The next day.
“Sya-,” along with that usual voice, the snake returned. Although I might say that the delivery snake returned to Jigen-san’s house, and the delivery snake showed up at my place along with Kuon-sensei as it rode on her shoulder.
“Here you go, Seiren-sama. It’s a letter from Taiga-sama.”
“T-thank you very much. Thanks for your hard work too, Snake-san.”
Au, as expected, it couldn’t be friendlier to me. As expected, I became quite depressed due to it-, while thinking about it, I sat down on the sofa and broke the letter’s seal. The usual neat writing was truly pretty, and I felt relieved just by looking at it.
…When I came to, Kuon-sensei and the maids were grinning while looking at me. Meanwhile, the snake withdrew in no time, and its figure could no longer be seen.
I see, so my face was quite easy to read during times like this, huh? Darn-, so I thought, but it didn’t stop me from reading the letter.
“…Ah-, as expected, he needed to prioritize his territory for the New Year’s holiday.”
Well, my expectation was met. I mean, he is the feudal lord, so isn’t it obvious that he needs to prioritize his own territory? But I felt slightly disappointed, oh well, is it due to my woman’s heart acting…? I can only say that, though.
In exchange for that, it was written that he’d definitely come here before springtime. After all, there were things such as marriage greeting.
After that, there was also a message to Saryuu, saying that he should take care of his health and do his best. Yup, he was also concerned about his younger brother, as expected, he was a really good person.
“At any rate, Seiren-sama’s mood was improved in an instant, well that’s good, so Oriza and I can only feel relieved.”
“Ufufu. Seiren-sama, there was something good written in it, right-?”
“That’s really great, Seiren-sama. Once you have written the reply, I’ll be taking care of it again.”
Eei, you guys, don’t look at someone with amusing eyes as if you’re looking at an attraction like that. Nah, we’ve become relatively secluded in the mansion, so we pretty much don’t have any amusement other than this. Wait, don’t make someone become your source of amusement like this!
In order to hide my embarrassment—though I’m not sure if I can properly hide it—I drank the tea that was in front of my eyes in one gulp.
Now then, we’re not going to study for today and tomorrow, since we have another task to do. That is, to decorate the mansion’s interior and exterior.
I guess it’s easier to understand if we were to think of it as arranging dolls or star decorations or chenille yarns—in short, arranging the decoration for a Christmas party. Since we’re going to distribute the snacks at the street in front of the mansion or it can be called as a public square, so we’re going to prioritize that area, but we’re also decorating the interior of the rooms.
The servants would be doing the decorations outside the mansion, so Saryuu and I decided to help decorating the entrance hall. No, there seems to be stories about how it’d be a good omen for family members to help out like this, that it was effective in eradicating the evil spirits, or things like that.
While I was spinning around the chenille yarns attached on the stairs’ handrail, I casually asked Mikoto-san who was accompanying me behind my back.
“Why’re we decorating the house with sparkling things like this?”
[In short, it’s to eradicate the evil spirits. They’re weak against dazzling light. In addition, don’t they look lively?] “I see. Certainly, that seems to be the case.”
“Especially the children, they’re delighted, right-?”
Oriza-san who was holding the opposite side of the chenille yarns cut into the conversation enjoyably. Ah-, the main targets to receive the snacks would be the children, and when they come to receive the snacks and see the sparkling surroundings, they’d definitely be so happy. Yup.
When I looked at the work table, there were lots of papers that it piled up quite high—and the papers were even glossy. This seems to be the kind of papers that we can cut and modify into ornaments.
…It seems to be quite a waste to cut them. Since it’s come to this, shall I fold some paper cranes? They can become quite the decorations, surely.
“Ah, Seiren-sama, what are you doing?”
“Eh? Whoa, it’s Seiren-sama. What are you doing-?”
When I began to fold them on top of the table, the maids—beginning from Oriza-san—came to see and ask what I was doing. No, you guys, what about your work… well, that’s fine.
Amidst everyone’s eyes, I raised the folded paper crane. When I adjusted it into the form of its spread wings, applause began to sound, though I wasn’t sure who initiated it. …Apparently, there wasn’t origami here, so it was something new to them.1
“It’s a cute bird, right-?”
“Yeah, it’s easy to see that it’s a bird, huh? That’s good-, I was thinking on what I should do if someone were to ask me what this was.”
“We could tell since there is its beak and wings. If this were to have legs, it would be a horse, though.”
Hahaha, if you said so, I guess that’s right. Genjirou and Hanako both have the crow’s face.
Even so, everyone was really interested in seeing it. If it’s just this, I wonder if I can teach them?
“I’ll teach you how to do it later, so wanna try it yourself?”
“Horra-y! Thank you very much-.”
Oriza-san and the other maids were really happy. I wonder if there were things I could teach them aside from the paper cranes?
…Still, I could only fold paper cranes, though. And a simple person or a boat or paperplane—the easy forms. Ah, I wonder if people of this world would recognize the paperplane?
For the time being, after I finished helping out in the entrance hall, I took a look outside. Because of the decoration, the door was left open, and I could see through up until the outer gate without any obstruction. Furthermore, there was Mikoto-san in front of the door in her imposing stance. Needless to say, I won’t go outside, though.
However, I could see the lined decorations outside that were over her shoulders. Snow hadn’t fallen yet, but the scenery looked overall grey or some shade similar to it, and it really resembled the other world. Also, the trees lined up on both sides of the streets no longer had any leaves.
There were also plenty of decorations on those trees. The things that often flickered—could it be some magical light?
“Ah, the outside also looks amazing, huh?”
[If we brighten up the street like this, the evil spirits won’t be able to pass by. Therefore, we don’t have to be afraid of the darkness anymore.] “It’s being lit up by the magical light, you know-?”
“I see, so it’s an illumination, huh?”
At Mikoto-san and Oriza-san’s explanation, I was very convinced.
That there was that kind of meaning behind this kind of thing even here. I see-.
“In Seiren-sama’s world, illu… what was it called, again?”
“Illumination. The streets and the trees over there were also decorated like this during the winter.”
When I turned around as I answered Minoa-san, there was a chenille yarn and star ornament twined around her body, making her look very cute.
“Puh-,” I gushed out, but I had no ill will at all, sorry.
In response to Saryuu’s voice, I landed my gaze outside again. That Saryuu, he was coming in along with his maids from the front gate while holding a huge tree.
It was a tree around 3 meters in height, and based on my prior knowledge, it felt so similar to Christmas trees. However, it had no tapering point just like Christmas tree, and it was all circular. The roots were inside something that was similar to a large pot.
“Ou, Saryuu. What’s up with that?”
“I brought this from a gardener in the city. It’d be decorated in the entrance hall.”
“I see-. That’s quite heavy, isn’t that?”
No matter how I looked at it, it seemed so heavy. Both the tree and the pot.
That’s why I tried to confirm it rather than asking him, but Saryuu shook his head while smiling. Despite how obvious it was that he was slightly sweating.
“I’m fine. That’s also why I asked the maids to help.”
“Please be rest assured, Seiren-sama. Just like Minoa, I’m very confident of my strength.”
“As for me, I have even more strength than Tokino, Seiren-sama.”
“Hey, don’t compete here-!”
There were occasions when Minoa-san also boasted her strength, but why was she competing with Tokino-san? Nah, I guess it’s a good thing to have a rival, though.
“Shall we help out as well?”
“No, we’re in charge of it, so we will properly do it until it’s properly installed.”
Saryuu shook his head once again at my question, and everyone staggeringly carried the tree just like that. Yup, it’s good that they’re properly doing it after they took charge of it. …I wonder if I’d be able to do that kind of thing?
After installing the tree in the middle of the hall, Tokino-san nodded as if she was satisfied. The others, in other words, Saryuu and Maki-san and Kanna-san were completely exhausted.
…I wonder if there is definitely one maid like that among the maids who’re accompanying us? Nah, this fact helped me and Saryuu a lot, though.
Mikoto-san was going around the tree and was looking at it with an expression that showed a great interest or questioning expression. It seemed that she was confirming something.
“T-thank you very much, Mikoto-sama… what are you doing?”
[…Hmm. Jigen is also looking over at it, so it should be all right.] “Ah, could it be about the evil spirits?”
Jigen-san is looking over, and Mikoto-san saying that it should be all right—in other words, it’s related to the evil spirits, right?
I wonder if there was something inserted into this tree? I tried to look at the tree as well.
Well, for the time being, Saryuu and the others looked all right, and if Mikoto-san also said that, then there shouldn’t be any particular problem, right?
“Saryuu, wouldn’t it be better for you to return to your room now? You’re actually tired, aren’t you?”
“Ahaha, have I been exposed, Ane-sama?”
“No, I mean, you look very exhausted.”
At least, the younger brother who’s right in front of me is looking at me with his usual and normal gaze.
- Origami: the art of folding papers to form something. ↩