It was a room with chandeliers hanging, like a hotel’s ballroom.
Along the walls engraved with carvings that give off a high-class feels were wagons filled with cooking, and three maids reverently stood with their hands in front of them.
The appetite-stimulating aroma of food drifted about.
In the middle of the room there was a table for ten covered with white cloth, and seated on the seat of honor there was a single stupid-faced high-schooler.
Yep, that’s me.
“Preposterous…! This is preposterous…!”
Tris grit his teeth in frustration and looked at me with eyes filled with malice.
“Why do I have to treat the likes of you like this!”
“Well, I said I don’t know already. If you have complaints say it to Madam”
He can’t say it anyway.
“Damn this! Whatever, I’ll leave his reception to you”
“““ Yes, Tris-sama ”””
The maids answered Tris in unison.
*SLAM*! Tris closed the door and left, looking dissatisfied.
Even if you let it out on me….
Well honestly, it’s not something to be worried about being hated by him, so let’s first enjoy the meal.
The maids started laying out the food…. wait, they’re not?
They were watching to see the situation outside
“He’s gone, right”
“Yep, he’s gone”
They reported to each other, and then…
They simultaneously looked at me.
*grin*, they sent me inquisitive smiles and swarmed at me with great vigor.
“Hey hey, what’s your name?”
“Why are you being treated like a guest?”
“How far have you gone with Lady Demy?”
“Ah, that that, that’s important!”
“Kyaah! We wanna know!!”
The maids barraged me with questions.
“Wa…, wait a minute!! Everyone calm down!”
“This girl said Lady Demy is Princess Rosé. She’s definitely not, right?”
“Eeeh, but they look similar…. Don’t they?”
“Princess Rosé doing ‘something like that‘ is too shocking. No way”
“Anyway, does this guy know?”
“Ah. I see, I guess her lover won’t say”
“Eh, I dunno. Since he’s being treated like a guest and all, he might actually be a noble even though he looks like this…”
“Eeh, no way, he doesn’t have the aura at all”
These girls are hopeless, even though they’re the ones asking questions they never planned to listen to me at all….
As the story develops and somehow the strange idea that I came down from the end of the sky came about (not entirely wrong, though…), I worked out a plan to shut them up and put it into action.
“Ah. It’s Tris!”
“!?” “!?” “!?”
In one shot the shadow of death loomed on them all and they froze. They seemed really scared.
“I lied. It’s alright, he’s not coming”
“Once I said that their pale expressions turned into relaxed ones”
“One person asking questions at a time, please. I’m not Shoutoku Taisho”
Ah, right, they don’t know.
“Anyway, I’ll answer so ask calmly”
When I said that the maids…
“… this is somehow…”
“If you tell us to be formal…”
“I felt like I’ve broken the good mood somehow”
The calmed-down maids for now started laying out my food.
“Hey, is this my fault”
“Naah, I guess it’s not”
“But how should I say”
“Momentum is important”
“Ah. Yes, that”
Girls sure like to act as they please in times like these.
“Alright. Let’s start from self-introduction then. I’m Yuuki. My job is Ojousama’s attendant”
“His job’s her attendant he says”
It’s embarrassing like I thought….
“I’m Mist. Nice to meet you, attendant-san”
Mist said while arranging the knife and fork.
“I’m Haibo, I’m the one who showed you to your room, see”
Haibo introduced herself as she laid out the soup.
“Ah, the one who got scolded for peeping…”
“Uuh! You knew the whole time!”
“You’re the one who were listening in, weren’t you. The perpetrator shouldn’t get angry at the victim”
“You’re really mean, aren’t you…”
Sullen, Haibo stepped back.
The last maid laid out the bread.
“I’m Twys. Let me ask you stuff, kay”
She made a wide grin.
You’re the most curious one, huh….
The three girls who had gotten used to the job briskly finished preparing my dinner.
Okay, let’s ea–t…. wait.
It’s hard to eat if the girls are just standing there in line.
“You’re not going to eat?”
“Eh. We can’t”
“You’re still a guest”
Hmmm. Even if you say so….
I’ll be too tense I won’t be able to taste the food.
Well, since there seems to be a lot of bread….
“Isn’t it fine? Let’s eat together”
The three of them looked at each other in silent conference.
“…….. in that case”
“Let’s do just that!”
“Ufufu. It’s been years since I’ve eaten with a boy!”
At a room inside the underground passage.
After Glenn went out to eat, Nikka who’s left behind was immersed in some kind of experiment.
She mixed some glowing drug into a test tube, heated it, then poured it into a beaker.
Inside the beaker there were scores of mosquito larva looking needle-shaped creatures wriggling around.
They were the ‘bugs‘.
Nikka spoke something to a small magic core and sank it in there.
The bugs swarmed at it and the magic core turned a poisonous purple hue.
Looking at that, Nikka made a satisfied smile but that smile immediately turned into a frown.
She stopped the fire, turned the lights out and hurriedly went outside.
Nikka turned towards the door and chanted,
Somehow the entry door turned into the same stone as the other walls.
Without turning on the lights, Nikka ran through the passage. The passage Yuuki ran across was only a very small part, these passages ran throughout the entire premises.
It became tangled like a maze, if you entered without a map or have one memorized in your head you’d easily get lost.
Nikka’s movements were the latter, she ran to her destination without being lost.
There was a dropped lantern in her line of sight. Then an automaton apprehending a single maid.
She’s a maid that’s been working here since long ago.
She fell on her behind, unmoving, startled by the armor’s blade.
She was carrying some kind of baggage on her back.
Nikka took a breath just before the scene of the crime and put on a clergywoman’s dignity.
“What are you doing there?”
She rebuked the maid.
“U, uu, ummm”
She seems to have fallen into panic.
The maid responded in an unintelligible voice.
“Entry is forbidden here”
“U, umm, I, I, I”
“This leads to the shrine’s sacred ground. You heard from Glenn-sama, didn’t you?”
“I, I, I, the chicken”
“You cannot continue on from here. I won’t ask anything so go back to the residence”
“T, t t, the chicken…”
No matter what she said the maid didn’t seem to settle down and Nikka’s expression became more and more irritated.
“It’s alright already, stand up…”
“The chicken’s head…”
The maid is acting strange.
She wasn’t just scared of the armor.
“T, t, the chicken’s head, plucked off, that girl. Chicken, I, the chicken like that”
The maid’s breathing became rougher.
There was sweat on her forehead.
“What’s wrong? What’s this about a chicken?”
Nikka didn’t know.
She was the maid who ordered Arina to slaughter the chicken and fainted seeing her method.
The maid continued, frothing at the mouth.
“T t t t, the chicken, I, I killed lots of chickens, but, that, not like that, blood don’t fly like that, but that girl, she pulled the chicken’s head, then she crushed the head, crunch, crunch….”
This is not normal.
The panic caught onto Nikka.
The maid continued her unintelligible talk and finally started hyperventilating.
“Hi–i…. after the chicken there’s the pighii, after the pig there’s the cowhii, hii, after the cow, after that, you have to listen…. Uuu, I said, I said!”
“….. who is ‘that girl’?”
Nikka questioned her.
The maid then answered.
“That girl? Arina-chan, was it?”
“Ah–. I was wondering if she’s alright”
The girls said something like that.
While having my meal I had gotten friendly with the three girls, we talked to each other about whatever’s on our mind.
It started with talk about Ojousama’s ero-scene so it seems that her shame was not in vain.
Of course, I intended to talk about the spies but right now I was talking about small topics.
I thought that so I tried asking about Arina.
“What, what’s wrong?”
They made a grim face and I felt uneasy.
“Rather than wrong…”
“The kitchen group she got assigned to, has an intense pecking order, or rather newbie bullying…”
“N…. newbie bullying?”
“Ah, just a little. Well, you see, she looks a bit timid”
“Also, rumor says the head maid there is quite a nasty one”
“Now that you mentioned it, there were some girls who got injured”
“Wait, stop it. Yuuki’s looking anxious”
I am anxious.
When I saw her earlier she looks fine so I was relieved, but….
I guess they saw something in my facial expression.
“It’s fine. We’ll keep an eye on her”
She tried to encourage me, but….—,
I hope her past trauma doesn’t come back to her….