Guess I hold my monthly quota for now. Enjoy!
“Alisa. Sorry, but could I get you to make another cup?”
Bowing respectfully, Alisa went to prepare some more tea. After seeing her off, Lilia once again returned her gaze to the trio.
In truth, Lilia herself knew of the fact that she was overdoing it. By all means, Sakura would probably be cautioning her as well at this point. However, this case was simply unforgivable. If they came here under her brother’s orders, then there was also a chance that they’d never gotten in touch with her father. In that case it wouldn’t be surprising for them to not know that Lilia had received Alisa as her own maid. Nonetheless, that didn’t matter a single bit to Lilia. If the ones who’s very job was to seek out information neglected to find out about such a thing, then it was no excuse to her.
—I-is it over? It’s over right?
—Yes. Come to think of it you were pretty silent.
—Yeah… Cause it was scary… I could tell that you were angry for real, so I kept quiet
—Ahh, I see. Sorry, that must have startled you.
She gave a gentle apology. Seeing that, Sakura seemed to convey a sense of surprise.
—Well, okay. I think it’s fine. It really shows just how much you value Alisa after all. It’s a good development, so I won’t say anything more.
—I see. Thanks.
—Though this was going a bit overboard.
—Right, yes… I’ll reflect on it.
Calming herself down, she slowly drew in a breath and let it out. In that interval, no one spoke a word. The space was dominated by a heavy silence. Lilia once again gazed at the three. The two men were able to receive her gaze, but the girl was clearly frightened as she averted her eyes.
The younger man noticed that, and sent her a sidelong glare. The girl was startled and her body once again began to tremble, as she apologised and hung her head on the spot.
—This is, from her being frightened by me? Did I do something?
—Anyone would be scared by that gaze of yours, have some self awareness.
—I haven’t really gotten angry at her yet though.
—Seeing your anger at all is more than enough!
I suppose that’s how it is, thought Lilia. Lilia made her best effort at putting on a smile, and looked to the girl. The girl’s trembling worsened.
—I didn’t think she was this scared of me.
—Yup. How about we give up on reconciling and just talk about their work or something?
—I suppose so.
Lilia let out a clear small sigh, and turned to the old man. The girl’s face had become completely pale, but whatever. The younger man let out a disappointed sigh at the girl.
“I wonder if it is alright for me to give you guys work to do as well?”
Not expecting such a thing to come from Lilia’s mouth, the old man’s eyes widened. Though perhaps as expected of an agent he wiped the expression from his face in an instant.
“Master Claus had ordered us to provide aid to Mistress Lilia. Please order us as you wish.”
“I see. Then I’ll have you do some background checks on a few people.”
“Background checks, is it. Of whom shall it be?”
“For now, do everyone in my class. Ahh, of course His Highness is an exception. Also, do one for a boy named Ray who often studies in the library.”
Probably astonished at the number of people, this time it was the younger man who’s face was tinged with a slight frown. Though as expected this one also quickly erased his reaction.
“That is a fair amount of people and thus would certainly require some time, if that is acceptable?”
“Yes. Let’s have regularly… Let’s see, come give a report once a day. This girl can do it.”
The one Lilia pointed to with her finger was the girl who’d been frightened this entire time. The girl’s expression became as if she had seen the end of the world, but Lilia wasn’t going to try to change her opinion at this point.
“Are there any problems?”
“Nay, no problems at all. Your orders have been received.”
She had intended to ask the girl, but it was the old man who replied. Lilia looked down with slight disappointment, then quickly shook her head. Coming back to herself, she continued.
“I’ll be leaving it to you.”
The three gave a firm nod, and returned into the hole in the ceiling. Seeing them off, Lilia gave a small sigh.
—By the way Sakura. Is there still anyone around? Or has everyone gone?
—Of course there’s at least one person still remaining. They’ve got to have a guard for you around after all.
—It’s fine even if they didn’t. I’ve never heard of anyone getting attacked inside the academy.
—Lilia. There’s more to it than just what’s seen on the surface.
Lilia made a slight frown. The way Sakura spoke, it was as if something really had happened in the past.
—There are reckless ones out there as well you know.
Sakura gave a cheerful laugh.
“Mistress Lilia. A guest.”
After the three spies left, Lilia was studying in her bedroom when Alisa called out to her. Having an idea as to who the visitor was, Lilia smiled wryly as she rose from her chair. When she got to the door, as expected, there stood Tina.
“Good evening, Lilia. Wanna, go for some dinner? Ah, here.”
Lilia ended up reflexively receiving the small paper box Tina presented. Taking a look, there were a few baked sweets inside.
“Thanks for inviting me. What is this?”
“It’s dorayaki. You don’t know of it?”
“I’ve heard of it, but it’s the first time I’m seeing the actual thing…”
She grabbed one to give it a try. It still had a faint warmth. It seems it was freshly bought. Lilia timidly took a bite.
—It’s dorayaki! I can’t believe they have them here as well! Maybe there are others too?
—Others? There are more things like this?
—There are! There are lots! Like taiyaki or daifuku!
Taking a not insignificant interest in it, Lilia looked at Tina. Tina was sporting a joyous, full faced smile.
Even now the three agents’ names still haven’t been revealed. What should we do…
Though I’m sure many of you are probably already acquainted with these Japanese snacks, I might as well put some food pictures here now that I have the chance.
Dorayaki is a Japanese treat that’s basically some red bean paste (or other filling) jammed between two castella cakes. Also famous as Doraemon’s favourite food or something, and you can probably guess why.
Taiyaki is a well known Japanese treat that’s basically batter fried in the shape of a fish with red bean paste (or other fillings) inside. Commonly seen in anime and whatnot.
Daifuku is mochi stuffed with sweet red bean paste (or other filling, duh) and can come in a variety of colours.