After receiving a brief explanation, Fubuki-san formally said to me, “I have a request to ask of Seiren-sama.”
“On the first day of the Autumn Harvest Festival, our head of the family would go out in public to give his greetings. Sorry for being so sudden, but would Seiren-sama also come along, if you don’t mind?”
The first day of the festival, isn’t it tomorrow? It is really so sudden… but, why?
“Taiga-sama seems like he wants to introduce Seiren-sama to the fief population before the marriage ceremony, by all means.”
“To put it simply, Taiga-sama wants to boast about Seiren-sama, right?”
“Though the wording is a bit…, yes, that’s correct.”
Oriza-san’s way of talking is so casual, right? And then, you’re not going to deny it, huh, Fubuki-san?! With her expression remained serious, there’s no way I could comment about it.
Ah uhm, in other words, I’m being asked to come out in front of the fief population as Taiga-san’s fiancee, huh?
When I realized it, my face turned hot. Whoa, is this what the idols in the other world feel when they were asked to have a public interview by the journalists? No, I’m not even an idol, though.
“In addition, I think he’s quite worried about Seiren-sama’s safety and that he wants you to be by his side as much as possible, as he’d like to protect you.”
“Yes. I can’t say this loudly, but…”
Oops. Because Fubuki-san strangely has a very serious expression and seems to be glaring at something, I quickly touched up my makeup. Eh wait, it was all good.
After confirming that my maids have also gathered and surrounded us, Fubuki-san told us in a small voice.
“When the previous head of the family retired, there were lots of his dismissed subordinates. Taiga-sama said that it was done in order to tighten the financial affairs, since they received such a high salary, in comparison to the work they actually did, but…”
Which means, she’s referring to Touka-san’s subordinates, huh? I guess there are reasons other than their unreasonably high salary.
…Which means, it’s about me, huh? And, about the orphanage director. And perhaps, about the orphanage director’s mother and Touka-san’s mother, too. No, I think that the last matter shouldn’t be taken into the matter, though.
“However, it seems that there is a slightly suspicious movement in the vicinity of those dismissed subordinates. Please be very careful. I’ve been strictly ordered by Taiga-sama to not neglect informing you of this matter.”
“…Yes. Thank you, I understand. I will definitely be very careful.”
Anyway, I obediently accepted Fubuki-san’s advice.
Taiga-san has properly informed me of the circumstances around his area, that’s why he’s telling me to be careful. If that’s the case, I also have to pull it together. It seems that things will be quite terrible if I were affected by another weird magic again, just like what happened in summer.
“Then, I will excuse myself now. If you’d like to order anything from the Shikino’s servants and employees, please press the bell in the front room.”
“I understand. Thanks for your kindness.”
When I answered like that, Fubuki-san deeply bowed again and went out of the guest room. A bell huh, I wonder how does it work?
“Aah, there’s a cord attached at the tassel in the front room, and the cord goes down. If we pull it, the bell in the Shikino’s employee room will ring, or so it seems.”
I tried asking Alica-san about it, and it seems to work like what she explained. I didn’t notice it, but there’s something like a tube where the cord is in, and the tube’s located close to the wall and ceiling, so it’s connected all the way to the other side.
Though the door and the wall are solid, this world doesn’t have something like a telephone, huh. So, the bell used to call people like this is tied to a physical cord.
After the trivial questions have been answered, I began to think about the issues at my hand. At any rate, I don’t have much to do until dinner. The meal time is clear, so before that, I think it’s better for me to prepare and wipe my body.
“Uhm. In short, Taiga-san has dismissed the employees who did the mischievous conduct by Touka-san’s side, and now this is the backlash as he’s being resented in return, something like this, I think?”
“That’s right. And perhaps I should ad, Seiren-sama is the victim of their mischief.”
“Well, that seems to be the case.”
Yes, I don’t have any kind of awareness about it. After all, I also didn’t know anything about how I was tossed off to the other world and turned into a man before I returned here and returned to being a woman. No, the orphanage director was aware of it, though.
The only time when I received a direct harm was that summer incident, but in the end, it only ended as an attempt. No, I also think that I have a very thin sense of danger. I need to pull myself together, as danger lurks around with me being the Shiiya family’s daughter and Taiga-san’s fiancee. Yes.
“Hey. What do you think it means by a suspicious movement?”
“Uhm, exposing the true identity of the previous head of the family?”
“I see, obviously, they must be aware of his true identity, huh…”
Oriza-san’s idea seems to be very unlikely, though.
Exposing the fact that the previous head wasn’t Touya-san, but instead it was Touka-san who posed as Touya-san, huh. With that idea, it feels like they’re aiming to get rid of the Shikino by exposing everything that has been done.
It is said that it’s not strange for people who have nowhere to go to be doing anything, huh? Things such as suicide bombing, or going to the grave together, or something like that?
“Also, there’s that, huh-? Since Taiga-san seems strong, they seems to target Seiren-sama who was invited as a guest instead-.”
That seems to be the case. I don’t have any fighting ability, after all.
Then, I’m also in a pathetic situation that has to receive protection from the maids and Taiga-san. Even when I was still a man, I wasn’t really good at any physical exercises.
“Aah, it’s also there in the book that Seiren-sama has read before. The book has a bad group that took a princess as their hostage, and if the other party didn’t listen to what they said, the princess would be shoved into the obstacle that existed in front of them.”
Minoa-san, that book that I read was a fiction, okay? It was just a made-up story, and there was no one who could actually destroy buildings in their anger in reality, okay? Nah, if it were to happen in real world, then we’d be facing opponents that are too out of our league, and nothing can be done about it.
“The one who saved the day wouldn’t be limited only to Taiga-sana who played the role of the prince that came just right in the timing, right? In the first place, Seiren-sama has us accompanying her.”
Alica-san smiled reassuringly and showed her well-developed biceps. No, I can’t seem to see any well-formed muscles over there, though.
Even in this world, it seems that it’s common for people to be attracted by stories that portrayed a princess who was saved by the prince. Nah, at that time, I was really happy when he came just right at the perfect timing, though.1
…In other words, I’m on the receiving end of someone else’s help huh. Ah-, I feel down.
“…Really, just spare me. It’s already quite troublesome being at the targetted side, and to begin with, I don’t have any power to deal a counterattack, so I feel really depressed.”
“There is no need for Seiren-sama to even raise her fists. After all, the three of us are here to do that.”
“That’s right. If you hit the villains, Seiren-sama’s hands will get dirty-.”
When I tried to honestly express my feelings, Minoa-san and Oriza-san answered as if it was natural for them. It seems that their answers are quite obvious because they’re my exclusive maids who should be protecting me, so they only answered while thinking about their job.
Speaking of counterattack, I think I landed one.
“…Ah. I kicked Touka-san’s vital point, right?”
“It’s an emergency measure. There is no problem at all in your action.”
To the contrary, Alica-san’s nonchalant face when she said that seemed scary instead. No, I mean, the part that I kicked was his groin, after all.
Even though I landed that hit myself, more or less I could understand that pain, you know? Yes.
Even still… In such a situation where I might be targeted, by any chance, doesn’t that mean I’ve caused a trouble for Taiga-san?
“I wonder if I had better not come here…”
It seems that my feelings unconsciously escaped my lips. I could tell that the three of them simultaneously turned their gazes at me.
Among them, Minoa-san was the first one to speak.
“No, it doesn’t seem to be like that.”
“Certainly, the magic protection in the Shikino’s mansion doesn’t reach the Shiiya family’s level, but the magic barrier was created at a normal level. In addition, the physical defense seems to be solid here.”
Minoa-san who said that tried to lightly hit the nearby wall. *Thud!* A dull voice could be heard. It seemed like a pretty sturdy wall, huh. In other words, there’s a defensive measure being put at an ordinary level, huh?
After that, Alica-san continued.
“Also, there’s Fubuki-san. She isn’t an ordinary person.”
“Eh, is that so?”
“Yes-. It’s only a probability, but-, I think that she’s an even match even for Minoa-.”
“I am confident that I’d win if we’re talking about power here. But I fear it if she’s using any kind of weapon.”
Oriza-san and Minoa-san calmly analyzed it. I felt somehow convinced with their analysis, though.
I mean, she has those excessively sharp eyes.
“Ah-, so when I thought that her eyes were strangely sharp, it’s about that, huh?”
I see. Just like Ayato-san and Maito-san who accompanied Leo-san, she is also a guard or someone who possesses skills around that area.
That’s why, Taiga-san pointed her to be in charge of me. At the very least, it’s so that I could be protected inside the house.
“And then-, Seiren-sama.”
Amidst the oddly tense atmosphere, Oriza-san suddenly raised her bright voice. Ou, as everyone was surprised, the atmosphere changed completely in one go. Whoa-, I was totally nervous.
“Do you remember this-?”
She handed over a small purple pouch. Inside, perhaps there could be a gem… Ah, I remembered.
“It’s the amulet that Jigen-san sold during the spring festival, right? If I’m not mistaken, it was sold for 350 ieno.”
“”Ooh, you even remember its price-!”
Jigen-san at that time was quite cute, wasn’t he? I was slightly surprised when I heard that he was selling the amulet like that every year. …But, why is he still selling it until now?
“Jigen-san said that you should carry this close to you-.”
“It isn’t guaranteed that there won’t be any of Touka-san’s trusted retainer among the employees who weren’t dismissed. That’s why, this seems to be an amulet to protect you in the worst case.”
“Is that so? …Yes, I understand. It’s quite strict, huh?”
I received Oriza-san and Alica-san’s words, and I somehow grasped that small pouch tightly. I see, this is an amulet, huh. Since Jigen-san told me to carry it, does that mean he inserted something to it?
Even so, we’re in a situation where we also have to be suspicious of the servants and employees here, huh? It’s a safety measure just in case Touka-san’s subordinate still remained and that they’d move to retaliate for Touka-san, I guess?
Or rather, before Taiga-san became the head of the family, this house was full of such people, right? I think that Taiga-san has been working really hard so far.
“It might certainly be dangerous, but we are all here. If the bad guys appear, let’s consider it as a cleaning up before your marriage.”
“Oriza-san, your wording is so casual as always.”
“…This is Oriza’s strong point, and at the same time, it can be her bad point, as well.”
Minoa-san, I heard that you heaved a small sigh, you know? But still, I also think so.
Being unable to read the situation, should time and circumstances permit, it might even become a good thing. Yes.
- Referring to that summer incident with Touka again. ↩