From that afternoon, Kuon-sensei’s lessons started and would become a routine. Minoa-san left the room to do some works related with laundry, while Oriza-san brewed some tea.
However, the topic of the conversation we are having is not about the tea or the sweets, it is regarding the accessories that my mother bought for me. As I thought, women really love these kinds of things after all, eh.
“It’s cute, Seiren-sama. It is not that flashy, yet it suits you so well.”
“Uwa, even Kuon-sensei thought so? Ah, thank you very much.”
“Seiren-sama, the accessory is pretty simple but it totally looks great on you-. I’m surprised-.”
“I, is that so?”
I’m begging you, please don’t praise me using the stereo. It becomes troublesome for me to give any response this way.
Ah, by the way, at first, it’s just the bigger ring on the necklace chain, but now I also put the smaller ring together on the necklace chain. Thinking that during the time I write, it will be bad if the ring gets in the way and gets dirty by the paper or pen, Minoa-san gives this idea to me.
“The colors of the stones are the same, so they can be worn as a set?”
Eh, is this what people call by gaining popularity after trying to do something? Yup, this really feels good. I wonder if the big ring feels more standing out? It would be good if the two rings hanging look just like one thing hanging.
From now on, it would be good to do this kind of thing as much as possible. Since I was not used to wearing rings, I feel like there’s a subtle heavy feeling on my finger. Nah, I have to get used to it soon, so let’s try to keep the ring on during meal time.
So, after the stereo got turned off, I asked about the price of food that I was concerned about the other day. Ah, the Shiiya family cannot be any reference, so I’m trying to ask about the range of price that Kuon-sensei knows.
“The price, is it?”
“Yes. Since I don’t understand the value of the money used here. I think I’d like to use that as references.”
To my question, Kuon-sensei murmured a little, “That’s right.” The answer that came out was a bit different from what I was expecting.
“…Let’s put aside the price of trivial things. Let see, for example, the food expenses for me and my grandfather that’s taken care here, it should cost approximately 30,000 ieno per month?”
“The food expenses is 30,000?”
Then, one person costs 15,000 ieno per month. If I remember correctly, it costed me 10,000 a month on television, but it certainly also included the cost of heat and electricity. If the meal costs 15,000 then it’s 500 per day, isn’t that a little bit too cheap?
“I see. About Sensei’s current salary… err, is it alright if I ask that?”
“I don’t mind. Since I’m a live-in employee, the cost of residence, meal, and energy was all covered by Shiiya family, so considering that, I approximately earn about 500,000 ieno.”
“Well, the food is cheap, so that’s why the salary is that much, I think.”
Somehow, I feel like various things such as clothing cost or bonus were discussed too. I don’t hear it well, though. It cannot be helped, after all we can’t be fully concentrated during the time when we go into details for such things.
“Because agriculture is prosperous in the Shiiya territory, we have a lot of dairy products, but there’s not much meat product, though.”
“Ah, understood. At this rate, I think I’ll be able to remember and get used to it soon. Thank you very much.”
“Don’t mention it.”
To put it simply, there’s no need to think too much since there is a little difference between this world and the other world’s. Perhaps I need to take into consideration about the food expenses, it’s a level cheaper than the price I’m used to, so at a reduced cost, we can already eat plenty of delicious food.
After the discussion about money is over, I take a look at today’s writing. Somehow I managed to write my own name, and also simple sentences and what’s the next digit. Simple sentences, such as “this is a pen (でぃすいずあぺん)*”.
“You are considerably quick in remembering how to read and write. The letters you wrote have also become more tidy.”
I’m happy that Sensei praised me. But, there are still parts marked in red, requiring correction. Since there are letters that look quite similar to one another, let’s not get overenthusiastic and mistake those letters. I have to be careful.
“Ah, thank you. Well, they resemble one of the letters I was used to in the other world.”
“Ara, is it a world that uses several kinds of letters?”
“It depends on the country. In my place, there were a few letters used, generally we used 3 to 4 kinds of letters.”
“Maa, it must be difficult to memorize them all, right?”
“It’s not so hard after we get used to them.”
My answer made Kuon-sensei shrugged her shoulders. Well, from the perspective of someone from a world where they only use one kind of letters, it must seem impossible to be able to write hiragana, katakana, kanji, alphabets, and various letters mixed up all at once. When I think about it, English countries only uses alphabets, eh.
This world’s letter is somewhat romaji-ish, and when I’m accustomed to it, it will be easier to read. Or rather, I can already read it.
This is the language that I should have memorized during the time I was small, but please understand that I was transported to the other world afterwards, and I was transported to the other world when I was only one month old. Of course I do not speak the language, and I’m supposed to be unable to read any letter, too.
…Jii-san, as I thought, did you do something? Well, it’s acceptable since it’s not something inconvenient.
While observing the condition during my lessons, Oriza-san brought us some tea. Today’s tea has some flower petals in it, it really gives off the vibe of spring, and it’s cute. Whether it’s due to its scent or its warmth, it makes you feel at ease.
Then, after serving the tea, Oriza-san said.
“Ah, hey, hey, Seiren-sama. That reminds me, soon it’ll be the week of “Spring’s Banquet”!”
The week of Spring’s Banquet.
As I have explained before, there are four remaining weeks that are included each in the 3rd month, 6th month, 9th month, and 12th month. They are the week of Spring’s Banquet, the week of Summer Purification, the week of Autumn’s Feast, and the week of the end of the year. Although it might be slightly out of date, in the calendar of the other world, it probably corresponds with the spring equinox, summer solstice, fall equinox, and winter solstice, if I am not wrong.
And during each of those special weeks, a festival matching each season is being routinely held. In spring and autumn, we hold a harvest festival, in summer we hold Obon.1 The timing is different, but it seems that the meaning is quite similar to the one that is held in the other world. In winter, as the name suggests, marks the end of the year.
“Even in the village, there are festivals?”
“Yes, there are festivals. I can somehow understand about the harvest festival in autumn, but… in spring, do we harvest berries or stuffs like that?”
“That’s right. Besides, it is the season where flowers bloom, so we also hold a celebration for that, I guess?”
Whoa-, I see.
Which means the celebration is equivalent to the other world’s so-called Hinamatsuri and Hanami. 2 During the Hinamatsuri, since there were girls in the facility, so we celebrated it. Since there was a cherry blossoms tree (Sakura) in a park nearby the facility, everyone made bento and brought it along to do Hanami together.
“Which means, during the festival, there will be various flowers blooming and it would look flashy?”
“That’s right. There are rare flowers that you can’t normally see, and there are also decorated places.”
The festival of flowers, eh.
There will be a lot more blooming flowers than the ones present in the Shiiya’s flower garden, also there will be lots of people, so surely it will be fun.
“I would like to come to the festival.”
The words reflexively escaped out of my mouth. But Oriza-san, who’s aware of my words, examines my facial expression. It’s not a worried face, but rather, it is an amusing expression. Not mine, but hers.
“Could Seiren-sama be interested in the festival?”
“Yes… Ah, but is it impossible for me to attend it?”
I do understand that I am in no position to act selfishly.
Even though I think that I’ll be having fun if I were to go to such a lively event.
But for my parents to send me out, I think they will somehow be greatly worried.
“Since I was told not to be separated from Alica-san even when I was only walking around the mansion. And here I want to go outside the residence, I wonder what will become of it?”
“Ah. The master and madame are both worried about Seiren-sama, eh-“
Isn’t it obvious? After all, I’m their daughter who previously was missing.
Even when I returned, there’s no helping if they were to think that something else might happen to me.
“In that case, why not try asking for your parents’ permission together with me? Perhaps if there was someone to accompany you, your parents would give their permission?”
“It might be worth it to try, but I shouldn’t expect a lot. Well, I kinda understand my parents’ feelings.”
While nodding to Kuon-sensei’s offer, I thought to myself that perhaps it would be useless, and gave up.
Because in the past, when everyone let their eyes off me for even an instant, I vanished from the mansion. Even if it’s in my own territory, it’s understandable to think about what to do if something were to happen to me should I go out of the mansion.
That’s why I concluded in my head that it would be enough if at least I could hear the stories from the maids who could go there.
- Obon or just Bon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. ↩
- Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival or Girls’ Festival) is usually held on March 3rd, when people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Hanami (花見, “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers; flowers (“hana”) are in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry (“sakura”) or, less frequently, plum (“ume”) trees. ↩