For the time being, I couldn’t just lie down on the sofa forever. Leaving aside the fact that I was in a tough predicament, I still had the job of wrapping up the cookies. Also, if I’m absorbed in doing something else, it seems that I’ll be able to forget about unpleasant things during that time. It’s also called as postponing those thoughts until later, though.
“Alica-san, how many cookies are left to be wrapped up?”
“It’s approximately one third more, but… Uhm, Seiren-sama, about Mikoto-sama…”
[Seiren, is there still some available for my share?]
Ah, sorry sorry, I forgot. I wonder if it’s fine for you to become sulky due to it, my ancestor?
Ah-, but well, it’s not good to always postpone it. Then, shall we quickly proceed?
“Well then, shall we go and prepare the long-awaited offering for Mikoto-san? Is there some sort of way of making it that we should follow?”
“No, there’s none in particular. I will lead you until we arrive at the ritual room.”
Ah- well, there wasn’t any particular way of making offerings even in the other world, too… right, perhaps? There was a small Buddhist altar, and we were to line up the sweets in front of it. Anyway, I have ever been scolded by the orphanage director for immediately eating them or foolishly leaving them untidy.
As for visiting the grave… I had no recollection of it, now that you mention it. It seems like I’ve ever been to the grave of the person who saved the orphanage director, but I didn’t remember it. I wonder if the orphanage director went there alone?
Accompanied by Alica-san, we went to put the offering in the ritual room. There is an altar at the inner wall, and in front of the altar, there were various foods and drinks being lined up. I gently offered the cookies around the corner. Just like the time when I visited the grave, I clasped my hands to pray. …Even so, the one whom I prayed to was actually next by my side, though.
“For the time being, please go on ahead.”
[Mn, I’ll accept it.]
Ah, it was easy to understand that her good mood has returned. Currently, she’s smiling happily.
I wonder just how would she eat, this ancestor of mine? Nah, though I think that it would be useless even if I were to think of it.
[Mn. You can also offer it at the graveyard, so everyone can eat it together.]
It seems like the matter regarding the offering here doesn’t really differ much from the other world. Even at the other world, there’s also offerings at the graveyard. Yosh, then, at the next summer, shall I offer it to the Shiiya and the Shikino’s graveyard?
After returning to the room, we resumed our cookies wrapping business. For some reason, I felt motivated to do it. Even Mikoto-san has said that it was delicious, so the children who would receive them would surely be delighted, and I wanted to see their delighted faces.
As we were tying up the small strings, Mikoto-san who grew bored of just watching us brought up a subject. It seems like she was confused from not knowing what to do inside the mansion, although it was fine for her to go to see the other rooms.
Age difference, huh.
Taiga and I are 10 years apart. Meanwhile, my parents are 8 years apart, so well, they don’t really mind our age difference, too. I also think that Taiga-san is slightly childish despite his age.
While I was thinking about it, Mikoto-san dropped something amazing at us.
I spouted that reflexively, okay? It isn’t weird for me to do that, right?
I mean, Mikoto-san was originally a princess from the royal family. And she was married to the rural feudal lord who was 15 years older than her, is that fine, the Sumeragi royal family? She had some difficulties in persuading, that’s obvious. Surely there were talks about another formal marriage interviews with better conditions or with someone of closer age.
Nah well, it’s a story of a long time ago, though, and it’s my ancestor’s story. Or rather, the thing about the other formal marriage interviews was purely my own thought, it was entirely my one-sided premise.
“15 years, is it? Seiren-sama, don’t lose.”
No, wait, Alica-san. What do you mean by ‘don’t lose’?
“Just who is competing for what? My age difference with Taiga-san is certainly 10 years.”
[Hohho, as expected, it runs in the family, huh?]
What kind of thing runs in the family? Or rather, the point is that we fell for someone whose age difference with us was quite a lot, but I didn’t tell Mikoto-san that. Or rather, could it be.
“Could it be that thing about age difference in this family’s lineage was brought by Mikoto-san?”
[…I, I don’t know.] “How about it? As expected, the future was affected by the 15 years age gap, right?”
See, she was at a loss for words, right? Also, she was slightly peevish and turned another way.
This is probably, or almost certainly Mikoto-san’s fault. After all, I, Tou-san, and Kaa-san all came from a latter era than Mikoto-san.
The moment I thought about it, Mikoto-san turned around here with a bright red face and howled.
[Mondo’s father, who is also your grandfather. The wife he married, if I’m not mistaken, she was 7 years younger than him.]
I see, even my grandfather was like that?
…It was certainly Mikoto-san’s fault, right? Yup.
Anyway, as I continued to have a fun… yup, an enjoyable conversation with my ancestor, I kept working hard until after dinner at the next day. And as a result…
“Yo-sh, I’m done-!”
After I finished putting the ribbon to the last one, I exclaimed. There was no problem to my raising my hands overhead too, since I’m really done.
“It’s done, huh-.”
“Good work, Seiren-sama.”
Oriza-san and Minoa-san clapped their hands. Because the meaning of the applause in this world didn’t differ that much, I listened to their claps with relief.
Then, there was one more clapping sound. Of course, it was my ancestor, Mikoto-san’s.
[What, what’s wrong with me boasting my adorable descendant?]
Along with Oriza-san, they became a combination of people who said comic dialogues, but I wonder what should I think about that. Nah well, it’s more relieving to see them commenting back and forth like this rather than seeing them really fighting, though.
“Ah, then I will bring them out-.”
“No, I will be bringing them out. They’re my responsibility, after all.”
“Understood. Then, I will accompany you.”
Yup, since I was the one being entrusted with them, I had to properly do my responsibility and deliver them, or it won’t be good, right? Oriza-san understood that, and Minoa-san also nodded and sayd, “I will also accompany you.”
Now then, what will my ancestor do in this case? As I thought about it, Minoa-san asked.
“What about you, Mikoto-sama?”
[I will explore the room for a bit. Hurry up and go.] “Understood. Then, we’ll be relying on you to watch over the room.”
[Ooh, that’s indeed a good way to put it. All right, then look after my cute descendant. Deliver them.]
‘Hohoho,’ as Mikoto-san laughed as if she was really having fun, for some reason, I could tell that she was currently enjoying the present world.
Coincidentally, we met Kaya-san just under the stairs, so we told her of our business. After receiving an ‘OK’ from her, we went up the stairs and handed over the box filled with cookies to Kaa-san.
Nah, the one who brought the box was Minoa-san, though. I couldn’t really afford carrying around a heavy package, after all. Though I think that it isn’t that heavy, but I haven’t really carried anything heavy ever since coming here. In addition, I also turned from a male into a female, so my physical strength decreased quite considerably.
“Oh my, you’re so quick, Seiren. I’m saved.”
“No. I had everyone helped me as well, after all.”
Even at my mother’s place, there was already some boxes with their lids just like this one being lined up. Since the Week of the End of the Year was right ahead, with this, it was more or less about everything, so I thought.
“Fufu, I’m glad you don’t have to burden yourself with everything. Kaya.”
“Seiren also seems to be tired, so please bring it here.”
“Yes, please wait a moment.”
After receiving Kaa-san’s words as she pleasantly smiled, Kaya-san took out something from the wardrobe. Then, she brought it over to me.
“Seiren-sama, please take it.”
“T-thank you very much. What is it?”
“It’s tea. Kaya has brought some medicinal tea that could be drunk when one is tired.”
Medicinal tea sounds like it’s bitter, but it’s how they call herbal tea in this world, right?
The thick paper bag that was given to me was a bit heavy, but there was nothing written on it other than the name of the city’s pharmacy. So there are pharmacies here. There are things that feel like medicinal plants or herbs, internal medicine or even traditional Chinese medicine here. Fortunately, I have never used them, though.
Anyway, it seems that the herbal tea was also handled by the pharmacy, so I received it while thinking, ‘I see.’
“Whoa, is that true? Thank you very much, I will drink it together with everyone. Thank you, Kaya-san.”
Just now, I felt like Kaya-san’s expression slightly changed as if she was saying, “Fufun,” but I wonder why?