“You know, watching that from above, I felt…that you are completely out of your mind, I suppose.”
In the dining room where the twins had led them to, where breakfast was being held, the curly-haired girl who had sat down earlier said that in place of a greeting.
Subaru frowned grandly at her while turning his still-aching elbows. “What are you talking about on such a fine morning, loli?”
“What is that word, I wonder? I’ve never heard of it, yet it gives me such an uncomfortable feeling, I suppose.”
“I mean, you’re way too young for my tastes. I never go after girls who are younger than me.”
“…To be so rude to Betty is also rather pitiful.” With a pitying expression on her face, the little girl sighed as she rested her weight on the chair. As it was, she picked up the glass on the table and quickly let the amber liquid pass down her throat.
The shape of the glass was similar to a wine glass, and Subaru couldn’t help but wonder if it contained alcohol inside. The girl smiled meaningfully under his suspicious gaze and pointed the glass toward him. “What, do you want to drink it, I wonder?”
“Yep, but that would be an indirect kiss. The event would be progressing way too quickly.”
“I was trying to tease you out of spite, but what is this naive feeling, I wonder! It’s more embarrassing for me!” The little girl got angry at Subaru, who tapped his fingers together in embarrassment.
At this point in time, there were only two people in the dining room, and they were free to do whatever they wanted. There was a large table covered with a white tablecloth placed in the center of the large dining room, and there were about 10 chairs arranged around it, starting from the seat of honor in the front with the rest of the chairs along the sides.
There were several seats that were already equipped with dishware, so Subaru could sit at any one of those seats. Simply put, one of the lower seats would be the one he’d go for.
“I’m gonna take one of the best seats.”
“That is a great choice. But it’s obvious that it is the wrong one, in fact.”
“Heh-heh-he, this is where Emilia-tan usually sits, right? Right now, the thought of our butts touching indirectly is making me giddy with excitement…”
“Are you a high-level pervert, I wonder?! It’s not just creepy, it’s disgusting, in fact!”
Subaru had a lot that he wanted to say, but the little girl, whose attitude was essentially like a straight man, was really worth teasing. He couldn’t help but want to see how she’d react to him suddenly acting in a perverted way. “So, I’m not actually doing THIS on purpose, gee-hee-hee.”
“That last chuckle wasn’t very convincing… I can’t take anything you say seriously, in fact!” As the little girl pressed her forehead and shook her head, Subaru moved his butt around on the chair, heating it up in the process.
“I guess it’s alright since nothing bad happened in the end, but it was damn tough!” Thinking back about their first meeting where he’d ended up fainting, Subaru rotated his hands and feet in order to let his dissatisfaction be known. “Oh man, I suddenly realized that the number of times I’ve lost consciousness has reached a scary level in these past two days. Rather, I haven’t had many opportunities to get up, have I? …But that…isn’t much different from the time when I was a shut-in, huh.”
On the other hand, it would’ve been great if I could’ve lazed around more!
Whilst gazing at Subaru and craning her neck, the little girl had the expression of one who was holding back a yawn. “Your gate had been wide open and spilling out mana, and it would have been a waste to let it all escape, so I absorbed it, in fact. It would be best for you to be thankful.”
“It was YOUR fault that it was leaking out like that! Shouldn’t you be thankful that there was a hole in it instead? Don’t make me laugh! You’re just ridiculous! And aren’t you acting a little too sassy?!”
Ignoring the incessant complaints of Subaru, the little girl once more tilted her glass. Drinking without hesitation would make her lose the willpower to respond to him.
It was only natural for the little girl to drink at the sad and wretched state of the world.
“The young girl then became acquainted with nighttime amusements, spent way too much money, and then, at the end of it all, got knocked up as a teenager… As your Big Bro, I can’t help but weep!”
“Don’t just go and make Betty the heroine of a great tragedy like that!”
“In my mind, you’re just the shitty protagonist of a shitty cell phone novel!”
There had been a time where he had killed time by checking those things out, but finding a good one was a matter of luck, a hit or a miss. He had been learning the Gyaru alphabet at around the same time as well.
She probably didn’t even understand the meaning of what Subaru had just said, and, with a scowl on her face, the little girl lightly tapped her fingers on the table. “Well, so be it. Are you going to give Betty words of thanks, I wonder?”
“Thanks? Giving words of thanks to the drill loli that berated me? That’s not any kind of reward in my industry!”
“Why are you getting mad, I wonder! The one who should be angry is Betty! The one who saved you when you were on the brink of death was…”
But as the little girl’s voice trailed off, Subaru let out a “Huuuh?” However, before she could complete her answer, the door to the dining room opened.
“Please pardon me, sir. Allow me to set the meal.”
“If you would excuse me, sir. I will set the table and serve the tea.”
Pushing trollies into the room were the twin maids. The blue-haired maid was pushing a trolley with food from an orthodox breakfast menu on it, such as salad and pastries. The pink-haired maid, on the other hand, was pushing a trolley with tableware and forks on it.
The two of them moved to either side of the table and began quickly and expertly setting it. In perfect sync, the table was decorated, the warm scents causing Subaru’s stomach to growl unintentionally.
“Woah, not too shabby. It really is a breakfast fit for the nobility… I was worried it was gonna be some bizarre different world stuff.”
He had considered the possibility that the makeup of a dining table in a different world could be totally different. If he had made any mistakes, he might have found himself eating bugs every day by now.
And if that were truly the case, Subaru would have had no choice but to sever his ties to the world, thus liberating himself from an earthly life and obtaining nirvana.
“For real, bugs would be way too much. Why do those things even exist? Godddd, just look at them and the way they live their lives. Isn’t their purpose in life simply to be killed and teach us the importance of life in our early years?”
“If you oppress the weak, when you yourself have become weak, you shall be oppressed by the strong. You should learn the significance of those words, in fact. Silence, I suppose, you weakling.” As if putting on an act in order to hold him back, the little girl gave a deliberate reply whilst elegantly tilting her glass.
His irritation was reaching a breaking point, his hunger was increasing, and he was pissed off because of that sense of elegance she’d just displayed. “H-u-r-r-y-u-p-a-l-r-e-a-d-y! I’ve can’t take it anymore!”
“You are quite lacking in refinedness. Can you not wait in a more refined and elegant manner, I suppose?”
“I don’t wanna be talked down to by a drunk little girl! C’mon, let’s eat! Let’s eat!”
Subaru rudely and furiously grabbed his knife and fork and placed them together, causing the little girl to take action. With her hand still on the glass, the space around it began to warp, and, with a finger, she attempted to direct a paranormal-like energy at him. However, before that sinister technique could reach him… “Ooooohhhh myyy. You seem to be doing weeeell. That is good, quiiiite good.”
What had just appeared was the smiling face of a perverted man. He seemed to have completely changed from the outdoor clothing he’d worn before to more formal clothing. The collars of his outfit were excessively large and colorful, the model change seemingly reflective of his poor tastes. He indeed had the appearance of a clown, his eccentric behaviors the same as usual.
—Oh yes, he is a total pervert.
While jovially watching Subaru chop up some beets with his silverware, Roswaal suddenly noticed the little girl quietly tilting her glass, causing him to raise his eyebrows. “Ohhh myyyyy, it is rare to see Beatrice here. Is it not woooonderful that you decided to have a meal with me after such a looong time?”
“That’s enough. There’s a guy right there who’s happy-go-lucky, in fact. Betty is only here to share a meal with Bubby, I suppose.” Brushing off Roswaal’s buddy-buddy statements, the little girl—Beatrice—shifted her line of sight to his rear. Entering the room behind him was the figure of Emilia, and the one nestled within her silver hair was, “Bubby!”
The little girl seemingly sprung up from her seat and zipped over to him, her long skirt fluttering in the wind. Her face was adorned with a smile, like a blooming flower, so charming that it made him forget about how he’d just evaluated her as being “cheeky.”
The little girl had suddenly behaved in such a way, her little run having been a reaction to the grey cat nestled within the silver hair. His face came out, and with a relaxed expression, said, “Hiya, Betty. It’s been like two days. Have you been well and acting like a lady should?”
“I have been waiting eagerly for your return, Bubby. Would you like to spend the day together, I wonder?”
“Yeah, sounds great! How about we just relax for the day, then?”
“Oh, how wonderful!”
Puck leapt out of her silver hair, landing in Beatrice’s outstretched hands. Now in her grasp, she twirled around and around on the spot.
As Subaru was struck senseless by the happy and carefree scene occurring right in front of him, Emilia walked over to him with a wry smile on her face. “You must’ve been surprised, right? Beatrice and Puck are suuuper close.”
“It’s a surprise, or maybe I should ask what the hell is up with that loli’s attitude. Isn’t she quite cunning by putting on airs in front of a cat?”
“I’m sorry, but I have noooo idea what you’re saying.”
Cutting Subaru’s words off, Emilia let out an “Mm?” with a look of wonderment on her face as she pointed at where he was sitting. “That seat is…”
“Oh, yeah! Uh, you know how a freezing cold chair can make you feel down in the dumps, right? I’m running a campaign to become your blanket to cure and enter your heart and bridge the gap between us. That’s why I thought I’d keep your seat warm for you! It’s not like I was trying to go for an indirect sit-down or anything!”
“Sorry, but I have nooo idea what you’re saying…but, you know that’s Roswaal’s seat, right?”
After his excuses were all dismissed with ease, Subaru fell into despair, his knees buckling. Realizing his blunder as he crashed down, he clenched his teeth.
If he thought about it, it would only be natural for the owner of the mansion to sit in the best seat, the seat of honor.
And the Greenhorn of the Year award goes to…
“But I’m a man who turns adversity into opportunity. Under these circumstances… Yes, under these circumstances, I’ll bet on another chance tomorrow!”
“And there’s no need for you to sit in my seat, okay? Because it’s a biiiit unpleasant for me.”
“God is dead—!”
Subaru then finally fell to the ground, crying a river.
No longer having hope in this world, no longer seeing a future for himself, he was wrapped in an aura of helplessness. But then, he felt the tender touch of someone’s hand on his shoulder. That hand, giving him warmth, put him into a state of bliss, as tranquil as could be, and, as he raised his face upwards, saw that the shining beacon of hope was actually—
“I will prooooperly savor your warmth as best I caaaaan.”
After Subaru heart what the tall man had uttered, he immediately spat on his seat without a shred of hesitation. “You can enjoy the warmth from where my ass was after it’s been dirtied like THIS!”
“Ohh myyyyyy, such a quick action was rather unexpected. How splendid. But, no matter.”
Roswaal chuckled, as if he were feeling intense pleasure, and speedily raised his finger, pointing at the seat. Checking that the spit was there, he then thrust his finger out, creating a sound.
—Immediately afterward, the spit vanished right in front of Subaru’s eyes.
Without thinking, Subaru stretched his hand out towards the seat, unable to believe that the spit had just vanished. Not a single trace of liquid could be felt upon touching it, and the only thing that remained was a slightly warmed seat.
“Did it, evaporate?”
He guessed that there was a relationship between the heat of the seat and the disappearance of the spit.
Roswaal whistled in admiration at Subaru’s conclusion. “Ohhh myyyyyy, you’ve hit the bulls eye. I messed with the scale of flame, using an extreeeeeeemly small amount of mana so that only that part of the seat would be heated up for buuut a moment.”
“WHAT? The way you said that made it sound as if this feat-like thing were easy… Could it be that you aren’t actually a perverted idiot?”
“Actually, he’s the Kingdom of Lugunica’s Head Court Magician.” Answering in the proximity of Subaru was Emilia, who’d given him a bit of a surprise with her words. Unable to process what she’d just said, he looked at Roswaal, muttering the words ‘Head Court Magician’ to himself.
“…There’s a look of disbelief on your face.”
“N—o—w—a—y, I totally believe you! Yep! I totally believe you now! I believe you!”
“I’m not that convinced, but I’m not going to keep talking about it.” Emilia quickly gave up trying to convince him. In the short time she’d known him, she’d learned to ignore him so as to calm his seemingly boundless energy.
Subaru, awakening a new kink by being ignored like that, saw that Emilia was now sitting in a different seat, rather than the seat of honor. This is probably where she usually sits, huh.
Seeing that no one else would be joining them in the dining room, other than the seat of honor, Emilia’s seat, and Beatrice’s seat, Subaru thought about where he was sitting in relation to the rest. He was quite a way away from the seat of honor, and a bit separated from Emilia’s, making it feel incomplete.
If one were to try to use all the space at such a large table, it would probably end up being arranged in an unbalanced way.
“Anyway, this isn’t fun like…” Muttering that, Subaru grabbed the food that’d been placed at his assigned seat, then began moving everything, clinking noises from china hitting china. The place he was moving to was naturally—
“Don’t mind me, don’t mind me, believe in Terry.”
“Who’s that?” Emilia asked.
After Subaru moved himself next to her, Emilia looked at him in bewilderment. Even after listening to her response, he’d moved his salad and pastries over there. Having successfully wiggled his way next to her, he said, “Aw, come onnn. Instead of eating separately, why don’t we eat next to each other and be friendly? Hey, if you don’t like vegetables, you can just put them all on my plate. *pat pat* How about it?”
“Then, you can have my green beppers… No-no-no, that’d be…bad manners.”
“Isn’t not eating yummy food like getting your priorities backwards? Besides, eating next to a girl totally makes the food taste better, and I’m never gonna compromise on that. How about you, Rosy?”
Perhaps Emilia doesn’t like green vegetables?
WhenEmilia drew near to his plate, he said that with a smile, then waved the topic over to Roswaal, who’d been observing him with great interest.
At that manner of address, he pointed at himself. “Are you perhaps refeeeering to me by any chance?”
“Who else would it be? Rosy. It’s really the perfect name for you.”
Affirming it with a nod of his head, Roswaal laughed cheerily, then turned his face towards Emilia, who had an astonished look on her face. “Don’t beeeee upset, Lady Emilia. Decorum maaaay be important, but you won’t be able to enjoy your meaaal if you are too fixated on that even when you are with those you know well. Ohhh, his words are correct.”
Since it was the decision of the lord of the manor, that was that.
Emilia sighed, her feelings on display, then Ram and Rem, who’d been in waiting, began serving the dishes one after the other. Steaming dishes were lined up on the table, and, soon after, the breakfast space was ready to go.
“Well then, let us eat. —To the trees, the wind, the stars, and to the earth.” Palms together, Roswaal closed his eyes and muttered that. Emilia and the twins quickly followed suit. Beatrice also returned to her seat and then closed her eyes. Realizing that it was a pre-meal prayer, Subaru hurriedly imitated them.
To be honest, he was pretty surprised that Christian-like prayer was common even across worlds.
Based on how they were so adamantly praying, it was shockingly clear that Roswaal and Emilia were deeply religious. And the twins seemed to have grown accustomed to it, paying close attention to their behavior. Beatrice, on the other hand, was simply roughly going through the motions.
“Weeeell then, Subaru. She may not look it, but Rem’s cooking is really quiiiiite something, is it noooot?”
At Roswaal’s encouragement, and with the prayer ending without him noticing, Subaru joined in on the meal with great haste. The menu seemed to consist of salad, as well as ingredients for bread, such as something like ham, which was comparable to toast. Though it was a little unclear, it seemed to have the appearance of a Western-style breakfast.
Subaru was relieved for now, seeing that nothing near him appeared to be unusual. He was grateful that none of the ingredients looked exotic or went beyond human knowledge, and, putting something that was like toast in his mouth, said, “Mm, this is way better than usual.”
After raising his face and giving that impression, the blue-haired maid standing next to the table made a fox with her fingers. He wasn’t sure what it meant, but it could be a V-sign-like thing in this world. Subaru replied by making two frog signs with his hands. “Was this food made by the blue-haired…um, or can I call you Rem? Did you make this?”
“Yes, it is just as you said, sir. Rem is the one who handles the cooking in this household. Sister is not really good at it.”
“Oh-ho, so it’s like you twins are good at different skills? So, the pink-haired one is good at cleaning but not cooking?”
“Yes, that is correct. Sister is especially good at cleaning, doing laundry, and other domestic chores.”
“Then, since you are good at cooking, does that mean you are bad at cleaning and doing laundry, Remrin?”
“No, Rem excels at all of the domestic chores, including cleaning and doing laundry. Even better than Sister.”
“Why’s the pink-haired one even here, then!?”
So, one of them exceled at all domestic chores, while the other was only good at cleaning—totally different twins was a novel thing.
Ram, who was next to Rem, did not seem to care much about what had been said. And it seemed to be true since she’d never even spoken up about it. So, that being the case, why was she not bothered by it at all?
“So perhaps they’re in different fields, then? Ramchi is great at combat… No, is she responsible for ‘nighttime services’!? Oh shit, I’m itchin’ for a bunch of things tonight!”
“Sister, Sister. The guest seems to have doubts about you!”
“Rem, Rem. The guest seems to be undressing me in his mind!”
The twins clasped their hands together, acting as if something terrible were occurring, in response to the lewd thoughts of the indomitable Subaru. Viewing that exchange, Roswaal chuckled softly. “Veeeery goooood, you. Though because of their strong idiosyncrasies, Ram and Rem appear distant when meeting a guest for the first time, do they nooot?”
“You don’t care about the flaws of your servants, because even the master is so full of flaws, huh? But, because it’s fantasy, I’ll tolerate anything. Now, I…”
“There is no doubt that he is competent. At least, that’s what many people have said.” Cutting into their conversation was Emilia. After bringing a little bit of soup to her mouth, she continued, a hint of displeasure in her voice. “Actually, those two are amazing, you know. They handle nearly all the maintenance around this huge mansion. For a race like theirs, it’s sort of trivial.”
“I’m not sure how I feel about that. Isn’t that difficult?”
Having said that to Emilia, whose pupils lit up with righteous indignation-like emotions, Subaru gathered up his words and raised a question. “Just now, did Emilia-tan say that there were only two servants working in this mansion?”
“Ohhh yeess, thaaat is certainly the case as of this moment. Ram and Rem are the only ones left.”
“Are you an idiot? How can two people handle such a huge mansion like this? No matter how great those two are, even they might die of overwork. —Or do you have something like a “I can’t hire more servants” kind of restriction holding you back?”
Hearing Subaru’s question, Roswaal remained silent for a time, crossing his hands on the table. On his face was a smile, yet there were clear emotions in his eyes as he looked in his direction, altering the atmosphere.
Subaru heard the rising sound of a flag, perceiving that something had gone wrong, then brought out his dessert, the ringa he’d been yearning for, and began munching on it.
He shuffled the delicious fruit into his mouth, satisfied by the tenderness that excited his tastebuds.