Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
I was alone in the room with a woman who just came out of the bath.
It’s just, said woman had her elbows on the desk and leaning her head on her arm, hiding half of her face. There was a sharp glint in her half-lidded eyes, reminiscent of a hitman. Moreover, we were only separated by a ten-inch thick wall from a stark naked grandpa bathing on the other side.
She looked so warm and cozy, but with the aura of an assassin, plus, Az was on top of her head — what a surreal scene.
「 What’s up? 」
What was the reason for that furrow between your brows? Were you worried or distressed? She’s a total sucker for sweet stuff, and yet she hadn’t touched the pound cake nor the tea.
Az was being Az, circling on top of Ash’s head and changing directions every now and then. He seemed unable to find that perfect comfortable spot. He was usually on top of her shoulder, and if he would play with me when I was with them, but… Stop it already, see, a fake whorl of hair is starting to form on Ash’s head.
「 Oh, sorry. Jean, did you see the spirits in the forest? 」
「 Yeah. 」
The spirit fetish theory had already taken root inside my head thanks to that jaw spirit and the stinky spirit.
「 That kind of pitiful condition… I only saw that back when the Imperial Wizard behaved recklessly. 」
「 …. 」
You were talking about the black spirits, huh!
I had been desperately trying to refrain from grabbing them whenever I spotted them, too.
「 — I haven’t seen people use magic that often. How is it normally? 」
Usually, I only ask those spirits who could help me with whatever I needed, and it was just a simple request. They would then gradually pour power into me, but I also feel that they’re giving me too much, though.
「 Spirits provide magic either because they like you, or because you bind them with a magical spell, which is also a form of contract. It was said that spirits would give 20% of their power. There are two ways to get more than that. You could use the contract and get it against their will, or else destroy them using magic and force it out of them. The spirits are made up of their power, so they would vanish if you use all of it. 」
「 So those spirits that seem like they’re disintegrating — they were destroyed? 」
「 Yeah. And being dyed in black is proof that they abhor humans. Nothing good would come out of it, either for the magician, or for surroundings. 」
So the end point would be their monsterification, huh?
Seemed like Sis would turn into the Demon King instead of a Hero at this rate. Nah, did she get the 【 Spirit Resistance 】? Well, she got a will of steel in the first place, so she would probably ignore it even if she didn’t have that skill. How about Friend Number 1 and 2? Would they raise the grand, heroic flag of killing each other?
「 Hmm, then maybe it’s better not to use magic based on your story, I guess. 」
So the only reason why the spirits would lend their powers to humans was because they’re the friendly bunch? The deities told me that if I used magic, the deity with the linked attribute would also get stronger, if I was not mistaken.
「 No, spirits would gain a little more power than what they gave so they’ll recover and also grow. Besides, magic will help stabilize the existence of spirits, apparently. Spirits are attracted to the same attribute that they have. Fire spirits to fire, water spirits to water, and they are devoted creatures. They even find magic fascinating, since it has the ability to combine things that are normally scattered around. As long as you don’t force them when asking for help, they’ll be happy to oblige. 」
「 It’s not surprising if Az had turned black, too, and yet, he’s still beside me. I can’t help but compare him to those spirits. 」
Ahh, now I know why she had that face from hell. She was depressed thinking about the spirits that became black because of humans. So hard to understand!
「 Wait a bit. 」
I retreated back to the kitchen for a while, took out different things from 【 Storage 】 and plated them. I arranged them gorgeously, maybe this could lift her mood.
「 Thanks for waiting. Keep this a secret to Butler, okay. 」
「 Secret? This is — 」
Apple cinnamon tarts, shortcakes, chocolate cream puffs and macarons.
I planned to make an afternoon tea set, so everything was a bit small.
「 They’re pastries. Here you go. 」
I poured black tea in a new cup.
The tea around here was a bit earthy, or should I say it seemed like it had been left on the shelves for far too long, so I avoided it.
「 I have never seen these before, though. 」
「 Yeah, that’s why it’s a secret. I’m not sure if they’ll suit your taste but…well, they’re sweets. 」
「 Mm…. 」
「Being depressed isn’t good for your health. Well, it’s not something we should forget, after all. 」
I wasn’t good at comforting people, so I tried to cover it up by offering her sweet stuff.
「 Sorry, did I make you gloomy? Thanks.」
She took the bite-sized cream puff and put it in her mouth. The furrow smoothened, and it seemed like she was surrounded with flowers as she radiated bliss. She’s cute.
「 Jean-dono, you’re not eating? 」
「 I just finished my meal. You can have them all, if you want. 」
I already had a furofuki daikon radish with yuzu miso, yellowtail sashimi, white rice and miso soup, plus rakyou. It had been a while since I last ate a Japanese meal, so I enjoyed it to the fullest. I even ate another helping of rice because of the salted squid.
Ash and the rest of the guys probably ate at the pub, or maybe they had a simple dinner in a restaurant nearby. Everybody else aside from these two were probably merrily drinking somewhere.
I gazed at Ash as she ate the pastries. She ate wordlessly most of the time, and she seemed to savor it. She spent a lot of time on the shortcake, more than the others, so she must have loved it the most.
「 This tea is also very fragrant. I had eaten an apple tart before, but this is different. Everything is really delicious, especially the one with the white cream. What is that red fruit? 」
Ash finally spoke after she finished everything.
「 They are strawberries. 」
Hey, young ducal lady, was it really fine? You were eating everything without knowing what it was. Yeah, I was the one who served it, still, I couldn’t help but worry.
「 Oh no, I feel like I’m in heaven now. I didn’t know I’m such a simple person. 」
「 Well, it’s not like you’re not allowed to be happy, right. See, even Az is so jolly now. 」
Az was in his usual spot on her shoulder, and he was fluffing himself.
「 Really? 」
「 Really. 」
I was really glad that her spirits were lifted up, and that’s all that mattered.
T/N: Aww. My heart’s melting for these two :3
furofuki daikon radish with yuzu miso – simmered radish dish served in its broth and orange miso sauce. (ctto: tasteofculture..com)
Yellowtail sashimi (ctto: Izzy cooking)
Rakyou – Japanese leeks (ctto: Okinawa Tosuba Shimajikan restaurant)
Yeah, every time he talks about how she has those scary looks on her face I think, “Come on Jean, get your head outta your a$$ and ask Az to soften her up some.” You know reverse some of what he/she did in the first place!
Thanks for the treat.
Oh they are so cute together!