Schizophrenia – Chapter 44

“That’s you, Miss Lilia…right?”

—Sakura! What should I do?! He’s trying to confirm my identity, so I should run away, right?!

—Alright. When you start panicking, the first thing you need to do is calm down, right? So, umm, Lilia. If you make a run for it, he’s only going to think that he’s right.

—So what should I do then?!

Lilia was completely overtaken by panic. If it came out that a Duke’s Daughter was shopping around here, she could only imagine how much trouble it would cause her family. She wasn’t concerned about what total strangers would think of her shopping exploits, but she was a little worried about how her family might react.

—Lilia, calm down. Okay, now take a deep breath.

Just as Sakura said, Lilia took a deep breath. Ray was looking on with some confusion, but Lilia put that out of her mind.

—Calm down, Lilia. Ray still thinks that you’re just “Miss Lilia”, not the Duke’s Daughter, Lilianne Aldis. So, don’t start panicking just yet.

Oh right, Lilia thought to herself when Sakura reminded her of that fact. She had her doubts as to whether that really was the case, but right now, it seemed all Ray really knew was that Lilia was a part of the upper nobility. Lilia felt palpable relief when she realised the situation was still salvageable, and having calmed down somewhat, asked Sakura what she should do next.

—Instead of awkwardly trying to trick him, how about trying to win him over? Ray is sharp, so I think he knew it was you just by seeing how you were dressed.

—Alright… Got it.

Lilia turned to face Ray, and cleared her throat to try to calm herself down. As if in response, Ray straightened his back. Lilia wondered why he was reacting like that, but decided not to dwell on it and responded to his question.

“You have sharp eyes, Ray.”

“Ah-ha! Just as I thought, it was you, Miss Lilia! I didn’t expect to meet you around here, so you caught me off-guard!”

A giant smile began to take shape on Ray’s face. It seemed he was happy to see Lilia, and those genuine feelings were clearly showing on his face. To think that up until a moment ago, she was considering the possibility of trying to deceive Ray… Lilia felt a small sense of guilt for thinking such thoughts.

“Still, I really was surprised to see you here. You’re an upper noble, right, Miss Lilia? So I assumed I wouldn’t see you visiting these sorts of places.”

Likely overhearing the words ‘upper noble’, the people in her immediate vicinity bristled in surprise and turned toward Ray. And of course, they also looked to the person he was talking to, Lilia. As her expression stiffened, Sakura’s next instruction arrived.

Get both of yourselves out of here right now, she said.

Lilia nodded immediately, walked over to where Ray was, and took his hand. She ignored his surprised expression, and walked out at a brisk pace.

And like that, they had left the store, and walked into a dark, narrow alley. And then, Lilia sighed.

“U-umm…”

Ray’s voice brought her back to her senses. Come to think of it, she had just grabbed his hand without saying a word and dragged him over here… When she turned around to apologise, Ray was the one hanging his head apologetically.

“I’m sorry…you were trying to hide your status, weren’t you…”

His words surprised her. He seemed to have completely grasped the reason for Lilia’s actions. It seemed he really was quite perceptive. At the very least, if Ray had done to Lilia what she had just done to him, she probably wouldn’t be able to remain calm or hold back her displeasure.

—Actually, I think it’s rude to Ray to compare yourself to him.

—Though I think what you just said was blatantly rude to me.

—You’re imagining things.

Sakura laughed cheerfully, while Lilia could only sigh. She brought her attention back to Ray. He stared nervously back at Lilia.

“You’d do well to be more careful from now on.”

Lilia’s words came out somewhat harsher than she intended, but she caught Ray muttering that was close in relief, and he smiled again.

“What did you come here to do, Mistress Lilia?”

Ray’s question left Lilia unable to respond. Ray was tilting his head in curiosity, and while he didn’t seem to have any ill intentions in asking her that, Lilia was still hesitant as to whether she should give him an honest answer.

—It should be okay to answer truthfully. This boy is someone you should be able to trust, probably.

Heeding Sakura’s advice, Lilia began to answer Ray’s question.

“A little while ago, I received some sweets from an acquaintance. They were called ‘Doriyaki’…have you heard of them?”

“I have! They’re delicious, aren’t they? I like them too.”

For some reason, Ray’s smile was practically gleaming. So gleaming, Lilia couldn’t look him in the eyes, and ended up turning away.

—Such a pure and honest smile, with not a shred of malice… it’s simply too much for our tainted hearts to bear to look at, isn’t it?

–I don’t want to call my heart ’tainted’…

Although having said that, Lilia honestly couldn’t deny it, either.

“Ah, now it makes sense! You came here to buy some more yourself. Because you wanted to eat more of them. I wouldn’t have thought you would have such a big appetite, Mistress…”

Something suddenly welled up inside of Lilia, and she grabbed hold of Ray’s head tightly with her right hand. Ray was completely frozen. With a frightening smile on her face, Lilia spoke to Ray.

“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. What was it you were trying to say?”

“Um, I mean… i-it’s something you’d want to taste again, right! I understand that feeling well!”

Ahaha, Ray laughed with a stiff expression. Ohoho, Lilia laughed with a hollow smile.

—You’re scary, you know that?

—Quiet, you. Who’s fault do you think this is? If I’m not mistaken, you’re the one with the ‘big appetite’, are you not?

—Uguu… I can’t deny that…

Lilia was satisfied with Sakura’s silence, and then she released Ray’s head from her grip. Now free to move, Ray took two, then three steps back, and stared fixedly at Lilia cautiously. He looked like he was tearing up a little.
Maybe I went a bit too far…

“I’m sorry about that. But Ray, you would do well to remember that there are things you should and should not say to a woman.”

—That might be true, but I think you’re the only one who would get this angry, Lilia…

—You don’t seem to be reflecting on your actions at all…

—Hii! I’m sorry!

Lilia furrowed her brows without thinking, and Ray quickly lowered his head, likely thinking it was directed at him. And while Lilia was still reeling from surprise, he said this.

“I’m sorry! It’s just as you said, those weren’t words I should have said to a woman. I’ll be more careful next time.”

“Y-Yes… As long as you understand. Mm…”

—I feel sorry for Ray. This is going to become a traumatic memory for him, you know.

—………

—I’m sorry.


Author’s Note:

W-wow, the page views have really shot up.

And the number of bookmarks, too.

What is this why is this how did all of this happen!

This makes me really happy, but to be honest, I’m also scared. *trembling in fear*

I’ll work harder so I don’t betray all of your expectations.


Sakura

Lilia


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Schizophrenia – Chapter 43

So, it’s been a while… It turns out there were a few chapters that hadn’t been released yet, so I thought I’d release them over the next few days. But this series is still on hiatus, so after these chapters have been released, there won’t be any more chapters – at least for a while.


Lilia left Tina’s room and started heading back to her own room. She entered her bedroom and collapsed at her desk.

After that, Tina and Sera continued to sing Lilia’s praises. She really didn’t know if she’d actually done anything to warrant that level of praise. At first, she was embarrassed, but by the end, she could only be shocked.

In the end, Lilia didn’t end up saying much, and she excused herself from Tina’s room along with Sera. She felt like they wasted a lot of time there, but it was good that Sera had managed to make a good impression on Tina. She remained unconvinced whether that was due to the mysterious praise that they had piled on Lilia.

—On the way there, it wasn’t clear whether she had made any progress, but…it seems it’s fine like this, Sakura.

—Yup. It’s perfect. Good job this week, Lilia.

—Good work this week too, Sakura. Ahh, I’m really tired. Especially toward the end, a wave of tiredness swept over me all at once…

—Ahaha. Well, it’s certainly better than being hated. I think it’s fine if it continues like this.

She said that so easily, but Lilia wondered whether Sakura really knew the depths of her worries. Though even if she brought attention to it, there was nothing to be done about it, so she didn’t say anything.

—Now then, tomorrow marks start of your much-awaited weekend! The weekend’s for self-study! Let’s go out somewhere!

—Do you understand what the words ‘self-study’ mean?

While she was surprised, the fact is that Lilia did actually have plans to go out tomorrow, so she wasn’t saying that seriously. They’d already decided beforehand to go out. Because of the evening party last week, they didn’t have much of an opportunity to tour the south side of town. This time, Lilia had sought out Alisa’s assistance beforehand. She wasn’t particularly opposed to the idea, so agreed to assist Lilia.

After all, it’s not as if I would be welcome there, Lilia thought with a bitter smile and some resignation.

—Let’s take our time going around to all of the different stores. Also, Lilia, I want to eat some strawberry daifuku.

—I’m the one doing the eating, though…

While she was talking like that with Sakura, internally, Lilia’s excitement for tomorrow grew.

The Next Day. Lilia left her room with Alisa, and went to the same room where she had changed her clothes the last time. She changed quickly, and was seen out by Alisa as she headed out the front gate. In much the same way as last time, she was seen off with a smile and the words, “have a safe trip.”

—Let’s try going a little further today.

—I’m fine with that, but remember the route we take. I’ll be busy eating.

—You’re turning defiant, huh. But roger that! Leave the route to me, and eat delicious food in my place!

Like that, Sakura and Lilia began walking around the town. When she found something that looked tasty, she bought it and ate it. It wasn’t as if she had decided on a different route this time; she simply ate anything that caught her eye. By the time she’d visited the fifth store, Lilia had completely forgotten the way back. But she had left that up to Sakura, so it was probably fine.

—Haaa, the last one was gross, but this is delicious~ I’m so happy…

Lilia was starting to get a little, or rather, very worried, but it should be okay.

After that, Lilia went around to whatever shop took her fancy and ate as she walked. They decided to commit to memory all the shops that Sakura and Lilia both thought were delicious. There were many flavours and types of food that Lilia hadn’t even known about before, so the experience was very fresh.

Before she knew it, it was the afternoon. Thinking it about time to head back to the school, she changed direction, and—

—Lilia, stop!

Sakura’s voice echoed in her head. Frowning a little, Lilia quickly checked her immediate surroundings. Could someone that knows me be here, she thought, but the only person she knew that would come to this place would be Tina or her friends.

—Is there someone here?

—Yep. I was a little surprised.

That vague response had Lilia frowning, so just in case, she headed inside a nearby store. Watching the people that passed by the store, Lilia caught sight of somebody she knew. A boy surrounded by a throng of soldiers.

“Your Highness!”

She heard a surprised and delighted voice come from somewhere around her. The one person that Lilia was least happy to see was here. Her expression instinctively stiffened and she fled further into the store.

—Why has the Prince come here, of all places…

—I know, right? I was surprised too. He’s the person I least expected to come here… But, actually, it might be precisely because he’s the prince that he’s here.

—For what reason?

—As part of an inspection or something, maybe? I don’t really know that much about what the royal family does, so I can’t really draw a solid conclusion one way or the other.

I see, Lilia nodded. Certainly, Lilia had also heard of the prince making the rounds of various establishments as part of his inspections. She hadn’t been there to see it before, but she wouldn’t have thought he would be so heavily guarded.

—Yup. This is starting to get a bit too dangerous.

So Sakura seemed to be thinking the same thing as me, though she was speaking in a strange tone of voice.

Lilia continued to watch them for a while, and a soldier came running from somewhere. He reported something to the swarm of soldiers, the prince included. Hearing that, the group changed course. They walked into the store directly opposite the one Lilia was currently in. Breathing a sigh of relief, she bought one small baked sweet and went back outside.

—They seem to be searching for something, or someone, huh.

—And the prince himself came along to join the search? No matter how important it might be, that…

wouldn’t happen, Lilia wanted to say, but it was that prince they were talking about. If it was something important to him, it isn’t strange at all to consider him going to search for it himself. Lilia didn’t know what it was, but that piqued her interest just a little. But that was it. She didn’t want to get involved.

—Let’s forget about that and pick up where we left off!

—You’re right. Let’s go back to touring the town. Now, where should we…

“Miss Lilia?”

Lilia stopped moving in an instant. No way, Sakura said, at a complete loss for words. Lilia slowly turned to look over her shoulder, where the voice had come from.

Ray was standing there.


Author’s Note:

※※※Fanclub Meeting In Progress※※※

TinaTina: “Lilia! Our members have increased!”
Alisa_50x50Alisa: “Naturally, I too have become a member. Please treat me well.”
justLilia_50x50_facingrightLilia: “Just do your job.”
justSakura_50x50Sakura: (Aha, haha, hihi…! My stomach hurts…!)

The Fanclub meeting was peaceful today as well.

It took me by surprise how this series quietly climbed the daily rankings.

It made me really happy, so I scrambled to write as much as I could during my morning break.


Sakura

Lilia


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DEBT GIRL – April Fools 2020

The Tenth Chapter – Two People and Tea

Figured that since it’s been a year, I’d do another chapter of this. I’m aware that someone else is doing translations, and you’re all free to read those to keep up with it. I’m just doing my own thing. Anyway, here’s another chapter.


Today was the long awaited visit to Agnes’.

As usual, she had come out of her way to meet him at the stop.

“Over here, Lord Bernard!”

Agnes, I’m here!”

He passed through the crowd, pushing through some passers-by before trotting over to her.

“I do apologize for imposing on you right before your promotion.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ve been waiting to see you.”

She grinned at him, and he couldn’t help but smile in return.

Agnes had her fringe pinned up today. Bernard was shocked. They were heading to the ball, was this a challenge to the Queen!?

“Your forehead is out on display today,” Bernard noted.

“Mm. My fringe had been getting a little too long. I thought I’d pin it up today.”

“It looks cute.” Bernard casually played with Agnes’ hair, paying special attention to the curls.

The throne of belonged to Agnes alone – something she wished to prove.

The weather was pleasantly sunny, and the two chatted as they enjoyed a stroll back to Agnes’.

“It feels like quite some time has passed since we’ve just had a chat like this,” Bernard realised.

“It does, doesn’t it? We had the party the other day, too.”

While Bernard had caught a few glimpses of her during the evening party, with all the other people around, he hadn’t had a chance to just be himself and spend time with her.

“How did you find the party to be?” I asked.

“It was very fun!”

Her eyes lit up as she began telling him about how she just had to see the new fixture, about how she saw a pretty tabby cat, about how exciting it was to behold the mysteries of the miracle stone, and other similar stories. One by one she enthusiastically went through her impressions of articles on displays during the party.

Come to think of it, he had spotted her there with Jijil.

“You know, I think I do recall catching sight of you and Jijil” I noted.

“Yeah, we went together,” she said. “Miss Jijil told me she’d seen them before, so it was a great help to have her describe them to me.”

“Good for you.”

“Yeah. And the desserts there were delicious… I was surprised by the majestic display.”

Yes, the desserts he had prepared specially for Agnes.

“Jijil showed you all the foods too, no?”

“Yes. We didn’t just try the foods I wanted to try. Jijil introduced me to a whole lot of other food too.”

He watched her happily count on her fingers as she told her about each of the delicious sweets.

So in the capital city, they should visit dessert stores together?

…This was shaping up to be quite a trip for Bernard and Agnes, wasn’t it?

Spending their free time together―it was quite a romantic outing. Bernard approved.

There were already rumors about Bernard and Agnes being together, but anything scandalous in those rumors, this would top it.

Bernard, hold yourself back, he thought. She’s your precious person.

But he couldn’t help it. He felt very possessive of this spark of joy in his life, and his heart beat too much for him to control.

It sounded so nice. They were going on a trip anyway, and he wanted to make nice memories.

He wanted to go to a cake shop with her now… So why did he have to wait a full month? They were right within reach, so why?

His dark heart swirled with gloom.

“…”

“Hmm? Is something wrong, Lord Bernard?”

“Eh? What do you mean?”

“Ah, well, you were just frowning really hard just now. And uh, your expression was a bit…”

Oh no. Did all that show in his expression?

“I apologize. I was trying not to sneeze.”

Agnes took out a handkerchief from my bag and offered it to me.

“Ah, is that what happened? I guess that does happen. Are you okay?”

Agnes was showing genuine concern over his half-baked excuse.

Bernard apologised to her in his head and reflected. Wasn’t being a lover about being able to appreciate each other’s happiness like their own? He apologized to Agnes in his heart.

“I’m fine. Continue? It seems like you’ve had quite a bit of fun with all that planning.”

“Yes! I actually did quite a bit of research, but Jijil just knew so many places that weren’t even in there,” she said.

“Ohh.”

Given how many times she’d been to town, she knew where all the good shops were. Jijil really did make the perfect guide.

“I see. That was nice of her.”

“Did you go anywhere else?” he asked.

He was worried about her safety. Still, he wondered if they should be more adventurous.

“The atmosphere and the products were completely different from the high-society fare I was accustomed to,” she marvelled.

“Really? That does sound interesting,” he said.

“Yes, it really was!” she nodded.

Bernard took a gulp of tea to try to think of something else.

“Lord Bernard, would you like some more tea?”

“If you would.”

His mouth could still taste the sweetness.

His weakness, sweet tea. It helped his brain spin.

It was black tea, and he’d heard that the people in the neighboring put jam in theirs, so he considered trying it as a variation?

The moment he picked up the jam, though, everyone around him started looking at him.

For another day, he supposed.

The password for the next chapter is “Agnes”.


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Debt Girl – 10

The Tenth Chapter – As a Knight

April Fools. This is the actual chapter 10. I’ve had interest in continuing this but life is a bitch and being busy means no motivation. I’ll see what I can do in the future, but that’s something nobody knows. In the meantime, you guys can read whatever translations are coming out now, while I try to catch up and eventually redo the old chapters. Cheers.


The ringing bell signaled the lunch break, and with that, the practice exercise was put on hold.
Bernard spoke to Lazarre, saying that he wanted to talk to him before lunch. The two of them headed to Lazarre’s office.

“So, what did you want to tell me?”
“What I wanted to tell you was…”

From his bag, Bernard produced the documents he received from Ernesto, as well as the leather bag of gold.

“What’s this?”
“A request from Ernesto Barthelemon, a member of the second prince’s bodyguards.”

Lazarre received it with a suspicious look. His brows furrowed as he started reading the contents of the paper.

“What in the world is this guy trying to pull?
“Dunno.”

This was the first time Bernard had seen the ever-calm Lazarre be irritated. That said, he wasn’t really surprised by the reaction.

“I can’t believe he’d try to take in the daughter of the Le Verges family as a mistress. Does he not have the chivalry to take her in as his wife?”
“Yep, it’s unbelievable.”

It wasn’t that the taking in of mistresses by nobles was unheard of. However, in the view of Lazarre, who was brought up in an austere household, it was an act deserving of the highest scorn. Of course, Bernard thought much the same.

“If I knew it was going to come to this, I should’ve given her my support earlier.”
“There’s not much we can do at this point.”

Agnes’ father had incurred the wrath of the king. If one were to rescue his daughter, their standing in high society would plummet.

“So, what should we do?”
“I’m going to go hear what this Barthelemon guy has to say myself. Orlellian, are you going to come with me?”
“No sir, I’ll pass.”

He didn’t state that his reason for not going was because, whenever he heard Barthelemon talk, he wanted to punch him mid-sentence.

“Then, I’ll be heading out.”
“Hey, captain.”
“What is it?”
“Why don’t you head out after lunch?”
“No, I’m heading there now. …I’m not a very patient man.”
“That’s true.”

Not trying to hold him back any longer, Bernard watched as Lazarre left. All he could do now was pray that things wouldn’t go further south.

Wrapping up his day after finishing his afternoon exercises, Bernard headed to the office.
On top of the desk was a memo from Lazarre, saying he left early. While thinking that this was an unusual occurrence, Bernard put the memo in the box of unimportant matters.
Since all of the office work had been taken care already, Bernard decided to go home himself.

Repair work on the mansion had started, and materials were brought in through the front garden. As work had ended for the day, a cloth was covered the materials.

When he entered the house, Jijil greeted him.

“Welcome back, Master.”
“Yeah.”
“Good work today.”
“I guess.”

After asking her to prepare the bath and undressing his top before handing it over to her, Bernard headed to his room.

“Oh, right. Master.”
“What is it?”
“Miss Agnes said she wanted to speak with you.”
“Has she gotten over her cold?”
“Yes.”

That being the case, Bernard ordered Jijil to send Agnes over to him.

Sitting down on a long couch in the room, he let out a loud sigh. He was relieved that he was finally in a situation where he could listen to her side of the story.

A few minutes later, Agnes arrived. Hearing her light taps on the door, he ordered her to come in.

Agnes was wearing a one piece dress that appeared to have been brought with her from her house.
After being offered a chair, Agnes bowed her head deeply before picking a seat opposite Bernard, this time around.

“I am very thankful that you took time out of your busy day to-“
“There’s no need for formalities. So, what did you want to talk about?”
“Ah, right. I wished… you… thanks.”

Right after she started to talk, a banging noise came from the door. Jijil arrived with some tea.

“Mrs. Jijil, I’ll take care of the tea.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. Please leave it to me.”

Agnes received the silver tray.
Shocked by Agnes’ swaying upon receiving the tray, Jijil immediately propped up the bottom of the tray.

“Hey, are you okay?!”
“Yes, I’m… fine.”

On top of the silver tray were a pot full of black tea, cups, saucers, little jars of sugar and milk, and a plate of cookies, nothing more. She was swaying from holding merely that.
Bernard watched in amazement as he thought about how weak of a woman she was.

“Miss Agnes, Master Bernard drinks his tea with one cup of milk and three cubes of sugar.”
“Understood.”

Having the fact that he had a sweet tooth be revealed, Bernard became embarrassed.

While he turned his face away in embarrassment, his desk was completely set.

Agnes poured tea into the cup with a very serious expression.
After that, she put in the milk and sugar. All the while, she squinted her eyes while looking at the small jars.

That expression was exactly the same as the one Bernard had seen in the evening party five years ago.

“Y-You!!”
“Eh?!”

Banging his hand on his desk, Bernard stood straight up.
Surprised, Agnes dropped the jar she was holding in her hand.

Fortunately, it was the jar of sugar, and the contents just spilled out onto the plate of cookies.
As for the situation at hand, Agnes narrowed her eyes and looked down. It was a harsh expression, similar to that of scorn.
The target of the expression was not Bernard, but that of the sugar scattered about the desk.
After confirming that all of the sugar had spilled out, she lowered her brows and looked up at Bernard with an apologetic look.

“I-I’m sorry.”
“…That’s nothing to worry about. Answer my question.”
“E-Eh?”

There was only one reason she would squint while holding items up to her eyes.
He asked her nervously.

“Does your eyesight… happen to be bad?”

Agnes opened her eyes wide. Lowering her head slowly, she nodded.

With a thump, Bernard leaned back onto his couch. That was the moment that speech, her actions, and her conduct all made sense.

Agnes had not looked down upon Bernard with contempt.
He realized that she was just trying to look at the face of someone far away.

The misunderstanding of many years was finally resolved.

“I am really sorry. I had intended to speak about it at some point but…”
“No, it’s fine.”

The reason had come to light, but his brain had yet to comprehend the situation.
Because of his own misunderstanding, he had employed Agnes as a servant and had gone and done something outrageous. He became deeply troubled.

Regret washed over him as he thought more and more that he really should have just handed her over to Lazarre.

Seeing Bernard’s face contorted in distress, Agnes did the unthinkable.
Getting up all of a sudden from her seat opposite Bernard, she came around in front of Bernard, and kneeled in front of him.

“Sir Orlellian.”

Putting both of her hands on her chest, she entreatingly appealed to Bernard.

“I beg you. Please let me remain here.”
“Huh?!”
“I do admit that my eyesight is not very good, and I am not accustomed to a servant’s duties at all. However, I will do my best!”
“No, even if you say that…”
“I wish to repay the favor that Sir Orlellian extended to me. O-On top of that, I have nowhere else to go…”

Asserting this in a quivering voice, tears started flowing down Agnes’ face. Bernard thought that now, he was the villain.

Though he wondered what he should do, the answer stayed out of his reach.

“…Let me think about it for the time being.”
“Yes. I apologize for stating my selfish desires.”

Thinking there was no need to give a quick response, he deferred his response by an hour.

Carrying the tray, Agnes gave one bow before leaving the room.
Bernard simply continued to stare at the closed door.

◇◇◇

Without having come up with an answer, it was already a new day.
As usual, he got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed to work.

The first matter he attended to was having a talk with Lazarre.
When he opened the door, he spotted Lazarre, elbows on desk, his hands supporting his jaw, grim expression on his face.

The atmosphere wasn’t one where he felt comfortable asking what happened the previous day. But, after confirming it was Bernard who had entered the office, Lazarre started talking on his own.

“Morning.”
“Good Morning.”
“It was a bit soon, but I went and listened to Ernesto Barthelemon’s story yesterday.”
“Yes sir.”
“I had to accept his request to search of Agnes Le Verges.”
“Eh?!”

Because he had expected Lazarre to reject the request, Bernard was shocked.
Wondering what could have happened, he waited for Lazarre to continue his story.

“If I had to describe Barthelemon in one phrase, I’d say he’s a low-life bastard.”
“I… agree completely.”

Lazarre had understood everything about the person, Ernesto. But then, why did he take the request? The mystery intensified.

First of all, Lazarre had wanted to know why the request had been made to the “Third Special Assault Force” that he led. The response was quite shocking.

“That bastard called our battalion a group that wastes time doing practice exercises.”
“…That’s awful.”

He had said that he had taken it upon himself to pick Lazarre’s small group out of the assortment of bigger special assault force groups.

“He said that, in a way, it’s because he’s afraid of being found out by the king.”
“Seems like it.”
“It seems that he hasn’t made a request to any group other than ours yet. Obviously, it’s forbidden to use one’s money to use knights for one’s motives. But, if we rejected his request, Barthelemon would obviously go to another battalion.”
“Did you take this request for the purpose of not searching for Agnes Le Verges?”
“That’s right.”

The aim was to pretend to take the request, while not actually searching for her and ultimately ignoring the request.
He was relieved that Lazarre hadn’t been swayed by money and the chance for prestige, but he quickly realized another problem.

“What if this request is discovered by the higher-ups?”
“At best, I’ll get demoted. At worst, I’d lose the right to be a knight.”
“What?!”

Bernard pointed out that if Lazarre reported the money and paper to the higher-ups, it’d be over for Ernesto Barthelemon.

“You’re right. The rotten knight would be gone, and peace would return to the bodyguards. But what would happen to Agnes Le Verges’ honor?”
“That’s…”

If the second son of a Marquis were to be put on special trial, it’d be a matter of time until the reason was divulged.
If that happened, Agnes would be greeted as a mistress, and the rumor that she was to be locked in a basement would be spread in a moment. That is what Lazarre predicted.

“I cannot save her. That’s why, I at least want to defend her honor…”

Incredulous, Bernard listened to Lazarre’s speech, and put into words his biggest question.

“Captain, why would you go that far for some random stranger?”
“That’s we should do as a knight, isn’t it?”
“!”

– Save the weak, hold honor in high esteem, and vanquish evil.

The image of a knight weighed heavily upon his mind.

Violently striking his chest, Bernard suppressed his pounding heart.


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 236 – Interlude

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Interlude: Timeskip

The ringing bell signalled the lunch break, and with that, the training drill was put on hold.

Wakaba spoke to Arima, saying that she wanted to talk to him before lunch. The two of them headed to the Senior Commissioner’s office.

“So, what did you want to tell me?”

“What I wanted to tell you was…”

From her bag, Wakaba produced the documents she received from Haru, as well as the leather briefcase of notes.

“What’s this?”

“A request from Haru Katsuragi, one of the Enjou Group’s lackeys.”

Arima received it with a suspicious look. His brows furrowed as he started reading the contents of the paper.

“What in the world is this guy trying to pull?

“Dunno.”

This was the first time Wakaba had seen the ever-calm Arima be irritated. That said, she wasn’t really surprised by the reaction.

“I can’t believe he’d try to take in the daughter of the Kisshouin family as a mistress. Does he not have the chivalry to take her in as his wife?”

“Yep, it’s unbelievable.”

It wasn’t that the taking in of mistresses by nobles was unheard of. However, in the view of Arima, who was brought up in an austere household, it was an act deserving of the highest scorn. Of course, Wakaba thought much the same.

“If I knew it was going to come to this, I should’ve given her my support earlier.”

“There’s not much we can do at this point.”

Reika’s father had incurred the wrath of the “Business Emperor”. If one were to rescue his daughter, their standing in high society would plummet.

“So, what should we do?”

“I’m going to go hear what this Katsuragi guy has to say myself. Takamichi, are you going to come with me?”

“No sir, I’ll pass.”

She didn’t state that her reason for not going was because, whenever she heard Katsuragi talk, she wanted to punch him mid-sentence.

“Then, I’ll be heading out.”

“Senior Commissioner.”

“What is it?”

“Why don’t you head out after lunch?”

“No, I’m heading there now. …I’m not a very patient man.”

“That’s true.”

Not trying to hold him back any longer, Wakaba watched as Arima left. All she could do now was pray that things wouldn’t go further south.

Wrapping up her day after finishing her afternoon exercises, Wakaba headed to the office.

On top of the desk was a memo from Arima, saying he left early. While thinking that this was an unusual occurrence, Wakaba put the memo in the box of unimportant matters.

Since all of the office work had been taken care already, Wakaba decided to go home herself.

Repair work on the bakery had started, and materials were brought in through the front garden. As work had ended for the day, a cloth was covering the materials.

When she entered the house section behind their storefront, Nacchan greeted her.

“Welcome back, Oneechan.”

“Yeah.”

“Long day today?”

“I guess.”

After asking her to prepare the bath and taking off her jacket before throwing it over the couch, Wakaba headed to her room.

“Oh, yeah, Oneechan.”

“What is it?”

“Miss Reika said she wanted to speak with you.”

“Has she gotten over her cold?”

“Yes.”

That being the case, Wakaba asked Nacchan to send Reika over to her.

Sitting down on her bed, she let out a loud sigh. She was relieved that she was finally in a situation where she could listen to Reika’s side of the story.

A few minutes later, Reika arrived. Hearing her light taps on the door, she invited her to come in.

Reika was wearing a one-piece dress that appeared to have been brought with her from her house.

After being offered a chair, Reika bowed her head deeply before picking a seat opposite Wakaba, this time around.

“I am very thankful that you took time out of your busy day to-“

“There’s no need for formalities. So, what did you want to talk about?”

“Ah, right. I wished… you… thanks.”

Right after she started to talk, a banging noise came from the door. Nacchan arrived with some tea.

“Ms.  Natsuki, I’ll take care of the tea.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. Please leave it to me.”

Reika received the silver tray.

Shocked by Reika’s swaying upon receiving the tray, Nacchan immediately propped up the bottom of the tray.

“Hey, are you okay?!”

“Yes, I’m… fine.”

On top of the silver tray were a pot full of black tea, cups, saucers, little jars of sugar and milk, and a plate of cookies, nothing more. She was swaying from holding merely that.

Wakaba watched in amazement as she thought about how weak of a woman she was.

“Miss Reika, Wakaba-neechan drinks her tea with one cup of milk and three cubes of sugar.”

“Understood.”

Having the fact that she had a sweet tooth be revealed, Wakaba became embarrassed. As the daughter of a bakery, she was supposed to be the master of sweets, not the other way around.

While she turned her face away in embarrassment, her desk was completely set.

Reika poured tea into the cup with a very serious expression.

After that, she put in the milk and sugar. All the while, she squinted her eyes while looking at the small jars.

Basically, gyuuhi are a type of traditional Japanese sweet, like a really soft mochi, made of glutinous rice dough mixed with something sweet like syrup or sugar. (Gyuuhi also refers to the squishy and delicate glutinous rice dough ingredient used in these types of mochi, but that’s neither here nor there.)

That expression was exactly the same as the one Wakaba had seen in high school, five years ago.

“Y-You!!”

“Eh?!”

Banging her hand on his desk, Wakaba stood straight up.

Surprised, Reika dropped the jar she was holding in her hand.

Fortunately, it was the jar of sugar, and the contents just spilled out onto the plate of cookies.

As for the situation at hand, Reika narrowed her eyes and looked down. It was a harsh expression, similar to that of scorn.

The target of the expression was not Wakaba, but that of the sugar scattered about the desk.

After confirming that all of the sugar had spilled out, she lowered her brows and looked up at Wakaba with an apologetic look.

“I-I’m sorry.”

“…That’s nothing to worry about. Answer my question.”

“E-Eh?”

There was only one reason she would squint while holding items up to her eyes.

Wakaba asked her nervously.

“Does your eyesight… happen to be bad?”

Reika opened her eyes wide. Lowering her head slowly, she nodded.

With a thump, Wakaba leaned back onto her bed. That was the moment that speech, her actions, and her conduct all made sense.

Reika had not looked down upon Wakaba with contempt.

Wakaba realised that she was just trying to look at the face of someone far away.

The misunderstanding of many years was finally resolved.

“I am really sorry. I had intended to speak about it at some point but…”

“No, it’s fine.”

The reason had come to light, but her brain had yet to comprehend the situation.

Because of her own misunderstanding, she had employed Reika as a servant and had gone and done something outrageous. She became deeply troubled.

Regret washed over her as she thought more and more that she really should have just handed her over to Arima.

Seeing Wakaba’s face contorted in distress, Reika did the unthinkable.

Getting up all of a sudden from her seat opposite Wakaba, she came around in front of Wakaba, and knelt in front of her.

“Ms. Takamichi.”

Putting both of her hands on her chest, she entreatingly appealed to Wakaba.

“I beg you. Please let me remain here.”

“Huh?!”

“I do admit that my eyesight is not very good, and I am not accustomed to a servant’s duties at all. However, I will do my best!”

“No, even if you say that…”

“I wish to repay the favour that you extended to me, Ms. Takamichi. O-On top of that, I have nowhere else to go…”

Asserting this in a quivering voice, tears started flowing down Reika’s face. Wakaba thought that she was the villain now.

Though she wondered what she should do, the answer stayed out of her reach.

“…Let me think about it for the time being.”

“Yes. I apologise for stating my selfish desires.”

Thinking there was no need to give a quick response, she deferred her response by an hour.

Carrying the tray, Reika gave one bow before leaving the room.

Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐) or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of almond milk, agar, and sugar, allegedly eaten in China as far back as 2000 years ago.

Wakaba simply continued to stare at the closed door.

Without having come up with an answer, it was already a new day.

As usual, she got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed to work.

The first matter she attended to was having a talk with Arima.

When she opened the door to his office in the Police Headquarters, she spotted Arima, elbows on desk, his hands supporting his jaw, grim expression on his face.

The atmosphere wasn’t one where she felt comfortable asking what happened the previous day. But, after confirming it was Wakaba who had entered the office, Arima started talking on his own.

“Morning.”

“Good morning.”

“It was a bit soon, but I went and listened to Haru Katsuragi’s story yesterday.”

“Yes sir.”

“I had to accept his request to search for Reika Kisshouin.”

“Eh?!”

Because she had expected Arima to reject the request, Wakaba was shocked.

Wondering what could have happened, she waited for Arima to continue his story.

“If I had to describe Katsuragi in one phrase, I’d say he’s a low-life bastard.”

“I… agree completely.”

Arima had understood everything about the person, Haru. But then, why did he take the request? The mystery intensified.

First of all, Arima had wanted to know why the request had been made to the “National Public Safety Commission” that he led. The response was quite shocking.

“That bastard called our National Police Agency a group that wastes time doing training drills.”

“…That’s awful.”

He had said that he had taken it upon himself to pick Arima’s small group out of the assortment of bigger Special Judicial Police branches.

“He said that, in a way, it’s because he’s afraid of being found out by the Emperor.”

“Seems like it.”

“It seems that he hasn’t made a request to any group other than ours yet. Obviously, it’s forbidden to use one’s money to use knights for one’s motives. But, if we rejected his request, Katsuragi would obviously go to another battalion.”

“Did you take this request for the purpose of not searching for Reika Kisshouin?”

“That’s right.”

The aim was to pretend to take the request, while not actually searching for her and ultimately ignoring the request.

She was relieved that Arima hadn’t been swayed by money and the chance for prestige, but she quickly realised another problem.

“What if this request is discovered by the higher-ups?”

“At best, I’ll get demoted. At worst, I’d lose the right to be a policeman. If that happens, the passcode to the next chapter is ‘harvestdawn’.”

“What?!”

“You can find the link at the very bottom.”

Wakaba pointed out to him that if Arima reported the money and paper to the higher-ups, it’d be over for Haru Katsuragi.

“You’re right. The rotten policeman would be gone, and peace would return to the bodyguards. But what would happen to Reika Kisshouin’s honour?”

“That’s…”

If the heir to the Katsuragi Group were to be put on special trial, it’d be a matter of time until the reason was divulged.

If that happened, Reika would be greeted as a mistress, and the rumour that she was to be locked in a basement would be spread in a moment. That is what Arima predicted.

“I cannot save her. That’s why, I at least want to defend her honour…”

Incredulous, Wakaba listened to Arima’s speech, and put into words her biggest question.

“Sir, why would you go that far for an old enemy?”

“That’s we should do as officers of the law, isn’t it?”

“!”

――Save the weak, hold honour in high esteem, and vanquish evil.

The image of a police officer weighed heavily upon her mind.

Violently striking her chest, Wakaba suppressed her pounding heart. oniichanyamete.moe/2020/04/01/kenkyo-kenjitsu-the-reika-sama-chronicles-236/


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 236

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Today was my long awaited visit to Wakaba-chan’s.

As usual she had come out of her way to meet me at the station.

“Over here, Kisshouin-saaaaan!”

“Wakaba-chan! I’m here!”

I passed through the ticket barriers and trotted over to her.

“I do apologise for imposing on you right before the mid-semesters.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ve been waiting for you to come over again!”

We exchanged a grin.

Wakaba-chan had her fringe pinned up today. Whoa, was this a challenge to the Rococo Queen!?

“Your forehead is out on display today,” I noted.

“Mmn. My fringe has been getting a little long, so I thought I’d pin it up today.”

“It looks cute.” I casually played with my hair to bring attention to the curls.

The Rococo throne belonged to me alone!

The weather was pleasantly sunny today, so we chatted as we enjoyed a stroll back to her house.

“It feels like some time since we’ve just had a chat like this,” I realised.

“It does, doesn’t it? We had the class trip too.”

While I did catch a few glimpses of her on the trip, with all the other people around we hadn’t had a chance to just be ourselves and hang out.

“How did you find the trip?” I asked.

“It was crazy fun!”

Her eyes lit up as she began telling me about how she just had to see the British Museum, about how she saw a cat mummy, about how exciting it was to behold the mysteries of the Rosetta Stone, and other like stories. One by one she enthusiastically went through her impressions of the displays there.

Come to think of it, I had spotted her there with Fellow Stalking Horse.

“You know, I think I do recall catching sight of you and Mizusaki-kun,” I noted.

“Yeah, we went together,” she said. “Mizusaki-kun said he’d been before, so it was a great help to have him guide me.”

“Lucky you.”

“Yeah. And man, the desserts I tried in Paris were delicious… And wow, the tiramisu in Rome! And the gelato from this shop near the Piazza di Spagna!”

Ahh yes, part of the walking tour of Roman desserts with Kaburagi.

“Kaburagi-sama was your guide for Rome, no?”

“Yup. We didn’t just visit the places I wanted to try. Kaburagi-kun introduced me to a whole lot of other places too!” she related.

I watched her happily count on her fingers as she told me about each of the delicious sweets in Paris and Rome.

Hmm. So in Britain, a tour of the British Museum with Fellow Stalking Horse, and in France and Italy a dessert tour with Kaburagi then?

…This was shaping up to be a class trip with quite a few romantic encounters for her, wasn’t it?

Spending your free hours with boys―that was making the most of a co-ed school, right there.

I mean, there were rumours about me having cake or going shopping with Kaburagi and Enjou, but unlike those nonsense rumours Wakaba-chan was living the real thing.

Uuuh, stop it, Reika! She’s your friend! She’s your treasured friend!

But I couldn’t help it! The jealousy, and the envy in my petty little heart were too much for me control!

It sounded so nice! It sounded so nice!

I was already in a co-ed school, so I wanted to make nice memories too.

I wanted to have gelato with a boy, and go sightseeing with him, just like Wakaba-chan…

So why had my high school life turned out like this!?

We were definitely attending the same school, so why!

The dark swamp in the heart of the Forever Alone Village was beginning to stir, from it bubbled a cursed miasma.

“…”

“Hmm? Is something wrong, Kisshouin-san?”

“Eh? What do you mean?”

“Ah, well, you were just frowning really hard just now. And uh, your expression was a bit…”

Crap, did all that show in my expression?

“I’m sorry. I was trying not to sneeze. I think there was some pollen.”

I took out a handkerchief from my bag and made a show of dabbing at my nose.

“Ah, is that what happened? I guess we’re not quite done with that season yet. Are you okay?”

Wakaba-chan was showing genuine concern over my half-baked excuses.

I apologised to her in my head and reflected. Wasn’t being a true friend about being able to celebrate their joys like your own?

Sorry, Wakaba-chan. I’ll purify the swamp in my heart.

“I’m fine. Continue? It seems like you’ve had quite a bit of fun with that sweets tour you were planning.”

“Yeah! You know, I actually did quite a bit of research with a guidebook and all that, but Kaburagi-kun just knew so many places that weren’t even in there,” she said. “He introduced me to so many places. Man, people who are well-travelled are something else, huh~? Every place he took me to was delicious!”

“Ohh.”

Given how many times he’d been to Europe since he was a kid, he knew where all the good shops were. Kaburagi really did make the perfect guide.

“But it wasn’t taking me around. He’d also point out little tidbits, like that this store was in this or that film, or how this chocolatier chain didn’t have a branch in Japan yet.”

“I see. That was nice of him.”

With the library date, and all the time they spent together in the Student Council, it was starting to feel like Kaburagi was losing the lead to Fellow Stalking Horse. But apparently Kaburagi had a secret weapon in the form of a sweet tooth because after just this one trip he was back in the game.

“Did you go anywhere else?” I asked.

“Hmmm, well you see, in Rome I went with some friends to a supermarket near Roma Termini and bought a bunch of sweets. They were selling all these products that import grocery stores in Japan sell!”

Oh, a supermarket in another country? That was something I wanted to see too.

It was a bit too plebeian to invite my group to though.

I was worried about our safety too. Still, now I was wondering if I should have been a little more adventurous.

“The atmosphere and the products were completely different to the supermarkets here,” she marvelled.

“Really? That does sound interesting,” I said.

“Yeah, it really was!” she nodded.

Looking at her, Wakaba-chan seemed unusually enthusiastic about foreign supermarkets.

I guess it meant that the effort I put into teaching Kaburagi about commoner supermarkets was just that much more worthwhile.

At least now if she ever talked to him about the differences, like she was to me now, at least Kaburagi would be able to keep up.

“Oh, I just remembered but Kaburagi-kun came over to buy a cake yesterday,” she recalled.

“Eh!?”

That guy! And after all the times I stressed to him that the exams were close, too!

To think he’d come here under the pretext of buying cake!

Oh my god. Thank god he came yesterday. I very nearly bumped into him.

At times like this it was a pain that her family owned a store, since it just meant a convenient excuse for him.

“I’m a bit shy about selling our cakes to someone with such a refined palate though.”

“Oh my! I think the cakes your family sells are delicious. Have a little confidence!” I insisted.

“Thanks. Kaburagi-kun said something similar too. That it was ‘simple, but pleasant’.” She laughed a little shyly.

Simple, huh…?

Wakaba-chan seemed happy enough, but oi, Kaburagi, can’t you choose your words a bit better?

“Ummm, and also…”

She looked a little hesitant to continue.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ummm, you see… As a change of pace, Kaburagi-kun suggested that we go somewhere after the tests.”

“Ehh!?”

He was moving damn fast! What incredible initiative!

“Ah-! Of course, just as another friend who likes sweets,” she quickly explained while flapping her arms about. “It’s really not anything else, okay!?”

Wait, wait, so he’s ‘another friend who likes sweets’…?

This was exactly what Enjou meant by being treated like a girl friend she tries desserts with!?

Kaburagi, could your expert knowledge on all things sweet have backfired!?

“I wonder about that~” I hummed.

Deny it all she wanted, I saw her turn blush at little when I said that just now.

“It’s true…” she mumbled after a little while.

Ehh~ But did this mean that Kaburagi’s behaviour had clued her in a little bit about his crush on her?

Ah well, not like my pondering would get me an answer.

Hmm, plus looking at how she was reacting now, was it fine to conclude that she wouldn’t be entirely bothered by such a crush?

So he actually had a chance?

But in that case…

“Wakaba-chan, how has school been recently?” I asked.

For a while the harassment had died down, but it was back again after the class trip, right?

After all, I’d heard about mud being rubbed onto her shoe locker recently.

“Eh? There hasn’t been anything noteworthy,” she said.

“Really? If there’s anything that’s bothering you, don’t ever hesitate to tell me, okay?”

“Thank you, Kisshouin-san!” Her smile was bright like a sunflower.

*

*

*

When we arrived at Wakaba-chan’s house I handed over the souvenir stationery I bought for the kids.

“Thanks, Cornet,” said Kanta-kun.

“Thanks, Coro-chan,” parroted the twins.

You’re very welcome.

“Oh yeah, Cornet. Want some?” Kanta-kun brought out a box of jelly cubes dusted in some white powder. It kind of reminded me of gyuuhi.

Basically, gyuuhi are a type of traditional Japanese sweet, like a really soft mochi, made of glutinous rice dough mixed with something sweet like syrup or sugar. (Gyuuhi also refers to the squishy and delicate glutinous rice dough ingredient used in these types of mochi, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“Hey! Kanta!

“Isn’t it fine? I’m just assigning her her quota.”

I wasn’t sure why, but Wakaba-chan and Kanta-kun seemed to be quarelling over what was in the box. I wonder what these cute little things are.

“What are these?” I asked, to which Wakaba-chan looked a little awkward.

“They’re turkish delights,” she explained. “The truth is that my sister loves the Chronicles of Narnia and kept saying that she wanted to try turkish delights too. That’s why when I was in London I bought some, but…”

“It’s so disgusting sweet that I get goosebumps just thinking it,” Kanta-kun spat when Wakaba-chan trailed off with a helpless smile.

Oh, I see.

So basically they didn’t know what to do with them all, so they tried to feed them to me.

I was getting the impression that the way this family treated me was getting worse and worse.

“It would just be such a waste to throw them out, so we’ve all been trying our best to finish them,” she said.

“I’m done with them,” said Kanta-kun.

“Me too…”

“Me too…”

“I got excited and bought a large box, so they just won’t disappear…”

I hummed in thought, before taking one of these cute little gems for myself.

“Count any that Cornet eats under my quota,” Kanta-kun declared.

“That’s cheating, Oniichan!”

The siblings began to argue again over these supposedly too-sweet confections.

Was it that bad?

It looked like gyuuhi though.

Maybe just a nibble.

…Guh.

“Sweet, right?”

I nodded at Kanta-kun without a word.

Nuuuoohhhh, it was so sweet that my tongue was going numb. And the flavour was overwhelming.

It was red so I thought it’d be strawberry-flavoured, but the cloying air-freshener taste in my mouth was rose!

Somebody had taken rose jam and somehow made it even sweeter.

I took a gulp of tea to try to swallow the thing.

“Kisshouin-san, would you like some more tea?”

“Please.”

My mouth could still taste the sweetness.

As expected of foreign sweets. Such power…

Hmmmm, but couldn’t there be some trick to eating these…? Oh, I know!

What if instead of sugar I used this turkish delight for my tea?

It was black tea, and I’d heard that Russians put jam in theirs, so wasn’t this just a variation?

I imagined dropping one of these cute desserts into a cup of tea. Wasn’t it quite fashionable?

Uhuhu, it was in the little details that a person’s good taste was revealed.

No time like the present.

I plopped one into my cup and began whirling it around with a spoon~

Spin, spin, sp-… Huh? That was weird.

It wasn’t dissolving at all.

Jam dissolved right away, so how come?

Geh, and now it was stuck to the bottom of my cup-!

Ugeh, and the white powder hadn’t dissolved either and was floating to the top!

It was kind of gross-!

Uwahhh…

I tried stirring faster, but that just made Kanta-kun take notice of me.

“What the heck are you doing, Cornet?”

He peered over at what I was doing.

“Ummm, you see, I thought that instead of using jam…”

“Uwah, stuff is floating at the top! What the hell are you doing, Cornet!”

Uwah, you’re being too loud, Kanta-kun!

Look, now everyone else is looking over too.

Literally all of their eyes were on me now.

Aaah, I wanted to bury myself…

“Kisshouin-san…?”

“Ah, well, I thought that instead of jam I could try…”

“Mmmn, I see, I see. But what now? I know you just got this cup, but should I get you a new one?”

Wakaba-chan’s kindness was just making it worse…

“Don’t play with your food, Cornet. You’d better take responsibility for that.”

“…Okay.”

I tipped both the transmuted tea and the jelly stuck at the bottom into my mouth and destroyed the evidence.

Sigh, this time was a failure. Happens to the best of us from time to time.

Hmm, but what else could we use this for then?

“Oh, I know. Say, what if we added it to curry as a secret ingredient? I think it’d add just that extra complexity.”

“Vetoed.”

“What if we dissolved it and served it with pancakes or…”

“Vetoed.”

“Then what about boiling-”

“Vetoed!”

Kanta-kun just shot down every one of my ideas without mercy.

Tsk~

And here I was, trying to help them.

“Maybe I’ll make some annin tofu to wash out the taste,” he said, and stood up.

Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐) or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of almond milk, agar, and sugar, allegedly eaten in China as far back as 2000 years ago.

I wanted to learn the recipe, so I volunteered to help.

Hmm, so the ingredients were agar jelly, milk, sugar, and…

“Oh! What if instead of sugar we used the turkish delight-”

“Vetoed! Vetoed! Vetoed!

Aah, don’t give me such an icy stare, Kanta-kun. I’ll stop talking.

“I said, when they say ‘one cup’ they mean exactly ‘one cup’!” roared Master Kanta.

Despite all of that, the annin tofu we made was delightful.


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「今日のお兄ちゃんはおかしいよ!怖いよ!ッ!?いやだよっ!いやぁ!やめて!やめてぇっ!!」