Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
「 Are you alright? 」
The log moved — er… Ash, I mean. So I called out to her.
Mischt said that she’ll wake up this evening, so I’ve been waiting for her to rise. I played with Az as well.
Just as Mischt said, Ash opened her eyes just as the sun set.
「 Thanks. 」
She was a bit surprised when she saw me, but soon enough, she recalled what happened after looking around her and spotting Az on my hand.
「 Can you move? Does it hurt anywhere? 」
「 Mm. I think I’m fine. My back just hurts a bit.」
Ash sat up and did a light stretch with her arms. The wrinkle between her brows deepened from time to time, probably because her back hurt.
「 Maybe it’s because you’ve been lying on your back for the whole time? 」
Just like a motionless log. If not for her chest going up and down, I might’ve doubted whether she’s still alive.
「 The whole time? Come to think of it, it’s morning, no, evening, huh. 」
「 It’s the third day. 」
It’s not just one day.
「 That’s… Sorry for troubling you. 」
She felt a bit depressed, and she wrinkled her brow, and it was really scary. Kinda surprised at myself for knowing that she felt depressed, though.
「 No, I just laid you on the bed. I’m going out, so do you wanna change clothes? Can you eat? 」
「Yes, please. I’m — not sure if I’m hungry or not. 」
「 You’ve been in a fasting state all this time, right? I’ll go get some soup. That water over there is for drinking so you can have some if you want. 」
I glanced at the water on top of the table, then I placed Az beside Ash before leaving the room.
The water was drawn from my house, so there’s no need to boil it to drink. Expensive inns have water jugs for washing face, so a little reminder was necessary.
I went down to the first floor, and prepared some plates. Maybe I should put it on the tray so she could eat in bed. Got a towel and wrapped the jar of soup I left at the workshop’s fireplace.
The soup was not inside a pot, but in a jar with handles, and I left it beside the wall of the fireplace. It has been simmered slowly, so the veggies were really tasty. I used consomme and chicken with bones for the dashi, then added a dash of salt and pepper for that really mild taste.
Cooking stew is absolutely convenient. The fire in the hearth could be controlled, but even if it was gone, the stones around it stored some heat, so they could still warm the food.
I knocked on the door, then waited a bit for a reply before coming in. I held the tray in one hand then turned the knob with the other, then kicked the door to open it. Sorry, both my hands were preoccupied, you know.
Ash was sitting behind the table, ‘nudging’ Az with her fingertip. I had to tell her about Az, but let’s leave that for tomorrow.
I set the tray on the table and put some soup in a bowl.
「 Here you go. 」
Handed it to Ash before sitting across from her.
「 What a great aroma. I’m suddenly hungry, so I won’t hold back now. 」
Wait a sec.
That river between your brows..so you’re a beauty now that it’s gone!? Who are YOU!? Still poker faced, though. Not a beautiful girl, but a beautiful lad, I guess. Heh, Pink Head and Sis won’t definitely leave you alone with those looks.
「 Don’t get tricked into bed, alright? 」
Not sure what’s gotten into me, but I blurted that while staring at Ash as she happily ate.
Ash stopped her hand for a moment, then she tilted her head.
「 Am I being tricked by Jean-dono? 」
It’s my turn to freeze.
「 I’m not tricking you, so I’m asking you to be safe. 」
「 Mmm. 」
Ash nonchalantly moved her spoon again.
I’m telling her to be safe, but then, doing a sleepover in a guy’s house should be off limits for the young miss of a duke’s house, right. Her appearance and manner of talking is seriously throwing me off, man.
According to the person herself, she’s been joining military campaigns to fight monsters despite being a civilian, so she can change herself, fix her room, and set up camp on her own. It’s just that the aristocratic lifestyle and military lifestyle were two extremes, so her self-consciousness was a bit off. I could imagine how large that gap would be with that ‘setting up camp’ business.
Ah, and it’s also normal for her to be treated as a guy. Well, people call her Leon, and that permanent furrow between her brows was fierce enough to prevent anyone from drawing near.
「 That furrow between your brows, it’s gone, huh.」
「 Really? 」
Oy the furrow got revived with her puzzled look. That vertical line must be a habit. Stop staring so hard, it’s terrifying.
「 My headache is gone, so I’m feeling clear-headed. The pain had been so constant so it’s the first time I realized that I’ve been suffering after being released — thanks again. 」
Ash placed her hands on her knees and bowed her head.
「 No, I’m also interested in spirits. 」
Actually, I just wanted to know what a spell-bound spirit is.
「 I’m gonna leave the soup here, if you can eat more then feel free to have seconds. 」
It must be awkward being stared at while eating, so I strode towards this room’s fireplace. I should’ve put the soup jar here.
「 Think you can eat breakfast tomorrow? 」
「 Yeah. Is it okay for me to stay here? 」
I asked while adjusting the firewood in the hearth, and her reply was a question.
「 I’m not so heartless to chase you away at night. 」
Ash was a bit slouching now, even though her back had been straight even when she was asleep. It had been three days. Not sure if it was because she was released so suddenly from the spirit, but she didn’t seem to be fine.
「 Sorry. 」
「 This room has a key, so you can spend your time here without worrying. If you can move, then I’m going to prepare the bath? 」
I threw Az’s water from the window into the courtyard — bad manners, I know — then put fresh water into its bowl. The pitcher’s water decreased, so Ash must’ve drank some.
「 I really want to take a bath but…. Can I trouble you for some hot water and a towel? 」
Yeah, as I thought, it must be difficult for her to move now. She could’ve stayed in bed instead of sitting on that chair, though.