Chapter 55: Love or hate?


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


「…」

Rodje had been silently observing me since I woke up.

「If you want to tell me something, go ahead.」

「No, there’s nothing.」

Taking small sips of Lyla’s homemade soup, her expression resembled that of an apprentice monk. It’s not something one can stomach without deliberately closing their mind off to it, after all.

「Here… take this with you today.」

Lyla, who hadn’t even taken breakfast, had been in the kitchen since she woke up. She placed a small container on the edge of the table.

「What’s this?」

「It’s called a ‘lunch box’.」

「Hm, so I’ll eat out of this box for lunch?」

「Yeah… I learnt this from other ladies」, replied Lyla, a little embarrassed. 「As your s-spouse, this is ‘normal’, they said…」

「…tch.」

Rodje tut-tutted at me. Man, what an unpleasant elf.

「Lylael-sama, what about my portion…」

「Why do you need one?」

「Oh, right… how about this, then! I’ll make a bento for Lylael-sama!」

「Hm? There’s no need for that, but suit yourself.」

「Okay!」

It was time to leave, so I stood up and placed the homemade bento into my briefcase. Lyla followed me out onto the porch.

「See you tonight.」

「Mm, yeah. You may go.」

Lyla, fidgeting restlessly, seemed to have something to say, but couldn’t express it in words.

「…?」

As I was about to turn around, she glided over and pecked me on the cheek.

「Lyla –」

Before I could finish my sentence, my red-faced spouse darted back into the house.

「…??」

She had gotten to know more and more people in town as time passed. Just like me, she had also been trying to learn the meaning of a ‘normal’ life.

「C-Could that be the fabled ‘Goodbye Kiss’…!?」

Rodje, who had seen everything, was trembling like a leaf.

「Don’t be complacent, okay? Just because something good happened in the morn — oi, listen to what I’m saying…!」

I shut the door and left for work.

Despite having already set up a ‘Gate’, I usually preferred not to skip my morning stroll.

Every time Rodje came, she would stay with us for a few days before returning to the demon realm.

「Lylael-sama, your father is worried about you」, I remembered Rodje saying.

Since Lyla had been lying low the entire time, the elf had probably reported back to her father on her behalf.

Iris told us a few things to take note of during morning assembly. After that, we dispersed and conducted our various duties. Adventurers came for consultations or to report that they had completed a quest. Just another normal day.

「Roland-san… someone has been peering in from outside for a while now…」, whispered Milia suddenly.

It was not unusual for female employees to have stalkers. As such, they had good reason to be wary of suspicious people. According to my female colleagues, Milia was especially susceptible as she had a bright personality and treated everyone sincerely, giving many the wrong idea.

「Over there.」

Looking in the direction she pointed at, I could indeed see a suspicious character peeping through the window. He would appear, vanish for a moment, then resume his position again. He did this too quickly for me to be certain, but it was enough to give me an inkling of who he was.

「S-Should we call the knights…?」

「I’ll handle it.」

I called out to the retreating figure as I stepped outside. The hooded cloak it was wearing made it especially strange.

「Rodje Sandsong. What do you want?」

Stopping in her tracks, she took off her hood and turned around and smiled. She was beautiful, with a facial structure only elves had. Her hair, fluttering in the wind, glinted in the morning sunlight.

「Nothing.」

「You’re a terrible liar.」

She tut-tutted at me again.

「It’s not like I like you or anything. But her Majesty… no, Lylael-sama is into you for some reason, and I can’t accept that! The two of you were being so intimate last night… and those sounds…」

She trailed off, not knowing how to phrase her thoughts.

「…Did you want to join us?」

「N-No, it’s not like that!」

「You found it too embarrassing to ask and wanted to be invited instead?」

「No!」

「So you couldn’t accept the fact that Lyla and I shared some intimate moments last night?」

What, does she like me?

「Exactly!」

「Elves are well-known for their longevity. How about choosing more partners?」

「There’s no need to choose.」

「…In that case, do you want to be an adventurer?」

「Don’t deviate from the topic, scatterbrain!」

Rodje sighed sourly. I thought I had raised a good proposition, but I guess not.

「Anyway, I wanted to see if you’re really good enough to be Lylael-sama’s partner.」

So that’s why you’ve been watching me since morning?

「Whatever floats your boat. Would you like to come in and watch me, then? The view is better inside.」

「Fufufu, you’re going to regret saying that.」

I only invited her inside because she would arouse too much suspicion by loitering outside. As she followed me back into the guild, others turned around to gawk at her.

「That employee brought an elf here…?」

「He has ties with not only the heroine, but also the elves?」

It wasn’t only the adventurers who had their attention on us — so did my colleagues. While elves could be found in either the royal capital or very rural villages with forests nearby, it was considerably rare for them to appear in an unimpressive town like ours.

「Watch all you want.」

「Okay.」

I returned to my seat. All eyes were on me, demanding an explanation.

「Milia-san, this elf is that suspicious person from earlier. She’s here to watch how I do things.」

「Oh… you do look like you know each other…」

「Yeah. We met due to some rather strange circumstances, but it seems like she has a thing for me. Or maybe two.」

「Eh!? Ehhhhh…!?」

After recovering from the initial shock, Milia turned serious. She looked at Rodje as if to confirm something.

「I’ll unmask your true nature today! Kukuku…」

「– I really don’t think so… if she liked you, she wouldn’t be snickering at you like that…!」

「A curious bunch, the elves are.」

「They are… but even so, do you really think…?」

…Really?

I could tell for certain what most women were thinking, but I could make neither head nor tail of what Rodje really felt.

「If she really likes you, Roland-san, she’ll sneak glances at you when you’re not looking.」

She’d been looking at me since morning. Actually, she was literally staring at me doing work.

「If your eyes meet, her heart will skip a beat and she’ll hurriedly look away.」

At that moment, my eyes met with Rodje’s. She looked away.

「Why would she suddenly look away if she’s been sneaking glances at me?」

「Well, shyness, I suppose. That’s how a maiden’s heart works」, explained Milia placidly.

Rodje showed me the note she had quickly scribbled.

『What are you looking at? Go back to work!』

So she’s really embarrassed…?

「They also have delicate feelings, and can’t be honest, I guess?」

So she can’t be honest either. Got it.

「But don’t see them as a bother, or pay no heed to them, okay?」

To look at me deliberately, and yet tell me to go back to work when our eyes meet. She doesn’t mean it either — in fact, it’s a sign that she’s interested in me…

I have no clue what she’s thinking; girls like that are completely foreign to me. Come to think of it, I’ve never had to consort with elves before.

「Is it only elves who behave like that, or…」

「No, not only elves. More like young ladies in general, or rather… myself… ahaha…」

Milia looked straight at me and continued:

「If you happen to meet girls like that… I think you should treat them nicely.」

She laughed in a strange manner.

「Nicely…」

Rodje watched me like a hawk the entire time, even as I got up to leave for my lunch break. Before I could step outside, however, she rushed to block the doorway.

「Where are you going? Hasn’t Lylael-sama prepared a bento for you? Kukuku… could it be that you find it completely unappetising –」

「I’ve never thought that way.」

「Hmm… really? For some reason, I thought it was going to be…」

She trailed off, looking dejected.

「You’re just miffed that she didn’t make one for you too, aren’t you?」, I said, taking the lunchbox from my briefcase.

「Are you trying to console me…!? Wow, that kinda makes me happy… fufufu, but still! How dare you give someone else the bento that Lylael-sama made for you with her own h –」

「I know she made it for me, so I’ll eat half of it.」

「I-Is there ever something I can get you for…!?」

Since we had no proper place to eat, we used the drawing room and split the bento between the two of us. As I expected, Rodje fainted after two bites and I ended up finishing her portion as well. This was routine by now — even the number of bites she took was always the same before inevitably passing out. Personally, I felt that doing this was more disrespectful, but different people have different ways of showing their sincerity, I guess.

After our lunch break ended, Rodje resumed observing me from the window. I was curious, so I consulted Milia.

「Is it another one of her tactics to put some distance between us, hoping that I’ll look at her?」

「If you can’t push, try pulling…! What a great strategy…!」, she explained. 「Hold on, I don’t think that’s part of it…」

As Rodje lay watching in the bushes, three large men had appeared behind her. They grabbed her wrist and fondled something.

I went outside, and saw the three men giving her lecherous smiles.

「Wow, elves are really pretty!」

「Her skin really is pure white…」

「Hey, why don’t you show us a good time?」

「Don’t touch me, low-born scum. I’ll kill all of you.」

Her threat only drew squeals of delight from them.

I knew that Rodje was about to use her magic, so I intervened.

「…Don’t. You’ll attract attention. Not only are your elven features instantly recognisable, but your brand of magic is also rare even for elves.」

「But still…」

Grabbing Rodje’s wrist, I forcefully peeled the man’s hand away.

「Owie –」

「She’s an acquaintance of mine. What do you want from her?」

They stumbled backwards, eyes wide open in shock.

「It’s that A-Argan employee –!」

「Shit! This guy has three thousand underlings, doesn’t he!?」

「Run while you can –」

Since when did I have underlings? Three thousand of them, too…

The three men scampered away like headless chickens.

「Three… three thousand…!? That’s an entire regiment you have under you…!」

And this elf actually believed them…

「You already stand out enough. If you actually get identified, things will go south really fast.」

She might be okay if she kept her dark elf disguise up, though.

「That was my own imprudence, I’ll admit. Still… you came to help… thank you…」

Turning red, she shook her head a little and stuck a finger out at me.

「Look, even if you hadn’t come to help, I could’ve handled it myself! Don’t think you’re so gallant and brave and… uh… anyway, I still don’t approve of you, okay?」

「I don’t care.」

「Okay, so you have a pretty face and can do your job! You can be a knight in shining armor for a damsel in distress! And you have an entire regiment’s worth of grunts under your command! What’s not to lov… no, don’t think for a moment that all that alone will make you a good partner for Lylael-sama!」

After blurting out those lines, she fled.

Guess master and servant both like doing that, huh?



4 Comments

  1. Ok, it was vage at first, but is obius that dark elf want the same as his master, but she can acept that xD, elf tsundere jajajaja

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