height, concerned about her own shoe size, and concerned about her weight. Someone who can’t even meekly accept any positive evaluations, and would instead inflate the negative parts before harboring it. Compared to her peers, behaving quite her age, behaving no higher than her age,
an irritable girl.
My cousin, Han Miyeong, was that kind of girl.
I’ll organize the current situation.
I, who was dragged here by the white maid, was thrown aside on top of a bed in a small room.
If there’s something that can be added onto this situation that somehow feels similar to a light novel title, then it’s the fact that, in the end, the wrist on my right arm was bruised. As a matter of fact, my body was sore because of the melee I had with Zia yesterday, so I’d like to refuse being injured any more than this.
Though that wasn’t in my hands.
“······Hota’ rii, akatu’ ziena?”
The white maid asked me something. However, since I couldn’t understand her, I responded by looking around the room instead. Approximately 6.5 square meters. There were no windows, but there was one wooden chair and desk. Instead of there being a closet, clothes were stacked on top of the rack that was attached to the wall. In the spot where I was situated, I was on top of a piece of furniture that was similar to a mattress and was stuffed with something that was unknown to me. However, whether it was because they weren’t washed for a long period of time or not, the covers that must have once been white were now a beige color and the areas where the body touched most, along with the pillow, were stained a light yellow.
“Kime’ ke’ kr-mera?”
The white maid spoke once more. As expected, since I couldn’t understand her, I stared at her, or rather, at the door that was right behind her. A door made of wood. As I had stated earlier, since there were no windows, the room was enshrouded in darkness due to the door being shut. If this maid weren’t so white, if her eyes didn’t give off such a boundlessly scarlet glow, then facing each other would have been difficult.
The white maid spoke again.
Although I still couldn’t understand what she had said⎯⎯⎯this time, instead of observing the surroundings, I gazed at the white maid.
There were two reasons for this.
The first reason was because there were no more things in the room that were worth examining any further.
The other reason was because the vocalization method of the words that the white maid had just spoken⎯⎯⎯I realized that her words just now were different compared to what she had uttered earlier.
If you think about it, the vocalization method of what she said just before that was vaguely different as well.
The reason behind that was revealed in the next moment.
“······is it, this language? Korean? Is correct?”
“······, ······, ························Yeah, that’s right.”
I nodded⎯⎯⎯and responded.
The white maid let out a sigh. After raising one hand to brush her hair to the side, she crossed her arms and stared down at me.
“My name is Sii. Sii Garno Mikatni. As maid of Her Excellency the Silver Lion Earl, I work in this castle.”
The word ‘Sii’, which was repeated over and over again earlier, the word that I faintly expected to be a name, turned out to be this white maid’s name. Although her Korean grammar was so broken that both grammar nazis and grammar anarchists would most likely never forgive her, it was a self-introduction that could still be understood.
“I’m, Yujin. My full name is Han Yujin.”
Sii nodded her head, walked forward, and stood before me.
She inhaled deeply, making her small chest puff up, before raising her foot.
I was stepped on.
My breath, was stifled. Sii, who had put enough strength into her feet to make it feel as if my ribs, and the lungs underneath them, were being crushed, lowered her back and stared into my eyes.
“······uh, ······, ······!!”
“Formal speech, use it. ······Did you not forget? Because this place is not where you lived, Yujin. Going along with my mood is for your future. Understand?”
Her grammar was still broken. Even while she was talking, the strength in her boot continued to increase. If I didn’t show a response, then she truly was going to continue until I broke, that was her intention.
The feeling of anger and indignity from being violently forced to use formal speech to a maid who was younger than me⎯⎯⎯I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have that sort of reaction.
No, I was used to it.
There was a time when I was dragged to Chanmi’s house and was mistreated by 5 maids at the same time. Like I would always say, any experience will become helpful in the future······.
Once I obliged immediately, light satisfaction appeared on Sii’s face.
She lessened the strength in her leg for a moment, before adding it back.
The feeling of anger and indignity from being violently forced to attach a title to a maid who was younger than me⎯⎯⎯I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have that sort of reaction.
No, like I said, I was used to it.
When I was dragged to Chanmi’s place, there was a time when I was tormented by a pair of twin maids. Looking back at it now, it’s just a distant memory······.
Sii displayed a satisfied expression and lifted her foot. She then dragged a chair over to the bed before sitting down on it and crossing her legs. With half-opened eyes, her red pupils appearing like a pair of setting suns that had been cut in half by the horizon and flipped upside-down, she looked down at me as if she were evaluating me.
“Yes, Miss Sii.” I immediately responded with formal speech and raised my upper body. “I am a boy.”
Sii furrowed her brow as she watched me raise my body but then smiled brightly after seeing me get down onto my knees and lower my eyes with my hands gathered together. It wasn’t the twisted smile that she made while in front of the other maids, but a truly happy smile which was apparent on her face. She stomped her heels against the floor multiple times, her shoulders hunched together, before pushing the end of her foot towards me.
As expected, if I were to speak from experience, then the meaning behind a sitting girl sticking her foot out towards a kneeling boy can be narrowed down to six things.
Among them, if it’s the reaction that’s hoped for by the type of people like Sii, then······.
(TL note: Warning: Foot stuff)
I courteously supported her foot and placed the end of her boot against my mouth.
Sii twitched. While looking up towards that Sii with upturned eyes, I moved my head and sucked audibly. Lick, suck. The dull taste of leather. The stale taste of dirt and dust. Not avoiding it but accepting it fully⎯⎯⎯I swallowed. Suck, lick. Each time the wet sound of lips and tongue resonated, her knees twitched. The face of the twitching Sii was dyed red.
(TL note: Foot stuff is over)
Her face was completely flushed.
Not only her eyes, but her entire face was giving off a ruby glow as well.
She wasn’t⎯⎯⎯only embarrassed.
Sii made me stop by pushing me away with her other foot and stood up from her chair. She then started to skip around with trembling shoulders before pouncing on me and pulling my neck into an embrace. She then (stretched out her hand that was, as expected, bright red) patted my head.
I think I was on the mark.
“Good Yujin. Yup~~ very good! Because you’re good, really! Like this from now on, with sincerity! Have understood? Because if you do, then I won’t step on you like earlier······since I won’t make you hurt, this Sii Garno Mikatni promises. It’s okay to trust me. Do you understand?”
“Thank you very much, Miss Sii.”
Sii barely listened to the response that I gave her. She rubbed her cheek, which was so flushed that it appeared as if you could feel the heat radiating from it, against my forehead and kept stroking my head. If her pale white skin could be described as fallen snow, then right now, she was like fire spreading on top of oil. Did her entire body turn red? In terms of posture, the lower portion of my face was naturally pressed against her heated chest, so the peculiar feeling from that soft sensation and the scent of milk mixed with sweat⎯⎯⎯I can confidently say that I wouldn’t feel anything from that.
In the first place, it wasn’t even soft. If you want to get technical, then it was indeed soft, but it was a softness that was no better than a chicken breast. As I saw with my eyes earlier, this girl had a body that was lamentably skinny.
As I’ve said multiple times before, I don’t like stimulating things.
Before that, this wasn’t even stimulating.
The former being me and the latter being this maid known as Sii, this was a situation that was pitiful in several different meanings······.
“Yujin, Yujin. Chest, hurts? The place I stepped on earlier······ Did I make it hurt a lot?”
Sii, who must have been satisfied with her long session of rubbing against me, lifted her head and started to hit my chest as if she were trying to pat it down. If someone were to ask me which moment hurt more, then it’d be now.
“A little······ Miss Sii. You’re strong.”
Those words, which would have made my cousin Miyeong rampage like a dragon and rain her royal wrath down upon me if I were to ever say that to her, made Sii become redder. She then cleared her throat with an ‘Ehem’, put her chest out, and,
“Yup! That’s obvious. I’m strong! Really strong!”
“Indeed, Miss Sii.”
“If I put more sincerity, then even a boy like Yujin is just a twig against my one finger!”
“Thank you for going easy on me.”
“Yup yup. Is obvious, Yujin. Be relieved. Since Yujin is a good kid, even I won’t go all out!”
Sii spoke while patting my head strongly with her palm. Although, if you consider the fact that there was some end of the century martial arts manga type line in the middle of her sentence, then you can approximately tell what sort of method this fellow had used to learn Korean. Regardless of that, her personality type was just as I had expected.
Starting from the obsequious smile which she had shown in front of the other maids.
To the pressure of the grip which went beyond common sense on my wrist.
To the fact that she had abruptly stepped on my chest and forced me to use honorifics.
The truth that could be realized just by looking at that figure which lacked in volume.
This white maid, Sii Garno Mikatni, was starving for recognition and respect.
Regardless of who the opposition was, she wanted her strength, her value, to be acknowledged.
It was similar to how a short, scrawny, or any man lacking in a particular physical attribute would be hell-bent on trying to prove his masculinity. As expected, the fact that she got this excited by me licking the end of her boot⎯⎯⎯was most likely because she felt as if that strength of hers had been confirmed. Moreover, it was confirmed by a man who had a good head on his shoulders. She would be especially ecstatic because of that.
She was someone who was so easy to handle that she couldn’t be compared to the Earl. How great would it be if every woman in the world was like her?
······No, as I thought, that isn’t right either, is it?
“Uhm, Miss Sii······.”
Carefully, while lowering my back and looking up at her, I moved my lips while displaying an attitude that seemed as if I were being considerate about her mood. Sii tilted her head.
“Hm? What, Yujin?”
“There is something that I am curious about······ would it be discourteous of me, to ask?”
“Mm? Ah, okay. Yujin was a body summoned by the Earl after all······ Things you want to ask, is there a lot?”
“Yes. ······I would be grateful if you were to teach me, if you were to show me mercy.”
(TL note: He’s correcting himself)
Since I’m doing it anyway, I should do it with certainty. I backed up slightly and made that request while lowering my head. Sii gazed down at me while grinning broadly and giggling inaudibly to herself before she composed herself in order to let out a proud snort.
“Okay! Talk. If you don’t, then I can’t answer your questions.”
“This room, what place is it?”
“It’s my room! Since I’m amazing, I was allowed to have a personal room. Since I came here through Miss Mercè Mikatni’s introduction, it’s not without reason!”
(TL note: Uncertain about the gender)
Contrary to her words, the room was still shabby, but if I said that out loud then I’d probably be stepped on again. There was no worth in breaking the mood that I was barely able to establish.
“Miss Mercè Mikatni······?”
“The best blacksmith of the City of Confinement. Although an otherworldly creature like you, Yujin, may be unaware, she’s a person with a lot of influence in the city. As that person’s adopted daughter, I came into this castle. And I’m working as a maid. ······Honestly, I want to do a more splendid job, but because I have a disease, it’s difficult for me to move around outside. Until I gather enough money to fix that, I plan to work without voicing my complaints.”
The adopted daughter of a city’s community leader, is it? A disease. Restricted outdoor activities. Different to the Earl of the Silver Lion, she had truly white skin and red eyes⎯⎯⎯skin that reddened when excited. A typical disease of melanin deficiency, the appearance of an albino. The reason why she was always narrowing her eyes was probably because her vision was weak.
The part about whether albinism was a curable disease or not⎯⎯⎯let’s put that on hold.
She was either plainly young and thus unaware of the truth or she was deceived into believing that a medicine that could cure her disease actually existed.
There’s a possibility that the so-called Alchemy Fortress, the pharmacist association of this world⎯⎯⎯truly did possess a magical medicine that could cure that disease.
“Mhm! It’s no big deal!”
Although I think there’s no meaning in you saying those kinds of words when you have such a boasting expression on your face, as I thought, let’s ignore it.
“Earlier those maids, those misses······.”
“Don’t call them misses!”
She shouted. I expected this response, but it was important for me to act as if I didn’t. With a frightened face, and while even uttering a shriek, I went down onto my knees and bowed my head. I put strength into my arms and shoulders, which were supporting my body, and made myself appear as if I were trembling.
Shortly after, once I carefully glanced up at her like a prisoner who was pleading for mercy, both sorriness and satisfaction lingered in the eyes of Sii who was still trying to catch her breath after having shouted.
······No, like I said, this was easy. At this point, I feel as if I may end up being the one to feel bad instead.
“Sorry for shouting, but calling them Miss is a no. Because the only person among the maids worth calling miss, is this Miss Sii Garno Mikatni. Understood?”
Carefully, while embarrassed, but with an evidently pleased expression on her face, Sii Garno Mikatni rubbed the end of her boot against my lips. Once I pressed my lips against her boot as if I was much obliged by the fact that I could even respond to her like this, Sii crouched down and patted my head.
“Yup~~! Good! It’s okay if you know, Yujin!”
After stroking my head for a long period of time, she patted my forehead with the palm of her hand.
No matter how I looked at it, this must have been this fellow’s habit. It’s been hurting ever since she started to do this.
“In the first place, the majority of the other maids are idiots who don’t even know Korean. They don’t have aspirations, either. No passion to learn. Lazybones who pushes tiresome tasks to others. Because I, will never live like that.”
“······I see, Miss Sii. However, uhm······.”
“How did Miss Sii grasp the Korean language······?”
Sii puffed up her chest.
“This castle’s library, it’s open to even the maids. At first, I learned from picture books with a lot of drawings. Because I didn’t know how to read the letters, I asked either Miss Zia or Miss Sophna and······ after learning how to read, mm, since it’s a picture book, I could understand the situations.”
Picture books, is it? I wonder if she’s talking about manga. Seeing that Zia’s name was mentioned, then ten to one that must be the case. The person called Sophna······ if I recall the time I wrote that speech, then they were the head vassal of the House. Contextually, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this person knows how to speak Korean as well. Let’s keep this in mind.
“That’s impressive. It should have been difficult to learn Korean······.”
“Yup~~! That’s right, it was difficult······ but the picture books were fun. Wanted to read the next volumes faster and faster. Furthermore, it’s another world language, right? I believed something good would happen if I learned it······. No matter the experience, it will be helpful. If you didn’t know this, then use this opportunity to learn it well, Yujin.”
Although that common opinion, which you uttered so proudly, was something I’ve already been using on you to my heart’s content, as expected, there’s really no need for me to say that out loud. In regards to the fact that she was violent, easy to read, and boundlessly simple to handle, she reminded me of Eun Minseon.
No, would Miyeong be more similar?
In any case.
“It has certainly helped.”
“Since that has allowed me to have the honor of conversing with you, after all.”
Sii was dyed red once more. Although it seems that she wanted to make a pretentious expression on her face which displayed that something on that level was obvious, she was unable to control her facial muscles so her lips trembled like a worm that had found itself on a road of asphalt.
“Uhuhuhuhum! Well, that’s obvious. Because I’m amazing. But certainly, because Korean was really difficult, there were a lot of hardships even after learning how to read······ I was able to manage that one way or another. Since I’m in charge of cleaning⎯⎯⎯.”
Sii abruptly stopped mid-sentence and shut her mouth.
“Ah······ mm. It’s nothing. Nothing at all. Mm mm. In any case, I’m amazing. If you understand, then you have to show some more sincerity!”
Sii, as if to block my mouth with her boot⎯⎯⎯Mm, it would probably be better to take out the ‘as if’. She blocked my mouth physically.
This sort of reaction came out after she mentioned that she was in charge of cleaning. There are three possible explanations. First, because their assigned area was under secrecy, there was a need for her to pick her words carefully. Though this could possibly be the case, if she had that sort of sociability, then she wouldn’t have fooled around with me this easily. The second explanation was that in the midst of boasting to me, she stated that she was in charge of cleaning so she felt embarrassed. Compared to the first explanation, this was 100 times more probable.
Finally, the third······.
For now, I removed my lips from her boot.
“What type of person is the Silver Lion Earl to Miss Sii?”
Sii twitched and then fixed her posture. Among the three possible explanations mentioned earlier, I could guess what the answer was.
The hesitating Sii let out a sigh.
“She’s, a scary person.”
As I thought, she had this sort of evaluation.
“A really scary person. I heard that she wasn’t like this in the past, but······ I wasn’t here back then so I don’t know that well. Just a few days ago, the fact that Aria almost died······ Albeit, Aria is a lowly maid who resorts to thieving, well, I believed that it’d be a cheap price no matter what her punishment was, but······ seeing that she forgave Aria, then she might have a generous part about her. Yup. A difficult person. That’s what I think.”
Theft, maid, near death situation, and mercy······ ······It seems that the maid called Aria was the one who I had helped. I wonder if she was mixed in with the group of maids that I saw earlier. I don’t plan to take advantage of a favor, but if I get the opportunity, then I should confirm it. Winning people over to your side was important.
While in deep thought, Sii cautiously called out to me.
“Yes, Miss Sii?”
“······, ······that basement room······ did you see it?”
That basement room⎯⎯⎯she must be referring to the torture chamber.
In charge of cleaning.
It was something that I had already guessed at. It was a used facility. A room where a person of high status would go to enjoy herself. Although it appeared as if the room was never cleaned before because blood, flesh, guts, and bones were scattered all over the place⎯⎯⎯logically, there was no way that that would be the case. Furthermore, there’s no chance that the Earl herself would clean that torture chamber. If I were to judge Zia while relying on a harsh stereotype, then it’s a question whether she’d even clean her own room or not. Rather than that, the people below would have to do it. If that’s the case, then what room would be the most appropriate place to clean for a maid who’s treated as a sore?
Even the thing which she claimed to have assisted her in learning the language, if she truly did learn from only reading manga, then there’s no way that she would be able to converse with me as fluently as this. She needed a conversation partner.
She most likely had⎯⎯⎯that conversation partner.
Similar to how, in this very moment, there are two otherworldly creatures that exist in that torture chamber.
Those who were unable to get past the first day, the second day, or even the third day. Tortured⎯⎯⎯there must have been Koreans who were as broken as this child’s grammar.
“······Didn’t see? That······ room.”
Sii asked me while averting her gaze.
I shook my head before giving her a nod.
“I saw it. ······The torture chamber, you’re referring to that, right?”
“Ah. ······so you saw it, yeah.”
The recoiling Sii fiddled with her fingers before clearing her throat.
“Mm~ I understand, the fact that you saw. Mm······. In fact, you immediately used formal speech for me······ and used honorifics. Since you saw, things like that······ That’s right. Mm mm.”
Sii, who had her arms folded while letting out a long ‘Mm~’ sound, then nodded her head.
“Yup, I’ll try talking!”
“Say that Yujin is a good boy! After hearing that she doesn’t have to make you hurt anymore, there’ll be no need to hurt you! Although Miss Earl is a scary person······ she’s also a cool person. After hearing the speech she gave during Aria’s incident before, yup! An amount of······ possibility······ may, slightly······ not be non-existent······.”
Sii trailed off. It seems she had judged that the reason behind my silence was because I was trembling in fear.
Even though that wasn’t the case.
I think I know why she tried to refrain from saying the precise term ‘torture chamber’. It was most likely because she had considered the possibility that I hadn’t seen it. If I were summoned aboveground, and thus never saw the torture chamber, then she probably believed that the very act of mentioning ‘torture chamber’ would instill fear into me. The fact that she flinched on her own when mentioning that she was in charge of cleaning was because of the same context. In order to consciously avoid the topic about that room.
Sympathy⎯⎯⎯was a bit different.
Especially the fact that she was similar to that fool knight who would pick her words carefully in order to not give me false hope.
This child was currently being considerate of me.
May have come from the sense of disappointment that came from the fact that the flatterer, who treated her well, may possibly be tortured to death the next day,
It may have even come from her mid-teens-like emotions, the concern itself originating from something that was similar to how you’d have a slight attachment to a random dog which you had petted once while walking down the street.
Perhaps, no, that was most certainly the case.
A type of consideration that could be tossed, just like some pocket change, at the weak who absolutely couldn’t disobey, all for the sake of one’s own amusement.
The strong to the weak to an extent.
The weak to the strong to an extent.
“I see that you’re a gentle person, Miss Sii.”
Because this pure white maid felt cute to me, I had no other choice but to say that while bowing my head (with sincerity this time).
“Ah······ Uuuu. Yup~~! Mm mm mm.”
Sii lit up once more like a red crab and squirmed around with her arms wrapped around her shoulders.
She spread her hand and patted my head.
As expected, I think this is her habit.
Except, the intensity of the blows this time weren’t that different to a playful hit you’d receive from a friend.
In other words, it didn’t hurt.
She had adjusted it. Her strength.
Sii laughed with an ‘Ehehe’ and stood up from her seat. She stretched out her hand in order to grab my wrist, but after seeing that it was now bruised, she let out a light gasp. With her stretched out arm floating in place, she withdrew her smile and hesitation wrapped around her entire body.
That’s why I extended my arm instead.
I went out of my way to let her grab my right arm that had a bruised wrist. Once I smiled for her, the hesitating Sii smiled once more as well. Ehehe. After shivering her shoulders and enjoying herself, she carefully gripped my wrist. Sii Garno Mikatni then spoke to me.
“Yujin. Yujin⎯⎯⎯are you not hungry?”
“I’ve just now started to become hungry.”
“Okay~~! Let’s go eat. Since it’s almost dinner time, we just have to go to the dining room and eat. Lately, the menu has become rather faithful, so it’s delicious.”
“Thank you very much. What is the menu like here?”
“In yesterday’s case, mm~~ Memeke meat that was Shichi came out.”
“I see. If I knew what Memeke was, then it might be easier for me to understand.”
“Memeke is uh⎯⎯⎯that. In Korean, it’s that animal called tentaclonis.”
An apprehensive name popped up all of a sudden.
“Yup~~. That pillar-looking animal with a bunch of long tubes attached to it, it came out in the picture book called Princess Knight Tentacle Obedience.”
My sudden uneasy prediction was right.
“But different to that picture book, Memeke don’t······ um, do that sort of thing.”
“Since it feels like it wouldn’t be a good idea to drag this topic on for too long, let’s put it aside. Please tell me about the cooking method called Shichi.”
“Okay. In Korean terms, it’s a cooking method that comes out in the picture book called Archduke Mother and Daughter Predation Appreciation.”
Another apprehensive named popped up abruptly.
“Archduke Mother and Daughter Predation Appreciation?”
“You peel the outer layer while it’s still alive, fasten it in place, and while it’s on top of a heat-resistant plate, you put in a glass⎯⎯⎯to be exact, it’s a bit different, there’s a thing called Tios. It’s like a lens, but it’s slightly different to a lens as well. In any case, you put that inside and take it to a place where there’s a lot of sunlight. If sunlight passes through the Tios, then it condenses and starts to heat the plate······.”
My sudden uneasy prediction was right once more.
Damn Ahyeon. No, someone else could have brought those books, but still, damn Ahyeon. I dislike you even though I’ve never met you before.
“I understand now.”
I, and even Sii, avoided the other’s gaze and cleared our throats. A short silence.
“Then that means a meal similar to dried squid was served yesterday.”
“Yup. ······Ah, yup, the dried part. It being······ a squid, yup. Although they’re bigger than squids and live on land······ Yup, squid.”
“······.” I lowered my head. “I apologize.”
“Mm~~ it’s fine! If you saw the torture room, then you know, right? The fact that this world I live in is just as excessive as the Korea you lived in, Yujin.”
She was misunderstanding something.
“If anything, I think that the world Yujin lived in is a gentle place, you know? I saw it in that one picture book. The book that started with the narration, 〈In the year 199X the world was enveloped in atomic flames〉. Even that merciless man said it. 〈Already you are dead.〉, the memory of being moved by this line, I have it.”
She was misunderstanding something outrageously.
I’m digressing, but she was sincerely ruining the grammar of a line which all she had to do was memorize.
In the first place, just where in that example of hers did she feel gentleness from······?
“If someone asked me what part of the story I felt kindness from, then it’s the fact that he’d tell even the atrocious villains about how much longer they had left to live. Thanks to that, those villains could comfortably put their lives in order, and accept death within their minds.”
Although I think he did that in order to maximize his enemies’ fear towards death.
“But my favorite line in that picture book is that, 〈A human who shields someone’s will is not a human! How can a person who prolongs one’s own life through flattery be called human!?〉. Yup, it was enough to shake my entire mind.”
As expected, Sii recited the lines while sincerely messing up the grammar. As a person who had prolonged his life through flattery ever since the 8 Years’ War and continued to do so even to this very day, where I’ve been summoned to another world, it was a vaguely painful line. I wanted to declare that flattery was an expression of one’s will that was done in order to stay alive.
But I won’t.
“Let us go eat, Miss Sii.”
“Ah, okay~~ Sorry, it became long······. Really hungry? Wait a little bit, because I will feed you a lot⎯⎯⎯.”
The unexpected change happened in that moment.
The scenery before my eyes, changed greatly.
Both Sii, who was grabbing onto my wrist, and I lost our balance at the same time, making us fall backward. Nevertheless, comfortable fur received our bodies instead of the hard ground.
A luxurious room that had a silver carpet covering the entire floor. Sii looked around at the suddenly changed scenery with a panicked face, however, since I had promptly comprehended the current situation, I fixed my posture and turned my gaze.
“······Earl. What is it?”
In that place was a black-socked foot, the Silver Lion Earl who was spreading out her ten nails which were dyed black.
“I’m the ooone who should be asking that. I only called for Mr. Yujin, but why did Mikatni’s adopted daughter come attached? Something like 1+1, that’s a commercial law I don’t particularly like.”
“If you don’t like it, then don’t abandon me in front of a bunch of maids in the first place.”
“Oho, are you saying that if you’re placed in front of a bunch of maids, then you gain the properties to try and fuse into a single mass, Mr. Yujin? How interesting. Is that magnetism? Or is that elasticity?”
“Gravity. So? What’s the problem?”
You ditched me earlier so why are you suddenly calling me again⎯⎯⎯to these words, the Earl giggled.
“What do you think the issue is?”
“Do you need service?”
“In terms of score, that’s 50 points, and if I were to say it in English, then it’s a Good Start. That being said, let’s start with that.”
The Earl of the Silver Lion then laid down on what appeared to be an office desk. Once I approached her and started to massage her thigh, I got an immediate reaction.
“Ahuh. Ang. Ah hah ha, mm, Mr. Yujin. Are your hand movements not devious? Hu-uh, ha ah, uunng. If you go all out like that, hauh, ah hah ha, then I’ll get exciiited.”
Let’s say a bunch of choices appear before your eyes whenever you hear these sorts of questions.
- If you don’t become devious while massaging a girl’s thighs, then you wouldn’t be gentlemanly.
- Aren’t you always excited?
- (Just keep massaging.)
Compared to games, if I were to point out a good thing about reality, then it’s the fact that there’s always a fourth option. A subjective response.
“Silver Lion Earl. Haven’t you become a little plumper compared to a few days ago?”
Compared to games, if I were to point out a bad thing about reality, then it’s the fact that that hidden option doesn’t always give good results. I was kicked below the stomach.
“Mr. Yujin. Haven’t you been behaving a bit more recklessly compared to a few days ago?”
“Sorry. But still, didn’t your excitement dissipate now?”
“I’ve actually become excited, in a different sense now!”
“Good. If you ever start getting excited again, then don’t forget about this excitement you’re feeling right now.”
“Nyaang, what a sloppy way to mend things. But I certainly do feel like I heard something gooood.”
“I became closer to a eunuch because of that kick just now.”
“Nyahahaha, you’re exaggerating. Even if you’re kicked to that extent, the distance between you and becoming a eunuch is interstellar. Of course, in order to make that distance zero, I was able to figure out the answer to the gravitational equation due to my 200% worth of training experience.”
It seems that I still had something like instincts as a male still leftover, seeing that the Silver Lion Earl was looking back at me with amusement apparent in her eyes. Honestly, before the Earl could go on about something else, I decided to take the path of adding more strength into my hands since this wasn’t a pleasant topic. Press, press. Her thighs stuck to my hands like rice cakes. I really think she put on a little weight.
“By the way, it seems like you’ve become a little weaker⎯⎯⎯no, that’s not what I wanted to say. Mr. Yujin. What’s up with that?”
By ‘that’, the Silver Lion Earl was referring to the bruise that was on the wrist of my right arm.
“I don’t recall that being there earlier. What is it? That right arm, were you abused by someone?”
Sii, who was sitting vacantly until now, let out a small yelp. The Silver Lion Earl narrowed her eyes.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“I bumped into the wall.”
“No matter how you look at it, thaaat’s a handprint. There must be hands attached to walls these days, huh?”
“That’s why the thing called wall punching has been trending lately.”
“Was wall punching, that sort of thing?”
“It was like that.”
“Either hitting a wall with your fist or making someone hold a wall in place and hitting it using a piston motion.”
“Those meanings exist as well.”
“I believe it only has thooose two meanings. Hmm. Well, if Mr. Yujin isn’t concerned about it, then I won’t be concerned about it as well.”
Contrary to her words, the shrugging Earl didn’t remove her eyes from my wrist. I hid my wrist by putting my hands behind my back and spoke.
“At any rate, if servicing you is a 50 point answer, then, mm. Did a problem occur?”
“If you say it like that, then doesn’t that make it sound as if I call for you every time there’s a problem, Mr. Yujin?”
“They say people learn from experience.”
“That stereotypical way of thinking is what gives birth to mannerisms and safety frigidity.”
(TL note: ‘Mannerism’ is Konglish for ‘Habitual behaviors’)
“People sometimes tell me that I have good manners anyway.”
“I’m also on the side of hearing people call me frigid sometimes⎯⎯⎯Gya hah ha!? Uu, for you to tickle the back of my knee all of a sudden.”
“Seeing how you’re sensitive like this, it must be a groundless misunderstanding.”
“Just like the manners which Mr. Yujin claimed to have.”
“It seems I’ve dug my own grave.”
“It’s an ultimatum that befits a villain.”
“Does that mean I’ll come back once episode 2 starts?”
“It means that you’ll die by the episode 2 villain 1 hour into the episode.”
“Let’s see then. Service was half. You said there was no problem······ then did you, perhaps, call me in order to introduce me to someone?”
“Correct. You can stop now. Shoo.”
I did as she told me to. The Silver Lion Earl raised only her upper body, did some abdominal stretches, and sat down crossed-legged. I removed my eyes from that Earl and turned to look at the individual who had been bothering me since I was first summoned into this room.
Zia, who was standing at attention⎯⎯⎯was, of course, not the person I was looking at, but instead, I was looking at the individual past her.
A glasses-wearing boy with a short stature, who appeared to be in their early teens,
and was letting off a purplish glow.
Was he a boy? ······They also seemed like a girl. I couldn’t tell by their outer appearance. It wasn’t only because of their epicene face. The impact that came from the purple glow which was shrouding him⎯⎯⎯I’ll call them ‘him’ for now, refer to this person as a boy⎯⎯⎯was too large.
There was a chapter similar to this in a manga called ‘Hell Teacher Nube’. The chapter was about someone painting a certain kid’s hand mirror with purple paint, and then, once they did so, the hand mirror transformed into a gate that was connected to the afterlife and started to pour out all sorts of ghosts, monsters, and ghouls. Excluding that, there was another chapter within that manga that involved the color purple. The vengeful spirit of a grandmother, who had become an evil spirit due to the loss of her grandchild, went around hurting people. The chapter was resolved when her spirit went to the afterlife through a purple light. As such, in that manga, the color known as ‘purple’ represented the afterlife, the next world, the netherworld⎯⎯⎯
The color meant ‘Hell’.
Although in that manga, the color purple having that sort of meaning was because they used folklores on the afterlife as references, but I was able to feel with my body just why those folklores on the afterlife would put in that sort of detail. It’s because those things just exist in the world.
I felt that it was just that sort of color.
“······Korza Gen’ tenpeltos. Kie’ ta······?”
While pushing up his glasses and opening his purple lips that seemed as if they were coated in poison, the boy spoke in a way that sounded as if his voice was flowing straight out from Hell. The Earl of the Silver Lion made a tired expression before lifting one of her legs and scratched her temple with the heel of her foot.
Zia cleared her throat.
“Your Excellency, please maintain your dignity.”
“I said to traaaanslate. Don’t be cheeky.”
“Ah, it’s fine. In any case, is that fellow someone who would be concerned about this kind of thing?”
“Sii is watching as well.”
“Don’t worry about it. Mikatni’s adopted daughter, you don’t have to worry about it either.”
Sii let out another short shriek.
“······Ko, Korza······ Antensimar’ zes······! Mi’ ta······.”
“I said to not worry about it.”
“Mi······ Mi’ ta······.”
“Should I say it a third time?”
Sii held her tongue. The Earl of the Silver Lion didn’t even glance at Sii who was trembling with her head lowered.
“Zia. Translate. Introduce each other well.”
Zia made a complicated expression but soon nodded. She turned towards the purple boy and spoke.
“Pelmute. Kome’ ii’ zes. Mi’ na hote’ meri’ nov’ zies’ ella.”
The purple boy stared at Zia. Past his glasses and within his pupils, there was a blue⎯⎯⎯no, a violet-colored malice lingering there.
That malice was directed towards me. The boy spoke as if he were chewing and spitting out his words.
“······Yudia Batsand. Zia’ na Pelmute ‘zes.”
Zia, who was intensely anxious, interpreted.
“〈Yudia Batsand. I’m Zia’s mentor.〉”
I respond after a short moment. It took me a moment because those hell gate-like eyes were directed towards me, and because of the shock that came from his words.
“That’s right⎯⎯⎯Ah, one moment.”
The purple boy muttered something more. Zia promptly translated.
“〈Tenth Sky Wizard of the Twelve Sky Wizards. Martial Sky, the Draconian Demonic Spear(Prince : Spear) Yudia Batsand. The royal courier of the End Void Gate, one of the twelve factions of the world.〉
Summing up the current situation.
I was summoned by the Silver Lion Earl. The goal was self-introductions. They most likely wanted me and this Tenth Sky Wizard of the Twelve Sky Wizards, Martial Sky, Draconian Demonic Spear, the person referred to as Zia’s teacher, this purple boy who’s the royal courier of the End Void Gate, Yudia Batsand to introduce ourselves to one another.
Although I had a stack of things that I wanted to ask, I decided to follow their intentions for now.
“Han Yujin. An Earthling summoned by the Earl of the Silver Lion. I’m a Korean.”
“〈Han Yu-zin. Korza Gen’ tenpeltos’ na. Merte-kiespilto’ zes.〉”
Zia translated. Yudia Batsand nodded after having listened with a demeanor that felt as if he were chewing and swallowing down death.
“Yu – zin. ······Kork – megio’ zes’ tie, Kork – vizimeo’ zes’ niano.”
Of course, those words were translated and spoken to me as well.
“〈Yujin. A detestable name and a detestable resonance.〉
“For starters, one thing. Zia, is that tone correct?”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t this person using formal speech?”
“That’s right. How······ no, if it’s you, then it isn’t strange. It’s just as you said. My teacher is currently using formal speech.”
“Then why are you translating it into informal speech?”
“But, if I translate it into formal speech, then wouldn’t it be like I’m the one who’s talking formally to you? If rumors were to spread to my friends, then it’d be embarrassing and······.”
“‘That reason befits you!’ or ‘You had friends!?’, which one do you want?”
“Figuring that out is the trial which has been imposed upon you.”
“What trial is that!?”
“Figuring that out is the trial which has been imposed upon you.”
“Are you satisfied yet? Let’s keep this at a moderate level. In any case, are you telling me that as soon as I revealed my name, I received a response saying that it was detestable?”
“Don’t worry about it, Yujin. My teacher is⎯⎯⎯.”
“No, interpret those words as is. If I need your opinion, then I’ll call your name like I did earlier. What I say, what the opposition says, just stick to interpreting those two things. But if you feel like you need to say something no matter what, then raise your hand and ask.”
Zia made a perplexed face. Anyone who’s told to sincerely perform their role as a translation tool would most likely show this much of a reaction. If you consider the fact that she was a knight, then it wouldn’t be strange for her to even feel insulted.
However⎯⎯⎯Zia was my sword.
To me, she devoted her sword.
An exchange established solely between the two of us, something which the Silver Lion Earl was unaware of. Without having to even metaphorically hint at it, Zia nodded her head with her gaze lowered.
My words were transferred over and a response was returned.
“〈That is so.〉”
“Zia. It was formal speech this time as well, right?”
“That is so.”
“You’re hoping for a rebuttal, aren’t you?”
“That is so.”
This is a really annoying sword······.
“Translate. Did I, perhaps, do something to upset your mood?”
“〈It’s fine to remove the conditional and interrogative structure. You’re upsetting my mood just by existing in that spot. Thus, I detest you.〉
It was a resolute response.
I’m being told this by a kid(appearance-wise) who I’ve known for less than 10 minutes, so the anger and despair I’d feel towards that⎯⎯⎯as expected, I didn’t feel those emotions even remotely.
I mean, I’ve already experienced many things that were much harsher than this. Even that Silver Lion Earl, who’s sitting on top of the desk and licking her nails, tried to torture me to death 1 minute into our first encounter.
The feeling that my own life was falling into sadness, well, it’s not like I didn’t feel that······.
“Does my existence in particular upset you?”
“〈Yes and no. Every hatred is special. Therefore, they aren’t special. The thing I’m certain of is the fact that I do not detest people for tepid reasons. An individual, who wishes to abhor someone, must have a clear-cut reason behind their hate and must also detest them while going through a properly established process. Hatred that contains sincerity are the only things that will last forever.〉”
“Enmity must hold a lot of value to you.”
“〈It is a way of life that is for the body and mind.〉”
“I see. In my world, the view that claims that hatred eats away at the body and mind is dominant.”
“〈That view exists in this world as well. Those people, who go around blabbering as if that view puts them on a high horse, don’t even know the obvious fact that the same methodology would apply if you eat and consume a flesh-eating bug. The important thing is taking the initiative. Not through the skin, but through the mouth. The hatred doesn’t burrow inside of you, but you chew and swallow the hatred yourself. In that regard, Zia is a peerlessly cute failure.〉”
“Zia. What part did you add on yourself?”
“Figuring that out is the trial which has been imposed upon you.”
“Then I’ll go ahead and remove the adverb ‘cute’.”
“If you’re going to take that out, then please remove the adjective ‘peerlessly’ as well.”
“No. Furthermore, I forbid you from fabricating or making up new information while interpreting.”
“Yujin, you’re really a ruthless man······.”
“Didn’t you want that type of ruthless rebuttal? How does it feel to receive what you asked for?”
“Only a sense of futility and an even larger craving is left in that spot.”
“Translate. I like green tea and injeolmi.”
Yudia Batsand raised an eyebrow after having my words translated to him. I continued.
“I like soft, tender, and fluffy things. Mild over spicy. Rather than sweet, I like things that give a slight bland feeling. I like things that are neat and tidy, things that leave only slight lingering imageries, things that are harmless, and not changing myself to become something that is beyond my own way of thought.”
In reality, my Goddess Minhee absolutely wasn’t that sort of existence, but if you were to exclude that Minhee.
If you were to exclude⎯⎯⎯love.
“You can say that in my entire life, the thing which I desire is that sort of soft stimulus. Compared to you, who places such a huge value on the emotion known as hatred, the emotion which can be regarded as the most stimulating in certain meanings, I guess you can say that our points of view on matters are different. However.”
Because that viewpoint is different,
“I believe that we can get along.”
I bowed my head.
“I’ll be in your care.”
Yudia Batsand kept silent for a long period of time. He then,
Yudia Batsand’s shoulders trembled as he laughed with his fist placed near his mouth, he then shook his head.
“〈A man who’s interesting enough to detest. It’s just as my cute disciple had said.〉”
“Zia. I thought I forbade you from fabricating information.”
“Please forgive at least this one adjective.”
“Translate. If you see it that way, then I’m grateful.”
Yudia Batsand laughed some more. He then turned towards the Earl.
“Korza, Tokari’ me’ kollo’ arme mihoisu’ zes.”
“Myaa, Merk-abrozio’ me. Mi’ to sieru-eltriszioena.”
The Silver Lion Earl grinned and responded. She, after having gotten off the desk, stretched gallantly with her entire body before snapping her finger.
“Ah hah ha, Mr. Yujin. Good job. As expected of my toy.”
“I only introduced myself because I was told to do so and because I received an introduction first. Since I heard what was important to them, their policy, and their values, I told them what was important to me, my policy, and what I valued. Even if you compliment me for doing what I was told to do, it’s not much you know?”
“There are too many fellows in the world who aren’t able to even do what they’re told to do. Mhm. That being said, should I give you another task? Learn the words.”
“If by words, you’re referring to the language of this world, then I actually wanted to do that already. The problem is, if I want to do that then I’d need a teacher and some textbooks. Was my current status⎯⎯⎯Zia’s apprentice knight?”
“Uu? Now that I think about it, did we decide to do that?”
“We decided to do that approximately 2 hours ago.”
“Hmm. That’s like a manga artist’s initial character design. It’s temporary, weak, and transient.”
“Are you going to change it then? I don’t want to become your feet mat, though······.”
“Tsk. Well, it should be fine to put you as Zia’s apprentice knight on the surface. But words⎯⎯⎯Mm, I’m not sure. Zia is busy, and since Yudia is going to be residing in this city for a while, it’ll probably be difficult for her to spare you some of her time. Moreover, even if you learned how to speak from Zia⎯⎯⎯your vocabulary, your way of speech, and your kamaboko, will end up becoming weird.”
(TL note: Kamaboko are fish cakes)
“What’s fish cakes supposed to be? You don’t have to forcefully rhyme things.”
(TL note: The three things listed by the Earl rhymes in Korean)
“Do I look like that sort of man, Mr. Yujin? I’m talking about a man’s kamaboko. Zia even has abs. If you get squashed by that Zia, then far from fish cakes, your internal bones will break apart and become pudding.”
“In the first place, you’re not a guy. A girl shouldn’t go around talking about a man’s kamaboko or whatever. For there to be bones inside, what am I supposed to be? A chimpanzee?”
“Ukukukukuh. Right, Korean males don’t have bones inside their kamabokos, now do they? How could I forget again even though I’ve checked it several times before? Characters who appear perfect like me but make trivial mistakes over and over again, don’t they call those type of people ‘clumsy beauties’ in Korea?”
I messed up. For this to be the result when I decided to give her a rebuttal as a small service. As I thought, I shouldn’t do things that don’t match my personality.
Thankfully, Zia came to my rescue.
“I’m on the side that’ll end up being squashed.”
No, in Zia’s perspective, she’s just mentioning something that had actually happened, but······ you aren’t supposed to mention that.
Let’s wrap things up.
“So who do I learn how to speak from?”
“Huu~? Something like that, figure that out on your ooown. I’ll allow you to use the library, so be like a boy and show some spirit.”
“Is it fine to only show my spirit?”
“You have to get results as well. I’ll test you later on. If you aren’t able to get an above average grade, then I’ll punish you, you know? Ah hah ha.”
She said something ridiculous while grinning from ear to ear. I guess I should study.
Well, I was planning to do so since the very beginning······.
“If there’s a punishment, then is there a reward?”
I took a step forward and turned her statement around. If it’s this current atmosphere, then she won’t get mad but will instead be delighted by the unexpected response.
As predicted, the Silver Lion Earl’s pupils narrowed vertically and she then laughed.
“You sound confident.”
“I just figured that I’d take what I can get when I can take it.”
“Ah hah ha, how greedy of you. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be right if I don’t prepare a reward to show my respect towards that greediness of yours. Let’s see, if you score higher than average, then I’ll give you the panties that I’m wearing. This is an irresistible reward to Mr. Yujin who’s a lolicon, right?”
“Thanks. If I keep it in hand, then it’ll probably be useful one day.”
“Uuh. What’s with that half-hearted response? Show a reaction that’s on the level of doing something like a backflip and shouting ‘Oh yeah!’. If you make a girl’s panties be pitiful, then you can’t be caaalled, a reliable young maaan!”
“Sorry. I can’t do that.”
“If you can’t, then learn. I’ll test you on that as well.”
A needless test was added. For the result of trying to take whatever I could get to end up like this, greed truly does bring disaster.
The grinning Silver Lion Earl turned towards Yudia.
“Yudia-ren, Amores’ kata’ ta meisime-zio. Yu-zin’ ta hota’ senno’ aka’ von’ harami, soume’ chi’ akarii’ meoena. Amores’ karo-tio?”
“Patopato ♡” The Silver Lion Earl made a peace sign with both of her hands. “Kete’ mesia-zio ♡”
Yudia gave his unique laugh once more before adjusting his glasses.
“Noveme. Kete’ mesia’ zesniano······.”
The conversation that only gave me a bad feeling went back and forth. The Silver Lion Earl turned towards me and winked.
“Mr. Yujin. I just ended up promising Lord Yudia that I would show them something interesting ♪”
“Although I can roughly guess what it is, can you give me the details?”
“I promised that I will show them the sight of Mr. Yujin, who’s currently completely unable to use this world’s language, fluently speaking in this world’s language soon. Ukukukukuh, Lord Yudia will be observing as well during the day of the test. If it’s you, Mr. Yujin, then you know what that means, right?”
“······.” I let out a sigh. “If I don’t do it properly, then you’ll be humiliated.”
“Correct. Ah hah ha. Of course, if that happens, then I’ll get angry. VeryVeryMuchMuch angry. That’s why, Mr. Yujin, do your best ♪”
Truly an absurd earl······ It was at the moment that I felt a little discouraged.
“In exchange, if you receive full marks and also perform a perfect backflip, then⎯⎯⎯that’s right. It’d be fine for you to have a vacation for 2 days and 1 night.”
The most ridiculous statement, Her Excellency the Earl had said it.
“By vacation, you mean?”
“Of course, it’s the right to take a trip to the World of Spires⎯⎯⎯your world. Ah hah ha, congratulations, Mr. Yujin! If you work hard then you can return! Albeit for a short period of time!”
The Silver Lion Earl, who had finished dropping that bombshell, canceled my summon saying that she had to provide entertainment for Yudia. If the Earl cancels a summon, then the target will return to where they were previously located, so I ended up back on top of the mattress in Sii’s room. However, that sort of thing didn’t matter.
I can go back.
While we were in the basement earlier, she said that she would let me return to my world back then as well, but the premise was different this time. Not a permanent return, but a temporary one. Therefore, since it’s more trustworthy and reliable, it’s something that I don’t have to refuse either.
In the first place, I already figured that I would be given the task of being a purchasing agent in order to satisfy the Earl’s otaku-like hobby. However, I didn’t expect for that opportunity to come this much sooner than what I had originally expected and this abruptly, at that. Once again, I was in a situation where I was already planning to learn the language. This has become a good motivation.
For starters, letters. I have to know how to read the letters first if I intend to read the textbooks. If there’s no textbook, then⎯⎯⎯Mm, would it be fine to memorize an entire dictionary just like I did back when I learned Japanese? If I deduce the words that had been going back and forth until now, it seems the grammar structure itself is similar······ Ah, since a Korean-Otherworld language dictionary probably doesn’t exist like how a KR-JP dictionary does, it’ll be more difficult than the time I learned Japanese. In that regard, I guess I’ll have to grill the person who’ll play the role as my teacher a bit. Now on the topic of that teacher, since that Zia is busy, I’ll have to take any of the occasions of seeing her as a chance time and rely mostly on Sii⎯⎯⎯.
The door swung open with a thud.
The light from the hallway flowed into the room that was once dark. Although someone soon stepped into the doorway, since that person was white, instead of blocking the light, it felt as if they were diffusing it. Haa, haa. I wonder if they had run here, the person standing in the doorway while breathing heavily was none other than Sii Garno Mikatni.
Sii must have been considerably out of breath since her shoulders were moving up and down. Right, the reason why she was summoned to the Silver Lion Earl’s office was because she was in direct contact with me. If the summon is canceled while we’re apart, then I’ll be the only one to be sent back. Thus, Sii had to come back to her room from the Earl’s office with her own effort. Despite that, there wasn’t a need to run all the way here. It was at the moment that I had thought that.
All of a sudden, a Bang! sound resonated and light flooded into the room.
Sii had gotten down onto her knees and slammed her forehead against the floor.
Those small shoulders⎯⎯⎯trembled.
“S-Sir Apprentice Knight⎯⎯⎯ Sir Yujin. T-The discourteous behavior, until now, p-p-please⎯⎯⎯forgive⎯⎯⎯.”
While trembling and rubbing her forehead against the floor, she sobbed.
“D-didn’t tell me······ just······ just that you were a toy summoned by Miss Earl······ those people, those people······ I, me, me into a trap⎯⎯⎯a little, if I knew about Sir Yujin a little more······if I knew that you had a special relationship with either Miss Earl or Miss Zia······B-B-Because I would have never, never done those things······!”
Bang! Sii slammed her forehead against the floor once more. Bang! Again. Bang! Each time she did, a dent formed on the floor and her fingers, that were bracing the floor, audibly dug into the ground.
She burst into tears. Shaking pitifully and begging for forgiveness while pounding her head against the floor repeatedly⎯⎯⎯this was the Silver Lion Earl’s white maid, Sii Garno Mikatni.
Similar to how I felt it when I had first met her, this was a strength that was difficult to imagine to ever be hidden inside this skinny body of hers. However, just as I had thought since we had first met, she didn’t have the physical toughness to support that strength, so blood flowed from her forehead and her broken nails.
My hand, hurt.
It was only until a moment later⎯⎯⎯that I realized that I was gripping onto my beads so hard that they left a mark on my palm.
Sii didn’t raise her head.
“I said it’s fine. I didn’t think that it was discourteous⎯⎯⎯at all. Really, I didn’t think anything particular of it. Raise your head.”
“Forgive⎯⎯⎯my rudeness, for me to have dared⎯⎯⎯.”
I moved forward and gripped the shoulders of Sii who flinched the moment my shadow cast down on top of her body. Her shoulders, that were so pitiful that I could immediately feel her bones when grasping them, were trembling with anxiety and passion, similar to a quaking aspen.
A shriek and silence.
I closed my eyes and opened them.
She twitched⎯⎯⎯in response.
Only then did Sii raise her head. A face that had become a mess of tears and snot, her dust-covered forehead was swollen, blue, ripped, and bleeding.
I raised my sleeve and wiped her face with it.
“I apologize. Does it hurt?”
“Ah, uh⎯⎯⎯ah, doesn’t hurt······ but why······ formal······.”
“Be it a title or my way of speech, I don’t care. Boorish profanities⎯⎯⎯I don’t use those that well since they’re stimulating, but excluding those, whether I speak informally or formally, whether I use the most honorific title or the most scornful title, I don’t feel any pain or delight from doing any of those things. If that’s the case, if I choose the side that’s comfortable for the opposition, then overall, wouldn’t a plus occur on both sides? If by speaking formally Miss Sii feels delighted, then I will continue to do so.”
Sii had a blank expression on her face. While she was doing her best to understand my words, I continued to clean her face. Eventually, Sii opened her mouth around the time when her face was decently cleaned, but she was still confused.
“B-But······ Miss Earl or······ Miss Zia, you use, informal speech? To me, formal? Eh······? I-I can’t understand⎯⎯⎯well, I⎯⎯⎯.”
“It doesn’t matter. Be it the Earl or Zia, neither of them requested for me to speak formally to them. Moreover, even if they do ask me to do it, then I just have to start doing so from that point on.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Uh······ uuuu, b-but⎯⎯⎯.”
“Rather, Miss Sii. I require Miss Sii’s help.”
Sii twitched again. I blocked her lips, making it so that she couldn’t utter any more forms of denial or waste time, and spoke straight to her face that was so rigid that it felt as if she were frozen.
“For starters, speech. I have to learn the language here. Please teach me. Back flip······ if possible, help me with this as well.” If it’s impossible for her, then let’s ask Zia. She’s a fellow who looks like she can do a backflip while wearing armor, after all. “Clothes to wear, and a place to sleep as well⎯⎯⎯since it seems the Earl wants me to handle these things on my own. Although it’s possible for me to ask Zia, I don’t really want to bother someone with something that I can do by myself.”
“Furthermore, I need to be taught about this castle as well. There are many things that must be done⎯⎯⎯sleep, I need to get some sleep as well. But of course, before that.”
I removed my hand from her lips and smiled for her.
“The food that we were about to go to eat, let us go and have some.”
Sii’s face became dyed red.
“U-uh? Okay······ U-Understand. Let’s go eat. Uhm······Sir Apprentice Knight⎯⎯⎯Sir Yujin⎯⎯⎯.”
“Call me as you please.”
“······, ······, ························O-okay. Yujin!” Sii, who had nodded, jumped up and grabbed my wrist. “Let’s go, to the dining room! Because I will feed you a lot······ yup, Yujin!”
Like so, I met my first night aboveground in this other world.
I started to walk towards the dining room alongside this white maid.
I sort of ate a lot.
TL note: Thanks for waiting patiently for this release. I did take a short break to read some books that I had bought, but it took longer than I expected because of how busy I was last week. This week was rather relaxed so I was able to translate this chapter rather leisurely. I thought this chapter would be shorter, but it turned out to be over 11k words. The next chapter should be around the same length, but the chapters after that will probably be much shorter.
Oh right, I’ll be putting up little warnings whenever the foot stuff starts to happen now. I know that there might be some of you who might not really like that kind of stuff, so this is for those people to skip those segments. I’m pretty sure you guys won’t miss anything vital from skipping them.