“… oh, it’s you”
Ludmila said quietly, still with the toothbrush in her mouth.
She twirled the rifle around like a cane, propped it up by the wall and began brushing her teeth again.
Likewise, Shizuru sheathed his knife and awkwardly scratched his cheek.
And then there was the obvious question of what the woman was doing here.
Ludmilla continued to glide the small brush along her teeth, skssh, skssh
Her lightless, lifeless eyes turned to her own reflection in the mirror over the washbasin.
She was charming, with black underwear on white skin, putting a hand on her hip.
“Ludmila … what are you doing in my clinic?”
“I’m brushing my teeth. Can’t we talk later?”
“… Ah, sure, … mm”
He was weak to pressure.
Besides an examination room and an operating room, Shizuru’s clinic was furnished with one bedroom, one bathroom, and one kitchen to make it livable.
In the bedroom that doubled as a dining room, Ludmila picked up one of the cups of coffee put on the table for the two of them and gave it a sip.
Shizuru made them, of course.
“I’m sick of staying in that dilapidated shack of a house”
After being woken up by the morning bath and coffee, Ludmila yawned and declared with a sure tone.
“So then I decided to borrow this place”
“Ah … I see”
Lady was an animal to begin with, so she didn’t care as long as she had shelter from the winds and rains.
As for Casca, no matter where she lived, it would be falling to pieces within a month.
With those two around and the one other member of the third squad commuting from home, Shizuru paid their living situation no mind.
She had a point though. For a woman with ordinary sensibilites, living in that hideout in the slums would be hard to bear.
Public order was the worst, too.
“But you should’ve just said so. I thought you were a burglar”
“I did say. When we split up last night. In my head”
That means you didn’t say it, right, Shizuru wryly smiled.
“Also, I think I locked the door”
“Had a spare key made, it was finished yesterday”
It seems like she had been planning to stay here from the beginning and secretly had a duplicate key made.
She didn’t have to go that far, I would’ve lent her the key if she asked, thought Shizuru.
“I’ll pick up my things from the headquarters later. I’ll be staying here until I got transferred to the fourth squad”
“That’s not going to happen soon I think …”
Shizuru’s remark seemed to rub her the wrong way. Ludmila glared suspiciously at him.
Shizuru knew that she was hoping to be assigned to the fourth squad, and also the reason why Richelieu persistently rejected her.
So he just apologized and coolly nodded.
“Well, I don’t really care if you wanted to use this place, but lots of injured and sick people come here, so it would really help if you’d keep that in mind”
“Okay?” he continued. Ludmila raised an eyebrow slightly.
“… like I’ve been telling you, quit that roundabout way of talking! Say it straight, like be quiet when I’m running the shop!”
“Sorry, but where I come from modesty and diffidence are considered virtues. Do understand”
“What kind of country is that …”
Ludmila hated being roundabout. She would get irritated listening to something like that.
For her, Shizuru’s gratingly soft way of talking would be really infuriating.
Which was why Ludmila didn’t like Shizuru very much.
It was much better than Casca who wouldn’t take no for an answer, but that’s just a bad comparison.
And to sum up Ludmila’s impression of Shizuru in a sentence:
“It doesn’t look like I could ever go on a date with you after all”
“Really? Well, that’s just unfortunate”
Something like that.
Her evaluations of people were termed in how far she would be willing to go with them, like ‘willing to sleep with’, or ‘just holding hands’. 1
As an aside, Casca’s was ‘no more than looking her in the face’, while Lady’s was ‘walking side by side is okay’.
It makes it hard to say whether that’s easy to understand or not.
“Which reminds me, Casca’s really angry you know. I think you should better apologise”
Said Shizuru with his coffee cup in one hand.
Hearing that, Ludmila who was putting on a suit over her underwear snorted in annoyance.
“Really? Then I’ll just apologise for formalities’ sake”
“That would be wise”
Though Casca was short tempered and a drunk gambling junkie, she accepts apologies.
Simply put, she had an honest side there. If one were to just apologise, she will forgive so long as the deed was not so bad.
Even more so if it came with a bottle of booze.
“She’ll come over for money later, so when she does —”
“— ah, speak of the devil”
“But what the hell … she’s completely treating you as her wallet isn’t she?”
Sadly, Shizuru couldn’t deny.
But he had known her for seven years, he owed her a lot of favors as well.
And it’s not like she didn’t have her good sides, so Shizuru couldn’t turn his back on Casca.
“SHI—ZU—CHAN … wait, HUUUH!? Ludmila!? The hell are you doing here!? Running away when you’re supposed to be making breakfast! It’s about time I drill the pecking order into you you newcomer!”
“… haah … sorry, it’s my bad. Forgive me captain”
“Oh? Nyahahahaha, what, you understand after all! Alright, I’ll let you off just this once!”
Getting angry and then laughing, what a strange woman.
Living as Casca must be a lot of fun.
“Good grief …”
While Ludmila was keeping Casca company, Shizuru left the room wryly smiling and shaking his head.
If she smashed up the place where the strongbox was, there was no meaning of hiding it here.
Stealthily, he headed for the place where he hid it and pulled out a stout metal box.
He turned the dial and slowly opened the box, there was a great number of gold and silver coins inside.
Unlike the spendthrift Casca, the frugal Shizuru saved up money over the seven years.
When he picked up Lady and become a magic beast handler, his value shot up, giving him more opportunities to earn money.
Well, he would’ve had double that if he did’t have to continuously pay off Casca’s debts.
Looking at the amount of money in his possession, Shizuru thought.
With this much money, he could live the rest of his life in a remote place somewhere.
Which was why the extra thought came to mind.
“Seriously, I want to get out of here …”
- TN: LEWDMILA!! ↩