The leaves changing colors in autumn started. If it already does this a little, gathering fallen leaves is necessary.
While feeling that kind of change in the seasons, I was helping transplant flowers into the flower bed. The part I was originally raising, because they are still blooming for a little bit, it let me avoid the employee entrance and exit and wait for when they become seeds, and so when it’s the time for planting seeds, I’ll raise them. Tuberoses and tumerics are bulbs, so I’ll only cut the flowers, and after a short while, I’ll dig them out, and prepare for them to pass the winter.
The last part is changing things like the potted plants of the pine cones and angel’s raiment flowers, and using the trolley, I carry them near to the employee entrance and exit. From the estate entrance to the back entrance of the kitchen, there is a road connecting them, so along this road, if you put potted plants, I can make sure they are exposed to the sun.
With the size the flower bed has and because there is quite the distance of making a round trip, it’s several days of work. I have stamina, but little by little, the change of the flower bed is interesting. My father plants new flowers, and I clear the flowers that have finished blooming.
It becomes early afternoon when I finished today’s portion of clearing flowers. When I end up doing only this work all day, I can’t do something like inspecting the whole garden. When I wipe my sweat dry with a towel, someone I recognized appeared from the employee entrance of the estate.
「Good afternoon, Katherine-san. Are you going out shopping?」
「Isaac-san, good afternoon. Yes, I’m going out to buy things like tea leaves and coffee beans.」
When I greet Ojou’s maid in waiting, Katherine-san, a greeting is returned. She’s holding onto a memo and wearing a small pochette that a purse might be in.
Somehow she looks a little weak, so I tried asking.
「How much are you going to buy?」
「With the current supply of beans, it’s a little bit of a larger portion.」
When she lets me look at the memo, certainly for Katherine-san alone, it seems to be a heavy quantity. I think about it a little, and then ask Katherine.
「Um, I’ll only be holding the payload, but if I go together with you, is it a bother?」
「With how I don’t have the chance to go to something like a store directed for nobles, even only looking from outside, I want to try.」
A commoner like me has no reason to be in the store, I understand that. But, even if I can only observe from the outside, there might be something of use as a reference for gardening.
After this, because patrolling the garden is serious work, it becomes studying as I’m following my father. It doesn’t mean I’m making light of that, but for me, my sense of what is beautiful to aristocrats isn’t sufficient as it is now, and I have a feeling that I can’t landscape the visitor area like my father.
「I don’t mind.」
When I stare at Katherinne-san as if to ask, while confused, Katherine-san accepts.
「Then, I’ll go tell my father. I’ll immediately come back, so please wait just a little.」
「It’s fine if you don’t rush……」
When I immediately break off running, Katherine-san uses a voice of worry to my back. Is she worried about whether or not I’ll fall over? For the sake of conveying I’ll be fine, I raise one hand and wave.
I receive permission from my father, and go towards a store on the center road with Katherine-san. With only one road being different, the usual market road and scenery, as well as the people, are different. Basic carriages go back and forth, and the people here and near the entrance of stores or on the terrace of cafes. People like us going on foot appear to be servants.
For me, I hold a bag for coffee, and in front of a store that deals with tea leaves and tea sets, I am waiting for Katherine-san. At the market street, nearly every store is distinct, but I learned that for stores catered to the upper class, there are specialist shops that specialize in this one genre. There is a big glass window, and their merchandise is being displayed. It’s like a Japanese store window.
The appearance of a symmetrical building also leads to the Ernest house’s garden near the front entrance. As expected, the feeling of being arranged with bilateral symmetry is popular with nobles. I also think it’s pretty, but I prefer peacefully blooming flowers and grown trees, so I thought I have to get used to this. I regret that I’m still not good with pruning flowers even now.
My salvation is that the Ernest house, rather than extravagance, prefers elegance……
In my field of vision, almost every store had large windows displaying their merchandise. Even if it’s not a precious metal store, they dazzlingly decorate them with gems, and encase them with artificial flowers such as roses, and there are several stores whose goods stand out. Yes, it’s painful for my eyes.
I don’t understand whether or not the product or the store wants to stand out. But, now, for the store Katherine-san is entering, by the window there is a table and velvet tablecloth, and the pure white silk that is drawing a line sits on top. Then, surely, the teacups and the porcelain pots that were unified with the design, were arranged as if they were just before you drink. Near the pot, I don’t know whether or not they have any contents, but there are cans filled with tea leaves with the store’s logo. I felt a sense of nonchalant elegance.
Because, with the mood of the store where one is sent on an errand, one can tell the tastes of the employer, asking to come along paid off.
When I was satisfied with that, in front of my eyes, a carriage passed by.
I take a step backwards to check the width of the road. Unconsciously, my eyes follow that carriage, and the cafe we passed by earlier enters my vision. It’s exactly the early afternoon, so it’s thriving. On the terrace seats are guests. Because there is sunlight, at the tables, umbrellas are placed, mainly to protect the women from ultraviolet rays. For this world’s people, they’re aware of UV rays, aren’t they? Well, even if they don’t understand them, being sunburnt is disagreeable, right?
Somehow or another, I look at the guests underneath umbrellas as they are. Then, my gaze stops on two of the guests that are there.
One of them is a noble woman. As if they can go to an evening party, they are wearing luxurious dresses and their makeup is thick. To put it bluntly, it’s gaudy. It’s the type I’m weak with.
The other is a boy around my age. He was a handsome boy that exceeded women. His hair is colored like lilacs and gently wavy. Because I’m used to seeing beautiful people at my employer, I’m not surprised, but with only a marvelous appearance, I get the impression he has the smell of gardenias.
His complexion is bad.
The reason my eyes stopped is, even if you account for how he was under the parasol, he still looked pale.
I look for the cause of his complexion and understand, it’s the woman next to him.
Although she doesn’t seem like family or a relative, she’s strangely close. Hugging his shoulders, she strokes the contours of his face as if intoxicated. Her eyes aren’t pointed at the child.
No, isn’t this one step short of sexual harassment? If this is something like power over them, it’s power harassment, right? Because it’s easy to understand why the boy isn’t resisting, that potential also exists.
「Isaac-san, thank you for waiting.」
Katherine-san comes out, holding a can from the tea specialty store she entered. I remove my gaze from the cafe and turn back to look at her.
「No, I gained some good knowledge. Thank you very much.」
When I put my feelings into my thanks, Katherine-san smiled a bit.
「……Fufu, because for Isaac-san, there is no lie about that sort of thing, I’m worried. Although I should be giving my thanks.」
She’s troubled, or rather than that, she seems to be amused when smiling, and I tilt my head in confusion. Although I asked, why is Katherine-san saying her thanks to me, I wonder.
Katherine-san encouraged us to go, but the boy from earlier weighed on my mind, and I looked one more time at the cafe.
This time, Katherine-san tilted her head in confusion. This isn’t a place I usually come, so Katherine-san doesn’t understand what I’m looking at.
Because today, Katherine-san came only as an attendant, the assessment of the situation and what I can and can’t do is only in my head. But, as for disregarding such a facial expression of someone who’s the same as me, I can’t do it.
Rather than being afraid, it’s horror. The woman next to him doesn’t seem to be carefully considering the boy’s opinion. It feels like she’s completely playing with a doll. Receiving looks like your existence is painted out, how scary that is, I know.
When I look around the surroundings, I recognize a certain person and call out.
「Big brother!」 [T/N: Argh, it’s really more just the sense of “a young man” but to be consistent with “Matteus-onii-chan” becoming “Big Brother Matteus” I stuck with this.]
「Zack. Meeting you in this kind of place is rare.」
One of the young chefs who I meet in the kitchen is alone. Out of all the young guys in the kitchen, as one of the still younger men, I often catch sight of him preparing vegetables. He has a shaved head, like a first year baseball club member.
「Did you also go shopping?」
「Mhm. My dad told me that there were good smelling mushrooms……」
「Then, incidentally, let me request this of you! Katherine-san, sorry for pulling out mid-route!! Please return with this young man!」
Because this young chef is a coworker of the Ernest household, I leave the sack of coffee beans I was holding to him, and bow to Katherine-san. I include the meaning of asking him, raise one hand, and show her, and then start running from the two of them.
I could hear their voices call out my name, but I didn’t look back.
Avoiding carriages and people, when I approached the cafe terrace, a smell not suited for a place where you eat meals assailed my senses.
Concentrating the smell of lillies, it’s a strong smell that had a sharpness to it like a Winter Daphne. I’m not proud that I even know which flower it smells like. Breathing in the thick air with a smell I’m weak with, I start to feel bad. The surrounding guests also, their faces were frowning.
「Miss, it smells.」
I tell the woman who is the cause of the smell straightforwardly. The woman, towards me who suddenly appeared and said something rude, turned her astonished eyes to me.
「If you use too much of that kind of perfume, meals, tea, and also alcohol, everything won’t taste good.」
When you’re making a meal, if you have perfume on, it will be a hindrance to cooking, and you can’t taste it. In my previous life in Japan, as for stores that have a No Smoking sign, it’s important for the sake of smelling the flavor of food and enjoying yourself.
In my high school days, there was a time I was attracted by the smell of a little tobacco, but the times the chemistry teacher smoked, because the food would taste bad, and when he stopped the thickness of my blood vessels returned and the rice would taste good, so I gave up, striking my stomach and declaring hopelessly I would become fat.
Tobacco can be regulated, but perfume is in the category of fashion-conscious things, so regulating it is difficult. That is, as well as in my previous life in Japan, this country of Avrentrot is the same. Some of the guests in the surroundings looked at me with eyes as if asking what is this guy saying.
「Perfume that’s a little bit fragrant is exactly right, isn’t it? Miss, although you’re a lady, are you not aware of that sort of thing?」
It’s a smattering of knowledge from my younger sister in my past life, so I’m not making a mistake. It seems like something similar to Oku-sama.
「~~what kind of rude commoner are you!?」
I confirm that the woman, whose face turned red in anger, stood up with a bang, and then catch the upper arm of the boy. At my statement, his eyes went wide, but because his eyes had fear in them, he looks back head-on.
「If you want to remain here, shake off my hand. If it’s unpleasant, escape.」
I say it so only the boy can hear, and then pull on the arm of the boy and start running.
「That glitzy aunt, I think I’d prefer if she used cosmetics sparingly.」
At that time we left the woman who had strong cosmetics on, I said only a few words.
Although he has poor control over his feet, he runs while pulled along. But, does he not exercise, I wonder, as he’s slower than me.
A voice is raised behind us, and when I glance fleetingly behind us, the woman’s servants or guards, there are two of them chasing after us. At this rate, they’ll catch up to us.
I immediately make a turn, and step into the gap between stores. With the width being barely enough for an adult to fit into, because it’s in the shadows, just to be sure, I conceal us with dark magic. This is the first time I’ve disguised my image of being erased while moving, but I don’t understand how skillfully it was done. It’s only a little, but if it’s hard to notice, it’s only a character. [T/N: Honestly this one had me stumped, as it’s literally “character” as in a kanji character]
When we come out of the gap between stores, we appeared at the market street. In one go, the waves of people filled our vision.
For a commoner like me who is used to this many people, without hesitation I enter the market street. The seized arm, for a moment, hesitated, but followed along without retreating.
At the point we entered the market square, the shadow membrane broke, but finding two children in the middle of all of the adults here is next to impossible, I think. Certainly, with the extent that the signs of our pursuers vanished, both him and I were silent.
I stop walking at the voice mixed with a long breath, and when I look over my shoulder, I could see the outline of the face of the boy breathing heavily, covered in sweat. Because of the pedestrian traffic of the market street, we can’t run, so I was only speed walking, but it seemed to be hard work for the boy.
「You don’t have endurance, huh?」
「I’m, I’m not from a calvary warrior family, although, for nobles, there’s no reason to be exercising, right……」
「But, if it’s Leo, he nonchalantly follows.」
「Who, who is that……」
Even if I say he’s the prince of this country, I won’t be believed, huh?
Or perhaps I should say, Leo is strange. If it’s the case that nobles, due to their family lineage, don’t train, the royalty training is something that generally won’t be understood.
Which reminds me, because the minigame of Leo’s route, with the tactical RPG, is close to commanding forces, even in the game, I’m not aware of his fighting strength.
First of all, because we’ve taken a considerable distance, I tell him it’s fine, and matched his walking speed. When he gets his breath back, I give him my name.
「Um, Isaac. You, why did you help me?」
「I didn’t help you.」
He’s surprised, but I also tilt my head in confusion.
「Even though you escaped with your own feet, how did I help you?」
I was only holding onto his arm with enough strength that it can be shaken off. Even now, although I’m not holding his arm, he is walking together with me.
At my words, he is confused.
「Furthermore, because I couldn’t endure that situation, I had to think of countermeasures.」
The boy, who realized it was only temporarily escaping danger, imagine how it would be from here, and his complexion turned poor. When I stroke the back of the boy’s back, I wonder if it was too much, and even though it was only a little, he fell forward.
He’s never received this kind of treatment, has he, and he looked at me as if perplexed. But, because his facial expression became better, I laughed.
「Here, let’s go.」
「C…… come to think of it, where……?」
「Finding shelter is also difficult, and because a commoner like me won’t understand, I’m thinking we should consult someone.」
He tilts his head in confusion while following me. Going through the employee entrance, I walk to the middle of the garden. With a timid appearance, he continues on behind me.
「Is this okay, I wonder……?」
「Because I will properly ask, if it’s no good, only I’ll be scolded.」
Coming out of the trees that are like the middle of a forest, when we go under the hedge, he stops and lets out a sigh.
Now, around the water fountain, the verbenas surround it with red, white, peach, and purple, in that order. Those in the back, because they are below the edge of the fountain, I encourage the boy to sit at the edge of the fountain.
「You, your name…… ah, should I be using formal language?」
「Hah, really, after all this time? It’s fine, already.」
I ended up being smiled at as if in shock. Well, he was making a less gloomy facial expression, so it’s fine, I thought, while sitting next to him.
「I am Nicholas von Rudolstadt.」
「Then, I’ll introduce myself properly. I’m Isaac Baumgartner. I’m working as the Ernest house’s apprentice gardener.」
The moment Nicholas heard the Ernest house’s name, he gazed in wonder.
「Eh?! Then, this is the Duke’s house’s garden!?」
When Nicholas looked around restlessly and became panicked, the hedge made a rustling sound, and Nicholas’s shoulders sprung up.
「Ah, Ojou. I was just thinking I should call out to you.」
「Zack, as expected, you were here. Dennis was worried you were late in returning, you know.」
I can’t make a detour, she says, and while taking off her overcoat’s hood, Ojou scolded me. I thought rather than worried, my father was angry, but with the extent that she knows someone to search for them, Ojou is kind. As for the matter of my father, because even after this, I can’t go back, I resign myself to at the least being hit with a fist.
While preparing myself for a scolding, I smile and thank Ojou.
「Thank you for searching for me, Ojou.」
「I…… it wasn’t for you in particular, I came to look at the verbenas……」
As she turned her eyes towards the water fountain where flowers are blooming, Ojou’s words are cut short. When I also follow her gaze, hiding on the other side of the water fountain, Nicholas becomes startled while looking at me.
「Ah, Ojou. This guy is Nico.」
「That. Sorry, I can’t remember long names.」
「It’s…… not a ghost, it’s a person……? Zack, he’s someone’s son! Why is he in this place!?」
「I’m protecting him.」
After Ojou is surprised, at my answer her facial expression becomes one of shock, and she deeply sighs.
「He isn’t a pet, you know……」
「But, it was because he encountered a molester.」
「—what are you saying to a young woman!!」
Ojou is surprised at my vocabulary, Nicholas’ face turns red in embarrassment and in a hurry, he closes my mouth. I remove the blocking hand, and look over at Nicholas.
「Because I was thinking of consulting Ojou, it’s faster this way.」
「W…… why to a girl~?」
Nicholas’ facial expression weakened as if he was about to cry. For Nicholas, a guy, because consulting a girl is pitiable, he’s embarrassed, but with commoners or a guy like me, there’s nothing I can do.
「A girl’s opinion is also needed. Hey, Ojou. If you look at him, what do you think?」
Ojou stares at Nicholas who is trying to hide behind me. After a short while without words, as if to let out a sigh of amazement, she states her impressions.
「He’s pretty, as if being drawn in……」
「As expected, this guy’s a beautiful person, huh?」
Although women aren’t as beautiful as him, he’s strangely mistaken for a girl. Ojou, for a moment, mistaking him for a ghost is also fascinating, isn’t it. I don’t understand, but maybe because it’s this guy, something can be done.
It’s pheromone-like, huh.
「Ah, I am sorry for being late in my greetings. I am called Lydia von Ernest. Please forgive the rudeness of my family’s servants this time. Please accept my apology instead.
「Hyoee…… it, it’s fine, it’s nothing like that! I’m Nicholas von Rudolstadt.」
「……Oi, don’t apologize with me in the middle. Though, why is Ojou apologizing?」
Nicholas is hidden behind me, so I’m put in the middle of their conversation.
「Zack being rude, this isn’t the first time, isn’t it?」
「There’s no need for Ojou to apologize, because it was my action, I should apologize. Nico, I’m sorry. It seems I did something rude.」
「Seems, huh…… it’s because you were rude, I was saved, so it’s fine. Or perhaps I should say, there’s no feeling of remembering my name, is there?」
「For that too, I’m sorry.」
When my apologies pile up, already at that way of being called, he forces a smile to say it’s fine.
「Which reminds me, why are you hiding?」
「Um, because a young girl is also a woman……」
From some time ago, Nico is trying to hide himself as if to not enter Ojou’s field of vision. But, in the self-study garden with a small water fountain where the sun is shining, because there are little places to hide, I’m used as a shield. It seems that with the encounter with the molester, because girls are coevaluated, somehow or another if he thinks their gaze looks towards him, it’s the subject of fear.
「Ojou is fine. It’s because she has tolerance to Leo.」
「What kind of foundation is that? That’s rude to Roy-sama. First, Nicholas-sama is in a different category.」
「Eh, then, Ojou also wants to sekuhara Nico?」 [T/N: I kept this term in because with the way Ojou speaks in the next sentence, it came across as him using a Japanese term that she wouldn’t understand.」
「I don’t understand what sekuhara is, but for me, the daughter of a duke, I cannot do something rude to Nicholas-sama.」
「As expected, Ojou is cool.」
Because Ojou puffed her chest out and declared it, I put praise into my applause. But, was it because I said she is cool, that Ojou’s eyes became half-closed as she looked at me. Even though I’m praising her.
Because again, I hadn’t properly asked, for the purpose of thinking of countermeasures afterwards, I sat back down at the water fountain, and asked Nico the circumstances. Encouraging Nico to sit back down again, I lightly patted my thigh.
「? What is it?」
「If you sit like that, pollen will stick to your skirt.」
After she tilts her head in confusion, Ojou understood the intention, and her face became red.
「No thank you!! If it’s sitting on top of Zack, I will stand!」
「That sort of…, if there is a young lady being made to stand, then I will also stand!」
「Since there’s space to sit, if you sit down, isn’t fine, isn’t it?」
「The main point is, why are you instilling these ideas!?」
「Because I think it’s cute.」
If the water fountain was surrounded with colored blocks, it was like a frame of flowers, I thought. I heard something like scolding from Ojou, and when I honestly replied, two people were drained of strength.
「It’s hard, isn’t it, Lydia-sama?」
At Lydia who seemed to be worn out by something, Nico says some sympathetic words. What is Nico feeling sympathy for, I wonder.
Anyways, once we settle down and talk, I lead Ojou by the hand, and have her sit sideways on top of my knee. If this is the case, it’s easy to walk with Nico, and flowers won’t stick to the hem of her skirt.
Ojou being seen as slightly stiff is in my imagination, right? Well, the level of comfort of a boy’s knee is painful, is it?
「Nicholas-sama, are you going to even tell us about the situation!?」
At Ojou, seemingly in a hurry to break the ice, while feeling obliged, Nico teaches us the circumstances.
「My house is a count’s, but my father, for the purpose of working for the prime minister, is often invited from other higher noble houses.
So, I am brought along by my mother, and frequently participate at tea parties…… she wanted help choosing presents for her nephews and so on, so with that reason, I was personally invited, um, and couldn’t refuse……」
While talking, Nico became dispirited. Although there’s no helping being unable to reject someone higher up, at his state of affairs of being unable to resist being pressed to do something by women, for a man, it’s a miserable feeling that injures someone so bad you can’t recover.
「And then, because I was entangled with an older woman with bad dispositions, I was brought along.」
「Older…… now is fine. If it comes to it, with the situation you were taken away by a commoner’s child, they are certainly making a clamor, aren’t they? I will tell the Rudolstadt house, as soon as you return, that we coincidentally invited Nicholas-sama, who had lost his way.」
「Ojou, you talk fast.」
「Since it’s Zack, you wouldn’t do something like tell the other person you’re a relative of the Ernest house.
Nicholas-sama, can you say that since you didn’t have money, you were immediately released?」
「Because this time, I have a relationship with this, because the expectation is that certainly my mother is close with the Rudolstadt house, from now on, if you are here for something, you can visit this house.
However…… concealing the circumstances and intending to ask my mother for cooperation, please understand there is a possibility she will be aware of it.」
「I, I understand……」
「Even if you secure shelter, we still have to do something about the main cause.」
「The other person is a woman, but……」
「That’s right, huh—」
If the other person is a man, then you can punch them or use force, but if you do that kind of thing when the other side is a woman, Nico will be treated as a perpetrator of violence. When Ojou and I are worried, Nico’s facial expression gradually becomes gloomy.
「Well, first of all, let’s vent out your stress until now, right?」
At my proposal, Nico makes a face that says he doesn’t understand how he should respond. After I ask Ojou to excuse me and let her down from my knee, I opened the pouch I brought along from the laundry drying area close to the route I approached from.
「What is that?」
Seeing the lump that’s like a leather pillow that I took out from the large sack, Ojou and Nico look into it, seeming curious.
「This is something you hit.」
I brought along a tool that I use during the times I train with Master, but I don’t know its name. There is a place for you to stick your arm through and one side has a handle, so it’s something that is set up like a shield. It’s a reasonable size, so you can also use it for kicking.
「Right, come as you’d like.」
「Eh? Eh?? Wh…… what should I do……?」
At me, who set up the leather bag, Nico is bewildered. It’s far from battle training, but it seems he hasn’t been in a single fight.
「Hit this with all of your strength. With all of your complaints about things like disgusting feelings or old hags.」
「Disgusting feelings… what is that?」
「It means something you find disagreeable.」
「What kind of meaning is in this……?」
「First of all, it’s refreshing.」
Nico and Ojou don’t really understand the situation. When he’s told only to try punching, timidly Nico makes a fist, and hits the leather bag.
「Weak. Do it with all of your strength. After, tighten your sides more.」
Compared to before, he’s filled with more effort, but he’s still weak.
「You aren’t using your voice. Trying saying it’s disgusting.」
「Th…… that kind of thing……」
「Since if it’s here, no one will hear you, no matter how you verbally abuse it, it’s fine. Here.」
I said something like that to Nico, but that reminds me, Ojou was here.
When I convey to Ojou with a gesture that just to make sure she is plugging her ears, with both hands, she plugged her ears. I confirm that, then with wind magic, make a membrane that hinders the sound that arrives only in Ojou’s surroundings. Making it perfectly soundproof is unreasonable, but I can make it so it’s difficult to hear. Well, even if she was able to hear it, Ojou who couldn’t say the abuse, I don’t think she would remember it.
After showing some hesitation, Nico pushes out his fist together with his voice.
It was the first time such a heavy sound was made. He understands that until now, the feeling of his fist is different, and Nico’s eyes light up.
「It’s good, isn’t it?」
「Certainly, it’s a little refreshing……」 [T/N: Oh Zack, you corruptor.]
Once again, I say, and when I set it up and fix it, this time without hesitation, together with his voice, he hits it with his fist. When he hits it several times, Nico, even if you left him alone, began to voluntarily vent his complaints.
「Clinging, clinging, clinging, clinging…… it’s disgusting, you know, you old hag!!」
A good fist came in.
「If my father has something, say it…… that’s the reason you can say that, right!!」
Again, another good fist comes in. Or perhaps I should say, Nico, compared to me, is worse? Well, that’s only the stress he’s accumulated. Even with his angry facial expression, that he’s still beautiful in a sense is amazing, huh.
Nico, finishing hammering in his fists, when breathed heavily and wiped his sweat with his sleeve, took deep breaths to catch his breath. Then, he shows a beaming smile.
「Ahh, that was refreshing!」
「……I don’t understand boys.」
Undoing the wind membrane, when I communicate that it’s fine if she already stops plugging her ears, Ojou looks at us as if it’s hard to understand.
In my previous life, after something like a test, with my friends at the batting cage, we shouted things without any meaning while swinging, but I didn’t see a girl at that sort of thing. It seems girls don’t understand the feeling. While saying something like the names of ramen, without any meaning, it’s fun.
Even if he’s finished venting his stress, I think about future countermeasures.
「Since you aren’t always at your mother’s side, after your mother doesn’t notice you, there are times when the other side conveniently ends up attached to you……」
「How should I avoid them, I wonder……」
At my voice I unconsciously raised, the two of them look my way.
「In the first place, if you’re not a target, it’s fine, right?」
「What do you mean by that?」
「If it reaches the point Nico has a different perspective, because the other side won’t approach and come, he won’t have to run away.」
For the enemy in a game, the enemy is only fixed in place, so it’s a matter of whether or not to encounter, but because it’s reality, you can change the circumstances itself about becoming an enemy.
「Can I do that sort of thing?」
「Maybe you can, but……」
「There’s risk to Nico. Beyond this point, because it will become hard for your friend, and it will be difficult when there’s a girl that you like…… but, will you do it?」
「I will do it.」
Because Nico immediately replied before hearing the idea, I’m surprised.
「……That’s a nice resolution, but is it fine?」
「Rather than think such repulsive thoughts, I’ll do anything. Originally, since women came, weren’t they jealous, and with my face, I don’t have any male friends because there are only those who speak ill of me. Furthermore, I don’t feel I have the spirit to do it, at the time that by any chance that kind of girl is born, it’s important she has a beautiful body!」
With ghastly vigor, he talks while growing stronger, and when I notice it, Nico’s face was at point blank range. You’re going that far, Nico? Ojou also, from Nico’s appearance, seemed to earnestly feel a sense of danger. I turn towards Nico’s compassionate look.
I press on Nico’s shoulders, and after making some distance, say the idea I thought of.
「If Nico becomes an onee, it would be fine, you know.」 [T/N: Purposely kept untranslated, as the raw gave the idea that Isaac is using JP terms, much like ‘sekuhara’]
Nico and Ojou, not understanding the meaning, repeat the words.
「Since it’s fine just to pretend, you can keep the gestures and wording as a guy, but make it womanly.」
「Certainly the public opinion of his surroundings will change, but will there be an effect because of that?」
「Because Nico is thought of as the opposite gender, he becomes a target. However, from that other person, will they respond to the same sex, I don’t think so.」
「Is that the way that is it?」
「Words and gestures that seem like a woman……」 [T/N: Dammit Zack, you’re making him into a trap.]
Nico, who doesn’t understand what he is good to use as a reference, because he looked at Ojou, I give him advice.
「Ojou isn’t of use as a reference. It’s because she’s cute.」
Abruptly, Ojou’s face turned red. Was she angry I said she isn’t of use as a reference? It isn’t badmouthing, as if you use Ojou as a reference, maybe Nico won’t be like an elder-sister, won’t he? Certainly, although it’s a man who looks to be a girl, it’s like a job change. I heard that my sister in my previous life complained that there was one friend that she didn’t see eye to eye with. If that’s the case, rather, the extent of perpetrators seems to have expanded. [T/N: Literally “child that’s a girl of a boy” but it’s honestly super clunky, so I took a small liberty with this one.]
「Then, what kind of style is good?」
After Nico forced a smile at Ojou’s reaction, I was asked.
「Umm, for the first person, use a feminine-sounding I, something like an advisor…… and a feeling that you say your opinion without holding back.」 [T/N: Frustrating translation, because Japanese has a lot of first person pronouns, so Zack says to use “atashi” (rather than “watashi” [neutral], “boku”, or “ore” [male]). It doesn’t convey as well, so blegh.]
「Something like that, I can’t have the confidence for that……」
「Nico is a beautiful person, so if he’s domineering, it’s fine. In exchange for being unable to physically attack, use the weapons of a beautiful person.」
「This face as a weapon…..?」 [T/N: Zack is setting him up to be the ojou-onee-sama I can’t]
At Nico, who with the nature of a beautiful person, had encountered harm, it seemed he didn’t have a thought to use that appearance of his as a weapon. Make those large eyes of his round by adding a border to his long eyelashes.
After a bit of silence, Nico seemed to mumble he was prepared for the worst and he’ll try to do it. Even though it was only his speech, he’d practice a little to get used to it, and receive cooperation from Ojou for confirming its practical effects. When the other person, the duke’s daughter, didn’t flinch when she said that, he gained bravery.
Taking a deep breath, Nico opened his mouth.
「Even if Miss Lydia is passably cute, it is no match for my beauty, isn’t it?」 [T/N: help i coughed up a lung laughing]
Lightly sweeping his hair, domineeringly, Nico declares it. There, Ojou lets out a muu sound, becoming angry.
「……I don’t have an objection, but somehow it’s frustrating.」
「Ahhh, I’m sorry, Lydia-sama!」
「You can’t turn back halfway, Nico. It’s a success, isn’t it?」
「Ojou, how do you feel?」
「It was the feeling as if I had it pointed out to by someone of the same gender. If someone had taken an attitude like that, I could not be aware that it was a man.」
Hearing Ojou’s impressions, when Nico seemed to have a real feeling of its effect, his facial expression shined. He’s happy with how he wasn’t believed to be a guy, and it’s a little strange thing to say, but since it’s Nico’s circumstances, it can’t be helped.
「I…… I, will go with this!」 [T/N: Uses “boku”, then “atashi”, there’s really no way to convey this in English, dammit.]
Nico, making a guts pose, although it emphasized his femininity, he was seen as indomitable. [T/N: You can search it, but “guts pose” is where both hands are clenched up and held up at just around shoulder height. Sadly, this is not the “guts pose” as Guts from Berserk.]
「Ohhh, do your best. If it’s for stress relief, I’ll go along with you.」
Smiling with his whole face, Nico nodded. Looking at Nico’s appearance full of determination, Ojou mumbles.
「……Zack comes up with really strange ideas, doesn’t he?」
「Is that so?」
「Although it’s expected as a serious question, it became somewhat ridiculous. It’s strange.」
Understanding I’m not being praised, I smiled.
I see Nico, whose face is a complete change from the time I first saw it, and became happy. There are things you don’t understand when you don’t try them, but I think it’s important Nico is looking forward to it.
That day, Nico and Ojou return to the estate, and with a carriage of the Ernest house, send him back home.
One month later, when I’m working in the garden, Ojou visits just as always. Behind Ojou, there’s one more person together with her. That other person, while waving their hand in a big way, passed Ojou.
「Zaaack, I have arrived, you know.」
「Ojou. Nico, you came again, huh?」
「Although I didn’t tell him, why is Nicholas-sama here the day I meet Zack……?」
「Well, Dia-sama, I told you to call me Nico-chan, haven’t I?」 [T/N: Zack what have you done]
At Nico, who shows a forced puffing of cheeks, Ojou is worn out.
「Isn’t it too serious?」
「My, if you perform, you have to do it thoroughly, or you’ll be found out, won’t you?」
「Nico seems to be a cunning person now, huh?」
When I say my admiration, Nico smiles sweetly.
「Even so, it is fine, isn’t it? Then, Zack—」
Smiling like that, swiftly an arm was put around my shoulder.
「Let me punch it.」 [T/N: You have no idea how much I was tempted to translate this to “let me hit that” because it’s still accurate.]
The misleading statement that is too honest is cruel, but I’m already used to it. When he seems to be happy with the tested method of relieving stress, Nico periodically asks me to become his partner. Because the damage from perverts and sexual harassment seems to remarkably disappear, it seems to already become an ordinary hobby.
「Because I’m almost finished cleaning, so wait.」
While sweeping the fallen leaves with a broom, I entertain Nico.
Nico, who seems to be waiting impatiently, clings to my back and urges me to hurry. [T/N: Zack, you did this to yourself.]
「If that’s the case, you can separate from me.」
「That’s right, please do not be a hindrance to Zack’s work!」
Sweeping is fine, but when I say because movement is hard, he should let go, Ojou also gave a warning.
「Not a chance, Dia-sama. Are you jealous?」
「Y, you’re wrong!!」
At Nico, who cheerfully asks, Ojou who was teased, had her face turn red as she got angry. From there, because the two began to argue, I absorbed myself in my work.
Recently, the work BGM has become lively.
Well, rather than waiting motionlessly, if Ojou isn’t bored, it’s fine, isn’t it?
This chapter was L O O O N G.
But still hilarious as usual. A much more lighthearted chapter was nice. Of course, it isn’t a complete set without the reverse trap, hahaha. And of course Zack would be responsible for it. Dammit, man.
Next chapter isn’t as humorous though it’s still overall lighthearted, but I think you’ll all definitely enjoy it due to the absolutely mad twist that gets pulled.
See you all next chapter.