Several days had passed once more.
Whether it was because rumors had circulated or not, the maids avoided me. Although there were a couple of them who did the opposite and stuck near us(to be exact, people like the introverted lady type), they didn’t have the courage to strike a conversation with us, so Sii and I were able to spend our time peacefully. From practicing backflips and learning how to speak to receiving service from me and teaching me how to speak, as both the two of us were busy, it was fortunate for us.
Of course, it wasn’t constantly peaceful.
“Yujin, it’s about your attire.”
The Silver Lion Earl looked down and spoke to me while supporting her jaw with one hand.
“What⎯⎯⎯even if you ask that, you know, it’s perplexing. Those, clothes used to be worn by Mikatni’s adopted daughter, right? Can you not wear some proper clothes? My mental world of aestheticism is receiving DoT damage.”
(TL note: DoT = Damage over time)
This was a little unexpected. Similar to what I had told Mari, I thought that my current attire perfectly suited the Silver Lion Earl’s twisted preferences. It seems that compared to what I had originally thought, the Silver Lion Earl had more of a girlishness to her. Well, if that sort of person goes mad, then it’s a given that they’d go mad properly.
For starters, let’s give a pretentious remark.
“Earl. In the first place, the front and back of what you said just now redundantly use the same words. The DoT of ‘DoT damage’ already has the word damage in it.”
“I recall hearing the same thing before. Why can’t damned-otaku bastards just ignore these kinds of things? Why do they want to display the things they know so much?”
There was a sharp edge in the tone of her voice. I had said that in order to relieve the atmosphere, but it seems I had upset her mood instead.
I spoke defensively.
“I’m not an otaku.”
“Yeah yeah, you most likely just had a lot of interest in that sub-culture. Ahyeon said the same thing as well. Though, since I was a little meek and docile at the time, I apologized by saying sorry.”
I didn’t ask her what she wanted to do then. If I did ask, then I felt like the Silver Lion Earl would actually do what she wanted directly to my body, so no matter how much I thought about it, it didn’t seem like it would benefit me.
I spoke defensively once more.
“If you give me proper clothes then I’ll wear proper clothes.”
“Did Zia not give you anything?”
“If I wore that, then your mental world of aestheticism would have been overkilled a long time ago.”
The Silver Lion Earl furrowed her brow.
“It seems there are no decent people around me. Those so-called community leaders only worry about their own profits, my summoned-being goes around cross-dressing, the head deity of the house, Sophna, is a hikikomori, Yudia, who came here as a guest, is a hatred enthusiast and also Zia’s teacher, and Zia is, well, Zia.”
And you’re you. Since it felt like it would be dangerous if I were to say these words out loud, I kept my mouth shut.
That seemed to be the correct response.
“Also, in regard to those very city community leaders, one of them is going to come to this Silver Lion Castle soon.”
Without laughing, the Silver Lion Earl spat out while putting pressure on her temple.
Right, I was told that she didn’t have good relations with the community leaders. No wonder she was vaguely sensitive.
“What kind of person are they?”
“It’s someone related to the adopted daughter of Mikatni who you’ve been siding with lately. I’m not sure if her foster father, Mercè, is going to come, or if her sister, Abria, is going to be the one to come. Although, I heard that Mercè has been sick lately, so there’s a higher chance that Abria will come. Well, not like I’m interested.”
No matter how you looked at it, far from being uninterested, that behavior of talking while shrugging her shoulders gave off a feeling that felt as if she were so concerned that she couldn’t endure it any longer. For her to even have a coy property to her, she was an Earl who possessed every decent popular tag.
It can’t be helped.
“Do you want to hit me?”
“Hoo? Will you let me?”
“Okay. If you want me to.”
The Silver Lion Earl then struck me.
“No, not this kind of hitting.”
“It was a joke.”
“Zia did a similar joke back when I was still in the basement. Really, master and servant are alike. In any case, I’ll welcome them.”
The Silver Lion Earl drew her brow together.
“Why would Mr. Yujin do that? Welcoming the guest is the job of the maaaids. Mr. Yujin is currently a squire.”
“My test is soon, right? I felt like there’s a need for me to have a partner to test out this world’s language.”
“The adopted daughter of Mikatni should be acting as your talking companion. Zia would do it as well. If what you want is a native speaker, well, they’re all native speakers, but if you need a person who doesn’t know Korean, then Yudia is already taking care of that. Is this insufficient?”
“Sii and Yudia are fine, but that Zia······ why is it that when that girl speaks in this world’s language, she becomes so courteous?”
“It’s Zia after all.”
Those were words that explained a lot of things.
The Silver Lion Earl shrugged her shoulders and continued.
“Whether Zia is Zia or not, they were terms that we had agreed on when we learned Korean. We were going to learn a new language anyway, so while we’re at it, we decided to each grasp a different way of speech. That’s why for me, Zia, and Sophna there’s a slightly large difference between our style of speech in Korean and in this world’s language, that kind of feel, you know? Something like that.”
“A type of persona, huh.”
“YesYesYes. Well, at this point, the reason for it has been lost. There’s probably no one around who’s capable of noticing the difference after all.”
“Don’t be so sure of yourself.”
“I’m here now.”
A moment of silence flowed by.
The Silver Lion Earl stared at me blankly. She, who was wandering back and forth between bafflement and helplessness, spoke in a tone that sounded as if she had tossed her vote towards bafflement.
“Mr. Yujin. Do you know that you occasionally say some incredibly cute things?”
“It’s not cute.”
“That very act of saying those words is proof that it’s cute.”
“Returning to the main topic, Mr. Yujin. Are you saying that you need more people to practice talking to, Mr. Yujin?”
“To be exact, that’s one of the reasons.”
“What are the other reasons?”
“Several things. For example, that Mikatni person is a blacksmith, right? Since I’m an apprentice knight right now, there’s a chance that I may end up being in their care later on for things like weapons and armor. Moreover, since they’re a community leader, if I meet them, then the experience might be helpful when I’m writing your speeches and assisting you with things regarding the city as well. Plus.” I folded my arms. “You, seem to be concerned about it.”
“Hoo? What nonsense. I’m not concerned about it at all.”
That very act of saying those words is proof that you’re concerned, instead of saying this, I quietly looked at her. The Silver Lion Earl let out a sigh.
“Well, in conclusion, you’re saying that you’re doing it for my sake, right? Really, Mr. Yujin, like I said, you say some incredibly cute things sometimes.”
“I told you it’s not cute.” I gave her a disgusted response. “Furthermore, I’m also interested in the medical practitioner of Sii······etcetera etcetera.”
The Silver Lion Earl crossed her arms and nodded her head.
She nodded again.
She then leaned her cheek against her hand and looked down at me.
“Though I have to say, Mr. Yujin is occasionally cute at times.”
“No, it’s just that you seem incredibly dense at times.”
After saying that, the Silver Lion Earl vocalized herself getting up from her chair. Shortly after, she spun around in place and did a pose where she was pointing a finger gun at me.
“You may go. I’ll give you the permission to welcome the guest.”
The Silver Lion Earl announced.
“······So that’s why you came to me?”
Mari spoke with a face that looked like she was a girl who had a cockroach latched onto her leg. Of course, as I wasn’t a cockroach or latched onto her leg, I nodded my head fairly.
“Yeah. I heard that you handled everything in regard to greeting guests.”
“I handle the majority of things here.” Mari corrected me coldly. “Different to that Whitey who goes along with that vulgar hobby of yours and goofs around.”
“I believe that using that sort of discriminating word isn’t good.”
“It’s not discrimination but division. I understand that you aren’t used to our language yet, but please say it properly.”
Regardless of the world, I see that racists all say the same thing.
“In any case, what do you intend to do? The guest to arrive this time is Miss Abria Mikatni. As she is Sir Mercè Mikatni’s biological daughter, she’s also the director of the mining industry district. She’s completely different compared to that adopted daughter you worship so much, you know? If you perhaps think that you can satisfy Miss Abria Mikatni with the same perverted things you do that work on that fake Mikatni, then⎯⎯⎯.”
Leaving her to ramble on, I looked around my surroundings. We were currently in the reception room. There were several cuisines roughly set out on top of a table. As there were things that looked like mini-cakes, there were things that looked like tea, and things that looked like cookies. Of course, there was something similar to a pie as well.
While I was looking around the room like that, Mari continued to talk without resting for even a single moment. A considerable amount of her words were complaints towards either me or Sii, but she didn’t bring up anything that felt particularly new. Instead of giving her my frank opinion saying that she was in desperate need for a renewal of her repertoire, I spoke.
“Is this everything you’re bringing out to welcome the guest with?”
“Are you referring to the refreshments? This is everything.”
“Hm. One moment.”
I tossed a cookie into my mouth. Mari quickly became bewildered.
“What are you doing!?”
Instead of responding, I slightly tasted the mini cake and had a sip of the tea. I had also broken off a corner portion of the pie and ate it. The reason why I stopped there was because Mari had rushed towards me with an attitude that befitted an erupting volcano. She must have been incredibly angered since her fingers felt cold as they clutched me by my collar.
“I asked what you’re doing! Even if you didn’t receive education⎯⎯⎯.”
“None of these are good.”
“What!? Just now, what did you⎯⎯⎯.”
“Who made these?”
Mari faltered. Using the opportunity when the pressure on my collar had lessened, I pulled myself free and stared straight at her. Mari regained her senses and tried to glare at me, but after some time went by like that, she hesitantly avoided her gaze.
“Raya, made them.”
If it’s Raya, then that was the name of the maid who appeared to have more of a leading role among the coexisting lilies type. I shrugged my shoulders and snapped my finger.
“I’ll use the kitchen a bit.”
There were several things I felt while eating at the dining room for the past several days.
First, the fact that they had an eating culture that wasn’t much too different compared to my own aesthetic, taste, and nutritional value. Although it’s something that I had grasped when I had received food from Zia on my first day in this world after having been summoned, it was something to be relieved about again. In any case, the citizens of this world didn’t drink soup that tasted like pig piss and claim that it was refreshing nor did they eat something that looked like frog eyes and become happy while chewing on them. Considering the fact that this was another world, this was something that I couldn’t wish more for.
Second, the fact that the majority of the food that was served here suited my palate. I’d like it if you paid attention to the part about it being not ‘the average palate of Koreans’, but ‘my palate’. I don’t really like stimulating food. I prefer mild things and things that aren’t spicy or bitter. If I were to use kimchi as an example, then white kimchi or radish water kimchi, moreover things that weren’t dipped in cider, these are the types of food that suited my palate.
However, as that taste represented a huge trend, it didn’t mean that the quality of the substantive food here was at a level that I could be satisfied with. Ingredients, spices, cooking method, and cooking utensils, these things weren’t as well maintained here as they were on modern Earth, so the taste naturally became dull.
Third, that meant that I could probably do it better.
I spoke while placing a hotcake (ft. otherworld ingredients) on top of a plate. The eyes of Mari, who was watching me with a doubtful gaze throughout the entire time I was cooking, became conflicted. It seems she couldn’t decide whether she should eat it or not, whether she should eat it and give a harsh review, or whether the food I made was even safe to eat in the first place.
I helped her.
Once I placed it against her lips, Mari finally opened her mouth and received the thing that I had stuck forward. Her pink lips moved up and down for a moment before her throat moved once.
Mari opened her eyes wide, hesitated for a moment, before averting her gaze.
“It’s not an inedible taste······.”
“······Did you think of something weird just now?”
“Not really. One moment.”
I made several other types of cooking and spread them out on plates. Mari made an ‘uhk’ sound after eating a cookie, made an ‘ah’ sound after eating a cupcake, and when she drank the tea, she flat out made a depressed face.
“Why is even the tea······.”
“Because I had to become the student body president.”
It seems Mari was unable to understand those words. Well, since I didn’t know the corresponding word for ‘student body president’ in this world’s language, I had said it vaguely. In any case, Mari looked at me with furious eyes.
“You, are you perhaps from a noble descent?”
“I see. In that case, this⎯⎯⎯.”
Mari stopped mid-sentence, her expression having twisted. I followed her line of sight and discovered a scared and curled up Sii. An awkward silence.
Mari turned her head away and left the room.
Well, nothing can be done if they’re already gone.
“What brings you here, Miss Sii?”
As was seen a second ago, after my ‘weird rampart’ incident at the castle wall, Mari did whatever she could in order to not be in the same area as Sii, and as expected, Sii did whatever she could in order to avoid the possibility of meeting Mari as well. If that Sii had willingly risked that status quo just to come here, then there must have been a good enough reason. However, instead of answering my question, she glanced at the door that Mari had just left through.
“······Yujin, are you not concerned about Mari? Is she not scary?”
“I’m concerned but she isn’t scary. She can’t do anything to me anyway.”
“Mm~~ That’s right. But who knows when she’ll explode and cause an accident.”
“I am being cautious of that. However, it won’t happen.”
Sii gazed at me with an expression that looked like she was asking why I was so certain. I explained it to her.
“Because Mari is a person of common sense.”
It seems that Sii found it unpleasant that I had defined the person who harasses her as ‘a person of common sense’. I patted that Sii and comforted her.
“In truth, she’s in the position of directing the maids, so there’s no way that she would put up with a dangerous situation. Of course, there’s a chance that she’ll make a bold decision in order to restore her damaged authority and pride because of that position of hers, but that’d be too trifling to do. In any case, she didn’t become the alpha girl because she bullied Miss Sii, right?”
“Alpha girl······ although I don’t know what that means······ Certainly, Mari was like this when I first came here as well.”
“Yes. She’s able to stand in that position because she’s simply good at her job, which means, her authority comes from her task performance. If that’s the case, then even if bullying Miss Sii can be considered a method to supplement her authority, it can’t be her main method to acquire it. It means that the occasion of her being obsessed with harassing Miss Sii will never come.”
Honestly, I’m not sure why Mari had continued to bully Sii like that. If you recall her reaction during the incident at the rampart, then she wasn’t heavily armed with sadism and perverseness like the Silver Lion Earl or Sii, right? Well, admittedly, bullying wasn’t something that was always done with a reason. A simple motive was sufficient, and Sii had a countless number of things that could be used as a motive.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“As long as there isn’t some reasonable occurrence, there is no chance that she’ll lose her temper and cause an incident. It’ll most likely stop at the line of just being mean.”
If anything, I’m worried that Sii will be the one to cause an accident, but since saying this would be discourteous, I kept it to myself. Sii hesitated with a red face.
“Okay······ In other words, it’ll be fine as long as I don’t boldly provoke her?”
“Yes. To be exact, you can say that Miss Sii will be fine as long as Miss Sii doesn’t run head first into the other maids while they’re all gathered together. Of course, Miss Sii wouldn’t do something like that anyway.”
“Yup~~! That’s obvious. I’m, sensible.”
Regardless of the world, it seems cowardice and sageness were concepts that were commonly used in similar ways. As the target of those two words, I didn’t have the thought or the right to blame that. Therefore, that was why this white maid was incapable of upsetting me. Although Sii was easily angered and cruel to the weak, her essence, which was located much deeper than that, was incredibly similar to my own.
“So, Miss Sii, what has brought you here?”
“My foster-sister is coming. It’s obvious that I would provide reception.”
It was just as I had expected.
Sii Garno Mikatni.
The adopted daughter of⎯⎯⎯Mikatni.
“Rather, what are you doing, Yujin? I’m, curious.”
“Just like Miss Sii, I’m here to welcome the guest.” And before Sii could ask a question like ‘And so? Why are you here to welcome her?’ I threw her a question first. “What kind of person is she?”
“She’s the director of the mining industry district. Although it’s not as impressive as Sir Mercè Mikatni, she’s a blacksmith with incredible craftsmanship.”
“I know that already. Rather than her status and position, what I wish to know about is something like her personality.”
Sii’s face became slightly red.
“Mm······ She’s a scary person.”
This was another expected response. Was there any other word that the abject Sii would use in order to describe a person who was standing in a position much higher than her own?
However, Sii gave a factual description of the appearance of Abria who was going to arrive in approximately 20 minutes from now.
Her appearance in itself was feeble. With a slender frame and a height that was shorter than my own, her blonde hair was fashioned into vertical rolls and her face had fine lines. Although her modest appearance could be acknowledged as her personal characteristic, her low-exposure dress and her lace gloves, which concealed her arms entirely, made her seem like some lady who had lost her way while going to a banquet. Her charcoal-colored boots looked more like they were for horseback-riding than they did for working. The band that she had wrapped around her shoulder had a symbol that resembled an anvil and a pickaxe, but due to the needlessly refined design, it felt more like some trending accessory. It was an appearance that didn’t look like it would belong to the director of the mining industry district or a skilled blacksmith.
If you excluded her eyes, that is.
They were eyes that made me understand why Sii would be afraid of her. It wasn’t only because of the rift that was within the pupil of her eyes, which was a trait of the people of this world, but her eyes themselves felt like they contained the sharpness of a just forged guillotine. As if she were aiming at me, Abria Mikatni glared at me with those eyes.
“And you are?”
The person to respond wasn’t me, or the completely frozen Sii, but a third party who had come in together with Abria Mikatni.
“Oh, it’s Yujin. He’s an otherworlder that was summoned by the Silver Lion Earl.”
It was Yudia Batsand. Although this side was also incredible for having intimidating eyes, the type was a bit different. If Yudia gave a sticky and viscous feeling, then Abria gave a cold-hearted and indifferent feeling. If Yudia could be considered a pleasant fellow despite his appearance, then the fact that Abria was an individual who behaved just as she appeared was their difference.
“Is that so. In any case, Sir Yudia, if I may continue on from where I had previously left off, I have been put in charge of Sir Yudia’s weapon in the place of my father this year as well.”
After quickly losing interest in me, Abria Mikatni spoke towards Yudia.
“You? That’s quite the detestable occurrence.”
Yudia made a pleasant smile. If I were to describe it accurately, then it was a smile that appeared like he was looking down and belittling a bunch of slaves that were rolling around in the mud. If you saw the same thing over and over again, then you could understand the essence that was contained within his actions.
Nevertheless, by the looks of it, it seems Abria was unable to read the essence that was contained within his smile since she made an expression that evidently displayed her anxiety.
“······I apologize. However, my father is currently unwell.”
“That is also detestable. Have you tried probing the Alchemy Fortress for answers?”
“Naturally, we have tried. However, the fee was something which our household could not cover.”
“I was under the impression that your household was wealthy. For commoners, that is.”
Most likely, all Yudia did was display some interest. It’s just that there was a chance that that face of his, in the eyes of the people who weren’t familiar with him, could appear like the face of a torturer who was inquiring questions while stabbing nails underneath the fingernails of a person. Abria’s eyes shined keenly. Like a swordsman who was focusing on trying to receive the blade that was being swung towards them, she spoke while holding her breath.
“Sir Yudia, you may not know this, but as you have said, as commoners and as a household, there is a need for us to make our choices cautiously and put our focus onto things carefully. My father may have certainly been an outstanding blacksmith, but there is no chance for us to Ex’ ia(Translating······ Rise high? Rise to the sky? – Assuming it to be ‘ascension’).”
Ascension? Does this word have some specific meaning to it?
“As much as that is the case, he most likely won’t be able to stay alive for that long. That’s why the estimated price for his treatment from the Alchemy Fortress was also just as substantial. Even if his sickness is cured, if he’s unable to earn enough money to make up for the treatment cost, then it’s more profitable for us to simply leave him as is.”
Abria, who had spoken assertively, turned to look at Sii for the first time since entering this reception room.
“Of course, this is something that my father understands as well.”
Sii clenched her fists. Seeing that she didn’t put that much strength into her hands, that meant the conversation just now and Abria’s cold shoulder towards Sii was most likely a mundane thing.
After uncurling his index finger, placing it at the corner of his mouth, and laughing, Yudia Batsand made a satisfied expression.
“A wise heir. With such a clever successor, it seems the future of the House of Mikatni will be peaceful.”
Really, it felt like an artless laugh. Albeit, that’s a rather bizarre reaction when someone had just declared that they’ll let their father die in order to conserve money. Regardless, Abria’s nervousness didn’t subside. Yudia Batsand was making a face that(in the eyes of the people who weren’t accustomed to him) appeared as if he were saying ‘this arrogantly blabbering depraved child becoming the successor of the House of Mikatni is the funniest thing I have ever heard’.
I see what I have to do here.
“Yudia, are you busy?”
Abria made a startled face after seeing me suddenly squeeze into the conversation. As expected, Sii was making a similar expression, but the two foster-sisters soon became even more taken aback by what happened next.
“Not particularly. I have to get my weapon repaired. What is it, Yujin?”
“What kind of weapon do you use?”
“Ah, were you unaware, Yujin? Generally, I use everything, but I prefer spears the most. Swords are too instantaneous and bows are too distant. Spears, provide the perfect angle and distance.”
“You mean in regard to looking into the opposition’s face, right?”
“Guhuhu, as expected, you understand me.”
Yudia spoke while laughing. Although I think that’s a bit of a misunderstanding,
“Are you going to receive those repairs here and now? Or later?”
“I’ll be receiving it later in Sophna’s lab. It’s on the third floor of the basement in the central tower. Do you want to come and watch?”
“Would that be all right?”
“It’s fine with me. However, Sophna is fussy about strangers. That’s a bit detestable.”
Yudia displayed concern. But, as I thought, in the eyes of the people who didn’t know him that well, he was making a face that could appear like a king who was glaring furiously at a usurper while grasping at an arrow that had pierced through his chest. Even though he’s this small, just how did he have such flexible facial muscles?
“I do want to go, but if there’s someone who’s against it, then it can’t be helped. I still have something I need to do as well. I have yet to succeed in doing a backflip, after all.”
“Still? I see that you’re a bit dull when it comes to using your body.”
“I don’t think I’m on the dull side that much, but there are things that don’t work out that well occasionally.”
I decided to refrain from telling him that it might have not been working out that well because of his disciple’s tip. Yudia, who was tapping the inside of his arm with his finger while his arms were folded, walked towards me.
“Stand right there.”
“Okay, stay like that for a moment.”
Yudia stood on his tip toes with one foot and grabbed my shoulder while placing the end of his other foot near my heels. For the short Yudia, this was a posture that was close to being considered acrobatics, but I couldn’t feel any trembling from both the hand that was gripping my shoulder and the foot that was placed near my heels.
That’s why I didn’t realize what had happened until the scenery before my eyes had flipped upside-down.
If I were to give a guess, then Yudia must have pulled on my shoulder. Except, if he had done only that, then I would have just fallen flat on my face, so he had powerfully kicked up my heels with the end of his foot first. This kicking strength was absurdly powerful. I couldn’t comprehend how he could muster up that kind of strength with that frame and that posture. The moment my legs had reached up to my waist, Yudia tugged on my shoulder. This was a preposterous strength as well.
From what I could tell, I had spun around 5 times in the middle of the air. I wasn’t sure if something like that was possible. It’s just that my senses were telling me that, so I may have actually spun less. Yudia did the after service with certainty as well. With a tap and tap. He made me stand on the floor by stopping me with his foot and hand before placing his index finger at the corner of his mouth.
“It should be easier for you to get a feel for it now.”
I’m incredibly dizzy and I can’t tell if I’m standing right now, but certainly, I think I have a feel for it now, so······.
“You’re welcome. I hope that you’re able to apply yourself further.”
“Yeah. Wouldn’t it be good if you went down and prepared your weapon?”
“That’s a good idea.” Yudia dusted his clothes and turned towards Abria. “I’ll see you later.”
Abria looked back and forth between me and Yudia with an expression that said she was having trouble comprehending what had happened before her eyes just now.
“Yes, Sir Yudia. I’ll be down soon.”
Yudia grinned and turned towards the door.
I tossed him a cupcake. Yudia flicked his index finger and snatched the cupcake. After taking a bite of the top portion of the pastry, he left the room with a delighted expression.
“Y-Yujin.” Whether it was because Abria was present or not, but Sii spoke to me in this world’s language. “Is that all right? That person, is Sir Yudia, you know?”
It was regretful that that absolutely harmless guy was being misunderstood because of his appearance and way of speech. However, for people who found it difficult to deal with Yudia because of his status and position, it would certainly be challenging for them to take notice of his actual personality. Even the simplest of truths cannot be seen if you change the angle.
“It’s fine. He’s a good person.” I turned towards Abria and lowered my head. “Dear guest, it seemed like you were experiencing some trouble because of my friend, so I had presumptuously stepped forward.”
Although because of that,
I was able to do her a favor, so it was a good occurrence in my position.
“······It seems I’m in your debt.” Abria, who appeared to have been contemplating on whether she should use a formal or informal tone with me, spoke to me after having decided on the latter. “Thank you for your kindness, uh······ Yujin.”
Even though she had immediately lost interest in me earlier, seeing that she was able to recall my name quickly, it seems she must have a decent memory. I spoke towards the girl who was the heir of a community leader.
“It’s fine to speak casually.”
“······No, I can’t do that.”
“It’s fine. Speak however you wish. It’d be comfortable for me as well if you did.”
The contemplating Abria eventually nodded.
I knew that another silence would flow. I offered Abria a seat and I also offered her some refreshments. She must have been mentally exhausted since she had obediently sat down and had taken a bite of a cookie. Her eyebrows twitched.
“It’s a relief that it suits your taste.”
“Were you the one who made this?”
“Yeah. I tried making that using my world’s method.”
Abria then ate two more cookies and had a sip of the tea. It was a demeanor that emanated elegance and dignity. The fact that she appeared so much more like an aristocrat than the Earl did was probably because it went by the similar logic of how a private first class would have more military discipline than a sergeant with a month left in the military.
Abria ate another cookie and stared at me.
“So what is it? The fact that you were waiting for me, the fact that you had prepared these refreshments, and the fact that you helped me out earlier. All of these things tell me that you have some business with me.”
“You’re Miss Sii’s foster-sister, right? I just wanted to see what type of person you were.”
Abria made a surprised expression. Sii made a frightened face, but I simply continued to talk.
“I use formal language to those who wish for it.”
“······You’re a weird fellow.”
“Yup. If you want me to do that for you as well, then I will.”
“Yes······, ······, no, it’s fine.”
“You sure? Then I’ll be talking formally to Miss Sii and informally with you. Would that not be unpleasant?”
“It probably will be unpleasant. However, being treated the same as that girl would be even more unpleasant.”
Sii let out a groan.
Although I understood that Abria felt displeased with Sii, I didn’t understand the reason for it that well.
“Why don’t you like Sii?”
“······You, really are candid.”
“I helped you out. I believed that asking this much would be fine.”
Abria let out a sigh. She glimpsed at Sii while her arms were folded.
“Who would like a stone that had rolled into your family? Just why was that clump of calamity brought to our household······ albeit, father isn’t someone who would consider that kind of thing in the first place.”
Sii let out another ‘uh’ sound and raised her head.
“······My foster-father, Sir Mercè Mikatni is, a kind person.”
“Yes. He’s kind, an outstanding blacksmith, and has no political sense. An ideal hopeless gentleman.”
Sii made a tearful expression but was unable to say anything back.
I vaguely understood the situation now.
“Are you showing vigilance because Sii might threaten your position?”
The conversation just now was implying that ‘Because the head of the family had adopted a daughter, the original heir’s seat to become the successor was now in peril’. It was an easy to understand tale even though it was old-fashioned. A type of story that would occur in any world whenever there was a limited number of seats.
Abria raised one eyebrow and nodded her head, confirming my guess.
“It’s not that she might. She’s already threatening it.”
“I-I don’t have any intention to threaten you······.”
Sii stopped mid-sentence and shrunk back. Abria glared at Sii and let out a sigh.
“It doesn’t matter what intention you have. It doesn’t matter what ability you have either. It’s just that your existence in itself is a threat. You clump of calamity. Haven’t I told you several times to raise your political sense?”
After starting her line coldly and ending it with a groan, Abria Mikatni pressed her hand to her forehead. She turned to glimpse at me.
“Has your curiosity been sated?”
“Yeah. So it isn’t because of personal feelings.”
“There’s that as well.”
So there is.
Well, there are many cases where people who have ‘I look after myself with certainty’ written all over their faces would physiologically shun people like Sii. Mari was like that as well.
“It’s just that my personal feelings aren’t the decisive reason behind it.”
“Position and circumstance, huh?”
“Yup. That’s why, if you’re planning to mediate the two of us, then I’ll tell you now that it’s a waste of time.”
Abria took another sip of the tea and placed her cup down. As she stood up from her seat, her hair that was tied into vertical rolls sprung up and down lightly like a pair of springs.
“I should make my way down now. Thank you for the snacks. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced this taste.”
“You’ve had it before?”
Abria, who was walking towards the doorway, turned towards me. She looked back and forth between me and Sii before shrugging her shoulders.
“A long time ago.”
Abria stepped out. The only things that were left in the room now were me, Sii, and confusion.
I thought about the words that Abria had left behind.
Snacks that were similar to the ones I had made, in other words, she had tasted Earth-style snacks before. I wonder if she’s referring to the time when Ahyeon was still around. Albeit, it’s a bit of a surprise that even Ahyeon knew how to cook. There’s a chance that he didn’t make them himself and had just brought them from Korea instead, and there’s also a chance that it wasn’t Ahyeon at all and it was just that the snacks the Earl had gained through the process of summoning earthlings and slaughtering them had ended up in the reception room.
It seems there’s nothing to be confused about.
“Yes, Miss Sii.”
I, who had moderately organized the information in my mind, raised my head and responded. Although Sii’s expression that was directed towards me was mostly sullen, there was confusion and curiosity within her eyes.
“The thing you said to my foster-sister earlier······ mm. Does Yujin, want to mediate the relationship between me and my foster-sister?”
“Doesn’t Miss Sii want to get along with Abria?”
“Mm~~ That’s right. Even though she’s cold and scary, she’s a good person. Around the time when I had first entered the Mikatni’s estate, I was in debt to her a lot.”
So she was the type of person whose attitude was cold but took care of people when they had to? This was old-fashioned as well, but as much as that was the case, she was a character that was easy to understand.
Well, she had vertical rolls after all.
“The fact that Yujin had come here to welcome my foster-sister, was it because of that mediation?”
“That’s a jump in logic. The reason I came here was just to see them once. Furthermore, the Earl’s mood seemed a bit down, so there’s that as well. The time I started to feel the need to mediate was after I saw the two of you together.”
“······It’s a good idea to stop. Just like my foster-sister had said, it’ll be a waste of time.”
“There’s nothing that’s a waste of time in the world.”
I adjusted my glasses and spoke.
“There are only things that forever can’t be achieved because people do not attempt them with the proper method. Although the thought that it will take some time had crossed my mind, I’ll do what I can.”
Since it wasn’t until after I spoke did I realize that I didn’t have my glasses, I naturally grabbed the back of my neck as if I intended to do so since the very beginning.
Sii looked at me with her hands gathered in front of her chest as if she were moved.
“Yujin, occasionally does incredibly cute things.”
It seems it didn’t appear natural.
“Yujin. But, why?”
“If you’re family, then at the very least, you need to be in a relationship where you’re able to talk to one another without any burden.”
“Mm······ no, not that.”
Sii carefully looked up at me.
“Mediating for me itself. Yujin treats me well. The fact that you treat me scarily well. ······But, I, don’t know your reason that well.”
“If it’s a reason, then there’s a lot. If you tell me to give you some, then I can. But if I were to summarize it, then it’s because the two of us are friends.”
Sii looked at me blankly. Her face and body instantly became dyed red.
“Was that not the case?”
I thought we were⎯⎯⎯there was no need for me to add this at the end. With her arms folded, Sii Garno Mikatni quickly turned their gaze away and spoke.
“······I-Is correct. It’s right, but, mm~~······ Friend······ yup······.”
“Ah, uu.” Sii squirmed with her shoulders. “Friend······ yup~~! That’s right. If it’s friends, I have a lot, I had a lot! Mm mm. You’re right! Friends!”
I think I may have hit some sad switch. Sii giggled ‘Ehehe’ as she patted my shoulder while not regulating her strength, which she rarely wouldn’t do.
“Yujin is, really kind.”
That’s not particularly the case.
Time flowed once more.
In a way, I was able to harvest a lot of things from this guest reception. I figured out what sort of situation Sii was in and I was able to get a rough understanding of what sort of individual Abria, the heir of a community leader, was. However, I’d have to say that the biggest harvest came from Yudia. Thanks to him, I was able to get a feel for doing backflips after all.
Should I say that it’s thanks to him or should I say that it’s a relief? If it’s the latter, then is it a relief for me, or is it a relief for Zia who’s eagerly waiting for new BL material and Yudia who wants to beat the next stage of Angry Birds?
Regardless of what side it was.
After several days, I was able to pass the test that the Silver Lion Earl had given me. I also did a successful backflip.
I⎯⎯⎯received a 2-days and 1-night vacation and returned to Korea.
TL note: Same protocols. Thanks for reading, yadda yadda. Work is stressful, yadda yadda. I’m probably dying inside, yadda yadda. In any case, the following chapters are going to be shorter so I should probably be able to release faster(?). Albeit, weekends are going to be my day off, so you shouldn’t really expect a release on the weekend unless I had finished translating the chapter on Friday and did the editing on Saturday.
In other news, Nier: Automata is fun.