Taiga-san also returned for dinner. I didn’t mean to emphasize how this would be our last meal together before going back, but it feels nice to be able to eat together with everyone like this.
“Since Seiren-sama is going to return tomorrow, it’s natural for me to want to have a dinner together, right?”
“I also thought so, and that’s why I’ve prepared everything.”
Saya-san commented at Taiga-san who said that thing while smiling happily. No, is this a retort instead of a comment? Well, as for me, I’m happy that I can eat the meal together with Taiga-san, so, whatever.
…Or rather, the grilled sanma is so delicious-.1 Nah, I have never expected that I could eat sanma again ever since I came to this world. Well, since this is a dinner at a feudal lord’s house, the meal is decorated with many toppings such as vegetables, but fundamentally, it’s a grilled sanma. It has salt and lemon as its spices, and as expected, they taste great-. As expected, there was no grated daikon, though, which is unfortunate.2
“Seiren-sama, do you like that fish?”
“Ah, yes. It has similar tastes with the fish that I often ate during autumn over there.”3
“Is that so? Then, I’m glad. Do you still remember Kadzuki-dono who came to your debut party last summer? The fish seems to have been purchased from his town’s harbour.”
“Kadzuki-san? Ah-, I remember.”
The person that has an obvious vibe of a fisherman, huh? During that night, he needed to take care of the fish-catching business the next morning, so he returned in a hurry.
I see. His harbour has many fishes similar to sanma fishes, huh? I have to remember this. It’d be good if I can eat it again in the future.
As I was thinking about it, I realized that Saryuu’s eating pace is worsening than his usual one. Oh? Could it be that he doesn’t like it?
“I don’t really like this fish… It’s greasy.”
“I think that it’s fine since it’s seasoned with lemon, too. Besides, the taste of the oil is good.”
“Uu… I-I’ll try my best to eat it!”
Since I like it, so you’re going to try your best and eat it too, huh? I wonder how I should think about it. However, I’d be happy if he comes to like the taste of the sanma over here. I wonder if Saryuu will come to understand the good quality of this meal once he grows up a bit more?
The dessert that appeared was a mont blanc with fruits on top of it—and the fruits were similar to Japanese chesnuts, its sweetness was moderate, so it was easy to eat. The tea was a normal black tea, well, I guess it matches the dessert better this way.
After we completely ate up everything, the dinner finally ended. Haa, I’ve eaten well today. I think that I also ate quite a lot at the festival venue, but it was fine since I was also walking around.
“Thank you for the meal. It was really delicious.”
“Aah, then that’s good. Let’s also tell the chef about it.”
“Please don’t overdo it, okay? I think that the ones who understand the best about the most delicious seasonal food would be the merchants and the chefs, after all.”
“That seems to be the case. However, I want to let Seiren-sama taste your favorite fish meal again next year.”
Uhm, Taiga-san, why did you have that smile on your whole face that seemed like you were saying, “I did it!”? Or rather, will I come here next year? …Well, if that’s the case, then that’s good. Let’s eat sanma together again.
Suddenly, Saryuu left his seat. He quickly went out of the dining room. Eh, did I do something?
“…I will sleep earlier. Well then, good night, Nii-sama, Nee-sama.”
“Ah, yeah, night, Saryuu.”
Taiga-san and I followed his retreating figure until it was out of our sight. After that, we unconsciously looked at each other.
“…Could he have been exasperated at us?”
“…That seems to be the case.”
Eh, since when did his face become so close to mine? Taiga-san is standing right next to my seat, huh? I really hadn’t realized it, and apparently, the younger brother was tired of our flirting around like this. Really sorry, Saryuu.
Or say, a woman’s heart in love is truly bothersome, right? When I let my mind wander, I really couldn’t see the surroundings. Good grief, I have to be more careful. …If I was really that careful, I think that there won’t be such a talk about getting engaged with Taiga-san in the first place, though.
When I returned to the guest room while being escorted by Alica-san and Fubuki-san, Oriza-san and Minoa-san was tidying up the room. Since we’re going to leave this place tomorrow morning, everything has been packed up, with the exception of the minimum necessary things. Although I said that, I don’t really have much baggage as usual.
“I’m back-. The baggage has all been packed?”
“Yes. After this, we only need to pack up things such as tonight’s pajamas and the rest of the stuff that will still be used tomorrow morning.”
“I see. Thank you.”
I also tidied up small things such as hair clips, and then I drank the tea that Fubuki-san brewed together with the others. Well, I think that it’d be nice to sleep after this. While thinking about it, I took one sip of the tea. Ah, this is the tea that I like.
“Then, I will excuse myself. Please have a nice sleep.”
“Ah, yup, good night, Fubuki-san. Really, thank you.”
Everyone followed Fubuki-san who went out of the room after bowing and carrying the tea until she was no longer in our line of sight. No, really, I’ve been greatly indebted to her, right? I don’t think that it’d be enough for me to convey my gratitude with just that scarf.
Before very long, I dozed off—perhaps I was too tired. I woke up for a moment as I was taken aback, but after that, I quickly dozed off again-, or so I felt. Ah-, I might seriously be very tired, then.
“Oh my? Seiren-sama, are you sleepy-?”
“…Ah-, yup, I’m really… sleepy…”
“I see-. Minoa, help me out-.”
Oriza-san called Minoa-san, and the two of them carried me over to the bed. During that time, Alica-san tidied up the tea.
Minoa-san put me down on the bed and Oriza-san laid the futon. After that, she put her finger on my forehead.4 I wonder if it is some kind of a good-luck charm?
“Okay, we’ll be going back to the mansion tomorrow, so let’s call it a day for now-.”
Oriza-san nodded and smiled at my answer, and Minoa-san also touched my forehead with something… or that’s how I felt. I mean, I was too sleepy, and I couldn’t really open my eyes.
“Well then, Seiren-sama, good night.”
…ah, really, right after I was dragged to the bed, I’m so… sleepy…
At the sudden impact, I opened my eyes quickly. My consciousness was good, but my head was strangely heavy.
…It felt like at that time when I was influenced under Touka-san’s magic.
Ah- not good, not good, I could hear someone’s voice. It was someone else other than Oriza-san, Alica-san, and Minoa-san. …so, who the hell is this someone, then? Darn it. When I tried to straighten up my body forcibly, ah-, for some reason, my whole body was sluggish. Did I play too much?
Anyway, after I got up to the extent that I could do, I shook my head a couple of times and I finally understood what was going on.
There were some electric shocks running around my surrounding, and there was also a barrier. Beyond it, under the shining light, there was someone with black clothes from head to toe with their face hidden, and that person was holding some edged tool that was easy to distinguish on their hand.
Yes, that person was definitely an assassin, right? Yup. As I thought, tonight I shouldn’t escape from the reality, or more precisely, I should pull myself together. Or rather, who put up this barrier?
“Jigen-san’s amulet charm…”
Apparently, the amulet charm that Jigen-san gave me seemed to have been put into operation and have always been active ever since I carried it around. It somehow shone gently.
“I’m all right!”
I answered in a shout at my maids who quickly jumped in vigorously and sent the partitioning screen flying. At the same time, the room’s light was turned on, and I could more or less see the state of affairs. Although I might say that there were only my maids being added to the previous state of affairs that I saw. Or rather, everyone hasn’t changed their clothes yet?
My maids are lining up next to the door, and between them and the bed where I’m in, there’s the assassin. The only path I can run to is… the window only, huh? Yup. As expected, there’s no way I can risk myself and attempt to run pass by the assassin to go to my maids’ side.
Then, the black-clothed person shouted as if they lost their mind.
Minoa-san showed an admiring expression, while Oriza-san showed a complacent smile. Which means, my head felt heavy because I drank some drugs, huh? …Or rather, when was it? When did I drink such a thing?
“You shouldn’t have underestimated Kasai Jigen-sensei’s disciple-. I have put on a detoxification magic spell too-, though it was only slightly effective!”
“Most likely, the drug’s mixed to the tea we drank after returning to the guest room.”
Well, let’s set aside the thing about how Oriza-san has completely become Jigen-san’s disciple for now. Nah, I was really helped by it in various ways, though. The problem lies in Alica-san’s words that came after Oriza-san’s statement.
The tea that I drank after returning here, which means, it’s the tea that was brewed at the front room. How could the drug be put in that place?
It was very unthinkable for me that my maids might be able to do such a thing. In the first place, the one who made that tea was…
Before I could think further, the assassin suddenly extended their blade. From her empty palm, Oriza-san then spread out a barrier which had the same light as the barrier that was created previously and had it covered the maids.
“Don’t joke around with me, who’s going to die?!”
The raised blade seemed to have received some electric shocks in some way or another. However, the light became weaker. Ah-, is it the limit, huh?
Don’t lock the louver door that’s facing the garden. If something were to happen, please jump out from there. We’ll go over there.
I suddenly recalled Leo-san’s words. Everyone also remembered those words, and that’s why the window that was located behind me should be able to be opened without having the need to worry about the key.
*Zap*, along with the intense sound, the electric shock disappeared. Towards the black-clothed person who faltered for a moment, I threw the thing that was next to my side. The thing that collided against that person was a big pillow that had been under my head until just now.
Minoa-san also seized that chance. She kicked the floor and attacked the black-clothed person’s chest with a roundhouse kick. The black-clothed person received the attack with her arms and quickly did a counterattack using the blade that had been extended long. The attack that was aimed for both Oriza-san and Alica-san at the same time was repelled by the barrier that was created again.
Yosh, their mind was focused there. ‘Now is the chance!’ so I thought as I ran to the window. When I opened the curtain, the stars outside were very bright. The louver door wasn’t closed, huh?
I also opened the glass door that wasn’t locked. At that moment, there was something that flew right next to my head. Eh-, could this be something like a shuriken?5 Is that person a ninja?
The black-clothed person that fared well against three people said something, but rather than the person who came here to try to kill me, I’d believe in Leo-san’s words. That’s why, I rolled up my pajamas’ bottom edge and forcibly climbed over the window frame.
“…Are you all right?”
My body that awkwardly tumbled down was actually falling to someone’s arms as if it was natural. Or rather, it’s a voice that I’ve grown used to hearing, though?
“E-eh? Could it be… Taiga-san?”
Taiga-san who was illuminated by the starlight nodded with a serious gaze. Or rather, why would the lord of the mansion be in this kind of a place? Did he already assume this situation?
“Yup, you had properly listened to what I said. I’m glad.”
In addition, I heard another person’s voice. When I raised my face in a hurry, Leo-san was smiling brightly as Ayato-san and Maito-san accompanied behind his back. With a deep crimson mantle hung on his shoulders—hey you, with that kind of a figure, are you a prince from some place? Or rather, the ring that he wears is quite big. It was around the size of the wax seal stamp that I use.
Using the hand that was wearing that big ring, Leo-san was casually toying around with a small knife that semeed to have been sent flying outside just now.
- Sanma is a Pacific saury or a mackarel pike. Personally, I think that sanma is delicious, too! ↩
- Daikon is a mild-flavored winter radish, typically goes with grilled sanma in a typical Japanese meal. ↩
- Over there refers to the other world, if it’s not clear. ↩
- It wasn’t specified who, but after seeing the conversation that came after this, it seemed to be referring to Oriza. ↩
- Shuriken is a small and sharp edged weapon that’s often used to attack by throwing it. ↩