I asked Minoa-san to ask Yuzuruha-san about the cookies.
“It was all OK to include it in the offering. Yuzuruha-san said that he’d like to adjust it to Mikoto-sama’s liking.”
[Ooh, thanks. I’m troubling you with that, Seiren.] “Yes. I will go and put it in the offering later on.”
Haha, hearing that OK, Mikoto-san seemed to be very delighted. From my share of wrapping up, let’s spare one bag for Mikoto-san. No, since it’s going to be offered to the ancestor, it’s better to have one from my own share, after all.
Now then. Speaking of which, during the meal, she said that she hadn’t met Jigen-san, huh? By now, Jigen-san should already be awake, right?
“Mikoto-san, if it’s Jigen-san, he’s living in a cottage right next to the mansion. What about going there to meet him?”
[No, we have some kind of a burdensome regulation. Aside from special cases, we can’t go out of the mansion.] “Ah.”
So she couldn’t go out of the mansion, huh? Even ancestors have some difficulties they have to shoulder, huh?
Besides, I could totally understand why she hadn’t met Jigen-san or Kuon-sense. These two don’t really come to the mansion during the night. Especially during the winter when the ancestors usually appear, since the body of old people won’t be able to withstand the cold temperature outside. Yup.
Nevertheless, after pondering for a moment, Mikoto-san showed a complacent smile and happily laughed.
[Earlier, I told you about special cases, right? This time around, I came to see Seiren. Therefore, I can follow you to wherever you go.] “Ah, I see. It’s something like becoming a spirit who follows me behind, right?”
[There are sure interesting phrases in the world where you grew up in. A spirit who followed behind huh? I see.]
Hohoho, Mikoto-san who laughed as she covered her mouth with the back of her hand was totally like the so-called princess. Nah, she is indeed a princess, though.
Or rather, there isn’t such a term as a spirit who followed behind, huh? Well, I haven’t heard of it during the ghost story in summer, and there was no such story in the book that I borrowed from my father, so it would seem so, in this world.
Mikoto-san who came to see me is now a spirit who followed behind me. Which means, she will follow me wherever I go. Ah-, yes, that’s it.
“I see. Normally, you’d come to see babies, so you don’t get to go outside that much, right? Babies don’t have the ability to go outside on their own, after all.”
[That’s right. When Saryuu came to this house, he was only a timid child, so he didn’t really go outside that much.] “Eh-.”
Whoa, it’s my first time hearing it. It is totally different from the Saryuu that I know. He has grown that much within these 8 years, huh?
“Saryuu has a daily routine of practicing swordsmanship outside from early in the morning.”
[It seems like it. I was surprised when I heard of it, to think that such a timid brat like that could grow up like this in such a short moment.]
How harsh for her to call him a timid brat? No, even when I look at it, he still has some of those parts around, though. But the target of comparison being Taiga-san, perhaps that can’t be helped, so I thought. The one that’s closer in age to him is Leo-san, but well.
Ah, let’s put that aside. It might be good to ask the person himself about Saryuu’s story.
If I were to go to see Jigen-san, Mikoto-san would automatically follow me. If that’s the case, then we’d be able to go outside and everything will be fine. Yosh.
“Alica-sa-n. I want to go to see Jigen-san along with Mikoto-san, is it fine if I go right now?”
“Ah, yes. If it’s now, Jigen-sensei should be at home, and Oriza is also there.”
“I see. Then, shall we go?”
[Ooh, let’s go.] “That’s why, I’ll take a short break from wrapping up the cookies. Minoa-san, do you want to come, too?”
“I shall accompany you.”
Oh well, and just like that, Mikoto-san and I, along with my maids formed a group and went to the cottage where Jigen-san lived. Today seems to be Oriza-san’s magic class day, too, so she’s also supposed to be there.
Alica-san and Minoa-san also tagged along, it seems that they’ve also grown a little bit tired of wrapping up the cookies. No, it should be more than just ‘a little bit’ tired.
“Excuse u-s. Jigen-san, are you there-?”
The one who greeted us at the entranceway was the delivery snake who didn’t become emotionally attached to me, as usual. Flapping the wings on its back, it glared at us as if telling us to wait for a little bit before it nimbly opened the door and entered inside. Just as the sound of the door being closed could be heard, I noticed something strange.
“…Do the delivery snakes not go into a winter hibernation?”
“That species doesn’t go into a winter hibernation. Because it belongs to that kind of species, it was chosen to deliver letters, though.”
“Ah, that appears to be the case.”
I agreed with Alica-san’s explanation. Well, it must be quite troubling if we’re unable to use it during winter.
Then, after waiting for a while, the door was opened once more. With the delivery snake riding on his shoulder, Jigen-san appeared with unsteady steps.
[My life was quite accomplished. Just how long are you going to live for? If it’s an heir, then don’t you already have a grandchild?] “Hohho. I will still be alive at least until Kuon’s daughter’s marriage.”
[Really, I wonder just how long will you be able to live? Well, without your power, there will still be quite a lot people who will be troubled.] “That’s right, Princess.”
I don’t know how many years has it been, but it was a conversation where there was none of that words that indicated their deeply moved feelings due to being able to meet again. Nah well, this way, it suits Mikoto-san more, or perhaps it suits Jigen-san more.
…eh, wait a moment-!
“Jigen-san, just how old are you?”
“Ho? Nah-, it’s quite troublesome to remember after I turned 150 years old, so I stopped counting.”
[Isn’t that what you said around the time I left the royal palace?] “Bwa?!”
I had more or less expected Jigen-san’s answer in a sense, but I totally didn’t expect Mikoto-san’s comment afterwards and made that surprised gasp. From behind, I could hear two more similar voices, so apparently, Alica-san and Minoa-san seemed to feel the same way.
When Mikoto-san left the royal palace, in other words, wasn’t it the time when she came to our household to become a bride?
“Fwofwofwo, I’ve become an old man completely, so there’s no meaning again even if I were to count the years. Now, now, it isn’t good to talk while standing like this, so please come on inside.”
“Ah, Seiren-sama and Mikoto-sama-. Welcome-!”
As I passed by with the insides of my head in a mess, Oriza-san appeared as she was studying as usual. Today, she was wearing a fluffy white sweater and a slightly thick red-checked skirt. Ah- well, I wonder why is it that this cute style suits her so much? If I were to put it into words, it seemed that everyone would say this line together, “Seiren-sama is also cute,” so I will stop from expressing that out loud.
As Oriza-san went to brew some tea, Jigen-san was tidying up the documents on top of the sofa as to clear up some place where we could sit, and Alica-san and Minoa-san reflexively helped out. As I watched them, I tried to ask Mikoto-san something. No, it isn’t about Jigen-san’s age.
“…Uhm-. The people over here, how long is approximately their life span?”
[At least, this old man is already at a level where he denies common sense. I have never read any statistics, but it should approximately be about 60 to 70 years.]
I see. I think that it could be considered a splendidly long life, even among this lack of knowledge. Using magic, they can scan their interior of the body, so detecting diseases doesn’t seem to be hard, so it goes in this world. Though I’m not sure what kind of medical treatments are the doctors here able to do.[It’s unthinkably advanced if one could pass 100 years, but what about the average life span in the world you grew up in?] “The country where I lived in had a high level of medical care, so the life expectancy was around 80 years.”
[Hohou. And as expected, once one lived up to that age, there won’t be anything left to be done anymore, right?] “I wonder about that. I didn’t really see any old-aged people around where I lived.”
[Hm, hm. That’s true.]
No, really, as expected, I can’t tell because there’s no example at all near my vicinity. The institution where I lived in had very little connection with such kind of people.
By the time the sofa was more or less emptied, Oriza-san brought some tea. As we enjoyed the tea, since we came here today mainly to let Mikoto-san meet Jigen-san, we listened to their conversation in the end.
“Still, Princess. It’s rare for you to appear during the day. I wonder what’s going on?”
[For the time being, I wanted to see your face.] “It’s very unthinkable for me that it’s your only reason, though.”
[No, no. If I were to directly proceed on my own in order to borrow Kasai Jigen’s power, wouldn’t that be quite rude of me?] “Your words were full of consideration, and it was more than I could ask during when I’m still alive. Well, this old man here is put on guard here in order to repel the calamity on Shiiya family, so please rest assured.”
…No, hold on a second, you two.
What is this about borrowing Jigen-san’s power? What do you mean by the calamity on Shiiya family?
“…In other words, there is still something else to happen in the future?”
[If there’s a complaint, file it to Shikino Touka. It’s all his fault, for things to be this troublesome.] “Certainly, for the influence to reach up to this point, even I failed to notice it.”
In other words, with me being thrown to the other world as the cause, something troublesome will occur again. Filing a complaint to Touka-san, in other words, it’s that kind of thing, right?
“…Filing a complaint to Touka-san is fine, but Taiga-san will feel down, so…”
[Ooh, is that your future husband? My bad.]
As I thought, Mikoto-san seemed to know about that matter as well. This matter would be worrisome, since I’d become a bride by next year.
…Going to become a bride, even with that kind of phrasing, it didn’t give me any uncomfortable feeling. I wonder if I’ve completely become a woman now?
“…Mikoto-san, Jigen-san. If there’s anything, wouldn’t it be better to tell it to my parents as well?”
[That’s right. Let’s talk about it with Mondo and Maya later at lunch. Would that be all right?] “Of course. I will talk about it with Kuon-sensei when we have the opportunity later. Also, Oriza-dono, can I have you help out a bit?”
“Ye-s! It’s for protecting Seiren-sama, right? Of course I’ll help-!”
As she poured in a second helping of the tea, Oriza-san laughed as if it was natural. Nah really, I’m sorry for getting everyone involved in something else again.